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Friday, February 28, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Lullaby for a Daughter"

Today's poem is by Jim Harrison, who is both a prolific poet and a novelist.
Lullaby for a Daughter

Go to sleep. Night is a coal pit
full of black water -
        night's a dark cloud
full of warm rain.

Go to sleep. Night is a flower
resting from bees -
        night's a green sea
swollen with fish.

Go to sleep. Night is a white moon
riding her mare -
        night's a bright sun
burned to black cinder.

Go to sleep,
night's come,
cat's day,
owl's day,
star's feast of praise,
moon to reign over
her sweet subject, dark.

From The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems. [811 HAR]
Not much to say about this one other than Harrison has one lucky daughter!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is hosted today by Poet! Poet! Have a great weekend--March will be here and spring is right around the corner.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

World War I

In a few months, Europe will marking the centenary of the start of World War I. The date is July 28, 1914. The United States' participation in The Great War begin in 1917. I imagine there will be a number of World War I books and films released in conjunction with the centenary.

One website has already been launched, it is Europeana 1914-1918 – untold stories & official histories of WW I. Here's a description from the press release that was issued in January:
Europeana 1914-1918 is the most important pan-European collection of original First World War source material. It is the result of three years of work by 20 European countries and will include:

        400,000 rare documents digitised by 10 state libraries and two other partners in Europe
        660 hours of unique film material digitised by audiovisual archives
        90,000 personal papers and memorabilia of some 7,000 people involved in the war, held by their families
        and digitised at special events in 12 countries
Here's a video sampler:

Browse the collection here. If you wish to keep up with additions to the collection, visit the blog.

To see what we have in our collection of books, head to the 940 section in either the adult or children's room. A basic introduction to the causes of the war can be found in the children's book, Events Leading to World War I by John Hamilton [J 940.31 HAM].

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's Never Too Late

I suppose I should have mentioned this before Valentine's Day, but I lost track of the link for Nick the Dating Specialist. Nick has set himself up as a coach for men who are having problems dating. He is probably doing quite well if the names under "I've been featured in..." are any indication.

If you don't want to pay for Nick's services, he has a blog that covers "Practical Dating Advice and Tips for Men."

We have several books on dating, both fiction and nonfiction, but most are aimed at a female, young adult reader! So, maybe, it's time for us to look for something new for men. Until we get more up-to-date materials, Dating for Dummies by Joy Browne [646.7 BRO], and Nick the Dating Specialist will start you on the right path, or, if you're willing to wait a few days, four other GMILCS consortium libraries own Modern Dating: A Field Guide from the Experts at "howaboutwe.com" by Chiara Atik. You can request it through the online catalog. We also have this 3M ebook, which looks to be fun reading: Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story by Charlie McDowell.
After being unceremoniously dumped by the girl he was certain was "the one," Charlie realized his neighbors’ conversations were not only amusing, but also offered him access to a completely uncensored woman’s perspective on the world. From the importance of effectively Facebook-stalking potential girlfriends and effortlessly pulling off pastel, to learning when in the early stages of dating is too presumptuous to bring a condom and how to turn food poisoning into a dieting advantage, the girls get Charlie into trouble, but they also get him out of it--without ever having a clue of their impact on him.
3M ebooks may be downloaded on your ereader directly from our catalog or from your device. All you need is your Nesmith Library card.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Photographic Portraits

Back in December I had a post about the 2013 Word of the Year, which was announced by The Oxford Dictionaries. If you remember, last year's word was "selfie," referring to a self-photographed close-up, usually taken with a phone camera.

Lately, there seems to be a number of sites that post "theme-related" selfies. I've come across two for farmers alone! One that puts a human face, rather than a corporate face, to the food that we eat is farmingselfies.com. Farmers from around the world are represented.

If you have a regular camera, you can learn how to improve your portrait photography. When your kids gets older, they may prefer to have a record of their younger selves that isn't a blurry mess, or doesn't include a bathroom background. A book such as Nick Kelsh's How to Photograph Your Family: Getting Closer With Your Camera and Your Heart [778.9 KEL] would be a good place to start.

