Friday Reads: Eye of the Beholder

Friday Reads: Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Edited by Alan Chong, Richard Linger and Carl Zahn

One of the great treasures of the city of Boston with its many colleges and universities is the number of museums in the metropolitan Boston area. From the majestic Museum of Fine Arts to the eclectic Institute of Contemporary Art on the waterfront, the city is brimming with art and sculpture. My personal favorite is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Back Bay/Fenway section of the city. Originally the home of Mrs. Jack, as Isabella was sometimes called, the museum is the very picture of a Venetian palazzo.  After inheriting a sizable fortune from her father, she went on to become a world class collector.

“Isabella Stewart Gardner collected and carefully displayed a collection comprised of more than 15,000 objects-paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, drawings, silver, ceramics, illuminated manuscripts, rare books, photographs, and letters-from ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America.

The palazzo at Fenway became a salon where “artists and thinkers gathered at Fenway Court around works by Giotto, Fra Angelico, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.”

In addition to a very comprehensive art education, this book would serve as a wonderful guide as you roam through the collections in this marvelous building.

Have you ever been really impressed by a painting? One that you can remember the art but not the artist? There is a painting at the museum of a young boy with haunting eyes, an image that has stayed with me for a long time. I remembered it was in the Blue Room as you first entered the museum on the left.

“The Blue Room is a gallery brimming with objects that reflect Gardner’s personal relationships. In the early days of the Museum the Blue Room welcomed concert goers, serving as the ladies’ reception area. It displays the work of artists in Gardner’s closest circle of friends. With its low ceilings, fabric covered walls, and well-lit alcoves showcasing paintings, furniture, books, and cases, the Blue Room invites visitors to explore the collection at close range and in an intimate space.” – from the museum’s website.

While browsing through Eye of the Beholder, I was delighted to find on page 217, “The Standard Bearer of the Harvest Festival” by Antonio Mancini, the very painting of the boy with the haunting eyes and angelic face!


Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from Antonio Mancini for 1,000 francs in 1884, with the assistance of the American painter and collector Ralph W. Curtis (1854-1922).


Signed (?) with red crayon (lower right): A Mancini Roma
Undated label (on back of frame) with Isabella Stewart Gardner’s address at 152 Beacon Street, Boston.

I do hope that viewing the masterpieces in Eye of the Beholder will entice you to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in person. As an extra incentive, the Falmouth Public library offers reduced admission passes to the museum. You can request the passes online here.

Please note: The Museum is closed on Tuesdays.

Lost in Translation

Today’s book radio show on The Point with Mindy Todd was all about books that have been translated, primarily translated into English, as well as the challenges for translators of translating one language into another language. Joining Jill Erickson and Mindy was author Peter Abrahams. Below you will find a list of books mentioned, and if you missed the show you can listen online anytime!


Peter’s Picks

The Trial by Franz Kafka, translated from the German by Willa and Edwin Muir

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, translated the French by Jacques Le Clercq

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, translated from the Russian by H. T. Willetts

The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: the complete first edition, translated from the German by Jack Zipes

Holy Bible, the King James Version


Jill’s Picks

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, translated from the French originally by Katherine Woods and in 2000 translated by Richard Howard

Is That a Fish in Your Ear: translation and the meaning of everything by David Bellos

Collected Poems by C. P. Cavafy, translated by Daniel Mendelsohn in 2009 and by Edmund Kellery & Philip Sherrard in 1975.

December Heat By Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, translated from the Portuguese by Benjamin Moser. Part of the Inspector Espinosa series.

In Translation: translators on their work and what it means, edited by Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by Lydia Davis

Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector, translated from Portuguese by Alison Entrekin. Also try The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, translated by Katrina Dodson and Why This World: a biography of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser. That’s the cover from Lispector’s complete stories that illustrates this blog.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett or Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky or Rosamund Bartlett or Marian Schwartz. Article about the Anna Karenina translations can be found in The New York Times, written by Masha Gessen.

Bonus book, for which there was no time, but is well worth reading if you are interested in a short book on translation. Why Translation Matters by Edith Grossman. (Includes a list of the author’s picks of important translations.)




Friday Reads: Fun with Reference Books


“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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. 


If you think reference books by definition are dry, academic type tomes with small print and fat bindings, give me a couple minutes here.  I’ll show you some fun ones.

We have the Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations and in it I found these quotes: “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” Can you believe Abraham Lincoln said that?  And “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” I can believe Mae West said that.  This little book is full of amusing quotes organized by subject, just the thing if you want to lighten up a presentation or impress your friends.

