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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Recarpeting Project Begins

Just a reminder: the Library is being recarpeted in all public areas. In order to achieve the desired results without health and safety risks to the public, the Library will be closed 9/22, open 9/23-24, closed 9/25, open 9/26-10/1, and closed 10/2. Those times the Library will be open, services will be curtailed as there will be no seating, no access to the public computers, and book shelves may be covered with protective plastic.

It is our expectation that the Library will be back to normal by October 3, however, unexpected delays may take place.

In the meantime, if you're not aware of our eBook and eAudiobook service, now is the time to explore this option for reading and listening. Through the GMILCS consortium we have access to CloudLibrary titles, and, through a statewide program, we have access to Overdrive titles. These titles may be downloaded to your device or desktop. Click here to get started. Some recently added eBooks include these:

Looking for magazines? We have popular titles through Zinio, our eMagazine service. Click here to sign up for eMagazines.

Most importantly, if you need a physical book or magazine, your valid Nesmith Library card may be used in any library that is part of the GMILCS consortium. Included are Salem, Kelley Library and the Derry Public Library--both are just a short ride from Nesmith Library.

This will be the last post until next Thursday, but please check our website or Facebook page for updates on the recarpeting project. We look forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Upcoming Movies Based on Books

Here's where you get to read the books BEFORE the movie/tv mini-series are available. These adaptations have all been completed and have release dates within the next 9 months. A number of them will be coming out before the holidays, so borrow the book now! (We will get them for our DVD collection once they are released on DVD.)

Atwood, Margaret. Alias Grace. [F ATW]

Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One. [SF CLI, AB/CD CLI, eBook]

Jordan, Hillary. Mudbound. [F JOR, eBook]

Matthews, Jason. Red Sparrow. [F MAT]

Patchett, Ann. Bel Canto. [F PAT]

Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck. [J SEL]

Semple, Maria. Where'd You Go, Bernadette. [F SEM, AB/CD SEM, eBook]

Shaffer, Mary Ann. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. [F SHA, LP SHA, AB/CD SHA, eBook]

If you belong to a book discussion group, several of the above titles should be familiar to you as they were "hot" items for book groups. It generally means that the books were more than a bit of escapist reading. With any luck, the treatment of issues in the filmed versions will be thoughtfully dealt with. (It has been reported that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was not even filmed on Guernsey, so you have to wonder about authenticity!)

Alias Grace will be a six-part mini-series available in November on Netflix:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

More Books Recently Made into Movies

It seems that many film projects are now based on books, both fiction and nonfiction. Yesterday I listed five DVDs that have been added to our collection in 2017 that started off as books.

Here are five more:

Eggers, Dave. The Circle. [F EGG, eBook, DVD CIR]

Grann, David. The Lost City of Z. [918.11 GRA, eBook, DVD LOS]

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

Shetterly, Margot Lee. Hidden Figures. [629.4 SHE, AB/CD 629.4072 SHE, eBook, DVD HID]

Yoon, Nicola. Everything, Everything. [YA YOO, DVD EVE, eBook]

And here are two that are now showing in theaters:

King, Stephen. It. [F KIN, AB/CD KIN, eBook, and an earlier movie adaptation: DVD IT]

Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle. [B WAL, AB/CD B WAL, eBook]

Let us know what you think--which is better, the book or the movie?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Which Is Better?

Generally speaking, people fall on the side of the book when comparing the book and its movie. There is only one movie that I personally think is equal to the book, and that may be because it is the only movie I know that follows the book practically word for word. The book and movie twins are A Room With a View by E. M. Forster, film by Merchant Ivory Prodeuctions, [F FOR, AB/CD FOR, DVD ROO].

In the case of children's books turned into film, the movie often can't be compared, since, in most cases, an enormous amount of additional subplots, special effects, etc. has to be added to make it fit into an approximately 90-minute-long feature. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg went from a 32-page picture book to a 100-minute film directed by Robert Zemeckis [JP VAN, DVD POL]. There is no comparing the two formats. The story has been completely transformed into something unrecognizable.

I discovered the other day that my nephew and his friend have created a "Book vs. Movie" program that shows how the ratings on a book/film compare (ratings gathered from Goodreads and IMDB). Check it out here.

Here are five movies released on DVD in 2017 that are book based:

Ackerman, Diane. The Zookeeper's Wife. [940.5318 ACK, AB/CD 940.5318 ACK, eBook, DVD ZOO]

Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. [F FOU, LP FOU, eBook, DVD BIL]

Hawkins, Paula. The Girl on the Train. [F HAW, AB/CD HAW, LP HAW, eBook, CHINESE F HAW, DVD GIR]

Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls. [YA NES, eBook, DVD MON]

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. [616.0277 SKL, AB/CD 616.0277 SKL, eBook, DVD IMM]

Read the book then watch the movie and let us know which one you think is better.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Poetry Friday--"High School Picture Re-Take Day"

The new school year has begun and it's time already for school pictures. When I was young, there was no such thing as a school photo "re-take," what you got was what you got. The next year would be opportunity enough to another chance at a flattering shot! Nowadays, I've heard of kids having their picture retaken multiple times!

In a fabulous poetry anthology, Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else [811.6 SER], there is a poem by Aimee Nezhukumatathil titled, "High School Picture Re-Take Day."
When an octopus becomes stressed, it chomps
its arms one by one until it becomes a floaty salad.
The line of students is understandably worried: this
is the last chance for redemption. Neil parts

and parts his hair with the petite plastic comb
the photographer slipped him when he signed in.

Susie reties the grosgrain headband.
Everything is quiet but for tiny songs
of tiny combs whistling through hair. Everything is black
save for the single camera lamp and smudgy backdrop

painted to look like the student hovers among
beige and blue clouds. And maybe they are--the ones

who got it right the first time--soaring above the earth's
troposphere, but still a bit below the stratosphere.
When the last bell rings, there they are: flying
proud, able to exchange wallet-sized pictures

with other pretty people right away. No waiting
for two more months when no one cares anymore.

No closed eyes, no sticks of hair sprung out
like arrows, no bra straps showing, no
sleepy eyes--just perfectly pressed shirts
and smiles slit to show rows of neat teeth.

Two high school teachers, who surely have dealt with picture re-take days, have taken on the poem in this video:

So, did you read it the same way as they did?

The Round-Up is being hosted today by Michelle at Today's Little Ditty coming from the hurricane-battered state of Florida.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

National Book Awards

This week the long-list of finalists for this year's National Book Awards are being announced. On Tuesday the list of Young People's Literature was released.

The ten contenders for the prize are:

Arnold, Elana K. What Girls Are Made Of.

Benway, Robin. Far From the Tree.

Mabry, Samantha. All the Wind in the World.

