Beneath The Rim: Stories And Pictures From Inside The Grand Canyon

Join us in welcoming author Rick Kempa to the Downtown library on Monday June 18 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm for an evening of stories and pictures of the Grand Canyon. Mr. Kempa has been hiking in the Grand Canyon since 1974. The event will include stories spanning that length of time, from his first hike “when, as immortal teenagers, my brother and I had the bright idea of swimming across the river just above Hermit Rapids,” to his most recent hike this spring, “when I began to consider that there may come a day when I am too old and tired to climb out.” His words and photos also depict “encounters with grizzled fellow-hikers, with rangers who appear in the weirdest of places, with river-runners who feast like kings, with exotic wildlife, and—best of all—with the silence that exists between the river and the Rim.”

In August 2010, Kempa served as the Artist-in-Residence at the South Rim, giving public presentations and working on his Canyon-country writings. He is currently serving as editor of two Grand Canyon anthologies, one of poems and the other of essays by backpackers. He teaches writing and philosophy and directs the Honors Program at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

The AADL also has guide books, historical books, music, and videos on the Grand Canyon for those interested in learning more about this incredible National Park.

Taking a Trip? Take a Map!

Did you know AADL has a collection of maps? Maps are removed from travel books so they do not get lost. These maps are put in file folders arranged by geographic location. Other maps are added to the files to create a comprehensive collection. We have maps for most every state and country!

Thinking about a trip to Europe? The Europe map file includes a Eurorail map, so you can expertly navigate the trains!! Do you enjoy lighthouses? The Maine file includes a map of all the lighthouses in the state. For major cities such as Paris and Chicago, AADL carries the streetwise laminated maps, both slim and durable!

Not taking a vacation soon? There are still plenty of reasons to check out a map! Perhaps you are a teacher needing a map of outer space or the Pacific ocean or a researcher looking for a map of the former Soviet Union, we have all of these maps and more! Maybe you are moving across the state, we have plenty of Michigan maps, so you can scope out your new location!

The maps are not requestable, so come downtown and enjoy looking through the files! You can check maps out for 4 weeks and return them to any location.

Author Birthdays: Oliver, Diamond

September 10th marks the birthday of two American writers: Mary Oliver and Jared Diamond.

Mary Oliver is an American poet, now 75 years old and still writing. She has written many books of poems, including American Primitive, which won her a Pulitzer Prize in 1984. Parts of her collection The Leaf and the Cloud were included in The Best American Poetry books of 1999 and 2000.

The collection she published in 2006, called Thirst, has been praised by many reviews, including one from Booklist, which stated: "Oliver, one of the country's most popular and highly awarded poets, presents her credo at the outset of her newest collection: My work is loving the world. The poems that follow are what readers expect from Oliver, beautifully tempered lyrics celebrating the splendor of the living world."

Author Jared Diamond is a scientist, currently at UCLA. He has won many awards for some of his books, including the dual-winning The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution And Future Of The Human Animal. This book focuses on inter-species domination (like humans over chimpanzees), as well as humans domination over other humans.

Diamond won a Pulitzer for his book Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which discusses Eurasian civilizations' abilities to conquer through the advantages of geography rather than biology; the book was also made into a documentary by National Geographic. Almost all of his books focus on domination in some way, except for Why Is Sex Fun?: The Evolution Of Human Sexuality, which explains the seemingly peculiar aspects and evolution of human sexuality.

Find a Bike Route for Your Commute

Last week, Google added an interactive bicycle route mapping feature to their popular Google Maps. Still in its beta version, the feature is designed to "include as much bike trail data as possible, provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trip, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and customize the look of the map for cycling to encourage folks to hop on their bikes," according to Peter Smith.

The good news for Ann Arbor bike commuters and bike enthusiasts is that Tree Town is already part of their mapped data, so you can try out their suggested routes right away. Although I wasn't in love with the route they mapped for my commute to work, the map did highlight -- in bright green -- some paved trails that I would definitely use for commuting on two wheels. The AADL also has books on the rise of cycling, such as Pedal Power by J. Harry Wray and Bicycling Magazine's Guide to Bike Touring by Doug Donaldson.

Guided Hikes in the Ann Arbor Area

Calvin's father, in the timeless youth graphic novels, Calvin and Hobbes, often insists that outdoor activities with the family will help "build character" in his son, though Calvin himself clearly has other ideas. If you are looking for some similar character-building activities with the family this Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, consider the Waterloo Recreation Area's investigative program, "The Mystery of the Missing Groundhog", and then head out to the trails on a search for some winter wildlife.

