News and Reviews
Happy Reading and Gifting.
The IndigiLit Book Club is a discussion series that celebrates Native American authors and books, across genres, across time, and across the continent. Here's a selection of IndigiLit titles explored by AADL staff throughout the discussion series.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask by Anton Treuer | Request Now
What's it like for natives who don't look native?" to "Why are Indians so often imagined rather than understood?", and beyond, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask does exactly what its title says for young readers, in a style consistently thoughtful, personal, and engaging. Updated and expanded to include: dozens of new questions and new sections, including a social activism section that explores the Dakota Access Pipeline, racism, identity, politics, and more.
November is National Native American Heritage Month. To celebrate the culture, heritage, & resiliency of Native Americans below you will find books from Native American writers of different genres and formats including Fantasy, Non-fiction, Graphic Novels, Horror, & Historical Fiction. These are just a few of the many Native American authors to enjoy at your library.
To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose | Request Now
The Indigenous population of Masquapaug was greatly reduced by the devastating event known as the great dying. Over time, the dragons known as Nampeshiwe disappeared from the island. However, when a young teenager named Anequs discovers a dragon egg and forms a bond with the hatchling, she is hailed as Nampeshiweisit, a member of her people connected to a dragon. In the past, dragons used to coexist with the islanders, helping them ward off autumn storms and bringing prosperity to the land. The Anglish, who have conquered the territory, have their own strict methods of raising dragons and managing their bonded relationships. In order to save her dragon Kasaqua from being killed, Anequs reluctantly agrees to attend an Anglish dragon school. In this unfamiliar environment, surrounded by individuals who believe they are superior to her, Anequs must not only demonstrate that she and Kasaqua can acquire the necessary skills to control their powers, but also prove that they can do so while remaining true to themselves.
Fun paranormal romances have had an upsurge in popularity lately and it’s easy to see why! With all the juiciness of a standard romance plus maybe some vampires, werewolves or witches added in, or a unique fantastical setting, they’re transportive reading! Here are a few new additions to the genre that you might want to check out.
A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon, by Sarah Hawley | Request Now
Mariel Spark is prophesied to be the most powerful witch in centuries in her famous family, but she’s not particularly interested in brewing potions or casting spells. She prefers baking and gardening to anything magical. When she accidentally summons a demon while baking a cake one day, she finds herself in a bit of a pickle. Formerly known as a ruthless and powerful collector of mortal souls, Ozroth the demon has lost a bit of his fearsomeness ever since a soul bargain went wrong. Despite unrelated goals, can the two work together to get what they both want out of life? And if so, might they just fall in love while going about it? This is a quirky and unique story that will leave readers smiling.
Fabulous Fiction Firsts #832, A little bit witchy, loads of magic, a touch of horror, in these retellings of the classics
The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch * Melina Taub’s (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook), adult debut, examines Pride and Prejudice through a new lens, and offers a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.
This retelling, in the form of a long letter, recounts how Lydia, being the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter discovers her magical powers as a witch (there had been three stillborns before Jane, Lizzy and Mary) and promptly turns the family cat into her human sister Kitty. As the novel opens, Lydia, living with Wickham in Newcastle, under much reduced circumstances, is dependent on her magic to get by. Then unexpectedly, she comes to the aid of the much hexed Georgiana Darcy.
But magic comes at a price here, and for every spell a witch casts she must offer up something in return. In order to spare her and Kitty's lives, she had foolishly made a promise to Lord Wormenheart, a dragon demon, and soon Wormenheart came to collect, sending Lydia on a dangerous adventure to procure the Jewel of Prophecy.
