Friday Reads: Paleo Magazine

“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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Did you make a new year’s resolution to improve your health?  Are you curious about the paleo diet?  If you answered yes to either question, you ought to take a look at Paleo magazine in our reading area.

Their mission statement is, “Paleo magazine was founded with the purpose of providing readers with the information they need to live strong, vibrant, healthy lives.  We are dedicated to partnering with leaders in the Paleo community to spread the knowledge of ancestral health principles, without the influence of Big Pharma or Big Agriculture.”   The magazine promotes eating real food, such as vegetables, wild fish, seafood and game, grass-fed meats, eggs, healthy fats, fruits, nuts & seeds, and avoiding processed foods, refined sugar, legumes & soy, grains and dairy.

To that end, Paleo contains many regular features that guide the reader to a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle, and several “highlight” articles.  Check out these regular columns you will find in each bimonthly issue:

Research Roundup: a summary and analysis of research done on topics of interest to the paleo community by a registered dietician.

Herbs for Thriving:  Each issue features one herb. The February/March 2018 issue features plantain.  Did you know traditional uses for this herb include a poultice, spray or salve for insect bites, acne and other skin irritations?  You can also make tea and cough syrup with it.

Product Reviews:  From food to gadgets, you can read brief reviews for several products.  Unlike Consumer Reports, they do not make their acquisition of products or testing methods known.

Book Corner: Read author interviews here.  Books are about a variety of topics related to “strong, vibrant, healthy lives.”

Blog Review:  Reviews of paleo-related blogs and websites, including interviews with the bloggers.

Business Spotlight: features a business of interest to the paleo community, such as “Kimera Coffee” in the February/March 2018 issue.

Foraging:  features one plant each issue that can be harvested from the wild.

From the Doc: A doctor explains a current medical topic, citing studies and providing connections to our daily lives.

Real Talk with Dietician Cassie: Like “From the Doc,” but focusing on nutrition and written by a registered dietician.

Recipes:  Lots of recipes with scrumptious photos and instructions suitable for a beginner covering breakfast, lunch, dinner … and dessert.

Average Joe Paleo: A personal column reflecting an issue readers are likely to identify with.

Movement: Features a few exercises, stretches or massages.

 

You can find Paleo magazine in our reading room shelved alphabetically by its title.  Back issues can be checked out.

2-Day Crochet

We are very pleased to welcome back Falmouth crochet instructor, Kali Smith.  Kali will lead two 2-day workshops where she will instruct crocheters on how to make a basket using bulky yarn and the magic circle technique.  All materials will be supplied, thanks to the generosity of the Trustees of the Falmouth Public Library.   Finished baskets will be approximately 7” tall and 9” in diameter and will be perfect for storing your yarn.

Participants will be expected to work on the basket at home between meetings and must already know how to:

  • crochet in the round
  • single crochet
  • chain stitch
  • slip stitch

The 2-day workshop will be offered twice, at the following dates and times:

Saturday mornings:  March 3 and March 10 from 9:30 – 11:00 AM

Wednesday nights:  March 28 and April 4 from 6:30 – 8:00 PM

All meetings will take place at the Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main St. Falmouth, in the Trustees Room.

You may register for either the Saturday workshop or the Wednesday workshop.  To register, please contact the reference department at 508-457-2555 x 6 or stop by the reference desk where you can see a sample basket. You can also register online at falmouthpubliclibrary.org/register.

Friday Reads: The Right to Die

 

“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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Have you read Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal:  medicine and what matters in the end during our town-wide read this year?  Are you following along with the stories in the local newspapers about a Falmouth doctor fighting for the legal right to end his life because he is terminally ill?   If you have an interest in the complex issue of physician assisted death or euthanasia and want to learn more about it, I recommend a reference book recently added to our collection:  The Right to Die by Howard Ball.

As part of the series of reference books called Contemporary World Issues, The Right to Die is written for students in high school and college working on research papers, as well as activists, policy makers and yes, general readers.  It provides reliable, balanced and current information from a wealth of sources in a clear manner.  The publisher writes about the series, “Each book, carefully organized and easy to use, contains an overview of the subject, a detailed chronology, biographical sketches, facts and data and/or documents and other primary source material, a forum of authoritative perspective essays, annotated lists of print and non-print resources, and an index.  Readers of books in the Contemporary World Issues series will find the information they need in order to have a better understanding of the social, political, environmental, and economic issues facing the world today.”

