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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Poetry Friday--Remembering Donald Hall

Essays After Eighty [814.54 HAL]

Donald Hall lived in New Hampshire for so long that people assumed he would be our resident poet for decades more. Sadly, this was not to be--he passed away this week at 89. He will be missed.

A truly heart-felt tribute was recorded by Bill Littlefield for WBUR in Boston. It is short and worth listening to:

Hall was everyone's poet when he served as U. S. Poet Laureate, 2006-2007.

For today I'm posting an excerpt from "We Explore Grief's" found in The Museum of Clear Ideas: New Poems [811 HAL]:
Or say: All tears
weep for the weeper.
The tissue that dries
our eyes is a clear
understanding that this
disappearance we
complain of will drop
oblivion's lid
over us soon enough.

Visit the Poetry Friday Round-Up taking place this week at Carol's Corner.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What Shall I Read (That Doesn't Have a Mile-Long Holds List)?

You're thinking you'd like to spend part of the summer relaxing with a good book, however, everything on the "bestseller" lists has holds a mile long. Why not read something from past years' bestseller lists? An engrossing book is still an engrossing book despite it being a few years older! Or, you might read a book now to see, "What was all the fuss about?"

Here are a dozen fiction titles you might enjoy. Most are available in hardcover, audio, or eBook format, and, by now, some have been made into a movie. I haven't included a single James Patterson book!

Baldacci, David. Memory Man.

Cameron, W. Bruce. A Dog's Purpose.

Coben, Harlan. Fool Me Once.

DeMille, Nelson. The Cuban Affair.

Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See.

Lee, Harper. Go Set a Watchman.
Macomber, Debbie. Any Dream Will Do.

Moriarty, Laine. Truly Madly Guilty.

Moyes, Jojo. Me Before You.

Penny, Louise. A Great Reckoning.

Silva, Daniel. The Black Widow.

Weir, Andy. The Martian.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer Reading for Teens!

Readers ages 12-18 or entering grades 6-12: Summer Reading Program registration begins today! If you are among the first 75 to register, you will get a swag bag! Register during the first two weeks (June 26-July 10) and you will be entered to win a gift basket that includes: 2 Canobie Lake Park tickets; beach towels; an iTunes gift card; and more! One grand prize basket and 3 runners up will be drawn. Prize winners will be drawn on Wednesday, July 11.

So, what should you read this summer? You may wish to read one of these recent releases from favorite series writers:

Adeyemi, Tomi. Children of Blood and Bone [YA ADE]. #1 in a new series, "Legacy of Orisha."

Aveyard, Victoria. War Storm [YA AVE]. #4 in the "Red Queen" series.

Black, Holly. The Cruel Prince [YA BLA]. Another new series, "Folk of the Air," #1.

Hamilton, Alwyn. Hero at the Fall [YA HAM] "Rebel of the Sands," #3.

Maas, Sarah J. A Court of Frost and Starlight [YA MAA]. "Court of Thorns and Roses" series, #4.

Roth, Veronica. The Fates Divide [YA ROT]. #2, "Carve the Mark" series.

Shusterman, Neal. Thunderhead [YA SHU]. "Arc of a Scythe" series, #2.

Tahir, Sabaa. A Reaper at the Gates [YA TAH]. #3 in the "Ember in the Ashes" series.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Immigrant Experience

It would be an understatement to say immigration has been in the news lately. These past few weeks it seems to be the only news we've heard or watched!

Children who have seen reports may be confused about immigration and fearful that they, too, will be separated from their parents. It is important for parents to talk to their kids and allay their fears. Perhaps your children don't even know that their very own relatives came to this country as immigrants, whether it was 200 years ago, 100 years ago, or as recently as a year ago.

The children's room has added a new set of books in a series titles "Immigrant Experiences." Some of the titles you'll find include:

Irish Immigrants: In Their Shoes by Clara MacCarald [J 973.04916 MAC].

Mexican Immigrants: In Their Shoes by Cynthia Kennedy Henzel [J 973.04687 HEN].

Somali Immigrants: In Their Shoes by Patricia Hutchison [J 973.04967 HUT].

Vietnamese Immigrants: In Their Shoes Cynthia Kennedy Henzel [J 973.04952 HEN].

And what about those children who have been separated from their parents? They are the ones we need to think about as this segment from NPR outlines.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday, Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Aviator and writer, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was born on June 22, 1906 (died February 7, 2001, read her obituary here). Many who only know her as Charles Lindbergh's wife may not realize she was a poet. We have her collection, The Unicorn, and Other Poems, 1935-1955, in our poetry section [811.54 LIN].

Photo credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Here is the poem that opens the book:
The Man and the Child

It is the man in us who works;

Who earns his daily bread and anxious scans
The evening skies to know tomorrow's plans;
It is the man who hurries as he walks;
Finds courage in a crowd, shouts as he talks;
Who shuts his eyes and burrows through his task;
Who doubts his neighbor and who wears a mask;
Who moves in armor and who hides his tears.
It is the man in us who fears.

