Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blog Closed!


Kurious Kitty is taking a break, so the blog will be temporarily closed. Posts will be back beginning October 6th. After 2,011 posts, KK needs to regroup and stop repeating herself! You know you need new material when you've posted for a whole week about chickens, or restaurants, or dragons!

Enjoy yourself while I'm gone and keep reading! Also, take a look at our new website, which I believe will be going live next week. Let us know if you think we've forgotten anything, or if you have difficulty finding what you need on the site.

Photo by hugovk.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Ten-Year Journey

Celebration: MAVEN Arrives at Mars. Members of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) team celebrate at the Lockheed Martin operations center in Littleton, Colorado, Sunday night, after getting confirmation that the spacecraft entered Mars' orbit. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars, and will soon begin taking measurements of the composition, structure and escape of gases in Mars’ upper atmosphere and its interaction with the sun and solar wind. Credit: Lockheed Martin, courtesy NASA.

After a decade's journey, the MAVEN project is embarking on a new phase. MAVEN has entered the gravitational pull of Mars and will be orbiting the planet. It probably won't be long before the little green men show up! Only kidding. The information gathered from the mission will increase our knowledge of our neighboring planet. However, this new knowledge will probably render all our materials on Mars obsolete, but until then you can brush up on what we currently know!

Lomberg, Michelle. Mars. [J 523.43 LOM]

Mars: The NASA Mission Reports. [629.43 MAR]

Raeburn, Paul. Uncovering the Secrets of the Red Planet: Mars. [523.43 RAE]

Roving Mars. [DVD 629.45 ROV]

Siy, Alexandra. Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet. [J 919.923 SIY]

Zobel, Derek. Mars. [J 523.43 ZOB]


If you're still interested in the fantastical aspects of Mars, then look for one of these speculative fiction choices:

Corey, Shana. First Graders from Mars. [JP COR]

Duane, Diane. A Wizard of Mars. [YA DUA]

Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier: An Original Science Fiction Anthology. [YA SC LIF]

Pratchett, Terry. The Long Mars. [SF PRA, also 3M ebook]

Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom. [YA SC UND]

Weir, Andy. The Martian. [F WEI, also 3M ebook]



Monday, September 22, 2014

Got Museums?

If you like museums, but don't get to travel far, the Library has passes to several museums within a 45 minute drive of Windham. Here's a list of the museums for which you can borrow reduced admission passes.


Now, let's say you don't even want to travel 45 minutes. Did you know that there is a website that hosts the Museum of Online Museums (MoOM)? By clicking on the links you can view the collections of museums in the U.S. or in locations around the world. How awesome is that?

Here are a few links to collections that tickled my fancy:

The Advertising Archives.

American Package Museum.

Busy Beaver Button Museum.

Museum of Fred.

A Visual History of Whispering Imps on Magic Posters.
A word of warning: some links are no longer active, but there are so many more that are!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Poetry Friday Is Talk Like a Pirate Day!


Today is the official international celebration known as Talk Like a Pirate Day! Are you wearing your peg leg and your eye patch and are you aaarr-ing and avast-ing?

A pirate's best friend (and probably his only friend) is his parrot, so, in honor of piratical parrots everywhere, I'm sharing a poem by James Merrill, from Collected Poems [811 MER]. As you read it, imagine the old woman as an old lady pirate!
The Parrot

I am impatient of the myth that numbs
        A spinster as she hums
Sweet nothings to her parrot in its cage.
The haggard eye set in white crinkled paint
Meeting her eye over the cracker crumbs
        Tells much about old age
    Beyond what is serene or quaint.

Our revels now are ended, pretty Poll,
        For midnight bells extol
The individual face behind the mask.
Each dancer seeks his partner to embrace
As if he had seen deep into her soul
        And gave what is dared ask,
    While knowing but a woman's face.

As she grew older, old, it was to sense
        A sad irrelevance
About the Moment she had so long wanted,
When mask did matter least, and face did tell
More than it knew of private riches, whence
        Came surely the enchanted
    Eye, the enchanting syllable.

Think how the parrot masked always not young,
        Selecting as from dung
The oaths and greetings she let fall when most
She suffered or felt joy was possible,
Destroys the personal with its gray tongue,
        That frail and talkative ghost
    A bird of utterance can dispel;

Speaks with no human voice, which is pretense
        Of gentleness and sense.
Against such masks, it ancient cry awoke
Jungles within her, sunsets of its flight,
Being the music that informed her dance
        Until all music shook
    To stillness in the bestial night.

Admittedly, I have no idea what it all means, but I like the way it sounds! Shiver me timbers, it's now time to be heading over to The Poem Farm where Amy is holding the Round-Up.

Photo by LHG Creative Photography.


Coming Soon to a Computer/Device Near You!

We are quite excited to be launching our new Nesmith Library website within the next week or two. The web address will remain the same www.nesmithlibrary.org, but the design will be totally different and user-friendly. Kurious Kitty is going to offer you a sneak peek (click on the images to enlarge)!