Perkins, Mitali. You Bring the Distant Near. [YA PER]

Reynolds, Jason. Long Way Down.

Sanchez, Erika L. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.

Snyder, Laurel. Orphan Island. [J SNY]

Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give. [YA THO]

Williams-Garcia. Clayton Byrd Goes Underground.

Zoboi, Ibi. American Street. [YA ZOB, eBook]

We'll be ordering more of the titles (some haven't even been officially published yet), so check back soon, and start reading now before the award winners are announced on November 15.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fall Excursions

We're now into mid-September and scattered along the ground are signs of the upcoming season. In the next two weeks autumn will arrive and with it leaf-peeping season.

If you've never traveled north of Windham during the fall, you don't know what you're missing. Plan to spend a day on the road enjoying one of New Hampshire's delights--fall foliage. Pick up one of these now and map out your trip so that when the leaves are at their best, you can jump in the car and go:

Baskin, Kara. Fodor's New England. [917.4 BAS]

Green, Stewart M. Scenic Driving New Hampshire: Exploring the State's Most Spectacular Byways and Back Roads. [917.42 GRE 2016]

New England (a DK Eyewitness top 10 travel guide). [917.4 NEW]

Tougias, Mike. Autumn Rambles: New England: An Explorer's Guide to the Best Fall Colors. [917.4 TOU]

Yankee Magazine. [MAG YAN]

And for the latest in fall foliage reports, check out Visit NH.

"Autumn Tints in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, United States" by Marianne North (1871).

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ken Burns--He's Back!

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War [DVD 973.7 CIV], The Dust Bowl [DVD 973.917 DUS], The National Parks [DVD 333.783 NAT], etc.) is returning to public television this coming Sunday with an 18-hour, 10 part series, The Vietnam War.

Like The Civil War, The Vietnam War tells the story of the conflict from many sides: the politicians', the soldiers', the Vietnamese, the anti-war protestors'. Episode 1, an hour and a half long, will explore the history of the conflict from 1858 through the mid-twentieth century. Here's the trailer for that first episode:

I saw an hour-long preview at the Currier Museum and that short exposure led me to realize that viewing the series will be an emotional experience for those who lived through the Vietnam War era. PBS has scheduled the showings for Sunday, September 17 through Thursday, September 21, and Sunday, September 24 through Thursday, September 28 (all episodes begin at 8:00 pm). Be aware that PBS is making the series available online if you need to take a breather, but the free viewing period ends October 3. Also, the Library has the DVD set of the series on order and will process it once it arrives.

If you're willing to share your experiences of the war or the homefront, PBS is seeking stories here. Video, audio, images, or text may be uploaded. At the viewing I attended there was also a discussion afterward. The group included servicemen, those who knew someone who had been killed in the war, people who were children during the period, anti-war protestors, members of the clergy, and more. Long-repressed emotions were released as a result, so, it may be good to watch the Ken Burns film with family, high school aged kids, and friends, and then talk about it. And, if you need assistance in talking, NHPTV has developed a list of resources, including many for veterans.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Carpeting Update

It looks like work on the recarpeting will begin on Friday, September 22, with movers coming to remove shelving and furniture. This will necessitate the Library being closed to the public all day. The Library will reopen for Saturday and Sunday, but the public access computers will not be available. The Library will also be closed to the public on Monday, September 25, when old carpeting will begin to be removed and replaced, and on Monday, October 2, when the project reaches completion and the Library will be put back in order! September 26 - October 1, we will be open regular hours, but some areas and services may be restricted.

Information about other closings and disruptions will be forthcoming.

Speaking of carpeting, how about reading about carpets--magic ones?

Abbott, Tony. The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet. [J ABB]

Brisson, Pat. Magic Carpet. [JP BRI]

Disney's Aladdin: The Magic Carpet's Secret. [J DIS]

Funke, Cornelia. Emma and the Blue Genie. [J FUN]

Jones, Diana Wynne. Castle in the Air. [YA JON, eBook]

Willard, Nancy. The Mountains of Quilt. [JP WIL]

Friday, September 08, 2017

Poetry Friday--Consider the Lemming

Consider the Lemming is a collection of poems by Jeanne Steig that have been illustrated in black and white by William Steig [J 811 STE]. The book was first published in 1988, and the 1988 edition is the one we have on our shelf. The book was reissued in 2016 with a color illustration on the cover, which goes a long way to increasing its appeal.

The book is filled with the Steigs' wry humor, and the poems, with their sophisticated vocabulary, are definitely for the older child! Here's an example:


The Mockingbird

Can any soul remain unstirred
When listening to the mockingbird?
Ofttimes at 2 a.m. he'll start
To pour his imitative heart
Into the wakeful, ravished ear
And sing for hours with monstrous cheer
Cacophonies that he collects,
And comic-opera side effects.
And catcalls, whistles, razzmatazz--
Oh what a repertoire he has!
He is a one-bird cabaret.
Hip hip, Blythe Spirit! Hip Hooray!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up can be found at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme and is hosted by NH's own Matt Forrest Esenwine.

Thursday, September 07, 2017


The Nesmith Library moved from its location in the Armstrong Building, next to the Town Hall, to its current location on Fellows Road, in August 1997. The building is now 20 years old, and, so is its carpeting. The color has held up remarkably well, but, it is beginning to show wear in the high traffic areas and is warping in a number of locations. It is time for the carpeting to be replaced.

Imagine what it will be like to recarpet 12,000 square feet--a big project! Over the next month, the old carpeting will be ripped up and removed and the new carpeting will be installed. The Library will mostly remain open during the work, but some areas may be restricted temporarily. There will be a period of two or more days when the Library will have to close to reduce health and safety risks to the public. We hope to give you plenty of notice in case you have to make alternative plans for visiting the Library. Story hours will be on hold until after the work has been completed.

We look forward to seeing our new carpeting completely installed! Remember, if we are closed, you can always return books to the outside bookdrop. And, if you are desperate for another book to read we have eBooks and eAudios ready for you to download 24/7 through the CloudLibrary or NH Downloadable Books' Overdrive services. Nesmith Library also subscribes to an eMagazine service called Zinio. All you need for all our eServices is a Nesmith Library card in good standing (no outstanding charges, overdue items, etc.)

Your Nesmith Library card is also good at the dozen member libraries of the GMILCS consortium (some restrictions may apply).

