Hot August



As August rolls around my first thought is “oh no, summer is almost gone!” Then after taking a deep breath I realize there is still plenty of time for summer grilling, hiking, going to the beach, reading more books, and just enjoying the warm days and nights.

The library has plenty of new books you to enjoy while soaking up the warm summer rays plus a few cookbooks to help you plan barbeques and how to prepare all the fresh outdoor-grillingvegetables from gardens. You can checkout Fire It Up: More Than 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything by Andrew Schloss. With 400 recipes for grilling meat, vegetables, sandwiches, and yes fruit you cannot go wrong. Another good grilling cookbook is Bobby Flay’s Grill It! by Bobby Flay. Recipes include a variety of burgers, roasting asparagus, and how to grill corn-on-the-cob.

August also means the U. S. Open tennis tournament in New York City. I enjoy watching tennis and the heat of a late summer in the city makes this tournament a little bit more us-open-tennis-concept-with-flag-and-balldifficult to win. I remember an epic battle between Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander for the 1988 championship. They started to play for the championship at 4:22 pm and finished at 9:17 pm; 4 hours and 54 minutes of nail biting tennis. I was rooting for the Swede who won in five sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. The library has Andre Agassi’s Open, Days of Grace by Arthur Ashe, and John McEnroe’s new book But Seriously. You might want to read one before the tennis tournament starts on August 28, 2017.

If you want to get a hike in before summer ends there are plenty of hiking spots in the area. I have been to Mount Tire’m in Waterford several times. Once you reach the top you have a beautiful view of Keoka Lake plus there is a glacial erratic to explore. This month I tried Witt’s End Trail to Shepard’s Farm Preserve. The trail was moderate and peaceful when I hiked it. If you want more information about the trails I mentioned or other trails in the region stop by the information desk and either Alana or I can help you find the right hiking trail for you!      hiking

– Katherine

Hot and Fun July



Summer Reading
How is your summer been so far? I have been busy here at the library adding new books, and getting ready for the second book discussion in the It’s Elementary: Clues and Deduction series. The House of Silk will be discussed on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30pm. I hope to see many of you that night and hear what you have to think about Anthony Horowitz’s interpretation of Sherlock Holmes.

I have been reading the Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd this summer. The books are set after World War I in England and Rutledge solves murders for Scotland Yard. He is also still dealing with the trauma of being in the Somme during the war. The mystery is always intriguing and leaves you guessing until the end. An interesting fact about the author is Charles Todd is a mother and son writing duo. One lives in North Carolina and the other resides in Delaware.

Cookbook discussion July 13, 2017 at 6:00pm

mini layer saladHow is your gardening growing? If you are finding yourself with abundance of vegetables please think about joining the cookbook discussion of Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers on Thursday, July 13 at 6:00pm. If you haven’t been to a cookbook discussion in the past here is what you need to know: come to the information desk to browse the cookbook, choose and make a copy, prepare the dish and bring it on July 13. Everyone samples each dish then we discuss the cookbook and preparing the dish. If you have any questions about this program please call me at 743-5309 ext.1 or email me at

Fourth of July
July is the month when we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States. The July 4th holiday is full of picnics, backyard bar-b-ques, and the dazzling fireworks in the dark sky.

To entertain folks at your holiday event here are some fun facts about the Fourth of July:

Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks

1870 congress passed a bill making July 4 a federal holiday.
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the nation’s symbol. He felt the bald eagle was morally bad and not the right image for the new country.

Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 — John Hancock and Charles Thompson.
The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.

Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.laptop-610x360

The holiday isn’t complete without fireworks to brighten the night. I have often wondered when and who invented fireworks. I did a little research and a majority of historians believe that the Chinese invented them around 200 B.C. It seems it when they were roasting bamboo to explode in order to displace evil spirits. Later between 600 and 900 A.D. the Chinese began to put an early form of gunpowder in the bamboo thus producing a load bang when roasting it in the fire.

