Ages 18+.

Dawn Farm's Education Series Continues...

The public is invited to Dawn Farm’s free Educational Series. All programs are presented in the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center auditorium, at 5305 Elliott Drive in Ypsilanti. The Education Series schedule can be found here. You can also contact Dawn Farm at 734-485-8725 or All are welcome to attend! Registration is not required.

On Tuesday January 19, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm Dr. Kevin T. McCauley, MD; co-founder of the Institute on Addiction Study; writer of the award-winning DVD Pleasure Unwoven will present a free program on “The Brain and Recovery: An Update on Neuroscience of Addiction .” The last twenty years produced an explosion of understanding not only about addiction but how our brains enable our most human capacities such as hedonic valuation and decision-making. This talk will summarize the most current neuroscientific research about addiction - research that explains how the brain constructs pleasurable experiences, what happens when this process goes wrong, and why this can have a dramatic impact in our ability to make proper choices. There will also be a free reception from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, with snacks, beverages, and an opportunity to meet and socialize.

On Tuesday January 26, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm Professor Stephen Strobbe, PhD, RN; Clinical Associate Professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing, and the Department of Psychiatry will present a free program on Telling Our Stories: Narratives for Recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. Storytelling has always been an important part of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Dr. Strobbe examined 24 new personal stories in the 4th edition of the Big Book of A.A., and found that these accounts shared certain elements and structures. Dr. Strobbe will describe a model to help us better understand and appreciate these transformative narratives.

Waiting for the Winds of Winter?

Although temperatures and snow have indicated the return of Winter, fans of George R.R. Martin are still waiting for Winter to come. Earlier this month Martin, writing on his blog, indicated that the next volume of A Song of Ice and Fire -- The Winds of Winter -- would not be released before the sixth season of Game of Thrones airs on HBO. Many fans were disappointed, but Martin received an outpouring of kind words and support.

In the meantime, thanks to a recently published collection of short stories, those who are jonesing for a jaunt through Westeros can pick up A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by Martin. Join unlikely heroes Dunk and Egg -- a hedge knight and his squire -- as they battle royalty, fight for water rights (way more fun than you’d think), and witness the rise of a usurper.

Martin’s signature writing style is apparent throughout the book and complemented perfectly by Gary Gianni's illustrations.The amount of pure fun (and relatively less death) in the book make it a must read for anyone who has dreamed of enrolling in the lists at a lord’s tournament or just simply relaxing in the shade of a mighty elm.

"Keep On Keepin' On" Jazz Trumpeter/Educator Clark Terry

Lovers of jazz and people who rise above adversity to challenge the status quo will find great pleasure in the documentary Keep On Keepin’ On, about the friendship of trumpeter Clark Terry (1920-2015) with jazz superstar Quincy Jones and the young piano prodigy, Justin Kauflin. Kauflin is blind and Clark Terry is losing his sight due to lifelong complications from diabetes. The film depicts Terry’s early days growing up poor in St. Louis, where he fashioned his first horn out of old tubing and pipe he found. Then it covers his early career with the Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras, followed by years playing with other jazz luminaries. He became the first African-American to play with the NBC Tonight Show Band (1962-72) and eventually played on over 900 recordings! But just as important to him was his time spent educating budding musicians, including the young Quincy Jones (his first student) and Justin Kauflin (his last student), which forms the main thread of this fascinating film.

Check Out "The Lady in the Van" by the Delightful Alan Bennett

Maggie Smith's latest starring role is decidedly opposite the imperious Dowager Countess she portrays on Downton Abbey. In The Lady in the Van, Smith stars as Mary Shepherd, an elderly and eccentric woman who lives in her van, which she kept parked in playwright Alan Bennett's driveway for 15 years. Bennett, an author and playwright, developed something of a friendship with her, discovering that, like all of us, she had a past and a family, and wasn't entirely what she seemed. Smith was interviewed on NPR's Morning Edition this week about her role in the film, and her take on Bennett's relationship with Shepherd.

Bennett, whose play The History Boys was also made into a movie, wrote the story of his interactions with his driveway occupant, Miss Shepherd, which is collected in The Lady in the Van : and other stories. He also adapted the story into a West End play and a BBC 4 radio performance. Both, like the movie, starred Maggie Smith in the title role, because once you've cast the perfect person, why try again?

