Our Newsletter


The monthly e-newsletter of the Smyth Public Library

January, 2019

Volume 12, No.10






Ask a Muslim Anything
Wednesday, February 20th at 6pm
A conversation with Robert Azzi. Are you challenged to understand all the media noise about Islam and what it means to be a Muslim? Join Robert Azzi, an Arab-American and a native of New Hampshire, for a conversation about his experiences as a Muslim in America.





“College Essays” workshop

Saturday, January 12th at 10am-1pm

Write Your College Essay

 offered by “Writing Out of Time”

In this one day workshop, students may arrive with no more than a college essay

prompt and will leave with the tools they need to create finished products that

showcase their unique voices and experiences. We will inspire their creativity,

help them inject personality into their essays so they stand out to readers, and

turn a task that seems as exciting as cleaning the bathrooms at the airport into

one that you might actually enjoy.



“Keeping A Sketchbook: Drawing Your World” Class Preview with Sue Anne Bottomley
Tuesday, January 15th at 6pm (and more)
Sue Anne Bottomley is doing her preview presentation for her sketch class on Dec. 11 and then two classes early 2019. Jan. 15& Feb. 12 on Tuesdays at 6pm.
She also will have her work displayed in our art gallery space during January.

Artist and instructor Sue Anne Bottomley flips through her sketchbook made on site while in a botanical garden. Her three class sessions will guide you through choosing a sketchbook, materials, tools, and techniques. Learn to record your favorite views of the world, both at home or in your town, or while traveling. It is never too late to explore your artistic POV.

Sue Anne is a graduate of UNH and a life-long artist. Since 2014, she has written and illustrated three books. Please sign up; Class limit, twelve adults

“Knitting and Crochet” with Lisa Cote

Wednesday, January 30th at 6pm

Come learn these beautiful crafts and make your own gifts.



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

Check out our monthly calendar on our website for all our events and programs.

New on our shelves…



New Fiction      


The Christmas angel project                            Carlson, Melody

Pandemic                                                         Cook, Robin

Noel stranger                                                   Evans, Richard Paul

In a house of lies                                             Rankin, Ian

The enemy of my enemy                                  Griffin, W. E. B

The devil’s half mile                                         Hirsch, Paddy,

The boy: a novel                                              Hoag, Tami

Mississippi blood: a novel                               Iles, Greg

Arctic chill                                                       Arnaldur Indriðason

Voices                                                              Arnaldur Indriðason

Dead Sea rising                                                Jenkins, Jerry B

Watching you: a novel                         Jewell, Lisa

House of ashes                                                Marion, Loretta,

Broken ground                                                 McDermid, Val

The three secret cities: a thriller                       Reilly, Matthew

Of blood and bone                                           Roberts, Nora

Heaven sent rain: a novel                                 Snelling, Lauraine

Fingal O’Reilly, Irish doctor                             Taylor, Patrick

An Irish country Christmas                              Taylor, Patrick

An Irish country courtship                               Taylor, Patrick

An Irish country girl                                         Taylor, Patrick

An Irish country village                                    Taylor, Patrick

An Irish country wedding                                 Taylor, Patrick

An Irish doctor in love and at sea                     Taylor, Patrick

The Madonna of the mountains: a novel           Valmorbida, Elise,

A delicate touch                                               Woods, Stuart


New Non-Fiction




The New York times parent’s guide to the best books for children       Lipson, Eden Ross.

A walk in the wood: meditations on mindfulness with a bear named Pooh     

Parent, Joseph,

The mystery of the shemitah: the 3,000-year-old mystery that holds the secret of America’s future, the world’s future– and your future!                                          Cahn, Jonathan.

The road to unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America                                Snyder, Timothy

A spy in Canaan: how the FBI used a famous photographer to infiltrate the civil rights movement                                                                                          Perrusquia, Marc,

Remarkable minds: seventeen more pioneering women in science and medicine       

Noyce, Pendred,

1,000 foods to eat before you die: a food lover’s life list                       Sheraton, Mimi

Whoopie pies: 30 recipes for treats for every occasion            

From the corner of the oval                                                                  Dorey-Stein, Beck,

Blitzscaling: the lightning-fast path to building massively valuable businesses                                                                                                                                   Hoffman, Reid,

Pep talks for the would-be, should-be artist                                         Bottomley, Sue Anne.

