Ages 18+.

LEGO Lovers Take Note! Build the Change Call for Designs!

If you have entered our famous LEGO contest or are just a LEGO enthusiast who has made a project that conveys sustainable design there's a contest just for you! Connect4Climate recently partnered with LEGO® to launch the Build the Change Call for Designs. The Build the Change Call for Designs invites individuals and groups from all over the world to showcase their talents and create LEGO® brick sustainable cities.To participate, participants post a photo or video of their LEGO® brick creation to the Connect4Climate Facebook Page and include a brief description of their creation, the hashtag #BuildTheChange, the name of the LEGO® brick creator and, optionally, their city of residence and age. The deadline is September 28, 2013.

Selected photos and videos will be featured at the LEGO® Build the Change Workshop at the EcoCity World Summit in Nantes, France.

Show the WORLD that Ann Arbor has the biggest and best LEGO fans!

Celebrate National Butterscotch Pudding day!

Who knew that there was a such thing as National Butterscotch Pudding Day?

Indeed, there is!

Maybe you've never made your own? This doesn't have to be the case.

The New York Times Dessert Cookbook has a recipe for it. That's not the only treat you'll find in this volume. Florence Fabricant, a long time food writer for the New York Times, put together this collection of 400 dessert recipes that appeared in the paper through the years. There's a wide range of recipes here, as well as essays and holiday menu suggestions.

I've mentioned this book before, but Make the Bread Buy the Butter has a recipe for butterscotch pudding, along with other foods you might not otherwise think to make at home.

David Leibovitz gets a bit fancier with his take on it with Butterscotch Pudding With Coffee-Caramelized Bananas in Ripe for Dessert. This book will inspire you with unique recipes like Brazil Nut, Date and Ginger Tart, or Pineapple Frangipane Tart.

As we head into fall, a bit of butterscotch pudding might be the perfect way to transition from light summertime treats to the deeper flavors of autumn.

The 2013 National Book Award fiction longlist titles have been released

The National Book Foundation announced the National Book Award fiction longlist for 2013 this morning.

Included in this year's fiction longlist are:

Debut novelist, Anthony Marra for A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. In Chechnya in 2004, two doctors want to save the life of a little girl whose father has been captured by the Russians. Marra is no stranger to awards. He won last year's Whiting Writers' Award for emerging authors and a 2010 Pushcart Prize for his 2009 short story Chechnya.

Thomas Pynchon, who won a previous National Book Award (Gravity's Rainbow, 1974), is up for Bleeding Edge. Maxine Tarnow is a single mother of two and an unlicensed fraud investigator with her own renegade code-of-ethics. The dot.com bust has just happened, and 9/11 is about to shock the world, when she gets tangled up with a billionaire, her sorta ex-husband, the Russian mob, and some code monkeys. 477 pages of nail-biting thrills.

Also on the longlist is a short story collection, Tenth of December by MacArthur Fellow, George Saunders, as well as The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri who is also on the Man Booker Prize shortlist.

The complete list of titles on the fiction longlist may be found here.

The other longlist nominees in Young People's Literature, poetry, and nonfiction are listed here.

The shortlist of all categories will be announced on October 16th.

The winners will be announced on November 20th.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #425 - "A good neighbor is a very desireable thing" ~ T. Jefferson

Don't pass up Amy Grace Loyd's debut novel The Affairs of Others, a quiet but intense look at the tangled lives in a Brooklyn neighborhood apartment building.

Owner of the building, a young widow still grieving from her husband's death, Celia Cassill picks her tenants for their ability to respect each other's privacy and more importantly, her solitude. Everything changes with the arrival of a summer sublet - Hope, a dazzling woman on the run from a bad marriage. As Hope slips into depression, the carefully constructed walls of Celia's world are tested and the sanctity of her building is shattered. When one of the tenants disappears, all the residents are forced to abandon their separate spaces for a far more intimate one, leading to a surprising conclusion and the promise of genuine joy.

