June is National Audiobook Month

Will you be traveling during summer vacation? Do you have a long commute to work? How about listening to something while you clean the house or cook dinner? These are all great times to get a little reading in - by ear, of course! June is National Audiobook Month, and the Ann Arbor District Library has plenty of books on CD to help you celebrate.

For the younger set, Jim Dale brings life to all of the Harry Potter audiobooks, and Tim Curry brings mystery and intrigue to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. You may know James Avery as Will Smith's uncle in the 90's TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but he's also an extremely talented voice actor, and you can hear his work in the audiobook version of Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud Not Buddy.

If you're looking for a few good laughs, check out Stephen Colbert's satire I Am America (And So Can You!) or Tina Fey's biography Bossypants, each read by the author. For a gut-busting funny fiction read, try Lunatics, written and recorded jointly by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel. Barry and Zweibel take turns reading chapters from their respective characters, and I dare you to get through a single chapter without cracking a smile.

For the ultimate audiobook experience, however, you must try something from the inestimable Bill Bryson. Bryson is mostly well known for his travelogues like A Walk in the Woods (in which he walks the Appalachian Trail), but he has also written Shakespeare in Shakespeare : The World as Stage, the history of science in the extremely informative A Short History of Nearly Everything, and the history of private life in At Home. (Note: All the commercially available copies of Bryson's audiobooks are read by Bryson himself. However, several titles in the AADL collection are library edition copies and thus have different readers.]

May 17th is Endangered Species Day

Today is Endangered Species Day, so let's raise some awareness about the plight of Earth's endangered animals! We only have one earth and we all have to share it, humans and non-humans alike. Check out these books to learn more about how we can all help out.

Hope for Animals and Their World and Wildlife Heroes are two books about people around the globe who have worked hard (and are still working hard!) to bring back many different species from the brink of extinction. The Atlas of Endangered Species gives good information about all the endangered species from diverse ecosystems like forests, mangroves, and coral reefs. While many people know the plight of the polar bear, the panda, and the elephant, there are species of animals fighting for survival in our very own backyard. Can We Save Them? is a look at the endangered species of North America.

May is National Bike Month!

What better way to celebrate the return of warm weather than hopping on your bike and going somewhere? May is National Bike Month, so get your tires checked and peddle away!

Not sure where to go? Check out Washtenaw County Bike Rides : A Guide to Road Rides In and Around Ann Arbor for local trips. If you're a bicycle commuter, it's important to keep up with maintenance for those daily treks. Essential Bicycle Maintenance & Repair or The Urban Biking Handbook : The DIY Guide to Building, Rebuilding, Tinkering with, and Repairing Your Bicycle for City Living can help you with that. Looking for something comprehensive, covering maintenance, skill, and rules of the road? Try Effective Cycling. For the serious cyclist, take a look at Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die : Biking Experts Share the World's Greatest Destinations.

Commuters, don't forget to get involved with Ann Arbor's getDowntown program!

April is Stress Awareness Month

Frustrated by tax season? Feeling down after the long, cold winter? Coworkers or bosses got your blood boiling? Kids driving you crazy? April is Stress Awareness Month, so take some time to relax and unwind! There are a lot of resources available from the library and the internet to help combat stress. Some folks find that exercise or yoga helps them calm down. Others enjoy digging deeply into a favorite hobby. Others prefer to get away to a tropical beach!

Try some of these books to get you started:

Manage Your Stress : overcoming stress in the modern world
You, Stress Less : the owner's manual for regaining balance in your life
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series

January is Hot Tea Month

Is there anything better than a cup of hot tea on a cold, snowy day? (Besides hot chocolate, that is!) January is Hot Tea Month, so celebrate by brewing up a pot and reading about this perennial favorite drink.

Culinary Tea: More than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World
Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West
The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide
Tea Chings: The Tea and Herb Companion

If you're looking for something fun for your little ones to do during vacation or on snow days, how about throwing a tea party? Check out Fancy Nancy Tea Parties or Come to Tea! for tips, games, and menus, and if you feel inspired, throw a tea party for yourself with Victoria, the Essential Tea Companion!

This Week In Booklists

July 27 Walk On Stilts Day

July 28 Buffalo Soldiers Day

July 29 Lasagna Day

July 30 Cheesecake Day

July 31 Mutt’s Day

August 1 International Clown Week begins

August 2 Isabel Allende turns 70

This Week In Booklists

July 20 National Lollipop Day

July 21 Hot Dog Day

July 22 Hammock Day

July 23 The Hale-Bopp comet was discovered twelve years ago

July 24 Amelia Earhart Day

July 25 Merry-Go-Round Day

July 26 Mick Jagger’s 69th Birthday

This Week In Booklists

July 13 National French Fries Day

July 14 Bastille Day

July 15 Cow Appreciation Day

July 16 Corey Feldman turns 41 years old

July 17 Yellow Pig Day

July 18 Mandela Day

July 19 The Great Fire of Rome sparked 1,948 years ago

This Week In Booklists

July 6 The 77th birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama

July 7 Joan of Arc was acquitted of heresy 25 years after her death on this date 556 years ago

July 8 Video Games Day is today

July 9 Isaac Brock celebrates his 37th birthday

July 10 Silence Day. Shh

July 11 Detroit became a US territory (rather than a British territory) 216 years ago

July 12 Pecan Pie Day

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