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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #691 - Small Gems

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 1:14pm by muffy

crudoWith winter solstice approaching and our to-do lists get impossible, there is no reason why your pleasure reading should suffer. The trick for me is to try out small gems - books under 200 pages.

Crudo, at 141 pages, is the first work of fiction by award-winning author Olivia Laing. This “brief, breathless experimental novel” (Kirkus Reviews) has been named a 2018 New York Times Notable book. 

Set in the summer of 2017, the 40-year old narrator is American writer Kathy Acker (a writer who too, is known for basing much of her work on the writing of others) is about to be married while the whole word is falling apart (nuclear testing in North Korea, floods in Houston, the Grenfell Tower fire, white supremacist march in Charlottesville, and antics of an increasingly unstable president). Frolicking with her much-older fiance and a well-heeled crowd in a Tuscan hotel, Kathy must come to terms with the idea of a lifelong commitment.

“A narrative written with immense vitality and, miraculously, the lightest of touches... It's a subversive love story that shouldn't work, but does.” ~ Deborah Levy (Wall Street Journal)

Want some suggestions : Try Buss Feed’s  46 Brilliant Short Novels you can read in a day; 10 Best Books under 200 pages;  and Short and Spectacular: 21 great novels under 200 pages : From classic to contemporary, discover favorite short books and novellas, guaranteed to stay with you long after the final page - one as short as 60 pages.  

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Croc and Bird - by Alexis Deacon -

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 2:24pm by -alex-

Book cover: two white eggs sitting on the beach.A bird and crocodile hatch next to each other on a beach.  Bound together by their mutual need and by their isolation, the two explore their world together. 

Can two very different creatures be brothers?  What does it mean to be family?  Alexis Deacon's delicate, deeply tender story explores these questions with a unique mix of humor and melancholy. 

For more, follow the link to this great feature from Picturebook Makers for a great behind-the-scenes look at how the story was made.  Croc and Bird can be found in our youth picture-book section.

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The Book of Books

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 2:11pm by samanthar

cover of bookThe Book of Books by Jessica Allen showcases 100 of America's best-loved novels. Each of the 100 books has a 2 page write up, giving fascinating information on the history of the book, its author, and social impact. It is a companion to PBS's Great American Read series.  Did you know that S.E. Hinton signed the contract for The Outsiders on the day she graduated from high school? Or that James Patterson has a whole team of people helping him produce up to 9 books a year? This is a fun read for any book lover! How many of the 100 have you read?!

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #690

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 1:20pm by muffy

way_of_all_fleshThe Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry, (a pseudonym for husband-and-wife writing team of Christopher  Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman, an anaesthetist), is based on her research into the history of Medicine. This is the first in a new mystery series, set in Victorian Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, 1847. 20 year-old Will Raven, the newly appointed medical apprentice to Dr. James Simpson, a revered professor of midwifery, saw this opportunity as his ticket out of his sordid and hardscrabble upbringing, but not before one last visit to Evie Lawson, a prostitute he has befriended. In her garret room, Will found her cold and contorted body. Soon, young women were found dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. As a member of Dr. Simpson’s household, Will met visiting luminaries and became intrigue with daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. However, it was Sarah Fisher, the Simpson’s maid, to whom Will turned to as they looked deeper into these deaths.

“Parry is particularly adept at creating memorable characters in the compassionate and progressive Simpson, impetuous but principled Raven, and intelligent and feisty Sarah, not to mention the perfectly psychopathic villain.” (Library Journal)

Fans of 19th Century medical mysteries would also enjoy Lawrence Goldstone's The Anatomy of Deception (2008) and E. S. Thomson's Beloved Poison (2016)(Booklist); Anne Perry's William Monk series and Caleb Carr's The Alienist.

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Library Closed On Thanksgiving

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 8:35pm by TimG

All AADL locations will be closed on Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving.

Regular library hours will resume on Friday, November 23.

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Treasure Quest #2: The Quest Count-inues!

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 6:00pm by nicole

At last! Another Treasure Quest to fill your freezing days.
A puzzle to unlock! A different screen at which to gaze!
It's fashionably late, just like the greatest rockstars are.
Now this Key's off to surf the crowd! Or is it a...Keytar?

