February 2016

The Monthly E-newsletter of the Smyth Public Library
February, 2016
Volume 9, No.11


New Hampshire is a state of book lovers, especially as the home to what claims to be America’s first free public library. WaPo’s Niraj Chokshi describes: “Maybe there’s a reason J.D. Salinger lived out his final years there and Robert Frost chose it as the subject of his first Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection. If a love of the written word can be quantified, nowhere is it stronger than in independent-minded New Hampshire. There is no other state that claims more librarians or library visits per capita, according to the latest Public Libraries Survey, conducted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Perhaps the reason is rooted in history: New Hampshire claims to be home not only to the world’s first free, tax-supported public library (the Peterborough Town Library, founded in 1833) but also the nation’s oldest state library (founded in 1717). Or maybe its love of reading is rooted in law: ‘There is a statute that says that we cherish learning and that public libraries are a part of that,’ says State Librarian Michael York.”
-Fox News


mooseNew Hampshire Wild History with UNH Professor Katherine Gillman*

Do you wonder why you don’t see Eastern meadowlarks anymore? Are you curious about the sighting of lynx tracks in northern New Hampshire several years ago? Would you recognize the call of the northern leopard frog if you heard it? Come to this presentation to take a virtual journey through New Hampshire’s past. You’ll learn about changes in the land and the effects on wildlife populations over time. You’ll also learn why changes in habitat are behind the decline of many of our rarest species today, and what you can do to help.

Katherine is PhD student at the University of New Hampshire where she is studying the impacts of a deadly fungal pathogen on populations of bats in the northeastern US.

February 10, 6:30 pm

*That is NOT Professor Gillman’s portrait!!!


How to…?
These evenings will feature local artisans who will teach and or demonstrate a skill

zendoodleHow to Zendoodle…
Zendoodling is a creative way to unwind your mind. Zen doodling is a form of meditation using ink and paper.
All supplies provided and it is FREE.
Space is limited. Please contact Laura to make sure you have a seat.
Contact: Laura Briggs 370-7162

February 9, 6 p.m.

JudiHow To Take a Great Photo with Judi Lindsey

February 17, 6 p.m.

Future “How To’s…”

How To Paint with Holly Rousseau from Currier Museum of Art
New painting lesson (oil pastel and tempera paint) inspired by “Plowing the Fields” by William Zorach…….Please sign up at front desk to reserve a spot (maximum 15 participants)

March 29, 6 pm

How To Grow Hydrangeas Garden program with Andi Ross

April 5-6 pm

And beyond… Knitting with Lisa Cote and woodturning with Rick Mitchell

If you have a special talent you’d like to share, please see Heidi at the front desk


WW2Gerry Smith, WWII POW program
March 1st 6:30-7:30 pm
Mr. Smith was shot down over Italy. He was a POW for 15 months. He was a co-pilot who was injured and parachuted, only to be captured by the Germans. His left arm was badly damaged. He spent a year at Cushing a Hospital in Framingham after the war.
He taught Animal Science at UNH for 35 years and lives in Durham.

Saint Patrick’s Day Celtic Music with Jeff Snow
March 16, 6 pm


New Fiction…

The ghost network Disabato, Catie,
The first order Abbott, Jeff
A taste for nightshade: a novel Bailey, Martine
Midnight in St. Petersburg: a novel Bennett, Vanora
The guest room: a novel Bohjalian, Chris
The case of the fickle mermaid: a Brothers Grimm mystery Brackston, Paula
Mrs. Jeffries learns the trade Brightwell, Emily
The stargazer’s sister: a novel Brown, Carrie
Supernotes: a thriller Carletti, Luigi
The dressmaker’s War: a novel Chamberlain, Mary,
Mermaid moon: a Sunset Cove novel Coble, Colleen
Warriors of the storm: a novel Cornwell, Bernard
The lady of misrule Dunn, Suzannah,
Trigger warning: short fictions and disturbances Gaiman, Neil
River Road Goodman, Carol
Chessman: a Jack Haldean mystery Gordon-Smith, Dolores.
A shameful murder Harrison, Cora
The bitter season Hoag, Tami
Orphan X Hurwitz, Gregg Andrew
After she’s gone Jackson, Lisa
A time to dance ; A time to embrace Kingsbury, Karen
Passenger 19: a Jammer Davis thriller Larsen, Ward
A slant of light: a novel Lent, Jeffrey,
Murder most malicious Maxwell, Alyssa
Southern comfort Michaels, Fern
Hour of the wolf: an inspector Van Veeteren mystery Nesser, Hakan
The violinist of Venice: a story of Vivaldi Palombo, Alyssa,
The revenant: a novel of revenge Punke, Michael
Even dogs in the wild: a novel Rankin, Ian
The first hostage: a J. B. Collins novel Rosenberg, Joel C
Blackout Rosenfelt, David
One step too far Seskis, Tina,
Vagabond Seymour, Gerald,
Blue: a novel Steel, Danielle
My name is Lucy Barton: a novel Strout, Elizabeth
The forgotten soldier Taylor, Brad
Lies you wanted to hear: a novel Thomson, James Whitfield
The cyclops initiative: a Jim Chapel mission Wellington, David
The Forgotten Room White, Karen
What she left behind Wiseman, Ellen Marie
Scandalous behavior: a Stone Barrington novel Woods, Stuart
Your heart is a muscle the size of a fist: a novel Yapa, Sunil