Our home page will have a toolbar with drop-down menus so that Library information is at your fingertips:


Right on the home page you will also find a list of events, as well as photos, clickable links to databases, and more!


There will be a page for Kids (and their parents), and another for Teens.


We are busily adding content, and proof reading, and making last minute changes, but it won't be long now!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

And Let's Not Forget Pirates on Film


Yesterday, I reminded you that Friday is "Talk Like a Pirate Day." I mentioned the gazillion books on pirates that we have in our collection. I left pirate movies until today:



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Friday Is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Avast! And all that! Get your do-rags and your eye patches ready for Friday when people all over the world celebrate "Talk Like a Pirate Day!" TLAPD has been celebrating those colorful rapscallions in lore (the real guys were just plain criminals) for a dozen years now. Check out the TLAPD website to learn more, to watch videos, and to brush up on your pirate lingo!


We've got pirate books galore to prepare you for TLAPD. Here are a few:



Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy International Dot Day!


Today's the day to make you mark on the world. Draw or paint, write, or sing, or dance. Or do them all! Just do something creative and you'll be joining thousands of kids who are marking their marks too!

The day was sparked by The Dot, a picture book by Peter Reynolds, and his follow-up book, Ish [both JP REY].

You can see dots created by children's book writers and illustrators at Celebri-dots.

And here's an example of how some kids, on opposite sides of the globe made their mark last year!





Thursday, September 11, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Primrose"

A fabulous series of books for kids is "Poetry for Young People," published by Sterling Publishing. We have these titles in our collection:



The poem I have selected for today is from the volume entitled William Carlos Williams:

Primrose

Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow!
It is not a color.
It is summer!
It is the wind on a willow,
the lap of waves, the shadow
under a bush, a bird, a bluebird,
three herons, a dead hawk
rotting on a pole--
Clear yellow!
It is a piece of blue paper
in the grass or a threecluster of
green walnuts swaying, children
playing croquet or one boy
fishing, a man
swinging his pink fists
as he walks--
It is ladysthumb, forget-me-nots
in the ditch, moss under
the flange of the carrail, the
wavy lines in split rock, a
great oaktree--
It is a disinclination to be
five red petals or a rose, it is
a cluster of birdsbreast flowers
on a red stem six feet high,
four open yellow petals
above sepals curled
backward into reverse spikes--
Tufts of purple grass spot the
green meadow and clouds the sky.

What great images! I can picture it all, can't you?

Please stop by No Water River where Renee is hosting this week's Round-Up.




Looking for Something New?

If you're looking for a change from the novels of James Patterson or John Grisham how about trying nonfiction? Here are three titles that might pull you away from the same-old, same-old:


Croke, Vicki. Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. [940.5425 CRO, also 3M ebook]

Kessler, Ronald. The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents. [KES, also 3M ebook]

Sides, Hampton. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette. [910.452 SID, also 3M ebook]

If you have any doubts about reading nonfiction, take a look at the New York Times review of Elephant Company, written by novelist Sara Gruen.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What Kids Read

Over the past few weeks, I've seen article after article such as the one that was posted by The Washington Post on Monday, "Why kids should choose their own books to read in school" by Valerie Strauss.

I hope the appearance of such articles signal the end of the "reading list." We've just completed three months of summer reading in which students had to read from an assigned list. Let's just say, on some of the lists I had a hard time finding a title I would have picked up and read!

A little guidance and reader's advisory is good, reading lists, maybe not so much.

Let the children read! You'd be surprised how a child who has read a book, liked it and recommended it to his/her classmates, can start a run on a book!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

More Books Into Movies

The next few months there will be a bumper crop of new movies released that have been based on books. Here are a few that will come out between now and the first Friday in October:

Block, Lawrence. A Walk Among the Tombstones. [F BLO, also LP BLO] Opens 9/19 with Liam Neeson.

Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. [YA DAS, also 3M ebook] Opens 9/19.

Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl. [F FLY, also 3M ebook, AB/CD FLY. And, if you read Chinese, we have it in Chinese, too! CHINESE F FLY] Opens 10/3 with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

King, Stephen. "A Good Marriage" in Full Dark, No Stars [F KIN, also LP KIN and AB/CD KIN] Opens 10/4.

Lelord, François. Hector and the Search for Happiness. [LP LEL] Opens 9/19 and stars Simon Pegg.

Trooper, Jonathan. This Is Where I Leave You. [F TRO, also 3M ebook] Opens 9/19 starring Jason Bateman.

Here's the trailer for The Maze Runner:


Monday, September 08, 2014

Story to Screenplay to Novel to Confusion

Next Friday the newest film based on one is Dennis Lehane's stories is being released. The film is titled, The Drop. The movie tie-in book is titled The Drop [F LEH], however, the original short story upon which the screenplay is based is "Animal Rescue." The story appears in Boston Noir [SC BOS], a collection of stories edited by Lehane. "Animal Rescue" was also written by Lehane. Other writers whose stories appear in Boston Noir are Stewart O'Nan, John Dufresne, Brendan Dubois, and Lynn Heitman. Lehane also wrote the screenplay for The Drop.

