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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!

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:

Creator of 'Spenser' Robert B. Parker Died

Bestselling American crime novelist, Robert B. Parker, creator of the wisecracking Boston private eye Spenser, died on Monday, January 18 at the age of 77. Robert B Parker, the American crime novelist, who has died aged 77, helped revive and modernize the hard-boiled private eye genre through his Spenser series of novels. In 2002, he was named Grand Master at the Edgar awards by the Mystery Writers of America. More than four million copies of his books have been sold around the world.

Teen ALA Schneider Family Award

The Schneider Family Book Award is a National Award which honors an author for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. This year's winner is Marcelo And The Real World by Francisco Stark. This book is a poignant and fun story about Marcelo, a high-functioning autistic teenager, who works in the mail room of his father's law firm for the summer. This book is not only an award winner but a must read for all teen literature lovers!

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.

2010 Award Winners Announced

ALA announced the Youth Media Award winners today. To look at all the winners and honors for these and the rest of the awards (including Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpre) take a peek here!

Baby, it's cold outside!

Snow is on the ground, the days are long and grey, and cold wind bites your face when you step outside. Time to head to the beach! If a real beach vacation isn't on your calendar, try a literary vacation with some of these great characters:

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Did you know that January 16 is Appreciate a Dragon Day?! It's a day where kids are encouraged to visit their local library to look for books about dragons. You can study what other cultures and societies believe about dragons, or just read a story about them. It sounds pretty fun, and there's no shortage of dragon books here! Dragonology is a pretty cool one to try, but there's plenty more to choose from, too! Happy reading!