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The Subspace Key-tar

Somewhere in the vast catalog a mysterious Key has appeared! The hunt for The Subspace Key-tar begins now!

This story is about a guy,
Just him vs. the World.
One night he fell in like
With an Amazonian girl.

She came with lots of baggage:
Seven exes in a row.
This Zero had to beat them 
To become her latest beau. 

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Click on the image to get started searching for this Key (and the Gate!), or do something else entirely, like:

Take a bus to the Badge List!

Zip through subspace into the AADL Catalog!

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #689

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 2:39pm by muffy

death_notice

Death Notice, * the first in a trilogy, introduces English language audience to Zhou Haohui,  one of the top (and best-selling) suspense authors in China today.

2002, Chengdu. Unbeknownst to his colleagues and superiors, legendary Sgt. Zheng Haoming was quietly investigating an 18 year-old unsolved cold case when he was found murdered. Hovering over his body was provincial detective Pei Tao, closely and personally tied to the case, and insisted that it is again, the handiwork of Eumenides (after the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution), evident by the death notice found in Sgt. Zheng’s apartment.

As more “death notices” are being delivered, announcing the killer's next targets, a new police task force is formed. What follows is a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Eumenides always a step ahead of the police. The cliff-hanger ending will leave readers shocked and clamoring for the next installment.

"Zhou's story is thoughtfully constructed (and skillfully translated), balancing an exploration of loyalty, jealousy, and the moral tension between law and justice... This procedural...boasts the rich cultural immersion, the bird's-eye view of procedural technique in an international police force, and the complex mysteries that have long driven the popularity of Scandinavian crime fiction."(Booklist)  For fans of Jo Nesbo, and Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series.

* = Starred review

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AADL Named Five Star Library for 11th Year in a Row

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 9:18am by richretyi

The Ann Arbor District Library earned a five star designation for the 11th year in a row in Library Journal’s annual rating of public libraries nationwide. AADL is one of just 10 public libraries in the country to earn LJ's five star designation in each of the last 11 years.

Five other Michigan libraries received star ratings this year. West Bloomfield Township Public Library and Richland Community Library also earned a five-star designation from Library Journal, while Litchfield District Library earned four stars, and Salem-South Lyon District Library and Kent District Library were named three star libraries. Congratulations to our fellow Michigan libraries!

See the full list of libraries earning stars here.

AADL Named Five Star Library by Library Journal

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The People Awards

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 2:41pm by mbt

The People Awards by Lily Murray

book coverIn this book, fifty historical people who changed the world are given awards starting with The Curiosity Award (Albert Einstein) and ending with The One Voice Award (Malala Yousafzai) with everything in between. Kids will be familiar with many of the honorees, such as Ellen Degeneres (The Love is Love Award) and J.K. Rowling (The Most Magical Muggle Award) while discovering others for the first time. Each award winner gets a formal portrait and selected scenes from their lives are illustrated. There are also other smaller awards sections, such as The Brilliant Idea Awards and The Trailblazer Awards, that give a brief summary of four or five individuals. Intended for youth, this colorful book will engage readers of all ages, including David Bowie fans.

 

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #688

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 8:44am by muffy

royal_runawayIf you never tire of watching Roman Holiday (1953), Audrey Hepburn’s first American film, then you would not want to miss The Royal Runaway * by Lindsay Emory.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden has a habit of sneaking out of the palace. After being jilted at the altar and sent into exile by her grandmother the Queen, she is back and ready to assume her royal duties as the next in line for the throne. A steamy kiss in a local bar with the sexy Scotsman Nick Cameron seems like a harmless rebound until she learns his true identity. Before she could walk away, he blackmails her into helping him find his missing brother Christian - Thea’s ex-fiancé.

As the pair digs into Christian’s work as a lawyer, they discover a secret that could destroy the monarchy, and the conspirators will stop at nothing to gain the information. “The progressive princess proves to be as resilient as she is rebellious. Even when her throne is threatened, she insists that “human lives are more important than our culture!” Under her reign, “happily ever after” gets a refreshing update. This imaginative, absorbing, and empowering story is a must-read.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"Fans of Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan's The Royal We (2016), Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series, and Alyssa Cole's  A Princess in Theory (2018) will enjoy this breezy read."(Booklist)

* = Starred review

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #687

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 7:29am by muffy

convenience_storeConvenience Store Woman * * by Sayaka Murata marks the English-language debut of one of Japan’s most talented contemporary writers. In 2016 she won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, and was named a Woman of the Year by Vogue Japan. The author herself worked at a convenience store in Japan and still finds the time to do the occasional shift.

