Smythie- The monthly e-newsletter of the Smyth Public Library
Volume 8, No.9
“February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.” -Shirley Jackson
Now appearing… Rescheduled!! AGAIN!!
Chris Schadler of Project Coyote is coming to the Smyth Public Library on January 15th at 6:30 pm. Ms. Schadler will speak about the evolution and myths surrounding coyotes, and what they are up to in NH. Including videos and a slide show, as well as Q&A, Chris’s engaging and fascinating talk is sure to be a wonderful time!
February 5, Thursday at 6:30 pm
The recent spate of Sherlock Holmes movies, television shows, and literary adaptations indicate the Great Detective is alive and well in the 21st century. Holmes is the most portrayed literary character of all time, with over 230 film versions alone in several different languages; over the past century, Sherlockians created societies like the Baker Street Irregulars, wrote articles sussing out the ‘sources’ of Doyle’s works, and, most recently, developed an entire online world of Holmesian fan fiction. Sherlock Holmes is now a multi-million dollar industry. But why? Why is Sherlock Holmes so popular?
This presentation explores the origins of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective and tracks his incarnations in literature, film, advertising, and modern media in order to crack the case of the most popular detective.
Ann McClellan is professor of English and department chair at Plymouth State University where she teaches classes in 19th and 20th century British Literature. She is the author of How British Women Writers Transformed the Campus Novel as well as several national and international articles on writers like Virginia Woolf, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Jeannette Winterson. Her current project is on fan culture and the popularity of Sherlock Holmes.
Sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council
These events are free and open to the public. Please call the library for further information at 483-8245. We look forward to hosting and hope to see you there!
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decide to go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”
“What does that tell you?”
Watson pondered for a minute.
“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.”
“Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.”
“Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.”
“Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.”
“Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”
“What does it tell you, Holmes?”
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!”
New for Valentine’s Day- Blind Date with a Book
Don’t judge me by my cover! Starting in mid-February you can choose one of our covered books to check out based on the book’s profile and receive a fun, new reading surprise! So, jump at the chance…it’s the season for reading!
NEW ON OUR SHELVES…
As chimney sweepers come to dust: a Flavia de Luce novel Bradley, C. Alan,
Night heron Brookes, Adam
Into the Savage Country Burke, Shannon.
The wolf in winter Connolly, John
The empty throne Cornwell, Bernard
The life we bury: a novel Eskens, Allen
The sound of one hand clapping Flanagan, Richard
Die again: a Rizzoli & Isles novel Gerritsen, Tess
Saving Grace Green, Jane
The assassination option: a clandestine operations novel Griffin, W. E. B
The girl on the train Hawkins, Paula,
Rain on the dead Higgins, Jack
Cold cold heart Hoag, Tami
Moriarty: a novel Horowitz, Anthony
Tell: a novel Itani, Frances,
Descent: a novel Johnston, Timothy S
Saint Odd: an Odd Thomas novel Koontz, Dean R.
Trust no one Krentz, Jayne Ann
Odysseus: the oath Manfredi, Valerio.
The golden hour Moss, Todd.
Robert B. Parker’s The bridge Knott, Robert
Private Vegas Patterson, James
And then there were none Christie, Agatha
The third target Rosenberg, Joel C
Etta Mae’s worst bad-luck day Ross, Ann B
Desert god Smith, Wilbur A.,
No fortunate son: a Pike Logan thriller Taylor, Brad
A fine summer’s day: an Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery Todd, Charles
Insatiable appetites Woods, Stuart
Wildalone Zourkova, Krassi
Earth Afire: the first Formic War Card, Orson Scott
Archie in the crosshairs: a Nero Wolfe mystery Goldsborough, Robert.
Everybody Goes to Jimmy’s: A Suspense Novel Mayo, Mike,
The Poisoned Chocolates Case Berkeley, Anthony
An illustrated book of bad arguments Almossawi, Ali,
The future of God : a practical approach to spirituality for our times Chopra, Deepak
The village effect: how face-to-face contact can make us healthier, happier, and smarter Pinker, Susan,
Smart money smart kids: raising the next generation to win with money
Spam nation: the inside story of organized cybercrime–from global epidemic to your front door
Sweet hell on fire: a memoir of the prison I worked in and the prison I lived in Lunsford, Sara
The race underground: Boston, New York, and the incredible rivalry that built America’s first subway Most, Doug
Saving Simon: how a rescue donkey taught me the meaning of compassion
Giada at home: Family recipes from Italy and California De Laurentiis, Giada
Dream year: make the leap from a job you hate to a life you love Arment, Ben.
The $50 home makeover: 75 easy projects to transform your current space into your dream place–for $50 or less! West, Shaunna.
