May We Suggest

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Bernie and Libby Simmons, caterers extraordinaire, are hosting a televised cookie contest just in time for Christmas, but unfriendly rivalries cook up cutthroat competition.
 

The Santa Klaus murder by Mavis Doriel Hay
Also available in: audiobook

Aunt Mildred declared that no good could come of the Melbury family Christmas gatherings at their country residence Flaxmere. So when Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered by a guest dressed as Santa Klaus with a bullet in his head on Christmas Day, the festivities are plunged into chaos.

A Rumpole Christmas by John Clifford Mortimer

Five holiday tales feature the curmudgeon barrister in "Rumpole and Father Christmas," "Rumpole's Slimmed Down Christmas," "Rumpole and the Boy," "Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces," and "Rumpole and the Christmas Break".

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes has been solving cases and amazing fans for over a century. From his flat at 221 B Baker Street, the engaging detective has led readers - and an often incredulous Dr. Watson - on a series of mystery adventures unmatched anywhere in literature. Now, Berkley Prime Crime presents Holmes For The Holidays, a brilliant collection of fourteen original Holmes stories written by today's premier mystery writers. Each story features Holmes and Watson, festively solving the darkest of crimes in the brightest of seasons.
 

"Continuing in a festive annual tradition, #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber returns with a new original holiday novel full of romance and cheer--and the magical prospect of finding love in even the most guarded hearts. Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she's tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that's the last straw. She's going to break through Cain's Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness. To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won't even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie's blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain's gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain--and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love"--.

For generations the Millers have lived in Miller's Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be "a place where it's just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content."
 
Miller's Valley is a masterly study of family, memory, loss, and, ultimately, discovery, of finding true identity and a new vision of home. As Mimi says, "No one ever leaves the town where they grew up, even if they go." Miller's Valley reminds us that the place where you grew up can disappear, and the people in it too, but all will live on in your heart forever.

Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes. Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost.

Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember. 

"Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater-vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden. But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam's death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he's never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met--a journey that leads him to find hope, healing, and self-discovery in the most unexpected places"--Jacket.

If you missed our Cars and Trucks Storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the stories and songs from this week's storytime, plus some suggestions to get your own storytime on the move. 

From Storytime

Toot toot beep beep by Emma Garcia

Can you make as much noise as a book full of traffic? Lots of opportunities for audience participation here, but ends quietly.

BLUE CAR, BLUE CAR (Follows the pattern of Brown Bear, Brown Bear)

     Blue Car, Blue Car what do you see? I see an Orange Airplane looking at me.

     Orange Airplane, Orange Airplane what do you see? I see a Yellow Bus looking at me.

     [Follow the pattern with Brown Tractor, Green Taxi, Purple Balloon, Red Ship, etc.]

     For your final verse, finish with: I see my passengers looking at me!

We don't often think of cookbooks as reading material, but these five books go beyond recipes to explain the history behind the foods we eat or the science underlying everyday food preparation.  Delicious illustrations as well!

Also available in: e-book

Cakes in America aren't just about sugar, flour, and frosting. They have a deep, rich history that developed as our country grew. Cakes, more so than other desserts, are synonymous with celebration and coming together for happy times. They're an icon of American culture, reflecting heritage, region, season, occasion, and era. And they always have been, throughout history. In American Cake , Anne Byrn, creator of the New York Times bestselling series The Cake Mix Doctor, takes you on a journey through America's past to present with more than 125 authentic recipes for our best-loved and beautiful cakes and frostings. Tracing cakes chronologically from the dark, moist gingerbread of New England to the elegant pound cake, the hardscrabble Appalachian stack cake, war cakes, deep-South caramel, Hawaiian Chantilly, and the modern California cakes of orange and olive oil, Byrn shares recipes, stories, and a behind-the-sceneslook into what cakes we were baking back in time. From the well-known Angel Food, Red Velvet, Pineapple Upside-Down, Gooey Butter, and Brownie to the lesser-known Burnt Leather, Wacky Cake, Lazy Daisy, and Cold Oven Pound Cake, this is a cookbook for the cook, the traveler, or anyone who loves a good story. And all recipes have been adapted to the modern kitchen.

Master 50 simple concepts to ensure success in the kitchen. Unlock a lifetime of successful cooking with this groundbreaking new volume from the editors of Cook's Illustrated, the magazine that put food science on the map. Organized around 50 core principles our test cooks use to develop foolproof recipes, The Science of Good Cooking is a radical new approach to teaching the fundamentals of the kitchen. Fifty unique experiments from the test kitchen bring the science to life, and more than 400 landmark Cook's Illustrated recipes (such as Old-Fashioned Burgers, Classic Mashed Potatoes, andPerfect Chocolate Chip Cookies) illustrate each of the basic principles at work. These experiments range from simple to playful to innovative - showing you why you should fold (versus stir) batter for chewy brownies, why you whip egg whites with sugar, and why the simple addition of salt can make meat juicy. A lifetime of experience isn't the prerequisite for becoming a good cook; knowledge is. Think of this as an owner's manual for your kitchen.

"After 20 years in the test kitchen, we've discovered the best methods for approaching essential cooking techniques and a wide range of recipes. We also know what questions home cooks will have, and what problems they'll face. In this landmark project, we share everything we've learned, from simple knife skills and cookery fundamentals, such as whipping egg whites, to perfecting recipes like pepper-curated filet's mignon and layer cakes"--Amazon.com.

If you missed our Shape Storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the stories and songs from this week's storytime, plus some suggestions to get your own storytime in shape. 