“Full of spell-casting garden parties, demons, hidden jewels, vibrant dances, backstabbing, and societal slights, this is vividly descriptive, frothy fun.”(Library Journal)
“Taub breathes new life into classic characters in a novel that is carefully researched and surprisingly layered… A delight for both Austen lovers and fans of magical adventure stories.“ (Kirkus Reviews)
Back in their homestead in the Village of Lindenfeld, deep in the Black Forest, the siblings are relying on the mysteriously addictive gingerbread Greta bakes for income, and to pay off Han’s gambling debts. In part because of the deliciousness of her goods (from a recipe she found in an old grimoire, a witch's handbook), rumors grow around town that Greta herself is a witch. And as dark magic is returning to the woods, Greta must learn to embrace her power, come into her own as a witch, and work together with new allies to save herself and her home.
“Each chapter opens with a clever retelling of part of "Snow-White and Rose-Red," eventually linking that fairy tale with Greta's own neo-Grimm journey toward both emotional and magical maturity as, despite her initial distaste for witchcraft, she comes into her own and learns to wield her nascent powers to help the people she loves. The romantic subplot is similarly well-wrought and fantastical: Greta's lover Matthias, a stranger from the Tyrol, is a prince-charming-in-disguise. All of Woods's characters are drawn with exceptional sensitivity, and Greta's well-crafted struggle to thrive despite early suffering and ongoing societal prejudice resonates. Woods is a powerful new voice in speculative fiction.” (Publishers Weekly)
Every year the twin cities of San-Er hold a set of gladiatorial-style games, a fight to the death with the promise of unimaginable riches for the victor. This year, among the 88 contestants is a disguised Princess Calla Tuoleimi of Talin, who disappeared after assassinating her parents five years ago. Her goal - to finally bring down the brutal monarchy, inequality and poverty by killing her uncle, reclusive King Kasa who will be on hand to greet the winner. But first, she must win the game.
Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat, one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will, who aims to use the winner’s take toward keeping his comatose lover alive. “As the games unfold, Calla and Anton strike an unlikely alliance that blossoms into a love affair--but only one can win, and to become victor, the star-crossed lovers will have to break their bond. Though this outing owes debts to both Shakespeare and The Hunger Games, the intricate magic system feels entirely fresh. Gong keeps the pages flying with pulse-pounding action, tension, and intrigue, creating an adventure that will linger in readers' minds long after the last page.” (Publishers Weekly)
* * * * = 4 starred reviews
* * * = 3 starred reviews
* = Starred review
Horror movies are about more than just the familiar tropes of violent slashers and creepy haunted mansions. In fact, horror movies often reflect the major concerns of our times, whether it is the climate crisis, racial or gender-based prejudice, economic inequity, or humanity’s hubris. Consider Frankenstein’s monster, Dawn of the Dead (rampant consumerism), or Jordan Peele’s movies (Get Out, Us, Nope) (racism, class privilege, exploitation), that are among so many great films past and present alike. Here are some lesser known but just as worthy films to take in this Halloween or any time the mood for a scare strikes.
Amulet directed by Romola Garai | Request Now
In Romola Garai's directorial debut, the audience is introduced to a destitute former soldier who becomes employed by a young woman and her terminally ill mother. However, he soon becomes aware of a disturbing presence within the decaying, enigmatic old house: a force of life that is both eerie and unsettling. Amulet skillfully combines elements of a haunted house film and body horror, while also incorporating religious themes. Garai deftly challenges preconceived notions of victimhood and heroism by subverting traditional gender roles in her main characters, Tomaz and Magda. Initially, it appears that Magda is the one in need of rescue, but in reality, it is Tomaz's dark past of war crimes, specifically rape, that catches up with him, placing him in the position of the pursued. Through this narrative twist, the film offers a rare portrayal of a man who is alone and fearful on screen, a departure from the typical horror genre conventions.
