Staff Picks: Summertime Watch Party

REVIEWS

When the Summer heat gets to be too much, it may be time to head indoors and enjoy a movie or TV show from AADL’s excellent DVD & Blu-ray collection. Here are a few things to consider watching whether you are into romance or a bit of action, we have something for everyone!

Past Lives directed by Celine Song | Request Now

A movie poster for Past Lives directed by Celine Song Childhood friends Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) shared a special bond in Seoul until Nora's family abruptly emigrated from South Korea. Years later, their paths cross again in New York, where Nora has established a life as a married playwright. As they revisit their past, the encounter forces them to confront the what-ifs of their relationship. Greta Lee delivers a magnetic performance in this vivid tale of love and friendship that captures the defining moments of a life. Meanwhile, Celine Song's directorial debut is one of the most memorable in recent years.

 

 

 

 

Polite Society directed by Nida Manzoor | Request Now
A movie poster for Polite Society directed by Nida Manzoor
Debuting with a thrilling blend of genres, the Manzoor’s (from We are Lady Parts fame) film follows teenage Ria (Priya Kansara), who dreams of becoming a stuntwoman. Using her formidable skills, Ria rescues her older sister, Lena (Ritu Arya), from the oppressive grip of patriarchy. This family epic/action flick pays proud homage to influences ranging from Hong Kong action movies to the works of Jane Austen and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. There is a Bollywood-style dance number to enjoy which serves as a distraction from another piece of choreography. This movie is campy, outrageous, and oh so much fun!

 

 

For All Mankind (Streaming show from Apple TV) | Request Now

A poster for the series 'For All Mankind'This excellent alternate history series begins with the Soviet Union beating the US to land on the Moon and, consequently, the space race never ended. As the series continues it explores how the Apollo space program transformed with the inclusion of women, characters of color, and LGBTQ+ protagonists. It progresses through the establishment of long-term lunar habitats in the 1980s and eventually culminates in crewed missions to Mars in the mid-1990s—unlocking a wealth of technological advancements along the way. The series is written by Ronald D. Moore, best known for writing on various Star Trek series, the Battlestar Galactica reboot, and the Outlander series. This series is currently in production for a Season 5 with a goal of 7 seasons spanning 70 years.

 

 

Dark Winds | Request Now

A poster for the series 'Dark Winds'Produced by Robert Redford and George R.R. Martin, the series Dark Winds retells and modernizes Tony Hillerman's award-winning mysteries. Set against the stunning New Mexico backdrop of the early 1970s, this entertaining show features a predominantly Native American cast, writing team, and directorial crew. They have expanded the roles of the female characters and portray Navajo culture not as an academic study, but as a lived experience. The excellent cast led by Zahn McClarnon (of Reservation Dogs and Westworld fame), playing Navajo police officer, Joe Leaphorn, along with his colleagues Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon) and Bernadette Manuelito (Jessica Matten), come upon a case involving two murdered members of their tribe. What they begin to uncover is a vast conspiracy that will shake their spiritual understanding. An exciting thriller/mystery that will keep you wanting more.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #840, Water Fantasies

fathomfolk

Inspired by East Asian mythology, Fathomfolk,*  first in the Drowned World series by Eliza Chan, (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) is set in the semi-submerged city of Tiankawin where fathomfolks (sirens, seawitches, and kelpies) co-exist with humans. 

The novel opens with Mira, the newly promoted captain of the border guard, and the first female half-siren to reach the rank, intends to earn the trust and respect of her human colleagues despite centuries of prejudice and discrimination. Together with her partner, Kai, a water dragon from one of the few privileged fathomfolk families, they hope to bring reforms in the human-controlled government. But everything they work towards is put in jeopardy when Nami, Kai’s rebellious sister is banished to Tiankawi and falls in with a rebel group known as the Drawbacks. 

When the annual boat festival is sabotaged and humans are drowned, the government cracks down even further on fathomfolk rights. Mira and Nami find they must work together to save their city and their communities. 

“Chan floats beautifully between multiple point-of-view characters, and also between different facets of Tiankawi life, from the poor to the privileged. From Nami's well-meaning immaturity to Mira's complicated feelings about her dual identity, all the characters have fully realized perspectives and goals that clash with each other in both clever political plots and exciting action scenes.” (Kirkus Reviews)

etter_to_the_luminous_deepA Letter to the Luminous Deep * * by Sylvie Cathrall (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) is a captivating tale of mystery and romance set in an enchanting underwater society.

