Friday Reads: Just Mercy

 

“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 the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club discussed Just Mercy:  a story of justice and redemption by Bryan Stevenson.  It is the second book in our six-month series devoted to social justice.  Each month we will read about a different aspect of social justice.  In Just Mercy, the topic was criminal justice.  But let me quote the author for a more in-depth description:

 

This book is about getting closer to mass incarceration and extreme punishment in America.  It is about how easily we condemn people in this country and the injustice we create when we allow fear, anger, and distance to shape the way we treat the most vulnerable among us.  It’s also about a dramatic period in our recent history, a period that indelibly marked the lives of millions of Americans – of all races, ages and sexes – and the American psyche as a whole. (p.14)

 

Stevenson’s personal narrative describes his first 30 years after Harvard Law School when he started the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama – a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free legal counsel to prisoners wrongly accused of crimes.   Over that time the EJI grew from just two lawyers, Stevenson and a friend from Harvard, to over 40 attorneys who, together, tirelessly fight for racial justice and the fair treatment of children in prison, and against mass incarceration, and the death penalty.  Through his experiences we learn just how many ways minorities, the poor, the mentally ill and other vulnerable members of our society can be treated unfairly when they are in the wrong place at the wrong time and members of the judicial system want a quick conviction.  The results can be catastrophic: innocent people being imprisoned, put in solitary confinement and on death row or even executed.  Many suffer physical and sexual abuse from wardens and other inmates.  Their families and communities acutely feel the injustice as well.

Our large group had a thoughtful and moving discussion about Just Mercy.  Some of us found it very difficult to read because of all the unfairness and corruption Stevenson uncovers, but we all were glad that we read such an important account from one with a reliable and even voice.  Just Mercy is read in high school and college English classes across the country, including here at Falmouth High School.  You can learn more about the author and the book at eji.org.

Join us next month for Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen, a memoir about racism and religious oppression in Tibet.

Funeral and Memorial Readings

Over the years we have often been asked for words or poems that might be read at a funeral. Recently we were asked again, and decided it might be useful to write a blog entry on this topic. We hope the list of books below might be helpful during the difficult time of planning a funeral or a memorial service.

The Book of Eulogies edited with commentary by Phyllis Theroux. This is a collection of memorial tributes, poetry, essays, and letters of condolence. It includes an index, so should you know a specific author that your loved one used to read, you can find all the names of the writers in the index. Perhaps unexpectedly, but helpfully, there is an entire section of tributes devoted to animals who have died.

Funeral and Memorial Service Readings, Poems and Tributes edited by Rachel R. Baum is sorted by the type of tribute you are planning. Thus there are sections, among others, for mothers, fathers, children, friends, soldiers, and pets.

Readings & Poems edited by Jane McMorland Hunter. Included in this volume are sections of readings and poems that would be appropriate for a funeral or a memorial service. The two sections are “a quiet door” and “love and go on” and include poems by Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, and A. E. Housman among others. One of the loveliest things about this particular book are the illustrations. (One used to illustrate this blog.) In the introduction the author writes: “Death is one of the certainties of life, as is the fact that at some stage each of us will almost certainly have to deal with the loss of someone close. The pieces here deal first with death itself and then with solitude, but the dividing line is deliberately hazy; somehow we have to find a balance between shedding tears and moving on, remembering and being sad or forgetting and smiling.”

Bartlett’s Poems for Occasions edited by Geoffrey O’Brien with a foreword by Billy Collins.  There are sections for “death and mortality” and “grief and mourning.”

The Art of Losing: poems of grief & healing edited by Kevin Young. This volume includes “150 devastatingly beautiful contemporary elegies that embrace the pain, heartbreak, and healing stages of mourning.”

The Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series offers two possible volumes. One is Poems of Mourning selected and edited by Peter Washington and the other is Poems of the Sea selected and edited by J. D. McClatchy. Because we live by the sea Poems of the Sea feels appropriate for many an occasion, but for a person who loved the ocean you might just find the perfect poem to read aloud at a funeral or a memorial service.

 

 

 

Young Adult & Children’s Books on The Point

Joining Mindy today on The Point’s monthly show on books were Sara Hines of Eight Cousins Books and Mary E. Cronin. The topic was books for children and young adults, and below you will find a list of books that were mentioned, as well as listener picks. We know we discovered lots of new titles we want to read! Miss the show? You’ll be able to listen online!

Jill Erickson, Head of Reference and Adult Services at FPL, took this month off from the book show, but will return next month with Peter Abrahams who will be joining Mindy and Jill to discuss books in translation.

