Happy 175th Birthday, Michigan!!

Michigan Map 1835Michigan Map 1835

Michigan formally entered the Union on January 26, 1837. AADL is celebrating with a book display on the second floor of the Downtown Library. Stop by and take a look or peruse these staff created lists of great non-fiction books celebrating Michigan:
Michigan
Michigan Architecture
Essential Michigan History
Gardening in Michigan

Author Jerry Dennis Discusses His New Book "The Windward Shore "

Thursday November 3, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Award-winning Michigan author Jerry Dennis reads from and discusses his powerful and insightful new book "The Windward Shore" which centers on winter in Great Lakes country. This event includes a book signing and books will be on sale.

In this just-released book, Dennis, grounded by a knee injury, learns to live at a slower pace while staying in houses ranging from a log cabin on Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula to a $20-million mansion on the northern shore of Lake Michigan. Walking beaches and exploring nearby woods and villages, he muses on the future of the Great Lakes, the nature of time, weather, waves, agates, books, words for snow and ice, our complex relationship with nature, and much more.

Author Jason Karlawish Discusses His New Book "Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont"

Thursday October 20, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Join us for a chilling account of historic medical obsession as Dr. Jason Karlawish, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses his riveting historical novel of Michigan's famous founder of Beaumont Hospital - Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession

Rooted deeply in historic fact, "Open Wound" artfully fictionalizes the complex, lifelong relationship between Beaumont---a prominent figure in Michigan's medical past and present -- and the illiterate young French Canadian patient with a hole into his stomach -- a condition that the curious doctor uses as a window to understand the mysteries of digestion.

Eager to rise up from his humble origins, Beaumont seizes the opportunity to experiment upon his unfortunate patient's stomach in order to write a book that he hopes will establish his legitimacy and secure his prosperity. The results are history - and fascinatingly detailed in Karlawish's new novel.

This event, co-sponsored by the UM Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine; The UM Center for the History of Medicine; and the University of Michigan Press, includes a book signing and books will be on sale.

ARTPRIZE 2011

If you are not planning on attending THE Game or the obligatory tailgate and would like a bit more elbow room on Saturday, you could do a lot worse than getting in the car and heading west.

ARTPRIZE turns the city of Grand Rapids (Michigan) into an art gallery for two weeks every fall. Billed as "a radically open competition", it opens today and will run until October 9. As an international art contest solely voted on by the general public, your votes are essential.

Here is how to vote, and a map to help you navigate all the venues.

The 10 finalists will be announced on Thursday, September 29, and the winners on Thursday, October 6.

The helpful folks running the show have put together some visitors' info. Make good use of it, including the free shuttle.

Hooray for fall!!

If you're like me, you can't wait for the Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd to roll around so you can officially say It's Fall! for those that are excited for the cooler weather and changing colors, check out the Michigan.org website for information about the changing colors and where and when to go to get the best view. Also be sure to check our catalog for books about fall/autumn in the aadl.org catalog!

Sleeping Bear Dunes Voted Most Beautiful Place in America (Oh, No!)

Our secret is out: the rest of America has discovered what Michiganders have known forever, that Sleeping Bear Dunes is the most beautiful place in America. Good Morning America viewers voted and the Bear beat them all. So you'd better book that cottage for next summer now or you'll be asking Mario Batali if you can bunk with him at his summer place. Of course half of NYC will be asking him for a room now.

The best place to start your SB travels? The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park headquarters in Empire. Trails, rivers, lakeshores, historical sites, heritage farms, lighthouses. You name it, it's in the National Park. The Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau site will lead to lodging, dining and entertainment throughout the region. We've been biking the area for 40+ years and you can't beat the Betsie Valley Trail along Crystal Lake or the M-22 ride from Frankfort to Empire with terrific beaches at both ends.

