Boomerang Bonanza and Book Launch!

Okay makers, mark your calendars. Friday is the book release party for local author David Erik Nelson’s latest endeavor, Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids. It’s not your average book launch though. In addition to checking out the book and hanging out with the author at this free, family friendly event at the Workantile Exchange, you can also partake in making and throwing boomerangs while enjoying an adult beverage as your kids have fun. The boomerangs are one of the many fun, hands-on projects featured in the book.

Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred also features projects such as a simple electric guitar, board games, an oversized joy buzzer, and kites, to name a few. These make-tastic projects are sure to keep kids and parents busy for hours. If you're curious about the projects, ask the author about them!

The Boomerang Bonanza launch party coincides with Main Street’s Midnight Madness, so there’s no excuse not to pop in and get your make on amidst all that shopping and caroling.

Friday, Dec 3 | 6–8pm | Workantile Exchange,118 S. Main St.

Brett Callwood to discuss MC5: Sonically Speaking

Brett Callwood, music journalist and frequent contributor to the Detroit Metro Times, will be at the Downtown Library on Wednesday, December 1, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. to discuss the North American release of MC5: Sonically Speaking, a Tale of Revolution and Rock 'n Roll, the definitive biography of legendary Detroit band MC5. Born and raised in England, Callwood, who now lives in Detroit, has a deep affection for the Motor City and its music. His book is a compelling read that includes interviews with surviving band members and, says Callwood, is "...an unusual story that has every controversial thing that's ever happened to rock 'n roll bands--but in this case, they all happened to one band." Whether chronicling a hair-raising 1968 tour with the Velvet Underground or their connection with former radical and White Panther leader, John Sinclair, this is a great read...with plenty of local history right here in Ann Arbor.

This event includes an author signing and books will be available for sale.

Grisly Local History: Wicked Washtenaw County

For those of you who enjoy history with a morbid twist, the AADL now offers Wicked Washtenaw County: Strange Tales of the Grisly and Unexplained. This new collection of short stories from local Ypsilanti historian James Thomas Mann offers up true tales of murder, mystery, grave robbing, scandal, etc. culled from old newspapers of our area. Mann's book is a short, quick read garnished with photos and drawings of the people and places involved. It gives a glimpse into Washtenaw's darker history, like the unsolved 1913 murder of a Chelsea woman who was strangled and found buried under a pile of cornhusks in her barn.

Meet Children's author & illustrator, Mark Crilley!

For many children meeting the author of a favorite book can be a life-changing experience! Mark Crilley, the author of the recent comic book release, Brody's Ghost Vol. 1, will be doing a special visit at the Ann Arbor District Library on Sunday November, 21 from 2:00-3:30 PM at the Downtown Library.

Mark Crilley was raised in Detroit and attended Kalamazoo College where he met children's book writer/illustrator (and 2001 Caldecott award winner) David Small. David’s example inspired Mark to pursue writing and illustrating professionally. Mark’s first series of books featured, “Akiko” The first in the series, "Akiko on the Planet Smoo", was published in 2000; the tenth, "Akiko and the Missing Misp", hit stores in 2008. Mark also wrote the Billy Clikk books and the four-volume manga series "Miki Falls.” Miki Falls has been optioned for film development by Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt's Plan B production company. Volume two of his newest series, Brody’s Ghost, will be released in January of 2011.

Join us for a high-energy, educational, hilarious and interactive afternoon. From telling stories and drawing characters attendees will be inspired by Mark’s creativity, talent and enthusiasm! The Vault of Midnight will be selling Mark’s books and Mark will sign these (and any personal copies that fans bring with) after his talk.

Incarceration: Helping Prisoners Survive

Are we incarcerating too many people? How are we actually treating them? These are a few of the many tough questions surrounding American prisons. U-M faculty member Buzz Alexander has a new book, "Is William Martinez Not Our Brother?: Twenty Years of the Prison Creative Arts Project," in which he describes U-M's Prison Creative Arts Project. The project provides university courses, a nonprofit organization, and a national network for incarcerated youth and adults in Michigan juvenile facilities and prisons. Alexander will speak about his book Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in U-M Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, followed by a book sale and signing.