In time the fireworks made its way into Europe and into the new world. Rhode Island records indicate that in 1731 there were enough shenanigans with fireworks that “…it became such a public nuisance that officials banned the “mischievous use of pyrotechnics” in 1731.

Happy Fourth of July



June: Beginning of Summer

With June’s arrival, that means summer is fast approaching and we have a fun summer reading program at the library. I gave you a hint last month: bees. Did you connect bees to a famous nineteenth century sleuth by the name of Sherlock Holmes? If so, then you Holmescorrectly deduced that we will be reading Sherlock Holmes and two other authors interpretation’s of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s master detective. I gave you the clue “bees” because Holmes was a beekeeper at his home in Sussex.

We have wanted to have a mystery book discussion series for a while now, but with so many mystery genres it was hard to pick which genre and authors. Since January I have been reading a lot of mystery books. I did not mind as I like that genre, but I wasn’t reading for fun. As I read I kept notes on good character development, plot flow, and discussability of each book.

It wasn’t until Alana found out that this year will be the 130th anniversary of the first Holmes publication that the lightbulb went off. It’s Elementary: Clues and Deduction: A Summer with Sherlock Holmes begins on Thursday, June 22 at 6:30pm with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet. It continues on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30pm with The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz, and the last discussion will be of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King on Thursday, August 10 at 6:30pm.

A Study in Scarlet was published in 1887 by Ward Lock & Co. in Beeton’s Christmas Study in SacrletAnnual. In 1914 the book was adapted for the silver screen. There have been many renditions of A Study in Scarlet as movies, plays, and television, but the closest interpretation so far has been A Study in Charlotte for the Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu television series Elementary.



In addition to the discussion series, we will offer a Sherlock Holmes trivia game called The Game’s Afoot. Each Thursday between June 22 and August 17 a question about Holmes and his world will be released on Facebook, and at the information desk. Submit the answer with your name and telephone number to be placed in a drawing to win a library book bag and a book of your choosing from a selection at the library. The drawing will be held on Thursday, August 17, 2017 with the drawing on Friday, August 18, 2017.


Other events at the library include a summer cookbook discussion of Raising the Salad Raising the salad barBar by Catherine Walthers, Thursday, July 13 6:00-7:30pm. You can browse the cookbook at the information desk and make copies of the recipes you select to prepare and bring to the discussion.



Don’t forget to stop in and pick up books for your summer reading. Nothing beats the heat like a good book.

May: A Busy Month

In the month of May the days get warmer and the staff at the library gets busier in anticipation of spring programs and the return of summer patrons.

Adopt a BookNew children books arrived with hopes of being adopted by someone. The library celebrates Children’s Book Week, May 1-7 , throughout the month with books that the public can “adopt.” The books are on display across from the circulation desk. All you have to do it pick out a favorite or one that has special meaning and adopt it by purchasing it (check with circulation staff for full details on how to purchase a book). Then a bookplate is made with your name or in memory, or honor of someone. You can be the first to check it out, after that the book lives at the library for children to checkout and read. This is fun and in the past I have adopted a few books.

On Thursday, May 18 at 6:30pm the library will be hosting a program in recognition of the 100th Anniversary of American involvement in WWI. USM Professor Elizabeth Bischof will give a presentation on WWI Maine memorials. This is open and free to the public.

Right now reference staff is planning the adult summer reading program. Alana and I cat reading bookare reading books in hopes of choosing just the right ones to make an interesting and fun summer book discussion series. I cannot give away the theme, but I can give you a clue: bees. Be on the lookout in early June for titles, dates, and more.



I am hopeful that the weather will warm up and I can start planting my garden. It isn’t yellow tom 2the traditional big garden, but two small containers on wheels. It works perfect on my deck. I will plant yellow cherry tomatoes again as last year I had plenty. They are flavorful and look pretty in a salad. I will try peppers though last year they didn’t fare well. I need to check on how to raise peppers and great resource is the UMaine’s Cooperative Extension. To access the link to the YouTube videos visit the library’s web site at and scroll to the bottom of the page.


cilantro _signI also want to try cilantro in my garden. This herb is a favorite of mine. In addition I will plant basil and thyme. It is fun to step outside on my deck and have fresh herbs to include in my cooking.