In Book Lust to Go:  Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers, librarian Nancy Pearl recommends great armchair travel books, both fiction and non-fiction.   Many times, patrons have asked me to recommend books to read before they go on vacation, to help get them in the mood.   Going to Niagara Falls this fall?  Nancy has several suggestions, including The Falls, a novel by Joyce Carol Oates.

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “Seven Wonders of the World,” but fess up, can you actually name them?  If you hesitated, I recommend flipping through, What Are the Seven Wonders of the World? And 100 Other Great Cultural Lists Full Explicated.  Then you can ace trivia night at Liam Maguire’s this winter.

If you are the type to toss salt over your shoulder to ward of bad luck, you may be interested in Witches: an encyclopedia of paganism and magic.  In there, you’ll discover Alomancy is the term for your salty ways and that the term’s first meaning is an ancient practice of divination.  So, toss the salt to be safe this Halloween, then read the pattern of sprinkled grains to see what your future holds.

You have probably seen tattoos frequently, ranging from a single small flower to ones covering much of the body.   People from most cultures around the world have tattoos and they are popular in advertising in the U.S. now.  But, have you seen eyelids tattooed with open eyes or a balding person with a tattoo of a lawn mower at the hairline?  Read all about the many varieties of joke tattoos in Inked: Tattoos and Body Art Around the World.  Maybe it is just the inspiration you need to get a moustache tattooed to your index finger, so you can hold it under your nose when you’re feeling jaunty.

Are you a political junkie?  You may want to consult Hatchet Jobs and Hardball:  the Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang to expand your vocabulary with some fun terms such as: bafflegab (confusing or unintelligible speech), Foggy Bottom (the U.S. Dept. of State, because it is located in the district by that name) or dope story (speculative or false information planted or leaked).   Each entry tells you where and when the terms were first used.  Dope Story, for example, was first used by the New York Times on January 3, 1929 when former governor Alfred E. Smith said, “When you get these reports that I’m going to take all kinds of jobs; that I’m going to be a baseball player on the Giants; why, I wish you wouldn’t come running up here to ask me about them because you’ll know there’s nothing to all these dope stories.”

I could go on, but hopefully you now know there is more variety to reference books than you may have first thought.  Yes, we have lots of encyclopedias, directories, gazetteers, catalogues and bibliographies.  Most of them will make you say, “Now that’s interesting!”  and some of them will even make you laugh.

Friday Reads: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City


“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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. 


We had a full house at the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club meeting this week, with some new or long absent faces mingling in with the full-timers.  Kicking off our new 6-month theme of Social Justice, we discussed Evicted:  Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

Evicted follows the lives of eight families in Milwaukee who subsist in squalid apartments, trailer parks, homeless shelters or on friends’ couches and struggle to buy enough food and medicine to sustain themselves.  Facing eviction several times over for not being able to pay the rent, these families are caught in a vicious cycle of homelessness and joblessness, compounded by mental and physical illnesses, low education, drug abuse, sexual abuse or other tough issues.   Thoroughly researched, brilliantly written, compelling and important, Evicted presents the view of both landlords and tenants in an unbiased manner.

It is a more statistic-filled and emotionally wrenching book than our usual fare, but being primarily narrative, it was an excellent book for us to learn from and discuss the many contributors to and ramifications of eviction and poverty.  Despite some hesitancy from some members to start the book, the group got deeply involved in it and brought great comments and questions to the table.   It is a wonderful book for discussing with others as it challenges preconceived notions and introduces details most of us not in poverty probably would not be aware of.

Next month, we will discuss Just Mercy:  a story of justice and redemption by Bryan Stevenson.  If you would like to join us, pick up a copy of the book at the reference desk and come to the discussion on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 10 AM in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room.  All comments and opinions are welcome.


Friday Reads: McTeague: a story of San Francisco by Frank Norris

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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. 


Way back when, before I was a librarian, when I lived in San Francisco, I read the novel, McTeague: a story of San Francisco by Frank Norris, published in 1902.  I just picked it up on a whim at a used book store because it was set in my town in the early 1900s and that was enough to interest me.  It was a slim thing with a painting of a slim, disheveled man on the cover.   I remember now that once I got to reading it, I was quickly hooked.  The characters were full and flawed, the setting so vivid I was there on that same street one hundred years ago, and the plot lead me where I least expected.  When asked to name my favorite book, McTeague was it for many years.   Now I have read so many great books, I can no longer answer that question.

But, I had forgotten about McTeague in recent years, … until today.  Today, I saw on our new nonfiction book shelf 100 Great American Novels You’ve (Probably) Never Read by Karl Bridges.   I scanned the table of contents to quiz myself.  How many had I read?  Uh-oh, how many had I even heard of?!  Please let me remind you here, I read a lot more nonfiction than fiction.  But when I saw McTeague on the list, I was thrilled.  It is a great American novel.  No doubt about it.  And if you haven’t read it, Karl Bridges and I recommend that you do.  Bridges describes Norris’ novel as being similar to Émile Zola’s realistic tone and style, but “distinctive in its American voice”.  Here’s his synopsis from the book:

“McTeague is a dentist of questionable background operating a small practice in San Francisco.  He has friends, a reasonable number of patients satisfied with his work, and generally, good prospects in the world.  He seems to prosper, both in his practice and in his marriage to the attractive Trina, who brings a reasonable dowry to the marriage.  As time goes on, however, the marriage and the practice collapse, victim to McTeague’s increasing alcoholism and lack of attention to his marriage, which reveal the horrible character flaws that the has been hiding.  Ultimately, his increasing desperation leads him to murder and to his pursuit by a relentless adversary across California and into the high Sierras, where events come to a thrilling and surprising conclusion.”

McTeague is one novel in the Library of America anthology, Novels and Essays by Frank Norris that I just put on the Staff Picks shelf.  Look carefully, it is that plain little clothbound book that resembles a red brick.  You can find “100 Great American Novels You’ve (Probably ) Never Read” by Karl Bridges on the new nonfiction shelf with the call number 028.9 BRI.  Take a look and see how many novels you’ve read.

Friday Reads: The Psychopath Test

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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 I am digging back into past posts to share one of my favorite books, The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson.  The Narrative Nonfiction Book Club discussed it in January, 2014.  Below is a re-posting of most of that initial blog, just in case you missed it the first time around.

In The Psychopath Test, we learned from this often humorous account, that the madness industry is comprised of several different types of people and organizations.  There are of course the obvious: patients, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, treatment facilities, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies.  But then the author points out less obvious groups that we may not have considered, such as lawyers and teachers who work with patients; journalists who write about the subject, and even, CEOs of companies.

Wait, what?  How did that last one get on the list, you may ask?  Ronson learns how to use a 30-point checklist, created to determine if someone is a psychopath (also called a sociopath).  He discovers that many traits that define a psychopath, such as a lack of empathy for others, a grandiose sense of self, and the need to be in control, are also traits that make a successful CEO.  He explores the connection by interviewing several people, some who are incarcerated for psychopathy and others who are not, and giving them the test.  In addition he visits institutions in England and the United States and meets with several psychiatrists to get a varied picture of the madness industry.  The journey is illuminating, informative, entertaining and just a little bit scary.

We had a great discussion about diagnosing and treating psychiatric patients, from children with ADD to psychopaths.  We also examined the effect of approaching this serious topic with the author’s trademark self-deprecating humor.  Many reviews were written about this book when it came out in 2011 and we had a great time comparing our reactions to those of professional reviewers.

The Psychopath Test is on our lovely new Staff Picks shelf now located near the self check-out machine.  Check them both out – the new shelf and the old book!



Friday Reads: Hidden Figures

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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. 

We had a big group this week at the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club.  We were all primed to discuss Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.  You may recognize the title from the 2016 Oscar nominated film by the same name, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.

The cover of the Hidden Figures explains, “During World War II, America’s fledgling aeronautics industry hired black female mathematicians to fill a labor shortage.  These ‘human computers’ stayed on to work for NASA and made sure America won the Space Race.  They fought for their country’s future, and for their share of the American dream.  This is their untold story.”

The month prior, we read The Rise of the Rocket Girls:  the women who propelled us from missiles to the moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt, which made for a rich comparison this week.  The two books are about the same thing (female computers) working for the same purpose (to send missiles, rockets and then men into space for NASA) at the same time (1940s through 1960s), but on different coasts and with contrasting groups of women.  Hidden Figures takes place at Langley Research Center in Virginia and focuses on a group of black women, whereas The Rise of the Rocket Girls takes place at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California where most women were white.  There were one black and a few Asian “rocket girls,” but race does not factor into the narrative by Holt. One group member commented that the titles of the two books good easily be swapped and they would still make sense.