The year is 1002, a thousand years after an event known as "the Dive," where sky dwellers now live in the ocean. E. Cidnosin, an introverted and anxious young woman is the sole caretaker of “Deep House”, an architectural marvel designed by her mother. Spying a mysterious sea creature outside her window prompts E. to begin a correspondence with renowned marine scholar Henerey Clel, hoping he will help her identify it. The letters they share are filled with passion, at first for their mutual interests, and then, inevitably, for each other. Then E. and Henerey disappear after an explosion at Deep House. A year later, E.'s sister Sophy, and Henerey's brother Vyerin, are left to solve the mystery. 

As Sophy and Vyerin delve into the letters left behind by E. and Henerey, they uncover clues about their relationship and the events leading up to their disappearance. Through these letters, a tale of love, friendship, and secrets unfolds, captivating readers with its whimsical charm and intriguing plot twist. “Cathrall skillfully addresses themes of mental health and anxiety, adding depth and authenticity to the characters' experiences. With its cozy-fantasy atmosphere and rich character development, A Letter to the Luminous Deep will appeal to fans of epistolary novels and readers who enjoy stories with elements of romance, mystery, and fantasy.” (Booklist) A late confession by Arvist, E. and Sophy's brother hints at further mysteries to be solved in a sequel.

A charming fantasy set in an underwater world with magical academia and a heartwarming penpal romance, perfect for fans of A Marvellous Light, Emily Wilde's Encylopaedia of Faeries and The House in the Cerulean Sea. 

 * * = 2 starred reviews

* = Starred review

 

Staff Picks: Teen Fiction by Indigenous American Authors

Here are a few great Teen books by Indigenous American authors from across several genres, including fantasy, mystery, and sci-fi.

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger | Request Now

The cover of A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little BadgerNina is a Lipan girl in our world. She's always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories. Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he's been cast from home. He's found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake. Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli's best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven't been in centuries. And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

 

 

 

 

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley | Request Now

The cover of Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline BoulleyEighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims. Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.  

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline | Request Now

The cover of The Marrow Thieves by Cherie DimalineIn a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's indigenous population - and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow - and dreams - means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a 15-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones, and take refuge from the "recruiters" who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing 'factories.'

 

 

 

 

Walking In Two Worlds by Wab Kinew | Request Now

The cover of Walking In Two Worlds by Wab KinewAn indigenous teen girl is caught between two worlds both real and virtual in the YA fantasy debut from bestselling Indigenous author Wab Kinew. Bugz is caught between two worlds. In the real world, she's a shy and self-conscious Indigenous teen who faces the stresses of teenage angst and reserve life. But in the virtual world, her alter ego is not just confident but dominant in a massive multiplayer video game universe. Feng is a teen boy who has been sent from China to live with his aunt, a doctor on the reserve, after his online activity suggests he may be developing extremist sympathies. Meeting each other in real life, as well as in the virtual world, Bugz and Feng immediately relate to each other as outsiders and as avid gamers. As their connection is strengthened through their virtual adventures, they find they have much in common in the real world, too: both must decide what to do in the face of temptations and pitfalls, and both must grapple with the impact of family and community trauma. But betrayal threatens everything Bugz has built in the virtual world, as well as her relationships in the real world, and it will take all her newfound strength to restore her friendship with Feng and reconcile the parallel aspects of her life: the traditional and the mainstream, the east and the west, the real and the virtual.

Staff Picks: Get Excited for Big New Releases This Summer!

It’s that time of the summer when lots of big new releases are coming out! Many of these titles have been long-anticipated by readers and you might want to get on the hold list to get your hands on a copy! One thing to note: some of these titles are getting published in a few short weeks, so AADL does not yet have copies—but you can still put your name on the list and once the books are published and shipped, we’ll get them into the hands of our patrons!

