Gardiner Public Library will be closed Thursday, November 23rd thru Sunday, November 26th. Enjoy Thanksgiving with your families and friends!

Great Summer Reads from Minerva!

As you are packing for your vacation, or heading out to camp, don’t forget to take a stack of books with you! Summer is a great time to relax with a good book. Following are some great summer reads you may want to take with you! They can be reserved through via Inter-Library Loan through the Minerva catalog system.

The Salt House by Lisa Duffy

A beautifully written novel set during a Maine summer, about a family finding their way through grief, love, and hope after an unforgettable accident.

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer

A young woman who works at the Nantucket library during the day gets some unexpected new neighbors for the summer. As she is drawn into their lives over the course of the summer, she has a dilemma and must decide what she truly wants.


Gone Gull by Donna Andrews

A young woman spending the summer at the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center is helping her grandmother run the studios. But someone is committing acts of vandalism, threatening to ruin the newly-opened centers reputation.

Magic by Danielle Steel

Each year the “White Dinner” takes place on a summer evening. The stories of seven people are interwoven, lives will be forever changed on an unforgettable night of possibilities.

Spring Reads!

While you’re waiting for WARM weather to arrive, hang out with these!

Paris Spring by James Naughtie

This novel takes place in Paris, in April of 1968. The cafes are alive with talk of revolution, but for a Scottish-American spy working in the British Embassy–the crisis is personal. A few words from a stranger on the Metro change his life.

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews

Another great novel by Mary Kay Andrews! A woman truly believes she is over her ex-husband, so she has no problem attending his wedding. But when fate intervenes, she begins to wonder if she’s been given a second chance.

Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

New York Times bestselling author LISA KLEYPAS delivers the unforgettable tale of a strong-willed beauty who encounters her match in London.

The Coming by David Osborne

A novel of native-white relations in North America, intimately told through the life of Daytime Smoke–the real-life red-haired son of William Clark and a Nez Perce woman.

10 Books That Stayed With Me (That Maybe You Haven’t Read)

Recently I noticed a social media post making the rounds in which you are supposed to list ten books that have stayed with you in some way.  The goal is not to overthink it, but simply take a few minutes and answer.  They don’t have to be great books or the “right” books, just books that have stayed with you, impacting you in some way.  So, in no particular order, here are ten books that have stayed with me:

1.     Nine Stories~ JD Salinger:  A collection of stories that is sometimes disturbing, but always full of melancholy.  My favorites are “For Esme–With Love and Squalor”, “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes”, and “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period”.
2.    Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret~ Judy Blume:  This emotionally intense and angst-filled novel has a storyline that is issue-oriented and character-driven.  It grabbed my attention in the 4th grade, and has stuck with me ever since!
3.    Big Russ & Me~ Tim Russert:  This biography is truly heartwarming and quite candid.  The beloved television journalist writes about the relationship between him and his father and offers valuable lessons in life.
4.    The Catcher in the Rye~ J.D. Salinger:  If I was stranded on an island and could only take one book, this is the one I would take! Salinger’s classic coming-of-age story is darkly humorous, reflective, and moving.
5.    The Body in the Library~ Agatha Christie:  This is the first Agatha Christie book I ever read, and it had me at the title!  Christie’s writing style is engaging and the storyline is intricately plotted in this Miss Marple case.
6.    Ethan Frome~ Edith Wharton: Admittedly, the tone is quite bleak and melancholic, but Wharton’s writing style is so descriptive and lyrical that I was sucked in on the first page and never put it down until I finished.  I shan’t spoil the story for you!
7.    On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft~ Stephen King:  A practical view of the writer’s craft, King‘s advice is grounded in memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer.  The style is conversational, and the tone is reflective and darkly humorous.
8.    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd~ Agatha Christie:  Not your conventional Agatha Christie story!  It is one of her best known and most controversial novels, with an innovative twist ending, and is considered her masterpiece.
9.    The Notebook~ Nicholas Sparks:  This was Nicholas Sparks’ first published novel, and I think it’s his best work.  The poignant love story was inspired by his wife’s grandparents and is told through scenes from the past and a collection of intensely personal letters.
10.  Wrecked~ Maria Padian:  I just read this YA novel recently.  It’s a multi-faceted interpretation of a sexual assault on a college campus that will leave you thinking how memory and identity, what’s at stake, and who sits in judgment, all shape what we believe.
It’s always nice to see people celebrating books, but my favorite part of book lists is learning about books that I haven’t heard of before or that I haven’t read yet. So with that in mind, what books have stayed with you?
 

Popular YA Reads

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose

If you have a middle schooler at home, chances are it’s difficult to get them to read. Finding a book that is written at their level and also of interest to them is not an easy task. Following are a few selections recommended by some area middle schoolers:

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose tells thetrue story of a group of boys who were resistance fighters after the Nazi invasion in Denmark.
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is about a 17 year old art student at a boarding school in Prague. Her sketchbook is full of hideous monsters. This is Book 1 of a Trilogy.
The Girl I Used To Be by Christy Ottaviano tells us about Olivia, whose parents were killed fourteen years ago. Olivia finds herself involved when her parents’ case is reopened.
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp tells of a tragedy at a school in Alabama. The tale is told from the separate perspectives of four teenagers who are personally involved.
 Sarah Duffy, Library Assistant

Fall Is In The Air!

The days are getting shorter and cooler, and fall is definitely in the air.  Leaves are turning shades of yellow, orange, and red, carpeting the ground and changing the landscape.  It’s easy to fall in love with fall and its beautiful colors! Following are some books to share with children about this beautiful season.

This book shows the transition from summer to fall as a young girl and her dog walk through the woods and through town, noticing the changes as one season slowly becomes the next.  The illustrations are beautifully done.
 Wonderfall by Michael Hall
The title alone—Wonderfall—is a good indication of what is to come in this collection of poems about autumn. By substituting –fall for–ful, as in “Beautifall” and “Plentifall,” the author introduces the changing season through poems and digital art that looks like cut-off paper collages.
 Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone
This awesome book is packed with information, fun facts, and scientific explanations about the season.  Illustrated with colorful photos and photo collages, it’s a great way to learn about fall.  Also included is a list of fall activities and craft projects.
Sarah Duffy, Library Assistant

Got Non-Fiction

As a teacher, I am always encouraging my students to read more non-fiction. Recently, I decided I ought to take my own advice and move away from my go-to mysteries. As I pondered what non-fiction area to delve into, I thought back to my childhood and remembered the times spent at camp making terrariums with my aunt. She patiently and carefully showed me what to do and we got busy collecting items for our terrariums. These fond memories sparked my interest and I decided to do some research into terrariums.

I started looking on Minerva, the electronic “card catalog” and I found two great books. Basically, a terrarium is a miniature world in a glass environment. It usually contains a bed of small rocks, moss, and various tiny plants. You can add minerals, sea glass, and even a tiny gnome.
Terrarium Craft : create 50 magical, miniature worlds by Amy Bryant Aiello & Kate Bryant ; photography by Kate Baldwin.
This book had lots of tips about how to create a terrarium, what to include, and the various materials and tools needed.

The New Terrarium : Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature By Tovah Martin ; photographs by Kindra Clineff.
This book had lots of great ideas on creating beautiful displays.
Caring for a live moss terrarium is fairly easy. All mosses need to be in filtered or dappled light, but should never be in direct sunlight. Even artificial light will work fine. Containers should have a lid unless the opening is very small. A light misting from a spray bottle is required approximately every two to four weeks. Condensation is not uncommon but may be a sign that the terrarium is getting too much sun or temperature fluctuation. If the moss is dry to the touch, give it a good misting, leave the lid off for about an hour to let the moisture evaporate, then move it to a shadier spot.
Terrariums are relatively self-sustaining ecosystems that generally need limited care. Remember to keep the glass clean for better viewing!
         Sarah Duffy, Library Assistant

Book Review: ‘The Miracle on Monhegan Island’ by Elizabeth Kelly

Recently, I was hunting at the library for my next book to read when I came across Elizabeth Kelly’s ‘The Miracle on Monhegan Island’. Typically I stick with mysteries, but the fun, summery cover caught my eye, and I love all things Monhegan, so I thought I’d give it a try.