Do you plant a garden and if so what do you plant? Do you start from seeds or buy plants (my way as I do not have a green thumb).

Spring has Sprung – March

Are you almost done with your Winter Book Bingo card, but still need a few more suggestions?
Here are a few titles that may help you finish your card by Saturday, March 18 at 3:00pm.

Young Adult (A big thank you to our Teen Coordinator Cynthia for providing me with a list of great YA books!)

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
Good account of true story of a group of Danish boys who defied Hitler. These determined boys helped spark the Danish resistance movement.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension. (Review from

If you are a James Patterson fan check out his series for young adults: Witch and Wizard and Maximum Ride.
Visit to find titles awarded the Michael L. Printz for Excellene in Young Adult Literature.
Diverse Books
This organization We Need Diverse Books says:
We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. We Need Diverse Books web site This website’s resources include reading list by preferred genre.

The African Trilogy by Chinua Achebe
Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

            Arrival of Springcrocus-in-snow-big

After this winter, it really was that one week in February that was brutal, I cannot wait until the crocus pop up from under the remnants of snow. Next on my checklist for spring are the tulips, and then the shamrocks that appear on


Another item on my spring checklist is to get organized so when the Memorial Day weekend comes I will be able to spend most of my time enjoying the warm weather and planting flowers. If you are like me than come to the library for Organization Zen with Janie Downey Maxwell, Tuesday, March 2 at 6:30pm.

More programs at the library (all are free and opened to the public)

In recognition of National Freedom of Information Day the library will host Brenda Kielty on Tuesday, March 14 beginning at 6:30pm. Kielty will speak about Maine’s Freedom of Access act and the openness of government information.

Let’s Talk About It is underway. The next book is A Marrow of Tradition by Charles W. Chesnutt on Tuesday, March 28 at 6:30pm. The series Violence and Belonging: The Fourteenth Amendment and American Literate and is facilitated by Reza Jalali. Stop by the information desk to register and pick up a copy of the book.


                           Fun facts about Ireland & St. Patrick


Ah, St. Patrick’s Day when we all become a wee bit Irish. I have also loved St. Patrick’s Day – I don’t know why but I just do! I make Irish stew and Irish soda bread for dinner. I found a recipe from an Irish cookbook for apple cake so that tops off the evening’s meal.

Here are some fun facts to entertain your guests at your St. Patrick’s Day festivities:

March 17th is the date associated with St. Patrick because it was the day he died in 461 at Saul, County Down. The saint is buried Down Cathedral province of Armagh.

Luke Wadding a Franciscan friar from Waterford, turned March 17 a feast day for St. Patrick.

The first parade was held in Boston in 1737

The first parade in Ireland was in Waterford in 1903 and Dublin had its first parade in 1931.

Blue was the color first associated with St. Patrick and it wasn’t until the 19th century that green became the color for St Patrick’s Day.

As for St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland that is a wonderful myth. Most scientists now believe that Ireland never had any snakes to begin with.



February this the month to read

February is the shortest month but we have jam packed it with great reading opportunities.

Winter Book Bingo is still going on and on Thursday, February 23 at 6:30pm I will be holding a book chat. We will discuss the books you have read to fill in your squares and offer recommendations. I had a hard time finding a book published in the year I was born. I started a few, but I just didn’t like them. I have now settled on Bears on Wheels by Stan Jan Berenstain. I cannot go wrong reading about the Berenstain bears and their adventures.

Recommendation for book squares:

rezaShort stories
Homesick Mosque by Reza Jalali.
Reza puts the readers in the middle of the action and leave you wondering what happens next. Reza left out of the minor details and gets right the point and action of his short stories.

Out of your comfort zone

Top of the World by Peter May – Boston Celticsceltics
You will learn how Danny Ainge put together the 2008 team that won the Celtics their 17th championship. Danny started with hiring head coach Doc Rivers and acquiring Kevin Garnet and Ray Allen to make another run for the NBA title. Yes it a sports book, but you will learn about each athlete and what they endure to become championship caliber basketball players.

Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ Perfect Season by Mike Freeman
I know another sports book, but this one tells the story of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins and how Coach Don Sula and his players took on race relations in Miami in a city that was hostile to blacks. In the 1970s.

station-elevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The novel charts the fate that connects five people: an actor in a health crisis, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.



Another reading adventure is Blind Date with a Book. Alana has chosen books from different genres and wrapped them in Valentine’s Day paper. All you have to do is come in choose a book, read at least fifty pages, fill out the comment card, and drop the card off at the library to enter a raffle drawing . Don’t be shy about choosing a book as it may become a good book friend.
The library was awarded a Let’s Talk About It (LTAI) book discussion series called Violence and Belonging: The Fourteenth Amendment and American Literate from Maine Humanities Council. This amendment includes defining national citizenship and making sure that states do not deny citizens basic rights. The books in the series look at citizenship, diversity, and inequality. Reza Jalali is the facilitator for the series discussion. Reza is a familiar face in our library. In the summer of 2013 he was the featured speaker to help kick off our Muslim Journey series and in the fall of 2013 was the facilitator for another LTAI series.

The series begins Tuesday, February 28 and continues for five sessions ending on May 23 at Norway Memorial Library. All discussions will be held on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. To register for the series and pick up a book stop at the information desk.

Hello January 2017

Hello 2017!

So the holidays have come and gone and now what? Well, since it is a bit chilly outside why not check out a stack of books and play Winter Book Bingo at Norway Memorial Library! It is perfect to get out of a reading rut (sometimes I get stuck reading the same genre so this is a good opportunity for me to try new authors and genres).

bingo-cardTo play the bingo reading game please stop at the information desk and pick up a Winter Bingo Card and a packet of hot coca (while supplies last). There are 25 squares with different subjects to read. When you read and complete a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line of five squares bring in your card so it can be entered in the drawing to win a bingo prize of a book of your choice from a selection of books and a Bas Bleu mug. Readers who blackout their card by reading twenty-five titles that correspond with the subject for every square will be entered in a drawing for the grand blackout prize a gift certificate to Books N Things.

Cards must be turned in by Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm to be entered into the drawing. The drawing will take place on Monday, March 20, 2017. If you are stumped what to read or have great book titles suggestions than come to a book chat on Thursday, January 26 at 6:30pm.

whole-towns-talkingTo get you started here are a few suggestions:
Fannie Flagg latest The Whole Town’s Talking. Flagg writes about a small town in Missouri and its citizens. Flagg takes you along through the years and of course you will find out what the whole town is talking about. You can use this to cross out the “checkout from library” square.

nancy-drewThe square “From your childhood” is fun. I have a few recommendations:
Nancy Drew series (this series got me hooked on mysteries). These books were fun and I wanted to be Nancy finding clues to solve a mystery and driving a convertible. My third grade teacher (shout out to Miss Payson) read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my class. I so loved this story of four children finding a new, magical place and making friends fictional character Aslan the lion (one of my favorite fictional characters).

Another square is “Set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.” There are many places I would like to travel and visit. If I had the chance the first place would be Paris, the city of lights. To walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, order (in French) a croissant, and take in all the sights and sounds Paris has to offer would be a dream. Since Paris isn’t in my near future, I can read about the city. A good book that brings Paris to life is lunch-in-parisLunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. Bard takes you a magical tour of Paris as she falls for a Frenchman and the city.


You can play along with us by letting us know what you are reading to fill in the book bingo squares.

Check back often for more book recommendations to help fill in the bingo squares.