Great Books that make Great Gifts

Wishtree – by Katherine Applegate

/* Starred Review */ Gr 4–8—Newbery Award—winning author Applegate meets high expectations in this tale told by a tree named Red, a red oak who is “two hundred and sixteen rings old.” Touching on religious bigotry and the environment, Applegate keeps the emphasis on her characters, the many animals and birds who find shelter in the tree’s branches all year round. (All the birds and animals have names and the power to talk, just like Red.) Around the first of May, people write down their wishes on pieces of cloth and hang them from the tree’s branches, giving Red a special place in the community. The pacing starts out slowly, with early chapters focused almost entirely on the natural world, but eventually readers meet the human at the novel’s center. Samar, a recent Muslim refugee, is lonely and in need of a friend. A nameless boy uses the tree to convey hateful messages to Samar and her family. The owner of the tree is tired of roots in the plumbing and hopes all the nastiness will disappear if the tree is cut down, having forgotten the story of her ancestors and the beginning of all the wishes. Red decides to intervene and ask for help from the animals and birds. Even those who shy away from books with talking animals will find this believable fantasy elegant and poignant. Widening the appeal is a sparse word count, making this a great choice for a family or classroom read-aloud and an inviting option for reluctant readers. VERDICT Another stunning effort from Applegate. This thoughtful read is a top choice for middle graders.—Carol A. Edwards, formerly at Denver Public Library –Carol A. Edwards (Reviewed 06/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 6, p84)


Why I am me! – by Britt Paige

/* Starred Review */ PreS-Gr 2—Britt tackles the metaphysical for the picture book crowd. Two (presumably) parent/child pairs approach a subway from different directions: an African American father and son and a light-skinned mother and daughter. The boy reads a book while riding a skateboard; the girl has a musical instrument case strapped to her back. As the kids notice each other, he wonders: “Why am I me …and not you?” She thinks: “Why are you, you…and not me?” And so it goes, with thoughts such as, “If someone else were me,/who would they be?/Someone lighter,/older,/darker,/bolder?” Alko and Quall’s acrylic, colored pencil, and collage scenes portray a diverse population within the train car and seen through its windows. People of varying skin colors, physical abilities, and styles play, watch sports, or perform or listen to music. The thought bubble questions arise naturally; they’re the kinds of things that would go through a child’s mind when observing differences. The climax is spread over four openings. It begins with a triptych in which the star on the boy’s shirt becomes a twinkle in his eye and then a glowing shape in the sky. After the girl’s eye sparkles, the boy reaches out, and their faces intersect in a Venn diagram of friendship. VERDICT Universal questions combine with richly layered, captivating compositions, presenting opportunities for careful examination and stimulating conversations. Perfect for classroom or one-on-one sharing.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library –Wendy Lukehart (Reviewed 07/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 7, p56)


The Little Red Cat: who ran away and learned his ABCs (the hard way) – by Patrick McDonnell

/* Starred Review */ PreS-Gr 1—McDonnell’s abecedarian tale takes a small scarlet cat on a breathtaking adventure. The  clever tale—wordless except for two signs and  one warning shout—begins when the  feline notices his  home’s front door standing open and  takes to the  hills. He almost immediately comes upon a gape-mouthed Alligator, a climbing Bear, and an agitated Chicken along with a couple of other pursuers of the D and E variety. A chase begins with the cat leading his entourage through a day filled with ice and snow, a jungle, mountain peaks, and a potentially hazardous tumble off a high cliff. Humorous pen, ink, pencil and watercolor illustrations surrounded by copious white space are energetic and highly engaging for readers. The large letters of the alphabet appear near the top of the page and feature both capital and lowercase forms. While most illustrations offer a clear-cut answer to what each letter represents in the sequence, there are a few pages that require some thought; an answer key can be found at the end of the book. VERDICT A brilliant caper that young learners will want to pore over! A must-purchase.—Maryann H. Owen, Children’s Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI –Maryann H. Owen (Reviewed 08/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 8, p74)


When’s my Birthday? – by Julie Fogliano

Preschool-Grade 1 /* Starred Review */ In an infectious, bouncy rhythm, Fogliano playfully captures the antsy excitement for birthdays in a pitch-perfect kid voice. In between a refrain of “When’s my birthday? / Where’s my birthday? / How many days until / my birthday?” Fogliano’s verses cover food and presents, who to invite, and, of course, the all-important cake. Robinson’s thickly painted collage illustrations feature cheery children and friendly creatures in birthday  hats, with always happy faces enjoying the delights described in Fogliano’s lines. Amid all the anticipation and happy planning, the text takes a realistically worried turn when the waiting seems so endless that the narrator wonders whether he or she will have a birthday at all. Luckily, after a near-sleepless night, the day finally arrives: “It’s the daytime! / Here’s my birthday! / Happy happy! / Hee! Hee! Hee!” Robinson’s signature style—bold collages depicting kids and animals in blocky shapes—is the ideal vehicle for Fogliano’s frolicsome text, and the two together evoke a quintessentially childlike glee, which adults will recognize and little ones will revel in. There might be a more perfect picture book about birthdays out there, but you’d be hard-pressed to find it. — Hunter, Sarah (Reviewed 7/1/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 21, p69)


Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt – by Ben Clanton

/* Starred Review */ Gr 1–3–Donning a cape, Narwhal decides to become a superhero—after eating lunch, of course. Super Narwhal needs a sidekick, so pal Jelly is dubbed Jelly Jolt. In this second installment of the sweetly surreal series, the characters are true to form; delightfully ditzy Narwhal  remains upbeat even when he initially fails to exhibit a single superpower, while his jellyfish friend frets at every turn. In addition to three tales about Narwhal and Jelly, there’s a section about the “superpowers” of various ocean creatures (for instance, crabs can regrow their legs, the mimic octopus can change its appearance to resemble other animals, and dolphins sleep with one eye open) and a pun-laced story “written” by Narwhal and Jelly, in which Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick rescue their city from a giant butter blob. Clanton crafts a whimsical narrative that focuses on quirky conversations rather than superheroic adventures, and the funny story will snare a range of readers. Lively illustrations, dominated by hues of blue and featuring irresistibly cheerful characters, have a childlike feel, as though scribbled by a youngster clutching a crayon. As in many of the best reads starring dynamic duos—Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad,” Mo Willems’s “Elephant and Piggie”—friendship is at the core; Narwhal always quells the many anxieties of his loyal companion. VERDICT A super addition to graphic novel collections serving younger readers, especially where the first volume is popular.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal –Mahnaz Dar (Reviewed 06/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 6, p83)


On a Magical Do-Nothing Day – by Beatrice Alemagna

/* Starred Review */ While her mother works at her desk, a girl in owlish spectacles plays with a handheld video game console. “What about a break from your game?” her mother says, prodding the girl outside despite the pouring rain. Almost at once she drops her device in a pond (“This could not be happening to me”) and sinks into despair (“The rain felt like rocks were hitting me”). Then, in a moment of magic, she’s greeted by four cheerful snails, and her journey opens into an encounter with all the life of the forest: “a thousand seeds and pellets, kernels, grains, roots, and berries touched my fingers.” Alemagna’s spreads ignite with the warm glow of discovery. The generous trim size accommodates big, dramatic spreads as the girl, in her incandescent orange cape, tumbles down a hill and sees the world turned dizzily upside down. When she returns to the family’s cabin, the girl finds that even her mother looks a bit different now. Alemagna demonstrates an uncanny knack for rendering emotional experience with line and color in this intimate and distinctive story. Ages 4–8. (Sept.) –Staff (Reviewed 07/10/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 28, p)



Posted – by John David Anderson

Grades 5-8 /* Starred Review */ By eighth grade, Frost feels secure within his established circle of smart, relatively geeky boys, including Bench, Deedee, and Wolf, who know they can count on one other. But Rose, a new student with a tall, muscular body and an independent streak, unexpectedly joins their table in the middle-school cafeteria. Then Bench starts hanging out with his fellow athletes instead of the gang. Meanwhile, a school-wide cell-phone ban leads to the increasingly “twitchy” student body writing their messages, jokes, opinions, and insults on sticky notes and slapping them on each other’s lockers for all to see. Bullying becomes more open, and matters come to a head when Rose challenges an intimidating middle-school thug to a suicidal bike race down a steep, wooded hillside. Written with understated humor and fine-tuned perception, Frost’s first-person narrative offers a riveting story as well as an uncomfortably realistic picture of middle-school social dynamics. The author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day (2016), Anderson vividly portrays each boy in Frost’s group, their intertwined relationships, and their individual responses to the changes that inevitably come. Initially not well understood by the narrator, Rose gradually comes into focus as an individual and an agent of inevitable change. This rewarding novel should resonate with many readers. — Phelan, Carolyn (Reviewed 3/15/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 14, p64)


All’s Faire in Middle School – by Victoria Jamieson

/* Starred Review */ Jamieson doesn’t disappoint in her first graphic novel since her Newbery Honor–winning Roller Girl. Imogen Vega’s parents perform at a Renaissance fair in Florida, immersing the family in a world of jousting and archaic language (“Thou qualling toad-spotted clack-dish!”). Imogen has been homeschooled all her life; now, at 11, she’s headed to public school. In her first weeks, she falls victim to the wiles of a mean girl, hurts a girl who might have been a good friend, and throws her younger brother’s treasured stuffed animal into the lake. As Imogen undergoes a period of self-enforced solitude, the extended family of the fair community offers unexpected support. Jamieson’s sturdy artwork (her figures are decidedly unglamorous, as if to offer regular kids reassurance) and sharp dialogue make it easy to care about her characters. Readers will also appreciate the irreverent humor of the fair’s adults: as a treatment for bullies, one recommends “a large quantity of chicken feathers and a few pots of honey.” The fair emphasizes adventure and theater, but its unconventional performers teach Imogen about kindness, too. Ages 9–12. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Sept.) –Staff (Reviewed 07/17/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 29, p)


