Michigan Field Guides

With Memorial Day and summer vacations just ahead, these field guides will enrich your hikes, bike rides, and camping trips.

Birds: National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Michigan
Mammals: Mammals of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
Reptiles and Amphibians:
Reptiles and Amphibians of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
Michigan Turtles and Lizards by James H. Harding and J. Alan Holman
Michigan Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders by James H. Harding and J. Alan Holman
Michigan Snakes by J. Alan Holman
Insects: Insects of the Great Lakes Region by Gary A. Dunn
Butterflies: Michigan Butterflies and Skippers by Mogens C. Nielsen
Butterflies of Michigan Field Guide by Jaret C. Daniels
Fish: Fishes of the Great Lake Region by Carl L. Hubbs
Trees: Michigan Trees by Burton V. Barnes and Warren H. Wagner
Trees of Michigan by Linda Kershaw
Wild Flowers: Michigan Wildflowers in Color by Harry C. Lund
Wildflowers of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela
Stars: Michigan Starwatch by Mike Lynch

A Marriage Made in History

Modern marriage may seem to be in flux, but most of what we see today has been seen before, according to Stephanie Coontz whose book Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage is featured this week in five-minute e-mail chunks at DearReader.com. The book came out in hardback a year ago and in paperback in February. Coontz also wrote the popular 1992 book The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap.

Jane Kenyon- 1947-1995

Today, May 23, is the birthday of Jane Kenyon. She was born in Ann Arbor in 1947 and attended the University of Michigan. Her first book, Let Evening Come was published in 1990. Kenyon's poetry is known for its quiet yet profound reflections and in her years with her husband, Donald Hall, on her life with him at their farmhouse in Wilmot, New Hampshire.

Her final poems describe her struggle with depression and the leukemia which finally took her life in 1995. Shortly before her death, she and Hall were interviewed by Bill Moyers for a television documentary, A Life Together. Following is a poem that pays tribute to her dog, Biscuit:

Peter Viereck, Pulitzer Prize poet, has died

Peter Viereck

It's been a hard for month for poets. Last week, America lost two noted Pulitzer Prize winners -- Stanley Kunitz died at age 100 on May 14, 2006, and now Peter Viereck has passed away at 89.

Viereck was as passionate about his idea of conservatism as he was about poetry. He won the 1949 Pulitzer for his very first collection of poetry, Terror and Decorum.

As we are seeing by today's headlines, Professor Viereck's strong beliefs that "...conservative is not to be satanic..." could be part of the national dialog.

Professor Viereck died May 20, 2006.

Deconstructing the 'Mommy Myth'

If you are interested in feminism, motherhood and the ways that the popular media are portraying and shaping the image of mothers be sure to watch Susan J. Douglas speak on her book The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women on Ann Arbor's Community Television Cable Channel 17. Douglas, Professor of Communications at the University of Michigan, examines how the mass media have promoted a conception of motherhood which result in unrealistic demands on women. Based on extensive scholarly research, the book is an accessible (and occasionally humorous) look at popular magazines, radio and television and their portrayals of the 'ideal' mother. The program, part of the Library's Sunday Edition author lecture series can be viewed on Tuesday, May 23 at 3:30 p.m.; Thursday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m.; and Friday, May 26 at 5:00 p.m. Video recordings of the program are also available to be borrowed from the library in both VHS and DVD format.

Anniversary of a famous crime

On May 23, 1934, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, bank robbers accused of twelve murders, were gunned down by a law enforcement posse in Gibsland, LA.. Romanticized by the film, Bonnie and Clyde with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the real life criminals grew up in poverty striken families in rural Texas. When the Depression came, they hit the road, devoted to each other and knowing their ultimate demise was death. Cult heroes like Robin Hood or Jesse James, they embodied a fantasy of freedom for the downtrodden.

Leonard Cohen--I'm Your Man

This summer, movie audiences can look forward to major Hollywood films such as Miami Vice, directed by Michael Mann, Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer, and Lady in the Water, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

For those looking for an alternative to the summer blockbusters, Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man might be just right. Long-time fans of singer and writer Leonard Cohen will especially enjoy seeing Cohen himself reflect on his life's work.

For those new to Cohen, the library has many of Cohen's albums and writings, including
The Essential Leonard Cohen, Cohen Live, The Best of, and I'm Your Man.

Ten New Songs, released after Cohen spent several years in seclusion as a Buddhist monk, is also available in the library's collection.

Cool Mystery Series for the Grade School Set

You may know all about Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but have you ever heard of The Stink Files? Here is a list of some great mystery books for grade school readers.

For the kids who like Magic Tree House:
Cam Jansen Mysteries: Cam Jansen is a 10 year old girl with a photographic memory.
A to Z Mysteries: Help Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose solve crimes and misdemeaners.
Jigsaw Jones Mystery: Jigsaws puzzles are like mysteries: you've got to look at all the peices to solve the case!

So Funny it Hurts

When coming under a vicious, stinging fairy attack Clemency remembers her Peter Pan and firmly, quickly, and repeatedly asserts her disbelief in fairies... but her aim is a little off. Now she has to go on a quest to save all the fairies she killed.

Read Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer, by J.T. Petty. So funny...so,so funny...tears...down the face...side-hurts-must-top-funny...

*This has become a recent favorite of mine so I had to mention it. Just curious though if anyone has listened to the audio version. I'm wondering if the clever wordplay translates well into the audio realm.

Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate in 2000, dies

Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate in 2000, dies

Stanley Kunitz, the United States Poet Laureate in 2000, died in his home in Manhattan on May 14, 2006.

Mr. Kunitz, who graduated from Harvard in 1926 with a BA and in 1927 with an MA, enjoyed a prolific career that spanned more than eight decades. His brilliance was recognized with one prestigious award after another. He won a Guggenheim in 1945-46; the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1959 for Selected Poems, 1928-1958; the National Book Award in 1995 for Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected; the National Medal of the Arts at age 88 in 1993; and the highly coveted Bollingen Prize in poetry in 1987.

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