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By Librarian Susan Higgins
It's December again. Time for giving parties, going to parties, choosing gifts, and if you're lucky, time for curling up with a good book, watching a movie, or listening to your favorite music. Whatever your plans, the Noe Valley Sally Brunn Library has lots of books, magazines, movies, and CDs to help you plan your entertaining or to keep you entertained.
- Find menus and recipes for memorable holiday meals, for omnivores as well as vegetarians, in Healthy Hedonist Holidays by Myra Kornfeld.
- If you're asked to bring a dish to a party, check out The Gourmet Potluck: Show-Stopping Recipes for the Buffet Table, by Beth Hensperger.
- In Hip Tastes: The Fresh Guide to Wine, San Francisco sommelier Courtney Cochran provides guidance on wines that will help you make selections more confidently, whether you're buying wines for parties, for gifts, or in restaurants.
- American Christmas, published by Williams Sonoma, includes a chapter titled "Gifts from the Holiday Kitchen," which offers a range of ideas for delicious food gifts in beautiful packages.
- Simple Sewing with a French Twist, by Celine Dupuy, contains more than 50 projects for sewers of all skill levels, including placemats, bohemian flip-flops, a French cotton table runner, and a tasseled shoe tote.
- Holiday Knits: 25 Great Gifts from Stockings to Sweaters, by Sara Lucas and Allison Isaacs, offers knittable projects, including scarves, caps, toys, and ornaments, organized by time commitment: quick, week or two, two or more weeks.
- For a fun evening at home with family or friends, you can watch A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! Stephen Colbert, Toby Keith, Elvis Costello, John Legend, Willie Nelson, and Jon Stewart celebrate the holidays on this DVD from last year's Comedy Central broadcast.
Stop by the library to see our display of children's holiday stories, movies, and crafts books.
- In Reindeer Christmas by Mark Kimball Moulton, two children and their grandmother help a hungry deer, who then disappears before sunrise. On Christmas morning they receive a small wooden box with a note from Santa Claus. Preschool to first grade.
- A Pirate's Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates is a retelling of the famous poem, for pirate lovers. The story has funny pictures of buccaneers and a sleigh pulled by sea horses. Preschool to grade 3.
- A Jewish soldier during the Revolutionary War lights the menorah and tells General George Washington the story of Hanukkah, in Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky. Grades 2 to 4, ages 5 and up.
- The DVD of The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree follows the bears as they look for the perfect Christmas tree and learn about good manners and sharing. Preschool to age 8.
- Family Fun Parties by Deanna F. Cook is full of party plans for families with children of all ages. Find ideas for drinks, games, and decorations for a Christmas carnival, Hanukkah, and New Year's Eve parties.
The Teen Corner has books, graphic novels, movies, and music CDs selected especially for teens. For a winter-vacation reading escape, try one of the excellent books from the American Library Association's 2009 Best Books for Young Adults list:
- Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd is a powerful story of love and political conflict set in Ireland during the 1980s.
- When her ex-boyfriend records a hit song about their breakup, a girl becomes the target of tabloids and paparazzi in the humorous novel Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway.
- After a terrorist strike hits San Francisco, a 17-year-old computer geek fights back against an increasingly frightening system of surveillance in Little Brother by Cary Doctorow.
- Two survivors of a tsunami work together to help build a new world in the thought-provoking Nation by Terry Pratchett.
- For horror fans, Bonechiller by Graham McNamee takes readers to the Canadian tundra, where Danny and his friend are being chased by a cannibalistic beast.
- Stuff to Hold Your Stuff, by Ellen Warwick and Bernice Lum, has easy instructions for make-it-yourself gifts, such as beach bags, yoga totes, purses, wallets, and toiletry cases.
- Teens who'd like to de-clutter their bedrooms, organize their backpacks, and create a fresh work space in 2010 should read Where's My Stuff? The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide, by Samantha Moss.
Make Gifts from SCRAP
- A workshop called "Reusing Time: Make Gift Bags from Last Year's Calendars" will be presented by SCRAP (Scroungers' Center for Reusable Art Parts) on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Space is limited. Please stop by the library or call 415-355-5707 to register.
Book Discussion Group
- The Noe Valley Library Book Group meets on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 7 to 8:45 p.m.
Toddler Tales and Story Time
- Kids ages 1 to 3 will love the songs and rhymes at Toddler Tales, held Tuesdays, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. Family Story Time, for children to age 5, starts at 11 a.m. Call 355-5707 to confirm.
All events take place at the Noe Valley Library, 451 Jersey Street near Castro.