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Friday, January 29, 2016

Poetry Friday--"Rain, Snow, and Other Weather"

We have a book in our young adult section titled, Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets under 25, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye [YA 811.608 TIM]. The book was published in 2010, so I imagine several, if not all the poets are now approaching the big three-oh. No matter, their poems of youth live on and continue to speak to readers.

The poem for today is from that anthology, and is by Lauren Stacks, who, if we are to believe her website, now identifies herself as a novelist.
Rain, Snow, and Other Weather

I’m like the weather, never really can predict
when this rain cloud’s gonna
burst; when it’s the high or it’s
the low, when you might need a light jacket.

Sometimes I’m the slush that sticks
to the bottom of your work pants,
but I can easily be the melting snowflakes
clinging to your long lashes.

I know that some people like:

sunny and seventy-five,
sunny and seventy-five,
sunny and seventy-five,

but you take me as I am and never
forget to pack an umbrella.

How affirming and accepting! This poem is also perfect for the weird winter we're having. We never quite know what to expect weather-wise, but we know it's always safe to carry an umbrella.

Bring your umbrella when you visit Catherine at Reading to the Core!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Flu

It's not often (except for politics), that you are asked to participate in the collection of data, but, if you or your family members have the flu, you can go online to a site called, Flu Near You, and report it. Data is collected to keep track of the disease this winter (peak flu season is February).

Reporting is anonymous, so you needn't worry about your privacy. Flu Near You was created through a partnership between HealthMap at Boston Children’s Hospital, the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

Besides your contribution, Flu Near You is also a source of news and information about flu and other viruses, such as the Zika virus.

To learn more about the flu, visit the Center for Disease Control. Fighting the Flu by Robyn Hardyman [J 616.2 HAR] is a book written for children that would be worth reading, and sharing with your kids, as its information is presented simply.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Have you heard that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. Malcolm Gladwell promoted it in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success [302 GLA, also ebook]. The idea has been disputed, however, you must admit, if you practiced something for that long, you surely will improve!

It's sort of the idea behind the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program that was recently rolled out in NH. The program's title is based upon a quote by children's book author, Mem Fox, "Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read. Or the same story a thousand times!" Research has also proven that children who are read to will show an increase their vocabulary, and their listening and narrative skills. Reading to children helps to instill in them self-awareness, confidence, and an understanding of their place in the world.

You need not be a Shakespearean trained actor to read to a child, just a willingness on your part to do so. And, of course, you'll need a book! We have thousands of picture books and board books available at the Library. If you need assistance in finding one, we have staff to help you, as well as lists of titles.

Visit the children's room to learn more about the program, to register, and to pick up a packet of relative materials. Then start reading!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Images of America

Drive along route 111 toward Salem and try to remember what the road used to be like before the new entrance and exit ramps went in. If you're a long time resident of the state, think back to what it was like when you grew up or first moved here. It's hard remembering what was where, isn't it?

Fortunately, people have been taking photographs for decades. Some of these photographs have made their way into the "Images of America" series of books. Perhaps they'll spark a memory or two of what life was like years ago.

Look for one of these titles:

Dinsmore, Bradford R. Windham. [974.2 WIN]

Dugan, William F. Derry. [974.2 DER]

Goldsack, Robert J. Benson's Wild Animal Farm. [ebook]

Heald, Bruce D. Lakes and Ponds of the Granite State. [974.2 HEA, also ebook]

Heald, Bruce D. Main Street, New Hampshire. [974.2 HEA, also ebook]

Londonderry. [974.26 LON]

Perreault, Robert B. Manchester. [ebook]

Salem, N.H.: Trolleys, Canobie Lake, and Rockingham Park. [974.2 SAL]

Samson, Gary. Manchester: The Mills and the Immigrant Experience. [ebook]

Monday, January 25, 2016

Best Movies from Books

Recently, I read an online article titled "The Best Movies from Books." It listed 25 titles that the writer considered good adaptations. Here are the book and movie titles (if different) for those 17 titles we have in our collections.

Bauby, Jean-Dominique. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. [B BAU, DVD DIV]

Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. [F BAU, J AB/CD BAU, ebook]
Film: The Wizard of Oz. [DVD WIZ]

Chabon, Michael. Wonder Boys. [F CHA, DVD WON]

Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? [SF DIC, ebook]
Film: Blade Runner. [DVD BLA]

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. [F GOL, AB/CD GOL, ebook, DVD LOR]

Irving, John. The Cider House Rules. [F IRV, AB/CD IRV, ebook, DVD CID]

Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. [F KES, AB/CD KES, DVD ONE]

Kinsella, W. P. Shoeless Joe. [F KIN]
Film: Field of Dreams. [DVD FIE]

Kosinski, Jerzy. Being There. [F KOS, DVD BEI]

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. [F LEE, LP LEE, AB/CD LEE, ebook, DVD ONE]

Ludlum, Robert. The Bourne Identity. [F LUD, AB/CD LUD, ebook, DVD BOU]

McEwan, Ian. Atonement. [F MCE, AB/CD MCE, DVD ATO]

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. [F PAL, DVD FIG]

Pasternak, Boris. Doctor Zhivago. [F PAS, AB/CD PAS, DVD DOC]

Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. [F REM, DVD ALL]

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. [F STE, AB/CD STE, DVD OF]

Wallace, Lew. Ben-Hur. [F WAL, DVD BEN]

Spend the cold winter evenings reading and watching, then draw your own conclusions. From reading the article’s comments, it is easy to see that there are many who disagree! The film that I think comes closest to the book is Room With a View based upon the book of the same name by E.M. Forster [F FOR, AB/CD FOR, ebook, DVD ROO]. It was so well done it is amazing!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Poetry Friday--"The Ride"

It looks like we won't be getting much, if any, snow this weekend, however, I'm sure many of us will dream of it. Here's a poem by Richard Wilbur that is perfect for both winter weather and dreams:
The Ride

The horse beneath me seemed
To know what course to steer
Through the horror of snow I dreamed,
And so I had no fear,

Nor was I chilled to death
By the wind’s white shudders, thanks
To the veils of his patient breath
And the mist of sweat from his flanks.

It seemed that all night through,
Within my hand no rein
And nothing in my view
But the pillar of his mane,

I rode with magic ease
At a quick, unstumbling trot
Through shattering vacancies
On into what was not,

Till the weave of the storm grew thin,
With a threading of cedar-smoke,
And the ice-blind pane of an inn
Shimmered, and I awoke.

How shall I now get back
To the inn-yard where he stands,
Burdened with every lack,
And waken the stable-hands

To give him, before I think
That there was no horse at all,
Some hay, some water to drink,
A blanket and a stall?

Found in Poems About Horses, edited by Carmela Ciuraru [808.819 POE].

Horses, and Mr. Wilbur, the poet of this particular poem, put me in mind of:

Tara will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up today at A Teaching Life. Do stop by!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Will It Or Won't It Snow This Weekend?

I've heard any number of forecasts of this weekend's snow event. Here's one that doesn't look good for those who hate snow--"But the storm won’t be a slouch in New York City or Boston—a foot or so of snow is likely in those cities, too." Sources closer to us are forecasting sun and clouds. As we get closer to the weekend, forecasts will change.

For the sake of this post, let's talk about what you need to know if we get a major snowstorm. There are those who welcome such a storm--skiers, snowboarders, and KIDS! On Facebook I found advice for parents of kids who have a snow day. This article is from a school in Washington, D. C., but a snowday is a snowday no matter where! What I like about the piece is that it doesn't focus on outdoor play, but instead provides suggestions for what to do with the kids after they come indoors. You'll find varied activities such as making flavored popcorn and learning the fundamentals of code!

As far as the Library is concerned, we will post closings on our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages. And, we will contact WMUR. Check for the Library under "N" for Nesmith.

Parents of preschoolers please remember that if the Library is open, but the schools are closed or have a delayed opening, there will be no story hours that day.

Finally, I want to alert you to our new collection of "Unusual Items." After all the snow we had last year, we decided to add a roof rake to the items that were have available to borrow! Who knows, you may need it after this weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


On Monday, Martin Luther King Day, NPR's Fresh Air ran an interview with Regina Mason about her genealogical discovery of an ancestor who wrote the first published fugitive slave narrative in America, Life Of William Grimes, The Runaway Slave.

Mason's story is an interesting one, especially the questions she poses about how adults discuss with their children the concepts of slavery in America and the coupling of slaves and masters (I use the term "coupling" because the unions were, more often than not, a result of violence and control, rather than love). [If you're interested in children's books, there is a huge controversy over last week's release of A Birthday Cake for George Washington. Read about it here.]

We do not have William Grimes's narrative, but we have several slave narratives in our collection:

Blight, David W. A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom: Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation. [973.7115 BLI]

Douglass, Frederick. Autobiographies. [B DOU]

Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. [B EQU]

The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives. [ebook]

Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a Slave. [B NOR, also ebook]

If you're interested in the topic, visit Archive.org and do a search using the term "slave narratives." You'll find other individuals' stories as well as many volumes of interviews with former slaves compiled by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the 1930s.

One narrative, which I've read and found particularly interesting, is Behind the Scenes or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, by Elizabeth Keckley who was dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln, it is one of the narratives available at Archive.org. (Novelist, Jennifer Chiaverini, wrote about Keckley in Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker [F CHI], undoubtedly, she found Behind the Scenes of great interest, too!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

So, Did You Watch In Defense of Food?

A couple of weeks ago I recommended watching the documentary film, In Defense of Food, which was being shown on PBS. It is still available to watch, but only for another week; click here to view it online.

So, why am I posting about it again today? To offer you some assistance in eating more plants!

If you're not afraid to try new things, then you're good to go. The marketplace is fortunately also making it easier to move to a more plant-i-ful life. Supermarkets offer aisles and aisles of fresh fruits and vegetables. More vegetarian offerings are appearing on restaurant menus. And, if this article is any indication, there will probably be plant-based pubs in our future!

Here's how the Library can help--with cookbooks that will show you how to make delicious vegetarian meals:

This is only a sampling--I haven't even included the books for vegans! If you've seen In Defense of Food, you will know it's still okay to eat meat--only less of it!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

The Library is closed today. We'll re-open tomorrow at 9:00 am.

Today would be a good time to ponder the words of King, especially this line from his Nobel Prize Acceptance speech delivered in 1964; it's still relevant today:
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Poetry Friday--"Pentimenti"

"AnunciaciĆ³n" by Nosadella (Giovanni Francesco Bezzi), courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Can you see the earlier dove? It is barely visible below the one in the finished painting.

I've had a renewed interest in art over the past year and have spent many hours on YouTube watching how-to videos, and art history courses. We also have several recently-purchased art videos in our collection. One, that I found fascinating is Understanding Art: Hidden Lives of Masterpieces [DVD 700 UND]. The two disk set explores what may be underneath great paintings and how they may have been altered over hundreds of years. Many times the term pentimenti is used.

The dictionary.com definition:

Word Origin

noun, plural pentimenti
[pen-tuh-men-tee] Painting.
1. the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.

As often happens, I found a great little poem while looking for something else. The poem by Kay Ryan is found in The Best of It: New and Selected Poems [811.54 RYA], and, its title is "Pentimenti":

"Pentimenti of an earlier position of the arm may be seen."
--Frick Museum

It's not simply
that the top image
wears off or
goes translucent;
things underneath
come back up,
having enjoyed the
advantages of rest.
That's the hardest
part to bear, how
the decided-against
fattens one layer down,
free of the tests
applied to final choices.
In this painting,
for instance, see how
a third arm--
long ago repented
by the artist--
is revealed,
working a flap
into the surface
through which
who knows what
exiled cat or
extra child
might steal.

Head over to Keri Recommends for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up!

Fair Warning--Read Them Now!

