News and Reviews
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 6:52pm by eli
Good evening SG Faithful! We've got the last two of our classic, retro, entomological / herpetological buttons for you tonight: that's the AAPL Shirted Ladybug and the AAPL Reading Rattler buttons! And then, a week from tonight is the last SHOP DROP of Summer Game 2019, featuring 6 classic items! You can see details in this blog post from earlier this summer. But while we've got you, we wanted to remind you of some IMPORTANT DATES!
- Wednesday, August 21: Last Day to Order Bluetooth Speaker
- Friday, August 23: Final Shop Drop of 2019
- Sunday, August 25: Last Day to order AADL Logo T or AADL Baseball T!
- Saturday, August 31: Last Day to earn SG 2019 points, and don't miss the Game Over Gala and Points Auction!
- Monday, September 9: Last Day to order from the Summer Game Shop!
- Thursday, October 31: Last Day to pick up 2019 Summer Game Shop Orders!
That's the scoop y'all, have fun through the home stretch and don't let these deadlines sneak up on you! See you next week for the last Shop Drop and THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Sat, 08/10/2019 - 3:05pm by muffy
The New York Times book reviewer Ivy Pochoda called Disappearing Earth * * * * by Fulbright fellow Julia Phillips “(a) superb debut—brilliant. Daring, nearly flawless.” “(A)n unusual, cleverly constructed thriller, and also a deep dive into the culture of Russia’s remote Kamchatka peninsula." (Kirkus Reviews)
On an August afternoon, sisters Sofia (8), and Alyona(11) vanished from a public beach in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. A witness described seeing them with a man in a shiny black car, but in the ensuing weeks, the police investigation turned up nothing. The case paralleled the disappearance of an 18 year-old Native girl 3 years ago, officially ruled as a runaway. Over the course of the next year, we met the women connected by the 2 incidents - a reindeer herder’s daughter at university in the capital; a policeman’s wife; the journalist/mother of the missing sisters; a Native woman whose teenage daughter also disappeared.
“In fresh and unpredictable scenes depicting broken friendships and failed marriages, strained family gatherings, and rehearsals of a Native dance troupe, Phillips’ spellbinding prose is saturated with sensuous nuance and emotional intensity, as she subtly traces the shadows of Russia’s past and illuminates today’s daunting complexities of gender and identity, expectations and longing.” (Booklist)
In the long, hot summer of 1992, the Van Apfel sisters -- Ruth, Hannah, and the beautiful Cordelia, mysteriously disappeared from their home in the Sydney suburb. Though Ruth was eventually found dead, the disappearance of Hannah and Cordelia was never solved. Eleven year-old Tikka Malloy and her older sister, Laura, have been haunted ever since by the loss of their friends.
Twenty years later, Tikka, now living in Baltimore, returns home to see Laura, recently diagnosed with cancer, and is immediately drawn back into the mystery. “Through conversations with Laura, neighbors, and her parents, Tikka stumbles upon painful feelings of guilt, hidden secrets and scandals, and memories better left forgotten ... (that) lies hidden behind the cheerful facade of suburbia. This debut, part coming-of-age story and part crime thriller, is both forceful and unnerving.“ (Publishers Weekly)
* * * * = 4 starred reviews
* = Starred review
Fri, 08/09/2019 - 6:42pm by eli
HELLO SUMMER GAME FAITHFUL! We're in the home stretch, with just a skosh over 3 weeks left in Summer Game 2019! So tonight, we've got 2 more vintage buttons from the Summer Reading Game days of Yore, and we'll have two more next Friday, followed by our last Shop Drop on 8/23. You can see details about that in this post from a few weeks ago. But for tonight, for you hardcore button collectors, we've got two of our absolute favorites: #10 AAPL Reading Frog, and #12 AAPL Happy Axolotl!
Then, be sure you're planning to attend the GAME OVER GALA on August 31st, where we'll have both Silent Auctions for some rare Summer Game Shop items, and a LIVE ART AUCTION for real art we just CAN'T WAIT TO GET RID OF! We'll start the auction around 4 PM, so make sure you arrive in time to get registered as a bidder and get your bidder card! We'll tell you at that point how many points you have to spend, so don't go into POINTS DEBT! During the auction, you just raise your Bidder Card to say that you are willing to pay the amount the Auctioneer is seeking for that item. Remember that that act is binding; you can't change your mind after you bid! We'll explain it all in person, but this is sure to be FUN and FASCINATING, so come young and old to bid on great stuff at the Gala!
