Looking for a book, DVD, CD, or other item? Search our catalog!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Poetry Friday--"To the New Year"

Photo by Wyncliffe.

A simple wish for the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017: "our hopes such as they are...still possible."
To the New Year

by W. S. Merwin

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

You'll find many of Merwin's poems in the various anthologies in our American poetry section including The Poets Laureate Anthology [811.5 POE]. We also have two of his collections: Migration: New & Selected Poems, and The Shadow of Sirius [both 811.54 MER].

Donna, in the neighboring state of Maine, is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Visit her at Mainely Write.

See you next year!

Science on a Sphere

Have you heard of Science on a Sphere (SOS)? It's
a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain what are sometimes complex environmental processes, in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.
To learn more, click here.

One of the features of the SOS website is a list of various datasets that provide detailed information on a number of topics. For instance, there's a list of Snow and Ice datasets including one titled, "Climate Model: Sea Ice Change (GFDL a1b) 1861 - 2100." Besides explanatory information, there's a model sphere that rotates, and, by using sliders on the left side and bottom of the page you can move the sphere to provide a better view of what is happening at the top and bottom of the globe. Pardon the pun, but the sea ice model is COOL!

Some of the dataset pages have short narrated videos, and they all have links to more information. The SOS site is a great resource for answering questions on climate change, so check it out!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

End of Year Lists

They started coming in the beginning of December. Now that New Year's Eve is nearly upon us, we've been caught up in a deluge of "the year's best movies," "best CDs of 2016," "celebrities who left us in 2016," etc.

Here are a baker's dozen of adult titles that appear on multiple "best books of 2016" lists:

Cline, Emma. The Girls. [F CLI, eBook, eAudio]

Desmond, Matthew. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. [339.46 DES, eBook]

French, Tana. The Trespasser. [F FRE, AB/CD FRE, eBook, eAudio]

Gyasi, Yaa. Homegoing. [F GYA, AB/CD GYA, eBook, eAudio]

Hill, Nathan. The Nix. [F HIL, AB/CD HIL, eBook]

Jiles, Paulette. News of the World. [F JIL, eBook]

Kalanithi, Paul. When Breath Becomes Air. [B KAL, AB/CD B KAL, eBook, eAudio]

Mukherjee, Siddhartha. The Gene: An Intimate History. [576.5 MUK, eBook, eAudio]

Smith, Zadie. Swing Time. [F SMI, AB/CD SMI, eBook, eAudio]

Springsteen, Bruce. Born to Run. [B SPR, LP B SPR, AB/CD B SPR, eBook, eAudio]

Towles, Amor. A Gentleman in Moscow. [F TOW, AB/CD TOW, eBook, eAudio]

Vance, J. D. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. [B VAN, AB/CD B VAN, eBook, eAudio]

Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. [F WHI, AB/CD WHI, eBook, eAudio]

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

And the Winner Is...

The winner of the 2016 Ladybug Picture Book Award is It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee [JP AGE]. Here's how the publisher describes the story:
Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. "That's very odd," says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he's always reassuring: "It's only Stanley; he's fixing the oil tank." "It's only Stanley; he's clearing the bathtub drain."

But what Stanley the dog is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is deliciously absurd: he's turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom himself and his family to another planet for an alien encounter.

The Ladybug Picture Book Award
is designed to promote early literacy and honor the best in recent children's picture books. A committee of children's librarians from around the state selects 10 picture book titles each spring. Then, during November, New Hampshire children from preschoolers to those in third grade choose the award winner.
The award has been given annually since 2003 and the Nesmith Library owns the winning titles.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Poetry Friday--Manger

If you haven't seen the Christmas anthology, Manger [J 811.008 MAN], with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, I'd say you're in for a treat. From the animals, on the endpapers, illustrated by Helen Cann, to the simple but moving poems throughout, this would be a lovely book to read to a child on Christmas Eve. The premise of the collection is that animals received the gift of speech on the night Christ was born.

I have no doubt that even the youngest child can appreciate this gem of a poem:
Littlest Goat
by Alice Schertle

Donkey pushed in front of me.
I couldn't see at all.
Bossy Sheep said, "Go Outside!
No jumping in the stall!"

But Mary smiled and Joseph rubbed
my muzzle with his staff
when I jumped over Donkey's back
and made the baby laugh.

Before you go off to visit Buffy's Blog for the Poetry Friday Round-Up, I want to wish you love and happiness during this holiday season, and peace and justice in the coming new year!

The Library will be closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. See you on Tuesday!

Last Minute Gifts

Just when you think you've finished purchasing all the gifts you'll need for giving over the holidays, you remember...that you forgot...to get something for [fill in a name here]! If you can't bear one more trip to the mall and you know that with online shopping the chance you'll get what you need in time has slipped away, borrow one of these:

Baker, Lucy. Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share. [eBook]

Engelbreit, Mary. Wrap It Up!: Gifts to Make, Wrap and Give. [745.54 ENG]

Hoverson, Joelle. Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. [eBook]

Hoverson, Joelle. More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. [eBook]

Taylor, Carol. Last-Minute Christmas Gifts: Crafting Quick & Classy Presents For Everyone on Your List. [745.59412 TAY]

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's Official!

Today at 5:44 AM, we entered winter. Let's hope it won't be a repeat of 2015 with record-breaking snow, but, a little snow would be nice for outdoor activities such as...

Downhill skiing

Details here.

Cross-country skiing

Details here.


Details here.


Details here.

Ice fishing

Details here.

And a whole lot more!

Details here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Look Up!

Earlier this month we had a gorgeous full moon. The moon is now waning. How do I know that? By checking the widget that has been added to the right-hand side of this page. It comes courtesy of MoonConnection.com.

There is plenty going on in the sky if you just take the time to look! This month there is also the Ursids meteor shower coming our way--a relatively small one, but still it's an amazing sight to "catch a falling star."

To learn more about what you might find in the sky, look for Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects To See in a Small Telescope-- and How to Find Them by Guy Consolmagno [523 CON]. If you don't have a telescope, borrow our Orion StarBlast 4.5" telescope [KIT TELESCOPE]. If you think you may need an introduction to astronomy, then sign up for the Library's Winter Skywatch taking place next Wednesday at 5:00.

Some of you oldies may remember "Catch a Falling Star" sung by Perry Como and included on The Very Best of Perry Como [CD MALE VOCALIST COM].

