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Best Books of 2016

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 8:58am

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Let's start with probably the most anticipated - New York Time's [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/books/review/100-notable-books-of-2016.html?em_pos=large&emc=edit_bk_20161202&nl=bookreview&nlid=63483721&_r=0|100 Notable Books of 2016] and the just released [http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/books/review/best-books.html?emc=edit_bk_20161209&nl=bookreview&nlid=63483721&ref=headline&_r=0|The 10 Best Books of 2016].

Well-chosen are The Washington Post's [https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/entertainment/2016-best-books/|list] of this year's best of the best, and I am astounded how similar the 2 lists are.

[http://www.npr.org/|NPR’s] Book Concierge [https://apps.npr.org/best-books-2016/|Guide To 2016’s Great Reads] lists over 300 titles that the NPR staff and critics loved this year, many of them award-winners.

Speaking of winners, look no further than the [https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2016?ref_=pe_2701710_217206440
|2016 Goodreads Choice Awards] in 20 categories. I should mention that they are the only major book awards decided by readers.

For the fiction reader among us, check out [http://www.huffingtonpost.com|The Huffington Post's] the [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-18-best-fiction-books-of-2016_us_58459a66e4b02f60b023fe8c|18 Best Fiction Books] of the year; and the Library Journal's best in [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php|Genre Fiction] (in categories of [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gfa|African American Fiction], [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gfc|Christian Fiction], [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gfh|Historical Fiction], [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gfm|Mystery], [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gfr|Romance], [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gfs|SF/Fantasy], [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gft|Thrillers], and [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/genre.php?sc=gfw|Women's FIction]), as well as [http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2016/graphicnovels.php|Graphic Novels].

Publishers' Weekly [http://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2016|Best Books 0f 2016] is notable for a list of the [http://best-books.publishersweekly.com/children/2016/#book/book-1|Best Children's and YA Books 2016].

Among specific subject lists, check out The Smithsonian's picks for [http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/best-books-about-science-2016-180961274/|The Best Books About Science of 2016].

Happy Reading.

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Lois Lowry's Photographed Life

Sat, 12/03/2016 - 5:28pm

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Youth author [a:lowry, lois|Lois Lowry] has been a long-standing beloved household name for a number of her Newberry winning books, not the least of which are [t:the giver|The Giver] and [t:number the stars|Number the Stars]. [b:1461084|The Giver] many might know from its 2014 [b:1461084|movie rendition] including star actors such as Meryl Streep. Lowry has always been one to write stories that not only capture the imagination but challenge her readers to question, and to hang tight to all the goodness they can find. They are insightful and provocative for both the young and old.

Her newly updated and expanded autobiographical work retains this legacy. [b:1498439|Looking Back: A Book of Memories] reads like an album. The reader flips through glossy page after glossy page of photographs paired with a short, page-long reminiscence. Each glimpse of Lowrian history is also joined with a quote from one of her books, so we can trace her inspiration for characters and passages. Lowry traces the lines where her personhood is inextricably linked to the stories she has crafted.

In a simple style aimed towards the middle grade audience her novels have been written for, Lowry uses these pages to welcome us into her own family. She points out details and gives backstory, shares personal responses and humorous anecdotes, much like one might pass down stories to a grandchild. She conveys not only her own life, but includes photographs of her parents, children, grandchildren, and even some friends, showing the web through which we form our identity.

[b:1498439|Looking Back] is not entitled a “Book of Memories” for nothing; Lowry gently asks many questions about the nature of memory throughout these pages, a theme readily seen in [t:the giver|The Giver] as well. When we see a face but cannot remember a name, what does that do to a person’s identity? Does time’s inevitable morphing of names and details mean that our memories become false? How is our memory influenced by the fleeting moments captured by the camera, even when these moments would be seen differently in light of a bigger picture? One thing becomes clear: memory is a gift, and the small moments of our lives make history.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 8:38pm

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Calling all Harry Potter fans! The newest movie in the popular series hits theaters this weekend!

We'll be celebrating [:node/327487|at the Downtown Library on Sunday, November 20th from 3:30-5 PM]. Join us for a variety of Harry Potter-themed crafts and activities, including live owl presentations. Costumes are encouraged!

Obsessed with the new movie already? Satisfy your Fantastic Beasts craving with some of our brand new books. Learn about how the film was made with [b: 1500341|Inside the Magic: the Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them]. See the amazing concept art that helped shape the movie's aesthetic in [b: 1500320| Art of the Film], or maybe consult the movie's handbooks [b: 1500344| here] and [b: 1500327|here]. We even have the [b: 1500331|original screenplay] for you to check out.

