Margo Dill: Memoir a message about hard work, faith

"Falling Into Place" by Hattie Kauffman, an Emmy Award-winning news correspondent, is a beautifully-written memoir about a tragic childhood, a tumultuous first marriage, a successful career and a second surprise divorce.

Writer's mouse tale delights

Imagine the most momentous and joyous event of your lifetime. One to which you are not invited. What wouldn't you give to be a fly on the wall or a mouse in the corner at that event?

A powerful, personal story

At the end of each year, we put together a "Staff Picks" list at the Urbana Free Library, where staff members from across the library contribute lists of the best books they read over the previous year.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, Dec. 22, 2013

Many of us feel a great sense of pride as we watch our children discover the world for the first time. Here, Kathleen Driskell, a Kentucky poet, shows us her own daughter taking that first taste of a late summer watermelon she has grown herself.


In first grade, you met Squanto,

nearly naked and

on his haunches, showing

those thick-headed pilgrims

Library events, Dec. 22-29, 2013

Each week, The News-Gazette offers a selection of events provided by area libraries:

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

C-U Haiku, Dec. 22, 2013

Winter moon:

This path too

Comes to an end

— Sarah Vorreiter, Urbana

Jim Dey: Visit to the bathroom leads to a trip to court

It's not often that toilet paper turns into legal paper, but it happens.

Actor known for comedic roles to play Wallace

The late David Foster Walllace was known for his sense of humor and sly wit.

The actor who will portray him on the big screen has been known to draw a laugh, too.

'Winger' the tale of a boy, his team

Ryan Dean — or Winger — is a 14-year-old junior who plays wing on the rugby team in Andrew Smith's "Winger" (Simon & Schuster 2013). That's right. He's precocious.

Thank heavens he's charmingly creative. That's because he's so vulnerable and at the mercy of his teenage hormones. And the author is very funny.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, Dec. 15, 2013

I don't remember ever having a blind date, but if I had, I suspect it would have gone just as the one goes in this poem by Jay Leeming, who lives in New York state.

Blind Date

Our loneliness sits with us at dinner, an unwanted guest

who never says anything. It's uncomfortable. Still

we get to know each other, like students allowed