‘Annie’s Ghosts’ is Back as the 2013 Great Michigan Read

Annie's Ghosts

The Michigan Humanities Council has announced their much-anticipated biennial title for the 2013-14 Great Michigan Read program. Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret by journalist and Detroit native Steve Luxenberg, is the selection for this impressive statewide program.

“It was quite a surprise, and certainly a pleasant one,” shared Luxenberg in a recent email. “It’s an honor for the book to be in the same category as the previous choices, and to be considered worthy and compelling enough for the selection committee to choose it.”

Annie’s Ghosts  is the thorough, moving story of Luxenberg’s mother, and a mysterious relative long hidden away at Eloise, the massive psychiatric hospital that once housed some nine thousand people from the state of Michigan. Luxenberg’s story digs into the dark corners of his family’s past, and exhumes the complicated history of his ancestors in hopes of revealing a family secret.

Michigan Humanities Program Officer Carla Ingrando said the response to Annie’s Ghosts has been tremendous. “Within three days of the announcement, more than 100 organizations have preregistered as Great Michigan Read partners.”

The Great Michigan Read is a statewide reading initiative sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council. Reaching out to schools, libraries, religious organizations and other nonprofits, the program aims to connect readers throughout the state with titles that explore our past, present and future.

How did the program select Luxenberg’s title? “The Great Michigan Read titles are selected through a grassroots process,” explained Ingrando. “During the fall of 2012, six regional selection committees made up of librarians, teachers, and literary enthusiasts nominated titles to a statewide selection committee, which met in January 2013.”

This year, Ingrando said the tragedy of Sandy Hook played a significant role in the 2013-14 title selection. “We met in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, and the committee felt like reading and discussing Annie’s Ghosts would provide an opportunity to think deeply about mental disability, mental illness, and mental health care.”

Annie’s Ghosts is a fascinating journey of immigration, identity and Detroit history. Luxenberg’s work has other honors in the Mitten as well; Annie’s Ghosts was selected as a 2010 Michigan Notable Book. For all program and participation information, link here.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries and universities. It matters.

Post by Megan Shaffer

Related Link

– Annie’s Ghosts on NPR: A Journalist Uncovers His Family’s ‘Ghosts’  Full of Detroit’s colorful history, this true mystery was selected as

Live announcement of The Great Michigan Read –http://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=2201249

The Great Michigan Read is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities

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‘Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography’

Balthazar Korab Architect of PhotographyAs part of the Michigan Notable Book committee, I am so very pleased that John Comazzi’s latest work made the 2013 list. Michigan’s preeminent architectural photographer Balthazar Korab died this week at the age of 86, yet his work will carry on in Comazzi’s stunning illustrated biography, Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Korab was born in Budapest, Hungary, and lived there until 1949, when he fled the country and its Communist government for Paris. Korab eventually moved to the United States and was hired as a designer for Finnish architect Eero Saarinen at the Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Commazzi’s book “… tells the story of Balthazar Korab, one of the mid-twentieth century’s most celebrated architecture photographers,” posts Archinect. “It’s the first book dedicated solely to Korab’s life and career, with a portfolio of more than two hundred images from Korab’s professionally commissioned architecture photography… .”

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

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2013 Michigan Notable Books Announced!

Michigan Notable Book SealThe much anticipated 2013 Michigan Notable Books list has been announced and the titles are fantastic!

The Library of Michigan annually decides on 20 of the most notable books that “are reflective of Michigan’s diverse ethnic, historical, literary, and cultural experience” as well as featuring “high-quality titles with wide public appeal.” (via)

This year’s select list features fiction, nonfiction, picture and children’s books alike and were penned by a Michigan resident or written about a subject related to the Great Lakes region.

Michigan now holds some of the country’s hottest authors in its mittened hand. After authors are notified of their awards, they make themselves available to Michigan readers through library tours, appearances and literary engagements.

“In the spring, selected authors will visit 50 libraries across the state from the Upper Peninsula to Detroit,” states the Free Press. A keynote event known as the Night for Notables takes place in late April and honors all the selections.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

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When Work is Play…

I am neck-high in fabulous reading material at the moment! Due to a few deadlines and many books to go, I am temporarily out of blogging order.