Confused? I'll bet! We've received the novelization based upon the movie based the short story and it is already checked out, so, you'll have to put your name on the holds list if you want to read it before you see the movie. Or, you can read the short story, because last I looked, Boston Noir was sitting on the shelf!

Here's the trailer to whet your appetite:

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Poetry Friday--National Chicken Month!


I'm going to close out this week of celebrating the CHICKEN with a poem I found in one Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry" weekly emails (column #245)
Poor Patriarch
by Susie Patlove

The rooster pushes his head
high among the hens, trying to be
what he feels he must be, here
in the confines of domesticity.
Before the tall legs of my presence,
he bristles and shakes his ruby comb.

Little man, I want to say
the hens know who they are.
I want to ease his mistaken burden,
want him to crow with the plain
ecstasy of morning light as it
finds its winter way above the woods.

Read the rest here.

I mentioned Monday's "American Life in Poetry" offering on a Facebook post and mentioned the fact that people can sign up to receive a weekly poem. I was surprised that so many people had never heard of the service. In case you are one of those people, you can sign up here. All the poems are short and can be read quickly and then saved and savored later!

Other poetry mailings include Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac," Academy of American Poets "Poem-A-Day," and Kenn Nesbitt's Poetry 4 Kids. A simple Google search using the term "poems by email" will bring up scads more!

Happy September, happy National Chicken Month, and happy Emailed Poetry Month (unofficial)!

Stop by Author Amok where Laura will have more poetry links to share in this week's Round-Up.

Photo by Tim Green aka atoach.

Raising Chickens

If you're a do-it-yourself type of person, you might want to consider raising chickens for show, for eggs, for meat, or just for the pleasure of their company. (Don't laugh, I know some people who are quite attached to their backyard poultry.)

If you're interested in showing them, you may want to pick a heritage breed such as the ones found in a book new to our collection, An Introduction to Heritage Breeds: Saving and Raising Rare-Breed Livestock and Poultry by The Livestock Conservancy and D. Phillip Sponenberg [338.162 SPO]. The introduction to the book explains the reasoning behind raising heritage breed animals. Here's an interesting passage:
Over the entire globe, human communities in a wide variety of environments tested, molded, and perfected thousands of breeds of chickens, goats, sheep, cattle, horses, and other traditional farm animals. This long history of partnership between animals and people often goes even deeper: many heritage breed also reflect the cultural approaches to survival of various ethnic groups, specifically the different ways in which each group adapted to and used its environment.
This passage puts the raising of animals into a cultural context that is both fascinating, and important to remember as we think about the future. You can learn more on The Livestock Conservancy's website.

I love the colorful names of some of the heritage chicken breeds: Buckeye, Buttercup, Cubalaya, Dorking, Java, New Hampshire, Redcap, Shamo, Yokohama.

If you want to try your hand, you can start by reading, and then moving on to the building of a shelter and providing for the animals. Manuals such as Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: Care, Feeding, Facilities by Gail Damerow [636.5 DAM] can be found on our nonfiction shelves.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

More Chickens!


The chicken as a character appears frequently in children's books, because, like the proverbial rubber chicken--it is just so darn funny!

Look for one of these on your next visit to our children's room:



Rubber chicken courtesy partysuppliesdelivered.com.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

It's National Chicken Month!

What? You haven’t been patiently anticipating National Chicken Month? What’s wrong with you? I’ll bet it’s because you celebrate all year long! Who doesn’t like a good chicken dinner? Or a delicious three egg omelet?

National Chicken Month is sponsored by the National Chicken Council, which has chicken recipes galore. Visit their Eat Chicken page for a searchable database of recipes. However, the Eat Chicken page does not have egg recipes. For those you have to visit the American Egg Board’s Incredible page.

Or, you can visit the Library to borrow one of our cookbooks! Here is a sampling:

The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook: A New, Healthier Way to Cook Everything from America's Most Trusted Test Kitchen. [641.563 AME]

Golson, Terry Blonder. The Farmstead Egg Cookbook. [641.675 GOL]

Larsen, Linda. Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook. [3M ebook]

The Soup Book. [641.813 SOU]

Stevens, Molly. All About Braising. [641.77 STE]

Tuesday is Chicken and Turkey and Chicken Salad and More. [641.665 TUE]


Monday, September 01, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

The Library is closed today to celebrate the Labor Day holiday.

In our area, the northeast, labor history is marked by the textile mills that sprang up in the 1800s and operated for about 100 years before most were closed down. Textile workers, both native born and immigrant worked long and hard. Today is a day to honor their labor, and to be thankful that labor organizers brought health, safety, and human rights issues to the forefront, which resulted in laws that improved the lives of all Americans.



See you tomorrow at 9 AM.