It is the child in us who plays;
Who sees no happiness beyond today's;
Who sings for joy; who wonders, and who weeps;
It is the child in us at night who sleeps.
It is the child who silent turns his face,
Open and maskless, naked of defense,
Simple with trust, distilled of all pretense,
To sudden beauty in another's face--

It is the child in us who loves.

I can't help reading this in light of the news of the past few weeks. How about you?

Head to Michelle Kogan's blog for today's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer 2018

It is now official--Summer 2018 arrived this morning at 6:07 AM! It is also the last day of school in Windham! Yay!

Now, you can start reading for pleasure! How great is that? And, visit the Library frequently to borrow books, books, and more books, CDs, DVDs, museum passes, unusual items like a Minecraft card game or a ukelele!

Next week register for our annual Summer Reading program, which this year, has a theme of "Libraries Rock!"

For flyers listing our children's, teen, and adult events and activities, click here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

More Birthdays!

This is a week of birthdays! Here are a few more famous people who are celebrating this week, more specifically, their birthdays are today!

Actress Olympia Dukakis is celebrating her 87th birthday. (She was born not far from here--Lowell, MA.) Catch her performance in Moonstruck [DVD MOO].

John Goodman, is 66. We have a good number of DVDs in which he appears, including the cult classic, The Big Lebowski [DVD BIG].

Cyndi Lauper is officially a senior. She turns 65 today! Listen to her CD, She's So Unusual [CD ROCK LAU].

Lionel Richie, too, is getting on in years--he's now 69! Revisit his hits with The Definitive Collection [CD MALE VOCALIST RIC].

Let's round things out with someone on the younger side:

Women's soccer legend, Abby Waumbach, is marking 38 years. If you haven't already watched her dynamic commencement speech delivered last month at Barnard College, watch it now!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Happy Birthday, Garfield!

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of Paul McCarthy, a real person, and today we celebrate Garfield, the comic, cartoon character that first appeared on this day 40 years ago!

Garfield is a perennial favorite with kids, and thus we purchase, and repurchase, the Garfield collections of comics. You'll find them in J CX DAV.

Did you know Garfield has his own website,? Click here to find the "Daily Comic," as well as games and other Garfield items of interest.

Here's the "Daily Comic" that appeared on Saturday. It appears Garfield is approaching 40 with a bit of trepidation!

From Garfield.com.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Happy Birthday, Paul!

Some of you may have been around when Paul McCartney was the "cute Beatle." It's hard to believe, but today he turns 76!

If you're feeling nostalgic borrow the DVD, A Hard Day's Night [DVD HAR] and revisit a day in the life of the "Fab Four" when they were at their peak popularity. Or follow the animated version of the Beatles in Yellow Submarine [DVD YEL]. Either one should be a fine way to celebrate Sir Paul's birthday!

Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years [DVD 782.421 EIG] is a documentary by film-maker Ron Howard, which explores the early years of the group, before they went their separate ways musically and personally.

And, of course, you can always borrow a Beatles CD [CD ROCK BEA]. We own a number of them including Magical Mystery Tour, which was originally released in November 1967--now, don't you feel old?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Poetry Friday--Happy Father's Day!

If you're looking for a poem to read this Father's Day, you could borrow Fathers: A Collection of Poems [811.008 FAT].

Be forewarned, though, some of the poems may not be of a celebratory nature, but all are thought-provoking, including this one by Peter Markus:
My Father's Wrench

The metal feels cold
in my hands
like I'm shaking
my father's hand.

My father's hands
were big-knuckled
bastards, callused,
dirt and grease
beneath the nails.

I grip the wrench,
look for a loose
nut that needs
tightening, something
that won't be hard
to fix.

The Round-Up this week is being hosted by Karen Edmisten* and I'm sure there will be plenty of father poems being shared!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

It's Flag Day!

Flag Day is a celebration of the adoption of the United States flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Read about the flag in books found in the 929.9 or J 929.9 sections.

Sing along to "You're a Grand Old Flag," and other patriotic songs found on Stars and Stripes Forever. Volume II. [CD MISCELLANEOUS STA].

Or, borrow the DVD, Yankee Doodle Dandy, starring James Cagney, for a rip-roaring dose of patriotic music and dance!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Are You Ready for Father's Day?

If you don't have other plans for Father's Day this Sunday, how about letting the kids prepare an edible treat for Dad or Granddad? Allowing the kids to "cook" serves several purposes: it involves the kids in giving; it gives them a sense of accomplishment; it makes a great photo-op; it can reinforce math concepts such as measurements and fractions; it can be an introduction to valuable kitchen skills, and, Dad will be pleased to be on the receiving end of something scrumptious!