The Babadook directed by Jennifer Kent | Request now
The Rachel Incident, * * * YA author Caroline O’Donoghue’s first adult novel and her US debut (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) is a “brilliantly funny novel about friends, lovers, Ireland in chaos, and a young woman desperately trying to manage all three.” (USA Today)
County Cork, Ireland. University student Rachel Murray counts on her hours at O’Conner Books to pay bills, ever since the financial crash has affected her family’s business. There she meets James Devlin, a Christmas temp - effervescent and insistently heterosexual, and soon, the two become roommates and fast friends. When Rachel develops a crush on her married professor Dr. Fred Byrne, James organizes a reading for him at the bookstore so Rachel could seduce him. To both of their surprises, Dr. Byrne has other (closeted) desires. So begins a series of secrets and compromises that intertwine the fates of James, Rachel, Fred, and Fred's glamorous, well-connected, publisher wife, Deenie, who was once Fred’s student.
“This deliciously complex set of entanglements lays the groundwork for the novel…and brings to mind the gossipy 19th-century novels Dr. Byrne might teach in class. But its true joys lie in the tremendously witty characters and their relationships: The real love story of this novel is not between James and Dr. Byrne, or Rachel and her own paramour, but between Rachel and James, whose codependent glee in each other's company will remind many readers of their own college friendships, especially those between women and queer men. A sensational new entry in the burgeoning millennial-novel genre.” (Kirkus Reviews)
* * * = 3 starred reviews
Halloween is creeping up! This is the perfect time to spotlight some books to help decorate your house or yourself for this spooky time of year. Then curl up with some ghostly Michigan folklore stories...
Best of How to Haunt Your House vols. 1 & 2 by Shawn Mitchell | Request Now
Enjoy these 2 volumes full of spooky ways to get your house or room Halloween ready. From the simple like creating potion bottles or personalized tombstones to the more complex like monster mud and animated props, there is something for every DIY Halloween maven here.
Check out these terrific Teen books based in Michigan or written by local authors:
The Dock Porter, by Dave McVeigh | Request Now
He's got a bike, a basket ... and a whole lotta baggage. It's the summer of 1989. Jack McGuinn is a dockporter, hauling tourists’ luggage piled high in the oversized basket of his bike on Mackinac Island, Michigan, a summer resort where cars are outlawed. He’s got a family cottage on the hill, his dream job, and a loyal crew of hell-raising, tip-hustling buddies. When his bitter rival challenges him to ride a record-setting load, he takes the bet, but soon realizes he’s not just carrying suitcases, he’s carrying the future of the island. With the help of his pals on the dock and the love of a free-spirited Irish cellist, Jack has to dig deep to discover skills he didn't know he had. Genre-smashing, hilariously fresh, yet refreshingly familiar, it's a novel about friends, family, love, luggage, and the summers we never forget. Readers can find the sequel, Somewhere in Crime, in the AADL catalog.
Everyone enjoys a scary story this time of year, but some tales are so terrifying you have to see them to believe them. These horror comics are full of over-the-top scares and creepy illustrations that will give anyone the heebie-jeebies.
Something is Killing the Children, Volume 1, by James Tynion | Request Now
Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF): Small + Indie Press is Saturday, October 7, from 11am to 5pm at the Downtown Library. It's a one-day venture into small press comics publishing, offering attendees the chance to meet comic artists and learn about the art of creating comics outside of a traditional publisher.
Headlining the 2023 event are three superstars in the field—Jaime Hernandez, Jillian Tamaki, and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell.
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, here is a sampling of music CDs that honor the incredible contribution made by those identifying as Hispanic or Hispanic American. Since there are so many excellent musical styles and musicians it would be impossible to include them all here so the focus is on key musical genres: Salsa, Bachata, Rancheros, Cumbia, Tango, Bossa Nova, & Reggaeton.
The Best of Celia Cruz | Request Now
Often called the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz began her singing career in her home country of Cuba in the 1950s. She is one of the bestselling Latin music artists of the 20th century with multiple awards and honors to her name. Salsa has a distinct beat called the clave. A three-drum section (bongos, congas and timbales) executes the complex, syncopated rhythms. Salsa lyrics tell short stories and usually end with a call-and-response section. Other musicians like Tito Puente incorporated styles from his Puerto Rican culture with salsa and mambo. You can hear the power of Cruz’s voice even at 75 years old here. If you want to dance, these are the rhythms that will make you get up and join in!
