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.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #612

A Hundred Thousand Worlds * by Bob Proehl is a mother-son cross-country road trip through the world of comic-cons,

New York actress Valerie Torrey, who has a successful run playing Bethany Fraser in a syndicated X-Files-ish TV show called Anomaly is taking her 9 year-old son Alex on a road trip to LA where his father Andrew lives.

Along the way, Val agrees to make appearances at comic book conventions. From Pittsburgh to Cleveland, from Chicago to Las Vegas they are increasingly being drawn into the lives and drama of the other regulars - artists, writers, agents, publishers and a strange world of "cosplay" (costume play), mostly young women who dress up as comic book characters.

For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.

Debut novelist "Proehl has done an excellent job of integrating all of the story lines and creating memorable characters to populate them. Though not without its melancholy moments, the story is deeply satisfying and will delight both comics fans and general readers." (Booklist)

* = starred review

NPR's Best Books of 2015

NPR recently released its Best Books of 2015 list, an in depth yearly endeavor where critics and NPR staff choose their favorite books of the year and compile them into a genre-spanning list of several hundred titles. I love that, along with the expected books on the list that are getting accolades from numerous publications and organizations, NPR’s list always contains more obscure titles that many readers likely missed over the course of the year.

You can view all of the titles from the list that we have available in our catalog here.

So what’s on this list of nearly 300 books? Here’s a preview:

In Speak, by Louisa Hall, a young Puritan woman travels to America with her unwanted husband, while in other time and place Alan Turing writes letters to his best friend’s mother and a Jewish refugee tries to reconnect with his distant wife. Elsewhere in time and space, a lonely young girl speaks with an intelligent software program and a formerly celebrated Silicon Valley entrepreneur is imprisoned for making illegal lifelike dolls. How does Hall tie all these characters together? As they all try somehow to communicate across gaps, Hall connects their stories, creating an amazing book that is a blend of historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy.

V is for Vegetables offers more than 140 simple recipes for cooking vegetables in unique and unexpected ways at home. Author and chef Michael Anthony has cleverly divided the chapters of the book by vegetable, so if you ever find yourself staring at kohlrabi or tomatillos in the grocery store, curious about how one cooks such things, this is the book for you! And even expert cooks will be refreshed by Anthony’s new ideas for ways to use common vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, carrots and squash.

The Battle of Versailles tells of a little-known event that took place at the Palace of Versailles: as a fundraiser for the restoration of the palace, the world’s elite gathered in the grand theater there for a “fashion competition” of sorts: five American designers (including Oscar de la Renta and Anne Klein) faced off against five French designers considered to be the best designers in the world—Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy and others. The American clothes were expected to be a laughingstock but instead, the garments and the energy of the models who wore them wowed the crowd. By the end of the evening, American fashion in the world had transformed from a footnote to an enormous influence, not only on style itself but also on the way race, gender, sexuality and economics were treated in fashion in the years to come.

Create Your Own Illustrated Book with Ruth McNally Barshaw

Wednesday April 6, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grade 4 - adult

Join Ruth McNally Barshaw, author of the popular Ellie McDoodle Diaries, for a hands-on workshop on how to make your own Ellie McDoodle or Diary of a Wimpy Kid-style illustrated book!

Copies of Ruth's books will be for sale courtesy of Literati Bookstore.

Comic-Drawing with Ruth McNally Barshaw

Thursday February 18, 2016: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades K-5

Learn the art of story creation, draw characters, and brainstorm settings, story problems, friends and enemies with Ruth McNally Barshaw, author of the popular Ellie McDoodle Diaries book series!

Books will be for sale courtesy of Literati Bookstore

The Dark Side II: Highway of Horror With Bestselling Horror Authors Andrew Pyper & Nick Cutter

Tuesday March 3, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event will be recorded

Get ready for a spine-tingling evening when bestselling horror genre authors Andrew Pyper and Nick Cutter visit the Downtown Library for one night of chilling readings and conversation, as part of their Dark Side II: Highway of Horror author tour. There will also be plenty of time for questions and answers — if you dare! A book signing will follow, and books will be for sale.

Andrew Pyper is the award-winning author of six internationally bestselling novels, including The Killing Circle, a New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. Three of Pyper’s novels, including The Demonologist, are in active development for feature films. His new novel, The Damned, was released in February 2015 and has already been optioned as a feature film by Legendary Pictures.

Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for Scotiabank Giller prize-nominated author Craig Davidson. Davidson has published four books of literary fiction, including Rust and Bone (which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film of the same name), and Cataract City. Under the name Nick Cutter, he published The Troop in 2014 and his newest book, The Deep, in January 2015.

This event is cosponsored by Nicola's Books.

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Her Place in the World

Monday March 23, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grades 6 and up
This event will be recorded

Interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder is at a peak – especially with the recent publication of her autobiography Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.

At this special AADL evening, explore the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose experiences traveling and homesteading with her pioneer family spawned her series of popular children's books. Author and Wilder scholar William Anderson and University of Michigan History professor Michelle McClellan lead us on a journey through Laura's life and tell the story of how the places she lived have now taken on a life of their own.

Wilder's legacy extends far beyond her Little House series; millions know her from the 1970s television show based on her books, and the locations she wrote about, including Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri, have become tourist destinations for her devoted fans.

Writing Workshop with Sara Ryan, queer author of YA novels and comics!

Monday June 23, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for Teens in Grades 6-12 and Adults

Sara will lead a few short writing exercises and answer questions about her books, publishing, and being an out queer author. Sara Ryan grew up in Ann Arbor. She's the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist novel Empress of the World, the Oregon Book Award-winning novel The Rules for Hearts, and most recently of Bad Houses with Carla Speed McNeil, a TIME Magazine and USA Today Top Graphic Novel of 2013. Find her online at sararyan.com or @ryansara on Twitter. Literati Bookstore will be selling Sara's books and Sara will do a book signing.

Midwestern Gothic Reading

Saturday June 14, 2014: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Midwestern Gothic is proud to partner with the Ann Arbor District Library to host a reading of its contributors on Saturday, June 14, 2014.

Started in 2010, Midwestern Gothic is an Ann Arbor-based quarterly literary journal dedicated to featuring work about or inspired by the Midwest, by writers who live or have lived here. Midwestern Gothic aims to collect the very best in Midwestern writing in a way that has never been done before, cataloging the oeuvre of an often-overlooked region of the United States ripe with its own mythologies and tall tales—stories and poems that help to paint a portrait of the region. The event will consist of Midwestern Gothic contributors Rob Kenagy (poetry), Cindy Hunter Morgan (poetry), John Rodwan (creative nonfiction/poetry), and Jeff Kass (fiction/poetry) reading their work. The reading will be followed by a short reception.

AADL cardholders can download previous issues of MG from our catalog here.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Celebration!

Sunday January 26, 2014: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grades 4-7

Celebrate the joy of reading and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," series with activities related to the books: a cheese toss, cookie decorating and "Zoo-Wee-Mama!" cartoon writing!

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