On the Road Again

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, his thinly-veiled roman a clef and celebrated homage to fellow Beat Generation hipsters. This 20th century analog to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn--that granddaddy of American road trips--is a different sort of, um, trip, and its influence on American culture can be felt everywhere, from popular music (in his autobiography, Bob Dylan says the book "was like a Bible to me") to such diverse American film fare as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Badlands, and Thelma and Louise. More about the book, including audio and video clips of Kerouac and Neal Cassady reading (and singing!), can be found here.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

It started in the spring. My dill disappeared. Then the parsley. Then he began hanging around, driving the canine crazy: garden variety rabbit. This weekend however, anything but will be featured at the 24th Annual Rabbit Show sponsored by Ann Arbor Rabbit Breeders. Breeders from throughout the Midwest and Canada will appear at this American Rabbit Association-sanctioned event. Sale of bunny-related merchandise. Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. Free admission. 9:30 a.m.-afternoon.

The Wall:Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

You’d need a long nap afterwards, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to spend an hour inside Peter Sis’s imagination? He has given us magical stories and biographies but this newest is his autobiography of growing up under communism in Prague. Secret police, red flags and parades are depicted in typically amazing Sis style and the happy ending is the Wall crumbling down as he flies towards freedom.

International Day of Peace is this Friday

There is no better time to think about peace than now, and one way to do it is to read the book Peace One Day about one young man’s dream and how he made it come true. Jeremy Gilley, a filmmaker from England, convinced world leaders and the United Nations to declare a fixed date for the International Day of Peace. This is his account of filming his travels and adventures. Pulitzer Prize-winning Karen Blessen’s powerful illustrations, along with Jeremy’s honest prose, remind us that peace will only come if we all do what we can to make it happen.

Cluck! Cluck! - Michigan READS!

MICHIGAN READS! The one-state, one-children's book program is sponsored by Library Of Michigan and Target stores. The featured book for 2007 book is Big Chickens! by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Henry Cole. Beware of chickens and feathers flying during Preschool Storytimes the week of September 26th, 2007.

"Aaarrr! Don't mention it! It's been a pleasure," said the Pirate Captain

Wednesday, September 19th, is Talk Like a Pirate Day, with its own website and Wikipedia article. To celebrate read one of Gideon Defoe’s funny, silly ahistorical novels about the Pirate Captain and his crew. I have read The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists: a Novel, a tale in which the pirates board the Beagle in the Galapagos, become friends with Darwin and Mr. Bobo (Darwin’s ape, trained to behave as a proper English gentleman), go to London to try to save Darwin’s brother Erasmus from the evil Bishop of Oxford, who seems to be responsible for the disappearance of numerous young ladies from the P. T. Barnum Circus of Freaks.

Or enjoy some other of the library’s piratical offerings: non-fiction, novels, kid’s books, or DVDs.

Ahoy, me hearties! It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19 with all things piratical here at AADL. Weigh anchor with this merry yarn; indulge in some Captain "Jack", or read a modern-day pirate's take on life at 50. Shiver me timbers! Ann Arbor even has a local connection!

Space Opera

I just finished the first book in the Saga of the Seven Suns series, Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson yesterday. The story is full of twists and turns with a great cliffhanger ending. In the first book you're introduced to a wide ranging cast of characters from a variety of species spanning much of the Milkyway Galaxy. My only complaint with the story is it jumped around a lot and there was no real sense of how much time passed from beginning to end. Instead of reading the book, I listened to it. One of my favorite narrators reads the story, George Guidall. The audio version is available both on cassette and CD.

Baby Bits - NEW !

NEW Books that are perfect for baby lap-reads are The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri; So Sleepy Story by Uri Shulevitz; and A Good Day by Kevin Henkes. They show pictures that baby sees in her world. They have words that sound lovely to say and use and repeat from the driver's seat.

Toddler Bits - Kittens

Nothing cuter than Toddlers and Kittens ... well a few things just as cute. Anyway, if you like kittens and have a toddler at home, try these NEW books out. Kittens! Kittens! Kittens! by Susan Meyers and illustrated by David Walker; and Nini Here And There by Anita Lobel. Meow!

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