In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father's prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. In Los Angeles they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they fight against discrimination, brave Communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown's old ways and rules. At its heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes, dreams, and a deep connection, but like sisters everywhere they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. Along the way they face terrible sacrifices, make impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are -- Shanghai girls.  CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 4 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936. The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together -- a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism. Drawing on the boys' own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times -- the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

All fall down [kit] by Jennifer Weiner

Allison Weiss got her happy ending - a handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician's office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder... is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class... or if your husband ignores you? The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father's Alzheimer's is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days... but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that's becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all? With a sparkling comedic touch and a cast of unforgettable characters, this remarkable story of a woman's slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner's most masterful work yet. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

My name is Red [kit] by Orhan Pamuk

At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers. The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. Their task is to illuminate the work in the European style but because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed. The ruling elite therefore mustn't know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery or crime lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men — bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son — and readers — the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

Daytripper [kit] by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá

This graphic novel follows the life of one man, Bras de Olivias Dominguez. Every chapter features an important period in his life in Brazil, and each story ends the same way: with his death. In every chapter, Bras dies at different moments in his life, as the story follows him through his entire existence; one filled with possibilities of happiness and sorrow, good and bad, love and loneliness. A story about living life to its fullest, because any of us can die at any moment. 

CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 2 stars out of 5.

Note: This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

Rouge Rescue 2015

Rouge River clean upEach spring Friends of the Rouge, in partnership with Rouge communities, brings volunteers together from across the watershed to work toward the common goal of improving the Rouge River for generations to come. This annual river clean up event, known as Rouge Rescue, began in 1986 with volunteers removing large quantities of trash from the river. If you are interested in spending a few hours with your friends and neighbors cleaning up the Rouge River on Saturday May 30 (a few sites are working earlier in May and on June 6) visit their website for the most up to date list of sites or call 313-792-9621.

ALA's Shortlist for 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the six books shortlisted for the esteemed Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, awarded for the previous year's best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the U.S.  

Selected 2015 shortlisted titles are:

Fiction

All the light we cannot see: a novel by Anthony Doerr

Nora Webster: a novel by Colm Tóibín

On such a full sea by Chang-rae Lee

Nonfiction

Just mercy: a story of justice and redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Backyard Birdsong

I now can identify certain birds by song thanks to this book. The Backyard Birdsong Guide: A Guide to Listening by Donald Kroodsma is a real treat — especially as Spring approaches. Look up a variety of birds located in Eastern and Central North America and you will find a photo of the bird, a brief description, information about their habitat, as well as information about their singing. But what is really nifty is that you can then punch in the number located next to the bird in the sound device located in the book and listen to the bird singing!

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