Tournament Time: Friday & Saturday Events!

FRIDAY April 6, 2012: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

All-Ages Mario Kart Tournament With A MarioKart7 Mini-Match Up

It's a Mario Kart Wii tournament for kids, teens, and adults! Race around familiar classic tracks and exclusive Wii tracks, too. Don't worry about bringing your own Wii-mote, this tournament will require the use of GameCube Controllers!

For participation in the MarioKart7 Mini-Match Up, please bring your own 3DS.

SATURDAY April 7, 2012: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Wii Sports Resort Team Tourney For All Ages

Take a vacation to Wuhu Island and the Wii Sports Resort! Bring family and friends and play your way through some awesome team games. We'll have prizes for the winning teams!

New Book Clubs to Go - April 2012

Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a large number of new Book Clubs to Go. It is a mix of classics (you asked for them), literary and popular fiction, among them a couple of award winners. We did not forget our nonfiction readers either.

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
Traces the fortunes of four generations of one family as they attempt to build a life for themselves in the American West. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1971, Angle of Repose has also been selected by the editorial board of the Modern Library as one of the hundred best novels of the twentieth century.

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Forging a deep friendship with a Wampanoag chieftain's son on the Great Harbor settlement where her minister father is working to convert the tribe, Bethia follows his subsequent ivy league education and efforts to bridge cultures among the colonial elite. New York Times bestselling tale of passion and belief, magic and adventure from the Pulitzer Prize winning author.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Chronicles the author's year spent testing the edicts of conventional wisdom to assess their potential for improving life, describing various activities ranging from getting more sleep and singing to her children to starting a blog and imitating a spiritual master.

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Harrison William Shepherd, a highly observant writer, is caught between two worlds--in Mexico, working for communists Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky, and later in America, where he is caught up in the patriotism of World War II.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
In 1974 Manhattan, a radical young Irish monk struggles with personal demons while making his home among Bronx prostitutes, a group of mothers shares grief over their lost Vietnam soldier sons, and a young grandmother attempts to prove her worth. The 2009 National Book Award for Fiction, and the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Descending on a family beach house won in a bet years earlier, three generations of women gradually impart difficult respective secrets including a pregnancy, a terrible crush and a deeply held resentment for past misdeeds.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Discovering in childhood a supernatural ability to taste the emotions of others in their cooking, Rose Edelstein grows up to regard food as a curse when it reveals everyone's secret realities.

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Ten years of infertility issues culminate in the destruction of music therapist Zoe Baxter's marriage, after which she falls in love with another woman and wants to start a family, but her ex-husband, Max, stands in the way.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh must step out of her comfort zone when she is sent into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years--a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
A novel that circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. It is about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates. The 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and The National Book Critics Circle 2010 prize for fiction.

Newbery Honor Recipient Jennifer Holm to Speak at UofM

Jennifer Holm is the author of several critically acclaimed books for children and young adults, including three novels that have received the prestigious Newbery Honor: Our Only May Amelia, Turtle In Paradise, and Penny From Heaven. Holm is also recognized for her popular youth graphic novel series, Babymouse.

Holm will be participating in the Sarah Marwil Lamstein Children's Literature Lecture as a part of the Zell Visiting Writers Series on March 29th, 2012. The event starts at 5:10pm and will be located in the The Helmut Stern Auditorium on the ground floor of the University of Michigan's Museum of Art (UMMA) at 525 South State Street on the U-M's Central Campus.

Admission is free and open to the public.

2012 Indies Choice Award Finalists for Adult Fiction

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) has released the titles of the 2012 Indies Choice Award Finalists for the adult fiction category.

From the ABA website: "The Indies Choice Book Awards reflect the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide and the IndieBound movement. Book of the Year winners and Honor Award recipients are all titles nominated by ABA member booksellers to the Indie Next Lists... [The finalists] were chosen by a jury of seven ABA member booksellers from titles appearing on the Indie Next Lists in 2011."