Monday, December 19, 2016

Thoughts on Christmas Songs

You've been hearing Christmas music, probably since before Thanksgiving. By this time you must have heard Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You," 150 times. The song was released back in 1994 and after 22 years is still #1. Imagine how many times you've heard it in those 22 years...

If you're curious about the popularity ranking of Christmas songs, click here. And if you haven't heard it enough already, look for the tune on the Mariah Carey CDs, Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas II You [CD HOLIDAY CAR].

The song is featured prominently in the film Love Actually [DVD LOV], but it is sung by someone other than Carey.

Mariah Carey has been made a millionaire fifty times over by "All I Want For Christmas Is You." It seems impossible that royalties from one song could bring in so much money, doesn't it? Yet, the idea that a Christmas song could provide continuous income for years and years is the premise of another movie, About a Boy [DVD ABO] starring Hugh Grant, who, coincidentally, also stars in Love Actually! About a Boy, the film, is based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby [F HOR].

The following song is a little less popular than "All I Want for Christmas Is You." If you're lucky enough (unlucky enough?) you'll hear at least once each year. (I don't think you'll ever find Hugh Grant starring in a filmed version.)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Poetry Friday--Winter Lights

It's a season of lights to counteract the long hours of darkness found at this time of year. Anna Grossnickle Hines, as part of her series of books of poetry illustrated with quilts, wrote Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts [J 811 HIN].

The amazing thing about the book is the fabric wonders created by the author. This from the jacket flap:
Two of the quilts in the book, "Solstice" and "Star Catcher," each contain 8,450 triangles and took four hundred hours to sew.

The book is also a tribute to cultural diversity of seasonal celebrations and the idea of lighting one's world. Look for the poems titled, "Holiday Magic,""Morning Light," "Solstice," "Small Miracles,""Christmas Path,""Kwanzaa," and "Nian Is Coming."

A Sight to See

Aurora borealis!
Aurora borealis!
The words ring out
in a joyful shout.
Come see!

Come see
this amazing sight,
the shifting colors,
a billowing curtain
of swirling,
swooping light.

Aurora borealis!
Aurora borealis!
The words slip out
in a whisper.

Adults, especially quilters, will enjoy reading the quilt-making processes that Hines employed in illustrating the book; find "Making the Winter Lights Quilts" at the end. With long winter evenings ahead, quilting may be a way for you to while away the hours, if so, we have a treasure trove of quilting books on our shelves.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted this week at Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

LEGO® Time at the Library

Town of Windham's IT director, Eric DeLong, has set up his annual LEGO® display in the Library's display case (on the left as you enter the front door). This is the third time he has set up the popular display that has the power to engage both kids and adult. The theme for this year is "Famous people at the Library." (If you see Eric, thank him for starting and continuing this holiday tradition!)

Stop by soon, since the display will only be up for a few weeks. Kids can also fill out a raffle ticket to win one of about a dozen prizes (prizes made possible by the generosity of Windham Town employees). Winners will be drawn on Friday, December 23, at noon--children need not be present to win.

When you come to the Library to see the display, go home with one of our LEGO® books that will inspire you and your kids to create your own scenes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Yet Another Star Wars Movie

If the last few Star Wars movies left you cold, then the new movie opening on Friday may restore your faith in the Star Wars saga. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the title of the latest film, and Variety reported, "Some observers in the crowd remarked afterward how surprisingly action packed and beautiful the film looked. Others noted how much they liked the new characters in the prequel..."

Rewatch all the Star War films [DVD STA]. We have them in our collection, as well as a great number of Star Wars books in both the adult [SF STA] and children's section [J STA, J CX STA, E STA, and many more in J 791.43 STA].

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Feathered Dinosaurs?

Yes! Some dinosaurs had feathers, and if you don't believe me, check out this article from National Geographic, "First Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber."

Isn't it amazing to see dinosaur feathers? Who woulda thunk it? Discoveries happen all the time, so probably the best way to keep up is by way of the internet. However, if you're a child, you may enjoy reading about dinosaurs in the land of "make-believe." Here are some dinosaur titles for kids that were added in the past year or so:

Monday, December 12, 2016

Winter Weather

Yes, this is one more reminder about winter weather.

The town is responsible for our parking lot and walkways and they are generally good at getting things cleared out as soon as possible. However, this doesn't mean that all of Windham and the surrounding communities' roads are perfect for traveling. So, please be aware that unless we have sufficient staff to safely open the Library, we may not be open at exactly 9. We'll try our best to get things up and running as quickly as possible.

Remember, if Windham schools are closed or have a delayed opening due to inclement weather, then Toddler Time and Story Hour will be canceled for the day.

If weather is really bad, then we will be closed, or perhaps be forced to closed early. How will you know? Check our Facebook and Twitter pages (whatever we post on Facebook automatically is posted on Twitter). We will also post the news on our website. Channel 9, WMUR, will be notified, so check your television or their weather closings page. IMPORTANT: look for us under "N" for Nesmith Library. The Library will not be found under the listings for Windham (this is a WMUR restriction, not ours).

When in doubt, please stay home and download an eBook or eAudiobook to your device. Consider calling us to check if we are open before venturing up the hill to the Library, 432-7154.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Poetry Friday--Clowns

On December 9, 1898, America's most famous clown, Emmett Kelly, was born in Kansas. Maybe his name isn't familiar to 21st century readers, but, the clown persona he made famous, "Weary Willy," is probably instantly recognizable as the face on a million black velvet paintings!

Here's a photo of Kelly as Willy, taken in 1947:

In honor of Emmett Kelly, I want to share a surprising circus picture book by Adam Rex, Three-Ring Circus [JP REX].

A quick summary from the publisher:
In a quiet little lea, several miles out of town, a tree grows. It becomes home to sparrows, chipmunks, a whopping big bee...a runaway clown? Two poodles? An ape? Wait a minute. . . .
In his quirky but realistic style, Rex creates the greatest show on earth--or at least, in a tree.
This book is a little bit of everything--a cumulative tale, a rhyming book, a counting book, and a pile of fun. (Even the credit page has its humor--"No animals were harmed in the making of this book. The cat complained of neck pain, but was later found to be faking.")

Here's a bit of the text:
The traveling circus of Barley & Brown
looks up and down for their runaway clown.

Because they both stare at the tree, they don't see
that two clever apes are stealing their key.

