Category Archives: Uncategorized

Library Passes Donated by the Friends of the Library

Courtesy of the Friends of the Epsom Public Library, the library offers free passes to the American Independence Museum in Exeter, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, the Millyard Museum in Manchester, the SEE Science Center in Manchester, and the Strawberry Banks Museum in Portsmouth.

Movie Matinees

 

 

On Wednesday, March 29 the Epsom Public Library will be showing the movie, “Hackshaw Ridge” at 1:30.  Directed by Mel Gibson the film tells the true story of Desmond Doss who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of World War II saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.   He was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor according to publicity for the film.  Pete Hammond of “Deadline” said “This is a truly remarkable and moving film about unimaginable courage in the face of impossible odds.”

TODDLER TIME – Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Toddlers and their parent/caregiver enjoy songs, stories, movement activities and a craft

LEGO CLUB: Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

By Christina Van Horn

Former Boston Globe Editor

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: When I started writing these reviews, I included a quote about libraries at the top of the section. To make my intent clear to our readers, I have started using a sub head, “Libraries cum laude” above the quote. The reviews themselves will begin below the quote. I hope these quotes will inspire everyone who uses and loves libraries.

 Libraries’ cum laude:

 “Libraries are the foundation of a democratic society, a home away from home, and the key to a wider world.”                                                                        –  Ellen Kirschman, psychologist and author

 

A Tale and the Time Being, 2013

by Ruth Ozeki

To maintain a reader’s interest, every book requires a main plot and several underlying plots  that weave in and about their parent to keep the action moving.

But Ruth Ozeki and her editor clearly subscribe to the more-than-you-can buffet approach of reading and editing, forgetting that often less is more. In this one book, set in contemporary Japan, we are deluged with disquisitions on Silicone Valley, parental suicide, philosophers Heidegger, Montaigne and Dogan, the first Japanese woman to be hung, anarchist Emma Goldman,  Fukijama, Kamaikaze pilots, WW II Japanese officer brutality toward other officers, a 104-year-old Buddhist nun living in a crumbling convent, the Changhou massacre, pet deaths in British Columbia, global warming, writer’s block, teenage abuse and child prostitution.

I may have overlooked a topic or two, but for all intents and purposes, overlook this novel as you peruse the shelves for something to read.

 

Outcasts United, 2009

By Warren St. John

This story about a Jordanian woman and her determination to help refugee boys resettled in the sanctuary city of Clarkson, GA, is as inspiring and heartwarming a tale as you will ever read.

Luma Mufleh organized a soccer team to keep young boys off the streets. This was no easy feat in the small, blue-collar town whose neighborhoods had to undergo radical change as refugees moved in from countries many people had never heard of, let alone dreamed that refugees would one day be their neighbors.

Mufleh was no pushover and made her players toe the line, often incurring conflict and heartbreak. In return, she turned her players into a team to be contended with in its league and within Clarkson itself, which was far from easy..

The author provides informative context as to how sanctuary cities are organized and the consequences for the refugees and the cities themselves.  This process transforms everyone involved, but not without anger, stress and eventually positive growth. Outcasts United is a remarkable story and, through a ragtag group of boys, infuses meaning into our country’s heritage of offering refuge to our teeming shores.

Rating:  *****

 

Spider Bones, 2010

by Kathy Reich

This mystery, starring Kathy Reich’s character forensic scientist Temperance Brennan, is a prime example of how far mysteries have evolved from the village mysteries first conceived by Agatha Christie. In Spider Bones, Brennan is called in to identify a body found in Quebec. However,  it turns out to be the body of an American ex-soldier “Spider” killed in South Vietnam in 1968.  Brennan travels to Hawaii to check US military records as the body, identified as Lowery, may not actually be Lowery. After exhuming the remains buried under Lowery’s name, she checks the US military records kept on Pearl Harbor.

The plot then twists and turns as Brennan finds more contradictions in the military records and finds herself and her daughter in danger. Reich keeps upping the scientific ante as Brennan’s research depends on DNA in all its complexities, eventually solving the identities of long-lost bodies and longtime marriages and mothers who weren’t quite as they seemed.

The book is not only an entertaining romp but it also offers extensive information about how DNA works its life spiral.

 

Rating:  *****

Friends of the Library

The next meeting of the Friends of the Library will be April 17 13, at 7 p.m. at the library. New members are always welcome.

 

 

Downloadable Audio Books and Ebooks

Patrons of the Epsom Public Library may access and download audio books and ebooks from the New Hampshire State Library at nh.lib.overdrive.com. Prior to checking out, the patron must call the Epsom Library for its code to be used with their library card number. This is a free service.