  • Amherst Town Library
  • Bedford Public Library
  • Danforth Library (NEC)
  • Derry Public Library
  • Goffstown Public Library
  • Hooksett Public Library
  • Kelley Library (Salem)
  • Manchester City Library
  • Merrimack Public Library
  • Nesmith Library
  • Teti Library (NHIA)
  • Wadleigh Memorial Library

Keep watching our website or our Facebook and Twitter pages for updated information.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Name Change

On this date in 1991 the Russian city of Leningrad was renamed St. Petersburg. The city was originally founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and carried the name St. Petersburg until 1914 when it was changed to Petrograd. In 1924 it was renamed Leningrad in honor of Vladimir Lenin who was instrumental in the development of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union the original name was restored.

During the 47 years the city wore the name of Leningrad, it found itself at the center of one of the most horrible events of World War II--the Siege of Leningrad. The Siege was a blockade by the German military that lasted from September 1941 through January 1944 and resulted in 3,436,066 Russian military and civilian casualties and hundreds of thousands of German casualties.

These two novels feature the Siege of Leningrad:

Benioff, David. City of Thieves. [F BEN, AB/CD BEN, eAudio]

Dean, Debra. The Madonnas of Leningrad. [F DEA]

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

September is Happy Cat Month!

What makes a happy cat? Here's how you can tell if a cat is happy:

And here are five of my favorite happy cat books:

Dean, James. Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes. [JP DEA]

Feiffer, Jules. Rupert Can Dance. [JP FEI]

Fatio, Louise. The Happy Lion. [JP FAT]

Lewis, J. Patrick. Kindergarten Cat. [JP LEW]

Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat. [E RYL]

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Frost's Farm Road"

This is the start of the last semi-official weekend of the summer. School has started and the temperatures are expected to drop to the 40s tonight!

If you're not traveling anywhere this weekend, you may want to take a leisurely walk through the woods at Frost Farm in Derry. And, it's possible that you would step on a stone that Robert Frost once stepped on, or picked out of his garden and threw to the side. You can probably see a tree that Frost had written about in one of his poems. The possibilities are endless!

Here's a great poem that I found in an older book (2000) collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins (illustrated by Stephen Alcorn) in My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States [811.008 MY].


Frost's Farm Road
by James Hayford

I pocketed a pebble
From Frost's farm road at Ripton,
Not because it differed much
In looks from my home pebbles,
But because maybe his shoe
Might have stepped on or near it,
Or his eye noticed it,
Or cars from Washington,
New York, Hanover, Cambridge
Passed over or beside it,
In that high circle of his
In or just under the Great World.

The farm in the above poem is located in Ripton, Vermont. It's a little bit of a drive for a day trip--approximately 2 1/2 hours one way, whereas Derry is 10 minutes away!

Katryn Apel at Kat's Whiskers is hosting this week's round-up of poetry links.

Have a fabulous weekend and remember that the Library will be closed all day on Monday for Labor Day.

James Coburn's Birthday

Film actor, James Coburn was born on this day in 1928. He passed away in 2002.

Coburn received an Academy Award in 1999 for his supporting role in the movie, Affliction, a film that has been all but forgotten. He is probably best remembered as the man who threw the knife in The Magnificent Seven [DVD MAG].

He appeared in The Great Escape [DVD GRE], Midway [DVD MID], The Loved One [DVD LOV], and Maverick [DVD MAV], among others. He also was one of the voices in the animated film, Monsters, Inc. [J DVD MON]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Happy First Day of School!

Have a great 2017-2018 school year Windham students!

Parents, now that you've got everyone outfitted and off to school, sit back, relax, and watch one of these "school" movies:

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. [DVD CON]

Carrie. [DVD CAR]

Dangerous Minds. [DVD DAN]

Ferris Bueller's Day Off. [DVD FER]

Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series. [DVD FRE]

Hairspray. [DVD HAI]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. [DVD HAR]

The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie. [DVD INC]

Lean on Me. [DVD LEA]

Mona Lisa Smile. [DVD MON]

Never Been Kissed. [DVD NEV]

Notes on a Scandal. [DVD NOT]

Old School. [DVD OLD]

The Paper Chase. [DVD PAP]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. [DVD PER]

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. [DVD PRI]

Save the Last Dance. [DVD SAV]

St. Trinian's. [DVD ST]

To Sir, With Love. [DVD TO]

21 Jump Street. [DVD TWE]

Wow, that's only part of what we have! If you're looking for a high school sports movie, there are about ten more films on football alone!


One More Day of Vacay!

For Windham kids school begins tomorrow. If your little one is a first time attendee, and is showing a little apprehension, come visit the Library and check out one of these books:

Blake, Stephanie. I Don't Want to Go to School! [JP BLA]

Gaiman, Neil. Chu's First Day of School. [JP GAI]

Harper, Jamie. Miss Mingo and the First Day of School. [JP HAR]

Penn, Audrey. The Kissing Hand. [JP PEN]

Torrey, Richard. Ally-Saurus & the First Day of School. [JP TOR]

We have plenty more still waiting for you! We wish all of Windham's children the best school year ever!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Danish Resistence

Germany invaded Denmark on April 9, 1940, however, the Danish government made the decision not to resist and were allowed to continue to control domestic issues including the Danish police and legal system. By 1943 an active underground resistance movement had developed and on August 28, the members of the government resigned. The Germans stepped up their efforts against Danish Jews and in September made plans to deport Denmark's Jewish population. When they came for the Jews on October 1, they found that they had been hidden by the Danish people.

Denmark during World War II has been written about in both fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. Look for one of these:

Deedy, Carmen Agra. The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark. [JP DEE]

Follett, Ken. Hornet Flight. [F FOL, eBook]

Hoose, Phillip M. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club. [YA 940.53489 HOO]

Lidegaard, Bo. Countrymen. [eBook]

Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. [J LOW, J AB/CD LOW, eBook]

Toksvig, Sandi. Hitler's Canary. [J TOK]

We recently added a DVD to our collection, Land of Mine [DVD LAN], "In the aftermath of World War II, a group of surrendered German soldiers are ordered by Allied forces to remove their own landmines from the coast of Denmark."

Friday, August 18, 2017

Poetry Friday--Ratification of the 19th Amendment

An illustrated poem by Alice Duer Miller appeared in the magazine, Puck, February 20, 1915.

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was ratified. It signaled the end of the long struggle for a woman's right to vote. The amendment is short, but very sweet:
Amendment XIX. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The struggle for the right to vote is documented in the DVD, One Woman, One Vote [DVD 324.623 ONE]. Not to be missed is fictionalized film, Iron Jawed Angels [DVD IRO].

So where does poetry come in? You'll find a whole volume of little ditties in Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times by Alice Duer Miller, a book that was published in 1915, and can be found on the Gutenberg Project website.

Here are two sample poems to make you smile on this 97th anniversary of the ratification.

The Revolt of Mother

("Every true woman feels----"—Speech of almost any Congressman.)

