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 Mass.gov 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.

 

 

 

Friday Reads: American Fire

 

“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 month the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club started a new 6-month session with the theme, “Connect the Dots.”  Readers will be asked to identify some small, but interesting likeness between the first book in the session and the second book, and then another connection between the second book and the third, and so on.

To start off our new session I chose American Fire:  love, arson, and life in a vanishing land by Monica Hesse because it has a connection with last month’s book, Oneida:  from free love Utopia to the well-set table by Ellen Wayland-Smith.  In Oneida, there is a lengthy discussion of the mysterious burning of the Oneida Community’s archived historical papers.  Why were the papers burned?  Who did it?  What is the significance of fire?  The dots (fires) were easy to connect with American Fire:  love, arson and life in a vanishing land.  Future connections will be smaller and subtler.

American Fire, published in 2017 to rave reviews and nominated for an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America, tells the true story of a rash of fires that consumed a struggling rural county on the Eastern Shore of Virginia a few years ago.  Abandoned buildings that signified a more prosperous past were set ablaze almost nightly for months before the arsonists were discovered.  A troubled but truthful man confessed to setting all 62 fires, at the urging of his girlfriend, whose love he was desperate to keep alive.

Part mystery, part love story, part vignette of this nation’s changing economy, American Fire is a well-researched, compelling narrative that made for a lively book discussion.  Some of us were convinced by the author about the motivation for arson and were sympathetic to the culprits, but others in the group didn’t buy-in to the explanation.  Professional reviewers said, “Hesse is a lovely stylist.” (Jennifer Senior, New York Times), “The book has the brisk diligence of big-city journalism (…) and the languid chattiness of the small town …” (Karl Vick , Time), a “vivid depiction,” (Ilana Masad, NPR.org) and “One of the year’s best and most unusual true-crime books.” (Randy Dotinga, Christian Science Monitor).  Give it a read and post your thoughts on the book here.  We’d love to know your reaction.  Were you convinced?

Edgar Award winners will be announced on April 26, 2018.

 

Dive Into the Ocean with Us!

Ready to read some great novels about the ocean? Novels that will take you from April right into beach season? Then join the Books on the Half Shell book group at the library for six great reads. You even get your choice of morning or night sessions. We meet at 7:00 PM on the third Wednesday of the month and at 10:00 AM the Thursday morning after. Books are available to check out at the Reference Desk. This series of book discussions includes:

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticant

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The Lightkeeper’s Wife by Sarah Anne Johnson

Our first discussion will be on April 18th at 7:00 PM or April 19th at 10:00 AM. Take your pick!

 

Friday Reads: Practical Magic

“Friday Reads” is a (nearly) 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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Practical Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics & Spells
by Nikki Van De Car with Illustrations by Katie Vernon

As the author notes in the introduction, this is a book for the occult-curious.  Do you read your daily horoscope in the newspaper? Have you bought an amethyst because it just might bring peace and happiness?  Do you want to learn how to interpret your dreams? “You don’t have to believe in magic to enjoy this book, you just have to want to…” states Van De Car.

Part 1, titled “Healing for Hedge Witches,” explains chakras, crystals and auras.  A chakra is an energy center in the body, generally envisioned as a wheel or swirl found in specific places along the spine (chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel”).  Crystals, as you may know, are thought to have healing qualities. This book describes over twenty crystals and how to clear and activate them.  Turquoise, for example, guards against disease and environmental pollutants.  Auras, visible energy fields around the whole body, have seven layers and several colors, all of which reveal something about the person’s physical and mental states.  “An orange aura generally means that the person is healthy and full of vitality and energy.”

Part 2, titled “Magic for the Weekend Wiccan,” covers healing with herbs, plant-based magic, pagan holidays and white magic.  Here you can learn how to make tinctures, oils and poultices, smudge sticks, a gris-gris (otherwise known as a sachet or charm bag), and of course, spells.  (I purchased this book for the library because a patron requested a book with spells.)  The next pagan holiday will occur on the full moon after this Tuesday’s spring equinox.  Called Ostara (pronounced OH-star-ah), it is a celebration of the balance of night and day at the midpoint of spring and it is sacred to the goddess of fertility, Eostre.  Do either of these italicized words make you think of a Christian holiday around this time?

Part 3, titled “Casual Clairvoyance,” covers tarot, astrology, palmistry and dream interpretation.  In this section you can “learn to interpret messages from within, as well as without.”  With lots of explanations of signs, markings, and symbols in this section you should be able to interpret a variety of messages with greater clarity.  Have you had a dream where you were flying?  You can attribute that to finally making a decision you were putting off or feeling confident that you can achieve your goals.  Good for you.

Practical Magic: a beginner’s guide to crystals, horoscopes, psychics and spells by Nikki Van De Car can be found on the new nonfiction shelf with the call number 133.4 VAN, until it vanishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Reads: How to Cake It

 

“Friday Reads” is (an almost) 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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Since I know many people who have a birthday in March, from my soon-to-be 93-year-old father to frequent patrons of the library, the book of choice this week is How to Cake It: a cakebook by Yolanda Gampp.   Recently added to our very large and popular cookbook section, you can easily spot this one on the new nonfiction shelf with its pink binding and hot pink title.

