"Tales of the New World"

From time to time, the desire or the time to commit to a full length novel just isn't there; this is where short stories come in. The best selling point of short stories is that if you are not particularly interested in one story, you can move on the the next without the guilt that can come with putting an entire book to rest without consideration.

Tales of the New World is a collection of ten short stories by PEN/Faulkner Award winner Sabina Murray. Some of the stories are firsthand accounts and others outside perspectives of exploring new lands around the world. Murray delves into the complex world of writing historical fiction focused on recognized historical figures. A few well-known explorers are represented in this compilation, including Magellan and Balboa, as well as lesser known explorers, such as English-born Mary Kingsley.

While there is a definite tone of bleakness and isolation, Tales of the New World offers a fascinating glimpse into the perspective of world explorers, with fictional tales of adventure tinged with strife.

Bus riders! TransitTime + has added AATA's The Ride to its app

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority just announced that the award-winning app, TransitTimes + has added Ann Arbor to its list of more than 50 cities that provide details about their transportation modes to this popular app.

Now you can easily locate The Ride's bus schedules, the location of your particular bus and its arrival time, or map out and save a route to a new location.

To see how easy this app is to use, check out TransitTimes' YouTube channel here.

For more information about this app and to see the growing list of U.S. and international cities being added all the time, click here.

To Learn, To Know, And To Be Together: An Introduction To Indonesia With Peisy Alamsjah

Tuesday June 26, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Travel with us for an inside look at Indonesia as Ann Arbor resident Peisy Alamsjah shares her love of her native country. Join us as she discusses Indonesian cultures, history, geography, and some unique local customs and habits from the perspective of Western culture.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #332

The colorful notes taken by Evangeline (Eva) English for A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar *, the working title of a travel guide, make up one of two story lines in this debut novel by Suzanne Joinson.

In 1923, sisters Eva and Lizzie, missionaries in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar are met with suspicion and hostility (no surprise there), but when a humanistic endeavor gone wrong places them under house arrest, their safety is seriously compromised. Eva, however, continues to capture her adventures in this insular and exotic locale at the brink of war on her glorious, green BSA Lady's Roadster.

In present day London, solitary Frieda befriends Tayeb, a displaced Yemeni sleeping outside her door, and discovers an artist with an exquisite talent with birds. When Frieda learns she has inherited the contents of an apartment belonging to a dead woman she has never heard of, they embark on an unexpected journey together.

"Beautifully written, and peopled by a cast of unforgettable characters, the novel interweaves the stories of Frieda and Eva, gradually revealing the links between them and the ways in which they each challenge and negotiate the restrictions of their societies as they make their hard-won way toward home".

For more tales of intrepid women adventurers, try Lulu in Marrakech by Diane Johnson; The Tattoo Artist by Jill Ciment; and The Lost Girls : three friends, four continents, one unconventional detour around the world by Jennifer Baggett.

Suzanne Joinson works in the literature department of the British Council, specializing in the Middle East, North Africa, and China.

* = starred review

Cycle Vacations: Learn How To Take An Entire Vacation By Bike

Tuesday May 15, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Have you always thought that a two-wheeled vacation would be a great adventure? Attend this workshop where Bivouac staff will discuss how to plan the route, pack and prepare for mishaps. They will cover it all so that you can start planning your trip!

Wandering the High Himalayas With Will Weber Of JOURNEYS International

Wednesday March 21, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Will Weber, founder of JOURNEYS International of Ann Arbor, shares images and memories of some of his favorite vistas, valleys and villages from more than four decades of travel in Himalayan Asia. Come travel with Will as he shares his experiences in Ladakh, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma and his encounters with Buddhist highland cultures.

Ann Arbor's JOURNEYS International is the longest standing family-owned global eco-tourism company in the US, offering full-service exotic, guided cross-cultural explorations, nature safaris, treks and eco-tours in remote corners of Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Pacific.

English Gardens With Betty Bishop And The Ann Arbor Garden Club

Wednesday March 14, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Spring begins next week! Time to think about the wonderful outdoors and the beauty of finely-tended gardens! Join us as Ann Arbor Garden Club member Betty Bishop offers a colorful presentation of her bi-annual trips to England, touring a variety of traditional gardens.

What better way to get in the mood for spring?

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.

Around The World With The Doug And Julia Jackson Family

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Have an adventurous spirit? Ever thought about traveling around the world? Listen to how one family embarked on a year long world trip - and all for just $100 a day! In 2006, Doug and Julia Jackson and their two daughters began an adventure of a lifetime! Over the course of the year, they visited 32 countries - by all modes of transportation.

Take note from this family and check out our travel guidebooks from the catalog - just as the Jacksons used their library when they researched the countries (for 2 years) before beginning their adventure. Join us for an exciting and informative evening as Doug and Julia share highlights from their trip around the world - and learn how they enjoyed the cultures of faraway countries while remaining on a thrifty budget.

Tuesday May 24, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

So many books...

Nancy Pearl

…so little time. If you love reading books about books, with lists of not-to-miss titles, super-librarian and professional reader Nancy Pearl’s latest, Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers, will set your heart to pounding. I think this one might be her best yet.

Built around the theme of travel within and exploration of practically every country in the world, as well as many individual states and cities, she gathers the best reading available, whether you are planning a trip or visiting from your armchair. Not just strictly reading about countries either, she also includes thematically-arranged lists such as “walking”, “rowing”, “Peace Corps memories”, “hiking”, “imaginary places” and, my personal favorite, “An Anglophile’s Literary Pilgrimage”. Her selections are both erudite and fun and capture the anticipation and pleasure of exploring whichever piece of the world draws you. There is plenty of inspiration here to extend your wish-lists of books to read, though it is actually fun reading about all the books you will never have time to read too!

Both classic and contemporary fiction, and also a dizzying selection of tempting non-fiction, abound. We are not talking tour guides here, but memoirs; natural, social and geographic histories; biographies of famous and not-so-famous explorers and adventurers. Get your “ticket” to your next travel destination through the pages of this book and – bon voyage.

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