The Three Billy Goats Gruff – by Jerry Pinkney

/* Starred Review */ PreS-Gr 2—Employing his signature pencil and watercolor compositions, Pinkney  brings a thoughtful, nuanced perspective to this classic tale. The story begins as expected, with the goats “trip-trapping” across the bridge in search of food—the first two urging the troll to wait for the bigger animal coming next. Each goat has a distinctive appearance; the troll is fierce, with green skin, horns, and exceptionally large teeth. The halcyon, rainbow-studded river valley is surrounded with rocks on one side and lush vegetation on the other. While the story retains familiar cadences, subtle decisions about language and behavior elevate the telling, ensuring multiple readings. As the drama progresses, the design changes, incorporating ever-stronger personalities until a gatefold opening accommodates the standoff between the largest goat and the troll. Hand-lettered sound effects enhance the text’s dynamic potential. An artist’s note mentions that Pinkney was “confounded by the ending of the original tale, in which the troll disappears or turns to stone… It seemed he never had a chance to learn his lesson.” Here, after the troll is catapulted into the water, he faces a monster fish who gives him a taste of his own medicine. A visual epilogue on the endpapers allows readers to form their own conclusions about the encounter’s impact on all involved. –Wendy Lukehart (Reviewed 02/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 02, p76)


Imagine That! How Dr. Seuss Wrote The Cat in the Hat – by Judy Sierra

Gr 1–3—The 1950s was a boring time for beginning readers in the United States. After a critic wrote about the lack of fun books in this category, Seuss was determined to write one of his very own. Limited by the words that could be used for such a book, he created the classic The Cat in the Hat. Adults and children alike will enjoy reading about Seuss, his funny hats, and all the work that went into making one of the most well-known children’s book characters of all time. Hawkes adeptly uses Seuss-like illustrations to tell his story, incorporating famous Seussian words, characters, and the man himself throughout. Children will love to learn more about this renowned author and how he came up with such a simple but ingenious book. Educators could use this work for various writing activities and lessons. Also Sierra’s focus on how long it took Seuss to finish his masterpiece will communicate to young readers the stamina it takes to create. VERDICT An easy addition to any elementary school nonfiction collection.—Molly Dettmann, Moore Public Library, OK –Molly Dettmann (Reviewed 09/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 9, p165)


Get Your Holiday Gifts At The Library!

The holidays are coming, MUCH faster than I was expecting!  Time does seem to move faster each year, but the temperature outside was in the 50s only a couple of weeks ago, and now I need my ice scraper in the morning.


We all know there are many, MANY holidays in December.  Some of these holidays are simply days – Egg Nog Day, Chester Greenwood Day, Dewey Decimal Day, to name a few.  I’m not sure about you, but these are not “gift” holidays to me.  On the other hand Hanukah, Kwanzaa and Christmas are holidays that are “gift” holidays.


So, don’t forget the library in your gift search!  No, I’m not asking you to give us a gift, though it is nice to be remembered.  What I mean is think of us as a source for some of the folks on your shopping list!


For the second year in a row, we have calendars.  These calendars contain many wonderful historic pictures of Gardiner and the surrounding communities!  For ten dollars you can share memories about local places with family, or perhaps compare places you know now with what they looked like “back in the day” – whatever day that might have been.


Currently we have three titles by local authors available for purchase :  Lou Lou and Pea and the mural mystery by Jill Diamond ; Destination Unknown and Along the Kennebec both by State Representative Gay Grant.  Any of these would make a great gift!


Do you have anyone on your list that does not live in our service area?  We would love to sell you a Gardiner Public Library non-resident subscription to use as a gift.  Just think, a gift that truly will last an entire year! And for a whole family as well!


Last but by no means least, don’t forget BookIt! the library’s bookstore.  BookIt! is located in Lisa’s Legit Burritos and is well stocked with great titles for you to purchase!  All proceeds from BookIt! go to benefit the library.  Check it out when you are on Water Street in Gardiner!

New Items for December!


After the fire by Henning Mankell.  Here is the story of an aging man whose quiet, solitary life on an isolated island off the coast of Sweden is turned upside down when the house he lives in catches fire.

Christy by Catherine Marshall.  In 1912, a 19 year old girl leaves her comfortable home to teach school on an isolated cove in the great Smokey Mountains.

Deep freeze by John Sandford.  Class reunions: a time for memories – good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly.

A column of fire by Ken Follett.  A pair of lovers find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict while Queen Elizabeth fights to maintain her throne.

Every breath you take by Mary Higgins Clark.  Laurie Moran investigates the murder of a wealthy widow who was pushed from the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In the midst of winter by Isabel Allende.  Three very different people are bought together in a story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Brazil.

It devours! by Joseph Fink.  A female scientist investigates an unusual rumbling in an American Southwest desert and comes across a religious congregation planning a dangerous ritual.

Midnight line by Lee Child.  Jack Reacher, in a small Wisconsin town, sees a class ring in a pawn shop from West Point 2005.  He wonders what circumstances made the owner give it up and decides to find out and return it.  Why not?

Near Haven by Matthew Sirois.  A boat builder in rural Maine decides to hunker down in place when the world finds out that a comet that is streaking toward Earth is said to be both unavoidable and fatal for humanity.

The Noel diary by Richard Paul Evans.  A romance writer delves into a stranger’s past when his estranged mother leaves her extremely stuffed house to him.

Paris in the present tense by Mark Helprin.  A modern-day story of live, music, and death, with echoes of the Nazi retreat in World War II France.

