Survivor Stories on The Point

Our topic today was books about surviving in nature, from hurricanes to plane crashes to boat accidents to ice in the Arctic. Wow! Thanks for all the many calls and e-mails and the many book suggestions that we got this morning on The Point! Mindy, Vicky, and I were delighted to have so many great suggestions! Here is the complete book list, including titles that we didn’t have time for, but which we had in the studio with us. Miss the show? You can listen tonight at 7 PM on WCAI or listen online!

Mindy’s Picks

81 Days Below Zero by Brian Murphy

Anything by Michael Tougias

Vicky’s Picks

Appalachian Trail

*Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler

*Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness by Donn Fendler – graphic novel based on the book.

*A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. 

New England and at sea:

*A Wind to Shake the World: The Story of the 1938 Hurricane by Everett S. Allen

*In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick. 

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger

The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael Tougias. 

*Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan

*Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. 

South America:

Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read

*Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free by Hector Tobar. 

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. 

Other Faraway Places:

*Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women by Deborah J. Swiss. 

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

The Long Walk: the True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz


Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets

Two if by Sea by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Jill’s Picks

The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett

The Hurricane by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall

Adrift: seventy-six days lost at sea by Steven Callahan

Down Around Midnight: a memoir of crash and survival by Robert Sabbag

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Donner Party by George Keithley

Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale

The Real Story: a guide to nonfiction reading interests by Sarah Statz Cords

Not Enough Time For

Savage Summit: the true stories of the first five women who climbed K2 by Jennifer Jordan

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs with an introduction by Thomas Mallon

Tom Brown’s Field Guide: wilderness survival by Tom Brown, Jr., with Brandt Morgan

The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 skills that will get you out alive by Rich Johnson

Alive: the story of the Andes survivors by Piers Paul Read

Listener Picks

Papillon by Henri Charrière

Isaac’s Storm by Eric Larson

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Lost in the Yellowstone by Truman Everts

No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi

One Hundred and Four Horses by Mandy Retzlaff

White Waters and Black by Gordon MacCreagh

Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Maps, Fictional & Real on the Point!

I had a very fun morning on The Point with Mindy Todd and special guest Chris Polloni, retired information specialist from the U. S. Geological Survey in Woods Hole. Thanks so much for your calls and e-mails. If you missed it, you can listen online!

Chris’s Picks

The Illustrated Longitude by Dava Sobel and William J.H. Andrewes

Infinite Perspective: two thousand years of three dimensional mapmaking by Brian Ambroziak

Maps and Memes: Redrawing Culture, Place and Identity in indigenous Communities by Gwilym Lucas Eades

The Art of Illustrated Maps: a complete guide to creative mapmaking’s history, process and inspiration by John Roman

Children’s books of interest!

Map Mania by Michael A. DiSpezio, Illustrated by Dave Garbot

Mapping the World by Sylvia A. Johnson

Maps! by Andrew Haslam

Jill’s Picks

“The Map” in Complete Poems by Elizabeth Bishop

“Map” by Wisława Szymborska in MAP: collected and last poems

Maps of the Imagination: the writer as cartographer by Peter Turchi

A History of the World in 12 Maps by Jerry Brotton

Maphead: charting the wide, weird world of geography wonks by Ken Jennings

Plotted: a literary atlas by Andrew DeGraff

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński

Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy

Listener Picks

The Map Thief by Michael Blanding

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: a walk through the forest that inspired the Hundred Acre Wood by Kathryn Aalto

“Brief History of an Atlas” a poem by Jeffrey Harrison which appeared in The New Yorker

Places To See Maps!

The Mapparium

At the Boston Public Library: Women in Cartography: five centuries of accomplishments

At Mystic Seaport: Ships, Clocks & Stars: the quest for longitude

Friday Reads:  When Paris Went Dark

Wow! This month’s Narrative Nonfiction Book Club was a big hit.  We had more than twice our average number of participants, with some new people there for the first time and several semi-regulars who come when they can.  The draw?  They were eager to share their observations of and reactions to Ronald C. Rosbottom’s 2014 best seller, When Paris Went Dark:  the City of Light under German occupation, 1940 – 1944.