Last year, the winner of the adult fiction category was Room, by Emma Donoghue.

Finalists for 2012:
The Cat's Table, by Michael Ondaatje
Everything Beautiful Began After, by Simon Van Booy
1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward
Wingshooters, by Nina Revoyr

The winner will be announced by ABA on April 5th, 2012.

Gourmand Awards


The Gourmand Awards are given to notable books in a variety of food and drink categories as well as magazines. They are judged by culinary arts professionals from around the world. It is free and open to anyone to enter: authors, publishers or even readers. Over 150 countries had entries for this year’s competition. This year also included best culinary app which went to America’s own Dorie Greenspan’s Cooking with Dorie. Her books have won numerous awards and she is a pioneer in developing a cooking app. Here is a sampling of other Gourmand award winners from our collection:

See mix drink: Gourmand award winner for best cocktail book
Food lover's guide to wine: Best book for Matching Food and Drink
Lucky Peach: Best cooking magazine
Eleven Madison Park Cookbook: 3rd place best authors and chef
Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: Book of the Year Finalist
Food of Spain:Best World Cuisine cookbook
How Italian Food Conquered the World: 4th place Best Italian cookbook
How to Cook Indian: 3rd place Best Asian cookbook
Extra Virginity: the sublime and scandalous world of olive oil:Winner in the Sustainable category
Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Making:3rd Place for cookbooks about bread making
Loukoumi Celebrity Cookbook: 2nd place for Fundraising, Charity, &Community cookbooks and 3rd place went to the free (with donation going to Relief for Japan fund) online cookbook from Microsoft .Net gurus, Net Gurus can Cook

New Movies About Movies

The Oscars have come and gone, and two big winners were The Artist and Hugo. A marvelous thing about the 2012 Oscars is that the program celebrated movies and the movie-going experience. This made The Artist and Hugo winning all the more special, since both films are about the splendor of movies.

The Artist is a romantic comedy that is both silent and black & white. What a treat that such a 21st century rarity stole the best film prize! In the movie, silent film star George Valentin makes movie after movie and is a huge star. This is threatened with the birth of talkies! Sound in films, as well as the fact that it is embraced by audiences and new film starlet Peppy Miller, sends George into a downward spiral. It’s a truly enchanting film, and I loved seeing it on the big screen. I was at first leery of the premise, but from the first scene I was instantly knocked over with its magic. (Also available on Blu-ray.)

Hugo is based on the wonderful youth novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick. The books is filled with amazing illustrations that tell half the story, so it was great to see how director Martin Scorsese translated it all onto the big screen. Hugo tells the tale of an orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station in 1931. When Hugo encounters a broken automaton, an eccentric girl, and the cold, reserved man who runs the toy shop, he is caught up in a magical, mysterious adventure that could put all of his secrets in jeopardy. It’s a story filled with whimsy and chance as Hugo and his new friend Isabelle uncover the secret of her grandfather’s involvement in cinema history. (Also available on Blu-ray.)

Books & Authors Database

If you love reading fiction, then the Books & Authors database is the place for you. Whether you're looking for read-alike books or your book group wants critical reviews and author biographies to add to the discussion, Books & Authors has all this and more in through easy-to-navigate homepage. Try browsing through Community Picks and Expert Picks for popular selections, or Seasonal Suggestions, Best Sellers, or Award Winners for more ideas.

Get suggestions on your next read by searching author, title, or genre. For every title you find in Books & Authors, the site generates dozens of related book titles for you to read next. Find what might be your next favorite book based on what you already like. The database is also a great way to access a solid range of book reviews compiled in one place, all from reputable publications such as The New York Time Book Review, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.

Access to this database is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card, or since this is a MeL Database, a Michigan driver's license number can be used instead.

For L-card holder access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access Books & Authors, go to the research page, and choose to Browse by Name A-Z: A-C, and click on Books & Authors. Michigan residents without a valid library card can gain access to this and the many other MeL databases by visiting MeL.org and entering your driver's license number.

