The Vanishing (1988)

Dutch couple Rex and Saskia are vacationing in France. After stopping at a busy gas station, Saskia goes inside to buy some drinks and never returns. Three years pass, and it is unknown whether or not she is dead or alive. Rex is still obsessed with finding Saskia and eventually begins to receive communication from the supposed abductor. Will Rex ever find out what happened to his lover? The chilling ending of this top-notch thriller shocked audiences all over the world (and me).

George Sluizer’s The Vanishing (Spoorloos) was inspired by Tim Krabbé’s 1984 novella titled “The Golden Egg” and was published as The Vanishing in English speaking countries. Krabbé also wrote the screenplay for the film. The film received the Golden Calf award for best feature film that year at the Netherlands Film Festival and the lovely Johanna ter Steege (Saskia) won a European Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. Sluizer directed an American remake of the film in 1993 that was not received as well as the original Dutch film, mainly because the ending was altered so drastically.

Drop-In Tutoring for English Language Learners, Ages 8-18


826Michigan has a new workshop happening at their lab on Liberty Street this fall, made just for English language learners! The workshop, Drop-in for English Language Learners, is geared towards beginning to intermediate English language learners aged 8-18. Every Saturday from 12-1pm from September 19 through November 21, a crew of knowledgeable volunteers will be ready with activities to help with grammar, pronunciation, and conversation skills. The workshop is drop-in and requires no registration. Visit 826’s website for more information regarding this workshop.

Le Photographe (The Photographer)

The French graphic novel Le Photographe (The Photographer) by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefevre, and Frederic Lemercier has finally been published in the U.S. by First Second with translation by Alexis Siegel. It is the late photographer, Didier Lefevre's, story of his travels with Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) to Afghanistan in 1986. Guibert incorporates Lefevre's photos (he went through some 4000 taken in the 2 months he was there) as well as his own artwork to tell the harrowing story of which Lefevre barely survived. More importantly the novel is about the daily life of the people of Afghanistan who face disease, famine, brutal weather and of course the brutality of war. The courage of the MSF when going into war ravaged areas to perform major surgery or having to ask the Russian doctors for assistance for instance is a big part of this story. All in all an incredibly gripping story with the photos and artwork only adding to the intensity of each scene. Guibert is a well-known French artist. His Alan's War (also just recently published in the U.S.) is an Eisner nominee for best new graphic novel and yet another excellent biography.

Bollywood: slapstick, martial arts, music, & mayhem

Chandni Chowk to ChinaChandni Chowk to China

Bollywood, martial arts, slapstick comedy, love story: these are all words to describe the over the top Hindi movie that is Chandni Chowk to China. A small village in China is terrorized by an evil smuggler named Hojo. While in India, two of the villagers mistake the bumbling Sidhu (Kumar, Akshay) for the reincarnation of their beloved war hero, and convince him (with the help of conman, Chopstick) to go back to the village with them. What Sidhu does not realize is they expect him to kill the nearly indestructible Hojo. Hojo eventually hears about this 'great warrior' and sends the beautiful female assassin, Meow Meow to hunt him down. What she does not know is Hojo tried to kill her father, another great warrior, and she has a twin sister, for whom the bumbling Sidhu is madly in love with! And that is not even the whole story! Mayhem ensues, dance numbers abound, and love does prevail :) To see a list of some of the Bollywood movies, music, and books about Bollywood the library owns, click here.

Grandes Dames de la Chanson.

Elle est arrivée sur la pointe des pieds dans le monde de la chanson française en 2005 mais a su rapidement, grâce à quelques titres marquant - Mise à nu, T’es beau ou encore Mal assis - séduire un public large et fourni. Auréolée d’un succès commercial probant, son premier album éponyme est double Disque d’or, et d’une tournée de plus de 150 dates dont un Olympia complet en 2006, Pauline Croze a accepté de tout remettre en jeu avec ce Bruit Qui Court. "Pas sûr que tout le monde suive, que tous mes fans m’accompagnent dans cette nouvelle aventure" mais l’important est ailleurs. Pauline n’est plus la même et veut le faire entendre.
Click here for full review

Review Courtesy of RFI Musique.

It's not your Grandma's Harlequin!


Harlequin, one of the most recognized publishers is celebrating 60 years of bringing romance to the American reader. As part of the celebration, it is offering 16 free downloads of full-length titles from its various imprints.

Whether your interest is in :

African-American, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Inspiration, Mystery, Paranormal, or Suspense & Adventure, they have something that would appeal to your notion of the romantic. There is even an imprint for romance in Spanish.

Tell Harlequin is a special website where readers are encouraged to voice their opinion (and get free stuff!).

German book to film


Academy Award nominee for best foreign film, Germany's Der Baader Meinhof Komplex tells the true story of Germany's radical terrorist organization, the Red Army Faction. The group's violence took place during the late 60's-80's and included bombings, robberies, kidnappings, and assassinations, culminating in a mass suicide of many of the leaders. The movie is based on the German non-fiction book by journalist Stefan Aust and both book and movie will soon be released in the states. In the movie, you may recognize several of the performers, including Moritz Bleibtreau from Tom Tkwer's famous German movie, Run Lola Run and Martina Gedeck from the Academy Award winning film, the Lives of Others.

1,000 Ultimate Travel Experiences

Whether you are a well-seasoned traveller with a mangled passport, or someone who rarely leaves your spot on the couch, it's likely you will find inspiration in A Rough guide to the world : Make the most of your time on earth. This hefty book is crammed full of amazing travel experiences grouped according to global areas, starting with Britain & Ireland, and finishing with The Polar Regions (you didn't think they'd forget the North and South Pole, did you?). Seeking a natural miracle? Visit Iguazu Falls in Argentina - more than two hundred cascades thundering over an eighty meter cliff, all surrounded by lush tropical forest. Seeking an event to remember? Try April 30th/Queen's Day in Amsterdam (police are forbidden to interfere with any activity, no matter how outrageous). Seeking a wonder of the ancient world? Try the unparalleled Roman archaeological site of Baalbek in Lebanon. (In the words of Robert Byron, it "dwarfs New York into a home of ants".) Seeking a journey closer to home? Grab your bike and ride the Slickrock in Moab, Utah. Personally, I am inspired to plan a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela in Ethiopia. I'll share my injera with you if you'll pay for my plane ticket!

Rosetta Stone Will No Longer Be Available After March 31, 2008

Rosetta Stone LogoRosetta Stone Logo

Rosetta Stone has sent us “formal notice that Rosetta Stone Online will no longer be available to public libraries for use in online database offerings.”

Therefore, the Ann Arbor District Library will no longer be able to provide online access to Rosetta Stone after our current contract expires on March 31, 2008. At that time all public library registered users will no longer be able to log on to Rosetta Stone.

Foreign Language Materials at the Library

In the Foreign Languages section of the AADL Select Sites you can find some basic online instruction through the BBC Languages, FSI Language Courses, Livemocha, and Mango Languages.

We will be adding the substantial subscription price for Rosetta Stone to the library’s budget for foreign language learning materials in order to provide the Pimsleur Language Programs on compact disc (the beginning, intermediate, and high intermediate (Levels I, II, and II) courses).

The library has very good collections of print and audio courses available for check out. Click on Read More for links to the catalog for a few foreign languages or search the catalog under the name of the foreign language you want to learn.

West African Pop from Mali

Malian guitarist and singer Habibe Koite is credited with bringing worldwide recognition to the wealth of music emanating from the West African nation of Mali. His latest album, Afriki, is an engaging, collaborative representation of the diversity of musical styles active in Mali today. Click here to see an excerpt from a live concert in Seattle.

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