Nicola's Books Hosts Panel of Fantasy/Sci-Fi Authors

Are you a fan of fantasy or sci-fi? Maybe you're even a fan of both! If so, you will want to be at Nicola's Books on Tuesday, July 26th at 7:00 p.m., when the local book store will be hosting authors Jacqueline Carey, Jim Hines, and Sarah Zettel. Jacqueline Carey is the author of the national bestselling series, Kushiel's Legacy, while Jim Hines is the author of the Goblin Trilogy and Princess Series, in which classic fairy tale princesses are given a new twist. Sarah Zettel is the author of the fantasy series Isavalta, and has also written five sci-fi novels that have garnered wide critical acclaim. These three authors will be discussing current trends for books in the fantasy and sci-fi genres at this free event.

Nicola's Books is located at the Westgate Shopping Center:
2513 Jackson Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

AADL Talks To Local Author Karen Simpson

Back in 1996, Karen Simpson learned of a Klan rally that had taken place in her home town. During the course of the event, when violence threatened a white man wearing a confederate t-shirt, a young African-American woman protected him by placing herself between the man and the mob. This story haunted Karen and inspired her to write her debut novel Act of Grace. Here, Karen shares with us her process, her influences and what it’s like being a published author after spending ten years working on a novel.

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Teen Stuff: See What I see, by Gloria Whelan

In this new book by Gloria Whelan, eighteen year old Kate, daughter of famous artist Dalton Quinn, whom she hasn’t seen or heard from in ten years, lives in northern Michigan with her mother. She wishes to attend art school in Detroit, which requires local residency. Since her father is back from New York and now residing in Detroit, living as a recluse and painting like a madman, she decides to drop in unannounced with the idea that she would live with him while attending art school. Things don’t quite go as planned. Her cantankerous father is less than open to the idea of her living with him, taking up space, and interrupting his work flow. When he falls ill, they strike a deal. Kate learns a lot that year. About herself, her father, and the art world.

See What I See is written from Kate’s young artist point of view, and she paints pictures as she narrates. Everything around her holds such texture, such color, such detail, and demands a painting. Author Gloria Whelan's time in Michigan is apparent. Kate's comparisons of Northern Michigan and Detroit are quite lovely to read, as we try to see what she sees.

Comic Book Academy starts July 5th

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Tuesdays July 5 thru August 9 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grades 6-12

Hey teens! Enjoy doodling and have a story to tell? Join the six-week Comic Book Academy at Malletts Creek this summer. Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd will guide you through the steps to creating a complete comic book. You’ll learn about character design, writing the story, penciling the first draft, refining and completing the penciled pages, and inking (finishing) the pages.

All the supplies (pencils, erasers, paper, etc.) will be provided along with a weekly gamecode to add to your summer game totals. No registration required.

And if a six-week course isn't enough to satisfy the budding artist in you or you can't make it to all of the sessions, check out all of the comics events AADL has going on all summer long, including sessions with artists Denver Brubaker and Jannie Ho.

June 25th--Act of Grace: A Conversation with Karen Simpson and Robbie Ransom

On Saturday, June 25th authors Karen Simpson and Robbie Ransom will discuss their new book Act of Grace from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the University of Michigan's North Quad, room 2435. Act of Grace explores the story of Grace Johnson, an African American from Michigan who saves the life of a Klan member named Jonathan Gilmore--and the controversy which follows. Simpson and Ransom are both Michigan residents and graduates of Eastern Michigan University well known for their work in gender and cultural studies. The discussion is free and open to the public, and is presented by the Author’s Forum, a collaboration between the U-M Institute for the Humanities, University Library, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center, and the Ann Arbor Book Festival. Don't miss the discussion on this amazing story of forgiveness!

For the official UM Library event posting, click here.

Steve Hamilton Author Talk on Thursday

Michigan author Steve Hamilton will be giving a talk on his latest novel Misery Bay on Thursday, June 9th, at Aunt Agatha's Book Shop.