Nebula Award Nominees announced


The Nebula Awards are one of several prestigious prizes for writing granted within the scifi/fantasy genre. They are nominated by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. and this is the 47th year in doing so. Award winners will be announced on May 19th. Categories of awards include best adult novel as well as one for best young adult scifi/fantasy novel.

The nominees for best adult novel are:
Among Others, Jo Walton
Embassytown, China Miéville
Firebird, Jack McDevitt
God’s War, Kameron Hurley
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, Genevieve Valentine
Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin

The nominees for best young adult novel are:
Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor
Chime, Franny Billingsley
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
Everybody Sees the Ants, A.S. King
Boy at the End of the World, Greg van Eekhout
The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman
Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson
Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson

The Inaugural Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration

Established in 2010 by the American Library Association Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA, The Listen List recognizes and honors the narrators who are a pleasure to listen to; who offer listeners something they could not create by their own visual reading; and who achieve an outstanding performance in terms of voice, accents, pitch, tone, inflection, rhythm and pace.

This inaugural list (Be sure to check out the wonderful listen-alikes with each of the winners) includes literary and genre fiction, memoir and history and features voices that enthrall, delight and inspire.

The 2012 winners are:

All Clear by Connie Willis. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren.
This sequel to Blackout, a stellar science fiction adventure, follows the plight of a group of historians from 2060, trapped in WWII England during the Blitz. In a narrative tour de force, Kellgren brings to life a large cast of characters, including a pair of street-smart urchins who capture the hearts of characters and listeners alike.

Bossypants by Tina Fey Narrated by Tina Fey.
In a very funny memoir made decidedly funnier by its reader, Tina Fey relates sketches and memories of her time at SNL and Second City as well as the difficulties of balancing career and motherhood. In a voice dripping with wit, she acts out the book, adding extra-aural elements that print simply cannot convey.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. Narrated by Dominic Hoffman.
Dominic Hoffman reads this elegiac novel of memory and redemption with fierce grace, inhabiting Mosley’s characters with voices perfectly crafted in pitch and rhythm. His rough, gravelly narration manages the pace and mood of the book with astounding skill, brilliantly capturing the mental clarity and fog of 91-year-old Ptolemy Grey’s world.

Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert, Narrated by Edward Herrmann.
Ebert’s clear-eyed account chronicles his life from his youth in Urbana, Illinois, to his fame as a world-renowned film critic in Chicago. Herrmann’s engaging, affable reading mirrors the author’s tone—honest, often humorous, sometimes bittersweet—as he unhurriedly ushers listeners through Ebert’s moving reflections on a life well lived.

Middlemarch by George Eliot. Narrated by Juliet Stevenson.
Juliet Stevenson brings crisp clarity, a witty sensibility and a charming tonal quality to Eliot’s masterpiece of provincial life. Through her deft management of pacing and tone, she reveals character motivation and illuminates the many themes of the novel. But most of all she reclaims Eliot for listeners who thought they did not enjoy classics.

The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willg. Narrated by Kate Reading.
In this Regency Christmas caper, a pudding, a spy, a hilarious school theatrical and a memorable country house party lead to laughter, love and an offer of marriage. Reading’s lovely English accent and exuberance are a perfect fit for the wide range of characters, from young girls to male teachers to members of the aristocracy.

One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde. Narrated by Emily Gray.
In this genre-bending romp, the “written” Thursday must rescue the “real” Thursday from a nefarious Bookworld plot. Emily Gray wears Thursday like a second skin, as she does the robots, dodos, and space aliens running around. The story is paced such that every nuance of pun and word play is captured and rendered aurally.