Long Island Compromise, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner | Request Now

The cover of Long Island Compromise, by Taffy Brodesser-AknerThis just-released title, by the author of Fleishman Is In Trouble, details the unusual saga of a Jewish family in New York over the past four decades. The book opens in 1983, when wealthy businessman Carl Fletcher is kidnapped from his driveway, tortured and held for ransom. Upon his return to his family a week later, they all begin the work of recovering from the trauma and moving on with their lives. Forty years later, when Carl’s mother dies and the family reunites to mourn her, it becomes clear that no matter how hard they might have tried to forget the past, no one really got over anything. Carl’s wife Ruth has spent every day since the kidnapping working to protect and heal her husband at her own emotional expense. Ruth and Carl’s three grown children are all a mess in their own ways, and Carl himself still lives in fear over what happened to him. Will Carl and his family ever be able to find closure? Though their enormous wealth is ultimately what saved Carl’s life, isn’t it also what put him in danger in the first place? Was it worth it? Readers will find themselves immersed in the Fletchers’ lives, eagerly turning the pages to see how everything turns out.

The Midnight Feast, by Lucy Foley | Request Now

The Midnight Feast, by Lucy FoleyThriller fans love Lucy Foley for her twisty novels like The Guest List and The Paris Apartment. Now Foley is back with her newest thriller, The Midnight Feast. The setting is the grand opening of a new, exclusive resort in a picturesque English village. Francesa Meadows, who summered there as a child, has teamed up with her famous architect husband to build the chic retreat called simply The Manor. The locals are less than happy with the encroachment on their formerly peaceful, rural haven but despite their protests, The Manor opens just in time for summer. After a bacchanalian night of drinking, dancing and feasting, a body is discovered on the grounds, leaving everyone wondering if there is a murderer staying among the guests or if the locals have enacted revenge. Told by five different narrators with vastly different perspectives, this book packs a punch with repeated surprises and some truly creepy folk horror.

 

The God of the Woods, by Liz Moore | Request Now

The cover of The God of the Woods, by Liz Moore Liz Moore, author of Long Bright River, gifts readers with a beautifully atmospheric mystery set in the Adirondack mountains in 1975. On an August morning, Barbara Van Laar is found missing from her bunk at summer camp, triggering a frantic search. While any child gone missing would be terrible, Barbara also happens to be the daughter of the wealthy owners of the camp and nearby estate and—in a horrible coincidence—her older brother also went missing sixteen years earlier and was never found. While the search for Barbara and over-arching mystery is certainly the root of the novel, Moore also threads stories of various characters’ lives into the book and brings readers into their hearts and minds and into the nuances of the close-knit community as a whole. This is one not to be missed.

 

 

The Bright Sword, by Lev Grossman | Request Now

The cover of The Bright Sword, by Lev GrossmanFantasy fans likely recognize the name Lev Grossman from his best-selling The Magicians series and perhaps from his other novels in the genre as well. In The Bright Sword, Grossman takes on the story of King Arthur, but of course puts his own unique spin on it. A gifted young knight named Collum arrives at Camelot shortly after the Battle of Camlann, hoping to earn himself a spot on the Round Table. To his horror, however, Camelot is empty, King Arthur is dead and the Round Table is no more. The six knights that remain are not the heroic legends like Lancelot and Galahad but instead a motley crew of survivors whose names you’ve likely never heard before. As power-hungry lords approach Camelot, eager to seize the land, Collum and the other knights must band together to see what they can save. Arthur’s death has shaken the kingdom in more ways than one—monsters and fairies, long kept dormant, are reawakening, fragile alliances that Arthur held together are breaking, and the animosity between pagans and Christians again rears its head. Described as “the first major Arthurian epic of the new millennium,” The Bright Sword is “full of duels and quests, battles and tournaments, magic swords and Fisher Kings.” Beyond all that, though, the book is also a deeply human portrait of flawed men and women who are doing their best to hold together the land and life they love. Even readers who might not typically consider themselves fantasy buffs might want to give this one a try!

 

You can always keep an eye on our "new books" list on aadl.org to see the latest additions to our collection!

Staff Picks: Cool Drinks & Treats For the Summer

This summer is already heating up so why not take the time to make some cool drinks and frozen desserts. These books have some creative combinations for both alcohol-free and alcoholic drinks, as well as some healthy sips and indulgent frozen treats.

Chill: Smoothies, Slushes, Shakes, Juices, Drinks & Ices by Cooking Light | Request Now

The cover of Chill: Smoothies, Slushes, Shakes, Juices, Drinks & Ices by Cooking LightLooking for some variety in your refreshing summertime drinks? This book has great recipes, clear guidelines, and excellent low-calorie drinks for cooling off this summer. One such low-calorie strawberry smoothie has 200 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, and less than 25 grams of sugar from naturally occurring sources: fruit, low-fat dairy, and honey. There are also lighter slushes, and cool ices packed with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy, and natural sweeteners. There’s a delicious protein-packed banana breakfast smoothie, fresh juices with vegetables and fruit as well as options for kids that help control the sugar intake. Enjoy a refreshing and healthy beverage this summer with ideas from this book!