Looking for more Harry Potter fun? Catch up with the original series by reading [b:1493872|Harry Potter and the Cursed Child]. Read about the [b: 1493187|artifacts], [b:1463450|creatures] and [b:1482667|characters] of the Harry Potter series in these specialty books. Or check out the beautiful illustrations in the newly released [b:1500100| Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition].

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Reflections on Advent and Wild Creatures of the Woodlands

Sat, 11/05/2016 - 5:18pm

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As the air is getting crisp and the branches falling bare, the season of Advent is close upon us; a time to cozy ourselves away and reflect in the quietness of hope and waiting. This year Advent begins on Nov 27th, a few short weeks away, and a beautiful new seasonal resource to AADL's collection is [b:1500638|All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings] by Michigan author Gayle Boss.

For each day of the month-long anticipation of Christmas, [b:1500638|All Creation Waits] offers a lovely account of the winter habits of wild creatures of the Northern Hemisphere. As we walk with these creatures through their months of dark and cold, we also catch glimpses of the new beginnings that their waiting usher in. The encouragement to our own lives is more felt than said, with a subtlety that matches the behind-the-scenes magic of winter itself.

Each short daily reflection is paired with a woodcut illustration by artist David Klein. The deep blacks and brilliant whites of the full-page illustrations tell stories in themselves.

Welcoming you into the spirit of the season, don't miss the author talk and book signing for this lovely volume THIS SATURDAY Nov. 12th. [:node/348742|Click here for more information on this event].

[:user/lists/69085|For additional AADL resources for the Advent season, click here].

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Blog Post

An Encounter with the Elegant and Sensitive Verse of Misuzu Kaneko

Sat, 10/22/2016 - 12:22pm

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Early 20th century Japanese poet [a:Kaneko, Misuzu|Misuzu Kaneko] inspires wonder and compassion in her writing. Her poems ask questions close to the heart of a child, and step into the slippers of things as plain as the snow under our shoes. The tale of her short life is clouded by hardship, but her poetry brims with a celebration of being alive.

"Snow on top
must feel chilly,
the cold moonlight piercing it.

Snow on the bottom
must feel burdened
by the hundred who tread on it.

Snow in the middle
must feel lonely
with neither earth nor sky to look at."

For the first time, Kaneko's poetry is being made available in North America by a team of translators and journalists passionate about sharing her legacy with the world. Kaneko's work is highly respected in Japan, being standard material in literature classes, and now English speakers have the opportunity to see what is so special about her in the book [b:1495760|Are You An Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko].

Written at a child's level, this book narrates Kaneko's life story while presenting a whole collection of her poems in translation, with the original Japanese verse alongside. Besides providing an encounter with this lovely woman of words specifically, [b:1495760|Are You An Echo?] subtly teaches children how to understand and appreciate poetry in general. This is personally one of my favorite publications of the year.

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Blog Post

A Magical Wordsmith and a Kaleidescoping Artist

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 2:31pm

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What happens when one of the most cherished children's authors of all time gets written about by one of the most creative book illustrators of all time? You get [b:1499023|Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White]. Caldecott winning artist [a: Sweet, Melissa.|Melissa Sweet], who creates unique scrap-booked worlds of kaleidoscopic color, depicts the creator of [b:1071009|Charlotte's Web] and [b:1071167|Stuart Little] in a biography written for the young, but treasured by all.

[a: White, E. B. 1899-1985.|E.B. White] is known as a wordsmith like no other, using one choice phrase to paint whole, vivid pictures. His works are fantastical, blending the impossible with the ordinary so smoothly that we might easily believe he paints the real world while we are the ones dreaming. His characters may not aggrandize wealth or change the world, but they are rich in kindness, brave in friendship, and they transform homesteads and barns into places of hope and joy. Given the stamp of approval by White’s grand-daughter Martha White, Sweet reveals how White's three novels and numerous writings for the New Yorker came to be. She pays special attention to how the details of White's "real life" shaped the fictional worlds he spun. Especially with the numerous photographs, illustrations from the original books, letter excerpts, and draft excerpts that Sweet includes, reading this book feels like meeting a friend.

[a: Sweet, Melissa.|Melissa Sweet's] illustrations are filled with details you can linger over, and images that have an atmospheric quality that let's you immerse yourself in White's world. Her words celebrate a man who had an appreciation for the miracles of nature, a reverence for life, and a passion to tell straight what bubbles out of ones heart, without trying to please the crowds.