For a rhyming good time, also check out the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held this week at Check It Out!

10 More Days...

...to get a mitten from the Windham's Helping Hands Giving Tree, purchase the specified gift, and return it, unwrapped, to the Library (by December 18). Each mitten represents a wished-for item such as a toy, or a practical item, such as boots, or pajamas, or a package of sports socks. These items go to local parents who need a bit of holiday joy-making assistance. The parents get to wrap the gifts and see their children's faces when presents are exchanged. We ask that you consider taking more than one mitten as the demand this year is great.

If you don't like to shop, Helping Hands will take donations of money or gift cards to help the group purchase items for those people whose mittens weren't selected, or for those whose mittens were selected, but no gift item was returned to the Library. Please adhere to the December 18 deadline so that Helping Hands can determine how much shopping their volunteers need to do, and, most importantly, can distribute the gifts in time for a family's holiday celebration.

Thank you for caring!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Pearl Harbor

Today is the 75th anniversary of the day "that shall live in infamy," the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the Japanese. The action, in which 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 were wounded, resulted in the United States entering World War II the following day.

2016 has seen a great number of books on Pearl Harbor and the war in the Pacific, being published to coincide with the 75th anniversary, including these three recent additions to our collection:

Atwood, Kathryn J. Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival. [YA 940.53092 ATW]

Otfinoski, Steven. Day of Infamy: The Story of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. [J 940.54 OTF]

Twomey, Steve. Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack. [940.5426 TWO]

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

A Bit of Food History

I haven't come across many people who don't love the snack food, cheese curls. They're light, crunchy, and strangely addictive. But, there's the added benefit of orange-dyed lips and fingers to let you know when you've eaten a few too many! They are definitely not on a "clean eater's" diet!

You may have asked yourself, "Who invented these things?" It's not exactly the result of a normal cooking or baking accident. Wonder no more--the answer is found here, and it's not particularly appetizing!

That verse from the Bible, "The truth shall set you free," definitely applies here. After reading the story of cheese curls, you may be free from future cheese curl cravings!

To learn more about snack foods, look for 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].

Photo by Mike Mozart.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Alan Alda

I'm sure everyone remembers Alan Alda as the star of the long-running tv series, M*A*S*H [DVD MAS], and in films such as The Four Seasons [DVD FOU]. He is a writer of several autobiographies such as Things I Overheard while talking to Myself [B ALD, AB/CD B ALD, also eAudiobook]. Did you also know of Alda's great interest in science and scientific communication?

For 14 years Alda hosted a PBS program titled, Scientific American Frontiers, which brought cutting edge science into the homes of Americans. Alda went on to create the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York. A yearly science communication competition, known as "The Flame Challenge," is one of the projects of the Alan Alda Center.
The Flame Challenge is an international competition in which scientists answer a technical question in a clear and entertaining way, specifically geared toward an audience of 11-year-olds. Launched in 2012, The Flame Challenge began with Alan Alda’s own childhood query, "What is a flame?"
The challenge for 2017 is to explain the concept of energy. Think you can do it? If you're a teacher, get your students involved in the 2017 "What is Energy?" question, click here.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Poetry Friday--Antarctic Antics

Yesterday was Antarctic Day, so let's keep it going through Poetry Friday with a book of penguin poetry!

Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems is a delightful children's book by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey. It would be a great book to pair with a viewing of the animated movie, Happy Feet [J DVD HAP].

How can you resist a book with so many Emperor Penguins frolicking on the cover? I don't think you can! Open it and enjoy!
Mother Penguin's Vacation

Two months out at sea
Is a penguin's great thrill.
Each evening my dinner
Floats right into my bill.
Oh, I might make a meal
Of a slippery eel.
Or a cod, or a squid.
(Gulp! I think I just did--
I feel a long tentacle
Tickling my ventricle.)
Several shrimp swimming south
Are approaching my mouth--
So I'll just open wide
And invite them inside.
Yes, two months' vacation
Is a penguinish wish.
I've got nothing to do
But slurp squadrons of fish.
I'll grow gorgeously fat,
Then swim home in July,
To sing my new baby
A deep-sea lullaby.

Poet, Judy Sierra, explains the "story behind the book" on her website; click here.

For this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up visit Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

It's Antarctica Day!

What is Antarctica Day?
After almost fifty-seven years, the Antarctic Treaty continues to shine as a rare beacon of international cooperation. To celebrate this milestone of peace in our civilization with hope and inspiration for future generations--ANTARCTICA DAY is recognized to be December 1st--the day when the Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959. As an annual event, Antarctica Day encourages participation from around the world. Our aim is to continue expanding Antarctica Day on December 1st as a globally-accessible platform to share, interpret and cherish the values associated with Antarctica for the benefit of present and future generations.

From Our Spaces.

To say we have a gazillion books and DVDs on Antarctica is only a slight exaggeration! Here are five examples of the variety of materials we have on the topic--from science fiction to comic format:

Bledsoe, Lucy Jane. How to Survive in Antarctica. [YA 919.89 BLE]

Kostyal, K. M. Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton. [919.9 KOS]

March of the Penguins. [DVD 598.47 MAR]

Pipe, Jim. The Race to the South Pole. [J CX PIP]

Robinson, Kim Stanley. Antarctica. [SF ROB]

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Make Way for Ducklings

Many children in the greater Boston area receive a gift of Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, because their parents read the book in their childhoods, and maybe their grandparents did, too. The reading of Make Way for Ducklings is a tradition for Boston area families, as is visiting the Swan Boats. Over the past decade, the brass duckling sculpture in the Boston Garden, has become a tourist destination for young and old, too.

The Swan Boats are in dry dock for the winter months (will reopen in April), and it may be too cold to walk through the Public Garden, but you can still enjoy reading about the ducklings in the original picture book [JP MCC], as part of a collection of McCloskey stories in The World of Robert McCloskey or Make Way for McCloskey: A Robert McCloskey Treasury [JP MCC]. You can even read it in a Spanish language edition, Abran Paso a los Patitos [J 468.2 MCC].

Last week, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, an exhibition opened, "Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey."
With art from Make Way for Ducklings at its center, the retrospective presents more than 50 works, including studies for other books written and illustrated by McCloskey: Lentil (1940), Homer Price (1943) and Centerburg Tales (1951), which recall his youth in rural Ohio, and popular Maine tales including Blueberries for Sal (1948) and Time of Wonder (1957). Works are drawn primarily from the rich, but rarely exhibited holdings of the May Massee Collection at Emporia State University in Kansas.

