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Hot Chocolate

For years I regarded hot chocolate as a warm childhood memory, long pushed aside for the bitter deliciousness that is my morning espresso. After two eye-opening hot chocolate experiences: a thick, sweet cup in NY at Jacques Torres Chocolate and another equally thick, but less sweet serving in Ann Arbor at Frita Batidos, the quest to create my own perfect hot chocolate began.

Wicked Reads

If you like fiction about vampires, werewolves and other paranormal beings, then give these books about witches a try:

Brida: a novel by Paulo Coelho; translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa

Waking the witch by Kelley Armstrong

My favorite witch by Lisa Plumley

Prefer nonfiction? Check these out:

Food Reading

Even when I don't feel like cooking I gravitate toward the cookery section of the library. I'm always interested in food and there are so many wonderful books on that subject that rarely list a recipe. The result? Hours spent comtemplating my favorite subject without the guilt of untried recipes haunting me. Just a few of my favorites are:

The man who ate everything : and other gastronomic feats, disputes, and pleasurable pursuits by Jeffrey Steingarten — Vogue food columnist Steingarten writes hilariously about his obessions with food.

Romance on Ice

Isn't it exciting when two perfectly unrelated, but equally beloved, things mash together? I love reading romances and I love watching ice hockey. Apparently, I am not the only one. Rachel Gibson and Deirdre Martin are just two of the authors who have written fiction with hockey players as the heroes. Grab one today and get in a little reading before the Wings take on the Blackhawks tomorrow.

Body check by Deirdre Martin

Amazing (Homemade) Cakes

Ever wanted to try your hand at making an awesome, intricate cake to rival those seen on Amazing Wedding Cakes or Ace of Cakes? Start at your library, where we have almost 50 books on cake decorating, including some familiar faces from television.

Ace of Cakes: inside the World of Charm City Cakes by Duff Goldman and Willie Goldman

Top 100 Romance Novels

It's the time of year we all start seeing those "best of 2010" reading lists. All About Romance does this with a twist. Every year they poll their readers to find the top 100 romance books ever written. Check it out and see if you agree with their selections.

Hot Soup on a Cold Day

The temperature has dropped and that means it is the perfect time to make a hearty pot of soup. If you agree, but are tired of the same old recipes, come in and take a look under 641.563. It's where you will find a ton of cookbooks all about soup — just like these:

Soups + sides by Catherine Walthers; photography by Alison Shaw

EatingWell comfort foods made healthy: the classic makeover cookbook by Jessie Price & the Editors of EatingWell

Decorating Dreams

I am an excellent armchair decorator. This does not mean that I like to decorate armchairs. No, I like to sit in my cozy chair, poring over lovely oversized books on interior decorating, and fantsize over the house I might someday have. And this month's bumper crop of design books offers plenty to dream about.

Alexa Hampton: the language of interior design by Alexa Hampton

Timeless elegance: the houses of David Easton by David Easton with Annette Tapert

A Few Romance Faves!

Whether you are a diehard reader of romances or never had the desire to pick one up in your life, you might find a good read on the following list of romantic books. Science fiction, nonfiction, fantasy and more: we've got something romantic for everyone.

Singled out by Trisha Ashley — Humorous women's fiction with unconventional characters

Hens dancing by Raffaella Barker — Women's fiction with a touch of that sly British humor.

New Vietnamese Books

New books in Vietnamese are on the shelves now. Come in and browse or collection or look online. New titles include:

Paranormal Romance

If you enjoy paranormal romances like those written by Shayla Black, give these authors a try!

Historical Romance

If you enjoy historical romances by Bertrice Small or Sabrina Jeffries, try these authors:

The Reclusive Miss D

Fun fact about Emily Dickinson's poetry — many of her poems can be set to the tune of 'The Yellow Rose of Texas'. Try it sometime. It's addictive.

Dig deeper into Dickinson's life and works with the riveting new biography of the poet: Lives like loaded guns: Emily Dickinson and her family's feuds by Lyndall Gordon. Gordon explores the poet's letters, poems and community to offer the reader a fascinating new perspective.

New Romances for October

Each month I compile a list of the new romances received the previous month by the library. (You can find paper copies of this list at the end of the romance shelf.) Every time I do this bibliography, a few titles catch my eye. Here are the October romance purchases which got my attention.

Sinful in satin by Madeline Hunter

Something wicked by Michelle Rowen