Thor: Ragnarok!

Thor: Ragnarok arrives in theaters today, making now the perfect time to revisit your favorite Thor materials! The movie is already generating quite a buzz and has received rave reviews (with a 93% rating, it's currently Rotten Tomatoes' best reviewed comic book film ever!).

A great place to start are the previous Thor movies, including Thor and Thor: The Dark World, as well as his appearances in The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For younger kids who aren't quite ready for the Marvel movies, Thor is featured in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (there are multiple volumes of this series, including Vol. 5 and Vol. 6).

For adult readers, some of the original Thor comics are included in the anthology series The Essential Thor Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4. Many of these original stories also appear in The Mighty Thor: Omnibus collection. More recent additions to the Thor universe include God of Thunder Vol. 1 (Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 are also available), Lord of Asgard, Bringers of the Storm, Godstorm, and Thor Vol. 1 (Vol. 3 is also available). Currently, a woman has taken on the title of Thor in The Mighty Thor: Thunder in her Veins.

There are awesome Thor graphic novels in the Teen section, including Wolves of the North and The Lost Gods. A mysterious female Thor has also taken the lead in The Goddess of Thunder and Who Holds the Hammer?.

Kids have a variety of Thor books to choose from as well. Younger children will like gentler Readers such as The Trouble with Thor and These are the Avengers. Older kids can enjoy comic books like Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and Mini Marvels: The Complete Collection. Books for kids about the Avengers include The Avengers: The Ultimate Guide and The Avengers: The Movie Storybook. We also have several comic books based on Norse mythology, such as Thor and the Giants and Thor and Loki (also available in Spanish).

It's almost Halloween!

It’s that most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! As an avid lover of all things fall and Halloween, this is by far my favorite time of the year. I love costumes and being able to dress up as some of my favorite characters. This year I’m planning to cosplay as Roadhog, from Overwatch. If you’re as into costumes as me, come check out some of our books to help you take your costume to the next level!

New this year, The hero's closet : sewing for cosplay and costuming, is a great intro book to cosplay and costume making. It has a lot of helpful beginner steps if you’ve never tried to make your costume before.

Epic cosplay costumes : a step-by-step guide to making and sewing your own costume designs is another great reference for all of the parts of costume making. With cute advice notes from the author, this book is a great start to becoming your favorite character.

For a more basic guide that you can use with items around your house, check out: Halloween : a grown-up's guide to creative costumes, devilish decor & fabulous festivities. This book centers more on simple designs and standard Halloween costumes. It also includes some tips for spooky home décor!

Here's a cute costuming book for the younger costumers among us: Creating Halloween crafts. It has fun craft ideas for decoration and costumes that might be fun for the whole family!

These next two books are probably the best for my costume. If you’re into characters with fancy and elaborate weapons, these two will help you learn how to design your own, much lighter, versions.

Make : props and costume armor : create realistic science fiction and fantasy weapons, armor, and accessories is written by a master prop maker, and goes into details for both armor and weaponry. It is a very in-depth collection of ideas using everything from simple foam to 3D printing.

In another recent release, The costume making guide : creating armor & props for cosplay, you’ll find all of the steps to take your idea and turn it into a full costume. The author guides you through each part of costume making whether you need armor, weaponry, or other outfit parts.

Looking forward to seeing all of the ideas everyone reading this comes up with! Hopefully I’ve given you a bit of inspiration. Now to get back to making my hook…

Fantastic Fantasy Comic and Graphic Novel Series

As the weather starts to cool down, I start looking for books to curl up with on cool evenings - Especially long-running series that will keep me engaged! Here's five of my favorite fantasy graphic novel series to start your fall with a touch of magic.

Sandman Chronicles by Neil Gaiman
10 books in the series, several stand-alone volumes
Start with: Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
Neil Gaiman has become almost a household name in the world of fantasy fiction for film adaptations of his works Stardust and American Gods. But before either of those books were published, Gaiman wrote the Sandman series. First published in 1989, it tells the story of the personification of dreams, named Morpheus, and of his adventures with humans, gods, spirits and denizens of worlds unknown. Gaiman weaves a rich tapestry of figures from every major mythology into an intensely exciting and thought-provoking reading experience. In this first adventure, Morpheus has been trapped by the magician Aleister Crowley for 60 years, but Crowley's waning power has made it possible for the Dream King to make his escape.
See Also: Death: The High Cost of Living, The Sandman: Dream Hunters, The Sandman: Endless Nights

Lucifer by Mike Carey
11 books in the series
Start with: Lucifer Vol. 1, Devil in the Gateway
We meet this series titular protagonist in Gaiman's Sandman chronicles – Lucifer Morningstar, fallen angel and lord of Hell. This serial begins with Lucifer holding court at his nightclub Lux, in Los Angeles. Why is Lucifer on Earth, and not ruling Hell? Well, he's quit. This act of rebellion has some serious consequences – and has left Hell prey to power struggles between heaven and the multiverses. But now that he's free, Lucifer has decided to enjoy life as much as he can, until Heaven comes to him with an offer he can't refuse. Thus begins an epic 11-volume adventure on par with Gaiman's Sandman.