You may be familiar with AADL’s extensive tools collection, featuring lots of lawn games, science and home tools, board games, sewing machines, puzzles, instruments and more! We’re always exploring new options for addition to our tools collection and exploring what folks might want to see available in this cool collection! Here are a few of our latest adds to our ever-growing tools inventory!
Monocular 10x25 and Binocular 8x25 | Request Now
These two new additions are great for outdoorspeople! The monocular, a super portable magnifying viewfinder intended for use with one eye, is easy to carry around in a pocket and whip out when you see a bird or distant animal you’d like to peer at in more detail. The binoculars are back by popular demand–we had some in our collection years ago and are excited about this new version! Perfect for carrying around town on hikes, these allow you to experiment with binoculars before having to purchase a set of your own.
At 42, by all society standards, unmarried twins Lady Augusta Colebrook, "Gus," and Julia are well past their prime - yet with a secured income, a fashionable London address and well connected friends, they are far from docile, and in fact, they strain at all the rules society imposes on well-mannered ladies.
When one of their friends is blackmailed for her indiscretions, they do not hesitate to confront the blackmailer in a secluded park after dark. Soon, other women are seeking their services. On their way to rescue a young woman poisoned and imprisoned by her brute of a husband, Gus accidentally shots the highwayman holding up their carriage, only to discover he is Lord Evan Belford, charged with murder and exiled to the Colonies twenty years ago. Feeling responsible for his injuries, Gus takes him along on their mission. Before long, they become comrade-in-arms, and the chemistry between them is undeniable. .
“Fans of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels will savor this mystery…Well-developed characters, a touch of romance, and cases involving social issues of the period enhance the experience.”(Library Journal)
“Fierce, funny, and often dark, this is an eye-opening portrait of a colorful yet misogynistic period in English history. “ (Publishers Weekly)
Set in Swampshire, England, a respectable town located between London and Bath, this Regency murder mystery introduces 25 year-old Beatrice Steele, the eldest of three daughters born to a marriage-scheming mother and a prankster father. While she allows her family to think she is holding up in her turret room dreaming of romance, she is actually reading about solving crimes like her favorite "gentleman detective," Sir Huxley.
When the family is invited to the annual autumn ball at Stabmort Park, home of the Ashbrooks, to welcome eligible (and wealthy) bachelor Edmund Croaksworth, Mrs. Steele hopes that beautiful Louisa will steal his heart and save the family from ruin as Martin Grub, their disgusting cousin, is to eventually inherit the family’s estate.
“By the end of the evening, secrets will have been revealed, false identities exposed, missing persons found, and murder committed (twice!). The character types are endearingly familiar to anyone who has ever read a Jane Austen novel, and the dialogue crackles with wit, outrage, subtext, and pluck. Beatrice, a true Sherlock Holmes within her restrictive social world, is a delight, and while the characters may be familiar, Seales' over-the-top caricatures succeed in being humorous rather than cliché…The result is a deliciously dark delve into a world that seems genteel on the surface and teems with sex and violence and greed just underneath--not so unlike Austen's but with a morbid, rather than domestic, bent. Irreverent, satirical, and oh so much fun! “ (Kirkus Reviews)
"A delightful cocktail that mixes elements of the Bridgerton series, Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries . . . The payoff is a wealth of wit, hilarity and suspense." (People)
* * * = 3 starred reviews
* * = 2 starred reviews
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year from September 15 to October 15! Celebrated in the United States for over 50 years, you can learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month here. One excellent way to participate in this month-long celebration of Hispanic and Latin cultures is by reading books by Latinx authors! AADL has a wide variety in our collection, but below are a few suggestions to get you started. ¡Vive tu cultura!
