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Friday, May 30, 2014

Poetry Friday--Not Here!

I'm skipping Poetry Friday this week at Kurious Kitty because I'm hosting the Round-Up at my personal blog, Random Noodling!

And don't forget the annual Strawberry Festival and Book Sale taking place tomorrow at Windham High School!

See you next week!

Photo by Anne A. Putnam.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Underwater Archaeology

About two weeks ago I learned about the discovery of Christopher Columbus's ship, the Santa Maria. It had been lost off the coast of Haiti for 500 years!

It is amazing to me that the vessel has survived such a period of time, and that it had remained undiscovered for so long (it actually was found in 2003, but was not positively identified until 2014)! As you could probably guess, The History Channel already has the rights to produce a television program on the discovery.

Novelist, Clive Cussler, also writes nonfiction books. Two, of special interest to those who are intrigued by underwater archaelogy, are The Sea Hunters: True Adventures with Famous Shipwrecks [930.1 CUS] and The Sea Hunters II [930.1 CUS]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


If you're a social media follower, you may have become addicted to the various quizzes that go viral. Most are, to put it mildly, inane. There is another type of quiz that is a bit more informative and actually provides you with information of value. The "Sugars and Sweeteners Quiz" from WebMD is one of these and it is more than informative--it is eye-opening!

We have many books on sugar in our collection. They range from histories of sugar found in the children's room, to anti-sugar self-help books designed to help you kick whatever sugar dependency you may have. Here are a few:

Appleton, Nancy. Suicide by Sugar: A Startling Look at Our #1 National Addiction. [616.3998 APP]

Aronson, Marc. Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science. [J 664.1 ARO]

Ettlinger, Steve. Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats. [641.308 ETT]

Gant, Charles. End Your Addiction Now: The Proven Nutritional Supplement Program That Can Set You Freee. [362.29 GAN]

Lustig, Robert H. Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. [362.1963

Schaub, Eve O. Year of No Sugar: A Memoir. [3M ebook]

The Sugar Solution: Your Symptoms are Real--And Your Solution Is Here. [613.26 SUG]

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


In my inbox, I get a daily photo from NASA. Often it is a magnificent photo of some galaxy far, far, away, but other times the photo celebrates the accomplishments of earth-bound people who dream of blasting off into space. Last week I received a photo of a student-built rocket being successfully launched.

Caption: Student-Built Rocket Lifts Off From the Bonneville Salt Flats

A student-built rocket lifts off the brilliant white hardpan of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Tooele County, Utah, May 17, during the "launchfest" that concluded the 2013-14 NASA Student Launch rocketry competition. Sixteen teams, comprised of some 250 student participants from 15 states, launched rockets of their own design, complete with three working science and engineering payloads apiece, cheered on by approximately 500 spectators.

NASA Student Launch is an annual education event, designed to inspire young people to pursue studies and careers in the "STEM" fields--science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The event is organized by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and sponsored by ATK Aerospace Group of Magna, Utah. The grand-prize-winning school team will be named by NASA and ATK in late May.

Photo credit: NASA/MSFC/Dusty Hood

If your student, has an interest in competing in future launchfests, we have books in our adult section that would provide an introduction to rocket launching: Backyard Rockets: Learn to Make and Launch Rockets, Missiles, Cannons and Other Projectiles [629.1331 BAC] and 50 Model Rocket Projects for the Evil Genius by Gavin Harper [621.4356 HAR].

More about the launchfest can be found in this NASA press release.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

The Library is closed today in honor of Memorial Day.

Here are a series of short newsreels from Memorial Day in 1945. World War II was nearly over, but at that time, no one could say when it would end and when America would get back to normal.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday, Mr. Emerson!

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 not far from here in Boston. His name is forever associated with that of Henry David Thoreau, Transcendentalism, and the literary community of Concord, MA. I'll bet you had to read an essay or two of Emerson's back in your high school or college American lit courses, but, did you know that Emerson was also a poet?

One "Library of America" volume collects Emerson's poems in Collected Poems & Translations [811 EME], here's one that I like for its simplicity and for the fact that it speaks to the poetic soul:
The Apology

Think me not unkind and rude,
   That I walk alone in grove and glen;
I go to the god of the wood
   To fetch his word to men.

Tax not my sloth that I
   Fold my arms beside the brook;
Each cloud that floated in the sky
   Writes a letter in my book.

Chide me not, laborious band,
   For the idle flowers I brought;
Every aster in my hand
   Goes home loaded with a thought.

