Books

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.

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.

Music can inspire us during our worst times, or be the backbone of a celebration. Check out some of these stories about the people behind the music, and check the links for where to listen to their tunes.

Little Melba and her big trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown

A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources. Her music can be interloaned through MeL.

With rhythmic swirls of words and pictures, Suzanne Slade and Stacy Innerst beautifully reveal just how brilliantly Gershwin reached inside his head to create his masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue. It's a surprising and whirlwind composition of notes and sounds and one long wail of a clarinet-dazzling and daring, just like George Gershwin himself!

Read about the beginnings of hip hop and break dancing. 

The passing of Leonard Cohen, much like his music, leaves us with a heavy heart. We offer a variety of music and knowledge from and about Laughing Len, the Prince of Pessimism, the Godfather of Gloom, the Maestro of Melancholy, the Montreal Mensch, the Poet Laureate of Despair...

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/leonard-cohen-dead-at-82-w449792

Leonard Cohen, one of the most admired performers of the last half century, has had a stranger-than-fiction, roller-coaster ride of a life. Now, for the first time, he tells his story in his own words, via more than 50 interviews conducted worldwide between 1966 and 2012. In Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen, which includes a foreword by singer Suzanne Vega and eight pages of rarely, seen photos the artist talks about Bird on the Wire, Hallelujah, and his other classic songs. He candidly discusses his famous romances, his years in a Zen monastery, and his ill-fated collaboration with producer Phil Spector, his long battle with depression, and much more. You will find interviews that first appeared in the New York Times and Rolling Stone, but also conversations that have not previously been printed in English. Some of the material here has not been available until now in any format, including the many illuminating reminiscences that contributors supplied specifically for this definitive anthology.

I'm your man [videodisc] by Leonard Cohen

The life and work of Leonard Cohen is celebrated in Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man. The documentary also includes performances and interviews by artists that Cohen has inspired, including U2, Beth Orton, Jarvis Cocker, Rufus Wainwright, and more.

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.".

British Library Crime Classics presents forgotten classics from the golden age of British crime writing. Neglected and left languishing, many of these titles haven’t been seen in print since before the Second World War. With covers as iconic and collectible as the works themselves, these are a period delight."

Death in the tunnel by Miles Burton

"On a dark November evening, Sir Wilfred Saxonby is travelling alone in the 5 o'clock train from Cannon Street, in a locked compartment. The train slows and stops inside a tunnel; and by the time it emerges again minutes later, Sir Wilfred has been shot dead, his heart pierced by a single bullet. Suicide seems to be the answer, even though no reason can be found. Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard thinks again when he learns that a mysterious red light in the tunnel caused the train to slow down. Finding himself stumped by the puzzle, Arnold consults his friend Desmond Merrion, a wealthy amateur expert in criminology. To Merrion it seems that the dead man fell victim to a complex conspiracy―but the investigators are puzzled about the conspirators' motives, as well as their identities. Can there be a connection with Sir Wilfred's seemingly untroubled family life, his highly successful business, or his high-handed and unforgiving personality? And what is the significance of the wallet found on the corpse, and the bank notes that it contained?"--.

Antidote to venom by Freeman Wills Crofts

George Surridge, director of the Birmington Zoo, is a man with many worries: his marriage is collapsing; his finances are insecure; and an outbreak of disease threatens the animals in his care. As Surridge's debts mount and the pressure on him increases, he begins to dream of miracle solutions. But is he cunning enough to turn his dreams into reality - and could he commit the most devious murder in pursuit of his goals? This ingenious crime novel, with its unusual 'inverted' structure and sympathetic portrait of a man on the edge, is one of the greatest works by this highly respected author.

Duchlan Castle is a gloomy, forbidding place in the Scottish Highlands. Late one night the body of Mary Gregor, sister of the laird of Duchlan, is found in the castle. She has been stabbed to death in her bedroom - but the room is locked from within and the windows are barred. The only tiny clue to the culprit is a silver fish's scale, left on the floor next to Mary's body.Inspector Dundas is dispatched to Duchlan to investigate the case. The Gregor family and their servants are quick - perhaps too quick - to explain that Mary was a kind and charitable woman. Dundas uncovers a more complex truth, and the cruel character of the dead woman continues to pervade the house after her death. Soon further deaths, equally impossible, occur, and the atmosphere grows ever darker. Superstitious locals believe that fish creatures from the nearby waters are responsible; but luckily for Inspector Dundas, the gifted amateur sleuth Eustace Hailey is on the scene, and unravels a more logical solution to this most fiendish of plots.Anthony Wynne wrote some of the best locked-room mysteries from the golden age of British crime fiction. This cunningly plotted novel - one of Wynne's finest - has never been reprinted since 1931, and is long overdue for rediscovery.
 

From https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/ : "National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel during the month of November. Why do it? For 30 crazy, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create! Participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by 11:59 PM on November 30. The word-count goal for our adult program is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable-but-challenging individual word-count goals."

Children and Teen Resources

An illustrated introduction to writing a silly story that provides tips and instructions on writing an original story and offers a sample.

Offers guidance on writing stories, poems, drama, and nonfiction and includes profiles of famous writers, writing exercises, and tips from experts.

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