Friday Reads: Endangered Species Day

“Friday Reads” is a weekly (almost) 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, May 18, 2018, is the 13th annual Endangered Species Day.  Proclaimed by the U.S.  Congress in 2006, the day “is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places and is an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species, as well as everyday actions they can take to help protect them.” (Chase’s Calendar of Events, 2018 p. 280).

In recognition of the day, I am highlighting a stunning new coffee table style book we are adding to our oversize collection today titled, Endangered, featuring the work of British animal photographer Tim Flach and text by Professor Johnathan Baillie and writer Sam Wells.  Flach writes in the introduction, “ … this book is something of an experiment:  I have tried to bridge that otherness and instead invite sameness by creating portraits of animals that emphasize their personality, while incorporating abstracts and landscapes that show the material aspects of their ecosystems.”  In doing so, he endeavors to connect the viewer emotionally with his subjects.  He shows their sameness to us through vivid and compelling photographs in the hopes that we will be moved significantly enough to fight for their preservation.  The golden snub-nose monkey looks pensive against a black ground; the beluga sturgeon resembles a tired, old traveler; and the black and white ruffed lemur evokes thoughts of a maestro with his outstretched arms and focused expression.  Pictured, is the Bengal Tiger shaking water off his head much like a house cat.   Photos are accompanied by short passages describing the predicament the species is in and other important facts.

This book is a must-view for all ages.  You can find it with the new oversized books.

 

P.S. The book is international in scope.  If you are curious about the status of wildlife in Massachusetts, here is a link to the “MESA List,” the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act list of endangered, threatened, and special concern species from the Mass.gov website.  There are “427 native plant and animal species” on this list.  I am pleased to  report that the American Horseshoe Crab Limulus polyphemus, for which I have a great fondness, is not included.  The coast is not clear for them however, as species that eat the crabs and their eggs are in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  endangered species database.

 

photo:  Bengal Tiger, Tim Flach, Endangered, page 237

Smythe Scholarship Applications are here!

Good news Falmouth students and parents!  The Herbert Henry Smythe Scholarship applications have arrived!

Here are some important excerpts from the cover of the application:  “The committee typically awards more than thirty scholarships.  The application deadline is FRIDAY, June 1, 2018 at 3:00 PM. ( … ) Decisions will be announced by June 30, 2018.  (… ) Mr. Smythe’s will stipulates that the money may be used for ‘boys or girls in Falmouth, Massachusetts.’  A maximum age of 24 years as of January 1, 2018 will apply.  Only applicants who are themselves voting residents of Falmouth (or whose parents are) are eligible for the grants.  Applications cannot be considered from families who have second homes in Falmouth. ( … )  The trust agreement states that ‘character be given equal consideration with scholarship,’ and evidence of both personal characteristics and school success is asked for on the application forms.  Financial need is a secondary factor in determining recipients.  ( …) The committee will continue its practice of limiting scholarships to one per family.  If two children from the same family apply, the committee will decide which seems most deserving of the scholarship”

Applications are available a the reference desk.  Stop by to get your copy.  Good luck!

Reduce Your Toxic Exposure

The Falmouth Public Library is very pleased to host a traveling educational exhibit about how to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals.  Titled, Let’s Talk Prevention:  Reducing Toxic Exposure, the exhibit features a booklet citing scientific evidence linking exposure and effect for many common chemicals, as well as brochures, available in several languages, describing basic steps you can take to reduce problematic exposures and choose safer alternatives to toxic products.

The exhibit was created by the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), our commonwealth’s leading breast cancer prevention non-profit, which is dedicated to preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy.  The aim of Let’s Talk Prevention is “to facilitate discussions between health professionals and patients about environmental exposures and chemicals of concern.”

The exhibit is up now through late May in the Katharine Lee Bates Lobby.  Please stop by, take copies of the brochures and sign up for MBCC newsletter.   For more information about reducing your exposure, visit mbcc.org and click on the Let’s Talk Prevention tab.

Information about the exhibit is an abridged version of the Press Release supplied by Julia Withers, Program and Community Outreach Consultant, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition.  If you would like host the exhibit, email Julia Withers at mbcc.juliawithers@gmail.com with the subject line:  Let’s Talk Prevention Tour.

