Josh Cox Breaks American 50k Road Record

A couple of Sundays ago, 35 year old American distance runner, Josh Cox, won P.F. Chang's Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon with a blistering, Olympic Trial qualifying time of 2:17:48. But that's not all. After crossing the finish line, Cox kept running in the 50k race (31.07 miles) and not only won that but set a new American record for the 50k road distance, while coming in just 7 seconds shy of the world record. His marathon pace was a crushing 5:15 minutes per mile, while his 50k pace was only one second per mile slower at 5:16 m/m. Unbelievable. As a litmus test for the age group athlete, the current Boston Marathon qualifying time for men under 35 is 3:10:59, or 7:16 m/m. Josh Cox was running 2 minutes per mile faster than that.

If you're inspired to take a crack at a 5k or an ultramarathon or something in between, the AADL has a wide range of run training resources for both the beginner looking to cross the finish line for the first time and the veteran aiming for a new personal record.

Robert Plant Playing Hill Auditorium on Friday, January 21

In the three decades since Led Zeppelin's breakup, singer Robert Plant has found success where many formerly-iconic band members have failed. Namely, he has been recording music as a solo artist that both critics and audiences actually want to hear.

Lou Reed forged similar success in the 1970s, with the popularity of his early solo records largely hinging on the inclusion of songs he wrote with the Velvet Underground. Plant, however, has been taking a different approach by re-imagining songs written by other musicians, many of whom, like the Everly Brothers and Gene Clark, peaked in popularity before Led Zeppelin was a household name.

Plant's 2007 duet album, Raising Sand, with bluegrass superstar, Allison Krauss, won five Grammys -- including Album of the Year -- and sold well over one million units, which in today's market is outstanding. Much like Gram Parsons' collaboration with Emmylou Harris on G.P., Krauss and Plant strike an uncanny balance between the gritty and the seamless in their voices to create a blend as cool as a DQ Blizzard.

Robert Plant plays the Hill Auditorium this Friday, January 21 behind his latest release, Band of Joy, which is also up for Grammy Awards and has received similar accolades for his work with the indelible Patty Griffin.

2011 Best in Genre Fiction - American Library Association Reading List Council Awards

ala reading listala reading list

The Reading List annually recognizes the best books in eight genres: adrenaline (including suspense, thriller and adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and women’s fiction. This year’s list includes novels that will please die-hard fans, as well as introduce new readers to the pleasures of genre fiction - and what pleases me most is to see many debut novels among the winners and on the shortlists.

The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Historical Fiction
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh

Science Fiction
The Dervish House by IIan McDonald

Women’s Fiction
Solomon’s Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson

Best Audiobooks of the Year

audio booksaudio books

Library Journal, one of the most trusted review source for librarians and avid readers (and in this case, listeners) just picked the 2010 Best Audiobooks of the Year.

There is a nice mix of fiction and non-fiction and is guaranteed to bring you hours of listening pleasure.

One Book - Three Major Awards

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia won three major awards this year. It won the 2011 Scott O'Dell Award for best children's historical fiction title. It also won the 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Award given by the American Library Association for best African-American author. The title was also named a 2011 Newbery Award honor book.
The crazy summer occurs in 1968 when three young girls are sent from their home in Brooklyn to Oakland, California to visit their mother. Their mother is a very reluctant parent who doesn't want to be bothered with child care. The girls spend their days at a community center run by The Black Panthers. This book places three young girls in the middle of that historically significant summer.

2011 Stonewall Book Awards

Stonewall AwardStonewall Award

The Stonewall Book Awards are presented to books that have exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexuality/transgendered experience.

2011 Winner
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
You only hurt the ones you love. Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.

Ann Arbor Illustrator Wins 2011 Caldecott Award

Ann Arbor resident Erin Stead has won the 2011 Caldecott Award for best illustration of a children's book for her book A Sick Day for Amos McGee. This award is given annually by the American Library Association. The charming picture book, written by Ms. Stead's husband Philip, tells the story of what happens when the zookeeper calls in sick. The animals know what good care he takes of them so they try to reciprocate the favor. Picture a group of zoo animals taking a city bus across town to the zookeeper's home.
This is a lovely picture book.

2011 William C. Morris Debut YA Award

WIlliam C. Morris Debut YA AwardWIlliam C. Morris Debut YA Award

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.

2011 Winner
The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston
Suffering from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder, sixteen-year-old Loa Lindgren tries to use her problem solving skills, sharpened in physics and computer programming, to cure herself.

2011 Finalists
Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Hush by Eishes Chayil

2011 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

YALSA Excellence in Young Adult NonfictionYALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction

Winners of the best nonfiction published for teens between November 1, 2010 – October 31, 2011 are:

2011 Winner
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel
Forty years after her death, Janis Joplin remains among the most compelling and influential figures in rock history. Her story is one of a girl who struggled against rules and limitations, yet worked diligently to improve as a singer.

2011 Finalists
The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul Janeczko

Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw

Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement by Rick Bowers

They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

2011 Printz Award winners

Printz MedalPrintz Medal

The following Printz titles were announced at ALA Midwinter in San Diego:

2011 Printz Award Medal
Ship Breaker by Paola Bacigalupi
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

2011 Printz Honor books:
Nothing by Janne Teller

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Revolver by Marcus Sedgewick

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

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