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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Drinking Alone with the Moon"

Text of "Drinking Alone with the Moon," courtesy Wikimedia Commons. The poem should be read from right to left.

Today, is Chinese New Year. And today I'm featuring a poem by the classic Chinese poet, Li Bai. The poem is translated by Vikram Seth and is found in Three Chinese Poets [895.1 THR]:
Drinking Alone with the Moon

A pot of wine among the flowers
I drink alone, no friend with me.
I raise my cup to invite the moon.
He and my shadow and I make three.

The moon does not know how to drink;
My shadow mimes my capering;
But I'll make merry with them both--
And soon enough it will be Spring.

I sing--the moon moves to and fro.
I dance--my shadow leaps and sways.
Still sober, we exchange our joys.
Drunk--and we'll go our separate ways.

Let's pledge--beyond human ties--to be friends,
And meet where the Silver River ends.
Interestingly, there's a web page that has 32 translations of the poem. If you'd like to see the effect a translation has on your reception of a poem, or would like to study the art of translation, then this is the place to go! Most surprisingly, there's a translation of the poem by Vikram Seth dated 2001, that differs significantly from the translation above which is from 1992!

Tomorrow we will be having a Chinese New Year's celebration here at the Library at 1:00 pm. Happy New Year to you all!

There's plenty more poetry to explore at the Round-Up being held at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year!

January 31st marks the Chinese New Year of the Horse, and the Library is gearing up for a big celebration that will be taking place on Saturday, starting at 1:00 pm. We have a colorful display in the case near the front door, which includes books, apparel, and other objects that you might see at a Chinese New Year festival.

At the Nesmith Library Chinese New Year celebration, participants will hear about the history of the holiday, learn a children's New Year song, listen to the Erhu Ensemble featuring traditional Chinese instruments, be wowed by a martial arts demonstration, watch not one, but two authentic Lion Dances performed in full costume, make a craft, and enjoy a few snacks! It's a activity-packed afternoon for the whole family. No registration is required for Saturday's festivities, but be sure to arrive on time so as not to miss anything!

No, this is not a traditional Chinese New Year's symbol! This is our children's room Christmas tree redecorated for the Year of the Horse AND Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rest in Peace Pete Seeger

Singer, songwriter, and activist, Pete Seeger, passed away on Monday. His friend, fellow musician, Arlo Guthrie, wrote a message on Facebook yesterday in which he concluded with this:
"Arlo" he said, sounding just like the man I've known all of my life, "I guess I'll see ya later." I've always loved the rising and falling inflections in his voice. "Pete," I said. "I guess we will."

I turned off the light and closed my eyes and fell asleep until very early this morning, about 3 AM when the texts and phone calls started coming in from friends telling me Pete had passed away.

"Well, of course he passed away!" I'm telling everyone this morning. "But that doesn't mean he's gone."

Seeger is not gone, his legacy remains in the clean waters of the Hudson River, and in his music, much of which we have on CD. Seeger also created music for kids, and this, perhaps, was his greatest gift. Look for Birds, Beasts, Bugs and Fishes (Little & Big), Children's Concert at Town Hall, or Abiyoyo and Other Story Songs for Children [all CD CHILDREN SEE]. Abiyoyo also appears in book form [JP SEE] and was featured on Reading Rainbow back in the 1980s:

He will be missed.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


How much do you know about the cup of coffee you crave upon waking? Click here to view a very long infographic, "Where does coffee come from where coffee comes from? A journey from bean to cup."

Coffee has a long history that, believe it or not, began before the first Dunkin' Donuts opened back in 1950 in Quincy, MA! Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast [641.3 PEN] reveals nearly all in 520 pages! The Book of Tea & Coffee by Sarah Jane Evans [641.2 EVA] has a more abbreviated history and also tells you how to brew the perfect cup.

Peggy Lee even sings about coffee in Black Coffee [CD FEMALE VOCALIST LEE]

And, what good is a cup of coffee without something delicious to accompany it? Make one of the recipes in Carole Walter's Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight [641.815 WAL].

