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Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize in Literature

Renowned musician Bob Dylan is finally set to accept his Nobel Prize in Literature this weekend, after declining to accept the award in October.  Unfortunately for fans, no media will be present for the acceptance, but we can still enjoy the music and lyrics that the Swedish Academy saw fit to honor with the Nobel Prize, and learn more about the life of the iconic American artist.

 

TheLyricsThe Lyrics: 1961-2012
A beautiful, comprehensive volume of Dylan’s lyrics, from the beginning of his career through the present day—with the songwriter’s edits to dozens of songs, appearing here for the first time.

 

 

 

Chronicles1Chronicles. Volume one
The celebrated first memoir from arguably the most influential singer-songwriter in the country, Bob Dylan.  “I’d come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else.”  So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career.

 

 

 

 

BobDylanAmericanTroubadorBob Dylan : American troubadour
In Bob Dylan: American Troubadour, Donald Brown follows the shifting versions of Dylan, from his songs of conscientious social involvement to more personal exploratory songs; from his influential rock albums of the mid-'60s to the refreshingly vital albums he has been producing in the 21st century. Each chapter addresses a particular phase of Dylan's career, taking its cue from events in Dylan's life and from the collective experiences that shaped the times.

The Edgar Awards

MWAlogo Each spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre.  Check out this year's nominees for Best Novel, and check back on April 27th to find out who wins!

 

 

 

 

 

TheExThe Ex by Alafair Burke

Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago.An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel.  Days later, after his best friend posts a message on a popular website on his behalf, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.  Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiance, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

WhereItHurtsWhere It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

Retired Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy thought he had the world all: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house, and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when tragedy strikes, his life is thrown into complete disarray. Divorced and working as a courtesy van driver for the run-down hotel in which he has a room, Gus has settled into a mindless, soulless routine that barely keeps his grief at arm’s length. But Gus’s comfortable waking trance comes to an end when ex-con Tommy Delcamino asks him for help. Four months earlier, Tommy’s son T.J.’s battered body was discovered in a wooded lot, yet the Suffolk County PD doesn’t seem interested in pursuing the killers. As he begins to sweep away the layers of dust that have collected over the case during the intervening months, Gus finds that Tommy was telling the truth. It seems that everyone involved with the late T.J Delcamino has something to hide, and all are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep it hidden. It’s a dangerous favor Gus has taken on as he claws his way back to take a place among the living, while searching through the sewers for a killer.

 

JaneSteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

In this clever reimagining of Jane Eyre, sensitive orphan Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.  Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: Can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past?

 

WhatRemainsofMeWhat Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

On June 28, 1980—the hottest night of the year—Kelly Michelle Lund shoots and kills Oscar-nominated director John McFadden at a party in his home...And instantly becomes a media sensation, her chilling smile fodder for national nightmares. For years, speculation swirls over the enigmatic seventeen-year-old’s motives, information she’s refused to share. Convicted of the murder, she loses her youth and her freedom—but keeps her secrets to herself.  Thirty years later—and five years after her release from prison—the past has come back to haunt Kelly. Her father-in-law, movie legend Sterling Marshall, is found in a pool of blood in his home in the Hollywood Hills—dead from a shot to the head, just like his old friend John McFadden.  Once again, Kelly is suspected of the high profile murder. But this time, she’s got some unexpected allies who believe she’s innocent—of both killings—and want to help her clear her name. But is she?


 

BeforeTheFallBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley

On a foggy summer night, eleven people depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--a down-on-his-luck painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.  With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.  Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Amazing April Books

April 2017 LibraryReads

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love

library reads logo websiteThis monthly list is created by librarians and library staff to help connect readers to new books and authors. An online community of librarians vote each month on their favorite new books and the results are tallied. "The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that." The list is not meant to be a "best" list - just a list of collective favorites - books librarians loved and want to share.

 

 

 

 #1 for April 2017:

Anything Is Possible: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout

Anything Is PossibleHere are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author’s celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

2017 Everyone's Reading...

Once In a Great City: A Detroit Story  by David Maraniss     

onceinagreatcityIn April and May, the Plymouth District Library will participate in Everyone’s Reading, the one-book community reading program sponsored by Metro Detroit public libraries in Oakland and Wayne counties. Everyone’s Reading promotes public dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book with friends, neighbors, and community members.

