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Fiction books

What We're Reading November 2012

Thanksgiving Day kicks off a month of celebrations. May we suggest a movie, tips from Martha Stewart on Thanksgiving prepartions, a history, music to sooth, and a story about family.

Planes, trains and automobiles [videodisc] by Paramount Pictures

Martha's classic Thanksgiving [videodisc] by [presented by] Marth Stewart Living Omnimedia

Mayflower: a story of courage, community, and war by Nathaniel Philbrick

Thanksgiving [sound recording]: a Windham Hill collection

Thanksgiving night: a novel by Richard Bausch

Great Book Adaptations on Turner Classic Movies

Read the book? See the movie. Throughout the month of November, Turner Classic Movies is featuring film adaptations of well-known novels. The films run 24 hours on Mondays and Wednesdays. A variety of themes are featured including Southern Novels, Adventure, American Literature, Westerns, Science Fiction and more. Stories for Children and Young Adults will be shown all day on Thanksgiving Day.

From Book to Film

Several major films being released this fall and winter are based on novels you can find in the Library's collection. Get them while you can!

Les misérables by Victor Hugo — Starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe. Release date: December 25

On the road by Jack Kerouac — Starring Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley. Release date: December 21

Anna Karenina: a novel in eight parts by Leo Tolstoy — Starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Release date: November 16

Breaking dawn by Stephenie Meyer — Starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Release date: November 16

The hobbit, or, There and back again by J.R.R. Tolkien — Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and directed by Peter Jackson. Release date: December 14

Nobel Winner Mo Yan 莫言

Chinese writer Mo Yan 莫言, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, set much of his fiction in his home province Shandong, China. His books touch on many of contemporary China’s most sensitive themes, including the Cultural Revolution and the country's strict family-planning policies. The award citation states that "Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition." CPL has many of his works in Chinese, a couple in English translations, as well as a DVD of his Red Sorghum.

Steven Kellogg

Favorite children's author Steven Kellogg celebrated his birthday on October 26. He has written many fun and silly books for kids. Check some of them out:

A-hunting we will go! by Steven Kellogg

Pecos Bill: a tall tale by retold and illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Lunch & a Book November 2012

On Thursday, November 8 at noon we'll be discussing:

The language of flowers: a novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh — After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria Jones is unable to get close to anybody and her only connection to the world is through flowers. She uses the Victorian language of flowers (originally developed to convey romance) to communicate grief, mistrust, and solitude. Praised by Booklist as "enchanting, ennobling, and powerfully engaging", this debut novel creates a vivid portrait of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. 

Far Out Fantasy

The scorpions of Zahir by Christine Brodien-Jones is a riveting, fast-paced mixture of fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, mythology, mystery, family affairs, and travel. Feisty Zagora Pym sets off for Morocco with her astronomy-crazed brother and archaeologist father to connect with a long lost colleague (Pitblade Yegen) of her father and explore  ruins of the ancient city of Zahir. But Pitblade had been kidnapped, mammoth scorpions have invaded the city, and the rogue planet, Nar Azrak, is on a collision course with earth. With the help of members of the Azimuth tribe, thought to have been extinct, Zagora begins a daring quest to restore order and harmony to this desert land. Key to success of this mission is returning the Oryx Stone to the apex of a buried pyramid.

Farm Picture Books

Have you ever wondered what living on a farm might be like? Get a glimpse into farm life past and present with these great picture books.

Cock-a-doodle-doo, creak, pop-pop, moo by Jim Aylesworth ; illustrated by Brad Sneed



It's milking time by Phyllis Alsdurf ; illustrations by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher



Meet the dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

Clothing & Getting Dressed

The weather is changing and soon we'll have to bundle up in our warmest clothes, so why not read a picture book all about getting dressed? Listed below are some fun choices.

Ella Sarah gets dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine



Under my hood I have a hat by Karla Kuskin ; illustrations by Fumi Kosaka



Jesse Bear, what will you wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom ; illustrations by Bruce Degen

First Book in a Great Mystery Series?

