Hilarious new BIRD picture books!

School is back in session, but not everyone goes to elementary school: little birdies have to attend flight school! Or at least, those little birdies do who are SUPPOSED to learn how to fly. When Penguin arrives for HIS first day of flight school, Teacher is taken aback.

"But you, dear, are a penguin," she says.
"Undeniable," Penguin replies, "but I have the soul of an eagle."

So begins the hilariously told and illustrated story of Penguin's attempts to learn to fly in Lita Judge's Flight School. And just imagine what happens when Penguin decides to bring his friend Ostrich along for a lesson!

If you're interested in other goofy bird books, The ABC of Fabulous Princesses, by Willy Puchner, is a must-read. Prince William must find a wife, and all of the bird empresses are eager to impress him. Some are big, some are small, some are quiet, some are loud... but they all come from different countries bearing a unique gift for Prince William. Puchner's illustrations and rhymes are funny and fantastic. This is a great book not meant just for folks first learning their alphabet!

100 Sideways Miles

100 Sideways Miles is Andrew Smith’s 9th young adult novel and follows the amazingly awesome Winger and the bizzare yet fascinating Grasshopper Jungle. His latest 100 Sideways Miles falls into the “greening of young adult lit” category (thanks to the popular books by YA author John Green) that feature realistic characters with funny narration that’s easy to fall in love with.

16 year old Finn Easton suffers from epilepsy after a childhood freak accident involving his mother and a falling horse. He is also the inspiration for a character in his fiction-writing father’s best-selling novel. These facts do not make him the most popular kid in town. This unique guy does not view time in minutes, he sees it in miles. Finn’s adventures include his funny best friend Cade, his first crush, dealing with “blanking out” during seizures, and the inevitable college-bound road trip with a surprise end result. This book is a winner, and is on the longlist for the National Book Award For Young People's Fiction. (For ages 14 and up.)

Local Event: Check Out 11 Homes

If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do the weekend of Oct. 4-5, check out the Remodelers Home Tour, put on by the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor and the Washtenaw Remodelers Council. Hours are Saturday 11 am – 6 pm and Sunday noon – 6 pm; cost is $10 per adult. Here at the library we have lots of good information about remodeling.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #485 - “...weddings are giant Rorschach tests onto which everyone around you projects their fears, fantasies, and expectations -- many of which they've been cultivating since the day you were born.” ~ Susan Jane Gilman

Come, indulge with me...

Cancel the Wedding by debut author Carolyn Dingman

On the surface, Olivia has it all: a high-powered career, a loving family, and a handsome fiance. She even seems to be coming to terms with her mother Jane's premature death from cancer. Though Olivia and her elder sister Georgia are mystified with their mother's final wish, it offers Olivia a temporary reprieve from decision about her dream job that she now hates, and her upcoming wedding she is having second thoughts about. With her 14-year-old niece, Logan, riding shotgun, she heads to Tillman, GA, on a summer road trip looking for answers about her mother, and comes to know a great deal more about herself. Readers who sympathize with Oliva's difficult situation would enjoy You Are the Love of My Life by Susan Richards Shreve.

A Wedding in Provence by Ellen Sussman - a feast for the senses, and a moving novel of love, forgiveness, and trust, set among the beaches and vineyards of southern France.

Olivia and Brody have found the perfect spot for their small wedding - an idyllic inn nestled in a valley in the Mediterranean town of Cassis, if only they can count on their families and guests to behave. Impulsive and reckless Nell, Olivia's oldest daughter from her first marriage invites a complete stranger. Olivia's youngest daughter, Carly, generally responsible and pragmatic decides to let her hair down for a change. Jake, Brody's playboy best man, and Fanny, Brody's mother arrive with toxic emotional baggage.

A delicious, compelling, and utterly enchanting novel, that captures the complex and enduring bonds of family, and our boundless faith in love. "Women's fiction fans will enjoy Sussman's knowing exploration of mother/daughter relationships and the bond between sisters. The vivid description of Provence will whisk the reader away to the Mediterranean tout suite." A great readalike for Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead.

The Beekeeper's Ball * by Susan Wiggs is the second in the "Bella Vista Chronicles" after The Apple Orchard (2013). Set in the lush Sonoma Valley wine country, the narrative now centers on Isabel Johansen who is in the process of transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school, and planning the wedding festivities for her sister Tess (the protagonist in the first title in the Chronicles).

When a intrepid (and very cocky) journalist/biographer Cormac "Mac" O'Neill is mistaken for a beekeeper and is almost killed by Isabel's bees, the relationship between them gets off on a rocky start. But Mac's project of writing her grandfather's biography, including his role in the Danish Resistance during WWII, forces them to work together. As much as Isabel denies it, she's getting more and more attracted to Mac.

"Wiggs' carefully detailed plotlines, one contemporary and one historical, with their candid look at relationships and their long-term effects, are sure to captivate readers." Recipes included.

"What makes this moving narrative so memorable is the fearlessness of families and friends who find strength in each other through the horrors of war and loss." If you enjoyed Jojo Moyes' The Girl You Left Behind, you won't be disappointed.

Here are some of my personal favorites (in no particular order) on the drama that often threatens to undo even the best-laid wedding plans: Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand; A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve; The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham; and Philosophy Made Simple by Robert Hellenga.

* = starred review

Winter work arounds

Michigan winters can be tough, especially when it comes to staying in shape. So why not develop a good at-home practice before we get snowed in?! Yoga is the perfect solution for combating the winter blues, keeping your energy levels up and extra pounds off the scale!

The AADL collection has options for everyone; monthly magazine selections, reading materials to develop and deepen your practice, and DVD’s for those looking to work on flexibility, strength or improve your sense of self. You can even experience yoga IN your library! Keep an eye on the events calendar for future programs, and be sure to join us next week at the Pittsfield branch for a children's yoga class!

New TV: Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts

A new TV mini series getting a lot of buzz lately is documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ latest conquest: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

Seven discs go though 1858-1962. The series “profiles Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor as the most prominent members of the most important family in history. Through their stories, PBS chronicles the history they helped to shape, from the Square Deal to the New Deal, San Juan Hill to the Western Front, to the founding of the United Nations.”

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

Great Teen Non-Fiction: "Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design"

If you or a young person in your life is interested in graphic design, be sure to check out Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd. The book was a finalist for this year's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for young people ages 12-18. From YALSA: "This innovative book offers an introduction to the history and basic concepts of graphic design from one of the most successful designers working today. Using real world examples and rich visual aids, Kidd teaches readers how effective design can communicate ideas and messages, and he suggests ways to think critically about the design elements that infuse the media around us. Kidd invites readers to experiment with design themselves by ending the book with a series of 10 design challenges and offers a venue to share their work online."

Ree Drummond: The Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond’s memoir of how she met, fell in love with, and married her rancher husband is hilarious, romantic, and charming. Titled The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, A Love Story and published back in 2011, the entirely true story definitely made me want to find my own cowboy out there somewhere! Ree was born in urban Oklahoma and went to college at USC, where she fell in love with the city life. After a few years in Los Angeles, she moves back home temporarily before she plans to move to Chicago. When she meets “Marlboro Man” one night in a smoky hometown bar and he begins to woo her, Ree’s plans change somewhat and before she knows it she finds herself the wife of a down-home Oklahoma rancher, living over an hour from the nearest grocery store and surrounded by cattle rather than skyscrapers. Ree’s stories of her new country life are completely heartwarming.

After publishing this lovely memoir, Ree was inspired to write more and has produced several fantastic cookbooks complete with delicious, easy recipes interspersed with more stories of family life at the ranch. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: recipes from an accidental country girl, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: food from my frontier, and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: a year of holidays, are all beautifully photographed, adorably written, and extremely handy to have in any kitchen!

Most recently, Ree has branched out into writing children’s books about Charlie the ranch basset hound, who is based off of the basset hound that she and her family own in real life. There’s Charlie the Ranch Dog, Charlie the Ranch Dog: where’s the bacon?, Charlie and the New Baby, and Charlie and the Christmas Kitty, as well as several other picture books about the lazy, mischievous dog.

For more information about Ree, and for additional recipes, stories, and photos, check out her awesome blog The Pioneer Woman.

PreK Bits - "D" is for DAY at the Farm

Ms. Rachel brought Farm stories for Preschool Storytime this week.
In GOBBLE GOBBLE MOOoo TRACTOR BOOK by Jez Alborough ... Farmer Dougal did not get up one morning and the animals drove the tractor .... just pretend!
We sang "Farmer Brown Had 5 Red Apples" which can be found with other farm songs in the CD ABC and 123 Songs by Sharon, Lois and Bram...
Mr. Bingle needed help getting the last big apple from the top of his tree in APPLE PIE by Anne Wellington.
Both stories are fun, ... and unfortunately out of print, ... but you can still get copies through MelCat loans with your AADL card.

You can browse the webcatalog for farm stories or you can try some favorites listed below:
LITTLE APPLE GOAT by Caroline Church. The little goat who loves to eat apples ... unknowingly becomes the planter of the new apple trees.
CHARLIE And The NEW BABY by Ree Drummond, is a story of a new calf (with adorable pictures by Diane DeGroat) ... who needs extra attention while Charlie the dog is feeling neglected.
E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm by Judy Sierra ... is a story that happens with the help of the Hen.
Henry is tired of an un-tidy farm so he creates HENRY'S MAP.
THESE BEES COUNT ... Farmer Ellen shows how to listen to the bees.
The NOISY FARM ... to practice lots of animal noises.
The YEAR At MAPLE HILL FARM ... an illustrated classic by Alice Provensen.

Celebrate Your Right to Read Comics!

It's Banned Books Week and this year ALA and CBLDF have joined forces to raise awareness of frequently challenged comics. In the last few years, attempts to ban critically acclaimed graphic novels Persepolis and Barefoot Gen made international headlines. Other comics attacked in recent years include the all-ages classic Bone by Jeff Smith, which made ALA’s list of the ten most challenged books in 2013, as well as acclaimed books for adult readers like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Learn more about which comics have been banned or challenged here.

Local Banned Books Week events:

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