From Storytime

They all saw a cat by Brendan Wenzel

In simple, rhythmic prose and stylized pictures, a cat walks through the world, and all the other creatures see and acknowledge the cat.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT SHAPE THIS IS? (Tune: Mary had a little lamb)

     Do you know what shape this is, shape this is, shape this is?

     Do you know what shape this is, shout it out for me. [Triangle, Square, Circle, Star, Heart, etc.]

If you missed our Music Storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the stories and songs from this week's storytime, plus some suggestions to inspire a storytime that will get your toes tapping at home. 

From Storytime

Hiccupotamus by Steve Smallman

The jungle animals are having a musical celebration! Mouse squeaks, Bird tweets, and Centipede taps his feet. Then more animals hear the music and want to join in, as Monkey, Warthog, and Crocodile bring their own music-making talents to the group. But what is that silly Hippo doing?

 

FIVE LITTLE DRUMS (Built on the framework of one of my favorite fingerplays):

     Five little drums making music at the show (hold up 5 fingers)

     One fell down and started to... ROLL! (roll your hands)

     It bounced offstage and landed with a BOOM.

     How many drums are left in the room? (repeat until all the drums have rolled away)

 

If you missed our Gray Storytime this week, don't be blue. Here are some of the stories and songs from this week's storytime, plus some suggestions to inspire a colorful storytime that you can do at home. 

From Storytime

My body is tough and gray by Joyce L Markovics

Similar to the Guess What series, this book offers a series of clues for the reader to solve.

I dream of an elephant by Ami Rubinger

Elephants of many colors are described in couplets that invite the reader to complete the rhyme using color-themed clues.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, but any time of year is a good time to stop and be thankful for what we have. Check out these picture books for tales of gratitude that can be enjoyed all year long.

Attitude of gratitude by Julie Andrews

It's Gratitude Day at school! Gerry is ready to be grateful and kind all day long. She's excited to give her best compliments, she's donated a beautiful painting to her class's art gallery, and she even has the perfect jar contribution ready for the food drive. But when disaster strikes, it's tough to stay grateful--even on Gratitude Day! Can Gerry prove that a fairy princess always has the right attitude of gratitude?

A celebration of how the body's parts work together, from hands and eyes to lips and heart, allowing one to exist in the wondrous universe. Includes instructions for making a book.

Thank you for me! by Marion Dane Bauer

In this lyrical text, a young child lists body parts from nose to toes, giving thanks for each along the way.  A subtle reminder of our deepest core values, Thank You for Me! is a delightful celebration of gratitude.
 

Little Bear and Thorndyke

Hey Kids,

Sometimes the world is a rough place, so I'm taking a minute today to remind myself to be kind to others. It can be hard to show kindness when we're feeling angry or scared, but nothing makes me feel better than finding something nice to do for someone else. So if you're looking for books that might help you show understanding or compassion to someone who needs it, these are some of my favorite. I hope they inspire you, too. If you have your own inspiring books, please share them as a comment below.

Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

Wolfie the bunny by Ame Dyckman

When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook | video | e-video

Chrysanthemum loves her name, until she starts going to school and the other children make fun of it.

Large print is not just a bigger font size that makes reading accessible for the visually impaired. It’s also proven to improve letter and word recognition, aid reading comprehension, and increase feelings of confidence and satisfaction when reading. That makes it perfect for beginning or reluctant readers and ESL/ELL students. Large print books are an essential resource for any literacy program.

Art restorer, assassin, and spy Gabriel Allon finds himself poised to become the chief of Israel's secret intelligence service, but not before answering the French government's request to eliminate the person responsible for detonating a massive bomb in Paris.

Blood orange [large print] by Susan Wittig Albert

"In the newest China Bayles Mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital... It's mid-April in Pecan Springs, and China is renting her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who needs a temporary place to live as she contends with a very acrimonious divorce from her husband, Rich. One nasty point of dispute is her part ownership of the Comanche Creek Brewing Company, which she is refusing to sell. At the same time, as a nurse employed by a local hospice, Kelly has discovered instances of suspicious practices. Even more disturbing, she suspects that a patient was murdered. Kelly's knowledge could be dangerous, and she wants to get guidance from China on what to do. But on her way to China's house, Kelly is forced off the road and critically injured, putting her in a medically induced coma. Now it's up to China to determine who wanted her out of the picture. Was it her soon-to-be ex? His new lover--who happens to be the sister of China's friend Ruby? Or someone connected with the corruption at the hospice? China owes it to her friend to uncover the truth--but she may be putting her own life at risk.."--.

"As the dreary, bitter weather of late fall descends on Minneapolis, Detective Nikki Liska is restless, already bored with her new assignment to the cold case squad. She misses the rush of pulling an all-nighter and the sense of urgency of hunting a desperate killer on the loose. Most of all she misses her old partner, Sam Kovac. Kovac is having an even harder time adjusting to Liska's absence, saddled with a green new partner younger than most of Sam's wardrobe. But Kovac is distracted from his troubles by an especially brutal double homicide: a prominent university professor and his wife, bludgeoned and hacked to death in their home with a ceremonial Japanese samurai sword. Liska's case--the unsolved murder of a decorated sex crimes detective--is less of a distraction: Twenty five years later, there is little hope for finding the killer who got away. Meanwhile, Minneapolis resident Evi Burke has a life she only dreamed of as a kid in and out of foster homes: a beautiful home, a family, people who love her, a fulfilling job. But a danger from her past is stalking her idyllic present. A danger bent on destroying the perfect life she was never meant to have. As the trails of two crimes a quarter of century apart twist and cross, Kovac and Liska race to find answers before a killer strikes again.".

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