--------------> Missed the Grammy Awards?

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Here’s a short... ok, not-so-short... list of award winners. If you want to know the winners in all 108 catergories, check out the Grammy website.

Personally, I question some of the choices, but I’ll hold my tongue… for now…

Album of The Year
Dixie Chicks - Taking the Long Way

Best Score Sountrack Album
John Williams, Composer – Memoirs of a Geisha sountrack

Best Pop Vocal Album
John Mayer - Continuum

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Tony Bennett - Duets: An American Classic

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
Third Day – Wherever You Are

Best R&B Album
Mary J. Blige – Breakthrough

Best Contemporary R&B Album
Beyoncé – B’Day

Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
Kirk Franklin – Hero

Best Alternative Music Album
Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere

Best Rock Album
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium

Best Rap Album
Ludacris – Release Therapy

Best Electronic/Dance Album
Madonna - Confessions (on a dance floor}

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
Béla Fleck - The Hidden Land

Best Traditional Folk Album
Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album
Bob Dylan – Modern Times

Keep The Heat On

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The State of Michigan has a new website, Be Winterwise, to assist qualifying seniors and low-income customers who may be eligible for help in paying heating bills. The 2007 Michigan Energy Assistance Directory, developed by the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, provides information on private and public programs that offer energy assistance, and a county by county listing of utilities, programs and resources available. There’s also energy savings tips for your home and energy efficient products lists.

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss SunshineLittle Miss Sunshine

Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, and writer Michael Arndt appeared on Fresh Air on February 5th, 2007 to discuss their filmLittle Miss Sunshine.

I really enjoyed this bittersweet film which could be an Oscar winner this month. Nominated for 4 Oscars, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and biggest of all Best Motion Picture of the Year. I think it’s down to this film or The Queen for best picture award.

The Library has in addition to its regular collection of copies of this film a number of copies of the movie that are rented by the week for only $1.00 on a first come basis. Each branch Library has a rental collection of extremely popular books and DVD's known as Zoom Lends.

It's an enjoyable film, serious yet quite funny at times. Although the movie is about a little girl’s quest to win a beauty contest the movie is rated R and not appropriate for children.

For once -- an intelligent take on Valentines

Linguist and author Geoffrey Nunberg brightened the airwaves on Valentines Day with an NPR radio commentary about changes in personal communication. Amid way too much Feb. 14 schmaltz, what fun to hear this guy talk about the history of Valentines, including that many now arrive by telephone or e-mail – but some still arrive by old-fashioned snail mail. Listening to him made me want to read his new book Talking Right: How conservatives turned liberalism into a tax-raising, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show.

Baby Bits - Kittens with Mittens

For babies with books .... mittens and hats and snow .... try Three Little Kittens; The Snowy Day; Do You Have A Hat?; Hello Snow; and All You Need For A Snowman. Happy snowflakes !

History Bits - African-American History month

NEW books from within African-American experiences, and stories of little-known pieces of history that kids can understand are Bessie Smith And The Night Riders; Dear Mr. Rosenwald; Thanks A Million: Poems By Nikki Grimes; Stompin' At The Savoy: The Story Of Norma Miller; and Freedom Riders.

Celebratory chocolate stories and recipes

To celebrate Valentine's Day, check out this delicious story on NPR. In this week's edition of "Kitchen Window" Krishna Brown recounts stories of childhood Valentine's Days and provides two scrumptious recipes as well.

For other fantastic chocolate recipes check out these books at the library:
Chocolate from the cake mix doctor (my favorite for dressing up cake mix)
Pure chocolate
The art of chocolate
Celebrate with chocolate
The Chocolate Bible
...and more!

Senior Resource Alliance Update

The Senior Resource Alliance of Washtenaw has changed its name. It is now the SR Alliance of Washtenaw. This local organization is a member of the Society of Certified Seniors, a national group of accredited advisors to seniors.

This consortium of county service providers helps seniors in a variety of ways from estate planning to home remodeling. By their joining together seniors benefit from cross referrals to the right professional expert. And there is no charge for this help!

For more information call 1-800-385-1273.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (2/11/07)

Jim Harrison is the cover story this week. This Michigan author's latest critically acclaimed novel, Returning to Earth, celebrates his lusty appetite for life.

At #4 is White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz: "Two members of the Arcane Society, dedicated to paranormal research, investigate a series of murders and foil a plot to take over the society."

At #5 is The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer: " An imagined life of the young Adolf Hitler."

At #15 is Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell: "In this third volume of the Saxon Tales, set in the late ninth century, a Saxon warrior is betrayed by a Danish ally and joins forces with King Alfred."

"You're a good man, sister."

Who else could have said this if not tough guy, Sam Spade, the no frills detective of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. On February 14, 1930, The Maltese Falcon was published by Alfred A. Knopf in New York. It was originally published as a story in the pulp crime magazine, Black Mask and later became the famous film starring Humphrey Bogart as Spade. Hammett drew on his work as a Pinkerton detective to create the rough characters in his novels. His gritty stories that were set in the dark corners of the city became a precedent for what later was called the "hard boiled detective novel." Hammett later became a screen writer and was active in defending writers during the McCarthy hearings.

Other writers of the "hard boiled genre" are:

Raymond Chandler
James M. Cain
Ian Rankin
Dan Simmons and
Jim Fusilli.

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