Grandma Gatewood’s walk: the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail Montgomery, Ben
Measure of a man: from Auschwitz survivor to presidents’ tailor : a memoir
Out of the depths: an unforgettable WWII story of survival, courage, and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis Harrell, Edgar,
Sgt. Reckless: America’s war horse Hutton, Robin L.
Service: a Navy SEAL at war Luttrell, Marcus
Think better (your company’s future depends on it– and so does yours): an innovator’s guide to productive thinking Hurson, Tim.
New Books on CD…
The Boston girl (CD) Diamant, Anita
To rise again at a decent hour: a novel CD (8) Ferris, Joshua
The assassination option CD Griffin, W. E. B
Cold cold heart CD (10) Hoag, Tami
Saint Odd CD (8) Koontz, Dean R.
Private India: city on fire CD Patterson, James
Private Vegas CD (6) Patterson, James
The Kraken Project CD (10) Preston, Douglas J.
Insatiable appetites (CD) Woods, Stuart
Gone girl DVD 777 [R]
Hoosiers DVD 778 [PG]
If I stay DVD 779 [PG13]
Million dollar arm DVD 780 [PG]
Left behind DVD 781 [PG13]
The book thief DVD 782 [PG13]
Arrested development: DVD Arrest 1 — Season one
Arrested development: DVD Arrest 2 — Season two
Arrested development: DVD Arrest 3 — Season three
Tim Hawkins: greatest hits & greatest bits DVD NF 817 [PG]
If you have never said “Excuse me” to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time.
Sherri Chasin Calvo
Events at the Library…
Monthly Lego Night!
EVERY third Friday 6:30-7:30
Ongoing Book Sale!
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.
We have a new book on our shelves: What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey. See this inspiring passage:
“Everything I do all day, I do in preparation for my reading time. Give me a great novel or memoir, some tea, and a cozy spot to curl up in, and I’m in heaven. I love to live in another person’s thoughts; I marvel at the bonds I feel with people who come alive on the page, regardless of how different their circumstances might be from mine. I not only feel I know these people, but I also recognize more of myself. Insight, information, knowledge, inspiration, power: All that and more can come through a good book.”
Come to Smyth Public Library and grab a book to warm your midwinter days and nights!
Did you Know???
People in India are the world’s biggest readers, spending an average 10.7 hours a week.
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 catalog 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!
Like the Smyth Public Library page on Facebook for events and updates about our library!
Discover New Hampshire with our NEW free library passes! Here is just a sampling of the adventures you and your family can enjoy:
American Independence Museum, Aviation Museum, Children’s Museum, Libby Museum, Currier Museum, Fuller Gardens, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, The Fells Historic Hay Estate & Gardens, Museum of NH History, NH Farm Museum, Seacoast Science Center, See Science Center, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, Wright Museum.
See the museum tab on our website for details.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Smyth Library: Downloadable Books!!!!
Ipods and Kindle work!
Order right from our new website!
Jules Gabriel Verne was born on February 8, 1828, in Nantes, France, the eldest son of a prosperous lawyer, Pierre Verne, and his wife Sophie. Raised in a middle-class family, Jules despised his parents’ constant drive to achieve middle-class respectability. Always rebellious but unsuccessful, Verne learned to escape into his own world of imagination. These feelings would show up in many of Verne’s works as an adult.
An otherwise uneventful childhood was marked by one major event. In his twelfth year, Jules worked as a cabin boy on an ocean-going ship. The ship was intercepted by his father before it went to sea, and Jules is said to have promised his parents that in the future he “would travel only in imagination”—a prediction fulfilled in a manner his parents could not have imagined.
In 1847 Verne went to Paris, France, to study law, although privately he was already planning a literary career. Owing to the friendship he made with French author Alexandre Dumas the Elder (1802–1870), Verne’s first play, Broken Straws, was produced—with some success—in 1850. From 1852 to 1855 he held a steady and low-paying position as secretary of a Paris theater, the Théâtre Lyrique. He continued to write comedies and operettas and began contributing short stories to a popular magazine, Le Musée des familles.
During a visit to Amiens, France, in May 1856, Verne met and fell in love with the widowed daughter of an army officer, Madame Morel (née Honorine de Viane), whom he married the following January.
Verne’s first long work of fiction, Five Weeks in a Balloon, took the form of an account of a journey by air over central Africa, at that time largely unexplored. The book, published in January 1863, was an immediate success. He then decided to retire from stockbroking and to devote himself full time to writing.
