True Facts

Quench your thirst for information.

Guy Burgess was the most important, complex, and fascinating of The Cambridge Spies--Maclean, Philby, Blunt--brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers.

Better Made in Michigan: The Salty Story of Detroit's Best Chip

Join us for an entertaining night out and come learn about a Detroit snack legend, the Better Maid potato chip. Local writer Karen Dybis will present highlights from her book Better Made in Michigan: The Salty Story of Detroit's Best Chip. We will cap the evening off with a tasting of some of these delicious snacks. No registration required.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

This is the story of the political battles that have taken place in the court of Vladimir Putin since his rise to power, and a chronicle of friendship and hatred between the Russian leader and his foreign partners and opponents.

The raging question in the world today is who is the real Vladimir Putin and what are his intentions. Karen Dawisha's brilliant work provides an answer, describing how Putin got to power, the cabal he brought with him, the billions they have looted, and his plan to restore the Greater Russia.

Whether becoming or simply being a teenager, there are a number of challenges and issues that tweens and teens face as they make their way through the junior high and high school years.  The titles below tackle these pressures and challenges in fictional accounts and nonfiction guides.

Fiction

The titles below address teen pressures through fictional narratives, as characters confront peer pressure, bullying, mental health issues, and other life challenges.  Suggested grade levels are provided based on professional reviews.

Nonfiction Book Group June 2017

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

Amid the fervor of the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening, John Humphrey Noyes, a spirited but socially awkward young man, attracted a group of devoted followers with his fiery sermons about creating Jesus' millennial kingdom here on Earth. Noyes established a revolutionary community in rural New York centered around achieving a life free of sin through God's grace, while also espousing equality of the sexes and "complex marriage," a system of free love where sexual relations with multiple partners was encouraged. When the Community disbanded in 1880, the Oneida Community, Limited, would go on to become one of the nation's leading manufacturers of silverware, and their brand a coveted mark of middle-class respectability in pre- and post-WWII America.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Curious about why Denmark has topped lists as the world's happiest country? Explore the vibrant culture of this northern land and find out.

How is it that these 5.6 million Danes are so content when they live in a country that is dark and cold nine months of the year and where income taxes are at almost 60 percent? At a time when talk across the Western world is focused on unemployment woes, government overreach, and anti-taxation lobbies, our Danish counterparts seem to breathe a healthier and fresher air. Interweaving anecdotes and research, Malene Rydahl explores how the values of trust, education, and a healthy work-life balance with  purpose—to name just a few—contribute to a “happy” population.

When she was given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth is Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen gives herself a year to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.

March is Music in our Schools Month. Music makers come from all cultures and backgrounds, and sometimes the music we enjoy the most comes from surprising sources. Check out some of the musicians and composers featured below. When possible, links to their music are also listed. 

A one-hundredth birthday tribute to the late jazz artist explores his observations about humanity's discriminatory and violent behaviors as well as his efforts to forge world peace through music with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Listen: The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra

Describes how Juan García Esquivel, a Mexican composer popular in the 1950s and 1960s, developed his experimental style of music, based on mariachi and other Mexican music, jazz, the human voice, and the use of unusual instruments.

Listen: Nuevo (featuring Jean Garcia Esquivel)

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