Help Us Choose the Book for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2011

logologoIt's almost time for the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads to begin once again. This year, our selection committee has chosen three finalists for our theme: What Makes Life Worth Living.

The finalists are Life Is So Good by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman, The Undertaking: Life Studies From The Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch, and Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks.

We have plenty of copies in stock and we appreciate your comments and opinions on which one should be our official selection for the Reads. Check these books out and then let us know which one you think should be chosen by leaving a comment on the book's page on the AA/Ypsi Reads website. The final selection will be announced in October.

You may also join our AA/Ypsi Reads page on Facebook to receive the latest news in your Facebook feed.

Dawn Farm Education Series

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Tonight marks the beginning of the Dawn Farm Education Series for 2010/2011.The topic tonight is Addiction 101, presented by James Balmer, President of Dawn Farm. All programs are from 7:30 to 9:00 PM in St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center The series lasts through June 2011. Print a copy of this flier and see the range of topics relating to addiction and recovery that will be presented in the series.

Performance Network: Sonia Flew

A preview of the play Sonia Flew by Melinda Lopez is coming up Thursday (Sept. 23) at Performance Network. The story, based on real events, was written by Melinda Lopez. It follows a young girl who in 1960 is among 14,000 children sent from Cuba in Operation Pedro Pan, through her adulthood in America. Ticket information for the show -- which runs through Oct. 17 -- is here.

Michigan Weather: Why so crazy?

Many of us who have lived in Michigan for a while know the old saying, "If you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes and it will change." But do we know how it all happens, Michigan weather? I know I don't, which is why I'm intrigued by the author event coming up 7:30-9 p.m. Sept. 14 (Tuesday) at U-M Hatcher Library. Paul Gross, author of Extreme Michigan Weather: The Wild World of the Great Lakes State will explain our oppressive heat, harsh snowstorms, and fickle tornadoes. Gross is meteorologist and executive producer of weather at the NBC affiliate WDIV-TV in Detroit, and also consults with Michigan lawyers as a meteorology expert. His book was published by University of Michigan Press.

Susurrus: A play without stage or actors

A promising fall field trip would be Susurrus, running Wed.-Sun. through Oct. 3 at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. This creation, named for the sound of wind rustling in trees, was written and directed by David Leddy. It is an adult-themed "genre-defying reinterpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream that weaves snippets of opera and a lesson in bird dissection into a mournful, poignant love story." Participants walk a path, while using headphones to listen to the story. Groups of four people are admitted every 15 minutes. Tickets are $30 in advance at the Michigan League or from the University Musical Society.

September at The Ark

The fall line up at The Ark is looking good! If you’re in the mood for some shows, check out their schedule.

Indie rock favorites, Toad the Wet Sprocket, will be playing on Sept 15, 16. Although the band “broke up,” they are still around playing various gigs for your entertainment. The same week, improv entertainers The Second City, will be performing for two nights as well, on September 17, 18. If you’re up for satire and wit, The Second City is for you.

And of course some local faves like The Chenille Sisters and RFD Boys will be on hand at The Ark in September as well. With a huge line-up listed already, here’s sure to be something for everyone this fall at The Ark!
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This Sunday is the Kerrytown Book Festival

Attention book lovers: The seventh annual Kerrytown Bookfest is happening all day on Sunday at the Kerrytown market area.

You can… draw with author and illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw (of the Ellie McDoodle books), Deb Diesen will read some of her children’s books, join a Michigan lit discussion with local authors such as Bonnie Jo Campbell and Michael Zadoorian, visit the Paranormal Fiction & Poetry discussion, catch a live interview with Caldecott winner David Small, do a kids craft project or two, get in on some bookmaking worshops, and peruse the aisles of book related vendors. Really, there is way too much great stuff going on to list it all, so be sure check the full schedule. Get your book lovin’ on!
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This Saturday is the Homegrown Festival

HomegrownHomegrownThat’s right! Are you ready for local food, local beverage, local live music, and good times? You’ll find it at the 3rd annual Homegrown Festival this Saturday, from 6pm – 11pm in the Kerrytown market area. The festival aims to promote awareness of local foods, farmers, resources, food security, and community support. There will be heirloom tomato tasting, kids activities, chef demos, non-profit booths, a silent auction, games, and more. Check out the website for full schedule, including a list of the fabulous food vendors. For more local food love keep an eye on 2011’s Local Food Summit, and keep in mind that September is Local Food Month!

Labor-free Leisure

gallupgallupStaying in town over Labor Day weekend? There are plenty of sights to see and things to do right at home for little to no cost. Here are a few ideas to entertain you and your family during the last few days of summer.

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens are an obvious choice for a serene and beautiful afternoon. If you’re looking for the quirkier side of gardens, be sure to visit before the month is over: pink lawn flamingos, bedecked and bedazzled by local artists, currently populate Matthaei.

One of my favorite things about Ann Arbor is its abundance of art, most of which is free to enjoy. Try a walking tour of downtown galleries, including Ann Arbor Art Center, Jean Paul Slusser, Warren Robbins, and Work Galleries (featuring art from U of M’s School of Art & Design), University of Michigan Museum of Art, Clay Gallery, Barclay Gallery, Selo/Shevel Gallery, and the many others you’re sure to pass by while strolling through the downtown and campus area.

Take a trip to the Kerrytown Farmers’ Market on Saturday between 8am and 3pm for delicious locally produced food.

And get don’t forget the many parks throughout the city. Perhaps a picnic, some frisbee, or simply some outdoor reading is in your future?

Whistler at UMMA

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On Beauty and the Everyday: The Prints of James McNeill Whistler opened last week and runs through Nov. 28. Most of the works - and most of the Ann Arbor museum's Whistler holdings - came from Margaret Watson Parker, whose 1936 bequest to the museum included Whistler's prints and an extensive Asian art collection.

According to an article in the Washington Post, " (the) exhibition of more than 100 prints by James McNeill Whistler at the University of Michigan Museum of Art is the largest collection of the 19th century American artist's work to be displayed there in more than 15 years. "

Please check the program calendar of the Museum for gallery talks and tours.

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