The Paris Spy by Susan MacNeal.  American-born spy Maggie Hope searches for her half-sister in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

Pieces of happiness by Anne Ostby.  A novel of 5 lifelong friends who, in their 60s, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves.

The power by Naomi Alderman.  Suddenly all over the world, teenage girls develop the ability to send an electric charge from the tips of their fingers.

Quick and dirty by Stuart Woods.  The New York lawyer Stone Barrington is hired to recover a stolen Van Gogh painting.

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham.  Three students at a sleazy for profit law school hope to expose the student loan baker who runs it.

The secret, book, and scone society by Ellery Adams.  This is set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship – or solving a murder – can all be found within the pages of the right book.

The stolen marriage by Diane Chamberlain.  This conveys a strong sense of daily life in the American South during World War II, and the concurrent devastation of the polio epidemic in a crime-tinged tale of a marriage of convenience.

The story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg.  An emotionally powerful novel about 3 people who each lose the one they love most, only to find second chances where they least expect them.

Strange weather by Joe Hill.  A quartet of novellas involving the horrific and the supernatural.

The tea girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See.  This explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

Unrest by Sandra Heath.  The story of 17 year old Annie, plucked from her comfortable existence in the American Midwest, to trave3l with her mom and siblings to join her lieutenant colonel father in Tehran, Iran in the late 1970s.

The Western Star by Craig Johnson.  A modern Western that pays homage to Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

The whole of the moon by Brian Rogers.  These stories span the years from the late 1950s to the present, and the characters are bound by a fact unknown to them: they have each checked out the same public library copy of The Great Gatsby.


Pacific Daydream by Weezer

Now by Shania Twain

Standards by Seal

The thrill of it all by Sam Smith

Dig your roots by Florida Georgia Line

Reputation by Taylor Swift


Maudie (2017) starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke

American Gods (2017) starring Ian McShane

Chaplin (1992) starring Robert Downey Jr.

The fugitive (1993) starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones

Marvin’s Room (1996) starring Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro

Portrait of Jennie (1948) starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten.


Ali: a life by Jonathan Eig.  The definitive bio of an American icon, from an author with unique access to Ali’s inner circle.

An American family by Khizr Khan.  This inspiring memoir by the Muslim American Gold Star father and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family’s pursuit of the American dream.

The apparitionists by Peter Manseau.  A story of faith and fraud ink post-Civil War America, told through the lens of a photographer who claimed he could capture images of the dead.

Bobby Kennedy by Chris Matthews.  The New York senator’s journey from his formative years to his tragic run for president.

Endurance by Scott Kelly.  A stunning personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the international Space Station. This is a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys that preceded it, and of his colorful and inspirational formative years.

Fire on the track by Roseanne Montillo.  The inspiring and irresistible true story of Betty Robinson, and other women who broke barriers and finish-line ribbons in pursuit of Olympic Gold.

If you can doodle, you can paint by Diane Culhane.  How to transform simple drawings into works of art.

The letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. 1 by Sylvia Plath.  A major literary event: the first volume in the definitive, complete collection of the letters of Plath – most never seen before.

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.  A bio of the Italian Renaissance polymath which connects his work in various disciplines.

Make yourself at home by Moorea Seal.  A home design book that helps you discover how to style your home for a deeper sense of comfort.

Paperbacks from hell by Grady Hendrix.  An affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of the 1970s and 1980s.

Renoir: an intimate biography by Barbara White.  An in-depth bio of the French impressionist painter – ideal for readers seeking to delve deeply into his personality.

The shattered lens by Jonathan Alpeyrie.  A war photographer’s true story of captivity and survival in Syria.

What to believe when you’re expecting by Jonathan Schaffir.  A new look at old wives’ tales in pregnancy.

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review




Following Clues to Restore an Historic Cemetery (more clues still needed!)

Have you recently noticed a “new” cemetery emerging on Dresden Avenue across from the Common?

What you are actually witnessing is the re-emergence of the oldest identifiable burial ground in Gardiner.  With stones dating back to 1791, the “Old Churchyard” actually takes us back to the days when Gardinerston was known as Pittston, Robert Hallowell Gardiner was just a boy, and Revolutionary War General Henry Dearborn lived where the library now stands.

St. Ann’s Church, between Christ Church and the Gardiner Lyceum, c. 1830. The burial ground contains stones dating back to 1791.

The churchyard was originally consecrated for those who worshiped at St. Ann’s, an Episcopal church established at the behest of Sylvester Gardiner and the first church built in the region.  The history of St. Ann’s, itself, is a colorful story…. including fires, a madman, and various re-buildings and alterations (stop by the Community Archives Room for a full account!)  Many of Gardiner’s earliest and most influential citizens had close ties to the church, as well as with it’s successor, Christ Church (built in 1820) — and many of them (and their loved ones) were laid to rest in the old churchyard.

The known graves in the churchyard span from 1791 to 1892, with most dating from about 1800 to the 1850s. By the end of the century, however, the old churchyard seemed largely forgotten; in 1890, the Gardiner Home Journal noted “One stone was so sunken that the only part visible was the top bearing an urn and weeping willow with the name “Capt. David Lincoln.”  By the turn of the following century, fewer than 10 stones were still standing.