I am old-fashioned, and I think it right
     That man should know, by Nature's laws eternal,
The proper way to rule, to earn, to fight,
     And exercise those functions called paternal;
But even I a little bit rebel
     At finding that he knows my job as well.

At least he's always ready to expound it,
     Especially in legislative hall,
The joys, the cares, the halos that surround it,
     "How women feel"—he knows that best of all.
In fact his thesis is that no one can
     Know what is womanly except a man.

I am old-fashioned, and I am content
     When he explains the world of art and science
And government—to him divinely sent—
     I drink it in with ladylike compliance.
But cannot listen—no, I'm only human—
     While he instructs me how to be a woman.

Warning to Suffragists

("The Latin man believes that giving woman the vote will make her less attractive."—Anna H. Shaw.)

They must sacrifice their beauty
Who would do their civic duty,
     Who the polling booth would enter,
     Who the ballot box would use;
As they drop their ballots in it
Men and women in a minute,
     Lose their charm, the antis tell us,
     But—the men have less to lose.

The "anitis" were those who opposed a woman's right to vote. [Note: many refer to the women who fought for suffrage as "suffragettes," but the term applies to British women. In the U. S. they were called "suffragists."]

Take A Journey through the Pages for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Keene State Children's Literature Festival

Are you a fan of children's books and their creators? Then you'll be pleased to learn that right here in New Hampshire the Keene State Children's Literature Festival will be taking place on October 28. It is a day long event that celebrates contemporary children's writers and illustrators. This is the forty-first year the festival is being held.

You might think that Keene is too long a drive from Windham, but, rest assured, on October 28, at the height of leaf-peeping season, the drive will go by in a flash.

The featured speakers at this year's festival with be Sophie Blackall, illustrator of the 2015 Caldecott Award winner, Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, written by Lindsay Mattick [JP MAT]. Another Caldecott Winner is author/illustrator Brian Floca who won the award in 2014 for Locomotive [JP FLO]. Grace Lin, writer of the Newbury Honor winner, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon [J LIN]. Daniel Salmieri, illustrated the amusing Those Darn Squirrels books and the Dragons Love Tacos books written by Rubin [JP RUB]. Rounding out the presenters list is New Hampshire's own David Elliott, whose latest book, Bull [YA ELI], will probably be a contender for a Newbury Award in 2017. Learn more about the speakers here.

Registration is now open, so add the Keene State Children's Literature Festival to your fall calendar, you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Forty Years Gone!

Elvis Presley died on this date back in 1977 at the age of 42. He's been gone almost as long as he lived. However, his legend continues, as does his following.

He's become a legend, and his status has grown to the point where Elvis, and that includes Elvis impersonators, have become "characters" in these works of fiction:

Couloumbis, Audrey. Love Me Tender. [J COU]

Henson, Laura. Ten little Elvi. [JP HEN]

Thomas, Diane C. The Year that Music Changed: The Letters of Achsa McEachern-Isaacs and Elvis Presley. [F THO]

Wilde, Lori. License to Thrill. [F WIL]

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

More Fun Things Available Online

Yesterday's post dealt with sewing patterns that were made available online. Shortly after I wrote that, a friend told me about another "fashion" resource.

Google has been digitizing fashion archives (with 175 partners) in a project titled, "We Wear Culture: The Stories Behind What We Wear." I urge you to take a look at what is available through "We Wear Culture." If you thought fashion was just about skinny models and magazines, it's time for a rethink!

There are photos galore, videos, commentaries, and more. Here's an example:

Before there was downloading, before there were CDs, and before that LPs and 45s, there were 78's. 78s were large format, although smaller than LPs, records made to play at 78 revolutions per minute. The 78 format was popular starting around 1900 to the 1950s.

"The Great 78 Project" is undertaking the digital preservation of the sounds contained on 78s. The project is explained here. You can find out how to get involved here.

Everything is preserved "as is," which means recordings on scratched records must be listened to with the scratches, hisses, and skips. If you're ready just to start listening, click here where you can find more than 5,000 78s that are listed as in "very good" or better condition.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Do you sew? It's almost a lost art in the 21st century. When I was growing up, no one would admit to the fact that their clothes were home-sewn. It was generally a sign that a family was poor and couldn't afford department store fashions. My, have times changed. Now "handmade" is a term resulting in awe--"Wow! You made that?"

If you're one of the lucky ones who knows your way around a sewing machine, you may be interested in a recently revealed treasure trove of vintage patterns. More than 83,000 patterns are now available online at Vintage Patterns Wikia. The patterns go back to the 1920s, and cover the decades through the 90s. Here's one pattern from the 20s:

Not only are the patterns useful for home sewers, but they'd also be useful for social historians and theater costume designers.

If you do sew, check out our collection of sewing books, such as Patternreview.com 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips: Top-Rated Favorites from Sewing Fans and Master Teachers by Deepika Prakash [646.2 PRA] and magazines such as Threads [MAG THR], and be prepared to be the one who inspires a "Wow!"

Friday, August 11, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Moonlight"

I was flipping through an old book (published in 1935), The Heavenly Guest and Other Unpublished Writings by Celia Thaxter [811 THA]. Celia Thaxter died in 1894, and the volume was created for the 100th anniversary of her birth in 1835. In the "Preface" to the book is this:
The reader must remember that as Celia did not publish these poems she probably considered them unfinished, or below the standard of her best work.

I read a poem that appealed to me "Moonlight," and rather than type it out here, I went looking for it online so I could cut and paste it into the post. I was surprised to find it in a magazine, The Century, from March 1891. It seems that this poem should not have been labeled as "unpublished."

The poem as it appears in the book was not labeled, "Picture by Childe Hassam." What a shame it wasn't, because it gives a whole new meaning to the poem.

Of course, I looked online for Hassam's painting "Moonlight." I found it listed as having been created in 1892. Then, in a beautiful book in our collection, Childe Hassam: American Impressionist by H. Barbara Weinberg [751.93 WEI], I found a chronology of exhibitions showing that it had been shown in the spring of 1891, so it must have been painted some time before then.

Perhaps Thaxter was present at its creation since she and Childe Hassam were friends and spent time together on the Isles of Shoals (in New Hampshire).

In any case, "Moonlight," the poem, is a work of ekphrasis, that is, art about art. I would not have known it unless I had come upon the poem in The Century.

Head down to the bayou for this week's Round-Up being hosted by Margaret at Reflections on the Teche.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Goodbye, Glen Campbell

By now you've heard of the passing, on Tuesday, of singer and guitarist, Glen Campbell. At 81, Campbell had a long, successful career as a musician.

