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Adult Book News

The Pulitzer Prize

PulitzerThe Pulitzer Prize is for more than just journalists - it is one of the most coveted awards in the literary world.  Since 1917, the Pulitzer has been granted to the best and brightest writers.  Recipients earn a place in history with great minds like Robert Frost, William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and Harper Lee.  Take a look at some of this year’s winners! You can also to go pulitzer.org to view a full list of the winners and watch the announcement video.

 

 

 

Winner in Fiction

UndergroundRailroadThe Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.  In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.  The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

 

Winner in History

BloodInTheWaterBlood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson (Pantheon)

On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed.  On September 13, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice.

 

Winner in Poetry

OlioOlio, by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)

Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.



 

Winner in General Nonfiction

EvictedEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America's vast inequality--and to people's determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

April is National Poetry Month

poetrymonthIn 1996, April was declared National Poetry Month. Each year, the Academy of American Poets celebrates both the rich history of poetry, and modern poets working wonders with language in today's world. Celebrate the valuable contribution poets make to American culture by checking out one of the many books of poetry you can find at the library. They like to hide in non-fiction, in the 800s. You can also visit poets.org to find more ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, read poems, and sign up for their poem-a-day service, where you'll get a poem delivered straight your inbox every day.

 

PoetryInMichiganInPoetryPoetry in Michigan in Poetry
This anthology gathers an intriguing range of poets, their visions and voices. The poems as a whole, in one way or another, explore the variances in Michigan landscape; shoreline; lives lived in the city, town, and countryside; our uncommon diversity of cultures, points of view, concerns, celebrations, losses, and histories.

 

 

 

MadeinDetroitMade in Detroit : poems
In her trademark style, combining the sublime with the gritty, Marge Piercy presents poems that range from descriptions of the Detroit of her childhood to her current life on Cape Cod, from deep appreciations of the natural world to elegies for lost friends and relationships, from a vision of her Jewish heritage to a hard-hitting take on today’s political ironies.

 

 

 

 

PoetsCornerThe Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family
William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dylan Thomas are just a few names among Lithgow's comprehensive list of poetry masters. His essential criterion is that "each poem's light shines more brightly when read aloud." This unique package provides a multimedia poetry experience with a bonus MP3 CD of revelatory poetry readings by John and the familiar voices of such notable performers as Eileen Atkins, Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, Billy Connolly, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Lynn Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Gary Sinise, and Sam Waterston.

 

 

 

BestPoemsEnglishLanguageThe Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Robert Frost
This comprehensive anthology attempts to give the common reader possession of six centuries of great British and American poetry. The book features a large introductory essay by Harold Bloom called "The Art of Reading Poetry," which presents his critical reflections of more than half a century devoted to the reading, teaching, and writing about the literary achievement he loves most. In the case of all major poets in the language, this volume offers either the entire range of what is most valuable in their work, or vital selections that illuminate each figure′s contribution.

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."