We'll see you there, and THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Mon, 08/05/2019 - 1:59pm by muffy
Ellie Jacobs happened upon the Harp Barn on one of her walks on the moors, and met the exceedingly handsome harpmaker Dan Hollis. Happy in his solitude, making exquisite Celtic harps from local materials, Dan impulsively gifted Ellie, whom he referred to as the Exmoor housewife with a cherrywood harp (to match her cherry-colored socks) after learning that playing the harp was on Ellie’s bucket list.
When Ellie’s domineering husband Clive insisted that Ellie return the harp, Dan offered to keep it at the barn, and introduced Ellie to Rhoda, a concert harpist for lessons. As Ellie made daily visits to her harp in secret, she found herself increasingly drawn to Dan - with all his “peculiarities and eccentricities, his self-sufficiency, his otherworldliness”. When the insanely jealous Clive discovered Ellie’s betrayal, it looked like their precariously balanced relationship might not survive.
Told in the alternating voices of its two protagonists, “Prior's debut probes the inner workings of two very different minds. Empathetic to its core, it's a delightfully heart-warming glimpse inside a lushly imagined world. Tender, free-spirited, and guaranteed to tug at readers' heartstrings.” (Booklist)
* * = 2 starred reviews
Fri, 08/02/2019 - 7:00pm by eli
Greetings, Players! Assuming any of you want anything to do with the Summer Game Shop, or Emoji, after attempting the insane UNIQUE ODE badge, we've got 6 items dropping into the Classic Shop today! CHECK IT:
But THAT'S NOT ALL! Today also marks the release of the LONG-AWAITED FISH PIN SET! You can now add this delightful item to your cart and welcome the AADL FISH SQUAD to your home! (Squids not included.) And SPEAKING OF FISH, we all know you've been on veritable FINS AND SPINES waiting to hear the results of last week's FISH ELECTION! So, read on, and find out!
Fri, 07/26/2019 - 6:54pm by eli
It's the moment you've been waiting for! Our amazing ROOS ROAST SUPER SUMMER GAME BLEND is finally available! Only the freshest beans are bagged up weekly to fill our orders; you won't get free coffee from a library ANY FRESHER THAN THIS!
ALSO! We've got the return of some VERY RARE items that only you TRUE S.G. O.G.s are going to recognize; it's the return of VINTAGE LIBRARY BUTTONS to the SUMMER GAME SHOP! Plus a surprise AADL APOLLO AT 50 Patch! Astounding!
Stay tuned for a HUGE Shop Drop next Friday August 2, and don't forget that LIVE POINTS AUCTION coming up at the Game Over Gala on August 31st! Have fun and THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Fri, 07/19/2019 - 5:45pm by eli
GOOD EVENING SUMMER GAME FAITHFUL! We have some good news, and some bad news, and some just news. GOOD NEWS FIRST! Out of nowhere, a new CLASSIC SHOP ITEM has appeared! It is not super-exciting but it is TOTALLY NEW to the Summer Game Shop! If you're a Skatepark Fan, or perhaps became one last weekend at the Summer Game Spectacular, you can EMBLAZON SOMETHING with a Skatepark Sticker or Three! Only a limited quantity is available, but take a look in the Classic Shop for the Skatepark Sticker Set!
Now the bad news; we're not ready to accept Coffee orders yet. Don't blame our pals at Roos Roast, this one's on us. The bags for the coffee have not yet arrived and we don't think we'll be ready to ship Coffee next packing day, so we're delaying the opening of Coffee orders a few more days so that orders don't get mixed up. We won't make you wait until next Friday, so if you're desperate for Coffee, keep your eyes on the shop Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. It's all about the FRESHEST coffee and the LEAST LOGISTICAL COMPLEXITY in that order, so stay tuned, and thanks for your patience! We're so sorry for the delay!
