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


Hoopla Graphic Novel Review: ‘DC: The New Frontier’ by Darwyn Cooke

A blog entry from Josh, who is part of our circulation department.

Ever since Darwyn Cooke burst onto the scene in the early 1990s as a storyboard artist on ‘Batman: The Animated Series,’ he’s been been lauded for the unique blend of elegance and dynamo that he achieved in his artwork. What folks rarely seemed to mention, though, was how good of a writer he also was. It took Cooke making the seemingly backward career move from TV to comics (think: scion to serf) to finally right that wrong.

Essentially a re-telling of the Justice League’s formation, ‘DC: The New Frontier’ also covers 1950s race politics, the Red Scare and a dinosaur-populated monster island, blending it all into one epic, awe-inspiring superstory. Where most comics today tend to try to deconstruct the medium, Cooke seems more interested in re-constructing many of the ‘silver age’ elements that had been discarded over the years — space age science, pulp heroics, sweeping romance and an overall sense of wonder. Costume clad heroes both familiar and obscure pop up throughout. Some only appear briefly, in 10-20 page solo stories. Others weave in and out of the main mystery in an almost Altman-esque manner, finally converging en masse at the end of the book for a ‘We Are The World’-of-superfriends battle to save the planet. A few of the standout story lines are the Martian Manhunter’s arrival on Earth and his awkward assimilation of its culture, Hal Jordan’s transformation into the Green Lantern, and the Challengers of the Unknown’s beginning and (spoiler alert!) end.

Oh, and then there’s the art.

Ignore the word bubbles, and the book feels like a collection of long-lost pre-production art to some never-made superhero extravaganza from the glory days of the Hollywood studio system. Cooke’s biggest artistic influence is clearly Bruce Timm (the mastermind behind the aforementioned ‘Batman’ cartoon), but also evident in his work are the stylistic touches of Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and Carmine Infantino. In ‘DC: The New Frontier’, Cooke uses bits of all these classic cartoonists’ styles, blended with a bit of streamline moderne design and googie architecture, to perfectly capture the ‘anything is possible’ essence of the post-WWII United States. It’s gorgeous.

The ‘Deluxe Edition’ eBook format that DC has re-released the series in only adds to one’s appreciation of the art. Instead of the awkward-looking printing that sometimes ruins the enlargement of comic book pages, the simple grace of Cooke’s lines is actually enhanced by the digital blow up.

CLAMS cardholders can read DC: The New Frontier free on Hoopla!

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.

Even More Digital Staff Picks For You

This is the third in a series of blogs listing digital resources recommended by Falmouth Public Library staff.  This eclectic list of books, concerts and movies have all been personally enjoyed by library staff – We hope you enjoy them too! 

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. 
Big Tip for Qello and IndieFlix: These are two platforms offered by RB Digital, along with two other platforms: Great Courses and Acorn TV.  All four platforms share the same log in information and you can be logged in to only one platform at a time.  A log in lasts one week.   When the week is over, you can log in to the same platform again or a new one. 

Hoopla: eBooks & one eAudiobook

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant (eBook)
I thought I had a black thumb when it came to plant care, but this excellent book has given me the tools to change that. I have learned how to observe plants carefully and see their responses to my care – rather than simply following a schedule or set of generic instructions. 

I am thoroughly enjoying the learning process and watching my new plants grow.  Two green thumbs up! – Faith

Foraging for Wild Foods by David Squire (eBook)
This ebook is great for using now that it’s springtime. It’s so much fun to get out in nature and search for edible wild plants. So many plants are just starting to sprout up all around us. Foraging guidelines, plant descriptions and possible locations as well as how to use each plant are featured in this ebook. Take it with you on your walks. – AnneMarie

The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride (eBook)
This is a great ebook to start learning how to incorporate herbals into your everyday recipes for added health and wellness. Download it onto your computer pick a recipe, buy your herbs or forage for them then and take it to the kitchen and create! – Annemarie

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez (both eBook and eAudiobook)
I consider myself a reasonably educated feminist, and this audiobook, read by the author, has kept me enthralled in part because of the quick, smart writing, but also because it has opened my eyes to gender biases so baked in the cake, so a part of “normal” that they had never occurred to me.  Treating men as the default and women as atypical in data collection/research has lead to incredible disparities in healthcare, education, public policy and media presence.  Perez investigates these flawed practices, and gets to a root cause of gender inequality that is both shockingly simple and infuriatingly pervasive.  Meg. K.

