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Friday, September 30, 2011

Poetry Friday--"Then"

We have a collection of poetry by women titled The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women [811 EXT], the book was published back in 2001, so it can no longer be considered "new" poetry, however, some of its poems can be considered timeless. Here's one by Gail Mazur that falls into that category:

We weren't waiting for anything to happen.
We lived by a lake, no tides to nag us,
no relentless conventions of flow

and ebb. No frantic hermit crabs
dragging sideways in their stolen shells,
nor the drained tidal pools they fled--

Only the soft green surround of pine
and beech, the mackerel clouds, the meek
canoes. We felt enclosed. Safe.

The future looked fictional then,
though I never doubted a lucky life
could break, that rapture and grief

could be handed to me in one hard package,
delivered, and left, however I labored,
whether I rested, or ranted and zigzagged

from morning to evening. I worked
with my back to our life. Moonflowers
bloomed in the nightyard: white,

dazzling, sufficient to the night.

Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.

From here head over to Read Write Believe where Sara is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Photo by Mark Kempe.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I was browsing through a copy of one of our magazines, Treasures: Antique to Modern Collecting [MAG TRE], when I came across a notice of the Northeast Marble Meet. The Meet will be held this weekend in Marlborough, MA.
Rare Egyptian marbles dated 2,300 years old by the Smithsonian will be on display and it will be an opportunity to discover new treasures and knowledge for both the advanced and novice collector alike.
I don't know about you, but I find the prospect fascinating! It may be a result of my youth when my brother and I had a small collection of marbles--some of which I believe were from my father's childhood. Nowadays, with electronic gadgetry, kids don't often play with, or collect marbles. It's too bad...

But, if your child develops an interest, maybe after a trip to the Northeast Marble Meet, we have several books on marbles. Marbles by Elizabeth Dana Jaffe [J 796.2 JAF] and Marble Madness by Amanda O'Neill [J 796.2 ONE] are two.

Besides the obvious fun of marble games, using marbles in problem-solving activities for children is a feature of the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Read about it here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One of the Wonders of the Internet

One of the wonders of the internet is the access to maps. It eliminates a glove compartment full of maps that are impossible to unfold, read, and refold while riding in a car. Sites that are suited to simple driving directions are Mapquest, Rand McNally, and Yahoo, while Google Earth has some real "gee whiz" features. (For some, there are also questions of Google's privacy invasions to consider, but, that's a topic for another time.)

On the internet I've found specific maps for projects I was working on, such as a map of World War II prisoner of war camps in Europe, or a world map of various diseases. You can find a map of just about anything worthy of being mapped!

New Hampshire's Fish and Game department has a page of maps that includes topographic maps of NH, as well as maps useful for hunters and fisher-folk. Other NH sites have maps of snowmobile, bike, and hiking trails.

For those who like the tactile properties, or the beauty of a map, we still have many map books here at the library from New Hampshire Fishing Maps by Charlton J. Swasey and Donald A. Wilson [912.742 SWA] to the Atlas of Ancient Egypt by Delia Pemberton [932.01 PEM].

Map courtesy NH Fish and Game.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This is certainly not a time for birds to nest, but it is a time to start thinking about fall and winter activities such as birdhouse building.

I recently came across a site called Extreme Birdhouses. Take a look at some of the multi-room houses and dream...

If you're not proficient in woodworking, or are not willing to undertake an extreme project, we have plenty of books here at the library that will demonstrate how to make birdhouses--for those with minimal skills on up. Here's a small sampling:

Haus, Robyn. Make Your Own Birdhouses & Feeders. [J 690 HAU]

Jenkins, Alison. Birdhouses: From Castles to Cottages--20 Simple Homes and Feeders to Make in a Weekend. [690.692 JEN]

Laubach, René. The Backyard Birdhouse Book: Building Nestboxes and Creating Natural Habitats. [690.892 LAU]

McGhee, Colin. Rustic Birdhouses and Feeders: Unique Thatched-Roof Designs Built to Audubon Specifications. [690.892 MCG]

Schwarz, Renee. Birdhouses ("Kids Can Do It" series). [J 690.89 SCH]

Photo by Extreme Birdhouses.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week

This week is officially designated by the American Library Association and American Booksellers Association, along with several other groups, as Banned Books Week. Fortunately, not many books are banned in the U.S., although many are challenged. The challenges come for many reasons, most related to the item in question being inappropriate for a child or teen audience, and most of the challenges come from parents.