 

 

Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion by Maggie Hoffman | Request Now

The cover of Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion by Maggie HoffmanIf you are hosting a party this summer, this book will be a great help in having drinks made for your guests. Whether an intimate dinner or a large gathering, Hoffman has all the information you need to make a variety of batch drinks. There is something for everyone, with or without alcohol, fruity, bitter, herbal, etc. These cocktails will please every palate. The drinks are broken down by flavor profile as well as offering event-based suggestions. The tool section is excellent too, skipping the traditional jiggers and shakers and adding pitchers and measuring cups. There is a section for making batch mocktails that is impressive as well. How to save and serve the drinks for a later time is also discussed. So make a pitcher or two of drinks with amazing flavor, then sit back and enjoy.

 

 

Drink Lightly: a Lighter Take on Serious Cocktails With 100+ Recipes for Low- and No-Alcohol Drinks by Natasha David | Request Now

The cover of Drink Lightly: a Lighter Take on Serious Cocktails With 100+ Recipes for Low- and No-Alcohol Drinks by Natasha David Award-winning mixologist, David, provides cocktails that are non-alcoholic or have lower alcohol by volume (ABV), which means they have a lower alcohol content than “traditional” spirits such as vodka or tequila. There are light aperitifs and seltzer mixes but also light spins on stiff drinks such as a martini-inspired concoction that uses muddled cherry tomato or cucumber juice spiked with liquor. This may be for the more adventurous drinker since some of the ingredients may not be readily available in the kitchen, like green bell pepper syrup, pear brandy, or manzanilla sherry. But the flavor combos are inventive and so tempting that you may not mind the effort it takes to assemble them.

 

 

Aguas Frescas and Paletas: Refreshing Mexican Drinks and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined by Ericka Sanchez | Request Now

The cover of Aguas Frescas and Paletas: Refreshing Mexican Drinks and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined by Ericka SanchezScrumptious recipes for Mexican drinks and frozen desserts make a perfect foundation for the hot summer days. Sanchez, from the popular culinary site Nibbles & Feasts, illustrates a variety of simple things you can do with chamoy, tajin, prickly pear, or even cantaloupe seeds. Just reading the recipes and flavor pairings may get your mouth watering, like banana cajeta pops and pineapple cucumber basil cooler. There are recipes for Arroz con Leche in paleta form, or how about horchata or burnt milk pops, all delicious! Easy-to-find ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes make an excellent combination.

Staff Picks: Check Out These Cool Board Games from AADL!

Did you know that AADL offers board games for checkout? You can peruse a wide variety of popular—and more obscure—games in our collection and take some home to try out! Not sure where to start? Read on for some of our suggestions!

Ticket To Ride | Request Now

A stock photo of the game Ticket the RideThe object of this game, which can support two to five players, is to complete train routes across the United States to earn points faster than your opponents complete their own routes. To start, players draw route cards dictating what routes they must attempt to build, then strategize the most efficient way to accomplish completing the routes. Players can always draw more route cards as the game goes on—but beware: points are lost for routes not completed! The premise is made more fun by building routes that get in other players’ way, stealing routes or positions from other players, and trying to hit particular cities as you build your routes. Though it takes a little bit to become super skilled at the game, most players over the age of ten or so can learn in fifteen minutes or less.

Carcasonne | Request Now

A stock photo of the game CarcasonneSet in southern France, this classic game involves placing tiles with various features on them including cities, roads, bridges, cloisters, farmland and more. Players then place small figures, called “meeples,” strategically around the growing board as farmers, robbers, knights or monks, claiming different parts of the territory as more tiles are placed. Once a certain area is “completed,” meaning it is cut off from other areas by an encircling road or edge of the board, players score points with the meeples they have in that area. Although Carcasonne can certainly get intense based on the personalities playing, it can also be a very gentle, family-friendly game and the scenery is lovely.