The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen
5 books in the series
Start with: The Wicked + the Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act
In Wicked+Divine, the gods our our mythology are reborn in the bodies of 13 teenagers every 90 years. They are loved by many, hated by some, but will be dead in two years. This short life-span, combined with the power of gods, makes these teenagers international superstars. They perform around the world for sold-out shows, sharing their powers with their adoring fans. But in the 21st century, being a teenager is hard enough – a teenage god is even worse. This story follows their mortal fan, Laura, as she tries to befriend the gods. But Laura is not what she appears...

Constantine: The Hellblazer by Ming Doyle
2 books in the current series, 39 total published
Start with: Vol 1: Going Down
John Constantine holds the record for longest graphic novel character in print - he's been featured since the 1980's. Whether you're a long-time fan of the Hellblazer, or the film version portrayed by Keanu Reeves, Doyle's retelling is a great introduction to this trenchcoated anti-hero. Constantine is a chain-smoking narcissist with more than one personality disorder, a sorcerer who is just as likely to get the people he's agreed to help killed as he is to save their lives. And when you're dealing with demons and ghosts, he'll probably get your soul damned in the process. He's a great guy - as long as you aren't his friend. But what makes Constantine such an enduring character is his deeply flawed nature and his true desire to do some good in the world – even if he really just ends up bungling it all up in the end.
See Also: Hellblazer: Original Sins, Hellblazer: India

Fables by Bill Willingham
22 books in the series, 3 tie-in series
Start with: Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile
A lot of fantasy is in supposition, and Fable is no exception. In Willingham's series, the characters from the fairy tales we grew up with are real people, alive and well, living in our world. Think about the TV show Once Upon a Time (which also has a graphic novel tie-in), but restricted to New York City. Our fairy tale characters are from "The Homelands" of Europe, but were forced to the new world by a mysterious Adversary. Their luxury high rise in New York City has become a peaceful and secret society, until proper politician Snow White's partygirl sister Rose Red is apparently murdered. Snow hires Bigby Wolf (formerly the Big Bad Wolf - reformed, pardoned and made sheriff) to find Rose. It's a "grim" whodunnit mystery; was it Blackbeard, Rose's notorious ex-lover, or Jack (of beanstalk fame) her current live-in boyfriend?

Five Must-Read Graphic Novels for Adults

It's hard to deny that adult graphic novels, as a genre, have come into their own. Here are some of my personal favorites. Together, they capture much of the diverse array of creative and narrative possibilities being explored by contemporary artists and authors.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters (book one) -by Emil Ferris-
This title likely requires no introduction. First time writer Emil Ferris made big waves when this book was released earlier this year. With lush, intricate artwork, and with a haunting murder-mystery at its core, 'My Favorite Thing is Monsters' makes for a deeply compelling read. For more, check out this review from NPR's 'Fresh Air'.

California Dreamin': Cass Elliot before the Mamas & the Papas -by Pénélope Bagieu-
Few artists have received as much praise for their talent, or been as much of a target for body-shaming as 'Mama' Cass Elliot. 'California Dreamin'' gets behind the fame and the ugliness of the stories surrounding her death, and shows her as both a talented vocalist and as a human being. Click the link for a review from Paste.

The Torture Report: a graphic adaptation -by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón-
Drawing from the accounts detailed in the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture conducted by agents of the US government, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón bring the stark realities documented in the report to life in a way that mere words on a page never could. The brutality of these real-life events make 'The Torture Report' a tough read, but maybe that dose of reality makes it an essential read as well. Here's an exerpt at Slate, and a review from NPR.

The Museum Vaults -by Marc-Antoine Mathieu-
Mixing equal parts of fantasy and satire, 'The Museum Vaults' follows the adventures of an art expert as he delves ever deeper into an endless labyrinth underneath the Louvre in Paris. The illustrations are inventive, beautiful, and often downright eerie. Here's a review from The Guardian.

Lost Property -by Andy Poyiadgi-
While technically a part of our teen graphic novel collection, 'Lost Property' is a slim, stunningly beautiful work that will certainly speak to adults as well as it speaks to teens. When a man walks into a small shop, he is confronted with the realization that it is filled, exclusively, with every item he has ever owned and lost. Questions of why and how this has happened are quickly overridden by a more central one: what will he do with all the lost ephemera of his life, now that he's found it? Follow the link for a review from Broken Frontier.

Fifth Avenue Press Book Release Reception: AADL's Local Publishing Imprint

Sunday November 5, 2017: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Open Area

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

The Ann Arbor District Library is pleased to announce the release of nine literary works under our new Fifth Avenue Press imprint. Join us to hear readings and meet our debut group of authors, buy their books, get them signed, and enjoy light refreshments!

Our local authors have something to offer for just about every reader. For younger children, we're releasing two picture books and an Ann Arbor-based comic for all ages; for adults, we're publishing a book of poetry, two memoirs, a murder mystery, and a collection of humorous and historical Ann Arbor stories!

