Bellies, Babies and Breathing

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Spend the morning pampering yourself on Saturday, June 9 from 10 AM-12 PM in the Downtown Library Multipurpose Room. Relax your aching back to the tranquil sounds of nature, and the refreshing smell of lavender.

Keleigh Lee of Belly Beautiful Henna will create simple henna designs on beautiful pregnant bellies.

Jen Fife-Adams and Stephanie Schaldenbrand will also be here from Lamaze to discuss childbirth tips and exercises, while giving soothing hand massages. Plus, find out what the library can do for you once your baby comes to the world. See about baby playgroups and peruse our parenting collection.

Theodore Was Here

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100 years ago this week, Teddy Roosevelt, the 2nd greatest president of the 20th century (after his cousin Franklin) addressed the Michigan Legislature. The Michigan Library and Historical Center will commemorate President Roosevelt’s visit with a 2-day tribute that includes an address by H.W. Brands, author of T.R.: The Last Romantic, a reenactment of the speech in the Michigan Senate chambers and a special appearance by the President’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt. Other recommended books on Teddy are The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris and River of Doubt by Candace Millard.

Mississippi journey

Mary Morris, author of another travel journal, Nothing to Declare takes a different kind of journey in The River Queen. The Mississippi River is her trail and a fixed up junker which she names the River Queen is her boat. With two eccentric but skilled boatman, Tom and Jerry, Morris makes the trip in tribute to her father, recently deceased, who grew up along the river in Illinois. Morris includes facts about the river and the personalities she encounters. She tries to come to terms with the difficult father she knew by visiting the run down towns and hot tourist spots he frequented. A good story for women who may be facing a similar passage as well as anyone who is fascinated by the lure of the great river,

Doggy Love

John Grogan adapted his New York Times best-selling memoir Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog for a younger audience in two books released in May. Bad Dog, Marley!, intended for ages 3-7, is a picture book that illustrates how mischievous, and yet how irrefutably indispensable, a young pup can be. Marley: A Dog Like No Other, meant for ages 8-12, is a “kid friendly” version of Marley & Me. Grogan is also in the digital world with a website devoted to Marley and our other four-legged friends. On the site, learn more about Grogan, peruse his blog, and read other doggy stories!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #66

If you love adventures, steamy romance, political intrigues, religious passion, a bit of history painted in vivid colors, or simply a good story well told, you wouldn’t want to miss Tim Willock’s The Religion*.

First of a planned trilogy, it is set against the backdrop of the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. Roguish and disarmingly handsome Mattias Tannhauser, kidnapped by Muslim raiders as a child and trained as a holy warrior is now a soldier of fortune. What he does not bargain for is the charming Contessa Carla La Penautier to complicate his wild and boozy ways.
On the eve of the Turkish blockage of the island - the last strong hold of The Knight of St. John (a.k.a. The Religion), Carla agrees to marry Tannhauser (thus making him a Lord) if he would travel to Malta with her to rescue her son abandoned at birth. With the largest ever Ottoman armada on their tail and a vicious battle imminent, their quest is made even more overwhelming when the Pope’s brutal inquisitor with a secret agenda is working against them.

The story moves at a break-necked pace with non-stop action, without sacrificing good character development, historical details and a complex plot. Remarkable. Sure to become this summer’s blockbuster.

* = Starred Reviews

Be careful what you wish for

xxxHolic by CLAMP, the all-female manga artist group, is the story of Watanuki Kimihiro, a high school student who has always been able to see spirits. When spirits chase him into the shop of a mysterious witch, Yuuko, she offers to grant his wish to never see spirits again. There's just one catch: Watanuki has to work in Yuuko's shop until he pays off the price of his wish.

CLAMP likes to include many crossovers between its series, and xxxHolic is no exception. The first volume of xxxHolic features a major crossover with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, vol. 1; you don't have to read both for the story to make sense, but it's certainly more fun if you do. (Props to the first person who identifies the other crossover in xxxHolic, vol. 1 in the comments!) If you're a fan of either series, or just of anime and manga in general, be sure to come to the June 5 meeting of the teen Animanga Club: we're going to be screening episodes of the brand new Tsubasa anime.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #65

Successful teen author Shannon Hale is breaking into the adult market with Austenland. Unabashedly chicklit, it is an engaging read you won’t want to put down.

Jane Hayes – pretty, clever, a 30something with a thriving career (graphic artist) and even better hair, has one embarrassing secret obsession. Despite a stream of promising boyfriends (numbered but not named), her heart belongs to Mr. Darcy (as in Jane Austen’s), in the form of Colin Firth.

When Great Aunt Carolyn leaves her a legacy of a three-week, all-expense-paid holiday to a Jane Austen fantasy camp, her bags are packed. At Pembrook Park, Jane swaps her 21st century persona for a 19th century sensibility, complete with wardrobe, country dances, walks in the park and a supply of gentlemen as romantic interest. But when Jane falls for the gardener, breaks the rules and is expelled, an unexpected “Mr. Darcy” (Colin Firth in a wet shirt) comes through with the goods.

The plot is fresh though the ending is predictable. The language is snappy and humorous. The characters are well observed. Although the heroine is not without fault – she is dreamy and vulnerable, she is also smart, resourceful, and endearingly hopeful. I hope we'll meet again.

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris

Melvin is very curious. Every day he goes to the library to ask librarians Leola, Marge, and Betty, questions about everything. These enthusiastic librarians always help Melvin find the answers. Carla Morris writes an amazing tribute to librarians everywhere.

Knees Up Mother Brown!

Summer storytimes will start the week of June 11 and go for eight weeks until August 3. Mark your schedule for baby and preschool storytimes!

Baby Playgroups
15 minutes of stories, rhymes & songs followed by open playtime. Babies up to 24 months. No older siblings.
Downtown YSC, Mondays 10:30-11:30 AM
Malletts Creek, Tuesdays 10-11 AM & Thursdays 6:30-7:30 PM
Pittsfield, Tuesdays 6:30-7:30 PM (no playgroup on Jun. 19)
Northeast, Wednesdays 10-11 AM (no playgroup on Jul. 4)

Want to get into summer mode?

Poor Angelina longs for her Jamaica home, dreaming of papayas, hot sun and rainbow-colored birds. What will make her happy in her new home, Brooklyn, New York? Carnival of course! Once again, author Jeanette Winter touches and entertains with her whimsical story and magnificent illustrations.

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