VERLANDER!! VaVaVoom

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As in no-hitter, no-way were they getting on base, no-way was Ordonez missing that final catch. 12, count 'em, 12 strikeouts for Justin Verlander in the first home game Detroit Tigers no-hitter since Virgil Truck's in 1952 (Truck had 2 no-hitters that season.) Is Verlander a future Hall of Famer? We could go on. Heck, let's go on ...

Theodore Was Here

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100 years ago this week, Teddy Roosevelt, the 2nd greatest president of the 20th century (after his cousin Franklin) addressed the Michigan Legislature. The Michigan Library and Historical Center will commemorate President Roosevelt’s visit with a 2-day tribute that includes an address by H.W. Brands, author of T.R.: The Last Romantic, a reenactment of the speech in the Michigan Senate chambers and a special appearance by the President’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt. Other recommended books on Teddy are The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris and River of Doubt by Candace Millard.

Doggy Love

John Grogan adapted his New York Times best-selling memoir Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog for a younger audience in two books released in May. Bad Dog, Marley!, intended for ages 3-7, is a picture book that illustrates how mischievous, and yet how irrefutably indispensable, a young pup can be. Marley: A Dog Like No Other, meant for ages 8-12, is a “kid friendly” version of Marley & Me. Grogan is also in the digital world with a website devoted to Marley and our other four-legged friends. On the site, learn more about Grogan, peruse his blog, and read other doggy stories!

Duke's 100th Birthday

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Saddle up, pardner and celebrate the original dudester's 100th birthday this Saturday, May 26th. John Wayne started in movies in 1926 and starred in some of the best American movies ever made, especially when the Duke teamed up with John Ford. Don't miss The Searchers, Red River and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Your favorite?

The lives of others

May 16 is Biographers Day, the anniversary of the meeting in London on May 16, 1763 between James Boswell and Samuel Johnson. Boswell is one of the first
writers to be known primarily as a biographer and his work, Life of Samuel Johnson, is regarded as a model of biographical writing. It is also a testament to his fortitude in pursuing Johnson who was known for his biting wit and sullen nature as evidenced by this characteristic quote: "Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

The Mercury 13

On June 16, 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space—during the Vostok 6 mission. It was 20 years later (almost to the day) that Sally Ride became the first American woman in space—as a crewmember on Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7 on June 18, 1983.

In Martha Ackmann’s The Mercury 13, we are introduced to 13 women who should have been among the first in space. They included Jerrie Cobb, Wally Funk, Myrtle Cagle, and Bernice "B" Steadman, who were some of the most accomplished pilots of their time, male or female. These women passed the same rigorous tests (in 1961) that the original Mercury 7 astronauts underwent in the late 1950s. The women's testing program was eventually scrapped and women astronaut candidates weren’t selected by NASA until the 1978 class of Space Shuttle astronauts.

To find more books on women astronauts click here.

Happy Birthday, Archibald!

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Celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Archie Leach (better known to most as Cary Grant – b. January 18, 1904; d. November 29, 1986) by watching him in one of his many roles on DVD! The library owns many titles for you to check out and enjoy. The Awful Truth, where the Cary Grant "persona” began; The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, with Myrna Loy and a teenaged Shirley Temple; The Philadelphia Story, with Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepburn; and, directed by the great Alfred Hitchcock: Suspicion, Notorious, To Catch a Thief, and North by Northwest.

He Was 'A Ford, Not a Lincoln'

"I told you I was a Ford, not a Lincoln. Tonight I say I am still a Ford, but I am not a Model T." Pres. Gerald Ford, August 12, 1974

Those humble words were spoken by President Gerald Ford days after President Nixon resigned and Ford assumed the presidency. President Ford passed away this week, but his important role in history will be long remembered.

If you'd like to read more about Jerry Ford (who was also a Wolverine football player), you might consider these books:

The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford by John Robert Greene;

A Ford, Not a Lincoln by Richard Reeves;

Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment with History by James Cannon.

And, if you're interested in Betty Ford- including her courageous struggle with drug addiction- take a look at Betty: A Glad Awakening by Betty Ford with Chris Chase, or First Lady's Lady by Sheila Rabb Weidenfeld.

Also, check out First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents by Bonnie Angelo, for a really fascinating account of Ford's mother and childhood.

Burning Ring of Fire

Warm up on a cold winter night by reading or listening to this great book on Johnny Cash, The Man Called Cash. Follow the steps of Johnny Cash from his humble beginnings in Arkansas as a sharecropper's son to his death in Nashville. The Book on CD is read by Rex Linn, who offers his Southern voice to give the story a very nostaglic feel.

Louis Riel Day : November 16

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Louis Riel led the Metis in the Red River Rebellion of 1869-70 and the North-West Rebellion of 1885. He was arrested, tried, and convicted of high treason. Riel was hanged on November 16, 1885.

The Métis Nation consists of descendants of marriages of Woodland Cree, Ojibway, Saulteaux, and Menominee aboriginals to French Canadian and/or British/Celtic settlers (Wikipedia).

The library has:

Louis Riel: a Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown

“Brown's exploration of the life of 19th-century Canadian revolutionary Riel is a strong contender for the best graphic novel ever. Over five years in the making, Brown's work is completely realized here, from the strikingly designed two-color cover to the cream-colored paper and pristinely clear drawings. The story begins in 1869, with the sale of the independent Red River Settlement area of what's now Canada to the Canadian government. The area is inhabited by the French-speaking Métis, of mixed Indian and white ancestry, who are looked down upon by the Canadians. Riel is bilingual and becomes a de facto leader for the Red River Settlement, demanding the right for them to govern themselves within Canada. Not surprisingly, this request is denied, and the conflict is set in motion that ultimately consumes Riel's life.” (from the Publishers Weekly review)

Louis Riel with Profiles of Gabriel Dumont and Poundmaker by Robert Knight

Lord of the Plains, a novel based on the North-West Rebellion of 1885, by Alfred Silver.

The wonderful Gabriel Du Pre mysteries series by Peter Bowen celebrates the Metis heritage of Du Pre.

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