X-Men Extravaganza

Loved the new movie and want more? Didn't care for it and want something different? Somewhere in the middle? Wherever you fall, the AADL is here to help.

Ultimate X-Men, a guide to the universe, covers the original Dark Phoenix saga. Astonishing X-Men Volume 1: Gifted contains the story of the "cure" for mutancy, as written by Joss Whedon of Buffy and Firefly fame.

One thing is certain: for better or for worse, none of the books feature Kelsey Grammer in a Cookie Monster suit.

"The Purpose of All War is Peace"-- Saint Augustine

Memorial Day

Its Memorial Day Weekend, a time to contemplate the sacrifices of men and women in the armed services. So remember that when you're out at the barbeque and enjoy the sunny weather!

Memorial Day Reads and Vids
Fog of War
Ken Burns' Civil War series

Imperial Grunts : the American military on the ground by Robert Kaplan
No true glory : a frontline account of the battle for Fallujah by Bing West
Team of rivals : the political genius of Abraham Lincoln By Doris Kearns Goodwin

Mission Impossible, By Order of the Queen

Some books are just better with Robert Ian Mackenzie turning pages for you. This marvelous narrator coaxes, spellbinds, and occasionally sings his way through this unbelievably merry, wildly imaginative and totally entertaining 22-discs Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin.

A series of screwball adventures followed a conspiratorial media debacle aimed at Freddy, the bookish, stiff-upper-lip Prince of Wales and his glamorous and ditsy wife. In order to safeguard the British monarchy, they were sent on a quest to re-conquer a barbarous land – The United States.

Clueless and dressed only in furry bikinis, they hopped freight trains, cleaned toilets, and became enmeshed in the madness of a presidential campaign, all the while gained the dignity and humility required for the future heads of state.

Perfect for long car trips. Do remember to pull over while laughing. We want you safe.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #23

With a poet’s sensibility and a Southern writer’s gift of storytelling Darnell Arnoult’s (website) accomplished first novel Sufficient Grace is moving, captivating, and destined to be in a few beach bags this summer. (Starred review in Publishers Weekly).

Character-rich and evocative of place, this is the story of Gracie Hollaman and her two very different Southern families – the white, middleclass one that she abandoned and the black one that took her in and allowed her to develop a special gift. Written with warmth and gentle humor, this novel is also about grit, dignity, and about lives reclaimed with faith and love.

For readers of Kaye Gibbons’ Charms for The Easy Life (1993); Clyde Edgerton’s Walking Across Egypt, (1987); and Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies, (1988).

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (5/28/06)

Summer begins this Memorial Day weekend for me. Time to start thinking about books to pack for the beach and cottage or just to enjoy while lazing in the back yard. While it may never make the List, I just finished an absolutely wonderful, spellbinding novel. Black Swan Green is the latest by David Mitchell, a critically acclaimed young British author, and I cannot recommend it enough.

At #14 is Bad Twin by Gary Troup:"Remember the manuscript that Hurley (Jorge Garcia, left) found in a suitcase a few episodes ago on Lost? Now you can read it: Bad Twin is a mystery novel by "Gary Troup," who was supposedly aboard the ill-fated Oceanic Flight 815 (real author: unknown). The book, sanctioned by the hit ABC show's producers, could be a treasure chest of possible Lost clues. Or not." (Entertainment Weekly)

At #16 is Second Sight by Amanda Quick: another romantic thriller by this dependable best-selling author; this time the danger threatens a psychic Victorian photographer.

How To Be

by Lisa Brown.

How to be a snake. How to be a bear. How to be a dog. These are important things, people. When reading this book I could not help thinking to myself, "yes! Oh my goodness! That's exactly how I would be a spider!" This cute book is all about creative pretending (with a little bit about learning about yourself thrown in), and they nail it perfectly...

Golden Age of Magic...

...stage magic, that is. Anyone with even a passing interest in the magicians of the 1920s (or anyone who just wants to read a good historical mystery) should try out Carter Beats the Devil, by Glen David Gold. The action starts when Warren Harding (generally considered to be the worst president in American history) is torn apart (then eaten, by a lion, on stage, in front of a live audience) during a trick called "Carter Beats the Devil", performed by the famous magician Carter the Great. Though it is revealed to be just a another clever illusion (and the President is clearly seen walking off stage after), Harding is found dead a few hours later, and the police would like to have a word or two with Carter...

Death Becomes Them

Dead or Alive

AADL Select Sites : Reference Tools

A macabre site for the morbidly curious, Dead or Alive? features the vital status of “reasonably famous people” from all walks of life: sports stars, scientists, politicians, movie stars and more. A mysterious administrator obsessively updates the site, which to date catalogues 7430 people, more of them listed alive than dead. View site statistics and deaths arranged by cause (more “reasonably famous” people have been killed by volcanic eruption (3) than balloon crash (1), for example), or compare the status of people in different fields. If perusing the lists does not prove addictive enough, the site features quizzes that regenerate every 15 minutes.

Should accuracy concern you, the site claims to have made only one confirmed mistake in the status of a person in three years.

Jesse Owens Remembered

On May 25, 1935, Jesse Owens set three world records and tied a fourth. Representing Ohio State at the Big Ten track and field event at the University of Michigan, despite an ailing back, Owens tied the world record in the 100 yard dash and set the record in the broad jump, the 220 yard dash and 220 yard low hurdles. This was the first time anyone had ever set three world records and broke a fourth Jesse was born in 1913, the son of a sharecropper, and grew up in Cleveland. He began competing in track and field in high school. His second claim to fame was winning four gold metals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany. Owens went on to become an accomplished speaker and supported athletic programs for underprivileged youth.

Michigan Field Guides

With Memorial Day and summer vacations just ahead, these field guides will enrich your hikes, bike rides, and camping trips.

Birds: National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Michigan
Mammals: Mammals of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
Reptiles and Amphibians:
Reptiles and Amphibians of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
Michigan Turtles and Lizards by James H. Harding and J. Alan Holman
Michigan Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders by James H. Harding and J. Alan Holman
Michigan Snakes by J. Alan Holman
Insects: Insects of the Great Lakes Region by Gary A. Dunn
Butterflies: Michigan Butterflies and Skippers by Mogens C. Nielsen
Butterflies of Michigan Field Guide by Jaret C. Daniels
Fish: Fishes of the Great Lake Region by Carl L. Hubbs
Trees: Michigan Trees by Burton V. Barnes and Warren H. Wagner
Trees of Michigan by Linda Kershaw
Wild Flowers: Michigan Wildflowers in Color by Harry C. Lund
Wildflowers of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
Stars: Michigan Starwatch by Mike Lynch

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