Summer Reads eBook Edition

These three outstanding writers make a stand with deeply passionate narratives that will leave you aching for more. Here are three fantastic e-books you should add to your shelf. We’re excited to teach many eBook classes this August. If you are just beginning to get excited about ebooks, we invite you to learn more and attend a class. Visit our post to learn more!

1. When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger


Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor. Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

“A cameo from the imperious and memorable Runway fashion mag boss Miranda Priestly adds extra spice to this page-turning beach read. It’s a treat for Weisberger’s fans. ” — Publisher’s Weekly


2. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage


Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied.

One of Entertainment Weekly‘s Must-Read Books for July
“A wholly original and terrifically creepy story.” —Refinery29
One of PopSugar’s “25 Must-Read Books That Will Make July Fly By!”
A Barnes and Noble Blog Best Thriller for July!
One of the “Biggest Thrillers of the Summer” —SheReads
“Summer 2018 Must-Read” —Bookish
“Best Summer Reads for 2018” —Publishers Weekly
“One of 11 Crime Novels You Should Read in July” —Crime Reads
“A twisty, delirious read” —
“New & Noteworthy” —USA Today
“A deliciously creepy read.” —New York Post


3. Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich


By the celebrated author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich explores how we are killing ourselves to live longer, not better.

“Claiming to be “old enough to die,” feminist scholar Ehrenreich (Living with a Wild God) takes on the task of investigating America’s peculiar approach to aging, health, and wellness. She comes down hard on what she describes as “medicalized life”: the unending series of doctor’s visits, fads in wellness, and preventative-care screenings that can dominate the life of an aging person. Ehrenreich’s core philosophy holds that aging people have the right to determine their quality of life and may choose to forgo painful and generally ineffective treatments. .”—Publisher’s Weekly

Friday Reads: fact and fiction about trees


“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. 

Today’s blog is written by Christine Lynch, Falmouth Public Library employee and free-lance writer who knows a good book when she reads one.  You can usually find her at the service desk upstairs.

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A year or so ago while working on FPL’s Service Desk,  I picked up
a book that I saw being checked out numerous times.  After reading a review of
it, I grabbed the copy for myself.  I’m so glad I did because I am a nature lover
and really appreciated Peter Wohlleben‘s book, The Hidden Life of Trees:  
What They Feel, How They Communicate:  Discoveries from a Secret World.

For those of you who haven’t read it, there are abundant facts that just might
make you say, “Wow!”  I’ve talked with others who have read it and we all agree
we’ll never look at trees and their surroundings in the same way.  For people who
enjoyed the Wohlleben book, I’d like to make a recommendation.

I recently read another review of a lovely book entitled Overstory by
Richard Powers. This is a new novel, just out in 2018.  I am yet to read it, but
will check it out after it’s circulated a bit.  The premise of this book spins a
fable-like tale where trees are able to summon a group of people together in

mysterious ways in order to correct many of the world’s ills and to greatly
improve the quality of life on Earth.

Knowing what I now know from reading The Hidden Life of Trees, I believe
in the untold power of trees.  Overstory is another book that lets us know how important
trees are to our planet’s survival and that we humans should do everything to protect them.


Photo: Peter Wohlleben by Gordon Welters for “The New York Times”

Friday Reads: The Seabird’s Cry

“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.   The blog below was written by Reference Librarian, Donna Burgess.

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Friday Reads: The Seabird’s Cry: the lives and loves of the planet’s great ocean voyagers

by Adam Nicolson

In the introduction we learn that the author’s father had purchased in 1937, with funds left to him from his grandmother, the Shiant Isles, a cluster of “three small specks of grass and rock, each about a mile long, a total of 500 uninhabited acres, with one rat-ridden bothy (a small cottage) for £1300.

At age eight the author accompanied his father on an “unforgettable trip” to the Isles to observe nesting seabirds. Since then Nicholson has pursued the birds around the world, reaching out across the “great widths of the ocean.”

Ten chapters, each describing a different bird: Fulmar, Puffin, Kittiwake, Gull, Guillemot, Cormorant and Shag, Shearwater, Gannet, Great Auk and its Cousin Razorbill, Albatross, and the Seabird’s cry. And “each displays a different facet of the central question: how to exist in all three elements. They are the rarest form of creation, the only animals at home on the sea, in the air and on land.”

