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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Poetry Friday--Mass Poetry Festival

Windham is just about an hour away from Salem, MA. And, an hour is really a short ride when you consider that at the end of it is a world of contemporary poetry! This weekend is the Mass Poetry Festival being held in downtown Salem.

One of the featured poets is Mark Doty. I've selected a short poem from Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems [811.54 DOT], which, if you're a dog lover, I'm positive you'll enjoy!
Golden Retrievals

Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s--oh
joy--actually scared. Sniff the wind, then

I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,

or else you’re off in some fog concerning
--tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,

a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.

What did I tell you? Did he capture a dog or what? I love it!

Visit Buffy's Blog for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up and I hope to see you among the poetry lovers in Salem!

Illustration courtesy NY Public Library Digital Collections.

Mutiny on the Bounty

You may have seen the movie, Mutiny on the Bounty made in 1935, starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable [DVD MUT]. (In 1962 it was remade starring Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, and Richard Harris. Nesmith Library don't own this version, but it is available from another GMILCS consortium library.) The movie was based upon the book, Mutiny on the Bounty, by Charles Nordhoff [F NOR], which was a bestseller in 1932.

The mutiny on the HMS Bounty was a real event that happened on this day, April 28, in 1789. You can read about the incident in The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty by Caroline Alexander [996.1 ALE] or Patrick O'Brien's The Mutiny on the Bounty, an account written for children [J 910.45 OBR].

National Geographic created the following documentary on the mutiny:

The true tale of a cruel captain whose crew turns on him, the setting of the captain adrift in a small boat, the sea, the weather, and the exotic Tahiti setting, all made the story perfect for a novel and subsequent adaptation to film. It's a story that is still being told 227 years later!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hemingway in Fact and Fiction

The J. F. K. Presidential Library and Museum in Boston has an extensive collection of Ernest Hemingway papers and photographs. Earlier this month a new exhibit opened. It is titled "Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars" and will be on display through December 31. The exhibit showcases
the JFK Library’s Hemingway Collection, this is the first ever major museum exhibition devoted to the work and life of Ernest Hemingway. The exhibit features a trove of rarely exhibited material, including multiple drafts of the writer’s major works, correspondence with a legendary circle of expatriate writers living in 1920s Paris, as well as photographs and a selection of Hemingway’s personal belongings. Created in partnership with the Morgan Library & Museum, the exhibition humanizes a man who was larger than life and documents the consummate craftsmanship and discipline at the heart of Hemingway’s literary genius.
Of special interest to readers writers are Hemingway's notebooks and drafts of his novels. History buffs will be interested to see his War War I War Merit Cross, and his World War II dog tags. Social history students will find information and photos of France and Spain, and of those creative people who became known as the "Lost Generation."

Hemingway has captured the imagination of many fiction writers and he is the subject of, or a character in, several novels including the book discussion group favorite, The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain [F MCL, eBook], Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Terese Fowler [F FOW], Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood [eBook], and AdiĆ³s Hemingway by Leonardo Padura Fuentes [F PAD].

Don't miss Midnight in Paris, a film by Woody Allen, where Hemingway is portrayed by actor Corey Stoll [DVD MID].

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Treasure Trove for Knitters

The Nesmith Library has a great knitting section with learn-how-to-knit books and books of sweater, hat, mitten, toys, and all sorts of other knitting patterns. You'll find the books in 746.432. We even have a sock loom for knitters to borrow! It is found with our collection of "unusual items," which you can ask for at the check-out desk. We have more than a dozen audiobooks, eBooks, and even a DVD on knitting: The Art of Knitting Stitches, Colors, Fashion [DVD 746.432 ART].

If this isn't enough to satisfy your knitting needs, you can access "The Online Knitting Reference Library: Download 300 Knitting Books Published From 1849 to 2012," which you can learn more about here

Many knitting books are also available through Gutenberg Project and Open Library.

Courtesy Gutenberg.org.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Local Story

About two years ago, local supermarket chain, Market Basket, made national news when its workers and customers basically went on strike over the leadership of the business.

The strike and its outcome was filmed, and the documentary, We the People: The Market Basket Effect, is now being shown in select theaters around the country. Click here for the current listing of locations.

