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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Poetry Friday--"The Mockingbird"

I was getting ready to send A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver [811.54 OLI] out on interlibrary loan to another New Hampshire Library. As I flipped through, this poem caught my eye:

The Mockingbird
by Mary Oliver

All summer
the mockingbird
in his pearl-gray coat
and his white-windowed sings

from the hedge to the top of the pine
and begins to sing, but it’s neither
lilting nor lovely,

for he is the thief of other sound–
whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges
plus all the songs
of other birds in his neighborhood;

mimicking and elaborating,
he sings with humbor and bravado,
so I have to wait a long time
for the softer voice of his own life

to come through. He begins
by giving up all his usual flutter
and settling down on the pine’s forelock
then looking around

as though to make sure he’s alone;
then he slaps each wing against his breast,
where his heart is,
and copying nothing, begins

easing into it
as though it was not half so easy
as rollicking,
as though his subject now

was his true self,
which of course was as dark and secret
as anyone else’s,
and it was too hard–

perhaps you understand–
to speak or to sing it
to anything or anyone
but the sky.
When I lived in New York, I saw catbirds, but never a mockingbird. When I moved to this area, what looked to be a catbird-shaped bird, I soon found out was a Northern Mockingbird. The difference between the songs of the two birds is unmistakeable, especially with the Gray Catbird's cat-like call. I now love mockingbirds, but I've never seen a catbird around here and I miss their "mew."

Fellow librarian, Jone, is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Check It Out!

Photo by Jack Wolf.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Shall I Watch This Weekend?

It's a long weekend, and you may be able to watch a few DVDs over the course of the three days, but, what should you borrow? I came across a site that has all sorts of interesting lists of movie titles for you to peruse: Movieseum.com. (Much of the content/ads on the site is inappropriate for children, so consider yourself forewarned.)

This list is typical: "11 Classic Movies to See before You Die." Of the eleven, I've heard of, and/or watched, ten. The eleventh, Peeping Tom, is totally unknown to me. The Library will see if it can obtain a copy, so check back. Here are the ten that are currently available at Nesmith or one of the other GMILCS libraries.


I swear I've seen loons on Canobie Lake this year, but, I could be wrong. It does seem that the number of loons counted in NH has increased slightly over last year. Here's a report from The Nashua Telegraph.

Loons play a large part in the movie On Golden Pond [DVD ON], which was filmed on Squam Lake.

The quality of this clip is not great, so I would suggest borrowing our copy, then putting your feet up to relax and enjoy.

Surprisingly, there are a number of children's books with loons as characters. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Our Butterfly Garden

Recently, there have been three hummingbird moths sharing the large butterfly bush in our garden (planted and maintained by the members of the Windham Garden Club). Last year was the first time I had ever seen one. I managed to get this photo.

Aren't the transparent wings amazing? If I had gotten a shot from the side, you would have seen the proboscis (tongue) unrolling into the flowers to sip up the nectar.

Just last week, I found an NPR blog post about butterfly moths, which I thought should be shared. Click here.

Make sure you visit the Library to see our butterfly garden and to perhaps borrow one of the books on pollinators we have in our collection. Butterflies and Moths by David J. Carter [595.78 CAR] might be a good one to start with.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School!

Parents are excited to be getting their kids back to school. Young children, however, if they've never attended school before, may find the first day of school difficult to imagine. And, a bit scary.

We're prepared to help you prepare your anxious little one for the first day!

For parents there is Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution: Gentle Ways to Make Good-Bye Easy from Six Months to Six Years [FT 649.1 PAN]. Pantley also addresses the problem of parents who can bear to let their children go.

The first day of school is survivable! Good luck and a happy 2014-2015 school year!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Poetry Friday--"A Shower"

Summer is heat, hopefully balanced by a little rain. I love the summer rain and it's scent on the hot pavement or dry ground. Did you know there was a name for that scent of rain on the soil? It's "petrichor." The exact chemicals that make up the scent have been studied (does that surprise anyone?), click here to learn more.

