Catalog

Search our Catalog

SuzyQ's Blog

Countdown to the Oscars

Nominated for three Oscars ( Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay), An Education - based on the memoir by Lynn Barber - is set in 1961 London where suburban 16-year old Jenny is eager to start her adult life. Jenny gets the chance to shake things up when she comes under the spell of David - an older, urbane newcomer who introduces her to art auctions, classical concerts, and crowded pubs. The film stars Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan as Jenny and Peter Sarsgaard as David.

Paczki Day!

As a Catholic kid growing up in Detroit, Paczki Day was always a very big deal at my school. The entire day was dedicated to fun, games and food, especially the yummy — and extremely fattening — Paczki which were provided for the students. Traditionally celebrated in the United States on Shrove Tuesday (i.e. the day before Ash Wednesday), to Americans of Polish descent - or any anyone who grew up in Metro Detroit — Paczki Day means eating paczki — those scrumptious jelly-filled, deep-fried donuts.

Countdown to the Oscars

Nominated for six Oscars (including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay), Up in the Air is an adaptation of Walter Kirn's novel about a human resources administrator (George Clooney) who flies around the country firing people for bosses who don't have the stomach for it. Director Jason Reitman's cast also includes Jason Bateman and fellow nominees for Best Supporting Actress Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. Some scenes were filmed last year in Detroit Metro Airport!

2010 Academy Awards

Nominations for the 2010 Academy Awards have been announced, and many of the nominated films are already here at the Library. This year there are ten films nominated for Best Picture - the first time in over 60 years that this has been done (in the eight years from 1936 to 1943 there were also 10 best picture nominees).

Remembering Teddy Pendergrass

R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass passed away earlier this week after a long illness. Pendergrass, 59, got his start singing gospel music in Philadelphia churches, and later became a drummer for a local group called the Cadillacs. After merging with another more well known group, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, he became their lead singer in 1970. He later left the group and struck out on a solo career after signing with Philadelphia International Records - where his next several albums went gold and platinum. During this time he received several Grammy nominations, Billboard's 1977 Pop Album New Artist Award, an American Music Award for best R&B performer of 1978, and awards from Ebony magazine and the NAACP. A tragic car accident in 1982 left him paralyzed from the waist down. He made a dramatic return to the stage at the Live Aid concert in 1985, and in 1998 he founded Teddy Pendergrass Alliance to aid people with spinal cord injuries.

2009 National Film Registry Inductees

The National Film Registry of The Library of Congress recently announced its list of inductees for 2009. Among the titles is Michael Jackson's 1983 video Thriller, which is the first music video to be named to the Registry. Established in 1989, it now contains 525 films selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. Also included among the list of 2009 entries areThe complete list can be found here.

Year 2009 Top Movie Picks

Bolt (voices of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus) Super-dog Bolt is the star of a hit TV show whose life is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue. When he is accidentally shipped to New York City and separated from Penney, his beloved co-star and owner, Bolt immediately springs into action to save her from the forces of evil.

Coraline (voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher) A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman.

Up in the Air

George Clooney is getting alot of Oscar buzz for his role in the new comedy/drama  Up In the Air which opens today in the Detroit area. Jason Reitman's adaptation of the novel by Walter Kirn tells the story of human resources administrator Ryan Bingham who flies around the country firing people for bosses who don't have the stomach for it. He's also on the verge of reaching his goal of racking up ten million frequent flyer miles when his company decides to cut back on travel and fire people over the Internet instead. The supporting cast includes Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman and Anna Kendrick.

Invictus

Opening in the Detroit area tomorrow, the film Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, to help unite their country. Knowing that his nation remained racially divided - as well as economically - in the wake of apartheid, Mandela and team captain Francois Pienaar used the universal language of sport to rally South Africa’s underdog rugby team to an unlikely run to the World Cup Championship

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Thousands of visitors, including dignitaries and world leaders, are in Berlin today to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall divided the city and Germany into East and West for three decades until it was brought down on November 9, 1989. Today's celebration will include concerts, fireworks and the symbolic collapse of a wall of oversize dominoes that has been set up in the area where the Wall once stood. It will be toppled later today - just like the Wall was 20 years ago.

National American Indian Heritage Month

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month. Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994. The National Register of Historic Places has put together a list of sites promoting the history and culture of Native Americans. The following Special Collection is designed to highlight some of the library's many resources about Native Americans.

General Reference Books

Historical Dictionary of North American Archaeology edited by Edward B.

Soupy Sales

The legendary TV personality Soupy Sales passed away this past week at age 83 after a long illness. Anybody who grew up in the Detroit area in the 50s and 60s certainly remembers his zany television program Lunch with Soupy which began airing on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) in 1953. White Fang and Black Tooth were two of the more memorable characters from that show. And don't forget about the pies! Sales himself once estimated that he took about 9,000 pies to the face during his long career.

The Mystery of 2012

According to the plot of a new film being released on November 13, the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. Supposedly based on the fact that the Mayan calendar "runs out" after that date, there has been a slew of books, articles and websites devoted to this phenomenon - as well as the aforementioned film 2012. So what's it really all about?

Great Michigan Read

This year's selection for the Great Michigan Read is the memoir Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen. Sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, this is the second year for the statewide program which inspired more than 500 programs and events in 2008. Stealing Buddha's Dinner chronicles the author's migration from Vietnam to the United States in 1975 and her life growing up in Grand Rapids in the 1980s. Nguyen will embark on a five-city author tour on October 13-17, with stops scheduled for Lansing, Grand Rapids, Midland, Traverse City and Plymouth. She will speak at the Penn Theatre on Saturday, October 17.

Homer & Langley

E.L. Doctorow's latest novel Homer & Langley is based on the true story of the Collyer brothers, notorious for their compulsive hoarding in the first half of the 20th century. The two unemployed siblings lived together for thirty years in their New York City home, where they obsessively collected items such as newspapers, books, furniture, chandeliers, and musical instruments, while at the same time setting booby traps in the hallways to protect against intruders. Their amazing story is often cited as an example of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.