Made in Detroit

It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that the last time a comprehensive travel guide covering the city of Detroit was published was sometime in the 1970s. The city had at least 800,000 more residents and Coleman A. Young was still in the earliest phase of his mayoral tenure. Fast forward to 2012 when 3 Detroit residents (and University of Michigan grads) put the finishing touches on their newest endeavor and publish Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit. Andy, Emily and Rob Linn take us to every corner of the 139 square miles which make up the city of Detroit, introducing readers to the well-known, as well as the unknown.

Belle Isle to 8 Mile will be a great resource for everyone – from first-time visitors to regulars (and even some long-time residents). Grab a copy and plan your next Detroit adventure!

Michigan Notable Books 2012

Looking for some local reads? Look no further than these books, hot off the press and certified fresh!

From absolutemichigan.com: "Each year, the Michigan Notable Books list features 20 books published during the previous calendar year that are about, or set in, Michigan or the Great Lakes region or are written by a native or resident of Michigan.

'This year's Michigan Notable Books bring to life the Michigan experience through vivid storytelling that creates portraits of the people and places that make Michigan great,' State Librarian Nancy Robertson said. 'Addressing Michigan's natural beauty, its innovative leaders or the faith of its people, these books celebrate Michigan as a place and a people that even in the most trying of times find transformation.'"

The AADL has most of these books in our catalog! Among some of the most popular include:

Non-fiction:
- Once Upon A Car, "the story of the rise, fall, and rebirth of the Big Three U.S. automakers, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler," by Bill Vlasic, the Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times.
- Ghost Writers, a chilling collection of fantastical ghost stories written by Michigan authors.
- Vintage Views along the West Michigan Pike features beautiful "vintage postcards, photographs, maps, and ephemera" that give readers a glimpse into the history of Michigan's famous road, US-31.

Memoir:
- Magic trash: a Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art, reflects on Guyton's influence on the city of Detroit, and his arguably most inspiring and popular project, The Heidelberg Project.
- Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life by Michael Moore, a Flint, Michigan native who is best known for his unique humor and politically-themed documentaries.
- Elly Peterson: "Mother" of the Moderates, an inspiring story about Elly Peterson's journey as a woman heavily involved in politics during the 1970s; she was the first woman to serve as chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

Fiction:
- Once Upon A River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell, is a soul-searching tale about sixteen-year-old Margo Crane's adventures through rural Michigan as she searches for her long lost mother.
- Motor City Shakedown, by D.E. Johnson, tells a murder mystery set in 1911 about Detroit's first mob-wars.
- Misery Bay by Steve Hamilton is yet another in his series of mystery books set in Michigan's upper peninsula.

Poetry:
- Songs of Unreason, a book of poetry inspired by Michigan people and places, by Michigan native, author and poet Jim Harrison.

Click here for the full list of Michigan's Notable Books of 2012.

Your Guide to Buying Local This Holiday Season

Where will you shop for holiday gifts this year? It’s buy local week! In the recent years, local businesses in Michigan cities including Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have been participating in several “buy local” themed holiday sales in order to take some of the spotlight off of the big box stores. This growing trend to “buy local Michigan” is a great way to support our state’s economy. If you’re looking for gift ideas that will support southeast Michigan, or just the state in general, here are some ideas:

-Farmer’s Markets are on the rise! According to a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Michigan has been leading the country in the percentage growth of farmers markets over the last two years and also “ranks fourth among the states in the number of farmers markets.” There are several local farmer’s markets that are open year-round, such as The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and The Detroit Eastern Market. Pick up a locally made loaf of banana bread for a stocking stuffer. Or, for the more adventurous, cook your own gifts to give from the fresh foods found at the markets. The AADL’s catalog has several local-themed cookbooks for you to draw ideas from.

-Michigan is famous for its vineyards and wineries. Take a friend or loved one who enjoys wine on a tour of Michigan wineries by following this guide. Or pick up a bottle from a local winery.

-Speaking of local drinks, Michigan is also well-known for its local breweries. Ann Arbor Brewing Company, Bell’s, and Arcadia are among some of the most popular Michigan breweries holding holiday sales this year.

-Within the last few years, there have been several “Michigan” themed retail stores popping up that stock Michigan-made products. Among these include The Michigan General Store in Ypsilanti, The Dixboro General Store, The Produce Station in Ann Arbor, and the website “The Mitten State” which sells vintage-inspired Michigan themed t-shirts and other Michigan-themed gifts. Buying gifts from Michigan retail stores is a great way to support your local and state economy.

-Over the next few weeks, Friday, December 7th, Friday December 14th, and Friday December 21st, Main Street in Downtown Ann Arbor will be hosting “Festive Fridays” which include live street entertainment and extended hours for Main Street retailers! This is a great opportunity to enjoy and support your local economy.

-Connect with local crafters and support them at DIYpsi, coming up December 8th & 9th in Ypsilanti. Other local DIY craft events and holiday bazaars coming up include Tiny Expo in Ann Arbor on December 8th, the 7th Annual Holiday Baar Bazaar in Detroit on the 14th, The Detroit Mercantile Merry Market on the 15th & 16th, and The Detroit Annual Food Bazaar on December 10th.

-If you’re into crafting yourself, check out some of the craft programs coming up at the AADL to make your very own gifts to give!

-Do you have an avid reader to please this holiday season? Check out the AADL’s Friend’s of the Library Book Shop, located on the basement level of the Downtown branch. The shop’s holiday hours this season are: Saturdays, 10-4 and Sundays, 1-4 through December 16th, 2012. Then closed until January 5th and 6th, 2013. The shop includes a wide variety of gently-used books, CDs, DVDs, sheet music, and jigsaw puzzels.

Happy local holiday shopping!

Music And Pop Culture Writer Susan Whitall Visits

Thursday November 15, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Susan Whitall became the first woman to become editor of the irreverent Creem magazine in the late ‘70s. This rock journal was immortalized in the film “Almost Famous”.

Since the 1980s Susan has been a feature writer for the Detroit News, writing about pop culture, music and radio, often returning to stories about the R&B and soul music that came out of the Motor City.

Come hear Whitall discuss her career and amazing interviews!

2012 National Book Award winners have been announced

Last night, the The National Book Award winners for 2012 were announced at a gala event at the posh Cipriani on Wall Street.

The big winners were:

Louise Erdrich, 58, received the fiction award for The Round House. An adult Joe Coutts looks back in time when, as a teenager, he went in search of the man who brutalized his mother on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. This winning title is part two of a trilogy. The Coutts family was first introduced in The Plague of Doves (2008). Erdrich's win is especially poignant as, shortly after she started writing The Round House, she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, which she has beat.Ms. Erdrich, who is part Ojibwe, delighted last night's audience by addressing some of her remarks in her tribal tongue.

Katherine Boo, 48, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the The New Yorker, received the nonfiction award for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life,Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a wrenching account of a teenage boy who lives in the slums that are hidden from view by some of India's luxury hotels.

Poet David Ferry, 88, tearfully accepted what he described as "preposterous pre-posthumous award" for his Bewilderment; New Poems and Translations. "We're all in this apart" (From FoundSingle-Line Poems). Ferry has a PhD from Harvard and is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley, where he taught for many years.

William Joseph Alexander, 36, is a first-time novelist who captured the Young People's Literature prize for his fantasy, Goblin Secrets. In this steampunk/witch-infested tale, Rownie escapes Graba who 'adopts' orphans to do her bidding, and sets out on a quest to find his missing older brother.

Rounding out the evening, host Faith Salie, a media star on NPR, the BBC and CBS Sunday Morning, bestowed two special awards. Detroit author, Elmore Leonard, 88, accepted the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters prize. New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., 61, was honored for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. NPR's Fresh Air host, Terry Gross, introduced Mr. Sulzberger and said the New York Times Book Review was like "...a shopping catalog...[for] authors I've overlooked."

Each winner received $10,000.

Grown in Detroit

Detroit is a city that has been reviving itself for decades, as new generations bring new life to the city. With the city’s growth has also come growth in urban agriculture, as people are turning vacant lots into fertile land. Some call it the greening of a gray city.

The documentary film Grown in Detroit focuses on a group of students at Detroit’s Ferguson Academy for Young Women, a high school for pregnant teens, as they work in the school's urban garden and learn how to grow nutritious food for their children. One of only three schools in the country for this population, the curriculum focuses on helping these teens care for themselves and their children, and uses urban farming as a means to teach them.

The students featured in Grown in Detroit are at first underwhelmed by the amount of physical labor required for farming. The teen moms eventually realize that they can profit from the food they are growing, as well as provide nutritious food for their children and themselves, all stemming from the fruits of their labor. It’s a beautiful film that places an eye on this unique opportunity happening for these girls -- right here in Detroit.

In addition to being available on DVD at AADL, the film is also available for instant online streaming to logged-in AADL cardholders here! You can also watch it on the Grown in Detroit website, where you pay whatever denomination you want in order to view it.

The Detroit Jazz Festival is this weekend: Aug 31st - Sept 3rd

Spend this Labor Day weekend at the FREE 33rd annual Detroit Jazz Festival. Chill out in Detroit's Hart Plaza with big names such as Sonny Rollins, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, and many others. Also, learn about Detroit's jazz history and meet the artists in the jazz talk tent.

An inexpensive shuttle bus service traveling from Ypsilanti to the Hart Plaza area will be offered through Eastern Michigan University all weekend; more information can be found on WEMU's website.

SUNDAY EVENT CANCELLED - The Future Of Urban Agriculture In Detroit With City Planner Kathryn Lynch Underwood

Due to family illness, the Sunday April 15, 2012: 3:00 pm event at Malletts Creek Branch with Kathryn Lynch Underwood has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director Of The Clements Library, Discusses Urban Agriculture in Detroit, Part I: The History Of Agricultural Land Use

Sunday March 18, 2012: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Join us for a fascinating look at early Detroit history when AADL and the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor welcome Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director and Curator of Maps at the William L. Clements Library.

Brian will discuss Detroit as an agricultural settlement from its founding in 1701 into the 19th century, when the growing city largely consumed the original French-pattern farms along the Michigan side of the Detroit River.

Brian has written numerous books and articles on the history of the Straits of Mackinac, the Niagara River region, and the early Great Lakes.

Detroit 1-8-7 on DVD

In the crime drama Detroit 1-8-7, an Inner-city homicide unit is led by Michael Imperioli as Detective Louis Fitch. He and his top-notch colleagues investigate homicides in Detroit. The show is more character driven than police procedural, and the acting is great.

A fun fact about this show, is that it was filmed where it’s set. The pilot was shot in Atlanta, but the remainder of the series was filmed on location in Detroit. The series originally ran on ABC from September 21, 2010 to March 20, 2011 and has since been cancelled.

The show was intended to be a mockumentary, but it switched gears after the Detroit Police Department cancelled all real-life documentary ride-alongs after a controvercial shooting while another documentary was being filmed. Even after editing, bits of the mockumentary are still evident in Detroit 1-8-7’s pilot episode.

If you’re looking for another cop show, because perhaps, like me, you can’t get enough police dramas, then give Detroit 1-8-7 a try. But be warned that it’s no Wire or Homicide: Life on the Street.

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