MINDY’S PICKS

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Dusky Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

I am Gandhi (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer

Martin Sandler books

Journey by Aaron Becker

The Little Sock Pirate by John Whelan; illustrations by Clara Urbahn

 

SARA’s PICKS

Brick by Brick by Giuliano Ferri

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: a story about knitting and love by Michelle Edwards; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Robert; illustrated by Christian Robinson

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: future author extraordinaire by Susan Tan; illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte

My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

The Journey by Francesca Sanna

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

Patina Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down (book in verse) due out in October

 

MARY’S PICKS

Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

River Friendly, River Wild by Jane Kurtz and Neil Brennan

Flood by Alvaro F. Villa

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Posted by John David Anderson

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman

Doing Her Bit: a story about the Woman’s Land Army of America by Erin Hagar; illustrated by Jen Hill

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins and Stann Yogi; illustrations by Yutaka Houlette

The Reading Without Walls Challenge

The Nantucket Sea Monster: a fake news story by Darcy Pattison

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl

 

LISTENER PICKS

The Cookie Loved ‘Round the World: the story of the chocolate chip cookie by Kathleen Teahan

One by Kathryn Otoshi

Big Hair Don’t Care by Crystal Swain-Bates and Megan Bair

Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton

Mad Scientists Club by Bertrand R. Brinley

Shadow Man by Melissa Scott

 

Our New Assistant Director Has Arrived!

We asked Jennifer Woodward, our brand new Assistant Director, to write something about her first week at FPL for the blog, and she did! We are so delighted she is here!

 

“Hello! My name is Jennifer Woodward and I am the new Assistant Director here at the Falmouth Public Library. I am thrilled to be here. I spent my first week on the job getting to know the library staff and the library building, as well as learning my new tasks and more about Falmouth. The library staff welcomed me with a party which featured a pie making contest! Both Liz Farland and Tammy Amon won the coveted Golden Spatula awards.

My most recent position was the Director of the public library in Northbridge Massachusetts. I’ve also worked in a corporate library, a law library and two other public libraries in Massachusetts. I grew up in Massachusetts, mostly in Plymouth, and spent my adult years (to date) in Metrowest and Central Massachusetts.

One of my new tasks is to choose which fiction books and DVDs to buy for adults. If you have any suggestions or thoughts about what you would like us to buy,  I would love to talk to you about it!

Thank you to the library staff and Director Linda Collins for helping make my first week a successful one.  And I hope to see you at the library soon!”

Simon Says …

I am always astonished by all the science that takes place in the town of Falmouth, thanks to all of our scientific institutions. Recently I met Simon Ryder-Burbidge who is a guest student at WHOI. He and his colleagues are conducting a survey to understand how the community of Falmouth experiences “connection” to the ocean. They want to build a model for the design of community-based ocean policy, and they need your help! The survey is daunting at first, but as Simon tells me: ” It was a difficult balance to make it a manageable length without losing too much.” However, he also shares: “That being said, I’ve been very impressed by the level of participation so far. Some of the open-ended responses have been an absolute joy to read, and others very informative. People have been really generous with their time, and I do feel that something good is growing here.”

Simon and his colleagues are only looking for Falmouth residents, but Heather Goldstone, of WCAI, is also interested in your ocean stories. She writes: “Wherever you’re from, tell us your best ocean story. Throughout the summer, Living Lab Radio will be featuring your tales of ocean connections. E-mail a brief version of your story and your contact information to Living Lab Radio, or leave us a voicemail at (508) 289-1285.”

So you have two great opportunities to tell the world what the ocean means to you! You can find Simon’s survey for resident’s of Falmouth at www.lowlanderpress.com. As long as I was chatting with Simon, I also thought I’d ask him if he had any favorite books about the ocean, and this is what he told me:

“As for books, I have really been enjoying one called Cod by Mark Kurlansky (very locally relevant) at current. Blowing my mind about once per chapter so far.
Another one I really liked was Sex in the Sea by Marah Hardt. Some crazy stuff going on under the water. “
The full titles are Cod:  A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Kinky Crustaceans, SexChanging Fish, Romantic Lobsters and Other Salty Erotica. Try some ocean reading to get you in the mood for filling out a survey or telling your ocean story!
Jill Erickson
Head of Reference & Adult Services

Teen Reads for Summer

Beach weather is here and these new teen reads are ready for your eyes and ears. Suggested by Reference Librarian and YA lit reader, Kasia.

