Cape Cod & the Islands on The Point with Mindy Todd

What a delight it was to have Dennis Minsky join us on The Point with Mindy Todd this morning on WCAI. Normally Dennis can’t join us in the summer, because he is tremendously busy guiding whale watching tours in Provincetown, but due to the pandemic the world as we knew it is considerably changed. In any case, what a treat and we hope that he might even be able to join us for a part two at the end of July or whenever he is next available for book talk on the radio. Needless to say, we had gigantic piles of books and probably only got through a third of them. 

Thanks to all of our listeners who shared book titles with us, and if you have a favorite book that we missed (as we sure you do) save it for the next Cape Cod & Islands book show or you can  just email us at and we will add it to this list. So here are the lists!

Dennis’ Picks

Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau with an introduction by Robert Finch
The Outermost House: a year of life on the great beach on Cape Cod by Henry Beston, with an intro by Robert Finch. Please note there are many, many, many editions of The Outermost House, including a lovely children’s edition.
The Outer Beach: a thousand-mile walk on Cape Cod’s Atlantic Shore  by Robert Finch
A Wild Rank Place: one year on Cape Cod by David Gessner
The Salt House: a summer on the dunes of Cape Cod by Cynthia Huntington

And an email from a listener that got to Mindy too late to read on air, but is fascinating nonetheless:

“Eugene Clark of Sandwich and an early speaker at Cape Cod National Seashore did some research into Coast Guard records and found that the shipwrecks that Beston writes of occurred in different years. From that he realized that Beston telescoped his book, which authors can do. This means that Beston lived for each season of the year in his outermost house, but did not live in it for one year continuously. Col Clark is now deceased, but I knew him and worked in the early years of CCNS. Peter B. Cooper of Yarmouth.”

Jill’s Picks

A Field Guide to Cape Cod Including Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, & Eastern Long Island by Patrick J. Lynch
An Illustrated Coastal Year: the seashore uncovered season by season by Celia Lewis
Wild Is the Wind by Carl Phillips. The poem I read was “Monomoy”.
Seaweed’s Revelation: a Wampanoag clan mother in contemporary America by Amelia G. Bingham
To the Harbor Light by Henry Beetle Hough

Listener Picks

Crab Wars: a tale of horseshoe crabs, bioterrorism and human health by William Sargent
Asia Rip by George Foy
Dreaming Monomoy’s Past: walking its present by Lee Stephanie Roscoe
Flintlock and tomahawk: New England in King Philip’s War by Douglas Edward Leach
The Last Best League: one summer, one season, one dream by Jim Collins

Need to be educated on race issues? Let us help …

We have a rich and deep collection of books having to do with race and racism, from picture books to heavy reference books. There have been many terrific lists posted by many terrific sources. Below you will find some of  our favorite lists. If you find a book on any list that we do not own that you wish to read, please let us know, and we will be happy to add it to our collection.

Antiracist Booklist
From Eight Cousins Bookshop

A History of Race and Racism in America, in 24 Chapters  
From the New York  Times.

Race, Social Justice, and Civil Rights: Adults

Race, Social Justice, and Civil Rights: Teens

Race, Social Justice, and Civil Rights: Kids

From the Boston Public Library


Books From Our Bookshelves, Part Two

This morning I had the great pleasure of talking books with Mindy Todd on The Point and joining us was author Peter Abrahams. It was part two (and the third show done from home) of Books From Our Bookshelves, as Peter returned to share with us more books from his home bookshelves. What was particularly delightful about this show was how many people called and emailed us with what they are reading during the pandemic. Here is the list of everything that was mentioned, both digital and non-digital, with some bonus content.

“The contents of someones bookcase are part of their history like an ancestral portrait.” Umberto Eco

And one of my favorite bits from the novel Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh:

“I’ve got a motor-car and a basket of strawberries and a bottle of Chateau Peyraguey – which isn’t a wine you’ve ever tasted, so don’t pretend. It’s heaven with strawberries.”

“On a sheep cropped knoll under a clump of elms we ate the strawberries and drank the wine – as Sebastian promised, they were delicious together – and we lit fat, Turkish cigarettes and lay on our backs, Sebastian’s eyes on the leaves above him, mine on his profile, while the blue-grey smoke rose, untroubled by any wind, to the blue-green shadows of foliage, and the sweet scent of the tobacco merged with the sweet summer scents around us and the fumes of the sweet, golden wine seemed to lift us a finger’s breadth above the turf and hold us suspended.”

“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper …”

Peter’s Picks 

A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Farnsworth’s Classical English Style by Ward Farnsworth (We don’t own this title, but we do have a copy of Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric.)
Chaucer’s Tale: 1386 and the road to Canterbury by Paul Strohm
Heart of Lions: the history of American bicycle racing by Peter Nye
Idiot by Elif Batuman
Last Train to Memphis: the rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick

Jill’s Picks

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, audio, narrated by Jeremy Irons
And here is a lovely article from the New York Times about the PBS version.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge either the Philip Hoare version (in which Jeremy Irons reads the first verse) or the paper version.
US (a.) by Saul Williams. His interview with Paul Holdengräber can be heard as part of The Quarantine Tapes.
The Cape Cod Bicycle War and other stories by Billy Kahora
The Sum of the People: how the census has shaped nations, from the ancient world to the modern age by Andrew Whitby
Reading Art: art for book lovers by David Trigg

Listener Picks

The Lives of Margaret Fuller by John Matteson
The Roman Years of Margaret Fuller; a biography by Joseph Dey Deiss
And I would add to the Margaret Fuller list Maria Popova’s book Figuring
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kusher (or anything else that he has written.)
Blackout a podcast
Homegoing: a novel by Yaa Gyasi
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
Midnight in Siberia: a train journey into the heart of Russia by David Green
Rascal by Sterling North
Mama’s Last Hug: animal emotions and what they tell us about ourselves by Frans de Waal
Horse People: scenes from the riding life by Michael Korda
Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease by Stanley L. Robbins, Ramzi S. Cotran & Vinay Kumar.

Hoopla Audioook Review : The Shootist by Glendon Swarthout, read by J. P. O’Shaughnessy

(reviewed by Josh)

An aging gunfighter rides into El Paso, looking to die quietly — and anonymously — from the cancer that has taken root in his prostate. Word of his condition spreads quickly, though, and soon the town is overrun by former foes looking to settle old scores, up-and-coming gumen hoping to make a name for themselves, and a few nosy fans who just want to shake his hand. Needless to say, this is neither quiet nor anonymous. It is violent. Very violent. Yet also very funny. There’s a rich, character-based vein of dark comedy that runs throughout The Shootist that makes it as fun to read as a novel by Elmore Leonard or Janet Evanovich. Blend that with the overarching theme of facing one’s own mortality, and you’ve got a story that’s perfect for these dark times.

Falmouth Public Library cardholders have free access to Hoopla, which offers an audiobook version of this book here.

Learn how to get Hoopla in this post!

More Digital Staff Picks For You

Several weeks ago we posted a blog listing ebooks and eaudiobooks recommended by Falmouth Public Library staff.  Here is another eclectic list of recommended titles.  They have all been personally enjoyed in the past month by library staff – We hope you enjoy them too! 

Click on the links to be brought to the title in either Overdrive or Hoopla, our digital book resources.   

What You’ll need:
CLAMS card number
  (Don’t have one?  Get a temporary eCard here.)
CLAMS card PIN (Need to set or reset one? Go to and click on “my account”.)
New to Hoopla?  Here is the help section.
New to Overdrive?  
Here are “Getting Started” directions from Overdrive. 

Big Tip for Overdrive:  if all of the copies in our CLAMS network are checked out, click on “Partner Libraries” in eensy weensy print at the top of the Overdrive homepage.  Search each network separately.  It’s a little repetitive, we know, but hopefully in the future separate searches won’t be necessary. 

Staff Picks

The Neopolitan Quartet: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave & Those Who Stay, the Story of the Lost Child,
novels by Elena Ferrante
I loved the Neopolitan novels so much, that as soon as I finished one, I began to eagerly anticipate the publication of the next. 