36 year-old Keiko Furukura has been working at the same Tokyo convenience store for literally half of her life. While colleagues and managers come and go, Keiko remains - finding purpose and satisfaction in the routine. Considered since childhood to be peculiar, her work allows Keiko a sense of normalcy.  While family and friends continue to pressure Keiko to seek a “proper job” and to marry, she boldly strikes a deal with the lazy, shifty irascible Shiraha.

“Alienation gets deliciously perverse treatment in Convenience Store Woman . . . the book’s true brilliance lies in Murata’s way of subverting our expectations . . . With bracing good humor . . . Murata celebrate(s) the quiet heroism of women who accept the cost of being themselves.” (NPR “Fresh Air”)

The downloadable eAudiobook (through Overdrive) expertly read by the delightful Nancy Wu, will appeal to fans of Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang, and brings to mind Amelie, a 2001 French romantic comedy.

* * = 2 starred reviews

 

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AADL Snow Removal RFP

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 11:34am by eli

Ann Arbor District Library

Request for Proposal for Snow Removal

The Ann Arbor District Library is requesting proposals for the following service:

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #686

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:00am by muffy

Apocalyptic Manhattan. 2 debuts giving voice to 2 reluctant heroines.

severance

Severance * * by Ling Ma is “(s)mart, funny, humane, and superbly well-written.” (Kirkus Reviews, check out the interview with the author)

When a pandemic called Shen Fever sweeps New York, decimating its population and threatening to shut down the city, for unknown reasons, Candace Chen is spared. Unfervered, she agrees to remain at the Manhattan book publisher while others flee. Sequestering herself in the office tower except for her daily walk with her camera, she captures the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. On the last day of her contract, Candace commandeers a yellow cab and meets up with a ragtag group of survivors in Pennsylvania, led by the self-appointed leader named Bob who assures them if they make it to the “Facility”(shopping center) near Chicago, they would have all it needs to restart society.

But Candace is carrying a secret that Bob plans to exploit. Imprisoned and isolated, Candace realizes her only option is to escape into the unknown.

“With womb dystopia a hot topic inspired by the renewed popularity of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, an already established audience will be eager to discover this work.” (Library Journal) 

 

suicide_clubSuicide Club : a novel about living * by Rachel Heng. “Fans of modern speculative fiction and readers who love stories that warn us to be careful what we wish for will be enthralled by Heng's highly imaginative debut, which deftly asks, "What does it really mean to be alive?" (Library Journal)

Lea Kirino is a "Lifer," which means that if she does everything right, she has the potential to live forever.

At 100, she has a great job, a pedigreed fiancé, and good habits that would optimize her lifespan. But Lea's perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. A misstep marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society's pursuit of immortality. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.

* * = 2 starred reviews

* = Starred review

 

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Animal Show-Offs!

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 2:11pm by Lucy S

BirdDid you know that there is fish called the sarcastic fringehead? I learned about this strangely-named, huge-mouthed, sharp-toothed fish from Steve Jenkins and Robin Page in their highly informative and entertaining book, Look at Me! How to attract Attention in the Animal World. This wonderful compendium of demonstrative animal behavior contains many examples of times when animals want to stand out rather than stay hidden.

Jim Arnosky also has a new book about animals called Look at Me! Wild Animal Show-Offs. His captivating illustrations are accompanied by personal details of his observations of unique animal performances in the wild.

Melissa Stewart highlights different outstanding characteristics in the animal world in Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs. Her book takes a humorous approach in presenting facts about those sometimes less admired animals; the ones that sleep the most, smell the worst, or take up the least amount of space. Stephanie Laberis’ illustrations add to the humor.

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The 2019 Washtenaw Read Has Been Selected!

