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Thomas Kinkade 1958-2012

The artist known to many as the "Painter of Light" passed away Friday at the age of 54. Thomas Kinkade, famous for his light-infused paintings of countrysides and cottages, was one of the most popular artists in America. It is estimated that one out of every 20 homes in the United States contains a print or painting of Kinkade's. In addition to creating over 1,000 unique works of art, Kinkade also became a NYT bestselling author. The movie The Christmas Cottage offers a semiautobiographical look at his younger years.

Chase's Calendar of Events

Chase's Calendar of Events was started in 1957 as a humble 32-page booklet by  William D. Chase, an Ann Arbor man. The world's greatest datebook has been in publication ever since. It is the authoritative guide to special occurrences, holidays, anniversaries, celebrity birthdays, religious observances, sporting events, and more.  Mr. Chase will observe a special day of his own on April 8 when he turns 90

Baby Games

Help your infant develop brain power and have fun by trying out some new games during playtime. Below are some suggested books filled with ideas for baby and caregiver play. You can find these titles in the Parenting section in the Children's Department.

Baby minds: brain-building games your baby will love by Linda Acredolo, Ph.D. and Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D

Baby play by general editors Wendy S. Masi, Roni Cohen Leiderman

Better Homes & Gardens Herb Gardening

Better homes and gardens herb gardening by [contributing writer, Karen Weir-Jimerson]

Growing herbs can be one of the easiest things you ever do in the garden. They have many advantages, including attractive foliage and flowers, appealing scents, usefulness in cooking, and ease of cultivation. Many herbs also have flowers that attract beneficial insects, birds, and butterflies. This book includes lots of info that will be helpful when selecting the herbs to grow in your garden, as well as instructions for creating container gardens, using herbs in cooking and crafts, and lots more.

American Way of Eating Author Appearance

The public is invited on Wednesday, April 4 at Noon to a talk and book signing by Tracie McMillan, local NY Times Bestselling author. The event takes place on the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus (1030 CASL Building). For more information please call 313-583-6400.

The American way of eating: undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, farm fields and the dinner table by Tracie McMillan — addresses issues of food production, poverty and low wage work in the style of Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. It also critically discusses Detroit's "food desert status and talks about the role of urban agriculture in sustaining Detroit's food system."

Peanuts by Charles Schultz

Our art collection has many different topics in it and one that I just know you will enjoy is our array of books by Charles Schultz. The Peanuts characters have been beloved by millions for many, many years. Be sure to check out our selections located in both the Children's and Adult departments. I can almost hear Schroeder playing the famous theme song now. Enjoy!

Handmade Garden Projects

Handmade garden projects: step-by-step instructions for creative garden features, containers, lighting & more by Lorene Edwards Forkner — Would you like to give your garden a little something extra? By reusing materials and with a little DIY effort, you can add depth and interest to your garden. This book has it all, from pathways to structures to furniture to containers to storage and more. Check out the author's blog for lots more info and inspiration.

March Madness 2012

The NCAA Men's Championship Basketball Tournament has evolved into one of the most prominent annual sporting events in the United States. Millions of fans predict the ultimate winner by filling out brackets in this single elimination tournament that begins in March and ends in April.

The big dance: the story of the NCAA basketball tournament by Barry Wilner & Ken Rappoport — Ken Rappaport tells the story of the tournament from it's beginning seventy-three years ago as just an eight-bracket to today's sixty-eight team format.

One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs

One + one: scarves, shawls & shrugs: 25 projects from just two skeins by Iris Schreier — So often as a knitter you end up with a single skein of a lovely yarn and it can be difficult to decide what to do with it. This book shows how to pair up those gorgeous single skeins to make scarves, wraps, and more. Combining two yarns which complement or contrast with one another can really bring a simple project to another level.

