This Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of November 1 to November 7

November 1 National Cook For Your Pets Day

November 2 All Soul’s Day

November 3 The first animal was sent into space on this date in 1957: A female dog named Laika.

November 4 Egyptian Day of Love. Founded by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1977, the day is meant as an annual reminder for people to treat others with love and respect.

November 5 Guy Fawkes Night is traditionally celebrated with fireworks and a bonfire. Sounds fun!

November 6 Nachos Day

November 7 The New York Museum of Modern Art opened on this date in 1929.

Keep your mind off all the big holidays coming up by focusing on these. It's a productive form of procrastination.

Garrow's Law

Garrows Law

The time: 1791. The place: Old Bailey, London’s courtroom. You are poor and framed for a crime you did not commit. The case is presented and the verdict reached in eight minutes. The penalty: death. This is not uncommon, for the law and the courts are corrupt and chaotic, favoring opportunistic and wealthy men.

Enter the young, idealistic lawyer: William Garrow. An historical character, known as the “Robin Hood of the courtroom,” he ushered in complete reform of the established laws and protocols of the Georgian courts. He coined the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” He invented courtroom drama.

Garrow’s Law has taken transcripts of Garrow’s actual cases and dramatized them in this British television series. We own the first two seasons of the series and the third season airs in England beginning in November. Garrow is a hot-headed bulldog in the courtroom, and is mentored by an older lawyer who tries to teach him some restraint and respect. But he is a true maverick and advocates with passion for the underdog, alienating a few judges, lawyers, rich men and an MP along the way. The forbidden love interest (wife of said MP) is an absolutely accurate detail of the true story.

All in all a very satisfying historical drama.

This Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of October 23 to October 31

October 23 National Mother-in-Law Day

October 24 Get your tricks ready for International Magic Week beginning on the 25th and running to the 31st

October 25 On Sourest Day have yourself a drink of lemonade!

October 26 National Frankenstein Day

October 27 Cranky Coworkers Day

October 28 Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern to Work Day

October 29 National Cat Day

October 30 Haunted Refrigerator Day was inspired by Stephen King’s short story "The Mauler" in the Night Shift. The idea is for everyone to clean their crusty refrigerators before they take over the kitchen.

October 31 All Hallows’ Eve

Author Jason Karlawish Discusses His New Book "Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont"

Thursday October 20, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Join us for a chilling account of historic medical obsession as Dr. Jason Karlawish, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses his riveting historical novel of Michigan's famous founder of Beaumont Hospital - Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession

Rooted deeply in historic fact, "Open Wound" artfully fictionalizes the complex, lifelong relationship between Beaumont---a prominent figure in Michigan's medical past and present -- and the illiterate young French Canadian patient with a hole into his stomach -- a condition that the curious doctor uses as a window to understand the mysteries of digestion.

Eager to rise up from his humble origins, Beaumont seizes the opportunity to experiment upon his unfortunate patient's stomach in order to write a book that he hopes will establish his legitimacy and secure his prosperity. The results are history - and fascinatingly detailed in Karlawish's new novel.

This event, co-sponsored by the UM Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine; The UM Center for the History of Medicine; and the University of Michigan Press, includes a book signing and books will be on sale.

War, Peace and Love

BBC Radio 4 is currently broadcasting a wonderful dramatization of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, an epic novel about World War II’s Battle of Stalingrad starring Kenneth Branagh, Greta Scacchi and Janet Suzman.

Completed in 1960, the KGB had the book itself arrested because it was at odds with the way Stalin wanted the war to be remembered. Grossman’s portrayal of soldiers and civilians didn’t jibe with official Soviet ideology and wasn’t published until it was smuggled out to the West in 1985. Now it is considered to be one of the most important Russian novels of the last century and many compare it to War and Peace. His daughter said of him “Many people lost their belief in human beings. He never did.”

Russian novels and films that portray the Great Patriotic War (that’s what the Russian people call WWII) present a perspective unfamiliar to many of us.

Living and the Dead by Simonov, written after Stalin’s death, freed the author to question military decisions and mishaps that caused enormous suffering and perhaps could have been avoided. Mirroring real life during the war, the fates of many of the characters remain unknown at the end of the novel.

Forever Nineteen by Baklanov is the story of a young Red Army artillery soldier on the Ukrainian front that depicts war, romance and sacrifice.

David Benioff’s City of Thieves, is a riveting account based on the author’s grandfather’s stories of survival during the 900 day Siege of Leningrad. I loved this book and hope it will be made into a movie.