Last week BuzzFeed ran an article titled, "19 Books To Read Before The Movie Comes Out In 2016." Of the 19, we currently own these:

Brown, Dan. Inferno. [F BRO, AB/CD BRO, ebook, also CHINESE F BRO]

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. Tarzan of the Apes. [F BUR]

Carroll, Lewis. Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. [J CAR, also ebook]

Dahl, Roald. The BFG. [J DAH, J AB/CD DAH]

Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. [F FOU, LP FOU, also ebook]

Grahame-Smith, Seth. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. [F GRA, also ebook]

Hawkins, Paula. The Girl on the Train. [F HAW, LP HAW, AB/CD HAW, also ebook and eaudio]

Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book. [J KIP, also in Kipling, a Selection of His Stories and Poems vol.1 820.8 KIP]

Moyes, Jojo. Me before You. [F MOY, AB/CD MOY, also ebook]

Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls. [YA NES]

Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. [YA RIG, ebook, also graphic novel YA CX RIG]

Roth, Veronica. Allegiant. [YA ROT, YA AB/CD ROT, also ebook]

Rowling, J. K. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. [J ROW]

Sparks, Nicholas. The Choice. [F SPA, AB/CD SPA]

Tougias, Michael J. The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue. [910.91 TOU, ebook, also children's version 910.9163 TOU]

Tuccillo, Liz. How to Be Single. [F TUC]

Yancey, Rick. The 5th Wave. [YA YAN]

Zuckoff, Mitchell. 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi. [363.325 ZUC, also ebook]

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Comet Catalina

Ever since the Library added a telescope to our collection, I've become more aware of night sky events. Since last Saturday, the 9th the Comet Catalina has appeared in the predawn sky. It is visible by means of a pair of binoculars, and it should be more easily seen through a telescope. On Sunday, the 17th, the comet will be at its closest point to the Earth. To learn more about Catalina, click here.

Comet Catalina Emerges
NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, Credit & Copyright: Fritz Helmut Hemmerich

We have quite a number of books on comets and asteroids in our children's collection under J 523.6. Our newest one is Comets by Kate Riggs [J 523.6 RIG].

And here's a short video about the Comet Catalina:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Goodbye, David Bowie

I'm sure you've heard, by now, of the passing of music legend, David Bowie. Those of us who remember rocking to Bowie in the late 60s and 70s, will surely miss him.

The link I was planning on sharing today, fits perfectly with Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona. It comes from NASA, and is a library of sounds from space. The library is free for the public to download and use in projects. And, perhaps some young songwriter will write music to accompany the sounds. I think Bowie would have enjoyed it!

Bowie also acted in several films, and is perhaps best known for his performance in Labyrinth [DVD LAB].

Here in his honor is the official video for Space Oddity:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Phyllis Logan!

Phyllis Logan? Yes, the actress who plays Mrs. Hughes, from the PBS series, Downton Abbey.

Ms. Logan turns 60 today!

Did you catch episode 2 of the final season, last night? Downton fans don't want to miss a single episode. If, for some reason, you were unable to watch it, you can see it online at PBS.org. Check out some of the other Downton Abbey features such as "The Ultimate Episode Guide", which promises "Episode Spoilers, Trivia Quiz, Cast Video Interviews, Best Quotes, and More!" On the off-chance that you haven't watched Downton Abbey before, we have all 5 of the seasons leading up to this one [DVD DOW]. I doubt if they're on our shelf right now, but you can always put a hold on them!

And in case you want to see what Logan/Mrs. Hughes, looks like out of her Downton housekeeper's uniform, here she is:

The photo, from Getty, is taken from an article which appeared in the British paper, The Express, back in November 2015.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Poetry Friday--A Great Big Cuddle

We're back to a regular Poetry Friday schedule now that the holidays are over! The book I'd like to introduce you to today just came in. It's A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young by Michael Rosen (illustrated by Chris Riddell) [J 821 ROS].

Overall, this book is quite appealing for toddlers and children up to about kindergarten age. The poems are mostly short, rhythmic, silly, and invite the child to participate either through movement or vocalization. The reader could certainly have a good time reading it aloud, too!

He's a poem from the book that will give you an idea of what's in store:

The illustrations are bright, but not glaringly so. They're what I can only describe of as soft and full of humor. The fonts come in many colors and are of multiple sizes. And, the poems are laid out in ways fitting to each.