So, here, for your ANTICIPATORY PLEASURE, is (most of) the Classic Shop Drop schedule for the rest of Summer Game 2019. We're focused on keeping the number of items in the shop at once down, as that leads to ERRORS and UNCERTAINTY, but we want you to have a crack at a lot of great stuff from years past. The items in the Classic Shop right now will stay up until sold out or until 7/31, whichever comes first. Then, here are our two other major CLASSIC SHOP DROPS and what they'll contain:
- Friday, August 2nd, 7 PM:
- 2018 Pinteel Umbrella
- 2018 Pint Glass
- 2018 Pocket Boombox Bluetooth Speaker
- S.G. Giraffepants
- 2018 Emoji Hackey Sack
- Used Heavy-Duty Stories-to-go Bags
- Friday, August 23rd, 7PM:
- Secret Lab Field Notes Notebook
- Multicolor Beachy Ball
- 2017 Cray Cray Crayon
- Ancient Bird Sliding Puzzle
- 2015 Red Ultrapremium Logo Messenger Bag
- Keyring Beverage Wrench
Those are the big ones! We also have some of our RARE and HIGHLY DESIRABLE Vintage Buttons from the ancient history of AADL; these will appear in the shop on Fridays when there isn't another Classic Shop Drop, starting next week. These are very limited quantity and are priced for the HIGH ROLLERS among you who treasure PRICELESS and BIZARRE AADL Memorabilia!
BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! We're experimenting with some Silent Auctions of Artwork for points at our SUMMER GAME MIXERS as the Summer goes on, leading up to something VERY SPECIAL and UNIQUE at the Game Over Gala on August 31st! If you're able to attend that event, you may be able to BID WITH YOUR POINTS on both treasures from the Summer Game Shop, and works of Art that have previously been part of AADL Exhibits! We're hoping to have both silent and live points auctions at that event, so CLEAR YOUR CALENDARS, players!
Hopefully that is almost ENOUGH INFO about what the Summer Game Shop has to offer this Summer; as always, let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, and THANKS FOR PLAYING!
p.s. If you're read this far, it's because you're observant and studious. And you're surely wondering about some weird stuff in the 2019 shop descriptions. All will be revealed with the August 2nd badge drop!
Fabulous Fiction Firsts #710, "The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live." ~ Auguste Rodin
Mon, 07/08/2019 - 4:29pm by muffy
If you enjoyed J. Courtney Sullivan’s Maine (2011), Beatriz Williams’ A Hundred Summers (2013), and last year’s blockbuster The High Season, you would not want to miss out on Montauk by Nicola Harrison, when one is transported to a Long Island resort in 1938.
Bea(trice) Bordeaux was to spend the summer among Manhattan socialites at Montauk Manor while her banker husband Harry, would join her on the weekends. Amidst all the leisure activities and charity benefits, she was tasked to further Harry’s investment interest by cozying up to the high society wives. A Vassar grad from humble upbringing, she felt much more at ease with the solitary hikes around Montauk, once a fishing village, and befriending the townsfolk who catered to the every need of the resort guests. She was especially drawn to Elizabeth, the laundress and Thomas, the lighthouse keeper - a wounded war hero and a poet, gentle and enigmatic, an inviting contrast to her cold and brutish husband.
“Full of substance and delightful characters with intriguing and intricate lives, Harrison's first novel will be a strong pick for fans of historical fiction featuring strong female leads...” (Library Journal)
For 42 year-old Sophie Bloom, the humiliation was complete - finding out her surgeon husband Gabe made the top of the list on Ashley Madison, a hacked on-line dating site for married people, at her birthday dinner AND, her best friends were aware of Gabe's dalliances but kept the information from her. A tearful call from her 19 year-old daughter Ava studying in Paris, sent Sophie across the Atlantic, hoping the distance would also give her perspective.
At loose ends after packing Ava off, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie rediscovers her zest for life and for art (she was once a promising sculptor) in spectacularly satisfying and libertine fashion.
“This exquisitely wrought novel will appeal to readers who believe in the redemption of new beginnings, and in the necessity of facing the past while making a deliberate effort to move forward.” (Publishers Weekly)
Mon, 07/08/2019 - 10:34am by eli
We're thrilled to introduce the availability of two new bookable meeting rooms at the Malletts Creek Branch! Introducing the River Birch Room and the Rain Garden Room!
The River Birch Room seats 10-12, and the Rain Garden Room seats 6-8. Both feature high-speed Wifi and power. A screen is coming for the River Birch Room but it's not quite ready yet. A few furniture changes are still coming too, but we wanted to get these rooms bookable while we put on the finishing touches.
Tue, 07/02/2019 - 10:13am by howarde
Among Harper Lee's abandoned works is a manuscript called The Reverend, a true crime story surrounded by facts so strange you couldn’t make them up.
Over the course of several years in 1970s rural Alabama, Reverend Willie Maxwell murdered five family members on whom he had taken out multiple life insurance policies. In the end, only two of the deaths could be declared homicides and Maxwell could not be tried for the second because he was murdered at the funeral of his last victim. How Maxwell killed his victims and what he did with the insurance money are still mysteries. The twist, however, is that Tom Radney, the lawyer who defended Maxwell in a criminal trial and a host of insurance claim disputes, went on to also successfully defend Maxwell’s murderer.