For today, here's a little poem by Amy Lowell that describes a summer shower:
A Shower

That sputter of rain, flipping the hedge-rows
And making the highways hiss,
How I love it!
And the touch of you upon my arm
As you press against me that my umbrella
May cover you.

Tinkle of drops on stretched silk.
Wet murmur through green branches.

from Amy Lowell: Selected Poems [821 LOW]
Amazing how a simple little love poem can evoke such powerful images and feelings. Amy Lowell is one of my favorites, so this is the second Friday in a row that I'm featuring one of her poems!

Live Your Poem is the place to be this Poetry Friday. Head down to Alabama, virtually of course, and see what's going on this week in the world of online poetry.

Illustration courtesy openclipart.


On this day in 1959, President Eisenhower signed an executive order making Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

It's not often that one is able to make a trip to Hawaii, however, we've got the next best thing: fiction--from the epic novel, Hawaii by James Michener [F MIC] to Froggy Goes to Hawaii by Jonathan London [JP LON, also JP AB/CD LON], nonfiction travel guides [919.69], Putumayo World Music's Hawaiian Playground [CD CHILDREN PUT], and DVDs such as Soul Surfer [DVD SOU], and Be a Hula Girl [J DVD BE].

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

National Aviation Day!

I realized, too late, that yesterday was National Aviation Day, so, we're going to celebrate it today!

August 19, Orville Wright’s birthday, was designated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 as National Aviation Day. You can read the standard aviation histories found in 629.13 or in the 3M ebook, Lords of the Sky Fighter Pilots and Air Combat, from the Red Baron to the F-16 by Dan Hampton.

You may enjoy this survey of flying machines gathered from newsreels of the past:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Remember That Movie?

Hundreds of movies are released every year and many films move to the back of our minds only to pop up some years later. Often we stumble around looking for the title. "Remember that movie, I think it was from the 50s, with Marlon Brando? The one where he says, 'I coulda been a contender!'"

It's On the Waterfront [DVD ON], and it's on our shelf!

"Oh, that's the one! Remember that other one where Marlon Brando yells 'Stella!'"

A Streetcar Named Desire [DVD STR].

"The woman who played Stella? Kim Hunter. Wasn't she in some movie with Jimmy Stewart where she was a witch?"

No, you're thinking of Kim Novack, and that movie was Bell, Book and Candle [DVD BEL]

"What was that other movie that had "bell" in the title? The one with the ditzy blonde."

Bells Are Ringing [DVD BEL].

An even better movie with Judy Holliday was Born Yesterday [DVD BOR], which starred William Holden. That one shouldn't be missed! Holliday won an Oscar for her performance.

As you can tell, we have lots of old movies in our collection, and we have a number of, how shall I say it..."mature" librarians who are movie fans and can probably help you remember the names of the movies you saw way back when!

Monday, August 18, 2014


On Friday the teens celebrated the end of summer reading with a Zombie Apocalypse!

Professional make-up was provided by Windham's Steven Lawlor-Jones, and I don't know about you, but I was SCARED by the results!

Zombies remain topic of interest for film-makers and publishers, but now, zombies have entered the digital age. We have these 3M ebooks about zombies:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Poetry Friday--Restaurant Week

Here at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet we've been celebrating restaurants all week long. I've labeled the week "Restaurant Week" for no other reason than there are a lot of good restaurants in our area, and, there's a great variety of books and films, which deal with the subject of restaurants, waiting for you to borrow!

Since it's Poetry Friday, what better way to restaurants than with a poem! This poem is a favorite, if only for the catalog of colorful names for the non-color, white!