¡Hola, Papi!, by John Paul Brammer | Request Now
Brammer is the author of the wildly popular queer advice column on Substack by the same name as his new book. He grew up in rural Oklahoma, where he struggled as a biracial and closeted gay person. Brammer always dreamed of writing, and started his career in journalism writing for various outlets, then transitioned to Condé Nast while also focusing on his advice column. He also works for Netflix on a small team promoting and curating LGBTQ+ materials. !Hola, Papi! is a combination of his memoir, his advice column and is simply the story of a man taking stock of his place in the world, as we all do from time to time. As Brammer says, his book is “for everyone–gay, straight, and everything in between.” His unique story is well worth the read!
When the three St. Johns sisters, Elise, Giovanni, and Noele find themselves heirs to Kitty Karr Tate’s immense fortune, they were as surprised as the rest of Hollywood. The St. Johns, a prominent Bel Air family is Kitty’s neighbor as well as a mentor to Elise who is up for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Apart from planning Kitty’s memorial services, navigating the contentious dynamics between her sisters and their mother, Elise is tasked with sorting out Kitty’s affairs, and among her journals, what Elise discovers will rock her world and might explain why a successful white actress would bestow her immense inheritance on three Black girls.
The narrative winds back to Kitty's hardships in 1930s North Carolina; and mid-century Hollywood glamor; the harshness of the studio system, with all of its attendant misogyny and racism.
“What is less obvious, by design, are the steps many people took to create new lives for themselves once they reached LA from less hospitable places. Against an origin story of sexual violence and systemic roadblocks, Kitty and her California cohort survive a series of excruciating trials in order to live their dreams. The results of their choices, made in order to succeed and survive in the Hollywood machine, echo for generations throughout Paul's meandering yet page-turning narrative…With a plot worthy of a miniseries, an extensive cast, and a historical sweep, Paul succeeds in entertaining as well as enlightening.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Do Tell (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) by debut novelist Lindsay Lynch, is “(g)amorous, tawdry, and human. A rich portrait of the lives of early Hollywood's beautiful puppets and those holding their strings." ~ Emma Straub
1940s, Los Angeles. Edie O'Dare‘s contract with FWM Studios is about to end and with renewal unlikely, she needs to find a new gig. While her career in pictures has been undistinguished at best, she is a fixture at all the parties and premiers and has long supplemented her income by passing on salacious dirt to the reigning gossip columnist. When a small kindness to 16-year-old rising starlet Sophie Melrose at a party gives her an exclusive to Sophie’s claim of being sexually assaulted by one of the biggest names in the industry, Freddy Clarke. The subsequent tabloid coverage lands Edie her own column at The Los Angeles Times (christened as "Do Tell”), Freddy being charged, and eventually strains her relationships with everyone she once considers a friend.
“Although the plot lags when Lynch describes clothing, hairstyles, and makeup in too much detail, she doesn't lose sight of a salient theme: Edie's success depends on others' vulnerability. Lynch's characters--clad in designer gowns, inhabiting sumptuous mansions, and drinking champagne at lavish parties--are replaceable cogs in a powerful industry. An intimate look at Hollywood's dark secrets.” (Kirkus Reviews)
The Brightest Star by Gail Tsukiyama (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook). This historical novel is based on the life of Anna May Wong - the first and only Asian American woman to gain stardom in the early days of Hollywood. Born Wong Liu Tsong, to Chinese immigrants who own a laundry, she was taunted and bullied growing up, finding joy only at the local nickelodeons. At 16, she left home to pursue her Hollywood dream. “She longed to play characters who weren't concubines, prostitutes, or evil dragon ladies. As one of the first Chinese American actresses, she often struggled to get movie roles for two reasons: Hollywood protocols and anti-miscegenation laws prevented her from starring as a love interest to a white man, and Asian roles often went to white actors in yellowface. She was determined to take the roles she could get and never give up on acting.” (Library Journal)
“For greater freedom, Anna travels to Europe, where she befriends Marlene Dietrich and Josephine Baker. With its rich supporting cast, the novel emphasizes the friendships and family relationships that help Anna thrive, while her many disappointments (like losing a leading role in The Good Earth to a German actress in "yellowface") catch at the heart.” (Booklist)
Mushrooms have become a big part of our diet with sales according to one report up 32% from previous years. Not only is there culinary interest, but the therapeutic (micro dosing), the ecological (nutrient sharing), and environmental uses (restoring contaminated soil after an oil spill and breaking down plastics) are remarkable. Mushrooms have been used in medicine for thousands of years and Western medicine is just now discovering the benefits, like studies that show some varieties may help fight inflammation in the body. So, drink your mushroom coffee then take a walk in the woods to spot all the amazing fungi proliferating there.
Complete Mushroom Hunter by Gary Lincoff | Request Now
Are you just beginning your journey into mushroom foraging? Here’s a great guide for the newbie! Lincoff goes over some varieties of mushrooms, those edible vs poisonous, best places to look and what to look for, and facts about each one. Although he doesn’t cover every variety, he focuses on those easier to identify in the wild, it is still a worthwhile book for someone to start their foray into the fungi world.
Whether the start of the school year means you’re packing lunches for the kids in your life or if you just want to get out of a packed lunch slump yourself, I’ve got great news. There are books that can help! And we have a LOT of them! Here are four favorites:
Lunchbox by Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson | Request Now
It’s so easy to get in a rut with packing kids’ lunches; heck, once that responsibility got passed on to me as a student, I literally packed the same peanut butter crackers, apple, and carrots every single day. So often, you just need a reminder of other items that pack easily, and Hanel & Stevenson are the perfect duo to remind you! Their basic lunchbox formula is “Fruit, Vegetable, Main, Crunchy Snack, Protein Snack, Tiny Treat” and they give enough suggestions of these to make 478! different lunches (that’s 478 factorial, not merely 478 options). Their photos of colorful lunches serve as a great inspiration, and if you’ve got a kid in your life who might have fun helping to pack their own lunches, going through this book together could be a fun project to last all the way through the school year!
Spooky season is upon us, which means it's time for windy weather, scary stories, and pumpkin-everything. These comics from AADL's teen section are full of pumpkins, monsters, and all the fall vibes you'll need to get in the Halloween spirit.
Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell | Request Now
This lighthearted read follows Deja and Josiah, seasonal best friends who work together every autumn at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. They say good-bye each Halloween, and are reunited every September 1. But this Halloween is different: Josiah and Deja are finally high school seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye. Josiah's ready to spend the whole night moping about it, but Deja isn't ready to let him. She's got a plan: What if they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he's been mooning over for years. What if their last shift at the pumpkin patch was an adventure?
For centuries, in every corner of the globe, people have shared fairy tales, myths, & legends. It is not surprising that these stories still generate so much interest with the plethora of modern retellings and reimaginings available today. Here are just a few of the many books in our collection in which contemporary writers retell some classic tales.
My Mother she Killed me, my Father he ate me : Forty new Fairy Tales | Request Now
Here is a great anthology of 40 contemporary retellings of fairy tales and legends from around the world written by some well-known authors, like Neil Gaiman and Joyce Carol Oates, as well as some not as known in the U.S., like Hiromi Itō and Ilya Kaminsky. While some are obvious in the tale they are retelling, like Oates’ Blue-bearded Lover or Francine Prose’s take on Hansel & Gretel, others are not. Luckily an afterword is provided following each story that sheds some light on the story itself and the choices the author made when writing it. Other retellings include the Baba Yaga character from Russian lore to folktales from Vietnam and Mexico.
