Blacksad: Amarillo winner of the Eisner and Harvey awards this year

In this year's comic awards season, Blacksad: Amarillo has taken home two major awards this year!

So, what's all the fuss about?

Blacksad is a anthropomorphic noir detective comic about a cat named John Blacksad. This book was wildly popular in France when it was first published, and it's popularity has led to translation into more than 20 different languages. Amarillo is the 5th installment in the series. The book starts with a fight over poetry and literary merit and just gets better from there.

The artwork is beautiful and captivating; it's easy to get caught up in the imagery as you read. If you love mysteries, graphic novels, and amazing artwork, Blacksad is a must-read.

Shakespeare at his finest, or at least at his shortest!

There is something to be said about Shakespeare, and that something might possibly be that it is not possible to get an understanding of the plot of a Shakespearean play in fewer than 10 seconds. Well, now it is, thanks to Brevity is the Soul of Wit!

Want to know what happens to Henry VI in Henry VI part 2? This book breaks it down!

Need to know what Hamlet does in Hamlet? This book gets you the answer you are seeking!

Want to know what happens Cymbeline? Wait...Shakespeare wrote a play called Cymbeline...? Well, not only do know now know the Bard's lesser-known titles, you can also know the overall arc of the main plot!

The art isn't breath-taking, and the prose isn't overwrought, and short and sweet is a whole new way to appreciate Shakespeare's work! If you are a fan of Shakespeare, you'll laugh at the extremely summarized style. The artist clearly loves the work of Shakespeare and it shines throughout the book. This is a great, and quick read and very much worth the time!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #557 - “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~ Audre Lorde

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grove Swank, an originally self-published "(l)ight, fluffy, southern fun", has become an overnight-bestseller.

In this first of the Rose Gardner Mystery series, prone to visions, the 24 year-old clerk sees herself dead one afternoon while working at the Henryetta (AR) DMV. Always dutiful and compliant, she realizes she has wasted her life and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things (getting a cell phone, cable TV), she wants to accomplish before it is too late. When she discovers her abusive mother murdered after their heated argument, Rose becomes the prime suspect.

Coming to her aid is her hot and mysterious new neighbor Joe, who has plenty of dangerous secrets of his own. Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich fans would be delighted with this new series.

The Gates of Evangeline * by Hester Young. This dark, gripping, and atmospheric gothic thriller is "a classic whodunnit stitched with otherworldly chills.” Readers will be glad to know that this debut novel is the first in a planned trilogy.

Manhattan journalist Charlotte "Charlie" Cates has lost her young son to a brain aneurysm. Now this bereaved single mother is experiencing vivid dreams about children in peril, or worse, dead. Though not quite understanding the significance of it, she is convinced of her role in their outcome.

With the offer to participate in a true-crime investigative project, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana's prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family's sprawling estate, Charlie uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, implicating those she most wants to trust.

Readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold will find a new writer to watch and a promising series to follow.

* = starred review

Halloween Costume Swap!

Join us for a new sustainability program this year! From now until October 2nd, drop off your gently used, clean Halloween costumes to any library branch. Costumes for all ages and sizes are appreciated, as well as accessories!

Then, on October 3rd, come to the Downtown branch from 2:30-4:30 to pick out a new costume for this year! This is a wonderful chance to save money, clear your closet, and pick out something snazzy for this year. We'll also be doing a kids' craft!

Get in the spooky mood by checking out our great collection of Halloween items!

Crossover Graphic Novels: October Edition!

Another month, another three graphic novels perfect for comic lovers whether you are 5 or 500!

The first is a graphic novel based on the hit TV show Steven Universe and imaginatively named Steven Universe Volume 1. If you're not familiar with the TV show Steven Universe, it's about a boy named Steven who is half human/half Crystal Gem. The Crystal Gems are an advanced alien race with superpowers and extended lifespans. Steven and the Crystal Gems work hard to save Beach City and the Earth from gem monsters and other disasters. This comic is a great adaptation of the show and manages to capture the feel of the show while being its own unique entity. It's a must-read for any fans of the show and if you've never seen it, it'll give you a window into one of the current hot trends!

