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!

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.

Kid Bits - Stories from Haiti

Ann Arbor is reading and discussing life in Haiti. ANN ARBOR/YPSILANTI READS is based on the book Mountains Beyond Mountains and Dr. Paul Farmer's work in Haiti. It's a perfect time for the kids to join in the theme. In Picture books try Circles of Hope; Painted Dreams; and Running the Road to ABC. In chapter books try Behind the Mountain; or The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folk Tales.

Love Chooses Us: Quirky fiction for the romantic at heart

Lamb in love by Carrie Brown. .
True love comes crashing into the life of the middle-aged postmaster of a small English country town.

The Madness of Love by Katherine Davies
A charming romantic comedy of contemporary manners and a sly modern take on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Published in Great Britain in 2004 as A Good Voyage.

Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman .
“A gothic fairy tale of doomed passion, shimmering, multigenerational melodrama bewitches with supernatural imagery”. Heartbreaking.

The Giant's House : a romance by Elizabeth McCracken.
The peculiar and unique relationship between a lonely spinster librarian and a boy 14 years her junior.

The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins.
Finding love in the most unlikely places, when one least expects it. A must read first novel.

Selling the Lite of Heaven by Suzanne Strempek Shea.
A woman jilted for God, a 2.75-karat engagement ring and strangers knocking at the door. Rich, funny and gentle.

The Train Home by Susan Richards Shreve.
Troubled families, dark secrets, and the irresistible, nearly magical forces of fate and love plays out on a train bound for New York.

Mazie just reminded me of one of our favorites:
The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer.
An engaging tale of love, life, and second chances, set in a small Southern town. For fans of Billie Letts, Adriana Trigiani, and Lorna Landvik. Trust us on this one...

Swedish novelist Marianne Fredriksson has died

Swedish novelist Marianne Fredriksson has diedSwedish novelist Marianne Fredriksson has died

Marianne Frediksson, a Swedish author who enjoyed considerable international success with several novels, died February 11, in Sweden.

A former journalist, Fredriksson published her first novel at the age of 53.

Hannah’s Daughters was her first novel to be translated into English (1998). A multi-generational saga of women trying to carve out a better life for their children, Hannah’s Daughters was compared to the work of Ingmar Bergman. Simon’s Family, another family saga, is set in World War II.

Ms. Fredriksson was 79.

Culture Bits - Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Reading transports you into the Chinese-American experience. If you are reading chapter books in grade school, try Year Of The Dog; Day The Dragon Danced; Shanghai Messenger; Three Names Of Me; or The Traitor: Golden Mountain Chronicles 1885.

Holiday Bits - Gung Hay Fat Choy

Celebrate the Chinese New Year and share the chinese-american experience! If the kids are preschool ages or early elementary school, read D Is For Dragon; The Runaway Rice Cake; A Dragon New Year; Fortune Cookie Fortunes; and make some crafts from Chinese New Year Crafts.

Little Folk Mania Continues

We have so many fairy fans coming into the Downtown Library to visit the tiny tricky ones who have moved into the fairytale section. When we see a book filled with fairy magic we just have to tell you about it. Barb Bentler Ullman’s story The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood, is about broken hearted Willa Jane who discovers a world of little people in the forest. Her brand new big and little friends bring adventure, fun and healing into her life.

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