Happy Birthday, Bob.


Today marks the 78th birthday of Robert Moog, founding father of electronic music and inventor of the Moog synthesizer. If you've ever listened to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, or watched A Clockwork Orange then you've heard one of the earliest Moog synthesizers in action. You can stream a documentary on the life of Bob Moog here, and don't miss the incredibly fun Moog Google Doodle. Here's a handy Doodle Guide to get you started.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #331


Wife 22 * * is "smart, fresh, entertaining, moving and incredibly funny" (I can't say it any better) and perhaps, one of the best Women's Fiction titles this year.

Let's see how YOU would answer the following questions:

#10 Do you believe love can last?
#44 What do you believe should NOT be done in public?
#50 If your spouse gave you one free pass to have sex with another person, who would you choose?
#80 Define passion in one sentence
#88 Has your life turned out the way you would hoped it would?

Like these? Thankfully, debut novelist Melanie Gideon (author of The Slippery Year: A meditation on happily ever after: a memoir, and 2 YA novels: Pucker and The Map That Breathed) provides in an appendix these 110 questions - some survey-generic, some philosophical & probing, some downright invasive but all seriously provocative.

Alice Buckle: spouse of William, mother to Zoe and Peter, part-time drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions is also "Wife 22". Readers will be privy to her honest and witty response to an anonymous survey on marital satisfaction. Over time, her correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn, and soon, she comes dangerously close to making a decision that will affect more than her happiness.

Rights sold to 19 countries and optioned for film. Perfect escapism and a breezy, delightful summer read.

* * = starred reviews

May's Books to Film

The Avengers (PG-13) is based on the Marvel comic series by Stan Lee, first published in 1963 and remains a bestseller. A Super Hero team featuring iconic Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow must face an unexpected enemy that threatens global safety and security. With Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13) follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past. The script is based on a novel by Deborah Moggach, previously published in the UK as These Foolish Things.

Starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson, and Maggie Smith, it is my pick for our girls' night out.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (PG-13) is adapted from Arlene Eisenberg's (written with her daughters Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff and Sandee Eisenberg Hathaway) perennial bestseller. It is a hilarious and heartfelt big screen comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood. Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker complete the cast.

Bruce Conforth wins the Golden Apple

Bruce Conforth, professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan and former curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has won the 2012 Golden Apple Award. The Golden Apple is given each year to an instructor who "strive[s] not only to disseminate knowledge but to inspire and engage students in its pursuit." Students nominate and vote on which professor should win the award, focusing on teachers who bring subjects to life and make learning a process in which everyone is involved.

Bruce shared some of his expertise with us last year when participating in Freeing John Sinclair. Bruce hosted our panel discussion with members of the Hill Street commune/Rainbow People's Party and brought both a depth of knowledge and an ability to keep the conversation accessible for those unfamiliar with the time period. Bruce also did a podcast on the topic with us, putting the John Sinclair Freedom Rally into context both within Ann Arbor and the larger cultural atmosphere of the early 1970's.

Dick Clark, America's "oldest teenager," has died at 82

Dick Clark, host of American Bandstand for 30 years and THE face of New Year's Eve in Times Square since 1972, died today.

American Bandstand debuted in 1952. What began as a radio program in which teens could vote for their favorite song of the week, quickly morphed into a hit TV show where teens danced and critiqued the songs ("I give it a 20 -- I like the words, but it's hard to dance to."). Record producers paid a lot of attention to the music Clark highlighted, although the kids didn't always get it right. (One of their biggest 'fails' was The Beatles' She Loves You). For an in-depth history of this history-making show, check out John A. Jackson's American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire (1997).

His media empire expanded to include beauty pageants, Daytime Emmys, the Golden Globe Awards, The $10,000 Pyramid and endless Bloopers shows.

Dick Clark, America's oldest teenager, who earned this moniker for his perpetual youthful appearance, died at 82 of a heart attack.

