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.”

TOP 5 FICTION OF 2006!

The New York Times has just announced its list of the 10 best books of 2006! In fiction, these are the top 5:

Absurdistan, by Gary Shteyngart, called 'equal parts Gogol and Borat', it's about the son of one of the richest men in Russia, a young man who is obsessed with rap music and all things American;

Collected Stories of Amy Hempel,Hempel's fourth collection of highly-regarded short stories;

The Emperor's Children, by Claire Messud,a comedy of manners set in Manhattan in 2001 on the brink of 9/11;

The Lay of the Land, by Richard Ford, the 3rd installment in his serial about Frank Bascombe, set in Florida over Thanksgiving 2000 (the first two were "The Sportswriter" and "Independence Day";

and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl, a murder mystery with each of the chapters titled for a classic in literature.

We hope you'll take a look at these top fiction selections!

Bone (in color!)

If you missed out on the first run of this great comic series (originally released from 1994-2004 by Cartoon Books) you won’t want to miss Scholastic’s re-release. The writer/illustrator, Jeff Smith, is currently working with colorist Steve Hamaker to color all nine volumes, which were previously released in black and white.

The story follows the adventures of three cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone as they are run out of their hometown of Boneville and find themselves in a mysterious valley. There they encounter giant rat creatures, swarms of locusts, dragons, princesses, and racing cows. It’s a fantasy saga that doesn’t take itself too seriously all the time. Take Smith's humor, throw in a little adventure, romance, and suspense, and you have a comic that appeals to all audiences.

Visit Jeff Smith's website to learn more about Bone.

You will find the new Scholastic color versions through volume four in our collection (volume 5 is due out next February):
1.Out from Boneville
2.The Great Cow Race
3.Eyes of the Storm
4.The Dragonslayer

AADL also has some of the black and white Cartoon Books releases:
1.Out from Boneville
3.Eyes of the Storm
4.The Dragonslayer
6.Old Man’s Cave
8.Treasure Hunters

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid"

Jimmy Carter ex president appeared on the Diane Rehm show on 11-28 to discuss his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid". Certainly a timely and important read from, I believe, a vastly underrated president. The library has an extensive number of books on the subject Palestine

World AIDS Day 2006

Yesterday, Dec. 1 was Worlds Aids Day, a time to be reminded of the still widespread scourge of this devastating disease. Many remembrances and ceremonies were held to remember those who died and to raise awareness of treatment and prevention.

Two new books in our collection highlight the urgent need for care. Dr. Arthur M. Fournier's book, Zombie Curse: A Doctor's 25-Year Journey Into the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic in Haiti describes the role of poverty in the spread of AIDS in this country and his founding of Project Medishare.

Melissa Fay Greene, the author of Praying for Sheetrock has written a new book, There is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children. Greene tells the story of Haregewoin Teferra, an Ethiopian woman who took in many AIDS orphans. In the process, she uncovers the urgency of the AIDS pandemic in Ethiopia which has the highest concentration of AIDS orphans in the world.

Both of these books can be compared to Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains, the story of Dr. Paul Farmer's work in Haiti and the book chosen for this year's Ann Arbor Reads.

Yesterday is a film originally released in 2004 which tells the story of a South African woman, Yesterday, who learns she is HIV positive, and is shunned by the women in her village. Her one dream is to live long enough to see her child start school. Not a true story but it easily could be.

The New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of the Year

NYTBR Notable Books 2006NYTBR Notable Books 2006

This Sunday the New York Times Book Review features their selection of the 100 Notable Books of the Year.

The Ann Arbor District Library has all of these books.

Click on read more for the Fiction & Poetry and the Nonfiction titles linked to the library catalog.

Nate the Great

Nate the GreatNate the Great

Remember Nate the Great? His pancake breakfasts? Rosamond? Anne and her dog Fang?

If so (or if not and your curious,) check out the Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.

I think it's time to reintroduce the pint-size detective.
Forget Columbo, hire Nate to get to the bottom of things...

And I bet you didn't know that there's a Nate the Great website, did ya?

The Marseilles Trilogy

Fabio Montale is a marginalized neighborhood cop in the Arab ghetto in Marseilles.

1. Jean-Claude Izzo's Total Chaos is a compelling noir tale of growing up poor and immigrant, especially poor and Arab. The story mixes organized crime, police corruption and compartmentalization, the uneasiness of love and friendship, the requirements of honor, and a keen sense of place (food, drink, neighborhoods).

2. Chourmo

3. Solea (due out in June 2007)

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