The End of Always deals beautifully with timeless issues

The setting of the new book The End of Always, by Randi Davenport, is unexpectedly haunting: turn-of-the-century Waukesha, Wisconsin, provides a stark backdrop to the chilling story that Davenport unveils slowly to readers. Seventeen-year-old Marie Reehs is consumed with memories of her mother, who died in a mysterious accident to which her father was the only witness. In her heart, Marie knows that her violent, abusive father murdered her mother, but her older sister is desperate to keep what remains of the family together and begs Marie to forget what she has seen. As Marie toils away every day at the local laundry, she vows that she will not marry a violent man, as seems to be the legacy for the women in her family. When she starts a love affair with a handsome and charismatic young man, she thinks that he may be the answer to her prayers for freedom, but readers must press on until the end of this luminescent book to find out if Marie will be able to break free from the Reehs women’s dark family curse.

Reading about domestic violence in a historical context was interesting and eye-opening. Although difficult to read at times, The End of Always is ultimately an uplifting and powerful story of a courageous woman trying to take charge of her own life.

Center for Japanese Studies Special Event

Each year, approximately 30,000 Japanese die by suicide, a rate nearly double that of the U.S. The Center for Japanese Studies is hosting a local effort to educate the public about this problem by sponsoring a series of three free events over three days that combines film, lecture and discussion. It begins Thursday, February 5th, 12-1:30 at the School of Social Work with four brief presentations by Japanese Studies experts and U of M faculty, under the theme "Beyond Seppuku: A multidisciplinary Context to Suicide in Japan". On Friday, February 6th from 6:00-8:00 PM will be the screening of the award winning documentary Saving 10,000: Winning a War on Suicide in Japan at Palmer Commons. A discussion on suicide issues in the Japanese population will be led by a diverse panel after the screening.On Saturday, February 7th from 10:00 AM-Noon at the Holiday Inn, Livonia this film will be screened and the discussion afterword will be in Japanese. For more information email: umcjs@umich.edu

Josephine Baker Biography

If Jacqueline Woodson’s award-winning memoir Brown Girl Dreaming has you craving more stories-in-verse that share the African-American experience, check out this fantastic title:

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson is picture-book biography of dancer Josephine Baker. Beginning with her childhood in the segregated South, the book traces her life as a teenager in a traveling dance troupe, her star-making Paris debut, her work as a spy during World War II, and her adoption of twelve children of different nationalities, always highlighting her desire for racial acceptance. With its bright, bold illustrations and free-verse text that mixes quotations from Baker with energetic narration, this 100-page picture book is a perfect showcase for the dancer’s story.

Ann Arbor Elections: What Works? What Doesn’t?

Tuesday March 3, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area (LWV-AAA) host this first in a series of two public conversations on the current process of electing local public officials. This session will explore both the strengths and weaknesses of our current system, discussing such issues as voter turn-out, student participation, and cost in terms of both dollars and effort of running for office, independent candidates, and other related topics.

Panelists include David Askins, former Editor of the Ann Arbor Chronicle; Lou Belcher, former Mayor of Ann Arbor; and Jean Carlberg, former City Council Member.

Film & Discussion: Race To Nowhere

Wednesday March 18, 2015: 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for Grade 9 and Up

Parents today are expected to raise high-achieving children, skilled in a multitude of talents, and ready to respond to many complex challenges. Bombarded by academic standards, competition for educational opportunities, and run-away schedules, young people struggle to accommodate the intense demands. From preschool through college, children are pressured, pushed, coached, sculpted, scheduled and reviewed, running a never-ending gauntlet towards adulthood.

Race To Nowhere, rated PG-13, is a call to families, educators, experts and policy makers to examine current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become the healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens in the 21st century.

A community discussion led by Elizabeth Koschmann, PhD, Research Investigator in the U-M Department of Psychiatry and a member of the U-M Depression Center, will follow this screening.