If you have concerns about caffeine, some of your questions may be answered by a fact sheet from the National Institutes of Health.

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Hampshire Goes to the Olympics!

Congratulations to NH's Julia Krass for earning a place on the Team USA skiing team! Julia hails from Hanover. Make sure to watch when she competes in Sochi! Women's freestyle events begin on February 10. Check the schedule of televised events here.

Did you know that the Library carries a subscription to Ski Magazine [MAG SKI]? The magazine is published 7 times a year and is full of current information about the sport.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Poetry Friday--Cat Poems

It's been a while since I shared a cat poem with the Poetry Friday readers--it is time to remedy that! For today I'm sharing a exceedingly relevant poem for this time of year. It is taken from an older collection [1987] titled, Cat Poems, selected by Myra Cohn Livingston and illustrated by one of NH's great illustrators, the late Trina Schart Hyman.
Cat & the Weather
by May Swenson

Cat takes a look at the weather:
puts a paw on the sill;
his perch is piled, is a pillow.

Shape of his pad appears:
will it dig? No,
not like sand,
like his fur almost.

But licked, not liked:
too cold.
Insects are flying, fainting down.
He'll try

to bat one against the pane.
They have no body and no buzz,
and now his feet are wet;
it's a puzzle.

Shakes each leg,
then shakes his skin
to get the white flies off;
looks for his tail,

tells it to come on in
by the radiator.
World's turned queer
somehow: all white,

no smell. Well, here
inside it's still familiar.
He'll go to sleep until
it puts itself right.

The book has many more, equally delightful, poems about my favorite animal!

How many cats have been celebrated by poets? I would suggest you stop by the Round-Up at A Teaching Life where you may find another!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Are you still on your post-new year's diet? If so, this video about food items and calories, may be of interest:

Understanding and counting calories is often easier to do if you have someone, or something like a book, to guide you.

Crowley, Chris. Thinner This Year A Younger Next Year Book. [3M ebook]

Cruise, Jorge. The 100: Count ONLY Sugar Calories and Lose Up to 18 Pounds in 2 Weeks. [641.25 CRU, also 3M ebook]

Despirito, Rocco. Now Eat This! 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All under 350 Calories. [641.5635 DIS, also 3M ebook]

Ford, Jean. The Truth about Diets: The Pros and Cons. [613.25 FOR]

Lillien, Lisa. Hungry Girl: 200 under 200: 200 Recipes under 200 Calories. [641.5635 LIL]

Taubes, Gary. Why We Get Fat and What to Do about It. [613.712 TAU]

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Peter Brown

Last week I posted a video of illustrator Melissa Sweet's process. Today I want to share author/illustrator, Peter Brown's process.

We have a number of Brown's picture books in our collection [all JP BRO] including Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, and these others: Chowder, The Curious Garden, and You Will Be My Friend! From what I've heard, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is a strong contender for this year's Caldecott Award to be announced next week. Brown's Creepy Carrots, written by Aaron Reynolds [JP REY] was a 2013 Caldecott Honor book.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's Oscar Time!

Last week, the nominated titles for the 2014 Academy Awards were announced. A complete list of the nominees can be found here.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on Sunday, March 2, at 7:00 pm. Would have plenty of time to watch the movies if you're so inclined, however, most of the films are still in theaters, so you won't be able to borrow a library DVD! But, here's an idea--read the books upon which some of these "best" film nominees were based.

Belfort, Jordan. The Wolf of Wall Street. [332.62 BEL, also 3M ebook]

Northrup, Solomon. Twelve Years a Slave. [B NOR, also 3M ebook]

Phillips, Richard. A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and My Dangerous Days at Sea. [B PHI]

Sixsmith, Martin. Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search. [B LEE]

American Hustle was supposedly loosely based on The Sting Man by Robert W. Greene. We don't own a copy of this title, but it has been ordered, so checked the new books shelf in a few weeks' time.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Day!