Despite having seventeen people, (or maybe because we did have a large group) the discussion was deep, direct and illuminating.  Heads were nodding in agreement as speakers worked out aloud impressions they had not been able to bring to focus in their minds while reading alone.  One person would make a point and another would augment it or still another would respectfully disagree and offer an alternative opinion. We had a rich discussion from which we all came away knowing more about the book than when we entered the room.

We discussed several topics (and could have easily gone on for at least another hour), but probably the most illuminating was our discussion of chapter three, entitled “Minuet”. This chapter described in great detail the first two years of the occupation when proud Parisians politely, but coldly, acquiesced to the new order imposed by the A-list German army.  In turn, the Germans were respectful of Parisians and even helpful to Jews, stopping other Parisians from harassing them in line, for example.  Many of us learned details of daily life during this period for the first time and were surprised at how calm and civil it was.  Our discussion drew attention to the analogy of the minuet which we realized characterized the time beautifully and helped us to understand the subtleties of German-French relations in Paris … for a time.

While we all felt it was very interesting to learn the Germans perspective of the occupation and about French artists and writers who elected to remain in Paris, we had some disagreement about whether the format of the book was the best choice and if it could accurately be described as narrative.  Most books that we have discussed read like a novel. While it could be argued that When Paris Went Dark has the standard novel format with an opening, building tension, climax and denouement, it didn’t read like a novel to many of us.  It reads as a collection of anecdotes connected by interpretive descriptions.  In other words, it reads much like a history book.  Some readers wondered if focusing on a single family would allow it to be more narrative or novel like.  But then, we all agreed there was too much information that the author wanted to share to use that format and it would have been a different book entirely! 

The group found this to be a very engaging and worthwhile read.  We learned new things, saw different perspectives and examined our own beliefs.  We highly recommend this well-written and thought-provoking book. 

Fairy Tales on THE POINT!

Mindy Todd and I were joined this month by Vicky Titcomb of Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, and we talked about fairy tales for young and old. From the Grimm Brothers to Bruno Bettelheim to Anne Rice’s erotic fairy tales! Fairy tales are no longer for children only! The show will be repeated tonight at 7:00 PM or listen online at

As I mentioned on the radio this morning, we could have done an entire show on just one fairy tale! There are so many spectacular books written about fairy tales, as well as the fairy tales themselves. You’ll see this particular list includes lots of titles that we did not have a chance to talk about this morning. An hour simply isn’t enough for a fairy tale discussion!

Vicky’s Picks

A Wild Swan: and other tales by Michael Cunningham

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

After Alice and Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire

Jill’s Picks

Grimm’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Fritz Kredel

Anderson’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Arthur Szyk

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: a new English version by Philip Pullman

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (Included in Burning Your Boats: the collected short stories)

The Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel, edited & abridged by Martin West, illustrated by Sybille Schenker

Hansel & Gretel: a Toon Graphic retold by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti

Fairy Tale Baking: more than 50 enchanting cakes, bakes, and decorations by Ramla Khan

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure (part of The Sleeping Beauty Quartet)

The Uses of Enchantment: the meaning of importance of fairy tales by Bruno Bettelheim

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales & Fairy Tales edited by Donald Haase

Not Enough Time For:

Once Upon a Time: a short history of fairy tale by Marina Warner

The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, edited with an introduction and notes by Maria Tatar

Transformations by Anne Sexton

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: women writers explore their favorite fairy tales edited by Kate Bernheimer

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth. A novel about Dortchen Wild, who “told the Grimm brothers almost a quarter of all the tales in their first collections of fairy stories, when when was just nineteen years old.”

Index to Fairy Tales 1949-1972, including Folklore, Legends and Myths in Collections by Norma Olin Ireland

Listener Picks

Water Babies by Charles Kingsley

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Baba Yaga

Holidays by the Sea Weekend!

We are so delighted that the DPW has just today added holiday lights to two of our library trees on Main Street!! Thanks so much to Rocky and his crew! We are equally excited that we will have a library float in the 52nd Annual Falmouth Christmas Parade!! So look for us just a few spots before Santa!

Plus, FCTV has now given us the direct link to 5 things you don’t know about the library, in which Jill Erickson, Head of Reference & Adult Services, takes three minutes to tell you about some things you may not know about the library.

Even more exciting library news … our WIFI is working again! No matter where you are in the library or on the library lawn, just choose the connection that says “Falmouth Public Library.”

