A Man Named Luther

Did you know Martin Luther supported the seperation of church and state? Have you ever wondered what the 95 Theses were and how they influence Western Civilization? Would you be surprised that Martin Luther helped to introduce the Modern Era and end the Middle Ages? The Teaching Company produced a two-part lecture series called Luther: Gospel, Law, and Reformation. Part One covers Luther's early life and the beginning of his teachings Part Two goes deeper into Luther's writings, covering topics like Luther and the Bible and Luther and Politics.

Hooked by the end of the first paragraph...

It is amazing how the honest language and direct approach of certain authors grabs you immediately. Alabama Moon by Watt Key is a first novel and a great ride. Ten year old Moon has lived in the forest with his government-hating father his whole life. When he is forced into civilization and encounters jail, bullies and other troubling experiences, he survives by using the instinct and intelligence that helped him in his former life. Moon is a spitfire and this is a fun and moving adventure read for teenagers.

And the winner is...

ISSISS

Today NASA announced Harmony as the name of the new module of the International Space Station. The name was chosen from an academic competition involving thousands of students in kindergarten through high school which required students to learn about the International Space Station, build a scale model of the module, and write an essay explaining their proposed name.

Harmony is a pressurized module that will act as a connecting port and passageway to additional international science labs and supply spacecraft. It also will be a work platform for the station's robotic arm. Find out more at NASA's website.

Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss wins its second monster award

Kiran Desai is having a fantastic year with her 2006 novel, The Inheritance of Loss, a brilliant novel of a retired reclusive judge living in northeast India in the 1980s with his orphaned, granddaughter, as the Nepalese revolution gathers on the horizon. First it won the 2006 Man Booker Prize. And now she has scooped up the 2006 National Book Critics Circle fiction prize.

For a full list of the the NBCC winners, go to their website.

Probuditi! by Chris Van Allsburg

For Calvin’s birthday Mama gave him two tickets to see Lomax the Magnificent. Calvin asks his best friend Rodney to come along. The boys are amazed at the hypnotic skills of Lomax and try it out on Calvin’s little sister. With a clever twist at the end, awarding winning author, Chris Van Allsburg, weaves a fun and interesting tale in Probuditi. The brown hues and lifelike illustrations give the book an old fashioned feel.

It's all sewn up.

Besides the wearin' of the green, try a range of colors on March 17, National Quilting Day. Quilts have been used as navigation tools for African Americans fleeing slavery, to warm wounded soldiers, and to express the cultural traditions of many countries. This day represents a grass roots effort to unite quilters around the world. Organizations, groups and individuals are encouraged to join NQA and to promote quilting in their communities.

Quilting is alive and strong in the Ann Arbor area. In fact, this weekend, the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild will be presenting a talk, "Treasures in the Trunk," followed by a showing and sale of quilts by members. For more information, call 878-6396.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

"Its My Party" and I'll Cry If I Want To...Ah, the memories. We ruined our hips twisting away to music from the 60's. At least we can still tap our feet and snap our fingers and we will get that chance at the Ark this Sunday night. Lesley Gore makes her Ark debut, just 42 years after she began her career with great pop instincts and an independent spirit. Sunday's program is called "Stories of self-revelation in song." Should keep us moving. Show starts at 8 pm and doors open at 7:30 pm

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (3/11/07)

There is just one new entry on the List this week. Nora Roberts is back with her latest bestseller. While it seems as if she has written a gazillion books, the last time I checked it was hovering around 124. (You can view a complete list on her web site.) Since 1999 most of them, if not all, have been on bestseller lists. Even the ones writtten under her pseudonym of J.D. Robb.

Innocent Blood is #24 in her futuristic cop series featuring Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke. While Eve spends her days investigating a murder at a posh private school, Roarke spends his time with an old flame.

While many prolific authors start to coast or have hirelings write their new material, Roberts has maintained her winning ways and stayed on top.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It

downtowndowntown

The March 2007 edition of Discovering Downtown, the City of Ann Arbor's newsletter is packed with updates from the Planning Department, the Historic Preservation folks, the DDA. If it's happening in downtown Tree Town, from paving to parking to public spaces, you'll read about it first in Discovering Downtown.

Officer Clayton Collins

collinscollins

The Ann Arbor Police Department's first African American police officer, Clayton James Collins, died February 8, 2007. Officer Collins served from 1950 - 1955 and then worked in several departments at the University of Michigan. His obituary appeared in the Ann Arbor News, March 14, 2007. To learn more about the AAPD, visit the Ann Arbor Police Department Online History Exhibit.

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