Ages 18+.

Let Them Eat History

It’s easy to admire Kirsten Dunst’s acting in Marie Antoinette – but it’s also admirable that plenty of educational asides on the history of the French and American revolutions found their way into Sofia Coppola’s new film. Check out reviews at metacritic, including this one from The Christian Science Monitor: “Freighted by its contentious reception at Cannes, writer-director Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" is destined to become this year's love-it-or-hate-it movie. Is it OK to say I merely liked it a lot?” The film continues this week at Quality 16 theater on Jackson Road. At the library we have loads of good books and films about the last queen of France, including the popular new book Abundance:A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund.

Book lover fights crime!

Read or DieRead or Die

The protagonist of Read or Die isn’t exactly your classic secret agent. Yomiko Readman is a mild-mannered substitute teacher who has a habit of spending every last cent she earns on books. But, as a monster quickly discovers when it tries to steal one of her books (which she hasn’t even finished reading—the horror!), she can put up a pretty good fight with her special skill for using sheets of paper as weapons.

Yomiko’s talent brings her to the attention of the British Library Special Engineering Force, which is investigating a rash of thefts involving rare books. Can Yomiko and her colleagues uncover the mastermind behind the thefts before their sinister plan comes to fruition?

Writers recommend....

The most recent book recommended in the "You must read this" feature on NPR is Tillie Olsen's Tell Me a Riddle. Scott Turow talks about the profound influence Olsen's novella had on him as a young writer in college. Other titles recently discussed on the program have been Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter, recommended by Alice McDermott and Maud Martha, Gwendolyn Brooks' only work of fiction described as "indispensable" by Asali Solomon whose book of short stories, Get Down was recently published.

Shedding light on Happy Meals

Many of us eat McDonald’s burgers and Chicken McNuggets and yet know very little about what we’re putting in our bodies. Chew on This! Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food shares what fast food industry officials would rather you not know about what’s in the food, what it does to the body, and about their campaign to lure children into a life long habit of fast food eating.

What if you ate nothing but fast food? Check out film director Morgan Spurlock's 2004 film, Super Size Me and see.

What Is Schizophrenia, Anyway?

This chronic, disabling brain disorder affects about 2.2 million Americans. Its symptoms typically appear in the late teen years or twenties. Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is treatable and manageable. Michael Jibson, MD, PhD, Prof. of Psychiatry and Director, UM Psychiatry Residency Education, and expert on schizophrenia, has written extensively about this disease and has a special interest in the medications used to treat it. Learn about the latest research and treatment of schizophrenia when Dr. Jibson visits the downtown Library on Mon., Nov. 13 at 7 pm. A variety of books about schizophrenia, both fiction and non-fiction, are available at the Library to help us understand the disease and its effects on the lives of those who suffer from it.

Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, one of the Cheaper by the Dozen authors, has died

Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, one of the Cheaper by the Dozen authors, has diedErnestine Gilbreth Carey, one of the Cheaper by the Dozen authors, has died

Ernestine Gilbreth Carey who, with her younger brother Frank, wrote Cheaper by the Dozen, one of the more endearing classic autobiographies, died Saturday, November 4, 2006, in California.

Carey (number three of the 12 children of Frank Bunker Gilbreth and his wife, Lillian Moller Gilbreth) and her brother delighted generations of readers with the antics and logistics of managing such a large household in the 1920s. Myrna Loy and Clifton Webb starred in the 1950 movie version; Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt appeared in the 2003 remake.

Mrs. Carey was 98.

November New and Noteworthy

Margherita Dolce Vita* by Stefano Benni.
“An elegant little piece of dark comedy” by a prolific Italian author (FFF in translation). Wise and charismatic 15 yr.-old Margherita and her odd-ball family are transformed by their new neighbors from hell.

Harlem Girl Lost* by Treasure E. Blue.
A bright young woman fights her way out of the mean streets of New York, only to be drawn back in to save her man. A lurid, gripping debut and a self-publishing sensation.

Last Seen Leaving* by Kelly Braffet.
New Age spiritualist searches for her estranged daughter who has not been seen after being picked up by a stranger on a deserted highway, while a serial killer is on the loose. Gripping.

Love in a Fallen City* by Eileen Chang (Ailing Zhang).
Six vibrant stories depict life in post WWII China and bristle with equal parts passion and resentment.

Eifelheim* by Michael Flynn.
Young modern historian obsesses with the mysterious disappearance of a German village from all maps during the Black Death. The story intersects with the heartbreaking saga of stranded aliens from a distant star.

Vince and Joy* by Lisa Jewell.
Tired of all the heavy stuff around? Try this deliciously addictive read filled with London oddballs. First loves reunite after 17 years of miscommunication, disappointments and all the things life throw at you. Romantic.

The Sky People* by S.M. Stirling.
First of a new alternate history series with "broad-brush pulp sensibility". Space colonization and a classic love triangle.

The Orphan's Tales : In the night garden* by Catherynne Valente.
“A beautiful relayed, interlinked fairy tales” of magic, adventure, quests and murder, told by a mysterious young woman with tattoos around her eyelids. Think Sheherezade and the Arabian Nights.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall* by Bill Willingham.
Re-imagined new lives and backstories for fairyland citizens , the likes of Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf, now living as secret refugees in New York - probably the “smartest mainstream comics going”.

*= Starred Review(s)

Conger Fall Home Tour

Want to peek inside some of Ann Arbor's loveliest homes?

On Thursday November 9, 2006 from 10 am to 4 pm you can help a good cause and indulge your interest and curiosity by joining the annual Conger Home Tour from 10 am to 4 pm.

This year the Tour is happening a month earlier than usual to offer participants more time to visit the homes. And the homes will not be decorated for the holidays but have been chosen for their unique artwork and decoration that stand out year round.

The Conger Holiday Market will happen on Tuesday December 5 and your Home Tour ticket will get you in the door.

The proceeds from the Tour support scholarships for women at the University of Michigan through the Lucile B. Conger Alumnae Group.

Tickets are $20 at the door and $15 in advance for this tour of four Ann Arbor Homes. You can also call 734-433-9698 for further information.

From Horror to Heartfelt

In Stephen King's most recent novel, Lisey's Story he continues to assault your emotions by tugging at the heartstrings of his loyal readers. "I wanted to write a story that had the same feeling as one of those good country songs that you hear on the radio...".

As Lisey sorts through the writings of her late husband's work, she confronts all of who he was. Can she cope with his disturbing family past?

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #40

A Corpse in the Koryo* introduces, to global mystery fans a new and exciting series starring Inspector O of the Pyongyang Police Department (North Korea).

This hard-boiled, police procedural begins with a seemingly routine surveillance assignment that turns nasty, pitching a pragmatic and honorable detective against the competing military and intelligence hierarchies.

First-time author James Church (pseudonym) is a former intelligence office with decades of experience in Asia. This outstanding crime novel boasts believable characters and situations, and is "richly layered and visually evocative". A must-read.

All-starred reviews in Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

For his Chinese (Shanghai) counterpart, try the latest in the Inspector Chen series (A Case of Two Cities,* 2006) by Qiu Xiaolong - another honest detective struggling to be true under a repressive regime.

*= Starred review.

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