There was never mystery,
   But 'tis figured in the flowers,
Was never secret history,
   But birds tell it in the bowers.

One harvest from thy field
   Homeward brought the oxen strong;
A second crop thine acres yield,
   Which I gather in a song.

I'd be lying if I said I like Emerson's poetry. Much of it is long and tedious. It swims in flowery language and literary allusions, however, there are some of his shorter poems, quatrains, and ones labeled "mottos," which are more to my liking.

Head over to Violet Nesdoly / poems for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Light Bulbs

At home, one of my CFL bulbs died, and I looked around for information on replacing it and recycling the old bulb. There is so much political "noise" out there regarding bulbs that I thought it might be difficult to find a useful site online. Of course, I was wrong. National Public Radio's All Things Considered has "In The Dark About Picking A Light Bulb? This FAQ Can Help," which I found helpful. You can listen here, or read the transcript. Then follow the links for more information. Also of interest is the U.S. Department of Energy site's information on lighting.

Now, what about recycling my dead bulb? I checked the Windham Town website and found that the transfer station will accept CFLs. More information can be found here.

This would be a good time to introduce you to a newly published book for kids, Reducing Waste by Anne Flounders [J 363.728 FLO]. It's part of the "Our Green Earth" series.

Adults interested in reducing waste and increasing energy efficiency should check out Green Energy Times.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Darwinian Artists

There's one thing I would never encourage people to do--allow their children to write or draw on a library book, however, if you have a personal library, and you give your child permission, then years from now, you'll have a permanent record of your child's early talents.

Scientist, Charles Darwin, had 10 children, and, several of his children managed to use Darwin's manuscripts as a canvas! An amazing article was published online, which contains photos of the children's art.

We have many items about Darwin, and his family, in our collection. Here are a few:

Creation. [DVD CRE]

Heiligman, Deborah. Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith. [YA B DAR]

Hopkinson, Deborah. The Humblebee Hunter: Inspired by the Life & Experiments of Charles Darwin and His Children. [JP HOP]

Lasky, Kathryn. One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin. [J B DAR]

Quammen, David. The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution. [B DAR]

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cozy Nooks

Summer's coming and those of you with more leisure time grab a book and head for a comfortable place to read. To start off, let me share this design link to "10 Cozy Reading Nooks."

And now that I've got you attention--if you're a Pinterest user who also loves books, you can use "reading nook" as a search term and find many boards devoted to places to read in comfort and seclusion. I stopped counting when I hit 174 boards! Some boards, such as this one, contain 100s of links.

What a great summer handy-person project! If you'd like add one to your home, we have plenty of interior design books in the 747 section.

Don't restrict yourself to interiors, how about a treehouse reading nook? Treehouse design books are found in 690.89 or 728.

And to cozify (I know, that's not a real word, but it works for me) your nook, you can make pillows or privacy curtains. Look for pillows in 646 and curtains in 684.3.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cow Choreography

How cows! There's some fancy footwork going on!

Cows make great subjects for children's picture books, too; look for a few of these:

Cronin, Doreen. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. [JP CRO]

Helakoski, Leslie. Fair Cow. [JP HEL]

LaRochelle, David. Moo! [JP LAR]

Mortensen, Lori. Cindy Moo. [JP MOR]

Stevens, Janet. Find a Cow Now! [JP STE, also 3M ebook]

Willis, Jeanne. Misery Moo. [JP WIL]

Friday, May 16, 2014

Poetry Friday--Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

In time for the 2014 season, we've added a newly published book called Heart of the Order: Baseball Poems: An Anthology edited by Gabriel Fried [811.008 HEA]. The back covers tells us, "Here are more than 70 of the best poems ever written about baseball." It's compact little paperback that would fit nicely in a pocket, ready to be pulled out and read between innings.

Do you want to know the best thing about this anthology? It DOES NOT include "Casey at the Bat"! May Swenson's "Analysis of Baseball" and Gail Mazur's "Baseball," both of which have seen a lot of exposure, deserve to be included, whereas Casey's time has come and gone.

The one I'd like to share celebrates the imagination and the dreams of many a young person.
by Stuart Dybek

I once hit clothespins
for the Chicago Cubs.
I'd go out after supper
when the wash was in
and collect clothespins
from under four stories
of clothesline.
A swing-and-a-miss
was a strike-out;
the garage roof, Willie Mays,
pounding his mitt
under a pop fly.
Bushes, a double,
off the fence, triple,
and over, home run.
The bleachers roared.
I was all they ever needed for the flag.
New records every game--
once, 10 homers in a row!
But sometimes I'd tag them
so hard they'd explode,
legs flying apart in midair,
pieces spinning crazily
in all directions.
Foul Ball! What else
could I call it?
The bat was real.

