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Happy Birthday to our Nation's Capital!

fireworksOn July 16, 1790, President George Washington signed the Residence Act, officially approving the creation of a capital district to be located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. According to the U.S. Constitution, Washington, D.C. is not part of any state, but is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Congress. Virginia and Maryland both donated land to form the capital district which was named in honor of our first president.

Through a fiery trial: building Washington, 1790-1800 by Bob Arnebeck

Washington: the making of the American capital by Fergus M. Bordewich

Washington burning: how a Frenchman's vision of our nation's capital survived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the invading British Army by Les Standiford

Royal Baby Watch

Have you caught Royal Baby Fever? Are you anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new Prince or Princess of Cambridge? How about a little royal reading to keep you occupied until we hear the big announcement!

William and Kate: a royal love story by Christopher Andersen

William & Kate: a royal love story

William & Catherine: a royal wedding by Andrew Motion

Elizabeth the Queen: the life of a modern monarch by Sally Bedell Smith

Prince Philip: the turbulent early life of the man who married Queen Elizabeth II by Philip Eade

Philip and Elizabeth : portrait of a royal marriage by Gyles Brandreth

Book Club Choices: July 2013

Ten Books Every American Should Read...

Common sense by Thomas Paine

1776 by David McCullough

Founding brothers: the revolutionary generation by Joseph J. Ellis

The Declaration of Independence by illustrated and inscribed by Sam Fink

Animal farm by George Orwell ; preface by Russell Baker ; introduction by C.M. Woodhouse

1984: a novel by George Orwell ; with an afterword by Erich Fromm

The Star-Spangled Banner by Spier, Peter

Look What's In Large Print July 2013

In celebration of our nation's 237th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg...

American creation [Large print]: triumphs and tragedies at the founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis

Benjamin Franklin [large print] by Edmund S. Morgan

Bunker Hill [large print]: a city, a siege, a revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick

The killer angels [Large print] by Michael Shaara

Samuel Adams [Large print]: a life by Ira Stoll

Battle of Gettysburg for Tweens and Teens

150 Years ago, the battle of Gettyburg was just ending today. Learn more about this historic and bloody battle while earning badges for Connect Your Summer.

You wouldn't want to be a Civil War soldier!: a war you'd rather not fight by written by Thomas Ratliff ; illustrated by David Antram ; created and designed by David Salariya

The Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address by Carin T. Ford

The Battle of Gettysburg: would you lead the fight? by Elaine Landau

Tillie Pierce: teen eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg by Tanya Anderson

Two miserable presidents: everything your schoolbooks didn't tell you about the Civil War by Steve Sheinkin ; illustrated by Tim Robinson

Find more fiction and nonfiction in our catalog.

Born on the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is not only the birthday of our country but of the following notable individuals:

Coolidge by Amity Shlaes


Doo-Dah!: Stephen Foster and the rise of American popular culture by Ken Emerson


Salem is my dwelling place: a life of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Edwin Haviland Miller


America's mom: the life, lessons, and legacy of Ann Landers by Rick Kogan


Barnum's own story: the autobiography of P. T. Barnum by combined, condensed from the various eds. pub. during his lifetime by Waldo R. Browne


Rewrites: a memoir by Neil Simon

Heroes of the American Revolution

gwflagms.jpgWe all know about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and their contributions to our country's beginnings, but there are plenty of other figures who should also be remembered. Read about some of them below:

Lafayette by Harlow Giles Unger

Samuel Adams: a life by Ira Stoll

Nathan Hale: the life and death of America's first spy by M. William Phelps

Tom Paine: a political life by John Keane

National Cherry Festival

The National Cherry Festival will kick off its 87th annual celebration on June 29th 2013 in the Traverse City area. Cherry lovers from every corner of the world visit the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan every July for this event. This area also showcases tremendous natural resources and beauty, and it offers a wide spectrum of recreational opportunities that take full advantage of the water, woods, and snow.

Go West [Michigan], Young Man!

When your family is debating their upcoming summer vacation, don't forget to consider the often overlooked Michigan beachtowns along the southwest Michigan shoreline. The areas along this shoreline offer many amenities and family fun, are quite affordable and travel-friendly. Follow the link above for additional information on these possible vacation spots.

Battle of Gettysburg 150th Anniversary

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg which was fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Approximately 51,000 soldiers from both sides were killed, wounded, or captured during the battle considered a turning point of the war. At the end of the third day, General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate army was forced to retreat back to Virginia. Four months later, on November 19, President Lincoln dedicated the Soldiers National Cemetery at the site with the historic speech that came to be known as the Gettysburg Address.


