Book Beat is proud to host distinguished children’s author and illustrator Katie Yamasaki on Saturday, June 22 from 4-5pm. She will be speaking as well as signing her books. This event is free and open to the public. Please call Book Beat to reserve titles (248) 968-1190.
Katie Yamasaki is the author/illustrator of Fish for Jimmy: Inspired By One Family’s Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp, as well as the illustrator of Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars. She works as a muralist and teaching artist at Ballet Tech, the New York City Public School for Dance. She began teaching there in 2000 and continues to be inspired by the energetic creativity of her 4th-8th grade students. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Fish for Jimmy: Inspired By One Family’s Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp tells the story of two boys in a Japanese-American family, who have their lives changed when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor and the United States goes to war. With their family forced to leave their home and go to an internment camp, Jimmy loses his appetite. Older brother Taro takes matters into his own hands and, night after night, sneaks out of the camp, and catches fresh fish for Jimmy to help make him strong again. This affecting tale of courage and love is an adaptation of the author’s true family story.
Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars follows the life of Soichiro Honda, born in 1906, from his beginnings as a boy working in his father’s smith shop to his international success as a manufacturer. Yamasaki helps to keep the tone light with dynamic painted acrylic illustrations that depict her subject set amid flying car parts and streams of tiny automobiles and motorcycles. The first stand-alone biography for young readers of this Japanese blacksmith’s son, who fell in love with cars the instant he first laid eyes on one in 1914.
Katie Yamasaki’s recent talk at TEDX Brooklyn:
Katie Yamasaki mural at the Boggs Educational Center, Detroit:
Book Beat will be selling books for legendary author Elmore Leonard and his son Peter Leonard at the West Bloomfield Library (in the MAIN Library Meeting Room) on Wednesday, May 15 from 7:00-8:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. If you cannot attend this event and would like to reserve signed copies of any of the titles, please call Book Beat (248) 968-1190.
Don’t miss this chance to meet Elmore Leonard, a master of crime novels such as Get Shorty, Killshot and Freaky Deaky. Leonard’s novels and short stories have been made into 20 feature films, nine TV movies and three series, including the current FX show Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant as one of Leonard’s signature characters, U.S. marshal Raylan Givens. The 86-yearold author, who lives in Bloomfield Township, recently won the 2012 National Book Foundation Award for his Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Mr. Leonard will be joined by his son Peter, who is also an author. The two will discuss novels, screenplays and TV scripts they’ve written and will sign copies of their books at the end of the program.
Peter Leonard is the author of Quiver, Trust Me, All He Saw Was the Girl, Voices From the Dead, and his most recent release Back From the Dead.
“Elmore Leonard’s son proves himself a chip off the old block – again…. Don’t pick the book up if you have any intention of putting it down before you’ve got to the end.”
Book Beat will be supplying books for leading criminal defense attorney Mr. Mark Geragos and his co-author Mr. Pat Harris on Wednesday, May 8 at 6:30pm in the St. John Armenian Church (22001 Northwestern Hwy Southfield, MI 48075) for a signing of their book MISTRIAL: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works…and Sometimes Doesn’t. Partial proceeds will be donated to The Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR). Wine and cheese reception to follow. This event is open to the public. For additional information please contact Mr. Drew Zamanigian, Detroit SOAR Chapter President at email@example.com.
A searing and entertaining manifesto on the ills of the criminal justice system from two of America’s most prominent defense attorneys.
“From the rise of the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle to the television ratings bonanza of the O.J. Simpson trial, a perfect storm of media coverage has given the public an unprecedented look inside the courtroom, kicking off popular courtroom shows and TV legal commentary that further illuminate how the criminal justice system operates. Or has it?
In Mistrial, Mark Geragos and Pat Harris debunk the myths of judges as Solomon-like figures, jurors as impartial arbiters of the truth, and prosecutors as super-ethical heroes.
Mistrial draws the curtain on the court’s ugly realities—from stealth jurors who secretly swing for a conviction, to cops who regularly lie on the witness stand, to defense attorneys terrified of going to trial. Ultimately, the authors question whether a justice system model drawn up two centuries ago before blogs and television is still viable today.
In the aftermath of recent high-profile cases, the flaws in America’s justice system are more glaring than ever. Geragos and Harris are legal experts and prominent criminal defense attorneys who have worked on everything from celebrity media-circuses—having represented clients like Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Scott Peterson, Chris Brown, Susan MacDougal, and Gary Condit—to equally compelling cases defending individuals desperate to avoid the spotlight.
Shining unprecedented light on what really goes on in the courtroom, Mistrial is an enjoyable, fun look at a system that rarely lets you see behind the scenes.”- publisher description
“Mistrial is three books in one: a memoir of celebrity lawyers, a primer on how to handle high-profile cases and a diagnosis of the ills of the criminal-justice system…. A win: engaging, enlightening and entertaining.”
