Fabulous Fiction Firsts #131

If you liked Company of Liars (see FFF #130 blog), then you would like Jeri Westerson's FFF Veil of Lies : A Medieval Noir*.

Stripped of his rank and honor for plotting against Richard II, disgraced knight Crispin Guest uses his wits to eke out a living in fourteenth-century London, taking on an investigation on behalf of a reclusive merchant that draws him into the middle of a complex conspiracy involving dark secrets, international plots, a missing religious relic, and murder.

Looking for similar reads? Check out the Matthew Shardlake historical mystery series by C. J. Sansom; the Dame Frevisse series by Margaret Frazer; and the Matthew Bartholomew series by Susanna Gregory.

* = Starred Review

Don't Miss These October Books-to-Films

The cinematic Hollywood adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees captures the story of 14 year-old Lily Owens, whose life has been defined by the tragic death of her mother. When she joins Rosaleen, a bold black woman and her "stand-in mother" on a journey to Tiburon, South Carolina, they are taken in by three bee-keeping sisters who show them the true meaning of love and family.

Body of Lies (2007) by David Ignatius has been made into a star-studded espionage/thriller. Emerging from a tour of duty in Iraq with a badly injured leg, CIA soldier Roger Ferris takes on a mission to infiltrate the network of a master terrorist and bases his plan on a British intelligence operation from World War II before finding himself caught in a dangerous web.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #130

In 1348 England, as the plague ravages England, nine desperate strangers attempt to outrun the Black Death, revealing their individual stories as they travel away from the devastation, but one among them is hiding a far more sinister secret.

"British author Karen Maitland makes her U.S. debut with Company of Liars that tips its hat deeply to Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. "Executed with stunning skill and precision, her medieval world is full of the fantasy and mystery you'd expect from the genre — but it also parallels our own culture more than we might expect."

"Decidedly not your English teacher's Chaucer, but creepy, suspenseful, fun", with a "gasp-out-loud finale". English majors and historical mystery fans are not going to want to miss this one! And you would want to watch for FFF #131 !

Happy Birthday Ang Lee!

Ang LeeAng Lee

Born October 23, 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Stop by the AADL and browse our collection of his movies. For laughs try The Wedding Banquet (1993). For love and relationships choose Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) or Lee's version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1995). For drama try The Ice Storm (1997) or Ride With The Devil (1999). For action try Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) or Hulk (2003). For an Academy Award Winner, try Lee's heartbreaker Brokeback Mountain (2005). Fans of espionage and thrillers should check out Lee's most recent release Lust, Caution (2007). Taking Woodstock, Lee's latest project, is currently in production.

Interested in Bones?

Read any books by Kathy Reichs? Like the TV Show Bones? Then you should try a book by Jefferson Bass, the writing team of Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, founded the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility -- the Body Farm -- a quarter-century ago. The Body Farm is a research facility where human decomposition after death can be scientifically studied in a variety of settings. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the decomposition process, permitting the development of techniques for extracting information (such as the timing and circumstances of death) from human remains.

Co-author Jon Jefferson is a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. Jefferson and Bass also co-wrote Death's Acre: inside the legendary forensic lab the Body Farm where the dead do tell tales, the critically acclaimed memoir about Dr. Bass's career in forensics, as well as Beyond the Body Farm : a legendary bone detective explores murders, mysteries, and the revolution in forensic science. The Body Farm was also the inspiration behind another novel; Patrica Cornwell's The Body Farm. Check out these books and more!

Happy Birthday Arthur Miller!

arthur millerarthur miller

Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright. A prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, he wrote a wide variety of plays, including celebrated works such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are still studied and performed worldwide. Miller was often in the public eye, most famously for refusing to give evidence against others to the House Un-American Activities Committee, being the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (among countless other awards), and for his marriage to Marilyn Monroe. Arthur Miller is also one of the University of Michigan's most distinguished alumni and the only theater in the world to bear his name exists here in Ann Arbor, on the U of M campus.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Audiobook

When four best friends find a pair of pants that magically fit all their very different shapes they make a pact to share them over their first summer apart...

The audio opens with music but otherwise has no special effects but the reader, Angela Goethals, gives each girl a compelling voice (even if they aren't always distinctive enough to tell apart). I actually laughed out loud to Goethal's animation at things that I would have only smiled at had I simply read it which is always the sign of a good reader.

You can also check out the book or film from our library.

Author Ann Packer Visits the AADL

On Thursday, October 9th at 7pm, bestselling author Ann Packer will make a very special visit to the Downtown library to discuss her 2007 novel, Songs Without Words, and to sign books afterward. Songs Without Words is Ms. Packer's second novel, and it explores the lifelong friendship of two women, the confining roles we sometimes take upon ourselves, and the deep connection in a friendship that is pushed to the breaking point. The Los Angeles Times Book Review says, "Packer writes about adult female friendship with a nuanced understanding of its emotional intensity." She is also the author of The Dive from Clausen's Pier and the short story collection Mendocino and Other Stories, which are available at the AADL. The event will be held at the Downtown library in the Multi-Purpose Room on the Lower Level. It is co-sponsored by Shaman Drum, who will be selling books during the signing.

Fiction Firsts #129

The Jewel of Medina (copies on order) will be released in early October in the United States ahead of schedule by Beaufort Books. This fictional account of the life of Aisha, a wife of the Prophet Muhammad was originally to be published in August by Random House but was dropped after University of Texas Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies Denise Spellberg warned the publisher the book would incite violence by Muslim extremists.

Born Aisha bint Abi Bakr in 7th century Saudi Arabia, Aisha would become one of the most revered women in the Muslim faith. "Extensively researched and elegantly crafted, The Jewel presents the beauty and harsh realities of life in an age long past, during a time of war, enlightenment, and upheaval".

Late last week, the north London home of the UK publisher of The Jewel - Gibson Square was firebombed in what is being treated as a terrorist attack. Read more about the Medina controversy.

Award-winning journalist Sherry Jones is currently the Montana and Idaho correspondent for the Bureau of National Affairs and correspondent for Women's e-News. This is her first novel.

Bronze Bow shines with characters, rich language

The Bronze Bow, which won a 1962 Newbery Medal, is a highly literate, entertaining historical novel for upper elementary and middle-school-age readers (also for me, a parent read-along). Set in Israel at the time of Jesus, the narrative is laced with religion, intrigue, romance, politics, coming-of-age issues. Next on my list by Elizabeth George Speare is The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

Syndicate content