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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tomorrow is Turkey Day!

We are open until noon today, so you may want to run down to the Library to borrow some DVDs to keep everyone out of your hair tomorrow while you're getting dinner ready.

Here are a few suggestions:

If, while the library is closed on Thursday and Friday, you simply must get a book, remember that our ebook services are available 24/7. Unfamiliar with our ebook services? Click here.

Vintage postcard courtesy Baylor University.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

She's Back!

Cinderella is back! This time as a Disney live action fantasy character. She'll be on the big screens in March 2015.

In the meantime, there are these Cinderella movies to keep you occupied:

Cinderella. [J DVD CIN] This is the original Disney animated movie that first appeared in 1950.

Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. [J DVD CIN] Disney animated follow-ups to the original.

[Rodgers and Hammerstein's] Cinderella. [DVD CIN] An musical play which appeared as a CBS television special in 1957 and starred Julie Andrews.

[Sesame Street] CinderElmo. [J DVD SES]

Monday, November 24, 2014

Remembering Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, known as an accomplished film director, passed away last Wednesday. I first remember watching Mike Nichols and his comedy partner, Elaine May, on The Ed Sullivan Show way back when. The humor of the team was more sophisticated than that of others, such as Jonathan Winters, who were current at the time.

In reading over Nichols' obituary, I didn't realize just how many films he had directed over his career. We have a number of them in our collection:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Poetry Friday--Thanksgiving's Comin'

Next week is Thanksgiving and the supermarkets have been jam-packed all week. This weekend will be hellish if you've waited until the last minute to shop for your Thanksgiving feast.

So many people, so much food, and so little thought given to the origins of those foods.

Today, I've selected a short poem that addresses where our foods come from. It is found in an older anthology titled, My American Heritage: A Collection of Songs, Poems, Speeches, Sayings and Other Writings Dear to Our Hearts collected by Ralph Henry and Lucile Pannell [810.8 HEN].

The poem is by Elizabeth Coatsworth, who wrote for children and adults. She lived from 1893 to 1986 (93 years).

To think I once saw grocery shops
With but a casual eye
And fingered figs and apricots
As one who came to buy!

To think I never dreamed of how
Bananas swayed in rain,
And often looked at oranges
Yet never thought of Spain!

And in those wasted days I saw
No sails above the tea--
For grocery shops were grocery shops,
Not hemispheres to me!

Can you imagine what Coatsworth would have thought of today's super stores? I'm still perplexed by mangoes (how to tell they're ripe, how to store them, etc.), would Coatsworth have even recognized the fruit's name? Or what about a dragon fruit? Or a taco shell?

By the way, one of my all-time favorite books was written by Elizabeth Coatsworth, The Cat Who Went to Heaven [J COA]; it won the Newbery Medal in 1931. If you've never read it, I recommend you pick it up--I'm sure you'll like it.

My American Heritage was published in 1949 making it 65 years old (and, it probably should be retired since I'm the only one who ever takes it out)! [Interesting aside: there's a sheet of library "General Regulations" pasted to the endpapers. One of the regulations reads, "No person will be allowed to take from the Library more than one book at a time, for his own use, and this privilege shall be allowed to every resident of the town eight years of age." ONE BOOK! Imagine that!]

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. For Poetry Friday readers, come back in two weeks, since the Library will be closed next Friday.

Today's Round-Up is being held at Tapestry of Words. (Isn't that an awesome blog name?)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Study

There are some foods that most of us consider to be comfort foods despite recent studies that seem to prove otherwise! The NPR website reported on a study written up in Health Psychology back in August.
Results: Comfort foods led to significant improvements in mood, but no more than other foods or no food. Conclusions: Although people believe that comfort foods provide them with mood benefits, comfort foods do not provide comfort beyond that of other foods (or no food). These results are likely not due to a floor effect because participants’ moods did not return to baseline levels. Individuals may be giving comfort food "credit" for mood effects that would have occurred even in the absence of the comfort food.
I think the scientists just don't understand the concept of comfort as being a reminder of home, or friendship, or love. Silly scientists!

The biggest comfort holiday of all--Thanksgiving--is next week. I'm sure there will be many foods served that day that people will think of comfort foods--and not because they measurably change one's mood! Despite what the NPR piece had to say about comfort foods and their un-healthiness, people will continue to eat them.

For folks who really should avoid comfort foods for various reasons, we have these titles:

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

Gordon, Elizabeth. The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook: Every Recipe Is Free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nuts, and Eggs. [641.5631 GOR]

Hagman, Bette. The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods: More than 200 Recipes for Creating Old Favorites With New Flours. [641.563 HAG]

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Comets, Part 2

Yesterday, we looked at the Rosetta Mission and its landing on a comet. Today, I'd like to talk about comets and their representation in art.

We own a book devoted to the graphic depiction of comets, Fire in the Sky: Comets and Meteors, the Decisive Centuries, in British Art and Science by Roberta J. M. Olson [704.9 OLS]. And also a book of art and poetry about space for kids, Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian [J 811.54 FLO].

