Friday Reads: Christmas Days

Just in time for Christmas, a delightful little book to get you in the spirit of the season:  Christmas Days: 12 stories and 12 feasts for 12 days by Jeanette Winterson.  Indulge yourself a little after all your holiday preparations and discover what’s inside this package.

Winterson, author of twenty titles, brings her British wit to this seasonal collection.  “Winterson’s innovative stories encompass the childlike and spooky wonder of Christmas.” (New York Times Book Review)   In addition to mysteries, some with a touch of magic, you’ll find twelve recipes that complement the stories, such as mince pie and sherry trifle.   Kick back and read for a spell with a glass of holiday cheer using the author’s recipe for Mulled Wine.

I especially enjoyed the Christmas Cracker as our family has a tradition of popping open the crackers, donning the paper hats, and regaling each other with the fortunes, and often trading the tiny prizes inside.

The book just arrived this week, but already readers are queuing up to read it.   You can place a hold on any copy in the network or a librarian would be happy to do it for you.  Just let us know.

By Donna Burgess

Booked for the Season

Winter is here and it’s up to your beloved librarians to find you the book that will keep you up late at night, tucked in with piles of blankets and a warm comforting light by your bed. We are up to the task as we have many bookletters, booklists, databases, and two book clubs to help you read, read, read all winter long.

Book Discussion Groups for Adults

We have two book groups for adults: Books on the Half Shell (fiction) and the Narrative Nonfiction Book Group. Visit our Book Groups page to see what we’re currently reading, sign up for the email list, and come pick up your copy in the Reference Room.

Book Letters

Crushed for time? Browsing for books can be difficult if you have a demanding work week or if you find it difficult to search for books in our stacks. Book Letters are weekly booklists that you can receive by email. We have many to choose from, not limited to new audiobooks, new adult fiction, and much more. You can view them at your leisure and if you find something that speaks to you, you can visit our catalog and place a hold on it right away.

If you don’t see any booklists that interest you, contact us and let us know! We would be happy to create a custom list that is based on your specific reading interests.


Adults: We have curated nine varied booklists on our newly updated Staff Recommendations page and our Awards & Top Lists page is a terrific place to search for award-winners and bestsellers.

Teens: We notice what catches your eye in the YA Room. Take a look at our What Should I Read Next page.

Reader’s Toolkit: Our toolkit features the best websites and booklists out there for readers, including Stop, You’re Killing Me for mystery novel fans and Lit Lovers for readers who are interested in book discussions.


We have two great databases made especially for avid readers.

eSequels: Our eSequels database helps you find the next book in the series, as well as helping you discover new books by your interest in a particular location or subject.





Novelist Plus:  Novelist is the best thing since sliced bread as far as we’re concerned. This is the place to visit if you are stumped about what to read next.





Get in Touch

On a final note, please get in touch if you would like a reading suggestion, a booklist made just for you, or if you need any help at all finding a good book to read. We would love to help!







Friday Reads: 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas


Snappy, clever, unexpected and fun!   Read 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas if you like writing that sparkles, empathize with precocious children with tough childhoods and like jazz.  Experience in Philadelphia a plus, but not necessary.

Debut novelist Marie-Helene Bertino leads us through a single day in the lives of three people: a rebellious nine-year girl who wants to be a jazz singer, her recently divorced teacher, and Lorca, the owner of the night club, The Cat’s Pajamas.  Their worlds come together on Christmas Eve at 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas.  Love, hope, music and the streets of Philadelphia are a rich setting for this charming story.

Look for it on the Staff Picks shelf.

Friday Reads: Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

A sure sign of a good book is one that you are happy to read again for your book club, even though you read it on your own when it first came out … and you find that you are so excited by the heart-pounding action and brilliant writing that you have to put it down to catch your breath and calm your nerves, but not for too long, because you can’t wait to find out what happens next.  Such a quandary!  That was the experience of one member of the library’s Narrative Nonfiction Book Club when she was reading Seabiscuit: an American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.

