Curbside Service at East Branch

Starting Monday, October 15, 2018 and lasting through May 15, our intrepid staff at the East Branch will be offering curbside service!  Patrons can have their library materials delivered right to their car.

Just think, is your baby asleep in the car seat …  Do you have a dog in the car you don’t want to leave …  Is it pouring rain, sleet, snow or hail …  Or are you simply in a hurry to get all your errands done?  Now your trip to the East branch can be quick and easy.

Just park in the designated spot and use a cell phone to call from your car – or call from home beforehand and staff will deliver your materials to you.  (No roller skates involved.)  Be sure to have your library card with you, please.  Let us know what you think.

Friday Reads: The Red Notebook

Friday Reads” is a blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here.  This blog was written by reference librarian, Donna Burgess.

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Friday Reads: The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

What would the contents of your handbag reveal about you? Would your make-up kit reveal a woman who wears bright red lipstick or soft coral lip gloss? Do you carry a hand cleaner? A spritzer of perfume, your current read in book or e-book format? A notebook, a dry cleaner pick-up slip, earrings that you didn’t have time to put on, keys, business cards? If your cell phone and wallet were stolen, how would someone identify you?

This small book intrigued me. Laurent Letellier, a bookseller, finds a beautiful leather handbag on a dumpster and so begins a story about his search to find the owner of the purse. Within the bag is a small red notebook with notes about the fears, likes and dislikes of the owner. Those jottings convinced Laurent he wished to meet the woman who owned it.

In the story we meet Laurent’s daughter, his current girlfriend and a woman-chasing friend who cannot understand his fascination with a woman he never met.

“Laurain’s gentle, satirical humor remind this reviewer of Jacques Tati’s classic films, and, no, you don’t have to know French politics to enjoy this charming novel. Fans of Muriel Barbery’s  The Elegance of the Hedgehog will want this.”—Library Journal

Pick up this little gem, we have it on the Staff Picks shelf in both book and CD format.

Friday Reads: The Sun Does Shine

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

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Today’s book is an important one.  The Sun Does Shine:  how I found life and freedom on death row by Anthony Ray Hinton is recommended by reference librarian Kasia Piasecka, an avid reader of true crime and social justice books.

“In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama.  Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution.  He spent his first three years on death row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence, full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death.  But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but to find a way to live on death row.  For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon, transforming his own spirit and those of his fellow inmates.”  (Excerpted from the publisher’s summary.)

Kasia wrote on her staff pick card: “A powerful story and a call to action. I highly recommend listening to the e-audiobook on Overdrive,” which is narrated by Hinton’s remarkable attorney, Bryan Stevenson.

I am also familiar with Hinton’s story having read about his ordeal with the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club last November in the book Just Mercya story of justice and redemption by the above mentioned attorney Bryan Stevenson.  It is one I won’t soon forget.  Stevenson says in the foreword to The Sun Does Shine: “Mr. Hinton is one of the longest-serving condemned prisoners facing execution in America to be proved innocent and released.  Most of us can’t possibly imagine what it feels like to be arrested, accused of something horrible, imprisoned, wrongly convicted because we don’t have the money needed to defend ourselves, and then condemned to execution.  For most people, it’s simply inconceivable. Yet, it’s important that we understand that it happens in America and that more of us need to do something to prevent it from happening again.”

You can find this book on the Staff Picks shelf.   Also look for Just Mercy in the nonfiction area with the call #353.48 STE.

Photo: www.sfexaminer.com April 1, 2018. (courtesy photo) of Anthony Ray Hinton

September 7, 2018

Friday Reads: Saints for All Occasions

 

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

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This week’s book is a novel I put on the Staff Picks shelf recently.  I don’t read fiction very often, (Okay, I admit to some fluffy escapist fiction occasionally.) but this novel had me hooked from the beginning.  It is deep, thought-provoking, well-crafted and spot on in describing a particular time, place and group of people.  I highly recommend Saints for All Occasions (2017) by J. Courtney Sullivan.