In the Guardian, a British newspaper, a reviewer wrote , “the author Adam Nicolson says this ‘paean to the beauty of life on the wing’ began when he read a Seamus Heaney lecture exploring French philosopher Simone Weil’s aphorism: “Obedience to the force of gravity. The greatest sin.” It says everything about this gorgeous book: a poetic, soaring exploration of 10 species of seabirds: gull, guillemot, gannet and so on – which revels in the way they “float like beings from the otherworld.”

Replete with photos of the birds, occasional lines or stanzas from poems, maps, and several pages of notes, this book is not just for ornithologists but for anyone with a fascination for birds, especially ocean going ones.

Look for The Seabird’s Cry on the New nonfiction shelf, Call # 598.17 NIC



Friday Reads: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons, Part Two!

Some of you may recall that we recently started circulating a book about Cape Cod beaches, in which we asked you to participate in the writing of the book. You can read all about that in a previous blog. In our Friday Reads today we are again offering you an opportunity to help create a book! Yes, another book has arrived in which we did not get exactly what we were expecting. We thought we were purchasing a book about drawing, but what we did NOT know was that the book had lots of empty pages in order for you to practice your drawing. Thus another book has arrived in which we hope you will help us create artwork to fill up the pages.

As we have written in the front of this book:

“This drawing book belongs to all of us! This isn’t your typical library book about drawing! Why? Because we are inviting you to draw in it. Try your hand at drawing right here, right now while the inspiration and space are in front of you. We’d love to see what you come up with. Since this book is for all of us, we thank you in advance for keeping it family-friendly.”

So by all means check out our copy of 50 Ways To Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life: practical lessons in pencil and paper by Irene Smit and Astrid Van Der Hulst and draw us a picture!

Friday Reads: The Lifeboat

“Friday Reads” is a weekly (almost) blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work. Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read. Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things. Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too. No matter the source, good reads are featured here. This week’s blog was written by Jill Erickson, head of reference and adult services and one of two librarians who run the library’s fiction book club.

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Last week the library fiction book group, also known as “Books on the Half Shell,” met to discuss our most recent selection in our six-month series of books having to do with the ocean. We have already read The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje and Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticant in this series, and the June book was The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan.

The novel focuses on a young newlywed, Grace Winter, during the summer of 1914, just two years after the Titanic sank. Grace is on an ocean liner with her new husband, Henry, crossing the Atlantic when the ship has a mysterious explosion. Henry is lost and Grace ends up in an overcrowded lifeboat. The story revolves around the lifeboat, and also the trial that occurs as a result of Grace’s time on the lifeboat.

In no time at all, we were all discussing the fact that Grace is one of the most unreliable narrators ever! The New York Public Library Literature Companion describes an unreliable narrator in this way:

“A narrator whose judgment is suspect.  Narrators may be untrustworthy for a number of reasons; they may be dishonest, self-serving, or self-deceiving, deranged or of questionable sanity, or naïve and unaware of the full significance of the events they relate. Such narration forces readers to bring their own critical capacities to bear on the account in question.”

Much of our discussion was about our narrator, and if we could believe ANYTHING she wrote. Her story is told primarily through the record she has been asked to write by her lawyer of everything that happened on the lifeboat and the events that led up to the lifeboat. As Richard Eder wrote in his Boston Globe review of the novel:

“In her account of the lifeboat and subsequent talks with her lawyer and a psychiatrist, Grace is not specifically unveiled as a self-server with secrets. Rogan has done something more complex. The veil remains; only hints come through; enough to leave the reader – intrigued, yes, and also frustrated – in doubt somewhere short of certainty. And indeed the writer has performed a fictional equivalent to a phenomenon in sub-atomic physics: that observing a phenomenon can make it slip away and alter.”

This book also introduced us via the author’s epigraph to the myth of Atrahasis. The epigraph reads: “I shall sing of the flood to all people. Listen!” Upon a bit of sleuthing, The Oxford Companion to World Mythology by David Leming informed us that Atrahasis was: “An Akkadian-Babylonian version of the ancient Mesopotamian flood myth, which influenced the Noah story of the Torah, features the flood hero Atrahasis.  One of the great things about our book group is that every month we learn something new, as well as have a great discussion.

The book group reviews were definitely mixed on this particular novel, with probably half the group really loving the book and half the group barely able to finish it.  Of course, that is the mixture for a great discussion!

Next month reference librarian Donna Burgess will lead a discussion of Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet.  New members are always welcome.  Pick up a copy of the book at the reference desk and join us on either Wednesday, August 15 at 7:00 PM or Thursday, the 16th at 10:00 AM in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room for a rousing hour talking about mermaids in a Caribbean island resort.  Sounds like fun.

