Looking for a book, DVD, CD, or other item? Search our catalog!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Poetry Friday--International Day of Peace

Seventy years ago, the United Nations developed a document titled the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and each year on this date an International Day of Peace is celebrated.
...a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

There are many interpretations of peace, and here is one of my favorites:
The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Found in Good Poems, selected by Garrison Keillor [811.008 GOO]

This poem has been set to music and several versions are available on YouTube.

Erin at The Water's Edge will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Opening Tomorrow

About thirty years ago we had children's mystery writer, John Bellairs, visit the Library. He was from the nearby town of Haverhill, MA. Bellairs books were quite popular at that time and surprisingly, it took several decades before someone decided to film one. The House With the Clock in Its Walls [J MYS BEL] has been filmed with Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, and, it opens tomorrow!

Quite a number of John Bellairs' books remain in our collection because his stories are so good! Sadly, Bellairs passed away in 1991, but his books live on, and now, so will his film!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Forbes magazine posted an interesting article last week titled, "Is The Podcast Club The New Book Club?" It seems that groups of people are now getting together to discuss a podcast rather than a particular book. There are definite advantages to a podcast in that they do not involve multiple hours of listening whereas a book, print or audio, often involves 10 hours, maybe more. Also, a podcast can be listened to while traveling, exercising, or doing other activities.

The choice of topic found on podcasts is amazingly vast, and a podcast can be downloaded to a device through an app. If you'd like some assistance in picking an app, here's a listing for iPhones and one for Android.

If you've lived in this area for any length of time, you'll remember the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art theft, which took place in 1990. That's right, 28 years ago! The thieves have yet to be caught, and, none of the stolen art has been recovered. Radio station WBUR in Boston periodically reports on the case, and this week they have begun a new podcast on the heist, titled Last Seen. Episode 1 is ready and you can listen to it on the WBUR website or look for it on your podcast app of choice.

To get a brief overview of the heist, we have the documentary, Stolen [DVD 363.259 STO], and several books on the subject.

Here is detail from one of the priceless works stolen back in 1990, Rembrandt's "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee." It is scanned from European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum [750 ISA], which was published in 1974, before the theft. If you go to the museum today, you will see an empty space on the wall where the painting once hung.

Once you listen to "Last Seen," WBUR has set up an Facebook discussion group that you may consider participating in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Manic Squirrels

Squirrels have become a major topic on Facebook, at least among New England friends. It seems there are a lot of squirrels meeting a rather tragic end on the roads. And a lot of gardeners are wondering why squirrels have been running wild in their gardens.

If you're wondering why, click here for a report from AP (formerly known as the Associated Press).

Squirrels are also running wild in children's books. Here are a handful of squirrel books your kids may enjoy:

Borgert-Spaniol, Megan. Baby Squirrels. [E BOR]

Hill, Chris. Lucky. [J HIL]

Meisel, Paul. Good night, Bat! Good morning, Squirrel! [JP MEI]

O'Donnell, Tom. Hamstersaurus Rex vs. Squirrel Kong. [J ODO]

Pilutti, Deb. Bear and Squirrel are Friends...Yes, Really! [JP PIL]

Rose, Nancy. The Secret Life of Squirrels: Back to School! [JP ROS]

Sayre, April Pulley. Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep. [JP SAY]

Vande Velde, Vivian. Squirrel in the House. [J VAN]

Willems, Mo. I Lost My Tooth! ("Unlimited Squirrels" series). [E WIL]

Monday, September 17, 2018

Punny Mysteries

One of my favoritest library things is finding a series that uses puns in the titles. Primarily they are mystery series. Here are a few examples from our collection:

Sarah Graves writes the "Home repair is a homicide" series: Mallets Aforethought. [F GRA]

Home repair is also the subject of Kate Carlisle's "Fixer-Upper" series: Deck the Hallways. [eBook]

Jill Churchill has the "Jane Jeffry mystery" series, which contains a number of food-related puns: Fear of Frying. [F CHU]

Diane Mott Davidson also writes about food in her books starring a Colorado caterer: Catering to Nobody. [F DAV]

Cleo Coyle writes "Coffeehouse" mysteries: Decaffeinated Corpse. [F COY]

There's even a "Tea Shop" mystery series by Laura Childs: Scones and Bones. [F CHI]

There are many, many more punny mysteries--do you have a favorite one that I missed mentioning?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Poetry Friday--"Defence of Fort M'Henry"

On this day in 1814 Francis Scott Key, in the aftermath of the Battle of Baltimore, sat down to write a poem titled, "Defence of Fort M'Henry." Of course, we know it today as the U. S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Have you ever read the poem in its entirety?

O! say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there —
O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream —
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havock of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul foot-steps' pollution,
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home, and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto — "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

I don't know about you, but I found it hard to sing anything after the first verse!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at The Poem Farm where Amy is waiting for you to stop by!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Silent Films, Part 2

Novelist, Melanie Benjamin, writes a compelling story of Hollywood's female screenwriters, directors, and actresses in the early part of the 20th century in The Girls in the Picture [F BEN, LP BEN, AB/CD BEN, eBook, eAudio]. If women have difficulty being accepted as something other than a pretty young face in today's motion picture industry, imagine what it was like 100 years ago!

It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers”—the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you’ll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have given her the title of America’s Sweetheart. The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged both by the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender—and their astronomical success could come at a price.

Read the book, then visit YouTube and do a search on some of the names--Mary Pickford, Frances Marion, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, etc. You may find yourself lost for hours in the filmed stories that captivated movie-goers a century ago.