The second is another adaptation, though this time from newspaper comic strips to monthly comics. Peanuts is produced by KaBOOM, the same company behind the hit comic Lumberjanes. Peanuts is great, and you can tell that the team behind it really loved the original series by Charles Schultz. The humor is very similar and the characters are every bit as lovable as they were in the classic strip! Now with the new Peanuts movie coming out later this year, it's the perfect time to check out some great new strips with your favorite characters.

The third graphic novel is Space Dumplins. This book is seriously great, it has everything from the the excitement of space and the drama of family, to the joy of space whale poop harvesting. The book follows Violet Marlocke, daughter of a lumberjack (the people who harvest said space whale poop). When her dad goes missing and the government takes no action, Marlocke and her friends set off on a rescue adventure.

Enjoy!

The Little Gardener is a treat!

Oh my goodness! What a treat of a new picture book. The Little Gardener, written and illustrated by Emily Hughes, is completely charming. An unnamed miniature boy lives and works in a giant, colorful garden with his little worm friend. The two tend to the garden and get their food and shelter from it. But such little creatures working in such a big garden get tired! The tiny boy and the worm get more and more worn out and their garden starts to wilt and die. One evening, the little boy makes a tiny wish… for just a bit of help. Then he and his worm buddy fall asleep. They are so tired that they sleep all day… all week… all month! While they are sleeping a human girl sees one of the beautiful flowers that is growing in the garden and gets inspired to tend to the garden herself. She waters and weeds and makes everything healthy again! When the tiny boy wakes up, he is rejuvenated and amazed. His garden is flourishing again! He happily goes back to work at his labor of love. The beautiful illustrations and simple, carefully worded text really make this a wonderful picture book, both for young readers... and the adults reading to them!

 

History Mysteries with Mystery Authors Carrie Bebris, Susanna Calkins, Anna Lee Huber, and Sam Thomas

Media Player

August 8, 2015 at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Mystery buffs will marvel at this panel of award-winning historical mystery authors, each with a brand new mystery book that has just been released!

Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop moderated this event, which will included opportunities for audience questions.

Panelists included:
• Award-winning author Carrie Bebris, author of the critically acclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series (the further adventures of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters) is also a life member and regional coordinator of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Her seventh book in the Jane Austen-based series, The Suspicion At Sanditon, finds Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy have moved to Sanditon, the setting of Jane Austen’s final work. They have barely settled into their lodgings when they receive an unexpected dinner invitation from Lady Denham, one of the town’s most prominent residents. Thirteen guests assemble at Sanditon House—but their hostess never appears. The Darcys, like most of their fellow attendees, speculate that one of her ladyship’s would-be heirs has grown impatient … but then the guests start to vanish one by one.

• Susanna Calkins is the author of the award-winning Lucy Campion novels, which are set in 17th century London, a time period that gives Calkins the ability to write about both the plague and the Great Fire. Her main character, Lucy, began the series as a chambermaid, but in this third novel, The Masque of a Murderer, Lucy is working as a bookseller's apprentice, selling broadsides with her fellow apprentice on the streets of London. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The Quaker, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, has only a few hours to live and Lucy is unprepared for what he reveals to her — that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a mysterious secret he had uncovered.

• Anna Lee Huber is the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mystery series, set in Scotland in the 1830’s. In A Study In Death, the fourth riveting mystery in the series, Lady Kiera Darby is commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, but is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband. When she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, the physician is called and Lord Drummond appears satisfied to rule her death natural. However, Kiera is convinced that poison is the culprit and intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death, no matter who stands in her way.