A Very Special AXIS Coffeehouse

Jack Skellington by randysonofrobertJack Skellington by randysonofrobert

This week's AXIS Coffeehouse will very special indeed. Not only is it two days before Halloween, but special guest poet Maggie Hanks of Ann Arbor Wordworks will be returning to lead in the creation of some seriously awesome poems!

Join us on Friday Oct. 29th from 6:30-8pm at Malletts Creek. AXIS Coffeehouse -- it's so good, it's scary.

The Art of Couture in Ann Arbor

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Enter the sophisticated world of couture when Rebecca Lambers, “Couturiére,” Fashion Designer and Exclusive Dressmaker visits the Downtown Library at 7:00 p.m. on September 29th.

One of Ann Arbor’s unique treasures, Ms. Lambers’ is an exclusive dressmaker and fashion designer, who specializes in creating unique custom clothing for women. She was showcased at the Detroit Institute of Arts in conjunction with fashion photographer Richard Avedon and was profiled in the May 2010 edition of Hour Detroit Magazine. Current Magazine calls her 'the fanciest stitcher between Chicago and New York.'

Rebecca will talk about her life in art – showing images, garments and presenting a few live models to illustrate her process of connecting with the ideas of each client and highlight the value of useful, tangible, beautifully made objects.

Hooray for Scrabble!

Are you one of those people that can quickly list words that start with Q but don't require a U? Or perhaps you delight in the use of the word "loxodrome"? We look forward to seeing you at our Traverwood branch this evening for Michael Betzold's discussion of his book Bingo! The Secret to Scrabble Success. If you can't make this event, we have plenty of other Scrabble offerings here at the library. Check out Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in The World of Competitive Scrabble Players for a journalist's look into this quirky subculture. In a similar vein, we offer Word Wars: Tiles and Tribulations on The Scrabble Game Circuit on DVD. We also have copies of The Official Scrabble Word-Finder, The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, and The Official Scrabble Players Handbook for all of your gaming needs.

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This Sunday is the Kerrytown Book Festival

Attention book lovers: The seventh annual Kerrytown Bookfest is happening all day on Sunday at the Kerrytown market area.

You can… draw with author and illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw (of the Ellie McDoodle books), Deb Diesen will read some of her children’s books, join a Michigan lit discussion with local authors such as Bonnie Jo Campbell and Michael Zadoorian, visit the Paranormal Fiction & Poetry discussion, catch a live interview with Caldecott winner David Small, do a kids craft project or two, get in on some bookmaking worshops, and peruse the aisles of book related vendors. Really, there is way too much great stuff going on to list it all, so be sure check the full schedule. Get your book lovin’ on!
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Visit the Underground Railroad in Michigan

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A new book, The Underground Railroad in Michigan, by Ann Arbor's Carol Mull, is a comprehensive exploration of abolitionism and the network of escape from slavery in our state. The book includes both an overview of national events and vivid first-person accounts taken from The Signal of Liberty, an 1840s-era abolitionist newspaper published in Ann Arbor, to explore Michigan's role in the antislavery movement. The Signal of Liberty is available for full-text searching and browsing at: http://signalofliberty.aadl.org/.

For an overview of Ann Arbor's role in the Underground Railroad, you can listen to our podcast with Carol from last year or read Grace Shackman's article from the Ann Arbor Observer. You can also take your own walking tour: Start with this plaque on the Broadway Bridge, then make your way to lower Broadway to the former site where the Signal of Liberty was published (across the street from the Anson Brown Building, which today houses the St. Vincent de Paul store), followed by a brief stroll to 1425 Pontiac Trail for a glimpse of Reverend Guy Beckley's home.

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