Edge-of-your-seat stories

It has been a little while since I've read some books in my favorite genre — suspenseful fiction. I roamed the shelves, asked questions from other staff and came up with a few that were pretty good.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, April 12, 2015

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

I don't think I've ever sold anything that, later, I didn't wish I had back, and I have a list of regrets as long as my arm. So this poem by Melissa Balmain really caught my attention. Balmain lives in New York state, and her most recent book is "Walking in on People" from Able Muse Press.

Love Poem

Tale about dancer offers words of wisdom

"A Time to Dance" (Paulsen/Penguin 2014) by Padma Venkatraman is an insightful story about a dancer and a novel-in-verse set in a different culture — of course I'm going to review it.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, April 5, 2015

By Ted Kooser/U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06

Some of us will be eating ham on Easter, and I thought I'd offer you a poem about a champion pig, by Jill Breckenridge, a Minnesotan who has written a series of poems based on that state's fair.

Her most recent book of poems is "Sometimes," published by Nodin Press, 2015.

Pretty Ricky

That's entertainment

Billboards to show local artwork

CHAMPAIGN — 40 North 88 West, Champaign County's Arts Council, and Adams Outdoors Advertising will unveil during the Boneyard Arts Festival this coming weekend billboards featuring images created by six local artists.

A disappearing dog and counting crows

If you're heading outside for a walk on this special Sunday, watch out — especially if you've got a dog!

'To Helen Back' puts mystery in Midwest

St. Louis mystery and young adult author Susan McBride, who is also a USA Today best-selling author, has a new fun, cozy series, and the first book is "To Helen Back." Subtitled "A River Road Mystery," this story takes place in the small town of River Bend, Ill., with a quirky cast of characters, a dead body and a sleuth who loves puzzles.

C-U Haiku, April 5, 2015

Edited by Lee Gurga/For The News-Gazette

sun on metal roof

across open fields I see

white windmills turning

— James Babbs, Stanford

It's Your Business: Couple to open mart specializing in African foods

When Memoire Budimbu Mabiza and Lisette Mbaki learned that Chang's Oriental Mart in Champaign would close this spring, they were sad — but also saw an opportunity.

The Congolese couple said many local African immigrants, including themselves, relied on Chang's for traditional African food staples.

Some wondered, "What food are we going to eat?" Mbaki said.

Library events, April 5-12, 2015

Events planned for local libraries

Champaign Public Library

Main Library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.