New Non-Fiction…

Furiously happy: {a funny book about horrible things} Lawson, Jenny
The quotable Amelia Earhart Earhart, Amelia
Presence: bringing your boldest self to your biggest challenges Cuddy, Amy.
How to be alive: a guide to the kind of happiness that helps the world
Beavan, Colin
The golden rule and the games people play: the ultimate strategy for a meaning-filled life Shapiro, Rami M.
The speechwriter: a brief education in politics Swaim, Barton,
How to retire with enough money: and how to know what enough is
Ghilarducci, Teresa,
The butcher’s trail: how the search for Balkan war criminals became the world’s most successful manhunt Borger, Julian.
How not to die: discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease Greger, Michael
The younger next year exercise program: use the power of exercise to reverse aging and stay strong, fit, and sexy Crowley, Chris.
When breath becomes air Kalanithi, Paul
The Big Bucket List Book: 133 Experiences of a Lifetime Sander, Gin
Spark joy: an illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up Kondō, Marie,
Logging and lumbering in Maine Wilson, Donald A.,
Homemade modern: smart diy designs for a stylish home Uyeda, Ben.
The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain Bryson, Bill
The lost airman: a true story of escape from Nazi-occupied France
Meyerowitz, Seth,
Double cross: the true story of the D-day spies Macintyre, Ben

New Books on CD…

The Wright brothers CD (8) McCullough, David G.,
The guest room: a novel CD (8) Bohjalian, Chris
Whistleblower CD (7) Gerritsen, Tess
The bitter season CD (11) Hoag, Tami
Audio disc: After she’s gone CD (13) Jackson, Lisa
Blue: a novel CD (7) Steel, Danielle
Scandalous behavior: a Stone Barrington novel CD (6) Woods, Stuart
Wildwood CD (13) Meloy, Colin
The black reckoning CD (11) Stephens, John

New Video…

Deadliest catch DVD 797.1
Minions DVD 882 [PG]
Paper towns DVD 883 [PG13]
Doc Hollywood DVD 884 [PG13]
A Walk in the Woods DVD 885 [R]
Captive DVD 886 [PG13]
Pawn sacrifice DVD 887 [PG13]
The walk DVD 888 [PG]
War room DVD 889 [PG]
Maze runner: the scorch trials DVD 890 [PG13]
90 Minutes in Heaven DVD 891 [PG13]
Sherlock DVD 892 [PG13]
The intern DVD 893 [PG13]
Everest DVD 894 [PG13]
The Martian DVD 895 [PG13]
Selma DVD 896 [PG13]
Goosebumps DVD 897 [PG]
Downton Abbey DVD DOWN VI — Season 6 /
Star wars ; episode I: the phantom menace DVD STAR I [PG]
Star Wars DVD STAR II [PG] — Attack of the clones
Episode IV: a new hope DVD STAR IV [PG] Jones, Bruce
Star wars DVD STAR VI — Episode VI, — Return of the Jedi

What did the boy in the library exclaim when he finally found the geography book he’d long been looking for?



Coloring Night
For all ages, all supplies provided
Fridays 6-7 pm
Plus, packets available to use anytime we are open and you feel the urge

knitKnitting & Crochet Circle
Help with the cap, blanket, and scarf charity project, work on your own items, or just come to learn. Call Lisa 587-0603 for more info.
Third Thursday of the month, 7pm

Writers’ Group
2nd and 4th Friday of every month, 6:30pm
The Smyth Public Library hosts a gathering of writers once or twice a month where we work together on timed writing exercises using prompts and other sources of inspiration. The writing periods will be followed by sharing some of the work with each other.The goal of the group is to loosen up and get the pen moving on paper. We don’t seek to have a finished work by the end of the session and you don’t need to arrive with a finished piece of writing to share. The writer’s group is a place to meet with other writers and to flex your writing muscles.
Please come ready with a writing medium of your choice: paper and pen/pencil, computer, tablet, etc.


How about sharing your thoughts on a book at the friendly monthly book discussion groups?

GIRL ON THE TRAINThere is the Thursday evening group:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
February 25, 7:30
*Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk


First meeting of this group will be Saturday, March 12 at noon.
Tentatively starring:

The Martian by Andy Weir
Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk

You can browse at your leisure now and bring home a favorite to keep or to give away to a friend. Just look for the bright signs just inside our main doors on the left. Pay at the front desk. Only $1 for hardcover and $.50 for paperbacks. Proceeds go to the Friends of Smyth Library. Come find a treasure or two or more for your very own.


Resolve to Read to Your Child
Spend quality time with them while giving your kids a head start on learning
By Erik M. Shessler, MD

“Reading to your child is one of the easiest ways to strengthen a loving nurturing bond between you and your child. It also gives them a head start on lifelong learning.

Literacy is the ability to read and write, and these skills start long before school does. Singing, rhyming, reading and talking with your child from birth helps lay the foundation for developing these early literacy skills.

Even if you can’t see the immediate effect, it gets those little wheels turning in their heads, helps strengthen relationships, and is a ton of fun. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading to your child on a daily basis starting at six months of age.

Children who are exposed to reading at an early age tend to learn to read earlier and have been known to perform better in school compared to children who are not exposed to books, and language at an early age. These children are also better learners, communicators, and have healthier self-images.

Here are some fun ways to introduce reading to your child so they make it a lifelong habit:

1. Develop a love for books by reading and having books at home to offer your children. Incorporating books into your child’s collection of toys places value on the importance of reading. The more you read to your child, the more interested your child becomes in books, therefore enhancing your child’s interest in reading.

2. Go to the library. Your local librarian can help you find books that interest your child. Get books for yourself, too. If children see your interest in books, it only further fosters their own.

3. Incorporate reading into your daily routine. Reading does not have to be an enormous task. A few minutes of reading each day is enough to have children become interested in books. Have children pick out their own books based on their interests. It will establish a sense of independence, make them look forward to story time and have fun learning.

Have fun and read, read, read.”

~Excerpt from www.parentinghnh.com January 2016

Come to Smyth Public Library to find books for all your cozy winter reading!

~Heidi Deacon, director

Monthly Llegosego Night!
EVERY third Friday 6:30-7:30 for all ages

Did you Know???
Actual book by Benjamin Milder and Melvin Rubin: The Fine Art of Prescribing Glasses Without Making a Spectacle of Yourself.

Our art gallery is always available for the works of local artists. Just see Heidi at the front desk to display your works

Making Your Life Easy:
By going to our website, you can search our entire catalogue for books, CD’s, DVD’s and movies. Once found, you can check to see if what you want is in. If so, just to our website and reserve the book. The next time you come in, it will be waiting for you at the front desk. WITH OUR NEW WEBSITE YOU CAN DO IT WITH YOUR MOBILE DEVICE!

PLUS!! Check out our smythpl.org website updates and Smyth Library’s new Public Catalog featuring:
– A crawl of new items.
– “What’s Hot” now covers several choices.
-“Most Popular” titles (a combination of checkouts and reserves are used to determine this list).
– “More Search Options” includes Medium that lets members search by DVD or Large Print, etc.

More Research Options:

Full text articles from thousands of magazines, journals and national newspapers, plus NoveList. Call or e-mail us and provide your name and your library card number, and we’ll give you the password.

We’re on Facebook! Downloadable Books!!!!
Ipods and Kindle work
Order right from our new website!
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Smyth Library


Check out our changing selections!!!
All are listed in the “museum passes tab of the website

Did you Know #2???
Does it feel harder to get through a book than it used to? It’s not your attention span that’s changing. Books are actually getting longer. In the last 15 years, the average book length has increased by 25%! The online publisher Flipsnack gathered 2,515 fiction books from last fifteen years of New York Times bestseller lists and Google’s “Most Discussed” books. Since 1999, the average length of those bestsellers grew from 320 pages to 400 pages. One explanation for this phenomenon is the advent of e-readers like the Amazon Kindle. Since you can’t easily tell how long an e-book is, lengthy tomes are a lot less intimidating electronically than in their physical form. They are also much easier to carry around when they are digital! But this theory doesn’t explain why the longer books are winning more acclaim. Only 60% of e-books are even started after they are purchased, and a just a fraction of them are finished. During the same fifteen year period, review scores increased by by only 4.4%. Yet longer books are more likely to be nominated for major prizes! For nominees of The Man Booker prize in 2015–one of the most prestigious literary awards–the average length was 457 pages. And the winning book was Marlon James’s 700-page “A Brief History of Seven Killings.” Yikes! I’m glad he didn’t write the long version. Curious.com

