The Book Bike Rides Again

The Falmouth Public Library Book Bike is hitting the road once again for its 2021 touring season!  Come check out the Book Bike on its first ride, Monday, May 17th from 10:30 to 11:00 am when it will be at the Choate Lane Apartments.  

All members of the community are invited to stop by. You can sign up for a library card, pick up free books and DVDs, and meet FPL staff.  We are looking forward to seeing you and spreading our love of the Library throughout town! 

Please note all visits are weather permitting:

Choate Apartments, Choate Ln: 10:30-11:00 am on May 17, July 12, September 13

Cape Cod Apartments, 62 Locust St: 10:30-11:00 am on June 21, August 16, September 27

Dillingham Place, 110 Dillingham Rd: 10:30-10:50 am on June 4, July 16, August 13, September 10

Harborview Apartments, 115 Scranton Ave: 10:30-11:00 am on June 7, August 2

Rose Morin Apartments, Rose Morin Ln: 11:00-11:20 am on June 4, July 16, August 13, September 10

Salt Sea Apartments, Salt Sea Ln: 10:30-11:00 am on May 24, July 19, September 20

Surf Drive Beach Storytime: 4:45-5:15 pm on July 8, July 15. July 22. July 29, August 5, August 12, August 19, August 26

For the most up to date information on the Book Bike and for additional visits, visit our Book Bike webpage by clicking here and by following @falmouthbookbike on instagram.


New Mystery Book Group Meets May 19th

Mysteries of all kinds are an extremely popular fiction genre at the Falmouth Public Library and we have a new book group dedicated reading and talking solely about these stories. The first meeting of the group is Wednesday, May 19 from 4:30-5:30 on Zoom. Held as a three-part series with a new theme each series, the group will meet 9 times per year. The book group will remain a virtual book group hosted by Jennifer Woodward, FPL’s Assistant Director.

Our first theme is “Firsts & Lasts” and for each meeting we will read both (yes, both) the first and last books in a completed series.

On May 19th, we’ll read Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series. The first is The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1921) and the last is Curtain (1975). Both books take place in the same county house and joins together Hercule Poirot with his sidekick Captain Arthur Hastings to solve the murder of the days. Curtain was written 30 years before its publication during World War II and saved in a vault. Intended by Agatha Christie to be published after her death, but published shortly before it, the title – Curtain – hints at the author’s intentions.  Please be sure to register to receive a Zoom link.

On June 9th, we’ll read Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon Series. The first is Track of the Cat (1993) and the last is Boar Island (2016).  

On July 14th, we’ll read Philip R. Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries. The first is A Beautiful Place to Die (1989) and the last is Vineyard Chill (2008).

Upcoming Themes:
Beyond the Bridge: Set in distinctive locales not on Cape Cod
2021: September 8, October 13 & November 10

Short Stories: Short stories by one or more authors collected in one book.
2022: January 12, February 9 & March 9

THIS IS A ROBBERY: the world’s biggest art heist. Read All About It!

“She is not a woman, she is a locomotive — with a Pullman car attached.” — Henry James on Isabella Stewart Gardner

Many of you have no doubt already binge watched the new Netflix documentary This Is A Robbery: the world’s biggest art heist, which focuses on the 1990 theft of art from the Gardner Museum in Boston. Or you might have heard Jim Braude interview the filmmakers on WGBH. This got me to thinking of all the books that have already been written on the theft, on the museum, and on the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner. Thus, here is a reading list of all the titles in the library connected to the Gardner Museum in one way or another. I should mention that I have been devoted to the Gardner Museum ever since I first stepped through the doors when I was a high school student, long, long ago. When I was getting my library degree at Simmons College, I would often stop by the Gardner before heading to a class. There is really nothing that gives me more pleasure than seeing the annual hanging nasturtiums display which continues an annual tradition started by Isabella Stewart Gardner. 

