Local Creators

The Ann Arbor area has no shortage of great authors, musicians, filmmakers, and artists. AADL wants to help you find some of that great local talent through our blog, our catalog, and our events. AADL also provides access to the University of Michigan Press Online, a database where you can browse or search over 500 titles published by the University of Michigan Press right in your browser.

Our staff have pulled together some lists and tagged some content by local creators to help you find some homegrown work.


Lists Tags


Lists Tags

Movies & TV

Lists Tags

No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness

Even as a lifelong runner, I go through phases where it is incredibly difficult for me to get myself out the door and working out. I’m always interested to learn more about fitness and exercise and seek a little extra motivation. But, when I found out that the next book my book club is reading is No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness, I was a little disappointed. It seems like there are so many diet and exercise books out there that either say the same thing over and over, don’t acknowledge how difficult it can be to stay fit and healthy, or both. I expected No Sweat to be the same... and I am so happy to say that I was wrong! University of Michigan professor and researcher Michelle Segar offers an extremely well-researched, step-by-step program for applying science to achieve fitness and overall well-being. The simple four steps that she outlines in her book are geared towards people who struggle to break the cycle of failed attempts at regular exercise, but are applicable to people of all fitness levels. Even if, like me, you really enjoy exercising most of the time, the tips in No Sweat are beneficial for the weeks when you’re dragging your feet. Segar readily admits that she has always hated running, and uses her own story, along with the inspiring and practical ones of many others, to teach readers how easy—and even fun—getting fit can be; it doesn’t have to involve activities that you hate! No Sweat is a great, easy-to-read, straightforward book that can really help everyone achieve an active lifestyle. Get on the hold list today!

Totems, Trees, and Birds

Now through September 10, 2015 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

This dual painting exhibit by Joyce Tinkham and Betsy Beckerman features thirty-five works in a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylic on canvas, mixed media on wood, and collage.

Joyce Tinkham is an award-winning artist, and a graduate of the University of of Michigan School of Art & Design. Her work features pieces in acrylic paint on canvas and watercolors. Joyce Tinkham's heritage is Nisga'a Native American, a factor that, as she puts it, "creeps into my work. "My paintings sometimes have Native American themes, and sometimes American native designs."

Betsy Beckerman is a musician and an artist. She features watercolors, mixed media on wood and collage in this show. Most pieces have nature themes or depictions of birds.

Betsy and Joyce are friends and are in two art groups together: AAWA and SaturdayforArt. Both have previously had solo shows at the AADL and with similar tastes and themes decided to mount this collaborative show.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #533

The Silver Swan by Elena Delbanco is an intimate, passionate, triumphant story of love and betrayal, centered around a Stradivarius cello and the cast of characters who lust after it.

Mariana Feldmann, only child of world-renowned cellist Alexander Feldmann, emerges as a rising star herself at nineteen and is seen as the inheritor of her father's genius. It comes to reason that Mariana expects that the Silver Swan, Feldmann's a one-of-a-kind Stradivarius will one day be hers. Upon Alexander's death, Mariana is devastated to learn that Claude Roselle, one of his students and a rising European talent about to make his New York debut, will inherit the Silver Swan. As Mariana try to understand her father's decision by getting to know Claude, their relationship quickly evolves into a passionate, if contentious, affair.

Elena Delbanco, recently retired from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy has long been engaged in the world of classical music. Her father was the renowned cellist Bernard Greenhouse (of the Beaux Arts Trio), who owned the Countess of Stainlein ex-Paganini Stradivarius violoncello of 1707. The imagined fate of that instrument inspired this debut novel.

The author will be reading and signing at Nicola's Books on June 9th, at 7 pm.

Researching Your Home's History

Saturday June 13, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Wonder what secrets your house may hold? Who lived there 25, 50, or even 100 years ago?

Join Patrick McCauley, co-author of Historic Ann Arbor: an Architectural Guide as he walks you though his own experience as a researcher. Along with the considerable research required for his book, McCauley spent years doggedly uncovering his own home's history, and has plenty of guidance, tips and advice.