When Harper Lee heard about the Maxwell case, she traveled from New York to Alabama to gather as much evidence about it as possible. Having helped Truman Capote conduct interviews and prepare materials for In Cold Blood, Lee was the perfect person to write about this bizarre case, which took place only 150 miles from where she grew up. However, her years of work on the book disappeared, leaving a trail of clues as puzzling as Reverend Maxwell’s.
Wed, 06/26/2019 - 12:04pm by richretyi
All AADL locations will be closed on Thursday, July 4, with regular library hours resuming on Friday, July 5.
Thu, 06/20/2019 - 3:08pm by muffy
Tasmanian librarian Minnie Darke’s (Gemini) debut Star-Crossed has reviewers raving. Booklist called it “(u)tterly charming”; Library Journal thought it “(f)unny and enticing" where one woman's decision to tinker with the horoscopes of the man of her dreams has far-reaching consequences.
When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius) ran into Nick Jordan (Aquarius) at Sydney’s Alexandria Park Market, he was dressed as a fish. A struggling actor, Nick takes on odd jobs. Childhood best friends who have been apart for 13 years, 1 month, and 3 weeks, since their (memorable) joint family vacation when they were 14, Justine is surprised to find Nick an astrological devotee, allowing his decision-making, romantic and professional, guided solely by the horoscopes in his favorite magazine - the Alexandria Park Star where Justine works as a staff writer. As Justine tweaks the monthly Aquarius column to prompt Nick into realizing they’re meant for each other, she unknowingly sets off a chain of events with life-changing decisions for Aquarius everywhere.
""Winning . . . Unpretentious, well-drawn characters and the fresh twist on the childhood sweethearts reunited setup make this perfect for fans of romantic comedies." (Publishers Weekly)
When an altercation and a ruined £75,000 cake at a royal wedding threaten an international scandal and the re-election bid of the first female president of the United States, First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is quickly dispatched to mend U.S./British relations by staging publicity photo-ops with his archnemesis, Henry, Prince of Wales. What started as a fake friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either could have imagined. The pair (with the help of families and loyal staff) manages to meet at Wimbledon, a Texas ranch, and at a West Hollywood karaoke bar until a hacked White House server forces them to make an impossible decision.
“Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life. A clever, romantic, sexy love story.” (Kirkus Reviews)
* * = 2 starred reviews
Fri, 05/31/2019 - 2:05pm by morseh
On Saturday June 1, 2019, Ann Arbor residents will gather for music, dance, food, crafts, and local business wares at the African American Downtown Festival. The festival was founded in 1996 by community leader Lucille Hall Porter (1917-2007). It celebrates the vibrant history of black-owned businesses and community organizations located on East Ann Street and North Fourth Avenue throughout the twentieth century.
In its early years, the festival was sponsored by Porter’s nonprofit, the Community Leaning Post, which operated out of 209-211 N. Fourth Ave. The building used to be owned by the Colored Welfare League, and before that by several different African American hoteliers, including heavyweight champion Hank Griffin. In 1966, Porter’s brother J.D. Hall purchased the building, recognizing its history as a cornerstone of the Ann Street Black Business District. By the mid 1980’s, Hall’s Barber Shop was the only black-owned business left in the once-thriving district.
Now the Ann Arbor Cultural and Community Events Coalition puts on the African American Downtown Festival, but the event’s location remains central to its mission. For most of the twentieth century, dozens of barber shops, shoe repair shops, dry cleaners, restaurants, pool halls, and blues bars anchored Ann Arbor’s black community, until police crackdowns and redevelopment pushed them out.
Sat, 05/25/2019 - 6:43pm by muffy
Picked as one of 9 Books Not to Judge by Their Covers, There's a Word for That * is the first book for adults by YA author Sloane Tanen. “The novel's title refers to German words that express concepts that take a whole sentence to convey in English, like Verschlimmbessern (to make matters worse in the process of trying to improve them) and Schnapsidee (a plan so stupid, it must have come from a drunken mind), and others make up the five sections of the book.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Retired film producer Marty Kessler, addicted to opioids, man-handled by his latest girlfriend Gail, is running through his life savings at an alarming rate while still supporting his daughters Janine and Amanda and her twins, Hailey and Jaycee. 41 year-old Janine, a former child star is struggling to make a life for herself. Recently divorced Amanda, a high school drama teacher worries about her girls’ future.