If you would like to dive into the world of Isabella Stewart Gardner, her life, her museum, and the biggest art heist in Boston’s history, here is a collection of titles that covers it all. We’ve got a display up right now of all these titles, so stop by and take a look! (We even have a book club kit of The Art Forger, so your entire book club can read together!) And did I mention, we also have Museum Passes to the Gardner! (Be sure to call the library regarding the new way to redeem our museum passes if you are interested.)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: daring by design 
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: a guide 
Eye of the Beholder: masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Memory Palace of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Patricia Vigderman
Boston’s Apollo by Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent
Anders Zorn: a European artist seduces America edited by Oliver Tostmann (The first place I ever saw the art of Anders Zorn was at the Gardner, and I fell in love!)
Master Thieves: the Boston gangsters who pulled off the world’s greatest art heist by Stephen Kurkjian (Also available as an e-book via the Libby app.)
Stealing Rembrandts: the untold stories of notorious art heists by Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg
The Gardner Heist: the true story of the world’s largest unsolved art theft by Ulrich Boser
Mrs. Jack: a biography of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Louise Hall Tharp
Sargent’s Women: four lives behind the canvas by Donna M. Lucey. Also available on CD.
The Art of Scandal: the life and times of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Douglass Shand-Tucci
Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Palazzo Barbaro Circle by Elizabeth Anne McCauley, Alan Chong, Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, and Richard LIngner
Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia by Alan Chong and Noriko Murai

And a couple of novels involving the Gardner Museum Heist:

The Therapist by William Nolan
The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro (Also available on CD, and via the Libby app.)
The Docent by Tom Kenny


Norton Juster June 2, 1929-March 8 2021

Some Thoughts From Our Children’s Librarian, Laura Ford, on Norton Juster.
Norton Juster, most famous for his book The Phantom Tollbooth, died last week. Which is, of course, a sad thing. He was a classic figure in Children’s Literature, and The Phantom Tollbooth is a classic book. 
Here’s where I make a big confession … I didn’t read The Phantom Tollbooth as a child. It was published in 1961, which certainly made it readily available during my childhood, I just never came across it. And ok, when I did come across it, it seemed like it involved math, which I’m embarrassed to say was NOT my thing, so I didn’t pick it up. Fast forward a few years, and I became a Children’s Librarian. And not just a Children’s Librarian, but a Children’s Librarian in FALMOUTH. There’s a certain amount of responsibility to being a Children’s Librarian in Falmouth. People here know their books. And they deserve a librarian who’s read the classics. So believe you me, I read The Phantom Tollbooth, and plenty of other classics I’d missed along the way. 
It’s a story about a boy named Milo who is bored, bored, bored. (Sound familiar?) Milo is so bored that when a large package appears out of nowhere in his bedroom, he’s barely interested enough to open it, and when it reveals a toll booth, he hops in his boy-sized toy car and drives on through, only because he hasn’t got anything better to do. And drives on into history. 
Does everyone have to read The Phantom Tollbooth? Certainly not. But at at almost 5 million copies sold since it was first published (and one would have to assume that some of those copies are in a library and were read more than once,) it certainly is worth a try. If sales numbers don’t impress you, try it because it has won a slew of awards, including the Parent’s Choice Book Award and the  MSRI/CBC Mathical Books for Kids from Tots to Teens. (See? That award, right there, would’ve kept me away from it. But I digress.) 
Here are a few quotes, because the PT is infinitely quotable:
“You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and not get wet.”
“It’s not just learning things that’s important. It’s learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters.”
“I am the Terrible Trivium, demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit.”
The Humbug dropped his needle and stared in disbelief while Milo and Tock began to back away slowly.
“Don’t try to leave,” he ordered, with a menacing sweep of his arm, “for there’s so very much to do, and you still have over eight hundred years to go on the first job.”
“But why do only unimportant things?” asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them.
“Think of all the trouble it saves,” the man explained, and his face looked as if he’d be grinning an evil grin – if he could grin at all. “If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you’ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won’t have the time. For there’s always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing, and if it weren’t for that dreadful magic staff, you’d never know how much time you were wasting.”
Still not sure it’s for you (and/or your kids?) Try it in audio. It’s available as a book on cd AND in downloadable audio. (You will have to put it on hold though. It has come to the attention of scores of people now that the author has passed.) It’s available in an annotated version, and in Spanish. And listen, if it just doesn’t appeal to you, I understand. No hard feelings. There other roads into Norton Juster’s work. Try The Hello, Goodbye Window, illustrated by Chris Raschka, or The Odious Ogre, illustrated by Jules Feiffer (who just so happens to be the illustrator of a certain book about a tollbooth…) My favorite of Juster’s picture books is Neville, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. It’s fabulous to read aloud to a group of kids, given that the characters spend quite a bit of time yelling…..”Neville!” There’s a plot twist on the last page, which many kids figure out way ahead of time. I LOVE it when kids figure out the plot twist ahead of time. 
[P.S. From the Reference Department … don’t miss The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth. As The Horn Book Magazine wrote: “If ever there were a twentieth-century children’s book that deserved an annotated edition, it’s Juster and Feiffer’s masterpiece.”]

Browse Our Collections

We hear that you all miss being able to browse our shelves! To help everyone to scan through the last year’s acquisitions, click on our links below.  These links will be updated and refreshed as we learn more about what you would like to browse and through the seasons, and the links are dynamic and will show new titles as they are added to our collections.

Each link will take you to the CLAMS catalog and list the selections that are new to our shelves within the last year (2020). We’ve done the search for you, so each link will bring you to a selection of titles similar to browsing our new sections in our buildings.

Browse Adult Collections

Click on a link below to open the catalog and browse these collections.


Movies, TV and Music

Browse Children’s Collections

Click on a link below to open the catalog and browse these collections.


Browse Teen Collections

Click on a link below to open the catalog and browse these collections.

Black History Month

Black History Month is always a great month to discover all sorts of authors you might have missed. Some of you may have already discovered on our web page our No Place for Hate reading list.

In spring of 2020, No Place for Hate-Falmouth and Eight Cousins Books generously donated a collection of 23 print books focused on diversity to the Main Library. The collection includes books for all ages. Books in this collection have a special identifying label on the spine and book plate. 

In the summer of 2020, the Falmouth Public Library Support Fund, generously donated additional children’s books to help expand our collection. The Support Fund’s donation included books at all three locations of the Falmouth Public Library.

Most recently, the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory/Black History Month Committees shared with us their suggestions of terrific books, television shows, and films that you might enjoy as we all celebrate Black History Month. The national theme this year for Black History Month is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.

Here are their book recommendations:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (We also have a book club kit available, which comes with ten books.)
Born a Crime: stories from a South African childhood by Noah Trevor
The Warmth of Other Sons by Isabel Wilkerson
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry; illustrated by Vashti Harrison
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
All Boys Aren’t Blue: a memoir-manifesto by George M. Johnson

We will miss seeing the annual Harambee in Woods Hole this year, but the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee have created a virtual Harambee! They invite you to participate in their virtual Harambee either by trying one of the delicious recipes listed and sharing a photo of your meal, or submitting your own recipe and photo.  In addition there will be a series of virtual talks, all of which you can find here.

Book Magic on The Point With Mindy Todd

This morning on The Point with Mindy Todd we talked about books having to do with magic. Joining us this month was Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore co-owner Caitlin Doggart. Thanks to all of our listeners who shared their book suggestions on magic! And remember … you can listen online at any time!


Caitlin’s Picks

Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Magical Creatures and Mythical Beasts by Victo Ngai
Conjure Women by Afia Atakora
The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Sevogia
Circe by Madeline Miller
And for some bonus titles from Caitlin, head over to her bookstore!

Jill’s Picks

Magic: a history by Chris Gosden
Magic in Western Culture: from antiquity to the enlightenment by Brian P. Copenhaver
The Magic of Handwriting by Christine Nelson
HausMagick: transform your home with witchcraft by Erica Feldmann
The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini by Joe Posnanski
Escape: the story of the great Houdini by Sid Fleischman
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harness
Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Listener’s Picks

Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women by Ricky Jay
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Sacred Agriculture: the alchemy of biodynamics by Dennis Klocek
Half Magic by Edward Eager
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Wise Child by Monica Furlong
Juniper by Monica Furlong


Child Bride, with author Jennifer Smith Turner: a Zoom book event

We are pleased to welcome author (and Vineyard resident) Jennifer Smith Turner, on Tuesday evening, December 8th, at 7 p.m., for a Zoom presentation!

Child Bride is about a young girl who grows up in the segregated South. “Turner’s warm and personal narrative brings to life the vigor and interdependence of black communities in both the South and the North of the mid-20th century…uplifting and dynamic…” (Kirkus reviews). The book was named best fiction e-book for 2020 by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and BiblioBoard, and has recently received the 2020 New York Big Book Award. 

Ms. Smith Turner lives full time in Oak Bluffs. She is a published poet, and she is currently working on her third collection of poetry. Her work has been included in Vineyard Poets, an anthology of poems by Martha’s Vineyard writers, and in numerous literary publications. She has been featured on N.P.R. and on Connecticut Public Television. She has been a featured speaker at Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Kelly Writer’s House. She has also worked extensively in the public and private K-12 schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut, bring poetry to students and educators. She recently served as interim CEO of the Newman’s Own Foundation, where she is a board member.

This event is free.  Registration is required, by 6 p.m. on the day of the event. Please register online at, or contact the reference department at 508-457-2555 x 7.