"The Affairs of Othe is a story about the irrepressibility of life and desire, no matter the sorrows or obstacles." "Dark and sensual, with just a touch of suspense, this first novel offers a heartwrenchingly honest story about grief while still allowing for a glimmer of hope."

An executive editor at Byliner Inc. and a former fiction and literary editor at Playboy magazine, Amy is a recipient of both MacDowell and Yaddo fellowships.

A fabulously fun readalike would be Elinor Lipman's The View from Penthouse B where two middle-aged sisters become unexpected roommates in a Manhattan apartment as they recover from widowhood, divorce, and Bernie Madoff. In their reduced circumstances, they resort to take in a boarder - a handsome, gay cupcake-baker who coaches them back into the dating world.

Audio listeners might also give the heartwarming The Wildwater Walking Club a try. Author Clair Cook presents the tale of three women neighbors who share struggles with unfaithful men, rebellious children, and parental expectations while taking long walks near their homes on Wildwater Way (Seattle), a friendship marked by a road trip, a lavender festival, and a clothesline controversy.

Thinking about good neighbors brings to mind the denizens at 28 Barbary Lane, as chronicled by Armistead Maupin in his Tales of the City (1978) where Mary Ann Singleton, newly relocated to San Francisco, soon finds her life entwined with those of her varied neighbors and myriad colorful characters. This title and others to follow in the series were adapted into movies.

National Book Awards' nonfiction longlist for 2013 has been released

The lists just keep on rolling out from the National Book Awards.

Monday we had the young people's list. Yesterday, we learned of the poetry contenders.

Today, it's the nonfiction titles. Of the ten authors selected, nine are new to this honor. Among the contenders are:

Jill Lepore, who tells the story of Ben Franklin's impressive sister in Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin.

In Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, Wendy Lower digs into the lives of half a million women Nazis who participated in the genocide.

Part of Alan Taylor's The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, is his fascinating account of a group of Virginia slaves who boarded British warships and made a bargain -- in exchange for protection of their families, the slaves would share their extensive knowledge of Virginia to help England's war efforts.

For a complete list of nonfiction titles, check here.

Watch this space for release of the fiction titles.

All finalists will be announced on October 16th.

Winners will be announced on November 20th at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner.

Fun Fall Cookbooks

One thing I look forward to every fall is my family’s yearly pilgrimage to our local apple orchard. If you have a cellar full of bags of apples that you don’t know what to do with, The Apple Lover's Cookbook and An Apple Harvest: Recipes and Orchard Lore will show you how to make delicious meals and treats.

On a cold, blustery autumn day there isn't anything better than curling up with a good book with a bowl of hot stew. Soups, Stews and Chillis: A Best Recipe Classic is an excellent place to start and will teach you the basics like the good old standby chicken noodle soup and beef stew. If you want to get adventurous and try something new, however, you might want to try Recipes from the Night Kitchen and The Best Soups in the World. You can find more soup and stew recipes here in the library's catalog.

Fall is also pumpkin and squash season, and The Compleat Squash has a section on how to make transform these gourds into tasty fall meals.

And if you hunt (or you know someone who does) The Venison Cookbook will teach you how to incorporate venison into your meals.

Kings and Queens Galore!

Have you been watching the hit British television drama "The White Queen"(based on the bestselling series “The Cousins’ War” by Phillipa Gregory) lately? It’s set against the backdrop of the 15th century War of the Roses and tells the story from the point of view of several major characters in this epic fight between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England. If you like the show, be sure to read the series that it is based on The White Queen, The Red Queen, The Kingmaker's Daughter and The Lady of the Rivers).

Can't get enough? If you want some historical background on this exciting era you can read The Women of the Cousins' War, also by Phillipa Gregory. You also may be interested in The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of His DNA and The Winter King : Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England.

College Night: Solving the College Admissions Puzzle

Wednesday September 25, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

For those involved in the college selection process, it's AADL's 7th annual College Night with the co-authors of "Solving the College Admissions Puzzle: A Guide for Students and Families About College Selection, Essay Writing, and High-Stakes Testing"- Community High's college prep counselor John Boshoven; Debbie Merion, the founder of Essay Coaching; and performance coach Geraldine Markel.

