Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Book Discussion: A Tale For The Time Being

Thursday January 22, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 9 and up.

AADL staff will lead a discussion of "A Tale For The Time Being" by Ruth Ozeki, the book selected for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2015.

A brilliant, unforgettable novel, "A Tale For the Time Being" is an inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home. Published in 2014, the novel won the Medici Book Club Prize, the L.A. Times Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Author Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the award-winning author of three novels, My Year of Meats, All Over Creation, and A Tale for the Time Being. Her critically acclaimed independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been screened at Sundance and aired on PBS.

"A Tale For the Time Being" begins with Nao, a sixteen-year-old in Tokyo who has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century.

A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet another character, Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
Copies of the book are available at the Ann Arbor District Library, the Ypsilanti District Library and area bookstores. For more information on Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads, visit the Reads website at aaypsireads.org.

A Tale For the Time Being

A Tale For the Time Being A Tale For the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki.

Winner of the 2014 Medici Book Club Prize, the L.A. Times Book Prize and a finalist for the Booker Prize.

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century.

A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

The book is full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

Clone of 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!

We Need New Names

We Need New Names, by NoViolet Bulawayo.

A remarkable literary debut and the winner of the 2014 Hemingway Pen Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo’s belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before soldiers destroyed their homes, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad.

But Darling has a chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America’s famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few.

NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who have come before her—from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to J.M. Coetzee—while she tells a vivid, raw story all her own.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

Two Finalists for 2015

A panel of local individuals will read both books and determine which will be chosen for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2015. This year's judges are:

Area Blogger Mark Maynard
Ann Arbor News Entertainment Reporter Jenn McKee
Musician San Slomovits
Ypsilanti City Council Member Dan Vogt
Ann Arbor City Council Member Chuck Warpehoski

Read along with us and leave a comment under one or both of the title's webpage, and tell us what you think!

The two books under consideration are:

We Need New Names

NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2013.

A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale For the Time Being. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.

Resources

BOOK DISCUSSION AND EVENT RESOURCES

Visit the author's and the publisher's websites.

Use this Guide as you and your group read and discuss the book.

Explore Eastern Michigan University Library's Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Research Guides.

You can find copies of A Tale for the Time Being at the Ann Arbor District Library, the Ypsilanti District Library and in area bookstores.

Ann Arbor District Library Catalog Ypsilanti District Library Catalog

RELATED RESOURCES FOR YOUTH

This Youth Reading List - Created by the Ann Arbor District Library and the Ypsilanti District Library.

You can find expanded Youth lists on the AADL website for grades K-5 and grades 6-8.

How to Participate

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 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

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 Manager at grimest@aadl.org (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.

Events

Ann ARBOR / YPSILANTI READS AUTHOR RUTH OZEKI APPEARS AT RACKHAM AUDITORIUM, ON THE CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Wednesday, February 11, 7 - 9 pm

To Discuss This Year's Reads Book
“A Tale for the Time Being"
As Well As Sign Copies of Her Book

Novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki will discuss her work at a special appearance for the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Reads 2015.

The public program will occur from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Doors will open at 6 pm to offer the opportunity to connect with community agencies and representatives who will be staffing information tables in the lobby. Copies of A Tale for the Time Being will be for sale, courtesy of Literati, and the event will include a book signing.

Rackham Auditorium is located at 915 East Washington Street in Ann Arbor.

OTHER EVENTS

COMMUNITY BOOK DISCUSSIONS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Book Discussion: "A Tale for the Time Being" by Ruth Ozeki

Thursday, January 22 at 7:00 pm

AADL staff will lead a discussion of this brilliant, unforgettable novel, "A Tale For the Time Being," an inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home. Published in 2014, the novel won the Medici Book Club Prize, the L.A. Times Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Ann Arbor District Library
343 S. Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Details: 327-4555 or visit aadl.org. This event is for grade 9 to adult.

Tuesday, February 17 at 3:30 pm

Join the librarians from Washtenaw Community College's Bailey Library for light refreshments and lively conversation! Prior to the meeting, WCC will have a drawing for 3 copies of "A Tale for the Time Being" in the Bailey Library running January 16 through January 23.

Richard W. Bailey Library
Washtenaw Community College,
4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Questions: mledermann@wccnet.edu

About the Reads: 2014

The 2014 Reads theme is A Very Good Read and highlights a work of fiction.

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

Check here for information on the two finalists. Thanks to everyone who suggested a title for this year's Read.

Statement of Purpose

The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book.

History

Launched in 2003 by the University of Michigan Life Sciences, Values and Society Program, the Reads project was fashioned after a civic reads program designed by the Seattle Public Library. The book chosen for the inaugural Reads was “Lincoln’s DNA,” by Phillip R. Reilly. The Ann Arbor District Library was a major partner in this effort along with other area organizations.

In subsequent years, the Reads Program has been co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti District Libraries and is supported by interested civic groups, the University of Michigan School of LS&A, the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Public Schools, local bookstores, Eastern Michigan University Libraries and Washtenaw Community College.

Reads Theme

Previous themes have included a review of civil rights in the United States in celebration of the anniversary of Brown v Board of Education; “Revolutions in Science,” a discussion of evolution and the scientific method and “We the People...” how we define citizenship; in 2008 the theme was China and America: Bridging Two Worlds; and for 2009, The Universe: Yours to Discover. For 2012, the Steering Committee opted for a general theme of "Language: How We Communicate."The 2014 Reads theme is A Very Good Read and highlights a work of fiction.

Book Selection

Books chosen for the Reads should meet the following criteria:

* The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
* The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
* The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
* The book should be by a living author.
* Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
* Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

Process:
During the summer the Book Screening Committee made up of individuals selected as representative of various civic constituencies read many titles reflecting the year’s theme. In the fall, a panel of distinguished judges reviewed the two titles suggested by the Screening Committee and made a final recommendation of the Reads book for the coming year.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2014 is scheduled to occur January through February 2014. Please watch this site for more information.

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