We welcome Ann Arborites Patti F. Smith and Britain Woodman in support of their new book, Vanishing Ann Arbor. Free and open to the public. Signing to follow.
About the book: Ann Arbor has seen many cherished landmarks and institutions come and go—some fondly remembered and others lost to time. When the city was little more than a village in the wilderness, its first school stood on the now busy corner of Main and Ann. Stores like Bach & Abel’s and Dean & Co. served local needs as the village grew into a small town. As the town became a thriving city, Drake’s and Maude’s fed generations of hungry diners, and Fiegel’s clothed father and son alike. Residents passed their time seeing movies at the Majestic or watching parades go down Main Street. Join authors Patti F. Smith and Britain Woodman on a tour of the city’s past.
Patti F. Smith is the author of Downtown Ann Arbor and A History of the People’s Food Co-op Ann Arbor. She has written for CraftBeer.com, West Suburban Living, Concentrate, Mittenbrew, The Ann, AADL’s Pulp blog and the Ann Arbor Observer. A frequent public speaker around town, Patti curated HERsay (an all-woman variety show) and Grown Folks Reading (story time for grownups) and tells stories at Ignite, Nerd Nite, Tellabration and Telling Tales Out of School. She is a commissioner for the Public Art Commission and the Recreation Advisory Commission, a teacher of history for Rec & Ed and a storyteller in the Ann Arbor Storytellers’ Guild.
Britain Woodman lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A fascination with how the same brands and concepts fit into different communities led him to document them, first in in photographs and then in long-form writing. This writing led to speaking and, ultimately, to authoring this volume with Ann Arbor’s preeminent living historian, Patti F. Smith. Ideally, he would be out visiting every city’s beloved, vanishing places, but working on this book was cool too.
We welcome former Editor-in-Chief of Road & Track, Larry Webster, in support of his book Never Stop Driving. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: With glorious photography and sharp writing, Never Stop Driving presents the case for the mental and social benefits of driving and engaging with automobiles. It also shows you–from dreaming about a car to living with it–how to jump in and get the most from your machine.
There’s never been a better time to go for a drive. As a nation, we are chronically overstressed, overworked, and not sleeping enough. Worse yet, our digital devices are taking ever increasing chunks of what remaining free time we do have. Activities that force us to engage with ourselves and the environment around us are needed more than ever.
Larry Webster is Hagerty Vice President of Content, where he oversees all print and web strategy. Webster is a longtime auto writer who ditched an engineering career for Car and Driver in 1994. Since then, he’s test driven a Formula 1 car, raced in the Baja 500, served as Automotive Editor at Popular Mechanics, and Editor-in-Chief of Road & Track. Webster resides with his family in Ann Arbor, MI.
A special joint meeting of our monthly Literati, Poetry, and Feminist Book Clubs!
Each club will meet in our second-floor events space to discuss August’s picks as usual. As always, you can purchase book club selections for 15% off the retail price.
During the event, each club’s moderator will also talk about their monthly book club to all guests–each club’s mission, selection process, upcoming picks for the fall, and more. Guests from these three book clubs will then have the opportunity to meet & greet over provided refreshments.
This a great opportunity to come to your normal book club while learning about our other book clubs, or–if you’re new to our book clubs–a chance to go through a complete meeting for one of them while learning about (and meeting participants from) all 3!
Feminist Book Club
We strive to foster a fun, thoughtful, and safe environment in which to discuss current issues surrounding feminism and equality.
This month, we’ll discuss The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpente
Poetry Book Club
Next to fostering a greater appreciation for poetry by reading poems aloud and sharing reflections, our other primary goal is to ensure that the book club space is safe, inclusive, and exciting
This month’s pick is A Piece of Good News, by Katie Peterson.
Literati Book Club
This month’s pick is Orange World and Other Stories, by Karen Russell!
We welcome Robert Mills to discuss JFK: The Last Speech, which explores the dramatic relationship between two seminal Americans–President John F. Kennedy and the poet Robert Frost–which reached its tragic climax in a surprising encounter with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the height of the Cold War. Born out of these events is Kennedy’s remarkable speech about poetry and power, which alters the life course of a group of Amherst College classmates who witness this compelling address and continue to exemplify in their contemporary lives a portrait of the challenges facing America.
