Ages 18+.

John Mellencamp's Freedom's Road

Freedom's Road by John Mellencamp debuted at number five this week on the Billboard 200 Chart. This is his first top ten cd in ten years. That last top ten cd was Mr. Happy Go Lucky.

Its freezing, its snowing ... Time to think of your garden?

Even as winter is deepening, dedicated gardeners are beginning to think about and plan for their spring and summer gardening activities. To heighten environmental awareness Project Grow is partnering with the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship program to offer a series of special classes to gardeners designed to help protect groundwater and the local watershed. The classes are free and will be held on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 pm. in the Leslie Science Center Nature House. The classes will include topics such as Rain Gardens (March 7), Green Roofs (March 14), and Organic Lawn Care (March 21). Additional classes in April will be offered to help gardeners with visual impairments. These will take place on Wednesday April 11 and April 18 at 3:00 p.m. Applications for Project Grow's Community Gardens will also soon be available. To register call 996-3169.

Molly Ivins has died

Molly Ivins has diedMolly Ivins has died

Molly Ivins, author (Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? and Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known) and syndicated columnist for 350 newspapers, including the New York Times, succumbed to breast cancer yesterday.

Known for her acid tongue and laser-precise skewering of politicians and government, Ms. Ivins’ devoted readership craved her ‘raise more hell’ observations. Her lacerating wit, which could be devastating, was her calling card: “If his I.Q. slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day.”

Memorial tributes to Ms. Ivins, who was 62 when she died, can be found at The Texas Observer, where she served as co-editor from 1970-76.

2007 Edgar nominees have been announced

2006 Edgar nominees2006 Edgar nominees

The Mystery Writers of America oganization has announced the nominees for the 198th Edgars. The nominees for the top three categories are:

Best Novel nominees

The Pale Blue Eye, by Louis Bayard; The Janissary Tree, by Jason Goodwin; Gentlemen and Players, by Joanne Harris; The Dead Hour, by Denise Mina; The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard; and The Liberation Movements, by Olen Steinhauer

Best First Novel by an American Author nominees

The Faithful Spy, by Alex Berenson; Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn; King of Lies, by John Hart; Holmes on the Range, by Steve Hockensmith; and A Field of Darkness, by Cornelia Read

Best Paperback Original nominees

The Goodbye Kiss, by Massimo Carlotto; The Open Curtain, by Brian Evenson; Snakeskin Shamisen, by Naomi Hirahara; The Deep Blue Alibi, by Paul Levine, and City of Tiny Lights, by Patrick Neate

Winners will be announced April 26, 2007.

Tracy Kidder on Community Television Network

If you missed Tracy Kidder’s Jan. 25 appearance at Washtenaw Community College, here’s your opportunity to see his presentation. During February, CTN (channel 19) will broadcast this outstanding Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads event at the following times:
Premiere: Thurs., 2/1, 8:00 pm
Replays:
Sat., 2/3, 1:00 pm
Sun., 2/4, 8:00 pm
Mon., 2/5, 7:00 pm
Tues., 2/6, 11:00 am
Wed., 2/7, 3:00 pm
Thurs., 2/8, 3:00 pm
Fri. 2/9, 7:00 pm
Sat., 2/10, 1:00 pm
Sun., 2/11, 8:00 pm
Mon., 2/12, 7:00 pm
Tues., 2/13, 11:00 am
Wed., 2/14, 3:00 pm
Fri., 2/16, 7:00 pm
Sat., 2/17, 1:00 pm

A Divided Life

In Secondhand World,the first novel by Katherine Min, first person narrator, Isa Myung Hee looks back at her life as a Korean-American teenager while recovering from burns in a tragic fire that killed her parents. Isa, daughter of successful but aloof first generation Koreans, alienated from her parents and the target of racial prejudice at school, is drawn to an albino outsider named "Hero." It is only when she discovers her mother's affair that she questions her rejection of her heritage.

Publisher's Weekly calls the story "a swirling, textured and beautifully detailed web of perception..."

For teen novels that explore similar themes, try the novels of Marie Lee, and the books, American Eyes, stories edited by Lori Carlson and Girls for Breakfast by David Yoo.

Sidney Sheldon, beloved American storyteller, has died

Sidney Sheldon, beloved American storyteller, has diedSidney Sheldon, beloved American storyteller, has died

Sidney Sheldon, a one-man, award-winning writing machine who had enormous success penning commercially successful novels, died January 30 in California.

In addition to his career as a novelist, Sheldon, an Army Corps pilot during World War II, also wrote for the theater, the movies, and television. He won a Tony for Redhead an Oscar for The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer, 1947, and an Emmy for I Dream of Jeannie.

But it was his string of blockbuster bestsellers featuring strong successful women (Tell Me Your Dreams, 1995, The Stars Shine Down,1992, and Nothing Lasts Forever, 1994), that cemented his place in the hearts of fiction-loving readers.

Sheldon died just short of his 90th birthday (February 17, 2007).

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #49

AT LONG LAST!!! The much anticipated first novel from Peter Ho Davies, named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 2003 for his two award winning short-story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love, is finally here.

The Welsh Girl* is an ambitious and moving wartime romance. The story opens with the building of a POW camp for German prisoners in the remote Welsh countryside in 1944. 17 year-old Esther, pregnant after being rape by an English soldier, and Karsten, a German POW haunted by the loss of honor, are thrown together during his escape.

Adding texture and contrast to Esther and Karsten’s story is British army officer Rotheram’s difficult assignment to interrogate captured nazi officer Rudolf Hess, both of them haboring secrets and struggling with matters of honesty and honor.

“What makes this first novel …an intriguing read isn't the plot, …but the beautifully realized characters, who learn that life is a jumble of difficult compromises best confronted with eyes wide open.” (Publishers’s Weekly)

Read an interview with P.H.D. and an interesting piece in Michigan Today by Leslie Stainton.

* = Starred Reviews

2007 Edgar Award Best Young Adult Nominees

On the 198th birth of Edgar Allan Poe the 2007 Edgar® Nominees were announced. The winner will be announced April 26 in NYC. Read the list and tell us which one you think should be named the winner.

The Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson

Crunch Time by Mariah Fredericks

Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready

The Night My Sister Went Missing by Carol Plum-Ucci

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