Artist Gary Boehk Displays at FPL Art Walk

Local artist, Gary Boehk, has his work on exhibit this month in the Falmouth Public Library Art Walk. Gary has been painting scenes of West Falmouth and the Cape area for many years. He also makes excursions to Provence, France to study and paint. Boehk prefers painting outside because the elements of the environment play a major role in inspiring choices of composition, shapes, and color in his works. He explains that a beautiful landscape is presented by nature in saturated detail, it is up to the artist to make the choices of what to include and what to leave out in the final painting. As the morning or afternoon painting session progresses the dynamics of the scene are changing and the artist must anticipate and finish the painting in the best light, usually a painting takes 3-4 hours.

“Fresh brush strokes and sensitivity to place, color, and light and the harmonious interaction of human and natural elements characterize his plein-air paintings.”


President Obama’s Summer Reading List

Every summer we are eager to see what summer reading books President Obama might have brought with him to the Vineyard. Way back in 2009 we actually sent the President and his family CLAMS library cards, along with a copy of Cape Cod and the Islands : where beauty and history meet by Kathryn Kleekamp and a history of the Falmouth Public Library.  We never heard back, but every summer we hope that he might actually visit one of the many lovely public libraries on the Vineyard.

His list this year is as follows:

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

We can’t help but notice that one of these titles was mentioned on the book radio show that I do the last Wednesday of every month with Mindy Todd on WCAI!  Local author, Peter Abrahams just last month recommended Barbarian Days: a surfing life by William Finnegan. Do you think the President was listening?!



In Search of Falmouth Yearbooks

The Falmouth Public Library is searching for two volumes of the Lawrencian, the yearbook for the Lawrence High School, to borrow so that we might have a complete set to digitize. The years we are completely missing are 1932 and 1971, but we are also interested in yearbooks from 1931 to 1937. If you have copies of any of these years, we would love to borrow them, so that we might include them in our digitization project of the Falmouth yearbooks. They would be returned to you as soon as we are done with the project. We know our Falmouth Enterprise digital project has been enormously helpful to people, and we think this project will be as well. You can email us at if you have any questions about the project or have a yearbook we might borrow. Many thanks!

Beach Books on The Point

Author Peter Abrahams talked books with Mindy Todd & Jill Erickson, Head of Reference & Adult Services at FPL this morning on WCAI. What did today’s books all have in common? They all had some relationship to the beach! It was certainly a wide ranging selection from Proust to pirates to sandcastles. Here is the list of all the titles mentioned, including our listener picks. Let us know what your favorite book about or set on the beach is!

Peter’s Picks

Deep by James Nestor
Find a Way by Diana Nyad
Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
The World in the Curl by Peter Westwick
Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly
Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard
Sandcastles Made Simple by Lucinda Wierenga
Sharks of the World by Leonard Compagno
Aubrey/Maturin series of novels by Patrick O’Brian, particularly Master and Commander and Reverse of the Medal
Jill’s Picks
The Beach Book, a waterproof book of beach related short stories
Seaside Quilts by Carol C. Porter & Rebecca J. Hansen
Sea Glass Crafts by C. S. Lambert
Pure Sea Glass by Richard LaMotte
Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by Marcel Proust, translated by James Grieve
Listener Picks
The Seaside Naturalist by Deborah A. Coulombe
Enduring Shore by Paul Schneider

Never forget a title again … opt in to your reading history!

More often than you can imagine, we have people come to the reference desk desperate to find a book they once read. Usually the person at the desk will say something like, “I’m looking for a short novel with a red cover that was set in the 19th century. I read it a few years ago, and I loved it, but I can’ t remember the author or the title!” There are lots of ways we might look for this book. We might try Novelist, we might actually have read the book, we might ask other librarians, but there is a really great way for you to remember what you have read! Keep an online list, which you can do thanks to the CLAMS catalog! Reading history to the rescue!

Have you ever tried to remember the title of the book you read awhile ago but your mind goes blank? Or you’ve read three books in a series, but can’t recall if they were in the right order? Or who the author was? You can solve these mysteries by opting into Reading History in your CLAMS account! Once you’ve Opted in, all future items checked out on your account will be recorded in your Reading History. You can decide if you want the computer to keep a list of those titles. You will be able to delete specific items from your list, to delete the list altogether or to ‘Opt Out” at any time. To delete titles on your list, simply mark the titles. Then, click on the Delete Marked button.

To opt out of My Reading History altogether, delete all of the titles on your list, then, click on the Opt Out button. The computer will no longer keep a record of what you borrowed. But if you want to remember that you read (well, at least checked out) A Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer in 2006, you definitely want to opt in! Give it a try!

And by the way, even though it is called “reading history” it also remembers the DVDs and books on CD and musical CDs and everything else you might check out, not just the books!

Classical Rocks!

No, Falmouth does not have  Beethoven’s portrait mowed into its fields. But, were you stirred by the Beethoven symphony you just heard on the radio (on Cape Cod’s own 107.5 FM WFCC) and you want to hear it again? Are you getting ready to play a string quartet or learn a choral piece and you want an idea of how it should sound? Will you be attending one of the Cape’s wonderful summer chamber music concerts, but you’d like an audio preview of one or all of the pieces being played? Well then, head over to Falmouth Public Library’s collection of over 600 classical music CDs.

Where are the library’s CDs kept?  The CDs are located in the library’s classical music CD section, near the books. Each classical CD is identified by a pink round sticker.

How to find a CD at Falmouth Public Library

  • Browse the music CD shelves. Every CD in the classical section is identified by a pink sticker along with its call number. Classical music CDs are generally arranged on the shelf by composer.
  • Check the online catalog. You can search for a piece of music using any of these approaches: composer, musical genre, conductor, performer, group, and name of the piece.
    For instance, you can search for Bach or cellist Yo-Yo Ma or the piece, Kol Nidre, or Symphony 5
  • Ask for Help in person at the Reference/Info Desk, by phone (508/457-2555, ext. 6), by email (

What is the borrowing period for CDs?

  • CDs may be borrowed for 14 days. A CD may be renewed if no one has put a hold on it.

Are there other kinds of music CDs at FPL?  YES! Here are the CD music categories at Falmouth Public Library:  country & western, folk, holiday, international, jazz, opera, popular, R&R, and Stage (movie and tv scores, musicals).

FPL Classical CD trivia:

The most often borrowed Classical CDs at FPL are Beethoven sonatas (Pathetique, Moonlight and Appassionata), Beethoven’s 9 Symphonies, and the Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello!

At least 637 Classical CDs have been borrowed in the past year.

Steppin’ out. Want to hear a live performance of Cape Cod chamber music?  Here are some options.

MBL Summer Concert featuring Curtis on Tour. This summer’s program includes a new work, “Forged Sanctuaries” composed by Curtis alumnus Jonathan Bailey Holland, written in inspiration of the Cape Cod National Seashore and in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. The commissioning and touring of this work is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Ticket order form online.

The Meetinghouse Chamber Music Festival  brings well-known musicians to Cape Cod to present concerts in intimate settings and always in collaboration with Cape Cod musicians. It presents concerts in Orleans and Cotuit during June and July. Here is their schedule. Purchase tickets at the venue.

The Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival  presents four weeks of intensive chamber music programming in a variety of Cape locations in July and August, as well as several concerts throughout the rest of the year. Click here to find their summer concert schedule. Tickets may be purchased online.

The Buzzards Bay Musicfest sponsors concerts July 13th – 17th, 2016. Staged in Marion, MA at Tabor Academy’s Fireman Center, the series opens and closes with orchestral concerts, with two chamber music concerts and a jazz performance held in-between.  A highlight of the festival is the Children’s Open Rehearsal, a unique opportunity for young and aspiring musicians.  All concerts are free, but donations are welcome.

Judy Donn
Reference Librarian


Summer Reading for Kids on the Point

Today on The Point, Book Show Edition, Mindy Todd and Jill Erickson, Head of Reference and Adult Services, were joined by Mary E. Cronin to talk about great summer reads for kids. The phones were not working this morning, so feel free to leave us a comment with your suggestions!

Mindy’s Pick

Time for Bed by Mem Fox

Jill’s Picks

Lumberjanes: beware the kitten holy by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

The View from the Cheap Seats: selected nonfiction by Neil Gaiman. Essay from collection: “What the [Very Bad Swearword] is a Children’s Book, Anyway?”

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell

The Penderwicks: a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy by Jeanne Birdsall (the 1st of what is now 4 books about the family)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis

Beach House by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Amy June Bates

The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin

Firefly July selected by Paul Bl. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is challenging all residents of Massachusetts to read four books this summer – and to share their experience with others. Join the conversation and tell them, #WhatsYourFour?

Laura Ford’s blog about summer reading can be found here.


Mary’s Picks

Picture Books

Middle Grades

  • DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier… (graphic novel, theater kids)
  • Donna Gephardt’s LILY AND DUNKIN…transgender character, “outsiders”
  • Varian Johnson THE GREAT GREENE HEIST and TO CATCH A CHEAT… main character is Jackson Greene (a smooth operator), a middle school caper reminiscent of Oceans 11 to save the school election from being stolen by the wrong kid.
  • PAX by Sara Pennypacker… an animal story… a boy main character…. Local author.
  • DISTANCE TO HOME, Jenn Barnes… baseball, girl athlete main character, will appeal to fans of CC Baseball League
  • Kekla Magoon’s CAMO GIRL…. Ella is in middle school, is biracial (a black parent and a white parent) and has uneven skin tone, earning her the nickname Camo Girl. A story about about popularity, loyalty, friendship, middle school.
  • Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s FISH IN A TREE… a girl battles with reading difficulties, adopting a trouble-making personality as a smoke screen
  • ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams-Garcia…Three African American sisters go to visit the mother who left them, in 1968 Oakland, California…. The beginning of a trilogy.

Young Adult

  • Ellen Wittlinger, LOCAL GIRL SWEPT AWAY, a juicy Provincetown story… a story of 4 friends, one of whom gets swept away in stormy weather…. And a mystery unravels.
  • A. Barson’s CHARLOTTE CUTS IT OUT… two girls who are juniors in a cosmetology arts program enter a competition, and Charlotte makes a bet with her mother, who wants her to give up cosmetology for college.
  • SIMON VS. THE HOMOSAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli… Simon struggles to come out to himself and his wonderfully quirky family, approaching a new romance and unraveling the mystery behind some secret messages.

Reading without walls challenge can be found here.

Listener Suggestion

“Regarding books for children, have you talked about Garth Nix’s trilogy –Abhorsen?  The books, Sabriel, Lariel and Abhorsen, go from wonderful to more fabulous, and create a world that I loved to be in.  I read it as an adult, but also have given it to older adults.”


Whales and Whaling on The Point

This morning on WCAI naturalist Dennis Minsky and Head of Reference & Adult Services, Jill Erickson joined Mindy Todd to talk about books having to do with whales and whaling. Miss the show? You can listen online!

Dennis’s Picks

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare

Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George

Grayson by Lynne Cox

A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat

The Moon by Whale Light by Diane Ackerman

Whale by Joe Roman

Cape Cod Shore Whaling by John Braginton-Smith and Duncan Oliver

Wings In the Sea: the humpback whale by Lois King Winn & Howard E. Winn

The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins by Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell

Moby Dick Big Read Listen to Moby-Dick online read by Tilda Swinton, Dennis Minsky, Simon Callow and many others.

Jill’s Picks

Treasures of the Whaling Museum: touchstones to the region’s past

A Whaler’s Dictionary by Dan Beachy-Quick

Moby-Dick in Pictures: one drawing for every page by Matt Kish

Living with Whales: documents and oral histories of native New England whaling history edited by Nancy Shoemaker

“The Wellfleet Whale” by Stanley Kunitz included in Passing Through: the later poems new and selected

The Whiteness of the Whale by David Poyer

Fluke Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore

Picture Books

Amos & Boris by William Steig

Whale Trails Before and Now by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by G. Brain Karas

The Stranded Whale by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Melanie Cataldo

An Ocean World by Peter Sis

We pre-recorded this show, but our twitter feed got some book suggestions!

If You Want to See a Whale words by Julie Fogliano; pictures by Erin E. Stead

The Hunt for the Cranberries in Moby-Dick, An Adventure Story

Sometimes one just can’t get to the bottom of where a misquotation began. This might be one of those times, although it isn’t for lack of trying to find that bottom. This story begins with a phone call from an author who wanted to use a quote from Moby-Dick in a book she is writing. Her hunch was that the quotation was not from Moby-Dick, and wanted to know if we could help.

So I started with Project Gutenberg (a digital library of free ebooks.) I brought up the text of Moby-Dick, and did a quick search for the word cranberries as that was the most distinguishing word, in the possibly Melville quotation. The quotation in question is:

“Go out with the crazy Captain Ahab? Never! He flat refused to take cranberries aboard. A man could get scurvy, or worse, whaling with the likes of ‘im.”

No indication in Project Gutenberg that the word cranberries ever existed in the text (or scurvy or ‘im for that matter.) I did some more searching on the web, and came to an article by Steven Raichlen (Writer, author, and host of BBQ University and Primal Grill on PBS) that was published by the Los Angeles Times in 1989. That article is called “Humble Cranberry a Big Dollar Industry” and, yes, has the same quotation, except with the word “him” instead of “’im” and a period instead of an exclamation point. This was the oldest article I could find.  I tried to contact Steven Raichlen via twitter with no luck, but I did get a response from another twitter account.  @DicktheGame, which is the twitter account run by the creator of a card game based on Moby-Dick, tweeted to us:

“@falpublib @sraichlen The only berries mentioned in Moby-Dick are straw- (ch. 87), black- (ch. 99), and mul- (ch. 133).”

This seemed like more evidence that the quote was not written by Melville. So who might write such a quote? I kept searching for other places the quotation had been used, and came across Rooted in America: foodlore of popular fruits and vegetables edited by David Scofield Wilson and Angus Kress Gillespie (published in 1999). At last! A citation! (Almost as good as finding a white whale.) The citation reads in its entirety: “Cranberry World plaque, Plymouth, Mass.”

And thus I began investigating Cranberry World in Plymouth. As it turns out Cranberry World closed in 2001, and according to an article in South Coast Today, was moved to Edaville Railroad in Carver. While investigating the origins of Cranberry World, I discovered (thanks to the amazing Internet Archive) the wonderful Cranberries: the national cranberry magazine, which had several articles about title Cranberry World.  However, no mention of Moby-Dick.

As I kept searching for the origins of this quote, I kept finding other books that cited the quotation as a passage from Moby-Dick. In Never Eat Your Heart Out by Judith Moore (published in 1997) I found this:

“(Later, talking to a well-read friend about cranberries, I learned that Melville mentions them in Moby-Dick: “Go out with that crazy Captain Ahab? Never! He flat refused to take cranberries aboard. A man could get scurvy, or worse, whaling with the likes of ‘im.”) No bibliography, no citation, no footnote.

In 2002, Nancy Cappelloni in her book Cranberry Cooking For All Seasons wrote:

“Before long, cranberries were being loaded aboard ships embarking on long voyages. It was a staple item for American whaling and clipper ships. In Herman Melville’s classic Moby-Dick, a Nantucket seamen (i.e.) parlays the significance of cranberries to the inexperienced Ishmael: “Go out with that crazy Captain Ahab? Never! He flat refused to take cranberries aboard. A man could get scurvy, or worse, whaling with the likes of ‘im.”

Moving onward, in 2012, Robert S. Cox and Jacob Walker wrote a book called Massachusetts Cranberry Culture: a history from bog to table. They wrote:

“Carried aboard ship as a preventive against scurvy, the sailors themselves helped spread a taste for the favored fruit. It is not coincidental that one of the indicators of Captain Ahab’s addled state of mind in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was his refusal to take stores of the fruit aboard. ‘Go out with that crazy captain Ahab?’ one whaler exclaimed. ‘Never! He flat refused to take cranberries aboard. A man could get scurvy, or worse, whaling with the likes of ‘im.’ Like a good Windsor chair or wicked bottle of rum, cranberries spoke of New England, and in good New England fashion they came off not as a luxury or decadent delicacy but as a tart and useful thing.”

In 2014 the National Geographic blog “The Plate” wrote an article by Rebecca Rupp called Bitter Berries: the Historic Battle for Cranberry Power Bars, and yes they too repeat this so-called Melville quotation!  Adding: “They [cranberries] were popular enough among sailors for lack of cranberries to be cause for complaint.”

And one last example, from a book published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2015, and called The Carrot Purple and Other Curious Stories of the Food We Eat by Joel S. Denker.

“A store of cranberries was considered essential for sea journeys. Kept in barrels of spring water, they were eaten to prevent scurvy. In Melville’s Moby-Dick, a sailor was angered by Captain Ahab’s objection to carrying them on his ship: ‘Go out with the crazy Captain Ahab? Never! He flat refused to take cranberries aboard. A man could get scurvy, or worse, sailing with the likes of ‘im.”

Another reference librarian, who has been helping with the investigation, did get a response from Steven Raichlen, via his webpage, who responded: “Thanks for writing. Sorry, I don’t have that reference offhand.  I may have gotten it from a secondary source.” An inquiry to the Ocean Spray Company has yet to get a response, although I am still hopeful they will find a mention of the guy that got the idea to misquote Melville somewhere in their company archives. I have been told that Ocean Spray no longer has a librarian or an archivist anymore (which breaks my heart for a whole variety of reasons.)

The author who began this question contacted the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and their senior maritime historian thought that there was some possibility that the quotation came from some spurious edition of Moby-Dick. Thus, I sent a note off to Melville scholar, Thomas Tanselle, to see if he might have ever come across this quotation somewhere other than on a plaque in Cranberry World. Much to my delight, Mr. Tanselle replied, and writes:

“I think you must be right that this quote was made up by Ocean Spray. It certainly isn’t in Moby-Dick. And while some editions of the book are less reliable textually than others, I can’t imagine that this line got into any of them.”

The one thing I am sure of is that Edaville USA opens on May 28th this year, and I am hoping to be there and discover that the Cranberry Museum is still there and still featuring the quotation on a plaque! What advertising copywriter wouldn’t want their product mentioned in Moby-Dick?! In the meantime, if you are planning to write another book or article about cranberries, please don’t credit Melville with this cranberry quote!

If you have any photographs of the Cranberry Museum plaque, please let me know! I would love to see it! You can reach me at

12 April 2016

I have an update, and an answer from Ocean Spray!

They write: “Unfortunately, we were unable to find a picture of the actual plaque. However, we were able to find a page with the quote you are looking for. It is below.

‘Go out with that crazy captain Ahab? Never! He flat refused to take cranberries aboard. A man could get scurvy, or worse, whaling with the

likes of ‘im.’ —The American Whaleman.”

However, no author and no page number were given. So I found a digital copy of The American Whaleman by Elmo Paul Hohman, published in 1894, and searched the text. No cranberries, although quite a bit on Moby-Dick and even mention of scurvy. I wrote back to Ocean Spray to see if they had an author or a page number, and the response I got was: “Yes, it is from the book you mentioned, but unfortunately, we do not know the page number that it was on.” Mind you, I didn’t say the quote was from that book, I asked them what book the quote was from. So while I am glad to have heard from Ocean Spray, I still can’t say I have gotten to the bottom of the mystery.

Oh, and I was just at the Public Library Association Conference, and did have a chat with the Rowman & Littlefield representatives. They tell me that they will notify the author, and should the book go into a second printing, it is possible the error will be corrected!

Theater Books on The Point!

Today Mindy Todd, Pamela Wills, and I talked about books having to do with the theater. We suspect many of you were in your gardens, enjoying this glorious morning, so if you missed the show this morning, you can always listen online! It will also be rebroadcast this evening at 7:00 PM on WCAI. So many books, and so little time! You will see in the below lists lots of titles for which we had no time this morning, but are well worth seeking out. There are so many great books about the theater!

Jill’s Picks

Suspended Worlds: Historic Theater Scenery in Northern New England by Christine Hadsel

The Best Plays of 1921 – 1922 and the Year Book of the Drama in America edited by Burns Mantle

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

The Garrick Year by Margaret Drabble (available via the Commonwealth Catalog)

The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton

Summer Stock: an American Theatrical Phenomenon by Martha Schmoyer LoMonaco

Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim

Shakespeare in America: an anthology from the revolution to now edited by James Shapiro

Not Enough Time For:

Edward Gorey Plays Cape Cod by Carol Verburg

The Flick by Annie Baker (and there is a great article about The Flick and the pleasure of reading plays aloud on Slate by Dan Kois.)

Joy Ride: show people and their shows by John Lahr

Curtain Up: Agatha Christie a life in the theatre by Julius Green (mentions the Vineyard Gazette & The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse)

Sarah: the life of Sarah Bernhardt by Robert Gottlieb

The American Stage: writing on theater from Washington Irving to Tony Kushner

The Secret Life of the American Musical: how Broadway shows are built by Jack Viertel

Children’s Picture Books

Amandina by Sergio Ruzzier

Rifka Takes a Bow by Betty Rosenberg Perlov with illustrations by Cosei Kawa

The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard by Gregory Rogers

Pamela’s Picks

Razzle Dazzle: the battle for Broadway by Michael Riedel

Alexander Hamilton: American by Richard Brookhiser

Oz: the complete collection by L. Frank Baum

Anything by Gregory Maguire beginning with Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the west

Les Misérables. (the film) And there is a book too, by Victor Hugo!