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:42am by howarde

Reading with Patrick: the 2019 Washtenaw Read

Paperback cover of Reading with Patrick.The 2019 Washtenaw Read is the non-fiction memoir Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, A Student, and Life-Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo. This title was chosen from between the two finalists by a panel of distinguished judges from Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Northfield Township, Saline, and Ypsilanti.

In the final months of 2018, copies of Reading with Patrick will be plentifully available at the library, and you will find a display with books at each of our five locations. Pick up a copy, give it a read, and join us for a full slate of events in the new year, including an author event with Michelle Kuo. (Check back for details about upcoming events as we add them.)

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #685

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 8:36pm by muffy

dinner_list

Author/television writer Rebecca Serle’s young adult novel Famous In Love (2014) has been adapted into a television series. In her first novel for adults The Dinner List, “(t)hemes of love, loss, and forgiveness weave through (an) intriguing mix of the real and the fanciful.” (Booklist)

Arriving at the restaurant for her 30th birthday dinner with her best friend Jessica, Sabrina Nielsen finds 4 other guests seated at the table - the 5 people, dead or alive, she had picked to have dinner with when challenged by Jessica their junior year at USC. There is Audrey Hepburn, her father’s favorite actress (and Sabrina his favorite of Hepburn’s movies); Robert, her father who deserted the family when she was 5 and never looked back; Conrad, her college professor/mentor who has been a steady influence; and Tobias, her ex-fiance and a talented photographer.

Over the course of the dinner, it becomes clear that there's a reason these six people have been gathered together. “Serle alternates chapters of the dinner party with the story of Sabrina and Tobias’ romance, deftly, slowly revealing how and why they broke up.”(Kirkus Reviews)  As midnight approaches and the guests depart, Sabrina observes that “This dinner began as a reminder of all I have lost, but as I watch them now, all I can feel is profoundly grateful.”

For fans who delight in the magical realism of One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You.

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Paper, Ink, and Pi: Printing the Signal of Liberty (Part II)

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 3:49pm by hmorse

Signal of Liberty masthead, April 28, 1841

Part II: “Printers & Presses”

What printing press did the Signal of Liberty use? In his 1960 dissertation, John Edgar Kephart wrote that it was “probably” a Washington hand-press because of its popularity in America’s frontier states at the time. But he was not certain.

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All AADL Locations Closed On Monday, October 8

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 8:57am by TimG

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, October 8 for our annual staff training day.

Regular Library hours will resume on Tuesday, October 9.

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Treasure Quest #1: The Quest Begins!

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:00pm by nicole

Last night as you were sleeping a strange wind blew through the fog

and cracked open a portal in our item catalog!

There through this crack in time a strip of summer could be seen
and futuristic treasure poured out from 2019!


Perhaps it was the weather, or the witching hour's begun,
(or maybe it's a story—who cares, this is just for fun!),
But whatever the reason the result is still the same—
We found these 2019 points and had to make a game!

That game is this and this is what? A puzzle and a Quest!
Some clues and hints are given, but you’ll have to find the rest.
We forged some Keys, constructed Gates, and locked away these games.
It’s finding and unlocking them that will be your true aim!

Each starting month our catalog will hide a brand new Key
that opens up another fun-filled opportunity!
So that’s the game! You get the point, there’s nothing more to say:
Dust of your brains and compass—Treasure Quest is underway!

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The Graveyard Key

Somewhere in the vast catalog a mysterious Key has appeared! The hunt for The Graveyard Key begins now!

Two boys go walking through the forest on a hallowed day.
A froggy sings.
A lantern swings
To light the wooded way.

A Beast lurks out in the Unknown just waiting for his turn,
So don't despair.
Be wise. Beware!
Or you'll be fuel to burn.

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Click on the image to get started searching for this Key (and the Gate!), or do something else entirely, like:

Journey to the adventure-filled Badge List!

Travel into the wilds of the AADL Catalog!

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MeLCat is Back!

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 9:37am by eli

We are so pleased to announce that MeLCat interlibrary loan is back up and running! You can browse the catalog of all participating libraries in Michigan and request an item to be sent to your AADL pickup location of choice.

Once you've placed a request with MeLCat, the request will show up at the bottom of your aadl myaccount page, along with a link to MyMelCat where you can cancel your request if you'd like.