It took a whole chapter for me to realize that Ned, the narrator in this novel, is a dog. Yes, it is Ned the dog’s voice we hear as the story unfolds. I thought this was really bizarre, and to be honest, it just didn’t appeal to me as a reader. So I put it down, not intending to pursue it any further. Later, I thought to myself that perhaps I may be missing out on a really great story, so I decided to give it another chance. I am very glad I did.
It turns out that ‘The Miracle on Monhegan Island’ is surprisingly serious and quite thought-provoking. In fact, while reading, I jotted down several poignant quotes. Early on, we are introduced to Spark (a human) who at first appears to be very one-dimensional. However, we soon realize there is a lot more to him than his flawed but colorful character. As Ned (the dog) narrates, he is quite astute in his philosophical comments on humanity. The novel is actually about a truly dysfunctional family just trying to do the best they can. I think we can all relate to that in some way. The story is an odd combination of dark humor, religion, faith, mental illness, and ultimately, love.
I am so glad I gave this book a second chance. Once I re-started it, I couldn’t put it down. It is so different than anything I’ve ever read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
~Sarah Duffy, Library Assistant

Great Summer Reads

As you are packing for your vacation, or heading out to camp, don’t forget to take a stack of books with you! Summer is a great time to relax with a good book. Following are some great summer reads you may want to take with you!

If you’re a hopeless romantic, then this is the perfect read for you. A young couple from New York finds themselves at odds when a move to South Carolina causes strife in their relationship.
Lily’s story unfolds in 1930’s Seaview, Rhode Island, a wealthy summer community preparing for an impending hurricane. Her story becomes one of love, betrayal, fun in the summer sun, and plenty of scandal.
In The Island House, a college English professor returns to her summer island house in hopes of reconciling with a past love.

 

Author Elin Hilderbrand pens a thoughtful story about friends, family, and community coming together in the aftermath of a tragedy.
The author writes about one family’s two-week trip to the island of Mallorca, a story about the complicated up-and-down dynamics among family and friends.

 

Everythingseems normal with this group of island locals until someone’s husband goes missing and the town’s deeper secrets begin to unravel.
Sarah Duffy, Library Assistant

For the Love of a Library

Some of my best memories from childhood were spent with a book. I can remember many a time being dropped off at the public library where I would spend hours surrounded by books and I would read to my heart’s content. I could go an adventure, visit a foreign land, or solve a mystery with my favorite detective, Nancy Drew. Many times I would become cross with my mother because she’d pick me up too early, wherein she would inform me that I’d been on my own in a sea of books for hours.

I was lucky enough to spend time in the public libraries of whatever town in which we were stationed. I spent my summers in Maine, visiting my grandmother, Marguerite Kierstead. As a retired schoolteacher, she made sure to feed my voracious appetite for books. As an adult, I am unable to be without a book, and as such, I am a frequent patron of my local library. Gardiner Public Library holds a special place in my heart. It is the same library where my grandmother brought me in the summer, and the same library where I now work once a week.
Anne Davis does an amazing job of overseeing Gardiner Public Library. GPL has quite an extensive collection, is frequented by hundreds of patrons, and is run with a fantastic, albeit skeleton, crew. We should be celebrating the jewel that GPL is in our community, rather than continually questioning its purpose and need.
I am a teacher now myself, and I know of many kids who don’t have books at home. Yes, they can access their school library, however the collections at public libraries tend to be much larger than those at schools. GPL has a wonderful children’s room where kids can enrich their vocabulary and deepen their comprehension by having access to a vast variety of materials.
GPL is just as much a haven for adults as it is kids. We have a beautiful art history collection, a rather large Large Print section, and a wonderful archives room, just to mention a few of the “amenities”. Many people use the internet, attend book clubs, and rent movies for free.
The incredibly knowledgeable staff at GPL is there to serve and support your needs. If you live in one of our participating towns, please support us by becoming a member!
Sarah Duffy, Library Assistant