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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Gardening in a Space

Garden planning also involves deciding on the perfect location and space. But maybe you need a little guidance in selecting and designing an area? One of these should help:

Bartholomew, Mel. All New Square Foot Gardening. [635 BAR, eBook]

Bradley, Fern Marshall. Building Raised Beds: Easy, Accessible Garden Space for Vegetables and Flowers. [635.962 BRA]

Dannenmaier, Molly. A Child's Garden: 60 Ideas to Make Any Garden Come Alive for Children. [712.6 DAN]

Garden Designs: Simple Steps to Beautiful Flower Gardens. [635.9 GAR]

Leavitt, Amie Jane. A Backyard Vegetable Garden for Kids. [J 635 LEA]

Newbury, Tim. Garden Design Made Easy. [712 NEW]

Oster, Maggie. 35 Garden Blueprints: Beautiful Possibilities for Designing Your Garden. [712 OST]

Soler, Ivette. The Edible Front Yard the Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden. [eBook]

The Time Life Complete Gardener: Successful Garden Plans. [635.9 TIM]

Ziffer, Amy. The Shady Lady's Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening. [635.9543 ZIF]

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Windham Gardening

Yesterday we mentioned planning ahead for the gardening season and I think there's enough to talk about for several days! Today, let's look specifically at gardening in Windham.

We have many gardeners in town as is evidenced by the active Windham Garden Club. In case you didn't already know, the WGC planted and maintains the Library's butterfly garden and the recently added children's story garden. Many thanks for their support of the Library.

The WGC produced a series of DVDs, "Windham Garden Club Presents," which we have in our collection [DVD 635.9742 WIN] for you to borrow. Here are the titles:

Carnivorous Plants at the University of New Hampshire's Greenhouses.

May Blooms in Windham.

Propagation by Division

Propagation by Seeds.

Winterizing Your Garden

Also available to borrow is a book, written and published by the WGC titled Planting Among the Stones: A Handbook for Gardening in Southern New Hampshire [635.9742 PLA]. You'll find plenty of information about gardening in town whether you're a newbie or a long-time gardener.

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading.

(For those interested in local history, we have a collection of WCG materials, which includes newspaper clipping and photographs dating back to 1990! These were compiled by members of the Garden Club and are kept in the history room [REF 974.2 WIN].)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Can You Believe It?

This is already the last month of January! That means we're one month closer to spring--yay! You know what that means? Time to think about planting a garden.

You're saying, "What?" Okay, you can't plant now, but you can definitely plan!

Start with any of the hundreds of online vendors selling seeds. There are several vendors who cater to New England gardeners, such as NE Seed and Johnny's Selected Seeds, or you can purchase from the national seed companies. Be sure to look for seeds that do well in Zone 5b: -15 to -10 (F). (You may also want to check if the seeds are non-GMO.)

Map courtesy USDA.

Speaking of seeds, let's jump ahead to the fall and consider saving your own seeds. Spend these winter days reading up on seed saving in The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, Trees, and Shrubs by Robert E. Gough [631.521 GOU] or Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Saving Vegetable and Flower Seeds by Marc Rogers [eBook].

Friday, January 26, 2018

Poetry Friday--R.I.P. Ursula Le Guin

Speculative fiction writer, Ursula K. Le Guin, died earlier this week at the age of 88.

Here's what she said in a 2014 speech at the National Book Awards:
Hard times are coming when we'll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We'll need writers who can remember freedom--poets, visionaries, realists of a larger reality.

Le Guin was one of those writers--she was a visionary, and a poet, and I'm sure she had a grasp on a larger reality, too.

