Library News

Sweetgrass Baskets: A Gullah Geechee Tradition

Wednesday, February 8 @ 6:30 p.m. (hybrid event).

Join us to hear an amazing story about Sweetgrass Weaving and how this art form has been kept alive over the decades! Corey Alston, a sixth-generation sweetgrass weaver, will create a beautiful basket while sharing the history of the craft with the audience. He will also talk about why the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor in South Carolina is so unique. Please sign up for the session of your choice below.

SIGN UP HERE: IN-PERSON SESSION

SIGN UP HERE: VIRTUAL SESSION

“Chris Picks” February: Heart Books

Here are this month’s great recommendations from staff member Christopher Jennings Penders! Click on a title to place a hold. To find previous Chris Picks just click on the “what to read” link at the bottom of this page or type “Chris Picks” into the search bar on our home page.


Seeing as February is Valentine’s Month, and I don’t typically read romance books, I thought of a twist on the “heart” motif. Here are five books with the word “heart” in the title. Each book is entirely different from the previous one.  Hope you <3 each one.

Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe
Tell-Tale Heart is in this collection. Poe is one of my favorite deceased writers.

Inkheart
Cornelia Funke
As with January’s Children’s list where I mentioned The Great Good Thing, Inkheart follows the same path where the characters in the book come to life

Moonheart
Forests of the Heart
Charles DeLint
As you can clearly see, I’m a huge fan of Charles DeLint. I love that he has created a fictional town in Canada and every character appears in every book. It’s like getting to see your old friends again.

In the Heart of the Sea
Nathaniel Philbrick’s masterpiece in my opinion. In the Heart of the Sea is the story of the Whaleship Essex and is the inspiration for Moby Dick. Don’t miss this book.

An Open Heart
Dalai Lama XIV
I’ve always searched for spiritual meanings behind life and books have been one vehicle I have used to find my way. Finding joy has been a guiding principle of my life as well. The Dalai Lama is also on this journey and reading An Open Heart gives everyone a chance to practice joy and compassion.

The Golden Age of Hollywood

Thursday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

From the late 1920s through the end of WWII, Hollywood studios dominated film production, not only in America but around the world. The best-loved films ever made are the legacy of these years. This talk will examine the forces that made Hollywood the giant of filmmaking during its Golden Age, including studio politics, the star system, and the nature of the movie-going experience.

Saturday Breakfast Book Club: “Harlem Shuffle”

Saturday, February 18th at 10 a.m. (hybrid program).

Join us for our next Saturday Breakfast Book Club! For February 2023, we’ll discuss the 2021 novel “Harlem Shuffle” by acclaimed author Colson Whitehead while enjoying coffee and refreshments. Patrons have the option of attending virtually or in person. Please sign up for the session of your choice below.

SIGN UP HERE: IN-PERSON SESSION

SIGN UP HERE: VIRTUAL SESSION

“Chris Picks” January: Children’s Books

Here are this month’s great recommendations from staff member Christopher Jennings Penders! Click on a title to place a hold. To find previous Chris Picks just click on the “what to read” link at the bottom of this page or type “Chris Picks” into the search bar on our home page.

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As I looked back over the last year of giving book suggestions, I realized one area I have neglected — Children’s Books! Here are some of my favorites:

Encyclopedia Brown
Donald J. Sobol
Wow! Talk about childhood memories. I was living in Branford, Connecticut, and attending Branford Intermediate School at the time. Now the school is named after the principal in charge when I was going there (Francis Walsh Intermediate School). It seems so odd to call it that after attending the school when he was principal.

I think I read every Encyclopedia Brown book while going to intermediate school. Leroy Brown is a ten-year-old trivia buff. With his encyclopedic sense of knowledge (hence his name) he solves mysteries in his hometown with the help of his friends.

I loved this series growing up in middle school and I recommend it to any middle school student. Pick one up and I bet you’ll be hooked.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Dr. Seuss
This book and Hop on Pop are dear to my heart as my maternal grandfather used to read them to me all the time. I vividly recall seeing these two books in my grandparents’ living room sitting on the top of a headrest of a white chair, waiting to be read. One Fish… was returned through the book drop last week and I was flooded with memories of sitting in that white chair while my grandfather read from the book.

I loved the rhyming when these books were read to me and every time these two books cross my view I must set aside the time to read them again. Because these books were read to me by my grandfather, they have become my favorite Seuss books.

My Side of the Mountain
Jean Craighead George
I remember reading this when I turned ten or eleven. Even at that age, I was a voracious reader. My Side of the Mountain held me in rapture as I cheered for Sam to survive after he ran away to the Catskill Mountains.

Harris and Me
Gary Paulsen
During his tenth year, a young boy is sent to his aunt and uncle’s farm where he meets their son, his cousin, Harris. The two boys have humorous and wild adventures together that only boys can have. I laughed out loud while reading this book.

The Great Good Thing
Roderick Townley
I will again reference being a writer and being the writer that I am The Great Good Thing stood out for me for a specific reason. One aspect of writing, especially when I was writing fiction, was what happens to my characters when I leave something unfinished. Where do my characters go? Do they stay in limbo? Are they knocking on a proverbial door, begging me to return so they can complete their life, their story? What happens to them once the story is complete?

The Legend of Hobbomock
Jason J. Marchi
My longtime friend and fellow writer, Jason Marchi, published a book a few years ago about the origins of Sleeping Giant mountain in Hamden, Connecticut. Based on the legend of Sleeping Giant, Jason has re-imagined the story. The book is getting rave reviews from children everywhere.

“Chris Picks” December: Christmas/Winter

Here are this month’s great recommendations from staff member Christopher Jennings Penders! Click on a title to place a hold. To find previous Chris Picks just click on the “what to read” link at the bottom of this page or type “Chris Picks” into the search bar on our home page.

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To celebrate the Christmas season and winter, I’ve selected Christmas and winter-related books as a theme for December. Seeing as we are in a busy time of year, I’m only choosing 4 books in December. Enjoy the holiday!

The Last Noel
by Michael Malone
This one is about two friends from divergent backgrounds growing up in the south. Noni Tilden and Kaye King grow up and become close as their lives are drawn together through many challenging times. I loved this book. The Last Noel can be a bit sappy. However, I can be such a sap sometimes and I’ll be honest here, I choked up a bit when I read the last few pages.  This is the PERFECT time to read this as the Christmas season is upon us.

Kringle
by Tony Abbott
Kris Kringle, the legendary Santa Claus is brought to life in Tony Abbott’s imagining of the Santa Claus story. Though this book is written for children, it should not go unread by adults. (I’m putting on my writer’s hat now.) We should all read everything, not just as writers but as people who like to read. Don’t turn your nose up at any genre. For those of us who are avid fantasy readers, you will be happy to hear that there are goblins and elves throughout Kringle.

The Christmas Train
by David Baldacc
Tom Langdon travels from Washington DC to California. He starts out as no fan of train traveling but slowly warms to it as he crosses the country. I don’t normally read Baldacci, but this landed on my lap a few years ago, and I liked it.

Winterkill
by C.J. Box
I’ve read several Joe Pickett books by C.J. Box and Winterkill is a favorite. Joe’s foster daughter is kidnapped during a winter storm. He has to battle the elements to find her amid other criminal activity. This kept me on edge throughout. The Joe Pickett series is well-written all around.