Friday Reads: Knitting Magazines


Did you know the library has over 250 magazine titles for adults?  We have additional collections for young adults and children too.  Adult magazines range widely across topics, from literary reviews to cooking.  You can feed your mind, feed your body and so much more.   If you like music, poetry, cycling, sailing, quilting, coin collecting, traveling, fashion or learning about medical topics, politics, religion, foreign affairs, science, social issues and celebrities, we’ve got you covered.  I’m sure I’ve left out several things, but you get the point.

Fall is here and with trying to keep the heat off at home as long as possible, my passion for knitting has kicked into high gear.  One way I feed my passion is by devouring knitting books and magazines during my lunch hour.   We have four magazines for knitters and today’s blog will give you a taste of each one.

Interweave Knits  The current issue, Fall 2016, is their 20th anniversary edition.  With notes from almost all of the editors over the years, reading this issue describes the magazine’s history and how their mission has changed as knitters have changed their approach to the craft over the past 20 years.  Interweave Knits is popular in knitting circles for its focus on a large number of appealing projects, from small to large, and for all members of the family.  It also includes interesting articles about yarns and designers, as well as clearly written and illustrated descriptions of techniques.  The numerous advertisements serve to inspire as well!

Creative Knitting  At 37 years old, Creative Knitting bills itself as “the first all-knitting magazine”. With the tagline, “Knits with a timeless twist,” you can expect that the projects are tried and true classics blended with current styles.  They pride themselves on clear instructions for projects for casual home knitters, including clothing, accessories and home décor.   The winter, 2016 issue focuses on cables, with several articles on techniques and uses for cables and, of course, patterns featuring cables.  The patterns range from having only simple cable panels to being completely covered with cables.  Knitters of all levels of cabling abilities should find something of interest in this issue.

Vogue Knitting  If you are looking for patterns that are more avant-garde than the magazines described above, then flip through the selections here.  The clearly written patterns are mainly geared toward fashion-conscious women, but they do include a few for men and a little home décor.   The fall, 2016 issue features “Modern Fair Isle” knitting, “No Wool, No Vikings, the fleece that launched 1,000 ships,” and “The Iconic Baby Surprise Jacket.”   There are also articles on the colors and stitches of the season, and designers.  The photos of yarns and models wearing projects are eye-catching.

Piecework “The purpose of this magazine is to promote historical and ethnic handwork by providing articles on history, techniques, and individual items and people, and then offering a few projects based on the article using techniques such as needlework, knitting, quilting, crocheting, beading, drawn thread and other crafts.  Entire issues may be devoted to a single theme. ( … )  The projects all have clear instructions and are well designed, although none are for the novice or timid crafters.  This is not a magazine that will teach a technique in simple terms; if readers are at all shy about picking up new techniques, then some of the projects may be beyond them.  (…)  The magazine is beautiful and inspiring and is devoted to the history and current state of common and ethnic handicraft arts.”  (Magazines for Libraries, 2014)

If you are looking for a little inspiration for your knitting this fall, why don’t you curl up in one of our easy chairs by a sunny window and flip through these knitting magazines.  I challenge you not to add a few projects to your “to knit” list.

Faith Lee

A reference librarian who is currently getting her Irish sweater in a twist.

Friday Reads: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

by Donna Burgess

It was just over fifty years ago that the first “narrative nonfiction novel” appeared on the New York Times best-seller list of January 23, 1966.  In Cold Blood:  a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences, Truman Capote’s masterly work, was described in a review as “conceived of journalism and born of a novelist.”

After browsing through the New York Times in November, 1959, Capote read the headline on a deep-inside page, “Wealthy Farmer, 3 of Family Slain.” It struck him that the study of this crime might be the broad scope he was seeking for his nonfiction novel.

Capote traveled with his friend and neighbor, Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird), to Holcomb, Kansas where he “spent five years unraveling and following to its end every thread in the killing of Herbert W. Clutter and his family”.  The criminals, Perry Smith and Richard Hickok, were so well depicted that you could almost see their faces come alive in the narrative.  Richard, a blond charmer with an unsavory weakness for little girls, and Perry, a pixyish- looking loner who was fascinated with words and maintained his own dictionary of memorable vocabulary.

Capote captures the stillness of the western Kansas countryside, a tumbleweed strewn farmland of stubbled fields.  You can feel the eeriness of the vacant Clutter home long after the murders were committed.

What is remarkable is Capote’s ability to capture the dialogue and recreate the atmosphere and mood of the killers.  He interviewed both convicted killers, though Perry was much more willing to talk to him.

He never used a tape-recorder in the interviews as he felt that it would change the dynamic of the meeting.  Instead, he had trained himself to transcribe conversations.  He would have a friend read passages from a book and then write them down to see how well it compared to the original. With an almost 95 % accuracy, Capote didn’t want a tape recorder or note-taking interfere between him and his subject!