The publisher summarizes it thusly:

“Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. 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. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, privately preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora’s favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago.”

Sullivan also wrote the novels Commencement (2009), The Engagements (2013) and Maine (2011) which was a New York Times best-seller, Time magazine best book of the year and a Washington Post Notable Book.

For readers who enjoyed My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott, The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, you are sure to enjoy Saints for All Occasions as well.   It makes a wonderful book club book as there is a lot to keep a discussion rolling.

You can find the regular print hardcover on the Staff Picks shelf.  It is also available on CD, in large print, e-audio and e-book.

 

Friday Reads: Greywater Green Landscape

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

(Pictured:  author Laura Allen.  Source: Storey Publishing)

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Yesterday, I read an article in the Cape Cod Times about problems with the water system in Falmouth that have come to light since the Long Pond water treatment plant went into operation last October (“Officials Under Pressure to Fix Water Issues” Cape Cod Times, August 23, 2018 pps. A3, A5).  Water superintendent Stephen Rafferty was quoted as saying water usage increased “a million gallons a day” this July as compared to last July.  That is a chilling fact that will only get worse as our population grows.  Rafferty cited lawn irrigation as a “major draw on the system.”

There are many steps people can take to reduce their water usage.  Using greywater instead of fresh drinking water for lawn irrigation is one of them.  What is greywater you ask? Greywater is the water that runs down the drain after washing dishes in the sink, doing laundry or taking a shower.  It is not water from a dishwasher (the chemicals are too harsh) or from a toilet or laundry that includes poopy diapers.

If you have any interest at all in this important issue, I highly recommend the book Greywater Green Landscape by Laura Allen that we added to our collection this spring.  The blurb from the back of the book states, “Save thousands of gallons of water annually and have a beautiful yard no matter the weather by capturing and reusing water from sinks, showers, and washing machines.  This empowering and easy-to-use manual offers practical, long-term strategies for water management, with easy, do-it-yourself instructions and step-by-step photography to guide you through construction and installing a variety of systems throughout your house and garden.”

Options for capturing and using greywater run the gamut from simply collecting water in a bucket and pouring it on your garden to installing a high-tech fully automated system.  Depending upon the complexity of the system you want to use, you may need a permit.  The State Environmental Code 2C Title 5 states, “Greywater from residential, commercial and public facilities may be discharged or reused in accordance with the provisions of 310 CMR 15.262,” otherwise known as title 5.

Allen’s book will help you assess your situation by considering your greywater sources, your level of interest, your needs, an understanding of your soil, the best plants to use, various greywater systems (of course), help with codes and regulations and even plant-friendly soaps.  Clear diagrams, photos, a list of resources and an index make this book attractive and very practical.  You can find it on the new nonfiction shelf with the call #627.52 ALL.

Friday Reads: 97 Orchard

 

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

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The library’s Narrative Nonfiction Book Club had another lively time at our meeting this month when we discussed 97 Orchard:  an edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement by Jane Ziegelman.  Actually, I was a little surprised at how enthusiastic many members of the group were about the book.  I expected them to find it interesting and informative, but I underestimated just how much they would connect with parts of it.

97 Orchard tells the story of five families who lived in the tenement building at 97 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan from the late 1800s until the 1930s.  The building is now the New York Tenement Museum and the author, Jane Zeigelman, is the director of the culinary program there. Through meticulous research using a wide variety of resources Ziegelman discovers the significance of foods in the lives of the Glockner family from Germany, the Moores from Ireland, The Gumpertzes, who were German Jews, the Rogarshevskys, who were Lithuanian Jews, and the Baldizzi family from Italy.

At times the reader feels as though she is in the cramped tenement apartment at the supper table or buying ingredients alongside the mother of the family from the pushcart vendor on the street, the writing is that compelling.  At other times, though, the style is journalistic as the perspective pans back to show how these families fit into the broader fabric of the city and their unique food cultures intertwined with established American food norms.

