Ages 18+.

Viva Italia!

September 28 is the birthday of Italian actor, Marcello Mastroianni who was born on this date in 1924. Often cast as a womanizer or a jilted lover,Mastroianni was best known for the films, La Dolce Vita and Divorce, Italian Style. In addition to films with Mastroianni, the Library has an extensive collection of Italian films.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #35 (What I did this summer)

Nordic mysteries.

If you like Sun Storm and Borkmann’s Point, you might just like these…

Jar City is a thriller by Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason, the first to be translated by Bernard Scudder from Icelandic. Set in modern day Reykjavik, this police procedural is as twisted as its city streets and as chilling as the arctic wind. It also introduces Inspector Erlendur, a dogged loner of a policeman with a few secrets of his own. Jar City won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel 2002. (Reviews).

Book Discussion Groups Abound

A book discussion group called McSweeney’s Book Klatch will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday at Shaman Drum Bookshop, to talk about the book "Icelander," by Dustin Long. This group meets monthly to talk about a new title from McSweeney’s, the publishing house founded by Dave Eggers. Authors of the books being discussed weigh in by phone, and members of the klatch get free pizza and book discounts. Other Ann Arbor bookstores - plus schools, churches, and individual readers – organize and host a huge variety of reading groups around our city. Stay tuned. If you haven't read "Icelander," here's what Publishers Weekly had to say: "Nabokov meets Lemony Snicket in this manic Chinese box version of a mystery."

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (9/24/06)

Did you know Brad Meltzer was a graduate of the University of Michigan? He graduated in 1992 with a degree in history. His political thrillers have been selling well but this week he enters the List at #1.

At #1 is The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer: "The apparent murder of a presidential aide reveals Masonic secrets in Washington and a 200-year-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson."

At #3 is Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan: "Carpathians from around the world join together to oppose their enemies' plot to kill all Carpathian women."

At #10 is The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner: "Stories about women and relationships from the author of ''In Her Shoes.''"

At #13 is All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones: "Short stories mostly set in Washington, by the author of "The Known World."

Retrieved in Translation

Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner explores the human repercussions of the
bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. Barbara Jefferson is a teacher of English in Japan in 1966. There she becomes close with fellow teacher, Michiko Nakamoto, a Hiroshima survivor. The book opens after Michi's death. She has bequeathed Barbara her treasured tansu chest, filled with bottles of plum wine, each wrapped in rice paper on which are written journal entries Barbara wants to have translated. She meets Seiji, a potter, who knew Michi-San and translates some of the text. Barbara learns of Michi-San's and Seiji's tragic past and engages in a complex love affair with Seiji. Set during the time of the Vietnam war, Davis-Gardner raises questions about the "justice" of war. Thought provoking and suspenseful, Plum Wine is to be savored.

Justin Timberlake, John Mayer on Top

FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake entered at the top of the Billboard 200. This is the artist's first no. 1 release.

John Mayer takes the no. 2 spot with Continuum. Continuum is at the top of the Top Rock Albums list as well. Enjoy these cds by placing a hold.

Biblical Stories Retold by David Maine

I just read the Fallen, have checked out The Preservationist, and have placed a hold on The Book of Samson.

The Fallen is the story of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. The book starts with the last chapter with Cain waiting to die and moves backward to the first chapter where God leaves Adam and Eve after expelling them from the Garden of Eden.

Cain is a rebellious, questioning, often sullen child, his shrugs riling both his parents but especially Adam. Abel is an earnest, often platitudinous and oblivious, child, trying to reconcile his brother and his father after Adam banishes Cain from the family home. Adam and Eve learn to fish, hunt, grow crops, tame animals, use fire, make bricks. Eve learns how to give birth. God expels Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, God delivers judgments on Cain and Abel’s offerings, Cain murders Abel, God brands Cain, Cain wanders. And there are the other children and the other people.

Detail and incident fill the story and reveal the personalities of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel.

The Preservationist is the story of Noah, his family, the building and stocking of the Ark.

Due out in November is The Book of Samson.

Tracing your family history? The Genealogical Society can help.

FamilyFamily

If you are exploring your family history, the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, Michigan is a great place for getting help, listening to informative speakers and meeting fellow genealogists. The society will be holding its next meeting on Sunday, September 24, 2006 at the Education Center Auditorium on the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Campus at 5305 Elliott Drive in Ypsilanti. The featured guest speaker will be James Craven, noted conservator at the Bentley Historical Library, who will speak on repairing and restoring books, manuscripts, maps and photos. Also on the program is a class dealing with researching Connecticut ancestors. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

International Day of Peace

On September 21, 2002, the United Nations declared that day International Day of Peace, a time "devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples." This day would be observed by all nations committing to a global ceasefire and non-violence. Vigils, speeches, music and other activities mark the day in cities throughout the world.

There are many peace groups working on a national and local level. Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is a group of people who all lost a family member in the 9/11 tragedy. They have come together to work for peaceful solutions to terrorism.

On the local level, Michigan Peaceworks is a grassroots organization that was organized in response to 9/11 and has grown into a significant activist group working for changes in national policy.

Oriana Fallaci, Italian journalist and author, is dead at 77

Oriana FallaciOriana Fallaci

Oriana Fallaci, given the red carpet treatment by world leaders who granted her requests for interviews and who dreaded seeing her pull out her questions, has died.

Fallaci began her “journalist as lightning rod” reputation during the Vietnam War, cemented it right before the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico when she was shot multiple times and left for dead during a protest, and resurrected it, post 9/11, with her incendiary writings about Islam, including The Rage and the Pride (2001) and The Force of Reason (2006).

Fallaci died in Florence, Italy. She was 77.

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