In this morning’s book discussion there was some sympathy for Perry as his childhood was both sad and abusive.  A bed-wetter, Perry was constantly beaten and punished for his enuresis. In an interview with George Plimpton, Capote notes that “Perry wasn’t an evil person. If he’d had any chance in life, things would have been different, but every illusion he’d ever had, well, they all evaporated so that on that night {of the murder} he was so full of self –hatred and self-pity that I think he would have killed somebody….”

In Cold Blood has generated a whole new genre of books and captured the attention and perhaps the soul of many readers. Perhaps it is time for you to reread this chilling character study.

Congratulations, Maureen!


One of our regular patrons came in to the reference department for a visit recently.  She had something special to show us.  As she pulled a flat rectangular object out of her tote bag and proceeded to carefully remove the plastic bag that protected it from the torrential rain, I was silently making guesses as to what this item, that was clearly very important to her, could be.  Actually, I had a pretty good idea when I saw her beaming face as she walked in, and I was right.  It was her diploma!  From Bridgewater State University.  Maureen came to the reference department for at least the last two years on a regular basis to use the public computers to do her research and writing for all of her classes.

Not only did she learn what was taught in her classes, but from all of us in the reference staff, she learned how to use a computer, find the best materials for her research, write a bibliography and more!   She never failed to express how much being in the library helped her to make it through her social sciences program.  As a commuter student, she relied more on her local library than the university library for support because, well, it was home and she knew we’d help her with whatever she needed.  We all enjoyed keeping abreast of her progress and loved hearing about all those A’s she earned!

So, Maureen, thank you for letting us be a part of this milestone in your life and congratulations on your Bachelor of Science from Bridgewater University!  We know you worked hard for it.  We look forward to your next milestones.  Keep us posted!

This is truly one of the most gratifying aspects of being a reference librarian.


Faith Lee


Photo: Maureen holding her diploma and me.

Friday Reads: This Book is Gay

This week, September 25 through October 1, is Banned Books Week.  Librarians, book sellers, teachers and book lovers across the country celebrate the freedom to read and publicize attempts to censor books, especially in the past year.  Yes! People are still trying to censor books from public and school libraries for too many reasons.   The top three reasons for banning or challenging books are because the book: (1) is sexually explicit; (2) contains offensive language, and (3) is unsuited for age group.  Less common reasons are because the book contains: abortion, suicide or a political viewpoint that someone finds objectionable.  And there are more.

Censoring books is an infringement of our constitutional right to the freedom of free speech.  We need to protect this freedom so we can continue to be an open-minded and multi-faceted country.

In honor of Banned Books Week, I am highlighting This Book is Gay by James Dawson, a young adult work of nonfiction that was published in 2015 and caused quite an uproar in Wasilla, Alaska.

The author’s note states, “This Book is Gay is a collection of facts, my ideas, and my stories but also the testimonies of more than three hundred amazing LGBT* people who shared their stories.”  The goal of the manual, written by a young teacher specializing in personal, social, health and citizenship education in the U.K., is to show teens what experiences he and a great many others have had as LGBT* people.   He aims to mentor a younger generation with testimonies from those who have been there already.  “When I was in high school, there’s no way a book like this would have made it to me,” writes gay young adult novelist David Levithan in the introduction.   “But what if it had?  I imagine I would have figured out things sooner.  I would have been less clueless – because this is, if nothing else, and extraordinarily helpful book of clues.  And here’s the thing about clues:  They don’t tell you what to do, but they do show you what you can do.”

David Levithan credits this book with providing much needed clues to help people figure out their sexuality and all manner of issues that revolve around it.   He points out that book doesn’t tell readers what to do, it shows them what “you can do” and that is empowering.   Dawson writes, “We have to be able to talk about sexuality and identity in a nonhysterical way.”

Residents of Wasilla, Alaska didn’t see it that way, though.  In 2015, the public library “moved its entire young adult nonfiction to the adult stacks in response to a complaint about Dawson’s book.  Several Wasilla residents attacked the book at a city council meeting saying that ‘they didn’t want “gay books” or books about gay people in the library at all.’ For defending the sex education book for teens, the library director was branded as a pedophile in the highly controversial public debates.”   (Journal of intellectual freedom and privacy spring, 2016, p. 53.)

The author points out that this manual is not just for LGBT* people, it is for anyone who is wondering.  If you are wondering, or you know, or you want to know more, you can find this book in the nonfiction section in the young adult room.  That is, after we take it off the front row of our Banned Books display.

