Lake Superior Day

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July 20 was Lake Superior Day and it extends into the week making it Lake Superior Week. A whole week dedicated to a superior lake in a superior state! For those of us not lucky enough to venture off into the wild and enjoy the great lake in all its splendor, we can enjoy tales of the lake. For a historical point of view there’s Around the shores of Lake Superior : a guide to historic sites, for the hiker there’s Gentle hikes of upper Michigan : upper Michigan's most scenic Lake Superior hikes under 3 miles, and for those who want to read about the spirit of the lake there’s Lake Superior : story and spirit. Let’s not forget about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald and other shipwrecks and ghost stories of the Great Lakes. Yes, Michigan!

He cooks, but does he read?

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You know who I am talking about, don't you? He's been sighted feasting at a picnic table at Zingerman's, rubbing shoulders with Michael Moore at the Traverse City Film Festival, and never without his signature orange crocs.

That's right - celebrity chef Mario Batali - that's who - who, bless his heart, has made Northern Michigan his summer home for many years, and had the good sense to marry a Michigan grad. On top of that, he READS!. Here is a list of Mario's Summer Reads. (Frankly, I am impressed!)

Speaking of the Michigan connection - you will also see a list of Ruth Reichl's Summer Reads, cookbooks she is cooking from, and her audio books of choice.

BTW - Madonna's movie, I Am Because We Are is a new documentary that she wrote, produced, and narrates. It will be shown as part of the fourth annual Traverse City Film Festival on August 2, at 8:00 p.m. at the State Theatre. Madonna will introduce the film (we'd been told).

Ashes to Hope Wins National Award

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Michigan Radio WUOM-FM just won an Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, for the 2007 documentary Ashes to Hope: Overcoming the Detroit Riots. Congratulations to Michigan Radio for its first ever Murrow award!

Local Car Historian Bob Elton Presents A Brief History of Chrysler Corporation

Monday July 7, 2008: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The story of Chrysler Corporation is an epic story of bold, ambitious men, horrible mismanagement, bad luck, gritty perseverance and the will to never say die.

Local car historian Bob Elton presents a fascinating introduction to this once great auto empire. This lecture holds particular relevance, considering the current economic outlook facing automakers today.

This event is held in conjunction with the Main Street Area Association’s July 11 Rolling Sculpture Car Show and cosponsored by the Main Street Area Association. Mr. Elton is one of the founders of the Rolling Sculpture Car Show. Check that out this Friday to see some amazing automobiles.

Book to Film in Washtenaw County

Drew Barrymore's movie Whip It! is set to be filmed around here this summer, so local people are needed as extras, according to The Ann Arbor News. The movie is based on the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, who wrote the screenplay, and who also belongs to the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. I'm thinking strong roller-skating skills might be in demand here. Just a guess.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #115

Michigan native Scott Sigler's previous novels are "free, serialized podcasts that generated a large online following and saw over 4 million downloads".

His print debut Infected* will thrill and chill SF and horror fans with a mysterious disease that is turning ordinary Americans across the country into raving, screaming, homicidal maniacs.

CIA operative Dew Phillips and Center for Disease Control epidemiologist Margaret Montoya race in vain to capture a live victim. Meanwhile Perry Dawsey - a hulking former University of Michigan football star awakens one morning to find several mysterious itchy welts growing on his body. Soon Perry finds himself acting and thinking strangely, hearing voices ... he is infected.

With numerous references to Michigan and the UM, this is definitely a fast-paced and captivating read. Try the podcast just for fun and stop scratching!

* = Starred Review

Michigan Sunshine Leads to Wine

If you're traveling the Michigan wine trails this summer, check out the new book From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries. For details on wine events planned around the state, click here. Or if you're simply planning to enjoy wine in a restaurant, here's a good article: Why It Pays to Order the House Wine in the March 2008 Food and Wine magazine at the library.

"Green" Building Grows in Michigan

Platinum LEED award

"Green" building and sustainable design practices are nothing new for the Ann Arbor area and its Library. The Malletts Creek Branch incorporated a sustainable design that won the American Institute of Architects (Michigan) Award for 2005, and the more recent Pittsfield and Traverwood Branches also demonstrate similar sustainable design concepts.
A project in Lansing recently topped the news within this "greening" trend, achieving national recognition for its efforts in the field of sustainable design. The Christman Company of Lansing was the first in the nation to win a Double Platinum LEED Certification, the highest award possible for energy efficient design.
LEED refers to "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" and is the rating system sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Why would this be interesting? We are all beginning to realize our impact on our planet, and the USGBC makes the effort "to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life" (USGBC.org). Many of the measures taken in AADL's recent Branch designs follow these LEED recommendations. For both new construction and existing buildings, learn more about "green" building at USGBC.com!

Ann Arbor Triathlon/Duathlon

Half mile swim? Easy. 14 mile bike ride? Name the day. 5 mile run? No problem. If these sound like your answers to these questions, then you're probably planning on competing in the Ann Arbor Triathlon/Duathlon on Sunday, June 8th, at Pinckney Recreation Area. But if your answers are -- like most reluctant athletes -- a laundry list of excuses, then consider the resources the Ann Arbor District Library has to offer to help you mentally and physically prepare for your first triathlon. Highlights from the Library's collection include: Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week-By-Week Training Guide, by Matt Fitzgerald; Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals, by Steven Jonas; Triathlon 101, by John Mora, and many more.

Why tri? Namely, because it's fun to swim, to bike, and to run! Training for a race is a great way to motivate yourself to get outdoors and to stay healthy. Also, you don't have to be Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong, or Wilma Rudolph to participate; triatholons are for everyone. Competitors can choose between 4 distances based on their level of preparation and personal preference. The distances are The Sprint Tri: 700 yard swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 3 mile run; The Olympic Tri: 1760 yard swim, 25 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile run; The Half-Ironman Tri: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13 mile run; and The Ironman Tri: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. The only triathlon held in Ann Arbor this summer is June 8th, but there are many other races held in Michigan this summer, so sign up for your first tri today.

Books for Michigan gardeners

My favorite class at U of M was Woody Plants, and the required text, written by Burton V. Barnes and the late great Warren H. Wagner, is well worth reading...although it didn't keep me from killing several shrubs and a Pinus Strobus. AADL has several books about gardening in Michigan for both experts and those of us with perennially black thumbs. The free edition of Michigan Gardener (available at many locations around town) recommends the following in their April 2008 issue: The Michigan Gardener's Companion: An Insider's Guide to Gardening in the Great Lakes State, Covering Ground, and Viburnums: Flowering Shrubs for Every Season.

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