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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Warsaw Uprising

Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising in which the Polish Home Army rose up against the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. 40,00 brave Poles shot at the Nazis from their windows. Sadly, though, the Polish people received no assistance from the Allies and the rebellion was put down in two month's time.

Here is a short video from the Polish Embassy which details the part women played in the uprising.

For more information, pick up any of the histories of World War II [940.53], which briefly cover the event, or look for Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw by Norman Davies [940.53 DAV].

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Getting a Head Start

It may just be the end of July, however, before you know it, winter will be knocking at the door. If you're lucky enough to have an air-conditioned room, then you can get a "head" start on the cold weather by knitting a hat or a scarf.

Here's a video on how to knit an infinity scarf in just a half-hour! And without knitting needles. I kid you not!

I'm sure your first attempt might not be perfect, but, since it only takes 30 minutes, you can make another one, and another, and another, and perfect it in plenty of time before winter.

If you want to knit the old fashioned way with needles, look for Vogue Knitting: Chunky Scarves & Hats [746.432 VOG] or any of the gazillion beginning-to-knit guides in the 746.43 section.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


It seems as though the economy is finally moving in the right direction, which may allow people who have been stuck in a job to begin to look around for another more suitable one. A first step in securing a new job is often the creation of a resume.

There are many online sites to help with your resume; development. 10 Online Tools To Create Impressive Resumes gathers ten or them in one place for your convenience. The Nesmith Library also subscribes to an easy-to-use online service called Cypress Resume.

Here are just three of the Library's books on resumes that await you:

Fry, Ron. 101 Great Résumés: Winning Résumés for Any Situation, Job, or Career. [3M ebook]

Kursmark, Louise. Same-Day Resume: Write an Effective Resume in an Hour. [650.142 KUR]

Noble, David F. Gallery of Best Resumes: A Collection of Quality Resumes by Professional Resume Writers. [650.142 NOB]

Monday, July 28, 2014

San Francisco Earthquake

There has been plenty written about 1906 San Francisco earthquake, much of it imagined in novels for children such as:

Karwoski, Gail. Quake! Disaster in San Francisco, 1906. [J KAR, also J AB/CD KAR]

Lowell, Susan. I Am Lavina Cumming. [J LOW]

Osborne, Mary Pope. Earthquake in the Early Morning (Magic Tree House series #24). [J OSB]

Tarshis, Lauren. I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906. [J TAR]

Yep, Laurence. The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. [J YEP]

It's a fascinating moment in history, and until I saw the film below (a ride down Market Street in San Francisco, shortly before the earthquake wreaked havoc on the city), I hadn't realized just how extensively developed and bustling the city was at the time.

Now, look at the photos taken after the earthquake--click here.

It's amazing how "Mother Nature" can take human beings down a peg or two!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Potato"

I seem to gravitate toward the poems of Jane Kenyon, perhaps because, like me, she was not a native-born New Hampshire citizen, but, once here, she embraced the state's Yankee spirit. The following poem, found in After Frost: An Anthology of Poetry from New England [811.08 AFT] deals with Yankee frugality, and what happens when one forgets to practice it.

In haste one evening while making dinner
I threw away a potato that was spoiled
on one end. The rest would have been

redeemable. In the yellow garbage pail
it became the consort of coffee grounds,
banana skins, carrot peelings.
I pitched it onto the compost
where steaming scraps and leaves
return, like bodies over time, to earth.

When I flipped the fetid layers with a hay
fork to air the pile, the potato turned up
unfailingly, as if to revile me--

looking plumper, firmer, resurrected
instead of disassembling. It seemed to grow
until I might have made shepherd's pie
for a whole hamlet, people who pass the day
dropping trees, pumping gas, pinning
hand-me-down clothes on the line.

Sylvia and Janet are hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up today at Poetry for Children. Make it a point to stop by!

Shepherd's pie enough for a small hamlet? Photo courtesy Colleen Greene.

Can I Quote You?

We're mid-way through summer now, and perhaps you're a teacher who is looking to inspire your students when school starts up again? Or, perhaps you need to keep the young people you live with busy? Why not create a quotation poster? Like this:

I "made" this poster in about 30 seconds at a site called Recite. Quozio is another, and there are more to be found with a simple Google search under "free quote poster."

