Emerging Writers Workshop: What’s Stopping You From Writing?

Thursday January 7, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

There are many things that keep us from writing, whether it’s outside forces like jobs and families, or internal forces like doubt and procrastination.

In this workshop, Alex Kourvo and Bethany Neal will show you how to make the most of your writing time, conquer writer’s block, and develop solid work habits to finish your book.

This is part of the monthly Emerging Writer’s Workshops, which offer support, learning, and advice for local authors. Each month, two weeks after the workshop, there is a Meet-Up where the instructors will read samples of your work and offer advice and assistance in a casual, supportive atmosphere.

Memoir Writing: Turning Your Life into Art (or Is it the Other Way Around?)

Monday January 11, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Huron High School English teacher and Love & Vodka:My Surreal Adventures in Ukraine author R.J. Fox will lead participants through the process of turning real life experiences—both profound and ordinary—into the art of creative non-fiction.

Learn how to mold your own life stories through such topics as story structure, dialogue, character development/arc, and how to infuse your writing with literary elements traditionally associated with fiction. Participants will apply the skills taught during the workshop through various prompts and activities designed to spark creativity, with the aim of mining material that can later be developed into various forms of memoir and creative non-fiction, from short essays to long-form works.

R.J. Fox is the award-winning writer of several short stories, plays, poems, and fifteen feature-length screenplays. He is also the writer and director of several award-winning short films. In addition his writing and film-making exploits — not to mention his talents as a saxophonist — Fox teaches English and Video Production in the Ann Arbor Public Schools where he uses his own dream of making movies to inspire his students to follow their own dreams. Fox has also worked in public relations at Ford Motor Company and as a newspaper reporter.

This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale at the event.

Albert Kahn: Designing Detroit & the University of Michigan

Thursday December 10, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Buildings by architect Albert Kahn dominate Detroit and the University of Michigan.

In this lecture and slideshow, Detroit News art critic and author Michael H. Hodges surveys Kahn’s impact on city and school, and asks why this most-prolific of designers — once world-famous — has vanished from the architectural canon.

While best known for his revolutionary factory designs, like the Packard Plant, Kahn’s non-industrial output was huge as well. In Detroit, Kahn designed the Fisher, General Motors, Argonaut, Maccabees, Detroit News, Free Press, and Detroit Trust buildings, as well as the Art Deco lighthouse at the north end of Belle Isle. At U-M, he built Burton Memorial Tower, Hill Auditorium, the Natural History Museum, West Engineering, the Graduate Library, Natural Sciences, Angell Hall, the Ferry Gate and Clements Library (his favorite).

Michael H. Hodges covers art and area museums for The Detroit News, where he's worked since 1991. His book on Albert Kahn, which comes out in early 2017, is his second with Wayne State University Press. His first was Michigan’s Historic Railroad Stations.

Smell & Tell: Norell: The First American Designer Perfume

Wednesday October 28, 2015: 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Norman Norell delivered couture-standard ready-to-wear and put the United States on the fashion map. He was also the first American designer to issue a branded fragrance and did so with a tall glass bottle sealed with a squared stopper that he designed himself. It was launched in 1968 and is as legendary as the designer himself.

Norell worked closely with Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, and IFF perfumer Josephine Catapano (the nose who created Youth Dew for Estee Lauder, Fidji for Guy Laroche, and Zen for Shiseido) to create Norell perfume. The green character of Norell’s rich floral fragrance made it stand out as a luxury item. The twist was an interesting natural ingredient called galbanum.

In 2015, the owner of the Norell license worked with IFF perfumer Celine Barel to create a modern version of the perfume, which is called Norell New York. It draws inspiration from the original formula and adds a modern twist. How does the original Norell compare to Norell New York? What makes the two perfumes similar, yet different? How does a perfumer re-orchestrate a classic perfume and honor the fashion designer and original perfumer; both of whom are no longer with us?

Answers to these and other questions related to fragrance development and history will be explored by Michelle Krell Kydd, editor of Glass Petal Smoke. This event is part of the Smell and Tell series featured at the Ann Arbor District Library. International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) will be supplying aromatic materials that will be smelled at the event.

No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness

Even as a lifelong runner, I go through phases where it is incredibly difficult for me to get myself out the door and working out. I’m always interested to learn more about fitness and exercise and seek a little extra motivation. But, when I found out that the next book my book club is reading is No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness, I was a little disappointed. It seems like there are so many diet and exercise books out there that either say the same thing over and over, don’t acknowledge how difficult it can be to stay fit and healthy, or both. I expected No Sweat to be the same... and I am so happy to say that I was wrong! University of Michigan professor and researcher Michelle Segar offers an extremely well-researched, step-by-step program for applying science to achieve fitness and overall well-being. The simple four steps that she outlines in her book are geared towards people who struggle to break the cycle of failed attempts at regular exercise, but are applicable to people of all fitness levels. Even if, like me, you really enjoy exercising most of the time, the tips in No Sweat are beneficial for the weeks when you’re dragging your feet. Segar readily admits that she has always hated running, and uses her own story, along with the inspiring and practical ones of many others, to teach readers how easy—and even fun—getting fit can be; it doesn’t have to involve activities that you hate! No Sweat is a great, easy-to-read, straightforward book that can really help everyone achieve an active lifestyle. Get on the hold list today!

