Friday Reads: Voices in the Ocean

The Narrative Nonfiction Book Club has a theme for this six-month session called “Give Two Hoots.”  The first two months we read books about sea creatures.  For June and July we will read books about wars and in August and September, books about female computers.   So this week the discussion was all about the good, the bad and the ugly side of dolphins and their interactions with humans, based on what we learned from Voices in the Ocean, a journey into the wild and haunting world of dolphins by Susan Casey.

Casey, the New York Times best-selling author of The Devil’s Teeth (about sharks), and The Wave, describes the variety of ways that humans throughout history have regarded dolphins, from the Ancient peace – loving Minoans who revered them, to contemporary Japanese in the town of Taiji who hunt, slaughter and traffic them.  “In recent decades, we have learned that dolphins recognize themselves in reflections, count, grieve, adorn themselves, rescue one another (and humans), deduce, infer, seduce, form cliques, throw tantrums, and call themselves by name.”  “Yet there is a dark side to our relationship with dolphins. They are the stars of a global multi-million dollar captivity industry, whose money has fueled a sinister and lucrative trade in which dolphins are captured violently, then shipped and kept in brutal conditions.”   (Excerpted from the inner flap.)

Filled with facts that range from beautiful descriptions of their nature to disturbing accounts of inhumane treatment, Voices in the Ocean will inform, alarm and charm you.   You can find this book on our shelves with call number 599.53 CAS.

If you would like to join us on Thursday, June 6 to read Confederates in the Attic:  dispatches from the unfinished Civil War by Martha’s Vineyard author, Tony Horwitz, come to the reference desk to get a copy of the book or spoken CD.  We have one of each as I write this, but more will be coming in the next two weeks.  Hope to see you there!

International Labor Day Posters Exhibit

The Falmouth Public Library is one of three Cape libraries hosting an exhibit of international labor day posters which will give you a taste of May Day from around the world during the month of May.

May Day, the first of May is known throughout much of the world as the day for workers. It is celebrated in over one hundred countries by workers and trade unions. In most countries, the celebrations are not about military parades, but rather about highlighting the struggles workers are going through. It is not a recognized holiday in the US and Canada. Instead these two countries celebrate Labor Day. The reason for this is that the celebration of May Day was linked to Communism, Socialism, militant workers and other activists who fought for improving the lot of workers. The irony of this is that the movement of celebrating May Day as a workers holiday emanated from the US. A national strike was called for May 1, 1886, if Congress did not pass legislation shortening the work day to eight hours. On May 1, 60,000 workers went on strike in Chicago. The movement spread worldwide. The struggle for the 8-hour day was realized years later.

The exhibit is interesting as graphic art, and as culture and political history. Artists may appreciate the ways a similar theme is depicted in different countries and cultures. Lewis has made the foreign language posters more accessible by including information, including the translation of key phrases. Historians can see what social and political changes were being advocated for in different countries at different times. Activists can see some of their favorite causes, including the celebration of May Day itself in these posters. One example of interest Lewis points out is the difference between the tame language in the Liechtenstein posters, where workers are generally treated well, and the much more militant language in posters from countries like El Salvador, where labor unions are severely repressed.

Stephen Lewis is exhibiting May Day posters at the Falmouth, Mashpee and Bourne public libraries. Lewis has numerous May Day posters that he has collected, from France, Spain, Namibia, Australia, Denmark, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Germany and Liechtenstein to name only a few.

This project is supported in part by grants from the Falmouth and Mashpee Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and by a number of labor unions including Roofers Local 33, Asbestos Workers Local 6, IBEW Local 103, Painters DC 35 and Laborer’s Local 1249 in memory of Norman P. Thayer.

Lewis has a collection of 6,400 posters which he exhibits regularly around Massachusetts. He can be reached by email: lewisposters@gmail.com

 

Tom Turkington’s Before I Forget: A Boyhood of Little Drama

It is always a pleasure to catalog the works of local authors, and Tom Turkington’s Before I Forget: A Boyhood of Little Drama is no exception.  Recently interviewed by Ken Gartner for The Enterprise, Mr. Turkington points out that his book is not simply about growing up in Falmouth; he does, after all, portray life in mid-20th century America, a time in history when families watched television together and  kids ran around freely and played throughout the neighborhood until the dinner bell rang.  Indeed, Before I Forget portrays a time when the pace of life seemed to pass so much slower—perhaps even for noted local runners such as Turkington and Gartner!

