News and Reviews
Wed, 01/02/2019 - 9:42am by hmorse
Part III: “A Printer’s Supplies”
Like any other nineteenth-century newspaper, the Signal of Liberty relied on the receipt of printing supplies that were not always easy to come by in Western states and territories. Besides a press and typesetting equipment, printers needed several dozen cases of type and a regular supply of paper and ink. Local, as well as out-of-state, business connections with type foundries, paper mills, ink-makers, and bookstores were vital to the smooth operation of the Signal of Liberty. In some cases, these businesses’ support of the Signal also corresponded to the owner’s own antislavery convictions. Even when this was not the case, the Signal’s business networks paint a picture of industry and commerce in mid-nineteenth-century Ann Arbor, as well as the larger Great Lakes region.
Thu, 12/27/2018 - 10:22am by muffy
I have been saving the galley to One Day in December by Josie Silver for quite some time, waiting for a long stretch of uninterrupted time so I could kick back and enjoy it, and it did not disappoint. Called “unabashedly romantic”, it is the story of 2 Londoners who cross paths on a cold December evening and spend the next decade circling each other’s lives.
Hotel clerk Laurie James spotted a young man at a bus stop from her upper-deck seat. They locked eyes and the connection was electric but before either one of them could make a move, the bus pulled away. Over the course of the next year, Laurie never stop looking for her “bus boy”. When she finally met him, he was Jack O’Mara - her best friend/roommate Sarah's new boyfriend. For different reasons, they decided not to tell Sarah while their deep connection remained -- even after Laurie took herself off to the wilds of Thailand and met the dreamy Robinson Crusoe/banker Oscar Ogilvy-Black.
“There’s no question where the book is going, but the pacing is just right, the tone warm, and the characters sympathetic, even when making dumb decisions. Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an emotional, satisfying read.” (Kirkus Reviews) Enough said! For fans of Miss you by Kate Eberlen, and definitely if you have been bingeing on Love Actually this holiday season.
If you don't insist on a happy ending, may I suggest Harriet Paige's highly stylish Man With a Seagull on His Head ? - "(A) novel about... the electric charge that comes from real if unexpected connection. Beautiful, lyrical, and strangely moving...".
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 2:57pm by richretyi
Coco. Metal detectors. Florence + the Machine. Little Fires Everywhere. La Grenouillere.
These are just a few of the most requested books, movies, music, tools, and art prints of 2018 across the entire AADL system. Thanks for using your library!
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 9:04am by TimG
All locations of the Ann Arbor District Library will be closed on Monday & Tuesday, December 24 & 25. Regular hours will resume on Wednesday, December 26.
All locations will close at 6 pm on Monday December 31 and will remain closed on Tuesday, January 1. Regular hours will resume on Wednesday, January 2.
Fri, 12/14/2018 - 1:14pm by muffy
With winter solstice approaching and our to-do lists becoming overwhelming, there is no reason why your pleasure reading should suffer. The trick for me is to try out small gems - books under 200 pages.
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 world 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 BuszzFeed’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.
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 2:24pm by -alex-
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.
Mon, 12/10/2018 - 2:11pm by samanthar
The 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?!
Thu, 11/15/2018 - 1:20pm by muffy
The 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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
Fri, 11/09/2018 - 2:39pm by muffy
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
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.
Thu, 11/01/2018 - 2:41pm by mbt
The People Awards by Lily Murray
In 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.
Wed, 10/31/2018 - 8:44am by muffy
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)
* = Starred review
Wed, 10/24/2018 - 7:29am by muffy
Convenience 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”)
* * = 2 starred reviews
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:
Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:00am by muffy
Apocalyptic Manhattan. 2 debuts giving voice to 2 reluctant heroines.
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.
Suicide 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
Thu, 10/11/2018 - 2:11pm by Lucy S
Did 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.
Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:42am by howarde
Reading with Patrick: the 2019 Washtenaw Read
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.)
Mon, 10/08/2018 - 8:36pm by muffy
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.”
Fri, 10/05/2018 - 3:49pm by hmorse
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Fri, 09/21/2018 - 5:10pm by muffy
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)
* * = 2 starred reviews
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.
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.
Fri, 09/14/2018 - 7:58am by muffy
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
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 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.
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.