1. The Hate u Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does–or does not–say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Reserve


2. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say. Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”–No place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home. There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted — and their unborn child — to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

Reserve


3. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie — a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s West Side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

Reserve


4. A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho


Can the right kind of boy get away with killing the wrong kind of girl? Fin and Betty’s close friendship survived Fin’s ninth-grade move from their coastal Maine town to Manhattan. Calls, letters, and summer visits continued to bind them together, and in the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU, planning to reunite for good as roommates. a Then Betty disappears. Her ex-boyfriend Calder admits to drowning her, but his confession is thrown out, and soon the entire town believes he was coerced and Betty has simply run away. Fin knows the truth, and she returns to Williston for one final summer, determined to get justice for her friend, even if it means putting her loved ones-and herself-at risk. a But Williston is a town full of secrets, where a delicate framework holds everything together, and Fin is not the only one with an agenda. How much is she willing to damage to get her revenge and learn the truth about Betty’s disappearance, which is more complicated than she ever imagined-and infinitely more devastating?

Cristina Moracho will visit the library for a special free author event on July 20. More information

Reserve


5. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

From the author of the bestselling divergent series comes a sci-fi adventure story. On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not–their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world? Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s current gift gives her pain and power–something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive–no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive–or to destroy one another.

Reserve

Summer Reading on The Point

On today’s radio book show on The Point on WCAI we talked about great books for summer reading, if you have time for summer reading. If not, hold on to our suggestions until the autumn! Mindy Todd was joined by Jill Erickson, Head of Reference and Adult Services at the Falmouth Public Library and Jennifer Gaines, librarian at the Woods Hole Library. Thanks to all of our many callers, with all of your great book suggestions!

Our Books & Authors Festival will feature 16 authors over 8 weeks with 11 events! Authors include Robert Finch, Ellen Herrick, Patrick Dacey, Anne LeClair, and Anita Diamant! You can see all the details here! Geoff Wisner will be here on August 2nd, and you can read more about his visit and Thoreau’s 200th anniversary here.

Mindy’s Picks

Beyond the Bright Sea and Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

 

Jennifer’s Picks

Summer World: a season of bounty by Bernd Heinrich

Population: 485, meeting your neighbors one siren at a time by Michael Perry

Coop: a year of poultry, pigs, and parenting by Michael Perry

Eels: an exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the world’s most amazing and mysterious fish by James Prosek

The Boys in the Boat:nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Olympics  by D. J. Brown

House on Crooked Pond by M. L. Shafer

The Children of Green Knowe by L. M. Brown. The first in a series of six books.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Nantucket Summer by Leila Howland. Contains Nantucket Red and Nantucket Blue in one volume.

Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Here’s more information on the Woods Hole Library Summer Book Club, Social Justice.

 

Jill’s Picks

Art of the National Parks by Jean Stern, Susan Hallsten McGarry, and Terry Lawson Dunn

The Outer Beach: a thousand-mile walk on Cape Cod’s Atlantic Shore by Robert Finch.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

“The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter in Saints and Strangers and in her Burning Your Boats: the collected short stories.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. Tinder Press edition now available.

Home Made Summer by Yvette Van Boven

Thoreau’s Wildflowers by Henry David Thoreau, edited by Geoff Wisner, with drawings by Barry Moser

Thoreau’s Animals by Henry David Thoreau, edited by Geoff Wisner, illustrated by Debby Cotter Kaspari

The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor

Picture Books:

Duck’s Vacation by Gilad Soffer

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall (And this supplies the illustration for this blog!)

The Storm by Akiko Miyakoshi

Listener Picks

Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton. Put in your hold now! Due out August 22nd.

My Struggle. Book One. by Karl Ove Knausgaard

The Hate u Give by Angie Thomas

Ruthless River by Holly Conklin FitzGerald

Bless Me Mother: how church leaders fail women by Finbarr M. Corr

The News from the End of the World by Emily Jeanne Miller

Edgar & Lucy by Victor Lodato

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

Monticello: a daughter and her father by Sally Gunning

The Nature of Cape Cod by Beth Schwarzman

Summer Reading Suggestions!

Hello Summer! As teachers and school staff wind down the school year, children’s departments in public libraries across the country are gearing up for summer reading! Here in the FPL Children’s Room, we’ve got lots of great upcoming events for our summer reading program entitled, “Build a Better World.” Some programs that I’m particularly looking forward to are the Summer Reading Kick Off Party, Saturday Cinema at the Library, and the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. See the FPL EventKeeper calendar for more events and info!