Teen Stuff: See What I see, by Gloria Whelan

In this new book by Gloria Whelan, eighteen year old Kate, daughter of famous artist Dalton Quinn, whom she hasn’t seen or heard from in ten years, lives in northern Michigan with her mother. She wishes to attend art school in Detroit, which requires local residency. Since her father is back from New York and now residing in Detroit, living as a recluse and painting like a madman, she decides to drop in unannounced with the idea that she would live with him while attending art school. Things don’t quite go as planned. Her cantankerous father is less than open to the idea of her living with him, taking up space, and interrupting his work flow. When he falls ill, they strike a deal. Kate learns a lot that year. About herself, her father, and the art world.

See What I See is written from Kate’s young artist point of view, and she paints pictures as she narrates. Everything around her holds such texture, such color, such detail, and demands a painting. Author Gloria Whelan's time in Michigan is apparent. Kate's comparisons of Northern Michigan and Detroit are quite lovely to read, as we try to see what she sees.

Driving in Michigan

It's that time of year to enjoy the many scenic drives of Michigan. Here are a few urban myths and frequently asked questions the State of Michigan has answered:

  • Can you turn left on red onto a one way street from a 2-way street? The answer is yes, unless otherwise prohibited, for both 1-way or 2-way onto a 1-way (the one-way being in the direction of the left turn). It is often reported that you can only go from one-way onto another one-way. However, MCL 257.612 (1)(c)(ii) states "..may make a left turn from a 1-way or 2-way street into a 1-way roadway carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn, unless prohibited by sign, signal, marking, light, or other traffic control device."
  • Riding in a trailer? From the Michigan State Police Urban Myth release: There is nothing in the Michigan Vehicle Code that specifically prohibits riding in a trailer, regardless of the type of hitch or configuration. Two-way communication between driver and occupants is not required. (reckless driving of course still stands)
  • Barefoot Driving? Also allowed. From the same release: "There is nothing in the Michigan Vehicle Code that prohibits barefoot driving. Careless or reckless driving would really be a stretch, as an argument could be made that a barefoot person has more control over the pedals. "
  • Driving with headphones? Allowed, although "A driver could, however, be cited for careless, reckless, or failure to yield to an emergency vehicle if a police officer could show that the headphones interfered with the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle."
  • Open Alcohol in RV's and trailers? Prohibited, as an RV is considered a vehicle and in trailers with passengers are considered the same. "Alcoholic beverages are required to be stored in an inaccessible area if there is no trunk available".

More information on the rules of the road can be found at the Michigan State Police website. Drive safely this summer!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #268

South of Superior by Ellen Airgood. I loved it for the rare "up north" setting, snippets of local history, the pace, the colorful cast of characters, and a lovely excuse to spend an afternoon in the sun with a good story.

Madeline Stone walks away from her job, her home in Chicago, and a well-planned life with a respectable guy, to move to McAllaster, a small town along the coast of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, just because Gladys Hansen asks, and mind you, none too graciously either. You see, Madeline has unfinished business there and also, she is curious - curious about the unforgiving family and the heartless town that abandoned her, left her in a church basement with strangers when she was very young.

While Madeline is eager for the truth and assignation of blame, she is unprepared for how the community will teach her about life, love, friendship and grace; and how to take charge of one's own happiness.

First-time author Ellen Airgood lives and runs a diner with her husband in Grand Marais, Michigan, the inspiration for the fictional McAllaster. She is quick to point out that she did not get an MFA or study writing in school, the craft of storytelling she learned from waiting tables for 19 years.

South of Superior is a Midwest Booksellers Association Pick for June.

Readalikes (also coming out this month): Susan Mallery's Already Home, and The Definition of Wind by Ellen Block.

Steve Hamilton Author Talk on Thursday

Michigan author Steve Hamilton will be giving a talk on his latest novel Misery Bay on Thursday, June 9th, at Aunt Agatha's Book Shop.

Misery Bay is set in Paradise, Michigan, and is a part of the Alex McKnight mystery series.

This year Hamilton won the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Alex Award for The Lock Artist, also set in a Michigan town.

The talk will take place at 7pm, and admission is free. Aunt Agatha's is located at 213 South Fourth Avenue, about a block away from the Downtown branch.

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