Elizabeth Steinglass has the Round-Up honors this week. I'd be willing to bet there's a baseball poem or two being shared in today's Poetry Friday offerings.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Top Mysteries and Thrillers

The online book vendor, Amazon, has created a list of "100 Mysteries and Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime."

A list of favorite mysteries and thrillers can also be found at GoodReads. The list is compiled on the basis of readers' votes, and is not compiled with sales in mind, so, I'm going to be highlighting the titles on the GoodReads list today. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is #1, which is not surprising when you consider we have the title in multiple formats--F LAR, 3M ebook, AB/CD LAR, and two versions of the DVD GIR!

I believe we have most of the 100 titles in our collection, even the older, less-read ones like Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier [F DUM] #5, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [F COL] #38, and The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin [F LEV] #89.

Although it is not specifically a list of mysteries and thrillers, the American Film Institute has created "AFI's 100 YEARS...100 THRILLS," a list they describe as "the 100 most thrilling American films of all time." If you get tired of spending your lifetime reading, there's plenty on the list to watch! We have many of the films in our collection, so you're sure to find something thrilling when you're in the mood.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough was baptised on this day in 1727. The Museum of Fine Arts has several of his works in its collection, including this one titled, "Haymaker and Sleeping Girl," which is found in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Gallery:

Courtesy MFA.

If you'd like to take a trip to the MFA to see the painting, please borrow our library pass, which was donated by the Friends of the Library of Windham (FLOW). You can call 432-7154 to reserve the pass, or you may make your reservation online. Click here to get started. The real painting is more than seven feet high and nearly five feet wide! If seeing the piece here moves you, imagine what seeing it in person would do!

You can borrow The World of Gainsborough, 1727-1788 by Jonathan Norton Leonard [759.2 LEO], to view more of the artist's work.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Favorite Movie Lines

Last week, on Facebook, a friend posted a request for favorite movie lines.

I immediately thought of the Mel Brooks film, Young Frankenstein [DVD YOU], which has a million great lines. I chose "Abby someone" as my favorite.

Some of my favorite lines from the film also require the speaker to gesticulate while saying them, for example, "Put the candle back," said with hands pressing in the sides of one's face.

People posted lines from Gone With the Wind [DVD GON]: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." "After all...tomorrow is another day."

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." The Wizard of Oz [DVD WIZ].

"You're gonna need a bigger boat." Jaws [DVD JAW].

I'd love to hear your favorite line from a movie. Please comment below.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mean Moms

Now that Mother's Day is over, we can deal with the stories of mean moms--women who give the term "mother" a bad name. Here's a list of mean mom items. Get ready to boo and hiss!

Condon, Richard. The Manchurian Candidate. [F CON, also AB/CD CON and DVD MAN]

The Grifters. [DVD GRI]

King, Stephen. Carrie. [F KIN, also DVD CAR]

Psycho. [DVD PSY]

Sapphire. Precious. [F PRE, also AB/CD PRE and DVD PRE]

Suddenly Last Summer. [DVD SUD]

Updike, John. Rabbit Run. [F UPD]

Waldman, Ayelet. Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. [813.6 WAL]

Friday, May 09, 2014

Poetry Friday--Poems for Mother's Day

My old holiday standby is the volume called Our Holidays in Poetry, compiled by Mildred P. Harrington and Josephine H. Thomas and "A Committee of the Carnegie Library School Association," published in 1929 [808.81 HAR].

As you can imagine, a good number of the poems included for Mother's Day are sappy and sweet. But, there's one that I found was not in step with the sentiments expressed in all the other poems.
The Little Fish That Would Not Do As It Was Bid
by Jane and Ann Taylor

"Dear mother," said a little Fish,
"Pray, is not that a fly?
I’m very hungry, and I wish
You’d let me go and try."

"Sweet innocent," the mother cried,
And started from her nook,
"That horrid fly is put to hide
The sharpness of the hook!"

Now, as I’ve heard, this little Trout
Was young and foolish too,
And so he thought he’d venture out,
To see if it were true.

And round about the hook he played,
With many a longing look,
And--"Dear me," to himself he said
"I’m sure, that’s not a hook.

