Events

2018 Washtenaw Reads events will be added as information becomes available. Keep checking this site for updates!

 

Institute for the Humanities

Homegoing: A Conversation with Yaa Gyasi

The 2018 Institute for the Humanities Jill S. Harris Memorial Lecture and 2018 Washtenaw Reads Author Event

Tuesday, February 6th, from 7:00-8:30 pm

Rackham Auditorium

915 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI

Hear Yaa Gyasi discuss Homegoing. This event includes a book signing and copies of the book will be for sale.

 

Chelsea District Library

Born with Africa In Them

Tuesday, January 9th, from 7:00-8:30 pm

McKune Room

221 S Main St, Chelsea, MI

Mark Fancher of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan will explore the historical and present day tensions and cultural dissonances between African and European descended communities in the U.S. This program is offered in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan.

 

Northfield Township Area Library

Novel-Tea Book Club: A Discussion of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing

Wednesday, January 10th, at 6:30 pm

125 Barker Rd, Whitmore Lake, MI

 

Chelsea District Library

Kuungana Drum & Dance

Wednesday, January 24th, from 6:30-8:00pm

McKune Room

221 S Main St, Chelsea, MI

Join us for Baba Kevin Collins and the Kuungana Drum and Dance Company as the present on the history and tradition of West African music, including a live drum demonstration.

 

Ann Arbor District Library

Book Discussion: Homegoing

Tuesday January 30th, from 7:00-8:00 pm

Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

343 South Fifth Ave. Ann Arbor, MI

Join AADL staff and other community members for a discussion of the 2018 Washtenaw Read, Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi.

 

Ypsilanti Public Library

Homegoing Book Discussion

Thursday, February 1st at 10:30am

5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI

Discuss Yaa Gyasi’s book in advance of her visit at a special session of the Thursday Morning Book Group.

 

Ann Arbor District Library

Fabulous Folktales: A Storytime for Kids Celebrating the 2018 Washtenaw Read!

Saturday February 3rd, from 2:00-2:30 pm

Downtown Library, Youth Story Corner

343 South Fifth Ave. Ann Arbor, MI

Join AADL storyteller Elizabeth as she shares folktales from West Africa in a special storytime for kids, created in conjunction with this year's Washtenaw Reads. This event is intended for preschool-grade 3.

 

Ann Arbor District Library, Pittsfield Branch

Book Discussion: Homegoing

Sunday February 11th, from 2:00-3:00 pm
2359 Oak Valley Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Join AADL staff and other community members for a discussion of the 2018 Washtenaw Read, Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi.

 

Saline District Library

Book Discussion of Homegoing

Wednesday, February 14th at 7:00 pm

555 N. Maple Rd, Saline MI

The public is invited for a lively discussion and refreshments.

 

Northfield Township Area Library

Brown Bag Book Club: A Discussion of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing

Tuesday, February 13th, at 12:00 pm

125 Barker Rd, Whitmore Lake, MI

 

Ann Arbor District Library

West African Music and Art in Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing, with Victoria Shields

Tuesday, February 20th, from 7:00-8:30 pm

Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

343 South Fifth Ave. Ann Arbor, MI

Attend an interactive workshop for music and art lovers with discussion of Homegoing. Drawing from the African American Cultural Humanities curriculum, Ms. Shields examine the social and historical contexts presented in Homegoing using music and pieces from the Detroit Institute of Art Collection. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the influence of West Africa on American music styles.

 

Hosting your own event? Email the details to Emily Howard (howarde@aadl.org) to be added to the list. 

 

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.

Book Discussions

Hosting your own discussion? Email the information to Emily Howard (howarde@aadl.org) to be added to the list, and check out our Resources Page for book discussion questions and tips! 

 

 

Northfield Township Area Library

Novel-Tea Book Club: A Discussion of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing

Wednesday, January 10th at 6:30 pm

125 Barker Rd, Whitmore Lake, MI

 

Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Book Discussion: Homegoing

Tuesday January 30th, from 7:00-8:00 pm

343 South Fifth Ave. Ann Arbor, MI

AADL staff and other community members will discuss the 2018 Washtenaw Read, Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi.

 

Chelsea District Library

Homegoing Discussion with Reading Glasses Book Club

Tuesday, January 2nd, from 7:30-9:00 pm

McKune Room

221 S Main St, Chelsea, MI

Join us a the Chelsea District Library for a special Reading Glasses meeting discussing this year's county read, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. You do not need to be a regular attender of the Reading Glasses book club in order to join in on the fun.

 

Ypsilanti Public Library

Homegoing Book Discussion

Thursday, February 1st at 10:30 am

5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI

Discuss Yaa Gyasi’s book in advance of her visit at a special session of the Thursday Morning Book Group.

 

Ann Arbor District Library, Pittsfield Branch

Book Discussion: Homegoing

Sunday February 11th from 2:00-3:00 pm
2359 Oak Valley Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Join AADL staff and other community members for a discussion of the 2018 Washtenaw Read, Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi.

 

Northfield Township Area Library

Brown Bag Book Club: A Discussion of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 at 12:00 pm

125 Barker Rd, Whitmore Lake, MI

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.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

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.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

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!

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