Friday Reads: “Snowblind” by Ragnar Jónasson

Our Fact & Fiction book group at the East Falmouth Library embarked on a literary journey to Iceland recently.  Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson was the first stop.  This mystery is a police procedural that is the debut for the Dark Iceland series.  The setting is Siglufjordur, an isolated fishing village that is about 25 miles from the Arctic Circle.  The village is accessible by an 800 meter tunnel that can get blocked by snow in the winter.  Despite reading about the geographical hardship of the area, I was intrigued.

The next stop was a step back to the 19th Century in Iceland in the book Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.  This is an historical fiction and murder mystery. Agnes Magnusdottir is accused of killing her master and is awaiting execution.  Historically, this was the last execution in Iceland.  The initial reaction from the members of the Fact & Fiction book group was one of apprehension.  Did we really want to read this dark episode in the history of Iceland?  Our conclusion was that the writing was so engaging that we were pulled right into the drama of life during a cold bleak time.  The author opens with a quote from the Laxdaela Saga: “I was worst to the one I loved best”.  This saga that involves a love triangle is said to be one of the most romantic of the Icelandic sagas. In addition to being introduced to a new saga, there was vocabulary to learn.  It seemed like most of the action in the story took place in the badstofa, which is a sleeping area with built-in beds where everyone that was working the land slept together.  In this literary work, the stage was set with precision and the characters appeared life-like.

The Fact & Fiction book group has moved on to new endeavors, but The Man who Stole Himself: the slave odyssey of Hans Jonathan by Gisli Palsson is on my reading list.

From the summary:

“The island nation of Iceland is known for many things–majestic landscapes, volcanic eruptions, distinctive seafood–but racial diversity is not one of them. So the little-known story of Hans Jonathan, a free black man who lived and raised a family in early nineteenth-century Iceland, is improbable and compelling, the stuff of novels…”

As you can see, I enjoy books with interesting settings and historical significance.

Meg Borden
East Falmouth Branch Librarian

Welcome Elizabeth Berg!

The Falmouth Public Library is pleased to welcome best-selling author Elizabeth Berg to the Main Library on Monday, August 6, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.

Her latest, THE STORY OF ARTHUR TRULUV, is a charming tale about an unlikely friendship that develops among three people, all of whom have lost the one they love most. Elizabeth Berg will be reading from and discussing her books, Make Someone Happy: Collected Postings and Still Happy. Book purchases and signings courtesy of Eight Cousins Bookstore will follow the event.

This event is first-come, first-serve. Doors will open at 11 a.m. Please arrive at or after 11 a.m. to reserve your seat. The event will be held in the Hermann Meeting Room.

This event is generously funded by the Falmouth Public Library Board of Trustees.

Elizabeth Berg: Elizabeth Berg is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including novels, 2 short story collections, 2 compilations of Facebook compilations, a manual on writing, ESCAPING INTO THE OPEN, and a stage adaptation of her THE PULL OF THE MOON. Her books have been translated into 37 languages and 3 were turned into television movies. OPEN HOUSE was an Oprah Winfrey Book Club selection and she also appeared on the show with TALK BEFORE SLEEP. She received the New England Booksellers Association award for her body of work, The American Library Association’s Book of the Year, and was nominated for an ABBY, an award for bookseller’s favorite books. Elizabeth has been honored by both the Boston and Chicago Public Libraries and is a popular and entertaining public speaker.

Elizabeth was born on December 2, 1948 in St. Paul, Minnesota. When she was 3, her father re-enlisted in the Army and she grew up on bases from Texas to Germany, sometimes attending as many as three schools a year. Following her return to the U.S., she worked as a receptionist in a law firm, as a waitress, as an actor in an improvisational theater group and was the lead singer in a rock band. She later attended the University of Minnesota and St. Catherine’s University, where she earned a nursing degree. Her ten years as a registered nurse was her “school” for writing – taking care of patients taught her a great deal about human nature, about hope and fear and love and loss regret and triumph, and especially about relationships, often the focus of her work.

Elizabeth lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her partner Bill, her dog, Gabby, and her cat, Gracie.

Follow her on her website and on Facebook @bergbooks 

Make Someone Happy

Make Someone Happy: Collected Postings will be available for purchase by the author at the time of the event.

This is a collection of Elizabeth Berg’s most-loved Facebook posts. She was asked by many to put these short essays into book form, to create, as one reader said, something to “take to the beach, or bed, or on an airplane.” Elizabeth and her friend, the book’s designer Phyllis Florin, happily complied, and they hope that their offering will be as welcome as flowers in a mailbox.

Still Happy

Still Happy will be available for purchase by the author at the time of the event.

Still Happy is Elizabeth’s second collection of Facebook posts. Her first, Make Someone Happy, did indeed make many people happy, and so, due to popular demand, she has put together a second volume, which includes “The Book of Homer,” a tribute to her beloved dog who recently died. Still Happy exemplifies Berg’s gift, as the Boston Globe said, “in her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the remarkable in the everyday.”

Welcome Sarah DiGregorio!

The Falmouth Public Library is pleased to welcome Sarah DiGregorio on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

Join us for a culinary adventure with James Beard-nominated food writer, Sarah DiGregorio. Her new book features 120 slow-cooker recipes for people who love food. Sarah DiGregorio has reinvented slow cooking for a generation that cooks for fun and flavor.

All are welcome to attend. This event is free and open to the public.

Registration has closed for [tasting] samples. There may be sample spaces available at the time of the event. 

Book purchases and signings courtesy of Eight Cousins Bookstore will follow the event.

Sarah DiGregorio: Sarah DiGregorio is a James Beard-nominated freelance food writer, editor, and recipe developer, and has been working in food media for 14 years. She has been a staff food editor at Food & Wine, Parade, and Food Network Magazine. Most recently, she ran the food section at Buzzfeed. As a freelancer, she has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Gastronomica. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter @sarahdigregorio

Adventures in Slow-Cooking

Request your copy

“The James Beard-nominated food writer revamps the slow cooker for the modern home cook, providing ingenious ideas and more than 100 delicious recipes for maximizing this favorite time-saving kitchen appliance and making it easier than ever to use. Sarah DiGregorio shares the nostalgia most of us feel when it comes to slow cookers. Her first memory of slow-cooker cooking is her grandmother’s pot roast. While these handy devices have been time savers for incredibly busy lives, traditional slow cooker food is sometimes underwhelming. Now, Sarah, an experienced food professional, has reinvented slow cooking for a generation that cooks for fun and flavor, taking a fresh approach to reclaim this versatile tool without sacrificing quality or taste. For Sarah, it’s not just about getting dinner on the table–it’s about using a slow cooker to make fabulous dinners like herb oil poached shrimp or the most perfect sticky toffee pudding for dessert. It’s about rethinking how to use this magic appliance–such as throwing a biryani dinner party with the slow cooker at the center of the table. Showcasing a beautiful, engaging design, inviting color photographs, and 105 original, innovative recipes thoroughly tested in a variety of brands of slow cookers, Adventures in Slow Cooking provides a repertoire of delicious food for any time of day.”

“An exciting and refreshingly unbiased guide to slow cooking… even die-hard fans of these appliances will learn something new.”  – Library Journal

“Let go of your preconceived ideas about slow-cooking and let this book be a guide as you seek to answer that central question, the only one that matters: What can this tool do?” – Grant Achatz

Full of the fiendishly delicious meats you might expect… it’s also brimming with smart tips, common sense, and real ingenuity. After seeing Sarah DiGregorio’s genius methods for cooking eggplant, beets, and caramelized onions in a slow cooker, I may never go back.” – Amy Thielen

This book breathes new life into the slow cooker, transforming its focus from convenience tool to flavor enhancer and beyond. Sarah DiGregorio’s inspiring new recipes prove that this seemingly vintage appliance certainly does have a place in the modern kitchen.” – Molly Yeh

“For her extraordinary debut book, Sarah DiGregorio’s meticulously tested recipes for the slow cooker push beyond the boundaries of convention and into new realms of culinary joy.” – Dana Cowin

“From cooking traditional Swedish food to African dishes, I’ve always been deeply inspired by slow cooking. Sarah DiGregorio’s recipes make it fun and delicious. Good food just takes time.” – Marcus Samuelsson

“The recipes are spot-on… but just as exciting are her expert tips about the equipment itself. It’s clear that DiGregorio has spent a lot of time with her slow cooker and she has endless knowledge for slow-cooking newbies and veterans alike.” – Food and Wine

Friday Reads: Endangered Species Day

“Friday Reads” is a weekly (almost) blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

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

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

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


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


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

Friday Reads: How to Window Box

“Friday Reads” is a weekly (almost) blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here.  

This week’s blog is written by Reference Librarian, Donna Burgess, who loves to garden.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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