The Library is closed today for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. We will open again tomorrow at 9:00 am. Remember, with your library card you are able to download ebooks to your computer, ereader, or device, any time, day or night, or holidays!

Here are a few 3M ebooks available on the subject of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

De Kay, James T. Meet Martin Luther King, Jr.

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. I Have a Dream.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Poetry Friday--Aimless Love

Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems is the latest collection by Billy Collins [811.54 COL]. Collins is a poetry rock-star, if there is such a thing. Next to Mary Oliver, he is probably the best selling contemporary American poet. That is really faint praise, since if you asked the man-on-the-street, "Who is Billy Collins?", I'd bet you might get one out of a hundred who would say, "A poet." That's too bad, because his poetry is really accessible. What makes it accessible? Reading one of his poems is like Collins is sitting at a kitchen table and having a conversation with you.

Photo of Rita Dove and Billy Collins taken by me at the Dodge Poetry Festival in 2010. If you disregard the stage setting, you can imagine they're just sitting around having a conversation. Due to my distance from the stage, that's about as clear an image as was possible!

From Aimless Love:

One bright morning in a restaurant in Chicago
as I waited for my eggs and toast,
I opened the Tribune only to discover
that I was the same age as Cheerios.

Indeed, I was a few months older than Cheerios
for today, the newspaper announced,
was the seventieth birthday of Cheerios
whereas mine had occurred earlier in the year.

Already I could hear them whispering
behind my stooped and threadbare back,
Why that dude’s older than Cheerios
the way they used to say

Why that’s as old as the hills,
only the hills are much older than Cheerios
or any American breakfast cereal,
and more noble and enduring are the hills,

I surmised as a bar of sunlight illuminated my orange juice.

Wasn't that fun? For more poetry fun, head over to Keri Recommends for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

A Different Way

You've probably heard the term, "graphic novel." A graphic novel is a story told primarily through pictures.

And just like a regular novel, the story can be mystery fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, or some other genre. For kids and teens, a graphic novel is just a different way of reading.

Here are some newer graphic novels that are in our collection: Boxers by Gene Luen Yang [YA CX YAN] is a story about the Boxer Rebellion, which took place in China 1899-1901. Hercules Fights the Nemean Lion by Gary Jeffrey [J CX JEF] recreates the mythical Greek character, Hercules. Waluk by Emilio Ruiz [J CX RUI] is a survival story as well as an environmental story. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks [YA CX SHE] is a typical school story with sports, cheerleaders, and class elections.

This is only a small sampling of the large and growing larger collection of graphic novels at the Nesmith Library. We have hundreds more!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How a Children's Book Illustrator Works

Illustrator, Melissa Sweet, lives in Maine and was recently interviewed by her local television station, WCSH in Portland, about her process in illustrating children's books. The interview is an interesting look at the work of one illustrator, and also dispels some myths about children's book publishing, such as, the writer must find his/her own illustrator, or, that the writer and illustrator work as a team. We own a copy of Little Red Writing by Joan Holub, with pictures by Melissa Sweet [JP HOL, also in 3M ebook] if you'd like to take a look at the finished project!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Show Jumping

When you read the title of this post, "Show Jumping," did you automatically think of horses? Well, there is at least one other type of show jumping--RABBITS!

I never knew--did you?

If you have a house rabbit, then you now have something else with which to amuse yourself and your bunny! If you don't have a house rabbit, maybe you'd want to consider getting one. If so, look for A House Rabbit Primer: Understanding and Caring for Your Companion Rabbit by Lucile C. Moore [636.932 MOO].

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cams--Live, But Not Necessarily Lively

Have you noticed an abundance of live cam (camera) or webcam online sites that enable you to keep track of activities around the world? For example, there are the Statue of Liberty cams that allow you watch the goings-on in the New York-New Jersey harbor area, as well as around the Statue of Liberty itself.

In New Hampshire we have the Mt. Washington Observatory cams that gives you an idea of how lucky we are to be in the lowlands during this cold spell! Probably even colder is the webcam from the South Pole! Brrrrr!

Cams that follow the lives of creatures both large, like the Giant Panda cam at the National Zoo, and small, like birds, can provide hours of fascinating viewing. Or not--one thing to keep in mind is that if you are awake and looking to watch an Italian kestral, it may be the middle of the night in Foligno, Italy where the webcam is set up!

An interesting live cam is the one set up on Abbey Road, home of the Beatles recording studio! However, depending on the time of day, it may be like watching paint dry! Still, it could be fun to borrow the Beatles CD, Abbey Road [CD ROCK BEA], to play in the background while you watch!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Poetry Friday--Incarnadine

The National Book Award in Poetry for 2013 was awarded to Mary Szybist for Incarnadine: Poems [811.6 SZY]. The book was on backorder for a while, but is now on our "New Books" shelf.

From the National Book Award website:
Mary Szybist’s richly imagined encounters offer intimate spaces and stagings for experiences that are exploratory and sometimes explosive. Through the lens of an iconic moment, the Annunciation of an unsettling angel to a bodily young woman, Szybist describes the confusion and even terror of moments in which our longing for the spiritual may also be a longing for what is most fundamentally alien to us. In a world where we are so often asked to choose sides, to believe or not believe, to embrace or reject, Incarnadine offers lyrical and brilliantly inventive alternatives.

The following poem is my favorite of the ones I've read so far!
Girls Overheard While Assembling a Puzzle

Are you sure this blue is the same as the
blue over there? This wall’s like the
bottom of a pool, its
color I mean. I need a
darker two-piece this summer, the kind with
elastic at the waist so it actually
fits. I can’t
find her hands. Where does this gold
go? It’s like the angel’s giving
her a little piece of honeycomb to eat.
I don’t see why God doesn’t
just come down and
kiss her himself. This is the red of that
lipstick we saw at the
mall. This piece of her
neck could fit into the light part
of the sky. I think this is a
piece of water. What kind of
queen? You mean
right here? And are we supposed to believe
she can suddenly
talk angel? Who thought this stuff
up? I wish I had a
velvet bikini. That flower’s the color of the
veins in my grandmother’s hands. I
wish we could
walk into that garden and pick an
X-ray to float on.
Yeah. I do too. I’d say a
zillion yeses to anyone for that.
I can see a 1,000 piece puzzle of a painting of "The Annunciation," and I can hear the girls free-associating while they work.

[I looked up "The Annunciation" at the art resource site, The-Athenaeum.org and there were 86 results, and I'm sure there are many more works that The Athenaeum doesn't have in its database. The publisher of Incarnadine used Botticelli's "The Annunciation" on the cover. It might be fun to go through some other annunciation paintings to see if you could find one that more closely fits the poem above!]

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is coming from our neighbor to the northeast, Donna at Mainely Write.

Thursday, January 09, 2014


A few weeks back, NPR ran a post about a cartoonist, Mike Holmes, who owns a cat named Ella. Holmes has drawn himself and Ella in the style of several different cartoonists. One is Bill Watterson, creator of "Calvin and Hobbes."

Several other examples may be seen here. Holmes has his own blog, at mikeholmesdraws.com.

Since the advent of Japanese comics (manga and anime), the interest in cartooning has been revived, especially amongst teens and young adults. If you're interested in getting started in cartooning, you could begin with these:

The Art of Cartooning. [YA 741.5 ART]

Bohl, Al. Guide to Cartooning. [741.5 BOH]

Guigar, Brad J. The Everything Cartooning Book: Create Unique and Inspired Cartoons for Fun and Profit. [741.5 GUI]

Hall, Robin. The Cartoonist's Workbook. [741.5 HAL]

McCloud, Scott. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. [YA 741.51 MCC]

The Library also has a teen Anime Club that will be meeting on Thursday, January 16, at 4:30. For more information, call 432-7154 and ask for Mrs. Brikiatis.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Snow Sharks?

In Minnesota there's some serious snow creature building going on.