We also have many general books on taking photographs, most of which have a section on "people." Jim Krause's Photo Idea Index [775 KRA] even has a section devoted to selfies!

Photo by Keoni Cabral.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Do I Hear Wedding Bells?

Miss Piggy was interviewed by dress designer, Vivienne Westwood, and we've been given a look at a gorgeous gown that Miss Piggy wears in the upcoming film, Muppets Most Wanted.

Photo courtesy Harper's BAZAAR.

Muppets Most Wanted is scheduled to be released on March 21. Yay!

The last Muppet movie, The Muppets [J DVD MUP], was released back in 2011. I'm ready for a new one, aren't you?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Poetry Friday--Digger, Dozer, Dumper

When I used to regularly order children's books, I never hesitated about buying, yet another, horse, truck, or dinosaur book! For some reason, little people love books about ridiculously big things!

I was pleased to come across a book of poems about trucks--a good book of poetry about trucks! Too many truck poems are forced, or don't scan, or a just plain bad, but the poems in Digger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard [JP VES] do what a book of children's poetry is supposed to do--entertain and please the ear.

All the vehicles are described as "he" or "she" and given personalities to go along with their functions. For example, the cement mixer:
Cement Mixer

and around
and around it goes--
his iron belly's churning.
and around
and around it flows--
the concrete must keep turning.
No time to wait;
he can't sit still.
He has to beg your pardon.
For if he dawdles on the way,
his slushy load will harden.

The illustrations by David Slonim are light-hearted, bright, and include machine operators both male and female.

Here's a little ditty, that would be easy enough for a preschooler to memorize:

The backhoe's two machines in one:
a useful little truck.
His front end pushes dirt and rocks;
his back end digs out muck.

This is one poetry book I wouldn't think twice about recommending for a preschooler!

Today, the Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Karen Edmisten.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guess What's Coming Up?

February vacation! Kids in Windham will be off all next week, so now's the time to start thinking about what you may want to do. Check here to see which of the Library's museum passes are still available. Visit our Pinterest board, "Travel Close to Home," for ideas for day trips. Or, plan to visit the Library! Our children's department has activities planned for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, for kids ages 5 and up.

On Tuesday, 2/25, at 10:30 AM, Kristine Brock will lead a workshop in making decorated eggs in the style of Russian artist Peter Carl Faberge. Wooden eggs will be painted and then decorated with "jewels." Windham kids will not have access to real jewels, but there will be enough fake ones to dazzle everyone! Space is limited, so registration is required. Call 432-7154 or visit the Library to reserve a spot.

You can see what real Faberge eggs look like in The Art of Fabergé by John Booth [739.2 BOO].

The following day, 2/26, at 10:30 AM, we will be visited by Keith Munslow, musician and improv artist. Munslow combines music, storytelling, visual art, and improvisation in an interactive performance. Registration is required!

Finally, on Thursday, 2/27, anytime between 10:30 AM and noon, children (5 and up) accompanied by a parent, may drop in to participate in a "Rainbow Loom and Beading Bonanza." Rainbow looms are all the rage with elementary school kids. If your child has a loom, bring it along. The library will provide colored bands and beads (while supplies last), and assistance. There is no registration required.

If you miss the "Bonanza," the Library now has two books on the topic. Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry by Colleen Dorsey [J 745.57 DOR] and Loom Magic!: 25 Awesome, Never-Before-Seen Designs for an Amazing Rainbow of Projects by John McCann [J 745.57 MCC].

If it keeps on snowing, then you may just want to stay at home and build a snow fort, or dream about next summer's teepee! Pick up Build Your Own Fort, Igloo, and Other Hangouts by Tammy Enz [J 620.1 ENZ] for ideas.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Harriet the Spy Turns 50!