The group was delighted to learn several factoids, such as: corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional dish from Ireland – rather it is Germanic in origin; schmaltz is fat from a goose or chicken and “the greatest contribution made by German bakers to the American kitchen came in the form of yeast-baked cakes, which began to appear in East Side bakeries during the second half of the nineteenth century.” (p. 30) Have you used Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast in your baking?  Three Fleischmann brothers who immigrated from Vienna: Max, Charles and Louis,  are responsible for bringing yeast to our country.  Louis created quite the sensation in New York City with his Vienna Bakery and neighboring café, which was the place to be for the elite class in the 1880s and 90s.  

You can find 97 Orchard on the Staff Picks shelf.  Join us next month when the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club discuss Mrs. Sherlock Holmes:  the true story of New York City’s greatest female detective and the 1917 missing girl case that captivated a nation by Brad Ricca.  Pick up a copy of the book at the reference desk and plan to meet us on Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 10:00 – 11:00 in the Hermann Foundation meeting room at Falmouth Public Library.

Photo of Fleischmann’s Yeast advertising card (1870- 1900) from the digital commonwealth.  Card owned by Boston Public Library print department.  Photo of  schmaltz from Hazon.org

Friday Reads: A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

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 This Friday Reads is a slight departure from my usual fare.  The other day I was scanning a cart of new books and a fun looking book cover caught my eye.  With a purple background and a tongue in cheek drawing of a Victorian couple on the cover, A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, seemed like just the thing to chill out with after a hot and hectic month.  I didn’t even bother to read the summary or beyond the first blurb on the back.  Since New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen called it “A delightful tale of shenanigans among the British aristocracy.” that was enough for me.

And indeed it was delightful.  Debut author Dianne Freeman captured the era well – exposing the absurdities in aristocratic etiquette.  Her characters were enjoyable and the plot was fun in this cozy mystery.

Did you know cozy mysteries or cozies are terms book mavens use to describe a particular type of mystery?  They are easy reads featuring everyday people following clues to solve a neighborhood crime, enlisting the help of neighbors, relatives or friends.  Often set in small towns or attractive locales, there is no sex, violence or grave danger.  They are very popular with readers who enjoy puzzles and seeing the average joe succeed, because all of the mysteries are successfully solved, of course!

If you were a fan of the exceedingly popular PBS TV series Downton Abbey, then this book might remind you of the witty retorts often employed in the show and of a few episodes featuring Lady Mary and one of her lovers who dies in her bed.  I won’t go any further, except to say this book is lighter and more amusing than the TV show.

This is Dianne Freeman’s first book, after a career in corporate finance, and I am happy to see that she is working on another “Countess of Harleigh Mystery”.  I look forward to that and hopefully many more.  If you are a fan of Agatha Christie or Georgette Heyer, then Dianne Freeman will likely appeal to you too.  Look for A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder on the Staff Picks shelf … and be sure to look closely at the cover.

Friday Reads: fact and fiction about trees

 

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

Today’s blog is written by Christine Lynch, Falmouth Public Library employee and free-lance writer who knows a good book when she reads one.  You can usually find her at the service desk upstairs.

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A year or so ago while working on FPL’s Service Desk,  I picked up
a book that I saw being checked out numerous times.  After reading a review of
it, I grabbed the copy for myself.  I’m so glad I did because I am a nature lover
and really appreciated Peter Wohlleben‘s book, The Hidden Life of Trees:  
What They Feel, How They Communicate:  Discoveries from a Secret World.

For those of you who haven’t read it, there are abundant facts that just might
make you say, “Wow!”  I’ve talked with others who have read it and we all agree
we’ll never look at trees and their surroundings in the same way.  For people who
enjoyed the Wohlleben book, I’d like to make a recommendation.

I recently read another review of a lovely book entitled Overstory by
Richard Powers. This is a new novel, just out in 2018.  I am yet to read it, but
will check it out after it’s circulated a bit.  The premise of this book spins a
fable-like tale where trees are able to summon a group of people together in

mysterious ways in order to correct many of the world’s ills and to greatly
improve the quality of life on Earth.

