Take a family adventure with Larry & Pete!

With summer fast approaching, the whole family can share in the fun of vacation planning with the help of the Larry Gets Lost Series!
These fantastic books have brightly colored, retro-like illustrations and great rhymes that take your family on a journey with Larry and Pete through the streets of Seattle, New York and Chicago, to name a few. In every book Larry the dog lets the tasty smell of local foods lure him away from his good pal Pete and spends the day exploring a new city in his quest to be reunited with his boy. The stories combine fun verse, geography and history to create a wonderful travel guide for children and adults alike!

Humorous Travel Audiobook

Fans of P. G. Wodehouse and other classic British humorists will want to know about Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Jerome K. Jerome.

Published in 1889, this nonfiction account of Jerome’s ill-fated boating trip down the river Thames is a wonderful example of travel writing. Anyone who has ever gone on vacation will likely relate to Jerome’s packing woes and travel exhaustion. Jerome manages to tell the tale in typically dry British style that had me laughing out laugh more than once.

The audiobook is expertly narrated by Hugh Laurie, whom Wodehouse fans may also remember starred as Bertie Wooster in Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster miniseries.

New fiction: The Last Days of California is a unique road trip story

The Last Days of California, the highly anticipated debut novel by Mary Miller, puts a new twist on the classic American road trip story. Published just this month, the book tells the story of 15-year-old Jess, who is traveling with her parents and her rebellious (and pregnant) sister Elise to California in anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ. Along the way, the family evangelizes and passes out apocalyptic pamphlets to people at restaurants, motels, gas stations, malls and truck stops across the southern United States. As the novel progresses, Jess tries hard to share the same religious convictions that her parents do—and that she has been taught to follow her whole life—but finds herself questioning both the beliefs themselves and her life as a whole.

Miller does a fantastic job capturing the thought processes and angst of modern teenage life, while adding the unique storyline of the supposedly impending Rapture to this travel story. The descriptions of the beauty--and lack thereof--of the southern U.S. are also enchanting for readers. This coming-of-age novel, although shelved in the adult fiction section here at the AADL, will surely resonate with readers teenaged and up.

August is American Adventures Month!

Although summer vacation may soon be over for many of us, there’s still a little time for some impromptu getaways and plenty of time to plan future vacations. August is American Adventures Month, a time to celebrate and explore the vast and varied landscapes of North, Central, and South America.

You’ll find some great adventuresome vacation ideas in Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travel, and if you’re looking for a state-by-state breakdown of adventures in the United States, check out National Geographic’s list of America’s 100 Best Adventures. We’ve also got some great books in our collection like Discover America: A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Our Country’s Greatest Destinations and The USA Book: A Journey through America.

Here are some suggestions from the National Geographic list: Hike the Appalachian Trail (and we even have Jennifer Pharr, 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and two-time thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail, coming August 16th to the Downtown Library!), paddle the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii (The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook has a good write-up about it), raft through the Grand Canyon in Arizona, camp in Glacier National Park in Montana, or dive for shipwrecks in the Great Lakes around Michigan!

Lessons From Tubingen, Germany

Thursday June 27, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Last summer a delegation of architects, urban planners, and interested citizens visited Tubingen, Germany to learn about Architecture and Sustainable Urban Development.

Come see a presentation of trip highlights presented by some of the participants.

This event was originally scheduled for April, and had been postponed.

Samantha Brown's Asia

If you are like me and cannot get away to far away destinations but enjoy learning about them, you may enjoy watching travel shows. A few years ago I discovered Samantha Brown’s travel program on the Travel Channel and her show quickly became my favorite. She has a bubbly personality that wins people over no matter where she goes. This is proven every time she randomly approaches a stranger and makes a joke or asks them a question. She seems fearless, but she has the charm to make anyone feel at ease, including the viewer.

The library has recently added Samantha Brown’s Asia disc 1 and disc 2 to our collection. In these two DVDs Brown takes us on a tour of Thailand, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and Bali. Meeting up with natives who then show her around their home, Brown provides viewers with practical advice and insight into the individually unique cultures of these different locations.

If you breeze through these two discs and want more, AADL does own quite a few Anthony Bourdain DVDs that will keep you occupied for a while.

Lessons From Tubingen, Germany

Thursday April 25, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Last summer a delegation of architects, urban planners, and interested citizens visited Tubingen, Germany to learn about Architecture and Sustainable Urban Development.

Come see a presentation of trip highlights presented by some of the participants!

A Literary Spring Break

As hard as it is to believe, Spring Break is just around the corner! Not sure where to go or what to do? Let literature be your guide!

Taking a trip to New England? How about stopping at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord, MA, the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT, or the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Gardens at the Springfield Museum in Springfield, MA?

A fan of the yellow brick road and ruby slippers? Check out the Oz Museum in Wamego, KS or the All Things Oz exhibit in Chittenango, NA, both places dedicated to the work of L. Frank Baum.

Looking for something a little more rustic? Three locations in the center of the U.S. pay tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series: Mansfield, MO; De Smet, SD; and Walnut Grove, MN.

Journeying to the west coast? How about a tour of and a picnic in the gorgeous Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, CA?

Want to go abroad? Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the Anne of Green Gables series, lived in and set her stories on the charming Prince Edward Island in Canada.

If you already have spring break plans, now’s a good time to start planning for summer vacation!

Travel the entire perimeter of the British Isles

In Coast, hosted by the charming Scot, Neil Oliver, who is an archaeologist, author and adventurer and an expert on the history of Celtic Britain, the BBC presents an in-depth excursion around the coast of England. Not just England either - the adventure includes exploring the adjacent coastlines of Britain’s neighbors: France, Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Denmark. It is an ingenious way of learning about these countries. The coastline of the British Isles is long and beautiful with a unique natural, geological and social history. There is, however, a common flavor to the histories and lifestyles of coastal peoples, from all of these countries and islands, which makes for a unified, though diverse, story.

Each of the fifteen episodes includes 4-5 chapters of exploration, conducted by regular ‘guest stars’ who happen to be scientists, naturalists and historians. Aerial filming provides sweeping vistas of every segment of the coasts, from the white cliffs of Dover to John-o-Groats, and back again. On the ground we visit beaches, marshes, caves and cliffs and many of the creatures that make their homes there, as well as famous ports, castles, lighthouses, resorts, and other human habitations which have sprung up over millennia where the ocean meets the land. Full of curiosities, strange and marvelous stories, beauty and intrigue this series leaves no stone unturned in seeking the heritage and natural wonder of Britain's coast.

For other resources about the habitats and histories of coastal areas look here.

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