Friday Reads: How to Window Box

“Friday Reads” is a weekly (almost) 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 week’s blog is written by Reference Librarian, Donna Burgess, who loves to garden.


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How to Window Box: small-space plants to grow indoors or out by Chantal Aida Gordon and Ryan Benoit

This delightful book has 16 chapters, each devoted to a different topic ranging from Sunny Succulents to Edible Petals, Salad Bar, Herb Garden and even a Detox Box!  Whether you are planning on an indoor or outdoor box, this little gem has ideas for you.

The combinations of plants and color schemes are delightful including my favorite combination, orange and purple.

Each section has a “plant with personality” hint such as painting your box an aubergine color to make the citrus colored plants “pop!”

Clear instructions with plenty of demonstrated techniques are often followed by a TIP. Individual photos of each plant include both the Latin name and the common one.

If you missed the fall planting time for Spring bulbs, no worries, the authors suggest planting your box with Nursery purchased plants.

A catchy little inset: When in Rome explains that “window-box gardening may seem like a new idea the trend has been flourishing since ancient Rome. Back then, sills overflowed with medicinal herbs and ornamental flowers so much so that the philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote, “Every day the eyes might feast on this copy of a garden, as though it were a work of nature.”

The Beach dune chapter seems very appropriate for Cape Cod window boxes. Inspired by the urban meadow High Line in New York, the suggested plants include fairy lily, blue fescue, purple fountain grass, interspersed with small stones or bark mulch you can create dramatic colors and irresistible textures.

Another hint: Create small vase holders in your box to add color while waiting for your plants to bloom.  See page 126 for detailed instructions.

How to Window Box is in high-demand now, so put your name on the wait list.  When it does come back to rest on our shelves, it will be in the NEW nonfiction area with call #635.9678.

 

 

 

Friday Reads: American Fire

 

“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 month the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club started a new 6-month session with the theme, “Connect the Dots.”  Readers will be asked to identify some small, but interesting likeness between the first book in the session and the second book, and then another connection between the second book and the third, and so on.

To start off our new session I chose American Fire:  love, arson, and life in a vanishing land by Monica Hesse because it has a connection with last month’s book, Oneida:  from free love Utopia to the well-set table by Ellen Wayland-Smith.  In Oneida, there is a lengthy discussion of the mysterious burning of the Oneida Community’s archived historical papers.  Why were the papers burned?  Who did it?  What is the significance of fire?  The dots (fires) were easy to connect with American Fire:  love, arson and life in a vanishing land.  Future connections will be smaller and subtler.

American Fire, published in 2017 to rave reviews and nominated for an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America, tells the true story of a rash of fires that consumed a struggling rural county on the Eastern Shore of Virginia a few years ago.  Abandoned buildings that signified a more prosperous past were set ablaze almost nightly for months before the arsonists were discovered.  A troubled but truthful man confessed to setting all 62 fires, at the urging of his girlfriend, whose love he was desperate to keep alive.

Part mystery, part love story, part vignette of this nation’s changing economy, American Fire is a well-researched, compelling narrative that made for a lively book discussion.  Some of us were convinced by the author about the motivation for arson and were sympathetic to the culprits, but others in the group didn’t buy-in to the explanation.  Professional reviewers said, “Hesse is a lovely stylist.” (Jennifer Senior, New York Times), “The book has the brisk diligence of big-city journalism (…) and the languid chattiness of the small town …” (Karl Vick , Time), a “vivid depiction,” (Ilana Masad, NPR.org) and “One of the year’s best and most unusual true-crime books.” (Randy Dotinga, Christian Science Monitor).  Give it a read and post your thoughts on the book here.  We’d love to know your reaction.  Were you convinced?

Edgar Award winners will be announced on April 26, 2018.

 

Friday Reads: Practical Magic

“Friday Reads” is a (nearly) 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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Practical Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics & Spells
by Nikki Van De Car with Illustrations by Katie Vernon

As the author notes in the introduction, this is a book for the occult-curious.  Do you read your daily horoscope in the newspaper? Have you bought an amethyst because it just might bring peace and happiness?  Do you want to learn how to interpret your dreams? “You don’t have to believe in magic to enjoy this book, you just have to want to…” states Van De Car.

Part 1, titled “Healing for Hedge Witches,” explains chakras, crystals and auras.  A chakra is an energy center in the body, generally envisioned as a wheel or swirl found in specific places along the spine (chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel”).  Crystals, as you may know, are thought to have healing qualities. This book describes over twenty crystals and how to clear and activate them.  Turquoise, for example, guards against disease and environmental pollutants.  Auras, visible energy fields around the whole body, have seven layers and several colors, all of which reveal something about the person’s physical and mental states.  “An orange aura generally means that the person is healthy and full of vitality and energy.”

Part 2, titled “Magic for the Weekend Wiccan,” covers healing with herbs, plant-based magic, pagan holidays and white magic.  Here you can learn how to make tinctures, oils and poultices, smudge sticks, a gris-gris (otherwise known as a sachet or charm bag), and of course, spells.  (I purchased this book for the library because a patron requested a book with spells.)  The next pagan holiday will occur on the full moon after this Tuesday’s spring equinox.  Called Ostara (pronounced OH-star-ah), it is a celebration of the balance of night and day at the midpoint of spring and it is sacred to the goddess of fertility, Eostre.  Do either of these italicized words make you think of a Christian holiday around this time?

Part 3, titled “Casual Clairvoyance,” covers tarot, astrology, palmistry and dream interpretation.  In this section you can “learn to interpret messages from within, as well as without.”  With lots of explanations of signs, markings, and symbols in this section you should be able to interpret a variety of messages with greater clarity.  Have you had a dream where you were flying?  You can attribute that to finally making a decision you were putting off or feeling confident that you can achieve your goals.  Good for you.

Practical Magic: a beginner’s guide to crystals, horoscopes, psychics and spells by Nikki Van De Car can be found on the new nonfiction shelf with the call number 133.4 VAN, until it vanishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything I Need to Know …

I often remark that if I want to know about a person, event or place with which I am unfamiliar, there is no better place to look than the Children’s Room. The books have the all the important information in a concise format with easy to understand vocabulary and are often illustrated! My kind of information!
The other day I processed a book by Laura Veirs entitled “Libba.” It’s about Elizabeth Cotten, an apparently well known blues/folk  singer/songwriter. I had never heard of her. For those who share my ignorance, she was born in the late 1800s to a musical family and taught herself to play the guitar and banjo, backwards and upside down because she was left handed! She was writing songs by her teens. Life got in the way of her music, but in her 50s she started working as a housekeeper for the Seeger family. The story goes, one of the family heard her playing her song, “Freight Train” which she composed as a child. She began to perform and “Freight Train” became a hit. Many other well-known musicians including Pete Seeger, Jerry Garcia, and Bob Dylan, recorded it. I thought I must know the song, but when I listened to her rendition and then Pete Seeger’s I didn’t recognize it.
Monday night at dinner we were listening to WMVY radio’s “blues at 8” and a song started playing. I looked at my husband and said, “That is Elizabeth Cotten singing “Freight Train.”
Just goes to show:
Martha Murphy, Children’s Department
Ed: If you’d like to hear Elizabeth Cotten playing and singing “Freight Train,” the song that made her famous, go to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings artist spotlight for Elizabeth Cotten.  At the top of the page there’s a short 30 second recording of her picking the beginning of the song, but if you scroll about halfway down there’s a video recorded in 1957 of her playing the whole song at the Seeger family home.

Friday Reads: How to Cake It

 

“Friday Reads” is (an almost) 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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Since I know many people who have a birthday in March, from my soon-to-be 93-year-old father to frequent patrons of the library, the book of choice this week is How to Cake It: a cakebook by Yolanda Gampp.   Recently added to our very large and popular cookbook section, you can easily spot this one on the new nonfiction shelf with its pink binding and hot pink title.

You may have been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but it is pretty safe to do it this time.  Yolanda herself is featured front and center wearing a brightly colored tee that says caké and as you flip through the pages you will see the theme develop as she wears several other bold and bright tees proclaiming her cake love.  In front of her is an elaborate 7-layer chocolate cake, sculpted into a pink and gold crown, festooned with oversized candy jewels, fit for the most demanding princess.  You get the idea: bold, bright, whimsical cakes ‘r us.