Sushi Go! | Request Now

A stock photo of the game Sushi Go!This is a fun, fast-paced card game played with adorable, brightly colored kawaii-esque sushi cards. The goal is to build the best, most delicious sushi out of items that whiz by you in the game as players pass cards around the table. What’s particularly fun is that there are lots of different strategies to make that yummy sushi! You can make the greatest number of maki rolls, complete a full set of sashimi with all of the fresh fish options or add dipping sauces to your rolls to increase their value. This can be played with two to five players, but is definitely most fun with four or five! Great for kids, too!

 

Codenames | Request Now

A stock photo of the game CodenamesCodenames is a fun, social game with a simple premise but challenging gameplay with technically no limit to the number of players that can participate. 50 cards with single words on them are laid out in five rows of ten on the table or floor. Players divide into two teams and one “secret agent” is chosen from each team. The two agents then look at a special card that details to them which of the words on the grid belong to them. The agents then have to come up with a word that describes one or more of the words that belong to them on the board, with the number of words it applies to following. For example, if one of the agents had the words “tree, “spinach,” and “frog,” the agent might give the clue “green for 3” to their team. The first team to correctly guess all their words wins—but be careful! There is an assassin word on the grid and if the team guesses that, they automatically lose! This is a great game for larger groups and for folks who like word games.

Staff Picks: New Graphic Novel Biographies

Readers who love personal histories and fact-based family drama should check out these newly-added graphic memoirs filled with art and stories about aging, family struggles, political propaganda, and finding yourself.

Polar Vortex: a Family Memoir by Denise Dorrance | Request Now

The cover of Polar Vortex : a Family Memoir by Denise DorranceWhat do you do when your mother can't remember who you are? You catch the first flight from your adopted home of London to your original hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she's hospitalized, injured, and struggling with the swirling disorientation of dementia. You take responsibility for finding her new (and, perhaps, final) home--although insurance is running out and you might have to finally patch up your bitter relationship with your sister. And you try not to think about death, lurking around every corner... or the coming polar vortex, growing closer and closer as snowflakes swirl ever faster outside. With cinematic illustrations and moving yet humorous prose, award-winning author and cartoonist Denise Dorrance shares the two most haywire months of her life: the phone call after her mother is discovered lying confused on the living room floor, the mingled shock and familiarity of a harsh Midwestern midwinter, the attempt to settle her homesick mother into a care facility, the limiting and limitless inanities of the US health care system, and the impossible decisions about what comes next. Incorporating vintage postcards, photographs, and letters, Dorrance brilliantly captures the sadness, frustration, and gallows humor of suddenly having to care for an aging parent and facing the moment of transition between life as you've long known it and life as it must become.

I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together: a Memoir by Maurice Vellekoop | Request Now

The cover of I'm so Glad we had This Time Together: a Memoir by Maurice VellekoopMeet little Maurice Vellekoop, the youngest of five children raised by Dutch immigrants in the 1970s in a middle class suburb of Toronto. He loves watching Cher and Carol Burnett on TV, making clothes for his best friend's Barbie dolls, and helping his mum with her hair salon which she runs out of the basement of the house. In short: he is really, really gay. Which is a huge problem, because his family is part of the Christian Reformed Church, a strict Calvinist sect, which is not accepting of homosexuality to say the least. We see him participating in weekly church services, catechism classes, going to Christian schools, his stint as a member of the Calvinist Cadet Corps. Vellekoop struggles through all of this, until he finally graduates high school and gets accepted into the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1982. It is there that his life truly changes, thanks in no small part to his taking a class called "Plays In Performance" taught by the wildly flamboyant and brilliant Paul Baker. Baker is the first "out" gay man Maurice has ever met, and the two soon become close friends. It is through witnessing Baker's functional relationship with his long-time partner Martin that Maurice finally starts to reconcile with himself and begin to accept who he actually is. But it's going to be a long, messy, difficult, and occasionally hilarious process. I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together is an enthralling portrait of what it means to be true to yourself, to learn to forgive, and to be an artist. 

