Like musical variety? Just ask for (Keb') Mo'

CHAMPAIGN — Keb' Mo' is an artist of many musical styles, but more blues than country, even though he lives in Nashville.

"I live in Nashville because it's too cold in Chicago," says the four-time Grammy Award winner.

Still, country is a part of his wide-ranging talents. He was nominated for Country Song of the Year for "I Hope," co-written with The Dixie Chicks,

My Amish Home | Hoping horse doesn't show unbridled enthusiasm

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Significant Structures | Staircase just 1 eye-catching feature of 'Busey block' house

URBANA — Prepare to be awed, and careful how you take the stairs.

Randy Kangas and Suzanne Bissonnette own the house at 804 W. Main St., U, probably the most majestic of several houses on West Main Street, the so-called "Busey block."

It is brick Italianate architecture, constructed circa 1870 as part of a cluster of homes owned by the Busey family.

C-U haiku, Aug. 5, 2018

Black-eyed Susans stretch

Through purple flower-tipped sage

Beseeching sun light.

— Kathleen Owen, Decatur

Submissions may be made to with C-U haiku in the subject line. Include your name and city, along with your haiku. Submissions may be edited.

Letter from Birdland | A plunge into the surf, while the critters revel

When I left you last time, Michael and I were waiting on the beach on Half Moon Bay, Calif., for our boys, Ellis and Chandra, to come back with a surfboard.

Michael was still bodysurfing, but I had retired to a log on the beach to keep watch in case he got into trouble out there. I kept my eyes on him, wondering what I would actually do if he needed help.

The Reluctant Townie | Don't jump the shark, it's the summer of 'The Meg'

Is everybody having a good summer?

Last week, I had the chance to throw an honest-to-God Frisbee and chug a bottle of basement-aged Zima, so my summer might have already peaked, but I am still optimistic that the final month of the season has some surprises left in store.

Alice B. McGinty | Artful biographies of unusual artists

To make sure young readers' minds stay sharp this summer, here are two new picture book biographies, each telling the story of very unusual artists, and each true works of art in their own right.

Library events, Aug. 5-12, 2018

Champaign Public Library
Main library, 200 W. Green St.
Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

At 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Douglass Branch, kids and teens are invited to power up their soccer skills at Power Up! Soccer Tips & Tricks, a free, family-friendly workshop lead by head coach Janet Rayfield and the Fighting Illini Soccer team.

Environmental Almanac | Homegrown entertainment with native shrubs

Like many people who have the time and means to travel, I relish getting away to places where the riches of scenery and wildlife are more pronounced than they are in central Illinois — the north country of New Hampshire where I fish with my brother and his son, the west where my family and I hike and camp, and Costa Rica where I travel with UI students to study environmental sustainability.

Kelly Strom | It's the time of the year for beach reads

I read a lot of books, and I do look forward to the summertime when I get to indulge in some stereotypical "beach reads." Before going away on vacation last week, I took the opportunity to pick up some books with irresistible titles. Fortunately for me, they turned out to be delightfully sweet and funny.