UM's Donald Hall is named Poet Laureate

Donald Hall

Donald Hall, former professor of English at The University of Michigan from 1957-1975, will become the nation's 14th poet laureate.

James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, will bestow the appointment on Prof. Hall, who succeeds Ted Kooser.

Hall, 77, as well known for his clean spare poetry and prose as for his passionate outspoken defense of government arts grants, now lives in New Hampshire.

Are you ready for some football?

We're not talking pigskin folks. That's right, the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany is well underway. Not quite sure about the rules of the game? Ever wonder why soccer is such a popular sport around the world? Maybe these titles can offer insight:
The Simplest Game: The Intelligent Fan's Guide to the World of Soccer
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Soccer
The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer
Soccer Fundamentals

If you'd rather get in the spirit of the game and find out about last year's world champions, check out this biography of Brazilian soccer by Geoffrey Douglas, The Game of Their Lives.

So, who are you rooting for?

Beach Reads 2006 (#1)

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They are delightfully fresh voices in fiction, for the most part still under the media radar. That also means no long waiting lists. Enjoy.

The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson. A deep cover CIA agent in the al-Qaeda camp is sent home to unleash the most devastating post-9/11 terrorist attack. A heart-pounding debut thriller by a former New York Times reporter.

Last Bite by Nancy Barr. A debut culinary romance by veteran cookbook author and Julia Child’s executive chef. Delicious and dishy, and rumored to be slightly autobiographical.

London is the Best City in America by Laura Dave. Emmy accompanies her very confused brother, Josh on a pre-wedding road trip and comes to see herself clearly for the first time. An absorbing debut novel not to be missed.

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. An impulsive taxi ride with a stranger in 1950s London indelibly changes Penelope Wallace's life. British Chick Lit. with substance.

Sun Storm by Asa Larsson. Winner of Sweden’s Best First Crime Novel Award. Attorney Rebecka Martinsson is drawn into a murder case and a dark, nostalgic trip home. An atmospheric and chilling procedural.

Triangle by Katharine Weber. The truth behind the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 and the secrets kept by feisty Esther Gottesfeld, the last remaining survivor. Another gem by the author of The Little Women.

Voodoo Heart by Scott Snyder. Dark and an absurdly funny collection of short stories by a fiercely original young writer, populated by odd and unforgettable characters that will steal your heart before you know it. A sure bet.

Looking for Love??

This week is "Meet a Mate" week June 12-18. It is meant to inspire those of us who are looking for love. Get out in this warm weather and meet your future spouse. A good first date would be at this summer's Top of the Park which starts this Friday, June 16th on Ingalls mall. For dating tips the library offers several resources including Dating for Dummies, DSI--Date Scene Investigation: The Diagnostic Manual of Dating Disorders, Dates from Hell: True Stories From The Front or live vicariously through some great beach reads for the summer Boy meets Girl by Cabot, Meg, or Nora Roberts newest trilogy starting with Blue Dahlia followed by Red Lily then Black Rose.

Dogs: Recent Books

This week the Ann Arbor News reported that the city’s first dog park will open this fall at Swift Run Park in southeast Ann Arbor. This may surprise those dogs and owners running free in Burns Park. Soon dogs can run free in at least one city park without being scofflaws.

Some recent good books on dogs:

The Dogs Who Found Me: What I’ve Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind by Ken Foster
First Friend: a History of Dogs and Humans by Katharine M. Rogers
The Intelligence of Dogs: a Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions by Stanley Coren
It’s a Dog’s World (tales of travels with dogs), edited by Christine Hunsicker
What the Dog Did: Tales from a Formerly Reluctant Dog Owner by Emily Yoffe
Woman’s Best Friend: Women Writers on the Dogs in Their Lives, edited by Megan McMorris

Elephants and clowns in a tree...what more do you need?

Tree Ring Circus
by Adam Rex

Beautiful, lush ilustrations bring out the imagery of a circus gone haywire. Animals of all types somehow get stuck precariously in a tree. Have fun picking them out from page to page as the scene gets more crazy and impossible. The illustrations really are amazing; each animal, whether tiny or huge, is a wonder to just stare at, let alone play the game of hide and seek with. Very captivating. A fun little picture book for all ages.

Recent Notable Business Books

New business titles at the library include three books of particular note. Lawrence G. Hrebiniak's Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change analyzes how to translate business strategy into actual change. The author, a professor of business management at the Wharton School argues that while many executives know how to formulate a business strategy, they frequently lack the skills to execute it effectively. This book aims to show how to implement a plan successfully. In Why Some Companies Emerge Stronger and Better from a Crisis, Ian I. Mitroff, a specialist in crisis management, outlines 7 methods for businesses to prepare for, manage and overcome potential crises. Finally, a new study on employee motivation and satfisfaction by David Sirota] and others, The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want uses case studies, surveys and in-depth research to show how managers can develop high-performace, loyal, enthusiastic employees.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (6/11/06)

The List has one thing in common with Congress. Incumbents are hard to beat. Week after week a new book by a past best-selling author debuts on the List. Name recognition can even trump a bad review. And this week the trend continues with three new entries.

At #1 is At Risk by Patricia Cornwell: this was first serialized in "The New York Times Magazine" for fifteen weeks; Cornwell said, “This book is more about suspense, and characters, and their skills of deduction. It is people who solve this case---a determined investigator digging through boxes. That’s how things happen out there." Is she taking on CSI?

At #13 is Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder: the author scored a hit with Company Man; he has returned with a thriller about getting ahead in business with a little help from the Special Forces.

At #15 is The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl: this author had a hit with his first literary mystery, The Dante Club; he returns with another fascinating blend of fact and fiction.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts # 25

Historical mystery fans – here is a new reason to rejoice. Let’s see… exotic locale, opulent settings, a tough, savvy amateur sleuth, plenty of seduction, danger and intrigue, not to mention a few dead bodies. Could we ask for more?

Jason Goodwin, a noted historian turns to fiction for the first time with The Janissary Tree, a mystery set in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. The sultan’s eunuch (Warning: DO NOT jump to conclusions here) Yashim Togalu suspects the involvement of the Janissaries’, an elite troop in a series of barbaric murders and jewel theft around Istanbul and the royal court.

This is the impressive debut of a projected series.

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie wins 2006 Thumbs Up!

The Thumbs Up! Award committee has voted Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar as the 2006 Thumbs Up! Award winner. Sleeping Freshmen. . . is the journal of Scott Hudson during his first year in high school. It’s a year full of bullies, romance, honors classes, and brotherhood, and oh yes, his mother’s pregnancy.

The committee also chose three Honor books. They are Twilight by Stephenie Meyer which received the most teen votes, Looking for Alaska by John Green, and Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.

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