The monthly e-newsletter of the Smyth Public Library
Volume 10, No.10
Live Birds of Prey program with Jane Kelly bringing her beautiful owls January 18, 6:30
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Artistic Interpretations of the Poetry of Robert Frost
January 2nd to February 1st
The Road Not Taken, a fine art exhibit inspired by the poetry of Robert Frost, comes to
the Smyth Public Library, in Candia NH .
The Road Not Taken, a fine art exhibit inspired by the poetry of Robert Frost, is making the rounds of libraries and nature centers throughout the state of New Hampshire. The presentation, designed by three Derry artists, Ingeborg V. Seaboyer, Judy Krassowski and Corinne Dodge, features approximately 30 works that reflect a variety of personal interpretations of the most famous as well as some of the “less traveled” works of one of America’s most inspiring poets, Robert Frost.
Images in pen and ink, watercolor, acrylics and oils are accompanied by a selected verse that inspired each individual work. An exhibit reference book provides additional information on the artists as well as upcoming exhibit venues.
“How to” Healthy Aging
January 25, 6 pm
with Melissa Grenier, LCSW Program Coordinator
Science of chocolate
With the Mariposa Museum
Presented by Melissa Brooks
Wednesday, February 15, 6 pm
“Enjoy a Mayan legend about the theft of chocolate from paradise, and take part in a chocolate-making demonstration. While we wait for our home-made chocolate to temper (or crystallize), younger children can create a paper craft illustrating the origins of their favorite chocolate treat, and parents and older kids are invited to learn where the cacao tree grows, how the beans are processed, and what the “organic” and “fair-trade” designations mean in the world of cocoa. Everyone will have an opportunity to taste raw cacao nibs, imagine whether or not they would have enjoyed the original Mayan or Aztec drink, and sample a modern version of Mexican spiced hot chocolate. Kids will leave knowing that chocolate really does grow on trees!”
More “How to’s” to look forward to:
Tuesday, February 28, 6 pm NH Cultural program with local author and photographer Rebecca Field
Wednesday, March 15, 6:30 pm How to Kombucha, a healthy tea, with Mariah Kimball
Wednesday, March 29, 6:30 pm How to Painting class with Holly Rousseau from the Currier Art Museum
Wednesday, April 12, 6 pm Raptor Wildlife Program with Maine Center for Wildlife Instructor, Sarah Kern
Meet the Candidates for Candia Offices
How to CPR/AED Training
Winter telescope stargazing
If you have a special talent you’d like to share, please see Heidi at the front desk
LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
Brought to you by the Friends of the Smyth Public Library
The Little Free Library is up and running at the CYAA complex – anyone can take advantage!!
Family Game Nights!!
First Friday of every month at 6:30
Why is John Milton terrible to invite to game night? Because when he’s around, there’s a pair of dice lost
Check out our “At-a-Glance” and monthly calendar on our website.
New on our shelves…
The muse Burton, Jessie
Tom Clancy: true faith and allegiance Greaney, Mark
The flame bearer: a novel Cornwell, Bernard
Crime for Christmas Christie, Agatha
A murderous procession Franklin, Ariana
Circle of three: a novel Gaffney, Patricia
First comes love: a novel Giffin, Emily
The ice beneath her: a novel Grebe, Camilla
Curtain of death: a clandestine operations novel Griffin, W. E. B
Nature girl Hiaasen, Carl
Beyond the truth Holt, Anne
The innkeeper of Ivy Hill Klassen, Julie
When all the girls have gone Krentz, Jayne Ann
Out of bounds McDermid, Val
Promise not to tell: a novel McMahon, Jennifer
The undoing of Saint Silvanus Moore, Beth,
The angel tree Edmonds, Lucinda,
Island of glass Roberts, Nora
The seventh plague Rollins, James
Fantastic beasts and where to find them: the original screenplay Rowling, J. K
The unrest-cure and other stories Saki
A woman in Berlin: anonymous
Books for living Schwalbe, Will
How to be miserable: 40 strategies you already use Paterson, Randy J.