You may be surprised at some of the titles on the 2010 Frequently Challenged Books list:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson [JP RIC].
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie [YA ALE].
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [F HUX].
4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins [YA HOP].
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins [YA COL].
6. Lush by Natasha Friend [YA FRI].
7. What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones [YA SON].
8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich [305.569 EHR].
9. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology edited by Amy Sonnie [on order].
10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer [YA MEY]

We have a display of these and other challenged books from 2001 to 2010. Stop by for a look.

Image courtesy ALA.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poetry Friday--Muriel Rukeyser

We recently added a volume to our "American Poets Project" collection published by The Library of America, Muriel Rukeyser: Selected Poems (Adrienne Rich, editor) [811.52 RUK]. It contains poems from books published 1935 through 1976.

This one particularly appealed to me since I'm keenly aware of the struggle women artists had in being accepted right up through the 20th century.

In the cave with a long-ago flare
a woman stands, her arms up. Red twig, black twig, brown twig.
A wall of leaping darkness over her.
The men are out hunting in the early light
But here in this flicker, one or two men, painting
and a woman among them.
Great living animals grow on the stone walls,
their pelts, their eyes, their sex, their hearts,
and the cave-painters touch them with life, red, brown, black,
a woman among them, painting.
This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Picture Book of the Day.

[Note: Above I had written about "the struggle women artists had in being accepted right up through the 20th century." Coincidentally, I came across an ArtInfo blog posting late last night which leads me to believe that I should have said "right into the 21st century." Read the post here.]

Photo by Gruban.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What the Fluff?

There are festivals for nearly every type of food from apples to zucchini, but, I'm sorry to say I missed learning about the What the Fluff? festival its first five years! The festival celebrates Marshmallow Fluff, and the city in which it originated, Somerville, MA.

The festival is taking place this Saturday, September 24. It's only a short 45 minute's drive to Somerville, and who can resist a Marshmallow Fluff celebration?

There's going to be a 70s theme, so don your, or your mother's, old Annie Hall [DVD ANN] outfits before heading out.

There will be a Fluff Cooking Contest at the festival, and there are five award categories! We have at least one book in our cookbook collection that includes a Marshmallow Fluff recipe: The Back of the Box Gourmet by Michael McLaughlin [641.5 MCL].

Let me take this opportunity to remind parents NOT to let their children handle library materials during, or immediately after, consuming a peanut butter, jelly, and Fluff sandwich. Believe it or not, I've been on the desk when a DVD was returned covered in the remnants of such a sandwich! Not a pretty sight!

Image courtesy I am fluff.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Chuck Jones!

Lots of birthdays this week, including that of Chuck Jones who was born in 1912. If the name isn't familiar to you, maybe this will jog your memory (and make you smile):

Vezi mai multe din Desene animate pe 220.ro

Chuck Jones "directed" Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in the film, What's Opera, Doc?. The film, released in 1957, was inducted into the Library of Congress's National Film Registry in 1992. To be eligible, a film has to be at least 10 years old and be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Three of Jones's cartoons are now in the Registry!

Here's a happy birthday cheer to the memory of a man who made, and continues to make, a lot of people happy (and gives them earworms, too)!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Donald Hall!

New Hampshire resident and former United States Poet Laureate, Donald Hall, was born on this day in 1928.

Hall is the author of many books of poetry and essays, as well as several delightful children's books including Ox-Cart Man [JP HAL], which won the 1980 Caldecott Award for illustrations by Barbara Cooney.

My favorite of Hall's children's books is I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat [JP HAl]. Don't miss it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Aarrr, it's true!

Years ago we used to celebrate with costumes, but some of us have grown out of it, so we just celebrate with books, books, and more pirate books including:

Burgess, Douglas R. Jr. The Pirates' Pact: The Secret Alliances between History's Most Notorious Buccaneers and Colonial America. [910.45 BUR]

Choundas George. The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues. [910.45 CHO]

Langley, Andrew. 100 Things You Should Know about Pirates. [J 364.164 LAN]

Meltzer, Milton. Piracy & Plunder: A Murderous Business. [J 910.4 MEL]

Robins, Deri. The Great Pirate Activity Book. [J 790.1 ROB]

Salas, Laura Purdie. A Is for Arrr!: A Pirate Alphabet. [JP SAL]

Sharp, Anne Wallace. Daring Pirate Women. [YA 910.45 SHA]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Poetry Friday--Cat Poetry

We have several books of cat poetry in our collection, one of which is A Little Book of Cat Poems compiled by Sara L. Whittier [808.8 LIT]. And since I haven't shared a cat poem with you in a while, I thought I'd share this one with you today:
Pussycat Sits on a Chair
by Edward Newman Horn

Pussycat sits on a chair
Implacably with acid stare.