The one objection I have is the size of the book. It is approximately 10 1/2 X 11 1/2," which doesn't sound particularly large, but could be a problem if the reader is trying to hold it open with a wiggly child on her lap.

I would recommend the title for use in story hours, and, if you're looking for a baby shower gift, you can't go wrong with this one!

The Opposite of Indifference is the place to be for the Poetry Friday Round-Up hosted by Tabatha Yeatts.

The Flume Award

Are you a teen in grade 9-12? The state of New Hampshire wants you! You're needed to nominate titles for the 2016 Flume Award list.

If you've read a particularly good book and wish to nominate it for inclusion, fill out the simple nomination form found here. (And by simple I mean there are only 4 questions!)

There are only a few requirements. Titles may be fiction or nonfiction and must

1. Be nominated by teens in grades 9-12.

2. Appeal to teens in grades 9-12.

3. Have a publication date within the past two years.

4. Be "stand-alone" titles, that is, if the book is part of a series, the reader need not have read any of the other books in the series to understand the plot and characters.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 29. The Flume Award committee then reads and discusses the titles and compiles the Flume Award reading list. The Flume Award reading list will be announced in March. Teens vote for their favorite title during Teen Read Week, October 9-15, 2016.

Here are the books that have won the Flume Award over the past 10 years:

In addition to book format, most are available in formats such audiobooks and ebooks. We even have three of the titles in Chinese, for those of you who are studying that language!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan has been a voice for healthy eating for the past quarter-century. His books stay on the bestseller lists for weeks and months at a time. Now, Pollan has been instrumental in a documentary film based on his book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto [613 POL, also AB/CD 613 POL]. The film aired last week on PBS. It is available for viewing online until January 28. Click here to watch.

The following is a preview from the film:

Pollan's other books, which we have in our collection, are The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World [306.4 POL], Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation [641.5 POL], Food Rules: An Eater's Manual [613.2 POL], The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals [394.12 POL], and Second Nature: A Gardener's Education [635.9 POL]. Most are also available in audiobook.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A Unique NH History Museum

Last Thursday I mentioned the USS Constitution Museum and its "by donation" price of admission. Today I'd like to tell you about a museum where the admission is free!

It's a unique museum, north of here (waaay north), in Franconia. The New England Ski Museum is housed at the Franconia Notch State Park and is open "seven days a week from Memorial Day through the end of ski season at Cannon Mountain, which is normally in early April." In other words, practically year round, so if you don't want to risk traveling in the snow in January, there are other times of year when a road trip would be perfect. Here's what you'll experience when you go:

For those of you who don't want to travel, we have these items that cover the history of skiing in NH:

Allen, E. John B. New England Skiing, 1870-1940. [974.2 ALL, also ebook]

Allen, E. John B. New Hampshire on Skis. [974.28 ALL, also ebook]

Davis, Jeremy K. Lost Ski Areas of the White Mountains. [796.93 DAV]

Monday, January 04, 2016

The Night Sky

You may have noticed a number of new and unusual items displayed on top of our reference shelves. One of these items was a generous donation from the NH Astronomical Society, an Orion StarBlast 4.5" Telescope. Anyone over the age of 18, with a Nesmith Library card in good standing, may borrow the telescope for two weeks.

The telescope is packaged with a spiral bound instruction manual and a National Audubon Society Pocket Guide: Constellations book to get you started, but, if you want even more information on what it is you're doing and seeing, look for one of these titles. (We have plenty more!)

Consolmagno, Guy. Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope--and How to Find Them. [523 CON]

Couper, Heather. The Astronomy Bible: The Definitive Guide to the Night Sky and the Universe. [520 COU]

Dickinson, Terence. Exploring the Night Sky: The Equinox Astronomy Guide for Beginners. [J 520 DIC]

Lynch, Mike. New England Starwatch: The Essential Guide to Our Night Sky. [522 LYN]

Matloff, Gregory L. Telescope Power: Fantastic Activities & Easy Projects for Young Astronomers.
[J 522 MAT]

Ridpath, Ian. Astronomy. [520 RID]

To find out what may be visible today, check out Sky & Telescope's "This Week’s Sky at a Glance."