Gardiner Public Library is now open to the public Monday - Friday from 10 - 5. Our Pick-Up Window is open Mon. 10 - 5:25 ; Tues. 10 - 5:25 ; Wed. 10 - 6 ; Thurs. 10 - 5:25 and Fri. 10 - 5:25. Please call for details - 207-582-3312

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

Maine Reading

M            Maine : an explorer’s guide

A             Archeological excavations at Pemaquid, Maine

I               It

N             Nectar

E              Ebbing tide

T              Train to Maine

I               Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

T              Trespasser

L              Lighthouse keeper’s daughter

E              Enjoying Maine birds

S              Stern Men

F              Fairyhouses of the Maine coast

O             One morning in Maine

R             Route 1 Maine

T              Time of wonder

H             Heroes are my weakness

E              East Hope

S              Somewhere off the coast of Maine

U             Under the dome

M            Maine 24/7

M            Mirror of Maine

E              Exit the milkman

R             Real Maine food

Picnic Like It’s 1928!

Green grass, blooming buds, and sunny skies all make us want to get outside and savor every minute.  In the Archives, the budding season makes us look at old treasures with new eyes.  This week, a 1928 cookbook compiled by Christ Church Parish Helpers made me wonder what tasty treats might make a perfect step-back-in-time picnic.

Here’s a selection of some of the most seasonally appropriate offerings for an outing.  See if anything strikes your fancy and let us know how they turn out (we’d be happy to taste test samples!)   And while we’re on the subject, what are some of your own long-standing family favorites?  Share some with us on Facebook — and have a very Happy Picnic Season!

  

This is the most marked-up recipe in the book – it must be good!

 

 

Enjoy!
Dawn Thistle, Special Collections Librarian

 

Women’s History Month

March is a month of many things, one of which is Women’s History Month. With it being an election year, it’s a great time to delve more into the area. Gardiner Public Library has some great selections in women’s history. Following are some interesting examples you may want to check out:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony : a friendship that changed the world / Penny Colman.
YA Nonfiction
A dual biography of the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and the friendship that they formed.
 
The boundaries of her body : the troubling history of women’s rights in America / Debran Rowland.
Adult Nonfiction
Explores how women’s rights have (and have not) changed since the signing of the Mayflower Compact.
 

 

Wheels of change : how women rode the bicycle to freedom (with a few flat tires along the way) / Sue Macy.
Juvenile Nonfiction
Explores the role the bicycle played in the women’s liberation movement.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

If you’d like the history of the holiday, there are several good books in our children’s room that do a good job of presenting the information. In addition, there are some crafty books for kids to make cute Valentine crafts. You’ll also find a nice assortment of fun Valentine fiction books. For your perusal, the following is just a smattering of what we have to offer.

Presents the history of Valentine’s Day, as well as its past and present traditions; Juvenile Nonfiction 
 

 

The story of Valentine symbols; Juvenile Nonfiction

 

 
Recounts an incident in the life of St. Valentine, a physician who treated a small child for blindness.
 
 

 

Valentine crafts for kids, as well as Valentine decorations

 

 
A collection of Valentine stories, poems, and activities, by a variety of authors.

New Year, New You

This time of year we hear a lot about resolutions. We mean well when we resolve to do better, but often it’s not long before we abandon our plans.  This is usually because we set our expectations too high; as a result, we are hard on ourselves for not following through…

Some things we could probably all resolve to do (without causing stress in the process): move more, eat healthier, and of course, read more!
Whatever your new year’s resolutions are this year, remember that the public library is a wonderful resource for you. Whether you want to lose weight, learn to cook, go back to school, or save money, there are many resources at the library to help you along the way.  Following are some interesting choices you may want to read: 
  
 

 The author describes his journey without money, bartering his way from an apple to a house in Hawaii.

 Visiting the library is a great way to start off the New Year on the right foot!

Books Take Me Away

I recently overheard someone say, “It’s that time of year when you want to curl up with a good book, a cup of tea, and an afghan”. I couldn’t agree more.

 
This perfectly describes how I’ve been feeling lately in this cool, rainy Autumn weather. All I want to do is curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea and I’ll be all set for the day. Personally, I love when it rains all day on a weekend. That’s my excuse to forget the cleaning, laundry, and paperwork. Unfortunately, I can’t do this too often, but when I can, I take full advantage.
So on the next rainy day, I hope you can make it a day for yourself. Put on some jammie pants, brew some tea, grab a book, and cuddle up with your favorite blanket. If that’s not a well-spent day, I don’t know what is. Even better, binge read all weekend!
So, cozy up and let a book take you away!

 

Autumn in the Library

A Applesauce Season

All of the above titles are available through the Gardiner Public Library.  Click on the title to check on the availability of each title.
Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

Salad Time!

 Summer time is salad time . . . . and nothing beats the comfort foods of Maine like those featured in the cookbooks of Marjorie Standish.  Cooking Down East was published in 1969; Keep Cooking – The Maine Way was published in 1973.  Both books are available at the Gardiner Public Library.  Try the recipe that follows for macaroni salad or check out one of the titles to look for other down home comfort foods from Maine.

MACARONI SALAD
2 cups elbow macaroni
½ cup mayo
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp diced pimiento
¼ tsp celery seed
¼ cup diced green pepper
1 cup finely diced celery
1 slice onion, finely minced
Cook elbow macaroni, rinse with cold water and drain.  Mix mayo with lemon juice, salt and sugar.  Combine cooked macaroni, vegetables, celery seed and mayo mixture, blending thoroughly.  This may be stored covered in fridge for overnight or all day.  You may want to add other seasonings, such as chopped dill pickle or chopped sweet pickle.  Chopped cucumber and chopped fresh tomato add interesting flavors, too.
Serve on crisp lettuce leaves.  This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.