On the other side of the pond, celebrated novelist Bunny Small is self-medicating for a severe writer’s block and estrangement from her only son Henry. Unbeknownst to the family, Marty and Bunny were once married. Their reunion at Directions, a ritzy Malibu rehab center, will bring these two wildly flawed families together, for better or for worse.
“With equal parts humor and empathy, Tanen's first novel for adults employs multiple narrators and a skillfully drawn cross-generational family to examine how relatives impact one another… For readers who miss The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg (2012) and the Lamberts from Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections (2001).” (Booklist)
* = Starred review
It is 1968, Tom Hope, a cash-strapped sheep farmer is hired to do some carpentry work for Hannah Babel, a recent immigrant and Holocaust survivor, determined to open the first bookstore in town. Trudy, Tom’s unstable wife, left him again but this time taking with her Peter, her son that Tom has raised as his own, to join a Jesus camp. Sophisticated, colorful, charismatic and haunted, Hannah lost her entire family at Auschwitz, including her young son and vowed never to love another child again. Despite the vast age difference, attraction between Tom and Hannah is mutual and they soon marry. But when a horrific act of violence sends Peter back to Tom, Hannah has a difficult decision to make.
“The openness of the Australian countryside is an apt setting for a complex exploration of grief, faith, and restoration, and in poignant, meditative, and stirring prose Hillman tells a heartrending and heartwarming tale of love and sacrifice.” (Booklist)
Mon, 05/20/2019 - 5:11pm by richretyi
All AADL locations will be closed on Monday, May 27, with regular library hours resuming on Tuesday, May 28.
Sun, 05/19/2019 - 1:35pm by evelyn
Do you know about our Stories to Go collection? These bags are a great way for kids to get a curated selection of books on a single topic. Each bag comes with approximately ten picture books on a topic (some bags also include a DVD). The bags check out for four weeks, and you can put them on hold to pick up at any branch you like!
We’ve recently added some brand new themes:
- Coding (Learn to code! This kit includes a book to help parents learn to code too!)
Sat, 05/11/2019 - 9:16pm by muffy
29 year-old June Bloom, an aspiring comedy writer, has been working as a writers' assistant for a late-night talk show, Stay Up with Hugo Best when the show was cancelled for falling ratings. Unemployed with little prospect, June left the farewell party and made her way to an open-mic night at a dive bar where she unexpectedly met up with Hugo, and impulsively accepted the sixtysomething-womanizer’s invitation to spend the long Memorial Day weekend at his Greenwich mansion. Though the exact terms of the visit were never spelled out, June was realistic and clear-eyed enough to guess. The weekend started with a series of misunderstandings and misadventures and the presence of Hugo’s teenage son, Spencer, home from prep school further complicated matters.
“Somers sidesteps the predictable path the reader might expect this weekend to take, instead meandering into subtle, surprising territory… a winning debut.” (Publishers Weekly)
* = Starred review
Named one of 2019's most anticipated reads by LitHub and Entertainment Weekly, Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe by Evan James is a hilarious and sophisticated comedy of manners about an eccentric family during one frenzied summer in the Pacific Northwest.
Carol Widdicombe is convinced moving into Willowbrook Manor, their new Bainbridge Island home would bring her husband Frank out of a deep depression. She is sure it won’t hurt to turn their elegant summer home into a showplace, perhaps even as a feature in a décor magazine. And so begins a whirlwind summer of multiple social dramas involving the family and a few chosen friends.
Their son Christopher, is nursing a broken heart after a year abroad in Italy. Michelle Briggs, Carol's personal assistant is enamored with Bradford Dearborne, a blue-blooded screenwriter and Frank’s tennis partner. Their gardener Marvelous Matthews, a recovering alcoholic, finds himself enchanted with Gracie Sloane, a self-help guru.
“When this alternately bumbling and clever cast of characters comes together, Willowbrook transforms into a circus of uncovered secrets, preposterous misunderstandings, and irrepressible passions.” For fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette?; Andrew Sean Greer's Less; and Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins.
Mon, 04/29/2019 - 9:42am by howarde
When Lori Gottlieb’s boyfriend of two years unexpectedly leaves her, she experiences a midlife crisis, emotional meltdown, and accidentally-wear-pajamas-to-work loss of functionality. Gottlieb, herself a psychotherapist, decides that she needs to find a therapist. This lands her in the office of Wendell, a quiet, dorky, middle-aged therapist who has no patience for Gottlieb’s wallowing, but lots of faith in her ability to free herself from the mental traps she’s created in her life.