Always hit the “Children” tab on our site for details and to see the newest events and activities for children

Exciting Children’s programs:

• *CALDECOTT CHALLENGE – read through the award winning titles on your own or with a friend

• *1000 BOOKS before Kindergarten- memory registers will be made available for parents

Pajama Story Night
2nd Friday of the Month, 6-7 pm
Join us monthly for a night of storytelling and treats!

New Math Clubs
K-3rd grade
Mondays, 4-5 p.m.

Every second Friday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 we break out our snap circuits! Build exciting projects including computer interfaced experiments and solar cell applications. This event is for ages 8-14 and signups are required.
Check our Facebook page for some cool snap circuit projects

3rd and 4th Grade BOOKCLUB!!
First Wednesday of the month, 3-4
3rd and 4th Grade BOOKCLUB!!
First Wednesday of the month, 6-7 (free pizza)

Mondays at 6:30 pm with Pattie- Sign up; $5 material fee, limited class size.

Read to Simon Now at Regular Times…
Mondays 4-5 p.m.
Why is reading to a dog educational and fun? Because Simon is soft, furry and warm and he loves the attention you give him when you practice your reading out-loud skills! Sign up for a fifteen minute time slot between 3:00 & 4:00. Reading is In the Children’s Library Room and is one-on-one with Ms. Gwen and Simon present. Parents and others must wait outside for their reader. The last two minutes can be for meeting and spending time with Simon. Sign-ups start Thursday, February 12th at the front desk. Simon and Gwen Paprocki are certified through Therapy Dogs International.


Solving the puzzle under the sea: Marie Tharp maps the ocean floor
Burleigh, Robert
Love from the very hungry caterpillar Carle, Eric
Find the magic Cohen, Lee.
The blue ribbon day Couric, Katie,
A cloak for the dreamer Friedman, Aileen.
The secret admirer Guthrie, Donna.
On the day the tall ships sailed Paraskevas, Betty.
Big friends Sarah, Linda,
You nest here with me Yolen, Jane
Little sisters keep out Aber, Linda Williams


Passenger Bracken, Alexandra
Until the dawn Camden, Elizabeth
Visitors Card, Orson Scott
The game of lives Dashner, James
If only Evans, Richard Paul
The Headmistress of Rosemere Ladd, Sarah E
Sword and verse MacMillan, Kathy,
In the hall of the Dragon King Lawhead, Steve.
The sword and the flame Lawhead, Steve.
Red Hill McGuire, Jamie.
The way of kings Sanderson, Brandon
Words of Radiance Sanderson, Brandon


Alan Turing: computing genius and wartime code breaker Henderson, Harry
Fast and furious: on land, in the air, on the water
Secret coders Yang, Gene Luen
On the run Bancks, Tristan.
Lauren Ipsum: a story about computer science and other improbable things
Bueno, Carlos,
My name is River: a novel Dunham, Wendy,
The city of Ember Duprau, Jeanne
The people of Sparks Duprau, Jeanne
George Washington’s breakfast Fritz, Jean
Tripping over the lunch lady: and other school stories
When mischief came to town Nannestad, Katrina,
Going where it’s dark Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds
The turn of the tide Parry, Rosanne.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: the demigod files Riordan, Rick
Dork diaries: tales from a not-so-talented pop star Russell, Rachel Renee.
Adam Canfield of the Slash Winerip, Michael


Every month we will ask the trivia question. If you know the answer, drop it off at the front desk or e-mail it using our website. We will randomly select the winner from the correct answers and the WINNER mwill win ONE FREE WEEK of OVERDUE FINE AMNESTY ON ONE BOOK!

Last Month’s Question and Answer:

Q. What was the most played song on America during the 20th century?
A. “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”. Recorded by different artists, it is the only one in history to be played over 8,000,000 times! That amounts to about 45 years if the song was played back to back! Only three songs were played 7 million times: “Never My Love”, “Yesterday” and “Stand By Me” (in that order).
Source: The BMI Top 100 Songs (BMI)

Ray Cresswell (who luckily did not sing the answer)

This Month’s Trivia Question:

New Englanders are known to use “wicked” to mean “good” or “cool”. In what American novel was “wicked” first used in that manner? If it helps, the same novel gave us “T shirt” and “daiquiri”.