OverDrive: eBooks & eAudiobooks

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (both eBook and eAudiobook)
I could not stop reading this book.  The feelings of dread all the way through as you got to know and love at least some of these siblings, the vividness of the settings, the questions it raised – I wanted more.   – Sue

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan (eBook)
is a historical fiction book set in Mexico and California during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.  A middle grade/young adult novel, it has appeal for adults too.  Reminiscent of The Grapes of Wrath, but much gentler, it illustrates the hardships faced by migrant workers and the adjustments required of immigrants.  Written in a lyrical style, Esperanza Rising is a heartwarming tale. – Sandra

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (both eBook & eAudiobook)
Lincoln in the Bardo is a novel unlike anything I’ve read before.  It is set in a graveyard over the course of one night, following the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie. The voices of multiple ghosts narrate their individual stories, as they observe the grief stricken president sitting by his son’s body, unable to part.  The author manages to deliver this tale with humor as well as pathos, and in addition he provides some history of Lincoln’s term in the White House during the Civil War, through quotes from actual as well as fictional sources.  This book is worth picking up.
– Sandra

Qello Concerts

Queen:  Rock Montreal
If you love Queen (does anybody not??), this is an amazing show.  A full 1981 concert, when many would say they were at their peak. And Quello has many more Queen videos, including “Live at the Rainbow” from 1974, “Live at Wembley Stadium” from 1986, an amazing multi-band Freddie Mercury tribute concert, and several documentaries. For hours of Queen-listening bliss! – Sue

J Mascis Live at Spiegeltent Festival
Remember J Mascis? The lead singer/guitarist of Amherst’s own Dinosaur Jr.? Well, the warbly troubadour of the early 1990s alt-rock scene is still at it, only now he’s traded in his feedback-drenched electric guitar for a plug-in acoustic. The songs remain the same, though — vulnerable, heartbreaking, occasionally biting, quintessentially quirky. In fact, most of what he’s playing here are classic Dinosaur Jr. songs, along with a cool cover of Edie Brickell’s ‘Circle’.

Recommended for folks who wondered what Bob Dylan would sound like singing Charlie Brown’s word bubbles.  – Josh


Shoplifters (Hoopla)
It’s exciting to see more films from Asia getting wider distribution, like “Parasite,” this year’s Oscar winner for best picture.  I saw “Shoplifters” a couple of years ago in Boston and I loved it.  It’s the story of a makeshift family gaming the system during Japan’s recession.  It’s funny, heartwarming, realistic, thought-provoking, timely and the characters are memorable.  Everything I want in a movie.  – D.D.

Mrs. Miniver (IndieFlix)
An oldie, but goodie starring Greer Garson and directed by William Wyler. Winner of the Oscar for Best Picture in 1942. Mrs. Miniver is the story of an unassuming British housewife in rural England and how her life is touched by World War II. It’s not a war movie in the sense of lots of action, but the effects of war on individuals and families. Based on the novel by Jan Struther., this one’s on lots of the “100 Best Movies” lists. Available through Indieflix. – D.D.


Books From Our Bookshelves

This morning on The Point with Mindy Todd we were joined by author Peter Abrahams. Mindy, Peter,  Jill , and our listeners discussed books on our home bookshelves, as this was another show where we were live from our homes instead of in the studio. Many thanks to all of you who called in, and below you will find the complete list of books mentioned. 

Mindy’s Picks

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? : a guide to daily  happiness for kids by Carol McCloud; illustrated by David Messing.

Chet the Dog series by Spencer Quinn

Peter’s Picks

Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown. (Also available as an ebook.)

Open: an autobiography by Andre Agassi. (Also available as an ebook and an eaudio book.)

The Shadow Divers: the true adventures of two Americans who risked everything to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson. (Also available as an ebook.)

Hitler: ascent, 1889-1939 by Volker Ullrich, translated from the German by Jefferson Chase. (Also available as an ebook.) Volume two of this biography, Hitler: downfall, 1939 – 1945 is due out in September.

As They See ‘Em: a fan’s travels in the land of umpires by Bruce Weber.

Jill’s Picks

A Fact A Day published by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., Garden City 1935 New York.

Staying Put: making a home in a restless world by Scott Russell Sanders.

Miss Rumphius Story & pictures by Barbara Cooney

Barclay Wills’ the Downland Shepherds by Barclay Wills, Richard Pailthorpe, and Shaun Payne. Not available in CLAMS, but you can see Barclay Wills here.

Madness, Rack and Honey: collected lectures by Mary Ruefle.

The Virgin in the Garden by A. S. Byatt.