An exhibition highlight is the miniature bronze model for Nancy Schön’s Make Way for Ducklings sculpture, commissioned for the Boston Public Garden in 1985. As well as celebrating McCloskey’s achievements as author-illustrator, the retrospective also includes a selection of his independent work connecting him to prominent American painters such as Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper.
Borrow our museum pass and head down to Boston. The exhibit runs through June 18, 2017, so you have plenty of time! To learn more about the artist, Robert McCloskey, look for Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures written by his daughter, Jane McCloskey [B MCC].

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Time for the 2016 "Best of" Lists

Each year as we reach November, various groups and organizations start issuing their best-of-the-year lists--the best movies, or the best new electronic gadgets, and always, the best books. You'll find best book lists published by newspapers, magazines, and literary organizations. Here is "SLJ's Best of 2016," for kids and young adults, as was determined by School Library Journal, a review magazine used by school and public librarians across the country. This year their best list includes 66 titles.

If you don't want to watch the whole video, here's the list of the middle grade (ages 8-12) fiction titles. Often, books from the middle grade lists go on to win the Newbury Award in January.

Anderson, John David. Ms. Bixby's Last Day.

Barnhill, Kelly. The Girl Who Drank the Moon. [J BAR]

Brown, Peter. The Wild Robot. [J BRO]

DiCamillo, Kate. Raymie Nightingale. [J DIC]

Erdrich, Louise. Makoons.

Gidwitz, Adam. The Inquisitor's Tale. [J GID]

Grimes, Nikki. Garvey's Choice. [J GRI]

Kelly, Erin Entrada. The Land of Forgotten Girls.

Lin, Grace. When the Sea Turned to Silver. [J LIN]

Peck, Richard. The Best Man. [J PEC]

Pennypacker, Sara. Pax. [J PEN]

Reynolds, Jason. As Brave As You. [J REY]

Reynolds, Jason. Ghost. [J REY]

Wolf, Lauren. Wolf Hollow. [J WOL]

If you have children or teens on your holiday list, use the SLJ's recommendations as a buying guide.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tuskegee Airmen

The sole remaining original member of the World War II all black flight squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen, Willie Rogers, passed away ten days ago at the age of 101.

The Tuskegee Airmen, also known as the Red Tails, were brave in the face of the enemy overseas, and in the face of racial discrimination at home. The story of the squadron has been retold in books and movies including these:

Holway, John. Red Tails: An Oral History of the Tuskegee Airmen. [940.5449 HOL]

Red Tails. [DVD RED]

Weatherford, Carole Boston. You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen. [J 811 WEA]

If you're ever down in Alabama, you should take a trip to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. The National Park Service turned 100 this year, a year younger than Mr. Willie Rogers.

Rest in peace, brave airman.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Library closes at noon today and will be closed Thursday and Friday. It will reopen for regular weekend hours at 9:00 AM on Saturday.

Rather than get into heated political arguments over the Thanksgiving meal, take a page from National Public Radio's StoryCorps Project. Begin a discussion with the older members of your family about Thanksgivings in their youth, or what people ate in the 1950s, or the games children played before the advent of smart phones. You need not restrict yourself to using the StoryCorps app (free app for iPhones and Android devices) and recording the interview--just sit and listen.

If you're interested in more on the StoryCorps Project, look for this inspiring book on your next visit:
Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project [973.92 LIS].

Have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mix It Up!

Admit it, how many families have peas, or green bean casserole as their side dish at Thanksgiving? Some people have creamed onions, that no one eats, just because that's what great-grandma served through the years. Maybe it's time for some new side dish traditions!

Look through these for inspirations:

An American Bounty. [641.5973 AME]

Bittman, Mark. Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times. [eBook]

The French Chef 2 with Julia Child. [DVD 641.5944 FRE]

Joel, Katie Lee. The Comfort Table. [641.563 JOE]

101 Classic Cookbooks: 501 Classic Recipes. [641.5 ONE]

Perelman, Deb. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. [641.5 PER, also eBook]

It's no exaggeration to say we have hundreds more! Mix it up this Thanksgiving. Maybe you'll find yourself with no side dish leftovers at all!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Oh, Yes, It Won't Be Long!

The past few days have brought a significant dip in the temperature and a dusting of snow. Can the first major snowstorm of the season be far behind? The following celebrates snow through an animator's fantastic imagination. Much better than dealing with the reality of snow and snow removal.

Other snow themed animated films in our collection include:

The Backyardigans: The Snow Fort. [J DVD BAC]

Frosty the Snowman. [J DVD FRO]

Frozen. [F DVD FRO]

Happiness Is...Peanuts: Snow Day. [J DVD HAP]

The Snowman

Thomas & Friends: Thomas' Snowy Surprise & Other Adventures. [J DVD THO]

If you like animated shorts, not necessarily snow related, please look for Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 1 and Volume 2 [J DVD PIX]. Pixar is the studio that has brought us full length animated features since 1995 when they released Toy Story [J DVD TOY].

Friday, November 18, 2016

Poetry Friday--"Gobbledy-Gobble"

Next Thursday, as we all know, is Thanksgiving Day, one of the truly all-American holidays. Who doesn't love a juicy roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a few favorite side-dishes? I'll tell you who--the turkey!

For today I have a poem by Felice Holman, from Thanksgiving Poems, selected by Myra Cohn Livingston [J 808.81 THA]:

How they laughed!

"He's so scrawny.
Scrawny! Scrawny!"
they taunt me.
"Not handsome and brawny.
He's ugly as sin."

So gobbledy-gob-
ble, I'm not with the mob
because of the shape that I'm in.
"The worst on the block.
A disgrace to the flock."
They're ashamed to admit
they're my kin.

Well, sometimes they hurt
""Twould be nice to be purt-
y.), but common sense says
"You're a winner."
For on Thanksgiving Day
they have all gone away
to be somebody's good-looking dinner.
If you'll excuse a little self-promotion, I'd like to remind you that the off-off-off-off-etc. Broadway musical adaption of Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr (me) [JP MAY] is taking place this Saturday and Sunday at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth, NH (their website was down earlier, here's the phone #603-433-4472). I guarantee kids will enjoy the music and the mayhem!

Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

They're Back! (Well, Almost)

The long-running (seven seasons) television series, The Gilmore Girls, concluded in the spring of 2007. Yes, it was that long ago... We were left suspended, uncertain as to what the future had in store for Lorelai, Rory, and the citizens of Stars Hollow.

Now, Netflix has revived the beloved Gilmore Girls characters and has filmed a 4-part mini-series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which will be available starting November 25--the day after Thanksgiving a.k.a. Gluttony Remorse Day! As soon as it is available to purchase as a DVD, we will order it. Here's something to whet your GG appetite:

If you need a GG refresher, we have all seven seasons [DVD GIL], and Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest [791.45 COF].

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to catch up!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Robotic Dinosaurs

Have you seen this video of robotic dinosaurs that were created in Japan. It is amazing! Watch and see if you don't agree.

It might be fun to compare the new robots to the dinosaurs that were created for the Jurassic Park films [DVD JUR]. It also might be fun to compare the latest Jurassic Park movie, Jurassic World, which came out in 2015, to the original film released in 1993. Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


A lot of questions about our system of government have come up as a result of 2016 being a presidential election year. Half a century ago, most people would have learned the basics of our government in a high school course called "civics." With contemporary education focusing on STEM subjects [science, technology, engineering, math] and reading, civics has been incorporated into "social studies," and is often neglected in favor of history and geography.

Of course, the public library is a great place to catch up on, or refresh, your civics knowledge. A good place to start is with the Constitution. Books about the Constitution, its amendments, and the Bill of Rights are found in the adult and children's sections under the number 342.73. Teens and adults should also look for this video: Our Constitution: A Conversation [DVD 342.73 OUR].
United States Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer talk about the Constitution with high school students and discuss why we have and need a constitution, what federalism is, how implicit and explicit rights are defined and how separation of powers ensures that no one branch of government obtains too much power.

With one presidential candidate winning the popular vote, and the other the Electoral College vote (scheduled to take place in December), a lot of questions have arisen about the Electoral College. A brief summary of what the Electoral College is may be found at the House of Representatives website. Kids can be directed to The Electoral College by Suzanne LeVert [J 324.63 LEV].

Monday, November 14, 2016

Happy Birthday, Aaron Copland!

On this day, in 1900, Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn. He was the son of immigrants who grew up to become one of America's quintessential musical composers. He not only created great orchestral music such as "Symphonies, no. 3." (Find "Symphonies, no. 3." on Leonard Bernstein's six disk set The Americans: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon [CD CLASSICAL BER].) He also composed music for lively ballets like "Billy the Kid," choreographed by Martha Graham, and wrote music for major motion pictures such as the 1939 film, Of Mice and Men [DVD OF], based on the John Steinbeck novella of the same name.

Copland wrote to educate the general public about music, and we have his guide, What To Listen For in Music [780 COP] on our shelves.

Of all his works, the one that is perhaps best known is his "Fanfare for the Common Man." Here is Leonard Bernstein presenting Copland:

Learn more about Copland in Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man by Howard Pollack [B COP].

Friday, November 11, 2016

Library Closed for Veterans Day

The Library is closed today in honor of the men and women of our armed services. We thank you for your service to our country!

For a brief history of the federal holiday, click here.

If you're looking for the Poetry Friday Round-Up, it is being held at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Stop by to see what's on the poetry menu!

The Library will open again tomorrow at 9:00 AM. See you then!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

On This Day...

in 1925, Welch actor, Richard Burton was born. A famed actor on stage and screen, he later became better known as the husband of actress Elizabeth Taylor!

You can see him perform in any one of these films in our collection:

Cleopatra. [DVD CLE]

The Comedians

Equus. [DVD EQU]

The Sandpiper. [DVD SAN]

The V. I. P.s. [DVD VIP]

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Except for Equus, all the films star both Burton and Taylor.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


The 2016 election may be history, but the next four years will still be a roller coaster ride for sure. If you haven't tried meditation before, then maybe now is the time to look into it. And, if you're like me, you've never quite gotten the hang of the whole meditation thing. Breathing. Letting all other thoughts go? Right, that lasts for about five seconds!

Recently, I found this:

The key for me is learning that you can retrain your brain! Now to try again with this in mind!

For more on meditation and its benefits look for Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant [616.8914 MAR] and The Mindfulness Habit: Six Weeks to Creating the Habit of Being Present by Kate Sciandra [eBook].

Look for more Happify videos on YouTube, if you found the above video helpful.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election Day 2016!

This presidential election season has been in the news for more than 18 months, but today is finally the day to get out and vote! Please do so!

Here is a poem from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations: Holiday Poems for the Whole Year in English and Spanish edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. We have it in a children's edition [J 808.81 POE] and a teacher's edition with educational connections [372.64 POE].

Image courtesy Poetry for Children.

Monday, November 07, 2016

It's Kurious Kitty's Tenth Birthday!

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet post! In the ten years I've been blogging, I've written 2,522 posts--that's Monday through Friday with nary a break! It's been fun, and sometimes a bit challenging to come up with topics to post about. I hope my readers have found something of interest and have visited the Library to borrow the items we have that relate to the topic being covered.

For today, I'm going to keep it short and share a little video that can be said to be "literature-based." It's from my old favorite, Bugs Bunny, and was inspired by the books of C. S. Forester about a Napoleonic Wars era officer of the Royal Navy, Horatio Hornblower. We have at least nine of the books in the series, including the first one, Beat to Quarters [F FOR].

Don't forget that tomorrow is election day! (As if you could forget!) Do your civic duty and VOTE!

Friday, November 04, 2016

Poetry Friday--Russian Poetry

I am listening to an audiobook that I am absolutely adoring. The funny thing is, though, the book doesn't have much of a plot! So, what is it that I find so wonderful? The main character, Alexander Rostov, a man of infinite charm and social skill. The book is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles [F TOW, AB/CD TOW, eBook, eAudio] and here is how the publisher summarizes it:
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
What this summary leaves out is that although he had no 9 to 5 employment, Rostov had gained some renown as a poet in his early life. Since I'm immersed in this story of a Russian poet, I decided to look for a Russian poem for today. I found one in Contemporary Russian Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology (selected and translated by Gerald S. Smith) [RUSSIAN 891.71 CON].

