Burning Ring of Fire

Warm up on a cold winter night by reading or listening to this great book on Johnny Cash, The Man Called Cash. Follow the steps of Johnny Cash from his humble beginnings in Arkansas as a sharecropper's son to his death in Nashville. The Book on CD is read by Rex Linn, who offers his Southern voice to give the story a very nostaglic feel.

Local Historian Grace Shackman to Speak

.

Grace Shackman, well-known Ann Arbor historian and author, will discuss her latest book Ann Arbor Observed at the library's 'Sunday Edition' program on Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pittsfield Branch. Ms. Shackman's book consists of a selection of articles she has contributed over the years to the 'Ann Arbor Observer's' 'Then and Now' feature. She will read from the book, speak about her research methods and local history sources and resources. The book, which makes a fine holiday gift, will be for sale at the event and a book signing will follow. It's a great opportunity to meet a delightful local author and learn about some intriguing chapters in Ann Arbor's history.

Gary Webb author of Dark Alliance found dead two years ago

Gary Webb broke the story in the San Jose Mercury News of the link between the CIA, Contras and the crack epidemic in Los Angeles that turned to the book Dark Alliance. His articles have been archived on the web here with list of AADL search of the contras. Plus video in his own words and an interview.

The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna at UMMA

This past weekend The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna opened at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Off/Site, its temporary home while the museum is under renovations.

“English landscape photographer Michael Kenna first toured the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1992 and returned to the site over a number of years. The resulting photographs capture the smoky atmosphere, the dramatic structures, and the bold silhouettes that give this early twentieth-century technical marvel at the center of modern American industry its character.”

Kenna is not the first photographer to take an interest in the Rouge Plant. While Charles Sheeler’s famous Rouge Plant images were admittedly Kenna’s inspiration, others like Diego Rivera have taken a more painterly approach to this subject in his mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Check time/date for scheduled docent guided tours of the exhibition and read up on Michael Kenna in the library's collection.

Pas de duck

Fairy tales meet ballet in the anime series Princess Tutu. The mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer offers Duck—a sweet but clumsy ballet student—the chance to help one of her classmates. When she accepts, he gives her a pendant that transforms her into the magical Princess Tutu, whose beautiful dancing has the power to heal people’s hearts. There’s just one problem: whenever Duck acts like a duck, she turns into one. Quack! Is she a girl dreaming of being a duck, or a duck dreaming of being a girl?

The library also has lots of books about ballet and sound recordings of the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, both of which are referenced in the series.

The Play Ground

the play groundthe play ground

The Play Ground read Moss Hart's classic autobiography ACT ONE when we were young and we have been fans of this brilliant man ever since. It details his rags to riches life including his longtime collaboration with the moody George Kaufman. This weekend the UM Department of Theatre & Drama will present YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU which opened in 1937 and was the third hit by the golden playwriting team. The play won the coveted Pulitzer Prize, a rarity for a comedy. Kaufman and Hart wrote an amazing eight plays during their ten-year collaboration, each wildly successful including The Man Who Came to Dinner and I'd Rather Be Right. The Play Ground will happily have an aisle seat at the Power Center this weekend. League Ticket Office 734-764-2538, December 7-10.

Just In Case... Justin Case

Convinced that fate is out to get him, fifteen-year-old David Case assumes a new identity in the hope of avoiding what he believes is certain doom... David takes on the identity of "Justin Case" and then meets an older and unusual female photographer who takes photos of Justin after he revamps his identity. Justin's new look catches the eye of many - that and the fact that he has an imaginary greyhound dog that goes with him everywhere. Just in Case by Meg Rosoff is an interesting, if not entirely believable, tale of fate, identity and death. With a mildly telepathic toddler thrown in the mix this is an unusual read.

Rilke remembered

Today is the birthday of poet, Rainer Maria Rilke who was born on December 4, 1875 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Known as one of the greatest lyrical poets, Rilke spent most of his life traveling and supported himself by getting rich noblewomen to fall in love with him. In one of his most famous works,Letters to a Young Poet,he says:" Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write." Rilke followed his own advice, producing many works, both poetry and prose, including more than 400 poems in French. Rilke was admired by many modern poets including W.H. Auden and James Merrill.

NYTBR's Top 10 Best Books of the Year: the Five Non-fiction Titles

Annotations are from the New York Times.

FALLING THROUGH THE EARTH:A Memoir by Danielle Trussoni
“This intense, at times searing memoir revisits the author's rough-and-tumble Wisconsin girlhood, spent on the wrong side of the tracks in the company of her father, a Vietnam vet who began his tour as "a cocksure country boy" but returned "wild and haunted," unfit for family life and driven to extremes of philandering, alcoholism and violence. Trussoni mixes these memories with spellbinding versions of the war stories her father reluctantly dredged up and with reflections on her own journey to Vietnam, undertaken in an attempt to recapture, and come to terms with, her father's experiences as a "tunnel rat" who volunteered for the harrowing duty of scouring underground labyrinths in search of an elusive and deadly enemy.”

Before J.K. Rowling . . .

Meet Ursula LeGuin, Terry Pratchett, Madleleine L’Engle, Garth Nix, and many other fantasy writers in The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy. Read about their childhoods, who influenced them, how they found their niche in the world of fantasy, and what advise they have for people who want to write.

One interesting aspect of the interviews is to learn the influence of certain life experiences on these people’s writing. When asked if growing up in England during World War II affected her as a writer, Diana Wynne Jones responds: “ . . . the entirety of the world as far as I was concerned was stark-staring crazy in a most menacing way . . . Later, I came to think that if only people then had read a little more fantasy, they would have know Hitler for a dark lord.”

Syndicate content