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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Is Right around the Corner!

Time to start thinking about resolutions. Almost every year I post a list of diet and exercise books that we'd received over the year. This year, I'm not going to do that. This year I'm going to post titles of materials that help you to accept yourself whatever shape you are in! Resolve to do it!

Campos, Paul F. The Obesity Myth: Why America's Obsession with weight is hazardous to your health. [616.398 CAM]

Goldman, Leslie. Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image, and Re-Imagining the "Perfect" Body. [306.4 GOL]

Kirberger, Kimberly. No Body's Perfect: Stories by Teens about Body Image, Self-Acceptance, and the Search for Identity. [YA 158.1 KIR]

Pope, Harrison. The Adonis Complex: The Secret Crisis of Male Body Obsession. [155.3 POP]

Redd, Nancy Amanda. Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers. [YA 612 RED]

Weiner, Jessica. Do I Look Fat in This?: Life Doesn't Begin Five Pounds from Now. [306.4613 WEI]

Monday, December 30, 2013

Endangered Species Act

On the 28th of December, 1973, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. For a fact sheet about the act, click here.

New Hampshire has a number of endangered and threatened animals and plants. You can click on the species name which will take you to another page where you can find a map and links to other resources.

The numbers on the list of threatened and endangered species are fluid. Some species may come off and others may come on. It is always encouraging when a species is able to make a comeback and be removed from the list. The Eagles Are Back by Jean Craighead George [J 598.942 GEO] is the story of the Bald eagle which is one of the success stories that can be attributed to the Endangered Species Act. The Bald eagle is now "delisted."

NH Fish and Game have been monitoring the Bald eagle population in our state since 1980. Read more here.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Poetry Friday--"The Life of Others"

2013 is drawing to a close, and on this, the last Poetry Friday of the year, I want to wish everyone peace and justice in the coming year. (If the world has one, surely it will have the other.) Here are the words of Denise Levertov to give us something to ponder:
The Life of Others

Their high pitched baying
as if in prayer's unison

remote, undistracted, given over
utterly to belief,

the skein of geese
voyages south,
       hierarchic arrow of its convergence toward
       the point of grace
swinging and rippling, ribbon tail
of a kite, loftily

over lakes they they have not
elected to rest,

over men who suppose
earth is man's, over golden earth

preparing itself
for night and winter.
                            We humans
are smaller than they, and crawl

about and about the smoky map.

from Voices of Light: Spiritual and Visionary Poems by Women around the World from Ancient Sumeria to Now (edited by Aliki Barnstone) [808.81 VOI].

From here, please head over to see Mary Lee Hahn, at A Year of Reading, for the last Poetry Friday Round-Up of 2013.

"Peace and Justice" illustration by Thomas Nast.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I'm sure everyone knows by now that the 2013 Word of the Year is "selfie."

Before the age of the cell phone camera, it's not as if there were no selfies taken, it's just that they weren't given a name. And way before the camera, there were painted selfies, otherwise known as self-portraits.

It is certainly not intentional, but animals, in this case an eagle, have been caught in the act of taking selfies!

Eagles are fascinating birds of prey that you can read more about in Eagles by [J 598.9 HAU] by Hayley Mitchell Haugen, and other books in the children's room.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The Library is closed today. Have a happy holiday and stay safe!

Here's a little musical treat--a flash mob performance that recently took place at the Museum of Fine Arts:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cooking Up a Storm?

Sometimes people get caught up in the holidays and promise to cook or bake something and it turns out they have no idea how it should be done.

Since you are so busy, and probably need help right away, here are some virtual books from our 3M collection that can loaded on your ereader any time of the day or night (including Christmas Day)! All you need is your library card.

Holiday Entertaining Essentials: Party Recipes Delicious Ideas for Easy Holiday Celebrations.

Let's Talk Turkey...And All the Trimmings 100 Delicious Holiday Recipes, Tips, and Ideas from America's Top Magazines.

Macomber, Debbie. Debbie Macomber's Christmas Cookbook Favorite Recipes and Holiday Traditions from My Home to Yours.

Rodgers, Rick. Christmas 101.

Monday, December 23, 2013

'Twas the Night...

Christmas Eve is almost here! And the most famous book about the day is the classic by Clement Moore, The Night before Christmas [JP MOO]. We have quite a number of different versions, each with an illustrator's attempt to make the old classic new again. There are the stylings of the famous--Arthur Rackham, Tasha Tudor, Hilary Knight, Jan Brett--and the not so famous. And, there are a whole slew of take-offs on the original such as A Pirate's Night before Christmas by Philip Yates [JP YAT] and The Barnyard Night before Christmas by Beth Terrill [JP TER].

And new for this year, is this delightful version, illustrated only with hands and facial expressions:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Poetry Friday--Happy Winter Solstice!

Tomorrow is the first day of winter. Yes, that's right--all that snowy stuff we had in the past two weeks was autumnal weather!

In honor of the solstice, here's a very old poem from 1617:
Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.
I love the little humorous twist at the end, don't you! The poem may be found in Poems to Read: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology [808.81 POE].

This week the Poetry Friday Round-Up is at Buffy's Blog, be sure to stop by, it's her first time hosting!

Illustration from Gems of Poetry, for Girls and Boys, published by Rufus Merrill, Concord, NH, 1850.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bucket Lists

Putting together a "bucket list," that is, a list of things one wishes to do before "kicking the bucket," is quite a popular past-time. Books of bucket lists line our shelves, books that have "before You Die," in their titles such as 1,000 Places to See before You Die by Patricia Schultz [910.202 SCH] or 1001 Books You Must Read before You Die [011.73 ONE] or 101 Action Movies You Must See before You Die [791.4365 ONE].

There's also the Hollywood film, The Bucket List [DVD BUC]. If you're not familiar with it, here's a brief description:
Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common, except they both have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to make a Bucket List of all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die. In the process of completing the list, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find the joy in life.

Novelist, Dominic Smith, would have us believe that bucket lists are not just creations of 21st century people, but that others created lists in the past. Smith wrote The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre [F SMI], in which Louis Daguerre, a pioneer of photography, becomes poisoned by the chemicals he uses to make his daguerreotypes. He creates a "doomsday list" of ten pictures he wants to take before he dies.

To see a collection of daguerreotypes, visit the Daguerreian Society's Pinterest page.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This Guy Is No Birdbrain!

Amazing video, isn't it? It was no accident that the crow was sliding down the rooftop!

I'll bet you didn't know we have a book on the intelligence of crows--we do! Crows: Encounters with the Wise Guys of the Avian World by Candace Savage [598.864 SAV]. We even have a Christmas book starring a crow--Merry Christmas, Merry Crow by Kathi Appelt [JP APP]. There are many, many crow books scattered throughout the Library's collections. Just search the catalog under "crows."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Larger Than Life Art

Back in the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci designed a large monumental horse, which was to be cast in bronze. The casting never happened--the metal was use to make weapons instead. Jean Fritz wrote a book for children called Leonardo's Horse [J 730 FRI] which tells the story of the project, and how it was actually completed centuries later.

As you can see from the book's cover, the horse was more than larger than life, it was colossal!

Artists have often worked to create colossal pieces. Just consider the Statue of Liberty and the sculpted portraits at Mount Rushmore.

Today, colossal art is still looked upon as a wonder. To see what I mean, click here. I discovered Colossal: Art & Visual Culture not too long ago, and every time I go back for a visit, I am amazed!

Monday, December 16, 2013

No Monkeys, No Chocolate

No Monkeys, No Chocolate is a new nonfiction title by Massachusetts writer, Melissa Stewart [J 633.74 STE]. It tells of the interdependence of species in South America, in this case, monkeys, cocao (the seeds, called beans, of which go into making chocolate), and a whole host of other insects and plants.

Ms. Stewart has developed a marvelous online page explaining the path No Monkeys, No Chocolate took from idea to physical book. You can view the multi-leveled timeline here.

To learn how we get chocolate from cocoa beans, here's a short video on the process of making chocolate.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Poetry Friday--"The Sniffle"

A little silliness for today! Being as it's the season of colds, here's "The Sniffle" by Ogden Nash.
In spite of her sniffle
Isabel's chiffle.
Some girls with a sniffle
Would be weepy and tiffle;
They would look awful,
Like a rained-on waffle,
But Isabel's chiffle
In spite of her sniffle.
Her nose is more red
With a cold in her head,
But then, to be sure,
Her eyes are bluer.
Some girls with a snuffle,
Their tempers are uffle.
But when Isabel's snivelly
She's snivelly civilly,
And when she's snuffly
She's perfectly luffly.
I found this poem in Poetry Out Loud edited by Robert Alden Rubin [821.008 POE]. The selection is a good one for performing out loud, and one of the helpful hints accompanying the poem the "meaning" of the slightly odd words, for example, chiffle = cheerful. Now with that in mind, reread the poem more slowly and see if you can figure out the other oddities!

More Ogden Nash nonsense can be found here:

Today the Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Tabatha Yeatts. If you haven't visited Tabatha's blog before, take some time to browse through past posts--you're in for a treat of poetry, art, and music!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crunch Time!

Wow! It's less than two weeks until Christmas. Time to bake cookies! Get the kids involved, too! These books are just what you need to get started:

Fryer, Janice. Cookie Craft Christmas Dozens of Decorating Ideas for a Sweet Holiday. [3M ebook]

Holiday Entertaining Essentials: Christmas Cookies Delicious Ideas for Easy Holiday Celebrations. [3M ebook]

La Penta, Marilyn. Cool Cookies. [J 641.8654 LAP]

Mueller, Stephanie R. 101 Great Gifts Kids Can Make. [J 745.5 MUE]

Perelman, Deb. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. [641.5 PER]

Price, Pamela S. Cool Cookies & Bars: Easy Recipes for Kids to Bake. [J 641.8 PRI]

Also, we have a new picture book called Mouse's Christmas Cookie by Patrica Thomas [JP THO], which is just right for sharing with the little ones in your family.

Photo of author, Pat Thomas, reading her book, courtesy Kinder Kapers.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Occupied Paris

Back in September, the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, ran an online feature, "Paris through a Nazi's lens: Propaganda pictures of Occupied France taken by photographer ordered to prove city was thriving under German rule." It contains pages and pages of color photos, such as this one, of the city and its inhabitants:

Paris may have been bustling, but it was not necessarily a happy or safe place. One novel that shows the other side of the city during the war is Trapeze by Simon Mawer [F MAW, also AB/CD MAW]. It is the story of a young British woman who is trained as a spy and sent to France, and then to Paris.
The danger of Paris is a cancer within you, invisible, imponderable, and probably incurable.
A great read! I recommend it highly.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


If you own a cat, you know it's nearly impossible to do anything on or near the floor without your cat developing a keen interest and deciding to join you in whatever it is you're trying to do. Exercise is no different.

If it bothers you to do exercises in tandem with cats, maybe there is a way to "purrsuade" them to develop other interests. Outsmarting Cats: How to Persuade the Felines in Your Life to Do What You Want by Wendy Christensen [636.8 CHR] may be the key! Honestly, I've never known a cat to do anything it doesn't want to do, so good luck!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Shopping Mall Blues

If you've been to the mall lately, you've probably found that it is chocky-block full of harried shoppers and screaming kids. Rather than let it stress you out, though, you can envision the mall in this way:

Now wasn't that fun? Of course you recognize this as a take-off of the chase scene from the 1980 movie, The Blue Brothers, starring Jim Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. And, now you have "I Can't Turn You Loose," running through your head, right? If so, come borrow The Blues Brothers [CD BLUES BLU] to cure you of that ear-worm!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Poetry Friday--It's St. Nicholas Day!

Today is St. Nicholas Day in many countries. St. Nicholas is the forerunner of the character we know as Santa Claus. Let's celebrate St. Nicholas Day with a poem.

From Hans Brinker, or, the Silver Skates, Chapter 9. "The Festival of St. Nicholas"
by Mary Mapes Dodge

Welcome, friend! St. Nicholas, welcome!
   Bring no rod for us to-night!
While our voices bid thee welcome,
   Every heart with joy is light.

     "Tell us every fault and failing;
     We will bear thy keenest railing
     So we sing, so we sing:
     Thou shalt tell us everything!

"Welcome, friend! St. Nicholas, welcome!
   Welcome to this merry band!
Happy children greet thee, welcome!
   Thou art gladdening all the land.

     "Fill each empty hand and basket;
     'Tis thy little ones who ask it.
     So we sing, so we sing:
     Thou wilt bring us everything!"
Hans Brinker, or, the Silver Skates was first published in 1865! We have a more recent copy in our children's room [J DOD].