I learned from Random House's Facebook page that the children's classic, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh [F FIT, also 3M ebook] was published 50 years ago! Young Harriet is older than you think!

Harriet, an independent thinker, has come into some criticism over the years, but not from children! NPR's Morning Edition had a segment on Harriet the Spy, back in 2008, explaining the book's wide appeal. Give a listen here.

The Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA will be hosting an exhibition highlighting the illustrations in Harriet the Spy starting in May. The museum is one of the lesser known museums that is good to visit with children, and is within a day's trip of Windham. (For other museums and attractions do-able in a day can be found on our Pinterest page "Travel Close to Home." Keep it mind when planning for next week's winter break.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Got Art? Get It Electronically!

Do you have an assignment for an art history class? Are you an artist looking for inspiration? Or, do you just have an interest in art? If so, browse our collection of ebook art books. These, as well as many others, are available through 3M:

Burckhardt, Titus. Art of Islam, Language and Meaning.

Cohen, George Michael. Art History Essentials.

Hale, Nathan Cabot. Abstraction in Art and Nature.

Hemenway, Priya. Chinese Characters The Art of Painting the Word.

Howe, Patrick. The Awakening Artist Madness and Spiritual Awakening in Art.

Krages, Bert P. Photography: Art of Composition.

Scalera, Buddy. Comic & Fantasy Artist's Photo Reference Colossal Collection of Action Poses.

Spears, Heather. The Creative Eye Drawing, Vision and the Brain.

St. John, Sue. Journeys to Abstraction 100 Paintings and Their Secrets Revealed.

I also recently learned of an online book bonanza made possible by the Getty Museum. There are over 250 art books available to download for free! Learn more here.

I'm sure I don't have to remind you that we have plenty of non-electronic books in our collection, too!

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's Presidents' Day!

The Library is closed today in observance of Presidents' Day. It is a federal holiday, but by law the holiday is named Washington's Day. I hadn't realized that until a short time ago! The U. S. Office of Personal Management explains,
This holiday is designated as "Washington’s Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.
Some of the fifth grades in Windham have been studying presidents and first ladies. In an effort to make things easier for the kids, we have set it up in our online catalog so that if you type in a president's or first lady's first and last name, or if you type in "presidents" or several related terms, you will find links to other sources of information. Here's how it looks:

Enjoy the day and we'll see you tomorrow at 9:00 AM.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Poetry Friday--Happy Valentine's Day!

Today it's Valentine's Day, and what better way to celebrate it than with a book of poetic Valentines by Ted Kooser [811.54 KOO].

A review by Emily Nussbaum in the New York Times explains,
while Kooser’s wry, homespun valentines may not suit every poetry lover’s taste--too sentimental for some, too straightforward for others--they are also perversely disarming, a trail of daisies leading to the bedroom door. Over 22 years, Kooser has discovered a startling variety of ways to invert and enliven the vocabulary of romance, finding tender implications in even the mustiest Valentine’s symbols.

Valentines is a collection of small poems that Kooser wrote and sent to a list of women that grew in leaps and bounds over the years. Who wouldn't want to receive a valentine from a poet? As for "perversely disarming"--bring it on!

Here's one such poem:
In the Alley

In the alley behind the florist's shop,
a huge white garbage truck was parked and idling.
In a cloud of exhaust, two men in coveralls
and stocking caps, their noses dripping,
were picking through the florist's dumpster
and each had selected a fistful of roses.

As I walked past, they gave me a furtive,
conspiratorial nod, perhaps sensing
that I, too (though in my business suit and tie)
am a devotee of garbage--an aficionado
of the wilted, the shopworn, and the free--
and that I had for days been searching
beneath the heaps of worn-out, faded words
to find this brief bouquet for you.

Visit my friend, Linda, at TeacherDance for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Tell her I said "Hi!"

