How To Write Like I Do at 826michigan

826michigan will host Stephen Elliott, author of seven books, reading from his just-released true crime novel, The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder, on Thursday, October 29, at 7 pm on 115 East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor. This free event kicks off their fall adult workshop series “How To Write Like I Do” that begins on Saturday, October 31st, from 1-4 pm, when Stephen Elliott will present: Writing from Experience. Attendees will discuss how to use their own lives as jumping points and framing devices for their stories.

To register for a workshop or learn more about future sessions with graphic novelist Jim Ottaviani or Jeff Meyers, lead film critic at the Metro Times, visit 826michigan here. Coffee and Zingerman’s treats are included in the $60 for a single workshop fee, or $50 per workshop fee for those signing up for multiple workshops.

Like Sookie Stackhouse?, Try the Harper Connelly Series

As a fan of Charlaine Harris, I was upset by the abrupt end to my 9 book reading spree of the Sookie Stackhouse Series. (Book 10 in the series is not released until the spring of next year.) After dealing with the bereavement of finishing what has been published of the engrossing Southern Vampires Mysteries, I needed a Charlaine Harris fix in a bad way. I started reading Grave Sight (Book 1 in the Harper Connelly Mysteries) Harper Connelly is a woman who uncannily survived a lightning strike as a child and now makes her living by finding dead people and correctly determining their cause of death with her acquired “sixth” sense. In this first novel, Harper and her stepbrother (this distinction is important) Tolliver Lang travel to the small town of Sarne, Arkansas to help locate the body of a missing girl. Finding the body proves easy for Harper, but leaving Sarne becomes the problem when the sheriff and other town members become suspicious of Harper's abilities. Along the way, Harper gets attacked and Tolliver ends up in jail, but eventually the mystery is resolved and the dynamic duo move on to another assignment.

In the second novel in the Harper Connelly series, Grave Surprise. Harper and Tolliver head down to Tennessee to do a "graveyard" job identifying and determining the COD (Cause of Death) of ancient remains at Bingham College. In a surprise twist Harper discovers that one of the graves has two bodies inside, one of which is a missing girl, Tabitha Morgenstern, Harper had been hired to find previously. The FBI become involved and Harper and Tolliver are suspected of being somehow involved with Tabitha's disappearance. Then, Dr. Nunley, the professor that requested Harper's services is also found dead in the cemetery. Along the way, we also meet some quirky psychic friends of Harper's: Manfred and Xylda Bernardo.

In the third novel in the Harper Connelly series, An Ice Cold Grave, Harper and Tolliver get an assignment in North Carolina trying to find the bodies of a half dozen young men considered to be "runaway" age. After searching the final disappearance site, Harper gets a reading and discovers a mass grave sight behind an old dilapidated house. The cause of death for the victims was so traumatizing that at first, Harper finds it difficult relaying the cause of death of the boys. Then on their first attempt out of town, Harper gets hit over the head and sentenced to a few days recuperation in the local hospital. Even though looking for more bodies is the last think Harper wants to do, the local authorities and State Bureau of Investigation agents demand that she stay in town to help with their investigation. Harper's friends Manfred and Xylda Bernardo reprise their roles and add unwanted media attention on the town and the murder investigations. Also, Harper and Tollivers relationship escalate to a new level.

Grave Secret is the fourth book in the Harper Connelly Series and will be released October 27th. Place your hold on the latest book in this series today!

The books are a treat, especially if you’re a Charlaine Harris fan and they contain developed and intricate plots, interesting characters, and a unique style of writing!

"WRITE Here . . . in our Own Backyard"

bookfestbookfest

The Ann Arbor Book Festival will present the Fall Writer's Conference on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Pioneer High. The $95 fee includes coffee, three sessions, lunch, and a participant reading time; fulltime students age 17 and older may register for $50. Among accomplished, locally-based authors leading sessions will be Susan Hutton, Michael Byers, Scott Beal, Jeff Kass, Eileen Pollack, and Keith Taylor. To read about these writers and their work -- and to register for the conference -- click here.

Rite of Fall: Jewish Book Festival

The 22nd Annual Jewish Book Festival is coming up Tuesday, November 3 through Sunday, November 15. Twenty authors are scheduled to speak. Events are free and public; lunch may be bought separately for some events. Among authors lined up are Dan Senor, Carol Leifer and Bruce Feiler. Opening the festival on November 3 at 7:30 p.m. is columnist Jeffrey Zaslow, who wrote The Girls from Ames and co-authored The Last Lecture. The local authors' brunch on Sunday, November 15 will feature 11 authors - check it out! Heads up also for the Afternoon Tea introducing Rebecca Rubin, the first Jewish American Girl doll on Sunday, November 8. For complete information, click here.

