Go West, Television Viewers

There are several classics in the history of television programs set in the old west. A few of them have recently hit the shelves at AADL.

Gunsmoke was on the air from 1955-1975, and is the longest running dramatic series in the history of televison. Set in 1873 in the frontier town of Dodge City, Kansas, Gunsmoke centers around Marshal Matt Dillon and his adventures with saloon-keeper Miss Kitty, Doc Adams, and Deputy Chester Goode.

Another western drama, The Virginian, aired from 1962 to 1971. It was television's first 90-minute western series, and ran for nine seasons, making it television's third longest running western. Set in Wyoming around the year 1886, and loosely based on a 1902 novel by Owen Wister, the series revolved around the foreman of the Shiloh Ranch, known as The Virginian, and his fellow Shiloh Men.

For more westerns, check out the movies in our westerns section, as well as the hit TV show Bonanza.

Famed TV Writer Mark Rothman Reads From His New Book of Essays

Tuesday November 1, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Remember laughing to hit shows such as "Laverne and Shirley," "Happy Days," and "The Odd Couple"? Come to the library and meet the man behind the humor! Famed TV sitcom writer Mark Rothman reads from his book "Mark Rothman's Essays: Many About Show Biz and All About Life."

Whether you watched the shows in the 1970s or saw them in reruns, Rothman's work has made many generations of tv-viewers laugh and escape in his memorable characters.

Books will be available for sale with a book signing following the presentation.

Time to LOL: More MST3K Films

If you’ve been scarfing down the many Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs AADL owns, and are ready for some new additions, you’re in luck. Joel Robinson and Mike Nelson, with Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo and Gypsy (yes, all robots!) will keep you laughing as they poke fun of the best of the worst movies- often science fiction B movies. These guys are the best at what they do. Hot off the delivery truck are some new discs for you to get on the hold list for.

Volume 14: Mad Monsters, Manhunt in Space, Soultaker, Final Justice

Volume 15: The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy, The Girl in Lovers Lane, Zombie Nightmare, Racket Girls

Volume 17: The Crawling Eye, The Beatniks, The Final Sacrifice, Blood Waters of Dr. Z

Power Sewing DVDs

Sandra Betzina, international lecturer, writer, TV personality, and pattern designer, stars in this series of how-to sewing videos from her webTV show. Some also feature writer and designer Ron Collins.

Even if you’re a super sewer these are a great visual aid to hone your skills. If you’re looking to see how others get it done, these DVDs are also for you. I know it helps sometimes to have a visual aid when working on projects.

Power Sewing Skill DVDs to choose from include: Foolproof Buttonholes, Pant Fitting Pointers, Copy Ready-To-Wear, Anatomy of a Jacket, Jeans Couture, and Linings A to Z. Everything you need to figure out fly fronts, hems, sleeves, pockets, vests, alterations, and more.

DVDs in the new-to-AADL Power Sewing Master Series include: Fabrics, Needles and Presser Feet, Pattern Alterations and Interfacing, Details, Behind the Seams, and Home Décor.

Each show provides an in-depth instruction with close-up camera work and graphics. Whether you have been sewing for years, or just getting started, you will learn new methods that will inspire you.

Attention Peaks Freaks

Have you been itching to watch the pilot episode of Twin Peaks? Thanks to some added copies in the AADL collection, you now can. It happens to come from a metallic gold case of magic and wonder. It’s the most beautiful box set to have graced my hands since I purchased the original Twin Peaks box set on VHS, which I still own.

If you’ve been meaning to watch the show for the first time, or fall in love with Agent Cooper all over again, we’ve got you covered. Also added to the collection, is Season 2, Disc 7, which is a disc with bonus features(!) including: Deleted scenes, a slice of lynch, Peaks SNL skits, "Secrets from another place" feature-length documentary, interviews with cast and crew, and much more. It. Is. Purely. Magical. If you're ready to get your David Lynch on.

TV Shows: Bored to Death

It seems like offbeat comedy TV sure is easy to come by these days, and though it may not all be quality, it exists. HBO’s Bored To Death (A noir-otic comedy) is one that hits the funny bone, and hard.

Created by author Jonathan Ames, the show centers around a fictional Jonathan Ames, played by Jason Schwartzman. He is a well meaning but struggling writer, living in New York, who decides to lead a double life by pretending to be a private detective. He starts out by placing an ad on Craigslist, and ends up getting calls for cases that take him on crazy adventures with his two friends George and Ray, played by Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis.

Schwartsman's great, but Danson and Galifianakis kind of steal the show in this one. Their style of comedy is less stuffy than Schwartzman, and their wacky characters allow for some killer scenes with even more killer lines. Danson is at his best in this one.

It’s akin to Curb Your Enthusiasm, Party Down, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Community, if you’re into that. Season 3 of Bored To Death begins this fall on HBO.