We (being I) are always looking for contributors to this reviews section. The editor has a limited range of taste, so any reviews would be more than welcomed. Just e-mail them in reply to this, or to librarian@smythpl.org


BULL MOUNTAINBULL MOUNTAIN, by Brian Panowich is a really good book. Part family saga and part mystery, it starts as what looks like an account of a backwoods red neck family that progressed to a crime family who has modernized from moonshine to meth with marijuana in between. From there the twists and turns starts into an excellent thriller/mystery. There is plenty of violence, so it is not for the faint of heart, but all the violence is fitting and not gratuitous. Through multiple generations the Burroughs family maintains its stranglehold on Bull Mountain and their criminal enterprises. To maintain their solitude and profits intimidation and violence are used without hesitation.

Off to the side of the mountain, though, is Sheriff Clayton Burroughs. He is the black sheep of the family because he went to the right side of the law. His brothers “allow” him to sheriff off the mountain. His flight from the family business has made him a troubled soul. The real fireworks start when he tries to save the family.

There is an absolutely astounding twist that makes this a truly unique and excellent book. The writing is very good,the pace fast, the characters unique (and brutal) and better developed than just some vicious rednecks and a troubled sheriff. But what really makes the book is the final twist. It is not a mere quick surprising ending, but a well thought out and developed plot line for which Mr. Panowich is to be truly and heartily congratulated.

Light Fiction…

POINT OF CONTROLWhen L.J. Sellers’ POINT OF CONTROL started, I didn’t think I’d like it. The main character, FBI Agent Bailey, was giving a bit too much information about how being a sociopath affects her personality. I thought: “Uhh boy. A novel of self-analysis. Soon the plot took over, though, and it is a good one. It involves rare metals, cell phones and encryption, but is not a nerd thriller. Those are just the underpinnings of a well thought out mystery. There is another investigation going on in Washington, DC unbeknownst to Bailey. The duel investigations add to the tension. The reader gets a tad more knowledge than Bailey has, but not enough to ruin the mystery.

The bad guy is revealed early on, but he has a diabolical backer pulling his strings. Just as Bailey has control issues with her sociopathic personality, so do these guys – each thinks he is in control.

The book is fast-paced and entertaining. You won’t be a better person for having read it, but you will have spent several amusing hours. The writing is good and the characters, although not particular likable (all are on the cold side, are developed. Probably a 4.5 starrer, but it is enough out of the norm to bump it up.

Non-Fiction …

DESTINY AND PEACEAs I sit here in NH among the assaults of ads, telephone calls and traffic snarls caused by snarling candidates, Mr. Meacham’s biography harkens us back to a figure who seems so far removed from where we are now. Agree or not with GHW Bush, as Mr. Meacham repeated, he was a gentleman who believed in service and “principled compromise”. Now, when the word “compromise” is looked more down upon than a candidate dropping the f-bomb at a rally this biography of a still-living man seems almost like ancient history.

There are a few things that separates this biography from most. Mr. Meacham’s wonderful writing is first and foremost. Second, he had unfettered access to GHWB’s diaries. Those gave unique and personal insights into the world and Bush’s place in it. Bush’s diaries are brutally honest about himself and others. Also, although Barbara Bush reserved the right to extract anything from her diaries, according to the author she did not redact anything.

Although most of us who will read this book lived through the events, because of all the previously unknown background information, it all seems new and fresh. In addition to the unique perspective, Mr. Bush’s life is an amazing one: WWII bomber pilot shot down in the Pacific, eastern prep turned oil field magnate, politician, ambassador, CIA director and politician again. Through efficient use of interviews and diaries, Mr. Meacham brings this amazing life to life and gives views and perspectives to the events and other players.

Jon Meacham’s DESTINY AND POWER is a terrific biography, no matter your political bent. It is for political junkies and history buffs.

Ever want to be one of those know-it-all reviewers?
Got a book to recommend?
Want to write a blurb?
Have a child with a favorite book who would like to contribute to the Smythie?

We welcome contributors (less for us to write!), especially children and teens to review and recommend favorite books. Just drop Heidi Deacon an e-mail at librarian@smythpl.org or “reply” to this and we’ll include it here. It need not be a new book – it can be a golden oldie, a classic, a trashy beach book or whatever you have enjoyed.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition. Comments, suggestions and, of course, reviews are always welcomed.

~Rick MitchelL