The Public Domain Review issued a collection of illustrations found in books--some from many hundreds of years ago. They've titled the collection, "Flowers of the Sky." The image below is taken from that collection.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


There are some amazing things going on in the world of science this week. One of the most amazing to my mind is the Rosetta Mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and, super-amazing is the recording of the sounds of the comet's vibrations! The media has been calling it "singing."

The Mission's Philae lander finally came to a halt after bouncing!

This story is not without its suspense--on Friday there were reports that the lander was on its side, and that if it was not able to free itself, its solar panels wouldn't be able to charge the batteries and the Mission would come to a halt! It sounds like the plot for movie, doesn't it? Over the weekend, the lander went into standby mode, but it is hoped that when the comet changes position in relation to the sun, the panels will recharge.

The L. A. Times has a timeline for the Mission here.

For those kids who find the Rosetta Mission as fascinating as some of us adults do, they can learn all about comets in the books found in the J 523 or adult 523 sections:

Of course, once the Rosetta Mission returns, there will be a slew of new books to update our knowledge of comets!

Monday, November 17, 2014

888,246 Poppies

I didn't want to forget to post this little video about the moving display of poppies that was set up to commemorate, what we call Veterans Day, and what the British call Remembrance Day, November 11. The day denotes the end of World War I at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. This year, the British have gone all out in remembering the day because 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.

The poppy display surrounding the Tower of London has attracted scores of visitors. You can read more about it here.

Most people associate red poppies with the holiday we celebrate in May, Memorial Day. The poem most closely associated with the poppy is this one (click on the image to enlarge for easier reading):

Photo by Harry Pope, poem added by Diane Mayr.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Poetry Friday--The Steigs

Today is the anniversary of the birth of William Steig, the creator of such fabulous books as Dr. De Soto and Shrek! [both JP STE]. Steig was born in 1907 and passed away just shy of his 96th birthday in 2003. He wrote a book about what his life was like in 1916 called When Everybody Wore a Hat [J B STE]. Steig grew up to become a cartoonist and an author/illustrator. His brother Arthur was a artist, a developer and purveyor of art materials, and a poet (but not widely published as I only found one book listed in the Library of Congress catalog, Communication [1944]). William's wife, Jeanne (wife #4), was a poet, too. That's a whole lot of creativity in one family!

Jeanne and Steig collaborated on at least two illustrated books of poetry Alpha Beta Chowder, and, Consider the Lemming [J 811 STE]. Consider the Lemming is an book of short animal verses--light-hearted and a wee bit edgy. Here are two poems that tickled my funny bone:
The Pig

The pig is held in ill repute;
He's thought to be a coarse-grained brute.
A slurper-up of slops, the swine,
He's never asked indoors to dine.
But if the loathsome pig were fed
On marzipan and fine white bread,
And if he were allowed to shower
And dust himself with scented flour,
And spend a week in Cannes or Florence,
Would we still hold him in abhorrence?
Or would we find ourselves recanting,
And cry: "Oh, Pig, thou art enchanting!"

The Opossum

The opossum, as everyone knows,
Is prehensile of tail and toes.
It carries its young in a pocket
And plays dead if you happen to shock it.
The opossum is ugly and vicious.
Fricasseed, it is highly nutritious.

Keri Recommends is the place to be for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Stop by and tell Keri I said, "Hi!"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's World Kindness Day!

Every year, since 1998, November 13 has been celebrated as World Kindness Day in conjunction with the World Kindness Movement. Kindness Matters states,
World Kindness Day is to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us. Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race religion, politics, gender and zip codes.

We can all benefit from kindness and we can all practice random acts of kindness. The trick is to teach children about kindness and to make acts of kindness as natural as saying "Hi."

There are many organizations and initiatives that focus on kindness including Random Acts of Kindness, The Be Kind People Project, and The Great Kindness Challenge for kids.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What Are You Waiting For?

If you're planning on making gifts or homemade decorations for the holidays, time is running out!

We recently added two new titles to our collection that may provide you with some simple and easy ideas. The first book is Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love by Blair Stocker [745.5 STO]. If you love it, then chances are, the giftee will also love it. A few of the fun and simple projects are: hand-woven placements made on a board-and-nail loom, wall hooks made of sturdy forked twigs, a tabletop garden, second-hand oil paintings which are embellished with beads and other trinkets. Some of the projects, like the felt pot handle covers could be adapted so you can have your kids make them as gifts. Simply having the kids hand-stitch the edges with yarn, rather than sewing by machine, should do the trick!

Don't be put off by the second book's title: Artful Christmas: 30 Elegant Craft Projects by Susan Wasinger [745.59412 WAS]. The projects may look elegant, but they're not necessarily difficult--ornaments can be made from paper, glue, and glitter, and others from cut and folded playing cards. A purchased foam wreath is wrapped in wide satin ribbon and decorated with hat pins and metallic beads. There are a number of more extensive projects, too, if you have the time and the skills.