Verne’s next few books were immensely successful at the time and are still counted among the best he wrote. A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) describes the adventures of a party of explorers and scientists who descend the crater of an Icelandic volcano and discover an underground world. The Adventures of Captain Hatteras (1866) centers on an expedition to the North Pole (not actually reached by Robert Peary until 1909). In From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and its sequel, Round the Moon (1870), Verne describes how two adventurous Americans—joined, naturally, by a Frenchman—arrange to be fired in a hollow projectile from a gigantic cannon that lifts them out of Earth’s gravity field and takes them close to the moon. Verne not only pictured the state of weightlessness his “astronauts” experienced during their flight, but also he had the vision to locate their launching site in Florida, where nearly all of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) space launches take place today.
Verne wrote his two masterpieces when he was in his forties. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) relates the voyages of the submarine Nautilus, built and commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo, one of the literary figures in whom Verne incorporated many of his own character traits. Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) is the story of a successful bet made by a typical Englishman, Phineas Fogg, a character said to have been modeled on Verne’s father, who had a mania for punctuality, or the art of timeliness.
Other popular novels include The Mysterious Island (1875) and Michael Strogoff (1876). Verne’s total literary output comprised nearly eighty books, but many of them are of little value or interest today. One noteworthy feature of all his work is its moral idealism, which earned him in 1884 the personal congratulations of Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903). “If I am not always what I ought to be,” Verne once wrote, “my characters will be what I should like to be.” His interest in scientific progress was balanced by his religious faith, and in some of his later novels (such as The Purchase of the North Pole, 1889), he showed himself to be aware of the social dangers of uncontrolled technological advance.
Verne’s personality was complex. Though capable of bouts of extreme liveliness and given to joking and playing practical jokes, he was basically a shy man, happiest when alone in his study or when sailing the English Channel in a converted fishing boat.
In 1886 Verne was the victim of a shooting accident, which left him disabled. The man that shot him proved to be a nephew who was suffering from mental instability. This incident served to reinforce Verne’s natural tendency toward depression. Although he served on the city council of Amiens two years later, he spent his old age in retirement. In 1902 he became partially blind and he died on March 24, 1905 in Amiens.
Always hit the “Children” tab on our site for details and to see the newest events and activities for children
Exciting new Children’s programs:
• NEW *Sewing Club starts January 5
Mondays at 6:30 pm-signups and fee required
• 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
• January 7 BOOK CLUBS restart -3rd and 4th grade club together on the first Wed. of the month after school 3-4 p.m.; 5th and 6th grade club on Wed. nights 6:00 -7:00. Permission slips will be given out through the school.
Attendance allowed only if signed up and permission slip given to school.
Every month’s book is listed on our website
Pajama Story Night
2nd Friday of the Month, 6:30 pm
Join us monthly for a night of storytelling and treats!
New Math Clubs have returned: Math and Mischief at the Library
Join Bedtime Math’s Crazy 8s, where you will build stuff, run and jump, make music, make a mess…it’s a totally new kind of math club. Bouncy dice explosion; Glow in the dark Geometry; Toilet paper Olympics. Hands-on games that get children fired up about math. Over-the-top fun with friends each week. Make math the cool thing to do after school. Be ahead of the curve and come along for the ride. Math will never be the same.
Simon Says Read
Gwen Paprocki brings Simon, her certified reading therapy dog to Storytime for another special session with the kids
Third Thursday of the month, 10:15am
New books for children…
Persephone Clayton, Sally Pomme.
Two little birds DePalma, Mary Newell,
In search of the Little Prince: the story of Antoine de Saint-Exup©♭ry
I’ll always love you Lewis, Paeony
What Forest knows Lyon, George Ella
A violin for Elva Ray, Mary Lyn
Hands say love Shannon, George
Library Lily Shields, Gillian
Danger in the darkest hour Osborne, Mary Pope
New books for juniors…
Why is everybody always picking on me?: a guide to handling bullies for young people
Outbreak: plagues that changed history Barnard, Bryn
Minecraft — Redstone Handbook / Farwell, Nick,
Minecraft combat handbook Milton, Stephanie,
Minecraft essential handbook Milton, Stephanie,
Minecraft: construction handbook Needler, Matthew,
Dangerous journey: [Paul Bunyan]
How to speak dragonese Cowell, Cressida
Rogue Knight Mull, Brandon
Origins of Olympus O’Hearn, Kate
The left behinds: the iPhone that saved George Washington Potter, David,
Story thieves Riley, James Whitcomb
The last changeling Yolen, Jane
New books for young adults…
Vivian Apple at the end of the world Coyle, Katie.
Audacity Crowder, Melanie.