Zodiac: a Graphic Memoir by Ai Weiwei | Request Now

The cover of Zodiac: a Graphic Memoir by Ai WeiweiAs a child living in exile during the Cultural Revolution, Ai Weiwei often found himself with nothing to read but government-approved comic books. Although they were restricted by the confines of political propaganda, Ai Weiwei was struck by the artists' ability to express their thoughts on art and humanity through graphic storytelling. Now, decades later, Ai Weiwei and Italian comic artist Gianluca Costantini present Zodiac, Ai Weiwei's first graphic memoir. Inspired by the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac and their associated human characteristics, Ai Weiwei masterfully interweaves ancient Chinese folklore with stories of his life, family, and career. The narrative shifts back and forth through the years--at once in the past, present, and future--mirroring memory and our relationship to time. As readers delve deeper into the beautifully illustrated pages of Zodiac, they will find not only a personal history of Ai Weiwei and an examination of the sociopolitical climate in which he makes his art, but a philosophical exploration of what it means to find oneself through art and freedom of expression.

Portrait of a Body by Julie Delporte | Request Now

The cover of Portrait of a Body by Julie DelporteAs she examines her life experience and traumas with great care, Delporte faces the questions about gender and sexuality that both haunt and entice her. Deeply informed by her personal relationships as much as queer art and theory, Portrait of a Body is both a joyous and at times hard meditation on embodiment--a journey to be reunited with the self in an attempt to heal pain and live more authentically. Delporte's idyllic colored pencil drawings contrast with the near urgency that structures her confessional memoir. Each page is laden with revelation and enveloped in organic, natural shapes--rocks, flowers, intertwined bodies, women's hair blowing in the wind--captured with devotion. The vitality of these forms interspersed with Delporte's flowing handwriting hold space for her vivid and affecting observations. Skillfully translated by Helge Dascher and Karen Houle, Portrait of a Body provokes us to remain open to the lessons our bodies have to offer.

Staff Picks: Celebrate Make Music Ann Arbor With New Music in AADL’s Collection!

Make Music Ann Arbor is a live, free musical celebration that takes place on June 21 every year—the longest day of the year. Cities across the world celebrate with concerts by professional and amateur musicians. Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician—young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion—pours onto streets, parks, and plazas to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public. You can read more about Make Music Ann Arbor here. Of course, listening to music is a big part of Make Music Day, and you might want to listen to some of these new albums in AADL’s music collection!

Orchestras, by Bill Frisell | Request Now

The cover of Orchestras, by Bill FrisellIn his new double LP, famed guitarist Bill Frisell teams up with his usual trio of bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston for a live recording of two concert hall arrangements designed specifically for Frisell. In the first, the trio is accompanied by the nearly 60-piece Brussels Philharmonic and in the second, they’re backed by the 11-piece Umbria Jazz Orchestra. While not a complex or unheard of concept, Frisell’s talent and interaction with the pieces make for transcendent listening and the trio nimbly weaves themselves in with the accompanists to make a truly special recording.

 

All Born Screaming, by St. Vincent | Request Now

The cover of All Born Screaming, by St. Vincent St. Vincent’s newest record is the first that is self-produced and features a varied lineup of friends who helped bring the album to life. St. Vincent (real name Annie Clark) has referred to the album as “post-plague pop” and was recorded at six different studios in three different cities. Clark began working on the record back in 2021 and described the process as “taking a long walk in the woods alone” in order to find new depths in both her song-writing and vocals. The songs are a mixture of a variety of different musical styles–at some points it feels like you’re at a dance party in an industrial warehouse in Berlin and at others it feels like you’re listening to funky chamber pop. The album has been widely celebrated and critically acclaimed.

The Best of Sade, by Sade | Request Now

The cover of The Best of Sade, by SadeThough not new music, AADL’s recently purchased the LP version of the beloved greatest hits album of the English R&B group Sade. First released in 1994, the compilation includes favorites like “Smooth Operator,” “The Sweetest Taboo” and “Your Love is King.” Listening to the album on vinyl feels like listening to it the way it was intended to be heard. 

 

 

Now That’s What I Call K-Pop | Request Now

The cover of Now That’s What I Call K-PopK-Pop fans might have fun listening to this compilation of classic “Now That’s What I Call…” fame, the first in the album series to include K-Pop songs. Die-hard fans might prefer to simply listen to their favorite artists, but for those new to the genre this is a great way to familiarize yourself with some of K-Pop’s big names and sounds. Listeners will hear bands like Stray Kids, TOMORROW X TOGETHER and Fifty Fifty and will find it hard not to get up and dance along.

You can find these new additions and lots of other music in AADL’s catalog! Scroll down to find the “new music” option to see what we’ve added recently. And don’t forget to celebrate Make Music Ann Arbor on June 21!