See you at the Parade! (if not sooner)

Great Books to Give on THE POINT

Book titles from today’s BOOKS TO GIVE show on THE POINT. You can listen online!

Jill’s Picks

Soup for Syria: recipes to celebrate our shared humanity. Collected & Photographed by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Selected Poems by John Updike, edited by Christopher Carduff with an introduction by Brad Leithauser. Poem read was “Not Cancelled Yet” on page 161. You can read The New Yorker review here.

The Theater of War: what ancient Greek tragedies can teach us today by Bryan Doerries. And if you would like to see what happened on the library lawn when Bryan was here, check out our Flickr page!

The Typewriter Revolution: a typist’s companion for the 21st Century by Richard Polt

Typewriter Art: a modern anthology by Barrie Tullett

The Typewriter: a graphic history of the beloved machine by Janine Vanpool.

The Typewriter (in the 21st century): a film about a machine and the people who love it, use it and repair it. Directed by Christopher Lockett

The Dogist: photographic encounters with 1,000 dogs by Elias Weiss Friedman

The Fairy Tale Girl by Susan Branch (& A Fine Romance: falling in love with the English countryside)

Dear Santa: children’s Christmas letters and wish lists, 1870 – 1920 Letters selected by Mary Harrell-Sesniak, Commentary by J. Harmon Flagstone

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George

Vicky’s Picks

Adult Fiction

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

Felicity by Mary Oliver

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor

Adult Nonfiction

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf

Natural World of Winnie the Pooh: A Walk through the forest that inspired the Hundred Acre Wood by Kathryn Aalto – Ashdown Forest in SE England

Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way by Lars Mytting

The Living Bird: 100 Years of Listening to Nature – Foreword by Barbara Kingsolver

Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe

Lost Ocean: an Inky Adventure and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford

50 Greatest Players in New England Patriots Football History by Robert W. Cohen

50 Years, 50 Moments: The Most Unforgettable Plays in Super Bowl History by Jerry Rice

Rowdy by Christopher Madsen – story of a Herreshoff yacht – its restoration and history

Children’s Picture Books

Grandma’s House – Alice Melvin

Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-Loving Rubber Ball by Emily Jenkins

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

The best books to give children are often the ones you loved yourself!! 

Listener Picks

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Being Mortal: medicine and what matters in the end by Atul Gawande

Poems from the Pond: 107 years of words and wisdom, the writing of Peggy Freydberg edited by Laurie David

The Man with the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming’s James Bond Letters by Fergus Fleming

My Kitchen Year: 136 recipes that saved my life by Ruth Reichl

The Writer’s Desk by Jill Kremenitz; introduction by John Updike (Very sadly, out of print.)

Boys in the Trees: a memoir by Carly Simon

Dog Medicine: how my dog saved me from myself by Julie Barton


We will be open TOMORROW, Wednesday, November 25th from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. We will be CLOSED on Thursday, November 26th. Reopening with our regular hours of 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Friday, November 27th.

While you are doing your errands and cleaning the house tomorrow morning, listen to THE POINT on WCAI, 90.1 FM at 9:00 AM. Mindy Todd and Jill Erickson (Head of Reference & Adult Services) on WCAI with their book suggestions!  This month we will be joined by Vicky Titcomb of Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, and we will be discussing great books to give. You can call in with your book suggestions at 866-999-4626 or e-mail Repeated at 7:00 PM or listen online at

Happy Thanksgiving to One and All!

Long Pond Water Treatment Plant Tour

One of our staff members, Maren Plueddemann, recently took a tour of the Long Pond Water Treatment Plant. I thought it was so interesting, I asked if she would tell us what she saw, and if we could post some of her photos. Here is her report with photographs over on our Flickr page.

“On Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, Water Superintendent, Steve Rafferty, conducted a tour of the Long Pond water treatment plant for a group of attendees of the Falmouth Citizens Academy. The Citizens Academy, a 9 week course of presentations by Town Departments is facilitated by Rep. David Viera.

In early November the raw water intake pipes will be directionally drilled into Long Pond.  The Water Department is scheduled to have this facility operational in Spring of 2017.”

Maritime, Marine Life & Mermaids on The Point!

This morning on The Point on WCAI we talked about all kinds of maritime books. We once again had the great pleasure of having Dennis Minsky join us this morning, and I know my reading list once again got a lot longer listening to him! 

Miss the show? It will be rebroadcast tonight at 7 PM on 90.1 FM WCAI or listen online at

Some links about selkies:

The Secret of Roan Irish (1994) Directed by John Sayles

The Ballad of the White Seal Maid” music by Lui Collins & lyrics by Jane Yolan

If YOU have a favorite book about selkies, let me know at

Dennis’ Picks

Once Removed: poems by Elizabeth Bradford

The Gray Curtain: the impact of seals, sharks & commercial fishing on the Northeast Coast by Peter Trull

Nautical Twilight: the story of a Cape Cod fishing family by J. J. Dutra

The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

Cod: a biography of the fish that changed the worldby Mark Kurlansky

Consider the Eel by Richard Schweid

The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson

Jill’s Picks

Dream Work by Mary Oliver (poems read on air Clamming & Starfish)

The Selkie Girl retold by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Warwick Hutton

The People of the Sea: a journey in search of the seal legend by David Thomson with an introduction by Seamus Heaney

Weeki Wachee: city of mermaids, a history of one of Florida’s oldest roadside attractions Text by Lu Vickers / Story research and photograph compilation by Sara Dionne

The Cape Cod Cook Book by Suzanne Cary Gruver

North: the new Nordic cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Karl Gíslason & Jody Eddy

An Exaltation of Larks: the ultimate edition by James Lipton. You can always find the non-ultimate edition at the Reference Desk!

A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife: marine mammals, seabirds, fish, and other sea life by Noble S. Proctor and Patrick J. Lynch, illustrated by Patrick J. Lynch

Cape Cod Magazine

“Where Scientists Study Sea Life: Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole Scene of Most Unusual Research” by William F. Furbush January 15, 1928, p. 13

“On Eating Whale Meat” by David MacGregor Cheny June 15, 1926, p. 11

“Sleuthing Slippery Mackerel at Woods Hole: scientists hope to locate winter resort of these most exclusive fishes” by Katharine Crosby August 1, 1926, p. 15

“What We Eat on Cape Cod” by Amy L. Handy July 15, 1926, p. 9

Listener Picks

The Hungry Ocean: a swordboat captain’s journey by Linda Greenlaw

Good books for kids:

Burt Dow Deep-Water Man by Robert McCloskey

Down, Down, Down: a journey to the bottom of the sea book by Steve Jenkins

The Deep by Claire Nouvian

Friday Reads: While I Was Gone

It isn’t often, as you can imagine, that everyone ends up in tears in our book group! Maybe it is because I had pneumonia in September or because my mother died ten years ago this month, but, gosh, this novel absolutely made me cry and wonder and imagine what family secrets do to a family. Our FPL Fiction Book Group meets twice each month, once on the 3rd Wednesday at 7:00 PM and then we meet again on Thursday morning at 10 AM, for those that prefer a morning session. There is always some difference in the reaction and different conversations, but THIS month the one constant was that everyone had LOTS to say about this novel! The basic premise is of a woman who has suffered a trauma in her early twenties, and how that comes back to haunt her after she has married a minister and now has three grown daughters, who have all moved out of the house. There are issues of faith, of family, of secrets, and certainly of loss. In fact there was so much to talk about in this novel, we didn’t have nearly enough time! I’ll be writing up a staff pick for this one very soon, and in the meantime, give yourself this as a late autumn gift to read. It does, indeed, begin right around Halloween!! As it says on the paperback cover: “Riveting … (it celebrates) what is impulsive in human nature.”

I marked my personal copy up from beginning to end! Here is one of my favorite passages:

“But here’s what I thought: that if I had a crush, it was on an earlier Eli, one who didn’t exist anymore, and the real Eli was just a vehicle for it. Or, perhaps even more complicated, that the crush—if you could call something so psychologically distorted by such a playful name—was on myself. The middle-aged Eli contained for me, of course, his youthful self, yes, But he contained me also. The self that had known him then, Myself-when-young. And that was what made him attractive to me. You read or hear every now and then of a romance staarting up between middle-aged or even elderly people who knew each other years earlier. People who throw over long-established, comfortable marriages or sensible lives for the chance to love again in a particular way—a way that connects them with who they used to be, with how it felt to be that person. And now, with Eli’s arrival in my life, I could understand the potency of that connection. The self-intoxication you pass off to yourself as intoxication with someone else.” (page 138-139)