Ages 18+.

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor: February 20 & March 27

For the last year, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

The next Nerd Nite will be next Thursday, February 20, at LIVE (102 S First St.). Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm. What topics are on tap? Find out where beer came from, what the inside of your hand looks like, and just who is looking through all the cameras you see everywhere! Cover is just $5 (payable in cash at the door, or in advance).

There's big news about March's Nerd Nite: AADL will be co-presenting the March 27 edition of Nerd Nite (thus making that date free for all to attend). We're still finalizing the speaker line-up, so if you have something you'd love to talk about, submit your talk idea ASAP. There's a chance you could be of the speakers!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome!

Reviews of New, Great Books from NPR!

Fans of “All Things Considered” on NPR may have heard reviews of some of the exciting new titles being released this month. Meg Wolitzer, author of the hugely popular The Interestings, reviewed a new collection of short stories by Molly Antopol, called The UnAmericans. These stories cover a wide range of geographic settings and time periods, and “keep going right past the point where you thought they would end,” says Wolitzer. Jumping from New York City, to the Ukraine, to Nazi-invaded Europe, the stories focus mainly on family and the connections we share with other individuals, be they strong or tenuous.

Also on “All Things Considered,” Ellah Alfrey reviewed Penelope Lively’s new book, Dancing Fish and Ammonites. Lively herself has been writing for 44 years and is the beloved author of both children’s books and award-winning novels. She classifies Dancing Fish and Ammonites as a memoir, but Alfrey argues that it is “less a memoir in the conventional sense and more a collection of thoughts, a scattering of advice and a reading list to treasure.” In it, Lively shares excerpts of her life (she was born in Egypt and sent to boarding school in England when she was 12, where she later attended university and raised a family) as well as observations that she has made over the years about the world as a whole. All of this is laced with quiet humor.

On NPR’s website, you can read and listen to the complete reviews of The UnAmericans and Dancing Fish and Ammonites here and here.

Support for Adults with ADHD

Are you or a loved one affected with Adult Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder? If so, you may be interested in joining a local discussion group for information or support. This group meets from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the WISD Teaching and Learning Center each month. The next meeting is Tuesday, February 18th from 7:00-8:30 pm. The meeting will include resources, an opportunity to share experiences and ideas. The following week, February 25, the group hosts speaker Sally Palaian, Ph.D with a talk titled: "Shame Free Money Management for Individuals with AD/HD". For more information contact: AnnArborADDults@gmail.com.

Parent’s Corner: Behavior Management

With parenthood comes a child that is a unique individual with their own way of behaving and viewing the world. One may ask: Is my child supposed to be behaving this way? They are out of control, what can I do? Why won’t my willful child listen to me? Why do they behave fine at home but act out in public? Maybe there are no correct answers to these questions, but boy do they get asked.

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including behavior and everything from language to potty training to safety to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

The Parent Shelf has an assortment of books on the topic of child behavior. Here are a few to think about:

* Calm mama, happy baby: the simple, intuitive way to tame tears, improve sleep, and help your family thrive

* You can't make me (but I can be persuaded) : strategies for bringing out the best in your strong-willed child

* No more meltdowns : positive strategies for managing and preventing out-of-control behavior

Fun With Die-Cuts: Using the Sizzix Big Shot

Wednesday, February 19 | 6:30-8pm | Downtown – MPR | For grades 6th through Adult

Join us for an evening of paper craft fun. We will be using Sizzix Big Shot die-cut machines to create an assortment of paper die-cuts that can be use in making cards. There will be instruction on how to use the machine, and we’ll have all the paper and cards on hand for you to get creative with.

Soon several Sizzix Big Shot Machines will be joining AADL’s new collection of Art Tools that will circulate! This is a chance for you to explore all that the Sizzix Big Shot can do for your paper craft projects before it goes into circulation.

This event is for teens and adults, grade 6th and up.

Performance Network: Venus in Fur

Performance Netowrk Theatre -- in downtown Ann Arbor at 120 E. Huron -- will show Venus in Fur, a sex comedy by David Ives Feb. 27 - April 6. The Performance Network website describes the play as "A Sexy New Play from Broadway . . . Thomas, a beleaguered playwright/director, is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochist tale Venus in Fur. Into the audition room walks a vulgar and distraught actress—oddly enough, named Vanda. Though utterly wrong for the part, Vanda exhibits a strange command of the material. As the two work through the script, the lines between play and reality blur, entering into an increasingly serious battle of submission and domination that only one of them can win." Previews are February 27 – March 6. Opening Night: is March 7. Ticket information is here.

MUSIC TOOLS @ AADL! Play the Theramin!

It is the only musical instrument that you play without touching it. Invented in 1920 by Leon Theremin, the Theremin's distinctive "otherworldly" electronic sound infuses such famous movie soundtracks as the original The Day the Earth Stood Still and Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound. (A cousin of the Theremin, the Electro-Theremin creates "that sound" on The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations.) And if you watched the FX show American Horror Story: Coven, one of the witches on the show, Myrtle, played by the formidable and fantastic, Frances Conroy, played the Theramin on the show a few times. Wonder if you can play the instrument yourself? AADL is now offering a Moog Etherwave Theremin for checkout as part of the Music Tools collection, complete with User's Guide and the "Mastering the Theremin" DVD. Music Tools can be checked out for a week, are not renewable and not requestable. You can find them on the shelves next to the Downtown Library Circulation Desk.

