Ages 18+.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #50

Kirkus reviewer called Mistress of the Art of Death* “CSI meets The Canterbury Tales”.

The brilliant female forensic pathologist, Dr. Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar of Salerno, a short and short-tempered medieval coroner is hired in secret by King Henry II to find out who's behind the horrific murders of 4 Christian children in Cambridge. Less concerned about the murderer than the tax revenue he is losing while prominent local Jews stand accused and languish in the fortress, Henry wants them freed.

Aided by a eunuch escort and a Jew with an affinity for detection, Adelia must piece together the mystery of these hideous crimes among a long list of suspects before the killer strikes again.

Mistress is a skillful blend of historical fact and gruesome fiction that will surely entertain, and Franklin presents a fascinating character in Adelia, who is odd for her era and profession yet familiar in her flaws and complexity. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait long for the next in this new series.

For fans of Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael series.

Ariana Franklin is the pen name of British historical fiction writer Diana Norman. Her first stand-alone City of Shadows is set in 1922 Berlin, a women in an asylum claims to be the only survivor of the Czar’s family and the heir to the Romanov fortune.

* = Starred Review(s)

2nd Tuesday – Meet Julie Orringer @ Neutral Zone Tues., Feb. 13, 7 pm

Hear Julie Orringer read from her short story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Northern California Book Award. Julie is the Helen Herzog Zell Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.

Copies of the book will be available for sale. The Neutral Zone is located at 310 E. Washington.

The University of Michigan: a Photographic Saga by Anne Duderstadt

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This magisterial illustrated rendering of the University’s history, presidents, faculty, staff, students, buildings, and life by Anne Duderstadt begins with chapters (or sections) on each University President’s tenure, followed by sections on Michigan’s War Service, Student Life, and on each School and College within the University.

The two-page panoramic views of the Central Campus, Medical Campus, and North Campus from various time periods provide useful orientation to the detail on buildings.

The growth and rebuilding of the University required the loss of some lovely buildings. You can find photographs of interesting buildings that no longer exist: the old Library, Waterman Gymnasium (where I spent my freshman year playing basketball and waiting in line to register for classes and, later, wearing my “Save Waterman/Barbour” button when the building was scheduled to be demolished), and the Pavilion Hospital.

A librarian’s quibble: an index would have been nice to easily locate the photograph of the sculpture of President Tappan and his Dog Leo; the entry on Jimmy Otley, the “Hat Man” (for eighteen years he was custodian of the cloakroom at the General Library (which had a room known as the Whispering Gallery)); the picture of the temporary Halo around the Michigan Stadium; the rendering of Albert Kahn’s first design for what is now known as Angell Hall; or the photograph of President Duderstadt in the kitchen of the President’s House in his maize shorts and blue shirt with football and helmet in hand with “Victory Apple Pies” in the foreground.

The lack of an index provides an additional incentive to thoroughly browse this volume’s content for the wealth of detail and illustration within.

The companion website has interactive maps from various time periods, historical 3d movies, and additional publications about the University. Do not skip the very long but lovely introduction with its postcard views of University landmarks and scenes, with the Glee Club singing Michigan songs.

I Hate Chaos!

Lord of the Night, by Simon Spurrier, is a science fiction novel set in the Warhammer_40%2C000 universe. The story pits the Sahaal, a Chaos Marine of the Night Lords Legion against Mita Ashyn, a member of the Imperial Inquisitors. Sahaal uses the skills he learned from his long dead Primarch Konrad Kurze in his attempt to recover his chapter's missing heirloom on the the remote and sunless hive-world of Equixus. The book is a great read and reinforces my disklike for all things Chaos. Long live the Emperor!

