A Farewell to Falmouth Public Library, Part Two
In part one of my farewell to FPL I wrote about the beginning of my career at Falmouth Public Library, but now I’d like to mention a completely unexpected joy that arrived in my library life. That joy began when WCAI called the library one day and wanted to know if Kathy Mortenson, a FPL reference librarian, would like to talk about books for half an hour on The Point with Mindy Todd. As it turned out Kathy did not want to talk on the radio, so she asked me if I would be willing to talk about books on the radio. I said sure.
And so I went to the WCAI studio in Woods Hole and I met Mindy, and Melanie Lauwers, who was at the time the Book Editor for the Cape Cod Times. Something sparked between us, and before long we became regulars on the show. When Melanie retired to Florida in 2014, I became the regular book talker on what had become an hour long live broadcast. It has been such a treat to have an hour of live radio every month just to talk about books! As far as we can recall, that first show was in February 2005. Also, as far as we can recall, next weeks show on October 27th will be the 166th book show! There were, of course, some shows that were repeated, but let’s just say … I’ve done a surprising number of book shows, considering it was supposed to be a one-time event!
One of the great joys of the show is, of course, our listeners, who call in or email the station with their picks on whatever book topic we are discussing. There have been many, many topics. Here are a few … books that changed your life, LabLit (novels with scientists as characters), politics, Cape Cod authors, humor, cats & dogs, travel, movies, April in Paris, baseball, banned books, planes trains & automobiles, fairy tales, survival stories, maps, whales, birds, dreaming, pirates, fish, letters, detectives, insects, romance, sisters, colors, cookbooks, magic, water, and stories of the sea. When the pandemic hit in March of 2020 we began to do the show from our homes. The library was closed to the public at that point, and so author Peter Abrahams and I did two shows on the books from our home bookshelves! Many of these shows you can find archived on the CAI web page.
It has been such a gift to share books with the CAI audience. After one show on trees where I mentioned how much I loved winter trees, a listener called in and told us about a book they adored which was all about trees in winter, with beautiful illustrations. Next thing I knew, they had sent me a copy of the book! Another time I was talking about how my mother loved Josephine Tey mysteries, but I had never read them. Within a few hours, a listener delivered a bag of paperback Josephine Tey mysteries to me! What a gift our listeners have been!
The time has come, however, for me to hang up my monthly radio book chats, which is not to say that the book show itself won’t continue. I have no doubt that Mindy and Amy and Dan will soon find someone else who enjoys spending as much time talking about books on CAI as I have. Mindy has made me promise that I will return from time to time as a guest, and I have assured her that I will. In the meantime, there will be one more live show on Wednesday, October 27th at 9:00 AM on CAI where Mindy and I will talk about books featuring radio! Joining us this month will be a brand new booktalker … Jessica Rudden-Dube, Director of the Cotuit Library. I hope you’ll be listening! And as one last little radio treat, here is a link to the many, many photos I have taken for the monthly book show.