Learn more about Leon Theremin's unusual life in the documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey and explore other electronic instruments in the Music Tools collection such as the Stylophone and the Monotron.

Best New Music At AADL

AADL is constantly adding to its diverse selection of new CDs. If you're seeking some great new tunes, consider the following must-hear material.

"You Were Right," Brendan Benson: You may already know Royal Oak native Brendan Benson from his work alongside Jack White in the Raconteurs. But Benson has been churning out terrific, twangy power-pop of his own since 1996, and his sixth solo full-length is another fine addition to his catalog. The record includes jammy earworms like "It's Your Choice" and "Long Term Goal," but Benson also proves his maturity as a songwriter. The bittersweet ballad "Oh My Love," describing a loving relationship that just doesn't have a future, is an affecting standout.

"Are We There Yet?," The Verve Pipe: Brendan Benson isn't the only Michigan star with a new record in the AADL catalog. East Lansing alt-rockers the Verve Pipe have returned with their second foray into the world of children's music. You may know them for radio hits like "The Freshmen," but their kids' tunes are just as listenable (if not more so). Parents are quite likely to find just as much entertainment and humor in tunes like "When Grandma Says No" and "My Principal Rocks" as the kids do. And catchy pop melodies recalling the hooky bombast of Weezer make this one of those rare children's albums that parents won't mind playing for the millionth time.

"Wig Out At Jagbags," Stephen Malkmus: Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has had a robust solo career since Pavement parted ways in 1999, and his latest release is among his best. Clocking in at around 40 minutes, it's one of Malkmus' more focused sets of songs; there's more hooks, clearer songwriting, and less psychedelia here than anything he's done in a while. And while Malkmus may now be a dad pushing 50, he's got a great sense of humor about his aging hipsterdom; check out the tuneful and hilarious "Rumble At the Rainbo," where he cracks wise about "slam dancing with some ancient dudes."

Find more great new CDs here.

New Podcast Series: Martin Bandyke Under Covers

Many Ann Arborites recognize Martin Bandyke as the longtime morning drive host at ann arbor’s 107one, WQKL-FM, his home station since 2006. In addition to a friendly voice guiding locals through their a.m. soundtrack, Bandyke is also known for his delightfully format-free Fine Tuning program on Sundays. Readers of the Detroit Free Press may have enjoyed his periodic music coverage as well.

Prior to his tenure with 107one, listeners in Southeastern Michigan benefited from Bandyke's vast musical knowledge through his role at WDET-FM, Detroit - first as a host, and subsequently as Music Director from 1995-2005. His own passion for music began with his father Ted's love of records, evolved through his role as a gigging drummer, and led to working behind the counter as a musical matchmaker at Dearborn Music and Car City Records.

Although Bandyke's talent is no secret, many of the things he loves are found between covers - including both records and books. With this in mind, AADL is pleased to be partnering with Bandyke for a new series of podcasts, called Martin Bandyke Under Covers. These podcasts, hosted by Bandyke, evidence his knowledge of music and pop culture in interviews with a variety of authors, musicians and creators.

In the first Under Covers podcast, Bandyke chats with Ray Davies of the Kinks about his new memoir, Americana. The second episode features Bandyke in conversation with Vivek Tiwary about his graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle (a recent #1 on the New York Times best-sellers list), which traces the story of Brian Epstein, the Liverpool record shop owner who discovered and then managed the Beatles from 1961 until his untimely death in 1967.

These two episodes are just the beginning for Martin Bandyke Under Covers - stay tuned for more conversations and interviews with creative minds! If your interest in popular culture and media extends to film, we hope you'll join Bandyke with Michigan Theater director Russ Collins for an Academy Awards Preview event, Downtown on Wednesday, February 26, 7-8:30pm.

Available for Download through AADL: Books by Local Author Tristan Gregory

All four titles in The Wandering Tale series by local author Tristan Gregory are now available for download from the catalog! Satisfy an appetite for adventure (think swords, knights, and damsels and distress) with these little gems. Tight schedule? No worries - read a novella in one sitting!

If you're looking for something a little meatier, try Gregory's epic fantasy novel Twixt Heaven and Hell, where one wizard who dreams of peace will clash with a power-hungry warlord in control of sorcerers and demons in a battle to save his precious land and people. Full of magic, action, and plenty of atmospheric suspense - fantasy fans won't want to miss this one!

To download a book, click on one of the links below, then click on the book cover image underneath "Download This Item". Easy!! (If you aren't logged into your AADL account, you'll be prompted to do so - still pretty easy).

The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth (Wandering Tale 1)
The Three Fingers of Death (Wandering Tale 2)
The Giant of Tidesmouth (Wandering Tale 3)
The Crown Unconquered (Wandering Tale 4)

Twixt Heaven and Hell

Le Morte d'Arthur (a short story to whet your appetite)

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