As soon as the DVD version becomes available, we will order it. In the meantime, two books in our collection may provide background to the story of Market Basket:

Demoulas, George A. Illegit: A Memoir of Family Intrigue, Wealth, and Cruel Indifference. [B DEM]

Korschun, Daniel. We are Market Basket: The Story of the Unlikely Grassroots Movement That Saved a Beloved Business. [381.456 KOR, also eBook]

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poetry Friday--A Poem for Dogwood Season

In browsing our American poetry shelves, I came across an old volume titled, The Unicorn and Other Poems, 1935-1955 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It was published in 1956 and has probably been on our shelf since then!

The dogwood will soon begin to leaf-out and bloom here in the Northeast. Lindbergh wrote this little poem to celebrate it:


The dogwood hurts me as I run
Beneath its load
This Spring,
Those white stars cascading
Down the wood road,
Those white blossoms with their faces
Upturned to the sun.

The grace of their branches is compassionate,
In an uncompassionate world.
The whiteness of their blossoms is too pure
To be unfurled
In a world soiled by the feet of men;
And they are open--too open,
In their flat uplifted acceptance
Of the sky.

They lie.
They say--
(And I do not believe!)
They say--
(Oh, they deceive--they deceive!)
They say--
(And I shut my ears to their cry):

"Look, it is here, the answer,
It is here,
If you would only see,
If you would only listen,
If you would only open your heart."
They say--
"Look, it is here!"

Head over to Jama's Alphabet Soup for the Poetry Friday Round-Up, and, catch up on the goings-on in the children's book world of food!

Have a great Earth Day, too!

Earth Day is Coming!

There are many things the average citizen can do to help save the Earth. One is to recycle plastic, especially water and soda bottles. But what happens when people don't bother to recycle their plastic waste? Chances are, they simply toss it away or leave it behind. The amount of plastic floating around in our oceans and inland waterways is astounding! An article in Science from February 2015 stated, "about 4 million to 12 million metric tons of plastic washed offshore in 2010 alone." Yikes! The resultant damage to marine environments and the creatures that inhabit them is probably immeasurable.

There is a group, in The Netherlands, PlasticWhale, which has a goal of making the waters of the world plastic-free, and it has been "fishing" for plastics in the canals of Amsterdam. The plastics it collects are recycled and made into new fishing boats so that more plastics can be fished out of the waters. To learn more, click here.

Obviously we consumers need an attitudinal adjustment! A few items on plastics, recycling, and the environment that may help in that adjustment include:

Barraclough, Sue. Recycling Materials. [J 363.72 BAR]

Cisneros, Kathy. Bottle Cap Activities: Recreational Recycling. [372.5 CIS]

Harper, Charise Mericle. Just Grace Goes Green. [J HAR]

Inventions That Changed Our Lives: Plastic Planet. [DVD 620.1923 INV]

Kooser, Ted. Bag in the Wind. [JP KOO]

Paul, Miranda. One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia. [JP PAU]

Sirrine, Carol. Cool Crafts with Old CDs: Green Projects for Resourceful Kids. [J 745.584 SIR]

With school vacation coming, too, it might be a good time to think about crafts--keep the kids busy, and, help save the environment.

Let's end today with an inspiring recycling video:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Kurious Kitty Takes a Vacation

Actually, just 3 days. I'll be back here on Thursday.

If you and your family are getting ready for school vacation next week, you may be interested in The Vacation Activity Book by Jane Bull [J 790.192 BUL].

To plan some mini-vacation activities close to home, check out our Pinterest board titled, "Travel Close to Home."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday, Leonardo!

Leonardo da Vinci was born on this day in 1452. He is generally accepted as an genius, but he is perhaps best known as the painter of the Mona Lisa.

Here is a poem of tribute by Konstantin Balmont:
Leonardo da Vinci

The artist lissome as a leopardess,
And in his wisdom--the first cunning snake.
All his creations has the outbreak--
Scent of the ladanum, belladonna, nardus...

The god of dreams liked tunes that he, a bard, used.
A whiz--he could each mystery unpack
With purr ‘you’re mine’ and with a gentle peck.
So, not in vain, his name is Leonardo.