Hurricane Season

This year's hurricane season began on June 1 and continues through November 30. The National Hurricane Center's list of names for 2013 includes this year's first named storm, Andrea, as well as Chantal, Humberto, Karen, Rebekah, and Wendy. Read about some of the storms of the past and how they have affected the people in their paths.

Florida's hurricane history by Jay Barnes ; foreword by Steve Lyons

Dark wind: a true account of Hurricane Gloria's assault on Fire Island by John Jiler

Isaac's storm: a man, a time, and the deadliest hurricane in history by Erik Larson

Hemingway's hurricane: the great Florida Keys storm of 1935 by Phil Scott

Storm of the century: the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 by Willie Drye

Books that made us laugh

If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh out loud, try some of these suggestions:

Stuff white people like: the definitive guide to the unique taste of millions by Christian Lander

A walk in the woods: rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

All I know about animal behavior I learned in Loehmann's dressing room by Erma Bombeck

Eat less cottage cheese and more ice cream: thoughts on life by from Erma Bombeck ; illustrations by Lynn Chang

America (the book): a citizen's guide to democracy inaction by written and edited by Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin, David Javerbaum ; writers, Rich Blomquist ... [et al.] ; additional material, Samantha Bee ... [et al.] ; with a foreword by Thomas Jefferson

Time was...time is July 2013

The Americans: the national experience by Daniel J. Boorstin

America, a history in art: the American journey told by painters, sculptors, photographers, and architects by W.G Scheller

The photograph and the American dream, 1840-1940 by Foreword, William Jefferson Clinton ; American notes, Charles Dickens; essays, Stephen White and Andreas Blühm

Eyes of the nation: a visual history of the United States by Vincent Virga and curators of the Library of Congress ; with Alan Brinkley

Witness to America: an illustrated documentary history of the United States from the Revolution to today by Stephen Ambrose & Douglas Brinkley, [editors]

Michigan Art & Architecture

Alden B. Dow: midwestern modern by Diane Maddex

Art Deco in Detroit by Rebecca Binno Savage and Greg Kowalski

Art in Detroit public places by text by Dennis Nawrocki ; photographs by David Clements

Buildings of Michigan by Kathryn Bishop Eckert

Artists of early Michigan: a biographical dictionary of artists native to or active in Michigan, 1701-1900 by compiled by Arthur Hopkin Gibson ; research assistants, Beverly Bassett and Jean Spang

Marshall M. Fredericks, sculptor by edited by Suzanne P. Fredericks ; introductory essay by Edgar P. Richardson ; foreword by Sammuel Sachs II ; researched and compiled by Marcy Heller Fisher ; with contributions by Barbara Heller ... [et al.]

Michigan Critters

Enslaved by ducks by Bob Tarte


The amphibians and reptiles of Michigan: a Quaternary and Recent faunal adventure by J. Alan Holman


Birds of Detroit by Chris C. Fisher, Allen T. Chartier


Michigan turtles and lizards: a field guide and pocket reference by James H. Harding and J. Alan Holman ; photography and illustrations by James H. Harding, except where otherwise credited


Fish of Michign field guide by David Bosanko


The wolves of Isle Royale: a broken balance by Rolf O. Peterson


Fowl weather by Bob Tarte

Pure Michigan Travel

Michigan's motto declares: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." With that in mind,  take some time to explore the natural beauty and wonder of our great state with the resources listed below. For more ideas explore the Pure Michigan website.

Of woods and water: a photographic journey across Michigan by Ron Leonetti and Christopher Jordan ; foreword by Dave Dempsey


The paddler's guide to Michigan by Jeff Counts


Hiking Michigan by Roger E. Storm, Susan M. Wedzel


Belle Isle to 8 Mile: an insider's guide to Detroit by edited by Andy Linn, Emily Linn and Rob Linn


Twelve classic trout streams in Michigan: a handbook for fly anglers by Gerth E. Hendrickson ; fully revised by Jim DuFresne

Ethnic Michigan

Michigan has a rich history of ethnic diversity. Early European explorers were met by the most populous Native American tribes of the Ottawa, Potawatomi, and the Ojibwa (or Chippewa) people. Later, in the 17th century, the French voyageurs explored and settled in Michigan. These included Etienne Brule, Jacques Marquette, and Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of the city of Detroit. However, over time large populations of various European, Middle Eastern, and Asian ethnicities have emigrated to our state. Find out more about the people who have contributed to Michigan's growth and culture.

Arab Americans in Metro Detroit: a pictorial history by Anan Ameri ; Yvonne Lockwood

Arab Americans in Michigan by Rosina J. Hassoun

Chaldeans in Michigan by Mary C. Sengstock