New Poetry Collection

A new collection will be welcomed by fans of Jane Kenyon. Collected Poems is a compilation of all of her work including the poems in her celebrated book, Otherwise which was published in 1996, less than a year after her death from leukemia. Kenyon is especially well known and loved in Ann Arbor because of her marriage to Donald Hall, former professor at the University of Michigan and an honored poet himself. Kenyon found refuge from her disabling depression in the simple beauties and comforts of the rural landscape of New Hampshire. She was highly influenced by Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, some of whose work she translated. Several of those translations are included here. Kenyon's poetry expresses the soul's longing like no other.

Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest

Harry and George are friends. George is a 100-year-old jazz musician and Harry is 7.
They have a lot in common. They both have red backpacks and go to the same school. They are also learning to read. George can’t read, A hundred years old and never learned how. "That must be corrected," says George. Amy Hest captures the warmth of this unlikely friendship in this tender story of the challenge to conquer illiteracy.

Family Bits: 10 years old and Coping

Two stories of 8-10 year old kids coping with a parent who has cancer. It is serious stuff, and family goes on. Ida B. is home-schooled until her mother must go into cancer treatment. Ida B. must find a new place in public school. Ida's patient teacher makes a significant difference in her outlook. Tobin in Chicken Boy has lost his mother to cancer. He changes significantly when Henry takes him home after school one day to see the chickens. Tobin's outlook grows through friendship with Henry and chickens.

History Bits: Historical Fiction 1930

Grandma's General Store: the Ark is the story of two young children in an African-American family in Florida during the Great Depression. The children must remain with Grandma in Florida, while their parents go north to find work in Philadelphia. This slim book maintains strong and honest characters and events while it leads to a simple happy ending. The family is re-united to live in the north, without Jim Crow laws.

The Big Apple

Transit strikes come, transit strikes go. The City endures. Pete Hamill knows, as only an old newspaper reporter can, the streets, the people, the stories that make New York City so captivating and so confounding . Listen to Downtown: My Manhattan and you’ll want to visit even if you have to walk from the airport.

Once Hamill has you hooked on the Big Apple, you’ll want to know how it all started. The Island at the Center of the World takes you back to the founding of New Netherland, describing the array of cultures and peoples that created one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Comedy or tragedy?

In The Apartment (1960) Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star as C.C. Baxter, an upwardly mobile insurance clerk and Fran Kubelik, the whimsical elevator girl in Baxter’s office building. Little does Baxter know that Miss Kubelik is having an affair with his boss—in Baxter’s apartment! One of Billy Wilder’s more emotionally complex comedies, The Apartment was nominated for ten Oscars in 1961 and won five of them.

Literarian, n. 1. One who makes great contributions to the world of literature. 2. Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

In November the National Book Foundation awarded its first-ever Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-). Ferlinghetti is a poet, publisher, painter, tireless advocate for poetry and free speech, San Francisco poet laureate and proprietor of the renowned independent bookstore City Lights. Several of his books of poetry are available in the library, as well as a documentary of 1987 interviews with Ferlinghetti and other Beat writers, thinkers, and artists. Three cheers for the man who stood up for Howl and blessed the world with the first all-paperback bookstore.

New Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (12/18/05)

There was only one new title this week and again it is from an author who is no stranger to the list.

Coming in at #4 is Forever Odd by Dean Koontz: this popular and prolific writer brings back Odd Thomas who uses his ability to communicate with the dead to search for his missing friend.

Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties

Including bipartisan testimony by lawyers, politicians and victims of the USA Patriot Act, this DVD discusses how the Patriot Act of 2001 has taken away checks on law enforcement and continues to endanger the civil liberties of all Americans under the guise of being part of the war on terrorism. Following in the footsteps of Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election and Uncovered: The War on Iraq, this hour-long documentary illustrates how paranoia, fear and racial profiling have led to gross infringements on freedom and democracy without strengthening national security.

De-stress while listening to classical piano

With the holidays upon us, smart music lovers are stocking up on relaxing CDs. The library recently bought the popular title The Most Relaxing Classical Piano Music in the Universe, with selections by Bach, Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven (Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise), and other composers. Right now there are 27 people on the waiting list for this CD, but if you reserve it now, you, too, can look forward to being among the most relaxed listeners in the universe.

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