October – A Month of Traditions

An autumn tradition in my family is apple picking. We usually pick more than we need Apples 2017due to the fact that it is fun to pick juicy red apples off the tree. Then for the rest of the month every day an apple goes into the lunch box. During October the aroma of apple crisp, apple tarts, applesauce, and apple pies waft through the house.

To celebrate apples the Norway Memorial Library is pleased to announce on Tuesday, October 10 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm apple historian John Bunker will present his program on Maine apple orchards and their history. John founded Fedco Trees and the Maine Heritage Orchard and has been researching Maine apples for the last forty years. John will talk the history of Maine apple orchards, the variety of Maine apples, disappearing apples, and the future of apples. This program is free and open to the public.

Fall foliageFall 2017
Another tradition in my family is to take a car ride during Columbus weekend to look at the yellow, red, and orange leaves. We never take the same route. Changing it up makes it fun and interesting. We tend to choose places we haven’t been to in a long time or a route we have never traveled. Do you have a favorite route that offers spectacular view of the leaves?

Music Program

We are happy to announce musical guest the Cobblestones will be performing at the library on Thursday, October 26 from 7:00-8:30 pm. The band plays acoustic rock and Americana music. The band came together locally and now plays throughout southern and western Maine. Members of the band include Carolynn Costanzi, Ken Lloyd, Mike and Mark Plourde, and Danielle Tran (occasionally). You will need a free ticket to attend this concert as space is limited. Free tickets will be available starting on Monday, October 9 at the information desk. Tickets are first come first serve basis and will not be held to pick up before the concert.

Happy Halloween

I was never a fan of Halloween as a kid. I didn’t like wearing the mask as I found it too uncomfortable. Plus I always had to wear a jacket over my costume. I mean, if I have to wear a jacket then what is the point of a costume? So, I never did Halloween. I did like the candy especially the mini Hershey bars. Now I enjoy seeing children dressed up as their favorite characters and I still like the candy!

A few interesting facts about Halloween:

Historians believe that Halloween originated in Ireland during celebrations of Samhain. This festival consists of bonfires and people in costumes to chase away ghosts. Later Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saint’s Day. The night before was known as All Hallow’s Eve thus Halloween was born.

Halloween in American was slow to take hold due to the Puritans’ beliefs, but those who lived in Scots-Irish settlements celebrated Halloween. It wasn’t until the mid-18th century with an influx of immigrants that Halloween took hold in America. Parties were held with children and some adults dressing up and candy given out. Today the tradition of dressing up and trick-treating thrives with about $8.4 billion was spent in 2016 according to Fortune magazine (http://fortune.com/2016/10/31/americans-spending-halloween-2016/).

Pumpkins/Jack o Lanterns

Again we have the Irish to thank for jack-o-lanterns as an integral part of Halloween. jack o lanternDuring the Samhain festival turnips or potatoes were carved with scary faces to keep Stingy Jack away. Stingy Jack played a tick on the devil that didn’t turn out well for Jack. The devil sent Jack into night with only the glow of coal. Jack put the coal in a turnip and according to legend still “…roams the earth.” The ancient Irish referred to him as “Jack of the Lantern” which became jack-o-lantern. Pumpkins came into the picture once the Irish landed in America. They used pumpkins instead of turnips.

Suggested Readings for Halloween
Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Legend of Sleepy Hallow by Washington Irving
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Frankenstein by Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde



Falling into September

As I write this it is beginning to feel like autumn with cool crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons. The summer flew by for us at the library. We had a fun adult summer reading program and once that was over Alana and I began to plan our fall book discussion series and programming.

I am happy to announce the fall book discussion series came from last spring’s Let’s Talk About It discussion series. One of the books read was The Round House by Louise Erdrich. Everyone loved the book and a few commented that they would like to read more about Native Americans. We listened and developed a book discussion series titled Native American Literature: Straddling Cultures. The series will consider three novels that tell of Native Americans crossing from their traditional cultures into the westernized world. Topics considered will be how and why Native Americans leave their land, how they are perceived once they are living away from the reservation, and if there are any consequences when they return home. To register and request a copy of the book please call the information desk at 743-5309 ext. 1.


Tracks_ErdrichThe_Absolutely_True_Diary_of_a_Part-Time_Indiancaleb's crossing


Thursday, September 28 6:30-8:00 pm Tracks by Louise Erdrich
Thursday, October 19 6:30 -8:00 pm The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Thursday, November 9 6:30-8:00 pm Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

Fall flowers
fallmumsMy flower garden has gone by, though it wasn’t spectacular this year. I think it was the weather and some hungry deer that took the bloom off my flowering bushes. Anyway, my point is that it is September and mums will be arriving at local nurseries. I love having a burst of color around my house during autumn. I found a few tips to maintain my mums. Here is the link http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/perennials/all-about-mums/.
I found that mums, or chrysanthemums, originated in China and only royalty were allowed to grow the plant. Mums found their way to Japan where it has become the national flower. In fact since 910 A. D. the Japanese has held a National Chrysanthemum Day. The Japanese royal family uses the flower as its crest. You might have heard the term Chrysanthemum Throne when reading about the Japanese royal family. Now you know why.
I wanted to know more so I found the National Chrysanthemum Society, USA website (mums.org). It was a 17th century Swedish botanist name Karl Linnaeus named the flower using the Greek words chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower).
Mums arrived in the United States during the colonial era. It has become the favorite fall flower for gardeners. Commercially the mum is widely grown and sold due to its dependability to bloom on schedule, variety of color, and the quality of blossoms. (mums.org)

Enjoy the beginning of fall in New England — Katherine

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 norcat@norway.lib.me.us.

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 http://www.norway.lib.me.us 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 Amazon.com)

If you are a James Patterson fan check out his series for young adults: Witch and Wizard and Maximum Ride.
Visit http://www.ala.org/yalsa/printz 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 weneeddiversebooks.org/mission-statement/ 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 windows.red-tulips


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.