The boys in the cave: deep inside the impossible rescue in Thailand Gutman, Matt,

The man who would be Sherlock: The Real-Life Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle                                                                                                                 Sandford, Christopher,

A widow’s story: a memoir                                                                   Oates, Joyce Carol

Commitment and sacrifice: personal diaries from the Great War         

Let her fly: a father’s journey                                                                Yousafzai, Ziauddin,

The girl who smiled beads: a story of war and what comes after          Wamariya, Clemantine

The Banker and the Blackfoot: An Untold Story of Friendship, Trust, and Broken Promises in the Old West                                                                Chamberlin, J. Edward.

Becoming                                                                                            Obama, Michelle


New Books on CD…


The unquiet: [a thriller] CD (5)                                                 Connolly, John

Obsession falls: a novel CD (12)                                               Dodd, Christina

Audio disc: The enemy of my enemy CD (8)                             Griffin, W. E. B

Audio disc: Greg Iles compact disc collection CD (15)             Iles, Greg

The edge of normal CD (9)                                                        Norton, Carla

Still life CD (8)                                                                         Penny, Louise

Accused: a Rosato and Associates novel CD (9)                       Scottoline, Lisa

Blood vines: [a novel] CD (9)                                                    Spindler, Erica

Pray for us sinners CD (11)                                                       Taylor, Patrick 

Audio disc: The Christmas light CD (4)                                     VanLiere, Donna



New Video…


The way DVD 1033 [PG13]

Knowing DVD 1040 [PG13]      

The spy who dumped me DVD 1129 [R]           

Alpha DVD 1130 [PG13]           

God bless the broken road DVD 1131 [PG]      

Christopher Robin DVD 1132 [PG]       

Operation finale DVD 1133 [PG13]       

The equalizer 2 DVD 1134 [R]  

Unbroken: path to redemption DVD 1135 [PG13]          

Mission: Impossible DVD 1136 [PG13] — Fallout /       

Air Strike DVD 1137 [R]            

Crazy rich Asians DVD 1138 [PG13]     

The Children Act DVD 1139 [R]            

Cleopatra DVD 113C [G]           

Mile 22 DVD 1141 [R]   

Mouse hunt DVD 151 [PG]       

Mickey’s twice upon a Christmas DVD 154A [G]           

Cheaper by the dozen DVD 168 [PG]    

Cheaper by the dozen 2 DVD 168.5 [PG]          

Kung fu panda legends of awesomeness DVD KFP4 [PG] — The midnight stranger.




I asked the librarian for a book on noise levels.  She said, “Sure.  What volume?”


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


Tip from the front desk

New Study Confirms Growing Up in a Home Filled With Books Is Good for You

People who buy more books than they can possibly read can now use science to justify their spending sprees. As Pacific Standard reports, new research confirms that people who grow up with books at home tend to have higher reading comprehension and better mathematical and digital communication skills. But how many books is enough to make a difference?

The magic number seems to be above 80, according to a team of researchers led by senior sociology lecturer Joanna Sikora of Australian National University. Those who had around 80 books at home tended to have average scores for literacy—defined as “the ability to read effectively to participate in society and achieve personal goals”—while owning fewer than 80 books was associated with below-average literacy. Literacy continued to improve as the number of books increased to about 350, at which point the literacy rates remained steady.

In a study, participants were asked to estimate how many books they had at home when they were 16 years old. After racking their brains for a mental image of their childhood libraries, they were tested for reading comprehension, their understanding of common mathematical concepts, and their ability to use digital technology as a communication tool. The results showed a positive correlation between these skill sets and having books at home.

The greatest impact, not surprisingly, was seen in the area of reading comprehension. Likewise, a study from 2010 suggested that access to a home library impacts a child’s educational attainment just as much as their parents’ occupations and education levels. Researchers aren’t sure if digital books will have the same positive effects if they eventually outnumber printed materials, but the team behind this latest study did point out that “home library size is positively related to higher levels of digital literacy.”

