Key to the Treasure by Peggy Parish was probably my favorite book as a child.   As I reread that story over and over, I never tired of following the children as they unearthed the clues that had been hidden long ago by their ancestor.  Now, as an adult, I must confess I don’t read too many mysteries; life is all the mystery I need!  Hence, I am drawn to the fantastically infinite world of non-fiction.  I hone in on the bright covers on the Eye Witness and Discovery books and like a hypo-glycemic fruit bat enticed by the sweetness of an overripe guava, I flip through the pages for something especially juicy to chew on.  With each passing day, I feel like one of the children in Key to the Treasure, falling upon clues that continue to broaden my perspective of the world I thought I knew. 

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The Time Keeper Cover Image
ISBN: 9781401322786
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hachette Books - September 4th, 2012

I've not read anything else by Mitch Albom except one article in the Detroit Free Press about the dangers of synthetic marijuana.  -The tone was indeed grim.  But a recent piece of his, I have to shout about...The Timekeeper.  It weaves the stories of father time, an old man, and a teen together.  They each have their problems, all dealing in the concept of time: not enough of it or too much.  -and father time, well he is being punished for creating time!  For such a short book, it'll make you think.  It was the first book to summon up that overwhelming 'happy-sad' feeling for me... with those plot culminating sentences at the end...  and (I'm not ashamed to say) I'll repeat to myself long after, just to prolong the impact.

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Room Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316098328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - May 18th, 2011

Another great book that doesn't need any more aclaim, but perhaps a reminder that it exists. The plot demands attention from the start. A mom and her 5 year old son Jack are kept in room. Jack was born in captivity and Room is his story. Journey into his innocent mind and experience his 11' x 11' world. He is content in Room because he's never experienced the outside world. Mom however is ready to break free... Is there life for Mom and Jack beyond Room? I won't spoil anything but you can be assured that this story will leave you feeling wonderful. (and kinda makes cabin fever feel not so bad!)

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An Egg Is Quiet Cover Image
By Sylvia Long (Illustrator), Dianna Hutts Aston
ISBN: 9780811844284
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books (CA) - March 2nd, 2006

For young (and old!) inquiring minds, this book is wonderful. Filled with eye-pleasing illustrations of the endless world of life casings. Cover to cover, this book features egg-bearers of all sorts: birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. View the dappled ovals, the striated capsules, and the curly twined pouches. Thoroughly labeled for an elegant display of information and a downright delightful experience.

Hector and the Search for Happiness (Hector's Journeys) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143118398
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 31st, 2010

Hector is a psychiatrist. Hector is unhappy. If Hector is a psychiatrist, he should have all his problems sorted out already, right? Not quite. In this short and pleasurable story, Hector travels from Paris to China to Africa to the United State in search of what makes people happy. Along his journey, he encounters many people who all have a piece to contribute to his happiness pie and he keeps track of what he learns in a little journal of happiness lessons: Lesson no. 1: Making comparisons can spoil your happiness. Lesson no. 3: Many people see happiness only in their future. Lesson no. 7: It's a mistake to think that happiness is the goal! As short and uncomplicated as this book was to read, it was rich in the wisdom of experience. Hector's pithy observations are the stuff of proverbs and I feel happy to have read it!

A Christmas Tree for Pyn Cover Image
By Olivier Dunrea, Olivier Dunrea (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780399245060
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Philomel Books - October 13th, 2011

This is just the sweetest Christmas story about a little girl and her daddy. Pyn and Papa Oother live in the mountains and the snow seems eternal. Oother is a brawny mountain man who doesn't want a Christmas tree because it reminds him of Pyn's mother. But little Pyn brings the memory of her mother back by venturing out -her tiny self and her tiny ax, through waste-deep snow on a Christmas mission. Join them as Pyn rekindles long extinguished sentiments in Papa... guaranteed to warm your heart as well.

Guinness World Records 2013 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781904994879
Availability: Special Order
Published: Guinness World Records - September 11th, 2012

You want this book and let me tell you why. Consider the following situation: It's late afternoon Christmas day. You've exhausted yourself by the usual holiday chaos; the feverish unwrappings, the battery run, the new gadget fiddlings and of course that Christmas style smorgasbord that begs you back to stuff and restuff yourself of honey ham and figgy pudding. As you sit there with your 5th helping of carmelized meatballs, you may be experiencing the onset of Christmas coma induced by Christmas overload. Don't close your eyes! The second you close your eyes its all over! You need... something. -Stat. Something equivalent to (for all you Douglas Adams fans out there) "having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick!" Oh shoot though, Johnny left the pan galactic gargle blaster ingredients in Toledo. Observe exhibit 'B', your holiday antidote -Enter the bizarre to grotesque world of Guinness! Check out the largest land vehicle that looks like it came out of Starwars! -Or the freakishly brilliant 'most advanced humanoid robot'! Wha-? How the *@%! did they do tha-?! No, no, no! This doesn't make any sense at all! Now that you've "wowed" yourself back to pre-Christmas apprehension, whose ready for cribbage?!?