Thompson’s Lunch Room—Grand Central Station
by Amy Lowell

Floor, ceiling, walls.
Ivory shadows
Over the pavement
Polished to cream surfaces
By constant sweeping.
The big room is coloured like the petals
Of a great magnolia,
And has a patina
Of flower bloom
Which makes it shine dimly
Under the electric lamps.
Chairs are ranged in rows
Like sepia seeds
Waiting fulfilment.
The chalk-white spot of a cook’s cap
Moves unglossily against the vaguely bright wall—
Dull chalk-white striking the retina like a blow
Thru the wavering uncertainty of steam.
Vitreous-white of glasses with green reflections,
Ice-green carboys, shifting—greener, bluer—with the jar of moving water.
Jagged green-white bowls of pressed glass
Rearing snow-peaks of chipped sugar
Above the lighthouse-shaped castors
Of grey pepper and grey-white salt.
Grey-white placards: "Oyster Stew, Cornbeef Hash, Frankfurters":
Marble slabs veined with words in meandering lines.
Dropping on the white counter like horn notes
Through a web of violins,
The flat yellow lights of oranges,
The cube-red splashes of apples,
In high plated ├ępergnes.
The electric clock jerks every half-minute:
"Three beef-steaks and a chicken-pie,"
Bawled through a slide while the clock jerks heavily.
A man carries a china mug of coffee to a distant chair.
Two rice puddings and a salmon salad
Are pushed over the counter;
The unfulfilled chairs open to receive them.
A spoon falls upon the floor with the impact of metal striking stone,
And the sound throws across the room
Sharp, invisible zigzags
Of silver.

from Amy Lowell: Selected Poems [821 LOW].

Please visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Photo courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Restaurant Week--Kids' Day!

You may not have noticed, but there has been an explosion of cooking-related books for children. And, part of that I attribute to PBS and more recently, The Food Network, and shows where cooking is presented, not as a laborious task, but an art, a competition, and a fun activity for both women AND men!

The range of books for kids about cooking, restaurants, ingredients, biographies expands seemingly on a daily basis. And this is good! Here's a small sampling of the variety of titles for kids that you'll find in our collection:

If you want to encourage your children in their interest in cooking, I'd suggest going to a site called Kids Cooking Activities. It is loaded with advice for parents and is full of activities and recipes.

First Lady, Michelle Obama, promotes healthy eating for kids. The White House recently announced the results of this year's contest, which was the "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge." Child-created recipes were judged, and the lucky winners from each state got to go to the White House! The winning recipes have been put together into a cookbook, which can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Restaurant Week Part 3

A good restaurant will always see customers asking for recipes for their favorite dishes. That holds true for restaurants both large and small.

Here's your opportunity to discover some great restaurant recipes. This is only a small sampling of what we have!

Bozzi, Aldo. The Mezzaluna Cookbook: The Famed Restaurants' Best-Loved Recipes for Seasonal Pastas and More. [641.822 BOZ]

DePalma, Gina. Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. [641.86 DEP]

Fieri, Guy. Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives: An All-American Road Trip--With Recipes! [647.9573 FIE]

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

Keller, Thomas. The French Laundry Cookbook. [641.5 KEL]

Kerr, Jean. Union Oyster House Cookbook: Recipes and History from America's Oldest Restaurant. [641.5 KER]

Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Cookbook: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals. [641.5636 MOO]

Slomanson, Joan Kanel. When Everybody Ate at Schrafft's: Memories, Pictures, and Recipes from a Very Special Restaurant Empire. [647.95 SLO]

Remember The Loaf & Ladle restaurant that was a fixture in Exeter, NH for many, many years? I sure do miss their oatmeal bread and their potato and leek soup. Some of the recipes from the restaurant can still be found on our shelves in The Loaf & Ladle Cook Book by Joan S. Harlow [641.5 HAR].

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Restaurant Week Part 2

Yesterday we took a look at some of the films in our collection in which restaurants play a significant part in the story. Today, we're going to look at restaurant chefs and other cooks, and the plethora of books written by or about them.

