Short Reads on The Point With Mindy Todd

Today on the monthly book show with Mindy Todd on WCAI, we were trying to offer short reads for short attention spans. Joining us this month was Nelson Ritschel, a Professor in the Department of Humanities at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Having trouble concentrating this year? Our book topic this month is short fiction, or as we like to think of them One-Night Reads. We shared short novels and short stories.

UPDATE: I have only just realized that during the course of our conversation I was talking about Laurie Colwin’s books being reissued, but managed to confuse her with Lorrie Moore, who is the author of the book I was actually talking about called Self-Help: stories. And I dearly love Laurie Colwin’s stories and novels, as well as her book Home Cooking: a writer in the kitchen. By all means you should read BOTH Laurie Colwin and Lorrie Moore! Pandemic brain strikes again!

Nelson’s Picks

“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” by Stephen Crane,

“The Dead” by James Joyce, Dubliners. London: Grant Richards, 1914—and

“A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, The Best American Short Stories of the Century, John Updike, ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

“Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1922—and

“The Adventure of ‘The Western Star’” by Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories, New York: William Morrow, 2013.

Jill’s Picks

The Virgin In the Garden by A. S. Byatt (A LONG book, which  made me realize I needed to read short books!)

Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls

Self-Help by Lorrie Moore (or really anything by Lorrie Moore)

Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin

High Rising by Angela Thirkell

Nothing Much Happens: cozy and calming stories to soothe  your mind and help you sleep by Kathryn Nicolai

Desperate Characters by Paula Fox

Margaret The First by Danielle Dutton (Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s essay on Margaret the First.)

Listener Picks

Roughing It by Mark Twain
The Opposite of Loneliness: essays and stories by Marina Keegan
I Love Everybody (and other atrocious lies) by Laurie Notaro


Books Into Movies or TV Series on The Point with Mindy Todd

This morning on The Point with Mindy Todd we talked about books that have been turned into movies and television series. Joining us was the delightful Petra Mayer, editor for NPR books. Thanks to all of you who called in or emailed with your book suggestions! What a plethora of new books to read or to watch. The full list of titles mentioned is below.

Petra’s Picks

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, YA novel by Jenny Han, adapted by Netflix.

The Magicians, original books by Lev Grossman, adapted for SyFy

Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, of course – the TV show was based on volume one, The Duke and I, and if you don’t want to wait for season 2, you can read The Viscount Who Loved Me, which is all about Anthony Bridgerton (and his fear of bees).

For a fun twist on Sherlock Holmes, there’s Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series – the first one is A Study in Scarlet Women (Sherry Thomas, by the way, is an INCREDIBLE romance author – try the Heart of Blade books, they’re amazing), and the other series I mentioned was Laurie R. King’s Holmes & Russell – the first one of those is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

I also talked about Preacher, the mid-90s Vertigo comic series that was adapted for AMC but honestly, I wouldn’t recommend either the books or the show unless people understand they’re gonna be in for a LOT of violence, gore, weird sex, blasphemy and general disgustingness.

And then in terms of series that are in development that I’m excited about, there’s N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books (try the Six of Crows duology, it’s a hoot!), Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death, Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea books (hopefully they won’t screw it up this time around – the last adaptation was Not So Good) and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.

Finally, the series I’d love to see come to TV (I’ve heard rumors of a development deal but nothing concrete) is Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, about a half-fae-half-human private investigator and sometime knight errant in San Francisco. The first one is Rosemary and Rue. (Also, and I didn’t get around to mentioning this one because I ran out of time, Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books, about an alternate Britain where the world of literature is real and people can cross back and forth into books. It’s SO fun. The first one is The Eyre Affair.)

Jill’s Picks

VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever edited by Michael J. Tyrkus
Masterpiece Theatre: A Celebration of 25 Years of Outstanding Television by Terrence O’Flaherty

The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott is book one in The Raj Quartet. The Granada Television version was spectacular.

The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes edited by Leslie S. Klinger

From Holmes to Sherlock by Mattias Boström

The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis. New Yorker article by Sarah Miller: The Fatal Flaw of “The Queen’s Gambit”

Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright. New Yorker article by Charles Finch: The Forgotten Novel That Inspired Homesickness For An Imaginary Land

A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch is the 1st Charles Lenox Mystery. A series which should be made into a television series.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. No time for his novel Time and Again, a novel I love, which has  never been filmed, although it was made into a failed musical! There was a sequel as well, From Time to Time, but I never read it, because I thought the original novel did not need a sequel. (If you read the sequel and loved it, let me know!)