Today is National Voter Registration Day

Today, September 27, 2016, volunteers all around the country are hitting the streets, holding events and storming social media urging unregistered citizens to register to vote.   Don’t miss your opportunity to take part in the history-making presidential election on November 8th, be sure you are registered too.

Who can register? Citizens of the United States who are 16 or older, who are not in jail for a felony.  (Note:  16 year-olds can pre-register, but you have to be 18 to vote).

I’ve already registered once; do I have to do it again?  If you have moved, even just across the street, or if you have changed your name, you have to update your voter registration.

When do I register for the Presidential election?  You must be registered to vote by October 19th.

How do I register to vote?

In-person:  go to the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall.  Town Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

By-Mail: pick up a registration form – we have some here at the main library, at the east branch and the north branch and mail it in to Town Hall.  It must be postmarked by October 19th.

Online: You must have a valid Massachusetts driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID to use this service.  Go to the Massachusetts state website at:


Early Voting:  You may vote early for any reason.  Avoid the long lines on election day and vote at the Old Water Department at Town Hall during the following times:

Mon., Oct. 24:          8:00 – 4:30
Tue., Oct. 25:             8:00 – 4:30
Wed., Oct. 26:          8:00 – 8:00
Thur., Oct. 27:           8:00 – 8:00
Fri., Oct. 28:               8:00 – 4:30
Sat., Oct. 29:             8:00 – 4:00
Mon., Oct. 31:           8:00 – 4:30
Tue., Nov. 1:              8:00 – 4:30
Wed., Nov. 2:            8:00  – 8:00
Thur., Nov. 3:            8:00  – 8:00


November 8:  Election Day.  Polls open 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.


Vote and let your voice be heard.

Salt Marsh Ecology

Mark your calendars!  Ian Ives, director of Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, will discuss Salt Marsh Ecology here at the main library on Saturday, October 1 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.  This one-hour talk is appropriate for teens and adults and will be accompanied by slides.

Salt Marshes are some of the most biologically rich communities in the world since they serve as nurseries for many species of fish and shellfish.  With increasing coastal development, many of Cape Cod’s salt marshes have become degraded, something that affects both animals & humans.  Learn more about these rich habitats, the creatures within them and how they protect us from flooding and storm events.

This talk is free, thanks to generous support from the Trustees of the Falmouth Public Library.  No registration is necessary.  For further information, contact the reference department at Falmouth Public Library at 508-457-2555x 6 or email

Friday Reads: James Bond and Espionage

The reference staff has espionage on its mind these days.    Actually, we began plotting our moves before all the recent news coverage of email hacking by the Kremlin; the August death of Doris Bohrer, an Allied spy in World War II; and the execution of Iranian scientist/spy, Shahram Amiri.

Our mission?  Two-fold: first, to increase our number of active cases on the shelf (in other words, buy more espionage books); and second, to establish a spy ring with a variety of fictitious members for a six-month duration (in other words, have espionage as our new theme for the library’s fiction book club).   All systems are now go.   This week new books arrived and the fiction book club announced the titles for the next six months.

To satisfy part one of our mission we have purchased an attractive set of paperbacks by Ian Fleming, creator of the suave British secret agent with a license to kill, James Bond.  (We have also purchased several terrific nonfiction works, but that is another blog.)   Ian Fleming drew heavily on his own past in creating his Bond character and his glamorous missions.  Fleming, like Bond, was born in England and had first-hand experience with the Soviet Union when he worked for Reuters News Agency in Moscow. “During WWII [Fleming] served as Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence and played a key role in Allied espionage operations.”  (From “About the Author” in the Thomas & Mercer series.)  Bond, the most famous fictional cold war spy, was in the Royal Navy.  And did you know, that Fleming lived part time in Jamaica, where not coincidentally, several Bond books are set?  Intrigued?  Here is a list of the complete series that arrived this week.  If you want to check some out, you’d better move fast as they won’t stay in one place for long!

Casino Royale

Diamonds Are Forever

Dr. No

For Your Eyes Only

From Russia with Love


Live and Let Die

The Man with the Golden Gun


Octopussy and The Living Daylights

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The Spy Who Loved Me


You Only Live Twice


To satisfy part two of our mission, we have dedicated the next six months to reading espionage books in the fiction book club.   We’ll range from classic to contemporary authors.  If you are interested in any title listed below, come to the reference desk before the meeting to pick up a copy then join us for a rousing discussion.  New members are always welcome!  You have your choice of two meeting times: Wednesdays from 7:00 – 8:00 PM or Thursdays from 10:00 – 11:00 AM.  We hope to see you there!