Excerpt by Emily Petsko(October 9, 2018)


If you have a hard time getting rid of books, don’t worry, you only have to own 1,000 books to qualify as a book hoarder. Which seems a bit low, to be honest—unless we’re talking about one thousand books in a New York City one-bedroom, in which case, sure. So, how many books, which ones, how are they kept, where are they kept? Looking at the book collections of famous people here are the top ten largest known collections:

Karl Lagerfeld: 300,000 books

George Lucas: 27,000 books+

(Smyth Public Library at 25,000 books+)

Jay Walker: 20,000 books

Michael Jackson: 10,000 books+

Ernest Hemingway: 9,000 books+

William Randolph Hearst: 7,000 books+

Thomas Jefferson: 6,487 books

Nigella Lawson: 6,000 books

Harry Houdini: 5,000 books+

Hannah Arendt: 4,000 books

Notables with high figures who didn’t make the top ten include Marilyn Monroe-400 books, George Washington 1,200 books, Charles Darwin 1,480 books, Oprah 1,500 books, Frederick Douglass 2,000+books, and David Markson 2,500 books.

Question: “So how can I get my kids interested in reading actual books?”

“Kami Garcia, number one New York Times best-selling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures series and a teacher for 17 years, says, ‘Make reading feel special by turning it into a magical moment. For example, convert a small corner or closet into a reading nook with a beanbag chair, fairy lights, and pillows.’

Excerpt by Stacia Affelt,from redbookmag.com/8/18


So spend 2019 at Smyth Public Library and check out or buy a used one and fill your home and your hearts with all the books you can manage to squeeze in!!


-Heidi Deacon, Director


Did you return your book late?

Because you’ve got “fine” written all over you!



Friends In-House 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.


Try out our new “Volunteer Your World” ideas at Smyth Public Library. Visit our Volunteer Your World Page


Writers’ group

On the 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.


Family Game Nights!!

First Friday of every month at 6:30

Coming up: card games, Giant Yahtzee, Dominoes and Quidditch



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


Monthly Lego Night!

EVERY third Friday 6:30-7:30 for all ages.



Featuring : Magic-The Gathering

Held monthly on the First Wednesday of the month at 4 pm!

For ages 8 and up! Next meeting-February 6


Family Movie Night  

Friday, January 25, 6:00 p.m.

“Sgt. Stubby”

rated PG ~



Did you Know???

Samuel Beckett used to drive Andre the Giant (pro wrestler and co-star of “Princess Bride) to school.




In theGallery…



Art by Sue Anne Bottomley




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


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!!





Now! 2 groups!  2 times!

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



Thursday, February 14, 11:00 a.m.

Love and Ruin

By Paula McClain

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It’s her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. There she also finds herself unexpectedly—and unwillingly—falling in love with Ernest Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.

On the eve of World War II, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest’s relationship and careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must forge a path as her own woman and writer.

Heralded by Ann Patchett as “the new star of historical fiction,” Paula McLain brings Gellhorn’s story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice.

*Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk




Thursday, January 31st at 7:30 pm

Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

by Jamie Ford
In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.


*Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk









Did you Know 2???

John Steinbeck’s original manuscript for Of Mice and Men was eaten by a dog.  Steinbeck’s puppy, Toby, was left alone one evening and effectively ate some really important homework. Steinbeck wrote of the incident to his agent and said, “I was pretty mad, but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically.”



Library Assets…



Starting in February, Smyth Library Patrons Will Have Access to Kanopy featuring more than 30,000 Films, For Free!

The popular on demand film streaming service Kanopy will be available for free on February 1, 2019. Library card holders can access Kanopy and view up to four films per month. Films can be streamed from any computer, television, mobile device or platform by downloading the Kanopy app for iOS, Android, AppleTV, Chromecast or Roku.

Offering what the New York Times calls “a garden of cinematic delights,” Kanopy showcases more than 30,000 of the world’s best films, including award winning documentaries, rare and hard to find titles, film festival favorites, indie and classic films, and world cinema with collections from Kino Lorber, Music Box Films, Samuel Goldwyn,The Orchard, The Great Courses, PBS and thousands of independent filmmakers.

With the motto of “thoughtful entertainment,” Kanopy provides patrons with access to films of unique social and cultural value; films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere, and programming that features diversity, with a wide array of foreign language films and films on race, and current affairs.



Smyth Public Library is now offering home delivery of library materials for any Candia community residents in need.  Please contact us for a registration form for this service or use the link to a form to fill out on our website.


The library is proud to now offer The Healing Library; reading kits to aid with coping with difficult situations. We offer The Death of a Loved One, The Death of a Pet, plus Alzheimer’s & Your Family. These are located in the children’s room, along with books relating to each topic. The kits are available now for check out.




Digital Movies, Music and More Instantly Available 24/7 Free with your Library Card!

Movies, TV,Music Albums, eAudiobooks , eBooks, and Comics/Graphic Novels. All in one location, from your computer, tablet or Smartphone!

With hoopla, there are no hold lists, no extra apps or accounts needed or special steps to use it.

It just works! On a mobile device, borrowed content may be temporarily downloaded and accessed offline or, in either the app or on a computer, all borrowed content may be enjoyed while connected to the internet by streaming.



Don’t forget  – you can always borrow our internet hot spot, telescope and newly offered Ukulele!

(Baking Pans too-coming soon!)



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!



Downloadable Books!!!!

Ipods and Kindles work and you can

Order right from our website!



Check our website for passes!!!All are listed in the “museum passes” tab of the website and can be reserved there.


Starting in February, Museum of Science in Boston passes available.


Kids’ Stuff…

Check out our monthly calendar for children on the children’s tab on our website.



NEW CCC  KIDS! Mrs. Lindsey’s Candia Conservation Commission KIDS!

Now offering TWO classes!

Do you love nature? Animals? The forests and the ponds? Join Mrs. Lindsey for her new nature club! Class is FULL!  (Waiting list sign-ups only!)

  • Mondays 3-4:30 pm
  • Meet in the Moore School lobby
  • Take walks in nature to discover plants, animals and more
  • Create art projects based on the environment
  • Come dressed and prepared to go outside in all kinds of weather!





Book Clubs!

Magic Tree House Book Club (K-2)-Third Thursday 3pm; Meeting: January 17

Reading High Tide in Hawaii by Mary Pope Osborne


Dear America Book Club- Wednesday, February 6; 3pm

Reading With the Might of Angels by Kathryn Lasky


Rick Riordan Book Club – Wednesday, January 16; 3:30pm

Reading The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan


New STEM Club (K-3) Combined Math and Science

Second and Fourth Thursday 3pm; Meeting: January 24& February 14&28


Art Club (K-5)

First Thursday 3pm

First Meeting: February 7



Baby—Preschool children-

Stories, games, crafts, music, puppets

During Thursday Story Time 10 a.m.


Teen Book & Creative Club

January title: City of Bones by Cynthia Hand


Teen Book Club-Wednesday, January 23 at 4pm

Teen Creative Club- Wednesday, January 30 at 4pm






Read to Simon, Gwen Paprocki’s Certified Therapy dog.

Want to boost reading confidence?


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.  Call Gwen for more info at 483-8245



Storytime with our new Librarian-Jessica

Thursdays, 10 a.m.

Preschoolers and babies welcomed


Second Friday, 6:00 p.m.

We break out our snap circuits! Build exciting projects including computer interfaced experiments and solar cell applications. Build over 175 exciting projects now with lights.  All new kits and all ages welcome! 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 books for children…

The first Christmas                                           Heyer, Carol

Math in nature                                                  Dickmann, Nancy,

Take heart, my child: a mother’s dream            Earhardt, Ainsley,

Squids will be squids: fresh morals, beastly fables      Scieszka, Jon

Narwhal: unicorn of the sea                              Clanton, Ben

Disney Frozen — Frozen /       

Disney Frozen: A Royal Visit   

Disney Frozen: Best Friends   

Disney Frozen: Elsa’s Magic   

Disney Frozen: Ice is Nice       

Disney Frozen: Olaf’s Dream   

Disney Frozen: Snow Angels  

Disney Frozen: Troll Troubles

A Frozen Christmas                                         Posner-Sanchez, Andre



New books for young adults…

Fire & blood                                         Martin, George R. R

Queen of air and darkness                   Clare, Cassandra

Borrowed: a novel                                DiStefano, Lucia,

Dear Evan Hansen: the novel                Emmich, Val,

The hate u give                                    Thomas, Angie

The light between worlds                     Weymouth, Laura E.,



From the Young Adult Shelves~


Fire & Blood

(A Targaryen History #1)

by George R.R. Martin, Doug Wheatley (Illustrator)


With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.