However, for those who are interested in local history, Turkington’s chronicles reference many of the unique characteristics of bygone Falmouth: the Fire Station whistle and the raft at Surf Drive Beach, to name just two.  In fact, for those who did grow up in Falmouth years ago, reading Before I Forget will certainly be a nostalgic walk down Memory Lane, as well as Scranton Avenue and Mill Road.  To be sure, whether remembering such teachers as Miss Mullen with her red hair and purple outfits on the Village School playground or reminiscing about Mr. Kalperis (also known as “Kalpy”) and the Lawrence High School track team; Turkington’s memoir not only depicts what it was like growing up during the fifties and sixties, but it also offers a rare glimpse into what it was like growing up in Falmouth, glimpses that may not be included in local history books and therefore often do run the risk of being forgotten.

Learn with Lynda.com

Anyone with a Falmouth Public Library card can log on and start learning from Lynda.com, a vast collection of online software training in 3D, animation, audio, business, design, developer, home computer, photography, video, web + interactive, Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, and more!

Get started here — all you need is your library card!

“lynda.com excels at helping busy professionals keep their software skills razor sharp.” —Jill Duffy, PCMag.com

“Amazing library of more than 3,000 online learning courses. Deep training for advanced software, particularly Adobe products. Well-structured site. Excellent video and audio quality. Well-vetted instructors.” — PCMag.com

Popular Courses

Interested in learning how to use your iPad or iPhone to take pictures? Search for the iOS 10: iPhone and iPad Essential Training class and find the Shooting Photos and Video, and Managing Your Photo Library chapter.

Are you thinking about investing your money? Starting to weigh the risks and benefits? This class on Learning to Manage Personal Investments is a good first step before you get started.

If you have just signed up for your first gmail email address, this course will show you how to navigate your new inbox. Search for Gmail Essential Training.

If you need any help with these courses or finding other courses, just ask a librarian or visit the Reference Desk the next time you’re in the library. We’re always here to help.

Friday Reads: When Women Were Birds

 

“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. 

 

A library staff member put a most unusual memoir on the staff picks shelf.  Author Pam Houston describes it as “much more than a brave and luminous memoir.”  Author Rick Bass calls it “a wise and beautiful and intelligent book.”  And author Sue Halpern calls it “gorgeous.”  When Women Were Birds:  fifty-four variations on voice by Terry Tempest Williams is all of those things, wrapped in a modest little white package.

When Williams’ mother was one week from death, she promised her daughter her journals, but stipulated that Williams could not read them until after she was gone.  When the time was right, Williams located the neatly arranged journals and was surprised to find blank pages.  All of them were blank.  Shelf after shelf of blank journals.  We get some semblance of the shock ourselves when we flip several blank pages in this book.  It is disconcerting.  Imagine being a woman for whom words hold such power, an author who writes beautifully and who loves her mother unconditionally … imagine her finding these blank journals.  In this memoir we follow along her emotional journey as she tries to fathom why her mother did this.  The result is a meditative, poignant and unique exploration for which there is no answer which is well worth the read.  Just don’t be in a hurry.

You can find this book on the staff picks shelf.

Friday Reads: Oysters: a celebration in the raw

Bacon-fatty, fruity, funky, mossy, velvety.   What do these words have in common?

They are a just a few selections from the lengthy oyster lexicon that aficionados use to describe this beloved bivalve.  If you’re still reading, then you must have at least a little interest in oysters, so I want to tell you about a little gem of a book in our new nonfiction area:  Oysters:  a celebration in the raw by Jeremy Sewall and Marion Lear Swaybill.   Scott Snider deserves a call out here for his top-notch photos that will make your mouth water while also providing scientific level detail.  No runway model has ever looked as good in a close-up.

This book, small and meaty like the mollusk it celebrates, has four sections that discuss the history and culture of oysters, the people who harvest them, a sumptuous photo gallery, and of course, oyster stories. You can probably guess some of the topics: aphrodisiacs, pearls, and that myth about the R month, but there are additional yarns to educate and entertain.  It is international in scope, but clearly focuses on Massachusetts farms.

You can find this book on the new nonfiction shelf with the call number 641.394 SEW.  If you’re going to check it out, plan on hitting an oyster bar soon after!

Bird Books on The Point

Today was the monthly  WCAI book show with Mindy Todd on The Point. We hope you got to hear Dennis Minsky  and Jill Erickson talk about bird books. We had such big piles of bird books, we think we’ll be doing another bird book show in the fall! Sorry we were pre-recorded today, so you couldn’t call in with your favorites, but if you have a favorite bird book, please add a comment to our list! Miss the show? You can listen here!

 

Dennis’s Picks

Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats

The Kookaburas” and “White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field” from House of Light by Mary Oliver

Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

Birdscapes: birds in our imagination and experience by Jeremy Mynott

Wesley the Owl: the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl by Stacey O’Brien

The Peregrine by J. A. Baker

The Running Sky by Tim Dee

 

Jill’s Picks

The Eponym Dictionary of Birds by Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson

Bright Wings: an illustrated anthology of poems about birds edited by Billy Collins with paintings by David Allen Sibley (Includes Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens

The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley. Nominated for the Australian Book Industry Award for Fiction.

