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.





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.

Thankful November

November is here and that means  it is time to start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner.


Thanksgiving dinner

I enjoy cooking so I am right in my element. I start planning my shopping list by the first weekend of November. My menu really doesn’t change: turkey, a white and sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce (homemade), and creamed onions (the recipe I use is from Yankee magazine), gravy, stuffing (not baked in the bird), carrots, cheese, and of course pumpkin pie! I start the cooking on Wednesday with the pie, stuffing, potato casserole, and carrots as the last three dishes can be heated in the microwave. Then on Thanksgiving morning the turkey goes in the oven, and next I begin cooking the cranberry sauce and creamed onions. The main meal is eaten in the afternoon leaving time to nibble on leftovers during the many football games on television. Now I have  visions of turkey, cranberries, and pilgrims dancing in my head — do you?

Here are some fun facts I thought I would share about Thanksgiving:

In 1789 George Washington announced that we should set aside a few days to be thankful that the War of Independence was won and the Declaration of Independence was accepted. It wasn’t until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln set a specific date for Thanksgiving in November. *


A vision of the first Thanksgiving

In 1621 the Pilgrims celebrated a thanksgiving with the Wampanoag Indians after a successful harvest.  Turkey was probably on the menu, but not cranberry sauce. Historians say that the sugar brought to the new world was nearly gone by 1621. Plus people didn’t start boiling the tart red berry until nearly half a century later. Celebrants did not enjoy a piece of pie after dinner. It seems that no one had the ingredients to make a pie crust, and cooks did not have an oven to bake in! **

The traditional black and white clothes that we think pilgrims wore all the time were worn for special occasions.  Pilgrims women dressed in colors of  red, green, blue, violet, and gray, while men’s color choices included white, beige, black, green and brown.***


gobble, gobble, gobble

Lastly the tradition of pardoning a turkey was thought to have originated with President Lincoln. It seems the president pardoned his son Tad’s turkey.****

Now that you know some fun facts you are welcome to share them at your Thanksgiving gathering.

Don’t forget to stop by the library for inspiration for planning your own Thanksgiving meal. You can browse books and magazines with recipe, craft, and decorating ideas for adults and children or check out some of the following Thanksgiving themed cookbooks:

Autumn Gatherings: Casual Food to Enjoy with Family and Friends by Rick Rodgers

The Best of Thanksgiving Recipes and Inspiration for a Festive Holiday Meal by Williams Sonoma

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations by Ree Drummond

Thanksgiving by Michael McLaughlin

Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton

Thanksgiving 101: Celebrate America’s Favorite Holiday with America’s Thanksgiving Expert  by Rick Rodgers

You’re So Invited by  Cheryl Najafi that has a chapter on planning an elegant Thanksgiving potluck




Hot July Happenings

beachI am late getting the July blog out due to my vacation and just being busy at the library. Summer is always hectic here as summer residents return, programs for adults and children are being held, and it is summer!



bbh_picI spent a few days of my vacation along the Maine coastline. It was a fun few days away from my usual routine. However, I did spend time at a library (it is impossible to keep me from a library) enjoying their activities. There were arts and handmade crafts to browse and purchase on the library’s front lawn. Children (and kids at heart) had a chance to hold starfish, hermit crabs, and lobsters plus a few other crustaceans. I suggest as you wander along this summer visit libraries and see what wonderful events are going on….just do not forget to visit Norway Memorial Library too. We have local artist Suzanne Hardy’s art on display until the end of August. Adult coloring takes center stage on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm. The library provides a variety of coloring books and colored pencils.


ReadingBookUnderTree (Small)As summer turns on the heat I like to sit in the shade and dive into a good book. Favorite genres include mysteries, biographies, and history – though I have been known to dip my toe into the science fiction genre (Andy Weir’s The Martian comes to mind). I keep a list of books to read so I am never without a book in my hand. If you need a good book to read stop by the library and checkout our new book section or just browse the bookshelves. If you need help finding a book stop at the information desk I or another staff person will help you find a book that suits your reading interest.