Here's an example of her poetry. It is found in Good Poems, selected by Garrison Keillor [811.008 GOO]:
Stanza IV
from Coming of Age

This old notebook I write in was my father's,
he never wrote in it. A grey man,
all my lifetime, with a short grey beard,
a slight man, not tall.
The other day I saw five elephants,
big elephants, with palm-trunk legs
and continents of sides, and one,
the biggest one, had bent tusks bound
about with brass. They were waiting,
patient, to be let outside
into the sunlight and the autumn air,
moving about their stall so quietly,
using the grace of great size and the gentleness,
swaying a little, silent, strong as ships.
That was a great pleasure, to see that.
And he would have liked to see the big one
     making water,
too, like a steaming river,
enough to float ten bigots in.
O there is nothing like sheer Quantity,
mountains, elephants, minds.
Much to ponder and admire, don't you think? I like the phrase, "continents of sides."

We can mourn the loss of Ursula Le Guin, but we can also console ourselves with the work she left behind.

Carol at Beyond Literacy Link will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up today. I recommend you check it out!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Burns Night

Burns Night is a traditional Scottish evening of music and poetry celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of poet, Robert Burns. Today is that day! Burns was born on January 25, 1759 (he died 37 years later). Perhaps Burns is best known as the writer of "Auld Lang Syne," which is sung every New Year's Eve here, in the United States.

Have your own Burns Night celebration at home, if you're feeling adventurous. Look for recipes in A Taste of Scotland: Scottish Traditional Food by Theodora FitzGibbon [641.5941 FIT]. Find some music on YouTube like this:

If you don't feel up to the prep work necessary for a celebration, there is a Burns Night taking place, not tonight, but on Saturday, in nearby Nashua.

Explore your Scottish roots in A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage by Linda Jonas [929 JON]. Who knows, you may be related to the great Rabbie Burns!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Edith Wharton!

Author Edith Wharton was born on this day in 1862. She wrote novels about wealthy New York society, and won a Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence [F WHA, AB/CD WHA, eAudio]. Wharton's win in 1921 was also notable because she was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

One of her most famous novels, Ethan Frome (found in Novellas and Other Writings [F WHA], moved away from the society characters of her prior novels and told of village life in the fictional setting, Starkfield, Massachusetts.

If you're not a reader, please note that several of Wharton's novels have been made into films.

The Age of Innocence.

The Buccaneers.

Ethan Frome.

The House of Mirth.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ken Burns Collector

Documentary film maker, Ken Burns, is also a collector. Looking at his films, The Civil War [DVD 973.7 CIV], Baseball [DVD 796.357 BAS], The Vietnam War [DVD 959.7043 VIE], The Dust Bowl [DVD 973.917 DUS], Prohibition [DVD 363.41 PRO], and many others, what would you guess would be the object of his collecting interest?

Baseball cards? Historic firearms? Vintage bottles? None of the above--Ken Burns collects quilts! Here's why:
They’re an essential building block of the culture that’s making them. Women working with fabrics produce something reflective of it. I collect American quilts and they tell me a lot about the country.

To learn more, and to see two of his quilts, click here.

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 Women's March

The 2018 Women's March took place over the weekend in locations around the country and the world (including Antarctica). This is the second year of activism around women's issues (which are also human rights issues). Marches took place in Concord and Portsmouth on Saturday. Here is a photo taken in Portsmouth:

Women's issues are going to play a big factor in the 2018 mid-term elections, and women are stepping up in record numbers to run for election. Young women especially are urged to get involved and a good place to begin is to take a look at Activism: Taking on Women's Issues by Alexandra Hanson-Harding [YA 305.42 HAN].
An exploration of women's activism throughout American history looks at such issues as violence against women, unrealistic media standards, and political and economic rights.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Poetry Friday: "Self-portraits by Frida Kahlo"

I hope you've had an opportunity to see yourself as a work of art using the Google Arts & Culture app.

Before the advent of the cell phone and the selfie, people painted themselves using a mirror for reference. Self-portraiture, in the time before the development of photography, was often the only way of knowing what an artist looked like. Even after portrait photography became popular, artists still painted themselves. It was a way to reveal both the outer artist and the inner artist.

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is a prime example of someone who revealed more than just the color of her eyes, or the shape of her nose, in her self-portraits. Poet, Joanna Rawson, put into words what Kahlo had put into her paintings.

Self-portraits by Frida Kahlo
by Joanna Rawson

Blood was her dress and her embassy,
No one suffered with such grace.
She attended her only live exhibit in bed,
They rolled her in with three monkeys
Riding the thin canopy. Above
Her eyebrow where the third eye
Opens and slams like a loose shutter,
Her husband the magnificent slob Diego Rivera
And a white medallion skull
Trade watch over the crawl-space. Imagine
The stamina of standing for years
With that crushed spine aligned in wire,
With vines oozing from the trapdoor
In her chest, onto the seething ground,
Imagine capturing your own excruciating pose
In oil, fashioning it, flattening it, fastening it
By a hook to your deathbed frame.
Which of these agonizing entrances to the interior body
Did she find most glamorous?
No one suffered from such eagerness.
She lay all afternoon giving birth
In the gallery, to arrows, scars, to garlands
Severed from her stillborn generation.
No one left her altar unharmed.
No one took more pleasure
In the shattered mirror on the ceiling than she.

Found in The Body Electric: America's Best Poetry from the American Poetry Review [811 BOD]. The thumbnails courtesy The Athenaeum.

If you are interested in learning more about artists and self-portraiture, download the eBook, A Face to the World: On Self-Portraits by Laura Cumming.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up for this week is being hosted by Kay at A Journey through the Pages.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale, the television series based on the novel by Margaret Atwood [F ATW, AB/CD ATW, eBook] will be continued in season 2 beginning April 25 on Hulu. The trailer for the second season:

We've been receiving requests for season 1 of The Handmaid's Tale on DVD. There is no release date yet issued, so we do not have it. Most prior seasons are released once a new season begins, so we can speculate orders will be shipped sometime in April or early May.

In 1990, the book was filmed and released in theaters. It starred Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, and Aidan Quinn [DVD HAN]. We have that version in our collection if you are interested.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Art Forgery

I read an article this past week on an exhibition of paintings by Amedeo Modigliani that opened in Italy. It seems that twenty of the works on display were discovered to be forgeries!

Forgers and forgeries are nothing new in the art world, but they have recently become subjects for novelists' imaginations. Here are two titles that deal with art forgeries, both of which would make good titles for book discussion groups:

Shapiro, Barbara A. The Art Forger. [F SHA, AB/CD SHA, eBook]

Smith, Dominic. The Last Painting of Sara De Vos. [F SMI, eBook, eAudio]

Here are two more titles that deal with the complexities of being a real-life art forger:

Lopez, Jonathan. The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren. [B MEE]

Perenyi, Ken. Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger. [AB/CD 702.874 PER]

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Are You a Work of Art?

Have you downloaded the Google Arts & Culture app on your phone? A friend posted about it on Facebook and when I went to the app store it was the first thing that came up when I hit the search button. I think about 30,000 people downloaded it yesterday!

It's really quite an interesting app in that you can learn a lot about art through articles, however, the main reason people are downloading it is for the feature with which you take a selfie and the app searches its database to find matches in works of art. It's quick, easy, fun, and free!

After you snap your selfie, you'll be sent five "matches." Here's an example of a match:

We tried taking photos of a dog and a cat, but no matches were found, so it's probably only set up to match human faces.

Have fun!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Library Closed Today!

The Library is closed today due to the federal Martin Luther King Birthday holiday.

New MLK books in 2017 included a young adult novel by Nic Stone, Dear Martin [YA STO].

Here's the publisher's summary:
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

We'll be back at the Library on Tuesday--see you then!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Poetry Friday--"The New Notebook"

Do you keep a diary, a journal, or a notebook? Many people do, and not just writers. Do you start a new one at the beginning of each new year? Or, do you wait until your notebook is completely filled before starting with another one? No matter how you begin, I'll bet there's a feeling of anticipation, of promise, of hope.

Here's a poem from Romanian writer, Maria Banus, translated by Laura Schiff and Dana Beldiman. It is found in an anthology titled Ain't I a Woman!: Classic Poetry by Women from Around the World [808.81 AIN]:

The New Notebook

Full of superstition
I begin a new notebook,
white leaves--sea foam.
I close my eyes and wait
for the first day of the world,
for Aphrodite with wet lips,
red curls of flame,
an open shell,
shy and sure,
to rise from the salt foam,
out of the primordial algae.
I wait under closed eyelids.
One can hear the grey rustle of sea gulls
under the low sky
and the monotonous thunder of waves
only of waves
which come and go.

Jan at Bookseedstudio will be hosting this week's Round-Up of poetry links. Do stop by!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Happy Birthday, Stanley Tucci

Today is actor Stanley Tucci's birthday! He was born in New York on January 11, 1960. Tucci has appeared in dozens of films, mostly in supporting roles, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Lovely Bones in 2009 [DVD LOV]. He also appears on television and is a reader on audiobooks.

Big Night [DVD BIG] is a little-known film that shows Tucci at his best. I highly recommend it!

Other films Tucci appears in, and which we have in our collection, include:

The Devil Wears Prada. [DVD DEV]

Julie & Julia. [DVD JUL]

A Midsummer Night's Dream. [DVD MID]

Road to Perdition. [DVD ROA]

Transformers. The Last Knight. [DVD TRA]

The Wind Rises. [DVD WIN]

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Golden Globes

The Golden Globe awards were awarded on Sunday. The event, with its red carpet display of black formal wear and pins in solidarity with the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up initiative against sexual harassment, also got down to the business of honoring those who made award-winning films and television programs in 2017.

Most of the films nominated for awards have not yet been released on DVD, but a number of the television series are available. As a matter of fact, all of nominees for "Best Television Series--Drama" are in our collection with the exception of the winner, The Handmaid's Tale, which has no DVD release date as of now.

The other series that were nominated are:

The Crown

Game of Thrones. [DVD TV SERIES GAM]

Stranger Things. [DVD TV SERIES STR]


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Battle of Luzon

Photo source.

On this day in 1945, The Battle of Luzon, Philipines, began. The Battle of Luzon, was fought from January and continued through August 15, 1945. It resulted in a United States and Filipino victory.

The island of Luzon had been captured by Japanese forces in 1942 during their campaign to control the Philippines, a U. S. colony. It wasn't until 1944 that the U. S. decided the time was right to break the Japanese stronghold. First the island of Leyte was taken, then Mindoro, and finally Luzon.

The assault on the island was code-named S-Day and commenced on January 9. Although most of the action was concluded by March, the battle continued for another five months against small pockets of Japanese guerilla fighters. By battle's end, there were massive casualties with 10,380 killed, 36,550 wounded on the United States side, and, 205,535 dead, 9,050 captured on the side of Japan. It must be noted that most of the Japanese casualties were due disease or starvation rather than direct combat.

To learn more about the World War II Pacific campaign, look for books in the 940.54 section.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Fire and Fury

Last week's big brouhaha over the new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, and the move-up of its release date, came as a surprise to most public libraries. We have ordered the book, as has all of our GMILCS consortium partners, but since demand has been so great, there's no way of knowing how long they will take to arrive. You may put a hold on the item through our online catalog, click here.

We have also ordered an audiobook copy, and, eBook copies will be available soon (publication date of the e-copies did not change, so they will not be available before tomorrow.) In the meantime, you may wish to read one of these:

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. [eBook]

Green, Joshua. Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency. [eBook]

Harding, Luke. Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win. [324.973 HAR, eBook]

Johnston, David Cay. The Making of Donald Trump. [eBook]

Kranish, Michael. Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power. [B TRU]

Lewandowski, Corey R. Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency. [973.933 LEW, eBook]

Lichtman, Allan J. The Case for Impeachment. [342.73062 LIT]

Trump, Donald J. Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know about Success, Real Estate, and Life. [650.409 TRU]

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Blizzard Reading

It may be too late to borrow a print copy to carry you through today's snowstorm, but if you have a device, and you're lucky, you may be able to download an eBook or eAudiobook of one of these new family sagas:

Bradford, Barbara Taylor. Secrets of Avendon. "Cavendon Chronicles #4." [F BRA, LP BRA, eBook]
The Secrets of Cavendon picks up in the summer of 1949, with the new generation of the estate at the forefront of the scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.
Lee, Min Jin. Pachinko. [AB/CD LEE, eBook]
Following one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.
See, Lisa. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. [F SEE, LP SEE, AB/CD SEE, eBook, eAudiobook]
After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.
Sullivan, J. Courtney. Saints for All Occasions. [F SUL, AB/CD SUL, eBook, eAudiobook]
Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan--a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.

Get involved in a fictional family and your snow day worries will disappear!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

It's Binge-Watching Weather

Put your slippered feet up, wrap yourself in a fuzzy throw, and forget the weather (tomorrow we're supposed to get another snowstorm) by binge-watching a series you've never seen before or one that you loved so much you can watch it over and over again. Here are a few titles to look for:

All Creatures Great & Small (7 seasons and a special). [DVD TV SERIES ALL]

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (7 seasons). [DVD TV SERIES BUF]

Fargo (3 seasons so far). [DVD TV SERIES FAR]

Foyle's War (8 seasons). [DVD TV SERIES FOY]

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

Gilmore Girls (7 seasons). [DVD TV SERIES GIL]

Lost (6 seasons). [DVD TV SERIES LOS]

Modern Family (9 seasons). [DVD TV SERIES MOD]

Northern Exposure
(5 seasons). [DVD TV SERIES NOR]

Six Feet Under (5 seasons). [DVD TV SERIES SIX]

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Oldies But Goodies

Happy 2018! There are hundreds of new television series being released by the multiple producers of content in this country. Add to them all the British and Australian series that make their way over here, and it becomes overwhelming to try to follow 21st century tv culture.

Don't you sometimes wish for the good old days when your choice of series was limited to the offerings of three major networks--ABC, CBS, and NBC. By time the 70s came along you could have added public television series to the mix.

We have several older series and mini-series in our collection that you can revisit if you're feeling nostalgic. There's I love Lucy: The Complete Series [DVD TV SERIES I], which contains 194 half-hour episodes. The humor is rather unsophisticated, but without a doubt, you'll still laugh over Lucy's commercial for "Vitameatavegamin" or her stint on the candy factory assembly line.

Sadly, we don't have the complete Twilight Zone series, but we do have Treasures of the Twilight Zone {DVD TRE], which contains three original episodes, including the premiere one from 1958.

Do you remember being glued to your tv by one of the first television mini-series, Roots [DVD ROO], based on the Alex Haley bestseller of the same name [B HAL]? You can watch it, now 40 years later if you missed it the first time around!

I know some of you grew up with the television series Little House on the Prairie [J DVD LIT], which starred Michael Landon as "Pa." Many people were introduced to the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder [J WIL] through this mid-70s phenomenon.

Now on PBS you can see the historic romance Poldark, but did you know the series was filmed before, in 1975-77, for Masterpiece Theatre? We have the original as well as the newest filmed version [DVD TV SERIES POL]. Also from the early 1970s is Upstairs Downstairs about a wealthy British family and their house servants [DVD TV SERIES UPS].

I know it's hard to believe, but The Simpsons [DVD TV SERIES SIM] has been on the air since December 1989! We have all the seasons if you'd like to watch them again!

That should be enough to get you started on binge-watching in 2018! Have a great time!