I'm also sure you're aware that Campbell had been stricken with Alzheimer's Disease, but did you know that he had taken part in a film immediately following his diagnosis that followed him on his "goodbye tour." It was a brave act to subject himself to the prospect of someone filming his decline. Yet, he toured for a year and a half and his appearance in the film brought even more awareness to the disease that seems to be afflicting more and more of our population.

The film is Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me and it is in our DVD collection [DVD 782.42 GLE].

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Happy Birthday, Audrey Tautou!

Forty-one years ago today, actress, Audrey Tautou was born in France. She appeared early on in Amelie (Le Fabuleaux Destin d'Amelie Poulain) [DVD AME]. She caught the attention of American viewers and was soon cast in the blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code, along with star, Tom Hanks.

Tautou prefers her home in France to Hollywood, so she will continue to be featured in French films. Some of the titles we own are L'Augerge Espagnole (Spanish Apartment) [DVD AUG], A Very Long Engagement (Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles) [DVD VER], and Coco before Chanel (Coco avant Chanel) [DBD COC].

Tuesday, August 08, 2017


NPR ran a segment Sunday on upcoming television literary adaptations.

Get a head start on those who will be wanting to read the original books after they've seen the filmed versions. Here's what's coming:

Atwood, Margaret. Alias Grace. [F ATW]

Ferrante, Elena. "Neapolitan" series, which includes My Brilliant Friend #1, The Story of a New Name #2, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay #3, and The Story of the Lost Child #4. [F FER, eBook]

Flynn, Gillian. Sharp Objects. [F FLY, AB/CD FLY, eBook]

Galbraith, Robert. "Cormoran Strike" series, which includes The Cuckoo's Calling #1, The Silkworm #2, and Career of Calling #3. [F GAL, eBook]

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

The following is not in our collection, but is being ordered: Who Fears Death by Okorafor Nnedi.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Hurricane Season

Two weeks ago I posted about an annual holiday in the Virgin Islands, "Hurricane Supplication Day." It marks the beginning of the time when major storms develop in the Atlantic.

In the mainland United States, we don't think much about hurricanes until one is imminent. Here's the NOAA forecast for the 2017 season, it's best to be aware of the possibilities.

So how does one prepare for a hurricane? NOAA has some information here. Even more information can be found in Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by Arthur T. Bradley [363.348 BRA].

To be prepared, start now and avoid the empty shelves at the stores the day before a major storm is due to hit!

If you need a reminder of just how devastating a hurricane can be, borrow When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts [DVD 551.552 WHE]. This three-disk documentary is a sobering look at how one storm, Hurricane Katrina, resulted in destruction and disruption that is still being remedied twelve years later.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Poetry Friday--It's Percy Bysshe Shelley's Birthday!

Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on August 4, 1792. He died slightly less than 30 years later. During his short life he wrote many poems that are still being read today (albeit, for many people, only because his work is assigned in a class). One of his most famous poems is "Ozymandias," which was published in 1818.

Many of his poems go on for several stanzas, but here is one that is one stanza long:
Art Thou Pale for Weariness

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

It shouldn't be too hard to guess the subject of this poem!

This week the Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Donna at Mainely Write. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Happy Birthday, Tony Bennett!

It's Tony Bennett's birthday today (born in 1926)! A very happy birthday to Tony who has been in show business since 1949! Here's Tony on The Judy Garland Show in December 1963:

Tony Bennett, still singing in his 90s, is well-represented in our CD collection. Here are a four titles that span the years:

Duets: An American Classic. [CD MALE VOCALIST BEN]

Hot & Cool: Bennett Sings Ellington. [CD JAZZ BEN]

16 Most Requested Songs. [CD MALE VOCALIST BEN]

A Wonderful World (with K. D. Lang). [CD EASY LISTENING BEN]

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

August Romance!

Last year at this time I wrote a post titled, "August is Read-A-Romance Month". Since it is August once again, then that must mean it's "Read-A-Romance Month" again!

In last year's post I listed a few romance novels published in 2016, I'm going to update the list with these titles published in 2017:

Brockmann, Suzanne. Some Kind of Hero. [F BRO, eBook]

Dessen, Sarah. Once and For All. [YA DES, eBook]

Eberlen, Kate. Miss You. [F EBE, eBook]

Garwood, Julie. Wired. [F GAR, LP GAR, AB/CD GAR, eBook]

Jamieson, Kelly. Dancing in the Rain. [eBook]

Kelypas, Lisa. Devil in Spring. [F KLE]

Lipman, Elinor. On Turpentine Lane. [F LIP, eBook]

Macomber, Debbie. If Not For You. [F MAC, AB/CD MAC, eBook, eAudio]

Mansell, Jill. Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay. [eBook]

Romanoff, Zan. Grace and the Fever. [YA ROM]

Please be aware that this only a partial listing of the romance novels released this year. There are plenty more. More than enough to see you through August, September, and right through to 2018!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


Unless you're an artist or a decorator, you probably don't think much about paint colors. Everything comes ready-made or easily mixed to order. It wasn't always so easy. This article explains how some colors had to be specially invented for artists.

How does one go about "inventing" colors? Interesting question! The issue is explored in Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World by Simon Garfield [B PER]. Mauve is a biography of chemist Sir William Henry Perkin. There is a lot of science involved in inventing color!

If you wish to learn more about color, we have a number of items for you to borrow including ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book about Color by Jude Stewart [155.911 STE] or Interaction of Color by Josef Albers [701.85 ALB].

Monday, July 31, 2017


It's a lazy summer Monday, sit back and enjoy this little film about the handiwork of children's book illustrator, Salley Mavor:

RABBITAT from UnderCurrent Productions on Vimeo.

Wasn't that fabulous? Come to the Library the book mentioned in the film, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes [JP POC] and spend another day poring over the beautifully imaginative and intricate work of Ms. Mavor.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Poetry Friday--Charlotte Zolotow

Children's book writer, Charlotte Zolotow, the beloved author of Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present [JP ZOL], The Bunny Who Found Easter [JP ZOL], and dozens of other picture books, was also a children's poet.

She passed away at the age of 98 back in 2013. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth, Changes: A Child's First Poetry Collection [J 811.54] was published. The "Introduction" was written by her daughter, Crescent Dragonwagon, and the lively illustrations are the work of Tiphanie Beeke.

The poems follow the seasons after beginning with the opening poem, "Change." Here's a fine little poem from the summer verses:
A Moment in Summer

A moment in summer
belongs to me
and one particular
honey bee.
A moment in summer
shimmering clear
making the sky
seem very near,
a moment in summer
belongs to me.

A little reminiscent of Emily Dickinson, don't you think?

Head over to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held at A Word Edgewise and then go off to capture your own moment of summer!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Were You Reading Five Years Ago?

