Ages 18+.

A Story Reminiscent of Mad Men

The Lost Chapters is the true story of a Madison Avenue advertising man who experienced the glamour and success of the industry's heyday while ultimately being destroyed by it. Author Lisa Anderson's (she goes by Lise, locally) attempt to unravel her father's story comes from the manuscript he left behind before his mysterious death in Tokyo decades ago. Join us as we hear readings from her book on Wednesday, April 23rd from 7:00-8:30 in the Multi-Purpose Room downtown. Anna Byberg, Program Coordinator of Dawn Farm, will speak about the alcohol addiction that ultimately took Dick Anderson's life and will answer questions. AADL has a robust collection of books on the subject of alcoholism and addiction. Read more about the author's fascinating quest on her website. Her book will be on sale & Lise will be available to sign them.

The Circle

Dave Eggers delights again with his newest novel, The Circle. His prose engulfs readers in an eerily familiar world of social and political advancement, somewhat reminiscent of the classic 1984. Readers will wonder what it truly means to be anonymous, and deliberate whether it is a concept more archaic than essential. At the heart of the novel is The Circle's omniscience and its proclamation that "secrets are lies."

Mae Holland, a young college graduate, is stuck in a dead-end career with no hope of leaving her provincial town, when former roommate and business legend Annie offers her a job at The Circle, a company known for its technological advancement and innovation. Although Mae impresses many with her work ethic, her lack of social media presence causes concern in her superiors. The main goal of The Circle, after all, is to connect people of the world in order to achieve infinite knowledge, and ultimately, enlightenment for humankind.

Eggers is best known for his biography, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He has received multiple awards including Time Best Book of the Year. Eggers also has local acclaim as he is a founder of 826 National, related to Ann Arbor's 826 Michigan.

Nickolas Butler's new novel Shotgun Lovesongs is a Midwestern must-read

I was eagerly anticipating the publication of Shotgun Lovesongs, the brand new novel by Nickolas Butler. In fact, I was a little nervous that it couldn’t possibly be as good as I hoped it would be. Boy, was I wrong! “This is a novel about home, and home is how the book feels,” writes reviewer Josh Weil. At its core, Shotgun Lovesongs is a book about the American Dream, and all the many ways that people go about seeking it. The book is also a vivid description of and ode to a place, that place being a small town in northern Wisconsin. Any Midwesterner will connect immediately with Butler’s beautiful narrative of changing seasons and the changing moods that go with them, and anyone who has spent time in a small town will understand perfectly the atmosphere of the place that he describes so well in the pages of the novel.

The story focuses on four men who grew up in the town of Little Wing, Wisconsin. All of them left at some point but all four have returned, unable to truly leave the place that they call home. In the voice of one of the characters, Butler writes: “Here, life unfurls with the seasons. Here, time unspools itself slowly, moments divvied out like some truly decadent dessert that we savor—weddings, births, graduations, grand openings, funerals. Mostly, things stay the same…. This is my home. This is the place that first believed in me. That still believes in me.”

Fans of other Midwestern authors like Jim Harrison, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Jonathan Franzen will love Shotgun Lovesongs. You can read more about the book in the New York Times review of it here.

Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything

I became a fan of Barbara Ehrenreich after reading her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America. Her latest book, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything is currently at the top of my to-read list, based on a review I just read in the April issue of the monthly journal BookPage. Ehrenreich, a scientist who has described herself as a "fourth-generation atheist," is a leading thinker and fabulous writer. Her book, a blend of memoir and metaphysical reflection, is reviewed under the headline "An atheist reconsiders the human 'situation.'" In the book, Ehrenreich writes about her childhood quest to find answers to universal questions such as "Why are we here?" As a middle-aged woman, she revisits her childhood mission and tells BookPage that yes, she believes that she has risen to the challenge made by her 1958 self, "What have you learned since you wrote this?" You can pick up a free copy of BookPage at any library location. You can place a hold on Living with a Wild God here. There currently are 24 requests on 5 copies.