While your pending requests won't show your pickup location, rest assured it was set, and the item will be sent to your pickup location when it arrives. You can see the pickup location in MyMelCat to be sure.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #684

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 5:10pm by muffy

confessions_of_the_fox

Entertainment Weekly called Confessions of the Fox * *, Jordy Rosenberg’s debut novel  “an ambitious work of metafiction, a sexy queer love story, and a rigorously researched and argued piece of scholarship, all rolled into one.”

Jack Sheppard (1702-24) and Bess Edgeworth were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of 18th c. London. Yet no one knows the true story - until  2018, when transgender university professor R. Voth happens upon a manuscript, dated 1724 at a library book sale titled “Confessions of the Fox”. P, born a female was sold into servitude to a carpenter at twelve. Shackled in an attic room, P found an aptitude for picking locks. Roaming the streets at night,  P met and fell in love with Bess, a sex worker with links to London’s underworld and the queer subculture. Slight in built and nimble with tools, P fulfilled her desire to live as “Jack” and became one of the most wanted in the city’s criminal history. As Dr. Voth obsessively annotates the manuscript, desperate to find the answer, being drawn deeper into Jack and Bess’s tale, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined, and only a miracle will save them all.

“Even when Rosenberg, a scholar of 18th-century literature and queer/trans theory at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, allows Voth to become pedantic, it’s in the service of this novel’s marvelous ambition: To show how easily marginalized voices are erased from our histories—and that restoring those voices is a disruptive project of devotion….a singular, daring, and thrilling novel: political, sexy, and cunning as a fox.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Fans of Sarah Waters's Fingersmith will find this a good companion-more political and academic, perhaps, but similarly absorbing in period detail” (Library Journal)

* * = 2 starred reviews

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Westgate Branch Closed for Construction on Tuesday (Sept. 25)

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 11:30am by richretyi

Westgate Branch will be closed due to construction on Tuesday (Sept. 25), reopening for regular hours on Wednesday (Sept. 26). Tuesday evening's A2Energy Power Hour event will be held as planned, with attendees entering Westgate through the Sweetwaters Cafe entrance. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

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Yes Please - Amy Poehler

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 5:35pm by potterbee

Dare I admit I haven’t watched but a couple episodes of Parks and Rec? For no specific reason, I just never spent time with this show although I have enjoyed what I’ve seen. I associated Amy Poehler with Saturday Night Live and, vaguely, the Upright Citizens Brigade, but didn't have any strong fandom feelings.

So, why did I choose her audiobook to join me in my evening walks? A friend said she enjoyed it, simple as that.

This is a fun audiobook! Amy doesn’t just read you the memoir she wrote, but takes advantage of the audio format. I was entertained by the special guest appearances and the included audio clips from shows being referenced. These additions round out the listening experience and pull you away from just plodding through the memories. It’s more of a show than a book and Amy kept me strolling until the end of the chapter (bonus steps!).

You can check out a copy in our audiobook collection or access an MP3 version through Overdrive.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #683

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 7:58am by muffy

ghostedGhosted * is UK author Rosie Walsh’s American debut.

For the past 19 years, successful (and newly single) non-profit entrepreneur Sarah Mackey returns home to spend the month of June with her parents in an idyllic corner of Gloucester. On a blistering hot day, she met Eddie David, coaxing a lost sheep back to pasture. Their connection was instant. After seven blissful days together, Eddie left on a planned vacation and disappeared, despite promises to call and plans made. Her constant email, texts and Facebook posts went unanswered. Rather than simply considered herself  “ghosted”, Sarah became increasingly worried as days and weeks went by.  But then she discovers she is right. There is a reason for Eddie's disappearance, and it is the one thing they didn't share with each other: the truth.

Told through a combination of letters, texts, voicemail, “Walsh weaves an intricate story of mystery, deception, grief, and forgiveness that begins slowly and builds steam as the plot twists and turns, and steers clear of predictability.” (Library Journal)

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.(Kirkus Reviews)

* = Starred review

 

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #682 - I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. ~ William Ernest Henley

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 4:00pm by muffy

your_second_life

Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One, Raphaëlle Giordano’s debut, already a bestseller in France, will appeal to fans of The Alchemist and Hector and the Search for Happiness.