Tools of titans: the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers Ferriss, Timothy
Mindful games: sharing mindfulness and meditation with children, teens, and families Greenland, Susan Kaiser
Wired for love: how understanding your partner’s brain and attachment style can help you defuse conflict and build a secure relationship Tatkin, Stan
Thank you for being late: an optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of accelerations Friedman, Thomas L
Love warrior Melton, Glennon Doyle
The man with the poison gun: a Cold War spy story Plokhy, Serhii
The road to ruin: the global elites’ secret plan for the next financial crisis
A truck full of money Kidder, Tracy
The most dangerous man in America: the making of Douglas MacArthur Perry, Mark
The tide: the science and stories behind the greatest force on earth
The Audubon Society field guide to North American rocks and minerals
Chesterman, Charles Wesley
We are the cat: life through the eyes of the royal feline Bain, Terry
Rest: why you get more done when you work less Pang, Alex Soojung-Kim
Stop walking on eggshells: taking your life back when someone you care about has borderline personality disorder Mason, Paul T.
Being a dog: following the dog into a world of smell Horowitz, Alexandra
Knock ’em dead resumes: a killer resume gets more job interviews!
Yate, Martin John
How to write a business plan McKeever, Mike P
The attention merchants: the epic scramble to get inside our heads Wu, Tim
Good clean fun: misadventures in sawdust at Offerman Woodshop
The chronicles of Downton Abbey: a new era for family, friends, lovers and staff Fellowes, Jessica
Bleeding orange: fifty years of blind referees, screaming fans, beasts of the east, and Syracuse basketball Boeheim, Jim
A pocket book of prompts Seligman, Leaf
New Hampshire beautiful, Nutting, Wallace
Shackleton’s heroes: the epic story of the men who kept the Endurance expedition alive McOrist, Wilson
30-second ancient Egypt: the 50 most important achievements of a timeless civilization, each explained in half a minute
The murder of King Tut: the plot to kill the child king Patterson, James
Dawn of infamy: a sunken ship, a vanished crew, and the final mystery of Pearl Harbor Harding, Stephen
The great silence, 1918-1920: living in the shadow of the Great War
London’s secret history Bushell, Peter
Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey: the lost legacy of Highclere Castle Carnarvon, Fiona
Twenty-six seconds: a personal history of the Zapruder film Zapruder, Alexandra,
New Books on CD…
The great reformer: Francis and the making of a radical pope CD (12)
Uncertain justice: the Roberts court and the Constitution CD (13)
Tribe, Laurence H.,
Undeniable: evolution and the science of creation CD (8) Nye, Bill
Trident K9 warriors CD (6): [my tale from the training ground to the battlefield with elite Navy SEAL canines] Ritland, Mike.
Online resource: Good for you great for me CD (3): finding the trading zone and winning at win-win negotiation Susskind, Lawrence,
Enduring courage CD (11): [ace pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the dawn of the age of speed] Ross, John F.,
Tom Clancy: true faith and allegiance CD (16) Greaney, Mark
A Traitor to memory CD (5) George, Elizabeth
Can you keep a secret? CD (5): a novel Kinsella, Sophie
The undomestic goddess CD (5) Kinsella, Sophie
On Chesil Beach CD(4) McEwan, Ian
Summer light CD (5) Rice, Luanne
Island of Glass CD (9) Roberts, Nora
The seventh plague CD (11) Rollins, James
Devil’s corner CD (10) Scottoline, Lisa
Shoot him if he runs CD (7) Woods, Stuart
The wild life DVD 977 [PG]
New Year’s Eve DVD 978 [PG13]
The nativity story DVD 979 [PG]
Christmas miracle of Jonathan Toomey DVD 980 [PG]
Jason Bourne DVD 981 [PG13]
The BFG DVD 982 [PG]
Elena of Avalor DVD 983 [G] — Ready to rule
The magnificent seven DVD 984 [PG13]
Snowden DVD 985 [R]
Ben-Hur DVD 986 [PG13]
Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children DVD 987 [PG13]
Civics and citizenship multimedia presentation DVD NF 323.6: a promise of freedom : an introduction to U.S. history and civics for immigrants : becoming a U.S. citizen : an overview of the naturalization process
Agatha Christie said she got her inspirations for her books while washing the dishes. Dickens got his in a bar. He asked the bartender for a martini and the tender asked: “Olive or twist?”