Physician to Discuss Her Battle with Breast Cancer

What's it like for a doctor to cope with a life-threatening disease?
Dr. Janet Gilsdorf, Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at U-M's Mott Children's Hospital will speak on her book Inside/Outside: A Physician's Journey with Breast Cancer at the library's 'Sunday Edition' program on Sunday, February 11 at the Malletts Creek branch. Dr. Gilsdorf's book, which grew from an essay originally published in a medical journal, describes the experience of coping with a grave medical condition from the vantage point of a physician. It is a deeply personal account of her struggles with the medical, emotional and physical issues associated with her course of treatment, ending with a hopeful outlook. The program is free and open to all. It begins at 3:00 p.m.
Copies of the book will be for sale and a book signing will follow the presentation.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens

Charles Dickens was born Feb. 7, 1812, as Writers Almanac reminds us. Dickens lived to write some of the most popular books in the English language, including those with autobiographical themes reflecting the authors' struggles in England at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

Dr. Paul Farmer in Ann Arbor

Paul E. Farmer, MD, PhD, Founding Director of Partners In Health and the subject of Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, will present a lecture, “Building a Health Care Movement: From Haiti to Rwanda,” on Monday, February 12 from 5-6 pm at Rackham Auditorium, hosted by the William Davidson Institute of the UM Ross School of Business. This event is sold out. Due to the high level of public interest, the Davidson Institute has arranged for a live video simulcast of Dr. Farmer's lecture.

The event will be simulcast at two locations of the Ann Arbor District Library: the Downtown Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave, in the lower level multi-purpose room, and the Malletts Creek Branch program room, 3090 E. Eisenhower Pkwy. The simulcasts are open to the public and free of charge.

For a complete list of simulcast locations, click here.

Happy Birthday, Charles and Sinclair

Today, February 7, is the birthday of two novelists also known as social critics, Charles Dickens and Sinclair Lewis, Dickens in 1812 and Lewis in 1885. While Dickens wrote about the deplorable working conditions and poverty of London and environs, Lewis wrote on the inequalities of race and the second class status of women and the powerless in 1930's America. Lewis was the first American novelist to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930. Check out all the wonderful film adaptations of Dickens' novels that are at the Library. Lewis's novels, Elmer Gantry and Dodsworth are also in our film collection.

Sacrifices, Struggles, Achievements-AADL Recognizes African American History Month

Please visit our book display on the 2nd floor reference section of our Downtown location. Throughout the month of February, browse our book display of titles representing the history of African Americans in the U.S. All books from the display can be borrowed for your reading pleasure.

February New and Noteworthy

The Teahouse Fire* by Ellis Avery. (A Fabulous Fiction Firsts)
Orphaned and alone in Kyoto, 9 year-old Aurelia Caillard is taken in by a Japanese family of tea ceremony masters. “...(T)old in an enchanting and unforgettable voice, The Teahouse Fire is a lively, provocative, and lushly detailed historical novel of epic scope and compulsive readability”.

Self Storage by Gayle Brandeis.
From the Barbara Kingsolver Bellewether Prize winner comes this quirky and moving story of Flan Parker who owns a thriving resale business, and a mysterious box from an abandoned storage unit that bears only an address and a note with the word “yes”. Yes – put your name on that wait list.

Sacred Games* by Vikram Chandra.
7 years in the making, this 900-page epic novel of Mumbai's underworld is a glorious and demanding literary thriller. “Corruption, murder, arms dealing, Bollywood, plastic surgery, and a superstar guru on an apocalyptic mission--all fuel this novel of crime and punishment, survival and annihilation. A splendidly big, finely made book destined to dazzle”.

Napoleon's Pyramids by Willaim Dietrich.
Action-packed thriller involving an American expatriate, Napoleon’s army and an ancient medallion for anyone looking for impeccable period details, passion and plot.

Looks to die for by Janice Kaplan.
Well-connected Hollywood insider sleuths to save her man. A new series of suspense-meet-shopping from the former deputy editor of TV Guide and the author of Mine are spectacular!

The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom.
In this “Nick Hornby meets Alexander McCall Smith”, Israel Armstrong, a roving bookmobile driver must solve the mystery of the missing 15,000 books from the library. A charming and entertaining first in a projected mystery series set in Ireland.

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