The Raven
by Elena Shvarts

An old Raven asked for my heart
To take away to its baby ravens,
"Or else they'll bury you in the ground,
And I won't be able to scratch you up."
"Evil bird," I replied to him,
"You fed Elijah and the saints,
But me you yourself are ready to eat up,
Although, of course, I'm no match for them."
The bird replied, "Everything around is frozen.
It's cold, and I have to get warm.
I'll take your heart away to my icy home,
Let my freezing offspring peck it,
No joke--three sons and a daughter..."
I threw a stick at him, "Away!"
That night I woke up from a pain in the chest,
Oh, what pain, a pain in the heart!
The Raven hopped off the bed, onto the table, toward the door--
From its beak blood drips onto the floor.

It's not a poem such as I imagine Count Rostov writing, but it has a nice Halloween-season vibe to it.

Laura at Writing the World for Kids is this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up host. Be sure to stop by!

Photo by Doug Brown.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

November Is Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

This is a topic that most people wish to avoid since it is unpleasant to think about a loved-one or even ourselves having to deal with Alzheimer's Disease.

The first step to dealing with a disease is get a basic understanding of it. The Alzheimer's Association has a page titled "What Is Alzheimer's?" Besides the basic information, there are plenty of links to other sources of information.

Of course, you can always visit the Library to borrow one of our books on the topic in the 616.831 section. There are, also, many first-hand accounts of sufferers with the disease and their caretakers.

We also have DVDs for those who prefer to view rather than read. Look for Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer's: An Emotional Journey [DVD 616.831 CAR], The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's [DVD 616.831 FOR], and Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me [DVD 782.42 GLE].

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Bestsellers You May Have Missed

Often times a book receives so much pre-pub hype it becomes a bestseller even before it is released. Those books may stay on the bestseller list for weeks, and holds lists build, because everyone thinks they must read from the bestseller list. But, for those of you who are not tied to a current bestseller list, the world is your oyster. If a book is good, it'll still be good six months from now or even six years from now!

Here are some novels you may have missed six years ago when they were "hot" in November 2010:

Baldacci, David. Hell's Corner.

Child, Lee. Worth Dying For.

Connelly, Michael. Reversal.

Follett, Ken. Fall of Giants.

Flagg, Fannie. I Still Dream about You.

Flynn, Vince. American Assassin.

Franzen, Jonathan. Freedom.

Grisham, John. Confession.

Karon, Jan. In the Company of Others.

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Lehane, Dennis. Moonlight Mile.

Morton, Kate. Distant Hours.

Robb, J. D. Indulgence in Death.

Sparks, Nicholas. Safe Haven.

Stockett, Kathryn. The Help.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016


At this time of year, some of us start to lose steam. Once winter fully sets in it may get even worse. The problem affects everyone from students to retirees. There is a solution, though! Borrow one of these titles from our collection:

Donovan, Jim. Happy at Work 60 Simple Ways to Stay Engaged and Be Successful. [eBook]

Duhigg, Charles. Smarter Faster Better: Tthe Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. [158 DUH, also eBook and eAudio]

Lavoie, Richard D. The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-Out Child. [370.154 LAV]

Pink, Daniel H. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. [153.1534 PIN]

A site recommended to me by a friend provides us with a lesson in "How to Get Massively Motivated in Less Than 60 Seconds."

If you prefer videos, going to YouTube and using "motivation" as a search term will bring up hundreds of videos. Here's a TEDx Talk by Scott Geller, "The Psychology of Self-Motivation."

If your motivation problem is simply a matter of Seasonal Affective Disorder, look for Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder by Norman E. Rosenthal [616.8527 ROS]. Then, to quote my late mother, "Go outside and blow the stink off you!"

Monday, October 31, 2016

It's Halloween!

If you're a Scrooge-type of individual, and don't want to be bothered answering the doorbell and handing out candy, then one of your options is to sit in the dark on Halloween during the hours from 5 to 8. An easy and fun way to do that is to watch a movie without the lights on. Try one of these:

Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection
. [DVD DRA] (Contains six Dracula movies!)

The Omen. [DVD OME]

The Perfect Storm. [DVD PER] (It's about the Halloween Nor'easter of 1991.)

Poltergeist. [DVD POL]

The Rite. [DVD RIT]

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. [DVD ROC]

Rosemary's Baby. [DVD ROS]

The Watcher in the Woods. [DVD WAT]

That should be enough to get you through the evening! We have plenty more. Come visit us to browse our DVD shelves--we're open until 8:00, so if you stick around until closing, you'll miss all the trick-or-treaters!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Poetry Friday--Halloween Fun!

As I wrote yesterday, today is Frankenstein Friday. It is also Poetry Friday, and since Halloween is coming up on Monday, I thought it's time for a poetic celebration.

I found a book that I don't remember ever having read before, and we've had it since 2000--Two Skeletons on the Telephone and Other Poems from Tough City by Paul Duggan and illustrated by Daniel Sylvestre [J 811 DUG]. It's kind of too bad I've come to this book so late because the combination of poems and pictures are just plain fun!

Here's one to whet your appetite:
The Reason Skeletons Don't Wear Clothes

The reason skeletons don't wear clothes?
Socks won't stay on bony toes,
And underwear just sags and slumps
When hanging from their bony rumps.
Shirts slide off their bony backs,
And pants drop like potato sacks;
And since they can't wear fancy stuff,
Skeletons walk 'round in the buff.

Can't you see a classroom of kids doing a choral reading?

There are plenty of other, even shorter poems that would provide opportunity for each kid in the classroom to select one to be read aloud.

More Halloween poems will probably pop up at the Poetry Friday Round-Up hosted this week by Linda at Teacher Dance. Have a happy Halloween (and by the way, I love dark chocolate...).

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tomorrow Is Frankenstein Friday!

Tomorrow is Frankenstein Friday! It happens each year on the last Friday in October. Start off by looking for either of these two fun books by Adam Rex, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich: And Other Stories You're Sure to Like, Because They're All about Monsters, and Some of Them Are Also about Food... [J 811.6 REX] and Frankenstein Takes the Cake: Which Is Full of Funny Stuff Like Rotting Heads and Giant Gorillas and Zombies Dressed as Little Girls and Edgar Allan Poe... [J 811.6 REX]. These are fun to both read and view! Take a look!

From Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

From Frankenstein Takes the Cake

Then watch one of the Frankenstein films found in the Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Collection [DVD FRA] or, for a lighter-hearted movie, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello meet Frankenstein [DVD ABB].