The Wild Rumpus Has Already Begun

The Wild Things, written by Dave Eggers, is loosely based on Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are and the new film’s screenplay co-written by Spike Jonze and Eggers. I saw the film thinking, “how did they make Sendak’s short book into a feature length film?” Then I read Eggers’ book thinking, “they didn’t put that in the movie!” All three items tell the same story in a different way, and all are delightful. Eggers’ book is pleasant to read because it’s written in typical Eggers prose, where the wonderful words quickly melt like butter and drip off the page as you read along. Only now you’re laughing and smiling as you read about a little boy named Max who believes he’s half wolf & half wind, all while the buttery words keep dripping down the pages as Max is onto the next adventure.

The Wild Things is a fantastic tale, and a quick read. A story of a boy who goes unnoticed by those around him, a boy who wants someone to live with him in his fantasyland of wolves and wild things and childhood. The film and this novelization speak to adults of a childhood long ago.

* The McSweeney's collector’s edition of this book has a furry cover! See funny pics of it here.

Off with her head!

On October 16, 1793, Marie Antoinette, Queen of France under Louis XIV, was beheaded by the French citizenry who were angered by her extravagance. The statement: "Let them eat cake" was credited to her. As the French Revolution raged, she was taken to prison where after several failed escape attempts, was led to the guillotine.

The novel, Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund describes her rise and fall in rich, evocative language. "The French Revolution Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, A New Republic Is Born is an excellent film that includes quite a bit on the tragic queen.

2009 NBA Finalists Announced

This year’s finalists for the National Book Award have been announced. The winners will be announced November 18. Five books are vying for the Young People’s Literature Award. They include:

Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, a personal look at the man behind evolutionary theory and how his thinking impacted his marriage to Emma, a deeply religious woman.
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, the story of a teen who in 1955 refused to give up her seat to a white person on a Montgomery, Alabama bus nine months before Rosa Parks did the same. Read why she is not remembered like the celebrated Rosa Parks.
Stitches: A Memoir is author David Small's graphic novel account of growing up under the watchless eyes of parents who gave him cancer (his radiologist father subjected him to unscrupulous x-rays for minor ailments) and let it develop untreated for years.
Lips Touch: Three Times presents three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls.
Jumped intertwines the lives of three very different teens in this fast-paced, gritty narrative about choices and the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant ones can have.

NBA FinalistNBA Finalist

Hidden Gems: Books Unjustly Dusty #5

berlinberlin

Readers of mysteries know that a good mystery writer is a rare find. Even though we’ll put up with mid-grade “who done its” to find out what happened in the end; the feeling left is similar to drinking flat ginger ale.

Philip Kerr a well known author of chidren’s books has also written a series of novels based in Berlin during the 1920's and 30's with a character named Bernard Gunther. Bernie is a former homicide inspector turned private detective trying to survive while the Nazis are taking over. Kerr is a master at intertwining a good story it into this fascinating, grim period. Try solving a crime when the biggest crime in world history is happening all around you.

The library has the Berlin Noir Trilogy: the first of which, March Violets published in 1989, won the Prix du Roman d'Aventures, The Pale Criminal published in 1990 and A German Requiem published in 1993.

Philip Kerr returned to writing more Bernie Gunther mysteries in the past few years but they are not Unjustly Dusty so you have to find out about them on your own!

Nonfiction Finds -- Winter Stargazing

orionorion

Expert astronomers know that in the winter the stars are clearer and brighter than they are in the summer. Several spectacular meteor showers will also take place in the upcoming months, so grab your overcoat and take advantage of the clear skies with some great nonfiction resources!

New arrival "Phases of the Moon" by Gillia Olson is a great place to start, including a list of websites for further information.

More experienced stargazers can graduate to Anton Vamplew's "Simple Stargazing" or Fran Lee's "Wishing on a Star". These guides to the constellations require no telescopes!

And once you're done and curled up with a cup of tea, you can read the stories behind the constellations with Jacqueline Mitton's "Zodiac", "Zoo in the Sky", and "Once Upon a Starry Night", all beautifully illustrated by Christina Balit.

The Only Verdict is Vengeance

vv

Have you ever heard of kinetic typography? It is the art of moving text, and below is an amazing example using the famous alliterative speech by V in V for Vendetta.

Democracy has vanished in the world of V and Evey, a young woman he has saved from death. The two of them attempt to overthrow a totalitarian regime in a Britain of our not-to-distant future. With echoes of Orwell's 1984, the journey is one of vindication and vengeance.

Here at AADL we have the DVD and Blu-ray with Natalie Portman, the graphic novel by Alan Moore upon which it was based, and the novelization that was released after the film. There is also an audiobook of the novelization, if you are so inclined.

Syndicate content