A book about a therapist’s experience in therapy might seem…I don’t know…boring, myopic, technical? But Gottlieb’s book brims with humanity and humor. As the story proceeds, Gottlieb’s breakup takes a backseat to her conversations with her clients. These include a TV screenwriter who seems to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder but actually just has a heartbreaking secret, a young successful academic dying of a rare form of cancer, and a 69 year old artist who, in the wake of her devastating family life, decides that she will commit suicide on her 70th birthday if her depression doesn’t clear up. Just as Gottlieb gains self-understanding and growth in her sessions with Wendell, Gottlieb’s clients undergo remarkable transformation as they face themselves, their problems, and their loved ones with compassion.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone has a lot of buzz—it’s even now in development as a TV series—but it’s definitely well-deserved. A great read for anyone interested in the human heart and psyche.
Fri, 04/26/2019 - 2:41pm by muffy
Recent immigrants Pak and Young Yoo run the Miracle Submarine, an experimental hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatment facility in a small town in Virginia. Sessions (called dives) in the pressurized oxygen chamber are prescribed to treat conditions spanning from autism to infertility.
When the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes killing two people during an evening dive, Elizabeth Ward, the mother of one of the victims, is charged with murder. In the ensuing trial, Matt Thompson, a young doctor who survived the explosion is first to testify while every person present that evening must reckon with what really happened. Pak, now in a wheelchair, might be motivated by the insurance payout that could send daughter Mary to college. Young is plagued by the guilt of lying for her husband. The hot-tempered teenage Mary, now permanently scarred, hopes her not-completely innocent secret will not come to light.
"With so many complications and loose ends, one of the miracles of the novel is that the author ties it all together and arrives at a deeply satisfying - though not easy or sentimental ending. Intricate plotting and courtroom theatrics, combined with moving insight into parenting special needs children and the psychology of immigrants, make this book both a learning experience and a page-turner." (Kirkus Reviews)
* * = 2 starred reviews
Wed, 04/17/2019 - 2:39pm by muffy
Named Best Debut Novel of 2017 by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers, and is pegged one of this year’s best books by the Washington Post, The Wolf and the Watchman * by Niklas Natt och Dag will appeal to readers of Nordic crime fiction and historical mystery alike.
Stockholm, autumn 1793. Night watchman Mickel Cardell was roused from a drunken stupor to pull a floating corpse out of the Larder, once a pristine lake on Stockholm's Southern Isle, now a rancid bog. Cecil Winge, a young lawyer dying of consumption, was entrusted to solve this heinous crime where the body showed signs of prolonged torture. Aided by Cardell, the pair had little to go on beyond a scrap of fabric with an unusually design and the sighting of a green sedan chair. Eventually their painstaking investigation led them to the Eumenides, an ostensibly charitable upper-class organization.
“Natt och Dag's first novel is engrossing and gross. The imagery is vividly conveyed and not for the faint of heart or stomach. Yet for those who like their mysteries dark, this is a standout. The characterization is excellent, as is the evocation of eighteenth-century Stockholm, an uncommon historical setting that provides a vibrant backdrop for this unusual mystery. Natt och Dag's side-plots dovetail neatly, his pacing is skillful, and he explores with aplomb his novel's main theme, Homo homini lupus est - Like a wolf is man to other man ~ Plautus.“ (Booklist)
* = Starred review
Mon, 04/15/2019 - 1:03pm by richretyi
All AADL locations will be closed on Sunday, April 21.
Regular library hours will resume on Monday, April 22.
Sun, 04/14/2019 - 8:08pm by muffy
Winner of the Prix du Roman des etudiants France Culture/Telerama; the Prix Roman France Televisions; and the Prix Emmanuel-Robles, Waiting for Bojangles, Olivier Bourdeaut’s debut is “at once delightfully whimsical and hugely touching.” (Library Journal) It is told from the perspective of a young boy who shares a grand Paris apartment with his eccentric parents and an exotic pet crane named Mademoiselle Superfluous.
George and Louise (though she was never called by the same name twice) met and married on a whim. She was beautiful and quite mad, and he was indulgent and smitten. He sold his businesses (quite profitably) so they could stay home, have wild parties and dance all night to Nina Simone’s “Mister Bojangles.” When the teachers did not approve of the boy’s tardiness and unexplained absence, they chose to keep him home.