For example, the “Profiles” section contains entries for people and organizations grouped according to whether they support or are opposed to Death with Dignity Laws.  Each entry provides a brief background of the person’s role and opinion on the issue, as well as other helpful information.  The entry for Atul Gawande, which is among the longest entries, states: “… his writing about how one should approach death is extraordinarily beautiful; any person interested in exploring the parameters of the right to die – regardless of the person’s predisposition – will do well to read Gawande’s ethical-medical philosophy of death and dying.”

You can find this book in the reference department with call # REF 179.7 BAL.  It cannot be checked out, but you can spend as much time with it as you like in one of our easy chairs by the window.

 

Friday Reads: My Green Manifesto

 

“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 January meeting of the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club was post-poned one week due to the snow storm on the 4th.  We had a fine time yesterday, however, discussing and guffawing over My Green Manifesto:  down the Charles River in pursuit of a new environmentalism by one-time Cape Cod resident, David Gessner.

The publisher describes the book thus, “In My Green Manifesto, David Gessner embarks on a rough-and-tumble journey down Boston’s Charles River, searching for the soul of a new environmentalism.  With a tragically leaky canoe, a broken cell phone, a cooler of beer, and the environmental planner Dan Driscoll in tow, Gessner grapples with the stereotype of the environmentalist as an overzealous, puritanical mess.”

We covered many topics in our discussion, including ‘what is a manifesto?’  and noting the literary tradition from which this work stems (Think Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Edward Abbey, John Hay, Aldo Leopold, Bill McKibben, Wendell Berry and Rachel Carson.)  We also compared the author’s “new” environmentalism with older doomsday-style “environmental extremists” (Think Al Gore and the author’s favorite antagonists Ted Nordhouse and Michael Shellenberger.) Gessner’s “new” environmentalism is an approachable method rooted in having fun in the wildness and fixing what ails your own backyard.  It may also include beer.

Since we are in the midst of reading a series of books about social justice issues, we made sure to tie the book into the theme.  Climate change is responsible for drought, water shortages, floods, extreme weather, crop failures and a host of other calamities which strike the poor the hardest.

Next month we will discuss Glass House: the 1% economy and the shattering of the all-American town by Brian Alexander.  Pick up a copy of the book at the reference desk and join us in the Hermann Room on Thursday, February 1 at 10:00 for what is sure to be an illuminating and engaging discussion.

 

From Book to Golden Globe

Will you be watching the 75th Golden Globe awards on Sunday, January 7th?

Here are a few  book suggestions to enhance your viewing!

Among the nominees for Best Picture are:

Call Me by Your Name –  Check out the novel of the same name by André Aciman,

Dunkirk – Borrow the book: Dunkirk: the history behind the major motion picture by Joshua Levine

The Post –Borrow the book, Katharine Graham- a Personal History

Nominees for Best Actress- Drama

Jessica Chastain for Molly’s Game 

Borrow the book –Molly’s Game: the true story of the 26-Year-old Woman behind the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker game in the world

Michelle Williams for All the Money in the World-

Borrow the book- Uncommon Youth: the gilded life and tragic times of J. Paul Getty III by Charles Fox

Nominees for Best Actor- Drama 

Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour

Borrow the bookDarkest Hour: how Churchill brought England back from the brink by Anthony McCarten

Nominees for Best Musical or Comedy

The Disaster Artist

Borrow the book- The Disaster Artist: my life inside The Room, the greatest bad movie ever made by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell

Greatest Showman     

Borrow the book- P.T. Barnum: America’s greatest showman by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt

I, Tonya

Borrow the book- Fire on Ice: The Exclusive Inside Story of Tonya Harding by Abby Haight

Judi Dench- Victoria & Abdul

Borrow the book: Victoria & Abdul: the true story of the queen’s closest confidant by Shrabani Basu

Nominees for Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy

Steve Carell- Battle of the Sexes

Borrow the book- A Necessary Spectacle: Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs, and the tennis match that leveled the game by Selena Roberts

Friday Reads: Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction

“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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Does this arctic cold turn your thoughts to Nordic lands like it does for me?  Do you wonder what it must be like to live there with long, frigid, dark winters?  One way to learn about a culture is to read its literature, “to ponder the profound social, political, economic and cultural issues they present,” states Mitzi M. Brunsdale in the introduction to Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction.