The Alternative Press: Then & Now

Wednesday November 18, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

AADL hosts a fun and wide-ranging conversation with several local alternative press leaders about their experiences running an alternative press.
Discover what motivated them to start and how their missions may have changed over the course of their runs; the technological and financial challenges; how the Internet and social media have altered the landscape; and their views on the role of the alternative press in our communities then versus now.

Panelists include:

Harvey Ovshinsky (Moderator): Harvey started The Fifth Estate when he was 17 years old. It has become the longest running alternative newspaper in the country, and is about to celebrate its 50th birthday.

Ted Sylvester and Laurie Wechter: Ted and Laurie founded Agenda in the 1980s and ran it through the 1990s. Agenda was an independent, non-aligned newspaper that served Ann Arbor and nearby towns as a forum for the area’s many liberal/leftist activist groups and nonprofit human service organizations.

Barbara Barefield: Barbara worked on alternative newspaper The Ann Arbor Sun in the 1970s. The newspaper was the mouthpiece for the White Panther Party and the succeeding Rainbow People’s Party before being an independent publication devoted to local issues, left-wing politics, music, and arts.

Dave Askins: Dave, with Mary Morgan, ran The Ann Arbor Chronicle from 2008-2014. The Ann Arbor Chronicle was an online newspaper focusing on civic affairs and local government coverage.

If you want more information about these publications, The Ann Arbor District Library hosts the online archives of Agenda, The Ann Arbor Sun, and The Ann Arbor Chronicle and you can view past issues of Agenda and The Ann Arbor Sun at Old News and past articles from the Ann Arbor Chronicle at the Ann Arbor Chronicle Archive.

Create Your Own Illustrated Book with Ruth McNally Barshaw

Wednesday April 6, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grade 4 - adult

Join Ruth McNally Barshaw, author of the popular Ellie McDoodle Diaries, for a hands-on workshop on how to make your own Ellie McDoodle or Diary of a Wimpy Kid-style illustrated book!

Comic-Drawing with Ruth McNally Barshaw

Thursday February 18, 2016: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades K-5

Learn the art of story creation, draw characters, and brainstorm settings, story problems, friends and enemies with Ruth McNally Barshaw, author of the popular Ellie McDoodle Diaries book series!

Books will be for sale courtesy of Literati Bookstore

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #533

The Silver Swan by Elena Delbanco is an intimate, passionate, triumphant story of love and betrayal, centered around a Stradivarius cello and the cast of characters who lust after it.

Mariana Feldmann, only child of world-renowned cellist Alexander Feldmann, emerges as a rising star herself at nineteen and is seen as the inheritor of her father's genius. It comes to reason that Mariana expects that the Silver Swan, Feldmann's a one-of-a-kind Stradivarius will one day be hers. Upon Alexander's death, Mariana is devastated to learn that Claude Roselle, one of his students and a rising European talent about to make his New York debut, will inherit the Silver Swan. As Mariana try to understand her father's decision by getting to know Claude, their relationship quickly evolves into a passionate, if contentious, affair.

Elena Delbanco, recently retired from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy has long been engaged in the world of classical music. Her father was the renowned cellist Bernard Greenhouse (of the Beaux Arts Trio), who owned the Countess of Stainlein ex-Paganini Stradivarius violoncello of 1707. The imagined fate of that instrument inspired this debut novel.

The author will be reading and signing at Nicola's Books on June 9th, at 7 pm.

Michigan Notable Book Author and U-M Professor Sally Howell Discusses Her Book “Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past”

Monday October 5, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Join us to hear Michigan Notable Books author Sally Howell speak about the history of Islam in Detroit, a city that is home to several of the nation’s oldest, most diverse Muslim communities.

In the early 1900s, there were thousands of Muslims in Detroit. Most came from Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire, and British India. In 1921, they built the nation’s first mosque in Highland Park. By the 1930s, new Islam-oriented social movements were taking root among African Americans in Detroit. By the 1950s, Albanians, Arabs, African Americans, and South Asians all had mosques and religious associations in the city, and they were confident that Islam could be, and had already become, an American religion. When immigration laws were liberalized in 1965, new immigrants and new African American converts rapidly became the majority of U.S. Muslims. For them, Detroit’s old Muslims and their mosques seemed oddly Americanized, even unorthodox.

Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past explores the rise of Detroit’s earliest Muslim communities. It documents the culture wars and doctrinal debates that ensued as these populations confronted Muslim newcomers who did not understand their manner of worship or the American identities they had created. Looking closely at this historical encounter, it provides a new interpretation of the possibilities and limits of Muslim incorporation in American life and shows how Islam has become American in the past and how the anxieties many new Muslim Americans and non-Muslims feel about the place of Islam in American society today are not inevitable, but are part of a dynamic process of political and religious change that is still unfolding.

Sally Howell is Assistant Professor of History and Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

This event includes a booksigning and books will be for sale.

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