Seabiscuit, in case you aren’t familiar, was a crooked-legged racehorse, “one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938.” (Publisher’s summary.)  He overcame humble beginnings and numerous setbacks to win the most important race of the time.  But this book isn’t just about the horse.  It is about the three men who loved him: his owner, his trainer and his jockey, and the culture of horse racing that thrived despite the Great Depression and looming world war.

Almost half of the book club members read the book when it came out in 2003.  It “was an instant success – so instant, in fact, that it made its way to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list before it was even advertised.  The book stayed at No. 1 for nearly 10 months and remained on the best-seller list for more than two years.  Seabiscuit sold more than 6 million copies in the United States alone and has been translated into 15 languages.  It also spawned a hugely successful film that garnered seven Oscar nominations.” (

Members who read the book again for the book club commented that during the first read, they were caught up in the story, but during the second read, they found they noticed more details.  For those readers who enjoy learning about an experience they’ll never have themselves, such as professional horse racing, mountaineering, commercial diving, and the like, the details in Seabiscuit make the reader feel as if he or she is on horseback pounding down the track, streaking over the finish line.  Members who read the book for the first time were enthralled, whether or not they had an interest in horses before opening the cover.  It was just that good.

Next month, we will be discussing Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: a Savannah story by John Berendt.  Pick up a copy at the reference desk now and join us on Thursday, January 5 at 10:00 am in the Hermann Foundation meeting room for another rousing discussion.

Winter Reads

This morning on WCAI’s The Point host Mindy Todd talked books with Jill Erickson, Head of Reference & Adult Services at Falmouth Public Library and Jennifer Gaines, librarian at the Woods Hole Library. If you missed it you can listen online. Here is the reading list from the show this morning:


Mindy’s Pick
The Nature of Cape Cod by Beth Schwarzman


Jennifer’s Picks

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

White Shaman by C. W. Nicol

A Guide to Nature in Winter by Donald Stokes

A Field Guide to Animal Tracks by Olaus J. Murie and Mark Elbroch

Tracking and the Art of Seeing by Paul Rezendes

Winter World by Bernd Heinrich

Bark, a field guide to the trees of the Northeast by Michael Wojtech

Brave Irene by William Steig

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Fox’s Dream by Keizaburō Tejima

Pioneer Girl: the annotated autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian


Jill’s Picks

“First Snow” an essay by J. B. Priestley which can be found in both Apes and Angels and Essays of Five Decades.

Midsummer Snowballs by Andy Goldsworthy

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Snow” by Mary Ruefle in The Most of It

More Home Cooking: a writer returns to the kitchen by Laurie Colwin (includes Hot Lemonade recipe)

Roast Figs Sugar Snow: winter food to warm the soul by Diana Henry

The Snowflake Man: a biography of Wilson A. Bentley by Duncan C. Blanchard

Home Made Winter by Yvette Van Boven

Winter: Five Windows on the Season by Adam Gopnik

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

The Story of Inkdrop and Snowflake & The Story of Snowflake and Inkdrop by Alessandro Gatti and Pierdomenico Baccalario, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Oranges” by Ronald Wallace

The Great British Bake Off Christmas by Lizzie Kamenetzky

Friday Reads: Home Accessibility

While reviewing our shelves recently, making sure that our books on home maintenance and repair were in good repair themselves, I came across an overlooked gem I want to share:  Home Accessibility, 300 Tips for Making Life Easier by Shelley Peterman Schwarz.

The author writes, “This book has been written for anyone who is experiencing either a short-term disability such as after surgery or while healing a broken arm or leg, or a long-term chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or cancer.  It is also for people who are challenged by sensory, vision, hearing, or tactile limitations: mental health issues including memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease; and for those who have had an accident, heart attack, stroke, or are getting older and find it more and more difficult to bend, reach, twist, and get up or down, in and out.”

After discussing basic concepts, Schwarz, who is wheelchair bound, goes through the house room by room pointing out how areas can be made accessible.  Starting with the front path and doorway, she notes such things as:  “Pathways and ramps should be 4 feet wide. (…)  Railings should be built to support 250 pounds at any point along their length. (…) For someone in a wheelchair to open a door, they will need 18 to 24 inches of clear space on the side where the door opens.”  Inside the house she advises about lighting, flooring choices, appliances, plumbing, safety and much more.  Each chapter includes a list of resources and products.

This very helpful little book offers many “affordable solutions to make your home safer and more accessible without costly remodeling,” which is sure to be of great interest here in Falmouth.  If you are looking to make your home easier to live in, or if you know someone with any of the issues mentioned above, be sure to check out this book.  These tips could be just the thing to make one’s life easier and safer or prolong one’s independence.  Why put up with hassles in your home when you know how to make it more comfortable and safe?  Accessibility improvements might make a welcome holiday gift for the aging parent who has everything and wants to remain in their home as long as possible.

Home Accessibility is shelved with the call number 643.087 SCH.  You can also ask at the reference desk where to find it.

Local Traditions: From Thanksgiving Day Games to School Yearbooks

Of all the local Thanksgiving traditions celebrated in Falmouth, many townspeople look forward to heading over to Guv Fuller Field on Thanksgiving morning to help cheer on the Clippers as they battle to “bring home a victory to Falmouth High.” Indeed, for many Lawrence High and Falmouth High alumni, the Thanksgiving Day Football Game holds a special place in their hearts for it not only represents the long standing rivalry between Falmouth and Barnstable High Schools (dating back to 1895), but “the game” is also traditionally known as an annual event at which to meet and catch up with former classmates.  It is a time when classmates can reunite and reminisce about the good old days at “dear old Falmouth.”

That is why this Thanksgiving season the Library is especially happy to announce the recent accession of the Falmouth Public School Digital Yearbook Collection.  With some editions dating as far back as 1915, the Collection includes the Lawrencian, the Clipper Compact, and a few editions of The Voice of the L.H.S. and The Broadcaster, the Falmouth Junior High School’s yearbook.

The actual digitization project was federally funded by the Library Services and Technology Act Grant through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and is administered by the Boston Public Library and hosted by the Internet Archive.

So whether you’re remembering the good old days or doing research, the digitized yearbooks are a great addition to our Digital Archives and serve as a perfect example of the Library’s commitment to provide collections that are accessible and responsive to community needs and interests, especially local collections.*

Good Luck Clippers! Here’s strength to you! And here’s to your performance throughout the 2016 season!


*Print editions of the yearbooks are also available and will be back in the library after the full digitization process is complete by the end of November.

Friday Reads: Cure Back Pain

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, “Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives.”  If you are one of these people, you may be interested in a new book we received this month … Cure Back Pain:  80 personalized easy exercises for spinal training to improve posture, eliminate tension and reduce stress by Jean-François Harvey.

The author, who is an osteopath, kinesiologist and athlete, writes in a clear and conversational way.  Reading his explanations of evolution, how the body works, and how to do the exercises, is like having a trusted and expert guide leading you along the path to recovery.   Armed with his insights about why certain common treatments don’t solve back pain (taking pain relievers, doing sit-ups or wearing orthopedic soles, for example), the reader is educated, not just prescribed a set of one-routine-fits-all exercises.

A Publisher’s Weekly review highly recommends this excellent book and describes it as follows: “His spinal training regimen combines a number of exercise methods, such as yoga, Pilates, advanced stretching, rehabilitation exercises, qigong, and breathing exercises, as well as the principles of osteopathy, biomechanics, and the Godelieve Denys-Struyf method (a way to stabilize the spine that combines several therapies, including stretching, manual massage, reflex techniques, and muscle stimulation).  (…) Readers can choose which exercises suit their health issues and lifestyle, though Harvey recommends that readers consult with a doctor first.”

This book is on the NEW NONFICTION shelf with the call number 617.564 HAR.  Look for a bevy of new health, medicine and fitness books on this shelf over the coming weeks with numbers ranging from 613 – 618.

To your good health!

From Pope Francis to Mother Teresa and From Siddhartha to Thich Nhat Hanh: New Books on Religion

Now on the NEW Shelf!

Check out these titles on Religion found in the 200’s:

The Name of God is Mercy / Pope Francis in Conversation with Andrea Tornielli.

241.4 FRA

In his first book published as Pope, and in conjunction with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis invites all humanity to an intimate and personal dialogue on the subject closest to his heart–mercy– which has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy.


A Call to Mercy: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve / Mother Teresa.
248.48 TER
Published to coincide with Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy and the Vatican’s canonization of Mother Teresa, this new book of unpublished material by a humble yet remarkable woman of faith whose influence is felt as deeply today as it was when she was alive, offers Mother Teresa’s profound yet accessible wisdom on how we can show mercy and compassion in our day-to-day lives.


Siddhartha’s Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment / James Kingsland.
294.3 KIN
Kingsland expertly weaves the story and teachings of the Buddha with clinical and scientific research in a highly readable examination of the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. The author applies Buddhism and science to illustrate how humans’ complex “neural machinery” hardwires us for suffering. With chapters devoted to the discussion of depression, chronic pain, and addiction, he employs case studies to highlight the effectiveness of various mindfulness-based therapies, although he doesn’t shy away from presenting the challenges to and limitations of those investigations.


Thich Nhat Hanh’s How to Series  
294.34 NHA
A new series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh that introduces beginners to, and reminds seasoned practitioners of, the essentials of mindfulness practice.  A teacher, author, poet, and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh has written over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, as well as poems, children’s stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts.

Politics on the Point

This morning’s book show on WCAI was a bit different than our usual book show, not least of all because it began with Mindy interviewing a Nantucket candidate for sheriff! On top of that, our guest book talker, Rosie Gray a political reporter for BuzzFeed News (as well as a Falmouth Academy graduate!) was on the road, not in the studio with us. Added to that confusion, we had not one call or e-mail this morning from our wonderful listeners! Feel free to add your comments to this post, with books on politics that you recommend.


Rosie’s Picks

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail by Hunter S. Thompson

David Foster Wallace’s essay Up Simba, which you can find in his book Consider the Lobster and other essays

Barack Obama: the story by David Maraniss


Mindy’s Picks

Run: your personal guide to winning public office by Marian Walsh

Counselor: a life at the edge of history by Ted Sorensen

Bobby Kennedy: the making of a liberal icon by Larry Tye

The Negotiator: a memoir by George Mitchell

What You Should Know About Politics But Don’t by Jessamyn Conrad

Presidential Campaigns by Paul F. Boller, Jr.

Campaigns: a century of presidential races from the photo archives of The New York Times

Molly for Mayor by Judy Delton

Kennedy Through the Lens by Martin W. Sandler

Lincoln Through the Lens by Martin W. Sandler

Lincoln Tells a Joke: how laughter saved the president (and the country) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, illustrated by Stacy Innerst


Jill’s Picks

Bringing Home the Dharma: awakening right where you are by Jack Kornfield (chapter five is on politics)

Healing the Heart of Democracy: the courage to create a politics worthy of the human spirit by Parker J. Palmer

Becoming Wise: an inquiry into the mystery and art of living by Krista Tippett

And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

Whistlestop: my favorite stories from presidential campaign history by John Dickerson

America’s Founding Food: the story of New England Cooking by Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald

VOTE! by Eileen Christelow

President Taft is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

The Art of the Possible: an everyday guide to politics by Edward Keenan, Art by Julie McLaughlin