You can see more of the shark, and some of the other snow creatures made by three brothers by clicking here.

We had a little snow last week, and I did see a few snow people appear. If you want to make your own snow people the next time we get a storm, come borrow Snowmen: Snow Creatures, Crafts, and Other Winter Projects by Peter Cole [J 745.594 FRA], "a guide to crafting winter wonderlands includes ideas for using everyday objects to liven up traditional snowmen, inspiration for building unusual snow creatures, and a recipe section on edible snowmen."

Snow shark photo courtesy @gspphoto.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

P. L. Travers

There's a new movie playing locally called Saving Mr. Banks. It stars Emma Thompson as P. L. Travers, the woman who wrote Mary Poppins, and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. It's a story of how Disney was able to talk Travers into having her book, Mary Poppins, made into the film that is known as Walt Disney's Mary Poppins.

I can't remember there being as much controversy over a movie "based on a true story," as there is over this one! It's really interesting to read the opposing viewpoints, and I'd recommend this article, and this one. You also might enjoy reading the interview with Thompson and Hanks.

Here's a BBC documentary that came out at the time of the film's release:

Another documentary on Travers, came out just before the musical play, Mary Poppins, opened in London in 2004. I found it to be a bit more in-depth and not as fluffy as an Entertainment Tonight segment (by that I mean the reporter has more face time than any of the sources and is compelled to act cutesy). The 2004 video has segments with Travers's son, which I found to be quite revealing. It can be found on YouTube in six parts; part one is here. [A little aside: Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, wrote the book for the play.]

There is one adult biography readily available about Travers, Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers, by Valerie Lawson. I have ordered a copy, and hopefully it will arrive soon.

You may want to pick up our copy of Mary Poppins [J TRA, also J AB/CD TRA], watch the Disney film [DVD MAR], then head down to the theater to see Saving Mr. Banks and come to your own conclusions.

Monday, January 06, 2014


Okay, it's the Monday after the holidays and the snow days, so it's time to get serious!

Some of you may remember the flamingo display we had several years ago, unfortunately, the librarian from whom we borrowed the collection has retired. But, if you have a flamingo collection, we'll gladly put it on display to add a little color to this cold, snowy winter.

Here are a few titles I'd display right along with the birds:

Andrews, Donna. Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos. [F AND]

Burke, James Lee. A Morning for Flamingos. [F BUR, also LP BUR]

Idle, Molly Schaar. Flora and the Flamingo. [JP IDL]

Sattler, Jennifer Gordon. Sylvie. [JP SAT, also in FT KIT SAT]

Friday, January 03, 2014

Poetry Friday--A Poem for a Snow Day

Yesterday, we were only open part of the day due to snow. The time before we closed was spent checking out DVDs and thrillers to those were expecting to be spending time indoors!

Unfortunately, I did not have a Poetry Friday post ready for today, but, when I got home I found the Library's copy of Good Poems, selected by Garrison Keillor [811.008 GOO], sitting right on my desk just waiting to spend the rest of a "snow day" with me.

Here's a lovely poem from the collection:
Constant North
by J. F. Hendry

Encompass me, my lover,
With your eyes' wide calm.
Though noonday shadows are assembling doom,
The sun remains when I remember them;
And death, if it should come,
Must fall like quiet snow from such clear skies.

Minutes we snatched from the unkind winds
Are grown into daffodils by the sea's
Edge, mocking its green miseries;
Yet I seek you hourly still, over
A new Atlantis loneliness, blind
As a restless needle held by the constant north we
       always have in mind.

The first Poetry Friday Round-Up of 2014 is taking place at I Think in Poems.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Open Your Heart

Today, it's snowing, but rather than moan and groan, perhaps you should take a bit of advice from the elderly gentleman whose voice you'll hear in the film that follows:

Before coming down to the Library today, give us a call, or check the closings on WMUR. Be safe.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy Happy New Year!

...to just believe in what we can be.

~ Fantastikids ~

The Library is closed today. See you tomorrow!