The news has been pretty upsetting lately, and this blog is called Book Notes Plus, so let’s take a few minutes to look at the lighter side of things.  I hope you enjoy the items I’ve chosen for you, and I hope May will be a pleasant month for us all.

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We’ll begin with a cute video of squirrels doing some very human-like things.  It’s from the Washington Post’s Squirrel Week series.

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Here’s a seemingly strange question that may not be so strange after all: does classical music in public places deter crime?  WQXR, a great classical music station, explores the issue here.

What other means are being explored in order to deter crime in public places? has an article about what is being tried in Great Britain.

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I was recently talking to someone, and asked him if he is familiar with Nutella the chocolate/hazelnut spread.  “You mean chocolate crack?” he quipped.  Of course he was being facetious.  But Nutella is so good that you could well think it is habit forming.  If you’re a Nutella nut, you might be interested in a list of eight interesting things you may not know about it.

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Our live are so hectic that it is easy to forget that each and every day we have lots of things to be happy about.  For years Barbara Ann Kipfer has been listing things she’s happy for.  Part of the beauty of her list is that it mostly contains things that are free, things we simply need to become aware of.  She has written an adult book entitled 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, and a children’s book entitled 1,400 Things For Kids to Be Happy About.  Here are a few of the things she lists in 14,000 Things to Be Happy About:

  • The taste of cake batter
  • Part of you always being a child
  • Serendipitous plans
  • Gothic novels
  • A stalled car catching

She has a calendar at her website that gives you a daily dose of things to be happy about.  Click on different dates, and get different lists.

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World Book Night took place on April 23rd, and I found an article about one very positive mother/daughter experience.  If you think getting involved would be fun, the author, Lori Alter Marx, tells you how to do it.

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The next edition of the live author interview program In-Depth on Book TV (C-SPAN2) will air Sunday, May 5th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST.  The featured author will be Melanie Phillips.  She is a British journalist and author.  Her latest book is The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power (2010).

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