Listener Picks

Stitches: a handbook on meaning, hope, and repair by Anne Lamont
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
Poem-A-Day: 365 poems for every occasion  
The Hours of Catherine of Cleves by John Plummer
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
The Collected Poems of John Ciardi 
Last Hope Island by Lynn Olsen
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo
A Primate’s Memoir by Robert Sapolsky

Books About Sisters on the Point with Mindy Todd

This morning on The Point with Mindy Todd we had a new experience … we all were talking from home, not in the studio! Joining Mindy and Jill this month was Kellie Porter of the Woods Hole Public Library. Due to coronavirus we could not all be in the studio, so we were all at home, but thanks to the intrepid duo of Dan Tritle and Kathryn Eident, we were all able to hear each other even if we couldn’t see each other. 

The theme this month was books about sisters, and as always we didn’t have time for everything we had on our tables. You can see some bonus titles below, as well as all of the suggestions made by listeners. If you have a suggestion, please let us know. If you missed the show you can listen to it anytime online.

Kellie’s Picks

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of a Big-hearted Bakery in Detroit by Lisa Ludwinski
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
The Sister Knot : why we fight, why we’re jealous, and why we’ll love each other no matter what by Terri Apter

Jill‘s Picks
Little Women: An Annotated Edition edited by Daniel Shealy
March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women by Kate Bolick, Jenny Zhang, Carmen Maria Machado and Jane Smiley
All-Of-A-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters by Marilynn Brass & Sheila Brass
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Not Enough Time For:
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
The Fabulous Bouvier SIsters by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
Listener’s Picks
Saffy’s Angel by Hilary McKay
Alan Bradley series Flavia de Luce. First book in series is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
Amy Stewart series Kopp Sisters. First book in series Kopp Sisters on the March
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Plays on The Point

Today on The Point with Mindy Todd, Jill Erickson and Nelson Ritschel, humanities professor at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, talked about plays to read by yourself or to read aloud with your Thanksgiving company! If you missed the show, you can always listen online. Thanks to those of you that called in, and you can always add your choices to this list by leaving us a comment. I highly recommend your reading two great articles about the joy of reading plays. One is by Dan Kois, where he talks of the deep and unique pleasure of reading plays, and the other is an article by Dwight Garner, “Submitting to a Play’s Spell, Without the Stage.”

Nelson’s Picks

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill

Not enough time for:
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The Price by Arthur Miller

Jill’s Picks

The Gabriels: election year in the life of one family by Richard Nelson
Red by John Logan
Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein by Marty Martin
The Clean House and other plays by Sarah Ruhl
100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write: on umbrellas and sword fights, parades and dogs, fire alarms, children, and theater by Sarah Ruhl
The Flick by Annie Baker

Not enough time for:
The White Card by Clauria Rankine
Betrayal by Harold Pinter

Listener Picks

Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell
The Zoo Story by Edward Albee

Auto-Renewal Starts Nov. 12

Exciting news, the CLAMS library network is pleased to start automatic renewals for books and materials borrowed from Cape and Islands libraries.  Beginning November 12, eligible items will be automatically renewed up to three times.  Express items and items that have a hold on them cannot be automatically renewed however, so do keep an eye on your account.  Enjoy!

Books Into Film, The Point with Mindy Todd

Books Into Film was our theme this morning as Kellie Porter, Jill Erickson, and Mindy Todd talked about which they loved more the book or the film. Below is our list of titles. We pre-recorded this show, and thus could not take calls. But if you have books and films you would like to add to our list, just leave a comment below, and we’ll add them to our list! You can list to the show here


Kellie’s Picks

Emma by Jane Austen (Clueless)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl, with illustrations by Donald Chaffin
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Shining by Stephen King


Jill’s Picks

Literature Into Film: theory and practical approaches by Linda Costanzo Cahir

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers and illustrated by Mary Shepard. There was a terrific article titled “Becoming Mary Poppins” about the making of the Disney version of Mary Poppins and P.L. Travers written by Caitlin Flanagan in 2005 for The New Yorker. Well worth a read.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and illustrated by Tasha Tudor

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Adaptations: from short story to big screen by Stephanie Harrison, which includes the short story from which the film Bringing Up Baby originated.

Blog regarding the film and story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, first posted in 2011!  Original story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier, included in her collection Echoes from the Macabre: selected stories.

My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin

For more literary films try taking a look at The Literary Filmography: 6,200 Adaptations of Books, Short Stories and Other Nondramatic Works by Leonard Mustazza.