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Sweet Frugality

Here are some great sites for frugal advice - all available in your feed reader: Also, some books here in CPL's collection:

The complete Tightwad gazette : promoting thrift as a viable alternative lifestyle by Amy Dacyczyn, a.k.a. The Frugal Zealot

Suddenly Frugal : How to Happier & Healthier for Less by Leah Ingram

Chef on a shoestring : more than 120 delicious, easy-on-the-budget recipes from America's best chefs by Andrew Freidman

Itty-Bitty Toys

Itty-Bitty Toys: How to Knit Animals, Dolls, and Other Playthings for Kids by Susan B. Anderson

The handknit toys featured in this book are cute, classic, and are sturdily constructed. It's a winning recipe for both the knitter who makes one and the child who is the recipient. There are a wide variety of creations here, including a bunny, koala mama and baby, a monkey, nesting boxes, and more. The last section even includes some reversibles, like a cat that turns into a mouse and an egg that turns into a bluebird nest.

Bridget Biddy Mason was a...

former slave, nurse/midwife, successful entrepreneur, humanitarian and founder of Los Angeles's first African-American congregation. She was born a slave in August of 1818 on a Mississippi plantation owned by Robert Marion Smith and his wife Rebecca (Crosby) Smith. Mason had three daughters, Ellen, Ann and Harriet, whose father was reputedly Smith himself.

Happy Birthday, Hershey's Chocolate Company!

If you’re a chocolate lover, February 9 is no ordinary day — it’s the day that Hershey’s Chocolate Company was founded in 1894. Hershey’s was started by Milton S. Hershey, the son of a Mennonite family who had little formal education but went on to become one of the richest men in America. By 1905, Hershey had built a state-of-the art factory to mass-produce chocolate bars, wafers and other delicious delectables. By 1907, his company had cracked the code and created what would become their best-selling product: the Hershey’s kiss. Coincidentally (or not!), Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so celebrate by getting your sweetie some Hershey’s kisses and checking out a book about this American original.
2010 BookLetters LLC)


Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism by Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein

This unassuming book is a fascinating peek into a roadtrip of two young women who travel across the United States with no other goal than to connect with other women. They met and spent time with women of varying ages and experiences and this book contains their thoughts, commentary and photographs. Local note: Aronowitz and Bernstein spent time in several Michigan cities: Detroit, Flint, and Ypsilanti.

Getting Guys to Read

Boys have trouble reading. It's true. Girls totally blow us away at this, I'm ashamed to say. The Michigan Reading Association cites factors such as the need for boys to be more active and the fact that if they don't see other guys reading then they don't think of it as a 'guys' activity. Check out the pamphlet attached to get some tips for getting guys to pick up a book. I'll give you a hint: 'Forcing' them to read isn't on the list. Fathers reading to their sons is.
[photo by Cayusa]

Power of Gardens

Power of Gardens by Nancy Goslee Power

This book looks at gardens designed by Power, providing details about their history and design in addition to stunning double page spreads of gorgeous photographs. Many styles and types of gardens are included. Power's goal in each garden is to provide a place where people can relax, refresh, and feel at home, and it's easy to see that she's been successful.

Brunch Books

When the snow is falling on a weekend morning, I just want to watch it through the window while relaxing with another cup of coffee, and another, and another. The next step in this scenario is some delicious food to soak up the caffeine. What could be better than a home-cooked breakfast or luxurious brunch?

Gale Gand's brunch! by Gale Gand

Vegan brunch : homestyle recipes worth waking up for-- from asparagus omelets to pumpkin pancakes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Bread for breakfast by Beth Hensperger ; photography byLeigh Beisch

Mollie Katzen's Sunlight cafe by Mollie Katzen ; with illustrations by Mollie Katzen

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:

: 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.