Ages 18+.

Habitat for Humanity's Refrigerator Replacement Program!

Here's good news for residents of single family homes in Washtenaw County who may qualify for Habitat for Humanity’s Refrigerator Replacement Program. This opportunity has been extended through June 15, 2014! In partnership with DTE, through this program, qualified applicants can receive a new, EnergyStar Frigidaire refrigerator at no cost, delivered to their home. For more information about how to enroll online, look here.

To date, H4H has helped 830 individuals and families cut their utility bills with new, energy efficient refrigerators. They would love to help 800 more!

Bust Buddies Michigan Friendship Walk

Best Buddies is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan are working together in order to meet this goal by partnering to put on a one mile friendship awareness walk on Saturday, April 5, 12-3 pm at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor. Visit Best Buddies Michigan to register and support this effort.

Hitler's Children

This moving documentary tackles what it means to have a negative family legacy, and how different descendants strive to overcome the guilt they feel for what their ancestors have done. It follows the children and grandchildren of Goering, Himmler, and Frank. They reminisce about their childhood and reflect on memories they have of their relatives. Their stories are riveting and have much to teach those of us who are familiar with history but may not have as much of a personal connection to the narratives that spring from that history.

Some descendants exile themselves like Bettina Goering, who now resides in the Santa Fe desert. The film shows her throwing a get together for friends and neighbors where she celebrates German heritage with traditional German food and music. One gets the impression that she is desperately trying to reclaim the good aspects of her cultural history. Others such at Niklas Frank (son of Hans Frank and Hitler’s godson), have devoted their lives to passionately speaking out against the crimes of their relatives. Frank travels around speaking about the atrocities his parents committed and fervently admonishes them.

If you are interested in this topic and wish to discover more stories and psychological effects of growing up with such relatives make sure to check out Hitler's Children the book, as well as Born Guilty and Legacy of Silence. Also, if you are interested in discovering more about your own family history be sure to check out the ancestry.com library edition that is available at your local AADL branch.

Winter is on its way out, but Season 4 of Game of Thrones is coming!

Many of us are eagerly awaiting the start of season four of Game of Thrones, which begins on Sunday, April 6th on HBO. The AADL has the first three seasons of the show on DVD and Blu-Ray, but we also have a large selection of other Game of Thrones-related materials that fans may be interested in. The show was inspired by and is strictly based on the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. The library has all five of the currently published books available. Martin has said that he may publish the sixth installment of the series, The Winds of Winter, in 2015. Even if you’ve already seen the show, reading the books is a cool way to find out more details and clear up any confusion.

The AADL also has graphic novel adaptations of Game of Thrones. These are fast-paced and colorful reads that fans will surely enjoy. There are also unique books about the Game of Thrones fantasy world and the show in our collection. The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister collects a number of the hilarious and witty quotes said by one of the most popular characters into a fun book. The Unofficial Game of Thrones cookbook: from direwolf ale to auroch stew—more than 150 recipes from Westeros and beyond has appetizers, side dishes, main courses and desserts, all inspired by meals or situations from Game of Thrones. We also have the official companion to the HBO show, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones. It is filled with hundreds of photos of the set, actors, and props from the show. Finally, an extremely helpful book is The Lands of Ice and Fire: maps from King’s Landing to across the Narrow Sea, a collection of maps and diagrams that show the world described by Martin in his books and shown to viewers on the show. As fans know, keeping the many settings of Game of Thrones straight can be a challenge; this book can help those who are struggling better visualize the continents of Westeros and Essos

March into a Book Club to Go!

Over the next few weeks the AADL will be rolling out six new Book Clubs to Go. There will be a mix of fiction and non-fiction that will include Amy Tan’s newest book, The Valley of Amazement and Robert K. Massie’s best-seller, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Keep your eyes open for the following titles:

Fiction:
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Disclafani
Exiled to an equestrian boarding school in the South at the height of the Great Depression for her role in a family tragedy, strong-willed teen Thea Atwell grapples with painful memories while acclimating to the school's strict environment.

The Round House by Louis Erdrich
When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
Recruited into MI5 against a backdrop of the Cold War in 1972, Cambridge student Serena Frome, a compulsive reader, is assigned to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer whose politics align with those of the government, a situation that is compromised when she falls in love with him.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Violet is one of the most celebrated courtesans in Shanghai, a beautiful and intelligent woman who has honed her ability to become any man's fantasy since her start as a 'Virgin Courtesan' at the age of twelve. Half-Chinese and half-American, she moves effortlessly between the East and the West. But her talents belie her private struggle to understand who she really is and her search for a home in the world.

Non-Fiction:
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Eric Larson
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity

Missing Downton Abbey? Try these readalikes!

For Downton Abbey fans, the recent conclusion of Season 4 on PBS brings a long wait before we get to enjoy more of Lady Mary, Tom Branson, Anna, and our other favorite characters. If you are missing Downton Abbey, why not try some of the Downton Abbey readalikes that the AADL has to offer? The library has some wonderful fiction and non-fiction books that will transport you back to the time period of Downton Abbey, making the wait for Season 5 a bit easier!

Try Lady Almina and the Read Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle, the fascinating story of the real family that inspired the creation of the television show, written by the Countess of Carnarvon, an inhabitant of the castle today. The true story and the show have many parallels, and this amazing book draws on diary entries, letters, photographs and remaining physical materials to paint a vivid picture of life at Highclere Castle during the early twentieth century. This book also has a companion: Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, which tells the story of the American woman who married the man who would eventually become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon. Similar to Cora and Lord Grantham, Lady Catherine and her husband must struggle to cope with changes in the traditions of the British aristocracy during the tumultuous period after World War I.