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
“How 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 ongoing 2nd Tuesday of each month
For any questions contact: Laura Briggs 370-7162
Did you Know???
The slowest-selling book is reputedly a 1716 translation of the New Testament from Coptic into Latin. The last of its 500 copies was sold in 1907.
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.
Tip from the front desk
“My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have-to try to make a difference.”
Smyth Public Library welcomes you to a Happy New Year
and challenges you to ‘Give more and stress less’!
Make your first resolution an easy one by joining our NEW 2017 Volunteering series and start the year off by coming in to Smyth Public Library once a month and we’ll get you volunteering in whatever way suits you best. We have numerous opportunities you can participate in as a team or on your own from the privacy of your couch. There are many varied ways to give and serve others but the important thing is how doing good for others helps everyone in our community and world, including you.
Studies show that helping a friend or even a stranger is better at relieving time-related stress than spending an equal number of minutes chilling out or doing something just for yourself (this from a Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Yale report). “Long to-do lists can make you feel stingy with your time,” says lead author Cassie Mogilner, Ph.D., but “if you’re more generous to others, you’ll feel capable, effective, and less time-constrained.” In the studies, participants were assigned an act of kindness, such as writing an encouraging note to a sick child. But caroling at a nursing home, taking a friend’s packages to the post office, and shoveling out your neighbor’s car can all make you feel time-rich too, says Mogilner. (excerpt from goodhealth)
You are invited to come join us for our first new Volunteering night on Tuesday, January 31 at 6 pm for easy, fun and enriching ways you can help our world.
Heidi Deacon, Director
Knitting & 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
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.
Monthly Lego Night!
EVERY third Friday 6:30-7:30 for all ages
Here is the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are the winners:
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido : All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.
The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.
And the winners are:
1. Coffee , n. The person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted , adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
3. Abdicate , v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4 esplanade , v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly , adj. Impotent.
6. Negligent , adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
7. Lymph , v. To walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle , n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence , n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash , n. A rapidly receding hairline..
11. Testicle , n. A humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude , n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon , n.. A Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster , n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism , n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent , n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men
LOVE TO SHARE A GOOD BOOK?
How about sharing your thoughts on a book at the friendly monthly book discussion group?
an Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
November 15, 7:30
*Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk
In the Gallery…and case
All this month in the glass case: Road Not Taken – see above
Our art gallery and (locked) glass case 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!
Like the Smyth Public Library
Look at our page on Facebook for events and updates about our library!
Ipods and Kindle work
Order right from our website!
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Smyth Library
Check our website for passes!!!
All are listed in the “museum passes” tab of the website an can be reserved there
Always hit the “Children” tab on our site for details and to see the newest events and activities for children
Exciting Children’s programs:
Math and Mischief Club (K-3)
First and Third Monday 4pm
Mad Scientist Club (K-3)
Second and Fourth Monday 4pm
Art Club (K-5)
First Thursday 3pm
Creative Writing Club (Grades 4-7)
Second Thursday 3pm
“Story Bags and Mystery Bags”
Read to Simon, Gwen Paprocki’s therapy dog.
Want to boost reading confidence?
Monday and Thursday afternoons.
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! In the Children’s Library Room ~ one-on-one with Ms. Gwen and Simon present. (Simon and Gwen Paprocki are certified through Therapy Dogs International) Please sign up if interested.
Children’s Monday Night Sewing Club
Every Monday at 6:30 pm
Registration required; $5 material fee, limited class size.
Teen Book Club (6-12)– Monday, January 9th at 5pm- The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
Third and Fourth Grade Book Club– Wednesday, January 11 – Mr. Popper’s Penguins 3 p.m.