As Louise descended deeper into mental illness, father and son went to great lengths to protect and humor her - by staging a kidnapping, and fleeing Paris for their country house in Spain. “Bourdeaut’s debut is both a charming tale that revels in colorful detail and language and a heart-rending depiction of the brutal march of mental illness. Its part-rhyming structure almost always feels organic (hats-off to translator Regan Kramer) and lends the narrative a sense of flow and momentum. But it’s the irresistible, childlike sense of delight—even in the face of unimaginable sorrow—that renders the novel a genuinely enjoyable reading experience and one that sparks complex and conflicting emotions.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Sat, 04/06/2019 - 3:20pm by muffy
The Altruists * by twentysomething Andrew Ridker is “(b)eautifully written, with witty, pitch-perfect dialogue and fascinating characters... (this) impressive, deeply satisfying debut is an extraordinarily insightful look at a family broken apart by loss and struggling to find a way back to each other and themselves.“ (Booklist)
Two years after losing his wife Francine to breast cancer, Arthur Alter is about to lose his home too. An un-tenured Engineering professor struggling to keep his job at a private university in St. Louis, he no longer could afford his too-large house. His two grown children have flown the coop, right after the funeral - taking with them their not-too-shabby inheritance from Francine (Arthur was written out of the will when she discovered his affair with a younger colleague).
Closeted in his expensive Brooklyn apartment, 31-year-old Ethan is in debt, having quit his consulting job, and addicted to online shopping. Maggie, a recent grad and a would-be do-gooder, embraces self-imposed poverty(and starvation) by taking low-paying jobs in her Queens neighborhood. When Ethan and Maggie accept Arthur’s invitation for a home visit, none of them suspect the others’ secret agenda for this reunion.
“Ridker spins delicate moral dilemmas in a novel that grows more complex and more uproarious by the page, culminating in an unforgettable climax.” (Entertainment Weekly). A readalike for The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, and The Heirs by Susan Rieger. For another Midwestern America family saga that confronts the divide between baby boomers and their millennial offspring, try The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg.
* = starred review
Sun, 03/31/2019 - 7:56pm by muffy
Oksana Konnikova’s family emigrated from Kiev to the United State when she was 7. Her father, a physicist and a gifted mathematician, moonlighted as a pizza deliveryman to support the family - all so Oksana could have a brighter future. While gifted as a student, Oksana is irreverent, impulsive, and irrepressible - from calling 911 to report that her grandmother is trying to kill her; maiming a school bully; blackmailing the Principal to fix an election and destroying a family in the process; to hooking up with her high school track coach. No wonder her mother was constantly pleading with her: “Oksana, Behave!”. Her college years passed in a fog of booze, drugs, and promiscuity after the death of her doting father, and persisted into adulthood. “And yet despite this, she is an utterly compelling, deeply flawed, and completely endearing character… Kuznetsova has created a heroine for the ages in her sparkling, piercingly insightful debut.” (Booklist)
When Oksana visits her grandmother in Yalta and learns about her wartime past and her lost loves, she begins to see just how much alike she and her grandmother are, and comes to a new understanding of how to embrace life and love without causing harm to the people dearest to her.
Mon, 03/25/2019 - 10:53pm by muffy
Heaven is a slum at the heart of Bangalore. Once marked by a sign that said ”Swargahalli”, but thirty years later, all that’s left is the word swarga, as in Sanskrit for Heaven. Now the bulldozers are back, ordered by the government to raze the rest of the ramshackle neighborhood to make room for new high-rises. For fifteen-year olds Deepa, Banu, Padma, Rukshana and Joy, it is home and the closest thing to heaven they have known. As a bulldozer flattens Banu's home, they spring into action. Joined by their mothers who are no strangers to hardship, “they form a human chain, hijabs and dupattas snapping in the metallic wind, saris shimmering in the afternoon sun”.
Going back in forth in time, we come to know these young women as classmates in the government-sponsored school and best friends. Banu is a talented artist who risks everything to cover the city in protest graffiti; Deepa, visually impaired, is a gifted dancer and a keen observer; transgender-Joy, (born Anand), is the scholar in the group and a Christian convert; Rukshana, a queer Muslim tomboy, is fiercely loyal; and Padma, a migrant from the countryside must shoulder the care for her illiterate family. Their mothers’ stories are all the more heartbreaking… In a culture that does not value women, they endure abuse, abandonment, poverty, compounded by the lack of an education. They are “(a)ngry, unforgiving goddesses… the kind that protect their daughters”.
