Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

The return of Davina

Writer shares her weight-loss journey

"It Was Me All Along" is a weight-loss memoir by Andie Mitchell, a freelance writer and blogger who lost more than 100 pounds in her early 20s. In her revealing story, Mitchell shares the stress of her childhood and how she learned to use food to comfort herself until she developed an unhealthy relationship that led to the scale registering 268 pounds.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, June 7, 2015

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

How's this poem for its ability to collapse all the years from childhood to middle age in a matter of 15 short lines? George Bilgere is one of this column's favorite poets. He lives and teaches in Ohio.

The Wading Pool

The toddlers in their tadpole bodies,

with their squirt guns and snorkels,

Library events, June 7-14, 2015

Selected events scheduled at local libraries

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

Books to help you get your hands dirty

I am a big gardener, so late spring is my favorite time of year. It's warm enough to get outside and have conversations with my dirt and perennials, but not too hot that I just want to stay indoors.

This has been a great spring for many of my plants. The roses had some problems dealing with last winter, but the hostas and peonies are going wild.

Here's what's happening on the music scene

Orchestra kicking off new season

The Urbana Pops Orchestra's first concert of its 2015 season, "Once Upon a Tune," will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Urbana Middle School.

A great summer selection for aspiring architects

Each year, the Illinois School Library Media Association hosts readers' choice awards for books published within the last four years. The Monarch Award, given to books voted for by Illinois kindergarten through third-grade readers, was presented this year to first-, second- and third-place selections.

Here's what's happening on the theater scene

'Church Basement Ladies'

The Country Theatre Workshop has opened its 34th season with the musical comedy "Church Basement Ladies."

Concert has area fans all shook up

Terri Dalbey has always been crazy about Elvis Presley. She even calls him her late husband. So do her friends.

So she was totally psyched when she discovered top Elvis tribute artist Ben Portsmouth would perform in Danville.

She was so desperate for front-row seats that she called the David S. Palmer Arena before the tickets officially went on sale May 1.

'A Minister's Wife' odd but sophisticated

By Rosemary Laughlin

Once again, George Bernard Shaw has been musically mined.

In 1956, "Pygmalion" became "My Fair Lady." In 2009, "Candida" became "A Minister's Wife," courtesy of Austin Pendleton with music by Joshua Schmidt and lyrics by Jan Levy Tranen.