2011 Lunch and a Book Picks

Every year CPL's Lunch and a Book Club picks our favorite reads of the year. These are our favorite reads for 2011. The picks are as eclectic as our group! Feel free to join us. We meet on the second Thursday of every month at noon in CPL's Community Room.

Fiction

Catching fire by Suzanne Collins

The forgotten garden: a novel by Kate Morton

The girl who played with fire by Stieg Larsson

In the bleak midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Mark of the lion by Suzanne M. Arruda

Jesmyn Ward Winner of National Book Award

Salvage the bones: a novel by Jesmyn Ward was announced on Wednesday as the winner of the National Book Award for fiction. The novel — about a poor, rural African American family living in Mississippi and facing obstacles no less then Hurricane Katrina — was considered "a long shot, at best" to win the prestigious award according to a CNN article. Ward, herself a Katrina survivior, was surprised and delighted. Now on the radar, critics are quickly praising it as a "classical tragedy."

Air Quality for 48188

National Public Radio (NPR) posted an interactive map, searchable by zip code and/or city, that allows you to find out who has been emitting hazardous chemicals into the air. The map lists more than 17,000 facilities nationwide. The color-coded dots and scores of one to five smoke stacks are based on an EPA method of assessing potential health risks. You can zoom into your neighborhood by clicking on the map or use the search box in the upper right hand corner to find your area of interest. You can even look at the full EPA reports on selected facilities.
[Photo courtesy of AP Images]

Once Upon a River

Once upon a river : a novel by Bonnie Jo Campbell — What if we were left to discover life, love and the world on our own at a very young age with no preconceived socially-defined rights and wrongs? This is one of the questions that Bonnie Jo Campbell will force you to ponder. The protagonist is 16-year-old Margo who sets out in a flat-bottomed teak rowboat on the Stark River in southwestern Michigan to find her mother, who has abandoned the family. Margo fashions herself after her hero, Annie Oakley, which adds a sense of timelessness to the novel — although unbelievably it is set in 1970. Margo sustains herself, and in fact thrives, in the face of every sort of adversity through a combination of courage, stubbornness and savvy. This novel is not, however, for the faint of heart. There’s incest, rape, murder and graphic descriptions of animal skinning, among other things. Though, like Jim Harrison's Michigan-based fiction, you will find yourself absorbed by Campbell's keen observations of the local environment.

Save Energy and Cut Your Bills

Save energy and cut your bills by Nick White — offers practical advice on how to cut your consumption and costs at home. From reducing your fuel and electricity use to generating your own energy it has solutions for the busy homeowner. As cold weather approaches you may also want to check out CPL's other home energy resources. CPL also has Kill A Watt energy meters available for check out. The Kill A Watt energy meter can help you find out how much energy your appliances are consuming. By connecting appliances to the meter it will assess how efficiently they are running.

Public Invited to Attend Vice President Al Gore's Presentation in Detroit

Former Vice President, best-selling author and Nobel Prize co-recipient Al Gore will be the plenary keynote speaker at the International Joint Commission (IJC) Great Lakes Water Quality Biennial Meeting in Detroit, Michigan at 1:15 pm on October 13, 2011. Vice President Gore will be discussing the climate crisis. Seating is limited, so the public is urged to register. Registration is free.
[Photo courtesy of AP Images]

CSAs Gain Momentum

As more folks look for alternatives to factory farmed foods, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are growing in popularity. Joining a CSA is a great way to eat healthy and support local farms. To find a CSA near you, you can visit CSAFarms.org. There is also an option for those interested in participating in a CSA this winter. One clever organization, Locavorious, has partnered with several small farms in the communities around Ann Arbor to offer frozen produce subscriptions, similar to shares offered by regular CSAs. During the peak harvest, they prepare and package local produce at its peak freshness, and preserve it in a community freezer. To learn more about the advantages of eating locally, check out what the library has on the topic of local foods.

Michigan Shrimp Farms?

Shrimp: shrimpThe Shrimp Farm Market hopes to start a sustainable Michigan shrimp farm industry. Russ Allen, the owner, has created several industries around the world and believes that the time is right to start an indoor, biologically secure and sustainable model for growing shrimp in Michigan. Learn more about eating fish sustainably from Bottomfeeder by Taras Grescoe and/or Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and their printable Seafood Watch Pocket Guide. [Photo courtesy of AP Images]

Small Green Roofs


Small green roofs : low-tech options for greener living by Nigel Dunnett ... [et al.] Just flipping through this book will excite those considering green roofs. You will find tons of pictures of green roofs on small sheds and structures making this daunting idea seem doable. There are over 40 small-scale examples of green roofs that help demystify the process of planning, designing, installing, and maintaining green roofs. The book provides you with the basics of design as well as practical considerations - with the bulk of the pages devoted to real-life examples.

Super Species: The Creatures That Will Dominate the Planet

You are probably no stranger to the term "invasive species." If not familiar with the term, then you have at least heard the names of some of the species like the sea lamprey, Asian carp, and/or Emerald Ash Borer. Garry Hamilton examines the impacts of invasive species in Super Species: The Creatures That Will Dominate the Planet. While many experts view invasive species as a threat to biodiversity, others believe these creatures may be nature's way of restoring ecological vibrancy in the wake of human-mediated destruction.

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