Fifth Grade Book Club– Wednesday, January 18 at 3pm – Rules
Magic Tree House Book Club (K-2) – Thursday, December 15th at 3pm – Balto of the Blue Dawn
Books for all can be picked up at the front desk
Pajama Story Night
2nd Friday of the Month, 6-7 pm
Join us monthly for a night of storytelling and treats!
FUTURE ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS!!
Friday, January 13, 6:30 p.m.
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
1000 BOOKS before Kindergarten
Personal memory registers and book bags are available for parents
NEW FOR TEENS!!
New Teen Creative Club held on the third Monday of each month at 5 pm.
Upcoming months featuring: String Art; Jewelry; Lightbulb art; Poetry and Creative writing; Melted Crayon art
New Six to twelve grade Book Club the first Monday of each month at 5 pm with pizza!
Next month: The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
Friday, January 27, 6 p.m.
New Teen Opportunities at Smyth Public Library
We are looking for more teens to participate in the Smyth Library Teen Advisory Group.
The group goal would be to bring suggestions and fresh perspective of our youth to the Smyth Public Library programs. They would meet once per month during the school year and be facilitated by a staff member. The group would present ideas to the Director and would be responsible for creating, initiating, promoting and implementing the programs.
Our goal is to have our youth participate in a variety of workshops, classes and events, for example: Lego night, Teen Crafts, the Middle and High School Book Club, Oration Day/Youth Poetry Slam and/or Teen Yoga. In addition, they could arrange for visiting artist programs in collaboration with our local schools and other institutions.
To apply for membership of the Teen Advisory Group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application or more information.
New books for children…
Chilly the snowflake Anderson, Robert
Edwurd Fudwupper fibbed big Breathed, Berke
Princess Anastasia Carr, Jan
Toot and Puddle Hobbie, Holly.
Beauty and the beast Hutton, Warwick
Town mouse, country mouse Jones, Carol.
Once upon a Northpole Christmas Manning, Noel.
The rough-face girl Martin, Rafe
The ghost dance McLerran, Alice,
Jojo’s flying side kick Pinkney, J. Brian
The littlest angel Tazewell, Charles.
20,000 baseball cards under the sea Buller, Jon,
We are family! Higginson, Sheila Sweeny,
Panda school O’Ryan, Ellie,
The Statue of Liberty Penner, Lucille Recht.
Discover George Washington: soldier, farmer, president Pingry, Patricia A.,
The Peanuts movie — You’ve got talent, Charlie Brown / Schulz, Charles M
Scooby-Doo picture clue book — No.3, — Dinosaur dig / Soderberg, Erin.
Search for Scooby snacks / by Robin Wasserman ; illustrated by Duendes del Sur Wasserman, Robin
New books for young adults…
Philida: a novel Brink, André P.
Closer to the chest Lackey, Mercedes
A little friendly advice Vivian, Siobhan.
The Sun is also a star Yoon, Nicola
Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac Zevin, Gabrielle
New books for juniors…
Cool Scratch projects in easy steps McManus, Sean,
Blood, bullets, and bones: the story of forensic science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA Heos, Bridget,
Essential atlas of fossils and minerals Tola, Jos
The big book of makerspace projects: inspiring makers to experiment, create, and learn Graves, Colleen,
The night before Christmas: a collection of festive tales and festive traditions
Mummy: Secrets of the tomb
The quiet little woman ; Tilly’s Christmas ; Rosa’s tale : three enchanting Christmas stories Alcott, Louisa May
Iron thunder CD (3): the battle between the Monitor & the Merrimac : a Civil War novel Avi
Finn CD (10) Clinch, Jon
Amos Fortune, free man CD (3) Yates, Elizabeth
The hero’s guide to saving your kingdom Healy, Christopher
The Nethergrim Jobin, Matthew,
The Skeleth Jobin, Matthew,
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: double down Kinney, Jeff
Rush Revere and the presidency: time-travel adventures with exceptional Americans Limbaugh, Rush H.,
Frank Einstein and the evoblaster belt Scieszka, Jon
The golden ring: a Christmas story Snyder, John
Every month we ask a 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
will win ONE FREE WEEK of OVERDUE FINE AMNESTY ON ONE BOOK
Last month’s question and answer:
Q. Who was fiction’s first detective?
A. C. Auguste Dupin from Poe’s MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1841)
Bonus: Identify erroneous author in “New on Our Shelves” in this issue.