Interestingly, they were published 5 months apart (Holt’s was first in April, 2016) and both authors got the idea for their book in 2010 when each of them accidentally learned about a woman working for NASA.  In Shetterly’s case, her Sunday school teacher and another woman she knew from childhood were both computers at Langley, but she didn’t know about their professional lives until her father casually mentioned it when she was an adult.  To her, they were just part of the fabric of her neighborhood.  Holt was googling baby name ideas for the impending birth of her daughter and learned that an Eleanor Frances, a name she was considering, worked at the JPL in the 1960s, and won an award.  Surprised that women worked for NASA, both writers set out to learn more and both found compelling stories, simultaneously, but independently.

Many of us were a little hard pressed to follow the math and science in detail, but all of us were eager to learn about the women and their struggles, how they balanced their home and professional lives, how they fought for equality in the workplace and were respected for their great achievements.  Both of these books are great for a book club because there are so many issues to explore you can only benefit from hearing a variety of perspectives.

Join us next month when we discuss Evicted:  poverty and profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.   Focusing on poverty and classism, this book is the first in our new 6-month series about social justice.   Each month we will read about a different aspect of social justice from a narrative, not a scholarly, voice.   Pick up a copy of the book at the reference desk and come share your thoughts with us on Thursday, October 5 at 10 AM in the Hermann Foundation Meeting room.

Welcome Tess Gerritsen!

We’re pleased to welcome Tess Gerritsen on Thursday, October 5 at 12:00pm!

Tess will talk about her new novel I Know a Secret and sign copies of her book following the event. I Know a Secret will be available for purchase from Eight Cousins Bookstore.

The event will be filmed live by FCTV.

Ticket Information

Pick up your free ticket at the Main Library beginning on Saturday, September 30 at 10:00 am. No library card required. Tickets will be available at the Info Desk on the main level in the Reference Room. There are 125 tickets available. Tickets are strongly encouraged, but not required. The general public will be invited to find their seats in the Hermann Meeting Room beginning at 11:45 am on the day of the event. Ticket-holders are strongly encouraged to arrive before 11:30 am on the day of the event to find their seat. Seats will not be held for ticket-holders if they arrive after 11:45 am.

If you pick up a ticket and can no longer attend the event, please contact us and let us know. You will not be asked to return your ticket.

What else do I need to know?

  • Tickets cannot be held at the library. You must pick up your ticket on or after Saturday, September 30 if you wish to have a ticket. If you cannot pick up a ticket on September 30, please feel free to contact us to see if there are any tickets left on Monday, October 2.
  • Ticket-holders are strongly encouraged to find their seats by 11:30 am. Seats will not be reserved for them.
  • If you have a ticket, you will be able to access to the Hermann Meeting Room between 11:00 am – 11:45 am. After that time, the general public will be able to gain admission. Entrance to the room will not be allowed before 11:00 am.
  • Limit of 2 tickets per person.
  • Overflow seating will be available in the Bay Meeting Room for those who cannot find seats at the time of the event. A live broadcast of the event will be shown in the room.
  • The event will begin promptly at Noon. Please arrive on time.

Tess Gerritsen: Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), The Bone Garden (2007), The Keepsake (2008; UK title: Keeping the Dead), Ice Cold (2010; UK title: The Killing Place), The Silent Girl (2011), Last To Die (August 2012), Die Again (January 2015) and Playing With Fire (2015). Her books have been published in forty countries, and more than 30 million copies have been sold around the world. Follow her on Twitter @tessgerritsen and on Facebook.

I Know a Secret

Place a hold

Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles–the inspiration for the smash hit TNT series–continue their bestselling crime-solving streak, as they pursue a shadowy psychopath keeping secrets and taking lives. Two separate homicides, at different locations, with unrelated victims, have more in common than just being investigated by Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. In both cases, the bodies bear startling wounds–yet the actual cause of death is unknown. It’s a doubly challenging case for the cop and the coroner to be taking on, at a fraught time for both of them. As Jane struggles to save her mother from the crumbling marriage that threatens to bury her, Maura grapples with the imminent death of her own mother–infamous serial killer Amalthea Lank. While Jane tends to her mother, there’s nothing Maura can do for Amalthea, except endure one final battle of wills with the woman whose shadow has haunted her all her life. Though succumbing to cancer, Amalthea hasn’t lost her taste for manipulating her estranged daughter–this time by dangling a cryptic clue about the two bizarre murders Maura and Jane are desperately trying to solve. But whatever the dying convict knows is only a piece of the puzzle. Soon the investigation leads to a secretive young woman who survived a shocking abuse scandal, an independent horror film that may be rooted in reality, and a slew of martyred saints who died cruel and unusual deaths.