Of two spread wings--a lion-man he was,
A time bit more--and, with his sharp lynx’s vision,
Just having spied the flight of godly birds,

He was to glide into the airy regions.
Mid humane streams, pursuing the dead glen,
He had divined the future superman.

Translated from Russian by Yevgeny Bonver.

We have dozens of items on the man and his work, as well as works of fiction about da Vinci. One title that intrigues me is by Michael Ennis, The Malice of Fortune [F ENN, also eBook].
A junior Florentine diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli. An itinerant military engineer named Leonardo da Vinci. And a Borgia scion who emerged from obscurity as the celebrated Duke Valentino. In the autumn of 1502, their fates collided in the remote Italian city of Imola--a meeting of the minds that would forever alter the course of western civilization.

From the The Malice of Fortune website.

A poem, "I Walk Back Nowhere,: by Juan Felipe Herrera makes a reference to da Vinci's visage:
I walk back—nowhere,
under moonlight. The dogs look as if
they are angels, the ones I never imagined,
with drooling silvery rays and torn behinds, yes,
glowing in a strange and excited phosphor,

out of rhythm, racing up trees, chasing
snails. This is like a children's book.

O, yes, the children
with rectangle heads and sack stomachs.
With the eyes of Da Vinci, sad and impish,

Read the rest in Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems [811.54 HER].

Here's a da Vinci self-portrait. I can see the sad, but I don't see the impish:

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt,
and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

~ Leonardo da Vinci
The Poetry Friday Round-Up this week comes to us courtesy Today's Little Ditty. Say hi to my friend Michelle who is hosting!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mystery Solved

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

It seems that the original patent for Wilbur and Orville Wright's flying machine went missing in 1980 and no one could explain where it was. After 36 years, though, it was located--in a cave! Read the details of this happy-ending story here.

Learn more about the Wright Brothers in one of these:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

If You've Done Your Taxes...

Why did you rush? You had a few extra days this year. Taxes are due April 18, not 15.

If you haven't done them, you may want to think about starting soon--not that I want to apply any more pressure!

Once you've hit the send button, you can relax. There's no better way to do that than to laugh. Of course, humor is purely subjective, but here are a few titles that are generally considered to be "funny. " (I won't guarantee they'll make everyone laugh out loud, though.)

Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. [SF ADA, AB/CD SF ADA, eBook]

Barry, Dave. Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs. [818 BAR, eBook]

Bryson, Bill. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. [B BRY, AB/CD B BRY, eBook]

Buckley, Christopher. Thank You for Smoking. [F BUC]

Irving, John. Avenue of Mysteries. [F IRV, AB/CD IRV, eBook]

Jerome, Jerome K. Three Men in a Boat: (To Say Nothing of the Dog). [F JER]

Kluger, Steve. Last Days of Summer. [F KLU]

Laurie, Hugh. The Gun Seller. [eBook]

Payne, C. D. Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp. [F PAY, AB/CD PAY]

Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. [eBook]

If you have a favorite humorous book, please share the title in the comments section.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Beverly Cleary--100 Years Old!

On April 12, 1916, a girl was born who would grow up to write books for children that would be read for generations. That girl, Beverly Atlee Bunn, would later marry to become Beverly Cleary. Today, is her 100th birthday!

A very Happy Birthday to Beverly Cleary!

Monday, April 11, 2016

It's "Louie Louie Day"!

Say, what? This "Louie Louie":

From the International Louie Louie Day website:
April 11 provides an annual opportunity to celebrate the song that has been called best party song of all time, has been recorded more times than any other rock song in history, and was very nearly declared the official state song of Washington State.

John Belushi's version is on the National Lampoon movie, Animal House [DVD ANI] and on the National Lampoon's Animal House Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [CD SOUNDTRACK NAT].

Resurrect your best 1960s outfit and party on!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Poetry Friday--Baseball Season

Baseball season has begun! Opening day at Fenway is scheduled for Monday.