I came across the Publishers Weekly bestsellers list from July 16, 2012. Here's what the country was reading back then:
  1. Flynn, Gillian.  Gone Girl.
  2. Evanovich, Janet.  Wicked Business.
  3. Weiner, Jennifer.  Next Best Thing.
  4. Hilderbrand, Elin.  Summerland.
  5. Slaughter, Karin.  Criminal.
  6. Rollins, James.  Bloodline: A SIGMA Force Novel.
  7. Grisham, John.  Calico Joe.
  8. Martin, George R. R.  A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5.
  9. Furst, Alan.  Mission to Paris.
  10. Walker,  Karen Thompson.  Age of Miracles.
  11. Cussler, Clive.  Storm.
  12. Frank, Dorothea Benton.  Porch Lights.
  13. Patterson, James.  11th Hour.
  14. Walter, Jess.  Beautiful Ruins.
  15. Child, Lincoln.  Third Gate.
The number one title, Gone Girl, had only been released in June, and by July 16, it had already spent five weeks on the bestsellers list! It only goes to show you what a good plot and great pre-publication hype can do!

You may have gotten caught up in the Gone Girl mania at the time, or, you may have decided to wait until demand died down. I checked our catalog on Tuesday and found that we have the regular print, eBook, audiobook, eAudio, and two copies of the subsequent movie on DVD all available to borrow! We even have a copy in Chinese, titled Kong Zhi, sitting on the shelf! So, if you never read it back then, here's your chance to read it now!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Day the Army Desegregated

It was on this day in 1944 the the United States Army officially desegregated its training facilities. However, it still took four more years before the president, Harry S. Truman, signed Executive Order 9981: Integration of the Armed Forces, which integrated all the U. S. armed forces. That signing also took place on July 26.

Up to that point in the 1940s, African Americans had served in the military, but in separate units. Their service history was admirable. Here are a few items that highlight the service of Black units that served in World War II:

Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem. Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes. [940.54 ABD]

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

McGowen, Tom. Lonely Eagles and Buffalo Soldiers: African Americans in World War II. [J 940.54 McG]

Morehouse, Maggi M. Fighting in the Jim Crow Army: Black Men and Women Remember World War II. [940.54 MOR]

Sheinkin, Steve. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights. [YA 940.5453 SHE, eAudio]

Stone, Tanya Lee. Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers. [J 940.5412 STO, eBook]

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hurricane Supplication Day!

Sorry, no post yesterday. Summer is a crazy time here at the Library, and time got away!

If you lived in the U. S. Virgin Islands (composed of the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John), then today would be a holiday. It is "Hurricane Supplication Day." What kind of holiday is that? you might ask. Some terrific/horrific storms develop in the Atlantic mid-August to late September. So, if you lived on an island in the ocean, you would quickly understand that it's a day to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Islanders attend church to pray--supplicate--for safety during the season.

Alexander Hamilton, a boy of 15, observed one such hurricane that took place in late August 1772,
It seemed as if a total dissolution of nature was taking place. The roaring of the sea and wind—fiery meteors flying about in the air—the prodigious glare of almost perpetual lightning—the crash of falling houses—and the ear-piercing shrieks of the distressed were sufficient to strike astonishment into Angels.

If the islanders make it through hurricane season, then, on the third Monday in October they celebrate Hurricane Thanksgiving Day! Let's hope the season passes uneventfully.

If you'd like to visit the U. S. Virgin Islands, you may want to wait a few months. In the mean time, you can prepare yourself by reading about the Virgin Islands National Park in National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States [917.304 NAT], and by listening and dancing to Quelbe, the official music of the islands.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Poetry Friday--First Battle

On this day in 1861, one of the first battles of the American Civil War took place. The North referred to it as the First Battle of Bull Run, the South called it the Battle of First Manassas. As you may have suspected, there followed a second battle on the spot in August 1862.

Up to the point of the first battle, many thought the civil war would be over quickly, and relatively easily. On July 21, some actually assumed they could head out to the battle scene and watch while they ate a picnic lunch. What a mistaken assumption that was!

I highly recommend the children's novel, Bull Run, by Paul Fleischman [F FLE]. In this slim volume,

Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

The battle was also the subject of this poem written by Herman Melville:
The March into Virginia Ending in the First Manassas (July, 1861)

Did all the lets and bars appear
     To every just or larger end,
Whence should come the trust and cheer?
     Youth must its ignorant impulse lend—
Age finds place in the rear.
     All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,
The champions and enthusiasts of the state:
     Turbid ardors and vain joys
          not barrenly abate—
Stimulants to the power mature,
     Preparatives of fate.

Who here forecasteth the event?
What heart but spurns at precedent
And warnings of the wise,
Contemned foreclosures of surprise?
The banners play, the bugles call,
The air is blue and prodigal.
     No berrying party, pleasure-wooed,
No picnic party in the May,
Ever went less loth than they
     Into that leafy neighborhood.
In Bacchic glee they file toward Fate,
Moloch’s uninitiate;
Expectancy, and glad surmise
Of battle’s unknown mysteries.

All they feel is this: ’tis glory,
A rapture sharp, though transitory,
Yet lasting in belaureled story.
So they gayly go to fight,
Chatting left and laughing right.

But some who this blithe mood present,
     As on in lightsome files they fare,
Shall die experienced ere three days be spent—
     Perish, enlightened by the vollied glare;
Or shame survive, and, like to adamant,
     Thy after shock, Manassas, share.

For more poems of the Civil War, look for "Words for the Hour": A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry [811.008 WOR].

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted this week by The Logonauts!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Road Trip! Part 5

Perhaps you're not going on an extended vacation this summer and are only looking to take day trips. Some place within a few hours' drive of Windham? We've got you covered with books like

Doan, Daniel. 50 More Hikes in New Hampshire: Day Hikes and Backpacking Trips from Mount Monadnock to Mount Magalloway. [917.42 DOA]

Glassman-Jaffe, Marcia. Massachusetts: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids. [917.44 GLA]

Hipple, Ethan. Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont: 75 of the Best Family Hiking, Camping, and Paddling Trips. [796.50974 HIP]

Olia, Maria T. Day Trips New England: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler. [917.404 OLI]

Rogers, Lura J. Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids. [917.4 ROG]

And, we have a Pinterest page titled Travel Close to Home, that has over 100 pins for locations or activities in the New England states, especially New Hampshire.

You'll find something for everyone from A (art museums) to Z (zoos) and a whole lot in between!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Road Trip! Part 4

Yesterday I offered audiobook suggestions for your family road trip. Today, we'll look at two more things to do in the car, neither of which involve a screen.

