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What does it truly mean to be anonymous?

Kayla Pennoyer is an information desk clerk at AADL.

Kayla Pennoyer is an information desk clerk at AADL.

Dave Eggers delights again with his newest novel, “The Circle.” His prose engulfs readers in an eerily familiar world of social and political advancement, somewhat reminiscent of the classic “1984.” Readers will wonder what it truly means to be anonymous, and deliberate whether it is a concept more archaic than essential. At the heart of the novel are The Circle’s omniscience and its proclamation that “secrets are lies.”

Mae Holland, a young college graduate, is stuck in a dead-end career with no hope of leaving her provincial town, when former roommate and business legend Annie offers her a job at The Circle, a company known for its technological advancement and innovation. Although Mae impresses many with her work ethic, her lack of social media presence causes concern in her superiors. The main goal of The Circle, after all, is to connect people of the world in order to achieve infinite knowledge and, ultimately, enlightenment for humankind.

Eggers is best known for his memoir, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.” He has received multiple awards including Time Best Book of the Year (2000) and has local acclaim as a founder of 826 National, related to Ann Arbor’s 826michigan.

 

Databases for the history buff at aadl.org

Al Sjoerdsma is a technohost in community relations & marketing at the AADL.

Al Sjoerdsma is a technohost in community relations & marketing at the AADL.

A click on the “Research” tab on the AADL website will introduce you to a wealth of databases covering such subjects as car repair, literature and investing. For those with a history interest, the databases are especially rich. Start at the “History & Biography” page and go from there. You’ll find local history on sites like “Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now,” “Freeing John Sinclair” and “Old News.”

An exploration of other sites reveals a yield so diverse, you can find the legend of the birth of Hatshepsut, national security discussions between Henry Kissinger and President Gerald Ford, a transcript of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, and the actual scanned pages of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from May 24, 1883, touting the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge (click on “View” and then “View Item in PDF” to get the full article).

The newspaper section allows you to browse historical editions of The Ann Arbor News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and others. If you know what you’re looking for, you can easily track down such unusual items as The Washington Post’s 1933 obituary of Mrs. George A. Custer. Let your love of history go wild and see what you can find.

 

More of Desperado Detectives Mo and Dale

Amanda Schott is a library technician in youth & adult services and collections at AADL.

Amanda Schott is a library technician in youth & adult services and collections at AADL.

In the Newbery Honor-winning “Three Times Lucky,” author Sheila Turnage introduced us to the Desperado Detectives, two sixth-graders who became famous after solving a murder. “The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing,” written for age 10 and older, is the new companion book to “Three Times Lucky,” though I would call it a sequel. Spunky Mo LoBeau is at it again. She and her best pal Dale open up a paranormal division of their detective agency to solve the mystery of a ghost in the old Tupelo Inn, which Mo’s guardian, Miss Lana, accidentally wins in the town auction.

Between helping Miss Lana run the local café, solving the mystery of a ghost, crushing on Dale’s older brother Lavender, dealing with the new kid in town, and trying to survive sixth-grade history class, Mo has her hands full — but she doesn’t blink twice at all the fuss. “The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing,” just like “Three Times Lucky,” is full of charming, witty dialogue and unforgettable characters bursting with personality. Mo LoBeau is one sixth grader you will want to meet.

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