Celebrated Actress, Writer, and Producer Cindy Williams Discusses Her Career And Her New Autobiography: “Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life”

Sunday August 9, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Actress, writer, and producer Cindy Williams is one of the most recognizable names and faces of 1970s & 1980s television.

Best known for her starring role in the hit TV show "Laverne and Shirley," she also had lead roles in such iconic films such as "American Graffiti" and Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation."

While millions have been entertained by her good-natured personality and comedy antics, she has rarely spoken about her life in entertainment, and how she came to star in one of the most popular shows of all time.

Join us for this truly special event at the Downtown Library as Cindy sits with local radio personality Lucy Ann Lance to discuss her life, career and new book Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, she shares some of her most memorable stories including her role as Shirley Feeney in the iconic TV show "Laverne & Shirley." She shares stories of her experiences in her personal life (growing up in a blue-collar family) and show business as well as her encounters with entertainment giants such as Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Little Richard, Cary Grant, Jim Morrison, Ron Howard, and many more. Of course, she also talks about her professional partnership and personal relationship with her co-star and friend Penny Marshall.

This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale by Literati Bookstore.

Ann Rule, true crime writer dies

Ann Rule: WriterAnn Rule: Writer
Ann Rule, true crime writer of over 30 books and numerous magazine articles, passed away Sunday. She was most famous for her book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the serial killer, Ted Bundy, who was also her co-worker at a Seattle suicide hotline. She was born Ann Stackhouse in Lowell, Michigan in 1930 or 1931. As an adult she moved to Washington and became an officer in the Seattle Police Department. She came from a family with law enforcement and criminal justice backgrounds, both her grandfather and uncle were police officers in Michigan, her cousin was a Prosecuting Attorney and another uncle was the Medical Examiner. As a child, she would often visit her grandparents in Stanton, Michigan where she helped her grandmother prepare meals for prison inmates. Her life-long interest in the prison system and criminal behavior, as well as her career in law enforcement, helped to shape her into the writer she was to become.


I purchased the adorable picture book Sparky!, by Jenny Offill, for a friend last Christmas and I am so glad that the library now has it in our collection, too! Winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book text, this book is a true gem for readers of all ages, especially those who consider themselves animal lovers. A young girl wants a pet, but her mom keeps saying ‘no’ to every pet she suggests. Finally, her mother says that she can have any pet she wants… “as long as it doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed." Of course, like the girl’s mom, most of us believe that description leaves few viable pet options. But, with the help of her school librarian, the girl finds a pet that fits the bill… a sluggish, yet strangely lovable sloth. Readers will grow to adore Sparky along with his owner as this too-cute book progresses.

Offill is the author of 17 Things I’m Not Allowed To Do Anymore, 11 Experiments That Failed and While You Were Napping, all for children, and the deeply moving Dept. of Speculation, for adults.

Americanine: A Haute Dog in New York

Enchanted Lion Books never ceases to enchant with its delighful picture books. Americanine is hilarious!

In Americanine a dog comes back from New York City with all sorts of stories to tell his doggy friends. They tell him he’s changed. He says “Yup, I’ve become total Americanine." Throughout the book the red, white and blue clad pup gives the scoop about how chic and hilarious New York is. He visits many familiar sites including the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, Grand Central Station, Broadway, Central Park, The Guggenheim, and bridges, the subway, and even restaurants that give out doggy bags! It is one wild adventure for this dog and his friends are just pawing at him for more stories. With funny doggy banter and colorful illustrations, this one‘s a winner.

For more New York City themed picture books, check these out.

John Hughes: A Life in Film

The book John Hughes: A Life in Film chronicles the film career of writer, director and producer John Hughes (1950-2009).

Hughes, born in Lansing, Michigan, is best known for his hit 80s flicks such as Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, National Lampoon's Vacation, Mr. Mom, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, Home Alone, and many more. His work on numerous films helped launch the careers of many actors.

This new book covers the films that Hughes worked on, features film stills and candid shots from production, as well as stories and blurbs by actors and staff working on the films.
It’s really fun to go back through these chronologically and remember how great they are!

New Books on World War I and World War II

Want to learn more about World War I or World War II? Take a look at a few of our new books!

Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics and Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue tell the true stories of remarkable women in war times. With profiles of many different women, these books will keep the attention of readers as they learn about spying techniques, wartime resistance, and even primitive surgery methods!

The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War is a unique take on World War I. Featuring the work of multiple authors, the short stories in this book each stem from an object recovered from World War I, be it a helmet, a toy solider, or a compass. This is a great book for children and adults to enjoy together.

From the new series History's Greatest Rivals comes the book Adolf Hitler vs. Winston Churchill: Foes of World War II. Featuring great graphics and short intriguing text, this is a winner for kids who want a shorter book on World War II.

For even more youth books on World War I, check out these recommendations! For books on World War II, look here!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #542 - "Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination." ~ Jeanette Winterson

What a joy it is to meander the waterways through the heart of France with The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, the first English translation for a bestselling German author.

Fifty year-old Monsieur Perdu watches over the other inhabitants of 27 Rue Montagnard. By day, he runs a literary apothecary on a floating barge docked along the Seine, prescribing appropriate books to (mostly willing) customers for the myriad of ailments and hardships of life. His intuition and profound knowledge of books serves him well, mending broken heart and souls, except for his own.

For twenty years he refuses to open the letter left for him by Manon, the love of his life, until the chance encounter with a new tenant stirs up emotions long buried within. Once he reads the letter, the devastating contents compel him to haul anchor, take the bookstore barge on a trip upriver to Avignon, in search of closure and forgiveness - but not before taking on an uninvited guest. His neighbor Max Jordan, a young American author with severe writer's block, is looking for fresh ideas and the perfect story, and is in need of a sanctuary from over-zealous paparazzi and adoring fans.

"The two navigate the canals of France trading books for food (The Enchanted April to a baker's daughter, and the latest John Irving to a lockkeeper's wife), engaging in adventures small and large, all against the backdrop of quaint villages and bittersweet memories."

"A charming novel that believes in the healing properties of fiction, romance, and a summer in the south of France." All aboard.

For those who enjoyed The Storied life of A. J. Fikry by Gabirelle Zevin, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

Crazy Creatures and Bizarre Beasties

Why settle for regular boring old animals when you can discover CRAZY and AMAZING facts about the biggest weirdos in the animal kingdom!? We have so many new books about strange creatures that are just trying to do their best in this wild world.

The Dictionary of Ordinary Extraordinary Animals takes the animals you thought you knew and teaches you knew and strange facts about all of them. The colorful pictures in this book pair with detailed descriptions to provide a solid introduction to over three hundred animals!

The Curious Critters series by David FitzSimmons is a fantastic group of books that boasts gorgeous close-up photographs of a whole host of animals. Each page is accompanied by a poem, song, or monologue written from the animal’s perspective. Although I like the text, it’s really the photography that sets these titles apart from other animal books.

If you just want to skip right to weird facts, take a look at When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses. This book is packed with facts about the tactics prey animals use to defend themselves. My favorite fact? The Horned Lizard shoots blood out of its eyes to scare off predators!

For even more books about crazy animals, check out these recommendations!

Notable New Memoir: Sally Mann's Hold Still

Renowned photographer Sally Mann’s new memoir, Hold Still, is a breath of fresh, Southern air. Stories of her family—past and present—as well as anecdotes about her deep love of the southern United States and her photography sojourns are interspersed with her beautiful photographs.

Mann generated controversy in the 1990s for her photo collection “Immediate Family,” which featured many pictures of her children, some in the nude. No matter how you feel about these photographs, its undeniable that they are striking, and the work of someone deeply talented. Her other work is equally breathtaking, particularly her haunting landscapes, many of which are taken at and near the farm where she was raised and continues to live, in Virginia.

Hold Still is written at an almost soothing pace. Mann spins out stories of generations of family troubles, and analyzes deeply who she is today. Excerpts from years of letters and diary entries compliment her stories, and add unique details and perspectives to situations whose outcomes have been altered by the passing of time. She writes at length about her beloved South and the deep-seated sense of place that she has found during her lifetime there. I loved becoming more familiar with Mann’s work while also reading this fascinating account of a memorable life.

For more of Mann’s photography, check out Deep South and What Remains.

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