If fiction is more your style, try the sweeping novel Belle Cora, the story of a determined woman who was orphaned at a young age, sent into near slavery at her aunt and uncle’s farm, and eventually ends up in Gold Rush California, the adventures piling up along the way. The story paints a vivid picture of the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. We also have A Star For Mrs. Blake, the story of five American women who travel to France in the early 1930s to seek out the graves of their sons, who all died during World War I. The women are drastically different and meet for the first time right before they set out on their journey. Readers of A Star For Mrs. Blake will enjoy this moving story and recognize the book’s descriptions of the post-war era in Europe from the more recent seasons of Downton Abbey.

We also have Park Lane, the story of a young girl who takes a position as a housemaid in 1914 on Park Lane in London and gets caught up in the lives of the home’s wealthy inhabitants, and A Spider in the Cup, a mystery set in 1933 that begins with the discovery of the body of a young woman in the Thames River.

Finally, why not try your hand at a few Downton Abbey-motivated recipes while you wait for Season 5? AADL has The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook and Edwardian Cooking: 80 recipes inspired by Downton Abbey’s elegant meals.

Happy Downton-inspired reading (and cooking)!

HBO's True Detective Season Finale is Sunday - Still Time to Read The King in Yellow - NO SPOILERS!

True Detective is an American television anthology crime drama series on HBO. Season one stars Matthew McConaughey, and Woody Harrelson, and uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives' hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years.

If you've been watching HBO's hot, new series, you're probably obsessed with all of the various literary allusions and references. If you have delved into the fandom behind the show you definitely want to read The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers. The King in Yellow was originally published in 1895 and is now in the public domain. We uploaded a PDF copy to our catalog (from Project Gutenberg) so AADL cardholders can download and read it easily. Some unscrupulous types are taking advantage of the hype and printing the free PDF and charging people for a copy.

Even if you don't have an AADL card you can find free copies, in a variety of formats, of the book at Project Gutenberg.

For even more True Detective-related reads, check out this list.

Cooking on a Budget

For those of us on a budget, making tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can be a challenge. Good ingredients can be expensive and the most delicious recipes are often complex and call for a number of pricey items. Here at AADL we have a number of budget-friendly cookbooks that can help you eat well while not breaking the bank. Budget Bytes: over 100 delicious recipes to slash your grocery bill in half is a brand new cookbook by the creater of the hugely popular Budget Bytes blog. Caroline Wright’s Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals: for four people is a great cookbook for those hoping to feed small families. Her book includes healthy, tasty recipes in all forms including vegetarian and vegan recipes, pizzas and desserts.

Student cookbooks can also be a great way to find easy, inexpensive recipes. We have The Ultimate Student Cookbook, the Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook and the Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook and Young and Hungry: making the most of fresh and affordable food, as well as several others.

There are also some wonderful cookbooks in our collection for those intending to eat locally and seasonally while also remaining on a budget. Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons: celebrate the holidays with elegance and simplicity on any income is a lovely book that uses seasonally-appropriate, inexpensive recipes. There is also The Locavore’s Handbook: the busy person’s guide to eating local on a budget, which offers practical advice for using local food in easy recipes. This book is especially useful for those of us in Michigan, since author Leda Meredith’s advice is geared towards those living in colder climates!

A "Dystology": the Unwind series

I have to start this entry with a shout out to the kid at Mallett's Creek who informed me that this was, in fact, a series. (I was pretty excited.) Thanks, kid, wherever you are. *high five* I'm passing on your knowledge.

For fans of dystopian novels, if you haven't checked this out, it might be a good fit for you. The first book, Unwind, was written as a self-contained story that was satisfying within itself, but the sequels do not disappoint. It's a disturbingly unique take on the dystopian genre that's been taking over the world lately.

The series follows several different teens through their struggle to survive in a world of extremes. With a devastating moral war behind them, abortion has become illegal for any reason, but in the law's wake comes a startling counter-measure: teens who are unruly or unwanted can be "unwound", put into in a "divided state" with all of their parts going to other individuals in need. Parents get to decide their children's fate.

Connor, Risa and Lev have all been signed over to be unwound. But will they make it through? And at what cost? As the series goes along, author Neal Shusterman explores the some serious morals and ethics as well as what makes a human being human and individual.

Sadly, we'll all have to wait to find out how things end, because the conclusion to the series, Undivided, is not due out until this summer. But with the demand on this series already, surely the AADL is on the watch for it!

Gravity: Visually Stunning, Prize Winning Film

For an entertaining 90-minute break from Earth, check out the movie Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. "Houston" down below is the voice of Ed Harris. Space is depicted as a very dangerous place -- a New York Times reviewer called this film a "Jack London tale in orbit."
Last night the film won seven (7!) Academy Awards, including best director, best cinematography, and best visual effects.
In the film, Sandra Bullock plays Ryan Stone, a star scientist and mother who has lost her young daughter. George Clooney is a seasoned astronaut. Following an accident, the two are stranded in space, facing daunting challenges such as trying to avoid a lethal storm of debris.
Alfonso Cuaron wrote the script with his son Jonás. Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is beyond fabulous. State-of- the- art special effects, both analog and digital, made me feel like I was, yes, floating in space.
Rating is PG 13. Currently at AADL there are 680 requests on 40 copies of the DVD and 437 requests on 30 copies of the Blu-ray. Place your order now!

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