AA/Ypsi Reads 2015 Book Chosen!

The votes are in and it's been decided this year's book for the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Reads 2015 will be A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

The theme was A Very Good Read. A five-member panel consisting of: area blogger Mark Maynard; Ann Arbor News Entertainment Reporter Jenn McKee; Musician San Slomovits; Ypsilanti City Council Member Dan Vogt; and Ann Arbor City Council Member Chuck Warpehoski - chose the book earlier this month from two finalist titles.

A brilliant, unforgettable novel, A Tale For the Time Being is an inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home. Published in 2014, the novel won the Medici Book Club Prize the L.A. Times Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the award-winning author of three novels, "My Year of Meats," "All Over Creation," and "A Tale for the Time Being." Her critically acclaimed independent films, including "Halving the Bones," have been screened at Sundance and aired on PBS.

Read "A Tale For the Time Being" with your community and be sure to see the author who is scheduled to appear at the annual Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads event on Wednesday, February 11 from 7 – 8:30 pm at Rackham Auditorium!

Ann Arbor | Ypsilanti Reads

It's that time again! The communities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti join literary forces to read and discuss one book. The 2015 theme is A Very Good Read .

We are down to two finalists, We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

The judges want your feedback, which book should be the one that Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti reads? Read them and share your opinion by visiting the Finalist page, then click on the link that takes you to the book's page, and tell us what you think. Both titles are available for AADL cardholders to borrow. The Finalist will be selected in October.

You can listen to an interview with Ruta Sepetys the author of last year's Read winner, Between Shades of Gray, when she visited AADL. You can also visit the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads website to find out more about the program.

Suggest a Title for Ann Arbor | Ypsilanti Reads

You know you've read a good book when after it is finished, you can't stop thinking about it. It could days later – when a feeling comes over you – and you know the author got to you some how. That is my idea of a good read.

Have you read any good books like that lately? Now is your chance to potentially share it with the community. Ann Arbor |Ypsilanti reads is a collaborative program where one book is selected to be read by the community, discussed, and then the capstone event is a visit by the author.

We want your input! Suggest a title on our website in the comment section, or stop into one of the libraries before Monday, July 7. Committees are meeting over the summer to discuss the hundreds of possible titles and narrow it down to two. In the Fall, a distinguished panel of judges will decide on the title.

This year’s theme is ‘A Very Good Read’ and the book selected can be a work of fiction or nonfiction. Also:
• The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
• The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
• The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
• The book should be by a living author.
• Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
• Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

Suggest a Title

Suggest A Title For This Year's A Very Good Read

Read a good book lately? Suggest a book to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads planning committees and your suggestion just might be the pick for the upcoming Reads (which will take place in January & February 2015).

This year’s theme is "A Very Good Read" and the book selected can be a work of fiction or non fiction.

Committees will be meeting over the summer to consider hundreds of possible titles – and they want your help!

You can suggest a title by commenting below, or by stopping by any Ann Arbor District Library or Ypsilanti District Library location. Suggest a title by July 7 and it will be considered for selection!

Book Selection

• The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
• The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
• The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
• The book should be by a living author.
• Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
• Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

Don't forget to submit your book suggestion in one of the libraries or as a comment below before July 7th!

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads: Present and Past

On Tuesday, January 21, from 7-9 pm at Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building, Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray, this year's AA/Ypsi Reads selection, discusses her book as well as signs copies. (With doors opening at 6 pm.)

But you can explore previous AA/Ypsi Reads authors right now. Our online Video Collection includes the AA/Ypsi Reads lectures from Jonathan Weiner, author of the 2006 selection The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Own Time, William Poy Lee, author of the 2008 selection The Eighth Promise: An American Son's Tribute to His Toisanese Mother, Timothy Ferris, author of the 2009 selection Seeing in the Dark: How Amateur Astronomers are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe, Jerry Dennis, author of the 2010 selection The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, and Richard Glaubman, co-author of the 2011 selection Life is So Good.

There are also audio podcasts featuring interviews with Timothy Ferris, Jerry Dennis, and Richard Glaubman.

And if you're looking to expand your AA/Ypsi Reads horizons beyond the authors, check out the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Video Collection Page containing related lectures and discussions from the past nine years.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2014 is Here!

January and February are Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads months. AA/Ypsi Reads is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book.

This year's theme is A Very Good Read and the chosen book is Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, the story of a Lithuanian teen during WWII whose life is torn apart when the Soviets invade her home.

Check out the AA/Ypsi Reads webpage featuring resources, upcoming events and upcoming discussions.

Read Current Magazine's interview with Ruta Sepetys.

And don't miss this month's events:
Thursday, January 9, 7-8:30 pm at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
U-M History Professor Brian Porter-Szucs provides rich background and broader context for the book's milieu as he discusses WWII In Eastern Europe.

Tuesday, January 21, 7-9 pm at Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building
Author Ruta Sepetys discusses her book as well as signs copies. The doors open at 6 pm.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2014: the final two!


The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads screening committee has narrowed this coming year's read to two finalists, with the theme A Very Good Read. A panel of well-known locals – musician Mark Braun (Mr. B); radio and TV personality Lucy Ann Lance, Ann Arbor Chronicle publisher Mary Morgan, Ann Arbor City Council Member Sally Petersen, and Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber – will be reading the two books "The Garden of Evening Mists" and "Between Shades of Gray" to determine just will be selected.

You, too, have a say – just head on over to aaypsireads.org and leave a comment about which book you'd prefer! The selection committee will be keeping an eye out for your feedback.

Take a quick look at the descriptions of our two finalists:

The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng: Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice "until the monsoon comes." Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys: Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

The official read will take place in January through February 2014. For more information, check out aaypsireads.org.

Suggest a Title for AA/Ypsi Reads 2014

The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book.

The 2014 Reads theme is A Very Good Read and will highlight a work of fiction. Suggest a title for a ‘Very Good Read’ to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads planning committees (by June 30) and your suggestion just might be this year's title!

Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads 2013 Book Discussion

Tuesday February 19, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Join us for an open discussion of the book that is the focus of this year's Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads - "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander.

This discussion, led by Ann Arbor District Library staff, will examine this stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status--denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

Film & Discussion: Broken On All Sides

Matthew Pillischer, director of this 2012 documentary, will lead a discussion after a screening of the film. Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S. focuses on mass incarceration in the U.S. and racial inequalities in the criminal justice system. It discusses the theory that mass incarceration has become "The New Jim Crow" by targeting people of color and allowing much of the discrimination that was legal in the Jim Crow era to be applied to "criminals."

Using interviews with people on many sides of the criminal justice system--including Michelle Alexander the author of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads book, The New Jim Crow-- the film attempts to answer and provoke questions about the American penal system.

Cosponsored by the UM Community Scholars Program.

Thursday, February 21 | 6 - 8:30 PM | Grade 9 - Adult | Downtown Library Lower Level Multi-Purpose Room

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