Author Birthdays: Potter, Ashbery, Davis

July 28th marks the birthday of authors Beatrix Potter, John Ashbery, and Jim Davis.

Beatrix Potter was an English author known for her children's books, most notably The Tale of Peter Rabbit. There are actually over 20 tales of Peter Rabbit and his fellows, like Mrs. Tittlemouse and Mr. Tod.

Potter's other works include The Fairy Caravan, about a guinea pig who runs away from home to join the circus, and the sort-of-autobiography Letters to Children From Beatrix Potter, edited by Judy Taylor.

John Ashbery is an American poet. According to the Academy of American Poets, he has won nearly every major American award for poetry, and has quite a few other awards as well.

Ashbery's collections include the Griffin Poetry Prize winner Notes From the Air, and the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle and National Book Award winning Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.

Jim Davis is an American cartoonist. You've probably at least heard of his most famous strip, Garfield. In addition to the actual strip, he also helped to write and produce the many TV shows, specials, and CGI movies starring the lazy cat.

While his main cartoon is Garfield, Davis also wrote U.S. Acres, also called Orson's Farm, which you still might recognize if you have ever watched the animated series Garfield And Friends.

If you're looking for Summer Game points, try taking a look at some of those titles!

Author Birthdays: Stone, Garfield, Howatch

July 14th marks the birthday of authors Irving Stone, Leon Garfield, and Susan Howatch.

Irving Stone was an American historical fiction author. His most well known novel may be The Agony and the Ecstasy, a book about the Renaissance artist Michelangelo. The book was also made into a movie starring Charlton Heston.

Stone's main works are all fictionalized biographies. In addition to Michelangelo, he also wrote books on artists Vincent Van Gogh and Camille Pissarro. The novel of Van Gogh was also made into a movie.

Leon Garfield was a British children's historical fiction writer. He also adapted many Shakespearean tales for children, which we have in both written and audio formats, as well as the television show Shakespeare: The Animated Tales.

Garfield's original works include Smith, which is about a 18th century London pickpocket, and The Empty Sleeve, a ghost story featuring protagonist twins.

Susan Howatch is a British fiction writer known for her family sagas and religious themes. Her most popular series is probably the Starbridge Series of six books about a fictional Anglican diocese called Starbridge. The first book in the series is Glittering Images.

Howatch also wrote many stand-alone books. These include The Waiting Sands, which Library Journal described as "three tales of romantic suspense," and Penmarric, a novel set in medieval Cornwall.

Author Birthdays: Heinlein, Eddings, McCullough

July 7th marks the birthday of authors Robert A. Heinlein, David Eddings, and David McCullough.

Robert A. Heinlein was an American author of science fiction and first winner of the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. He still holds the record for winning the most Hugo Awards for Best Novel, awarded for Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and the Retro winner Farmer in the Sky.

Heinlein also had a few Hugo Best Novel short-listed books: Have Space Suit--Will Travel, Glory Road, Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long, Friday, and Job: A Comedy of Justice.

David Eddings was an American writer mostly known for his fantasy series. Many of these series, including The Dreamers, were co-written with his wife, Leigh.

Eddings also wrote some non-fantasy novels. Regina's Song, also written with his wife, is a fictional work about twins and their relationships. Booklist called it "a story of murder and revenge sporting supernatural overtones."

David McCullough is an American author and historian, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has also won the Pulitzer twice for his biographies of Harry S. Truman and John Adams. The HBO television series John Adams and the film Truman were both based on his books.

McCullough has also written non-biographies. His The Path Between The Seas : The Creation Of The Panama Canal, 1870-1914 won four awards in 1978. Library Journal noted that in it "McCullough's careful research and genius for narrative come brilliantly through."

Author Birthdays: Awdry, Clampitt, Jacques

June 15th marks the birthday of authors W. Awdry, Amy Clampitt, and Brian Jacques.

W. Awdry was an English children's author and Anglican reverend. His best known works are those in the Railway Series, from which you may know Thomas the Tank Engine.

Awdry created the stories about the railway in order to comfort his young son Christopher, who had the measles. He wrote a total of 26 books in the series; he also wrote other books, but unfortunately, there are no copies available at Michigan libraries.

Amy Clampitt was an American poet who was first published at the age of fifty-eight. Her first collection, The Kingfisher, made her a known and respected poet in 1983.

Clampitt's fifth and last collection was Silence Opens, which Booklist called "dramatic and wry and always in motion." The collection focuses on crossroads, and includes a poem about the legend of Pocahontas.

Brian Jacques was an English writer most known for his Redwall series; all of the characters in Redwall are animals Jacques passed away due to a heart attack in February, but the last Redwall novel, The Rogue Crew, was released early last month.

Jacques wrote other series, including Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman ship and its survivors, cursed with immortality.

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