Whether you're just starting to dig into your work, or already an bit of researcher, McCauley will relate a few of his own research scenarios and share resources, extract lessons and highlight useful tips that you can use in your own historical hunt. Copies of Historic Ann Arbor will be available for sale and signing at the event.

AADL Circus Camp: Costume Design

Sunday August 2, 2015: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades 6-12 and adults

Local artist and designer Lizzie Lottman will teach you how costumes are made, from start to finish. Look at examples, learn the process, and design your own costume!

Freddie Fernortner Series by Jonathan Rand

Local author Jonathan Rand of the popular American Chillers and Michigan Chillers series for children, has a series for younger readers called Freddie Fernortner: Fearless First Grader. The twelve book series can now be found at AADL!

The Freddie books feature a mix of spooky and silly aimed at early chapter book readers. Take a look if you’re looking for a new chapter book series by a very likeable Michigan author.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #508

January brings a number of terrific debut novels. The one I am most excited to share is Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (MFA, Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan). Follow her on Facebook, and plan to attend her signing @ Literati, 7pm on January 27.

She calls herself Julie now, from California. For the past 2 years, Grace restores bric-a-brac, repairs antiques and jewelry in a Paris chop shop, and lives alone in a shabby room. Regularly, she checks the Garland (TN) newspaper online for news of a case involving robbery of The Wynne House, a local heritage estate and museum, and the two young men caught for the crime, a heist that Grace meticulously engineered. Now, Grace's past and carefully constructed lies are about to catch up with her half way around the world, as the two men are being paroled.

In a series of flashbacks, from small-town USA to the Manhattan art scene, and the backstreets of Europe, we follow the "unbecoming-of-age" of a young woman with a special gift for restoration and for reinventing herself with equal deftness.

"Mesmerizing, nail-biting, atmospheric, and sensual... Unbecoming is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced heist novel that turns on suspense and slippery identity."

"Scherm mixes a character study with a caper novel full of double-crosses, lies, and betrayals... She is at her best when describing precious objects: a Dutch master's still life, a James Mont cigar box with hidden compartment, an ornate centerpiece with fanciful fruit and figurines, and silver spoons ignored by their owners but appreciated by the professional hired to evaluate them."

Readers looking for an elegantly well-played cat-and-mouse game should delight in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief (1954); The Thomas Crown Affair (1968, and the 1999 remake); and White Collar, the just concluded (sadly) tv series.

Fans of Gillian Flynn who appreciate "(a) bleak tone, deeply flawed protagonist, and dysfunctional relationships" wouldn't want to miss this one. And let's not forget Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels as read-alikes.

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Her Place in the World

Monday March 23, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grades 6 and up
This event will be recorded

Interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder is at a peak – especially with the recent publication of her autobiography Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.

At this special AADL evening, explore the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose experiences traveling and homesteading with her pioneer family spawned her series of popular children's books. Author and Wilder scholar William Anderson and University of Michigan History professor Michelle McClellan lead us on a journey through Laura's life and tell the story of how the places she lived have now taken on a life of their own.

Wilder's legacy extends far beyond her Little House series; millions know her from the 1970s television show based on her books, and the locations she wrote about, including Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri, have become tourist destinations for her devoted fans.

New Downloadable Stories by Laura Pershin Raynor!

Local and national storyteller Laura Pershin Raynor tells stories for all ages – not just your favorite storytime tales.

New in the AADL catalog are two of her albums that are now available to listen to online as well as download – for free! These are stories for older children, teens and adults. So if you love listening to well told, funny tales of youth and bygone eras, look no further.

First up is Tough Cookies. This album features Cootie Shots, Yiddish Curses, Bleeding Madras, Tater Tots and International Intrigue that spices up the pot in this story brew about girls with pluck.

Summertime & The Livin' Is Easy features surprising summer stories about garage bands, mysterious celebrities and city slickers in the not so Wild West.

Beyond downloads, a couple other albums by Raynor are available for actual check out. Whether you're familiar with Laura's story magic or not, these are worth a listen.

Just learning about AADL's download collection?! Check out ALL the other music, book and pattern downloads available on aadl.org for free!

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