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Brad Czerniak's Blog

Detroit Sports Talk

Join Detroit New reporter, author, and 97.1 Sports Radio host Terry Foster for A Night of Detroit Sports Talk tonight, Thurday, January 28th, from 7:00-8:30PM in our Community Room. Registration is not required, so come by if you're interested!

Also, check out Mr. Foster's Books if you can't see him in person.

Most-Anticipated Books of 2010

Books, arts, and culture site The Millions wrote up a piece entitled Most Anticipated: The Great 2010 Book Preview, which features tons of great books to check out this year. We've already ordered many books on the list, so you can add your hold if so inclined:

Three Days Before the Shooting . . by Ralph Ellison - At his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison left behind roughly two thousand pages of his unfinished second novel, which he had spent nearly four decades writing. Long awaited, it was to have been the work Ellison intended to follow his masterpiece, Invisible Man...

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris - In a radical departure from his satiric workplace comedy, Then We Came to the End (2007), Ferris turns in a dark and utterly compelling second novel on the insanity of modern life... [BookList Review]

Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolaño - To drag fiction toward the unknown, [Bolaño] had to go there himself, and there invent a method with which to represent it. Since the unknown place was reality, the results are multi-dimensional. [The New York Review of Books]

Site Redesign for New Logo

In January 2010 we will be rolling out our new logo, including in the Connections Newsletter and on our website. The new logo is different enough from our current mark to warrant changes to how our site looks overall. We've made a mock-up of the proposed changes available at

What You're Looking At

Same site, different colorsNo need to rock the boat — the now-familiar layout is worth keeping
Content-driven has great content. Visual design should draw attention to what's important
Easy eye travelColor and shape draw attention, but can also act as visual barriers. A consistent background means faster navigation and a more pleasurable experience
ConventionalDoes not equal boring. Links that look like links make life easier
Hide distractionsHide blog tags, but give the option to toggle them. Placement guides eyes down, not rightward
Action barVisually-solid area for catalog and chat reference. Chat uses "talk bubble" to meet expectations
More ActionBlog, forum, and feedback buttons on main and account pages to drive engagement
Please let us know what you think in the comments of this post. Thank you!

2009 in Books

Rex SorgatzEvery year, hundreds of people and organizations put together lists of picks for the most notable happenings of the year. One man, Rex Sorgatz, has assembled a "meta-list," or list of lists, for the last 8 years. 2009 is no exception.

Aside from Rex's list, you may also be interested in Eat Me Daily's Best Cookbooks of 2009 Roundup. The "Best Horizon-Expander," Vefa's Kitchen, is available here at CPL.

Lastly, the history community lost a great cultural scholar, Ronald T. Takaki. Harry Allen has written a heartfelt obituary that mentions Dr. Takaki's book, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America.

Play Foursquare

foursquare is a web app that lets you keep track of where you go, get restaurant ideas and reviews, keep tabs on your friends, and compete to be 'mayor' of local attractions. It does a lot, yet is very simple to use and available on GPS-enabled smartphones.

CNN recently did a writeup about how foursquare may be the Twitter of 2010; ubiquitous, social, and possibly overblown. However, where many people who visit twitter don't see the point, foursquare has concrete uses on top of being fun. For instance, here's a picture of me taunting my friend who was the 'mayor' of Tony's Coney & Grill at the time:

Now he'll have to go to Tony's to get mayorship back! Want to get started? Try to become mayor of Canton Public Library

Free & Interesting Books

Authors and publishers are trying new web gimmicks to gain readers: If you're looking for classics and other books that you can read online, take a look at the following sites:

Save Money and the Environment

Looking for convenient ways to save money and increase your productivity? The Simple Dollar recently listed 21 Ways to Reduce Your Spending Without Making Your Life Miserable, including tip #2: "Do some basic energy efficiency around your living quarters". They point to the Department of Energy's "Energy Savers" site, which has many recommendations for making your home more energy-efficient on the cheap. The Simple Dollar also posted 12 Clever Substitutions That Save Money (Nearly) Effortlessly, which speaks to how versatile vinegar truly is.

Swell Swashbucklin'

International Talk Like a Pirate Day be a fer th' finest o' Buccanneer-folk. H'e'er, landlubbers be welcome t' a share o' th' grog! Tweet #talklikeapirateday
See CPL's 2007 and 2008 Pirate Festivities, and be ready for th' 2009 engravin's

"Story of Image #1" by Teen Creative Writer Helen Zhou

25 talented Canton teens attended our Teen Creative Writing class this Summer. The class, graciously taught by Linda Papa, met five Saturdays from June to August. The end result was some wonderful writing, which we continue to share with you with the piece, "Story of Image #1," by Helen Zhou.

"The After Thanksgiving Sale" by Teen Creative Writer Mona Patel

25 talented Canton teens attended our Teen Creative Writing class this Summer. The class, graciously taught by Linda Papa, met five Saturdays from June to August. The end result was some wonderful writing, which we have the pleasure of sharing with you. This first piece, "The After Thanksgiving Sale," is by Mona Patel.

Photo and other original work (in audio and print) courtesy of Mona Patel and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

Ramadan Books

According to Wikipedia, Ramadan is

...the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, sexual conduct, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the Muslim patience, modesty and spirituality.

The Islamic calendar is lunar, whereas the Gregorian calendar is solar, so the beginning of Ramadan varies in date on the international calendar of record, while not varying on the Islamic calendar. This year, Ramadan begins on August 21st in the Eastern Hemisphere and on the 22nd in the Western Hemisphere. However, since practicing Muslims celebrate Holidays beginning in the evening of the previous day, Ramadan effectively begins at sundown tonight. For more information about Ramadan, take a look at these titles: Likewise, read and watch President Barack Obama's best wishes to the Muslim community at the White House website.
We also have materials about Islam and Islam -- Customs and Practices.

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Vice President Biden Coming to Detroit

Vice President Joe Biden, along with Governor Granholm and other local officials, will be in Detroit on Wednesday to make remarks on the economy. Some public tickets to this event will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, on request Tuesday at the event venue, the NextEnergy building.
For more information about the event, see the White House Press Release.