Gerald Green, author of The Last Angry Man, has died

Gerald Green, creator of beloved Dr. Sam Abelman who railed against the “galoots” in The Last Angry Man (1956), has died.

Green’s writing accolades popped up everywhere during his more than 50-year career. In 1952, he was one of the creators of the Today show. He wrote a mini-series for NBC, Holocaust, which won an Emmy in 1978. He then penned the novelization which earned the Dag Hammarskjold International Prize in 1979.

Steve Hamilton, 2006 Michigan Author Award winner

Steve Hamilton

Detroit native, Steve Hamilton, has been named the 2006 Michigan Author. This award, co-sponsored by the Michigan Library Association and the Library of Michigan’s Michigan Center for the Book, is bestowed on a Michigan author for his or her “…contributions to literature based on an outstanding published body of work.”

Alex McKnight, Hamilton’s private eye character, made his first appearance in1998 in A Cold Day in Paradise, which won the Edgar in 1999 for Best First Novel. The seventh title in this series, A Stolen Season, will be released in September of this year.

Plan a Michigan Wine Harvest Tour

Plenty of Ann Arborites are planning fall trips to visit Michigan wineries - to witness the harvest and buy wine. You can plan your own midwestern oenological adventure by checking out Wineries of the Great Lakes: A Guidebook, by Joe Borrello. For complete and updated information on Michigan wineries - locations, hours, and more - go to the Michigan wine website.

Naguib Mahfouz, author of the Cairo trilogy, has died

Naguib Mahfouz, author of the Cairo trilogy, has died

Naguib Mahfouz, one of the Arab world’s most beloved authors, has died in Cairo. He had been hospitalized since July, after a fall seriously injured his head.

Mahfouz, the first Arab writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1988), was known as the voice of reason and religious tolerance throughout the Middle East. His moderate views attracted heated opinions at both extremes – in 1994, at age 82, he was stabbed by a man inflamed by a militant cleric’s condemnation of his ideas.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (8/27/06)

George Pelecanos has garnered great reviews and accolades from fellow mystery writers for years but has never had the sales or visibility of Michael Connelly or Ian Rankin. This time out his publisher made a big push promoting his latest murder mystery and it has paid off with a spot on this week's List.

At #3 is Crisis by Robin Cook: on the other hand, Cook's books almost sell themselves; another medical thriller involving shocking malpractices from a master of the genre.

At #8 is Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston: her first book was a step away from the usual chick lit. In Good Grief the heroine was not looking for love; she was in mourning. Her new book chronicles how infertility and infidelity can explode a marriage.

At #12 is The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos: after 20 years a serial killer may once again be loose on the mean streets of Washington, DC; as in all his best work, including his scripts for HBO's The Wire, the action is authentic and real.

Mystery Bits - the Wright book

If you like facts along with your fiction, read Wright 3 by Blue Balliett. There is a mystery to solve for the three sixth gradersin this book. While following the clues you learn about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House in Chicago, and facts about both of them. If this book intrigues you, read more in Frank Lloyd Wright: Maverick Architect and Frank Lloyd Wright For Kids and compare facts with fiction.

American comic book artist Jack Kirby

89 years ago today (August 28, 2006) Jack Kirby was born in New York City. According to wikipedia.org Kirby "was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books."

To celebrate Kirby's life check out some of his comics at the library, or visit the Kirby museum. Also of interest is the the Jack Kirby Chronology from the Marvel Masterworks website.

Idlewild

According to Sunday's Ann Arbor News, Idlewild, the new film opening this week, is named after the famous Lake County Michigan resort, otherwise known as the Black Eden of Michigan in the 1920s and '30s and the Summer Apollo of Michigan in the 1950s and '60s. Idlewild, Michigan, hosted great jazz acts in its day, including Duke Ellington, and was the vacation spot of choice for such black luminaries as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Even W.E.B. Du Bois owned a home there. But the film itself is set in Georgia and its "Idlewild" is a small-town speakeasy. It does take place during the same period and features the music of OutKast (a bit of a historical stretch, but oh well). So far, reviews are mixed but Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-.

You can read more about the real Idlewild in Idlewild: the Black Eden of Michigan by Ronald J. Stephens.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

The Gin Game is a two-act, four-scene play about a woman in her twilight years, Fonsia Dorsey, who enters a "home for the aged" and is, for a while, saved from melancholy by the crusty charm of Weller Martin. They were most famously played by Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn back in 1977 and it eventually ran on Broadway for 516 performances. This week Redbud Productions' Lenore Ferber directs local actors in a staged reading of DL Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Wed. August 30, 8:00pm at the Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Tickets $10 in advance and at the door. 769-2999.

The perils and politics of research

Allegra Goodman in her new novel, Intuition, takes us to a struggling research lab in Boston where Cliff, a somewhat careless postdoc when it comes to record keeping, finds that the R-7 virus he's had little luck with is now producing amazing remissions in his cancerous mice. Sandy Glass, lab director, pounces on these findings and broadcasts them to the medical research community at large. While all this is happening, Robin, Cliff's jilted lover and unsuccessful researcher in the same lab, discovers his slo

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