New Materials for February

ADULT NON-FICTION

Eyewitness Travel: Brussels, Bruges, Ghent &  Antwerp

Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard, Jennie Allen

Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final  Mission, Bret Baier

A Long Way Home, Saroo Brierley

The Earth is Weeping: the Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, Peter Cozzens

The Miracle Morning`: the Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before   8 AM., Hal Elrod

Sunrise in Spain: Finding the Good Life Hiking the Camino de Santiago, Theresa Fersch

Beyond Mars and Venus: Relationship Skills for  Today’s Complex World, John Gray

200 Fun Things to Knit: Decorative Flowers, Leaves, Bugs, Butterflies, and More!, Victoria Lyle/

At the End of the World: a True Story of Murder In the Artic, Lawrence Millman

New England Farmgirl: Recipes & Stories From a     Farmer’s Daughter, Jessica Robinson

Racehoss: Big Emma’s Boy, Albert Race Sample

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the   Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, Dava Sobel

The Sound of Gravel: a Memoir, Ruth Wariner

 

ADULT FICTION

Land of Silence, Tessa Afshar

The Japanese Lover, Isabel Allende

A Darkness Absolute, Kelley Armstrong

Borderline: the Arcadia Project, Mishell Baker

Death of a Ghost, M.C. Beaton

The Prisoner, Alex Berenson

Modern Girls, Jennifer S. Brown

Puppet Master, Dale Brown

The Seekers, Wanda Brunstetter

Perfume River, Robert Olen Butler

A Dog’s Purpose, Bruce Cameron

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Becky Chambers

First Strike, Ben Coes

A Catered Tea Party: a Mystery with Recipes, Isis Crawford

Garden of Lamentations, Deborah Crombie

Pines, Blake Crouch

The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis

Close Call, Laura A. H. DiSilverio

The Dark Flood Rises, Margaret Drabble

America’s First Daughter, Stephanie Dray

A Step of Faith: the Fourth Journal of the Walk Series, Richard Paul Evans

Knit Your Own Murder, Monica Ferris

The River at Night, Erica Ferencik

A Murder of Magpies, Judith Flanders

A Reluctant Bride, Kathleen Fuller

Right Behind You, Lisa Gardner

Sunday Kind of Love, Dorothy Garlock

Gunmetal Gray, Mark Greaney

High Stakes: a Wild Cards Mosaic Novel

Frost Line, Linda Howard

Heartbreak Hotel, Jonathan Kellerman

Sorrow Road, Julia Keller

My Not So Perfect Life, Sophie Kinsella

Robert B. Parker’s Revelation, Robert Knott

The Patriots, Sana Krasikov

On Turpentine Lane, Elinor Lipman

The Two-Family House, Lynda Cohen Loigman

I See You, Clare Mackintosh

Murder Most Malicious, Alyssa Maxwell

A Pinch of Poison, Alyssa Maxwell

Arrowood, Laura McHugh

Bright, Precious Days, Jay McInerney

Crash and Burn, Fern Michaels

The Red Dog: a Slim in Little Egypt Mystery

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, Louise   Miller

The Fifth Letter, Nicola Moriarty

The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen

Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough

A Hundred Thousand Worlds, Bob Proehl

Rather Be the Devil, Ian Rankin

The Second Mrs. Hockaday, Susan Rivers

Echoes in Death, J.D.Robb

Nine Women, One Dress, Jane L. Rosen

The Secret Language of Stones. M.J. Rose

Idaho, Emily Ruskovich

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, Jennifer Ryan

Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

In Twenty Years, Allison Scotch

Apricot’s Revenge: a Crime Novel, Ying Song

Racing the Devil: an Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery, Charles Todd

No Man’s Land, Simon Tolkien

Crazy Love You, Lisa Unger (lg. print)

The Storyteller, Everett A. Wentworth

Perfect Little World, Kevin Wilson

 

CDS

Mrs. Bixby’s Last Day, John David Anderson

The Dream Lover, Elizabeth Berg

The Jealous Kind, James Lee Burke

Nothing but Trouble, Jacqueline Davies

Tunnel Vision, Arie Davis

Ragtime, E.L.Doctorow

The Nix, Nathan Hill

Midnight Hour, C.C. Hunter

If I Fix You, Abigail Johnson

Rain Dogs: a Detective Sean Duffy Novel, Adrian McKinty

Now You See Her, James Patterson

Unlucky 13, James Patterson

The Initiation, Ridley Pearson

A Great Reckoning, Louise Penney

Barkskins, Annie Proulx

Stories for 4-Year-Olds, Joan Stimson

 

