In praise of mothers

In honor of Mother's Day, following are two books and one film that tell the stories of three remarkable mothers:

From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island by Lorna Goodison describes this local poet's mother, Doris who grew up in a privileged family in Jamaica but then married a chauffeur, moved to urban Kingston and raised nine children.

A Remarkable Mother by former President Jimmy Carter is his loving tribute to Lillian Carter, a nurse serving troops in World War I and in her later years a Peace Corps volunteer in India.

My Flesh and Blood is a documentary about Susan Tom, a single mother, who adopted eleven special needs children.

Silver Bells: a Holiday Tale by Luanne Rice

Need to generate some real Christmas spirit?

Full of incident, local New York City color, and excitement (both romantic and suspenseful) Silver Bells is a lovely, quick Christmas read.

Christopher Byrne, widowed Nova Scotian Christmas tree farmer, brings his trees to Manhattan each December, bringing his son and daughter. Last year his teen-age son ran away while in New York.

Catherine Tierney, widowed New York librarian, lives in a row house in Chelsea near Christy Byrne's treelot.

Might they meet, might the son reappear?

Hurry, there are eight copies on the shelf right now.

Good Food, Fast

If you’re trying to plan a holiday meal, but find yourself short on time, Nigella Lawson, has 130 quick recipes to help you out.

Listen to her recent Talk of the Nation interview and then check out Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast.

For a sneak preview, find a few of Nigella’s recipes on the NPR site.

Santa Claus is Coming to CTN Town


CTN Channel 17 will broadcast the Santa Satellite Network LIVE from Santa's workshop on Thursday, December 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Mrs. Claus and Elf Mindy will help Santa take your calls at 734.997.1050. So make that list, check it twice and give Santa a ring!

Green Holidays


Looking for a way to live and give green this season? Try Eco-Libris for ideas on “sustainable reading.” Eco-Libris is committed to seeking out books and practices that are easier on the environment. They offer a handy Holiday Green Gift Guide for Book Lovers and information on how you can sign up to plant a tree for every book you read, for a dollar a book.

Relatedly, The New York Times recently ran an interesting article on the idea of simplifying gift-giving in eco-conscious ways. Is it simplifying? Is it preaching “ecological responsibility?” Is it worth all the to-do? Will you be giving energy-efficient light bulbs as gifts, or snickering at those who do?

WinterFest at the Michigan Historical Museum


For the next two Saturdays, you can enjoy family-friendly activities that celebrate the diversity of our Michigan heritage at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. This Saturday, December 8th, enjoy the Ethnic Festival with choirs, dancing and traditional arts and crafts. Next Saturday, December 15th, celebrate Traditional Winter Sports by riding a mule team wagon, learning to walk on snowshoes and watching a dog sled team in action.

Chappy Chanukah!

Dreidel 2Dreidel 2

Need Chanukah candles, dreidels, a menorah, or want to learn more about Chanukah? Stop in at Chanukah Wonderland, next to the Michigan Theater. They’ll be open for business till December 12th. And if you don’t have plans for Christmas Day join Temple Beth Emeth at the Michigan for Barbara Streisand in Hello Dolly. The entire community is welcome! There will be special New York treats: Egg Creams & Hot Dogs at the concession stand. Advanced tickets are on sale NOW!

Where are your Holiday CDs?

Are you trying to get into the holiday spirit? Need a little nudging? Why not pop in a holiday CD to get you in the mood. At the Downtown library there is a special section set aside just for holiday CDs. That’s right! It’s in the regular CD section, right under the clock. Which must mean that it’s time to listen so some cheery tunes. (My favorite? A Christmas together by John Denver & The Muppets.)

Snowflakes, snowflakes, everywhere!


Sure, they’re in the air, but they’re also in books and films right here at the library. Local artist Thomas L. Clark, aka Dr. Snowflake, makes the loveliest snowflakes! Check out his books to see intricate examples of the magic you can create with just paper and scissors: The Tree in the Garden, A Twinkling on the Roof, and Of Gifts and Days, among others. He also has a video with demonstrations.

For instructions there’s Paper Snowflakes For All Ages, and for the science oriented there’s Snowflakes, Sugar and Salt: Crystals Up Close and Snowflake Bentley (also on dvd), the story of a scientist who photographed snowflakes to study their formation. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Make your own holiday wrapping paper!

Do you have your holiday shopping done? Or started? If you’re in grades 6-12 come to the Northeast Branch December 15th from 1-3 p.m. to make your own wrapping paper for your special gifts!

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