June: Getting new books ready

June is here and that means stocking up on books to read during the long, sunny days that are ahead of us. We all want books that will intrigue us. But, have you wondered how the books get processed and ready to loan at Norway Memorial Library? If so, this month is for you! I will explain what we do before you find that magical book on our shelves.

Books new books

Delivery of new books

The books arrive via UPS and I unpack the boxes and check them against the packing slip. For me, a book lover, this is like Christmas. Opening the boxes and seeing all the new, shiny books waiting to be read.

I then divide the books into two groups: fiction and nonfiction. Next I type and print call numbers for the fiction books (example Louis Penny’s call number is F Penny). Call numbers tell us where the book is located on the shelf. Nonfiction books receive Dewey numbers. These numbers group like subjects together in order for patrons and staff to find them on the shelves. To find the correct numbers for the nonfiction books I use the Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index. An example of a Dewey number is 973.3 Phi for Nathaniel Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition.

KM Unpacking

Unpacking the books

A volunteer processes the books: stamping Norway Memorial Library on the first page, title page, a secret page number and on all three sides of the book. Date dues and a call number are added.

Processing Bernice

Processing new books

Then I add the books to Sierra (the Integrated Library System that connects Minerva libraries to each other). I find a record that matches the book and add our specific Norway codes to the record, plus the bar code, call number, and price. A few of many elements I check to match the book to a record are: title, author, page number, and ISBN (International Standard Book Number). There are many more, but I will not bore with detailed cataloging rules. If I did you would fall asleep and I want you to finish reading my blog!

Though I kid about it, making sure I add the book correctly record is important. If I did not do this part of cataloging correctly you would end up with the wrong book. Think about: I add Louise Penny’s latest book and I see a similar title and think “Oh this is the right record” without checking the rest of the record. Then you request the book and Nancy calls and you rush to the library only to discover the book is written in a language you are not fluent in. I added it to the wrong record and you are disappointed and need to request the book again and wait by the phone for Nancy to call (or keep checking your phone for a Minerva text alert). So, all the boring cataloging rules are important. You do not need to know them, but I do.


New nonfiction books

Okay, back to how the books end up on our shelves and in your hands. I add the year date at the top of the outside spine (the year date is the date the book was published or the copyright date). I add the titles to the month’s new book list. Finally I check to see if there are holds. If so, I set the books aside that have holds for Norway patrons and for Minerva patrons. Norway patrons are called and books for Minerva patrons are sent via the delivery service (read the April blog to see how Minerva Interlibrary Loans work). All remaining books are shelved in the new book section waiting to be checked out and read.


New fiction books



Now you know how books are processed here at Norway Library.


May: warmer days

bird lilacs

first signs of spring

Chilly April is behind us and now we wait for warmer days and the lilacs to bloom. And if you are like me you start planning your flower garden and dusting off the grill. My go-to-plants are petunias, marigolds, and geraniums. Those plants thrive with my care (my thumb isn’t as green as I would like it to be) and they look great in my window boxes. I enjoy looking at gardening books to get ideas on planting flowers or sprucing up my shrubs. Though I really can’t produce great flower gardens, I have fun trying every spring and summer.


summer is on its way!

I do much better in the grilling department. I love cookbooks; in fact, I needed to go through my personal collection recently as the bookshelves were starting to bend in the middle. At this time of year the thought of cooking outside is very tantalizing. Nothing says summer like the smell of veggies and burgers (beef, turkey, veggie, take your pick) roasting on the grill and sitting in the warm sun and reading a good book while waiting for the food to cook.

book apple

joy of reading outside

Stop by the library to find books on gardening (flower & vegetable). Then stop in the cooking section to pick up a few books on outdoor grilling. Do not forget to browse and stock up on books.



Tell me what flowers you like to plant, favorite grilling recipes, and the author that makes your summer reading fun.