The firebird’s feather Eccles, Marjorie,
I was here Forman, Gayle
Let it snow: three holiday romances
Hidden agenda: a novel Harris, Lisa,
Closer to home Lackey, Mercedes
The savage damsel and the dwarf Morris, Gerald,
Disney after dark Pearson, Ridley
Disney in shadow Pearson, Ridley
The kingdom keepers II: Disney at dawn Pearson, Ridley
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 will win one free week of overdue fine amnesty on one book!
Last month’s question and answer:
Q. What author asked a friend to burn all of his works and had three of his works published against his wishes?
A. Franz Kafka
Winner… Marlene Renfro
This Month’s Trivia Question:
Q. What is Guy Montag’s occupation in Fahrenheit 451?
From the New and Recent Shelves~
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 email@example.com
This month’s Fiction…
Shannon Burke’s Into the Savage Country was a thoroughly enjoyable trip to the old west. By the “old west”, it means 1826 when civilization was essentially stopped at St. Louis and British and American trappers were trying to assert their country’s land claims by trapping the heck of the land. Mr. Burke uses very well researched trapping expeditions to set up his story of the friendships and love of his narrator, William Wyeth. It is a rare blend of historical fiction and relationships. Neither overwhelms the other.
The characters have great variation. There is the old typical trapper, the artist, the dandy trying to make good, thieves, gentlemen and, of course, a pretty woman. They all have their reasons for going on a trapping expedition. Wyeth wants to prove himself to his father, Landry wants to prove he is a better man than perceived, the artist wants to draw, they all want adventure, they all have the rambling bug. The cast of characters are used well to draw the pictures of the times. But this is not just a romance or feel good friendship novel. There are also friends and foes of both European and Native American stock. There’s plenty of western action and daring-do. What is unique about this book is how well Mr. Burke does both aspects in equal measure.
Hampton Sides can tell history like a story. In In the Kingdom of Ice he captures the flavors of the times and the personalities of the participants in a unique way. It makes for entertaining reading even of a detailed history such as this.
The “story” is of one of the most notorious attempts to sail to the North Pole. In the 19th century this was an unknown area of the world even less explored than the heart of Africa. Bennett, the publisher of the New York Herald who had just sent Stanley to find Dr. Livingston, wanted another big story for his paper – like the first men to get to the Pole. He sponsored the voyage of the U.S.S. Jeannette, a “Navy” boat and journey paid for by a private citizen. Sides sets the journey off well by sharing with the reader the pulse of the times and desire for new exploration combined with the complete lack of knowledge of the North Pole. Worse than the lack of knowledge were the surmising and assuming of the day’s scholars. Of course there was an open sea at the top of the world!
The book plots the genesis of the journey and Captain DeLong’s preparation, travel and travails. At times it reads like thriller. For me, who did not know the ending, the sense of foreboding was palpable. I’d suggest if you don’t know how the Jeannette fared, don’t skip to the end.
A fine piece of writing about a different time captured so well by Mr. Sides.
Michael Mayo’s Everybody Goes to Jimmy’s is a good, solid fun mystery set in NYC during Prohibition. Jimmy “the Stick”, the main character is a darn good narrator/star. He has humor, is a former runner for the mob and now runs a speakeasy. He knows all the bad guys and the cops – for good or for all. These books (this is the second) capture the Prohibition New York world well. Jimmy ranges beyond New York as he retells stories that set up the present.
And that is what takes this book from a five star to a four. Jimmy tells so many stories setting up the present plot that occasionally the real plot gets lost.
But this is a character driven story and Mr. Mayo draws excellent characters. Every supporting actor is unique and brings a different personality. Most are nuanced. This was a time when there was honor among thieves. Speakeasies, although technically illegal, were accepted and found in all the best places – even in the new, chic Chrysler Building. In such a setting where the lines of legality and morality are so blurred, so also should the characters blur those lines – and Mr. Mayo lets them do that in a way that really gives the book a good flavor.
The book starts with seemingly everyone thinking that Jimmy has something and he does even know what it is they all think he might have. everything they think he has is different. What he finds he does has, no one seem to want. From that confusion, murder and chases proliferate. All may be set up by an old love interest. Jimmy always has one going and one prospect front and center.
This is a good, fun book with a great narrator and very good characters. The time is captured well. The weakest part is actually the plot; but when you get to watch and enjoy such characters, that becomes less a short-coming. I look forward to the next book in the series.
For more reviews…I do not love everything I read. I don’t even review everything I read. For more reviews of mine, you can go to amazon.com, look up any of these books, look at recent reviews until you see mine, then click on “see all of my reviews”. This will get you to books I did not like so much and e-books that our State Library does not have. I do enjoy trashy mysteries.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.