Hot Holiday Meals for the Hungry

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The Salvation Army will co-host a dinner TODAY, Wednesday November 26th, with the Ypsilanti Free Methodist Church from 4:30-6:30 PM. Be sure to RSVP by calling either the Salvation Army or the church to enjoy a meal and fellowship at 734-482-2055. St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor will serve its daily hot breakfast on Thanksgiving from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. as it does every day of the year. The Original Cottage Inn will offer its annual Thanksgiving meal for the needy and homeless, a tradition that dates back more than 30 years. The dinner is served on Thanksgiving between 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor will have hourly shuttles from the Delonis Shelter to its Thanksgiving Meal, the first one leaves at 11:00 am, the last will leave at 5:00 PM.

There are also churches in Ypsi providing meals: St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, 1344 Borgstrom Ave. from 2:00-5:00 PM; Brown Chapel AME Church, 1043 W. Michigan on Thanksgiving, right after a worship service beginning at 10:00 AM. People are welcome to attend the service but it's not required.

How Faith Communities Can Change the World One Meal at a Time

Thursday March 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grades 9 and up.
This event will be recorded

A panel of interfaith leaders explores the connection between faith and food at this event in a year-long Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice program entitled Food & Justice: An Interfaith Exploration of How Our Food Choices Impact Our Environment, Our Economy and Our Neighbors.

A panel of interfaith leaders will explore how their faith traditions take on issues of food justice and how their communities are making a meaningful impact in all areas of the food system addressing issues like hunger, worker's rights and climate change.

Hosted by Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice and Interfaith Round Table, the panelists include: Reverend Ryan Boes, Ann Arbor Christina Reformed Church; Yusuf Salloum, Islamic Center of Ann Arbor; Julie Ritter, Jewel Heart Ann Arbor; Reverend Kristin Reigel, First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor and others.

Tom Hayden at AADL

The Downtown Meeting Room was packed for Tom Hayden's lecture Monday evening, September 15.

Hayden, a former student at U-M was in Ann Arbor because U-M has recently purchased papers, photos and documents which detail his life as an activist. He stated that "history repeats itself if all parties aren't involved, even dissenters," in creating the future. He will be visiting the area once a year for 4-5 years to decipher his hand-written notes accurately because they include so many primary sources.

MLive reporter Janet Miller wrote a detailed story on his lecture you can find here.

Barnes & Noble: Nonfiction Book Club

The Nonfiction Book Club at Barnes & Noble in Ann Arbor will discuss the book The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball on Monday Sept. 15 at 7 pm. The book is the author's memoir about working with her husband to set up a CSA (community supported agriculture) cooperative farm on Lake Champlain in New York. Barnes & Noble is located in Huron Village, 3235 Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, near the intersection of Huron Parkway and Washtenaw Avenue. Library Journal compares this book with other titles including Ree Drummond's book The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. All are welcome at the upcoming meeting of the Barnes & Noble Nonfiction Book Club.

City Of Ann Arbor 2015 Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum: Sustainable Systems

Thursday March 12, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Join the conversation about sustainability in Ann Arbor as the City and the Ann Arbor District Library host their annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series.The series includes four events, each focusing on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s sustainability framework.

The third event in the series centers on Sustainable Systems, including an overview of city wet weather projects and community-led solutions to increased precipitation.

A think tank of local stakeholders including representatives from community organizations, City of Ann Arbor staff, and Washtenaw County staff will join the public to discuss local sustainability efforts and challenges in our community. Each program will include a series of short presentations followed by a question and answer session. The forums offer an opportunity to learn more about sustainability in the community and tips for actions that residents can take to live more sustainably.

• Nathan Ayers, Director, Chiwara Permaculture and Partner, UM Permaculture Initiative
• Susan Bryan, Rain Garden Coordinator, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office
• Shannan Gibb-Randall, Principal, In-Site Design Studio
• Jen Lawson, Water Quality Manager, City of Ann Arbor
• Laura Rubin, Executive Director, Huron River Watershed Council

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