If you're into facts, but don't have the attention span for long nonfiction books, AADL has tons of nonfiction comics to choose from. The perfect blend of words and art, these graphic memoirs will pull you in with their vivid images and deeply personal stories:
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, by Kate Beaton | Request Now
Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush-part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can't find it in the homeland they love so much. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands, where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet is never discussed. Beaton's natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights, and boreal forest. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people. Readers should be aware this story deals with themes of sexual assault.
What’s better than reading a great book? Reading a great book and then getting to see the author IN REAL LIFE!!
Lucky for all of us, we’ve got a wonderful slate of authors coming as part of the A2 Community Bookfest on Sunday, September 10. Read one of these books in anticipation of the event or take advantage of the chance to pick up a signed copy in September!
Late summer and early fall are great times for book publication! There are lots of highly anticipated titles from beloved authors that have either just been released or are coming out in the next month or so. AADL often pre-orders books so that you can put your name on the hold list before the title is officially published! Check out some suggestions for exciting upcoming releases below, and add your name to the waitlist.
The Fraud, by Zadie Smith | Request Now
Acclaimed and bestselling author Smith has written a new historical fiction novel based on real events. Set in 1873, a legal trial is about to divide Victorian England, and raise questions about who is allowed to tell their side of a story and who is believed. Eliza Touchet is the cousin of famous novelist William Ainsworth. Eliza has lots of interests and is well-connected to writers and artists of the time, but she is skeptical of many of them. She questions Ainsworth’s talent, she considers Charles Dickens a bully, and she thinks the literary world of England is mostly a facade. Andrew Bogle grew up enslaved on a plantation in Jamaica, but eventually finds himself in London as the star witness in a case of imposture: a lower-class butcher is claiming that he is in fact the rightful heir of a sizable estate and title. Andrew knows that his future depends on him telling the “right” story–but what is the right story? As Eliza and Andrew’s worlds collide, and the rest of England becomes enthralled with the trial, questions of self-deception and what is really true become increasingly complicated. Publisher Penguin Random House calls The Fraud, “ a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity and the mystery of ‘other people.’”
The Perseid meteor shower will peak from August 11-13. Learn about the science behind this phenomenon to enhance your viewing experience. Explore the universe, our place in it, and the wonders of the night sky with titles from the Library's collection including streaming video content which can be found here.
Impact : How Rocks From Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong by Greg Brennecka | Request Now
Project: Ann Arbor District Library Plaza Site Improvements
Bid Due Date: 2:00PM - Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Location: 265 Parkland Plaza Dr. Ann Arbor, MI
The Ann Arbor District Library’s Fifth Avenue Press publishing imprint and the University of Michigan Press are excited to announce that their recent book Cinema Ann Arbor: How Campus Rebels Forged a Singular Film Culture by Frank Uhle is one of five books that have been included in the Alice Award Short List from Furthermore grants in publishing, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
Ann Arbor, long known for its political and cultural activism, has an equally compelling history of engagement with film and media. Delving into almost 100 years of rarely glimpsed history, Cinema Ann Arbor melds interviews, deep archival research, and over four hundred images into a vivid history of film in one extraordinary town. These stories, told with urgency and exquisite detail, are firsthand accounts of the unforgettable people who created Ann Arbor’s magnificent twentieth-century film scene. This beautiful, full-color book was designed by Fifth Avenue Press and published and distributed by the University of Michigan Press.
Featuring interviews with filmmaker Ken Burns, Oscar-nominated editor Jay Cassidy, producer John Sloss, and more, this masterpiece provides insights into how a Midwestern college town developed a robust underground art film community that inspired those across the country. Variety’s Owen Glieberman says, “Frank Uhle has captured the moment when cinema became, for a new generation, a kind of religion, with its own rituals and sacred texts and a spirit of exploratory mystery that has all but vanished from the culture.”
Ah, August… we cling on to the last month of summer before school starts back up, before football season begins, before cooler temperatures start to breeze through on occasion. There’s still plenty of summer left, and what better time to grab a good old fashioned beach read, plop down in a sun chair and just relax? Here are a few suggestions for you!