Looking for something closer to Ann Arbor? Check out Saturday's daytime hike, the Winter Woods Walk, through County Farm Park where a guide will lead you on and off the trails looking for plants and wildlife. Or try Leslie Science Center's nocturnal Winter Night Walk which caps off a crisp night trail hike with a lively campfire.

If you can't make these weekend events, check out the following Ann Arbor trail guides from the AADL: Riverwalks Ann Arbor and Footloose in Ann Arbor.

First Woman to Row Alone Across an Ocean

Tori Murden McClure has an AB from Smith College, a master’s in divinity from Harvard, a JD from the University of Louisville, and an MFA from Spalding University. Very impressive -- as is her new book, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean. Currently vice president at Spalding, McClure is the first woman to row alone across an ocean. This beautifully written memoir offers readers a spectacular blend of adventure, romance, and self discovery.

Vacations to Enrich Your Life

On our new book shelf here at the AADL you can pick up a copy of The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life, written by Pam Grout & published by National Geographic. The author's intent, as she states in the introduction, is to alter your idea of what vacation is meant to be and offer you the potential to change your life. The experiences are divided into four categories: arts and crafts getaways, learning retreats, volunteer vacations, and wellness escapes. Even if you can't afford some of the fabulous ideas set forth in this book, it's still enjoyable to read about them. Consider a three-day mahout (elephant wrangler) training course in Thailand. Spend a month working for African Impact, a lion rehabilitation center in Zimbabwe. Master the art of blending scotch at the Glengoyne Distillery in the Scottish highlands. Ride horses to Machu Picchu's sacred sister city, Choquequirao, Peru.
The trip that caught my attention is run by COBATI (Community-Based Tourism Initiatives) in Kampala, Uganda. Instead of a typical African safari package that does little to benefit the locals, COBATI homestays offer the amazing opportunity to stay in small, rural villages and learn about the real Uganda. Visit banana plantations, stay with midwives, learn beekeeping & mushroom growing, attend community weddings, visit flower farms and see homesteads with Ankole longhorn cattle (indigenous to Uganda for at least seven centuries). Interested? Visit www.cobati.or.ug or head to the library for a copy of this unique travel guide.

Map Library Open House Thursday, March 19th!

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Interested in maps? Art? How about artistic maps? The University of Michigan Map Library is holding an open house tomorrow, March 19th, from 4pm-7pm. The Map Library is on the 8th floor of the Harlan Hatcher Library on UM's central campus. Come for the maps, stay for the exhilarating view of campus! Map Library staff will be available to answer any questions you might have about the maps on display or the collection in general.

The Map Library holds these open houses the 3rd Thursday of each month.

Light refreshments will be served.

1,000 Ultimate Travel Experiences

Whether you are a well-seasoned traveller with a mangled passport, or someone who rarely leaves your spot on the couch, it's likely you will find inspiration in A Rough guide to the world : Make the most of your time on earth. This hefty book is crammed full of amazing travel experiences grouped according to global areas, starting with Britain & Ireland, and finishing with The Polar Regions (you didn't think they'd forget the North and South Pole, did you?). Seeking a natural miracle? Visit Iguazu Falls in Argentina - more than two hundred cascades thundering over an eighty meter cliff, all surrounded by lush tropical forest. Seeking an event to remember? Try April 30th/Queen's Day in Amsterdam (police are forbidden to interfere with any activity, no matter how outrageous). Seeking a wonder of the ancient world? Try the unparalleled Roman archaeological site of Baalbek in Lebanon. (In the words of Robert Byron, it "dwarfs New York into a home of ants".) Seeking a journey closer to home? Grab your bike and ride the Slickrock in Moab, Utah. Personally, I am inspired to plan a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela in Ethiopia. I'll share my injera with you if you'll pay for my plane ticket!

Beijing Olympics

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If you are heading to Beijing to support our atheletes, you might want to check out this blog site before packing your bags. Globespotters offers urban advice from reporters who live there.

Beijing Basics are for smart travelers who plan ahead - with information from airports, getting into town, using the subways, to finding an English-speaking doctor.

If your travel plans include other equally exotic locales such as Mumbai, Bangkok, Moscow or Istanbul, you will be glad you did you homework. Travel safe.

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