If you don't have a favorite quotation, we have a number of quote books in our collection that you can browse through:

Bartlett, John. Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs... [808.88 BAR]

Macrone, Michael. Brush Up Your Shakespeare! [822.3 MAC]

Quotations for Kids. [J 808.88 QUO]

Turkington, Carol A. The Quotable Woman: Words of Wisdom from Mother Teresa, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, and More. [808.88 TUR]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Maybe you're retired and are looking for a project. Maybe you're a college student without a job this summer. Or, maybe, you just have some extra time and you're looking to volunteer, but, without leaving the comfort of your own home. In all these cases, you should look for a crowdsourced project. First, what is crowdsourcing? Here's a definition from IDEA:
Crowdsourcing means involving a lot of people in small pieces of a project. In educational and nonprofit outreach, crowdsourcing is a form of engagement, such as participating in an online course, collecting photos of butterflies for a citizen-science project, uploading old photos for a community history project, deciphering sentences from old scanned manuscripts, playing protein folding games to help scientists discover new ways to fight diseases, or participating in online discussions.

Now, how about a project! One that I have been aware of for at least three years, is the World Memory Project that seeks to
allow anyone, anywhere to help build the largest free online resource for information about victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution during World War II. Even a few minutes of your time can help families discover what happened to their loved ones and restore the identities of people the Nazis tried to erase from history.

If you're involved in a genealogy project of your own, you may find that crowdsourcing is a way of getting some help. Look for Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques by George G. Morgan [929.1 MOR] in our collection, for more information.

A very successful project is ongoing at the New York Public Library. The "crowd" is transcribing menus from a century ago, and making the information available to to the world (thinks chefs, food historians, foodies, etc.).

Courtesy NYPL.

There's lots of information available online for those who are interested in crowdsourcing. Go to Wikipedia, the most familiar crowdsourced project of all, for a listing of projects.

Have fun and do some good!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Keep Sharp!

There's a very interesting article on keeping your brain active and the idea that doing so may delay the onset of dementia, to read it, click here.

The key to effectively exercising your brain is basically the same as exercising your body--make the exercise "stimulating, not frustrating." The article doesn't recommend the computer programs, such as Lumosity that are being advertised widely now. Simple things such as learning quilting or how to take photographs does the trick--and they're free with your library card! We have plenty of quilting and photography items in our collection, as well as other crafty type of activities such as jewelry-making and landscape design. Here are some items, published within the past few years, which should keep you sharp:

Carlsen, Spike. The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects. [690.892 CAR]

Crochet Critters and Bugs: 22 Great Projects. [746.434 CRO]

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

Hamler, A. J. Birdhouses & more: easy-to-build houses & feeders for birds, bats, butterflies and other backyard creatures. [690.892 HAM]

Jeppsson, Anna. Simple & Stylish Backyard Projects. [690.89 JEP]

McNeill, Suzanne. The Beauty of Zentangle: Inspirational Examples from 137 Tangle Artists Worldwide. [741.9 MCN]

Rudell, Jeffery. Paper blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers to Make for Weddings, Celebrations, & More. [745.5943 RUD]

Wiese, Kelly. A Beaded Romance: 25 Bead Weaving Patterns & Projects for Gorgeous Jewelry. [745.5942 WIE]

Also recommended is learning a new language, even for older folks--yes, you can teach an old dog... The Library has a subscription to Mango Languages, which you can access through our website.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sing! Sing! Sing!

There appears to be some evidence that singing, and especially singing show tunes, is beneficial to Alzheimer's patients. I don't find that hard to believe since music can be inspiring, evoke memory, it encourages sharing, and, can be a delight to the listener as well as the performer. To learn more, click here for an article from The Guardian, that was published last fall.

We have an extensive collection of movie musicals for you to borrow, and share, and sing along to:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Moon Flowers"

Here's a poem from Michael Hettich's Flock & Shadow: New and Selected Poems [811.6 HET].
Moon Flowers

This is the hour when opossum shuffle
up to our back door to poke around

in our garbage and teach their pouched kittens how
to play dead; this is the hour when worms

pull themselves from our apples, to slide
across our counter tops, when foxes

comb each other's tails beneath
the yellow lights in our alley, and snails

take the slow journey
across our front porch;

this is the hour when flowers shaped
like baby's fists or ears open

their faces and sing, in voices only
the lightest of human sleepers can hear.

What a simple poem, yet so effective. I want to stay awake tonight and watch and listen!

Here are moon flowers opening. You can see what you may have missed by not being out at day's end:

Visit my friend Tabatha Yeatts for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Living in a Shoe

Nobody really lives in a shoe, but if, as a child, you ever visited the old Benson's Wild Animal Park, you might remember the red shoe, which to a kid, looked big enough to live in!

Despite the fact that the Animal Park is gone, the area has been made into a lovely park great for strolling on a bright, sunny day. If you have kids or grandkids, head over to Benson Park in Hudson. You'll find the shoe proudly standing, completely restored. (The park hours, and a map, can be found here.)

