C-U Haiku, Jan. 19, 2014

A bird's tiny pouf

of frozen breath hangs briefly

in the frigid air

— Mary Ruth Garza,


Chic lit author gives us a real 'Paige' turner

British author Charlotte Howard has written an entertaining, sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking, chic lit debut novel, "Seven Dirty Words."

A tough, flawed and cursing heroine graces the pages of this refreshing, hot page turner as readers race to the end to discover the truth about her secrets and the hero she'll choose to love.

Library events, Jan. 12-19, 2014

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.

Local librarians give their must-read book picks

With wrap-yourself-in-a-blanket-and-cozy-up-with-a-good-book weather here to stay for a while, we asked 10 local librarians for their best recently released recommendation.


by Marissa Meyer

Young adult science fiction

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, Jan. 12, 2014

One of our first columns, published in 2005, had to do with a pair of high-heeled red shoes, and some trouble they brewed up, and now, at last, we have a pink pantsuit to go along with those dangerous pumps. This delightful poem is by Nancy Simpson, who lives in North Carolina.

Pink Pantsuit

It hangs around the wardrobe

for days, dull,

or reclines in the hamper

Some new ideas for this newly born year

Here we are again. That time when we walk the tightrope, balancing between wanting to be a better person whether it be a spouse, parent, child, co-worker, friend or just a compassionate stranger, and just wanting to give up and follow the same paths as in the past.

Look Back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

LOOK BACK: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was ...


Tips to tackle the dreaded essay

"Breakfast on Mars: Your Favorite Authors Take a Stab at the Dreaded Essay Assignment" is a brilliant way to teach teenagers, college students and even adults how to write an essay that is not boring or terrible.

'The Star Shard' becomes a book

A few years ago, Taylorville native Frederic S. Durbin's short story "The Star Shard" was serialized in Cricket magazine. Thousands of middle graders (and I) eagerly awaited each new installment of his lyrical fantasy tale. We were not disappointed.

Durbin held us spellbound.

Now his expanded tale, published by Houghton Mifflin, delights readers anew.

C-U Haiku, Jan. 12, 2014

After the blizzard

I sleep with curtains open

Wake to white radiance

— Rosemary Laughlin, Urbana