The Hard Way by Lee Child

Great page-turner! I've had a number of Library customers in recently looking for books by Lee Child. So I thought it was time to read one. Good decision. Hard Way is tenth in a series featuring ex MP Jack Reacher. Reacher is some sort of a mysterious, anti-hero, no attachments, and is seemingly invincible with a strong sense of right & wrong.
The story has lots of suspense and plenty of plot twists and surprises. I should have been able to guess the ending but I didn't. Lots of menace and thrills to the end,

If you liked Lee Childs you might also try Douglas J Preston.

Childs web site click here is full of information on all his books and detailed information on his character Jack Reacher. Just be careful and don't read any of the spoilers info until you've read the specific book.

Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly

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The Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly is available at all library locations. The latest issue is available for library use. Earlier issues circulate for two weeks.

Each issue has profiles of local businesses and businesspeople, articles on general business topics, on Michigan and U. S. laws and programs, plus pages of short briefs from local company press releases; columns by Mike Gould, “Small Business and the Internet”, and by John Agno, “Ask the ‘Coach’, answering business questions; a business events calendar; and other interesting columns, charts and statistics.

The September special issue is “dedicated to the University of Michigan and its huge economic impact on the local community.” There is a useful chart of 2006 U of M Major Development Projects with the estimated cost and completion date plus 2005-06 Completed Development Projects. The 2006 projects total 1.75 billion dollars. This issue has a useful directory of thirty-three sources for U-M Local Business Assistance. Each source has a brief description of the program, contact phone number, web site, and e-mail address.

Some interesting statistics from the August issue:

Ann Arbor “hotel occupancy rates averaged about 67 percent for 2005, up 4.5 percent from the previous year.”
“As of June 30, 2006, the total market vacancy rate, including office and flex space, was 13.2%…the highest total market vacancy rate since Swisher Commercial began its vacancy reports in 1994.” (Commercial Real Estate)
Tourism Statistics for Washtenaw County, 2004: $368 million in total visitor spending; 5700 jobs (direct economic impacts in tourism-related businesses).

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (10/8/06)

If you loved the movie Gladiator and the TV series Rome, you might also enjoy the ancient Roman novels by Robert Harris. His latest enters the List this week. And John le Carre returns with another great book set once again in the killing fields of Africa. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will also be pleased to learn that he has a new book to savor.

At #3 is The Mission Song by John le Carre: "An English translator, born in Congo, is sent by British intelligence to work for a corporate syndicate that wants to subvert Congolese elections."

At #7 is Imperium by Robert Harris: "A fictional life of Marcus Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator, as told by a household slave."

At #11 is The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith: "The third novel featuring the philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is a mystery about the meaning of happiness."

Fantasy Lite

For the beginning chapter book reader who longs to enter the world of enchantment, we have many series, both old and new, with fairies, princesses, dragons and more. You will find Airy Fairy, Princess School, Rainbow Magic, Lily Quench and Dragon Slayer’s Academy, under their series names in the youth fiction area. There are plenty more where these came from. Just imagine!

Celebrate the 49th Anniversary of Sputnik 1

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On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union surprised the rest of the world with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. This marked the beginning of the space race, when the US and USSR competed to be the first nation to get a human to the moon and return them safely to the earth. The space race led to countless technological advances, including the invention of microtechnology, which have been put to everyday use in the form of computers, cell phones, and memory foam mattresses.
Celebrate the 49th anniversary of this historic event by using your cell phone to order a pizza. After all, the technology that makes it possible exists because of Sputnik.
Also, visit the New York Times Historical Database (in the research section of our website) to read what our country thought of this event while it was taking place.

Yes. Scientists can laugh at themselves.

You've heard of the Nobel Prize awards. In fact, the 2006 awards for chemistry, medicine and physics have already been announced. But this Thursday, October 5th, the Annals of Improbable Research Magazine will present the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize winners at the 16th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard's Sanders Theater. The prizes are awared by Nobel laureates to scientists whose research "makes people laugh." Examples of past winners' papers include: for economics in 2005, the invention of an alarm clock that runs away and hides so that people have to get out of bed. For chemistry, the award was given for research to determine whether people swim faster in syrup or in water. And my favorite for that year, an experiment begun in 1927 in which a glob of black tar has been dripping through a funnel, a drop every nine years.

For two enjoyable if not outrageous books on science, try 101 things you don't know about science and no one else does either by James Trefil or The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman.

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom

Martha Tom is told not to cross the Bok Chitto river where slaves live. One day on a search for blackberries she crosses the river on a hidden stone path. She hears a preacher calling out “We are bound for the Promised Land!” Slaves appeared from behind the trees replying “We are bound for the Promised Land!” Martha Tom is lost. She is led back to the river by Little Mo a young slave. When Little Mo’s mother is about to be sold from her family, he leads them to Bok Chitto. Once they cross the river, they will be free. Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation, shows the relationship of Native Americans in the South and African American slaves in this well written story for children.

Register Now at all Library Locations for the Cover to Cover Discussion of ‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter’

Registration begins Monday, October 2 for the discussion of Kim Edwards’ national bestseller. The story spins on a decision Dr. David Henry makes at the birth of his daughter. The lie he lives to keep his decision secret has very different consequences for two families: one is created by it and the other is devastated. The discussion of Edwards’ enthralling book will be held on Thursday, November 16, 7 – 8:30 pm at the downtown Library multi-purpose room and led by AADL staff. The first 15 cardholders to register may check out a new copy of the book.

Muslims In Children's Books

In School Library Journal this month is a very nice article on "Muslims in Children's Books" by Rukhsana Khan, a children's book author. Since this is the time of Ramadan, her website may be especially useful to parents and teachers. You can find good links and suggestions at http://rukhsanakhan.com/muslimbooks.htm. The Library has several of her books. Silly Chicken is one of Khan's original folktales you can find in the Library.

Birthdays of two literary giants

Today, October 2, is the birthday of both Wallace Stevens, born in Reading, Pa. in 1879 and of Graham Greene, born in Hertfordshire, England in 1904.

Stevens was one of the few writers who kept his job after becoming a successful writer. He woke early every day and composed his poems in his head while walking to and from work at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company. Most people he worked with didn't know he was a poet and he preferred his anonymity. His first book, Harmonium, was published when he was 45. It contained some of his most famous poems including "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" whose first stanza contains a striking visual image:

"Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird."

Greene was a shy child who in his teens attempted suicide several times. At the urging of his therapist, he began to write. He spent much of his life in Vietnam where one of his most famous books, The Quiet American takes place. He published more than thirty books.

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