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Howard Zinn, Historian, Civil Rights Activist, Educator, Dead at 87

Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) an American historian and Professor of Political Science at Boston University from 1964 to 1988, died on Wednesday, January 27, 2010. He was the author of more than 20 books. Zinn was active in and wrote extensively about the African-American Civil Rights Movement 1955-1968, civil rights and civil liberties and peace movements. In his best-selling A People's History of the United States, "he concentrated on what he saw as the genocidal depredations of Christopher Columbus, the blood lust of Theodore Roosevelt and the racial failings of Abraham Lincoln.

The Saints go Marching In

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Hey sports fans! Let's take a hockey break for a moment and revel in the world of football for a moment. Super Bowl XLIV is coming fast and furious to the South Florida area. If you get the chance to go, pack a swimsuit and some sunscreen as the weather there will be beachy keen. Get your tickets and root for either the Colts or the Saints. Sorry Lions, maybe next year! I am rooting for the Saints as this is their first Super Bowl appearance ever and also because they are a symbol of hope for the New Orleans area. Here's hoping they bring home the trophy.

National Book Critics Awards 2009

The National Book Awards were announced on Saturday evening, January 24 in New York City. The American Book Publisher’s Council, The Book Manufacturers’ Institute, and The American Booksellers’ Association jointly sponsor the Awards, bringing together the American literary community to honor the year’s best work in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young adult fiction. This year's winners are:


Fiction
: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Locavore Way

The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food by Amy Cotler

Local eating has been in the news a lot the past few years, but how easy is it really? Easier than you'd think, and this book is chock full of ideas. It also outlines the many benefits, both personal and for the community and the world at large, of a locavore lifestyle. Looking for local food here in Canton? The Canton Farmers Market has fresh goods May through October and Calder Dairy delivers and is available along with other local goods at stores like Holiday Market. Are there other local options that you've discovered in Canton? Please share in the comments.

Enemies of the People

On tonight's Colbert Report (Comedy Central) author Kati Marton will be the special guest to discuss her latest book, Enemies of the People. A native Hungarian, she spent the first 8 years of her life under a repressive dictatorship. In this true-story thriller, Marton relates her eyewitness account of her mother's and father's arrests during the Cold War in Budapest.

Trendsetters and Newsmakers

Enjoy the World in Vogue: People, Parties, Places. Here you will find outstanding photographs of some of the most celebrated actors, artist, models, first ladies, and social figures that have appeared in the pages of Vogue magazine over the past four decades. Enjoy photographs by famous photographers such as Avedon, Leibovitz, Horst, Steichen and Penn. Here is an amazing look at portraits, houses, gardens and parties of celebrated figures from many worlds.

The Steamy Kitchen

Once again, I am eagerly anticipating a cookbook. Jaden Hair's The steamy kitchen cookbook : 101 Asian recipes simple enough for tonight's dinner promises quick recipes accompanied by colorful illustrations. Perfect for armchair cookery, even if I never make it to the kitchen. While I'm old-fashioned enough to want the book, I can enjoy popping on to her blog in the meantime.

Fun Non-Fiction

If you're looking for more ways to making reading non-fiction fun, you should try the Kaleidoscope Kids Book series. They feature all kinds of interesting information on different countries, science, and history, along with related activities and games you can try at home. Our newest book in the series is Knights & Castles, with game and craft suggestions to help kids "experience the Middle Ages." Give one a try today!

Mystery Writers of America Announces 2010 Nominees

Mystery Writers of America announced the Nominees for the 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2009. Best Novel Nominees are:

Men's Knits

Men's Knits: 20 New Classics by Erika Knight

It's not always easy to find knitting patterns for men's garments that actually look like clothing your husband, brother, or other real-life man might wear. In contrast, these patterns are all wearable, designed for comfy fibers in masculine colors and without any frilly or fussy details. As a bonus, these patterns are very easy to follow and don't involve any advanced techniques.

Last Chance...Avedon at the DIA!

Photo fiends gather 'round! This is your last chance to see the special Richard Avedon photo exhibit at the DIA. The exhibit closes this weekend on Sunday, January 17th. Immerse yourself in fashion photos from 1944-2000. The photos are artistic, classic, and iconic. So grab the family and head on down the the "D" for an afternoon of education, enlightenment, and excellence.

All New Homespun Handknit

All New Homespun Handknit: 25 Small Projects to Knit with Handspun Yarn by Amy Clarke Moore

Knitting with handspun yarn is a treat, but it's also quite different from knitting with machine-spun yarn. It's not necessarily consistent in texture and thickness and it often surprises you as it knits up. The patterns offered here are perfectly suited to handspun and are, as the title says, small, which is also perfect as you often only have a limited amount of handspun in any given colorway.

Fun and Fancy Free!

astronomyWith school back in session, homework is inevitable. Come check out the J500 section for all your science homework needs. One series we have by author Dan Green, focuses on different science topics--astronomy, rocks and minerals, biology and physics.

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]

2009 Cybils Finalists Are In

Q: What are the Cybils?

A: The Cybils reward the children’s and young adult authors, as well as illustrators, whose books combine the highest literary merit and "kid appeal." And foster a sense of community among bloggers who write about children’s and YA literature, highlight reviewers and provide a forum for the similarly interested.

For the list of YA finalists and for more information about the Cybils, check out the website here

Travel and Terror

A federal grand jury in Detroit has indicted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on an Detroit-bound airliner. Following is a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) guidance for passengers on heightened security measures in place following this incidence.

Happy New Year's Diet

Is your New Year's resolution, as it is for so many of us, to drop a few pounds in 2010? Or perhaps you just want to eat a healthier diet? Take a look at some of our newer, healthier cookbooks and start your year off right.

To the Museum!

For an out of the world New Years, drop on over to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City! They are in the midst of celebrating their 50th year! While there be sure to take in all the amazing works of art displayed on the walls and also enjoy the amazing building itself, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Check out their website for more information plus hours, directions, and exciting special events. Happy New Year!!

The Quiltmakers

Eight workshops from the world's best quilt makers offers a unique opportunity to take classes without leaving home. The book Quiltmakers covers a wide range of quiltmaking skills like perfect piecing, applique, template making, adding straight and mitred borders and quilting. Each chapter gives a step-by-step instruction to the project.