“The power of these fierce young women shines in spite of their circumstances, and they prove just how beautiful and influential a strong, unconditionally accepting community is. Subramanian is a remarkable writer whose vibrant words carry a lot of heart. This inspiring novel is sure to draw in readers with its lyrical prose and endearing characters.” (Booklist)
Mon, 03/25/2019 - 12:05pm by howarde
Malletts Creek Branch will be closed for 6-8 weeks for renovations beginning April 8th. Thank you for your patience. All other locations are open.
As part of the renovation, we'll be adding two new meeting rooms, replacing the flooring throughout the building, replacing all the internet stations and kids' computers, rearranging the shelving, and converting the collection to categories.
Additional information during the closure:
Fri, 03/15/2019 - 10:27am by -alex-
Discover what lurks under the surface of some of your favorite bad guys in Inside the Villains, by children's illustrator Clothilde Perrin. Want to know what a witch reads, or what a giant keeps under his hat? Inside the Villains has the answers you seek.
This genuinely awesome pop-up book is chock-a-block full of extraordinary detailed illustrations, very clever moving parts, and all sorts of fun 'informative facts' about some of the world's most famous fairy tale scoundrels.
You'll find Inside the Villains in our youth area, in the folklore and fairytales section.
Tue, 03/05/2019 - 9:42am by eli
AADL loves to partner with our friends at the U-M School of Information (UMSI) to help students find meaningful ways to practice what they're learning in their classes. This year, we've got three graduate students from a UMSI Assessment class working on class projects involving assessing public library services. They've produced three online surveys, and we'd like to invite you to take any of them that are interesting to you! Each survey is fairly short and your answers are anonymous and confidential. Please take a look:
Have you used our Tools Collection? Try this Tools Collection Survey.
Have you booked a room at AADL? Try this Room Booking Survey.
Mon, 02/25/2019 - 5:05pm by muffy
The Light Over London, a departure for Julia Kelly from her historical romances (and the racy contemporary romances written as Julia Blake), is a charming imagining of the Ack-Ack girls - members of the British Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) that helped operate Anti-Aircraft Guns in the defense of Britain from German bombing raids during WWII.
Newly-single antique dealer Cara Hargraves uncovers a tin of letters, photographs and a WWII-era diary while preparing a manor house for an estate sale. Examining the contents, Cara is intrigued and hopes to return it to its owner (identified only as L.K.) or her family. She also hopes the diary might encourage her grandmother to share her own war secrets. With little success, she reluctantly accepts the help of her new neighbor Liam (dishy and single), a history academic.
In 1941, 19 year-old Louise Keene, a shop assistant, lived with her parents in an isolated Cornish village. Bright and ambitious she yearned for a larger life and was readily wept off her feet by Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base. When Paul was deployed, Louise ran away to London to join the women’s branch of the British Army as a Gunner Girl. Louise and Paul wrote to each other and even married during a weekend leave, until a bundle of her letters to him were returned unanswered.
“Kelly has crafted two convincing, conflicted heroines in Cara and Louise, and the resolution of Louise's romance is satisfyingly empowering. Hand this to fans of Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach (2017) and other tales of the vital roles played by women in wartime.” (Booklist) The Alice Network immediately comes to mind; and don't forget The Lost Girls of Paris, the latest from Pam Jenoff.
Fri, 02/22/2019 - 10:35pm by muffy
The Little Shop of Found Things (Overdrive eAudio download) was the perfect companion on a recent long car trip. A bewitching tale of love across centuries, this first in a new series from Paula Brackston will appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.
Desperately needing a fresh start, Xanthe and her mother Flora Westlake arrive in the picturesque town of Marlborough in a vintage London taxi, throwing themselves and their future into the little antique shop they just purchased. On a restocking trip, Xanthe is drawn to an exquisite silver chatelaine. Being endowed since birth with the unique gift of psychometry, Xanthe senses the chatelaine's role in a tragic affair. Then a malevolent ghost haunting the mysterious blind house at the edge of her property threatens Xanthe - if she does not travel back to the 17th century to save a young servant girl from an unjust death, the ghost will hurt the ailing Flora.
Casting herself as a traveling minstrel to gain entry to the Lovewell estate, Xanthe works tirelessly alone to find the missing pieces of the chatelaine in order to prove the girl’s innocence, until she meets the resourceful young architect Samuel Appleby. But he may also be the one reason Xanthe cannot bring herself to leave.
“Brackston wonderfully blends history with the time-travel elements and a touch of romance. This series debut (in the print format) is a page-turner that will no doubt leave readers eager for future series installments.” (Publishers Weekly). For your further listening pleasure, try The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas, a debut novel.