Three Books on Short List for ‘Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads’

Theme for 2009 looks to the stars

Organizers for the 2009 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program picked a pretty ambitious theme – “The Universe: Yours to Discover.” (Oh, they mean literally the universe, not as in “a universe of possibilities.” Got it.)

A committee has narrowed the choice of books to three, and is asking people in the community to give feedback before they select the official 2009 title. Here’s what made their short list (the quoted texts are excerpts from descriptions of the books on the AAYR website):

  • “Seeing In The Dark: How Amateur Astronomers Are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe,” by Timothy Ferris. AAYR says this book is “a poetic love letter to science and to the skies,” but it’s clear his work is also stuffed with practical information like star charts.
  • “Rocket Boys: A Memoir,” by Homer Hickam. The author talks about his life as was a NASA engineer, training astronauts for Spacelab and Space Shuttle missions, among other things. His book describes growing up in a West Virginia coal-mining town. “A story of romance and loss and a keen portrait of life at an extraordinary point in American history, it is a chronicle of triumph.”
  • “The Planets,” by Dava Sobel. According to AAYR, the former New York Times reporter “explores the planets’ origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history.”

So here’s what they want you to do: 1) Read the books. 2) Go to the AAYR website and give your feedback, ideally telling them which book you’d prefer.

Find out more about the selections here.

If you haven’t been involved before, the idea behind AAYR is to engage as many people as possible in a discussion about a shared topic, with the idea that the book selected can be a jumping-off point for those conversations. They might happen in book clubs, lectures, author readings and other AAYR events – really, a universe of possibilities.

Section: Education, Govt.

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