A. The author of 6 SAT Test Questions was listed as Marquis deSade
This Month’s Trivia Question:
Easy: Who was the modern Prometheus?
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
DRASTIC EDITOR’S NOTE
I admit to a rather limited taste in reading materials. I generally eschew science fiction, fantasy and what are euphemistically referred to “chic books”. I realize this is a deficiency in not only me, but the “From the New and Recent Shelves” section of “The Smythie”.
I am therefore resorting to pilfering reviews from Amazon.com for a book (at least) a month to widen the breadth of this service. I’d much rather have a contributing reviewer (or twelve). If you’ve read a book you’ve loved, please shoot me a review so we can enjoy a more personal perspective.
Thus the pilfered…
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist comes a captivating and brilliantly realized story of two young women—a Caribbean immigrant in 1960s London, and a bohemian woman in 1930s Spain—and the powerful mystery that ties them together.
England, 1967. Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. When she starts working at the prestigious Skelton Institute of Art, she discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young artist of immense talent and vision whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched by the intrigue around the conflicting stories of its discovery. Drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions, Odelle does not know what to believe or who she can trust, including her mesmerizing colleague, Marjorie Quick.
Spain, 1936. Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and an English heiress, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a poor, restless village on the southern coast. She grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and Teresa’s half-brother, Isaac Robles, an idealistic and ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. A dilettante buoyed by the revolutionary fervor that will soon erupt into civil war, Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as his countryman Picasso.
Raised in poverty, these illegitimate children of the local landowner revel in exploiting the wealthy Anglo-Austrians. Insinuating themselves into the Schloss family’s lives, Teresa and Isaac help Olive conceal her artistic talents with devastating consequences that will echo into the decades to come.
Rendered in exquisite detail, The Muse is a passionate and enthralling tale of desire, ambition, and the ways in which the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives. Amazon.com
Fiction…another old mystery friend
This is the twenty-first Jack Reacher novel, so why this review? For me, the formula had grown a bit tired. Reacher would get off a bus in some small town in the middle of nowhere, learn bad guys had taken over and then take it upon himself to cure the town’s evils and ills.
In Night School, Reacher is back in his days in the army. He gets assigned to a secret task right from the White House and eventually is off to Germany a few years after East and West were merged.
There is plenty of the “old” Reacher in this novel about the young one, but the mystery is a step up from the last few novels. If you are a fan, you will enjoy this. If you are new to Jack Reacher, this is a fine one with which to start.
The Man Who Made Things out of Trees by Robert Penn has strong points and weak – like, say an ash tree. This book is all about an ash tree that the author has cut down and turned into hundreds of wooden things.
The strong points start with the wonderful writing. Not only can Mr. Penn be lyrical, but he can explain the scientific for the layman. His accounts of the British forest and the ash are very interesting. Most of his descriptions of the things made from his tree, like the nest of bowls, arrows and the like were terrific.
The weak points start with the ash. At one point he said his children had gotten sick of hearing about the ash. So did I get tired of reading about the ash. Towards the end he seemed to be stretching to reach book length. Do we really need to know about watching a game of hurling in Ireland to know about working the wood?
On a picayune note, he came to America to investigate the making of baseball bats and the harvesting of our white ash. As someone way too knowledgeable about baseball, I saw mistakes that made me wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the book (Babe Ruth short and squat? He was 6’2”!).
Bottom line is that most of the book is very interesting. You may find yourself skimming some parts, but it is still very good.
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.
I hope you have enjoyed this edition. Comments, suggestions and, of course, reviews are always welcomed.
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