Stories We Tell

Stories We Tell, a documentary directed by the accomplished Sarah Polley, showcases the idea of storytelling as an art form. Intrigued by the life of her deceased mother, she interviews members of her family and others linked to Diane Polley to uncover the truth. Sarah was born to older parents, and her family often joked that she looked nothing like her father. While researching Diane's past as an actress in Montreal, she finds more than she bargained for... and opens the door to a new reality.

The film takes viewers on an emotional ride that gradually reveals the relationship of each storyteller to Polley, who layers their raw emotion with staged footage and family photos. Each person has their own version of the story that weaves into the others for a nearly complete tapestry. As said in the film, many of the best stories come from within one's own life rather than outside of it.

"Stories We Tell" first debuted at the Venice Film Festival, and has since played at the Toronto Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. It was shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2013. Sarah Polley directed Away from Her and Take This Waltz, and is known for her acting work in Splice, The Secret Life of Words, and My Life Without Me.

MI Bridges Navigation Workshop

Anyone engaged in social service work with families will benefit from attending the April 23 free workshop at Washtenaw ISD, Vogel C, 1819 South Wagner, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, 9:00 am – noon. MI Bridges Navigation Collaborative Learning Opportunity is developed and maintained by the MI Department of Human Services and allows households to apply for food, medical, child care, cash, energy, and non energy assistance, in addition to checking the status of benefits and reporting household changes. This session provides participants an overview of the MI Bridges system and hands on opportunity to use MI Bridges with sample cases. It is recommended for outreach workers, case managers, program coordinators, family support parents, service coordinators; anyone working with families should attend. To register call 1-800-292-7851 x472. For directions only call 734-994-8100.

Purple Rose Theatre: Spring Comedy Festival

Mark your calendars! Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea is presenting a Spring Comedy Festival: Lovers, Liars & Lunatics, through May 24. Directed by Guy Sanville, this is a collection of world-premiere short comedies looking at the nature of loss, love, revenge, and renewal. New plays by Jeff Daniels and other Purple Rose favorites will be presented. Language and content are geared for adults. For ticket information, click here

I'm so Excited

I’m So Excited is the newest movie by renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (the genius who brought us Volver, The Skin I Live in, and Bad Education). Almodóvar describes his own latest work as "a light, very light comedy," and that is exactly what it is.

This film begins with two big name actors and a subplot that sets the scene for the main action of the film. The remaining time of the movie focuses on the crew and passengers on a flight from Madrid to Mexico City. The plane experiences technical difficulties once it takes off thus encouraging the flight attendants to distract and divert the passengers. As secrets are revealed and passenger histories are explained the narrative becomes more complicated, propelling the movie to a climactic end. Overall it was a fun movie and if you are familiar with and enjoyed Almodóvar's other films, you should enjoy this one.

The Other Typist is a can't-put-it-down read!

The Other Typist, the first novel by Suzanne Rindell, is a gripping historical fiction psychological thriller. The book’s simple description does not prepare readers for the true suspense that lies between the pages! Set in New York City during the height of Prohibition, the story is narrated—somewhat unreliably—by the typist Rose, who works at a police precinct in the city. A self-described plain, old-fashioned girl, she is both horrified and entranced by the fashionable, wild new typist named Odalie who is hired at the precinct. The wily Odalie quickly befriends Rose, and as the lives of the two girls become more and more enmeshed, Rose’s fascination with Odalie turns into obsession.

Readers get the impression throughout the book that something is soon to go terribly wrong, but it is difficult to predict what this turning point in the story may be. The book progresses towards its shocking, but seemingly inevitable end at a brisk clip, while the author’s simple, yet fantastic descriptions of the clothes and atmosphere of 1920s New York set a stunning backdrop to the events of the novel. Initially expecting a quiet historical fiction story, I ended up finding that I could not put The Other Typist down. Fans of The Great Gatsby must give The Other Typist a try.

Yoga @AADL

Monday March 31 | 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm | Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
This event is FREE and intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Spring is here, but after this tough winter, most of us are still trying to chase the winter blues away - and yoga can help! Join us for a clarifying and detoxifying yoga set with local yoga instructor Victoria Duranona. We will learn about how yoga can be used to detoxify the body, mind and emotions, while cleansing the blood through breathing and movement.

Please note: Bring your own mat or towel to sit/lay on and dress comfortably for the workout.

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