"I can but give one little pluck:
Let’s see, and so I will."
So on he went, and lo! it stuck
Quite through his little gill.

And as he faint and fainter grew,
With hollow voice he cried,
"Dear mother, if I’d minded you,
I need not now have died."

Holy cows! Is that a poem with a moral, or what?

I also found "The Little Fish..." online in a book called Aunt Kitty's Stories.

This volume has many other examples of poems with a mother's moral message. I don't know who wrote the following one, since none of the poems are attributed!


What, climb on the back of a chair!
O Henry, how can you do so?
Sometime, if you do not take care,
You will get a most terrible throw.

Suppose grand-mama had got up,
Pray what had become of you then?
Indeed, my dear Henry, I hope
You never will do so again.

Your poor little teeth may be broke,
Or your face get some terrible bruise,
Indeed, and indeed, ’tis no joke,
And you must not do just as you choose.

For suppose there’s no danger at all,
’Tis your duty to mind what I say;
So I’ll punish you, Henry, next time,
You dare my commands disobey.

There's no date on Aunt Kitty's Stories, but from the look of it, I would say it was probably published before the mid-1800s. Ann and Jane Taylor, the authors of "The Fish..." were sisters and poets. Ann lived from 1782 to 1866 and Jane from 1783 to 1824. Everyone is familiar with a poem by Jane called, "The Star," which is more commonly known as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." "The Star" was first published in Rhymes for the Nursery in 1806, click here to see an 1849 edition.

Jama's Alphabet Soup is the location for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up--stop by and enjoy the many poetical treats being featured there.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Mother's Day Is Coming!

This coming Sunday, the second in May, is Mother's Day, a day that is celebrated by dozens of countries around the world to honor mothers.

Of course, the mother-child relationship is fodder for fiction, especially if those relationships are dysfunctional. But, not all relationships are dysfunctional, but, "into each life some rain must fall," as the expression goes. For stories of mothers (and stepmothers) who strive to do the best they can, look for one of these:

Carter, Betsy. The Orange Blossom Special. [F CAR]

Fly Away. [DVD FLY]

Hatvany, Amy. Heart Like Mine. [F HAT]

Lamott, Anne. Blue Shoe. [F LAM]

Mermaids. [DVD MER]

Morris, Michael. Man in the Blue Moon. [F MOR]

My Mother's Castle. [DVD MY]

Patchett, Ann. The Patron Saint of Liars. [F PAT]

Pearson, Allison. I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother. [F PEA]

Philomena. [DVD PHI] (Based on a true story.)

Sanders, Dori. Clover. [F SAN]

Come back on Monday for a list of not-so-perfect mother stories!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

More Science News

Yesterday I posted about cherry pits from space. Today, I'm going to look at making fuel from sea water! No, the news isn't from a supermarket tabloid or from The Onion, but it did appear on a U.S. Navy website, and is titled, "Scale Model WWII Craft Takes Flight With Fuel From the Sea Concept."

This is welcomed news for those who are hopeful that one day soon we may reduce, if not completely eliminate, dependence on fossil fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy website has lots of information on progress toward development of new energy resources, click on the tab labeled "Science and Innovation."

A book by Daniel Sperling, Two Billion Cars: Driving toward Sustainability [388.342 SPE], provides a good background on the need for alternative forms of fuel to supply energy for the ever-growing number of cars being driven around the world.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Freaky Fruit Tree!

I came across an article on a space science experiment, that leads me to want to play this:

The article is titled, "Mysterious growth of the 'space cherry'." You can read it here.

A New Yorker article, "The Amazing Tale of the Cherry Pit from Space," raises a few questions about the "scientific" aspects of the story, but, it ends with this, the space pit "wasn’t designed to be a real scientific experiment in the first place. It was simply an attempt to get Japanese schoolchildren excited about space. At that, it may well have succeeded." It certainly interested me!

Every New Hampshire tree seems to be be blooming, so perhaps it's time to think about fruit trees for your garden. Here's one title to get you started: The Fruit Gardener's Bible by Lewis Hill [634 HIL]. If you're looking, however, for advice on planting cherry pits from space, you'll have to look elsewhere!

Monday, May 05, 2014

It's Cinco de Mayo!

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo. What is Cinco de Mayo? In the U.S. it's become an excuse to eat out at Mexican restaurants, which is not a bad thing, but the holiday, also known in Mexico as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, is a celebration of Mexican heritage.