As a supplement to school summer reading lists, I’ve created a list of FPL Summer 2017 Recommended Reads. This is my third year creating such a list and at the risk of tooting my own horn, I have to say I think this is the best one yet. Not only is the design better (highly recommend canva.com for any readers who are looking for a good, free design program), but this year I’ve added pictures of the recommended books’ covers to make finding them easier. I am also intentional in including a diverse array of quality titles that serve as windows and mirrors for all readers! There is something for everyone here so stop by the FPL Children’s Room to find the book that’s right for you!

Stephanie Seales, Children’s Room

Friday Reads: A Rainbow of Recommendations

“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. 

 

June is GLBT Book Month!

“The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.  Since Isabel Miller’s Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.” (http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award/stonewall).  The 2017 winners are:

(Clicking on the highlighted titles will bring you to the CLAMS catalog where you can read descriptions and place holds.)

Barbara Gittings Literature Award:  Desert Boys by Chris McCormick

Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award:  How to Survive a Plague:  the inside story of how citizens and science tamed AIDS by David France

Since 2010 the American Library Association has highlighted books published in the prior year that “reflect lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender experience for adults,” with several annual book lists.  Their “Over the Rainbow” lists are for adults and encompass several subjects.  In case you missed them, see below.

2017 Over the Rainbow Top 10 Titles

The Firebrand and the First Lady:  portrait of a friendship:  Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt and the struggle for social justice by Patricia Bell-Scott (Nonfiction)

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (Fiction)

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi (Nonfiction)

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (Fiction)

Bettyville:  a memoir by George Hodgeman (Nonfiction)

A Body, Undone:  Living on After Great Pain by Christina Crosby (Nonfiction)

Stand by Me:  the forgotten history of the gay liberation by Jim Downs (Nonfiction)

Ask a Queer Chick:  a guide to sex, love, and life for girls who dig girls by Lindsay King-Miller (Nonfiction)

Boy, Erased: a memoir by Garrard Conley (Nonfiction)

The Imitation Game:  Alan Turing decoded by Jim Ottaviani (Nonfiction)

 

2017 Over the Rainbow Fiction/Literature Nominees

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (Fiction)

Beijing Comrades by Bei Tong

Call Me by My Other Name by Valerie Wetlaufer

The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman

Dig by Brian Borland

God in Pink by Hasan Namir

Guapa by Saleem Haddad

If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There by Dave Madden

The Imitation Game:  Alan Turing decoded by Jim Ottaviani (Nonfiction)

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Moonstone:  the boy who never was by Sjón

Our Young Man by Edmund White

A Thin, Bright Line by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

 

 

Friday Reads: Writer’s Market 2017

“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. 

Did you know that Falmouth is home to several published writers?  Peter Abrahams (a.k.a. Spencer Quinn), T. M. MurphyBill SargentBrent Runyon, Terri Arthur, Adelaide Cummings, Alice Kociemba and Molly Bang are a few you may be familiar with.   We also have a great many aspiring writers in town who join local writing clubs and workshops or slug it out with their computers at home.  I have met several who have used our library books, reference services, computers and printers to prepare their manuscripts and we are proud to be a part of the process.

Just this week a patron asked for information to help him get started with writing for publication, which brings me to my book of the week:  Writer’s Market 2017, 96th annual edition.  This authoritative guide has been around since 1921, providing “essential information and advice on the business and promotion of writing.”  It opens with several articles written by published authors that offer advice on finding and managing work, such as “Write Better Queries and Sell More Articles” and “How to develop an Effective Author Brand.”  The bulk of the guide comes next, a directory of markets, which lists:  literary agents, book publishers, consumer magazines and trade journals.  Also included in this section are a list of contests and awards.  The final sections are a list professional organizations, a glossary of terms (very helpful for newbies) and two indexes so you can find your way in a flash.

We have two copies of Writer’s Market: one that is always available in the reference room and another that can be checked out.  They both have the call # 070.52 WRI.

New writers looking to be published should also consult Literary Market Place:  LMP, 2017.  This “directory of the book publishing industry” is a two-volume set in the reference room only (call # 070.5 LIT) which lists publishers, editorial services & agents, associations, events, courses & awards, books & magazines for the trade, a personnel index and a company index.

Using both the Writer’s Market and LMP, aspiring writers are well armed to get their books published.

The Writer’s Market is part of a series.  Here are more titles from that series to help different types of creators get their work to the marketplace.  We update them annually.

Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market

Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market

Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market

Poet’s Market

Songwriter’s Market

As always, if you have questions or want to find more resources on writing and publishing, stop by the reference desk.  We’d love to help you.