The salient feature of the series is the lifelong relationship between the two best friends, the narrator, Elena, and her “brilliant friend,” Lila, with both of whom I felt quite intimate.  I also enjoyed getting to know the other characters, especially those in Napels. – S.H.
(Available as ebooks in Overdrive)

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
Written by the author of The Kite Runner, this is a small book with a large message. A father writes a letter to his son about the dangers of life lived in a perilous part of the world and the voyage they soon will undertake.  He also imparts his thoughts about life’s many rewards.
The words are lyrical and full of meanings, not just for the author’s son, but for every reader.  – C.L.
(Available as an ebook in Overdrive)

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Romantic comedy is not a genre I read highly, but since I prefer lighter fare with audio, I gave it a go (as a digital download on Overdrive.) 

Spoken by the alternating voices of the two protagonists in the form of post-it notes and text messages, it was the perfect listen to accompany a walk.  I liked the banter between the quirky characters and the imaginative style and plot.  Though the final outcome was predictable from the start, the story kept me guessing and wanting to hear more.  -S.H.
(Available as an ebook and an eaudiobook in Overdrive)

Over the Top  by Jonathan Van Ness 
This is one of those “you’ll laugh and cry” books.  It deals with difficult topics (like abuse and addiction) but I put it down feeling inspired and uplifted.  It reads like talking with a great friend, and Van Ness reminds us that the anxieties and struggles of learning to live in this world are universal.  – M. K.
(Available as an ebook and an eaudiobook in Overdrive)

The American Story:  conversations with master historians
by David Rubenstein
I highly recommend this book – it has “bite-sized” conversations with well-known historians about some really interesting figures and key moments in history. You might be satisfied with learning just a little about these people and events contained in this book, – or it may “whet your appetite to delve into their full-sized” biographies.”  – Carrie
(Available as an ebook in Overdrive)

Murder in the Mill Race by E.C.R. Lorac
The British Library Crime Classics- Poisoned Pen Press
As a lover of mysteries, especially from the Golden Age, I was delighted to discover this collection of mysteries back in print from British authors not as well-known as Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers. We have many titles available in Falmouth. – R.W
(Available as an ebook in Hoopla)

I also recently read and enjoyed:
The Dead Shall Be Raised and the Murder of a Quack by George Bellairs – R.W.
(Available as an ebook in Hoopla)

Christy by Catherine Marshall
An inspirational story of a young idealistic woman’s first year as a teacher in Cutter Gap, a rural community in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee. Perfect for readers who enjoyed The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Michele Richardson or Jojo Moyes’ The Giver of Stars. – R.W.|
(Available as an ebook in Overdrive)

A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott
(Historical fiction) Adventure, danger and romance in a wonderful setting: the Grand Canyon of 1871. Reader’s will find much to love. – L.W
(Available as an ebook in Hoopla)

Bargain! (Short film)
Rebel Wilson fans, check this out. A hilarious short film — 10 minutes — made in 2009, before she hit it big with Bridesmaids. – D. D.
(Available in Indieflix  New to Indieflix?  Indieflix is one of four platforms provided by RBDigital.  The others are Acorn TV, Great Courses and Qello Concerts.  One account logs you into all four platforms.  A log in lasts 1 week.  You can log in to one platform at a time.)

Fashion Climbing by Bill Cunningham (Sandra)
Bill Cunningham’s column in the New York Times, “On the Street with Bill Cunningham,” was a favorite of mine, something to look forward to each week.  The idea of this aging Bostonian bicycling around Manhattan taking pictures of random people on the street struck my fancy, his appearance giving no hint of his interest in fashion.

Cunningham’s memoir, Fashion Climbing, published posthumously, fills in the blanks about his Irish upbringing in Boston, his years at Harvard, first years in New York as a milliner, and later career as a fashion writer and photographer.