October 19 & 20:  The Secret Agent: a simple tale by Joseph Conrad

November 16 & 17:  Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon

December 21 & 22:  Sweet Tooth by Ian Mc Ewan

January 18 & 19:  Bloodmoney by David Ignatius

February 15 & 16:  All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer

March 15 & 16:  Swimmer by Joakim Zander

Fall Gardening Talk

Don’t miss our second fall gardening talk!  “Plant Your Best Fall Garden, Then Put It to Bed” is this Wednesday, September 21, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM in the Hermann Room.  Master Gardener, Patrice “Pat” Amos will highlight fall plants that work well in our area and then discuss fall gardening clean-up and winter preparation.

Pat is a 30 year resident of Cape Cod and has been a plant and garden fan for most of her life.  After many years of “gardening from the heart”, she decided to explore more about the science of it all, and took the Master Gardeners course in 1998.  Since that time, she has been active with the Master Gardeners assisting with such things as soil testing clinics and staffing the gardens at that the Barnstable Fair Grounds during the week of the fair when it is open to the public for questions and information.

In 1996, Pat started a local work swap style garden club which was active for nearly 15 years.  It was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity for members to share labor, plants, knowledge and friendship.

Recently retired after 21 years as a technician in the telecommunications field, Pat is now happy to be concentrating on many of the garden tasks and projects which had been set aside over the years.

This talk is free, thanks to generous support from the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library.  Registration is not necessary, but if you have questions, feel free to contact the Reference Department at 508-457-2555 x 6 or email

We hope to see you there!

Friday Reads: FallScaping

As Cape Codders, we know the secret … fall is a wonderful time to live here!  The weather is wonderful and the crowds have dissipated.   If you are a gardener, you can spend more time doing what you love in the cooler fall air.

Gardeners of all varieties may be interested to know about our second fall gardening lecture that will be held on Wednesday, October 21 from 7:00 – 8:00 PM in the Hermann Room.  Master Gardener Patrice “Pat” Amos will present, “Plant Your Best Fall Garden, Then Put It to Bed.”  Her talk will focus on late fall plants that are featured in the area and she will discuss garden cleanup and winter preparation.   In anticipation of her arrival, we have put together a large display of books in the adult collection room. Chief among them is Fallscaping: extending your garden season into autumn, by Nancy J. Ondra and Stephanie Cohen, with great close-up photos by Rob Cardillo.  I’ll let the book itself tell you what’s inside.  Here is the summary from the inner flap:


“Bring late-season appeal to your yard with vines, shrubs, trees, and flowers that retain their good looks through the sweet, golden days of autumn.  Nancy J. Ondra and Stephanie Cohen identify all the key fall-specific players and explain how to combine them with multi-season workhorse plants to create gardens that move gracefully from spring through the riotous days of summer and into the last hurrah of autumn.

Beautiful blooms, rich foliage, and dramatic seed heads all have their roles to play in long-lasting fallscapes.  Ondra and Cohen discuss dozens of their favorites in each category and offer extensive advice on how to best to integrate them into landscapes that give as much pleasure in October as they do in July.  Ten complete garden plans pull everything together. Particularly stunning in the fall but designed to deliver three-season appeal. They cover a range of growing conditions and color themes, and will satisfy even the most intense post-summer gardening urges.”

Master Gardener Pat Amos will be here, thanks to support from the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library.  If you would like further information, contact the reference department at 508-457-2555 x 6, or text us at 66746 and begin your message with “askfpl”.  You can also stop by the desk!  We’d love to see you.


Friday Reads: 50 Best Stuffings and Dressings

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to check out this little gem.  In 50 Best Stuffings and Dressings, author Rick Rodgers says you can amend these recipes to stuff “duck, goose, chicken, Cornish hens, pork chops, crown roast of pork, zucchini, cabbage, eggplant and sweet peppers”.  If you start now and try one new recipe each week then you will have a smorgasbord of taste-tested stuffings and dressings to pick from when planning your special holiday feasts.

Chapter one, “How to make the best stuffing ever,” lists safety and time-saving tips, as well as preparation advice you can use for any recipe you make.   The following chapters group recipes according to the base ingredient: Bread Stuffings, Cornbread Stuffings, Rice and Grain Stuffings, Fruit and Vegetable Stuffings and Meat Stuffings.  The librarian in me also loves the fact there is an index, so you can look up apples, bacon or cheese, for example, and quickly see which recipes include these ingredients.

If you are like me and think the stuffing is the best part of your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, then you’ll have fun with this collection of recipes.   I’m thinking “Gingered Cranberry and Almond Cornbread Stuffing” or “New England Oyster and Clam Chowder Stuffing” are two I want to try right away.

If the traditionalists in your family say you have to use the same stuffing you always make, don’t let that stop you.  Why not add a second stuffing?  Check out 50 Best Stuffings and Dressings and let us know how your dish turned out.  You can find this little book on the Staff Picks shelf.