Ages 18+.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (August 7, 2005)

There are three new additions to pack for the beach or cottage on this week’s list.

At #2 is The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan: a troubled marriage is complicated even more by an unplanned pregnancy.

At #7 is The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella: the laughs begin when a lawyer flees London and her job in a high-powered law firm to work as a housekeeper in the middle of nowhere.

At #8 is No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy: a gritty modern western involving drugs and stolen money.

New Non-fiction Books on the New York Times Best Sellers List: August 14, 2005

Ann Arborites, which book do you think will get the most holds?

Bill Maher’s New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer with such polite, timid musings on George W. Bush as “George Bush must stop saying he owes all his success to Laura. George Bush owes all his success to his daddy, his daddy’s friends, trust funds, legacy admissions, the National Guard, the Supreme Court, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and A.A.


Pennsylvania’s Senator Rick Santorum’s It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, a direct rebuttal to New York’s Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s It Takes a Village : and Other Lessons Children Teach Us. The book outlines how liberal philosophies and attempts to deal with social problems over the past forty years have failed. Senator Santorum feels we need compassionate conservatism, a policy approach that centers on family, community and church. Dr. Laura A. Schlessinger likes the book: “I am amazed at the depth and breadth of information, wisdom, and sensitivity.”

Ray Harryhausen Animation

We've all come to expect our sci-fi movies to have dazzling, computer-animated special effects. However, science fiction movies have been around since long before computer animation. Stop motion animation was one way of creating special effects in those days, and Ray Harryhausen is a legend in the field. During his career, he created everything from dinosaurs to flying saucers to a giant, six-armed (due to budget constraints) octopus.

Traveling Through Time: a Guide to Michigan’s Historical Markers

This book, edited by Laura R. Ashlee, is arranged by county and by place within the county and has the location and the text of the official Michigan Historical Markers. Of the over fourteen hundred Michigan Historical Markers dedicated since the program began in 1955 fifty-five are in Washtenaw County and fourteen are in Ann Arbor.

The markers in Ann Arbor commemorate the founding of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society in 1836; the Earhart Manor on the grounds of Concordia University; Governor Alpheus Felch (also Mayor of Ann Arbor, Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, United States Senator, and Tappan Professor of Law at the University of Michigan); the Ticknor-Campbell House (the Cobblestone Farm); Michigan’s First Jewish Cemetery Site; and nine other events, buildings, and churches.

Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings, longtime ABC Nightly News anchor, died August 7, after a short, determined battle against lung cancer.

Jennings, a Canadian who had dropped out of high school, was known for his ubiquitous presence at seemingly all the major breaking news events of the past two four decades, and for his extensive travels worldwide which brought the news into our living rooms. Jennings was never more front and center than when reporting on September 11th. According to today’s New York Times, “[Jennings] would spend more than 60 hours on the air in what Tom Shales of The Washington Post, among other critics, praised as a tour de force of interviewing and explanatory broadcast journalism laced with undisguised bewilderment.”

The Play Ground

Purple Rose Logo

Opening The Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan gave established movie actor Jeff Daniels the opportunity to create a professional theatre company, featuring Midwestern actors, directors, designers and playwrights. Playing there through September 24 is a play by author and columnist Mitch Albom, And the Winner Is. It is directed by PRTC Artistic Director Guy Sanville.

Jenn McKee of the Ann Arbor News says that the play "...takes on considerable emotional heft and poignancy, and Albom achieves a fitting end that is simultaneously inevitable and surprising. Albom also, throughout the play, offers up a good deal of bright, cynical humor... “

Fair and Tender Ladies, by Lee Smith

For her August 2005 book club discussion, Reader’s Review, Diane Rehm has breathed new life into Fair and Tender Ladies, the 1988 epistolary novel by Lee Smith. Set in pre World War I Sugar Fork, Virginia, tucked into the Appalachians, Smith’s letter-writing protagonist, Ivy Rowe, is as prolific a storyteller as Smith herself. Ivy had big ambitions to be a writer but an early pregnancy and marriage turned her, instead, into a non-stop correspondent throughout her life. Based on letters that Smith picked up at a garage sale, Fair and Tender Ladies is one of those timeless stories to be cherished over and over.

In the Shadow of the Law, by Kermit Roosevelt III

Not since Scott Turow’s break-away 1987 best seller, Presumed Innocent, has there been quite this much buzz for a new legal thriller author. Kermit Roosevelt III, blue-blooded great-great grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, sure knows from whence he writes. A former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice David Souter, Roosevelt has penned a riveting page turner with The Law starring front and center. At the heart of this first novel are two lawyers in one of Washington’s toniest, most cut throat K Street law firms. Rumpled sleepy Mark Clayton is doing pro bono work for a death penalty case while his much more cut-throat colleague, Walker Eliot, works a defense for a Texas chemical plant, site of a deadly explosion that killed dozens of low-wage employees.

The Play Ground

The Dramatic Tension Project, through a grant from the Neutral Zone, will present “Night Mother” by Marsha Norman and “Regency Romance” by G. L. Horton. August 11-13 at the U-M Residential College Auditorium.

On the Road: On the Screen

The classic book by Jack Kerouac that captures the spirit of the Beat Generation will finally be brought to the screen by Francis Ford Coppola and Walter Salles. Walter Salles is the filmmaker behind the critically acclaimed Motorcycle Diaries about the revolutionary Che Guevara. Coppola, who at one time considered taking the helm himself, has spent years trying to get On the Road off the ground since acquiring the rights in 1979. Over time, he's hired various screenwriters to take a crack at the project, but to no avail.

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