Virginia Johnson

01/29/2018 - 8:53am
Winter Reading Challenge Mission Badge

Whether you’ve been with us since January 1 or are just now thinking about joining the Winter Reading Challenge for adults, we want to remind you that there is so much to explore.

Fun Missions. Entirely Possible.

You can add the Arts v. Apocalypse and Romance on the Big Screen badges to your completed missions list by streaming romantic films, listening to a bestselling author, playing around in the Shakespeare Video Booth, and more.

01/29/2018 - 4:00pm
Farewell to Ursula K. Le Guin

Another wonderful author has “gone West.” Ursula K. Le Guin (10/21/1929-1/22/2018) may be best known for her Earthsea Trilogy. Its first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, tells of a stubborn, magically gifted boy who is plucked from obscurity as a goatherd and taken to Roke, the school for wizards, where his vast power proves as difficult to manage as his temper.

02/15/2018 - 2:59pm

Tart or sweet, cherries are a favorite flavor, and there's more to cherries than meets the eye. Cherries actually belong to the rose family. Cherry's rosy relatives include other stone fruits such as almonds, apricots, plums, peaches, and nectarines.

February is a terrific month to dig into cherries. For years, people have made cherry pies to celebrate George Washington's birthday on February 22. Why do we think of cherries when we think of our first president?

02/08/2018 - 3:10pm

Have you ever been in a place where there were lots of buildings but no trees? New housing developments or parts of a city that have been neglected for a long time may not have the shady spots and fresh air that trees give. As trees breathe, they let out oxygen that humans and animals need to survive. Their roots hold the ground together, making sure the soil doesn't blow away in the wind. When a tree dies naturally in the forest, its wood becomes a home for insects and a cafeteria for the hungry birds who eat those insects. Trees provide so many good things for the Earth.

02/28/2018 - 10:47am

Leo Lionni was born into a family that appreciated art, and, from a very young age, he knew he wanted to be an artist. He loved nature and started keeping small creatures—minnows, birds, fish, and more—in his attic room in Amsterdam. He also created terrariums, and many of these natural details found their way into his later work. Like so many successful children’s authors, Leo Lionni was able to remember and tap into the things that were important to him when he was a child.

01/01/2018 - 2:56am
A History of the World in 500 Walks by Sarah Baxter

When you travel, is walking always part of the itinerary? Besides being good exercise generally and a great way to unstiffen those limbs after the tight quarters on an airplane, train, or car, walking lets you see so much more of your destination. Take your time, and you can see –and- understand the sites much better than if you whirled past them on a tour bus.

Set your own pace, and you’ll have the opportunity to make interesting discoveries, about a place’s history, maybe even how it relates to the history of the world itself. A History of the World in 500 Walks is an intriguing blend of travel book and history book. With chapters ranging from Prehistory (the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, a 34-mile rainforest traverse in Queensland, Australia) to the 20th Century (the Selma to Montgomery Trail in Alabama and the Long Trail in Vermont—completed in 1930), you’ll become more aware of history’s triumphs and tragedies and nature’s sometimes harsh beauty, as well as other cultures' histories, as can be found on the Nakasendo Trail in Japan.

12/27/2017 - 2:52am
Cover to Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones

A single snowflake
  floats through the air,
spins,
  leaps,
settles
  on the nose
of a fine red fox.

12/25/2017 - 2:50am
Getting Started with eBooks and eAudio

Did you get a shiny new device over the holidays—or have you had one for a while and not explored many of its possibilities? Are you a reader—or a listener? Use your gadget to bring books to you, anytime and nearly anywhere. After you set up your device, it’s very easy to browse our virtual shelves and make your selections. There are never any late fees because books return themselves. Automatically. Another very cool thing about eBooks—you can change the print size to personalize your reading experience.

12/19/2017 - 2:21am
Cover to A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

When readers of Anne Perry’s Charlotte & Thomas Pitt mystery series first met Charlotte’s grandmother, Mariah Ellison, in The Cater Street Hangman, she was an embittered shrew. She certainly disapproved of her headstrong granddaughter marrying a mere policeman, an occupation considered quite below her well-heeled family’s Victorian-era standards.

But time and some enlightening experiences, including those events taking place in another year’s Christmas novella (A Christmas Guest), have left Mariah finally coming to terms with the damage done by her extremely regrettable marriage. Alone at Christmas, she feels she is strong enough to make A Christmas Return to right an old wrong that threatens people she cares about very much.

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