Stay tuned for upcoming reviews and events in the near future…

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

– Post by Megan Shaffer

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Acclaimed Author Thomas Lynch to Read his Latest at Local Commemoration

Thomas Lynch*

Elaine Morse was a long-time Birmingham resident and much-loved member of the community until her death in April 2012.  She had the knack of inspiring joy and respect in those around her.

Among her many contributions to the Birmingham area was her service on the boards of the Baldwin Public Library and the Friends of the Birmingham Historical Museum & Park. “Everyone associated with Baldwin is pleased and honored to be offering this event in memory of Elaine, who accomplished so much for the Library and the rest of Birmingham,” said Doug Koschik, Library Director.

On Sunday, October 28 at 2 p.m., the Baldwin Public Library will commemorate Elaine by hosting a poetry reading in her honor.  At this program, the critically-acclaimed author, Thomas Lynch will read from his two most recent books of poems, Walking Papers and The Sin-Eater: A Breviary.

Thomas Lynch is a writer and funeral director from Milford, Michigan. His first book of nonfiction, The Undertaking, won the American Book Award and the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the National Book Award.  Another of his books, Bodies in Motion and at Rest, won the Great Lakes Book Award.  Two more, Booking Passage and Apparition and Late Fictions, were named Notable Books by the Library of Michigan.

Naturally, copies of Mr. Lynch’s books will be available for purchase and signing at the reading courtesy of Book Beat Bookstore. The Baldwin Public Library is located in downtown Birmingham at 300 W. Merrill Street and can be reached at 248-647-1700 or through the Library’s website at www.baldwinlib.org.

*Photo taken from McLean & Eakin

– Event information provided in conjunction with the Baldwin Public Library

Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

Post by Megan Shaffer

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Book Lovers Grab a Bite for Great Cause at Baldwin!

Don’t miss Baldwin Public Library’s Books & Bites at Baldwin fundraiser this week! On Thursday, October 18, 2012, local restaurants will come together to feature fine food and drink in Baldwin’s Grand Hall in hopes of raising money for the library. This year, the event’s proceeds will fund an upgrade of Baldwin’s teen area.

Last year, which marked the first Books & Bites at Baldwin, drew a capacity crowd and raised enough money for a renovation of the Early Learning Corner in the Youth Room. Tickets are available for $50.00 each and sponsorship opportunities are available as well. For a complete list of sponsors and more information on how you can get involved, link to www.baldwinlib.org/booksbites.

The Baldwin event begins at 6:00 p.m. and reservations are necessary. Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 West Merrill in Birmingham. For more information you can contact Josh Rouan at 248-554-4683.

*Support your local bookstores, library, and universities. It matters.

– Post by Megan Shaffer

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BPL Welcomes Authors to Celebrate National Reading Group Month

The Detroit Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) will be celebrating National Reading Group Month at the Baldwin Public Library on Wednesday, October 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Michigan authors D.E. Johnson and Natalie Bakopoulos will be featured at the event.  Johnson is the author of Detroit Breakdown, The Detroit Electric Scheme and Motor City Shakedown and Ms.Bakopoulos is the author of The Green Shore.

The third in Johnson’s Will Anderson series, Detroit Breakdown follows Will and Elizabeth Hume into their next adventure, now behind the walls of the infamous Eloise Hospital, the massive asylum west of Detroit.  Filled with Johnson’s trademark roller-coaster plot, nuanced characters, and brilliant historical research, Detroit Breakdown is a compelling, dark mystery set in the once flourishing Paris of the West.

In The Green Shore, award-winning debut novelist Natalie Bakopoulos uses stunning prose and profound empathy to vividly illuminate a seminal yet little explored moment in Greek history—the 1967 coup d’état, which ushered in a 7-year-period of devastating brutality and repression.

“Our members look forward to greeting fellow book lovers and enjoying perspectives shared with D.E. Johnson and Natalie Bakopoulos, our featured authors this year!  All are welcome to join us for the free event,” said Annette Haley, President of the Detroit Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.

Naturally, copies of Detroit Breakdown and The Green Shore will be available for sale from Book Beat Bookstore at the event.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

– Information taken directly from BPL press release –  post by Megan Shaffer.

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