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Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights Cover Image
ISBN: 9783791333205
Availability: Backordered
Published: Prestel Publishing - April 28th, 2005

Hieronymus Bosch. Hee-ur-ahn-ih-mus Bosch. This artist's own name is a quandary! Open this book and you'll find a treasure of equal standing. It's all about his famous painting Garden of Earthly Delights. If you've ever seen it, you know there's a LOT going on. Maybe you remember scratching your head while considering the landscape, bustling with people and animals, strange contraptions and large fruit. Well this book is about one critic's attempt to make some sense out of the haunting innuendos of Hieronymus' creation. Take a good hard look at the mini scenes, zoomed in. Surreal as Dali and thematic as Alighieri, if you like a good mystery, this is a gem in your collection.

The Dead Roam the Earth: True Stories of the Paranormal from Around the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143122265
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 25th, 2012

Whether its October or not, as soon as the leaves begin to change, I'm giddy for Halloween scares. I find myself online searching for the best haunted houses in Northern Michigan and watching horrid movies such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space. But even cooler than a synthetic fright is reading about the real thing. I'm talking about the subjects that have inspired our horror flicks and spooky cornfields. Ghosts! Monsters! Demons! The guy who wrote this killer read had a harrowing experience of his own and went on to conduct a large study of monster hunting and communicating with the dead. Delve (if you dare) into phenomena such as exorcisms, curses, and voodoo magic. Be sure to read this one at night... BOOGABOOGA!!

Sandy's Circus: A Story about Alexander Calder Cover Image
By Tanya Lee Stone, Boris Kulikov (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780670062683
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - September 4th, 2008

It’s exceptional to be different! Boldly illustrating this concept is the true story of Alexander Calder in the book, Sandy’s Circus. Bursting forth from a world of conformity, Alexander (aka Sandy) breaks the mold by sculpting faces; not out of stone, but out of wire!Over his life time, Sandy’s expansive creativity has led him from making small wire characters to somehow constructing monumental size metal works that continue to astound the eyes that befall them. Would it have happened had he not known it was keen to accentuate his gift? Sandy’s Circus is a satisfying drink of water for any seed that thirsts for creative inspiration. Drink up!

Same, Same But Different Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805089462
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt & Company - September 13th, 2011

How can something be the same as something else, but different?? Seemingly paradoxical, Same, Same but Different is a beautiful story that couples two concepts that are central to being human: cultural diversity and brotherhood. The story chronicles a friendship between two children who are pen pals. Journey with them, back and forth, from one child’s world to the other’s as they both share their perceptions of their world around them. This book celebrates uniqueness among different cultures the world over without forgetting that we are all people just the same! Use this book to bring light to a substantial concept that people at any age can and will appreciate.

The Curious Garden Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316015479
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Young Readers - April 1st, 2009

In the first few pages we meet Liam, and we can tell right away by his red hair, he is a special boy. He lives in a city, greyed by pollution. Everyone stays indoors. Liam, however, is young and yearns to explore his world! Undeterred by neither the pollution nor rain, his curiosity leads him to discover a section of Earth that could use a little tender loving care. In no time at all, Liam's garden takes the city by gentle storm. Abundant with thought provoking illustrations of a utopian garden world, this story fosters the notion to our young ones that paradise is not out of reach!

Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553383713
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - September 27th, 2005

Jedi mind powers anyone?! Not quite, but this book is definitely about taking control. We've all acted out on impulse at one time or another, because we're human! Though certain outbursts seem appropriate at the time, there is always that period of regret, no? What if we could skip the frustration altogether! My friends, fret no longer. This book is about taking a few steps back and analyzing the behaviors we exhibit, and then theorizes on how to train the mind to rise above the situation in the heat of the moment. Oh how much easier said than done!! Dishearten not, and know that some things we can't control, but some things we can. This book is all things beneficial, providing a new way of looking at emotion, being more aware of our actions and thus creating a softer environment to live in. Who doesn't want a world in which we all win?!

How to Do Just about Anything: Solve Problems, Save Money, Have Fun Cover Image
ISBN: 9781606524145
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Reader's Digest Association - April 12th, 2012

We live in a world of convenience: drive-thru pharmacies, phones with cameras and music, and even interactive books that read themselves aloud. Likewise, in the event that life poses a problem, the solution is simple: Google or E-how. -But what if you can't Google? What if you won't? What if you don't want to filter through the millions of potential solutions that bombard your screen the moment you type in a question? My point is, this wonderful world of convenience can be a bit cluttered, and perhaps you want something a bit more... clean? Enter the Reader's Digest 1,001 Easy-to-Follow Instructions on How to Do Just About Anything! This handy dandy reference guide is as concise as a dictionary and has colorful diagrams for visual walkthroughs of the solution. Chuck full of valuable information for any situation you could think of, this book solves everything from dog training to de-squeaking your shoes; to avoiding a fight with a duvet cover to converting vinyl records to digital... the list just goes on and on! Keep it in the car, in the garage, at the cabin. -And as you thumb through it, treasure the nostalgic feeling that comes from referring to a book rather than the internet for guidance. I know it's extremely cheesy, but in the short time I've owned this book, my moments of joy have been so many that I thought they ought to rename this book 'Serendipity'!


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