If you don't already have dinner plans at la Carreta or Mi Mexico Lindo, come borrow one of these Mexican cookbooks and "cook up" your own celebration:

Bollin, S. K. Quick-n-Easy Mexican Recipes: Marvelous Mexican Meals, in Minutes! [641.5972 BOL]

Burckhardt, Ann. The People of Mexico and Their Food. [J 641.5972 BUR]

Drummond, Ree. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations. [641.568 DRU]

Wise, Victoria. The Vegetarian Table: Mexico. [641.5972 WIS]

A fun Cinco de Mayo picture book for the little ones is Cinco de Mouse-O! by Judy Cox [JP COX].

Friday, May 02, 2014

Poetry Friday--One More NH Poet

National Poetry Month has concluded and we are now into May, but, I'd like to feature one more NH poet before moving on--Sharon Olds. Sharon Olds? Did you think she was a California poet? Well, she was born in California, but she now spends time in New Hampshire, so we'll call her one of ours! She was recently named as the fifth recipient of the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. Read more about the award here.

How fitting is it then, that I'm going to share this poem about NH and dedicated to the two people for whom the award is named?
April, New Hampshire
for Jane Kenyon and Donald Hall

Outside the door, a tiny narcissus
had come up through leaf mold. In the living room,
the old butterscotch dog let me
get my hand into the folds
of the mammal, and knead it. In their room,
Don said, This is it, this is where
we lived and died
. To the center of the dark
painted headboard--sleigh of beauty,
sleigh of night--there was an angel affixed
as if bound to it, with her wings open.
The bed spoke, as if to itself,
it sang. The whole room sang,
and the house, and the curve of the hill, like the curve
between a throat and a shoulder, sang, in praising
grief, and the ground, almost, rang,
hollowed-out bell waiting for its tongue
to be lowered in. At the grave site--
next to the huge, smoothed, bevelled,
felled, oak home, like the bole
of a Druid duir--inside it what comes
not close to being like who she was--
he stood, beside, in a long silence,
minutes, like the seething harness-creaking
when the water of a full watering is feeding
down into dirt, and he looked at us,
at each one, and he seemed not just
a person seeing people, he looked
almost like a different species, an eagle
looking at eagles, fierce, intent,
wordless, eyelidless, seeing each one,
gazing deep
into each--
miles, years--he seemed to be Jane,
looking at us for the last time
on earth.

from The Body Electric: American Best Poetry from The American Poetry Review [811 BOD]

Interestingly, I found the poem online, but with some slight differences in words and line breaks. Take a look and let me know which you think is the original and which one is the revision.

Stop by Write. Sketch. Repeat. for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Photo by Brett Hall Jones, courtesy Sharon Olds' website.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Happy Vinegar Month?

It's May and there are all sorts of things to celebrate this month. As I was looking through our copy of Chase's Annual Events [R 394.26 CHA], I found that many of the events listed had to do with medical condition awareness. For example, May is (in alphabetical order) Allergy/Asthma, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Hearing and Speech, Hepatitis, Huntington's Disease, Medical Orphans (a.k.a. rare diseases), Melanoma, Mental Health, Osteoporosis, Stroke, Vision Awareness or Prevention Month. It got a little depressing by time I finished browsing the month!

However, May is also National Invention Month. Bike, and Tennis Month, too. And, it is also the month to celebrate Salsa (the edible kind, not the danceable kind), Vinegar, Barbecue, and Hamburgers! I believe we have the makings for a party! So come down to the Library to borrow one or more of these titles and party hearty:

Butel, Jane. Fiestas for Four Seasons: Southwest Entertaining with Jane Butel. [641.5979 BUT]

Gelin, David Howard. BBQ Joints Stories and Secret Recipes from the Barbeque Belt. [3M ebook]

Lillien, Lisa. Hungry Girl Happy Hour: 75 Recipes for Amazingly Fantastic Guilt-Free Cocktails and Party Foods. [641.874 LIL]

Oster, Maggie. Herbal Vinegar. [641.622 OST]

Raichlen, Steven. The Barbecue! Bible. [641.5784 RAI, also 3M ebook]

Roker, Al Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue: 100 Easy Recipes for Backyard Barbecue and Grilling. [641.5 ROK]

Treuille, Eric. Grilling: Where There's Smoke There's Flavor. [641.5784 TRE]

Vinton, Sherri Brooks. Put 'em Up! A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling. [3m ebook] This one covers both vinegar and salsa!

Weight Watchers Slim Ways: Mexican. [641.5638 WEI]