Better Homes & Gardens Water Gardening

Better homes and gardens water gardening

There are many reasons to use water in the design and construction of your garden. Water features attract beneficial wildlife including birds and butterflies, provide sound screening, and add a soothing element to your landscape. This book provides all the info you'll need to create or improve the water features in your garden, from ponds to waterfalls to fountains and beyond.

The Heirloom Life Gardener

The heirloom life gardener: the Baker Creek way of growing your own food easily and naturally by Jere & Emilee Gettle ; with Meghan Sutherland

This book contains a wealth of information, including a history of seed-saving, background on one of the most prominent heirloom seed companies in the U.S., information and instruction on how to grow your own food from heirloom seed, and a guide to some of the most commonly grown heirloom varieties. Also included are engaging color photographs of the fruits, vegetables, gardens, and people featured in the information.

The Great Michigan Read 2011-2012

The Great Michigan Read 2011-2012 is drawing to a close. This year's selection has inspired displays and discussions across the states in public libraries and schools. The author, Kevin Boyle, received his undergraduate degree from University of Detroit-Mercy and his doctorate from University of Michigan. He is presently teaching at Ohio State University. Arc of Justice won the National Book Award in 2004 and was named Michigan Notable Book in 2005.

Socktopus

Socktopus: 17 pairs of socks to knit and show off by Alice Yu

Sock knitters, you won't want to miss this book, as it's got over a dozen attractive sock patterns. Knitters who haven't knit socks yet, this book might just bring you over to the dark side (protip: it's not really dark). These socks are both beautiful and functional, as Yu has clearly worn many knitted socks and knows what makes them comfortable and useful. You may also enjoy Yu's blog, which has great photos of her knitting, travels, and life in general.

Spring Break Mini-Breaks

Plymouth-Canton School's Spring Break starts on April 6th and you may have a great trip already planned. But if you can't fit in a long vacation to sunnier climates, why not plan a mini-break? We have some fantastic travel guides for close-by locations.

Detroit & Ann Arbor: a great destination by Jeff Counts

Fodor's 2012 Chicago by Margaret Kelly

Chicago restaurants 2012

Celebrating Extraordinary Women Throughout History

Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth I of England. Florence Nightingale. These remarkable women are well known to most of us, but there are many others in history just as remarkable whose names may not be as recognizable. In honor of Women's History Month we should all make some time to learn about them by reading some of the many biographies to found in the library's collection:

Bella Abzug: how one tough broad from the Bronx fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, pissed off Jimmy Carter, battled for the rights of women and workers, rallied against war and for the planet, and shook up politics along the way: an oral history by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom — Bella Abzug, American lawyer, congresswoman and social activist

Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy: a life by Jean Bethke Elshtain — Jane Addams, American social reformer, suffrage leader and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Anna of all the Russias: the life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein — Anna Akhmatova, Influential Russian poet

President's Obama's Reading List

On Friday, August 19th, 2011, while vacationing in Martha's Vineyard President Obama and his daughters made an impromptu stop at the island bookstore. Of the books purchased by the president were two new books: The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell and:

Rodin's debutante: a novel by Ward Just

The President also brought along three other books with him:

Same Place, More Space

Same place, more space: 50 projects to maximize every room in the house by Karl Champley, with Karen Kelly ; illustrations by Arthur Mount

You may recognize author Karl Champley from DIY Network's Wasted Spaces, and fans of that show will find similar ideas in this book. In addition to ideas for taking advantage of unused storage space, this book goes further, offering how-tos for rearranging floor plans and uses of space to get the most out of your home. Included here are instructions and diagrams for multi-use furniture, use-specific remodeling, and lots more.

Seeing Trees

Seeing trees: discover the extraordinary secrets of everyday trees by Nancy Ross Hugo ; photography by Robert Llewellyn

Trees are all around us, but how often do we really look at them? This book takes a VERY close look and includes stunningly detailed photographs of trees and their constituent parts. Once you've looked through this book, every walk through your neighborhood will be an opportunity to notice these incredible details. Check out the video preview for a sneak peek.