* Due to the closure for elevator repair, the Downtown Library is not currently available to select as a request pickup point. Please select another location for new requests.

Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg

In a story eeriely relevant for our time, Myla Goldberg, acclaimed author of Bee Season, creates in Wickett's Remedy a tale that chronicles the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918 through the travails of the main character, Lydia Wickett, who creates a medicinal tasting mixture that her husband tries to market. Lydia loses her husband to influenza and is exploited by a shady businessman who converts the remedy into QD Soda which becomes a nationwide sensation and makes him millions. Returning to South Boston, Lydia begins nursing victims of the disease and then naively volunteers for an unethical research project on Gallups Island using prisoners as subjects to be exposed to the virus. Along with the narrative are bulletins describing the 75th anniversary of QD Soda and articles on the ravages of the influenza. Sidebars in the margins are written from "the other side," i.e. the dead, commenting on the story. Wickett's Remedy is an ambitious undertaking that vividly depicts the tragedy that took so many lives.

Calling all Edge Chronicle Fans!

Mark your calenders to meet the authors, Englishmen Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, of the popular series the Edge Chronicles at Nicola's Bookstore on Wednesday, March 15th at 11am. The Edge Chronicles is a cool British fantasy series with woodtrolls and sky pirates. You might even be able to get your books signed! If you love Harry Potter, you should try this series out.

Oscar Nominations are in!

Crash was the big surprise this morning earning several key nominations including best picture, along with Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Munich, and Good Night, and Good Luck. Other surprises: George Clooney is now officially a serious actor and filmmaker and King Kong was left out in the cold.

See the complete list of Oscar nominations and tell us what you think.

Barnyard Chuckles

Who couldn't use a giggle or two during these gray days of winter?

Two recent picture books that both take place in the barnyard are sure to provide laughter for both children and the adults that read to them.

Punk Farm by Jarrett Krosoczka is about a rock band (cow, pig, goat, sheep and chicken) that swings into action when Farmer Joe goes off to bed. The concert will have all readers and listeners singing along.

Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds will have readers rushing off to the kitchen in search of munchies. This is the story of what happens to a normally quiet barnyard after the rooster sneaks up to the farmhouse and sees an episode of a cooking show on television.

For more barnyard antics, also check out Doreen Cronin's classics Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and Giggle, Giggle, Quack.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert takes the reader on an imaginary journey of a leaf with two acorns for eyes and a burr for a mouth. The beautiful collage pictures of ducks, geese and prairie animals accentuate the simple text with the refrain "A Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows."

2006 Michigan Notable Books, part 1 -- Non-fiction winners

MI notable books 2006

The Library of Michigan announced the winners of the 2006 Michigan Notable Books. These twenty titles, all published last year, highlight “…Michigan people, places and events.” They must be written by a Michigan native or resident and are wide-reaching in coverage.

On the list this year are 14 non-fiction titles, four novels, and two children’s books. The winners in alphabetical order are:

Non-fiction

Beast of Never, Cat of God: The Search for the Eastern Puma by Bob Butz

Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink by David Margolick

Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans by Thomas Lynch

The Dodge Brothers: The Men, the Motor Cars, and the Legacy by Charles K. Hyde

Grit, Noise, and Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll by David A. Carson

Legends of Light: A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio photographs by Ed Wargin

Made in Detroit: A South of 8 Mile Memoir by Paul Clemens

Michigan Agricultural College: The Evolution of a Land-grant Philosophy, 1855-1925 by Keith R. Widder

Michigan Shadow Towns: A Study of Vanishing and Vibrant Villages by Gene Scott

Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Michael Schumacher

Singing in a Strange Land: C.L. Franklin, the Black Church, and the Transformation of America by Nick Salvatore

Soapy: A Biography of G. Mennen Williams by Thomas J. Noer

Under Michigan: The Story of Michigan's Rocks and Fossils by Charles Ferguson Barker

Vintage Views of the Charlevoix-Petoskey Region by M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson

Is Chocolate Good for You?

The health benefits of chocolate seem to be coming up a lot lately, probably due to the new product from Dove called CocoaVia, which is marketed as a heart healthy delight. I tried digging up the most professional sources of info on this subject, but as we all know, health professionals can disagree and studies can contradict one another.

Dark Chocolate is Good For You
It's the flavanoids!

Chocolate can be good or bad for you
Jane Russell gives you good and bad news. High antioxidents in chocolate are good, but Stearic Acid might be bad for you. Chocolate induces acid reflux for some people, and the high fat content can give you indigestion. Not to mention all those caffeine problems

Fantasy Bit - Medieval Magic

"For a green-eyed reader filled with desire" a volume of blank parchment pages may reveal the magic of Northumbria. "Rich with mystery and atmosphere, this is a thought-provoking fable" about magic and greed. Avi does it again for a tale to share-aloud among families, The Book Without Words.

Kid Bits - Loss

For generations Comfort Snowberger's family has owned the funeral home in town. With care and cosmic understanding the family handles the loss of a family member at the same time that Comfort is losing peace with her best friend, Declaration. With southern charm and humor the rhythms of life flow with Each Little Bird That Sings, a lovely family read-together.

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