Stop off at the local bakery and indulge in a sweet treat--St. Nicholas would want you to! After that, head over to Life on the Deckle Edge for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons..

Thursday, December 05, 2013

There's Always Something New to Learn!

If you celebrate Christmas you probably think you know all there is to know about the holiday, however, if you read through "Ten Things You Might Not Know about Christmas" by T. Steelman, you may discover something new!

Number 10 came as a surprise to me, "Santa’s reindeer are based upon the eight-legged Sleipnir, the Norse god Woden’s flying horse."

To learn about reindeer, real or imaginary, look for one of these on your next visit:

Arnold, Caroline. Reindeer. [JP ARN]

Bernhard, Emery. Reindeer. [J 599.73 BER]

Brett, Jan. The Wild Christmas Reindeer. [JP BRE]

Markovics, Joyce L. Caribou and Reindeer, Too. [J 599.658 MAR]

May, Robert Lewis. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. [JP MAY]

Prancer. [DVD PRA]

Sullivan, Robert. Flight of the Reindeer: The True Story of Santa Claus and His Christmas Mission. [J 394.2663 SUL]

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Buying Books for Holiday Gift-Giving

Last Saturday was the day designated as Small Business Saturday. Many people went to their local independent bookseller to purchase books for holiday gift-giving. One such person is President Obama, who was accompanied by his family, and a score of reporters. The purchases made contained some recent bestsellers and a few oldies, but goodies. Here's the list (as was reported by the White House); the ones we own include their call number, the ones we don't own are on order:

Becker, Aaron. Journey. [JP BEC]

Blackwood, Sage. Jinx. [J BLA]

Cather, Willa. My Antonia. [F CAT, also 3M ebook]

Dawidoff, Nicholas. Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football.

DiCamillo, Kate. Flora and Ulysses. [J DIC, also 3M ebook]

Doctorow, E. L. Ragtime. [F DOC]

Epstein, David. The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. [613.71 EPS, also 3M ebook]

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. [F HOS, AB/CD HOS, also 3M ebook]

Johnson, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon. [JP JOH]

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. [F LAH, AB/CD LAH, also 3M ebook]

Marra, Anthony. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. [F MAR, also 3M ebook]

Matthews, Jason. Red Sparrow.

McCullers, Carson. Ballad of the Sad Cafe: And Other Stories. [in Complete Novels F MCC]

Oppel, Kenneth. Half Brother. [YA OPP]

Otsuka, Julie. Buddha in the Attic. [F OTS, AB/CD OTS, also 3M ebook]

Preus, Margi. Heart of a Samurai: Based on the True Story of Nakahama Manjiro. [YA PRE]

Rex, Adam. Moonday.

Riddell, Chris. Ottoline and the Yellow Cat. [J MYS RID]

Salter, James. All That Is. [F SAL, AB/CD SAL, also 3M ebook]

Strayed, Cheryl. Wild: From Lost to Found On the Pacific Crest Trail. [B STR, AB/CD B STR, also 3M ebook]

Viorst, Judith and Lane Smith. Lulu and the Brontosaurus. [J VIO]

You can "test-drive" a book at the Library before purchasing a copy as a gift!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Read It Before the Movie Comes Out

There are a number of literature-based films opening in the next few months. You may want to read the books before watching the movies.

Here are three of them:

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort [332.62 BEL, also 3M ebook] will be out on Christmas Day.

Joyce Maynard's novel, Labor Day [F MAY], is scheduled for limited release on December 27, and it should be opening locally the last week in January.

Winter's Tale based on the novel by Mark Helprin [F HEL] is coming out on Valentine's Day, so you know you're in for a romantic treat!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Thinking Imaginatively

The creators of this short video, Kyra and Constantin, certainly have a different way of looking at things--"If all animals became round overnight, would their daily life still run that smoothly?" The idea has definitely taken hold of their imaginations, because the above clip is only one in a series of round animal videos that can be found at Rollin' Wild.

Children's authors and illustrators are not afraid to let their imaginations carry them away. If you need proof, look for one of these on your next visit:

Barrett, Judi. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. [JP BAR]

Bishop, Claire Huchet. The Five Chinese Brothers. [JP BIS]

Lord, John Vernon. The Giant Jam Sandwich. [JP LOR]

Perry, Sarah. If... [JP PER]

Shannon, David. A Bad Case of Stripes. [JP SHA]

Small, David. Imogene's Antlers. [JP SMA]

Wiesner, David. Art & Max. [JP WIE]

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Library is closed today to celebrate Thanksgiving. We will also be closed tomorrow, but we will be open as usual on Saturday and Sunday.

This short film is from 1951. It is about as corny as can be, but I think it still has value. I hope you watch through to at least 6:58, when you may be surprised at the blessing mentioned there!

Have a safe and happy day! And to all our Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah, too!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Greens Time!

Within the next few weeks front doors and walls will be sprouting a variety of holiday wreaths. You could purchase one yourself, or, you can embark upon a crafty adventure and make your own. The after-Thanksgiving weekend, if you're not out shopping, would be a great time to begin.

There are all kinds of wreaths, and instructions for constructing them, found in the pages of these books:

Smith, Ed. Making Classic Wreaths: Designing & Creating for All Occasions. [745.923 SMI]

Stewart, Martha. Great American Wreaths: The Best of Martha Stewart Living. [745.92 STE]

Veevers-Carter, Ming. Festive Decorations: Over 80 Decorative Ideas for Flowers, Wreaths, and Trees. [745.92 VEE]

We have plenty more on our shelves in the 745.92 section. If you're really good with your hands, and you don't want to venture outdoors to cut greens and other natural materials, we even have books that will show you how to make origami wreaths! One such book is Origami for Christmas by Chiyo Araki [736.982 ARA].

Photo courtesy NH Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The photo illustrates the "Adopt a Forevergreen" educational program.

It might also be a good weekend to look for a Christmas tree. There are numerous places around New Hampshire where you can cut your own.

I noticed that the Hallmark Channel has a new Christmas movie this year that revolves around a tree seller, it's called, appropriately enough, Fir Crazy. You might want to look for it when checking your tv listings, or preview it by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sojouner Truth

On this day in 1883, the abolitionist and woman's rights advocate, Sojouner Truth, passed away. She was about 86 years old--the exact date of her birth is unknown, but probably occurred about 1797.

Her long life was marred by slavery and abuse, but it also had its triumphs. It is a difficult enough story for adults to read, but imagine trying to relate the circumstances of her life to children. Surprisingly, we have three highly-illustrated biographies in our children's room collection [J B TRU]!

Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Sojourner Truth.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride.

Rockwell, Anne F. Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth.

About an hour and a half drive from here, in Florence, MA, is one of the homes where Truth lived, and where a statue has been erected in her memory. Here is a short video about the site:


Monday, November 25, 2013

The Countdown!

Today is November 25 and Christmas is a month away!

If you're the type to make gifts for family and friends, and you like to knit, then it's not too late. Here are a few books we added to our collection since last year--there's no need to worry about repeating your gifts!

Curtis, Alice. Knit Your Socks on Straight: A New and Inventive Technique with Just Two Needles. [3M ebook]

Epstein, Nicky. Knitting in Circles: 100 Circular Patterns for Sweaters, Bags, Hats, Afghans, and More. [746.432 EPS]

Meldrum, Carol. 30 Min-Knits: What Can You Knit in Half an Hour Or Less? [746.432 MEL]

Startzman, Katie. The Knitted Slipper Book: Slippers and House Shoes For the Entire Family. [746.432 STA]

There is also a gazillion of patterns available online. One place to browse is AllFreeKnitting.com, where you can find a pattern for a gift card holder in case a knitted sweater or a pair of socks doesn't get beyond the planning stage!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Poetry Friday--"Cat: Thanksgiving"

Thanksgiving Poems selected by Myra Cohn Livingston and illustrated by Stephen Gammell [J 808.81 THA] has been on our shelves for 28 Thanksgivings and is still going strong! Of course, one of my favorites from this collection is about a cat, and was written by one of the great children's poets, Valerie Worth. I posted it for Thanksgiving in 2010, but a good poem is worth a second or third or fourth read, so I'm sharing it again.

Cat: Thanksgiving

Now, in lean November,
The silent houses
Huddle in despair,
Every front porch
Forlorn, abandoned to
Its mailbox and its mat--
A patch of cold brown
Stubble, uncomfortable
Even to the cat;

But we, indoors,
Have company and clamor,
Fruitfulness and fire,
Luxury to spare--
So that when she
Runs in, complaining,
We offer her our laps,
And stroke her chilly fur,
And feed her turkey-scraps.

The illustration accompanies the poem in the book. Gammell has certainly got the cat "attitude" down pat!

The Library will be closed next Friday, so there will be no Poetry Friday at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet.

Today, head over to Write. Sketch. Repeat. for the pre-holiday Round-Up.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving--with plenty of turkey-scraps for all (or faux turkey if you're so inclined).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Where Were You When?

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy. It was one of those historical moments that always results in people telling you where they were when they heard the news. I was on the bus going home from junior high when the news made its way through the crowd. Most of us, didn't believe it, but, unfortunately it was true, and we spent many days thereafter, glued to our television sets.

Since half a century has gone by, and this is a big anniversary, we could have expected a rash of new books to be released on the topic. We were not disappointed. Here are a few that we've added to our collection in 2013:

Dallek, Robert. Camelot's Court Inside the Kennedy White House. [3M ebook]

Greenfield, Jeff. If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History. [973.922 GRE]

Shenon, Philip. A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination. [973.922 SHE]

Swanson, James L. "The President Has Been Shot!": The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. [YA 973.922 SWA]

PBS Digital Studios, with Blank on Blank, have released this animated interview with Grace Kelly remembering JFK.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No Monster Was Harmed in the Making...

The second "Hunger Games" series book to be released as a film is Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins [YA COL]. It opens in local theaters tomorrow!

Put your name on the list for the book now, because if you haven't read it yet, you may have a long wait after the film opens!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

150 Years Ago

On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave his stirring Gettysburg Address.

There are no pictures of Lincoln giving the speech, but there are pictures of the crowd taken that day. Here's the famous Bachrach photo:

I've cropped the photo to pinpoint Lincoln's location. He's hatless and wearing a sash. I believe his son, Tad, is the boy standing next to him. Tad often dressed in a uniform.

There's another photo here.

Documentary film maker, Ken Burns, has initiated a "Learn the Address" project in which he is collecting videos of Americans reciting the Gettysburg Address. People from all walks of life are participating, and so can you. Learn how here.

Here's mix video to inspire you:

We have these books on the Gettysburg Address, two for adults and one for kids:

Boritt, G. S. The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech That Nobody Knows. [973.7349 BOR]

Lincoln, Abraham. The Gettysburg Address. Illustrated by Michael McCurdy. [J 973.7 LIN]

Wills, Garry. Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America. [973.7 WIL]

As with any historical event, a certain mythological status has been given to the event. Read about it here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Prince Achmed

What is reportedly the oldest surviving animated film, "Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed" (English title: "The Adventures of Prince Achmed"), is a 1926 German animated fairytale by Lotte Reiniger and Carl Koch. The video is over an hour long, but, even if you don't watch it all, you'll still be amazed by the film maker's use of shadow puppetry. The soundtrack music is suitably menacing, too!

We've certainly come a long way from Prince Achmed to today's computer animated blockbusters. And, the future is still wide open! If you'd like to become a part of the future animation movement, check out this book: So You Want to work in Animation & Special Effects? by Torene Svitil. We look forward to seeing your next film!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Poetry Friday--Words with Wings

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes [J GRI] is a slender novel in verse that packs a wallop of a punch. It's the story of a girl, Gabby, whose family is torn apart by divorce. The divorce results in a move, a change of school, and emotional turmoil for Gabby.

Gabby's defining characteristic is her daydreaming. Random words set her mind off, but, not everyone understands the power or need for daydreams.
First Day

I duck down in the seat
of my new class.
To these kids,
I'm not Gabby yet.
I'm just Shy Girl
Who Lives
Inside Her Head.
No one even knock
on the door
for a visit.
They don't know
it's beautiful
in here.
Observant readers will pick up on the fact that Gabbie's word-inspired daydreams appear in a different font.

Say "spring,"
and I am bouncing
on the balls of my feet
in a field of wildflowers
while April showers
tickle me
till I am slippery
as a snake
and soaked straight through.
It's a great little book for classroom use or to give to a child who may be going through some rough times.

By the way, The Atlantic recently posted an article called, "Teach Kids to Daydream" by Jessica Lahey. "Mental downtime makes people more creative and less anxious." It's worth reading!