No list of books about chefs would be complete without the great Julia Child (she died ten years ago tomorrow, and what would have been her 102nd birthday is Friday). We have a number of books about her, including her My Life in France [B CHI, also AB/CD B CHI, and a 3M ebook]. Recently, there's been a great interest in Child as the subject of children's picture books, Bon Appetit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland [J B CHI] and Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat by Susanna Reich [JP REI] are two.

Others chef biographies include:

Birnbaum, Molly. Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way. [B BIR]

Bourdain, Anthony. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. [B BOU]

De Blasi, Marlena. The Lady in the Palazzo at Home in Umbria. [AB/CD 945.652 DEB]

Deen, Paula. Paula Deen: It Ain't All about the Cookin'. [B DEE]

Hamilton, Gabrielle. Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. [B HAM]

Jones, Judith. The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food. [B JON]

Lee, Edward. Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen. [3M ebook]

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse the Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution. [3M ebook]

Pépin, Jacques. The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. [B PEP]

Samuelsson, Marcus. Yes, Chef: A Memoir. [B SAM]

Monday, August 11, 2014

Restaurant Week

Every week is Restaurant Week as far as I'm concerned, although we missed the official NH Restaurant Week that was held in May. There's no reason we can't celebrate restaurants in August, so that's what we're going to do this week at Kurios Kitty's Kurio Kabinet! Let's start with movies.

This past Friday, a new film with Helen Mirren opened in the theaters--The Hundred-Foot Journey.

The film is based upon the novel of the same name by Richard C. Morais [MOR], put you name on the holds list now before everyone starts clamoring for the book.

Older films about restaurants are available for the borrowing. Look for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore [DVD ALI], Big Night [DVD BIG], The Fish Fall in Love [DVD FIS], Mostly Martha [DVD MOS], and all six seasons of the early 90s television show, Northern Exposure [DVD NOR].

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Poetry Friday--Celestial Show

For information on what to look for in the sky each week, head over to Astronomy Magazine and look for their feature, "The Sky this Week." This week's events can be found here.

The Perseid meteor shower will be peaking overnight next Tuesday/Wednesday. If you happen to head north of us, to a place where there is little light pollution from these more heavily populated areas, you should be able to enjoy the celestial show.

NASA has a brief, but informative video on the Perseid meteor showers and the upcoming "supermoon."

We might as well read a celestial poem today, don't you think? Here's one from a book by Douglas Florian called Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings [J 811.54 FLO]:

On a clear night you might try
To gaze upon the starry sky.
A telescope or binoculars are
Great aids to observe a star.
To find your way it's good to sight
Upon a star that's very bright,
Like Sirius or Canopus,
Alpha Centauri or Arcturus.
You may see a planet or
A flash of light from a meteor.
Use a constellation chart
To help you tell the stars apart.
Start out when the day is done.
Most of all: Have lots of fun!

Now visit the heavenly Mary Lee at A Year of Reading, for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Care of Library Materials

As Joan Rivers* would say, "Can We Talk?"

The following may sound like a lecture, but, the problem of damaged library materials has escalated greatly over the past few years.

Do you know cause of the greatest damage to our books? Water bottles! Spilled water makes a wrinkly mess of the pages inviting mold and weakening the binding. In most cases the damage requires reordering the book, which leads to a whole other issue when a book is found to be out of print. If you wanted to read the book, then perhaps someone else did, too, so please refrain from putting library books in a bag with your water bottle.

We know that you feel you are helping by cleaning CDs and DVDs for us, but the reality is, you may end up damaging the materials even more, consequently rendering them unusable! The best way to help us is by returning the items and telling the staff the condition so that we can take care of it with our special cleaning equipment. Here's a DVD that someone obviously attempted to clean. It is part of five disk set, and now, the whole set must be reordered!

We have no idea what was used to clean the disk and left permanent white streaks!