How well do you remember your nursery rhymes? If your memory is foggy, come borrow one of our many collections or picture books, including these newer ones published within the last four years:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dead Parrot

Okay--any excuse to watch a Monty Python sketch is always welcomed! The perfect one showed up yesterday in The Independent with the news of a gigantic "dead parrot" being briefly suspended over London.

Photo courtesy The Independent.

After that perfection lead in, and without further ado, I give you the "Dead Parrot Sketch":

We have the complete Monty Python's Flying Circus [DVD MON] in our DVD collection (14 disks). You can watch all the sketches uninterrupted by tv or YouTube commercials!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Online Payments

Until recently we have been unable to take credit card payments for overdue fines and other charges, however, as of June, we have that capability. Library card holders can pay their charges from their own computer or device! (No credit card payments will be taken at the Library's check-out desk.)

Here's how to make a payment:

1. Log in to your account (go to www.nesmithlibrary.org, click on "Catalog," then from the drop-down under "My Account" click on "Log In").

2. On the right hand side you will find any charges.

3. Check off the fines you wish to pay. Then click on "Pay Fines Now."

4. Read the policies and then click "Accept." (Please note: there are no refunds of payments, or the $2. convenience fee.)

5. You will find a summary of charges. If you wish to pay, click on "Continue."

6. You will be taken away from the Library catalog and directed to an eCommerce site for payment. At this point you will have 2 minutes to complete your payment. The space for "eMail Address" should be filled in if you wish to receive a transaction receipt. It is important that the credit card expiration date be entered MMYY, for example, August 2014 would be entered 0814.

We hope our users will find this an easy and convenient way to pay!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Woody Guthrie!

Today is the 102nd anniversary of the the birth of Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, better known as Woody Guthrie. Guthrie traveled extensively around the country during the first half of the twentieth century singing, writing, and collecting folk songs and songs for children.

We have Guthrie's CDs Songs to Grow On for Mother and Child and Little Seed Songs for Children [both CD CHILDREN GUT] as well as a number of picture books that illustrate the lyrics to some of Guthrie's songs [all JP GUT]. Included are: Bling Blang, Howdi Do, Mooses Come Walking, New Baby Train, This Land Is Your Land.

Here's a recording of Guthrie from 1944:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Poetry Friday--Firefly July

What better choice for today than a book titled Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems, selected by Paul B. Janeczko, with illustrations by Melissa Sweet [811.008 JAN]! To say this book is a delight is an understatement. Sweet's pictures are full of movement and the poems are just right for a young audience, not to mention an adult reader.

The book is divided into the seasons, starting with Spring, and it ends with a stand-alone poem about ending the day (and the book). Some of the poems are expected, such as "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams or "Dust of Snow" by Robert Frost, but, most are unfamiliar and invite re-reading, over and over.

Here's one from Summer:
In the Field Forever
by Robert Wallace

Sun's a roaring dandelion, hour by hour.
Sometimes the moon's a scythe, sometimes a silver flower.
But the stars! all night long the stars are clover.
Over, and over, and over!

Write Time is the place to be for this week's Round-Up. Please stop by.

Grow Your Own

Yesterday's post was about genetically modified foods, but, what if you want to avoid such foods completely? You could buy organic or from local farmers' markets, or, you can plan for next year and grow your own!

We have several books on heirloom gardening in 635 including The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables: The 100 Easiest-to-Grow, Tastiest Vegetables For Your Garden by Marie Iannotti [635 IAN].

Organic Gardening, is a resource for home gardening, and the August-September 2014 issue [MAG OG], has an article on heirloom beans.

There are plenty of online sources for heirloom seeds. For an annotated list, click here. Check back before ordering next year as the list is updated frequently.

If you decide that heirloom gardening is the way to go, you can save some of the seeds from your crop for the following season. Here are two guides:

Gough, Robert E. The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, Trees, and Shrubs. [631.521 GOU]

Rogers, Marc. Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Saving Vegetable and Flower Seeds. [635.0421 ROG, also 3M ebook]

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

In the News...

There appears to be a rapidly expanding interest in genetically modified foods. These are foods made from, or by, plants or animals that have had their DNA altered through genetic engineering. Aside from the fear of safety, some are also concerned about future control of the food supply through corporate patents and lawsuits. Much remains to be learned about the issue and the Library may be a place to start. Look for books in the 363.19 section, and in our DVD section we have The Future of Food [DVD 363.192 FUT].

We also have an interesting book with the title, Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats by Steve Ettlinger [641.308 ETT], which covers genetically modified foods as well as a whole host of other processed food topics.