Learn about the college selection and application process: Part 1: Finding the College that Fits; Part 2: Applying to College: Those Pesky Essays; Part 3: Applying to College: Those Pesky Tests.

This event will include a book signing with copies of the book available for purchase.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #424 - The Secrets They Keep

Just released this week is Burial Rites * * *, Australian novelist Hannah Kent's debut, based on the true story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman executed in Iceland on January 12, 1830, for the murder of 2 men.

District Commissioner Jon Jonsson was informed that Agnes Magnúsdóttir, while waiting execution, would be sent to live on his isolated farm. Arriving filthy, bruised, and bleeding, the family was at first horrified of this convicted murderer, but soon Agnes was put to work. The visits by a young priest, mysteriously chosen by Agnes to be her spiritual guardian, further complicated the tense arrangement. "Over many chilly months, with Agnes working alongside the farmer's wife and daughters in their fields and close living quarters, her version of events emerges. As her story unfolds, her hosts' fear and loathing turn to empathy and understanding."

Kent's debut novel is her "love letter to Iceland, and rarely has a country's starkness and extreme weather been rendered so exquisitely. The harshness of the landscape and the lifestyle of nineteenth-century Iceland, with its dank turf houses and meager food supply, is as finely detailed as the heartbreak and tragedy of Agnes' life."

"In the company of works by Hilary Mantel, Susan Vreeland, and Rose Tremain, this compulsively readable novel entertains while illuminating a significant but little-known true story."

"A magical exercise in artful literary fiction."

Readers might also enjoy the unsettling coming-of-age story, the latest from John Searles Help for the Haunted * * - an unforgettable story of a most unusual family, their deep secrets, and harrowing tragedy.

On a snowy February night, after receiving a late-night call, 14 yr-old Sylvia Mason and her parents head out to an old church on the outskirts of town. Leaving Sylvia left alone in the car, they disappear one after another through a red door. As her parents' singular occupation being demonologists, Sylvia is not alarmed until the sound of gunshots wakes her. Now, nearly a year later, she is ostracized by her peers, bullied by Rose -her spiteful, rebellious older sister, and being the sole witness on the fateful night - she holds the fate of the murder suspect in her unsure hands.

As the story weaves back and forth through the years leading up to that night and the months following, the ever-inquisitive Sylvie searches for answers and uncovers secrets that have haunted her family for years.

"(A) truly creepy, smart psychological thriller" that manages to capture " the vivid eeriness of Stephen King's works and the quirky tenderness of John Irving's novels."

"A somber, well-paced journey, wrapped in a mystery".

* * * = 3 starred reviews
* * = 2 starred reviews

Chocolate Milkshakes

Give me an excuse to think about, drink, or even be near chocolate milkshakes, and I'm in. This time, the excuse is National Chocolate Milkshake Day, September 12.

"Chocolate milkshake" isn't the sort of thing that will easily generate a well-populated catalog search, but don't worry. We've done some digging for you. Many of AADL's cookbooks have recipes for unique ice cream + chocolate concoctions.

For example, if you're in the mood for a Chocolate Stout Milkshake you can find a recipe in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. If you like chocolate and mint, you might enjoy Bobby Flay's Fresh Mint-Chocolate Speckled Milkshake, which you can learn how to make in Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries and Shakes. In fact, if you like chocolate milkshakes, this book won't let you down with recipes like Banana-Milk Chocolate Crackle Milkshake, Double Chocolate Milkshake, Dark Chocolate Milkshake With "Fluffy" Coconut Cream, and a few other chocolate-featuring milkshakes.

Flavor Exposed: 100 Global Recipes From Sweet to Salty, Earthy to Spicy gets creative with its treatment of chocolaty shakes. Here you'll find a recipe for a Chocolate Brownie With Gula Melaka Toffee and Chai Milkshake. In case you don't know what gula melaka is, you're not alone. I looked it up; it's palm sugar.

There you have it, an excuse to try a few new treats.

Syndicate content