2015 Michigan Notable Books Announced

Each year, the Library of Michigan selects a list of titles for recognition as Michigan Notable Books. These have been singled out as exceptional titles published in the previous year that highlight Michigan people, places, and events.

In addition to drawing attention to books with a Great Lakes region focus, "...the list continues to offer something for everyone. The 2015 list represents fiction, short story collections, history, children's picture books, mysteries, poetry and memoirs," says State Librarian Randy Riley. This 2015 list includes a range of diverse offerings, from dystopian fiction bestseller Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel to Derek Jeter's YA novel The Contract, from a history of Detroit's crucial supply role during WWII in A.J. Baime's The Arsenal of Democracy to Josh Greenberg's River of Sand guidebook to fly fishing in the waterways of the Great Lakes region.

Ready to explore the books for yourself? Here's a Michigan Notable Books|list of this year's honored titles in the AADL catalog.

Diego & Frida

From now through mid-July the Detroit Institute of Arts is hosting the exhibition Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit. The exhibit focuses on their lives and work before Detroit, during Detroit, and after Detroit. Diego and Frida spent 1932-1933 in Detroit, where Diego worked on the Detroit Industry murals that are painted on the walls of the DIA. The work is amazing, as is the exhibit. Here’s a sneak peek of the magic if you haven’t been yet.

There’s been a lot of buzz about this exhibit and the artists are popping up all over the place, particularly Frida. Feeling inspired for more? Take a peek at the Caldecott Honor picture book Viva Frida!. There are also many other books and DVDs on Diego and Frida in the AADL collection, including the exhibit catalog that’s on order, and the visual book Diego Rivera: The Detroit Industry Murals.

Fly Tying Workshop and Demonstration

Thursday May 14, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

The staff from Bailiwicks Outdoors in Dexter will be on hand to demonstrate beginning fly-tying techniques. Participants will be able to tie their own fly fishing lure just in time for the Spring fishing season - no experience necessary!

Nature Walk @ Black Pond Woods

Thursday September 10, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Black Pond Woods Nature Area

This event is intended for adults, teens, and youth in kindergarten and up.

Join staff members of AADL and the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation for an informative nature walk in the beautiful 34-acre Black Pond Woods Nature Area.

Black Pond Woods is mostly woodland, and was named for a small vernal pond whose basin was created when the glaciers receded from this area. The dark brown water is caused by tannins and humic acids from leaf litter. We'll learn more about this lovely area and about native plants and animals on our trek.

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. We'll meet in the Leslie Science Center parking lot, which can be accessed from Traver Road.

Nature Walk @ Furstenburg Nature Area

Thursday August 6, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Furstenburg Nature Area

This event is intended for adults, teens, and children grades K and up.

Join staff members of AADL and the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation for an informative nature walk in the beautiful 38-acre Furstenburg Nature Area.

Furstenburg Nature Area encompasses a wide variety of natural landscapes, including wetlands, woodlands, prairie, and oak savannah, and is connected to Gallup Park on the east side.

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Meet in the parking lot off of Fuller Road across from Huron High School.

Michigan Author Jerry Dennis: A Daybreak Handbook

Monday January 26, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Author Jerry Dennis, best known as an award-winning nature writer, has branched out in two new directions: poetry and publishing. Jerry's first book of poems, A Daybreak Handbook, was published in 2014. Also in 2014, Jerry, his wife Gail, and illustrator Glenn Wolff established Big Maple Press, a small press dedicated to producing special editions exclusively available for sale through independent booksellers.

Dennis will discuss these new avenues in his career as well as his ongoing work with the Great Lakes. Dennis' book The Living Great Lakes was the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection in 2010. A selection of Dennis' books will be available for sale and signing at the event.

Sustainable Landscaping with Landscaping Expert Drew Lathin

Tuesday March 24, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Drew Lathin is the General Manager of Creating Sustainable Landscapes and a sustainable landscapes consultant who creates ecologically restorative urban and suburban landscapes. As an outspoken critic of conventional landscaping practices which destroy habitat, result in species extinction, and threaten the biodiversity upon which life depends, Drew utilizes native plants in his beautifully installed landscapes that support wildlife, and reduce or eliminate resource inputs such as pesticides and supplemental water. He will speak on these subjects and offer suggestions and tips for how you too, can utilize native plants and biodiversity to create sustainable landscapes of any scale on your own property.

Local Music: Timothy Monger

Friday January 30, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

AADL highlights a local performing artist with this evening concert by Timothy Monger, best known for his work with Michigan rock group Great Lakes Myth Society, which he co-founded with his brother James.

For this performance, Monger will be joined by Patrick Herek on piano. He'll also use guitar pedals and a few other musical items from AADL’s circulating Music Tools collection!

In 2004, Monger released his debut solo album Summer Cherry Ghosts. The lush baroque-pop song cycle earned favorable comparisons to Elliot Smith, Electric Light Orchestra and early Bee Gees and was re-released in Japan the following year.

The success of Great Lakes Myth Society’s literate, folk-tinged rock eventually landed them a deal with Michigan indie Quack! Media in 2006 and their sophomore effort Compass Rose Bouquet was released in 2007 to glowing reviews. This was followed with several national tours, multiple appearances at SXSW and shows with Patti Smith, British Sea Power, The Hidden Cameras and The Hold Steady among others.

In 2009, Monger recorded his second solo album and performed regularly both as a solo artist and with his newly formed backing band Timothy Monger State Park. His sophomore album The New Britton Sound is a beautiful melding of elegant pop, and lyrical folk-rock named for the small rural town of Britton, Michigan where the bulk of it was recorded and written. Released in June 2011 on his own Northern Detective record label, the album was a stylistic leap forward, moving away from the orchestral leanings in favor of a more organic, rural pop sound.

Nature Walk @ Barton Nature Area

Thursday May 7, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Barton Nature Area

This event is intended for adults, teens and youth (grade K and up).

Join staff members of AADL and the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation for an informative nature walk in the beautiful 102-acre Barton Nature Area.

Learn about native plants and animals, and about the diverse natural features of the area.

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Meet in the parking lot off Huron Drive, just north of the Bird Road intersection.

Join us for a nature walk at Mary Beth Doyle Park Thursday evening!

Some of you Summer Gamers might be familiar with Mary Beth Doyle Park after earning the Park Explorer badge that took you there! This final installment in our summer nature walk series is an opportunity to revisit this lovely wetland area, or see it for the first time if you've never visited before. The nature walk will take place this Thursday, September 4, from 7:00 to 8:30pm. The approximately 80-acre park has a long, unpaved trail that runs along Mallets Creek, which we will be exploring. The creek and surrounding ponds and wetland make for great wildlife viewing. A representative from Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation will lead the hike and provide interesting information as we explore the area.

We will meet in the parking area off of Packard Road. You can also park at the Mallets Creek branch of the AADL and walk half a mile east along Packard to the entrance of the park. Bring water and dress comfortably. Arrive a few minutes early to make sure that you don't miss the group before we set out on the walk!

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