A flat tire in a thunderstorm on a secluded road at the outskirt of Paris brought Camille to Claude, a successful routinologist. Until that moment, the 38 year-old wife and mother with a good job, did not realize how unhappy she was. Claude deduces that Camille is suffering from a case of acute routinitis - that she’s dissatisfied, unmotivated, and unhappy even though she has everything she needs. Together, they devise an unconventional course of treatment to transform her life - from simple tasks (spring cleaning) to slightly odder ones (a hot air balloon ride), to ones that challenge her understanding of who she is and who she wants to be.

“Giordano has created a quick and light read...A fast, feel-good story about finding happiness.” (Kirkus Reviews). The author, a Paris-based expert in personal development kindly includes a Dictionary of Terms for those of us still waiting to meet our inner routinologist. Book groups will also find the discussion guide useful.

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MeLCat Returns October 1st!

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 5:18pm by eli

Good news, everyone! The long-awaited return of the MeLCat interlibrary loan system is finally happening! Beginning October 1st, 2018, AADL cardholders will regain the ability to request items from the MeLCat network, and AADL will resume loaning items to other libraries via the MeLCat network. Thanks to all of you for your patience through this unexpectedly long service interruption; we apologize for the delay, and we're thrilled to be bringing MeLCat back at last.

In addition, we'll be rolling out some other useful new features on October 1st for power users, including some improvements to the performance and capabilities of your My Account page, a new Points-o-Matic mode where you can help us organize scanned newspapers from microfilm, and another special surprise for those of you suffering from Summer Game withdrawal.

One thing to know for MeLCat aficionados; we used to be on the same system as MeLCat itself, so some features could be more tightly integrated. Now that we run a different system than the one MeLCat uses, if you want to renew or cancel your MeLCat items, you'll need to log in to MyMeLCat to do so. Your MeLCat checkouts and requests will show up in their own section on your My Account page, and they'll have a link to MyMeLCat where the renew or cancel buttons would be. MelCat requests cannot be frozen or have their pickup location changed once they've been placed.

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Loome Party : 20+ Tiny Yarn Projects to Make From Your Stash

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 1:22pm by manz

LWhat's hotter than this past summer? Pom-poms. Yes, pom-poms.  And tassels. They're a big trend in the craft and fashion world, and this book will get you all set on making the most gorgeous fiber accents to embellish your world! Step 1: Procure a Loome tool of some sort. Step 2: Make some poms! 

Loome Party starts out by discussing various types of fiber and which are suitable for different projects. The book includes directions for jewelry, keychains, garland, and more, all including pom-poms and tassels! You can basically add a pom-pom to anything. The instructions and photos are a great guide to crafting up a storm for all ages. I have to warn you though, once you pom, you can't stop. This craft is simple and fun, and is great for someone like me who adores yarn but doesn't knit or crochet. 

You don't *need* a Loome to make poms, there are plenty of directions on the internet on how to make a pom-pom maker. But this book focuses on ways to use the Loome tool to make poms and tassels -- it really is handy! 

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How to be a Victorian - by Ruth Goldman -

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 2:44pm by -alex-

book coverEver wondered how to wear a corset while you're swimming? Or maybe you've found yourself pondering how to groom your luscious Victorian beard, or how to tend your garden while wearing an enormous hoop skirt and crinoline. If so, How to be a Victorian has answers for you. Author Ruth Goldman offers all kinds of fascinating details, much of it drawn from her own personal experience living in, wearing, and working with the materials, clothes, and structures Victorians encountered in their daily lives. Goldman also draws from a wide array of historical sources and gives us an interesting and deeply moving picture of what it was really like living in the era, often drawn from the personal accounts of those who witnessed the excitements of the age of invention, and those who lived through the truly brutal realities of Victorian poverty. 

The sheer array of subjects Goodman covers is impressive, and she knows how to mix the entertaining with the serious, and mixes the joyous in with sad truths.  It's maybe the least likely page-turner you'll ever encounter, but it's a page-turner nonetheless.  You'll find How to be a Victorian in our adult non-fiction section.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #681

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 11:15am by muffy

shortest_way_homeLettie Teague’s article “Will Work for Wine: Oenophiles’ Second Acts”, about how financier, attorney, videogame designer left behind successful careers to pursue their passion in the wine business, in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, brought to mind  The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker - an accomplished debut (Publishers Weekly) that has been named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Real Simple.

