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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Poetry Friday--Beatles Poetry

A little bit of Beatles trivia: on this day in 1969, the Beatles played their last concert together as the Beatles. It took place on the roof of Apple Studios in London. The story goes, the neighbors complained of the noise, and called the police!

We have many of the Beatles CDs in our collection. And, if you read the lyrics to the songs, you may be inclined to think of them as poetry. That's easy enough to do with the many rhyming songs, but how about lyrics that don't rhyme?

Since the music to many Beatles songs is a part the American psyche, I thought I'd share the lyrics to a song that may be a little less familiar, tune-wise.
Across the Universe
by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me
Jai Guru Deva OM

Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe
Jai Guru Deva OM

Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter, shades of life are ringing through my open ears
Inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on, across the universe
Jai Guru Deva OM

Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva

So, what do you think?

Here's the song with the music:

You'll find "Across the Universe" on Let It Be [CD ROCK BEA], the last of the Beatles original albums.

Paul (not the Beatle) at These 4 Corners is the host for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Onward to February!

Local Transportation History

In just a few months, Canobie Lake Park will be opening for the 2015 season. Did you know that the Park originally was built to keep trolley cars running on the weekends? Here's a short video that explains trolleys and the origins of the park:

One of the volumes of Salem, NH history published in the "Images of America" series, also covers trolleys and the park: Salem, NH: Trolleys, Canobie Lake, and Rockingham Park (by Douglas W. Seed and Katherine Khalife) [974.2 SAL].

If you'd like to learn more about streetcars (an alternate term for trolleys) in our area we have another in the "Images of America" series called Manchester Streetcars by O. M. Cummings [974.2 CUM], and, A Diary of the Portsmouth, Kittery, and York Electric Railroad: A Chronology of Events Based on Newspaper Accounts, Editorials, News Notes and Letters to the Editor from January 8, 1897 to November 12, 1897 by John D. Bardwell [385.09 BAR]. A history of Massachusetts streetcars can be found in From Boston to the Berkshires: A Pictorial Review of Electric Transportation in Massachusetts by Stephen P. Carlson [388.46 CAR].

The National Streetcar Museum, is located not far over the border in Lowell, MA. Plan a daytrip to Lowell, or to its other location, the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME, after the snow has been cleared from the tracks!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Clean-Up Continues

There will be snow covering the ground for quite a while here after the two recent storms. For adults it can be a real pain-in-the-back if you have to shovel. For kids, however, it can be an absolute delight! Building snowmen and snow forts and making snow angels--what more could they ask for?

Adults may be interested in this book: The History of the Snowman: From the Ice Age to the Flea Market by Bob Eckstein. This is from the jacket flap:
Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing snowballs on top of each other, and who decided they would use a carrot for a nose? Most puzzling of all: How can this mystery ever be solved, with all the evidence long since melted?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Day!

The Library will be closed today. Please check first before visiting on Wednesday. If you're ever in doubt about closings, check our website, Facebook page, or our Twitter page. Closings will be posted there (that, of course, also assumes the person posting will have internet access to do so) and on the WMUR closings page (look under "N" for Nesmith).

As always, I'd like to remind you that if you have a computer, smart phone, or a tablet, you can borrow ebooks from our collection 24/7! Here are some titles added recently:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tuck Everlasting--The Musical?

One of my favorite children's novels is Tuck Everlasting, written by Natalie Babbitt [J BAB]. In brief, the book is a exploration of immortality, and raises the question, "is living forever a good thing?" The subject is a rather "heavy" one for kids, but the book is well-written and has certainly sparked some active classroom discussions--thus its longevity in print.

The book was first published in 1975, so this is its 40th anniversary year. It was adapted and released as a major motion picture by Disney in 2002 [DVD TUC]. Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls fame stars. It has morphed again into a choreographed musical theater piece. Tuck Everlasting previewed in Atlanta on January 21 and officially opens on February 4.

I am skeptical about the book's suitability as a musical, but, I'll reserve judgment.

If you, as an adult, haven't read the book, I can certainly recommend it. It would make a good choice for a book group, too.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Winter"

Since we're expecting a nor'easter this weekend, there's no denying winter!
by Robert Louis Stevenson

In rigorous hours, when down the iron lane
The redbreast looks in vain
For hips and haws,
Lo, shining flowers upon my window-pane
The silver pencil of the winter draws.