—David Lat, The Wall Street Journal
Mark Geragos is the head of Geragos & Geragos, a Los Angeles-based law firm that focuses on both criminal and civil trial work. In his 30-plus year career, he has tried approximately 300 cases and has served as a regular legal analyst on CNN, Fox, and ABC shows. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two children.
Pat Harris is a leading criminal defense attorney and is a partner at Geragos & Geragos. He is a regular contributor on legal issues for shows on Fox and CNN, is the co-author of Susan McDougal’s New York Times bestselling memoir The Woman Who Wouldn’t Talk, and speaks regularly at law schools across the country. He lives in Studio City, California with his wife.
C.P. Cavafy was born 150 years ago in Egypt by Greek parents on April 29th, 1863. He is among the most important of Greek poets, having kept alive and made modern the epic heritage, strength and beauty of a poetic tradition showered in the mythology of the ancients. His death anniversary is also April 29th, (1933), making this date a double anniversary. An online Cavafy Archive exists to disseminate “the totality of the manuscripts, publications, documents, photographs etc., which C.P. Cavafy collected and preserved in his lifetime and bequeathed to his heir, Aleko Singhopoulo in 1933.”
On this 150th anniversary of Cavafy, there will be seminars, readings and papers written in the poets honor. The University of Michigan will be hosting the event A DATE WITH CAVAFY open to the public, at the Hatcher Library on April 29th Cavafy’s double anniversary. The C.P. CAVAFY FORUM has posted many contemporary papers on the art and life of the poet.
“Cavafy had a knack for discovering in old annuals, tombstones and other less heralded detritus, the material out of which poetry grew.” –Avi Sharon (from the introduction to his translation of Cavafy’s Selected Poems.)
Cavafy also gave voice to the erotic, especially the suppressed longings of homoerotic desire… His greatest and still underappreciated contribution, however, is in helping us grasp the place of art in life. .. Cavafy’s aesthetic outlook heartened him to disrupt the apparent consistency of life with the inconsistency of literature. Rather than serving as an escape hatch, poetry allowed him to understand the world as a tension between the fictional and the actual. And in this tension he saw the possibility both of social critique and empathic connection with others.” – Cavafy’s Century by Gregory Jusdanis
Waiting for the Barbarians
What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
The barbarians are due here today.
Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.
Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.
Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.
Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.
Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?
Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.
And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.
[Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard]
“In this cunning, amusing poem, with its punch line that never wears out, the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy penetrates deep into the nature of political life. The atmosphere of civic pride and civic hypocrisy, the mingled air of awe and contempt toward governmental institutions, rings not the bell of cliché but many eerie tintinnabulations: the gongs and chimes of public life, the distinct sounds of what we say, what we know we mean and what we don’t know we mean.” --Robert Pinsky
Book Beat will host three distinguished authors on Sunday, June 23 at 3pm to discuss the effects of cities in crisis and how best to approach rebuilding them for future sustainability. The authors appearing to sign and discuss their work are: Gordon Young, John Gallagher, and June Manning Thomas. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available at the event. If you would like to reserve copies of any of the books prior to the event, please call Book Beat (248) 968-1190.
San Francisco journalist, author, blogger and Flint native Gordon Young will present his book, Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City, a vibrant tale of the once-thriving Automobile city Flint fighting-despite overwhelming odds-to rise from the ashes.
After living in San Francisco for 15 years, journalist Gordon Young found himself yearning for his Rust Belt hometown: Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors and “star” of the Michael Moore documentary Roger & Me. Hoping to rediscover and help a place that once boasted one of the world’s highest per capita income levels, but is now one of the country’s most impoverished and dangerous cities, he returned to Flint with the intention of buying a house. What he found was a place of stark contrasts and dramatic stories, where an exotic dancer can afford a lavish mansion, speculators scoop up cheap houses by the dozen on eBay, and arson is often the quickest route to neighborhood beautification.
“One can read Teardown and go ‘My, my, my! What a horrid town! Thank God I don’t live there!’ Oh, but you do. Just as the Roger & Me Flint of the 1980s was the precursor to a wave of downsizing that eventually hit every American community, Gordon Young’s Flint of 2013, so profoundly depicted in this book, is your latest warning of what’s in store for you–all of you, no matter where you live–in the next decade. The only difference between your town and Flint is that the Grim Reaper just likes to visit us first. It’s all here in Teardown, a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city.”–Michael Moore
“Young sees Flint’s problems as emblematic of challenges felt across the nation, and has made the point that the city’s struggles with a shrinking population and changing economy hold lessons that apply to people everywhere. ”I think of Flint as kind of a New Orleans in slow motion,” he said, comparing the devastation to his hometown’s economy with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.In both cities, events beyond their control conspired against them, and no one was able, or willing, to help.” –Interview with the author at “I Love Flint” -MLive
John Gallagher, author of the award-winning book Reimaging Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City, will be presenting it’s follow-up: Revolution Detroit: Strategies for Urban Reinvention.