Sing! Sing along to a CD such as Disney's Silly Songs [CD CHILDREN DIS], or any one of the Cedarmont Kids Singers series of titles [all CD CHILDREN CED]. Or, you can bring along a book of song lyrics. A great all-around collection of oft-sung songs is found in Rise Up Singing: The Group-Singing Song Book [782.42 RIS]. For a collection of just kids' songs, look for

The second screenless thing you can do in the car, is play games! Travel games to be specific. Games can be found in
The Everything Kids' Travel Activity Book: Games to Play, Songs to Sing, Fun Stuff to Do--Guaranteed to Keep You Busy the Whole Ride! by Erik A. Hanson [J 793.7 HAN, eBook], 150 Nifty Travel Games and Card Tricks [J 793.7 ONE], or Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot-Potato, and Ha, Ha, Ha: A Rule Book of Children's Games by Jack Maguire [793 MAG].

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Road Trip! Part 3

Sooner or later this summer you will embark on a real roadtrip. Keeping the kids occupied can be a challenge--there are only so many times they can watch their favorite Disney movie! Or, if your vehicle is not equipped with a DVD player, what then?

Get them totally away from a screen and let their imaginations loose with an audiobook? Pick a classic and everyone will listen!

Here are some tried and true audiobooks for the whole family to enjoy:

Bond, Michael. More about Paddington: Classic Adventures of the Bear from Darkest Peru. [J AB/CD BON]

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. [J AB/CD BUR]

Dickins, Charles. A Christmas Carol. [AB/CD DIC] (Note: who cares if it's the middle of summer?)

Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. [J AB/CD JUS]

Napoli, Donna Jo. Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters. [J AB/CD 398.2 NAP]

Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows. [J AB/CD RAW]

Streatfeild, Noel. Ballet Shoes. [eAudiobook]

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. [J AB/CD STE]

White, E. B. Charlotte's Web. [J AB/CD WHI]

Wilde, Oscar. The Happy Prince and Other Stories. [J AB/CD WIL]

Monday, July 17, 2017

Road Trip! Part 2

Last Thursday I posted titles of books that feature road trips. Today I'm going to cover the seemingly endless number of MOVIES featuring road trips. The one that springs immediately to mind is Thelma and Louise [DVD THE]--a female "buddy" film--with a road trip to end all road trips! (A road trip that eliminated all hopes for a sequel!)

Other filmic journeys are male buddy movies, family vacation movies, human/pet trips, and a journey on a riding mower! There's sure to be one for you!

Bird on a Wire. [DVD BIR]

Harry & Tonto. [DVD HAR]

Joy Ride. [DVD JOY]

National Geographic Vacation. [DVD NAT]

Nebraska. [DVD NEB]

On the Road. [DVD ON]

Planes, Trains and Automobiles. [DVD PLA]

Silver Streak. [DVD SIL]

The Space between Us. [DVD SPA]

The Straight Story. [DVD STR]

The Way. [DVD WAY]

Friday, July 14, 2017

Poetry Friday--Shorebirds

Have you been to the beach lately? One of the great things about the New England coast is the abundance of shore birds such as Piping Plovers. The Piping Plovers have had a hard time in the past, but their future has been improved. Here's a short video on how the Piping Plovers are being protected in Massachusetts.

I could watch the scurrying creatures for hours--as a matter of fact, the last time I was in Maine, that's exactly what I did!

Another shorebird, the sandpiper, has been "captured" in words by Elizabeth Bishop. "Sandpiper" is found in the fascinating collection of poems selected by Billy Collins and illustrated by David Allen Sibley titled, Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds [821 BRI]

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.

The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.

- Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.

The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn't tell you which.
His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.

Did you know that today is National Mac & Cheese Day! Visit the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted by Tabatha Yeatts, where you may find a mac & cheese celebration in poetry!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Road Trip!

The summer is the time for road trips, whether they are short trips within New England, or extended cross country trips.

It's also an opportunity to read about others' trips, where you can vicariously enjoy travel without leaving the comforts of home. Here are a few of those trips:

Berg, Elizabeth. Tapestry of Fortunes. [F BER, eBook]

Doig, Ivan. Last Bus to Wisdom. [F DOI]

Evison, Jonathan. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. [F EVI, eBook]

Fishman, Boris. Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo. [F FIS]

Harbison, Elizabeth M. Driving With the Top Down. [eAudiobook]

Hickham, Homer H. Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator. [F HIC]

Merullo, Roland. Dinner with Buddha. [F MER, AB/CD MER, eBook]

Zadoorian, Michael. The Leisure Seeker. [F ZAD]

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Learning to Swim

Here's a little video about an emperor penguin who needed a "parent" to help it acclimate to the water:

Penguins are natural born swimmers. Humans, not so much. It's a shame that children sometimes learn to fear the water before they learn to swim. If you need assistance with teaching a child (or yourself) how to swim, we have materials that may help, and, once a child learns, he/she may quickly decide to pursue swimming as a sport.

Bory, Eva. Teach Your Child to Swim: An Instructional Guide to the Basics of Swimming. [797.2 BOR]

Laughlin, Terry. Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster, and Easier. [797.21 LAU]

London, Jonathan. Froggy Learns to Swim. [JP LON]

Meredith, Susan. Teach Your Child to Swim. [797.2 MER]

Wendorff, Anne. Swimming. [J 797.21 WEN]

Willett, Andy. Swimming for Fun! [J 797.2 WIL]

Wood, Alix. You Can Be a Swimmer. [J 797.2 WOO]

For those who prefer video learning, look for Safety Smart in the Water [J DVD SAF], part of the "Disney Wild about Safety" series.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Outdoor Games

The summer is the time for getting the kids outdoors!

Many kids are involved in outdoor sports, but there are also games that can be played that don't require an investment in equipment. There are tried and true ones like hide-and-seek, but how about something new?

If you're an adult looking to engage a group of kids, The 175 Best Camp Games: A Handbook for Leaders by Kathleen, Laura, and Mary Fraser [790.15 FRA] will get you started with fun games like "Slow Motion Tag." To encourage cooperation rather than competition there is Cooperative Games and Sports: Joyful Activities for Everyone by Terry Orlick [793 ORL].

Our children's room collection has a plethora of outdoor activity books including:

Go Out and Play!: Favorite Outdoor Games from Kaboom! [J 796 GO]

Kids' Backyard Activities and Games: 25 Boredom-Busting Ideas for Tons of Outdoor Fun! [eBook]

McGillian, Jamie Kyle. Sidewalk Chalk: Outdoor Fun and Games. [J 796 MCG]

Rhatigan, Joe. Run, Jump, Hide, Slide, Splash: The 200 Best Outdoor Games Ever. [J 796 RHA]

If you just want to let your kids go outdoors without any structured play or games, that's a great idea, too! Angele J. Hanscom recommends it in Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children [306.481 HAN].

