Friday Reads: A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder

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

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 This Friday Reads is a slight departure from my usual fare.  The other day I was scanning a cart of new books and a fun looking book cover caught my eye.  With a purple background and a tongue in cheek drawing of a Victorian couple on the cover, A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, seemed like just the thing to chill out with after a hot and hectic month.  I didn’t even bother to read the summary or beyond the first blurb on the back.  Since New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen called it “A delightful tale of shenanigans among the British aristocracy.” that was enough for me.

And indeed it was delightful.  Debut author Dianne Freeman captured the era well – exposing the absurdities in aristocratic etiquette.  Her characters were enjoyable and the plot was fun in this cozy mystery.

Did you know cozy mysteries or cozies are terms book mavens use to describe a particular type of mystery?  They are easy reads featuring everyday people following clues to solve a neighborhood crime, enlisting the help of neighbors, relatives or friends.  Often set in small towns or attractive locales, there is no sex, violence or grave danger.  They are very popular with readers who enjoy puzzles and seeing the average joe succeed, because all of the mysteries are successfully solved, of course!

If you were a fan of the exceedingly popular PBS TV series Downton Abbey, then this book might remind you of the witty retorts often employed in the show and of a few episodes featuring Lady Mary and one of her lovers who dies in her bed.  I won’t go any further, except to say this book is lighter and more amusing than the TV show.

This is Dianne Freeman’s first book, after a career in corporate finance, and I am happy to see that she is working on another “Countess of Harleigh Mystery”.  I look forward to that and hopefully many more.  If you are a fan of Agatha Christie or Georgette Heyer, then Dianne Freeman will likely appeal to you too.  Look for A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder on the Staff Picks shelf … and be sure to look closely at the cover.

Fun Summer Reads

July new releases are on the fun side of fiction. These reads would be great by a pool, at the lake, in a hammock, on a plane or at your favorite air-conditioned coffee shop. Wherever you’re hanging out this summer, take a good book!

1. Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle Giordano


At 38, Paris native Camille feels like happiness has eluded here even though she has a good job, a loving husband and a wonderful son. She searches for the path to joy and finds Claude, a routinologist, who offers unique advice. Camille embarks on a journey full of surprising escapades, creative capers and deep meaning.

A charming, feel-good and universal story of one woman’s journey from boredom and dissatisfaction to happiness and fulfilment–for fans of Hector and The Search for Happiness and Eat, Pray, Love.

“…Funny, sweet, and not without a few important happy-life tips.” —Good Housekeeping

2. When We Found Home by Susan Mallery


It is difficult to savor life with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Callie Smith is confused when she discovers she has a brother and a sister. Her brother Malcolm grew up with affection, wealth and privilege. Her sister Keira is a streetwise 12-year-old. While Callie doesn’t love being alone, it’s safe. Warily she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping for a whole new life.

Starting over is messy. Callie and Keira bond, but aren’t with their posh new lifestyle. Malcolm feels like the odd man out in his own home. He turned a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, but he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family—blended by surprise, not by choice—and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

3. The Lido by Libby Page


Rosemary Peterson has lived in Brixton, London, all her life but everything is changing. The library where she used to work has closed. The family grocery store has become a trendy bar. And now the lido, an outdoor pool where she’s swum daily since its opening, is threatened with closure. It was at the lido that Rosemary escaped the devastation of World War II; fell in love with her husband, George; and found community during her marriage and since George’s death.

Twentysomething Kate Matthews feels desperately alone as a new Brixton resident. A once promising writer, she now covers forgettable stories for her local paper. When she’s assigned to write about the lido’s closing Kate’s portrait of the pool focuses on Rosemary. Their friendship blossoms as Rosemary slowly opens up to Kate.

“A delicious debut about the endearing friendship between two women who join forces to save the town pool. Refreshing, funny and heartwarming, The Lido is must read.”—Laura Dave, national bestselling author of Eight Hundred Grapes and Hello, Sunshine

28 #BlackJoy Middle Grade Novels

Back in March, I posted about 28 #BlackJoy Picture Books because #weneeddiversebooks that feature Black protagonists just living their lives. The post was inspired by my frustration with the book lists faithfully trotted out every February for Black History Month. They were all full of books about Black trauma. So I decided to make a list which turned out to be much more popular than I expected—a big thank you to everyone who commented to let me know the recommendations were useful!

I didn’t want to leave out the older kids (sorry it’s taken so long), so here are 28 #BlackJoy Middle Grade Novels. In order to highlight authors who are writing right now, the list features predominately newer titles (most published within the last five years). Most titles are #ownvoices.

As I said in my previous post books about slavery are important. Books about Jim Crow America are important. Books about the Civil Rights Era are important. Books that feature Black characters experiencing joy are also important. These #BlackJoy books are great reads for Black History Month and all year long!




Children’s Room & North Branch

P.S. Click on images to enlarge. When you click the “Click here to request!” link a new tab will open. In the new tab, click on the title of the book you’re interested in to check availability/request it.


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

Our third community book experiment is underway! First we put out Cape Cod Notebook: an alternative guidebook to the beaches of Cape Cod by Betsy Medvedovsky to get people to write about their favorite beach, then we added 50 Ways To Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life: practical lessons in pencil and paper by Irene Smit & Astrid Van Der Hulst to let people draw in one of our books. Book three of our summer program books event is 104 Things to Photograph! This book includes 104 prompts to inspire photographers. We have added a few photos of our own to get you started! Join us by checking out the book, taking a photo, printing it out, and adding it to our book which is our latest community art project.