Sue Mellen, author of A History of Theater on Cape Cod (a Zoom event)

We are pleased to welcome author, theater critic and former Cape Cod Times writer and reviewer, Sue Mellen on Saturday afternoon,  11/14,  at 2 p.m., for a Zoom presentation!

Sue will lift the curtain on the rich history of theater on Cape Cod, beginning—where it all began—in Provincetown. She paints a vivid picture of the early years of American drama on the Cape, bringing you into the world of Eugene O’Neill and the Provincetown Players, the Barnstormers and other early groups. Then, as she does in her upcoming book, A History of Theater on Cape Cod, she will take you on a tour of the Cape’s many-faceted theater history, giving you an insider’s view of what has made Cape theater great. She will also talk about the book itself, and how you can order it!

Sue Mellen began her writing career as an arts, entertainment and features writer for the Cape Cod Times. She then worked in public relations, first for a regional healthcare system, then for a classic car museum. Then, after a short stint as a freelance business and technology writer, she began a content-creation firm YourWriters, which she still operates to this day. Through her company, she has co-written and ghostwritten dozens of books for a wide range of clients. She also taught writing at a Massachusetts community college for a number of years.

After an extended hiatus, the author has returned to her first love: reviewing the theatrical productions that grace the historic theaters of Cape Cod.

This event is free and appropriate for adults and teens.  Registration is required, by noon on the day of the event. Please register at our events page-the Zoom link will be emailed separately to you before the event. If you would like to register after the registration period has ended, you can-just call the Reference Desk at 508-457-2557 x 7!

Books About Food on The Point with Mindy Todd

This morning on The Point with Mindy Todd we featured books about food for the monthly book show. Joining us for the first time (but I hope not the last) was Elspeth Hay. You can hear Elspeth regularly on CAI when she does her Local Food Report and she also has a food blog called Diary of a Locavore. We had lots and lots of listener suggestions, which was delightful! Thanks to all of you that called and emailed us with your food book suggestions. The illustration for this blog post is a postcard designed by Jane Mount. She has also illustrated a book called My Ideal Bookshelf, which includes a number of bookshelves full of cookbooks, if you need more inspiration!

Elspeth’s Picks

Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen
Feeding a Family: a real-life plan for making dinner work by Sarah Waldman
The Real Food Cookbook: traditional dishes for modern cooks by Nina Planck
Dinner: a love story: it all begins at the family table by Jenny Rosenstrach

Not Enough Time For:

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean whole grain recipes for barley, farro, kamut, polenta, wheat berries & more by Maria Speck
Out In Blue Fields: a year at Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm by Janice Riley & Stephen Spear
Jerusalem: a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Good to the Grain: baking with whole-grain flours by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood
The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook: healthy cooking and good living with pasture raised foods by Shannon Hayes
The Art of Fermentation: an in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world by Sandor Ellix Katz

Jill’s Picks

Food Lit: a reader’s guide to epicurean nonfiction by Melissa Brackney Stoeger
What We Cook On Cape Cod by The Village Improvement Society
An Everlasting Meal: cooking with economy and grace by Tamar Adler
Always Home: a daughter’s recipes & stories by Fanny Singer
The Fruit Forager’s Companion by Sara Bir
Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayres
Maigret’s Dead Man by Georges Simenon
Poison à la Carte by Rex Stout, a novella that can be found in Three At Wolfe’s Door or in Seven Complete Nero Wolfe Novels

Bookmarks: for everyone who hasn’t read everything “The American ‘Foodoir: when food meets memoir” in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue.

Listener Picks

Love Real Food by Kathryn Taylor
Cooking the Catch by Dave Mausch
The Loaf and Ladle by Joan Harlow
Cape Cod Table by Lora Brody
The Seasonal Kitchen: a return to fresh food  by Perla Meyers
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murry
Ruth Reichl books
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perlman
The Boston Cookbook by Fannie Farmer
The Food Lab: better home cooking through science by J. Kenji López-Alt
Alice Waters & Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee
Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson
Indian Herbalogy of North America by Alma R. Hutchins
My Bread by Jim Lahey
Lobscouse & Spotted Dog by Anne Grossman (For Patrick O’Brian fans)
The Irish Cook Book by Jp McMahon
Silk Road Cooking by Najmieh Batmanglij
The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (many other Moosewood inspired cookbooks came after the original)

Suggestions that came in too late for broadcast:
Provincetown Seafood Cookbook by Howard Mitchum
The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash