Conger Fall Home Tour

Want to peek inside some of Ann Arbor's loveliest homes?

On Thursday November 9, 2006 from 10 am to 4 pm you can help a good cause and indulge your interest and curiosity by joining the annual Conger Home Tour from 10 am to 4 pm.

This year the Tour is happening a month earlier than usual to offer participants more time to visit the homes. And the homes will not be decorated for the holidays but have been chosen for their unique artwork and decoration that stand out year round.

The Conger Holiday Market will happen on Tuesday December 5 and your Home Tour ticket will get you in the door.

The proceeds from the Tour support scholarships for women at the University of Michigan through the Lucile B. Conger Alumnae Group.

Tickets are $20 at the door and $15 in advance for this tour of four Ann Arbor Homes. You can also call 734-433-9698 for further information.

Feast of Love and Popularity

Borders has the best bookstores, followed by Nicola’s Books and Shaman Drum. The best local authors are Charles Baxter, Elizabeth Kostova and Steve Amick. Those are among highlights of the third annual Readers’ Choice Awards, published this week by the Ann Arbor News. The whole list - restaurants, stores, etc. - is in an insert to the Nov. 1 paper, available in the periodicals areas of the Downtown Library and at our branches.

Youmacon is here!

Youmacon, “Metro Detroit's first and only anime con,” is being held this weekend, from November 3-5, 2006 at the Hilton Detroit/Troy. The full programming schedule has now been posted on the con web site. Be sure you don’t miss the featured guests, who include Caitlyn Glass, voice actress for Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist, and Matt Hill, voice actor for Kero in Cardcaptor Sakura.

Don’t worry if you missed pre-registration--on-site registration will be available!

Shakespeare Goes to the Movies

Here's another way to celebrate the Royal Shakespeare Company's Michigan Residency: On Thursday, October 26, UM professors Barbara Hodgdon and Jim Burnstein will consider the cultural phenomenon of Shakespearean films in "Shakespeare Goes to the Movies: The Two-Dimensional Bard." The talk will include film clips from Trevor Nunn's 1972 Antony and Cleopatra, Fred Wilcox's 1956 Forbidden Planet, and Peter Greenaway's 1991 Prospero's Books. Join us for the discussion, 4-6 p.m., in the Lower Level Multi-Purpose Room.

"Revenge of the Book Eaters"

Sunday, October 29, 6:30 pm at EMU's Pease Auditorium is Revenge of the Book Eaters. It's a fall fundraiser for the local 826michigan, a non-profit writing center.
Dave Eggers will be a guest, as well as the reknown Davy Rothbart The emcee for the evening is Martin Bandyke, and performing live are the Cowboy Junkies. So, it's an extra-ordinary mix of music and books. See the full line-up and ticket information at 826michigan

Cranes of Waterloo

The Sandhill Cranes are coming to the Haehnle Audubon Sanctuary. This is one of the Midwestern rest stops for the Cranes on their long migration to their southern homes. Every fall when the cold winds begin to blow, you can spend a lovely afternoon viewing these majestic birds nearby in the Waterloo Recreation Area. Arrive before dusk to see the largest concentration of Sandhill Cranes in Michigan as they fly back in from a day of foraging in nearby fields.

If you do not want to wait for dusk, there is another option. Last Saturday friends of mine went to the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center, saw a video about the sandhill cranes, and then went on an auto tour of possible fields where the birds might be feeding. They saw about one hundred in recently harvested fields and saw a few flying overhead. The tour was going to Haehnle but they did not want to wait for dusk to see the birds returning from the fields.

The Cranes stop in our area from late September through November (a few have even stayed into December!). So take an old-fashioned drive through the colorful countryside and enjoy the spectacle.

Mountains Beyond Mountains Chosen as Next Community Read

On Tuesday, October 24, a selection committee of community leaders, students and educators in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area chose Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World (2003) for the 2007 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads. The 2007 program will encourage readers of all ages to explore the theme We The People… - the many people that we are, the diverse communities we have created, and the challenges we face in fostering a continuing sense of belonging and civic engagement in a rapidly changing world. Check it out!

Americans in Paris

After a very successful run at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the blockbuster exhibition Americans in Paris, 1860-1900 will open tomorrow (Oct. 24th) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City.

You will most likely recognize the works of many of the 37 artists represented but I can guarantee that the crowd will huddle around Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) - the highly controversial painting, and not just within the high society in which the artist John Singer Sargent traveled.

I am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto is a fictional biography of Virginie Avegno Gautreau, the exquisite beauty with the waxy white skin, so splendidly depicted, in a rather suggestive black gown.

To get behind the scandal (Strap? No strap?) fueled by this highly problematic but much sought-after commission, check out Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis.

And thanks to the generous gift of the Ladies Library Association, the catalog of the Exhibition, by Kathleen Adler will soon be available.

Fans of Mercury, mark your calendars!!!

Mercury TransitMercury Transit

On Wednesday, November 8, the planet Mercury will pass directly in front of the Sun. This event is known as the Transit of Mercury and occurs 13 to 14 times per century. Mercury will appear as a very tiny black dot as it makes its way across the Sun’s face. Since only a tiny spot will be covered, it is still dangerous to look directly at the Sun. Some ways to safely view solar events are through eclipse glasses or by means of a pinhole projector. The best way to see the movement of Mercury would be through a telescope equipped with a sun-safe H-alpha filter. If this isn’t possible, don’t fret. You can visit the SOHO website to watch it from the comfort of your nearest computer.

The University of Michigan Angell Hall Observatory, complete with a 0.4-m (16-inch) diameter reflecting telescope equipped with a CCD camera, will be hosting an open house for the event. Click here for information.

If you miss it this time you will have to wait 10 years for another opportunity. The next Transit of Mercury is expected to occur May 9, 2016.

Teen Read Week - Enter to Win!

Teen Read Week starts today! Enter to win a gift certificate for $50 for Borders Books and Music in the Teen area at any AADL location! You can enter to win every day during the week to improve your chances. GET ACTIVE is the theme this year and AADL has a week of great programs planned. Starting today with the Knit Your Bit for Others event at Pittsfield @ 2:00, continuing on Tuesday with the MTV MADE event Downtown @ 7:00, Wednesday @ 6:30 Downtown with Dating Violence and ending with DDR @ the Animanga Club on Friday night, Downtown @ 7:00 - we have a FULL week of active things to keep you busy!

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