DVDS

Arrival

The Big Bang Theory, Seasons 4,5,6

Denial

Dora the Explorer: Super Silly Fiesta

Elena of Avalor: Ready to Rule

Ghost World

The Hollars

Holidaze

Homeland, the Complete Fourth Season

Jack Reacher, Never Go Back

Loving

Madame Secretary, Season One

Popular Mechanics for Kids, the Complete First Season

Popular Mechanis for Kids, the Complete Second Season

Prime Suspect, Series 1-6

Prime Suspect, Series 7, the Final Act

The Secret Agent

Snowden

Surf’s Up 2: Wave Mania

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage

When Calls the Heart, Complete Season 3

The Wild Fire

 

CHILDREN’S FICTION

Baby Animals Take a Nap, Marsha Diane Arnold     (Board Book)

The Tooth Fairy

Puppy’s Big Day: Bad Kitty Series, Book 10, Nick Bruel

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet, Carmen Agra Deedy

Warm Hearts Day, Rebecca Elliott

Eva and the New Owl, Rebecca Elliott

A Pig, a Fox and Stinky Socks, Jonanthan Fenske

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library, Julie Gassman

Put Me in the Zoo, Robert Lopshire

Hair, Leslie Patricelli (Board Book)

Good Night, Little Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister     (Board Book)

Sweet Dreams, Peter, Beatrix Potter

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, Sherri Rinker

Everybunny Dance!  Ellie Sandall

Bunny’s Book Club. Annie Silvestro

Knuffle Bunny Free: an Unexpected Diversion, Mo Willems

 

CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION

Grand Canyon, Jason Chin

Penguin, Meredith Costain

Porcupines, Sebastion Avery

Panda, Meredith Costain

Five Little Ducks, James Dean

I Wave the American Flag, Roaslie Gaddi

I Visit the Liberty Bell, Whitney Hopper

 

JUNIOR NON-FICTION

Big Book of Where, Linda C. Falcon

Mission to Pluto: the First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt, Mary Kay Carson

Finland, Chung Lee Tan

Iceland, Jonathan Wilcox

Tibet, Patricia Levy

Cambodia, Sean Sheehan

Ethiopia, Steven Gish

Panama, Susan M. Hassig

 

JUNIOR FICTION

Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret, Wanda Coven

Heidi Heckelbeck Casts a Spell, Wanda Coven

Heidi Heckelbeck and the Cookie Contest, Wanda Coven

The Castle in the Mist, Any Ephron

The Jolly Regina, Kara LaReau

Short, Holly Goldberg Sloan

 

YOUNG ADULT FICTON

The Cruelty, Scott Bergstrom

The Siren Kiera Cass

Happily Ever After, Kiera Cass

The Crown, Kiera Cass

Caraval, Stephanie Garber

Wires and Nerve, Marissa Meyer (Graphic Novel)

Reviewers Wanted

Reviewers

Have you read a book or seen a movie that has left a definite impression on you? The library is looking for patrons who would be willing to write a review for our newsletters. If you are interested or have questions, please check with Nancy or Maggie. Patrons now have the opportunity to receive notices, newsletters, and other information from the library via e-mail. The staff will be asking patrons if they would be agreeable to provide their e-mail address.

Epsom Public Library Historical Center

The Center is closed for the winter months. We will re-open on Wednesdays, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the spring.  The Trustees would appreciate volunteers  for those hours. Please call the library if you would be willing to help.

Book Reviews by Christina Van Horn

Former Boston Globe editor

EDITOR’S NOTE: When I started writing these reviews, I included a quote about libraries at the top of the section. To make my intent clear to our readers, I have started using a sub head, “Libraries cum laude” above the quote. The reviews themselves will begin below the quote. I hope these quotes will inspire everyone who uses and loves libraries

.Libraries’ cum laude:

 “I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book.” — Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

 

Unbroken

By Laura Hillenbrand

This is a biography that requires only a brief review, because so much of it is tied up in what happens next. In 1943, Lt. Louis Zamperini’s B-24 crashed into unbroken miles of the Pacific Ocean with no way of notifying headquarters as to where the bomber had crashed. He and two other flyers spent days on a raft with little water, even less food. They were surrounded by sharks. Their ocean travail is described in bone-chilling detail.

Zamperini had been a juvenile delinquent who discovered he could run. And run he did, as a teenager, right into the Berlin Olympics, where he talent was recognized and took him into the life of a national athlete. But then the war started. His country had other ideas for him and he was drafted as an airman into the Pacific theater. There began the events that would change his life.

After days on the raft, he was rescued, but that rescue shuttled him into yet unthinkable horrors. His story, through the end of the war and after, is a testament to one man’s unflinching will and determination to survive whatever the cost.