When all the snowy hill
And the bare woods are still;
When snipes are silent in the frozen bogs,
And all the garden garth is whelmed in mire,
Lo, by the hearth, the laughter of the logs --
More fair than roses, lo, the flowers of fire!

From An Inheritance of Poetry, collected and arranged by Gladys L. Adshead and Annis Duff [821 ADS].

Now, please take a side trip to New Hampshire Garden Solutions, a blog that recently ran a post titled, "Ice." Spend a little time marveling over "the silver pencil of the winter" and its drawings done here in New Hampshire.

Then, hop down to New Jersey where A Teaching Life is hosting this week's Round-Up.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


If you're in the Lincoln, NH area any time soon be sure to stop by Ice Castles for a treat that can only be enjoyed in the coldest months of the year. Ice Castles, NH has a Facebook page that you can visit to see some chilling photos of the attraction and learn more about its "over an acre of frozen ice walls, tunnels, towers, archways and more."

Ice down here in the southern portion of the state can be pretty scary--black ice, especially so. So can murder mysteries involving the cold and ice! Ice is the subject of many books, nonfiction and fiction, for children and adults.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's Not Too Late

We've already gone through 3 weeks of January, but that still leaves 49 weeks left for you to work through this 2015 Reading Challenge.

If you need a title suggetion, visit us at the Library, ask in the comments below, or post a question on our Facebook page!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oscar Time

The nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards were recently announced. We have almost no nominated titles in our collection, due to the number of films released very late in 2014. Some of the nominated films are only just opening locally for the first time!

Here is the list of Best Picture nominees:

American Sniper DVD release date not yet announced.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) DVD release date not yet announced.

Boyhood On order, DVD released January 6. Check back soon.

The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD GRA]. Yay! We have one Best Picture nominee!

The Imitation Game DVD release date not yet announced.

Selma DVD release date not yet announced.

The Theory of Everything DVD release date February 17.

Whiplash DVD release date February 24.

Hold tight, as soon as they come in they'll be cataloged and processed for borrowing! But for now, you'll have to make due with trailers, or, go to the theater.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Day!

The Library is closed today for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. To learn more about the holiday and "Dr. King’s philosophy and strategy of nonviolence to eliminate poverty, racism and violence," click here.

Many people celebrate the holiday by doing community service in the spirit of Dr. King. President Obama and his family participate and so can you. Click here to learn how you can take part. For volunteer opportunities in New Hampshire, visit Volunteer NH. As the site proclaims, "Service isn't just nice, it's necessary," and, as most volunteers will tell you, the rewards far outweigh the effort.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Poetry Friday--Appreciate a Dragon Day!

According to the Days of the Year website, today is Appreciate a Dragon Day.
The dragon is a powerful symbol in mythology all over the world, from Europe to Asia and beyond. Appreciate A Dragon Day encourages you to explore the cultural significance of the dragon in your society and history!
If you're looking for a dragon poem, you're in luck because we have plenty! The Dragons are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky [J 811.54 PRE] and Eric Carle's Dragons Dragons & Other Creatures That Never Were [J 808.81 CAR] are places to start, as well as almost any general children's anthology.

The following is from a beautifully illustrated (by Julie Paschkis) collection of poems by Julie Larios, Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures [J 811.54 LAR].

The air around me
burns bright as the sun.
I tell wild rivers
which way to run.
I'm arrow tailed,
fish scaled,
a luck bringer.
When I fly,
it's a flame song the world sings,
But you can ride safely
between my wings.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place this week at Live Your Poem...with Irene Latham.

"Der Teufel und seine Grossmutter." (1912), courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coming this Year

A recent online article had the title, "2015 Movie Adaptations Are Going to Be Big! Read These 12 Books Before the Films Come Out To Be Prepared." Click on this link to the article to read about the forthcoming films, and come visit us to borrow the books that the films are based on.

Of the list of 12, we own all in one format or another. They are:

Bonfiglioli, Kyril. Don't Point That Thing at Me. [AB/CD BON] The film name is Mortdecai, see trailer below.

Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. [YA COL, also AB/CD, 3M ebook, and in Chinese CHINESE F COL]

Dashner, James. The Scorch Trials. [YA DAS, also AB/CD, and 3 M ebook]

Genova, Lisa. Still Alice. [F GEN, also AB/CD, and 3M ebook]

Green, John. Paper Towns. [YA GRE, also 3M ebook]

Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd. [F HAR]

James, E. L. Fifty Shades of Grey. [F JAM]

Philbrick, Nathaniel. In the Heart of the Sea. [910.9164 PHI, also 3M ebook]

Rash, Ron. Serena. [F RAS, also 3M ebook]

Roth, Veronica. Insurgent. [YA ROT, also AB/CD, and in Chinese CHINESE F ROT]

Sparks, Nicholas. The Longest Ride. [F SPA, also AB/CD, and 3M ebook]

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Making Life Easier

Last week, a Library user was telling some of the staff about the cane she was using. It came from Community Caregivers of Greater Derry. None of us had heard of the Community Caregivers, so I decided to look into the organization. I found they had a website. Their "Loaner’s Closet for Durable Medical Equipment" carries canes, walkers, shower chairs, bed trays, etc. Medical items are expensive to purchase and hopefully will be needed for only a short period, so it makes sense to borrow them--that's a service Community Caregivers provides!

As often happens, on the same day we learned about the organization, the Derry News ran an article! Serendipity is amazing, isn't it?

What I find most amazing about the organization is its goal is to serve elderly and disabled people, helping them remain independent in their homes, and, to not to charge for their services. The organization runs on donations, grant money, etc. It also is not restricted to residents of Derry, thus, Windham users can take advantage of the service. How great is that?

Photo from the Community Caregivers' site.

Adapting a home for the elderly or infirm, can be done with the assistance of a book such as Easy Things to Make--to Make Things Wasy: Simple Do-It-Yourself Home Modifications for Older People and Others with Physical Limitations by Doreen Greenstein [362.4 GRE] and online by doing a Google search on terms such as "accessibility adaptations" or "universal design for homes."

If you, or a loved one, needs assistive equipment that is beyond a simple pair of crutches or a bedpan, AbleData
provides objective information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources to consumers, organizations, professionals, and caregivers within the United States. We serve the nation's disability, rehabilitation, and senior communities.

Help is available to make life easier, you just need to know where to find it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mark Twain and 2015

Writer, Mark Twain, who spent a great part of his life living in Connecticut, had this to say about New England weather, "If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes."

Technology, like the weather, changes so frequently it is hard to keep up. Who, two years ago, had even heard of a Fitbit®? Now, the question is, "What do you mean, you don't own a Fitbit®?"

If you're interested in the history of digital technology, a good place to start is with Walter Isaacson's book The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution [004.67809 ISA, also AB/CD, and 3M ebook]

It seems that in 2015, we will see an expansion of "wearable technology" such as we've seen in the past with Fitbit® or Google Glass. At least that's what been reported by those who've written about the recent Consumer Electronic Show (CES). To learn more about what's currently available out there in the world of digital technology click here. If you listen to NPR, you may not be surprised that what they've reported on is not the wearable wonders, but the fact that people really, really, want better batteries! I think that that's the kind of thing Mark Twain would have picked up on, too!

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's All About Pandas

Kids on sleds and adults on skis aren't the only ones who "play" in the snow. Apparently pandas do, too! Last week the people at Washington, DC's National Zoo released a video of a baby panda's first outing in the snow.

So very cute! Want to learn more about pandas? Or read some delightful panda picture books? Come visit us!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Poetry Friday--Write-Your-Own

This has been a make-your-own week at Kurious Kitty. So, what better topic for Poetry Friday than write-your-own poetry!

The best place to start is to read poetry! Look through the hundreds of titles in the 800 section. A quick Dewey Decimal explanation:
  • 81 American literature in English
  • 82 English & Old English literatures
  • 83 German & related literatures
  • 84 French & related literatures
  • 85 Italian, Romanian & related literatures
  • 86 Spanish, Portuguese, Galician literatures
  • 87 Latin & Italic literatures 88 Classical & modern Greek literatures
  • 89 Other literatures
After those numbers, look for a "1". That is the designation for poetry, so, 811 would be American poetry, 821 English poetry, etc.

If you're interested in poetry how-tos, look in the 800's for "80 Literature, rhetoric & criticism." Chances are, guides will be found there, although, some may be found in the 811 or 821 sections, and, books on teaching poetry are found in the 370 "Education" section. (I'm not a cataloger, so I can't explain the reasoning behind every Dewey # assignment!)

