September Books to Films

Man on Wire is based on the book To Reach The Clouds: My high wire walk between the Twin Towers(2002) by Philippe Petit

One August 7th, 1974,@7:15 a.m. a young Frenchmen stepped out on the high wire and walked (Oh, he more or less danced!)across the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, 1350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan. It is about Petit’s 6-plus years of dreaming, 8 months of planning, and the actual spell-binding feat itself. Terrific and terrifying!!!

Based on the author's memoirs(1995), (And)When Did You Last See Your Father? is an unflinching exploration of a father/son relationship. Blake Morrison's memories of his childhood are interspersed with scenes in the present, as he struggles to come to terms with his father, and their history of conflict. With a star-studded cast - humorous and heartbreaking at the same time.

Monica Ali's novel Brick Lane (2003) is now a feature film. Nazneen is forced into an arranged marriage to an older man, exchanging her Bangladeshi village home for a block of flats in London’s East End. As she pines for her home and her sister, she struggles to do her duty by her husband until the day a hot-headed local man, bursts into her life. A truly contemporary story of love, cultural difference, and ultimately, the strength of the human spirit. A visual feast.

The film Elegy is based on The Dying Animal (2001), a brutal, short novel by Philip Roth. David Kepesh is an eminent 70-year-old cultural critic (played by Ben Kingsley) who's womanizing ways were ended by a devastating affair he had eight years before with a voluptuous graduate student (Penelope Cruz). Check out the New York Times review.

Do You Own Property in a Local Historic District?

The Washtenaw County Department of Planning & Environment, The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission, and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network are offering a workshop titled Owning Property in Local Historic Districts: Benefits and Practice, featuring Kristine Kidorf, Owner of Kidorf Preservation Consulting. The workshop will cover the basics of local historic district commission processes, the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, and the 25% Michigan rehabilitation tax credit.

This workshop will be offered Saturday, September 6, 10:00am to 12:00pm at the Washtenaw County Library Learning Resource Center (LLRC), 4135 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48107. Please RSVP to: miltonpungm@ewashtenaw.org or (734) 222-6878.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #124

A Map of Home* by Ann Arbor author Randa Jarrar hits the bookstores today.

Critics are calling this fiction debut “sparkling”, “intimate, perceptive and very, very funny”. It’s the story of Nidali, an audacious Muslim girl (with a Greek-Egyptian mother and a Palestinian father) who grows up in Kuwait, Egypt and Texas.
As citizens of the world, this family weathered some harrowing experiences that were even funny and wacky at times, but it is Jarrar’s handling of adolescent angst - "stifling parental expectations, precarious friendships, sensuality and first love; and her exhilarating voice and flawless timing that make this a standout”.

You can find Randa Jarrar's profile in myspace. She will be at Shaman Drum on September 15th, at 7:30 p.m., one of only two Michigan stops on her fall book tour.

* = Starred reviews

What are you reading?

Watcha reading: Robin Agnew discovers 'The crazy School,' by Cornelia Read: Robin Agnew, with "The Crazy School, by Cornelia Read.Watcha reading: Robin Agnew discovers 'The crazy School,' by Cornelia Read: Robin Agnew, with "The Crazy School, by Cornelia Read.

If you're searching for a good mystery, Robin Agnew would like to make a couple of suggestions.

Robin is the vice president of the Kerrytown BookFest (which takes place this Sunday, Sept. 7). What's more, she and her husband Jamie own Aunt Agatha's, the peculiar book shop at 213 South Fourth Ave. that specializes in mystery and detective books.

They founded the store in 1992, after Jamie, also a bookworm, spent some time working for Borders, another book store that originated in Ann Arbor. The choice to sell mystery and detective fiction was natural, Robin said. She worked her way through Nancy Drew in elementary school, and in middle school she read every one of Agatha Christie's mystery novels. She's remained a mystery reader ever since.

Robin is usually on the lookout for new authors to share with other book lovers, and this year she's telling people about Cornelia Read, after being impressed with her first novel, A Field of Darkness. She emailed us last week that the book was "terrific," and the writing "beautiful."

Now, here's what she has to say about Cornelia Read's latest novel, The Crazy School:

Sept. 4 - Osher Lifelong Learning at UM Fall Kickoff

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It’s a big colorful gathering, a beehive of vigorous older adults milling about information tables for this year’s array of lifelong learning opportunities for age 50 and up. The choices are vast and some very helpful people will be on hand to explain all the ins and outs of the offerings and how to register for them. The kickoff with refreshments takes place at 9:30 am, at Best Western Conference Center, 2900 Jackson Ave., in Ann Arbor. At 10:00 am, Allan Gilmour, retired Vice Chairman of Ford Motor Co. will talk about “Our Aged – Liabilities or Assets?” If you are at all curious about the high quality activities for seniors in the Ann Arbor area, this is the place to be!

Get Homework Help with a Live Tutor

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The Library is pleased to offer Brainfuse, a new online tutoring service that matches students with a live tutor for personalized homework help. Just log on to chat one-on-one with a tutor in real time for individual help answering homework questions, building skills in specific subject areas, or writing a better research paper. Tutors (including Spanish-speakers) are available from 2-11 p.m. 7 days a week and help is available for all students, from elementary school through high school and beyond. No appointment is necessary.

Another Time Saving Device

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Looking for ways to save time? The Library is here to help. Now you can sign up for a computer class or an event that requires registration without making a phone call or walking away from your computer. Simply login to your Library account on the My Account page and find the program or class you want to register for. Click “Register Now” and follow the directions. My Account keeps a handy list of your registrations, and you can cancel registrations through My Account too. Check it out and save some time!

Make Your Own Earth-Friendly Cleaning Products

If you're tired of flushing toxic substances and money down the drain, consider making your own earth-friendly cleaning products at the Building a Green Life event on Wednesday, August 27, from 7:00-8:30 at the Malletts Creek branch. Recycle Ann Arbor's Jason Bing, director of the En-House, will lead a hands-on workshop where you'll have the opportunity to put together a non-toxic cleaning kit to take home. The Library also has a variety of materials you can check out on buying, using, and making natural products to clean your home.

Save Cash With go!pass Dash

The Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, through getDowntown, is always coming up with new ways to promote the use of public transport. The latest push is for go!pass dash, where anyone who rides a bus or the Link (even just once!), parks at a Park and Ride lot and buses to town, uses Nightride or the a2Chelsea Express, is eligible to enter drawings for great prizes from local businesses. Our city is pushing green living and we're lucky to have such a variety of transportation choices. So try one or more of these AATA services during Sept. 7-12, and register for prizes that week at TheRide.org.

True Confessions of an Ann Arbor Historian

History is boring. Local history is even worse. You must be a spectacular geek to be interested in, much less involved with, the local history scene.

Well, that might be true, but here I am anyway. I have loved this town for as long as I can remember and, like the people I love, I want to know Ann Arbor's whole story. That's all historians do. Fall in love with a place, person or era and find out all they can about it.

For example, what did Ann Arbor look like when she was a baby? How about as a teenager? I look at the book Historic buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan, by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg like an old family album. I study it and try to recognize something of the past in the town I know today. (FYI, if you click here you can look at this book online.)

I also like to hang around people who will tell me stories about when Ann Arbor was young. So imagine my delight when I heard that Kempf House is having a big ol' party in September. I imagine there will be plenty of folks there who would be more than willing to share a tale or two. There will also be food and beer so count me in!

See you there?

SEPTEMBERFEST

Date: Sun 7 Sep 2008
Time: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Location: Kempf House Museum Garden
Description: Beer and brats! Four flavors of beer from Arbor Brewing, brats on a bun with sauerkraut and mustard, hot pretzels baked specially by the ladies at Bethlehem Church, and ice cream and toppings from the Washtenaw Dairy - all for $40 ($30 for members)!
Contact: 734-994-4898

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