Those who early loved in vain
Use the cat to try again,

And test their bruised omnipotence
Against the cat's austere defense.
Several books of cat poetry are found in the children's section, including I Am the Cat by Alice Schertle [J 811 SCH] and Cat Poems selected by Myra Cohn Livingston [J 811 CAT].

The Poetry FURRday Round-Up is being held today at The Poem Farm. Meow!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Like the Way This Mystery Person Thinks!

In this day and age, with budget squeezes and threats of electronic devices replacing brick and mortar libraries, it is nice to read about someone who supports libraries.

In Scotland a mystery person has been leaving elaborate paper sculptures in libraries. Each is accompanied by a cryptic note, which leaves no doubt that the creator likes libraries, "A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..." Read about it here, or watch a video here.

The mystery person's work contains many references to the works of writer Ian Rankin. We have several of his mysteries on our shelf including Doors Open [F RAN].
Three friends, having met a crime boss at an art auction, decide to steal three paintings from the National Gallery in Edinburgh, coming in contact with forgers, a Hell's Angel, and other people with ulterior motives during their attempt.
I hope the mystery person makes his/her way over here--we'd love a paper sculpture!

Paper sculpture photo courtesy Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just Because...

Just because I love Michael Bublé (and his birthday was on Friday), I'm going to share this little video today:

If you like this video, we have plenty of DVDs by Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett for you to borrow including:

The Art of Romance. [CD JAZZ BEN]

Call Me Irresponsible. [CD MALE VOCALIST BUB]


Duets: An American Classic. [CD MALE VOCALIST BEN]


Playin' with My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues. [CD MALE VOCALIST BEN]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Today would have been Roald Dahl's 95th birthday. And since this is also the 50th anniversary year of the publication of Dahl's James and the Giant Peach [J DAH], the month of September is being celebrated as Roald Dahl month!

Here is a video of one of Dahl's stories, "William and Mary," which was televised for the program, Way Out back in 1961. Although Dahl wrote for kids, as he says in the introduction to this segment, "it is not for children."

Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bras Across the River

Saturday the weather was gorgeous for Bras Across the River in Manchester. Hundreds of people brought bras, some plain, some decorated, and some bearing names as simple remembrances of a loved-one suffering or lost to breast cancer.

The money collected in entrance fees will go to help uninsured and underinsured women in NH in their fight against breast cancer. Here are a few of the photos I took.

The fence along the bridge before the bras started to arrive:

And arrive they did!

Pretty soon the bras crossed the Mighty Merrimack River!

Not all the bras ended up on the fence--the day was one of fun and celebration!

The final photo is of the large pink ribbon filled with names of breast cancer survivors. There is hope!

If you have questions about breast cancer, visit the Library. We have many books on the subject, including this 2011 one: The Breast Cancer Companion: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by Nancy Sokolowski [616.99449 SOK].

[I have more photos posted at The Write Sisters blog, check it out!]

Friday, September 09, 2011

Poetry Friday--9/11

We're coming up on the 10th anniversary of September 11. Death, destruction, and loss is a difficult subject, so people, including many non-poets, turn to poetry. What is too horrific to speak about out loud can be tackled through the concision of poetry.

I went looking for an appropriate 9/11 poem to share today and came across this one by Wislawa Szymborska (Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, translators), the woman whose poetry I featured here last Friday!
Photograph for September 11

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.

Read the rest of this simple, yet powerful poem, here.
This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Secrets & Sharing Soda.

Photo by Vinn.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


SNOB: not a snooty person, but the Somewhat North of Boston Film Festival!
Founded in 2002 and now in its 10th season, the SNOB Film Festival is a grassroots effort to showcase and support independent filmmaking. We strive to bring films to the area that local audiences might not otherwise see. Proceeds from the SNOB Film Festival will be used to support the arts.
The SNOB Film Festival takes place in Concord, NH starting September 15 and runs through the 18th. "Like" their Facebook page to keep up on the latest news about SNOB.

One of the feature length documentaries being shown is Finding Donn Fendler: Lost on a Mountain in Maine 72 Years Later, directed by Derek Desmond. Donn Fendler is the author of the children's book, Lost on a Mountain in Maine.
A twelve-year-old describes his nine-day struggle to survive after being separated from his companions in the mountains of Maine in 1939.
We own the book [J 974.1 FEN] if you're interested in reading the title before seeing the film.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Self-Help Books

You may think that self-help books are a late 20th century creation, but you'd be wrong. An article from the British paper, The Daily Mail, tells about rare books that are being auctioned off soon. One is titled The Lady’s Companion: or an Infallible Guide to the Fair Sex, and, it is from 1740. In it, is information on "The Duty of Virgins," "The Whole Duty of a Wife," and "The Whole Duty of a Widow," along with "The Whole Art of Cookery, Preserving, Candying, Beautifying, etc." Check out the article to read some of the advice.

