Little Free Library Project Looking for Volunteers

Have you seen those little houses on posts/walls with clear doors and FREE BOOKS for the taking inside?  These Little Free Libraries are made possible by volunteers who have taken the time to build, install and through stewardship, maintain them.

The Friends of Richards Memorial Library is looking to sponsor this program and are looking for volunteers to build some boxes, hopefully using recycled/stashed/donated materials.  Plans and pictures of various types are available on the website:  www.littlefreelibrary.org but these are basically small weatherproof cupboards with a roof and placed on a post or wall.  Check out the different types that have been built!

The locations for these need to be somewhere that is easily accessible and for someone(s) to become a steward for each and help maintain the Little Free Libraries.  Locations need to be approved before placement.  These could be by schools, on main neighborhood corners, near senior housing and so forth.  Books for these LLF’s would be provided from what is left after the Annual Book Sale in September.  Collections can also be helped by TOLO (take one, leave one).  Some supporters carry books they’ve finished in their cars and when they stop by an LLF, TOLO!

Friends of RML will sponsor each box by paying the $40.00 registration fee which places the location on a world map, easily searchable.  See the website above and find some nearby!

If you are interested in being a builder, have a location to suggest or would like to be a steward, please contact the Richards Memorial Library at 508-699-0122 and leave a message.  The coordinator of the project will get back to you ASAP.

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Friday and Saturday Afternoons are Back

We will be returning to 5 o’clock closing on Fridays and Saturdays starting in September. That means we will be able to have programs on those afternoons. Right now we have a movie showing of RBG, the documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, planned for September 7 at 1:30. A series on STEM activities for late elementary/middle school students is in the works as well.

What kind of programs would you like? Select any or all of the types of programs you might like to attend or make a suggestion for something else. (If the poll doesn’t show up, try a different browser or go to http://poll.fm/5zqqw)

Libraries Rock

The theme of the Children’s Summer Reading Program this summer is Libraries Rock. Certainly many of the adults at the library have grown up with rock music whether it was Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Backstreet Boys or Led Zeppelin. That may be why there are many biographies of rock musicians at our library and in the system. Maybe your favorite musician is among them. Mine is. My husband and I fell in love to Fleetwood Mac.

Check out this list: Libraries Rock

On Thursday, July 12, at 6:30 pm, we will be having a program on Led Zeppelin and the early rock influences on that band.

If you have some favorite memories of a rock concert you went to, please share them with us. We will be making a display in the downstairs gallery.

 

Great American Read

Our June book display will feature the books that PBS has selected for the Great great-american-read-622x916American Read. I must admit when I read the list, I was surprised at some of the choices. This isn’t Modern Library’s Best Books list. It is a mix of children’s, young adult’s, popular fiction, classics, and prize winners.  Here’s how PBS explains how the books were chosen:

“How were the top 100 books chosen?

PBS and the producers worked with the public opinion polling service “YouGov” to conduct a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel. Approximately 7,200 people participated.

How did you narrow that list to the top 100?

The results were tallied and organized based on our selection criteria and overseen by an advisory panel of 13 literary industry professionals. The criteria for inclusion on the top 100 list were as follows:

  1. Each author was limited to one title on the list (to keep the list varied).
  2. Books published in series or featuring ongoing characters counted as one eligible entry on the list (e.g. the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings)to increase variety.
  3. Books could be from anywhere in the world as long as they were published in English.
  4. Only fiction could be included in the poll.
  5. Each advisory panel member was permitted to select one book for discussion and possible inclusion on the top 100 list from the longer list of survey results.”

Which of the 100 books will be the favorite of Richards Memorial Library readers? We will have a box on display to collect your votes. Everyone who votes at the Library will receive a coupon good for 2 free books at the September book sale. You can also vote to be part of the national count on the PBS site.

We will also be marking the staff favorites. Mine is To Kill a Mockingbird, Ellen’s is The Joy Luck Club, Joanna’s is Gone With the Wind and Meredith’s is The Help. The ones I’ve read the most often are Pride and Prejudice and the Harry Potter series, because those are both my “visiting old friends” books. Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy probably captured my love of Mockingbird when he talked about the need for justice for everyone that Scout embodies in the book.

Mothers and Fathers

I am listening to the book, The Sun Does Shine, by Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 28 years on death row for crimes he did not commit. He was finally released after the Supreme Court overturned his conviction. His devotion to his mother and hers to him is a powerful part of the book and so different from another good book I read, Educated, by Tara Westover, who had absolutely awful parents.

In honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, here are some books to read about good and bad parents. Do you have some suggestions for the list?

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
  • Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
  • Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (some people like Mr. Bennet, but, really, can you be a terrible husband, but a good father?)
  • Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  • About a Boy by Nick Hornby
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Fortune’s Daughter by Alice Hoffman
  • Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming
  • Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
  • Census by Jesse Ball
  • Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Visit the British Isles in Mysteries

I have always been an anglo/celticphile and can’t wait to visit once I retire. I want to visit places I’ve read about in books by Jane Austen, Patrick O’Brian, and more. Meanwhile I read a lot of British/Irish/Scottish mysteries for relaxation.

Here’s a map of the places that many of the mysteries take place. If you would like to “visit” through books, try some of these authors. My favorites include McKinty, Griffiths, Winspear, McDermid, and Atkinson. Which favorites are yours?