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Blog Post

Fall Programs at 826Michigan

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 5:20pm

[img_assist|nid=348414|title=Fall Programs at 826Michigan|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=64]Have you heard about 826Michigan? It's a wonderful non-profit just around the corner from the Downtown library branch housed in the Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair Shop. They inspire school-aged students to [b:1483290|write confidently] and skillfully with the help of adult volunteer from their communities. This fall, 826Michigan's Liberty Street location has a number of tutoring sessions, drop-in writing programs and creative writing workshops.

In addition to [:events/33777|tutoring options at AADL] and [http://www.brainfuse.com/highed/helpNow.asp?a_id=DE1518A6&ss=&r=|Brainfuse,] which you can access at any AADL branch or from the comfort of your own home with your library card, here's more about what 826Michigan has to offer this fall.

TUTORING:
September 26th- December 8th
- Monday-Thursday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.-

DROP-IN WRITING, ages 6-10:
September 28th- November 16th
- Wednesdays, 6-7 p.m.

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS:
Saturdays, October-November
*Registration begins Saturday, September 24th on their [https://www.826michigan.org/|website.]

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Blog Post

It's time for the Dawn Farm Jamboree!

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 9:56am

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You’re invited to have a great time while supporting a great cause at [http://www.dawnfarm.org/event/dawn-farm-43rd-anniversary-jamboree|Dawn Farm]'s Fantastic 43rd Anniversary Jamboree on Sunday, September 11th, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm! Admission and all activities are free! This is a great family activity with hayrides, pony rides, crafts and a children’s tent, too. Visit the [http://www.dawnfarm.org|working farm] or bid on unique items in both silent and live auctions. Food and beverages will be for sale for a variety of tastes. Funds raised from the auctions will help support critical addiction services for individuals who need help and lack resources. For more information, or if you would like to volunteer at the event, call 734-485-8725.

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LAST CHANCE for BIG POINTS! Don't miss the AADL BOARD MEETING MONDAY 8/15!

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 10:47am

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While you're anxiously awaiting this week's badge drop, and the 6 PM RESTOCKENING of Coffee and Tea, plus the release of 4 COMPLETELY NEW SHOP ITEMS.... we wanted to remind you that NEXT MONDAY, AUGUST 15th, is your LAST CHANCE this summer to get totally HUGE POINTS by attending a meeting of the AADL BOARD OF TRUSTEES!



It's exhilarating, we know. But if you come to the 4th floor of the Downtown Library by 7 PM on Monday, August 15th, you'll find a 500-point code with a 250-point badge bonus JUST FOR SHOWING UP, plus a staggering 1000-point code with a 500-point badge bonus for MAKING A PUBLIC COMMENT TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES! That's 2,250 points just for TELLING YOUR VERY OWN ELECTED OFFICIALS WHAT YOU THINK!



An opportunity like this won't come around again, until next summer that is, so come to the 4th floor of the Downtown Library by 7 PM to make a public comment! There are opportunities for comment at the beginning and at the end of the meeting, and the board president will ask if there are any Public Comments. You don't have to say much, but you have to approach the podium to see the code!



Hope to see you all there, and THANKS FOR PLAYING!

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Blog Post

Heart-tugging Fantasy Book from Newberry Winning Author

Sat, 08/06/2016 - 11:06am

Fans of Karen Cushman--Newberry winner for The Midwife’s Apprentice, and author of a lifetime of other beloved historical fiction novels--will be absolutely enthralled by her latest novel, Grayling’s Song. Without leaving behind her usual depth and heart-tugging characters, Cushman brings a new world to life with a pinch of magic.

Confronted with a task far larger than she feels capable of managing, Grayling—an ordinary girl with a magical mother—grows in maturity and compassion through the choices she must make. Despite her sense of inadequacy, when an unknown evil steals the Grimoire (their book of spells) and roots her mother to the ground, Grayling must go out alone to rescue her mother and the book. With each new magical friend she meets along the way, Grayling’s hopes rise that they will be the one to conquer the evil. She meets a weather witch, a complaining helpless ward, an enchantress, and a diviner of cheese. But though each have “bits and pieces” of usefulness, making a team of unlikely heroes, only Grayling can lead the way. Only she can sing a song that beckons an answering tune from the Grimoire which they must find.

Through a series of circumstances that stretch her heart till she almost has nothing left to give, Grayling gradually becomes the hero she never imagined she could be. Rather than leaving us with the wish to escape to another reality where magic makes hardship better, Grayling’s world reminds us that in winning our battles what we need is not the extra talent of another that we so easily envy. Instead, what triumphs in our trials is the strength of character that builds itself by small choices in the right direction. This precious story inspires an overflowing heart, and hope in the journey that’s it’s adding up to something worth every scab.