Non-Fiction Selections From Ann Arbor District Library's Staff Picks

The Staff Picks shelf is downtown on the first floor. Here is a brief snapshot of what staff members of the Ann Arbor District Library are currently recommending:

1945 London’s financial center was in ruins like everything else in England. How does a German exile named Siegmund Warburg become "the man who, more than any other, saved the City." Find out in Niall Ferguson’s High Financier: the Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg. “Its many finance lessons aside, "High Financier" is a pleasure to read simply as a work of literary skill. It is not only prodigiously researched but also splendidly written…”—WSJ

Richard Holmes, author of biographies of Shelley and Coleridge, writes about “wonder”-driven figures like the astronomer William Herschel, the chemist Humphry Davy and the explorer Joseph Banks who brought “a new imaginative intensity and excitement to scientific work” and “produced a new vision which has rightly been called Romantic science,” in The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. “Well researched and vividly written, The Age of Wonder will fascinate scientists and poets alike.”—Literary Review

Born in Cherbourg in 1915, Roland Barthes was a literary critic, theorist and philosopher. Rustle of Language is a collection of his essays including one "Reading Brillat-Savarin," the late 18th, early 19th-Century inventor of modern gastronomy, which offers a multiminded reading of the scientific, social, linguistic, political, physiological, historical and aesthetic significances of this remarkable book.”—LA Times

If you are interested in the story behind Smirnoff Vodka, look no further than The King of Vodka. The author “has produced a deeply researched book on the founder of Smirnoff, the world's No. 1 vodka, now owned by British spirits giant Diageo. The narrative she weaves follows Smirnov from his boyhood as a serf in a farming village 170 miles from Moscow to his death in 1898 as one of Russia's richest men, with a fortune worth more than $130 million.”—Bloomberg Business Week

1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die is just a fun compilation by Tony Visconti and Robert Dimery. Want the backstory to the greatest songs recorded in the 20th century? Sister Morphine, Redemption Song, Champagne Supernova, Living for the City, Mykonos and Doll Parts are just a few covered with additional information about artists’ influences and the artists they in turn influenced.

UMS Book Discussion for Teachers * Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

University of Michigan Musical Society has one of the largest K-12 education initiatives in the State of Michigan, dedicated to making world-class performance opportunities and professional development activities available to educators and students. Tuesday, November 29, 4:30 -6:30 pm the group will be discussing, Made to Stick Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Written by Chip and Dan Heath this book is a look at how we can improve our chances of getting worthwhile ideas to stick. Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.”
Call UMS 734-615-0122 or email UMSYOUTH@UMICH.EDU to register.
Event will take place in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room.

Zumba Fitness Party!

Get your groove on and burn some calories with Zumba Fitness on Tuesday November 22! Zumba combines Latin & International music with fun dance and aerobic elements.The choreography incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts and some Bollywood & belly dance moves! Don't miss this fun Zumba session, led by Jane Helzer of the Ann Arbor YMCA. Find a Zumba class near you. Remember to wear comfy dance clothes!

Tuesday November 22, 2011: 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Celebrate The Baltics!

Join us for the Baltics Family Cultural Celebration on November 20 at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library! We’ll get to hear Baltic music, listen to a Latvian folk tale, learn the Estonian Frog Rite Dance, see a real Latvian in a genuine Dancer’s Costume, and do Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian crafts! We’ll even be lucky enough to have a taste of Jāņu siers, a delicacy from the region. Learn all about Baltic culture at this fun event!

Film & Discussion: Gasland

The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudi Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe?

This is the question Josh Fox attempts to answer as he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets and searching for accurate information. Gasland was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary 2010.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Community Scholars' Program. Discussions will be led by the MCSP faculty and students. For more information on this event call the Library’s Youth Department at 327-8301 or visit our website at

November 17th, Thursday | 6:00-8:30 pm | Downtown Library, Multi-Purpose Room | Grades 9 - Adult

11/07 Tutoring from 4:00-6:00 pm Only

Circle K LogoCircle K Logo

Circle K Tutoring will be available this evening from 4:00 to 6:00 pm only. Due to a last minute conflict, no tutors will be available from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Regular tutoring sessions from 4:00 to 8:00 pm will resume on Wednesday, 11/09. We apologize for the inconvenience.

How Detroit Saved the World: World War II and the Willow Run Story

On Thursday November 10, 2011, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Downtown Library, Randy Hotton, director of Flight Operations at the Yankee Air Museum in Belleville will share his extensive research on the World War II history of the Willow Run Bomber Plant.

Join us to learn about the incredible mobilization to make B-24 Liberator bombers for the war effort. At the peak the plant produced one of these 70,547 lb. bombers per hour!

In addition to a great a command of Willow Run history, Randy is a retired U.S. Navy captain who began his aviation career as a pilot in P-3 Orion aircraft flying anti-submarine patrols during the Cold War, and now flies with USA Jet Airlines and the Yankee Air Museum in C-47 and B-17 bombers.

You can book flights through the museum in the B-17G Yankee Lady, B-25 "Mitchell" Bomber, C-47 Skytrain and the V-77 Stinson Reliant.

Each summer the THUNDER OVER MICHIGAN Air Show at the museum is one of the premier annual aviation events in the country.

Film & Discussion: Freedom Riders

6:00 - 8:30 PM | Downtown Library | Thursday, October 27 | Grade 9-Adult

In 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives--and many endured beatings and imprisonment, for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, testing their belief in nonviolent activism.

Leading the post film discussion is Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., who was a Freedom Rider. He is a longtime civil rights activist, organizer, and an authority on nonviolent social change. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, and he was a core leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville, TN, in 1960 and in Selma, AL, in 1965.

From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, the film features testimony from a cast of characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalist who witnessed the Rides firsthand. This two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault's book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Community Scholars' Program and the Ann Arbor District Library.

A Look @ SUPERHEROES with Jeff Kass and Curtis Sullivan

Celebrate Teen Read Week and its theme "Picture It @ Your Library." Join us to picture, discuss, and write about Superheroes with Jeff Kass, local teacher, performance poet and author of Knuckleheads. Joining Jeff is Curtis Sullivan, owner of Ann Arbor's nationally-recognized comic book store, Vault of Midnight. Special guests Ray McDaniel and Van Jordan, renowned poets from the University of Michigan faculty, will also contribute to the discussion of Superheroes.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 22 | 2-3:30 pm | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room | Grades 6-Adult

Author Jennifer Allison Comes to Ann Arbor!

It's always very exciting when authors come to town. I love hearing about where they got the idea for their characters and how they keep coming up with new adventures for those characters.

Jennifer Allison, author of the Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator series, will be at the Downtown Library on Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 7 - 8 p.m. Books will be on sale at the event. Grade 4 - Adult.

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