After graduating from Haas MBA program at UC Berkeley, power couple Hannah and boyfriend Ethan are heading back to NYC - she, to a much-coveted job at Goldman Sachs and he, to start a business with friends from MIT.  But on a romantic weekend trip to Sonoma (Hannah is sure he is about to propose), she realizes she wants to stay in California, and in particular, Sonoma. At the family-run Bellosguardo Winery, she impulsively accepted a marketing job offer, telling herself and everyone concerned that it is only for the summer. Determined to use her management skills to turn the failing business around, Hannah quickly becomes invaluable to owners Everett and Linda, and inevitably becomes involved in their problematic relationship. Her attraction to their son William, a budding filmmaker, forces Hannah to evaluate her own life choices.

“This debut novel about a young woman following her heart and creating her happiness is engaging and fun.” (Library Journal). Readers might also enjoy Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave.

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Blog Post

Badge Drop #12: Drop the Mic

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 5:00pm by andrewjmac

It's the FINAL BADGE DROP of Summer Game 2018, time to drop this year's MASTER BADGES!  What is a Master Badge?  Why, its a badge you earn for having completed an entire badge series on the Badge List.  So if you've been keeping up with your badges all summer long today IS A HUGE BONUS POINT DAY FOR YOU!  And if you haven't...well, we have other news.

Today is more than just the Master Badge Drop, it's also the FINAL DAY OF SUMMER GAME, with just SEVEN HOURS LEFT to earn Summer Game 2018 points.  AND SINCE it's the last day of the game, that ALSO means that tonight is one of the biggest events in the Summer Game calendar, the Game Over Gala!  So drop by the Downtown Library tonight between 6 and 8 pm for cookies, coloring, camaraderie, and CODES!  

This alignment comes along only rarely, like a solar eclipse or the passing of a comet or a parking space right in front of the place you are actually going!  The game ends at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, you have to get your last-minute scrambling done by then!

So today we get to do that rarest of things and in one day deliver unto you a healthy load of Master Badges AND send Summer Game 2018 off in style.  IT'S ALMOST AS THOUGH WE HAD PLANNED IT (note: we have no control over which days of the week certain dates fall on, so we did not in fact plan it).  

Jolly BrancherFurst PrizeLord of the FliesFish FinaticVroom at the TopHero WorshipperFantastic FashionistaMission ControllerCivil End-gineerPrime GrooverBiggest LoserLie DetectiveOrgan GrinderArbor MasterGoblin King

And now, it's time to bid adieu to catalog badges, wave goodbye to hidden branch codes, say bearwell to ursine puns, cry "GORBLE!" to the Goblin Games, and--

Hold on, I'm just getting word that while Summer Game may be over THE GAMES GO ON!  But with no goblins or banners or green sheets or silly catalog searches, what could these games possibly BE?

-REVIEW REVIEWER reviews on, loaded with reviews for you to review from here to eternity!
-FRESH Points-O-Matic modes to be delivered in the coming weeks!
-UNHEARD OF and NEVER-SEE-BEFORE off-season games to astound and delight (and probably seriously stump) you!

But you'll be busy with school and work and soon enough shoveling the driveway out.  How could we possibly tempt you to keep playing ALL YEAR LONG?  How about if we told you that THESE GAMES ARE THE ONLY WAY TO EARN SUMMER GAME 2019 POINTS BEFORE IT EVEN STARTS?!  That's right, the only way to start racking up points NOW for Summer Game 2019 is to play away at the off-season games.  And who knows, you might also have some FUN, right?

If only there were a convenient location to visit to check up on when all of these new games might start and exactly what they are and how you can GET THEM POINTSSSS!  A convenient location like play.aadl.org!  Oh, WAIT.  IT'S PLAY.AADL.ORG.

Remember that the Summer Game Shop will stay open until September 9th, so spend time today earning those points so you can take the next two week to deliberate on WHICH AWESOME PRIZES YOU WANT TO BUY.

In the meantime, we've only got one thing left to do between now and when we flip that big GAME OVER switch, and that's to tell you once again and fur real...THANKS FOR PLAYING!