Thanks to a few hardy volunteers (as well as hundreds of hours of labor and a fair amount of research), the churchyard is looking much different today.  Bill King, of Bath, had once photographed a row of his ancestors’ stones on a visit to Gardiner, but when he returned years later, he found stones downed, broken, and moved from their proper locations.  Thanks to only two photographs known to exist, he and Hank McIntyre have been able to re-place about two dozen stones to date.  A few more will be ready to return to their known spaces by next summer.

St. Ann's Churchyard and O.C. Woodman School, c. 1990
This is one of only two known photographs of the the churchyard before restoration. If you know of any others, please contact Dawn in the Community Archives Room!

However, many more stones remain and their proper locations are unknown.  In August, Ground Penetrating Radar identified 40 “anomalies,” or likely grave locations for which no stone was standing.  That number aligned with the list of graves known to exist in the early 1900s.  The exploration even turned up a long-buried (and perfectly preserved) headstone and footstone from 1814.

Ground-Pentrating Radar, summer 2017.
Ground-Penetrating Radar identified 40 “anomalies” in the churchyard.

A trove of over two dozen broken headstones (plus a dozen footstones) still await repair and eventual re-placement, but physical challenges are only part of the concern.

Some of the stones are in many pieces


Still others are incomplete

The greatest challenge remains linking the remaining stones to their proper locations.  Researching historical and genealogical records has helped to identify many family connections and relationships among the buried, but without any photographic clues it is difficult to know which stone belongs where.

The “planting” season is over for now and this winter will be busy with stone repair and research.  In the meantime, we still hope that someone, somewhere, might find an old photograph of the Old Churchyard (even if it’s in the background) before next summer.  After all, Maine winters are long and perfect for sifting through old photographs — and any clue might help!  If you do find something (or have questions), please contact Dawn at the library (582-6890 or








Small Business Saturday

Hate the mad rush of going to the big box stores as you holiday shop during the weekend after Thanksgiving?  Remember the days of going “downtown” to do that shopping by visiting a row of different stores with different types of items on a smaller and more personal level?  Perhaps that trip in the past might have included coffee/tea/snack and a lunch at that local downtown.  It was fun, wasn’t it, and something you still remember.  Small Business Saturday on November 25th endeavors to bring back those days and emotions.  The blurb below tells about Gardiner Maine Street’s promo of Small Business Saturday here in Gardiner.  Check out their website.  Shop, eat, and socialize with your friends in downtown Gardiner that day and avoid the mad rush of the malls that put us under so much pressure….and in such a foul mood.

 Join us on Saturday November 25th to celebrate Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday (locally known as Shop Local Saturday) is a national movement started by American Express in 2010 with a goal of encouraging shoppers to visit their local, small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We are planning to offer several shopping-centric activities to get you up and about visiting and supporting local businesses.

Grab some swag and free shopping bags at the Welcome Station during 10am to 2pm located inside Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe, 269 Water Street.  Returning this year will be the Passport where each validated purchase from participating businesses earns you an entry for a prize raffle drawing.

Take advantage of Free Gift-Wrapping with several fun and classic holiday prints to choose from.  This is a fun event for shoppers and business owners alike, but also for the community. Stay up to date with Special Business Promotions by visiting our Facebook page and



ART @ the Library

Have you seen our new program? With the help of local artist, Isabelle Files, and the children’s room staff we have started a program called ART @ the Library. Once a month on a Tuesday evening at 6:00 in the Children’s room we are doing an art project for all ages. The first event was September 26th, featuring origami. We had fun making animals, boxes, and other items. On October 24th we did apple and leaf printing. Our youngest attendees loved working with the paint, and we got very creative.

Painting at the library!
Leaf & Apples
Look at those beautiful apple prints!
Someone is embellishing their apple print!

On November 7th we did collages by cutting pictures out of magazines and making a poster with the photos. This was a fun and relaxing event with photos of animals being the hot commodity.



Animals for a collage!
Magazines – great for collage pictures!
Someone liked this owl for their collage
Completed(?) collage

It has been wonderful to see the adults working alongside the children on these projects. Come in and join us for the Tuesday, December 5th at 6:00 to decorate Holiday cookies and keep checking our Facebook page and calendars for our next ART @ the Library. If you have some ideas of some things you would like to do, just give us a call at 207-582-6894.

New Titles for November!


 The art of keeping secrets by Rachael Johns.   They started out as “misfit” moms at their sons’ private school.  They shared everything – or so they thought.  Now on a trip to NYC, their tight hold on the secrets they’ve keep for years begins to slip.

Beneath the depths by Bruce Coffin.  A police procedural in which a lawyer who’s already antagonized half the people in Maine winds up dead and, every pine tree in Portland seems chock-full of suspects.

The best kind of people by Zoe Whittail.  A local schoolteacher is arrested, leaving his family to wrestle with the possibility of his guilt, in this novel about loyalty, truth, and happiness.

Fresh complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides.  A collection of stories that the author has been steadily producing through the years.

The girl who takes an eye for an eye by David Lagercrantz.  Lisabeth Salander teams up with an investigative journalist to uncover the secrets of her childhood.

Good me bad me by Ali Land.  Milly’s mother is a serial killer.  Though she loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police.  Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity and a home with an affluent foster family.  But Milly has secrets of her own.

Haunted by Richard Patterson. A detective from New York takes his family on a vacation to Maine and is enlisted by local cops to help solve a crime in the woods.

Little fires everywhere by Celeste Ng.  An artist with a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo upends a quiet town outside Cleveland.

Merry and bright by Debbie Macomber.  A temp, who works for a strict and stressed boss, is given a social life when family members create an online dating profile for her.

The ninth hour by Alice McDermott.  A powerfully affecting story spanning the 20th century of a widow and her daughter and the nuns who serve their Irish-American community in Brooklyn.

Origin by Dan Brown.  After reconnecting with one of his first students, who is now a billionaire futurist, Professor Robert Langdon must go on a perilous quest with a beautiful museum director.

P.S. from Paris by Marc Levy.  A modern-day love story between a famous actress hiding in Paris and a bestselling writer lying to himself.  They knew their friendship was going to be complicated, but love – and the City of Lights – just might find a way.

Paradox bound by Peter Clines.  An aimless young man escapes his dead-end town when he meets a time-traveling adventuress.  A rousing adventure novel that marries steampunk aesthetics to the seminal concept of protecting American liberty.

Proof of life by J.A. Jance.  When J.P. Beaumont is asked to investigate the death of his nemesis, it leads to an old case once thought solved.

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor.  This begins with a 13 year old girl’s disappearance from an English village, and then tracks the village through the following years, as teenagers become adults, people grow old and die, and couples get together and separate while what happened to the girl remains a mystery.

The rules of magic by Alice Hoffman.  Hoffman delights us in this prequel to Practical Magic as three siblings discover both the power and curse of their magic.

The Salt Line by Holly Jones.  In the future, the US border has receded behind a salt line – a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks.  Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear.  Only adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what’s left of nature stray past the salt line.

Sourdough by Robin Sloan.  How many novels can boast an obstreperous sourdough starter as a key character?  This is a delightful and heartfelt read.

Star Wars: from a certain point of view.  An anthology of short stories retells the original “Star Wars” from the point of view of supporting characters.

To be where you are by Jan Karon.  Three generations of Kavanaghs face changes in their lives.

Winter solstice by Elin Hilderbrand.  The Quinns celebrate the holidays when one family member returns from the war in Afghanistan but the gathering turns rocky.


American wolf by Nate Blakeslee.  The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her.

The best of us by Joyce Maynard.  In this touching memoir, Maynard chronicles her 2nd marriage.  She beautifully renders the joys of falling in love later in life and the pain of watching her husband die of pancreatic cancer.  Her heartfelt story resonate with those who have loved and lost.

The comfort food diaries by Emily Nunn.  Nunn chronicles her journey to heal old wounds and find comfort in the face of loss through travel, home-cooked food, and the company of friends and family.

The encyclopedia of animal predators by Janet Dohner.  Learn about each predator’s traits and behaviors, identify the tracks and signs of more than 50 predators to protect your livestock, poultry, and pets.

Grant by Ron Chernow.  Ulysses Grant was a complex, mostly admirable figure, and this may become the definitive biography for the foreseeable future.

Hiding in the bathroom by Morra Aarons-Mele.  An introvert’s road map to getting out there in the business world (when you’d rather stay home).

In the shadows of the American century by Alfred McCoy.  Can the US extend the “American century” or will China guide the globe for the next 100 years?  McCoy boldly lays out a series of scenarios that could lead to the end of Washington’s world domination by 2030.

Killing England by Bill O’Reilly.  Major events and battles during the Revolutionary War are told from the perspectives of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and others.

Logical family: a memoir by Armistead Maupin.  The author of the Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer.

Mayhem by Sigrid Rausing.  A searingly powerful memoir about the impact of opioid addiction on a family.

Of mess and moxie by Jen Hatmaker.  Wrangling delight out of this wild and glorious life, Hatmaker presents a round of hilarious tales, shameless honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie.

Vacationland by John Hodgman.  Mild departures from the routine inspire neurotic palpitations in these dourly funny essays that peg the stories to several unnerving locals.

Vinyl Me, Please.  100 albums you need in your collection.

Why we sleep by Matthew Walker.  The first sleep study by a leading scientific expert, this reveals groundbreaking explorations of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.


Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie

Life changes by Thomas Rhett

Lost and gone forever by Guster

Twin Peaks (music from the limited event series)

Through the eyes of love by Melissa Manchester

Flicker by Niall Horan


Big little lies (2017) starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon

The big sick (2017) starring Kumail Nanjiani, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano

Wonder woman (2017) starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine

Hero (2017) starring Sam Elliott

This is us: the complete first season (2017) starring Mandy Moore

The beguiled  (2017) starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst

12 monkeys (1995) starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt



Literary Reference Center – A MARVEL Database

I think it’s time for me to check out a new-to-me database on the MARVEL! Maine’s Virtual Library page.

Hmmm . . LITERARY REFERENCE CENTER – this looks interesting.  Clicking on the link opens the Literary Reference Center page.  Here I see several options to try.  The top menu bar contains New Search ;  Publications ; Browse Authors ; Browse Most Studied Authors and More.  There’s a place to do a search by Keyword ; Author  or Title.  Down the left side I see BROWSE with several options in the box, REFERENCE SHELF also with several options and CONTENT SPOTLIGHT which appears to be a journal article.  I don’t know how often the article is changed, but this one is about author Peter Matthiessen.

Closer to the center of the page there is BOOK HIGHLIGHT, which contains a sideways scroll.  I see articles with titles such as Critical Insights: The Great Gatsby ; Critical Insights: Mark Twain and Critical Insights: John Steinbeck.  Below this there are two more boxes – FEATURED WORK and FEATURED AUTHOR.  Today the FEATURED WORK is The Left Hand Of Darkness, and the FEATURED AUTHOR is Ursula K. Le Guin.

Where to now?  I check out the options below BROWSE and click on Most Studied Authors.  I am taken to a list of many, Many, MANY authors (in alphabetical order, of course) all that are click-able links!  It looks like I can also check them out by Country ; Culture ; Genre and Movement.  More options than I know what to do with!  After clicking on Movement, I scroll down the page and click on Beat Movement.  Wow, a list of seven authors who were part of the Beat Movement, all as links to more information about each of them.  I click on Jack Kerouac and am taken to a page with information about him, including his full name, birth and death dates.  There are also links to more information about him – Principal Works , Biography, Analysis, Summary, Discussion Topics and Bibliography.  Again, WOW!

I click back to the home page and again look at the BROWSE options.  This time I click on Most Studied Works.  I have to tell you, I find it odd that the list of works is in an odd to me order – yes, all of the As are together, but they seem to be in reverse alphabetical order – Awakenings before Atonement before Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret.  This might not be an issue for many people but is a bit off to me.  Clicking on a title takes me to a beautiful citation of the work, as well as giving me more options to look at.  There is a box on the left that contains Related Information, which includes Interviews, Reviews, Poems, Biographies and several other topics.  The Contents box works well to move me through the current page.

Back on the home page I focus on the REFERENCE SHELF.  Here there are several more choices.  I click on Research Guide.  This takes me to a page that seems to have any and all information I might need to write a research paper – from Plagiarism: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls to Worst Case Scenario: My paper is nearly due and I’ve barely started! to a Research Glossary.  This looks like a great page to keep in mind for “THOSE” questions – “How do I make an outline?” ; “My teacher said I can’t use the internet because it isn’t true.  What makes a true resource on the internet?” or “How do I write a bibliography?”

This is a very interesting database!  There are many pieces that I can see using here at the library, but there are definitely pieces that are a bit  . . . clunky to use.  This is a site that I would have found helpful several centuries (or at least decades) ago when I wrote my first papers for school!

Marsden Hartley

Do you know who Marsden Hartley was?  If you are interested in what Maine has contributed to the culture of the world, then you should know who he is even if you do not know yet.  Hartley was born in Lewiston, Maine in 1877 and died in Ellsworth in 1943.  His contribution to world culture?  Wikipedia calls him an American Modernist painter and says “he wanted to become ‘the painter of Maine’ and depict American life at a local level.  This aligned Hartley with the Regionalism movement, a group of artists active from the early- to mid-20th century that attempted to represent a distinctly ‘American art.’  He continued to paint in Maine, primarily scenes around Lovell and the Corea coast, until his death in Ellsworth in 1943.  His ashes were scattered on the Androscoggin River.

Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville is currently featuring an exhibition titled Marsden Hartley’s Maine which will run through November 12, 2017.  The museum’s web site at reports that, “This exhibition will explore Marsden Hartley’s complex, sometimes contradictory, and visually arresting relationship with his native state—from the lush Post-Impressionist inland landscapes with which he launched his career, to the later roughly rendered paintings of Maine’s rugged coastal terrain, its hardy inhabitants, and the magisterial Mount Katahdin.

Hartley’s renowned abstract German series, New Mexico recollections, and Nova Scotia period have been celebrated in previous exhibitions, but Marsden Hartley’s Maine will illuminate Maine as a critical factor in understanding the artist’s high place in American art history. Maine served as an essential slate upon which he pursued new ideas and theories.  It was a lifelong source of inspiration intertwined with his personal history, cultural milieu, and desire to create a regional expression of American modernism.

The exhibition is organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

Check out this exhibition for the unique style with which Hartley has been celebrated, for the man’s unique view of Maine and its inhabitants, and for the wonderful Colby College Museum of Art building and collection which have a splendor all their own.



New Books – October 2017


Any dream will do by Debbie Macomber.  As Shay Benson begins her life anew by building a relationship with Pastor Drew, her brother’s return threatens to undo it all.

Caroline: Little House revisited by Sarah Miller.  Peeling back the layers of Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, this reveals another side of Caroline Ingalls, Wilder’s mother.  Not to be missed by Wilder’s grown-up fans or those who enjoy historical fiction.

Crime scene by Jonathan Kellerman.  Clay Edison, a deputy coroner and former star athlete, investigates a possible murder.