You may have been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but it is pretty safe to do it this time.  Yolanda herself is featured front and center wearing a brightly colored tee that says caké and as you flip through the pages you will see the theme develop as she wears several other bold and bright tees proclaiming her cake love.  In front of her is an elaborate 7-layer chocolate cake, sculpted into a pink and gold crown, festooned with oversized candy jewels, fit for the most demanding princess.  You get the idea: bold, bright, whimsical cakes ‘r us.

“On her You-tube channel, How to Cake It, Yolanda creates mind-blowing cakes in every shape imaginable.  From cakes that look like food, such as a watermelon and a Thanksgiving turkey, to cakes designed as oversized everyday objects, like a giant nail polish bottle and a Rubik’s cube, Yo’s creations are fun and realistic.  Now, Yo brings her friendly, offbeat charm and caking expertise to this colorful cakebook filled with imaginative new cakes to make at home.” (Publisher’s summary from the inner flap.)

I expect my father would not be into the “Fried Chicken and Waffles” cake (vanilla cake and puffed rice) or the pink velvet cake shaped like a purse, but I bet he would love the coconut cake and Italian meringue buttercream frosting recipes.  With Yolanda’s clear and thorough instructions and great tips for making the cake look professional, even a novice can turn out a dazzling and delicious cake.

 

This book is geared for children and the fanciful at heart with all of the design ideas, but if you are in need of great directions on leveling/layering, spreading a crumb coat or working with fondant, as well as a few cake and frosting recipes to create your own designs, then this book will be very helpful for you too.  Okay, so that last statement may negate the idea that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  Bakers who are not into pink and whimsy should not judge by the cover, but by the contents instead.

How to Cake It is currently on the new nonfiction shelf with the call #641.8653 GAM.

Friday Reads: Unseen: Unpublished Black History

 

“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. 

 

 

On this final Friday of Black History Month, Friday Reads is highlighting Unseen:  Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives by Times photo editor, Darcy Eveleigh, and three colleagues, Dana Canedy, Damien Cave and Rachel L. Swarns.  The book is born from the highly popular New York Times series, “Unpublished Black History,” that ran in February, 2016 both in print and online.  “It garnered millions of views on The Times website and thousands of comments from readers,” the inside flap states.  Eveleigh discovered dozens of unpublished photos of black history in The Times archive and together with Canedy, Cave and Swarns researched the back stories.

Unseen showcases those photographs and digs even deeper into The Times’s archives to include 175 photographs and stories behind them in this extraordinary collection.  Among the entries is a 27-year-old Jesse Jackson leading an anti-discrimination rally in Chicago; Rosa Parks arriving at a Montgomery courthouse in Alabama; a candid shot of Aretha Franklin backstage at the Apollo Theater; Ralph Ellison on the streets of his Manhattan neighborhood; the fire-bombed home of Malcom X; Myrlie Evers and her children at the funeral of her slain husband, Medgar; a wheelchair-bound Roy Campanella at the razing of Ebbets Field; a behind-the-scenes- photo shoot with Arthur A. Mitchell, cofounder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and his principal dancers; images of peaceful and organized demonstrators at Resurrection City in 1968 that contrast the photographs of disorder and theft dominating the coverage of the time; and  series by Don Hogan Charles, the first black photographer hired by The Times, capturing life in Harlem in the 1960s.” (Inner flap).

This book can be found on the new nonfiction book shelf with call number 973.0496 UNS

 

Pictured:  cover and pps. 96-97 “Arthur Mitchell, Dancing Through Barriers”

Friday Reads: African American Folktales

“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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In celebration of Black History Month, this week I am highlighting a beautiful new book we recently added to the collection, The Annotated African American Folktales, edited and with a forward, introduction and notes by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar.  It joins other wonderfully designed annotated books of classic American literature from W. W. Norton and Co., such as The Annotated Alice, The Annotated Huckleberry Finn (which I put on in staff picks collection a few years ago) and The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to name only a few.

 

The inner flap states, “Drawing from the great folklorists of the past while expanding African American lore with dozens of tales rarely seen before, The Annotated African American Folktales revolutionizes the canon like no other volume. ( …)  acclaimed scholars, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar assemble a groundbreaking collection of folktales, myths and legends that revitalizes a vibrant African American past to produce the most comprehensive and ambitious collection of African American folktales ever published in American literary history.  Arguing for the value of these deceptively simple stories as part of a sophisticated, complex, and heterogeneous cultural heritage, Gates and Tatar show how these remarkable stories deserve a place alongside the classic works of African American literature, and American literature more broadly.”

With this book you will make sense of the world with Anansi, figure out dilemmas with a variety of tales, read of enchantment and wisdom in fairy tales and enjoy many stories of flying Africans, magic instruments, witches, hants and spooks, talking skulls and singing tortoises.  The Tar-Baby and Uncle Remus are well represented and one section features folktales collected by Zora Neale Hurston.  This isn’t all, there is a section of tales about John and old master, ballads about heroes, outlaws and monkey business and preacher tales as well.

The essays, annotations and assorted photos, drawings and other illustrations combine to provide illuminating context for these “deceptively simple stories,” making The Annotated African American Folktales a real treasury.  You can find this book on the new nonfiction shelf with the call number 398.208996 ANN.