Our children's cook book collection continues to grow, so there should be plenty of titles on the shelf (or virtual shelf) whenever you come down to the library. Here are ten representative titles:

Barrett, Judi. Grandpa's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Cookbook. [J 641.5 BAR]

Davis, Robin. The Star Wars Cook Book: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes. [J 641.5123 DAV]

Fauchald, Nick. Indoor S'mores: And Other Tasty Treats for Special Occasions. [J 641.5 FAU]

Johnson, Kristi. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi: And Other Party Recipes. [J 641.5 JOH]

La Penta, Marilyn. Artful Snacks. [J 641.53 LAP]

Mead, Matthew. The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook. [J 641.5 MEA]

Myall, Julia. Party in a Cup Easy Party Treats Kids Can Cook in Silicone Cups. [eBook]

Nissenberg, Sandra K. The Everything Kids' Cookbook: From Mac n'Cheese to Double Chocolate Chip Cookies--All You Need to Have Some Finger Lickin' Fun. [J 641.5123 NIS]

Schuette, Sarah L. A Pirate Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Kids. [J 641.5123 SCH]

Vega, Ali. Mummy Dogs and Other Horrifying Snacks. [J 641.53 VEG]

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

World Cup Time!

The 2018 FIFA World Cup games are taking place in Russia beginning on Thursday, June 14. The competition will be completed on July 15.

The United States is not in the competition this year. If you're wondering why, here's an article from Time that explains it.

Feeling a little sad about the U. S. not attending? Borrow Soccer: The Amazing U.S. World Cup Team by Michael Sandler [J 796.334 SAN], which celebrates the winning U. S. team of 1950. It's sure to put a smile on your face!

American women's teams have had success in past Women's World Cups. Look for The Girls of Summer: The U.S. Women's Soccer Team and How It Changed the World by Jere Longman [920 LON], which profiles the women of the 1999 team. Included on that team were Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers.

For general information about soccer, look for books in 796.334 in either the adult or children's section, and also in our DVD collection.

Monday, June 11, 2018


I heard a fascinating segment yesterday on NPR about zero and how hard a concept it is for humans and other beings to grasp. A scientist has found, though, that the honeybee can have an understanding of the meaning of zero! Her findings can be found in the June 8, 2018 issue of the magazine, Science.

The Library has books to help, both children and adults, delve into zero. Look for these:

Aczel, Amir D. Finding Zero: A Mathmetician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers. [eAudiobook]

Barrow, John D. The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe. [111.5 BAR]

Franco, Betsy. Zero is the Leaves on the Tree. [JP FRA]

Marzollo, Jean. Help Me Learn Numbers 0-20. [JP MAR]

Otoshi, Kathryn. Zero. [JP OTO]

Reid, Constance. From Zero to Infinity: What Makes Numbers Interesting. [510 REI]

Seife, Charles. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. [513 SEI]

Friday, June 08, 2018

Poetry Friday--National Jelly-Filled Donut Day!

Last Friday was National Donut Day and it was celebrated widely with coffee and donut shops offering free donuts. I don't know of any shops, though, celebrating in the same way with today's "National Jelly-Filled Donut Day." That's too bad, because jelly donuts are my favorite.

If you know of a jelly donut poem, please share it! I, alas, haven't found one, but I can recommend a children's picture book about jam, which is pretty close to jelly! It's Jamberry, written and illustrated by Bruce Degen [JP DEG, BB DEG, FT KIT JAM]. The book was first published 35 years ago and is still going strong. You can't beat it for rhythm and rhyme! Here's a little "taste" of Jamberry:

Jamming in Berryland

You might want to read the book before heading out to one of NH's "pick-your-own" berry farm locations. Strawberries should be ready soon, and blueberries in another month or so.

From here, head south and west to Whispers from the Ridge for the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held in Texas!

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Addicted to Americana

We recently received a book that, being a well-aged person, I absolutely love. Addicted to Americana: Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style by Charles Phoenix [306.0973 PHO] is a colorful look at popular culture of the second half of the 20th century through today. It covers topics such as the theme parks, original "Golden Arches" restaurants, world's fairs, car hops, and more.

Remember Friendly's coneheads? What other foods with creature characteristics do you remember?