This year’s selection is Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss, a 2016 Michigan Notable Book set in 1963 when Detroit was on top of the world. The city’s leaders were among the most visionary in America. It was the American automakers’ best year (think Mustang); the revolution in popular music (think Motown) and progressive politics was under way. Reuther’s UAW had helped lift the middle class. But while the era was full of promise, Maraniss shows that shadows of collapse were evident even then. Before the decades of civic corruption and neglect and white flight. Before people trotted out the litany of rust belt infirmities--from harsh weather to high labor costs--and competition from abroad to explain Detroit's collapse. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts.Using a combination of historical eyewitness reports and sketches of larger-than-life figures, Pulitzer-winning reporter Maraniss draws a sprawling portrait of Detroit at a pivotal moment when it was "dying and thriving at the same time." (Booklist)

 

Read with us – and join the conversation:

There will be two book discussions of Once in a Great City at the Library. The Brown Bag Books Discussion Group will meet on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at noon and the Contemporary Books Discussion Group will meet on May 9, 2017 at 7:30p.m. No registration is necessary to participate. Copies of Once in a Great City can be checked out at the Library; reading guides will also be available.

Meet the Author:

Readers are also invited to hear the author, David Maraniss, speak about Once In a Great City and Detroit history when he appears at Maraniss The Community House, Birmingham, on Monday May 22, 2016 at 7 p.m., and Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Southfield, on Tuesday, May 23 at 7p.m. Tickets are free, but in limited quantity, contact the Library at 734.453.0750, ext.4 for ticket availability.

This year, Everyone’s Reading is again partnering with the Detroit Institute of Arts. The DIA will host David Maraniss at 11am on Tuesday, May 23 at the museum. Tickets are free and can be ordered by calling 313.833.4005 or at www.tickets.dia.org

Writing Women Back into History

March is Women's History Month

NWHP-Logo-smallWomen's History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as "Women's History Week." In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress designated the month of March as "Women's History Month" in perpetuity to highlight the achievements of women and their contributions to intellectual and social progress throughout human history.

(Historical content and image courtesy of the National Women's History Project and the Library of Congress.)

 

 

Discover some fascinating females:

 

 

spyThe Spy by Paul Coelho
After divorcing her abusive husband, Margarethe Zelle arrived in Paris penniless. Within months, and now known as Mata Hari, her stage name, she was the most celebrated woman in the city. As a exotic dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era's richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari's lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of spying for Germany. Though probably innocent, she was executed by firing squad on 15 October 1917. It has been claimed by historians that Mata Hari was never an important spy but "an independent woman, a divorcee, a citizen of a neutral country, a courtesan and a dancer, which made her a perfect scapegoat for the French, who were then losing the war."

 

 

charlotteCharlotte by David Foenkinos
Obsessed with art, and with living, German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon attended school in Germany until it was too dangerous to remain. In 1938 she fled to France, and was interned in a bleak work camp from which she narrowly escaped. Newly free, she spent two years hiding in the south of France, in almost total solitude, creating a series of autobiographical artworks--over 700 painnings, images, words, even musical scores--that together tell her life story. A pregnant Charlotte was killed in Auschwitz at the age of 26, but not before she entrusted her life's work to a friend, who kept it safe until peacetime. Her paintings and other art were first exhibited in 1960 and in 1971 the collection was placed in the care of the Joods Historisch Museum, (Jewish Historical Museum) Amsterdam. An exhibition at the London Royal Academy in 1998 was an unexpected sensation, helped by the publication of a complete catalogue.

 

 

Sci Fi Nominees

2016 Nebula Award Nominees Announced

nebulaawardlogoThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently announced the finalists for the 2016 Nebula Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. Nominees are named in the best novel, novella, novelette, short story, dramatic presentation, and young adult categories, and the voting takes place throughout March. The winners will receive their prizes during the 51st Nebula Awards Weekend in May.

Best Novel Nominees:

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Borderline by Mishell Baker

                                            The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin 

                                            Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee 

                                            Everfair by Nisi Shawl 

  • (SFWA® and Nebula Awards® are registered trademarks of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.)

Ready for their close-ups!

oscarBooks to Movies - 89th Academy Awards

On Sunday, February 26, Hollywood royalty will be parading and posing on the red carpet just before the annual awards show which will bestow honors on films made in 2016, and the actors and personnel who created them. Many of the Oscar-nominated films are based on books, both fiction and non-fiction.

