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Literary Biographies for Tweens

Geeked about books and reading? For the most interested, a nonfiction selection of stories about authors or the inspiration for their work.

The Brontë sisters: the brief lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne
by Catherine Reef


The trouble begins at 8: a life of Mark Twain in the wild, wild West by Sid Fleischman


Marooned: the strange but true adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe by Robert Kraske ; illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker





C.S. Lewis: the man behind Narnia by Beatrice Gormley






Knucklehead: tall tales and mostly true stories of growing up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka







Two New Historical Dramas Debut

Fans of historical dramas will have two new productions to choose from on Monday, May 28. HBO is debuting Hemingway & Gellhorn at 9:00 PM and the History Channel will present its miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, also at 9:00 PM. Hemingway & Gellhorn stars Clive Owen as the author, and Nicole Kidman as the legendary foreign correspondent who became Hemingway's third wife. Considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, Gellhorn reported on virtually every major conflict during her 60 year career, including the Vietnam War. Hatfields & McCoys stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, two members of the families involved in the long running feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky.

The Paris Wife Book Discussion May 21

Join the Adult Contemporary Book Discussion Group on Monday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m. in Paris Wifethe Purple Room for a discussion of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. The story portrays the love affair and marriage between Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Mowrer from their Chicago meeting in 1920 to their lives during the Jazz Age in Paris. As Ernest struggles to find his literary voice, Hadley tries to define her role in their relationship as wife, friend, and muse. 

Murder Will Out: Love is Murder Conference XIII

The 13th Annual Love is Murder Conference for Mystery writers and readers will be held in Chicago at the Intercontinental Chicago O'Hare Hotel Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 5. The conference offers author chats, opportunities to meet with publishers and/or agents, and writer's workshops. Entertainment in the evening includes a performance by Those Were The Days Radio Players.

Artistic license by Julie A. Hyzy — Ms Hyzy is the conference's Guest of Honor.

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Eric Hitchens, author and journalist, columnist and literary critic for The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, World Affairs, The Nation and others died at 62 years of age on December 15th from complications from esophageal cancer. He was voted the world's 5th top public intellectual in a Prospect/Foreign Affairs opinion poll. Here are some of the books Canton Library owns by this controversial author:

God is not great: how religion poisons everything by Christopher Hitchens

Hitch-22: a memoir by Christopher Hitchens

New Author Biographies

Check out some of the library's new author biographies which have been published recently. Place your holds now!

And so it goes: Kurt Vonnegut, a life by Charles Shields

Charles Dickens: a life by Claire Tomalin

Fiction ruined my family by Jeanne Darst

Happy Birthday Mark Twain!

Mark Twain, one of America's best-known and well-loved authors, was born on November 30, 1835. His works have been translated into hundreds of languages, and Hollywood continues to produce film adaptations of his books. The first volume of his autobiography was published in 2010 on the centenary of the author's death as he did not want some of his more scalding opinions and observations in print until he had been dead at least a century. The book was published by the staff of the Mark Twain Project — an archive that contains Twain's private papers.

Murder Will Out: The Godfather of Goth

John Cusack will portray Edgar Allan Poe, the "godfather of goth" in the upcoming movie The raven. Author Edgar Allan Poe forms a reluctant partnership with a police detective to catch a murderer who kills his victims by following elements of Poe's stories. Alice Eve plays Poe's love interest, Alice, and Luke Evans plays the police detective. The film is directed by James McTeigue. The raven is due in the theaters in March 2012.

Author Pat Conroy speaking about the joys of a childhood spent visiting libraries with his mom!

Happy National Library Week!
Best-selling author Pat Conroy shares his reminiscences of his boyhood days visiting the library every Monday with his mother. This video clip is made available by The Open Road Integrated Media.

