Garden of Evening Mists

Garden of Evening Mists Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng.

Winner of the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize, a new novel of love, war and memory.

Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon comes.” Then she can design a garden for herself.

As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys.

An international bestseller, which was a New York Times Notable Book; a Carnegie Medal Nominee and the winner of the Golden Kite Award.

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

This powerful tale of heartbreak and hope is sure to haunt readers long after they finish the last page.

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Two Finalists for 2014

A panel of local individuals, including musician Mark Braun (Mr. B); radio and TV personality Lucy Ann Lance, Ann Arbor Chronicle publisher Mary Morgan, Ann Arbor City Council Member Sally Petersen and Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber, read each of these books and chose one for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2014. Leave a comment under each or both of the titles and tell us what you think!

The two books under consideration were:

The Garden of Evening Mists

Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists. New York: Weinstein Books, 2012.

Between Shades of Gray

Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray. New York: Philomel Books, 2011.

Three Finalists for 2013

In 2013, the program will encourage readers of all ages to explore the theme of Understanding Race.

A selection committee of community leaders, librarians, students and educators in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area will meet in late-October to choose one of three books as the focus for this year.

The three books under consideration are:

The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press, 2010, 2012.

Absolutely True Dieary

Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little Brown & Co. 2007.

Uprooting Racism

Paul Kivel, Uprooting Racism: How White people Can Work for Social Justice, 3rd revised and expanded edition.. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2011.

Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Social Justice

Uprooting Racism Uprooting Racism: How White People Can work for Social Justice, 3rd revised and expanded edition, by Paul Kivel.

Uprooting Racism explores the manifestations of racism in politics, work, community, and family life. It moves beyond the definition and unlearning of racism to address the many areas of privilege for white people and suggests ways for individuals and groups to challenge the structures of racism. Uprooting Racism’s welcoming style helps readers look at how we learn racism, what effects it has on our lives, its costs and benefits to white people, and what we can do about it.

In addition to updating existing chapters, the new edition of Uprooting Racism explores how entrenched racism has been revealed in the new economy, the 2000 electoral debacle, rising anti-Arab prejudice, and health care policy. Special features include exercises, questions, and suggestions to engage, challenge assumptions, and motivate the reader towards social action.

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Absolutely True Diary The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.

In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

New Jim Crow The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander.

Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it."

By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control--relegating millions to a permanent second-class status -- even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

How to Participate: 2012

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2012 is a community-wide event! How may you participate?

Hold A Discussion Group In Your Community

Organize an event or discussion related to the read.
Events may be open to the public or restricted. Examples include:
• Book clubs wishing to use the book at a private meeting or discussion
• College or high school instructors assigning the book to their class
• Local workplaces hosting discussion groups for their employees
• Coffee shops inviting customers to connect over coffee on a particular night
• Film societies presenting a film related to the topic

Learn How To Moderate a Discussion Group
All of the information that you need to moderate your own discussion group can be found on our Resources page.

Tell Us About Your Event

If you have an event related to the Read, and would like to have it listed on this site, please contact Tim Grimes, Ann Arbor District Library Community Relations and Marketing at (734-327-4265). Please tell us the title of the event, date, time, location, sponsoring organization and contact information. Also, let us know if registration is required or if the event is on a drop-in basis.

Keep Checking this Website for Updates!
The site will change often as events are added. Please check for changes.

Resources: 2012

About the author: Daniel Tammet

Click here for copies available at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Click here for copies available at the Ypsilanti District Library.

Reading Guide Questions

Selected Bibliography

Eastern Michigan University Library 2012 Reads Research Guide

Youth Reading List - Curated by the Ann Arbor District Library & the Ypsilanti District Library

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Read Posters

Events at University of Michigan
University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) is also exploring the theme of language for their winter, 2012 semester. Visit their general site and click on their "events" & "exhibits" tabs and more in order to find ways to participate with UM's exploration on the theme of Language.

Book Discussion Broadcast

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