For anyone new to the wonderful wit of Alan Bennett, my favorite book of his is The Uncommon Reader, in which Queen Elizabeth II enters a bookmobile parked outside of Buckingham Palace out of curiosity, borrows a book to allay the awkwardness of the exchange, and becomes a voracious reader, changing her conception of her people and her role, and the future of the monarchy forever. It's a delight.

The Reading List 2016

At the ALA Midwinter in Boston, a committee of 8 librarians announced this past year's best of the best in genre fiction - the Reading List. The winner in each of the 8 categories are:

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Three sisters are driven apart in the aftermath of one’s disappearance. When a violent crime occurs new fears arise and relationships shift again. Long term effects of family grief are exploited by the compulsions of a psychopath. Brutal and disturbing, this is ultimately a story of love and empowerment.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
In this enchanted old-world fable, villagers threatened by a blighted magical wood allow the resident wizard to take one daughter into servitude for ten years. When he chooses klutzy Agnieszka, she faces an unexpected future and confronts the dangers of a wider political world and the roots of magical corruption.

Historical Fiction
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
Raised by his eccentric ex-suffragette godmother to be a free-thinker, young Noel is thrown into chaos when the London Blitz forces him into the home of a scam artist loyal only to her layabout son. Thrust together, the two oddballs are forced to find a way through the wartime landscape.

The Fifth House of the Heart by Ben Tripp
Flamboyant antiques dealer Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang made his fortune by accidentally killing a vampire with a horde of treasure. To protect the only person he loves, his niece, he’s forced to return to old Europe to assemble an eccentric team of vampire hunters in this gory, witty caper.

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney
Cold cases cast a twenty-five year shadow of grief and guilt on the lives of two survivors of traumatic teenage crimes. New leads and new cases bring them back to Oklahoma City as past and present intersect in this poignant and compelling story of lives forever changed by random violence.

Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl
Sassy relationship advice columnist Veronica overcomes her commitment anxiety and gains confidence with the help of mountain-climbing librarian Gabe. Steamy romance evolves into a strong relationship as they scale a mountain of family conflicts and share secrets against a majestic Jackson Hole backdrop.

Science Fiction
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Insurgent Darrow inveigled his way into high Gold society in 2014’s Red Rising. In this dramatic, high octane follow-up, conflicting loyalties and his own ambitions lure Darrow into an untenable web of deceptions. Bolstered by new alliances, Darrow battles to overthrow corrupt lunar leadership and bring freedom to Mars.

Women’s Fiction
Re Jane by Patricia Park
Anxious to escape the strict upbringing of her uncle’s Flushing grocery, Korean-American Jane accepts an au pair position in the pretentious household of two Brooklyn academics and their adopted Chinese daughter. Park has created a bright comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living on one’s own terms.

Check out the complete list for a shortlist of honor titles in each category.

Wayne State University Press E-books Are Here!

WSU PressWSU Press

We are extremely pleased to offer e-books from Wayne State University Press.

Library patrons can download these e-books (they are in PDF format) after logging in to our website. Enjoy titles such as Coney Detroit and, find out how Detroit became the coney hotdog capital of the world! Interested in Detroit music history, check out MC5: Sonically Speaking, A Revolution of Rock'n'Roll or Techno Rebels : The Renegades of Electronic Funk Or how about some Michigan history, specifically young women, try Great Girls in Michigan History or the automotive variety, Reuther Brothers : Walter, Roy, and Victor. Or how about a study on a tv show, like Doctor Who, Deadwood, or the Sopranos, to name a few.

There are more titles to choose from so check out the list here and start downloading today!

Encuesta Buenos Vecinos Latino Health Survey

The Encuesta Buenos Vecinos (EBV) Community Leadership Team is pleased to share the results of Washtenaw County's first, comprehensive Latino health survey. The report is available in English and Spanish. The EBV report is the result of an innovative, multiyear collaboration with the Latino community. Over 500 Latinos in Washtenaw County participated. The report describes the process, results and future goals. For more information about the EBV collaboration, please contact Adreanne Waller at or 734-544-3057.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #575

The Blue Line, the first novel by Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian French politician/activist who made headline news when she was kidnapped by the FARC, a brutal terrorist guerrilla organization and rescued six years later. Her memoir Even Silence Has An End : my six years of captivity in the Colombian jungle (2010) was well-received.