And the books/nominees are:

Arrival - based on Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Elle - based on Oh by Philippe Djian

Fences by August Wilson

Florence Foster Jenkins: The Inspiring True Story of the World’s Worst Singer, by Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees

HIdden Figures,The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Life Animated - based on Life Animated A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Ron Suskind

Lion - based on A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley

Nocturnal Animals - based on Tony and Susan by Austin Wright

I am not your Negro - based on Remember This House by James Baldwin

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Sully - based on Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger

Rogue One, A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed

Silence by Shusaku Endo

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander/J. K. Rowling

 

 

 

New Interest in Classic Dystopian Fiction

    George Orwell's 1984 is Suddenly a Bestseller

1984 60th anniversary edition 1The New York Times reports that Orwell's classic about a future world where a totalitarian government controls not only the news but also the thoughts of its citizens has seen an uptick in sales in the past month, rising to the top of the Amazon best-seller list. The publisher, Penguin USA, has ordered more copies printed, explaining that demand picked up after an advisor to President Trump referred to "alternative facts" during an interview on Meet the Press. The phrase reminded readers of several terms created by Orwell to describe the manipulation of information by the ruling regime, words like "newspeak," and "doublethink." According to a London editor for Penguin Books, dystopian novels are "chiming with people" right now. Other classic futuristic novels, like The Man in the High Castle by Philip Dick,  Orwell's Animal Farm, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood are also resonating with readers uneasy over recent current events. Sales have surged for each along with another older book, It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, about "a bellicose presidential candidate who runs on a populist platform in the United States but turns out to be a fascist demagogue." (New York Times). The speculation is that readers are turning to these older books as sources for understanding the dramatic political changes taking place now, or for comfort in the fact that "things could be worse."


Major March Books

 March 2017 LibraryReads

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love

library reads logo websiteThis monthly list is created by librarians and library staff to help connect readers to new books and authors. An online community of librarians vote each month on their favorite new books and the results are tallied. "The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that." The list is not meant to be a "best" list - just a list of collective favorites - books librarians loved and want to share.

 

 

 

 

#1 for March 2017:

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

twelvelivesSamuel Hawley isn't like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back. Now that Loo's a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife's hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school.She also grows more and more curious about the death of the mother she never knew. Soon, everywhere she turns, she encounters the mysteries of her parents' lives before she was born. This hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body. Each scar is from a bullet Hawley took over the course of his criminal career. Each is a memory: of another place on the map, another thrilling close call, another moment of love lost and found. As Loo uncovers a history that's darker than she could have known, the demons of her father's past spill over into the present--and together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come. "This is a convincingly redemptive and celebratory novel: an affirmation of the way that heroism and human fallibility coexist, of how good parenting comes in unexpected packages, and of the way that we are marked by our encounters with each other and the luminous universe in which we dwell." (Publishers Weekly)

 

February is African American History Month

"We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated." 
                                                                 (Maya Angelou)

Initially started in 1926 as Negro History Week, the commemoration of the struggles and achievements of African Americans in America was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1976. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Every president since has proclaimed February as African American History Month in order to honor the importance of contributions made by African American citizens to our society. Several months ago, on September 24, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution, opened to the public amid rave reviews. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. The museum has welcomed over 750,000 visitors since the opening, with passes still somewhat difficult to get.

Literature is another way to examine the African American experience; African American authors have made major contributions to our collective culture and national discourse. You can explore these contributions in recent books:

homegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Winner of the fourth annual John Leonard Prize, (at the National Book Awards) for an outstanding first book in any genre, Gyasi's novel is the tale of two half-sisters born in 18th century Ghana who experience vastly different lives. Effia will be married off to an English colonial, and will live in comfort in the Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated in England before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the Empire. Her sister, Esi, will be imprisoned in the castle's dungeon, and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, where she will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the north to the Great Migration to the streets of 20th century Harlem, the saga examines the impact of the slave trade on each generation of the sisters' families.

 

lazerettoLazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
The Lazaretto hospital, located on an island in the Delaware River,  is a crucible of life and death; sick passengers and corpses are quarantined here, but this is also the place where immigrants take their first steps toward the American dream. The live-in staff are mostly black Philadelphians, who have created a strong community there, and when two of them arrange to marry, the city's black citizens prepare for a party on the grounds. But the celebration is plunged into chaos when gunshots ring out across the river. A white man has fired at a boat carrying the couple’s friends and family to the island, and the captain is injured. His life lies in the hands of Sylvia, the Lazaretto’s head nurse, who is shocked to realize she knows the patient. "This latest of McKinney-Whetstone's completely engaging novels, (is) a unique blend of poetic language and graphic depictions of the injustices suffered by African Americans in the post-Civil War period." (Booklist)

 

charcoaljoeCharcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley
In L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins finds his life in transition. He's ready--finally--to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he's taken the money he got from his last case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford "Whisper" Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy's friend Mouse requests a favor and introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe's friend's son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man's dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order. This is no small favour. It's going to be Easy's deadliest investigation yet.

 

anotherbrooklynAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Running into a long-ago friend sets memories from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything--until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they roamed the neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant--a part of a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion. Woodson heartbreakingly illuminates the formative period when a child meets adulthood, when precious innocence meets the all-too-real perils of growing up. A National Book Award finalist.

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