On this day in 1974, Henry Aaron hit his 715th career home run and broke the record set by Babe Ruth in 1935. When he retired two years later, he had added 40 more! It wasn't until 2007 that Barry Bonds hit 756 to break Aaron's career home run record!

from Hammerin' Hank
by D. Roger Martin

You did it, Henry.
You took The Babe's untouchable record
and stuffed it in your pocket.
Not bad for a gangling
black kid from Mobile.
The TV cameras were set to roll,
the reporters were poised
and the stage was set
with you and Al Downing
in the multi-million dollar spotlight.
Your teammate, Tom House,
caught the home run ball in the bullpen,
which was good economics.
That could have been
and expensive ball to buy back.
"A black Babe Ruth," they said you were.

Read the rest at Baseball Almanac.

You can relive the home run record-breaking day in the Ken Burns documentary, Baseball: 1840s-2010 [DVD 796.357 BAS], or, you can read about Hank Aaron's achievement in The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron by Howard Bryant [B AAR].

Maybe there will be other baseball poems shared on Poetry Friday, if so, Laura at Writing the World for Kids will be rounding them up for us.

Let's keep our fingers-crossed for the Sox. Have a great 2016 season!

Early American

What was life like in America during the Revolutionary War and the early 1800s? You'll get an idea by checking out the YouTube channel of Jas. Townsend & Sons. (Jas. is the abbreviation for the name, James.) The videos (and their commercial website) are designed for historical re-enactors, but the short films are of value to anyone who may want, or need, to learn more about how people lived 200 years ago.

Often, kids are assigned activities to extend their historical learning, for example, cooking a dish typical of the times. The videos are full of such activities! Here the viewer learns about making a carrot custard:

On her Facebook page, young adult author, Laurie Halse Anderson, shared the Jas. Townsend YouTube channel with teachers and suggested it could be used in conjunction with her young adult novels, Chains and Forge [both YA AND] (and her latest one, Ashes, scheduled to be released later this year). Teacher, or student, I think you'll find the videos fascinating.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


Every once in a while I do a post on origami. I haven't done one in a while, so, when I came upon this video, I knew the time was right!

WWF Hungary - Paper World from Paper World on Vimeo.

Animated origami animals--it boggles the mind!

Here are three titles that were recently added to our collection our collection: Origami Palooza: Dragons, Turtles, Birds, and More! Christopher L. Harbo [J 736.982 HAR], Origami Zoo: 25 Fun Paper Animal Creations! by Paul Jackson [ebook], and Floragami: Create Beautiful Flowers from Folded Paper by Armin Taubner [736.982 TAU].

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

UNH Graduate?

Have you, or do you know of someone (like your grandmother or other relative) who graduated from UNH? If so, UNH has made its old yearbooks available online. The yearbook, The Granite, is now viewable from your computer or device. So, if someone who graduated from UNH between the years 1909 and 2015 (that's everyone who graduated in the past 100 years!), can now find their class represented!

Here are a few random photos/illustrations from the time-frame covered by the digitization project:







Monday, April 04, 2016

Jazz Appreciation Month

According to T. S. Eliot, "April is the cruellest month." But, to jazz fans, April is the COOLEST month. It's Jazz Appreciation Month and the Smithsonian invites you to celebrate. International Jazz Day is April 30--a great way to wind up the month-long festivities.

Louis Armstrong once said, "If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know." We refuse to accept that statement because people can be educated! If you have missed appreciating the music that has its roots in America, what better time to learn more about the genre than April. Here are a few books to get you started:

Brasch, Nicolas. Jazz and Blues. [J 781.65 BRA]

Collier, James Lincoln. Benny Goodman and the Swing Era. [781.6 COL]

Myers, Walter Dean. Jazz. [JP MYE]

The Oxford Companion to Jazz. [781.65 OXF]

Ward, Geoffrey C. Jazz: A History of America's Music. [781.65 WAR]

Probably the best way to learn about jazz is simply to listen. We have several hundred jazz CDs in our CD JAZZ collection. Other jazz CDs may also be found under CD BIG BAND, CD FEMALE VOCALIST, or CD MALE VOCALIST.

If you have the time, and a computer or device, you can take a free jazz appreciation course such as one offered by the University of Texas at Austin.