Set against the backdrop of Argentina's Dirty War in 1970s and '80s, and infused with magical realism, Betancourt draws on history and personal experience in this story of love, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Julia was 5 years old when she first experienced the "gift", inherited from her grandmother. She was able to see future disasters unfold through the eyes of others and therefore, to intervene. At fifteen, Julia falls in love with Theo, a handsome revolutionary but they were drawn into the political chaos with the return of Juan Peron to Argentina. As Montoneros sympathizers and radical idealists, they were arrested and imprisoned and, brutally tortured. While many of their family members (and innocent citizens) were killed or simply disappeared, they somehow managed to escape but were separated.

The narrative opens some 30 years later, in Connecticut where Julia is working as a translator. The story of how Julia and Theo were reunited gradually comes together.

Read-alikes: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende; and the 2014 International Impac Dublin Literary Award winner The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez where a young man in Bogota reflects on the many ways in which his own life and that of others in his circle, have been shaped by his country's recent violent past.

Printz Award Winners Announced!

Yesterday many awards were given for excellence in books, video and audio books for children and young adults at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. One the biggies given annualy is the Michael L. Printz Award, which is given for excellence in literature written for young adults. This year there was one Printz Award Winner and two Printz Honors named, so if you’re looking for some new teen fiction, here are a few worth a glance.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – Eighteen year old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez – Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick – Four linked stories of discovery and survival begin with a Paleolithic-era girl who makes the first written signs, continue with Anna, who people call a witch, then a mad twentieth-century poet who watches the ocean knowing the horrors it hides, and concluding with an astronaut on the first spaceship from Earth sent to colonize another world.

Looking for more Printz winners? Here’s a list of the winners and the honors that have been awarded since 2000.

Alex Award Winners

The American Library Association announced award winners for the best in books, video and audio books for children and young adults at the annual Youth Media Awards. Among the long list of awards is the Alex Award which is given to the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences. As an avid reader of young adult fiction, I love the crossover of teens reading adult fiction. This years picks were mix of fiction, science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, and graphic novels. Here’s a quick list in the catalog of this year's winners, as well as a long list of all Alex winners since 2002.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – The author writes to his 15-year-old son about the inborn hazards of being black in America and his own intellectual, political and emotional confrontation with the need to live fully, even in the face of racialist culture.

Futuristic violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong – Zoey never had much ambition beyond being a barista, but when her father leaves her in control of the lawless city of Tabla Ra$a, she goes from steaming milk to slaying supervillains.

Girl at War by Sara Nović – Ana's early life was ravaged by the 1991 Balkan wars. Now a college student, Ana relives her war and its consequences as she unravels the mystery of herself and the meaning of home.

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie – A bloodthirsty girl and a reluctant warrior are recruited by a cunning minister for a mission that will either save or doom their kingdom.

All Involved by Ryan Gattis – Historical fiction set in 1992 during the LA riots that vividly recreates this turbulent and terrifying time through the stories of six interconnected lives caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

Bones & All By Camille DeAngelis – 16 year old Maren literally eats the ones who love her, bones and all. When her mother abandons her, Maren sets out to find the father she has never met, hoping he can help her understand why she is a monster.

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen – A high school basketball star lives under the thumb of her grandmother, a fierce believer in Y2K as the apocalypse. The year 1999 alters Mercy’s life in a small Texas refinery town and gives her a future beyond it.

Humans of New York, Stories by Brandon Stanton – In pictures and interviews that captivate, puzzle and reveal, photojournalist collects an immeasurable range of human emotions and perspectives.

Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta – Overstaying his visa in the U.S. before he was in kindergarten, Padilla Peralta joined other young DREAM Act scholars to erase his illegal status. His humor, wisdom, success and very American boyhood smash anti-immigration stereotypes.

Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia – Adults have disappeared, and Ben Schiller is trying to keep things together until their return in this unsettling graphic novel.

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