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Cool Book Series Alert!

If you've ever been interested in the history of famous Wonders of the World, check out Elizabeth Mann's series. Covering structures from the Taj Mahal to the Brooklyn Bridge, there's all sorts of cool information and beautiful photos/artwork in these books. Look for them today on the Children's Department New Bookshelf!

The Story of Chocolate

Chocolate is so delicious... you can use it to make so many tasty things, like cookies, candy, and cake. But do you ever wonder where chocolate comes from? Read The Story of Chocolate to find out how chocolate begins its journey from cocoa bean to candy bar. Filled with lots of fun facts, this book is also easy enough to read on your own. Be warned - this book along with its yummy pictures might make you hungry! You just might get inspired to whip up a batch of brownies or chocolate chip cookies!

Father Dowling Creator Dead at 80

Prominent Catholic author, professor, and cultural commentator Ralph McInerny died last Thursday, January 29 at the age of 80. McInerny was the creator of the popular Father Dowling mystery series, which became a television series starring Tom Bosley and Tracie Nelson in the 80s. A prolific writer, McInerny also wrote the University of Notre Dame Mysteries, the Andrew Broom mysteries, and several books under the name Monica Quill.

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731 in Maryland. His father and grandfather were former slaves. Despite being a farmer of modest means, he lived a life of unusual achievement. He was unwilling to let his race or age hinder in any way his thirst for intellectual development and has become known as an American Scientific Pioneer. To learn more about this inspirational African American read this Signature Lives book about him. Other biographies on him for youth are also available at the library. Check some out!

Great Michigan Read: Stealing Buddha's Dinner

The Great Michigan Read program selection is Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen and this month the University of Michigan Library is hosting the Michigan Humanities Council’s traveling exhibit, Their Journey: Vietnamese in Michigan, which is on display February 1-24, 2010 (University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor) as well as a live webcast conversation on February 10 with Professor Peter Ho Davies and

Gardening with Shape, Line and Texture

Gardening with Shape, Line and Texture: A Plant Design Sourcebook by Linden Hawthorne

When designing a decorative garden, it can be quite helpful to think about the finished look as an artist might when painting. This book suggests plants and plant combinations selected with a painterly eye. These suggestions are divided into sections including horizontals and tiers, verticals and diagonals, clouds and transparents, and more. This is a book to spend some time with when in the design phase, or when something about your garden just isn't working and you need a new idea.

A Selection of New Romances

If you're looking for the latest romances, here are some books we just received in January 2010!

I <3 Ninjas

So, you like ninjas. You're a fan of Naruto. But, you're also a romance junky. Admit it. You also kind of think all the female characters in Naruto are kind of weak. Well, then I've got the perfect thing for you: Tail of the Moon. Strong female lead, shinobi missions, and a love story to round it all out. Or, check out Shinobi Life for a mix of action and romance in even amounts. Hey, there's nothing that says you can't have your ninja and romance fix at the same time. Go ahead.

The Great American Staycation

As economic times cause us all to tighten our belts and close up our wallets, many families are turning to the idea of a "staycation" rather than a traditional vacation. But how do you make sure you have a fun, relaxing and fulfilling staycation at home? The Great American Staycation will show you how staying at home can be one of the best vacations of all. Whether it's a romantic staycation for a couple or one for a family with kids, this book will help you out with plenty of top tips.

Happy Birthday Mozart!

Although Mozart's life was tragically short, his music will live on forever, so he is really immortal. In fact, aliens may be hearing his beautiful musical creations right now since his music was included in that time capsule shot off into space years ago. It is just a shame that he didn't get the royalties on all the products based on his genius in recent years because he was almost always short of money. Learn more about this amazing composer by picking up some of the biographies on him in the Children's Department.

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

Valentine's Day Is Right Around The Corner!

If you are looking for a way to get your romantic juices flowing or just looking for a good story with a happy ending, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti might be just what you need. If it isn't quite what you are looking for, check out the list of young adult love stories.

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.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry." Erich Segal

Author Erich Segal died last week (January 17) at the age of 72. He was teaching Greek and Roman literature at Yale University, when his collaboration with the Beatles in 1968 on their movie Yellow Submarine and the production of a screenplay he wrote about the doomed romance of a Radcliffe scholarship girl and a Harvard old-money boy entitled Love Story brought Segal fame. Released in 1970, "Love Story" was a huge box-office hit. "Love Story", when released in paperback, had the largest print order in publishing history at the time, with 4,325,000 copies. Reaction to the book was strong and surprisingly controversial.

Masters of Music

Are you looking for a great biography on a decomposing composer? (I've heard there is a biography assignment now and then that requires the composer to be deader than a doornail!) Well, if that happens to be YOUR assignment the Children's Department now offers you a fine selection of the world's most awesome defunct musical masters of composition. Check out the new series, Masters of Music, in the biography collection.

Recommended Literary Read: Orwell's 1984

AnnArbor.com's Sunday paper edition touts George Orwell's 1984 as "one novel that everyone should have under their [sic] literary belts." Orwell's grim prediction for the future is fully unveiled in the workings of the totalitarian state run by Big Brother. Often on the reading list of the public schools, this novel is one of those rare gems that is both entertaining and meaningful.

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!

Did you Return to Cranford?

If you've been keeping up with the current Masterpiece season on PBS, maybe you finished watching Return to Cranford last weekend. I had high expectations after the first Cranford, and while I wasn't disappointed, there were several shocking developments in the course of the new mini-series. Bessie, one of my favorite characters, suffered perhaps more than was deserved. But there were many moments of humor as well, and I enjoyed my second visit to Cranford. Don't forget to check the library's collection for more materials related to Elizabeth Gaskell.
The next feature on Masterpiece will be Emma, which begins this Sunday evening.

Give Someone A Hug Today!

Today, January 21st, is National Hugging Day. It's the perfect day to give someone you love - mom, dad, sibling, dog, your stuffed animal — a big hug! And while you're at it, why not read some books about hugs? I like A Book of Hugs by Dave Ross. It talks about all kinds of hugs and even has some cool facts about them. Happy hugging!