The Cuban affair by Nelson DeMille.  Set in 2015 during the early days of the thaw between the US and Cuba – a line from the novel perfectly describes this page-turner:  “Sex, money, and adventure.  Does it get any better than that?”

Don’t let go by Harlan Coben.  Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful thriller.

Enigma by Catherine Coulter.  Agents Savich and Sherlock race against the clock to catch an international criminal and solve the enigma of the man called John Doe.

The followers by Rebecca Wait.  A struggling single mother falls under the spell of a charismatic cult leader, but her rebellious 12 year old daughter isn’t quite so gullible.

 A gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  A Russian count undergoes 30 years of house arrest.

Glass Houses by Louise Penny.  Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience – a court that supersedes all others.

The golden house by Salman Rushdie.  A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture – a hurtling, page-turning mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities.

The last Tudor by Phillippa Gregory.  The youngest Grey sister, Mary, is left to face her ruthless cousin, Queen Elizabeth.

A legacy of spies by John LeCarre.  The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book – his first Smiley novel in more than 25 years.

The locals by Jonathan Dee.  Here are the dramas of the 21st century America – rising inequality, working class decline, a new authoritarianism – played out in the classic setting of some of our greatest novels: the small town.

My absolute darling by Gabriel Tallent.  A remarkably self-sufficient 14 year old girl must fight to save herself from her abusive survivalist father.

North Haven by Sarah Moriarty.  A portrait of the family scars and faults passed along the generations, brilliantly capturing life on the Maine coastline, where time seems to stand still even as the water never stops moving.

The punch escrow by Tal Klein.  Fans of hard SF and time travel will enjoy this imaginative debut.

The right time by Danielle Steel.  The author Alexandra Winslow, writing under the pseudonym Alexander Green, creates a double life that isolates her.

Robert B. Parker’s The hangman’s sonnet by Reed Coleman.  This Jessie Stone novel involves a reclusive folk singer.

Secrets in death by J.D. Robb.  Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumors from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced.

Seeing red by Sandra Brown.  The TV journalist Kerra Bailey and former federal agent John Trapper join forces to expose a web of conspiracy behind a hotel bombing in Dallas.

Sleeping beauties by Stephen King and Owen King.  The authors tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

The store by James Patterson.  Two NY writers go undercover to expose the secrets of a powerful retailer.

Strange practice by Vivian Shaw.  Fans who enjoy gaslamp fantasies will appreciate how Shaw brings her Victorian monsters into the modern age.

We shall not all sleep by Estep Nagy.  Set on a small Maine island, this is a richly told story of American class, family, and manipulation – a compelling portrait of a unique and privileged WASP stronghold on the brink of dissolution.

Y is for yesterday by Sue Grafton.  Yesterday was for youthful indiscretions.  Today is for consequences.


After the eclipse by Sarah Perry.   A mother’s murder, a daughter’s search.  In a fierce memoir of a mother’s murder outside of her daughter’s bedroom in rural Maine, a daughter’s coming-of-age in the wake of immense loss, and her mission to know the woman who gave her life.

Dying: a memoir by Cory Taylor.  This slender volume brings a fresh point of view to end of life care, the concept of having a sense of control over the unknown, and the role of chance in life.  This deep meditation is beautifully written and destined to be an important piece of conversation surrounding death.

The far away brothers by Lauren Markham.  The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador’s violence to build new lives in California – fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.

A farewell to ice by Peter Wadhams.  Based on five decades of research and observation, this is a haunting and unsparing look at the melting ice caps and what their disappearance will mean.

Feeling Jewish by Devorah Baum.  A young critic offers an original, passionate, and erudite account of what it means to feel Jewish – even when you are not.

The four tendencies by Gretchen Rubin.  The indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better (and other peoples lives better too).

Install your own solar panels by Joe Burdick.  Designing and installing a photovoltaic system to power your home.

Madness by Sam Sax.  An astounding debut collection of poems – Winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series Competition.  In this collection, Sax explodes the linkage between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health.

Nomadland by Jessica Bruder.  A book about low-income Americans (mostly seniors) eking out a living while driving from locale to locale for seasonal employment.

The plant paradox by Steven Gundry.  Most of us have heard of gluten – a protein found in wheat that can cause widespread inflammation in the body.  Americans spend billions on gluten-free diets in an effort to protect their health.  But what if we’ve been missing the root of the problem?

Quakeland by Kathryn Miles.  A journey around the US in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts and ultimately the kind of preparation that will actually help guide us through disasters.

The republic for which it stands by Richard White.  This offers a fresh and integrated interpretation of Reconstruction and the Gilded Age as the seedbed of modern America.

This blessed earth by Ted Genoways.  Both a concise exploration of the history of the American small farm and a vivid, nuanced portrait of one family’s fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.

What happened by Hillary Clinton.  The former secretary of state relates her experience as the first woman candidate nominated for president by a majority party and reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history.

What I found in a thousand towns by Dar Williams.  A beloved folk singer presents an impassioned account of the fall and rise of the small American towns she cherishes.

Why Buddhism is true by Robert Wright.  Neuroscience and psychology findings are used to support Buddhist practice and meditation and show how it holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness.

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review.