April's Books to Film

Based on Nicholas Sparks' novel The Lucky One (PG-13), it follows U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault as he returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive --- a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name and where she lives, he shows up at her door.

In Think Like a Man (PG-13) - the film adaptation of Steve Harvey's bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man : what men really think about love, relationships, intimacy, and commitment, 4 interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Harvey's book and start taking his advice to heart. When the band of brothers realize they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book's insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own.

In The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG), Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain --- a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side, and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. We have Author Gideon Defoe to thank for his two adventurous tales in The Pirates! Band of Misfits : an adventure with scientists & an adventure with Ahab

In the film The Raven (R) when a serial killer who bases his methods of killing on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories (beginning with The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Pit and the Pendulum and working his way through other stories), Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to solve the crime. The script is based on biographies of Edgar Allan Poe

Pete the Cat is coming to AADL!

All of us storytime tellers have been reading and telling the best-selling story of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin since it landed on our shelf. It’s one of our favorites, so we are so excited that Eric Litwin will be performing at the Downtown Library this Friday, March 23 at 7 pm for the whole family! We just know, with Pete along for the ride, it’s going to be groovy!!

Hunger Game Fans!

Now that you've read the trilogy, what's next? For starters, check out this great interview with Jennifer Lawrence, while you're waiting for the movie release on March 23. Or you could head to this website and try the simulation game to see if you have what it takes to survive the games. Remember it takes more than just strength.
If you're still skeptical whether the movie will do the book justice, keep in mind that Neil Gaiman has seen it and said that he enjoyed it 'a lot.' Or if you want to hear what the author has to say about the Hunger Games trilogy, click here to hear an interview.
If you're looking for some Hunger Games read-a-likes, you might like a few of these: Feed, Ender's Game, Maze Runner, Little Brother, Unwind or House of Scorpion.
By the way, the second movie, Catching Fire, is set to be released on November 22, 2013.

March's Books to Film

The most anticipated feature film this spring is perhaps The Hunger Games (PG-13), to be release on March 23rd, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins. In a bleak future, the United States has been reduced to a dictatorship with 12 districts. Every year, in order to prevent uprisings, the ruling Capitol forces one boy and one girl from each district to fight each other to the death in a nationally televised arena --- and only one will survive. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts and make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love if she's ever to return home.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is the 3D-CG adaptation of the classic tale of a forest guardian who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for a real Truffula Tree, the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To get it, he must find the story of the Lorax, the acerbic yet charming character who fights to protect his world.

John Carter, a Disney production (PG-13) based on Sci-fi novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton, this sweeping action adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars) tells the story of John Carter, who is inexplicably embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, and discovers that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

Based on the fairy tale of Snow White by The Brothers Grimm, Mirror, Mirror (rated PG) retells a wicked enchantress's schemes and scrambles to control a spirited orphan's throne and the attention of a charming prince. A star-studded cast - with Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen; the fresh-faced Lily Collins as Snow White; gorgeous leading man Armie Hammer as the Prince, and the incomparable Nathan Lane as Brighton, the Queen’s right hand man.

THE MOVIE I AM MOST EAGER TO SEE :
Already out on the coasts but hopefully coming to theaters near us is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring eye-candy Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and the dynamicKristin Scott Thomas; directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat)

Based on the 2007 novel by Paul Torday, where a visionary sheik believes the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert. Willing to spare no expense in order to turn the dream into reality, he enlists Britain's leading fisheries expert and the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary. This unlikely team will embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. Check out the recent review and trailer in EW.

I am the Lorax! I speak for the trees!

Celebrate The Lorax and Read Across America at our Toast to The Truffula Trees craft program on Thursday, March 15 at 7 pm at the Downtown Library! Families with children of all ages are invited to make a ridiculous Truffula Hat out of recycled materials from our favorite treasure trove, the Scrap Box. A dramatic reading of The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, will entertain creators as they color, cut and glue with pom poms, pipe cleaners, stickers and lots of colorful recycled junk!

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