November's New Book Clubs to Go

We have 5 new sets of Book Clubs to Go for your book clubs. Again, we tried to strike a balance between the classics, the literary, the popular, and the award winners - fiction and nonfiction.

A Death in the Family is the 1958 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by James Agee who reconstructs through the lens of fiction the real-life car accident that claimed his father when James was not yet six years old.

Half Broke Horses, called a true-life novel (read the New York Times review) by Jeannette Walls who brings us the story of her grandmother Lily Casey Smith, a no-nonsense, resourceful, hard working woman who survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy.

Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, a gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when her mother the headliner dies, the family is plunged into chaos and it is left up to Ava to save them all. Karen Russell's Swamplandia is a seriously fun read to share.

The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it's about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old.

In The Tiger's Wife , Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife. Winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for debut novelist Tea Obreht.

Solar Eclipse Today (Only Visible in Australia)

The only total solar eclipse of 2012 will begin around 3:35pm EST today, November 13, and it will last all of two whole minutes, so try not to blink. Unfortunately, it will only be visible live from certain areas of Queensland, Australia and some empty parts of the Pacific Ocean. The good news is that you can watch the solar eclipse live online via streaming sites, including Cairns Eclipse 2012 on USTREAM, which will begin streaming around 2:00 pm.

More resources on eclipses are available here from the AADL, and don't miss one of the newest additions to our collection, the Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Dobsonian Telescope, which checks out for two weeks at a time.

Celebrate Astronomy Day at Peach Mountain!

Saturday, October 20 | 7:00 - midnight | Peach Mountain, Dexter, Michigan

Saturday, October 20, is Astronomy Day! and AADL is partnering with the University Lowbrow Astronomers for a public viewing starting after sunset at Peach Mountain, a dark sky area roughly 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor off North Territorial Rd. in Stinchfield Woods.

You'll be treated to views through large-aperture telescopes, including the 24-inch McMath telescope located on site. Guidelines, maps, directions and parking information are available. Open houses will be cancelled if conditions are unusually cold or if it's cloudy. If you're unsure, check back here for an update at 4:00 p.m. October 20.

50th Anniversary of the Port Huron Statement

Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the now-legendary Port Huron Statement, a manifesto written by “Students for a Democratic Society” (SDS) at a retreat on Lake Huron in 1962. From October 31 - November 2, the University of Michigan is hosting A New Insurgency: The Port Huron Statement in Its Time and Ours, a free 3-day public conference exploring the significance of the Port Huron Statement and its social, political and cultural consequences for the New Left of the 1960s - from anti-war movements to civil rights and women’s liberation movements. We’ve pulled together articles from our Oldnews archive about the Students for a Democratic Society, featuring SDS co-founders Tom Hayden and Alan Haber and reflections from other New Left activists over the intervening years.

PreK Bits - Robots


Ms. Rachel featured Robots this week in Preschool Storytime.
If you want more ROBOTS stuff try Public Lists at Robots for PreK and Robots for 1st to 5th grade.
Did you know about making robot music with some of our cool music tools?
Checkout a Thingamagoop, or a Ningen Gakki 2 and 3 from the AADL Music Tool Collection.
BoOP-beEP-boOP ....

Storytelling with the Stars on the Autumnal Equinox

Friday, September 21, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Grab a free star map this Friday evening and join us for a stellar storytelling journey bringing the stars and constellations alive on the eve of the autumnal equinox. Mary Stewart Adams, storyteller, star lore historian, and one of the primary movers behind the recently established Michigan Dark Sky Coast, has studied the star tales and myths of many cultures and she'll be your guide to our starry night.

After the program, three lucky attendees will get to take home one of our circulating telescopes!

As the Program Director for the Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Emmett county, Mary regularly tells star stories on the dark shores of Lake Michigan. She recently talked with us about her passion for reconnecting us with the night sky and about the passage of Michigan Public Act 251, establishing a 23,000-acre Dark Sky Preserve in Michigan.

Coming Soon -- New Book Clubs to Go Kits

The AADL's Book Clubs to Go collection continues to grow! Book Clubs To Go (BCTG) is a service of the AADL that provides local book clubs with the convenience of complete kits for book discussions. Included in each BCTG are 10 copies of the featured book for discussion (or 10 each of two related titles), 1 copy of movie DVD if available, a resource folder containing the following: summary information and reviews of the title(s); author biography; a list of suggested discussion questions and read-alikes; tips for book groups; and evaluation forms so you can let us know what you think of the service.

The library will be releasing several new BCTG kits in the coming weeks, including the following:

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai is the story of "Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, who finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home."

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, is a non-fiction book that "intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death."

The Greater Journey by David McCullough, also non-fiction, is "the enthralling, inspiring -- and until now, untold -- story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work"

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet is "the first-ever memoir by an autistic savant, a man who can speak ten languages, who sees numbers with color and texture, who broke a record by memorizing over 22,000 digits of pi --and can write about it all with inspiring and heartbreaking simplicity and clarity."

In Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell, "sixteen-year-old Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. Her river odyssey through rural Michigan becomes a defining journey, one that leads her beyond self-preservation and to the decision of what price she is willing to pay for her choices."

Exhibition of New Art Prints

On view on the third floor of the Downtown Library is the current exhibition of new art prints just added to the circulating collection.

While we continue to add new images of perennial favorites like Ansel Adams, Richard Diebenkorn, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Mark Rothko to the collection, we are always looking to introduce new talents and new artists into the mix.

Rhett Lynch of New Mexico, is a mufti-talented artist whose whimsical depiction of family pets are delightful (Art Print 614, image at left). Fiona Hoop, is actually the collaborative work of two Toronto (Canada) artists - Michele Woodey and Mary Kennedy. We hope you will enjoy their contemplative abstract landscape Blue Sky.

And at long last, we were able to add to the collection British-born photographer (now based in Seattle) Michael Kenna's work, this one capturing an atmospheric and moody view of Marly-le-Rio, France.

These and other prints will be available for circulation on October 11th, 2012 when the exhibition closes.

Monotron Family Now Available For Checkout


The Korg Monotrons are great little synths featuring real analog sound which fit comfortably in your pocket, so you can take them anywhere. Think of them as 21st century Stylophones. The Monotron sports a low-pass filter taken directly from the classic MS10 and MS20 synths for warping and distorting your sound. The Monotron Duo features a second analog oscillator for twice the fun. And then there's the Monotron Delay whose "space delay" effect lets you create classic science-fictiony sounds. To hear them in action check out their catalog records. We've just added eight of each to the Music Tools collection, and there are currently a bunch of them on the Downtown Stuff Shelf, so get yours today. Music Tools circulate for one week and are currently not requestable and not renewable.

Meet The Pocket Piano


The Pocket Piano from Critter & Guitari is part piano, part synthesizer and all awesome with its green aluminum enclosure and little wooden buttons. Little. Wooden. Buttons. It operates on one 9V battery and includes its own speaker, so it's the perfect size to throw in your backpack for a day of startling woodland critters at the park. You get seven sound modes: vibrato synth, harmonic sweeper, two-octave arpeggiator, octave cascade, mono FM synth, FM arpeggiator and a space age mono glider. On top of that the first four modes let you choose between four different waveforms: sine, square, triangle and sawtooth. If you don't know what any of those are, don't worry, its easy to pick up and play, and figuring out how it works is half the fun. We've just placed five Pocket Pianos on the Stuff Shelf at the Downtown Library, near the circulation desk, so get yours today. They circulate for one week, and are not requestable and not renewable. If you would like special notice when new batches of instruments are dropped you can follow the Music Tools collection on Twitter @aadl_mtools.

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