The author of Twinkie Deconstructed has a website that provides a great introduction to his book, click here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Unexplained

There are some things people can't explain, or wish not to find an explanation for, but which they accept at face value. One of these things is the concept of reincarnation.

There is a book in our collection, Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot by Bruce and Andrea Leininger (with Ken Gross) [133.901 LEI], which reads like made-for-tv movie script. The publisher describes it,
The dramatic story of how one couple finds that their young son is the reincarnation of a World War II pilot.

I read the book and found it spellbinding, and I guess I'd throw myself in with the people who would prefer not to have an explanation!

Other nonfiction explorations of past lives experiences are found in these:

Browne, Sylvia. Past Lives, Future Healing: A Psychic Reveals the Secrets of Good Health and Great Relationships. [133.9 BRO]

Moody, Raymond A. Coming back : a psychiatrist explores past life journeys. [616.8914 MOO]

Newton, Michael. Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life between Lives. [133.901 NEW]

Weiss, Brian L. Only Love is Real: A Story of Soulmates Reunited. [133.9 WEI]

There are also plenty of novels dealing with reincarnation, just do a search in our catalog using the term "reincarnation fiction."

Monday, July 07, 2014

Helga the Spy?

Did you read about the Icelandic girl who was refused a passport because she was named Harriet? Harriet is not among the list of names that are "acceptable" in Iceland! I wonder if the author of Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh [J FIT], would have considered naming her main character Helga, Hildur, or one of the other names on the officially sanctioned list of names for girls? (If you're interested, here's a 2013 list of the most popular Icelandic girl names. One would assume that the names come from the official list!)

In the United States the choice of names is generally at the whim of the parent, but you also may remember back to last year when a judge ordered a child's name be changed!

I'm sure if you pick a name from one of our many baby naming books, though, your child should be all set!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

The Library is closed today for the 4th of July, a.k.a. as Independence Day, holiday! If you're looking for Poetry Friday, come back next week, or visit children's poet, Heidi Mordhurst, at My Juicy Little Universe, for the weekly poetry Round-Up.

Have a fun and safe day! We'll see you back at the Library tomorrow, however, if you need a beach read in a hurry, remember you can download a 3M ebook from our collection, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All you need is a 3M app on your device, and a valid Nesmith Library borrower's card!

Here are a few summer books from our collection:

Graphic courtesy openclipart.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Mount Washington Observatory

With the weather being so hot and sticky, it may be time to visit the Mount Washington Observatory Museum. The museum recently reopened and the chilling display of winter's extreme weather, will have you appreciating the warmth down below!

If you can't make the trip north, you can stop by the Library to borrow one of these:

Mount Washington: Narratives and Perspectives. [974.2 MOU]

Pinder, Eric. Tying Down the Wind: Adventures in the Worst Weather on Earth. [551.5 PIN]

Pote, Winston. Mount Washington in Winter: Photographs and Recollections, 1923-1940. [917.42 POT]

Putnam, William Lowell. The Worst Weather on Earth: A History of the Mount Washington Observatory. [551.69 PUT]

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

It's National Hot Dog Month!

Yesterday, I posted about July being National Blueberries Month, and today's post celebrated another great July "month,"--National Hot Dog Month! (And, July 23 has been designated as Hot Dog Day.)

Of course this holiday is sponsored by a trade group--the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, which has a website for you to explore. Click here.

One of the Council's pages features "Hot Dog Facts, Figures and Folklore". It truly has more than you ever want to know about hot dogs!

The other big outdoor treat, hamburgers, has May as its celebratory month, but, the USDA covers all such cooked outdoor foods by declaring July to be National Grilling Month!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

July is National Blueberries Month!

Yum! Blueberries have their own month! And a great month it is! Not only are blueberries readily available in grocery stores, but the wild variety may be ripening in your own backyard! Learn more about the "little blue dynamos" at the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

Blueberries have been touted as one of the "superfoods." A superfood is defined by the Oxford Dictionaries as "a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being."

Much has been written about superfoods, including these items from our collection:

Healing Foods: Eat Your Way to a Healthier Life. [613.2 HEA]

Pratt, Steven. Superfoods Healthstyle: Proven Strategies for Lifelong Health. [613 PRA]

Snyder, Kimberly. The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods That Will Transform Your Body and Reveal a More Beautiful You. [3M ebook]

Besides their health benefits, blueberries are also delicious, especially baked in a pie! Look for blueberry pie recipes in The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum [641.865 BER].

Spend some time with your kids and pick blueberries at one of the many "Pick-Your-Own" farms listed at NH.com.

Happy July—it’s a red, white, and BLUEBERRY month!