Five *****

In the Company of Liars

By David Ellis

This is one unusual thriller — kudos to lawyer David Ellis who wrote this novel chronologically in reverse. This would have been no easy feat; this book defines itself as one of a kind. Reading it is not always easy. You have to pay close attention as the narrative moves from one day to the day before it. Each day follows the life of Allison Pagone, who is accused of the murder of her lover, a powerful lobbyist. She is desperate to ensure that her hostile daughter and former husband are not caught up in the legal web tightening around her. She has to discern who is telling the truth, who is lying. Those around her are convinced only she is the liar.

The plot becomes more complex because bribes given by her ex-husband and taken by three state senators muddy the water and spark a FBI investigation.

But an indepeTndent FBI agent, running a top secret investigation, is focused on arresting a Moslem student — operating in the area with a terrorist cell (can there be novels today terrorist-free?)  — who is determined to kill Pagone, whatever the outcome of her trial.

As with any well-written thriller, all of the players are not necessarily who they seem, a plot made all the more complex because all the action must be followed as it happens in the present, but introduced as it occurred in the past. A book to read —for the challenge of its style and its plot.

DVD Reviews by Christina Van Horn

Former Boston Globe editor, Christina Van Horn

Out of the Mouths of Movie(Commentary)”Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937

 Snow White was the only major character then-18-year-old Adriana Caselotti ever voiced. “Walt Disney thought it would spoil the illusion if you knew who the people were who provided the voices in the film,” she disclosed in a 1987 interview, about the strict contract that kept her from other parts. She died in 1997 at age 80. www.hollywoodreporter.com

 

NORTH COUNTRY – 2005 – Based on a true story

(This film is emotionally, physically and sexually violent. Not for the faint of heart.)

Fleeing from an abusive partner, Charlize Theron acting as Josey Aimes just wants a job that will support herself and her two children, born to different fathers out of wedlock. She returns to her childhood home, to a cautiously loving mother and a hostile father, who feels she has shamed the family with her illegitimate children. She takes a job at one of the Minnesota uranium mines that the federal government has required to hire women. In this environment suffused with testosterone poisoning, the men wage an unceasing war against Josey and the other few female workers. They spit, call filthy names, dangle sex objects, physically threaten, assign life-threatening jobs and attempt rape of all of the women. Aimes is the only one to protest their treatment — to no avail.

She decides to sue the company, and guilt trips a lawyer, played by Woody Harrelson, to file the nation’s first class-action sexual-harassment suit. The first half of the film was excruciatingly painful for me to watch — as an employee who hit the glass ceiling, endured white-collar harassment and abuse. However, my experience  pales beside what these mining women experienced.

The second half of the film will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Watch this. It is an important film.

Five stars *****

 

POLDARK – New version of the 1975 British-American TV series

Season 1

Oh how wonderful! A recast version of Poldark! We can now revisit on DVD Captain Ross Poldark (AidanTurner, who is to die for) and his kitchen maid-come wife Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson — most easy on the eye) as they struggle to revive Poldark’s copper mine. They must find copper in an old mine to avoid losing his estate to banking predators.

I watched Season 1 on TV in my early 20s and never forgot it. The new version does not disappoint, remaining true to the original. It provides hours of entertainment. I’m impatiently awaiting Season 2, which is due out sometime this month.

The series is filmed on the dramatically beautiful, but harsh, Cornish coast and depicts the plight of the poverty-stricken mine workers, who are all but owned by the great mining estates, and are subject to the whims of the mine owners. Starvation is a daily part of their lives. So is smuggling and watching the cove for ships that crash in a storm so that they can plunder what washes up on shore from the wrecks.

Poldark offers hours of mystery, betrayal, romance, history, class struggle and engaging characters, all skillfully interwoven in captivating plots set in the late 1700s.

Turn off your phone and settle in for hours of living in another time.

Five *****

+THE NIGHT LISTENER  — 2006 – Based on true events

Although billed as a Robin Williams film, Toni Collette wins my Oscarette hands down as the blind, crazed mother of Pete. A teenager, he has purportedly written what could be a bestseller about his survival of a childhood filled with physical and sexual abuse.

The book and Pete come to the attention of Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams who is a New York late-night radio talk show host who also reads books over the air. ) Gabriel and Pete begin conversing over the air waves and all goes smoothly until Gabriel questions whether Pete exists. He decides to locate Pete so he can meet him in person, concerned because Pete’s adoptive mother has told Gabriel by phone that Pete is dying.

Gabriel’s journey into the snow-ridden West turns his life upside down. Where is Pete? Is he real? What is the truth of his life? Why have none of the locals ever seen Pete?

This film has definitely creepy under and overtones, and I usually avoid William’s movies, because he had a difficult time getting over himself. The rule proves the exception, and this movie will keep your attention waiting to find out Pete’s truth.

Three ***