Technical Solace: a book of poetry, by Rebecca G. Biber
Ginger Stands Her Ground: a memoir, by Virginia Ford
Tales From the Dork Side: a memoir, by R.J. Fox
Michigan Moon: a picture book, by Meg Gower
Takedown: a murder mystery, by Jeff Kass
Chad Agamemnon: a comic book set in Ann Arbor, by Carolyn Nowak
The Book of Ann Arbor: An Extremely Serious History Book, by Rich Retyi
A Monster on Main Street: a picture book set in Ann Arbor, by Emily Siwek
Light From the Cage: 25 Years in a Prison Classroom, by Judy Patterson Wenzel

Plus, author Debbie Taylor will offer a sneak peek into her forthcoming 2018 Fifth Avenue Press picture book: Over in Motown!

For more information about Fifth Avenue Press or to submit your work visit fifthavenue.press.

"Bear Says Thanks" Storytime and Craft

Saturday November 18, 2017: 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Youth Story Corner

This event is intended for preschool

Listen to several stories about thankfulness, and then join us in making a craft!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theaters on May 5th and has already taken in more than $500 million dollars in the worldwide box office. The popular film is another in a long list of movies that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, inhabited by popular characters such as Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk and other characters in the Avengers, as well as the more recent additions which include Ant-Man and Dr. Strange.

In addition to the first movie, the Blu-ray edition of Vol. 1, and the awesome soundtrack, we have plenty of materials to help satisfy your Guardians of the Galaxy craving.

For kids, we have the picture book Night Night Groot as well as the comic book Guardians of the Galaxy: Beginnings.

For teens, we have many different comic trade paperbacks, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Prelude (an official Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in), Vol. 3 of the War of Kings and Legendary Star-Lord Vol. 1: Face It, I Rule. We also have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers, Vol. 2: Angela and a cross-over with the All-New X-Men called The Trial of Jean Grey from the mind of Brian Michael Bendis.

For an adult audience, we have titles such as Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4: Realm of Kings, as well as a cross-over with the Avengers called Avengers: the Korvac Saga.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is estimated to be released on DVD and Blu-ray in September 2017, so look for it in our collection then!

Discuss "The Girl on the Train" Before Author Paula Hawkins Visits Ann Arbor!

Monday May 8, 2017: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Westgate Branch: West Side Room

Paula Hawkins, author of the wildly popular thriller The Girl on the Train, will visit Ann Arbor on May 17. Hosted by Nicola's Books, she'll be doing a reading and Q&A session for her new book Into The Water at Nicola's.

Join us for a discussion of this bestseller at AADL before meeting her in person!

"The Girl On The Train" tells the story of a woman who is privy to the inner lives of a couple, as she passes their house on the train every morning. She becomes obsessed with the beautiful woman and her husband, and involves herself in the case when the woman turns up missing.

AADL staff will lead a discussion of this psychological mystery. This event is cosponsored by Nicola's Books.

Logan

Logan opened in theaters on March 3rd to rave reviews and is looking to reshape the superhero movie as we currently know it. Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine/Logan in his 9th appearance in the role spanning 12 years-- this marks his last appearance as Logan. The film takes inspiration from both the revisited Old Man Logan and the original Old Man Logan (available through MelCat), as well as Death of Wolverine. Whether you've seen it yet or not, the library has plenty of materials to quench your thirst for Wolverine.

Revisit Jackman's previous work as Wolverine with the first and second movies in the Wolverine trilogy: X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine. You can also revisit Wolverine as part of the X-Men, in movies such as X-Men, X-Men United: X2, X3:The Last Stand, X-Men First Class, X-Men Days of Future Past and X-Men Apocalypse. It's not an X-Men movie, but also take a look at Shane, which features heavily in Logan and shares similar thematic elements.

Looking for more comic book fun? Give Wolverine, Wolverine: Origins & Endings, or Weapon X a try. Review Wolverine's past with Wolverine Omnibus Vol 1, or watch him face off with his former friends in Wolverine vs. the X-Men.

Kids can also get in on the fun with Readers such as This is Wolverine, Marvel Superhero Squad: Adventure Collection. They can look up key facts about their favorite heroes with Meet the Marvel Super Heroes, and read comics like Mini Marvels. Wolverine even features as one of the superheroes in the The Super Hero Squad Show series.

Washtenaw Reads Book Discussion: "$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America"

Sunday February 12, 2017: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- Westgate Branch: West Side Room

This event is intended for grade 9–adult

AADL staff lead a discussion of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin & H. Luke Shaefer, the book selected for Washtenaw Reads 2017.

After two decades of groundbreaking research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen before: households surviving on virtually no income, a level of destitution so deep as to be unthought-of in the world’s most advanced capitalist economy. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on surveys of the incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to one and a half million American households, including about three million children.

The result of their investigative teamwork is this book, which received much critical acclaim. "$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America" won the prestigious Hillman Prize for Book Journalism by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, was short-listed for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation and was named a New York Times Notable Book and a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Copies of the book are available at area libraries and bookstores. For more information on Washtenaw Reads, visit the Reads website at wread.org.

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