We’re not sure where we first read about this photography book, but here is what the publisher says:

“Featuring prompts under each of 104 display slots, this guided photo album will help photographers reach new heights of creativity as they seek out subjects ranging from the everyday to the unusual. Shutterbugs will treasure this keepsake as an open invitation to see the world with fresh eyes as well as a fantastic place to capture the results.”

We hope that we get enough Falmouth photographers to check this out and add a photo that the book ends up in our Reference Local History collection!

Library’s Historical Documents are Digitized

The preservation of the Falmouth Public Library’s historical documents is now complete.

Through a grant by the Falmouth Community Preservation Fund in 2010 , the Library was enabled to rebind documents and records dating back to 1792.

Recently, the collection was digitized by the Digital Commonwealth, a non-profit collaborative organization that helps Massachusetts libraries create, manage, and disseminate  cultural heritage materials.

The collection may be viewed in full on the Internet Archives.

Books to Inspire Travel on The Point with Mindy Todd

This weeks book show on WCAI was pre-recorded, and if you listened in the morning (during the pledge drive) you would have heard a shortened version of the show, but the evening version will be the full show. You can also, as always, listen online! Our topic was books having to do with travel. Because the show was not live, we also could not take any of your calls or read any of your e-mails. However, if you have a favorite travel book that you would like to add to our list, just send us a comment via this post.

We were delighted that Kellie Porter, a librarian at the Woods Hole Library, joined us for the very first time! We definitely hope she returns for another show in the near future. Looking forward to our August show, we’ll be talking books about pirates with author Peter Abrahams. Every month the book show is broadcast on the last Wednesday of the month, and if you happen to have missed a show, you can listen to them all online at the WCAI web page.

Kellie’s Picks

Time Out in Palestine by Glynnis Fawkes

The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide by Jim Bell

My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

The Odyssey of Homer translated by Emily Wilson

Around the World in 50 Ways by Lonely Planet Kids

The Solo Travel Handbook by Lonely Planet

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane


Jill’s Picks

The Novel Cure: from abandonment to zestlessness: 751 books to
cure what ails you by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin. “The Ten
Best Novels to Read on a Train” page 67. “The Ten Best Novels to
Read in a Hammock” page 375.

Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras & Ella Morton. Interested in the Atlas Obscura web page? Here is the link!

Unfathomable City: a New Orleans Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and
Rebecca Snedeker. You might also be interested in Nonstop Metropolis: a New York City Atlas and  Infinite City: a San Francisco Atlas.

The Old Ways: a journey on foot by Robert Macfarlane

Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie

Le Road Trip: a traveler’s journal of love and France by Vivian Swift

Gardens of Awe and Folly: a traveler’s journal on the meaning of life
and gardening by Vivian Swift

Explorers’ Sketchbooks: the art of discovery & adventure by Huw Lewis-Jones & Kari Herbert with a foreword by Robert MacFarlane

The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 11, published in 2017, edited by Lavinia

Travel Books to Share with Children

The Penny Whistle Traveling With Kids Book by Meredith Brokaw
and Annie Gilbar, illustrated by Jill Weber

Storybook Travels: from Eloise’s New York to Harry Potter’s London,
visits to 30 of the best-loved landmarks in children’s literature by
Colleen Dunn Bates and Susan LaTempa

All Aboard: a traveling alphabet by Bill Mayer

No time for this, but GRANTA: the magazine of new writing did a great travel issue. It is the “Journeys” issue number 138, Winter 2017. It includes many meditations on the question “Is Travel Writing Dead?” and Falmouth Public Library subscribes so you can request this issue via CLAMS!


There’s No Better Time

There’s no better time to learn how to borrow and download ebooks from Overdrive. We’re excited to announce that we will be holding how-to sessions throughout the month of August for anyone who is interested in learning how to borrow and download ebooks from Overdrive using their library card. CLAMS has just launched a Pilot Program together with four Massachusetts Library Networks that allows you to choose from over 100,000 ebooks with your CLAMS library card. We would love to show you how to get started. No registration is required.


Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August, 1-2 PM (August 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, & 29), Bay Meeting Room, Main Library

What you will need:
– CLAMS library card number and PIN
– Your preferred reading device (iPad, Kindle Fire, etc)

What you may need:
– Apple ID and password
– Amazon account information (email and password)

We’re expanding!

The Library Networks are joining together to bring you more books. The new eBook project is being led by the Automated Resource Sharing Networks. As a network joins, their eBooks become available to loan to residents outside their own network.

Now, for a limited time, you have the ability to browse and borrow from neighboring CW MARSMinuteman Library NetworkOld Colony Library Network and SAILS Library Network

The new eBook project takes that progress to next level.  It is the latest example of libraries and library organizations working together to share resources and increase access for patrons. . Other than the membership fees public libraries already pay to be in an automated network, there is no additional cost to the public library. With federal IMLS funding and state funding, the MBLC is paying the OverDrive platform fee; MLS is assisting school libraries and libraries that are not members in one of the networks; networks will continue to purchase eBooks and eAudiobooks for their own network that can now be shared across networks. Once all networks join, there will be 345 participating public libraries with an estimated shared collection of over 350,000.

Residents can learn more about the new eBook pilot on

You may need a new app

To begin accessing books, download OverDrive’s Libby App. It will give you the easiest access to the expanded eBook collection. If you are blind or visually impaired, the OverDrive app will better serve you. To download, use the app store on your device, or visit the Overdrive website. This cooperative effort is funded by the Automated Resource Sharing Networks, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners —made possible in part with Institute of Museum and Library Services funding—, the Massachusetts Library System, and local libraries.

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