Meant to Be, by Emily Giffin | Request Now
Bestselling author Emily Giffin’s latest was published last year, which makes it perfect for a beach read this summer since the hold list has gone down! Meant to Be is loosely based on the story of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. Giffin is a longtime Kennedy family fan and history buff, and wanted to reimagine the complicated love story between the two as well as their tragic deaths in a plane crash. In the book, Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. inherits both the family helm and the family wealth when his father dies in a tragic accident. A free spirit, he struggles to take on his new role and meet his mother’s expectations for a life in politics. Meanwhile, Cate Cooper grew up in a challenging household, fending for herself. Discovered at age 16 by a modeling agency, she skyrockets to fame, with her face on billboards and in magazines. Yet she feels like a fraud in her glamorous new world, struggling to move beyond the trauma in her past. When Joseph and Cate meet, they have an instant connection, but there’s lots of work to be done if their relationship can survive the glare of media attention and the so-called “Kingsley curse.” This charming love story is a surprising page-turner that will really have readers rooting for John and Caroyln, er, Joseph and Cate.
Countless amazing and meaningful books come out EVERY YEAR and it is IMPOSSIBLE to read them all. Maybe you missed hearing about a title. Maybe you peeped at the hold-list and thought “another time.” That time is now: here are four great books that came out in 2022 that are worth circling back for!
Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson | Request Now
The 1920s roared in London as well, as highlighted in Kate Atkinson’s latest Shrines of Gaiety! Centered around the family and nightclubs of proprietor Nellie Coker, Shrines of Gaiety jumps between multiple perspectives, giving the reader insight into both sides of the nightclub life: the rich family that runs them and the police force that attempts to keep them in check. Throw in a mystery of a once-librarian trying to find a missing girl, and you’ve got a real page-turner! Compared to some of Atkinson’s other (beautiful) books, Shrines has a somewhat lighter tone, and I didn’t mind not having to cope with literary heartbreak!
Did you know sharks have been around for 455 million years and have survived 5 mass extinction events? There are currently more than 465 known species of shark. Unfortunately, humans kill some 100 million sharks per year and one in four shark species are threatened with extinction due to human activities. It seems they have more to fear from us than the other way around. To continue understanding these predators of the sea, the library has some streaming videos here, as well as some DVDs you can check out here. To continue shark week beyond once a year, check out these books:
Shark : : why we Need to Save the World's Most Misunderstood Predator by Paul de Gelder | Request Now
Noted Australian diver and shark attack survivor (he lost part of an arm & leg), de Gelder writes about the need for better understanding of sharks and the need to protect them. He often shares his love of all things shark during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. This book covers in short bites (no pun intended!) information about a variety of sharks including their evolution, feeding habits, & anatomy as well as what needs to be done to save those on the edge of extinction. From the smallest shark to largest (lantern shark about 8 inches to whale shark about 60 ft), this is a great guide to a this misunderstood fish.
It’s the season of travel for many, but even if you’re just “staycationing” this summer, you can travel in spirit with some of the excellent travel memoirs in AADL’s collection. Here are a few suggestions to get you going, even if “going” just means relaxing in the shade reading!
Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities and the Pleasures of Solitude, by Stephanie Rosenbloom | Request Now
Traveling solo can seem daunting - no one to share sights and experiences with, no one to consult with if you get lost, no one to help figure out train and bus schedules. Stephanie Rosenbloom would argue that in fact, solitary travel can be both pleasurable and rejuvenating, especially in an increasingly frantic and connected world. In Alone Time, Rosenbloom focuses on four cities in each of the four seasons: Paris, Istanbul, Florence, and New York. In each city, a different aspect of solitude is considered and explored, along with the city itself. She incorporates scientific information about the benefits of solitude and talks about learning to savor time alone. Her writing is warm and gentle, and readers will surely be at least intrigued by the idea of solo travel, and potentially even ready to jump up and plan their own adventure alone.