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

The Gunfight at the O.K Corral is a film [DVD GUN] from 1957 that stars Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. But, did you realize that it is based, not on a work of fiction, but on a real incident that happened on this day in 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona. The Earp brothers, Virgil, Wyatt, and Morgan, along with gambler, Doc Holliday, attempted to disarm the Clanton and Mclaury brothers. A quick round of gunfire (reported to have lasted a mere 30 seconds) resulted in one Clanton, and two McLaury deaths, and two Earp brothers wounded. The story of the gunfight and subsequent trial, in which the Earps and Holliday were acquitted of murder, became a legendary story of the "Wild West."

Besides the movie, we have several novels that were inspired by the gunfight, including Mary Doria Russell's Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral [F RUS, also eBook and eAudiobook]. Epitaph is #2 in a series by Russell, book one is Doc [F RUS, also eBook and eAudiobook]>

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Is Almost Here!

How about putting together a little Halloween treat for you family? There are probably a thousand online sites where you can find fun Halloween recipes. My Honey's Place is a blog that has links to "Halloween Recipes Galore." I personally love the jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers from Everyday Jenny. I wish someone would make some for me...

You'll also find recipes scattered throughout our cookbook collection, as well as in these:

Drummond, Ree. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations. [641.568 DRU]

Holiday Food Fun--Creative Ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas & More. [641.568 HOL]

Lovén, Zazel. Country Living Handmade Halloween: Ideas for a Happy, Haunted Celebration. [745.5941 LOV]

Maggipinto, Donata. Halloween Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family. [641.568 MAG]

Monroe, Lucy. Creepy Cuisine. [J 641.568 MON]

Monday, October 24, 2016

An Isabella Stewart Gardner Exhibit

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston currently is showing a collection of Italian Renaissance Books. Physically, these books are very different from the ones we read today, and I'm not just talking about the differences between standard print books and eBooks. Medieval books were illuminated, that is, the words were supplemented with decorations, from fanciful initial fonts, to borders, marginalia, and hand-painted illustrations. Color was used and may have included gold or silver leaf. The Gardner exhibition of Renaissance books represents the period of transition from one-of-a-kind illuminated animal skin books to paper books created on a printing press.

The exhibit is part of a Boston-wide project, Beyond Words 2016. You can see examples of the illuminated manuscripts found in the collections of the participating institutions by clicking here.

Learn more about illuminated manuscripts from the National Gallery of Art. If you'd like to try your hand a illuminating a manuscript, start off by doing a quote. Look for Paint Your Own Illuminated Letters by Stefan Oliver [745.67 OLI] and you'll be on your way!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday, Samuel Taylor Coleridge!

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born on this day in 1772. He is known for poems such as "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan," works you probably studied in high school. (More of his poetry can be found in Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Poems [821 COL].)

Courtesy National Portrait Gallery.

Coleridge is an often quoted philosopher, too. Here are a few sample quotes, all relating to poetry:

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.


The proper and immediate object of science is the acquirement, or communication, of truth; the proper and immediate object of poetry is the communication of immediate pleasure.


In philosophy equally as in poetry it is the highest and most useful prerogative of genius to produce the strongest impressions of novelty...


Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry.


Our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagination.


I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in their best order.


Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must be good sense at all events; just as a palace is more than a house, but it must be a house, at least.


I take unceasing delight in Chaucer. His manly cheerfulness is especially delicious to me in my old age. How exquisitely tender he is, and yet how perfectly free from the least touch of sickly melancholy or morbid drooping! The sympathy of the poet with the subjects of his poetry is particularly remarkable in Shakspeare and Chaucer; but what the first effects by a strong act of imagination and mental metamorphosis, the last does without any effort, merely by the inborn kindly joyousness of his nature. How well we seem to know Chaucer! How absolutely nothing do we know of Shakspeare!

You can draw your own conclusions, but for me, I think Coleridge was saying that poetry should be able to reveal its writer, yet still give lasting pleasure by appealing to what is basic to the individuals reading it. What do you take away from these quotes?

Ponder what he was saying, but then visit this week's Round-Up being held at The Miss Rumphius Effect where you'll find more poetry to bring you pleasure.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Ties between Humans and Animals

Those who dismiss animals as being on the earth merely to provide food, entertain, or to perform other services for humans, are selling them short. Animals may feel emotion, sense things (earthquakes), and help us to be kind. Case in point is this story from Australia about the impact on a family of rescuing a young magpie. Please take a few minutes to view, and read through, the slideshow. I think you'll be glad you did!

Photo by Cameron Bloom.

Stories about the bonds between humans and animals are a staple of novels and children's books. Reports of the intellectual and emotional lives of animals are less common, but are increasing in popularity. Here are a few:

Coren, Stanley. The Pawprints of History: Dogs and the Course of Human Events. [636.7 COR]

Facklam, Margery. What Does the Crow Know?: The Mysteries of Animal Intelligence. [J 591.51 FAC]

Montgomery, Sy. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. [594.56 MON, also AB/CD 594.56 MON]

Morell, Virginia. Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures. [591.513 MOR]

Pepperberg, Irene M. Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process. [636.6865 PEP]

Yoerg, Sonja. Clever As a Fox: What Animal Intelligence Can Teach Us about Ourselves. [591.5 YOE]

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

National Day of Writing

The National Council of Teachers of English has declared tomorrow to be "National Day of Writing."
Every October 20, NCTE celebrates the importance, joy, and evolution of writing through a tweetup, using the hashtag #WhyIWrite and events hosted by thousands of educators across the country.

Last year there were more than 60,000+ tweets with a reach of millions of people.

Writing, besides being useful for communication, also can be an act of creativity, or can function as a form of therapy for those who may be having problems. There is so much good that can come of writing. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. So why wait until tomorrow. Start today with one of these:

Coman, Carolyn. Writing Stories: Ideas, Exercises, and Encouragement for Teachers and Writers of All Ages. [808 COM]

Women on Writing: From Inspiration to Publication. [808 WOM]

Writing: How to Express Yourself with Passion and Practice. [J 808 WRI]

Here's a site that can help almost any writer improve his/her work: Hemingway Editor. It "makes your writing bold and clear."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Got Tots?

A movie blast from the past:

We have Napoleon Dynamite on DVD [DVD NAP], as well as a book of quotes from the movie, collected by Jared Hess, Napoleon Dynamite: The Complete Quote Book [YA 791.4372 HES].

