NPR's Back-Seat Book Club January Selection

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has announced their selection for January: The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 is the award-winning story of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, who take a trip to Alabama in the summer of 1963. Young readers will relate to Kenny, the 10-year-old narrator of the story – his authentic observations and reactions really bring the experiences of an African American family in the 1960s to life.

Celebrate Kwanzaa with the Library


You are invited to learn about and celebrate Kwanzaa at the Library. Kwanzaa is a non-religious African American holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. It is celebrated for seven days: December 26 - January 1.

Join us for Kwanzaa programs featuring performers and light refreshments:

Tuesday, December 27, 2 p.m. - Kujichagulia
Ford-Warren Branch Library

Wednesday, December 28, 2 p.m. - Ujima
Pauline-Robinson Branch Library

Wednesday, December 28, 6:30 p.m. - Ujima
Green Valley Ranch Branch

Thursday, December 29, 2 p.m. - Ujamaa

SBTRKT the mask and you still have the smooth...

SBTRKT album cover

It's pronounced "Subtract" but this Batman of the UK dance scene is making additions to his resume this year...

Up until now, DJs and beat lovers mostly knew this south London producer for some high-profile remixes of the likes of M.I.A., Basement Jaxx and Underworld, but this year the man behind the mask drops his full-length self-titled album "SBTRKT", and it is a smooth journey across genres which definitely brings him into the spotlight.

Xu Beihong Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

Xu Beihong Exhibit

I've just walked through the Xu Beihong Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum and was blown away.  The exhibit includes ink and watercolor (my favorites), charcoal drawings, pastels, and oil paintings.  I loved the way the ink and watercolor works are mounted on very large scrolls surrounded by what looks like exquisite silk fabric in colors and textures that complement the artwork.  The pieces are absolutely stunning!

The exhibit emphasizes Xu Beihong's importance and influence in establishing a modern style in Chinese art while maintaining Chinese art's traditional roots.  The short informational film played at the start of the exhibit says that he was one of the very first Chinese artists to travel to Europe and train with Western artists, and he brought some of those techniques back to China, sharing what he learned with other artists.

Magazine of the Month - Time

Time Magazine cover - The Protestor

The editors of Time Magazine have made their choice for the 85th Person of the Year - The Protestor.

In Editor Rick Stengel's words the Protestor was chosen - "for capturing and highlighting a global sense of restless promise, for upending governments and conventional wisdom, for combining the oldest of techniques with the newest of technologies to shine a light on human dignity and finally, for steering the planet on a more democratic though dangerous path for the 21st century."

It's That Time of Year Again...

Blood, Bones & Butter

I enjoyed doing a nontraditional favorites of the year list last year, so thought I'd compile my favorite reads of 2011, in various categories, as the year comes to a close.

Favorite Cookbook:
Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites.
Everything I've done from this book so far has been wonderful. The Brie & Apple Tart will be Christmas morning breakfast at our house, and later we'll have the Rocky Road Pie!

Plan Your New Year's Resolution!

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's is just around the corner, are you prepared for your New Year's Resolution? Take a look at some places on the web to help you keep some common resolutions, including: Get Into Shape, Quit Smoking, Get a New Job, Learn a Language and Save $$$.

Getting in shape seems to be the most sought after goal of New Year's resolutions.  The only problem is, it's really hard to get started (and we don't want to embarrass ourselves trying new things in a strange gym). So what can we do to get our motivation up and our weight down?
Where can I go to workout? Check out Denver Rec Centers! They are a cheaper option to the larger national gyms.

Denver Public Library’s Green Valley Ranch Branch Receives LEED Gold Certification

Green Valley Ranch Branch Library Exterior

Under the City’s commitment to sustainability, the Green Valley Ranch Branch Library is proud to announce that it has been designated to receive Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

The Gold Certification award is based on the library’s aggressive efforts to design, build and operate the facility in a sustainable way that helps to protect and enhance the environment. Denver’s commitment to sustainability is embodied in the Greenprint Denver initiatives, driven by a 2007 executive order which requires all buildings renovated or maintained with city funds to be designed, constructed, and operated according to principals outlined in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED.

It's List Season!

My Morning Jacket Circuital album cover

It's List Season! Best-of lists are popping up everywhere, and music lists are my favorite of the best-of lists. Here are some lists and their top choices of 2011. Several of the lists below have Bon Iver and Adele in their top three, but there is some variety in the picks.

Topping Stereogum's list is Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Girls, followed by Drake's Take Care and the eponymous Bon Iver.

Books & Knitting to End the Year

The Girls from Ames

If you need a break from holiday madness, how about a Fresh City Life My Branch program? We'll soon be taking a holiday break, so join us while you can!

Bear Valley's Sit 'n Knit group meets on Tuesday, December 13 from 10:30-12:30. New to knitting or just want to share your know-how, this is the group for you!

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