The Cranes are Flying is a film notable for its realistic portrayal of women dealing with loss and not knowing the fate of their loved ones. It won the Palme d'Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.

Ivan’s Childhood is a film about a 12 year old boy used as a spy on the Eastern Front and the soldiers who exploit and care for him at the same time.

Next Week In Booklists

Significant Dates for the Week of September 25 to October 1

Sunday September 25: Kick off Banned Books Week by reading some Banned Books.

Monday September 26: Johnny Appleseed Day

Tuesday September 27: Ancestor Appreciation Day

Wednesday September 28: Rosh Hashanah

Thursday September 29: National Coffee Day

Friday September 30: Ask A Stupid Question Day

Saturday October 1: First day of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

Always remember that every day is a celebration!

Banned Books Week Film: "Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge Of Free Speech"

Tuesday September 27, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

In observance of Banned Books Week (September 24 - October 1) AADL will hold a special screening of the acclaimed 2009 HBO film "Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge Of Free Speech." This 80-minute film is not rated.

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus explores the current state of free speech in America and gives viewers a fascinating perspective on the First Amendment throughout our history, using contemporary case studies dealing with the complex issue of limits on free speech at public gatherings, in school, in print and on the Internet.

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Dr. Howard Markel Discusses His New Book "An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine"

Monday September 12, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Join us as acclaimed medical historian and UM Professor Dr. Howard Markel discusses his new book - the astonishing account of the years-long cocaine use of Sigmund Freud, young, ambitious neurologist, and William Halsted, the equally young, path finding surgeon. Dr. Markel writes of the physical and emotional damage caused by the then-heralded wonder drug, and how each man ultimately changed the world in spite of it--or because of it. One became the father of psychoanalysis; the other, of modern surgery.

"Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine" has just been released to nationwide acclaim. The New York Times, in their July 24 review, called this new book a "tour de force of scientific and social history." If you enjoy this compelling read, you may want to check out some of his other works.

Books will be on sale at this event, which will also include a book signing.

Queen of the Falls Is Over the Top

Next time you’re confronted with riding a monster Cedar Point roller coaster, think of the Queen of the Falls and ease your racing heart. An aging charm school teacher in Bay City, Michigan, finds she must close her school because of dwindling student enrollment. Over the years she had traveled and taught but had not saved much money. Now in her sixties she needs a get-rich-quick plan.

Author and illustrator, Chris Van Allsburg sheds light on this surreal, true story of 63-year-old widow Annie Edson Taylor who hatches the idea of riding over Niagara Falls as a means of financially securing her retirement. In typical Van Allsburg style, he mysteriously unfolds the story of Annie as she persuades a local cooper to build a custom-sized barrel and how she “sells” a carnival worker to pitch her soon-to-be famous feat to newspaper folks in Niagara, NY. Van Allsburg uses his trademark sepia tones to transport the reader back in time and to cast a sense of unbelievability – features that so many of his books are known for.

As the pages turn, the tension builds. Will Annie succeed? If so, will she also win the hearts and dollars of thousands of fans? Open this book and hold onto your hat!

Bastille Day 2011


Today marks the anniversary of Bastille Day, just one event in 1789 that began the French Revolution. Revolutionaries attacked the Bastille, a prison that had become a hated symbol of the Bourbon monarchy. Tumultuous years followed before the entrenched privileged aristocracy, feudal system and clergy lost much of their power and lots of heads were chopped off along the way!

Louis XVI helped fund the American Revolution, but it didn’t help him at home with the French people. They didn't care for the higher taxes and food prices (remember "Let them eat cake?") that resulted, not to mention the extravagant lifestyle he and Marie Antoinette led.

Sitting in Versailles, Louis knew there was trouble, but was not keenly aware of the thousands rioting in Paris, witness his diary entry for that day: “July 14th; nothing.”

Marie, Louis and thousands of others were guillotined as nobility was eliminated and the Declaration of the Rights of Man became part of the French Constitution.

Here’s more about Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité and the French Revolution with this selection of history: Citizens : a Chronicle of the French Revolution, Voices of the French Revolution, Paris, The Secret History.

Here are some great films set in the period: The Affair of the Necklace, Marie Antoinette, Danton and The Lady and the Duke.

Lastly, here are a few novels: A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Tussaud : a Novel of the French Revolution, Annette Vallon : a Novel of the French Revolution and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Click on Vive la France! to find the name of this famous city and use it as a code for points in the AADL Summer Game 2011.

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