Well, if you have an interest in Nordic culture, reading its crime fiction is one sure-fire way to learn aspects of it that you won’t find in guide books or the recent New York Times bestseller, The Little Book of Hygge:  Danish secrets to happy living.   In the Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction, which is divided into five sections, one for each country: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Brunsdale opens with an in-depth essay on cultural context for crime fiction in that locale, followed by a list of awards given since 1967. Those are followed by a parallel chronology of that country’s literature and world events. She then provides a biography of each contemporary author, a bibliography of their works, major awards and their web addresses.

So if you like Norwegian author Jo Nesbø you can read that in addition to being “king of Nordic crime writing,” he is also a soccer player, journalist, rock music singer, financial analyst, rock climber and children’s author. You can see a list of what he has written to date (13 novels from 1985 – 2013 published in 24 million copies, translated into forty-seven languages) and who his fellow Norwegian crime writers are (Anne Holt, Vidar Sundstøl and Kjell Ola Dahl, to name only three) and their works.  For the best in Norwegian crime fiction, check out the list “Dagbladet’s Twenty-Five Best Norwegian Crime Novels of All Time (2009) which includes the original title and translation information.  What is the #1 Norwegian crime novel you ask?  Elskede Poona, by Karin Fossum (tr. as The Indian Bride, 2007; also titled Calling Out for You.)

Whether you are an avid reader of Nordic crime and want to get more cultural context to deepen your understanding or you are just starting out and don’t know what to read first, the Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime is sure to provide fascinating guidance all along the way.  You can find this book in the reference room with call #809.3872 BRU, or ask a reference librarian.

Friday Reads: The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson

“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, Reference Librarian, Donna Burgess, takes a turn with this column and highlights a new biography of James Parkinson, the man for whom Parkinson’s disease was named 200 year ago.

The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson: the pioneering life of a forgotten surgeon and the mysterious disease that bears his nameThe title of this book drew me in immediately. My sister was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was fifty years old, and each year she struggles with the onset of even more debilitating effects.

Written by Cherry Lewis, The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson delivers an appealing, often gruesome account of the life of a workaholic and highly respected surgeon-apothecary from a time long-ago.  In 1817, during the age of Enlightenment, he “defined this disease so precisely that we still diagnose Parkinson’s disease today by recognizing the symptoms he identified.”  Parkinson also helped Edward Jenner in inoculating Londoners against smallpox, being among the first to do so.

In addition to medicine, Parkinson had two other passions: politics and fossils, which were popular pastimes for upper crust Edwardians.  As a political radical, Parkinson was interrogated in the plot to assassinate King George III.  He became a founder of the Geological Society of London, and wrote a scientific paper on fossils, one of which, a Jurassic ammonite, was named for him: Parkinsonia parkonsoni.

A Kirkus review noted that The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson is “a fine biography of a colorful figure who lived in a turbulent era.” And Publisher’s Weekly stated, “Parkinson’s groundbreaking work, as Lewis notes, represented a ‘farsighted, questioning approach’ that ‘left us with a remarkable scientific and medical legacy’.” – Publishers Weekly

Look for this intriguing biography on the NEW nonfiction shelf, Call # 926.17 Parkinson.

Friday Reads: Across Many Mountains, a memoir

 

“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. 

 

This week, the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club had a thoughtful discussion about the memoir, Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen.   All 15 people in attendance had a chance to share their thoughts, observations and revelations with a rapt audience.  It was wonderful to hear new attendees and veteran attendees build on each other’s comments and get spurred on to new thoughts they wouldn’t have come up reading this book alone.

So what was it that got the group in synch? Across Many Mountains, a memoir by Swiss-Tibetan actor, model, movie-maker and political activist, Yangzom Brauen, tells the story of three generations of Tibetan women: the author, her mother and her grandmother, a Buddhist nun.  It begins with the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the early 1950s, which forced the grandmother and her husband, a Buddhist monk, to flee to India with their two daughters, ages 6 and 2.  They trekked for a month over the Himalayas to India, where they subsisted in hand to mouth fashion for several years as refugees.  When the author’s mother was 16, she drew the attention of a young scholar of Buddhism who hailed from an important family in Switzerland.  He fell madly in love and would not give up his pursuit until he persuaded the young Sonam and her mother (the only family members still living) to move to Bern, Switzerland.  Sonam and Martin, the Swiss scholar, married, had two children (the author and her brother) and lived a comfortable life in Switzerland and then New York City, where the book leaves off, around 2008.