After decades of suburban sprawl, job loss, and lack of regional government, Detroit has become a symbol of post-industrial distress and also one of the most complex urban environments in the world. In Revolution Detroit: Strategies for Urban Reinvention, John Gallagher argues that Detroit’s experience can offer valuable lessons to other cities that are, or will soon be, dealing with the same broken municipal model. A follow-up to his award-winning 2010 work, Reimagining Detroit, this volume looks at Detroit’s successes and failures in confronting its considerable challenges. It also looks at other ideas for reinvention drawn from the recent history of other cities, including Cleveland, Flint, Richmond, Philadelphia, and Youngstown, as well as overseas cities, including Manchester and Leipzig.
“John Gallagher turns what could be a dry academic treatise into a vibrant page turner, a carefully constructed narrative that weaves the colorful stories of politicians, city planners and ordinary people into identifying and solving the great challenges presented by the global move from a manufacturing economy to one that is knowledge-based.“– Randal Charlton, former executive director of TechTown, Detroit
“If many of the world’s urban places grow at an uncontrollable pace — megalopolises like Mumbai and Sao Paulo and Shanghai, and, to a lesser degree, places like Phoenix and Los Angeles — many other urban centers the world over are heading in the direction of where Detroit finds itself today, a city so drained of its lifeblood that it can no longer govern itself in the traditional way, can no longer provide jobs for large numbers of its people, and can no longer find productive uses for great swaths of urban landscape slowly returning to nature.” – excerpt from Revolution Detroit, from The Detroit Free Press
John Gallagher is a veteran journalist who writes about urban and economic development for the Detroit Free Press. He joined the newspaper in 1987. John’s other books include Re-imagining Detroit,Great Architecture of Michigan and, as co-author, AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture.
June Manning Thomas is the author of Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit.
In the decades following World War II, professional city planners in Detroit made a concerted effort to halt the city’s physical and economic decline. Their successes included an award-winning master plan, a number of laudable redevelopment projects, and exemplary planning leadership in the city and the nation. Yet despite their efforts, Detroit was rapidly transforming into a notorious symbol of urban decay. In Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit, June Manning Thomas takes a look at what went wrong, demonstrating how and why government programs were ineffective and even destructive to community needs.
Redevelopment and Race was originally published in 1997 and was given the Paul Davidoff Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 1999. Students and teachers of urban planning will be grateful for this re-release. A new postscript offers insights into changes since 1997.
“One of the important books in planning history, urban history, African-American history, and urban studies.”–Christopher Silver
“Thomas’s narrative is solid and it certainly demonstrates the validity of her themes. She presents the primary ideas, events and people that the story demands, and sorts through a myriad of federal and local redevelopment initiatives and programs; from notions of regional planning after the war, through Community Block Grants and Urban Renewal, to the current federal Empowerment Zones/ Enterprise Communities Act. Thomas deals with controversial issues in an even-handed manner; in particular, this is demonstrated by her treatment of Coleman Young.” — review by Mike Smith, H-Net
June Manning Thomas is Centennial Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan. She is also the co-editor of Urban Planning and the African American Community and co-editor of The City after Abandonment.
Book Beat and The Friends of the Troy Public Library are pleased to welcome best-selling author, entrepreneur, and Troy native Ryan Blair to the Troy Public Library (510 W. Big Beaver Rd. Troy MI 48084) on Saturday, May 4 at 12:00pm to sign and discus his book, Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went From Gang Member to Millionaire Entrepreneur. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be for sale courtesy of Book Beat. To reserve a signed copy, please call Book Beat (248) 968-1190.
Like many entrepreneurs, Ryan Blair had no formal business education. But he had great survival instincts, tenacity, and, above all, a “nothing to lose” mindset. His middle-class childhood ended abruptly when his abusive father succumbed to drug addiction and abandoned the family. Blair and his mother moved to a rough neighborhood, and soon he was in and out of juvenile detention, joining a gang just to survive.
Then his mother fell in love with a successful entrepreneur who took Ryan under his wing. With his mentor’s guidance, Blair started his first company, 24/7 Tech, at age twenty-one. He has since created and sold several companies for hundreds of millions of dollars.
This is an inspirational guide full of powerful stories and lessons and a road map for entrepreneurial success.
Ryan Blair is a self-made multimillionaire and serial entrepreneur. He established his first company, 24/7 Tech, when he was twenty-one years old and has since created and actively invested in multiple start-ups. As the CEO of ViSalus, Blair turned the company around during the 2009 recession and, in three years , took it from $600,000 in monthly sales to $600 million in annual sales. He lives in Detroit, with his son, Reagan.