For the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week, head over to Jama's Alphabet Soup!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Think Pink

The color pink has long been associated with baby girls. It has more recently been co-opted by the breast cancer community with their pink ribbon campaign. Pink is the subject of an interdisciplinary exhibit that opened last month at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston:
The fascinating exhibition "Think Pink" explores the history and changing meanings of the color as its popularity ebbed and flowed in fashion and visual culture from the 18th century to the present day. An interdisciplinary show drawing from across the MFA collections, “Think Pink” juxtaposes clothing, accessories, graphic illustrations, jewelry, and paintings to shed light on changes in style; the evolution of pink for girls, blue for boys; and advances in color technology.
I want to remind everyone that the Library has a pass to the MFA, which was provided by the Friends of the Library of Windham. It can be reserved online or by calling/visiting the Library.

Doll's dress in two parts (dress), late 18th century. Silk taffeta. The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection. Courtesy the MFA.

You may know of someone with a pink obsession. If that someone is between the ages 4 to 6, look for one of these decidedly pink picture books:

Doerrfeld, Cori. Penny Loves Pink. [JP DOE]

Gregory, Nan. Pink. [JP GRE]

Harper, Charise Mericle. Pink Me Up. [JP HAR]

Kann, Victoria. Pinkalicious. [JP KAN]

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Going Solar--Again

In 1986, the solar panels that President Jimmy Carter had installed at the White House were ordered to be removed by then-President Ronald Reagan. Carter, added the panels in 1979 due to the energy "crisis" created by the Arab oil embargo.

Fast forward to 2010--President Barack Obama pledges that the White House new solar panels are will be installed. They finally made their appearance in August.

To learn more about solar energy, look for Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun [DVD 333.7923 SAV], a Nova documentary produced by WGBH in Boston. We also have books on the subject, look in the 621.47 section.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave, based on the autobiography of Solomon Northrup [B NOR, also available as an ebook], is now appearing in local theaters. If somehow you missed hearing about the film, here's the trailer:

There are several books in our collection that contain the writings of those who endured the life of a slave:

Blight, David W. A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom: Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation. [973.7115 BLI]

Douglass, Frederick. Autobiographies. [B DOU]

Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. [B JAC]

McKissack, Pat. Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. [J 973.7 MCK]

Ward, Andrew. The Slaves' War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves. [973.711 WAR]

Washington, Booker T. Up from Slavery. [B WAS]

Monday, November 11, 2013

Today is Veterans' Day

The Library will be closed to observe the holiday. We'll be back here tomorrow at 9:00 AM.

I watched a documentary on PBS on Saturday called We Served Too: The Story of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots. It told the story of the women who served in World War II as WASPs. The WASPs were dismissed in 1944 and virtually forgotten until finally being awarded military status in the 1970s. The remaining women, and the families of those who have passed away, received the Congressional Gold Medal in July 2009. Here's a short radio story from 2009.

To learn more about the WASP, watch this short video, or visit the WASP Museum site. Look for these books in our adult collection American Women Pilots of World War II by Karen J. Donnelly [940.544 DON] or Those Wonderful Women in Their Flying Machines: The Unknown Heroines of World War II by Sally Van Wagenen Keil [940.54 KEI]. Or, in our children's room, Yankee Doodle Gals: Women Pilots of World War II by Amy Nathan [J 940.54 NAT].

One of the founders of the WASP was Nancy Harkness Love, she is profiled in the collected biography, Women of the Bay State: 25 Massachusetts Women You Should Know [J 920 WOM] also found in our children's collection.

The women who served as WASPs are veterans, so please keep them in your thoughts today.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Poetry Friday--"How to Find a Poem"

Just a drive-by post for today. One short poem about finding a poem.
How to Find a Poem
by Joyce Sidman

Wake with a dream-filled head.
Stumble out into the morning,
barely aware of how the sun
is laying down strips of silver
after three days’ rain,
of how the puddles
are singing with green.
Look up, startled
at the crackle of something large
moving through the underbrush.
Your pulse jumping,
gaze into its beautiful face.
The wary doe’s body,
the soft flames of ears.
As it bounds away,
listen to the rhythm
of your own heart’s disquiet.
Burn into memory
the white flag of its parting.
Before you return
to house and habit,
cast your eyes into the shadows,
where others stand waiting
on delicate hooves.

From What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings. [J 811.54 SID]
You'll find plenty of poems at the Poetry Friday Round-Up, which is being held at Random Noodling. Stop by.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

It's NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Each year, the month of November sees a flurry of writers working on the next Great American Novel. Officially, a writer is supposed to complete a novel of 50,000 words by the end of the month (that's 1,667 words a day). Many people use the month to put their butts in a chair and to just get started!

We have at least one Nesmith Library staff person working on her novel, but not on work time! However, if she, or anyone else wanted to come to the Library to work, we have plenty of table space, some quiet study rooms, and WiFi!

There are writing-related books on the end panels in the nonfiction section of the library. Titles such as these are on display:

Bauer, Marion Dane. What's your story?: A Young Person's Guide to Writing Fiction. [YA 808.31 BAU]

Berg, Elizabeth. Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True. [808 BER]

Frey, James N. How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II: Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling. [808.3 FRE]

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. [808.02 LAM]

Rozakis, Laurie. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing. [808 ROZ]

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Blogoversary and the Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2013

Today is the 7th blogoversary of Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet! That's right, the blog has been going strong since this day in 2006! This post brings the total number to 1,772! The great thing about a library blog is that there's always something to write about--the world is an interesting place and books continue to be published! Today we'll look at illustrated books.

Last week, The New York Times issued its annual list of "Best Illustrated Children's Books".

Here are the ten titles. Illustrators are listed, if the author is not also illustrator, and the call numbers of those we have in our collection are included.
Becker, Aaron. Journey. [JP BEC]

Blexbolex. Ballad.

Britt, Fanny. Jane, the Fox and Me (illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault).

Dematons, Charlotte. Holland.

Floca, Brian. Locomotive. [JP FLO]

Nelson, Kadir. Nelson Mandela. [J B MAN]

Sendak, Maurice. My Brother’s Book. [808 SEN]

Snicket, Lemony. The Dark, (illustrated by Jon Klassen). [JP SNI]

Uman, Jennifer and Valerio Vidali. Jemmy Button.

Ungerer, Tomi. Fog Island. [JP UNG]
Not all the titles listed each year on the NY Times' list are necessarily ones that appeal to kids, but, for those interested in art, they may be worth looking at!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

It's Here!