 

Staff Picks: To Know & Be a Father

REVIEWS

Celebrate all of the paternal figures in your life with these powerful memoirs about fatherhood and  relationships with fathers.

The Beautiful Struggle: a Father, two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates | Request Now

The cover of The Beautiful Struggle: a Father, two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi CoatesAn intense and eloquent personal journey by National Book award winner Coates about his younger years growing up in Baltimore in the 1980s. Although his father Paul Coates believed in tough love for Coates and his half-brother he also instilled self-respect and to have pride in Black culture. His guiding principle was simple: 'I'm not here to be your friend. My job is to get you through. To make you conscious of the world around you. To teach lessons that can carry over.' His father was a member of the Black Panthers but could not get past the internal political struggles and eventually left. He ran a successful small publishing company that still exists called Black Classic Press out of his basement dedicated to African American authors including Walter Mosley. This is where Coates’ love for books began. Coates’ home life was unconventional, his father raised seven children with four different mothers which Coates’ considered all family. An honest and unflinching look at growing up with an authoritarian father who never gave up on teaching his children respect for themselves and their heritage.

Braving It: a Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild by James Campbell | Request Now

The cover of Braving It: a Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild by James Campbell Author Campbell decides to take his 15-year old daughter, Aidan on an Alaskan adventure to visit his cousin & his wife who are some of the only permanent residents of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The river near his cousin’s cabin was changing course and his cabin was at risk, so he needed to build a new cabin in a safer location. Campbell talked to Aidan and they decided to go to Alaska to help build his new cabin. Difficult at first but exhilarating and beautiful, they decide to return the following year. This time they would spend the winter in the new cabin. They would get to experience the lifestyle of a homesteading family living mostly off the land through the deep winter. They would learn to depend on one another and learn both the joys and sorrows of living so close to nature. On a third adventure, they do a hiking and rafting trip in a remote area with friends. Once again, there are challenges to overcome for father and daughter that tests their bond. A beautiful rendering of the Alaskan wilderness that reads as much a travelogue as a testament to this loving father-daughter relationship.

My Father's Brain: Life in the Shadow of Alzheimer's by Sandeep Jauhar | Request Now

The cover of My Father's Brain: Life in the Shadow of Alzheimer's by Sandeep JauharA deeply moving story of the relationship between Jauhar and his 76-year old father, Prem Jauhar, a well-respected geneticist. Sandeep Jauhar is a cardiologist who guides the reader through a journey that results in a better understanding of how the brain works. This search for knowledge is also guided by his love for his father who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Along with his sister and brother, both doctors as well, difficult decisions have to be made on his care and advanced directives. This is not just a book about Alzheimer’s but also about our healthcare system, about caregivers’ needs, and about alternatives to the American health care system such as the Netherlands’ The Hogeweyk Dementia Village. From diagnosis and understanding the disease, to downsizing his parent’s home, to finding comfort in being able to find home care for his father (a family friend moves in until he needs hospice care), this is a story that many can relate to or read to better understand the impact of this disease.

Gay Like Me: a Father Writes to His Son by Richie Jackson | Request Now

The cover of Gay Like Me: a Father Writes to His Son by Richie JacksonJackson writes this book as a letter to his gay son. The book is divided into a number of short chapters, some of them almost meditations. Many of the titles are suggestive: “Visibility Is Not a Cure-All,” “Find and Ignite Your Anger,” “Buttress Yourself with Gay History,” and “It’s Still a Straight Man’s World.” Reflecting on his life experiences as both a father and a gay man, Jackson has produced a heartfelt piece to his son and to other gay parents as well.

 

 

 

 

All That You Leave Behind: a Memoir by Erin Lee Carr | Request Now

The cover of All That You Leave Behind: a Memoir by Erin Lee CarrShattered by the death of her journalist father, Erin Lee Carr, accomplished filmmaker, (best known for her HBO documentaries Mommy Dead and Dearest and Thought Crimes) began combing through the entirety of their shared correspondence—1,936 items in total. What started as an exercise in grief quickly grew into an active investigation: Did her father's writings contain the answers to the questions of how to move forward in life and work without your biggest champion by your side?