Pick up a bag of frozen tots, bake them crisp, and then sit down and enjoy the show!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Downloadable eBooks & eAudios

There have been, and will continue to be, a number of changes to the two downloadable eBook and eAudio services we belong to, Overdrive (NH Downloadable Books) and 3M Cloud Library. Updating your device to the latest edition of an app is always a good idea so you can get the full benefit of the service.

For Overdrive users, the NH State Library maintains a detailed user's guide that you can access here. Cloud Library has a user's guide here.

One of the biggest changes you will notice is that 3M, is changing its branding from 3M Cloud Library to simply, Cloud Library, due to a change in ownership of the service.

The change in logo will be appearing in our online catalog in late December, but rest assured, no matter which logo you see on your device or desktop, the service is the same.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Poetry Friday--'Tis the Season

It's pumpkin time!

Nancy Willard, whom many of you are inclined to think of as a children's writer (won a 1982 Newbury Medal for A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers [J 811 WIL]), is also a prolific writer of adult poetry. In Swimming Lessons: New and Selected Poems [811 WIL] you will find this playfully strange poem for the season:
Saint Pumpkin

Somebody's in there.
Somebody's sealed himself up
in this round room,
this hassock upholstered in rind,
this padded cell.
He believes if nothing unbinds him
he'll live forever.

Like our first room
it is dark and crowded.
Hunger knowns no tongue
to tell it.
Water is glad there.
In this room with two navels
somebody wants to be born again.

So I unlock the pumpkin.
I carve out the lid
from which the stem raises
a dry handle on a damp world.
Lifting, I pull away
wet webs, vines on which hand
the flat tears of the pumpkin,

like fingernails or the currency
of bats. How the seeds shine,
as if water had put out
hundreds of lanterns.
Hundreds of eyes in the windless wood
gaze peacefully past me,
hacking the thickets,

and now a white dew beads the blade.
Has the saint surrendered
himself to his beard?
Has his beard taken root in his cell?

Saint Pumpkin, pray for me,
because when I looked for you, I found nothing,
because unsealed and unkempt, your tomb rots,
because I gave you a false face
and a light of my own making.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place down in Alabama at Irene's Live Your Poem.

Photo by starsandspirals.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Did you know that the United Nations has designated October 13 of each year as International Day for Disaster Reduction? It's a good thing, too, since disasters are almost monthly events, be it hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or any other catastrophic happening that results in loss of life, property, displacement, etc.
2016 Theme: Live To Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality

The International Day for Disaster Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

How well prepared are you and your community? Something to think about today. To get started in making your family safer, look for Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by Arthur T. Bradley [363.348 BRA]. And getting down to basics, you may want to gather the family together and build a kit to keep on hand in case of emergencies. Click here for FEMA guidance in doing so.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Data Breaches and Identity Theft

It seems that every other day you hear a report of some retailer's data being breached. What does it all mean?

The Federal Trade commission has information available on its website, click here. The video below is from that site.

If you're looking to learn more, you may want to also read Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves by Adam Levin [eBook].

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Boats & Ships

Yesterday was a federal holiday representing the arrival of Christopher Columbus's ships in the Americas. The Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria are names familiar to everyone. Other boats and ships have recognizable names--the Constitution, the Titanic, PT-109. More have names lost to history.

In our collection you'll find many books on boats, ships, and other vessels. Here are a few:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Library Closed Today!

The Library is closed today for the Columbus Day federal holiday. We will reopen tomorrow at 9:00 AM. If you really need to read or listen to a book before then, remember our eBook and eAudio services from Overdrive and CloudLibrary, are accessible from you computer or device, 24/7. Have your valid Nesmith Library card ready. To learn more, click here.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday Yo-Yo Ma!

Cellist, Yo-Yo Ma was born on this day in 1955. He has recorded about 100 albums and has won 18 Grammy Awards over the course of his career. The United Nations made him a Messenger of Peace in 2006, and he has performed for U.N. events with his Silk Road Ensemble.

I found a lovely poem about the effect that music can have on peace, if only at a very basic level:
Black Boys Play the Classics
by Toi Derricotte

The most popular "act" in
Penn Station
is the three black kids in ratty
sneakers & T-shirts playing
two violins and a cello—Brahms.
White men in business suits
have already dug into their pockets
as they pass and they toss in
a dollar or two without stopping.
Brown men in work-soiled khakis
stand with their mouths open,
arms crossed on their bellies
as if they themselves have always
wanted to attempt those bars.

Read the rest here.

Listen to Ma's music on one of the dozen plus CDs we have in our musical collection.

Violet Nesdoly / poems is the place to visit for today's Poetry Round-Up.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

How Our Children Think

Highlights, the people who bring Highlights for Children to the Library [J MAG HIG] and probably your doctor's and dentist's waiting rooms, too, do a yearly survey, State of the Kid™, in which they ask American children about current topics. This year the focus was on the upcoming election and the role of the president. The survey for 2016, released earlier this week, can be read here.

It seems that half of the children thought that the first job the new president should undertake is keeping the country safe. It is a bit disturbing to think that our children think that the country is in imminent danger and that they live in fear. I suppose, though, it is to be expected when schools undergo "lockdowns," real or practice, on a regular basis.

If you're concerned with your child's anxiety, perhaps either one of these would help: Allison Edwards' Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do About It [155.4124 EDW], or, The Worried Child: Recognizing Anxiety in Children and Helping Them Heal by Paul Foxman [155.4 FOX].

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Wild Robot

Yesterday, I listed several children's books about robots. Today I'm going to look at yet another robot book, and its author, Peter Brown. The name Peter Brown may be familiar to you already since he is the author illustrator of numerous picture books, including, Children Make Terrible Pets, Chowder, The Curious Garden, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not), and many more [find them in JP BRO].

Mr. Brown's lastest book is a children's novel titled, The Wild Robot [J BRO]. It was released in the spring and we have a copy on our shelf. Here's the publisher's summary:
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz's only hope is to learn from the island's hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her...
Doesn't it sound like a fun and mysterious read for kids?

I don't know about you, but I'm always curious about where a writer gets his ideas, and how the written text is turned into an actual book. Peter Brown has explained it all in a online post called, "The Wild Robot Lives!" If you read it you will discover how Brown spent many, many years in researching, writing, and illustrating the book. It's fascinating reading!