“On her You-tube channel, How to Cake It, Yolanda creates mind-blowing cakes in every shape imaginable.  From cakes that look like food, such as a watermelon and a Thanksgiving turkey, to cakes designed as oversized everyday objects, like a giant nail polish bottle and a Rubik’s cube, Yo’s creations are fun and realistic.  Now, Yo brings her friendly, offbeat charm and caking expertise to this colorful cakebook filled with imaginative new cakes to make at home.” (Publisher’s summary from the inner flap.)

I expect my father would not be into the “Fried Chicken and Waffles” cake (vanilla cake and puffed rice) or the pink velvet cake shaped like a purse, but I bet he would love the coconut cake and Italian meringue buttercream frosting recipes.  With Yolanda’s clear and thorough instructions and great tips for making the cake look professional, even a novice can turn out a dazzling and delicious cake.

 

This book is geared for children and the fanciful at heart with all of the design ideas, but if you are in need of great directions on leveling/layering, spreading a crumb coat or working with fondant, as well as a few cake and frosting recipes to create your own designs, then this book will be very helpful for you too.  Okay, so that last statement may negate the idea that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  Bakers who are not into pink and whimsy should not judge by the cover, but by the contents instead.

How to Cake It is currently on the new nonfiction shelf with the call #641.8653 GAM.

28 Children’s Books about #BlackJoy

 

It’s often said Black History Month should be celebrated all year long–and it should! In that spirit, here is a list of 28 books that are good reads all year round! This list also provides titles that feature #BlackJoy: Black characters just living their lives. Books about slavery are important. Books about Jim Crow America are important. Books about the Civil Rights Era are important. Books that feature Black characters experiencing joy are also important. So, here’s to these 28 #BlackJoy picture books!

1) Crown by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

2) Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier

3) All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Mike Curato

4) Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Patrice Barton

 

5) How to Find a Fox by Nilah Magruder

 

6) Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

7) In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

8) I Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards

8) Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

9)  We Love You, Rosie! by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Linda Davick

10) Looking for Bongo by Eric Velasquez

11) Sunday Shopping by Sally Derby, illustrated by Shadra Strickland

12) Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

13) Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

14) My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

15) Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin

 

16) If I Had a Raptor by George O’Connor

17) Soccer Star by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Renato Alarcao

18) One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck, illustrated Yasmeen Ismail

19) Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated Christian Robinson

20) Lizard from the Park by Mark Pett

21) Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

22) The New Small Person by Lauren Child

23) On the Ball by Brian Pinkney

24) My Pen by Christopher Myers

25) Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning

26) I Had A Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn, illustrated Julia Denos

27) Grandma’s Records by Eric Velasquez

28) Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington, illustrated by Shelley Jackson

Happy Reading!
~Stephanie
Children’s Room

Friday Reads: Unseen: Unpublished Black History

 

“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. 

 

 

On this final Friday of Black History Month, Friday Reads is highlighting Unseen:  Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives by Times photo editor, Darcy Eveleigh, and three colleagues, Dana Canedy, Damien Cave and Rachel L. Swarns.  The book is born from the highly popular New York Times series, “Unpublished Black History,” that ran in February, 2016 both in print and online.  “It garnered millions of views on The Times website and thousands of comments from readers,” the inside flap states.  Eveleigh discovered dozens of unpublished photos of black history in The Times archive and together with Canedy, Cave and Swarns researched the back stories.

Unseen showcases those photographs and digs even deeper into The Times’s archives to include 175 photographs and stories behind them in this extraordinary collection.  Among the entries is a 27-year-old Jesse Jackson leading an anti-discrimination rally in Chicago; Rosa Parks arriving at a Montgomery courthouse in Alabama; a candid shot of Aretha Franklin backstage at the Apollo Theater; Ralph Ellison on the streets of his Manhattan neighborhood; the fire-bombed home of Malcom X; Myrlie Evers and her children at the funeral of her slain husband, Medgar; a wheelchair-bound Roy Campanella at the razing of Ebbets Field; a behind-the-scenes- photo shoot with Arthur A. Mitchell, cofounder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and his principal dancers; images of peaceful and organized demonstrators at Resurrection City in 1968 that contrast the photographs of disorder and theft dominating the coverage of the time; and  series by Don Hogan Charles, the first black photographer hired by The Times, capturing life in Harlem in the 1960s.” (Inner flap).

This book can be found on the new nonfiction book shelf with call number 973.0496 UNS

 

Pictured:  cover and pps. 96-97 “Arthur Mitchell, Dancing Through Barriers”