I'm sure the women in novels written by 20th and 21st century novelists about the 1700 and 1800s do not take the advice offered in The Lady's Companion! They've got better things to do with their lives than candying!

Here are a few titles from our fiction section that take place during that time period:

Balogh, Mary. A Matter of Class. [F BAL]

Coulter, Catherine. The Valentine Legacy. [F COU]

Laurens, Stephanie. Temptation and Surrender. [F LAU]

Lindsey, Johanna. Gentle Rogue. [F LIN]

Quick, Amanda. Wicked Widow. [F QUI]

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Complete Make-Over

If you've visited us recently you may have noticed that the workroom behind the check-out desk is empty. That is because we are in the midst of a room make-over. The library opened on August 28, 1997 and the room hasn't been painted since that time. It's due for a refreshening, which it is receiving through the assistance of the Town Maintenance Department.

After the painting is completed there will be a rearranging of work areas with an eye to creating a more efficient use of space. This aspect of the make-over is courtesy the generosity of our Friends of the Library of Windham (FLOW). We are grateful for the support and hard work of both FLOW and Town Maintenance.

Speaking of painting, if you're considering a bit of redecorating for your home, we have a great collection of books on the subject, including these that have to do with painting:

Callery, Emma. 1001 Ideas for Color and Paint. [747.94 CAL]

The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating: Using Paint, Stain and Wallpaper in Home Decor. [698.14 COM]

Getting Creative with Wallpaper and Paint. [698 GET]

Ultimate Guide to Floors, Walls, and Ceilings: Build Remodel Repair. [643.7 ULT]

Wax, Amy. Can't Fail Color Schemes. [747.94 WAX]

Visual learners may wish to borrow Wall Treatments [DVD 747.3 WAL].

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Miners with their children at the Labor Day celebration, Silverton, Colorado. 1940

The Library is closed today in celebration of Labor Day!

With many of our country's state governments looking to put restrictions on labor organizing, you may wish to read up on labor history to find out what's at stake. Here's the place to start: From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States by Priscilla Murolo [331 MUR]. From there you can move on to There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America by Philip Dray [331.88 DRA].

Have a great day!

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Poetry Friday--Wislawa Szymborska

Wislawa Szymborska is a Polish poet who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. We have her Poems New and Collected 1957-1997 [891.8 SZY], translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh, on our shelves. We've had the book since 2002, and before I came across it this week, the last time it had been out was 2002! It's really too bad because skimming through her work, I find it fairly accessible--its themes universal.

This segment from the PBS NewsHour, can give you a bit of Szymborska's background. I particularly like this quote by the poet: "I borrow words weighed with pathos and then try hard to make them seem light." A Google image search brought up this page, which leads me to believe that with Szymborska, a laugh is never far away:

Here's one her poems that made me stop and think.
May 16, 1973

One of those many dates
that no longer ring a bell.

Where I was going that day,
what I was doing--I don't know.

Whom I met, what we talked about,
I can't recall.

If a crime had been committed nearby,
I wouldn't have had an alibi.

The sun flared and died
beyond my horizons.
The earth rotated
unnoted in my notebooks.

I'd rather think
that I temporarily died
than that I kept on living
and can't remember a thing.

I wasn't a ghost, after all.
I breathed, I ate,
I walked.
My steps were audible,
my fingers surely left
their prints on doorknobs.

Mirrors caught my reflection.
I wore something or other in such-and-such color.
Somebody must have seen me.

Maybe I found something that day
that had been lost.
Maybe I lost something that turned up later.

I was filled with feelings and sensations.
Now all that's like
a line of dots in parentheses.

Where was I hiding out,
where did I bury myself?
Not a bad trick
to vanish before my own eyes.

I shake my memory.
Maybe something in its branches
that has been asleep for years
will start up with a flutter.

Clearly I'm asking too much.
Nothing less than one whole second.
Spend some time today with Tricia at the Miss Rumphius Effect where she is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


You're in a time machine and land back in 1947. You'll need a job. Consider librarianship!

We have a documentary in our collection, The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film [DVD 791.436 HOL], if you found the above film interesting.

One of my favorite films with a librarian as a main character is Foul Play with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase, sadly, it is out of print.

For kids interested in what goes on in libraries, borrow Katie Marsico's Working at the Library [J 027 MAR].

Things have changed a lot in the library biz over the past 64 years. Today's librarian requires a completely new level of education and interest--liking to read, though, is always going to be a benefit!

Film courtesy Internet Archive.