Roger M. Mills MD is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Pennsylvania medical school and completed his internal medicine training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After serving in the United States Navy, he was a Research Fellow in cardiology at Harvard Medical School. He had a 30-year career in academic clinical cardiology, beginning in 1975 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA and including the University of Florida, where he was the medical director of the heart failure – heart transplant service and Professor of Medicine in the Cardiology Division. Before joining Scios in 2005, he was a staff cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
He lives in Dexter, MI with his wife, Katherine and their dog, Posie.
All invited to listen to guild members swap stories or bring their own to tell, at the AASG monthly meeting.
We’re pleased to welcome Lillian Li and Akil Kumarasamy back to Literati Bookstore for an event celebrating the paperback release of their novels, Number One Chinese Restaurant, and Half Gods, respectively. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
Lillian Li received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train‘s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta , and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel.
Akil Kumarasamy is a writer from New Jersey. Her fiction has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, American Short Fiction, Boston Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the University of East Anglia. Half Gods is her first book.
We welcome Jeff Kass back to Literati for a reading from his new poetry collection, Teacher/Pizza Guy, as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati series. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Explores the emotional and physical labor necessary to work nights as a pizza delivery driver and days as a high school English teacher.
Jeff Kass teaches tenth-grade English and creative writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is the founder of the Literary Arts Program at Ann Arbor’s teen center, The Neutral Zone, where he was program director for twenty years. He is also the author of the award-winning short story collection Knuckleheads, the poetry collection My Beautiful Hook-Nosed Beauty Queen Strut Wave, and the thriller Takedown. He lives in Ann Arbor with the author Karen Smyte and their children, Sam and Julius.
Tellers will be Beverly Black, Steve Daut, Jill Halpern,and Laura Lee Hayes – Storytelling has power. Much more than just talking about personal experiences, today’s professional, passionate and playful storytellers can grab your attention and hold you spellbound with each word and each gesture. Hosted by Steve Daut and Laura Lee Hayes. Mark your calendars and join us for Story Night in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room
We welcome University of Michigan professor Alexandra Minna Stern to discuss her new book, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination, which Kirkus calls “An important study that extends the knowledge from other recent books that have demonstrated a stubbornly pervasive network of white nationalists.”
About the book: What is the alt-right? What do they believe, and how did they take center stage in the American social and political consciousness?
From a loose movement that lurked in the shadows in the early 2000s, the alt-right has achieved a level of visibility that has allowed it to expand significantly throughout America’s cultural, political, and digital landscapes. Racist, sexist, and homophobic beliefs that were previously unspeakable have become commonplace, normalized, and accepted—endangering American democracy and society as a whole. Yet in order to dismantle the destructive movement that has invaded our public consciousness, we must first understand the core beliefs that drive the alt-right.
To help guide us through the contemporary moment, historian Alexandra Minna Stern excavates the alt-right memes and tropes that have erupted online and explores the alt-right’s central texts, narratives, constructs, and insider language. She digs to the root of the alt-right’s motivations: their deep-seated fear of an oncoming “white genocide” that can only be remedied through swift and aggressive action to reclaim white power. As the group makes concerted efforts to cast off the vestiges of neo-Nazism and normalize their appearance and their beliefs, the alt-right and their ideas can be hard to recognize. Through careful analysis, Stern brings awareness to the underlying concepts that guide the alt-right and animate its overlapping forms of racism, xenophobia, transphobia, and anti-egalitarianism. She explains the key ideas of “red-pilling,” strategic trolling, gender essentialism, and the alt-right’s ultimate fantasy: a future where minorities have been removed and “cleansed” from the body politic and a white ethnostate is established in the United States. By unearthing the hidden mechanisms that power white nationalism, Stern reveals just how pervasive this movement truly is.
Professor Stern is the author of the prize-winning book Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America, (University of California Press, 2005) and Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) is a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences.
We welcome University of Michigan Professor Susan J. Douglas in support of her new book, Celebrity: A History of Fame. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Today, celebrity culture is an inescapable part of our media landscape and our everyday lives. This was not always the case. Over the past century, media technologies have increasingly expanded the production and proliferation of fame. Celebrity explores this revolution and its often under-estimated impact on American culture. Using numerous precedent-setting examples spanning more than one hundred years of media history, Douglas and McDonnell trace the dynamic relationship between celebrity and the technologies of mass communication that have shaped the nature of fame in the United States.
Susan J. Douglas is the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Michigan. She is the author of five books, including The Rise of Enlightened Sexism (2010), Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination (1999) and Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (1994).