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Celebrating Black History Month in New Hampshire

It's Black History Month! Did you realize that there is a Black Heritage Trail in New Hampshire? It's in Portsmouth and twice a month the people there hold the Elinor Williams Hooker Winter Tea Talks, "a series of participatory lectures related to New Hampshire’s Black history and African American culture." The schedule can be found here.

On Sunday, February 23 at 2 PM the Tea Talk will be a special Black History Month program, in which a panel will discuss 12 Years a Slave. The book, by Solomon Northrup, can be found in our biography section, and is also a 3M ebook. The filmed version, which came out in 2013, has been nominated for 9 Academy Awards. The DVD is scheduled for release on March 4.

New Hampshire's black history goes back to the founding of our nation. Blacks played a part in the War of Independence, which is explored in "Strong and Brave Fellows": New Hampshire's Black Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution, 1775-1784 by Glenn a. Knoblock [973.3442 KNO]

Once you've walked Portsmouth's Black Heritage Trail, you can venture further and visit the Black Heritage Trail in Boston, and the one on Nantucket.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Remembering Shirley Temple

This has been a sad couple of weeks with the deaths of many notables including, most recently, Shirley Temple Black. I grew up watching all her films on black and white television. My mother grew up with Shirley Temple through her films in the theaters. Shirley Temple had been born a year before her.

Kids today can and do still enjoy the Shirley Temple films. We have quite a number of them on DVD [all J DVD SHI]. We also have a biography in the children's section, The Story of Shirley Temple Black: Hollywood's Youngest Star [J B BLA] by Carlo Fiori.

I'll simply close with this video of Shirley and George Murphy from Little Miss Broadway (1938):

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remembering Maxine Kumin

Last week, Warner, New Hampshire resident and poet, Maxine W. Kumin, passed away at the age of 88.

On our shelves we have several collections of her work [all found in 811.54 KUM]. If you're unfamiliar with her poetry, you may want to start with a more comprehensive collection such as Selected Poems, 1960-1990.

Kumin served as U. S. Poet Laureate 1981-1982 and as New Hampshire's Poet Laureate from 1989 through 1994.

Here's a short video of Maxine Kumin with voiceover by Garrison Keillor.

Maxine Kumin will be missed.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Winter Olympics--An Opportunity for Science!

The 2014 Winter Olympics are now underway in Sochi, and since winter games involve snow, one science-minded blogger, Katie Slivensky of Discoverific!: Adventures in science and storytelling, decided to look at the science of ice and snow.

If you find that you enjoy learning about the science of winter, I think you might enjoy these books from our children's section, too:

Burton, Jane. The Nature and Science of Winter. [J 508.2 BUR]

Cassino, Mark. The Story of Snow: the Science of Winter's Wonder. [J 551.57 CAS]

Lawrence, Ellen. How are Rain, Snow, and Hail Alike? [J 551.577 LAW]

There's also a book in our adult section that you won't want to miss. It is nothing but snowflakes photographed by Vermont's W. A. Bentley (also known as "Snowflake Bentley") a century ago: Snow Crystals [551.57 BEN]

Friday, February 07, 2014

Poetry Friday--Charles Dickens, Poet?

"Charles Dickens, His Wife, & Her Sister" drawn by R. A. Maclise (1842)

On this day, 201 years ago, Charles Dickens was born Portsmouth, England. He died on June 9, 1870, and his final resting place is Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Dickens is recognized as one of the great novelists, and you may be surprised to know that he was also poet and deserving of the title "poet."

Here's one of his shorter poems, with the catchy title, "Gabriel's Grub Song."
Brave lodgings for one, brave lodgings for one,
A few feet of cold earth, when life is done;
A stone at the head, a stone at the feet;
A rich, juicy meal for the worms to eat;
Rank grass overhead, and damp clay around,
Brave lodging for one, these, in holy ground!

From The Pickwick Papers: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club [F DIC].
A catchy little ditty, isn't it? I can almost imagine it being sung as the title suggests.