Go outside!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Whistler's Son!

James McNeill Whistler, artist, was born on this day in 1834, in Lowell, Massachusetts. You probably know his most famous, and often parodied work, "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1" a.k.a. "Whistler's Mother."

The Whistler home in Lowell is now the Whistler House Museum of Art and is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays. If you're interested in art and artists, it's worth a visit!

Read about the artist in James McNeill Whistler by Hilary Taylor [759.73 TAY].

Friday, July 07, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Spanish Dancer"

I happened to see a Spanish dance video on Facebook that was fabulous, and quite coincidentally I came across this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke:
The Spanish Dancer

As a lit match first flickers in the hands
Before it flames, and darts out from all sides
Bright, twitching tongues, so, ringed by growing bands
Of spectators—she, quivering, glowing stands
Poised tensely for the dance—then forward glides

And suddenly becomes a flaming torch.
Her bright hair flames, her burning glances scorch,
And with a daring art at her command
Her whole robe blazes like a fire-brand
From which is stretched each naked arm, awake,
Gleaming and rattling like a frightened snake.

And then, as though the fire fainter grows,
She gathers up the flame—again it glows,
As with proud gesture and imperious air
She flings it to the earth; and it lies there
Furiously flickering and crackling still—
Then haughtily victorious, but with sweet
Swift smile of greeting, she puts forth her will
And stamps the flames out with her small firm feet.

Of course, now that I'm looking for it, I can't find the Facebook video I had originally seen. Here's another that should demonstrate the "daring art" and put a little flame in your soul. Enjoy!

Carol at Beyond Literacy Link will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up for this week.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Hot Air Balloons

If you have this week off, head north to the Hillsborough, NH Balloon Fest & Fair going on today. You missed the 6:00 AM take-off, but there's another this afternoon at 6:00 PM.

It should be a sight to behold!

If you can't make the festival, you and your kids can always read about hot air balloon adventures. We have a surprising number of such books including:

Huneck, Stephen. Sally's Great Balloon Adventure. [eBook]

MacLeod, Charlotte. The Balloon Man. [F MAC MYSTERY]

McCall Smith, Alexander. Max & Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery. [J MYS MCC]

Roland, Timothy. Come Down Now, Flying Cow! [E ROL]

Stead, Philip Christian. Sebastian and the Balloon. [JP STE]

Van Leeuwen, Jean. The Amazing Air Balloon. [JP VAN]

The family might also enjoy the movie, Around the World in 80 Days [DVD ARO], based on the novel of the same name by Jules Verne [F VER, AB/CD VER]

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Unusual Items

You may have noticed a bit of shelf emptying and shifting going on in the area formally known as "Reference." We now have a small display of "hot" bestsellers available for a one-week loan. The collection we refer to as "Unusual Items" has been moved to directly behind the the "hot" books.

In case you don't know what's in our collection of "Unusual Items," here are some of the items you can borrow--they are not books, DVDs, or musical CDs!

  • Orion StarBlast 4.5" telescope
  • Loom knitting primer kit
  • Bounty Hunter metal detector
  • Games
  • Kill A Watt energy detector
  • Learn to crochet kit
  • Soprano ukelele
  • Laser level

And there's more! Have you heard about the lawn game from Sweden called Kubb? We bought a set so you can try it out before buying one of your own.

Everything goes out for two weeks and may be just what you need to help you finish a project, or introduce you to a musical instrument. Come visit the Library and see what we have. We're looking to purchase more items, so your suggestions are always welcome!

Monday, July 03, 2017

The Declaration of Independence

The 4th of July used to be referred to as Independence Day, since that is the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776 thus changing the course of history forever.

New Hampshire was on board with the independence movement and was the first of two states (along with Delaware) to authorize their delegates to declare independence on June 15, 1776. Yay, New Hampshire!

We had three NH signers of the Declaration: Josiah Bartlett, Matthew Thornton, and William Whipple. Imagine affixing your name to such an important document! To learn more about these three, and all the signers, look for The Signers: The 56 Stories behind the Declaration of Independence by Dennis B. Fradin [J 973.3 FRA].

It is a good idea to periodically read the Declaration of Independence to remind ourselves of our brave beginnings!

Enjoy your Independence Day tomorrow. The Library will be closed, but we'll be back here Wednesday morning at 9:00!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Poetry Friday--Moon Frog

I found a book I hadn't seen before. I don't know how that could be since we got it back in 2001 (it was published back in 1993)! The new-to-me book is Moon Frog: Animal Poems for Young Children by Richard Edwards, illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies [J 821 EDW]. The minute I pulled it off the shelf, I fell in love with it. Look at this cover:

And here's the title poem:
Moon Frog

The moon slid down the sky,
The froggy whispered, "Soon,
If only it comes close enough,
I'll leap onto the moon."

The moon slid lower still,
The froggy paused, then--hop!
His long legs launched him at the moon
And landed him on top.

The moon sailed smoothly on
Along its starry course,
With froggy proudly riding
Like a jockey on a horse.
I wish the poem were a wee bit longer--there's more to froggy's story that remains to be told!

That's all for today! Visit Random Noodling for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up! Have a safe and happy Independence Day holiday!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Interstate Highway System

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy Library of Congress.

On June 29, 1956, the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Between 1954 and 1956, there were several failed attempts to pass a national highway bill through the Congress. The main controversy over the highway construction was the apportionment of the funding between the Federal Government and the states. Undaunted, the President renewed his call for a "modern, interstate highway system" in his 1956 State of the Union Address. Within a few months, after considerable debate and amendment in the Congress, The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 emerged from the House-Senate conference committee. In the act, the interstate system was expanded to 41,000 miles, and to construct the network, $25 billion was authorized for fiscal years 1957 through 1969. During his recovery from a minor illness, Eisenhower signed the bill into law at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the 29th of June. Because of the 1956 law, and the subsequent Highway Act of 1958, the pattern of community development in America was fundamentally altered and was henceforth based on the automobile.
Anyone born after 1960 probably has no recollection of the country without the vast system of highways that criss-crosses the United States. Not only did it make it easier to get from one part of the country to another, the system also brought forth the rise in motels and fast food restaurants!

We have several books in our collection that discuss the country's eating habits before and after the interstate highway system--it's a fascinating lesson in social history!

Fieri, Guy. Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives: An All-American Road Trip--with Recipes! [647.9573 FIE]

The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food: Before the National Highway System, before Chain Restaurants, and before Frozen Food, when the Nation's Food was Seasonal, Regional, and Traditional: From the Lost WPA Files. [394.12 FOO]

Stern, Jane and Michael. Roadfood: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 600 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice-cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More. [647.9573 STE]