Barbara McClintock

If you enjoy fairy tales, you may have read some of Barbara McClintock's books. This Author and Illustrator has created fabulous editions of many of our favorite tales such as The Mitten, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the Gingerbread Man. But did you know she got her start by seeking advice from Maurice Sendak? Or that her first books were stories about Jim Henson's Fraggles? Discover more about Mrs. McClintock (and admire her beautiful artwork) by checking out her website. Then look for some of her books here at the library.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Mark Twain, one of America's best-known and well-loved authors, was born on November 30, 1835. His works have been translated into hundreds of languages, and Hollywood continues to produce film adaptations of his books. The following Special Collection focuses on his life and work.

Coming Up…in the Hatcher Library Gallery

Wednesday, December 1, 5:30-7:00PM. Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery in Room 100 (use Diag entrance) 913 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

Being in Pictures: A Conversation with Joanne Leonard and Sidonie Smith

Are you interested in art? Photography? The lives of women? Join us for a conversation with author Joanne Leonard and Sidonie Smith, U-M Professor of Women's Studies and English. In Joanne Leonard’s book, Being in Pictures: An Intimate Photo Memoir, she uses her personal experiences as a feminist artist, academic, single mom, identical twin, and daughter of an Alzheimer's patient to create evocative art and heartfelt writing. The conversation will explore the creative process and the ideas the work inspires. Followed by a book sale and signing, courtesy of the Michigan Union Barnes & Noble. Sponsored by The Author's Forum.

Murder Will Out

Eleanor Taylor Bland died this past week at the age of 65. Ms. Bland was the author of 13 mystery novels featuring female African-American Chicago homicide detective Marti MacAlister. A Dark and Deadly Deception was her most recent book, released in 2005. With Marti as her protagonist, Eleanor Taylor Bland attempted to give voice to the homeless, mentally ill, elderly, and children.

Local Author Event

It's time for the fourth annual Local Author Event. There are still a few slots open for local authors to share their stories and books with us on Thursday, May 13 at 7:00PM. Please contact Marcia at (734) 397-0999 x1079 if you are a published author and would like to participate. The authors will each be given a few minutes to speak and will then retire to their respective tables to sell their books and talk with fans.

Mark Twain

April 21 is the 100 year anniversary of the death of Mark Twain (November 24, 1832 - April 21, 1910). A keen observer of human nature, Twain's stories portray America as it became a nation. An American humorist, lecturer, essayist, and author, several of Twain's books have been adapted for the screen including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi, and a present-day version of The Prince and the Pauper.

Immigration, Islam, and Identity: A Conversation with Eli Eteraz

Children of Dust a memoir written by Ali Eteraz reveals Islamic fundamentalism and madrassa life in rural Pakistan, the culture shock of moving to the U.S., and a journey of reconciliation to the modern Middle East. Author Ali Eteraz will speak on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 12:00pm in the University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery - Room 100 (use Diag entrance).

"Love means never having to say you're sorry." Erich Segal

Author Erich Segal died last week (January 17) at the age of 72. He was teaching Greek and Roman literature at Yale University, when his collaboration with the Beatles in 1968 on their movie Yellow Submarine and the production of a screenplay he wrote about the doomed romance of a Radcliffe scholarship girl and a Harvard old-money boy entitled Love Story brought Segal fame. Released in 1970, "Love Story" was a huge box-office hit. "Love Story", when released in paperback, had the largest print order in publishing history at the time, with 4,325,000 copies. Reaction to the book was strong and surprisingly controversial.

Happy Birthday Michael Bond!

Celebrate the January 13th birthday of the author who brought us Paddington Bear! Check out one of Michael Bond's books about Paddington, and be sure to watch our website for another very special bear-related birthday this week!

Celebrate Rudyard Kipling!

Celebrate Rudyard Kipling's birthday on December 30th! Read one of his many stories for adults or children, or find out more about his life.

Happy Birthday Noel Streatfeild!

Celebrate Noel Streatfeild's birthday on December 24th!  Come to the library early (we're closed on the 24th and 25th) to check out some of her books.  My favorite is Ballet Shoes, and the library has many other fiction books about ballet, or informative books on dance.  Come check them out!