Today's November 5 and the new "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series book by Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, is here! Hard Luck is number 8 in this wildly popular series. We have the first seven books, plus audiobook versions, plus three movie versions! You may want to check them out to see what the younger generation is reading and watching.

Author, Jeff Kinney, was recently interviewed by School Library Journal, click here.

Monday, November 04, 2013

November Is...

Of course, the first thing you think of when November is mentioned is Thanksgiving, but, did you know that November is also World Vegan Month! It seems an odd choice of months to Americans because of our holiday, which is based around THE ROAST TURKEY, but, it's World Vegan Month, and when all is said and done, America is only a small part of the world!

What exactly is vegan? The World English Dictionary defines the word this way: “a person who refrains from using any animal product whatever for food, clothing, or any other purpose.“

So, say you want to try to eat vegan this month. How do you get started? By coming to the Library and looking for one of these:

Kramer, Sarah. La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin' Made Easy. [641.5636 KRA ]

Moskowitz, Isa Chandra. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. [641.5636 MOS]

Moskowitz, Isa Chandra. Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock. [641.5636 MOS]

Rau, Dana Meachen. Going Vegan: A Healthy Guide to Making the Switch. [J 613.262 RAU]

There are dozens more titles available through our GMILCS consortium. When you do a search in our catalog on "vegan," pick "All GMILCS Libraries" from the "Limit by" drop-down menu. If the book is not checked out, the book can be delivered to the Nesmith Library in a matter of days.

If you don't want to go totally vegan, look into VB6: Eat Vegan before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health...for Good by Mark Bittman. Five GMILCS libraries own the title in book format, we have it as a 3M ebook.

Or, you can simply try veganism for a week or two and see what happens.

Happy November!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Poetry Friday--Dog Songs

Kurious Kitty doesn't make it a habit of suggesting books about dogs, but I'll make an exception for this new book of poetry by Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Thirty-Five Dog Songs and One Essay [811.54 OLI]. From the jacket copy:
Oliver's poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it.
I love it when a poet celebrates the "small everyday moments," and Oliver does it so well as seen in this poem:
The Dog Has Run Off Again (Benjamin)

and I should start shouting his name
and clapping my hands,
but it has been raining all night
and the narrow creek has risen
is a tawny turbulence is rushing along
over the mossy stones
is surging forward
with a sweet loopy music
and therefore I don’t want to entangle it
with my own voice
calling summoning
my little dog to hurry back
look, the sunlight and the shadows are chasing each other
listen how the wind swirls and leaps and dives up and down
who am I to summon his hard and happy body
his four white feet that love to wheel and pedal
through the dark leaves
to come back to walk by my side, obedient.
It's one of those poems that make you stop, take a deep breath and say, "Nice..."

TeacherDance is hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Next week I won't be here for P.F. since I'm taking the day off to play Round-Up host at my personal blog!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oh No, It's Halloween Already!

Yup! It may be too late to think about a costume for this year, but, it's great to get a 12-month head start on next year! If you want to get away from the zombie, dripping blood type of costume, there are many characters from children's books that you, or your kids, can dress up as.

BuzzFeed ran a post, "21 Children's Book Characters Born to Be Halloween Costumes," click here to see what they suggest.

To prepare for next year, I'd suggest reading several children's picture books each week. You're sure to be inspired to create a costume. Why not begin with one of these recently added titles:

Casanova, Mary. One-Dog Sleigh. [JP CAS]

Gordon, Gus. Herman and Rosie. [JP GOR]

Hamburg, Jennifer. A Moose That Says Moooooooooo. [JP HAM]

Larson, Kirby. Princess Bitty Baby. [JP LAR]

McPhail, David. My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes, Songs, and Concepts. [JP MCP]

Moore, Inga. Captain Cat. [JP MOO]

Raschka, Chris. Daisy Gets Lost. [JP RAS]

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shakespeare in Action

Maybe you started watching the PBS series The Hollow Crown and never got to finish it. Maybe you missed the beginning and didn't want to start in the middle. Or maybe, you enjoyed it so much, you want to watch it again. If so, you're in luck! We now have The Hollow Crown in our collection [DVD HOL].

Or perhaps, you haven't a clue to what it is I'm talking about? The New York Times published this summary when the programs were first aired back in September. In it, director, Sam Mendes, expressed his intent:
...to do over the BBC Shakespeares that had been done in the ’70s, but this time to do them as real films, on locations and with large numbers of extras, rather than as the weird hybrids they were then.

Mendes filmed four plays as action movies: "Richard II," "Henry IV, Part 1," "Henry IV, Part 2," and "Henry V." We have the theatrical presentations set of the Shakespeare plays, Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare, on DVD [DVD 822.33 SHA]. It might be fun to watch The Hollow Crown and compare its offering to the stage performances.

And, if you doubt the relevance of these plays to life in the 21st century, let me tell you about a Boston Book Festival session I attended on the 19th: the session was titled "Shakespeare and Leadership: Richard Olivier." Richard Olivier is the son of Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright. Here's the description:
Richard Olivier, who directed Henry V for the opening of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, has Shakespeare in his blood. The actor/director, quoting heavily from the play, gives a powerful presentation on the lessons and psychological insights of Henry V. Olivier is the author of Inspirational Leadership: Henry V and the Muse of Fire. Come be inspired by the Bard!
Richard Olivier now makes a living out of sharing the lessons of Shakespeare. Psychological insights and action await you in The Hollow Crown!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Richard Dreyfuss!

Richard Dreyfuss is 66 years young today. Drefuss has had a long career in films starting back in the 60s when he appeared in The Graduate [DVD GRA]. Don't remember him in that movie? He played a boarding house resident and was not credited. (It might be fun to rewatch to film to see if you can spot him!) His breakthrough role came when he played a teen in 1973 in American Graffiti [DVD GRA]. The stellar performances continue to this day! Dreyfuss recently completed Killing Winston Jones, a comedy in which he plays the title role. It will probably be released in 2014.

Here are a few of Dreyfuss's films that you can borrow from the Library:

Close Encounters of the Third Kind. [DVD CLO]

The Goodbye Girl. [DVD GOO]

Jaws. [DVD JAW]

Lost in Yonkers. [DVD LOS]

Mr. Holland's Opus. [DVD MRH]

Postcards from the Edge. [DVD POS]

Here's one of my favorite scenes from a Richard Dreyfuss movie:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jana Bibi

Are you a fan of Alexander McCall Smith's books with their quirky, but lovable characters? If so, you may like a new series by Betsy Woodman that we've just added to our collection. There are, at present, two books in the "Jana Bibi Adventure" series: Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes and Love Potion Number 10 [F WOO].