If these two titles are out when you visit, we have plenty more in our crafts section to satisfy your creative decorative and gift-giving needs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

The Library is closed today for the Federal Holiday, Veterans Day. Please take some time to think about the sacrifices our veterans have made to protect our lives and liberty.

Since World War II is now 70+ years in the past, many of the Veterans of that war are no longer with us. The other day, though, on NPR's The Moth, Dawn Seymour, a 97 year-old vet told her story. Please listen here!

To learn more about WW II's American women pilots, look for American Women Pilots of World War II by Karen J. Donnelly [940.544 DON] or Women of Courage: The Story of the Women Pilots of World War II [DVD 940.544 WOM].

Photos courtesy The Moth.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Painting--You Can Do It, Part 2

Last Tuesday I wrote about a differently-abled painter and I included some titles of how-to books that show you that you can learn to paint, too. Those titles were all about painting as a fine art. Today, I'll list some titles that are how-tos for painting as a practical art, that is, how to paint home exteriors, walls, and furniture.

Some of these books can really unleash your creativity, so you may dispute my calling them "practical art"!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Poetry Friday--Poetry Writing for Kids

In our children's room is a book in the "Poet's Workshop" series: Read, Recite, and Write Free Verse Poems by JoAnn Early Macken [J 808.1 MAC].

This slim volume is packed with practical advice for kids and includes plenty of examples. The layout is colorful and bright and invites the reader to pick and choose what pages to read, rather than require that one go through the book sequentially.

A feature of the book are sections within each chapter, which are explained by the author thusly:
Literature Links explore the tools that all types of literature use.

Poetry Pointers explain the parts that are special to poetry.

Thinking Aloud sections include discussion questions, brainstorming tips, graphic organizers, and examples of students' writing.

Now It's Your Turn! gives you tips on how to weite your very own free verse poems.

It's a book worth exploring for children and adults! I particularly liked the Poetry Pointers section that explains enjambment, since it is a term that I've wrestled with for years!

Head over to Random Noodling for today's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Happy Birthday to Kurious Kitty!

I have no idea who taught the automaton at Blogoversary how to count, but when I look at the start date of this blog, November 6, 2006, and calculate the number of days until the next blogoversary, I get either 0 or 365. The Blogoversary counter from Monday had the countdown as 328 days.

Old counter:
I removed the old counter and put up a new one that also has a cat on it! You can see it on the right hand side of the page. It seems to be accurate.

I'd rather think of the blogoversary as Kurious Kitty's BIRTHDAY, and today, Kurious Kitty is 8 years old! So, let's party! To quote Grover, "Don't sit like a potato on the couch!"

I'm sure KK would love it if you brought over a cake or a pie to celebrate with her and the staff. I'd recommend the cake found on page 37 of The Cake Bible [641.8653 BER]. Or, the pie found on page 226 of The Pie and Pastry Bible also by Rose Levy Beranbaum [641.865 BER]! And while we're eating, maybe someone will read Splat the Cat Takes the Cake [E SCO] to us?

Isn't this a perfect day?

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

An Art-Lover's Bonanza!

Art-lovers are in for a treat! Three of the museums to which we have library passes are featuring exhibits of the works of famous and much-loved artists. At the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston you can see the art of Francisco Goya--"Goya: Order and Disorder," through January 15, 2015.

"The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" courtesy MFA, Boston.

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), Salem, MA, is exhibiting Alexander Calder in "Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic," through January 4, 2015.

The Currier Museum in Manchester, NH displays the mind-boggling works of M. C. Escher, "M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion," through January 5, 2015.

The Friends of the Library of Windham have made available passes to all three museums. The passes are good for admission to the museum, but, on occasion there is an additional charge for special exhibits (check out the links above for specific information). To book a pass, click here. You will need your library card number to reserve a pass.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

"There Is Painting After Blindness"

What a seemingly incongruous statement, but it is true for artist Sargy Mann. The BBC News Magazine featured this totally blind artist whose works sell for thousands to the likes of Steven Spielberg and other serious art collectors.

The video didn't go into how he chose his colors, but, there are several more videos available on YouTube that may explain. Viewing them all will be a project for another time, though. What is explained is how Mann manages proportions--he uses Blu-tack! Blu-tack has long been a favorite of the Library staff for use in securing posters without the risk of removing paint when the poster is taken down. It is a delight for me to realize that there are other, more creative uses for the stuff!

Now, if a blind man can paint, why can't you? It's all about attitude (see KK's Kwotes for today)! Borrow one of our how-to books and give it a go. You CAN do it!

Monday, November 03, 2014


We've had ebooks through the 3M and Overdrive services for several years now. Many people borrow ebooks to travel. A smart phone travels with you anyway, so why not put a book on it to read on the plane?

Most often, people think of ebooks for fiction, and we try to keep current with the new releases, but we also have a growing collection of nonfiction that you might want to consider for a change of pace. Here are some recently added titles to our 3M collection: