Check Out a Museum Adventure Pass!

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Looking for some indoor fun this winter? Come to any of our branches and check out a Museum Adventure Pass! There are over 30 museums you can visit, and the passes admit 2 or 4 depending on where you're headed. Why not take a look around the corner at the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History? Exhibits include displays on prehistoric life with the most extensive dinosaur exhibits in the state of Michigan, Michigan wildlife, anthropology, geology, and a Planetarium. Have fun, learn, and stay warm all at the same time!

Condos From the $290s

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Every day on my way to work I pass a worn sign that says "Condos From the $290s." Whenever I tell anyone about this sign they laugh out loud as it seems to illustrate a bygone era perfectly. In the past couple years a number of books and and videos have come out trying to explain the universal question we all have: What Happened?

Here are a few covering the recent history of financial calamity available at the Ann Arbor District Library:

All the Devils are Here : the Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera is one of the newest and best entries that tries to explain the financial meltdown.

The Monster : How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America--and Spawned a Global Crisis by Michael Hudson (a former WSJ reporter) also does an excellent job of making an intricately complicated system of failures understandable.

Complicit : How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable by Mark Gilbert of Bloomberg News covers the issue from the perspective of someone who warned of the impending crisis at least 18 months before the actual meltdown.

Plunder: the Crime of Our Time is a film by Danny Schechter that interviews inside players, economists and journalists to illustrate various aspects of the crisis.

Author Birthdays: Franklin, Asimov, Michaels

January 2nd marks the birthday of authors John Hope Franklin, Isaac Asimov, and Leonard Michaels.

John Hope Franklin was an American historian who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His best known work is From Slavery to Freedom, which is often regarded as the definitive history of African-Americans, outlines African origins, slavery, and the fight for freedom.

Franklin's other works include Runaway Slaves: Rebels On The Plantation, a book about the resistance and escape of African-American slaves, and an autobiography which Library Journal described as "worth knowing and understanding because at its heart it is a particularly American story about the challenges of being black in this country, about personal triumphs, and about his feeling of urgency regarding the promises America has yet to realize."

Isaac Asimov is best known as a Russian-American science-fiction writer. Among his books, he is probably most widely recognized for his series, especially the Foundation series, which actually includes dozens of stories, one of them being the basis for the film I, Robot.

Asimov's many, many--and I mean many--other works include the two award-winners The Gods Themselves and The Bicentennial Man. There is also Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, which first came out in 1977, named for Asimov because of his huge standing in the science-fiction genre.

Leonard Michaels was an American writer of short stories, novels, and essays, who graduated with his Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. One of his novels, Sylvia, is based upon his first wife, who committed suicide.

Michaels also wrote some autobiographical fiction collected in the book Shuffle. Publishers Weekly discusses it as "Created in fragments of journal entries, short stories and memoir-like confessions, a matrix of past and present formations is slowly brought into focus; thus, a life."

Youth and Teen Magazine Update -- Mars, Manga and the World's Greatest Drummers

by Nadya Pekk, Flickr.comby Nadya Pekk, Flickr.com
Want to jump into January 2011? Try these magazines -- with awesome new issues for the New Year!

For kids:
Ask Magazine: Giant dinosaurs, an island of tiny humans, and the reason giants don't exist.
Muse Magazine: Women Astronauts, Space-Sickness and Martians, oh my!

For teens:
Drum! Magazine: The Ultimate Readers' Choice Awards -- The World's Greatest Drummers!
Otaku USA Magazine: News, reviews and, of course manga! This month Otaku USA features sneak peeks at Lychee Light Club and Street Fighter Gaiden, with reviews of FLCL, Gravitation, Xam'd: Lost Memories.

Read 'em while they're new, people!

Why Did Washtenaw County Vote Against Suffrage, Not Once, But Twice?

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Liberty Awakes in Washtenaw County: When Women Won the Vote, a new exhibit at the Museum on Main Street runs January 8-February 27, 2011. The exhibit features artifacts, stories and images from the local woman suffrage movement. On the 2nd and 4th Thursday of January and February, please bring a lunch and join in a discussion on woman suffrage in Washtenaw County from 12 noon-1:00 PM.

The exhibit is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area and the Washtenaw County Historical Society. For more information or to arrange group tours or talks email Zoe Behnke at bliz468@yahoo.com

Author Birthdays: Solzhenitsyn, Paley, Harrison

December 11th marks the birthday of authors Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Grace Paley, and Jim Harrison.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian historian and writer of fiction, as well as a Nobel laureate. His most extensive work of history is called The Gulag Archipelago; it discusses Soviet forced labor in the early 20th century, including the author's own experiences in a work camp.