Also available at the library are a book of his photos titled On the Street, a documentary called Bill Cunningham’s New York, and another documentary soon to be released.  Any of these will put a smile on your face.  His pleasure in observation of individual style is catching!
(Available as an eaudiobook in Overdrive)

The Dreamers  by Karen Thompson Walker
This book about a fast-spreading and little-understood viral illness—published in early 2019!—reads as nothing short of uncanny during our current COVID-19 crisis (though the disease it imagines is not as ghastly). Though not action-packed, the story has a certain quiet forward motion. The characters are sympathetic, the prose is excellent, and the echoes with our current situation are often startling. – J. G.
(Available as an ebook and eaudiobook in Overdrive)

Barbarian Days: A surfing life by William Finnegan
In this time of no travel and no sports, you can get vicarious thrills from William Finnegan’s fabulous surfing memoir, Barbarian Days. You don’t have to be a surfer to feel like you’re riding the waves with him, from Hawaii to Fiji, Long Island to Madagascar. It’s a great ride and a great read. – D. D.
(Available as an ebook in Overdrive)

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah (see links below)
Everything one could hope for in a novel: a sensual and heartbreaking story of family secrets, lost love and retribution that unfolds in the magical vineyards of Burgundy. The lost vintage evokes all the pleasures of French food and wine, even as it leaves you hungry for answers.
– L. W.
(Available as an ebook in Overdrive and an audiobook in Hoopla.)

Bonus for National Poetry Month!
Two audiobooks of poetry by Billy Collins available in Overdrive
Aimless Love:  new and selected poems
Billy Collins Live

A Note from Falmouth Library’s Newest Harry Potter Fan

I don’t know that any self-respecting Teen Librarian can get away with not having read the Harry Potter series.  So, as a new Teen Librarian, I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I’ve never read any of the books or watched any of the movies – until yesterday, when I started the first book.  

I used my Libby app and borrowed the audiobook version-it can be accessed here, once you create an Overdrive account-see below!  I know you don’t need me to tell you that it’s a fantastic book – no news there.  But, what you might not know is how wonderful the audiobook version is. Even if you’ve read the books before, I think it’s worth a listen.  The narrator, Jim Dale is an award winning Broadway actor, and he’s absolutely perfect as the voice of these books. The way he distinguishes characters with different voices and the overall warm energy he brings to the narration makes it a joy to listen to. 

Luckily, for those of us spending a lot of time at home right now, there’s also a LOT to listen to. There are 7 books in the series, which adds up to a total of over 117 hours of audiobook! That’s almost 5 straight days. I’m only a few hours into the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but I’m already a huge fan and looking forward to the many, many hours I’ll be spending listening to Jim Dale bring these books to life for me over the next few weeks. 

From Meg Krohn, our Teen Librarian!

(We have many eBooks and audiobooks on Overdrive, on your computer, or on most devices with the Libby app. You just need a CLAMS card!   Give us a call, or email us, if you need help getting started!)


Graphic Novel Review: All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

(reviewed by Josh M.)

With All-Star Superman, writer Grant Morrison takes nearly a hundred years of kooky comic book lore and condenses it into 12 episodic issues of inspired and inspiring magic.

The basic Superman elements remain the same: Alien on Earth. Dauntless do-gooder. Eternal optimist. Lois Lane. Jimmy Olsen. Lex Luther. Etc.

The basic Superman story lines remain the same: Alien invaders. Awkward office romance. Peacekeeping through punching. Lex Luther. Etc.

Yet much like a chef intensifying the flavor of a sauce by boiling it down, Morrison manages to make these tried and true ingredients feel fresher, bolder and richer than they have in years. 

My favorite issue is #5, ‘The Gospel According to Lex Luthor’, which is basically ‘Waiting for Godot’ starring Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, and staged in a supermax prison full of super-powered villains. The dialogue sparkles, the tension mounts, and instead of an onomatopoeic fistfight we get an extended ethical debate. (Albeit one with a few SMACK! CRACK! and POW!s laced throughout.)

If you’ve ever been a fan of Superman — heck, even if you’ve NEVER been a fan of Superman — this is a fun, funny and surprisingly poignant exploration of what makes the character endure.

All-Star Superman is available as an eBook on both OverDrive and Hoopla.