Flip through the book and you'll be transported back to the days when every family had a station wagon. And, everyone took a vacation by car and marveled at things like mammoth a blue cockroach along the highway in Providence, RI, or the giant Abe Lincoln off the Mass Pike exit near Springfield, MA. (Those are from my memory and aren't in the book--but several Paul Bunyans are!) Do your kids have memories of their own, like the Polar Beverages' polar bear, whose name is Orson, in Worcester, MA? The bear is an inflatable and went from chubby and cuddly to a rather buff bear over the past 30 years. Feel free to share some of your Americana memories in the comments!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Audiobook Appreciation Month Continued

Yes, it's audiobook appreciation month so let me tell you about eAudiobooks. The Nesmith Library makes two eBook and eAudiobook services available to you--the NH Downloadables' Overdrive (a statewide system with dozens of members) and CloudLibrary (as part of our membership in the GMILCs consortium of twelve southern NH libraries).

eAudiobooks have been part of the NH Downloadables service since its beginning a decade ago (back in the days of MP3 players and using desktop computers as an intermediary when downloading--things have progressed mightily since then). The CloudLibrary eAudiobook service was added three years ago and we have more than 500 titles available. An audio can be added to your device in a matter of minutes, and in some cases, seconds! New books are being added weekly, so there's always something waiting for you to listen to! This is particularly helpful if you find yourself stuck in an airport, or waiting to pick up a child at soccer, ballet, or other practice.

Here are a few recently added CloudLibrary eAudiobooks:

For a complete list click here.

If you're not at all familiar with our CloudLibrary services, grab your smart phone (or other device), your library card, and then click here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Oops, We Missed It!

I don't know how, but we missed National Cheese Day, which was yesterday. I eat cheese almost every day! I'm a big fan of cheese sticks, and now that they come in more varieties than string cheese, I'm an even bigger fan. So, I apologize for missing National Cheese Day yesterday, but we're going to make up for it by celebrating today!

First off, let's watch a video showing us how cheese is made:

Then to learn more about the different kinds of cheeses, I'll direct you to The Cheese Companion: The Connoisseur's Guide
by Judy Ridgway [641.373 RID].

It should come as no surprise that we have children's books that feature cheese--almost too many to count, so let me recommend one of my favorites: The King, the Mice, and the Cheese by Nancy and Eric Gurney [E GUR].

There are even adult novels about cheese (I kid you not)! The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames [eBook] is part of a "Cheese Shop Mysteries" series.

Speaking of cheese shops...long-time NH residents may know of Calef's Country Store, up the road in Barrington. Calef's is famous for its cheese, and, NH humorist, Rebecca Rule has written about the landmark business in Sixty Years of Cuttin' the Cheese: Joel Sherburne and Calef's Famous Country Store [381.456413 RUL]. History, humor, and recipes (you'll love the Apple Cranberry Cheddar Muffins)!

Monday, June 04, 2018

June is Audiobook Appreciation Month!

If you’re already a regular audiobook listener, then you appreciate the opportunity to listen to a book at the same time as you do something else, like driving, or folding the laundry. You also probably appreciate the voices you hear reading the books you choose--most readers are actors or voice-over professionals--they don’t stumble over words, mangle names, or accidentally skip lines. In some cases readers are the authors of the books they are reading and it makes for an even stronger connection between the listener and the person who labored over getting the words on paper.

If you don’t listen to audiobooks, why not? Personally, I find that I comprehend just as well whether I listen or read to myself. My retention of the books I’ve read, or listened to, is the same.

Audio Publishers Association, the group that sponsors Audiobook Appreciation Month, has a page that will introduce you to audiobooks if you’re not familiar with the format. Visit their site where you’ll find samples for children and adults.

And, of course, we have hundreds of audiobooks in our collection. Here are five recently added titles:

Comey, James. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. [AB/CD 363.25 COM]

Moore, Christopher. Noir. [AB/CD MOO]

Patterson, James. The 17th Suspect. [AB/CD PAT]

Westover, Tara. Educated: A Memoir. [AB/CD B WES]

Wolitzer, Meg. The Female Persuasion. [AB/CD WOL]

Through our membership in GMILCS and in NH State downloadables, there are two eAudiobook collections available to Nesmith Library cardholders, too. With your library card you have access to eBooks and eAudios 24/7--even when the library is closed!

Friday, June 01, 2018

Poetry Friday--Sky Magic

June 1, when the air is crisp, but not cold, and the sky is clear, is the perfect time to go outside after dark and look up. What's visible tonight in our part of the world (or yours if you're not in NH) may be found here.

If you're looking for children's poetry about the sky, you can't go wrong borrowing Sky Magic, compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrations by Mariusz Stawarski [J 811.6 SKY].

You'll find fourteen poems about the sky during the day and into the night. My favorite is the last poem in the book by James Guthrie, fittingly titled, "Last Song":
Last Song

To the Sun
Who has shone
All day,
To the Moon
Who has gone

To the milk-white
Lily-white Star
A fond goodnight
Wherever you are.

This would be a great little poem to memorize along with a child and to recite each night before going to sleep.

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up will be taking place at Buffy's Blog.

Have a great weekend, and if you live anywhere near Windham, NH, be sure to visit the Friends of the Library (FLOW) 35th Annual Strawberry Festival and Book Sale, which is happening tomorrow at Windham High School. I'll be working at the shortcake table from 10 to noon, so stop by and say, "hello."