Knowing what I now know from reading The Hidden Life of Trees, I believe
in the untold power of trees.  Overstory is another book that lets us know how important
trees are to our planet’s survival and that we humans should do everything to protect them.

 

Photo: Peter Wohlleben by Gordon Welters for “The New York Times”

Friday Reads: The Seabird’s Cry

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here.   The blog below was written by Reference Librarian, Donna Burgess.

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Friday Reads: The Seabird’s Cry: the lives and loves of the planet’s great ocean voyagers

by Adam Nicolson

In the introduction we learn that the author’s father had purchased in 1937, with funds left to him from his grandmother, the Shiant Isles, a cluster of “three small specks of grass and rock, each about a mile long, a total of 500 uninhabited acres, with one rat-ridden bothy (a small cottage) for £1300.

At age eight the author accompanied his father on an “unforgettable trip” to the Isles to observe nesting seabirds. Since then Nicholson has pursued the birds around the world, reaching out across the “great widths of the ocean.”

Ten chapters, each describing a different bird: Fulmar, Puffin, Kittiwake, Gull, Guillemot, Cormorant and Shag, Shearwater, Gannet, Great Auk and its Cousin Razorbill, Albatross, and the Seabird’s cry. And “each displays a different facet of the central question: how to exist in all three elements. They are the rarest form of creation, the only animals at home on the sea, in the air and on land.”

In the Guardian, a British newspaper, a reviewer wrote , “the author Adam Nicolson says this ‘paean to the beauty of life on the wing’ began when he read a Seamus Heaney lecture exploring French philosopher Simone Weil’s aphorism: “Obedience to the force of gravity. The greatest sin.” It says everything about this gorgeous book: a poetic, soaring exploration of 10 species of seabirds: gull, guillemot, gannet and so on – which revels in the way they “float like beings from the otherworld.”

Replete with photos of the birds, occasional lines or stanzas from poems, maps, and several pages of notes, this book is not just for ornithologists but for anyone with a fascination for birds, especially ocean going ones.

Look for The Seabird’s Cry on the New nonfiction shelf, Call # 598.17 NIC

 

 

Dr. Sang H. Kim Returns to Library

Falmouth Public Library invites you to Breathe Your Stress Away Workshop with Dr. Sang H. Kim.  This free workshop will be offered twice, on Saturday, July 21, 2018 from 10: 00 AM to noon and Tuesday, July 24, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street.  Those interested may sign up for either the Saturday morning or Tuesday evening session, but not both.

Dr. Kim will focus on simple breathing exercises and a set of mindful movements to help you reduce stress, reinvigorate your energy levels, and improve your sense of focus and balance in daily life.  More specifically, you will have hands-on experience of practicing the deep breathing and stretching exercises that he developed for a federally funded medical research project to reduce chronic stress symptoms.  Most exercises may be adapted to be performed in a wheel chair and by people with back stiffness and other mobility constraints.   All adults and teens are welcome to come try it out.

Dr. Kim will also share some of the science behind the positive effects of deep breathing and mindful movement. After attending the workshop, you will be better equipped to recognize stress signals, modify your breathing patterns and response, and integrate your knowledge to reduce your stress levels and boost your energy.  Additionally, his research team’s results show that regular practice of mindful movement and deep breathing exercise improves chronic stress symptoms at clinically and statistically significant levels.

Dr. Kim has presented his research findings and taught his methods at various settings including the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine, University of Oxford campus, Harvard Medical School’s Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, and self-healing retreats in Hawaii and Asia.

Dr. Kim will have 12 autographed copies of his book, Mindful Movement:  Mastering Your Hidden Energy available for sale for $10.00 at each session.

The workshop is free and open to adults and teens.  Space is limited and preregistration is required.  To register, please call the Reference Dept. at Falmouth Public Library, 508-457-2555 x 7, register online at falmouthpubliclibrary.org/register or stop by the reference desk.