In the first book, Scottish woman, Janet Laird, inherits property in India. She heads there becoming known as "Jana Bibi" to the locals. Jana fully involves herself in the community when they try to save their little town from an Indian government dam project. In the second book, as you probably can surmise from the title, the story has Jana imbibing in a bit of love potion.

Author Betsy Woodman currently lives in New Hampshire! You can follow her on her blog and look for her appearances at bookstores and libraries around the region.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel [DVD BES], starring Maggie Smith, also has a similar feel with its British characters who travel to India and become absorbed by the local flavors, colors, and characters they encounter.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Poetry Friday--"All Hallows"

This coming Thursday is Halloween! Don't blink or the next thing you know, it'll be New Year's eve!

Here's a poem by Louise Glück:
All Hallows

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:

This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling
Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

Found in The First Four Books of Poems [811 GLU].
Chilling, don't you think? Especially with what's left unsaid.

Visit Irene at Live Your Poem... for what promises to be a Halloween poetry treat!

Have a great Halloween and don't eat too much candy.

Painting "Landscape with Farm Building" by Cecilia Beaux, courtesy The Athenaeum.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Facts

The late senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, is often credited with the statement, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

The universally accepted definition of a fact is something known to exist or to have happened, in other words, something that can be proven to be true.

For those who find facts (as in trivia) fun, there's a recently unveiled site to check out, FACTSlides. You can watch a slide show of random facts, or along the bottom you can click on various categories of facts such as "fruits" or "phobias." Since the site is new, it may take a few months to fill up the categories, so check back often.

For kids interested in facts, there's a cute picture book called Bugs by the Numbers: Facts and Figures for Multiple Types of Bugbeasties by Sharon Werner [JP WER] that could keep them busy by the hour. And, look for the old standby Guinness World Records [J 031 GUI]. We have the 2014 edition hot off the press!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Knitting Gone Wild!

If you're a knitter or crocheter, you may be interested in reading this article about a woman, Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, who knits giant pieces that are made into...wait for it...PLAYGROUNDS!

Holy smokes!

Photo © Masaki Koizumi courtesy Arch Daily.

Knitting a playground is certainly an ambitious project. If you need something a little less gargantuan, look for one of these knitting books in our collection:

Remember, the holidays are coming, so, if you're going to knit, you'd better get a move on!

Anderson, Susan B. Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys. [746.432 AND]

Curtis, Alice. Knit Your Socks on Straight a New and Inventive Technique with Just Two Needles. [3M ebook]

Durant, Judith. 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders a World of Possibilities Inspired by Just One Skein. [3M ebook]

Epstein. Nicky. Knitting in Circles: 100 Circular Patterns for Sweaters, Bags, Hats, Afghans, and More. [746.432 EPS]

Leapman, Melissa. Stashbuster Knits: Tips, Tricks, and 21 Beautiful Projects for Using Your Favorite Leftover Yarn. [746.432 LEA]

In case you think that knitting is just something little old ladies do, here's a blog post from Madman Knitting to prove otherwise!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Under the Microscope

The above print is from an 1862 book by Ernest Haeckel titled Die Radiolarien. If you'd like to see more amazing renditions of skeletal remains of zooplankton, visit the Biodiversity Heritage Library page and click on the image of the book on the right-hand side of the page. You'll find 35 color plates rendered by Haeckel who was both a scientist and an artist.

In the children's room we have several color photo-illustrated books on microscopic life, look for them in J 570. Under the Microscope, volume 9 of a series by John O. E. Clark called "Science Tools" covers the microscope in detail [J 530.8 CLA]. A fascinating look at the electron microscope is found in Microaliens: Dazzling Journeys With an Electron Microscope by Howard Tomb, Howard [J 502.8 TOM].

Monday, October 21, 2013

One More Reason to Walk

The New York Times recently ran a piece called "How Walking May Lower Breast Cancer Risk," click here.
When the researchers cross-tabulated exercise regimens and medical records, they found that those women who walked at least seven hours per week, usually distributed as an hour a day, had 14 percent less risk of developing breast cancer than those who walked for fewer than three hours per week, a significant reduction in risk.
With statistics indicating that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, it might be worth your while to start walking! Men, too, will definitely benefit from walking, too, so everyone should add walking to their daily routine.

I know winter will soon be upon us, but you can't use that as an excuse not to walk if you follow Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home. Walk This Way! [DVD 613.71 LES]--she can start you off on the road to health.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Poetry Friday--Button Up!

Button up! It's getting to be that time of year when coats are no longer an option and socks are a necessity. Alice Schertle's book, Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes [811.54 SCH], is therefore a perfect poetry choice for an October day.

Here's my favorite poem from the book:
Hand-me-down Sweatshirt

I'm a hand-me-down sweatshirt
with zipper and hood.
I'm everyone's favorite
and still looking good.

I've been lost and recovered,
been torn and been sewn,
been dribbled on, tumbled in,
rained on and blown.

I started out Wendell's,
was passed down to May,
she passed me to Karly,
I'm Andrew's today.

So zip up my zipper
and pull up my hood.
I'm a friend of the family
and still looking good.

"Hand-me-down Sweatshirt," like all the others in the collection, are told from the point of view of the article of clothing. This book would be an excellent choice for a teacher trying to teach the concept of "personification" to kids.

Another reason to look for the book is to enjoy the illustrations of Petra Mathers, they are simply fun--just look at the cover!

Zip up and head over to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held by Cathy at Merely Day By Day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Film Opening This Week (In France)

The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet is based on the adult novel by Reif Larsen titled The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet [F LAR], it opened yesterday in France, but there is no release date set for the U.S.

