Useful Advice in a Flash

Pediatrician and best-selling author Melvin D. Levine penned the popular book Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, which examines the young-adult transition from academics to work. This week the book is the non-fiction pick at DearReader.com, the AADL service that e-mails you five-minute daily excerpts. We currently have two copies of the book available, one Downtown and one at Pittsfield.

World of Reading Shines with Kids' Reviews

Ann Arbor kids are writing some amazing book reviews at World of Reading, an open collection of reviews written by children from around the world. Angell, Slauson and AADL are represented, and a big variety of titles are showing up, such as Into the Land of the Unicorns, by Bruce Coville. This very cool AADL site lets you search book reviews and browse reviews by hometown. Tip for teachers: E-mail support@aadl.org (list name, school, town, state, country) and list what books students will be reviewing this fall (if you know). The AADL staff can arrange for most reviews to show up right away! World of Reading was originally created by Mary Pat Timmons as a project for the Internet Public Library at the U-M School of Information.

Some still like it hot

44 years ago today, we bade farewell to famous actress and notorious temptress Marilyn Monroe who passed away on August 5th, 1962. As one of the most popular stars of the 1950s Marilyn introduced a captivating sex appeal and memorable personality into all of her works. Her movies such as Some Like it Hot and Gentlemen prefer blondes are still hilarious today. And how can anyone forget the famous scene in The Seven Year Itch where a gusty sidewalk grate caused Ms. Monroe's skirts to head skyward? Or how about Marilyn's love life even including playwright Arthur Miller, for whom a theater is currently being built in North Campus at the University? Marilyn remains a fascinating woman for whom even death was a controversy.

Events at The Ark this month

Below are some of the artists appearing at The Ark this month, with links to their CDs in our catalog. Check 'em out before you go! Gaelic Storm; Kelly Joe Phelps; Little Feat; Billy Joe Shaver; Suzy Bogguss; and Robbie Fulks.

Here is the complete list, plus ticket prices and musical styles.

Twenty Years of the Friz

September 15 will be the 20th anniversary of Ms. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus series. To celebrate, NASDAQ will open with a dedication to the series and Scholastic will release "The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition," the 11th picture book in the series and the first in seven years, according to Publishers Weekly. Joanna Cole, the writer of the series, says "We have to make it simple enough for kids to understand, but not so simple that the meaning goes out of it."

Databases are information gold mines

Let’s say you’re trying to locate an old article from The New York Times. Go to www.aadl.org, click on the research tab, and there it is: New York Times Historical, with stories and images from 1851 to 2001. Or maybe you’re moving to a new house, and you’d like to get a list of new neighbors. Reference USA can help. Those two databases are on a long list to which AADL subscribes, providing library users with gold mines of information about magazines, newspapers, arts, literature, biography, business and investment, college, careers, and education, genealogy, health, history, kids and teens, legal resources, and science and technology. And here’s a tip: You can access these databases from home, business, or school, through the library’s web site.

Library Takeout

No, we don’t put the books in Styrofoam containers, and no, you can’t have fries with that. But in other respects the Library’s hold system works quite a bit like restaurant carryout. You get in touch with us—in person at the library, by phone, or through your online account—and place an order for items from the “menu,” the library catalog. When each item is ready you’ll be notified by mail or e-mail and you have seven days to pick it up. All you have to do is...

So Matt Groening, Stephen King and Amy Tan walk into a bar...

Did you know that Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, was in a rock band with the likes of Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Matt Groening, Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Greg Iles? According to Dave Barry, "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels." Check out the Rock Bottom Remainders for photos of Amy Tan decked out in a leather body suit and bright wigs.

For more amusing insight into Amy Tan's life (such as her determination to learn how to ski despite several major injuries doing so) I highly recommend reading The Opposite of Fate.

Before The Road Trip . . . Visit Your Library!

Before you start out on that long car trip with your kids, be sure to make a trip to your local library. We have many things that will keep all of you entertained as the miles roll by.

There are many classic books on compact discs that are as interesting for adults as they are for kids. For example, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. The movie is opening in December. You'll all want to have read it by the time you go see it. Be sure to take a look at the BOCD collections in our youth departments. You're sure to find some great titles for family listening.

We also have some great puzzle books for kids that might keep then occupied for hours.
The subject that all of these are listed under is Games for Travelers.
Way Cool License Plate Book
Smileage: Fun Travel Games & Activities for All Ages
Ha! Ha! Ha!: 1000 + Jokes, Riddles, Facts and More

And don't forget to check out the music section. There's nothing like a good sing-along. Let's hear it . . . "99 bottles of pop on the wall . . . "

Wordplay (Now Showing at the Michigan Theater)

Wordplay is a movie about crossword puzzles featuring: Will Shortz, the New York Times crossword puzzle editor; the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Connecticut; and crossword puzzle solvers Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, Mike Mussina, the Indigo Girls, and Bill Clinton. Al Gore tackled a more important topic and was fairly compelling in An Inconvenient Truth. Bill Clinton is extremely charismatic, articulate, and attractive in Wordplay.

Crossword puzzle fans might also enjoy Marco Romano’s Crossworld: One Man’s Journey into America’s Crossword Obsession.

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