Scan 11

1. Shetland
Ann Cleeves “Jimmy Perez” series

2. Highlands
M.C. Beaton “Hamish Macbeth” series
A. D. Scott “Highland Gazette” series

3. Edinburgh
Val McDermid “Karen Pirie” series
Ian Rankin “John Rebus” series

4. Glasgow
Kate Atkinson “Jackson Brodie” series
Denise Mina “Maureen O’Donnell”

5. Northumberland
Ann Cleeves “Vera” series

6. Yorkshire
Reginald Hill “Dalziel and Pascoe” series
Val McDermid “Tony Hill and Carol Jordan” series
Peter Robinson “Insp. Alan Banks” series

7. Belfast
Adrian McKinty “Sean Duffy” series

8. Norfolk
Elly Griffiths “Ruth Galloway” series

9. Cotswolds/Gloucestershire
Kate Kingsbury “Meredith Llewellyn” series
M.C. Beaton “Agatha Raisin” series

10. Oxford
Colin Dexter “Insp. Morse” series

11. London
Rennie Airth “Insp. John Madden” series
Emily Brightwell “Insp. Witherspoon” series
Gwen Butler “John Coffin/William Winter” series
Jennifer Lee Carrell “Kate Stanley” series
Deborah Crombie “Duncan Kincaid” series
Peter Dickinson “James Pibble” series
Carola Dunn “Daisy Dalrymple” series
Charles Finch “Bryant and May” series
Nicci French “Frieda Klein” series
Elizabeth George “Insp. Lynley” series
Martha Grimes “Richard Jury” series
Dorothy Sayers “Lord Peter Wimsey” series
Jacqueline Winspear “Maisie Dobbs” series

12. Bath/Somerset
Peter Lovesey “Peter Diamond” series

13. Sussex
Peter James “Roy Grace” series
Ruth Rendell “Insp. Wexford” series
Imogen Robertson “Harriet Westerman” series

14. Devon
Scarlett Thomas “Lily Pascale” series

Unknown or numerous places in England
Alan Bradley “Flavia de Luce” series
Agatha Christie “Poirot” and “Miss Marple” series
Ngaio Marsh “Insp. Alleyn” series

 

FBI: Fact and Fiction

The FBI has been in the news for a variety of reasons lately. There seems to be some confusion about what they do. Most people know that the FBI is the domestic side of the federal investigations as opposed to the CIA which is involved in international investigations. In reality there is a lot of overlap. On the FBI website they say that they investigate terrorism, counterintelligence, cybercrime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime, white-collar crime, violent crime and weapons of mass destruction.

When I was in upper elementary school and throughout my teen years, I was fascinated by stories of the FBI. The books seemed to deal with exciting cases such as kidnapping (think of the Lindbergh case), organized crime (the gangsters of Chicago and New York), and spies. There were television shows such as The F.B.I. with Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. that showed the wonderful job the FBI did protecting us. This was all before I learned about what J. Edgar Hoover was really doing.

I was reminded of the role the FBI has played in my reading when I began listening to Anne Hillerman’s The Spiderwoman’s Daughter. The FBI is comes on to the Navajo reservation because a former Navajo policeman is shot. Turns out that the FBI covers major crimes on Native American reservations.

If you would like to read more about the FBI, try some of these books – both fiction and nonfiction.

Fiction Books

Catherine Coulter has a series of thrillers that feature FBI agents, most importantly Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock, husband and wife FBI agents and computer specialists, mostly based in San Francisco, California. Coulter started as a romance writer so expect some romantic suspense in her thrillers. First in the series is The Cove.

Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid investigates murder, corruption, and cybercrime. First in the series is Love Me to Death.

David Baldacci’s Alex Decker starts out as a former policeman turned private investigator in the first book Memory Man, but by the second book he is working with the FBI as a special agent.

Irene Hannon has a series called Heroes of Quantico that feature different FBI agents dealing with issues such as abduction and terrorism. The first book is Against All Odds.

We have learned about profiling on many television shows. Alan Jacobson introduces FBI profiler Karen Vail in the book The 7th Victim.

Lisa Gardner has the team of FBI agents Pierce Quincy and Rainie Conner solve cases involving sadists, serial killers and other horrible people. The Perfect Husband is the first book that features Quincy. Rainie shows up in The Third Victim.

Spencer Kope’s book, Collecting the Dead, features an FBI man who is part of a Speical Tracking Unit.

Nonfiction Books

Alston Purvis has written the book, The Vendetta : FBI hero Melvin Purvis’s war against crime, and J. Edgar Hoover’s war against him. Purvis led the manhunts that tracked outlaws Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd, and most famously John Dillinger, which ended in Chicago on July 22, 1934. Hoover supposedly tried to change the history of these events because of his jealousy of Purvis.

In her memoir, No Backup: My Life as a Female FBI Special Agent, Rosemary Dew talks about what it was like from her initial training through her several year at the Bureau. Dew, who earned the title of Special Agent of the FBI, was recipient of eight commendations from FBI directors, and was the seventh woman to be named supervisor at FBI headquarters, has opened up the files on the agency and reveals a broken organization rife with discriminatory practices. Dew worked undercover against criminals, spies, and terrorists.

Enemies : a history of the FBI by Tim Weiner gives us the story of the FBI from its beginnings through the war on terrorism.

Inside the mind of BTK : the true story behind the thirty-year hunt for the notorious Wichita serial killer is written by former FBI profiler John Douglas (and Johnny Dodd) and follows the long search for a particularly evasive serial killer.

Cold zero : inside the FBI Hostage Rescue Team  is by Christopher Whitcomb. a member of the F.B.I.’s elite Hostage Rescue Team–its most highly trained and specialized squadron that handles large-scale emergencies in the U.S. He reveals his experiences, describing in breathtaking detail the brutal training, the weapons and tactics, and the dramatic showdowns that marked many of his missions, including Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann tells the story of the Osage Indians who became rich as a result of oil on their land. Then someone began to kill the Osage tribe members. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery.