May 2015

Smythie- The monthly e-newsletter of the Smyth Public Library

May, 2015


Appalachian Trail Program OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thursday May 14, 6:30 pm

Always an explorer at heart, Brian Fersch has continued the interests fostered as a boy scout thru his adult life by backpacking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing when possible with his wife Theresa, dog Jersey, and friends. A cost engineer/analyst by profession and artist-blacksmith by hobby, Brian’s interests have always been diverse, but no prior experiences in life could have prepared him for what would be one of his life’s greatest journeys- thru hiking the Appalachian Trail.

From February 14, 2014 to September 7, 2014 Brian thru-hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, a journey of over 2185 miles. The Appalachian Trail was once described as a place “to see and see what there is to see” and the extent to which this saying rings true cannot be emphasized enough. Though filled with physical and mental challenges at every turn, hiking the Appalachian Trail is much more a lesson in discovering the natural world, friendship, acceptance, and humanity. Brian will provide a brief overview of the trail, share some great photos, and discuss these lessons and stories. Additionally, if you have any burning questions on long distance backpacking (thru-hiking), Brian would be thrilled to answer them.

Showing of “Ryan’s Well” ryan's well

Friday May 29, 7:00 pm

“When Ryan Hreljac was just six years old, he learned of the great need for clean and safe water in developing countries and decided to take action. With the support of friends, family and his community, Ryan successfully raised enough money to build a well in Africa. Since then, the Ryan’s Well Foundation was formed and has helped build over 927 water projects and 1120 latrines, bringing safe water and improved sanitation services to over 836,751 people.”

The Henry W. Moore school is currently raising money to help build a well in Uganda as part of the Ryan’s Well School Challenge.

From the Washington Post:

Best state in America: New Hampshire, for loving its libraries Library

The Peterborough Town Library, founded in 1833, was the world’s first free, tax-supported public library. (Manchester Union Leader)

By Niraj Chokshi April 24

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post’s state and local policy blog. If you have a candidate for best state, e-mail
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.

Whatever the cause, that affinity for the written word is reflected in the state’s youth, too: New Hampshire ranks second in its share of fourth-graders reading at or above proficiency and fourth among eighth-graders,according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“Our best libraries are those that work very hard on getting parents to bring their children in and then provide all kinds of activities for children,” York says. And not only do the state’s libraries host summer reading programs, like so many others, but New Hampshire even targets the unborn: The state is working with doctors to encourage expecting mothers to read to their children as soon as possible after birth.

The state also does well by its libraries, providing the resources they need to serve its population. Among states, New Hampshire ranks sixth in total library spending per capita and seventh in total circulation per capita, according to the libraries survey.

WRITERS!!! See our Events at the Library section for a new group



The alphabet house: a novel Adler-Olsen, Jussi
Mightier than the sword Archer, Jeffrey
Memory man Baldacci, David
The dream lover: a novel Berg, Elizabeth
The long and faraway gone Berney, Louis,
The patriot threat Berry, Steve
The edge of dreams Bowen, Rhys
Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule Chiaverini, Jennifer
The assassin Cussler, Clive
A scourge of vipers DeSilva, Bruce
Anna’s crossing: an Amish beginnings novel Fisher, Suzanne Woods
Inside the O’Briens: a novel Genova, Lisa
At the water’s edge: a novel Gruen, Sara
The bone tree Iles, Greg
The buried giant Ishiguro, Kazuo
Renegade son Jackson, Lisa
A desperate fortune Kearsley, Susanna
The lady from Zagreb: a Bernie Gunther novel Kerr, Philip
Chasing sunsets: a novel Kingsbury, Karen
Falling in love: Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery Leon, Donna
The Lewis man May, Peter
Emma: a modern retelling McCall Smith, Alexander
A reunion of ghosts: a novel Mitchell, Judith Claire
Blood on snow: a novel Nesbo, Jo,
Miracle at Augusta Patterson, James
NYPD red 3 Patterson, James
The Whites: a novel Brandt, Harry
Garden of lies Quick, Amanda
The liar Roberts, Nora
Miss Julia lays down the law Ross, Ann B
Every fifteen minutes Scottoline, Lisa
The crimson cord: Rahab’s story Smith, Jill Eileen,
My sunshine away: a novel Walsh, M. O.
Hot pursuit Woods, Stuart
The Dressmaker Graeme-Evans, Posie


Better than before: mastering the habits of our everyday lives Rubin, Gretchen Craft
Very good lives: the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination Rowling, J. K
Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?: a memoir Chast, Roz,
Red notice: a true story of high finance, murder, and one man’s fight for justice Browder, Bill
Becoming Steve Jobs: the evolution of a reckless upstart into a visionary leader Schlender, Brent
Get what’s yours: the secrets to maxing out your social security Kotlikoff, Laurence J.
Spring chicken: stay young forever (or die trying) Gifford, Bill.
Energy, use less–save more: 100 energy-saving tips for the home Clift, Jon.
The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing Kondō, Marie,
Guerilla furniture design: how to build lean, modern furniture with salvaged materials Holman, Will.
Swansong 1945: a collective diary of the last days of the Third Reich
17 carnations: the royals, the nazis and the biggest cover-up in history Morton, Andrew
American sniper: the autobiography of SEAL Chris Kyle, (USN 1999-2009), the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history Kyle, Chris
Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and lies: the real West Fisher, David E

Audio Books

Mightier than the sword CD (11) Archer, Jeffrey
Memory man CD (11) Baldacci, David
The patriot threat CD (11) Berry, Steve
The assassin CD (9) Cussler, Clive
Perfect match CD (7) Michaels, Fern
Blood on snow CD (4) Nesbo, Jo,
NYPD Red 3 CD (6) Patterson, James
Private #1 suspect (CD) Patterson, James
The last jihad CD (9) Rosenberg, Joel C


Into the woods DVD 797 [PG]
21: Video
Unbroken DVD 798 [PG13]
The theory of everything DVD 799 [PG13]
The imitation game DVD 800 [PG13]
The Hobbit: the battle of the five armies DVD HOB III [PG13]





get yours

red notice

very good





My lunch leaked all over my schoolbooks.

I now have the only geography book where the map of Turkey is covered with gravy.


writingWriters’ group

Friday May 29th, 6:30pm

Do you like to write, but struggle with finding the time or words? Are you interested in sharing written work with readers in a supportive, constructive environment?
The Smyth Public Library will host 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.

knitKnitting & Crochet Circle

Third Thursday of the month, 7pm

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.


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

Americanah by Cihimamanda Ngozi Adichie
May 21st, 7:30
*Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk

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.

Tip from the front desk

Simple strategies for strengthening bonds with your friends and family.

“Carve out time to relax. That’s easier said than done, right? But if you neglect to take care of yourself, you might develop feelings of stress and unhappiness..Even just a brief reboot can do wonders. When you’re at work, be sure to stand up, stretch and walk around for a few minutes every hour. Carry a book or magazine with you wherever you go, and if you find yourself waiting, say, for your child’s practice to end, use the time to read instead of sitting in the car tapping your toes. And consider listening to an audiobook when you’re driving, so you’re spending that time with an author you enjoy..Also, try getting out of bed five minutes earlier and visualizing something positive that will happen during the day or something that you’re grateful for…spending a few moments on yourself can do you and your family a lot of good.”

(excerpt from Nancy Carole Rybski, PhD)

Come to Smyth Public Library and find some materials to help you relax!

-Heidi Deacon, director

Monthly Lego Night!

EVERY third Friday 6:30-7:30

Did you Know???

The first book bought on Amazon was called Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.


Art Wanted!

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 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!


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!


Book Blog

Spring cleaning so I’m emptying the attic of my brain of thoughts on books…

If there were as many serial killers in the real world as there are in books, the FBI would have to quintuple in size.

Speaking of murders, why would I ever go to Minnesota? With Sandford’s Davenport PREY (newest is in) and Virgil Flowers books, Krueger’s Corky O’Connor books and Hanberg’s Arthur Beautyman series (e-books), there are more murders in that state than lakes!

Why aren’t there more laugh-out-loud books like THE ROSIE PROJECT? I get tired of Hiasson’s humor about half way through. Dumas set the humor bar early with THE THREE MUSKETEERS.

Speaking of THE THREE MUSKETEERS, what a great book! It is thick so you look smart reading it. If someone checks the title, they know you’re reading a classic. If they haven’t read it and see you laughing out loud, they move one seat away from you on the plane.

Speaking of planes, as much as I love the look, the smell, the feel of books with pages, you can’t beat a Kindle or other e-reader when going on a long trip.
Speaking of Kindles, they do fit in a man’s inside suit pocket for long weddings.

I guess you don’t need a cold war. I AM PILGRIM is a throw-back to the great spy novels like LeCarre’s Smiley series.

It’s nice to know the setting. I went to school in Providence, so I really appreciate deSilva’s fine Liam Mulligan series about an investigative reporter in that city. His newest are just in. I haven’t yet found such quality set in New Hampshire. No, I haven’t read PEYTON PLACE.

WOMEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS or vice versa. Either way, women authors write differently than men.

PRINCESS BRIDE. Great movie. Goldman’s book was essentially a screenplay just as MARATHON MAN and MAGIC were.

Everyone likes to say the book was better than the movie. It may not always be true (see “Princess Bride”), but repeated attempts at pulling off GATSBY on the big screen have failed.

Thanks for reading,
Rick Mitchell

Kids’ Stuff…

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:

• *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

• BOOK CLUBS -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.

Future Engineers and Builders!

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

Simon Says Read to me, Please!

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.

New books for children…

Sam & Dave dig a hole Barnett, Mac
Hooray for Reading Day! Cuyler, Margery
Pipsie nature detective: the disappearing caterpillar DeDonato, Rick
Home Ellis, Carson
Red sled Judge, Lita
My pen Myers, Christopher A
Don’t sit on my lunch! Klein, Abby.

New books for young adults…

Where she went Forman, Gayle
Do hard things: a teenage rebellion against low expectations Harris, Alex
Skink no surrender Hiaasen, Carl
Two strangers Matthews, Beryl
The summer of letting go Polisner, Gae
A cold legacy: a Madman’s daughter novel Shepherd, Megan

Trivia Time!question

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 is Britain’s bestselling novel of all time?
A. Harry Potter

No winners!

This Month’s Trivia Question:
Who created Mary Poppins and how many Mary Poppins books are there?

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 to

Historical Mystery & Fiction…

deadInspector of the Dead by David Morrell is a terrific whodunnit thriller set in Victorian London. For those who have read MURDER A FINE ART, you know all you need to know about Mr. Morrell’s excellence in portraying this period and his principle character, deQuincey. Suffice it to say to those who have had the excellent experience of reading that book: this book is equally excellent. For those who did not read MURDER, worry not. This fine novel stands alone just fine.

The book starts with a bang with a murder in a posh London church during a Sunday service. It keeps its fast pace throughout gruesome, yet artfully completed murders. The plot keeps the reader guessing. The characters are all well-developed, especially deQuincey and his daughter, Emily.

As mystery/thrillers, go this is at the top of the game. However, what Mr. Morrell does so so artfully, is give the reader an education on Victorian London at the same time without bludgeoning him over the head as if it were a high school history course. The afterword describes all that is fact and fiction in the book.

As noted, this is a top of the game novel in the genre. I had a hard time putting it down and was disappointed when I had finished – two sure signs of a wonderful book.

Non-fiction …

recklessSgt. Reckless is a very good bio of an excellent horse. Reckless was a Korean racehorse bought by a Marine. She served with distinction as an ammunition and wounded soldier bearer in some of the worst fighting of the Korean War. An added attraction to the book is the reminder of just how bad this “forgotten war” was. As good as the account of the horse is, the description of her effect on the Marines is even better.

There is only one little criticism of this bio of a little horse. The last few chapters are rather gratuitous to the book and more personal to the author. That is not, by any means, a reason to not pick up this book and enjoy this engaging account of an engaging horse – and officer in the Marines.

Another in a great series…

preyJohn Sandford is definitely on the Mount Rushmore of mystery/thriller authors writing today. I have loved all of his “Prey” books. Lucas Davenport is a character for the ages. What separates this series from most others is how Lucas has grown and changed over the years: getting older, more mature, going through relationships, marriage and fatherhood. Along with Lucas has always been an interesting and eclectic mix of a supporting cast. This is an excellent thriller. A psychotic Charles Manson type is traveling across America and Lucas’s “daughter” Letty, gets involved, which brings Lucas in and across state lines. There is a very lot of action.

So why four stars for Gathering Prey? This book lacked any of the excellent supporting cast we’ve come to know and love except for short mentions. More, it lacked the personal touch of Davenport. He’s in full chase mode almost throughout. There is very little of the cerebral sleuthing that usually comes with the thrilling action. There was a bit of his connection with Letty, but not nearly as much personal life as usual, which separates these from the norm of the genre. This book was highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, Sandford books don’t get judged against mere mortal authors, they get judged against his others. For that reason, four rather than five stars.

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 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