Through the vastly different lives of these three remarkable women we learn about Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism, the violent re-education the Chinese soldiers forced on the country, as well as how their experiences affected their lives.   We see how Buddhism gives the grandmother the inner strength to carry her through one trial after another with clarity of purpose, whereas, Sonam, who left Tibet when she was six had a desperate longing for a permanent home and always felt out of place.  The author, who was born in Switzerland and only visited Tibet, developed a deep love and commitment to preserving the Tibetan culture through her grandmother’s teachings.

All this was relayed in what one book club member described as a conversation with the reader.  We were gently told about all these events, rather than being shown.  So, it was a fascinating and easy read rather than a heart-wrenching tale of bloodshed, deprivation and oppression.

Next month we will discuss My Green Manifesto by David Gessner, which is about cleaning up the Charles River in Boston.  If you would like to join us, read the book and come to the discussion on Thursday, January 4 at 10:00 a.m. in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room.  If you want a print copy of the book, you will need to order it from the Commonwealth catalog as all print copies from Cape Cod libraries are spoken for.  There are also two copies of the ebook in Overdrive in epub and Kindle formats.  If you need help getting a copy, please contact the reference department at 508-457-2555 x 6 or info@falmouthpubliclibrary.org.

Friday Reads: Christmas Knitting and Crocheting

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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. 

 

Knitters and crocheters, it’s time to get those needles, hooks and yarn out!  So many gifts to make, so little time.  Check out these books for some gift ideas and patterns.  Most projects are small, so you can make something for everyone on your list.

Scandinavia Christmas Stockings:  Classic Designs to Knit for the Holiday by Mette Handberg. This one has spent time on the Staff Picks shelf.  Proficient knitters will enjoy it, but beginners will probably get frustrated.  (See photo on the left.)

55 Christmas Balls to Knit:  Colorful Festive Ornaments, Tree Decorations, Centerpieces, Wreaths, Window Dressings by Arne and Carlos.  If you are not familiar with this duo – their designs are modernized traditional Scandinavian patterns and motifs.  Whimsy is the word.

Little Christmas Decorations to Knit and Crochet by Sue Stratford and Val Pierce.  At no more than 3” each, you can create enough ornaments to outfit a whole tree for a brand new look, or tie them onto gifts in lieu of a bow, or give one to each person you know or …  or …. .  Everyone needs a knitted figgy pudding, don’t they? (See photo on the right.)

Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home and Tree:  stockings, ornaments, garlands and more by Edie Eckman.  These colorful and modern crochet projects will come together in a twinkle of Santa’s eye.  It is assumed the reader already knows how to crochet.

 

Currently, these books are on the mantelpiece across from the circulation desk, but they may not stick around long!

 

Merry Christmas Crafting!

Friday Reads: The Magician’s Assistant

 

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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 written by Donna Burgess, Reference Librarian and co-leader of “Books on the Half-shell,”  the library’s monthly fiction book club.

 

Ann Patchett’s third novel, The Magician’s Assistant,  is a selection in the Falmouth Fiction book club, series, “Magic and Magicians.”

Set in Los Angeles, California and Alliance, Nebraska it is both a love story and an awakening. The magician’s assistant of the title is named Sabine. An assistant to the magician Parsifal for twenty years, Sabine was in love with him, even though he was gay, and as is announced in the opening sentences, “Parsifal is dead. That is the end of the story.”

Throughout their relationship Parsifal maintained that his family had all died in a car accident in Connecticut. So it came as a shock when Sabine learned that he had a family in Nebraska! His mother, Dot and her daughter, Bertie arrived in LA   through contact with Parsifal’s lawyer. They decided to meet Sabine.

Having spent too much time in bed grieving the loss of Parsifal, Sabine decides to give Dot and Bertie a tour of the LA, (“a city where there are no laws against pretending to be something you weren’t!”) She finally decides to accept Dot’s invitation to visit Alliance and learn about Parsifal’s past.  We learn that Parsifal’s given name is Guy, that there was a tragic event in his past that triggered his move away from Nebraska and his shutting out his past.

The contrast between the palm tree lined streets of L.A. and the windswept snow –clogged streets of Alliance heighten the contrast between the personalities of Dot’s family and Sabine.

Although there is little magic performed throughout the book, Sabine does manage to astonish Dot and her family by pulling an egg from her ear! Perhaps the magic is the relationships that develop between Sabine and Dot’s family.

The book sparked a lot of discussion in both the evening and morning book groups. One member stated at the beginning of the meeting she didn’t really care for the book. After listening to the discussion she realized how much there was to the story.

And that my readers, is what book clubs are all about.