When the book was published back in 2009, it received a lot of buzz due to its unusual format (not only text, but also drawings, charts, notes, etc. cover the pages) and the fact that the author, a debut novelist, received a huge advance (reported to be close to $1 million). The critics, however, were not all enthusiastic. Here's a sample of some of the reviews:

The Guardian:
The Selected Works of TS Spivet might best be read in a semi-feverish state, when you are in bed with flu, perhaps, and have time to be enchanted by looping chains of childlike thought. But any other time you might be glad the works are at least selected, rather than complete.
Publishers Weekly:
For the most part, they work well, though sometimes the extra material confuses more than clarifies. Larsen is undeniably talented, though his unique vision and style make for a love-it or hate-it proposition.
New York Times:
"The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet" is ultimately a novel to be appreciated rather than adored, devoured or even acutely analyzed, for it is not a narrative that brims with big ideas, and in fact, there is little narrative to speak of.
Windham readers don't seem to have liked it much either--in the 4 years we've had the book, it's only been out 16 times. It was sitting on the shelf the last time I looked, but, if the 3-D movie makes a splash, there may be demand for it--in other words, read it now.

Maybe the book needed to be made into a movie before finding its audience--we'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shake, Shake, Shake

If you happen to be visiting a government building, a school, or a preschool at 10:17 tomorrow morning, you may get caught up in The Great Northeast ShakeOut. According to the website, "2013 is the first year that Northeast states will be organized as an Official ShakeOut Region."

So what is the ShakeOut? It's earthquake preparedness training, a drill. Earthquakes are infrequent here in the Northeast, but they do happen. And one day, without warning, we may get a big one.

The ShakeOut only lasts a few seconds, you can listen to the drill broadcast here, and you can use it in your own home or workplace.

If you'd like to prepare your home and family for an emergency, I'd recommend looking for the Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by Arthur T. Bradley [363.348 BRA].

If you'd like to learn more about earthquakes, look for materials in either the adult or children's section under 551.2.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Finding Ada

Today is Ada Lovelace Day!
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

But, exactly who is, or was, Ada Lovelace? In the 1830s Charles Babbage came up with the idea of an "Analytical Engine," which became the forerunner to the computer. It was Ada who refined that idea and wrote and published programs for the device. A brief biography can be found here.

Not many people, however, have heard of Ada Lovelace. Nor have they heard of scores of other "smart" women from the past. However, with Ada Lovelace Day, and women now being acknowledged for their intellectual capabilities, perhaps Ada Lovelace will become a name instantly recognized in the future.

One of the books that celebrates the accomplishments of women is Patently Female: From AZT to TV dinners: Stories of Women Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas by Ethlie Ann Vare [609 VAR].

Painting courtesy The National Archives.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Columbus Day!

The Library is closed today in observance of the Columbus Day Federal holiday.

Although we will be closed, you do have access to 3M ebooks from our catalog. All you need is an ereader, tablet, or computer and your Nesmith Library card! To learn more, click here.

Some recent additions to the 3M collection of ebooks owned by the GMILCS consortium include these newly published or reprinted titles:

Anderson, Scott. Lawrence in Arabia.

Chiaverini, Jennifer. The Spymistress.

Carnac, James. The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper.

Dubois, Jennifer. Cartwheel.

Ephron, Delia. Sister Mother Husband Dog, Etc.

Gilbert, Elizabeth. The Signature of All Things.

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland.

McMillan, Terry. Who Asked You.

Plame, Valerie. Blowback.

Sands, Lynsay. One Lucky Vampire.

Thompson, Clive. Smarter Than You Think.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Poetry Friday--Girls!

Today, October 11, is the International Day of the Girl.

It's basically a day to take a stand and to say all the world's girls are entitled to an education. According to CARE, there are more than 32 million girls who don't have the opportunity to go to school!

We have several books of poetry about and by girls and women:

All by Herself: 14 Girls Who Made a Difference: Poems by Ann Whitford Paul [J 811 PAU].

A Poem of Her Own: Voices of American Women Yesterday and Today [YA 811.008 POE].

She's All That!: Poems about Girls [J 811.008 SHE].

This lovely, lively, little poem is found in She's All That!:
by Beverly McLoughland

Lisa’s father is
And her mother is
And her skin is a
Her hair is
And her eyes are
And Lisa is
Day and
And Lisa is
Night and
Though there are
Who sometimes
Well, is Lisa
Or is Lisa
Lisa is
She is.
Lisa is
Day and
And her skin is a
And Lisa is
And Lisa is
And Lisa is
The dreams that

Laura Purdie Salas: Writing the World for Kids will be hosting the Round-Up today. Do stop by!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


This past year, the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the NH Institute for Civic Education, the NH Supreme Court Society, and the UNH School of Law, ran a series of discussions called "Constitutionally Speaking"

Videos are available online; if you are interested in the presentations, click here. This is one talk, by retired Supreme Court Justice, David H. Souter, in which he "discusses Americans' alarming lack of knowledge about the U.S. Constitution and the structure of government, and the potential danger pervasive civic ignorance poses to our democracy."

Some teachers state, with the new Common Core curriculum, social studies, which includes the old subject of "civics," has taken a back seat to reading, science, and math. So, school-aged children aren't necessarily getting the grounding they will need to become a well-informed citizen. In our collection, however, we have a set of books, by Rich Smith, called the "Bill of Rights" series. One volume is How Amendments are Adopted [J 342.73 SMI]. Other volumes deal with the individual amendments. The set would be a great introduction for kids, and dare I say, some adults. We have other books, too, that deal with the Constitution and the three branches of the government.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Mystery Series

We have all the major bestselling mystery series such as the Sue Grafton's "Kinsey Millhone" books ("A" is for Alibi, "B" is for Burglar, etc. [all F GRA]). We also have some series you may not be familiar with, but, which you might find enjoyable:

Beaton, M. C. "Hamish Macbeth" series, which includes Death of Yesterday [F BEA].

Dorsey, Tim. "Serge Storms" series, the latest being The Riptide Ultra-Glide [F DOR].

Fluke, Joanne. "Hannah Swenson" series, Red Velvet Cupcake Murder is her latest [F FLU].

George, Elizabeth. "Inspector Lynley" series [F GEO]. A new title, Just One Evil Act, is due out later this month.

Johnson, Craig. "Walt Longmire" series includes A Serpent's Tooth [F JOH].

Nesbo, Jo. "Harry Hole" series [F NES]. This Norwegian author, is now being promoted in the U.S., probably due to the success of Stieg Larsson's books. Police is due to be released next week.

Quinn, Spencer. "Chet and Bernie" series, the most recent is The Sound and the Furry [F QUI].

Willig, Lauren. "Pink Carnation" series. The Passion of the Purple Plumeria just arrived!

If you're a mystery series reader, you should probably visit Stop, You're Killing Me!, a site that lists "over 4200 authors, with chronological lists of their books (over 47,000 titles), both series (4900+) and non-series."