Repair of ripped or loose pages should also be done by Library staff. We use a glue called "Magic Mend Adhesive," that allows us to repair damage so that it is almost invisible! Pages that have been taped, can't later be repaired.

And of course, we ask that you keep all materials out of the way of teething babies and dogs!

This book was returned to us chewed. It required a new label and a new cover.

I can't tell you how many DVD cases are returned with the corners chewed. You may try to keep toddlers amused in the car by handing them a DVD case, but, there is no guarantee that the case is made of is baby-safe plastic!

Parents should always be aware that a young child with a crayon or pen in hand can deface a book. By the time a child enters school, they are usually able to understand the reason not to draw in a library book, but it's the toddlers parents need to watch.

We appreciate all your efforts to return our materials in the condition they were borrowed so that your tax dollars can be spent on new materials rather than on repair and replacements for damaged ones!

*Joan Rivers fans may enjoy her new book, Diary of a Mad Diva [B RIV].

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

For the Lover of Wildlife

We've purchased an awesome new book called Birdhouses & More: Easy-To-Build Houses & Feeders for Birds, Bats, Butterflies and Other Backyard Creatures by A.J. Hamler [690.892 HAM].

How is it different from every other bird house or feeder book in our collection? It addresses more than just birds. There are feeders designed specifically for chipmunks, shelters for garden toads, hotels for bees, window shelves for house cats, gravity feeders that can be adjusted to accommodate a whole variety of animals, and much more.

The directions are clear and heavily illustrated. In short, this is a great book for handy people who also love wildlife!

If you're looking exclusively for birdhouses, there are many other how-to books in 690.892.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Happy Birthday, John Huston!

John Huston was born on this day in 1906! (He died in 1987.) His career as a screen writer and director is epic. Take a look at some of his classics!

Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris is a fascinating look at the role Hollywood played in the image of America during World War II [791.4302 HAR, also 3M ebook]. John Huston was one of the five influential directors who managed to come back.

Monday, August 04, 2014

August is National Panini Month!

Ten years or so ago, most people would have shrugged if asked, "What is a Panini?" Now, everyone knows that a panini is an Italian pressed sandwich. Sort of like a fancier version of the all-American grilled cheese sandwich. Today, there’s even a whole month devoted to the celebration of the panini!

We have the recipes if you have the time. Look for paninis and other sandwiches in:

Gand, Gale. Gale Gand’s Lunch! [3M ebook]

Legasse, Emeril. Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches. [3M ebook]

Ray, Rachael. 30-Minute Meals. [641.555 RAY]

Stellino, Nick. Nick Stellino’s Passione: Pasta, Pizza, and Panini. [641.5945 STE]

Speaking of pressed sandwiches, I’d like to recommend the film Chef, which is now out in theaters. It stars Jon Favreau as a disgruntled chef who leaves his stressful job and reluctantly takes a trip to Florida with his son. The tie-in to pressed sandwiches is when the Chef decides to take ownership of a food truck specializing in sandwiches, and drives it back home to California. It’s a fun, uplifting summer flick, which we’re sure to add to our collection when it is released on DVD!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Poetry Friday--Welcome August!

August is here and summer is drawing to a close as far as students are concerned. Still the weather is warm and there's lots of opportunity for non-students to get outside!

Emily Dickinson certainly found much to enjoy in August! I hope you'll enjoy this record of her summer garden and the goings-on to be found there (who wouldn't enjoy the nonjudgmental phrasing of the first stanza?)
A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.

Found in Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson [811 DIC].

I wasn't exactly sure what an angle-worm was, but I thought it might be an inchworm since they often look as their bent bodies are at an sngle. However, I found this definition from Dictionary.com:

noun Chiefly Northern, North Midland, and Western U.S.
an earthworm, as used for bait in angling.

That makes perfect sense. But then I had to look up the term "angling"! It appears to be a very old word and has as its root the Old English angel, angul meaning hook.

Fly on down to Louisiana where Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Photo by Eric Begin.