Exploring Anxiety

A few months ago, I read a fascinating book by Allen Shawn, brother of the actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, called Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life. Though a successful professor and composer, Shawn faces debilitating anxiety when crossing bridges, walking across parking lots, navigating shopping malls, and generally encountering new situations. Despite his ability to intellectually comprehend his predicament, Shawn remains, to some extent, ensnared by his fears.

Do these limitations imposed by anxiety and fear sound familiar? Next Tuesday, September 25 in the Downtown Library’s Multipurpose Room, Bright Nights Community Forum will attempt to explore anxiety disorders such as Shawn’s, and perhaps offer some relief. A panel of medical professionals from UM’s Depression Center will discuss recent findings related to anxiety, panic and phobia, and how these conditions relate to depression. Following the talk, there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month on this site for kids--enlightening for grown-ups as well! There are some exciting local events beginning this week-end to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Fun for the whole family is Gran Noche Mexicana in Ypsilanti. Also this week-end, performing in Detroit, the talented Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Feel like staying in and having a private salsa or merengue fiesta? Check out Baila! A Latin Dance Party!

How Green Is Your Computer?


Power consumption and sustainability methods being used locally were the focus of the 12th Annual University of Michigan Energy Fest. The Library’s Malletts Creek Branch’s green roof was highlighted. For suggestions on energy management and green computing, check out the web site of the host of the Energy Fest, the University of Michigan Utilities and Plant Engineering.

Madeleine L'Engle Brought Us Such Reading Pleasure

I remember being curled up in my "hiding place" 44 years ago and reading the first line, "It was a dark and stormy night". How many thousands of other children were turned upside down by Madeleine L'Engle's imagination and amazing literary skills? In her Newbery Award acceptance speech the author, who often claimed that children's literature is literature too difficult for adults to understand, said "A writer of fantasy, fairy tale or myth must inevitably discover that he is not writing out of his own knowledge or experience, but out of something both deeper and wider." That is why L'Engle, who wrote more than 60 books and died this week at the age of 88, will continue to enrich the lives of many young readers on a dark and stormy night.

Kerrytown BookFest Sunday!

Kerrytown BookFest Attempt TwoKerrytown BookFest Attempt Two

Ready for the Kerrytown BookFest this Sunday? AADL will be there, along with over 100 other exhibitors, authors, demonstrators, and booksellers. Stop by the information booth to sign up for tours of Ben Burkhart’s functioning linotype machine, and then head over to the Author’s Tent at 11 to see Library Director Josie Parker receive the annual Book Community Award, presented this year by the KBF’s honorary chair, Ed Surovell. Library staff members will also be manning a booth at the Fest, so makes sure to say hello to them, too! Can’t wait until Sunday? Check out Jim Horton’s fascinating photo tour of the process he used to make the Fest’s letterpress printed posters, and study up on the Library’s collection of book arts materials.

Comics AND Science!

What better format through which to explore science than comics? Jim Ottaviani does a splendid job of introducing us to the scientists who shaped the 20th century (including one of my all time favorites Richard P. Feynman). His informative writing is enhanced by the illustrative stylings of many talented artists.

Jim Ottaviani will be at the Kerrytown Book Festival this Sunday (September 9) appearing on the Future of Comic Art panel with Jerzy Drozd, Kay Fedewa, and Chad Sell.

Sancho's Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

Dawn FarmDawn Farm

Walking past Peaceable Kingdom earlier this week, I noticed an adorable poster in their window. Arranged in layers like a barnyard trifle, a thoughtful cow, an orderly row of puffy chicks, and a stout pink pig announce the 34th annual Dawn Farm Jamboree. The event takes place this Sunday, September 9, which happens to be the same day as the Kerrytown BookFest and the AAUW Book Sale here in Ann Arbor. All those pastoral animals marching by make me want to reach for James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, or perhaps a little Dick King Smith. That’ll do, pig.

ACT/SAT Test Practice on Thursday, September 6

Taking the ACT or SAT soon? LearningExpressLibrary can help you get ready. Join us 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Pittsfield Computer Training Center and take an e-practice test.

10th Annual National Stepfamily Day

Celebrate National Stepfamily Day on Sunday, September 16, with a family picnic. Have a private backyard picnic or join in on a city park picnic. Visit the National Stepfamily Day website for more information on this annual event. A local picnic is being held at Kensington Park in Milford, Michigan. Find out more about this event before checking out some good books and movies at the library. Like Yours, Mine and Ours, Maxx Comedy: the Funniest Kid in America, Stepsister from the Planet Weird, and Boundless Grace.

Corn Mazes Galore!

Fall is nearly here, and you know what that means- the corn mazes are open for business! Nothing else will get you as into the mood for Halloween or Fall itself as a trip through a corn maze once the weather has cooled down. Stop and imagine it: hot apple cider, the leaves changing color, piles of pumpkins, and racing to beat your friends or family through a maze. Try out these local thrills:

Plymouth Orchard and Cider Mill
Obstbaum Orchards
Talladay Farms Three Cedars Farm
Wiards Orchard

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