Misery Bay is set in Paradise, Michigan, and is a part of the Alex McKnight mystery series.

This year Hamilton won the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Alex Award for The Lock Artist, also set in a Michigan town.

The talk will take place at 7pm, and admission is free. Aunt Agatha's is located at 213 South Fourth Avenue, about a block away from the Downtown branch.

2011 Arab American Book Award Winners Announced

ArabAmericanBookAwardLogoArabAmericanBookAwardLogoToday the 2011 Arab American Book Award winners were announced. The awards were established in 2006 by the Arab American National Museum, the Arab American Book Award honors significant literature by and about Arab Americans.

Local poet and University of Michigan professor, Libyan American Khaled Mattawa won in the Poetry section for his book Tocqueville, described as "part personal lyric, part jeremiad, part shooting script, and part troubled homage to the great wry chronicler of American society evoked in the book’s title."

Thérèse Soukar Chehade's first novel, Loom was declared the winner in the Fiction section. The the remiscences and anxieties of the Zaydan family unfolds while awaiting a cousin returning from Lebanon during a Northeastern blizzard.

The Evelyn Shakir Nonfiction Award, named for the recently passed author and scholar Evelyn Shakir, went to Arab Americans in Toledo: Cultural Assimilation and Community Involvement by Dr. Samir Abu-Absi. The contributors to this collection come from all walks of life and write on diverse subjects concerning the life and livelihood of Arab Americans in Toledo, Ohio, from economics, to politics, entertainment, to language.

Prolific children's author Diane Stanley won in the Children/ Young Adult category for her Young Adult book, Saving Sky about seventh-grader Sky who helps a classmate of Middle Eastern descent who is being profiled during a time of war.

In addition to the Winners, there were three Honorable Mention Awards:

Non-Fiction: Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity by Manal M. Omar, Poetry: This Isa Nice Neighborhood by Farid Matuk & Children/ Young Adult: Time to Pray by Maha Addasi.

Steve Hamilton, UM alum, wins top Edgar 2011 Mystery Award

Steve Hamilton, UM alum, wins top Edgar 2011 awardSteve Hamilton, UM alum, wins top Edgar 2011 award

Steve Hamilton, former Michigan resident and an alum of The University of Michigan, won the Mystery Writers of America's top Edgar prize -- Best novel -- for The Lock Artist.

Hamilton, 50, who won a Hopwood for fiction before graduating in 1983, was born and raised in Detroit. He had previously won an Edgar for his Alex McKnight series. In his stand-alone The Lock Artist, Michael Smith writes from prison trying to unravel the childhood trauma that has left him mute. He is a magnet for a number of evil forces who want to exploit his gifts as a master safecracker.

For the complete list of 2011 Edgar winners, click here.

Short Shorts at AXIS Coffeehouse

image by Tom Harpel, Flickr.comimage by Tom Harpel, Flickr.com
Short short fiction that is! Local writer Keith Hood will join us to share techniques for writing flash fiction, complete stories written in 1,000 words or less. As the Bard said -- "Brevity is the soul of wit." If you feel up to the challenge, join us in the Malletts Creek program room this Friday from 6:30-8 and get ready to think small.

To see just how much can be said in few words, check out It All Changed in an Instant, in which a collection of writers both famous and ordinary tell their life stories in just six words. In the spirit of things, here's a six-word story from me:

"Life is short. Visit AXIS Coffeehouse."

Malletts Creek | 6:30-8:00 p.m. | Friday, March 18

Live at AXIS Coffeehouse...

image by Clearly Ambiguous, Flickr.comimage by Clearly Ambiguous, Flickr.com
This Friday from 6:30 to 8 at Mallett's Creek, our friend Scott Beal will return to AXIS Coffeehouse to share his poems and his poetry-writing tips. When Scott is not writing for AnnArbor.com, he can be found at 826 Michigan, the Neutral Zone, and generally anywhere poetry is taking place. Scott's last visit was great fun, so come check out this one!

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