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4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra

The 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra is a nine-piece klezmer-funk-rock-jazz ensemble that performs original compositions and arrangements, combining West African rhythms with Eastern European klezmer melodies. They played at the Decatur Library on January 26th, 2013. This podcasts features three songs from this performance:

  1. Dolgo Horo
  2. Greater Lagos Wed. Night Talmud Meeting
  3. Toco Hills Kiddush Club

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Melissa Fay Greene

Atlanta’s prize-winning author Melissa Fay Greene has written a new book, No Biking in the House without a Helmet, a joyous account of a great, loving, complicated and ever-expanding family — her own! The story behind the book is as simple one: when Melissa and her husband Atlanta attorney Don Samuel found their four kids growing up and leaving the house, they decided to “backfill,” meaning, “whenever one leaves, we’ll get another.” Over eight years, five children have joined the family from orphanages in Bulgaria and Ethopia. Melissa’s account of their laughter and tears will charm and delight you. Greene is the author of The Temple BombingPraying for Sheetrock, and There is No Me Without You; One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue Africa’s Children.

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Anne and Sam Lamott

Prize-winning novelist Anne Lamott, the author of more than a dozen bestselling books, pays us a visit with a surprising and delightful new nonfiction work, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son. It is a vibrant, sweet and often funny account of a new and unexpected chapter in her life: becoming a grandmother. Stunned to learn that her son Sam is about to become a father at the age of 19, Lamott kept a journal about the first year of her grandson’s life. It is full of wonderful, moving details that every parent and grandparent will understand and appreciate, as Lamott describes how relationships throughout her family change and evolve. Can a baby change a family forever? You bet—and you won’t want to miss the author’s take on this.

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Joshilyn Jackson

2010 was a good year for Joshilyn Jackson. She was a finalist for the Townsend Award for Fiction, and her wonderful novel The Girl Who Stopped Swimming was announced as one of the Center for the Book’s 2010 “25 Books All Georgians Should Read.” Her new novel, Backseat Saints, is a can’t-put-it-down story about love, survival and shedding the past that features a memorable new voice: the tough, passionate and funny Rose Mae Lolly. She’s arguably the best character Jackson’s has ever come up with and is perfect for a book that is both high spirited and darker than her previous novels Gods in Alabama and Between Georgia. Joshilyn Jackson joined us for an author talk on June 29, 2010 at the Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library.

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Jane Mendelssohn

Jane Mendelssohn author of The New York Times’ best-selling novel I Was Amelia Earhart, visits us with a memorable, original new book, American Music. It’s a luminous love story centering on Milo, a severely wounded Iraq war veteran, and Honor, a former dancer who is now his physical therapist. Whenever she touches his damaged back, mysterious images from the past appear to both Milo and Honor, ultimately revealing the source of their growing love. Critics say it’s a “beautiful mystery and a meditation on love, its power and its limitations.“ It is a book of almost hypnotic power by one of America’s finest novelists, and we know you’ll find it an unforgettable evening.

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Dr. Keith Gilyard

Dr. Keith Gilyard is one of America’s most highly regarded scholars of African American writers.  In this author talk, he discussed his new book, the first major biography of an important native Georgia author, John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism. Killens was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, was the founding chairman of the legendary Harlem Writers Guild and is regarded as the father of the Black Arts Movement. Gilyard’s biography examines his life and those whose lives he touched including W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. We are very happy to share this illuminating talk with you in this program.

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Jean Kwok

The publication of Jean Kwok’s debut novel, Girl in Translation, is a literary event with a remarkable story about it. It is an affecting story of a girl who goes from a sweatshop to the Ivy League. Mirroring this novel’s tale is the real story of the author, who was born in Hong Kong, emigrated to Brooklyn with her family, worked in a Chinatown factory and managed to put herself through Harvard. She has been a teacher and translator in the Netherlands, a reader for the blind, a housekeeper, a ballroom dancer and a computer graphics specialist. Jean Kwok read at the Decatur Library on May 4, 2010.

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Maryn McKenna

Maryn McKenna is the prize-winning former science writer for theAJC who won awards for her coverage of the CDC.  She returns to the Library with a frightening but true new book, Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA. MRSA is a terrifying pathogen that is evolving faster than the medical community can develop antibiotics to stop it, and it is now beginning to threaten not just hospitals and clinics but individuals young and old, healthy and sick. McKenna is also a former Fellow at the University of Michigan and Harvard Medical School and the author of Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service.  She joined us on April 27th, 2010.

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Karin Slaughter

Atlanta’s own Karin Slaughter The New York Times’and #1 international bestselling author of ten thrillers, talked about her latest spellbinding book, Broken. It’s not just the page-turning plotting and unexpected twists that make Karin’s books so popular, but also the vivid portraits of real lives in stress, people shadowed by loss and heartbreak that keep readers by the tens of thousands coming back for more. In Broken, a Grant County novel, Special Agent Will Trent arrives to look into a prisoner’s death and encounters a police department beset with murder. Karin’s bestselling books, which have sold millions of copies here and abroad, include Blindsighted, A Faint Cold Fear and Beyond Reach, which was on an earlier list of “25 Books All Georgians Should Read.”

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Deborah Blum

Deborah Blum is the Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer of a new book, The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. Blum’s true story, which reads like a first-rate novelist’s tale, features a memorable cast of movie stars, gangsters, aristocrats, relentless medical examiners and even homicidal grandmothers. Her chronicle of Jazz Age chemical crimes will leave you breathless and transform the way you think about the power of science. Blum is the author of the bestselling book Ghost Hunters. She is also professor of science journalism at the University of Wisconsin.

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