Listener Picks

Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling

Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon

Walkabout by James Vance Marshall

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Murdoch Mysteriesa television series, but based on the mysteries by Maureen Jennings

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The World According to Garp by John Irving

A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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


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


The Point, Books About Color, Part Two



It was a pleasure to have Laura Reckford, Executive Director of the Falmouth Art Center, return to the monthly book show on CAI this morning. We had so much fun talking about books having to do with color last month, that we ended up with part two this morning. Below you will find the list of all the books that were mentioned. Thanks so much to those of who added to our lists, as well as those that were listening. If you have an idea for a theme for a future book show, let me know! You can write to me at

Laura’s Picks

Color Theory: An essential guide to color from basic principles to practical applications by Patti Mollica
Interaction of Color by Josef Albers
Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson
Confident Color: An Artist’s Guide to Harmony, Contrast and Unity by Nita Leland
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle
Mouse Paint by Ellen Walsh
An Atlas of Rare and Familiar Colour: The Harvard Art Museums Forbes Pigment Collection
Colour: Why the World Isn’t Grey by Hazel Rossotti
The Color Collector’s Handbook by Leah Martha Rosenberg
Chromophobia by David Batchelor

Jill’s Picks

My Private Property by Mary Ruefle
The Primary Colors by Alexander Theroux
The Secondary Colors by Alexander Theroux
Essays by Henry D. Thoreau, a fully annotated edition. Edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer. Particularly the essay “Autumnal Tints”
Bluets by Maggie Nelson
Colors in Fashion edited by Jonathan Faiers and Mary Westerman Bulgarella
Pure Sea Glass: discovering nature’s vanishing gems by Richard LaMotte
Fairfield Porter: the collected poems with selected drawings. Edited by John Yau with David Kermani
Colors Passing Through Us by Marge Piercy
The Book of Greens: a cook’s compendium by Jenn Louis with Kathleen Squires
The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse by Eric Carle

Listener’s Picks

Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s practical guide to liberation on the land by Leah Penniman
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywait
Colour: travels through the paintbox by Victoria Finlay
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
What Color is Love by Joan Walsh Anglund
Frederick by Leon Lionni
Artists Handbook and Materials Methods by Robert Mayer
Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neill

The Point: Books About Colors

This month’s book show on The Point with Mindy Todd featured books that were inspired by colors in some way. Mindy and I were joined by Laura Reckford, Executive Director of the Falmouth Art Center. As I found out pretty quickly, there are a mountain of books having to do with colors in one way or another. From wallpapers to gardens to fashion to essays and poetry. As always, many thanks to all the listeners who called in with their suggestions. Indeed, Laura and I had so many titles we did not get to, we are going to do part two of this show on September 30th! Below you will find the titles we did have time for, including all of the listener picks. If you missed the show, you can always listen online at WCAI.

Laura’s Picks

Blue Dog by George Rodrigue and Lawrence S. Freundlich
The Wild Party, the lost classic, by Joesph Moncure March, Drawings by Art Spiegelman
Colors, (a bound volume of all 13 issues of a magazine that Maira Kalman worked with her husband Tibor Kalman) by Tibor Kalman, edited by Maira Kalman.
Black & White and Dead All Over by John Darnton
Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art by Mary Gabriel
Cape Cod Gardens & Houses with photography by Taylor Lewis, text by Catherine Fallin (also Martha’s Vineyard Gardens & Houses; and Nantucket Gardens & Houses)
Life Colors Art, fifty years of painting by Peter Busa
And mentioned in passing these classics: Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss; The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (a caller mentioned this book too) and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (for the color green used throughout the book, especially for the green light near Daisy Buchanan’s house, the color of money and representing his hopes for the future)


Jill’s Picks

On Being Blue: a philosophical inquiry by William Gass (a caller recommended this book too)
Sara Berman’s Closet by Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman
My Private Property by Mary Ruefle (Includes 11 meditations on different colors for different kinds of sadness.)
Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton & 639 others
The Wallpaper Book by Geneviève Brunet
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman can be found in The Art of the Short Story, edited by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn
The Green Ray by Jules Verne
The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair (A caller recommended this too.)
The Gardener’s Color Palette by Tom Fischer with photographs by Clive Nichols

Picture Books

Pantone: Colors, Illustrations by Helen Dardik
The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler
Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Listener Picks

Pitidoe the Color Maker by Glen Dines. There is a Youtube video of this story being read aloud, if you would like to see the book.

On Being Blue: a philosophical inquiry by William Gass
Here is the quote our listener sent:
“Of the colors, blue and green have the greatest emotional range. Sad reds and melancholy yellows are difficult to turn up. Among the ancient elements, blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overhead and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay. Although green enlivens the earth and mixes in the ocean, and we find it, copperish, in fire; green air, green skies, are rare. Gray and brown are widely distributed, but there are no joyful swatches of either, or any of exuberant black, sullen pink, or acquiescent orange. Blue is therefore most suitable as the color of interior life. Whether slick light sharp high bright thin quick sour new and cool or low deep sweet dark soft slow smooth heavy old and warm: blue moves easily among them all, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.”

Tony & Tina Color Energy: how color can transform your life

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

Color: a  natural history of the palette by Victoria Finlay


Browsing, or What I Have Learned from 11 AM to Noon

By Jill E. Erickson, Head of Reference and Adult Services

Over the past few weeks I have been spending an hour of my time chatting with people who are waiting outside to pick up library materials.  It has been such a pleasure for me to actually talk mask to mask with people for the first time in many months.  Yes, I have been answering telephone calls and emails, as well as texting, sending postcards and talking about books on WCAI during the months we have been closed, but none of this has involved seeing people in person.  What a joy it has been to actually have real time conversations, look people in the eyes, and know that we would be shaking hands if we could.


Chatting with our patrons has been a real education for me in what people most miss about not being allowed into the building. Sure they have missed seeing us, and ask When are you going to open?  However, the number one comment about what people miss the most, is browsing the library stacks! Of all the things we had considered that people might miss, I don’t think we were fully aware of how much people love to browse the stacks.  As someone who grew up going to public libraries from a very young age, you would think I would have considered the heartbreak that comes when you you can’t browse in the library that you love.   

We have tried to meet this need by creating browsing carts, which we deeply know is not enough, but is something. The East Falmouth Branch has the most browsing carts at this point, because they have the best location for it. The main library, where I spend my days, now has a small browsing cart of Express books (which means no one else can put a hold on those copies) and of Express DVDs. Originally, we put carts out at Noon, rather than when we first opened the doors at 11:00 AM. After hearing person after person tell me between 11 and noon that what they most missed was browsing, I asked Tammy Amon, the Head of Circulation, if she would be willing to put them out earlier. So now they do go outside when we first open for pickup.

The first definition in the Oxford English Dictionary for the word browse is “To feed on the leaves and shoots of trees and bushes; to crop the shoots or tender parts of rough plants for food: said of goats, deer, cattle.” So now I think of browsing on books as a real nourishment for our minds and hearts, and we hope that you will be browsing again inside the building before long.

Cape Cod & the Islands, Part Two.

This morning, I had the pleasure of sharing books about Cape Cod and the Islands with Mindy Todd and Dennis Minsky on the monthly book show. If you missed the show, you can always listen on line at WCAI! Thanks to all our listeners who were listening or who called in with other title suggestions. It is hard to believe that this is the fifth month that we have been sharing books from our homes, and I know we all look forward to the day when we can see each other as well as listen to each other! In the meantime, here is today’s list of all the titles that were mentioned.

And if you are interested in being part of the Twitter reading group that is currently reading The Maytrees by Annie Dillard, just follow @APublicSpace and @elizmccracken on Twitter and join the fun!

Mindy’s Picks

Craig Kingsbury Talkin’ by Kristen Kingsbury Henshaw
Beyond the Bright Sea, Wolf Hollow and Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk 
Anything by Martin Sandler

Dennis’ Picks

The House on Nauset Marsh by Wyman Richardson
Cape Cod Yesterdays by Joseph Lincoln
Nature’s Year: the seasons of Cape Cod by John Hay
Time and the Town: a Provincetown chronicle by Mary Heaton Vorse
Cape Cod Shore Whaling: America’s First Whalemen by John Braginton-Smith and Duncan Oliver

Jill’s Picks

Stone, Paper, Knife by Marge Piercy. The poem I read was Very Late July.
Dream Work by Mary Oliver. The poem I read was Starfish.
The Maytrees 
by Annie Dillard
The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken
Martha’s Vineyard and Other Places by David Hockney
Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman
The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt
Hot Water by Sally Gunning
A Beautiful Place to Die by Philip R. Craig

Listener Picks

A Cape Cod Sketch Book by Jack Frost. (Many of the structures he sketched are still standing today!)
That Quail Robert by Margaret A. Stanger with drawings by Cathy Baldwin. This true story is set in Orleans.
In the Wake of the Willows: a sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows by Frederick Thurber and illustrated by Amy Thurber. The listener says even though the book isn’t based on the Cape, it evokes a feeling of Cape Cod.
The Wild Edge: life and lore of the great Atlantic beaches by Philip Kopper