New DVD's

Following are a few of Amazon's new releases on dvd that we have at tthe Library: (Descriptions are from Amazon.com)

Ocean's Thirteen:
"It's bolder. Riskier. The most dazzling heist yet. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and more reteam with director Steven Soderbergh for a split-second caper that stacks the deck with wit, style and cool."

Amazing Grace:
"From the makers of Ray, AMAZING GRACE tells the inspiring story of William Wilberforce and his passion and perseverance to pass a law ending the slave trade in the late 18th century. Several friends, including Wilberforce's minister, a reformed slave ship captain who penned the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, urge him to see the cause through."

La Vie en Rose:

A St. Paul girl

Patricia Hampl is a master of the memoir. Her latest, The Florist's Daughter traces her life growing up in in what she calls "old" St. Paul, Minnesota. Her Czech father is the florist of the title, one from whom she drew artistic inspiration because he was an artist with flowers. But it was her well-read Irish mother who was also a natural storyteller who gave Hampl a model for the literary life. Hampl's tribute to them attests to the need for beauty and purpose in one's life. You can listen to an interview with Hampl about her memoir on the Diane Rehm Show.

Celebrate!

Laith Alattar kicks off a delightful afternoon on Sunday, December 2nd at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library with his fabulous instrument, the Oud, for our Arab Family Cultural Celebration. Music, treats donated from Masri Sweets, and a geometric paper rug craft will entertain the whole family.

It Takes a Village

Ann Arbor homeAnn Arbor home

There’s a nation-wide movement to make neighborhoods more comfortable places in which to grow old. These organized neighborhoods called villages are supported by members of the neighborhood or community. If you would like to find our more about the legal aspects of forming a village, come to the next meeting on Thursday, February 14 at 11:45am in the Malletts Creek Branch Program Room AB to hear Neel Hajra from NEW Center explore the advantages and limitations of becoming a non-profit village. "It Takes A Village" brownbag discussion is sponsored by the Blueprint For Aging.

Happy Birthday, Alistair and Dick

November 20 is the birthday of two unlikely bedfellows, Alistair Cooke and Chester Gould. Cooke, broadcast journalist and author, was born in 1908 in Salford, England but moved to the U.S. in the 1930's. His program, "Letter from America" on BBC radio was broadcast in more than fifty countries. He is perhaps best known to Americans for his eloquence as a host of PBS's Masterpiece Theatre.

Someone to Watch Over You

At a session on aging and technology during the Aging in Place Conference, organized by the UM Health System Housing Bureau for Seniors, I learned how computers, sensors and video cameras are being used to monitor the well being of older adults living alone. Paul McAninch, of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, added that 25%-33% of people of over 65 will fall each year in their homes, and that this is the leading cause of people entering nursing homes or suffering premature death. How to Avoid Falling can be found at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Professor Martha E. Pollack, Dean of the UM School of Information, discussed other monitoring technologies that are still being developed. Both speakers recommended looking for more information through the Center for Aging Services Technologies.

The perils of being "gifted"

Gifted by Nikita Lalwani is a first novel about Rumi, who at the beginning of the story is a five year old math prodigy, daughter of Mahesh, a math professor at a university in Wales and Shreene, who futilely longs for a return to India. Mahesh is determined that his daughter will enter Oxford at 14 and institutes an arduous program of study at home in addition to school. As Rumi grows up, she feels more conflicted about the roles imposed on her and longs for the more normal life of a teenager. Her father's drive for her academic success eventually leads to tragedy.

Aging In Place

Do you have an aging family member or friend who wants to age in place for as long as possible? Perhaps you are thinking about downsizing from your current home to a smaller house or condo to live in after retirement. Take advantage of the University of Michigan Housing Bureau For Seniors, a resource for housing and care options for anyone 55+.

Romantic life, untimely death

Today, October 31st, besides being Halloween, is the birthday of English Romantic poet, John Keats who was born in London in 1795. Keats was just starting to be recognized as a poet when he received two scathing reviews of his first two books. Then his brother became sick with tuberculosis and Keats moved in to his house to care for him. It was there that he met Fanny Brawne and fell in love with her. It was she who inspired some of his most famous poems including Ode to a Nightingale" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn." It wasn't much later that Keats was stricken with the same illness and died at the age of 25.

Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution

On October 23rd, 1956, Hungarian students and workers began their protest and demostrations against the Soviet installed government. Although they were able to mobilize many people, the uprising was crushed by Soviet forces by November 4th. Still, it was seen as the beginning of the crack in the Soviet Empire.

Two new books in our collection chronicle the history and effects of the Revolution. Michael Korda's Journey to a Revolution is a history of Hungary's place in post World War II Europe and his personal journey there as a young man during the Revolution. Victor Sebestyen's Twelve Days contains excerpts of previously unreleased documents and eyewitness accounts of that exciting and dangerous time.

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