Project Gutenberg has a copy of the 1903 volume of The Poems and Verses of Charles Dickens, collected and edited, with Bibliographical Notes, by F. G. Kitton, which also contains "Gabriel's Grub Song."

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is found at the blog with the unusual name, No Water River.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a novel by Susanna Clarke [F CLA, also AB/CD CLA] that came out in 2004. In a New Times Review, novelist Gregory Maguire (Wicked [F MAG]) referred to it as "Hogwarts for grown-ups."

The publisher describes the book as:
...an utterly compelling epic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two very different magicians who, as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.
Now, nine years after the book was published, comes news that Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is being made into a seven part BBC series.

The book is rather long, 782 pages, so if you plan to read it before the series is aired here in the United States, you should get started now!

Gregory Maguire, wrote, "Clarke's imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty." I hope that it translates well into film, and, with the BBC producing it, that will most likely be the case! (You can get a behind-the-scenes look here.)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

The trailer is now available for the filmed version of John Green's wildly popular young adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars [YA GRE, YA AB/CD GRE, or 3M ebook]. The book is a love story of two teens, both of whom have cancer.

The film is scheduled for release on June 6, so you have plenty of time to read it. However, you should put a hold on it now, because all Nesmith Library copies are currently out!

The book was inspired by a young woman, Esther Earl. Earl had thyroid cancer and had met John Green before her death at age 16, in August 2010. Prior to her death, she wrote a book, This Star Won't Go Out, which was recently published (3M ebook). Her obituary appeared in the Boston Globe and can be read here.

The This Star Won't Go Out Foundation is
a non-profit that financially assists families with a child living with cancer. In 2011, the Earl Family founded TSWGO in honor of their daughter Esther, who died at age 16, four years after her diagnosis of thyroid cancer.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

R. I. P. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Shocking news came Sunday about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman who died at the age of 46.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. [DVD BEF]

Capote. [DVD CAP] Hoffman won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Truman Capote.

Cold Mountain. [DVD COL]

Doubt. [DVD DOU]

Moneyball. [DVD MON]

Pirate Radio. [DVD PIR]

Savages. [DVD SAV]

I am deeply saddened to think about the hole he has left in the world of film.

Monday, February 03, 2014

It's February!

It's February already! We're that much closer to spring. And greening foliage. And blooming flowers!

Gardeners are already poring over catalogs of seeds and making plans. February is the perfect time to plan. We have a vast collection of books to help you plan your garden, no matter what kind you're dreaming of. Here's just a small sampling:

Bucklin-Sporer, Arden. How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers. [3M ebook]

Burrell, C. Colston. Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start. [635.9 BUR]

The Complete Guide to Greenhouses & Garden Projects: Greenhouses, Cold Frames, Compost Bins, Trellises, Planting Beds, Potting Benches & More. [690.8924 COM]

Fell, Derek. The Magic of Monet's Garden: His Planting Plans and Color Harmonies. [759.4 FEL]

Harkins, Susan Sales. Design Your Own Butterfly Garden. [J 638 HAR]

Newbury, Tim. Garden Design Made Easy. [712 NEW]

Pleasant, Barbara. Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens. [635 PLE]

Projects for the Birder's Garden: Over 100 Easy Things that You Can Make to Turn Your Yard and Garden into a Bird-Friendly Haven. [639.978 PRO]

Stiles, David R. Garden Retreats: A Build-It-Yourself Guide. [684.1 STI]

Tenenbaum, David. Backyard Building Projects: Complete Plans for More Than 40 Useful or Decorative Objects to Make for Your Garden. [684.1 TEN]

Walsh, Liza Gardner. Fairy Garden Handbook. [635.083 WAL, also 3M ebook]

The Windham Garden Club made several instructional DVDs, which we have in our collection. A good one to start with is Windham Garden Club Presents Propagation by Seeds [DVD 635.9742 WIN]. Then, borrow Windham Garden Club Presents May Blooms in Windham [DVD 635.9742 WIN] to see what the end results of your planning may look like!