John Gould’s Birds, with a biographical introduction by Maureen Lambourne

A Convergence of Birds, edited & introduced by Joanthan Safran Foer

Joseph Cornell’s Manual of Marvels: how Joseph Cornell reinvented a French agricultural manual to create an American masterpiece

Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes by Jeanette Winter

Birds Art Life: a year of observation by Kyo Maclear

A Year of Falmouth Birds by Craig Gibson, photographer

 

 

 

Acrylic Landscapes with Jennifer Burkin

The workshop is now over. Thanks for coming!

Join us for a special workshop for adults with local artist, Jennifer Burkin. Create a gorgeous acrylic landscape on canvas. Beginners welcome. Please sign up using the form below or give us a call at the Reference Desk. We expect this event to fill quickly.

We also have a class available for teens in grades 6-12. Please register a teen for Get Your Paint On with Jennifer here. 


Jennifer Burkin is both an artist and art educator. Jennifer has a Master’s degree in elementary art education from Tufts University in affiliation with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Additionally she has a Graduate Certificate from Harvard University in Museum Studies. She grew up in Brookline, MA and now lives on Martha’s Vineyard where she continues to make art, sell her artwork, and teach art.

Jennifer paints with acrylics and adds in handmade papers, found objects, etc, turning many paintings into mixed media pieces. Her subjects are largely domestic, many pieces are in fact of her own dog. Other images of domesticity are kitchen utensils and children’s and women’s clothing. She frequently paints and collages images of birds as well.


More Information:

Date: Wednesday, April 19

Time: 5:00-7:00pm

Room: Bay Meeting Room

Program Registration Form

  • If your plans change, please let us know in case there is a wait list for the program. Feel free to contact us for further information. The Reference Department can be reached at info@falmouthpubliclibrary.org or 508-457-2555 x 7.
  • We will only call you if the program(s) you signed up for are canceled.
  • If you choose to provide an email address, we will send you an email confirmation.
  • Draw live birds of prey with "Wingmasters" and learn about each bird's characteristics. This program was originally scheduled for Nov. 3, but was post-poned to Sunday, Dec. 2nd.
  • It's early release day, so challenge your friends to a chocolate war! Teens will learn about how chocolate is made, how to start their own chocolate business, and how to make chocolate creations using techniques like dipping, combing, and decorating and by using a commercial tempering machine and toppings bar. Grades 6-12 welcome. Registration encouraged. 30 seats available.
  • A two-part course for ages 11 and older. Participants must complete both parts to receive a certificate. Seats are limited. Registration is required.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Friday Reads: Unbowed, a memoir by Wangari Maathai

 

The Narrative Nonfiction Book Club read Unbowed, a fascinating memoir by 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai this month.   As always we had more to discuss than our short one hour would allow.  That is partly because we had a large turnout of vey engaged readers, and also because Wangari Maathai has accomplished so many important things in her life.  And she’s not done yet.

Born in a rural village in Kenya in 1940, she enjoyed a childhood bound closely to nature and her family.  Unlike most girls in Kenya she went to a Catholic school locally, then on to college in the United States. She was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in East and Central Africa.  She married, had three children, went through a very public and ugly divorce (which was shameful in her society), taught at the University of Nairobi and was a political activist for many causes, especially for women, the environment, and democracy.  Despite of the Kenyan government’s efforts to knock her down time and again, she is a selfless and tireless advocate for causes she believes in.  In 1977 she established the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, which has spread across Africa and garnered attention in other continents.   The movement is an effort to replant large swaths of deforested land with indigenous trees, planted by women, who earn an income for their successful seedlings.   This initiative goes a long way to solving both environmental degradation and empowering and employing women.

President Bill Clinton said, “Wangari Maathai’s memoir is direct, honest and beautifully written – a gripping account of modern Africa’s trials and triumphs, a universal story of courage, persistence, and success against great odds in a noble cause.”

The book club loved this book and I highly recommend it.

IRS Tax Scams in the 2016 Filing Season

Scammers are making unsolicited phone calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a false tax bill. They try to con victims into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls.”

These calls have been received by people in the Falmouth area. One of our librarians received a just such a call. The recorded message said a lawsuit had been filed and warrant would be issued for her arrest if she did not call the 800 number they gave her.

Many phone scams use such threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

The IRS will NEVER:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you receive one of these calls, do not identify yourself, do not argue with the caller — just hang up.