TV Spotlight: 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:

New Art DVDs!

Several new art related DVDs have been added to the collection recently.

We have many new ones on individual artists, such as Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, and more. As well as a neat DVD that goes behind the scenes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and shows the inner workings of the museum. Sounds like a treat for any art lover.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #484 -“Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it’s going to kill us.” ~ Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis

In these 14 linked stories (one of which won a 2014 O. Henry Prize), 14 yr.old Rainey Royal lives with her famous jazz musician father in a once-elegant Brownstone in Greenwich Village after her mother ran away to an ashram. Surrounded by her father's groupies and hangers-on, predators disguised as her father's best friend, she is lonely and vulnerable. Thankfully, there is her best friend Tina. As she tries desperately to nurture her own artistic talent and build a substitute family, she rebels in unconventional, sometimes criminal ways.

"Landis' captivating first novel is a ringing tribute to friendship, autonomy, and artistic presence." She "offers a rich, sometimes challenging portrait of young women doing their best to grow in the absence of positive role models."

From National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree (see the video interviews) and Rona Jaffe Award-winner comes an urgent, intensely visceral debut novel about a young waitress whose downward spiral is narrated in electric prose - Love Me Back.

Merritt Tierce follows Marie, a single mother who gives in to brutally self-destructive tendencies with alcohol, drugs, self-cutting and one-night stands, looking for obliteration if not pleasure. The one thing that brings her life focus is her job as a waitress in an upscale Dallas steakhouse which she tackles with an easy smile and strong work ethic. "You keep your standards high and your work strong but these are necessary for success; you keep your dignity separate, somewhere else, attached to different things."

"(A) flawed thing of beauty, as terribly uncomfortable to read as it is often brilliant,...Tierce's first novel is unsentimental and unresolved but ultimately laced with an undercurrent of hope."

If you have never read indie author K.A. Tucker, praised for her "likeable characters, steamy liaisons, and surprising plot twists" (Kirkus Reviews), you might really enjoy Five Ways to Fall.

Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making wrong choices; she's made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her violent "redecorating" of her two-timing ex-husband's apartment lands her in jail, she decides to accept the only life-line thrown to her and moves to Miami to work for her stepfather, a renowned attorney.

Things are going well. Reese even finds she enjoys legal work and is good at it... until an embarrassing last-fling on a tequila-soaked weekend in Cancun walks into the office, and introduces himself as Ben Morris, the firm's new ace attorney. Now if Reese and Ben are truly smart, they would have stay clear of each other. But that won't make for a good story.

"A fun, flirty, super sexy love story that offers all of the best of opposites attracting".

Marvelous Monet

Tuesday May 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades 3-8

Learn about Impressionism, the style of Claude Monet’s art, and see prints of his famous work.

Then, create a painting in the style of Monet!

Radiolab Reads

Some of you may be familiar with the Peabody-award winning radio show/podcast Radiolab, which airs on nearly 450 stations across the United States. Here in Ann Arbor, you can hear it on Michigan Public Radio on Friday and Sunday evenings. I love Radiolab for the vast array of topics that they cover in a fun, informative manner. There is a ton to learn in every episode and short that they do, and hosts Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad interview fascinating, knowledgeable people, turning their information into incredibly compelling stories.

I recently discovered the invaluable resource Radiolab Reads, a “virtual bookshelf” that compiles all of the books mentioned in their episodes, with links to the Amazon page for each book. Even if you’re not familiar with the show, this site is an amazing compilation of books on every topic imaginable. Most of the books are non-fiction, and this site might be particularly appealing to reluctant non-fiction readers since you’re sure to find something that catches your eye!

If you tend to—literally—judge books by their cover (hey, it’s okay, we all do it sometimes!), Radiolab has a cool tumblr with the covers of each of the books mentioned on their Radiolab Reads page. You can sort by genre, and find the link to the books’ Amazon pages after clicking on a given cover.

Nearly all of the books discussed on these Radiolab pages can be borrowed from the AADL. You can search our catalog for any that you're interested in. For more information about Radiolab, visit their website, and find specifics about how to listen to the show here.

Seconds? Yes, please!

Even though school has started and the weather looks and feels a lot like Fall, it’s not too late to catch up on any Summer blockbusters you may have missed. Seconds is author/artist Bryan Lee O’Malley’s first graphic novel since he finished up the much-acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series nearly four years ago, and those who waited patiently were awarded with a huge payoff.

Seconds follows twenty-something Katie, a formerly successful chef whose life seems to be stuck in a rut. After Katie causes an accident that injures a server, she returns home to her apartment only to find the tools and instructions to prevent the accident from happening in the first place:

1) Write Your Mistake
2) Ingest One Mushroom
3) Go To Sleep
4) Wake Anew

When Katie’s first delve into fixing her own reality works, she is tempted -- over and over -- to fix everything in her life. And when her actions threaten her reality and sanity, Katie becomes desperate to make things right one final time.

Fans of O’Malley’s work will appreciate his signature comedy that runs throughout the book, but will also be pleasantly surprised at the maturity O’Malley demonstrates. The story holds together well and none of the action seems forced.

Exploring themes of “existential angst, hope, fantasy, growing up and learning how to be okay with your own decisions,” O’Malley has created a stand-alone novel that will delight his established fanbase and is a perfect starting point for readers new to the genre.

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