Here are a few poetry guides to look for:

Cohen, Sage. Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read & Write Poetry. [808.1 COH]

Fletcher, Ralph J. Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from Inside Out. [J 808.1 FLE]

Macken, JoAnn Early. Read, Recite, and Write Free Verse Poems. [J 808.1 MAC]

Magee, Wes. How to Write Poems. [J 808.1 MAG]

Morice, Dave. The Adventures of Dr. Alphabet: 104 Unusual Ways to Write Poetry in the Classroom and the Community. [372.64 MOR]

Pinsky, Robert. Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters. [808.1 PIN]

Prelutsky, Jack. Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem. [3M ebook]

Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme. Jack Prelutsky, compiler. [J 811.54 REA]

Salas, Laura Purdie. Write Your Own Poetry. [J 808.1 SAL]

If you're the type to get philosophical about things, look for the 3M ebook titled Art and Poetry by Jacques Maritain. Here's a description:
The book delves into Maritain’s thoughts on the nature and subjectivity of art and poetry. As a philosopher, Maritain attempts to define the two concepts, describing art and poetry as "virtues," and as primarily concerned with beauty. Rather than focus on aesthetic theory, Maritain examines the concepts at a more tangible level, including a discussion of how they are made.
That should be enough to get you started! Writing poetry can be fun, therapeutic, challenging, and so much more!

Speaking of fun, head over to Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Make-Your-Own Beauty Products

If you can cook up a pot of soup, then you can surely put together some home-made beauty products. The advantages are great--you know exactly what is in them. Have you ever looked through a book like, Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter without Me: A Unique Guide to Thousands of Skin-Care and Cosmetic Products, Plus the Latest Research on Keeping Skin Beautiful at Every Age by Paula Begoun [646.72 BEG]? You should! And after you do, you may never want to put anything store-bought on your body again!

First off, I want to suggest you look into baking soda. Baking soda had been used for many years before the rise of the humongous health-and-beauty industry. Baking soda is now making a come-back. Click here for "8 Beauty Uses of Baking Soda." It is safe and inexpensive.

Here are a few items that will lead to ways to be beautiful, healthy, green, and safe, and that have recipes for you to make in your kitchen:

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Make-It-Yourself Week

So far we've looked at brewing beer and bread making. How about we declare this a week of make-it-yourself topic posts? One of the easiest things to make yourself is soup. Soup is utterly versatile, just fill a pot with a pre-made stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable), throw in some vegetables that are hanging out in your vegetable crisper, add a handful of rice or macaroni, a canful of beans, and bring to a boil! Add pepper and spices, some leftover meat, and you're ready to go. However, some people feel more comfortable with a recipe to follow, or prefer something a bit more intentional than a use-everything-that's-leftover soup, so we have these for you:

And don't forget, soup is not only easy and inexpensive to make, it is also tastes good and is good for your health!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Bread Baking

Yesterday's post was about beer and featured an article that included this statement: "...people call it liquid bread."

Okay, but, you can't make a sandwich with it! You do need some sort of bread for a sandwich. With the beer post I suggested brewing your own, so, with a bread post I'm going to suggest baking your own. We have an abundance of bread and baking cookbooks in our collection. We even have some that have recipes for making beer-batter bread!

Remember, not all breads are alike, so, in the cookbooks below you'll find recipes for yeast breads, and no knead yeast breads, and soda breads, and quick breads (more cake-like than yeast breads), and more:

Monday, January 05, 2015

Everything in Moderation

We Americans are a people of extremes--if something has been declared to be good for us, then two or more must be better! In a recent NPR article touting a "good for you" adult beverage with which to ring in the New Year, the author warned the reader that too much may make you fat and/or damage your liver. The beverage is beer, and thus this post's title, "Everything in Moderation." The rise in craft beer brewing has taken America by storm and the article also addresses the issue of larger numbers of calories in some craft beers. Repeat after me, "everything in moderation."

Interest in home brewing has also increased over the past decade, and the home brewer can now find equipment and advice nearby (Border Brew Supply, located on route 28 in Salem, is probably the closest). If the idea of brewing your own appeals to you, borrow one of our books to give you an idea of what you're getting yourself into, and what you can achieve!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Poetry Friday--Acceptance

To celebrate the beginning of a new year here's a poem from our neighbor, Mr. Robert Frost, who lived, for a time, up the road in Derry.

When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened. Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be.'

From West-Running Brook [811 FRO] The artist who created the three woodcut print illustrations isn't credited in the book, but Wikipedia identifies the artist as J. J. Lankes.

The first Poetry Friday Round-Up of 2015 is taking place today at The Miss Rumphius Effect.