New books for juniors…

Who was Thomas Jefferson?               Fradin, Dennis B

Five smooth stones: Hope’s diary        Gregory, Kristiana

Peter’s Search for the Missing Box      Noyes, Alice Daley

Look Big                                              Levin, Rachel

Gasparilla’s gold                                  Markle, Sandra

Angel and Bavar                                   Wilson, Amy





From the Junior Shelves~


Gasparilla’s Gold

By: Sandra Markle 


2016 Foreword Reviews, INDIES Book of the Year, Juvenile Fiction

It’s an action-packed heart-tug with a good sprinkle of humor as twelve-year old Gus whose struggle to cope with his older brother’s death has left him fearful is drawn into hunting for pirate treasure with a feisty girl and a zany movie prop creator. But, on the Florida island where Gus is spending the summer, there’s something even more valuable than gold—a wild panther cub. The National Wildlife Federation reports less than 100 Florida panthers remain living wild and free. Will Gus regain his courage in time to save the cub from poachers? And will Gus and his band of treasure hunters solve the mystery of the pirate’s map he discovered to dig up Gasparilla’s buried gold? There’s a lot at stake and only a summer to make it happen.    Goodreads








Trivia Time!


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


Last month’s question and answer:

  1. Library = Dewey Decimal System. Quick!  Without looking it up – what was Dewey’s first name?
  2. Melvil Dewey

No Winner!


This Month’s Trivia Question:


In what state does TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD take place?


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 librarian@smythpl.org

I admit to a rather limited taste in reading materials.  I generally eschew science fiction, fantasy and what are euphemistically referred to as “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 may therefore resort to pilfering reviews from Goodreads.com for a book at times 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.











There is a new phenomenon in publishing of estates allowing other authors to write in the deceased best-selling writer’s stead.  The Parker estate has done it with two authors for two of his characters (Spenser and Stone).  Kyle Mills has picked up the Mitch Rapp franchise for Vince Flynn.  This is his third one and the first I have read.


I was pleased.  It is everything Flynn’s novels were.  The same quasi-superhero who always wins.  The best feature may the good plot that could be taken right out of today’s current events and headlines.


I skipped the first two books Mills wrote.  There are references to those predecessors, but this book easily stands alone.  As usual, there is a lot of violence, but not particularly graphic.


If you liked Mitch Rapp by Flynn, you’ll like him by Mills.







Andrew Gross’s BUTTON MAN is a different “mob” book.  It is more the story of three brothers in New York City at the turn of the last century and their attempts to make it big in the garment industry.  The three Rabonowitz brothers are very different.  One is the sly go-getter, the other a safe and secure accountant and the third is a ne’re-do-well who begins to associate with the mob. 

As the go-getter begins to succeed, two things merge into his success story.  He brings the brothers into the business voluntarily and the mob comes in not so voluntarily.

This novel is a good mix of history, family dynamics and a bit of the Andrew Gross thriller.






When Norman Eisen moved into the US ambassador’s residence in Prague, returning to the land his mother had fled after the Holocaust, he was startled to discover swastikas hidden beneath the furniture. These symbols of Nazi Germany were remnants of the residence’s forgotten history, and evidence that we never live far from the past. 

From that discovery unspooled the twisting, captivating tale of four of the remarkable people who had called this palace home. Their story is Europe’s, and The Last Palace chronicles the upheavals that have transformed the continent over the past century. There was the optimistic Jewish financial baron Otto Petschek, who build the palace after World War I as a statement of his faith in democracy, only to have that faith shattered; Rudolf Toussaint, the cultured, compromised German general who occupied the palace during World War II, ultimately putting his life at risk to save the house and Prague itself from destruction; Laurence Steinhardt, the first postwar US ambassador, whose quixotic struggle to keep the palace out of Communist hands was paired with his pitched efforts to rescue the country from Soviet domination; and Shirley Temple Black, an eyewitness to the crushing of the 1968 Prague Spring by Soviet tanks, who determined to return to Prague and help end totalitarianism – and did just that as US ambassador in 1989.

Weaving in the life of Eisen’s own mother to demonstrate how those without power and privilege moved through history, The Last Palace tells the dramatic and surprisingly cyclical tale of the endurance of liberal democracy. Goodreads 






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

The Smythie is now over 700 subscribers strong!!

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