Solzhenitsyn's fictional works are interesting and extensive. The First Circle is a tale written after the author's experiences at Gulag, as well as his diagnosis of cancer, and exile. Booklist called it a "many-voiced, flashback-rich, philosophical, suspenseful, ironic, and wrenching tale". Along those same lines, One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich is a book about hope and life during Communist tyranny and its Siberian work camps.

Grace Paley was an American short story writer and poet. Among her works of prose are collections like The Little Disturbances Of Man and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.

Paley's poetry has been described as having a "strong pulsating rhythm". Here at AADL we have a few collections, including Fidelity, Leaning Forward, and her New And Collected Poems. The Collected Stories has many of what are considered her "classic" stories in one volume.

Jim Harrison is an American author, born in Grayling, Michigan. His most well-known work might be Legends of the Fall, which is actually made up of three stories and was later put to film. His latest publications, from last year, are called The Farmer's Daughter, another collection of three novellas, and a collection of poetry entitled In Search of Small Gods.

Harrison also wrote a memoir. The book outlines his life, including childhood tragedy, his alcoholism and cocaine habit, love of nature, and, the hopefully more upbeat discussion of his associations with famous men like Jack Nicholson and Jimmy Buffett.

Hidden Gems: Books Unjustly Dusty #10: Lost, Stolen and Found Treasures

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A significant amount of art stolen by the Nazis during World War II has never been returned to its rightful owners.

The London Daily Mail reports a new online database Database of Art at the Jeu de Paume cataloguing more than 20,000 stolen art pieces (mainly stolen in France and Belgium) that Holocaust survivors, their relatives and anyone else can search. Viewing what has been stolen is sobering when you think about the reasons why the rightful owners so far have not been found.

The efforts to save the great art of Europe during and after the war makes for compelling reading.

These three titles are unjustly dusty!

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War details the pillaging of great art across Europe. It is also available on dvd with incredible film footage of the Allies discovering and safe-keeping great art as they crossed the continent.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, attached to the US Army. When the Allies gained ground, the Monuments Men were some of the first arrivals to find and secure great works of art.

Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered also covers the story of the Monuments Men with gorgeous photographs, many published here for the first time.

Hidden Gems: Books Unjustly Dusty #9: Red Wings

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The recent retirement of Kirk Maltby and the start of the season focus memories on the Detroit Red Wings, one glorious hockey team. Maltby's career with the Wings began in 1996 when he was part of the original Grind Line, considered to be one of hockey's all-time classic lines.

Hockeytown books getting dusty? Shame!!

The Gods of Olympia Stadium describes the Original Six Era with photos and stories of all the greats including Ted Lindsay, Gordie Howe and Red Kelly.

Red Wings Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Real Fan! covers the entire history of the team with all the highlights.

Hockeytown in High Def: Detroit Red Wings 2008 Championship Season details the entire season as the Wings won their 11th Stanley Cup.

After absorbing all that essential hockey history, cool off with the funniest hockey movie ever: Slap Shot. It launched the careers of the Hanson Brothers which continues to this day!

Go Wings!!

Historic Michigan: Author appearance Oct. 5

Here's a good book to take along if you're touring Michigan and might enjoy witnessing some of our state history: Michigan's County Courthouses, by John Fedynsky. The author -- a Ferndale lawyer and Michigan assistant attorney general -- wrote about 83 courthouses, plus the Michigan Hall of Justice. On Oct. 5 (Tuesday) from 7-8:30pm, he appears at U-M Hatcher Library, in the University of Michigan Press Author Series.

Hidden Gems: Books Unjustly Dusty #8 David Halberstam

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About three years ago pulitzer-prize winning journalist and historian David Halberstam was killed in a car accident. He wrote many important books about America's wars and social movements.
The Boston Globe called his The Best and the Brightest "The most comprehensive saga of how America became involved in Vietnam..." Written in 1972 it stands as a must read to begin an understanding of our involvement in that war.
The Children chronicles the civil rights movement by focusing on young people in the movement and their use of non-violent civil disobedience. He was a reporter for The Tennessean and witnessed many of the events firsthand. Again, this book stands as a must read to begin a good understanding of the civil rights struggle in this country.
Published posthumously, The Coldest Winter clearly explains the Korean War in a compelling manner; a war many Americans know little about.

Anything by David Halberstam is too good to be getting dusty!

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