 

 

 

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #839, Murders Most British

murder_of_mr_maR.J. Rozen (of the Lydia Chin/ Bill Smith series) teams up with comics exec John Shen Yen Nee to bring us the ”bewitching series kickoff that cleverly riffs on the Holmes/Watson dynamic,” (Publishers Weekly) in The Murder of Mr. Ma * *  (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook). 

London, 1924. When Chinese scholar Lao She was summoned by mathematician Bertrand Russell to take part in a dangerous bait-and-switch operation to free his friend Judge Dee Ren Jie, mistakenly arrested as a Chinese agitator, Lao was swept up in Dee’s murder investigation of  a Chinese merchant who served with him in the Chinese Labour Corps during WWI. Then more bodies turned up, all pointing to a killer using a rare butterfly sword.

“The intricate plot, which is bolstered by vivid period detail and playfully riffs on real-life figures in Chinese history (including Lao), is enhanced by healthy doses of humor and well-orchestrated action. Readers will be clamoring for a sequel.” (Publishers Weekly)  

“Fans of the Sherlock Holmes canon will appreciate this fast-paced, exciting novel.” (Library Journal)

 

how_do_solveHow to Solve Your Own Murder * by Kristen Perrin (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) opens in 1965 as 17 year-old Frances Adams was told by a fortune-teller at an English country fair that one day she’ll be murdered, and one year later, her best friend Emily disappeared. The two events caused Frances to spend a lifetime compiling dirt on every person who crosses her path in an effort to prevent her own demise. 

60 years have gone by, Frances, now an enormously wealthy woman, summons her grand-niece Annie, an aspiring mystery writer to the sleepy village of Castle Knoll. When Annie arrives she finds Frances dead in her library - murdered.  France’s will dictates that she will leave her entire estate to Annie, but only if Annie solves her killing. Thanks to Frances's lifelong habit of digging up secrets and lies, it seems every endearing and eccentric villager might just have a motive for her murder. 

“Perrin juxtaposes timelines, detailing Frances's provincial life in the 1960s while Annie's investigation grows increasingly treacherous in the present. The pace is quick, the red herrings are plentiful, and Annie's growth from timid wannabe writer to confident sleuth is beautifully rendered. Combining elements of Agatha Christie, Anthony Horowitz, and Midsomer Murders, this is a richly entertaining whodunit from a promising new talent.“ (Publishers Weekly)

 

antique_hunters The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder * by C. L. Miller (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook)  exposes the dark underbelly of the antiques trade. Forty-something Freya Lockwood is at a crossroad - a divorced empty-nester about to lose her London home, when the news reaches her that her estranged mentor Arthur Crockleford has died under mysterious circumstances. Returning to the quaint village where she was raised by her Aunt Carole upon her parents’ accidental death, she finds out they are to inherit Arthur’s antique shop,  thus thrusting her back into a life she had sworn to leave behind. 20 years ago Arthur was implicated in the death of Freya’s boyfriend when the two of them were investigating stolen artifacts and antique forgeries in Cairo. 

“A trail of clues left by Arthur leads Freya and Carole to an old manor house filled with antiques and populated by various mysterious guests, all of them with hidden agendas and exuding varying degrees of menace. The author, daughter of Judith Miller (Miller's Antique Price Guide), draws on her own knowledge of antiques to develop the backdrop of the mystery.” (Library Journal)

 

For Your Listening Pleasure

other_halfThe Other Half, a “crackling debut” (Publishers Weekly) by Charlotte Vassell (also in downloadable eBook) which The Guardian called “smart, pacy and good fun.”

When Detective Inspector Caius Beauchamp discovered the body of Instagram influencer Clemmie O’Hara on his morning run at Hampstead Heath, attention was immediately drawn to her boyfriend Rupert Beauchamp,(no relations to the detective) heir to a baronetcy, who the evening before, threw himself a tawdry black-tie 30th birthday bash at a London McDonald's, where guests washed down their fries with champagne and cocaine.

Clemmie’s death couldn't have been more timely or convenient for Rupert who was ready to dump her for Nell Waddingham, a publishing assistant. Friends since their uni days, Nell is still traumatized by what happened to her on their recent trip to Greece, and wants nothing to do with Rupert. 

“His (Caius’s) search takes him through a web of over-privileged suspects on whom the detective casts a half-contemptuous, half-envious eye, and eventually delivers him to the doorstep of a murderous, elite conspiracy.” (Publishers Weekly)

 * * = 2 starred reviews

* = Starred review