Tess Gerritsen’s clever plotting and medical knowledge give her thrillers that extra edge. Expect a white-knuckle ride to very dark places
—Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“Suspense doesn’t get smarter than this.” – New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

“Gerritsen has a knack for creating great characters and mysterious plots that seem straightforward but also dazzle with complexity and twists.” – The Associated Press

“One of the most versatile voices in thriller fiction today.” – The Providence Journal

Holly Fitzgerald

We’re pleased to welcome Holly Fitzgerald on Tuesday, September 26 at 6:30pm to celebrate her new memoir Ruthless River.

Place a hold

Holly and her husband, Fitz—married less than two years—set out on a yearlong honeymoon adventure of a lifetime, backpacking around the world. Five months into the trip their plane crash lands in Peru at a penal colony walled in by jungle, and their blissfully romantic journey turned into a terrifying nonstop labyrinth of escape and survival.


The only explicit advice Juan had actually given us was “Don’t ever swim in the water.”

“Why?” I had asked, taken aback. We’d watched the children splashing in the harbor, enjoying it with high squeals. “I thought the caiman are dormant during the rainy season.”

“They are. It’s the candiru you have to watch out for,” he’d said solemnly.

“The who?” Fitz had asked.

“A minuscule saw-toothed fish, downriver. They’ll swim up your butt and latch on to your intestines, suck your blood until you die.”

Fitz and I had stared at each other and then at him.

“You’re kidding?” I’d gasped. We’d seen piranha and knew that when in a frenzy they could strip prey to the bone within minutes, but mainly if the prey were already bleeding.

“You don’t have to be bleeding. Candiru are parasitic. They’ll find you if you’re swimming.”

“Okay, we definitely won’t be swimming,” Fitz had agreed.

Advance Praise

“Both travel memoir and shocking adventure story, like a real-life Survivor or Naked and Afraid . . . A powerful story about survival, love, and faith in the face of impossible odds . . . Unputdownable . . . absolutely fascinating.”
—Katie Lawrence, Library Journal

“Vivid and consistently compelling . . . An absorbing tale of survival, love, and the generosity of people who helped save their lives.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A detailed, high-stakes debut memoir . . . FitzGerald weaves in the stories from their past with palpable, evocative details of their daily struggles with starvation, strong currents, and despair, all while the couple’s love, self-knowledge, and faith deepen . . . Recommended for fans of survival narratives, coming-of-maturity stories, and travelogues from off the beaten path.”
—Louisa Whitfield-Smith, Booklist

Holly Fitzgerald was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. She graduated from Lake Erie College and received a master’s degree in counseling from Suffolk University. She lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Follow her on Facebook.

Event Information

Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Time: 6:30-7:30pm (Book purchases and signings beginning at 7:30pm)

Location: Main Library (300 Main Street, Falmouth)

Room: Hermann Meeting Room



No advance registration required. To receive a reminder a few days before the event, please sign up for our Books & Authors Events Newsletter.

Friday Reads: Nolo Guides

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about 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. 


Do you feel the chill in the air?  Autumn isn’t far away.  Kids are heading back to school.  It is a good time to turn your attention to those serious matters that you put on hold for the summer, like planning your retirement, long-term healthcare, your estate or will, or on a happier note, getting a patent or starting a new business.

The library has a collection of books published by Nolo, which has been publishing do-it-yourself legal guides, since 1971. Their website,, states: “Consumers and small business owners can handle many legal matters themselves with Nolo’s do-it-yourself products, which range from online forms and software to books and eGuides. All are written in plain English, with step-by-step instructions that help you get the job done.”   Their mission is “to help consumers and small businesses find answers to their everyday legal and business questions.”

With that in mind, I want to show you all of the titles that we have purchased in the last several months.   I hope you can make good use of them and take care of those legal issues with confidence.

101 Law Forms for Personal Use

8 Ways to Avoid Probate

Becoming a U.S. Citizen:  a guide to the law, exam and interview

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: repay your debts

Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits

The Employer’s Legal Handbook

Estate Planning Basics

Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court

Every Landlord’s Guide to Finding Great Tenants

Get it Together:  organize your records so your family won’t have to

How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation

How to Write a Business Plan

Incorporate Your Business

IRAs , 401 (k)s  & Other Retirement Plans:  taking your money out

A Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples

Long-Term Care:  how to plan & pay for it

Make Your Own Living Trust

Making it Legal:  a guide to same-sex marriage, domestic partnership & civil unions

Neighbor Law:  fences, trees, boundaries and noise

Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce

Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability

Patent it Yourself

Plan Your Estate

The Public Domain:  how to find copyright-free writings, music, art & more

The Quick & Legal Will Book

Represent Yourself in Court