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley. Narrated by Jayne Entwistle.
Flavia de Luce, a terrifyingly proficient 11-year-old amateur chemist and sleuth, investigates the beating of a gypsy and the death of a villager in this third outing. Entwistle’s spot-on narration reveals the irrepressible, intrepid heroine’s prowess and captures a delicious range of secondary characters in these whimsical mysteries set in 1950s rural England.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø. Narrated by Robin Sachs.
The icy chill of the Norwegian countryside and a series of cold-blooded murders dominate this Harry Hole crime novel. Sachs contrasts Hole’s world-weary professional attitude, his unquenchable thirst for justice and his yearning for love and comfort, as he skillfully maintains a suspenseful pace and projects an overarching sense of doom.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Narrated by Simon Prebble.
The tragedy and heroism of the French Revolution come alive through Prebble’s distinctive and graceful narration. As the lives of Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton intersect, Prebble takes listeners deep into France and England, narrating terrifying descriptions and breathless acts of courage with a cadence that sweeps one away.

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht. Narrated by Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs.
In this imaginative novel, Balkan physician Natalia, on a mission of mercy, learns of her beloved grandfather’s death. Duerden’s mesmerizing voice leads listeners through the complexities of this rich novel with its intertwining stories, while Sachs memorably relates her grandfather’s haunting tales in a gentle and gruff voice.

Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick. Narrated by Nathaniel Philbrick.
In what should be required reading before cracking the pages of Moby-Dick, Nathaniel Philbrick’s homage to this great American novel compels the listener to experience Melville with an almost incandescent joy. His voice resonates with palpable enthusiasm and calls to mind a New England professor giving a fascinating lecture.

Winners in Genre Fiction - RUSA’s 2012 Reading List

The American Library Association's Reading List Council have selected their top picks for 2012 in eight popular genres. Among the winners (and the shortlists) are some of the best by first-time novelists.

ADRENALINE
Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson. (See FFF blog)
Each morning, Christine wakes with no memory. From the clues she left herself, she tries to piece together her identity and sort lies from the truth. The unrelenting pace thrusts the reader into the confusion of a waking nightmare in which revelations of her past lead to a frantic crescendo.

FANTASY
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (See FFF blog)
Le Cirque des Rêves is utterly unique, disappearing at dawn in one town only to mysteriously reappear in another. At the heart of the circus are two young magicians, involved in a competition neither completely understands. The dreamlike atmosphere and vivid imagery make this fantasy unforgettable.

HISTORICAL FICTION
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
In the early days of Dodge City, a genteel, tubercular Southern dentist forges a friendship with the infamous Earp brothers. Combining historical details and lyrical language, this gritty psychological portrait of gunslinger Doc Holliday reveals how the man became the legend.

HORROR
The Ridge by Michael Koryta
The unexplained death of an eccentric lighthouse keeper in the isolated Kentucky woods, followed by a mysterious threat to a nearby large cat sanctuary prompt an investigation by a journalist and the local sheriff. Palpable evil and a sense of dread drive this chilling tale.

MYSTERY
The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (See FFF blog)
An introverted mathematician matches wits with a brilliant former colleague to protect the neighbor he secretly adores from a murder charge. Although the reader knows the murderer’s identity from the beginning, this unconventional Japanese mystery remains a taut psychological puzzle.

ROMANCE
Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
Ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot will do almost anything to secure the patronage of the Duke of Clevendon’s intended bride. Neither her calculated business plan nor his campaign of seduction can withstand the force of their mutual attraction. Witty banter and strong-willed characters make this a memorable tale.

SCIENCE FICTION
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
The missions of a jaded cop and a dedicated ice hauler officer collide as the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. A mystery adds a noir touch to this space opera featuring deeply flawed yet heroic characters, non-stop action and Earth versus Mars politics.

WOMEN'S FICTION
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (See FFF blog)
A former foster child struggles to overcome a past filled with abuse, neglect and anger. Communication through the Victorian language of fflowers allows her to discover hope, redemption and a capacity for love. Damaged, authentic characters create an emotional tension in this profoundly moving story.

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