Ages 18+.

He was an advocate for babies and peace

Today, May 2 is the birthday of Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and crusader in the field of child care, later active in the peace movement during the Vietnam War. Spock was born in 1906, the eldest of six children and so from an early age had taken care of young children. After the publication of the first aedition of what was to become Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, Spock was surprised at its success, being the second largest selling book in the world after the Bible. His philosophy of child care revolutionized the way parents thought about their children, giving them permission to use their instincts, not always adhere to a strict feeding schedule, to comfort crying babies and to actually enjoy parenting. His love and concern for children was also manifested in his work in the peace movement as he watched young men risking their lives in what he considered an unnecessary war. Spock died in 1998 at the age of 94.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #62

In Summer People, Nathan, a midwestern college dropout/aspiring graphic novelist, is hired as a "caretaker" for Ellen Broderick who summers at Brightonfield Cove, an exclusive coastal community in Maine.

Not everyone in town is civil, let alone welcoming to Nathan except for Edwin Lowell, an Episcopalian pastor and his feisty, dark-eyed beauty of a nanny, Leah, who quickly peeks Nathan’s interest.

Apart from the rounds of evening cocktails, tennis matches at the Golf and Tennis Club, and midnight picnics with Leah, Nathan finds his caretaker’s responsibilities increasingly demanding and Ellen’s behavior unnerving. Ellen's colorful past, and the secrets of this insular town might just be more than Nathan could do to keep them both safe.

A promising debut for Brian Groh and a solid good read.

K-12 Educators: Get a classroom ePal

Looking for a safe and educational online environment for kids? Want to introduce your students to other cultures, the fundamentals of letter writing, and the joys of friendship? Why not get a pen pan? Wait, make that an e-Pal. ePals is the largest online classroom community. It provides a safe way for students to email other children around the world. Currently there are 191 countries, 7 million students and 123,851 classrooms trading short stories, practicing language and literacy skills and swapping classroom videos. Classrooms must register as a group. Join in!

If you prefer more traditional modes of correspondence, check out our books on letter writing for kids.

Messages in the Mailbox: How to Write a Letter
Putting it in Writing
Sincerely Yours: How to Write Great Letters
The Young Writer’s Handbook

Charles Baxter's "Soul Thief" Coming Out Next Year

Former Ann Arborite and U-M creative writing teacher Charles Baxter has a short novel coming out next year, “Soul Thief,” about a person who slips into someone else’s personality. And a film based on Baxter’s novel The Feast of Love is due to be released in September, according to The article says Baxter, who lives in Minneapolis, is turning 60 next week. Happy birthday!

Disturbing Images of Darfur

The urgent humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s western region of Darfur is the subject of a photo exhibit opening Friday at AADL’s Mallet’s Creek branch. Sponsored by a number of church and temple groups, the exhibit showcases the photographs of native Michigander Ryan Spencer Reed and is called Hands of a Displaced Sudan: The Cost of Silence. The grand opening of the exhibit is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 4, when people will be able to meet the photographer and view the photographs he shot and smuggled out of Darfur. At AADL there are a number of good books about the Darfur crisis, including the new book The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing witness to the genocide in Darfur by Brian Steidle.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #61

Winner of the prestigious Rómulo Gallegos Prize in 1999, Los detectives salvajes is the first of the author's large body of works to be translated into English as the The Savage Detectives*. (Also in our collection, his short stories Last Evenings on Earth).

This major work by Chilan born Roberto Bolano recounts 17 year-old Juan García Madero's initiation into the militant literary movement started by young poets Arturo Belano (Bolaño's alter ego) and Ulises Lima in the 1970s in Mexico City. The three, with a fugitive prostitute in tow, set out in quest of Mexican poet Cesárea Tinajero, who apparently disappeared in the Sonoran Desert in the 1920s. This road trip spanned a decade, took the travelers to Guatemala, Barcelona, Paris, Israel, Congo, Liberia, and the U.S., and in large part, being told through voices of the people they met along the way.

Humorous and tragic, "Bolano fashions an engrossing lost world of youth and utopian ambition, as particular and vivid as it is sad and uncontainable”. ~ Publishers Weekly . Roberto Bolano died of liver failure at the age of 50 in 2003. Obituary

* = Starred Reviews

New French fiction at the library

We just received several new French books including several bestsellers. These will be on the shelf soon and you can put a hold on any title through the library catalog or just look for them on the shelf. If you have any comments or suggestions on French language books (or any other foreign language) please contact

Marilyn Dernieres Seances by Michel Schneider
Winner of the Prix Interallié 2006. A novel about the unlikely duo of sex godess Marillyn Monroe and her Freudian shrink who was unable to save her in her final days.

Du reve pour les oufs by Faiza Guene
Second novel from the 21 year old literary sensation Guène, author of the bestselling 'Kiffe kiffe demain'. Alhème works odd jobs to support her father, who suffers from injuries due to an industrial accident, and her brother, Foued, who she has raised since their mother's death in Algeria.

Paul Erman, convict-turned-best-selling author, has died

Paul Erman, convict-turned-best-selling author, has diedPaul Erman, convict-turned-best-selling author, has died

Former jailed bank president, Paul Erdman, who used his jail time to frame a new career as a best-selling author focusing on the shadowy world of very wealthy bankers seeking lots of power, has died.

When Erdman’s private bank in Switzerland collapsed in 1970, Erdman used his time to chat with his inmate, a French safecracker. From that conversation came Erdman’s first novel, The Billion Dollar Sure Thing (1973), which won an Edgar in 1974.

Erdman, who also wrote The Panic of ’89 (1986) and The Set-Up (1997), and was 74 when he died April 23rd in California.

Friday Nite at the Blind Pig: SLUM VILLAGE

Slum VillageSlum Village

Slum Village will perform at the Bling Pig on Friday, April 27th at 9:30pm.

Homegrown (from Detroit), Slum Village has always stayed true to Hip-Hop by mixing old-school rap with funk/soul. The group formed during the late 80's at Pershing High School and quickly became a favorite of the Detroit underground scene. By the mid-late '90s, Slum Village could be counted among Hip-Hop's elite.

Want more? Check these out:
Slum Village Official Site
MySpace -- Slum Village

Similiar Artists:
Tribe Called Quest
De La Soul


New Italian books at the library!

We recently received some new popular Italian novels which will be on the shelf soon. Look for them soon or place a hold from the library catalog. If you have any comments or suggestions about Italian language books (or any other foreign language) please e-mail

A Neve Ferma by Stefania Bertola
Emma loves Andrea, but he is engaged to another woman. She seeks consolation in her professional life as a confectioner.

Chi Ha Cancellato Le Macchie Di Rorschach by Nicola D'Amico
The author's first novel...A thriller set in a school near Varese.

Dimenticami by Elena Loewenthal
Viola ends her brief but passionate love affair with Alberto with the words 'Forget me!' But Alberto, though married with two children, cannot forget Viola so easily. It's not just the passion he cannot forget, but her last words that ring in his ears…

Dolci Colline di Sanguine by Mario Spezi and Douglas Preston

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