John Sinclair

Free John Now

On the short list of people who can claim John Lennon wrote a song about them (that would include Yoko, his mom "Julia" and Mia Farrow's sister, "Prudence") is John Sinclair, ex-manager of the MC5, founder of the White Panther Party, and ex-political prisoner. The song is on this CD. Anyone in town remember "ten for two" and the Free John Now Rally at Crisler in '71? They contributed, at least in part, to Ann Arbor's famously lenient laws on marijuana possession. Sinclair will be appearing at the downtown branch on September 6 at 7:00 p.m. to read his blues-inspired poetry in honor of the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Read more about Sinclair's local and national influence on the counterculture of the nineteen sixties and seventies in the introduction to the John and Leni Sinclair papers at the Bentley Historical Library.

Plan a Michigan Wine Harvest Tour

Plenty of Ann Arborites are planning fall trips to visit Michigan wineries - to witness the harvest and buy wine. You can plan your own midwestern oenological adventure by checking out Wineries of the Great Lakes: A Guidebook, by Joe Borrello. For complete and updated information on Michigan wineries - locations, hours, and more - go to the Michigan wine website.

Naguib Mahfouz, author of the Cairo trilogy, has died

Naguib Mahfouz, author of the Cairo trilogy, has died

Naguib Mahfouz, one of the Arab world’s most beloved authors, has died in Cairo. He had been hospitalized since July, after a fall seriously injured his head.

Mahfouz, the first Arab writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1988), was known as the voice of reason and religious tolerance throughout the Middle East. His moderate views attracted heated opinions at both extremes – in 1994, at age 82, he was stabbed by a man inflamed by a militant cleric’s condemnation of his ideas.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (8/27/06)

George Pelecanos has garnered great reviews and accolades from fellow mystery writers for years but has never had the sales or visibility of Michael Connelly or Ian Rankin. This time out his publisher made a big push promoting his latest murder mystery and it has paid off with a spot on this week's List.

At #3 is Crisis by Robin Cook: on the other hand, Cook's books almost sell themselves; another medical thriller involving shocking malpractices from a master of the genre.

At #8 is Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston: her first book was a step away from the usual chick lit. In Good Grief the heroine was not looking for love; she was in mourning. Her new book chronicles how infertility and infidelity can explode a marriage.

At #12 is The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos: after 20 years a serial killer may once again be loose on the mean streets of Washington, DC; as in all his best work, including his scripts for HBO's The Wire, the action is authentic and real.

Mystery Bits - the Wright book

If you like facts along with your fiction, read Wright 3 by Blue Balliett. There is a mystery to solve for the three sixth gradersin this book. While following the clues you learn about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House in Chicago, and facts about both of them. If this book intrigues you, read more in Frank Lloyd Wright: Maverick Architect and Frank Lloyd Wright For Kids and compare facts with fiction.

What New Car?

What New Car

It’s never too late to buy that 1946 Chevy or other car you’ve forever had on your mind. In the meantime, while you’re deciding the Library has several magazines to help you dream and plan your next move. With over 600 pages the monthly Hemmings Motor News a favorite of mine has for years offered classified ads for both collector cars and parts ads in addition to informative articles on how to repair cars, rallys, auctions, and other auto related subjects. Auto Restorer is a How-To Guide for Car & Truck enthusiasts with more emphasis on the” How To”. Another great magazine with a British twist is “Practical Classics” with lots of great color pictures. I especially like the articles with good color photos of parts being repaired. These magazines can all be found at the Downtown Branch.

What season are you watching?

According to Amazon.com's Top Sellers list, T.V. is tops. Check out these popular television series titles on DVD to find out what all the fuss is about or to catch up in time for next season.

1. Lost
2. Arrested Development
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. House M.D.
5. Desperate Housewives
6. Nip/Tuck
7. South Park
8. Rome
9. Veronica Mars

American comic book artist Jack Kirby

89 years ago today (August 28, 2006) Jack Kirby was born in New York City. According to wikipedia.org Kirby "was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books."

To celebrate Kirby's life check out some of his comics at the library, or visit the Kirby museum. Also of interest is the the Jack Kirby Chronology from the Marvel Masterworks website.

Great Shorts!

A discussion on the importance of short films in American cinema will take place here at AADL on Wednesday, August 30, 7-8:30 p.m. (check here for details). Meanwhile, AADL has several great collections of short films on DVD, including:

Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life...and Other Strange Tales
More Treasures from the American Film Archives, 1894-1931
Shorts! 15 Award-winning Film Festival Shorts
The 75th Annual Academy Awards Short Films

And my personal favorite: Curly Classics

Idlewild

According to Sunday's Ann Arbor News, Idlewild, the new film opening this week, is named after the famous Lake County Michigan resort, otherwise known as the Black Eden of Michigan in the 1920s and '30s and the Summer Apollo of Michigan in the 1950s and '60s. Idlewild, Michigan, hosted great jazz acts in its day, including Duke Ellington, and was the vacation spot of choice for such black luminaries as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Even W.E.B. Du Bois owned a home there. But the film itself is set in Georgia and its "Idlewild" is a small-town speakeasy. It does take place during the same period and features the music of OutKast (a bit of a historical stretch, but oh well). So far, reviews are mixed but Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-.

You can read more about the real Idlewild in Idlewild: the Black Eden of Michigan by Ronald J. Stephens.

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