2015 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

Printable Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads Posters for your event and for the Wednesday, February 11 author appearance at Rackham Auditorium

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Other works of fiction suggested or considered for this year's theme of A Very Good Read.

RELATED RESOURCES FOR YOUTH

This Youth Reading List, created by the Ann Arbor District Library and Ypsilanti District Library.

You can find expanded Youth lists on the AADL website for grades K-5 and grades 6-8 The lists were created by the Ann Arbor District Library and the Ypsilanti District Library.

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. The novel 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

Reviews of and commentary on Homegoing:

A review of Homegoing from The New Yorker

Review of and commentary on Homegoing from TIME

Hear Yaa Gyasi read from Homegoing at the National Book Foundation's 2016 5 Under 35 Celebration

Read and listen to a review of Homegoing from NPR's Fresh Air

Discussion questions and reading guides:

Check out the Homegoing Reader's Guide from Penguin Random House.

Peruse the Book Discussion Guidelines the Washtenaw Reads committee has compiled to help keep your discussions on topic!

Promotional Materials:

Choose from the 2018 Washtenaw Reads posters and publicize in your own community.

Special Thanks

Washtenaw Reads Committees

Steering Committee

Tim Grimes, Ann Arbor District Library
Barbara Beaton, Milan Public Library
Diane Hockett, Washtenaw Intermediate School District
Debbie Johnson, Saline District Library
Lori Kunkel-Coryell, Chelsea District Library
Ira Lax, Ann Arbor District Library
Paul McCann, Dexter District Library
Zaley Nelson, Northfield Township Area Library
Julianne Smith, Ypsilanti District Library
Valerie Sobczak, Ann Arbor District Library

How to Participate

Washtenaw Reads is a community-wide event! How can 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 Emily Howard of Ann Arbor District Library by email at howarde@aadl.org or by phone at 734-327-8332. 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.

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