The secrets of Shakespeare's grave by Deron R. Hicks ; illustrated by Mark Edward Geyer has action, humor, suspense, and family intrigue.  An unscrupulous, greedy relative theatens to take control of the family publishing business from Colophon and Case's father. Enter Julian, an eccentric cousin. He and Colophon join forces to solve a centuries' old mystery about a hidden family fortune that dates back to Shakespeare's time. She is even able to enlist the help of her obtuse older brother Case in a valiant attempt to save their father from financial ruin. Puzzles, hidden clues, creepy graves, slapstick chases, and diverse family dynamics keep readers riveted. A open ending ensures at least one more gripping epsisode in The Letterford Mysteries.

2012 Nobel Prize in Literature

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Chinese author, Mo Yan. As one of mainland China's best known authors, Mo Yan has created over 10 novels and 80 short stories in his 30-year career. According to The Guardian he is "notable not only for his creative engagement with modern Chinese history but also, more simply, for his dedication to the craft of writing." You can check out his prize-winning works in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, or English translation.

Big breasts and wide hips: a novel by Mo Yan; translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt

Life and death are wearing me out: a novel by Mo Yan; translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt

Wa by Mo Yan zhu

Dark Knight Returns Gets The Animated Treatment

Batman: the Dark Knight returns — the classic graphic novel by Frank Miller is being adapted into two animated movies. We’ve got the first one coming to the library soon. This is edgy, dark and beautiful stuff, for you batman fans out there. See IGN's video review where they name it as one of the best DC animated movies to date.

Lunch & a Book October 2012

On Thursday, October 11 at noon we'll be discussing:

Turn of mind by Alice LaPlante — Dr. Jennifer White is the prime suspect in the murder of her life-long friend and neighbor, Amanda, but as she descends further into the later stages of dementia, it becomes unclear if her shattered memory is preventing her from remembering the truth or helping her hide it. Kirkus Reviews calls this book, "a haunting story masterfully told."

The Hobbit Celebrates 75 years

The hobbit, or, There and back again by J.R.R. Tolkien — J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit turns 75 years old on September 21.  September 22 is also Hobbit Day, honoring the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo (whose long awaited birthday celebration initiatied events in the Fellowship of the Ring).  With the first film  in a trilogy  based on The Hobbit releasing this December, it's a great time to check it out for a reread!

Happy 50th Anniversary Clifford

Scholastic Publishing is celebrating Clifford the Big Red Dog's 50th Anniversary. The popular childrens book series written and illistrated by Norman Bridwell now has more 100 titles and over 126 million copies in print.

Clifford's best pals by Norman Bridwell

Clifford and the dinosaurs by Norman Bridwell

Happy Anniversary, Aunt Agatha's Bookstore

Hey, mystery lovers! Aunt Agatha's Bookstore, featuring new and used mysteries, detective and true crime, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Wednesday, October 3 from 4:00-7:00 PM. Mystery lovers attending their open house will have an opportunity to meet well-known authors such as Steve Hamilton, Louise Penny, Sara Zettel, Deborah Morgan, Loren D. Estleman and more. Aunt Agatha's is in Ann Arbor at 213 S. Fourth Avenue. For more information call 734-769-1114.

Dystopian Fantasy or a Fantastic Dystopia

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is like Harry Potter entering the Hunger Games, according to one Kirkus reviewer. Other reviews also rave about this new teen/tween Fantasy/Sci-Fi series. In the dystopic land of Quill, when you reach age 13, you are deemed Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Alex is too creative and is thereby judged Unwanted and sentenced to be cast into the Lake of Burning Death along with the other Unwanteds.  His identical brother, Aaron, is rated Wanted, turns his back on his brother, enters Wanted University, and rises quickly, becoming the protege of High Priest Justine. Meanwhile, Alex is pleasantly surprised when instead of suffering a painful death, he is welcomed into the magical realm of Artime by the kindly mage Mr. Today.