• Historian and teacher Sam Thomas is the author of the Bridget Hodgson series, set in 17th century York. All of the mysteries in the series focus on Bridget's work as a midwife. His latest novel, The Witch Hunter’s Tale, finds the Puritans scouring the British countryside for witches with often heartbreaking consequences. As women and children sicken and die, midwife Bridget Hodgson is pulled against her will into a full-scale witch-hunt that threatens to devour all in its path, guilty and innocent alike. As the trials begin, and the noose begins to tighten around her neck, Bridget must answer the question: How far will she go to protect the people she loves?

Length: 00:42:53
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


"T" is for Tricks and Treats

Ms. Rachel brought tricky farm stories to Storytime.
We learned how to be a farm dog with "Ragweed" who his currently touring with his book RAGWEED'S FARM DOG HANDBOOK.
Banjo Betsy led the participation song "Oh I Wanna Be a Dog" ... versions can be found on the CD 10 CARROT DIAMOND with Charlotte Diamond ... and OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS with Barry Polisar.
Then we found the animals playing with the tractor when the farmer slept late in GOBBLE GOBBLE MOO TRACTOR.

For more TRICK and Farm stories try the following favorites:
OTIS … an older tractor … still important on the farm.
HENRY’S MAP … Henry made a map of the farm so everyone would know their place.
BIG TRACTOR … four seasons … with tractor equipment.
ARTHUR’S TRACTOR … study the pictures. There’s more than one story going on … in addition to the tractor.
McTOAD MOWS TINY ISLAND … a silly story of transportation … and a lawn tractor.
TURKEY TOT ... creative thinking … for when the sweet, juicy berries are out-of-reach.
DRIVING MY TRACTOR … a CD and Book KIT.
Remember ... dogs really, really love BISCUITS !!!

Rereading the Classics - Emma by Jane Austen

Austen referred to the heroine of her fourth novel as “my Emma”. It betrays a fondness for the character which I share. Emma is not the possessor of sound judgment and maturity, at first. But Emma fails, repeatedly, and then grows more self-aware. She learns acceptance, restraint and reason over unbridled imagination and meddling. Though she does not think less of herself by the end, her egotism slowly slides into the ability to value the world, and the other, more. Her headlong desire to make life vivid, and to orchestrate the happiness of others, is possible to forgive.

The book rewards rereading, for it reveals more each time, and it is so delightfully funny. The comic irony, pitch-perfect dialogue, plot twists and outstanding characters, are all evidence of the light touch of a masterful writer at her peak. It survives to the 21st century with all of its appeal and accessibility intact, as is evidenced by the many adaptations and spin-offs that it inspires. And, for added measure, Emma's friend, George Knightley, the perfect English gentleman, and the epitome of sound judgment and kindness, is a superior romantic hero to Darcy any day. Read it and compare.

“Surely this is the definition of genius in a writer: the capacity to make a text that can give and give, a text that is never fully read, a text that goes on multiplying meanings.” Hilary Mantel, writing of Jane Austen's novels.

Parent’s Corner: Are we Facebook friends?

In this day and age things are different than when we were kids. Your child is ten and wants their own iPhone. After you take a photo of your four year old with your phone, the child instantly asks “are you going to put that on Facebook?” And let’s not forget the kid who walks around “air hashtagging” when he’s not even sure what Twitter is. How do you as a parent or caregiver guide children along in this screen-driven world?

The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and here is where you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from food and nutrition to potty training to time-outs to homework. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.” And there are many on the topic of the digital age and children. Here are a few to get you started:

Screen-smart parenting: How to find balance and benefit in your child's use of social media, apps, and digital devices

Reset your child's brain: A four-week plan to end meltdowns, raise grades, and boost social skills by reversing the effects of electronic screen-time

Growing up social: Raising relational kids in a screen-driven world

Talking back to Facebook: A common sense guide to raising kids in the digital age

And if you’re looking to research more on navigating cyberspace and children, there are plenty more books to choose from.

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