Martha Canfield Library E-news - June
Welcome to the June edition of the Martha Canfield Library’s e-newsletter.
The Martha Canfield Library invites the public to take part in a celebration on June 25, 2011 at the library. This year marks both the 15th anniversary of the library building and the Phyllis Skidmore's 30th anniversary as Library Director. Come to the celebration and see the newly rearranged library interior. The Open House is from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, with presentations and refreshments at 3:00 pm.
A great way to celebrate the 250th anniversary of many Vermont towns is to borrow a pass to visit one of Vermont’s historic sites. The Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation have once again made available to libraries a pass that gives free entry for one family or group of up to 8 people into designated historic sites. You may borrow the pass or reserve it for a specific date by calling the library. You can also visit www.historicvermont.org/sites for details on specific sites.
If history is not your thing, we also have a State Parks pass the will give free admission for one vehicle with up to 8 people to a state park day area, including Lake Shaftsbury State Park and Emerald Lake State Park. Check out their website at: www.vtstateparks.com.
Or, you may borrow a pass that will admit two adults to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA (children and students are always free). Visit www.clarkart.edu to find out about their special exhibitions.
The Vermont Reads book for 2011 is To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Our first Vermont Reads event will be a showing of the film starring Gregory Peck on Thursday, June 23 at 6:30 pm followed by a brief discussion. Then, on Thursday, June 30 at 6:30 pm, to view the South at an earlier period than that pictured in To Kill A Mockingbird, we will watch and discuss Jezebel, starring Bette Davis in her 1937 Oscar winning performance. You can check our website and upcoming newsletters for dates and times of more Vermont Reads happenings as they become available.
Mark your calendars! July 30 at 7 pm, Sara J. Henry will speak at the library. Ms. Henry is the author of the recently acclaimed book Learning to Swim.
Welcome to summer vacation! Now that you have time to read for fun, stop in and see what’s new at the Library.
Our summer theme is One World, Many Stories. You can join our reading club starting June 14, keep track of how much you read, do some puzzles, and help us fill up our map with places you visited in a book.
Or you can come to one of our activity programs as we visit a different country each Wednesday morning in July. Starting on July 6 we’ll visit the Indian subcontinent via story, activity and snack. Watch our website and the newspapers for more dates and countries.
In the Canfield Gallery
Collaborating with the beautiful display of colors outside is Judith Kniffin’s exhibition of oil paintings and watercolors which will be on view from June 1 through 29. “I alternate between oil painting and watercolor,” Kniffin says. “Oils are rich and juicy, opaque and forgiving—good for rendering deep colors, rough textures, and a broad range from light to dark. Watercolors are subtler, translucent, and fresh, but exacting—and require closer inspection to appreciate the careful layering of colors to render a shape or object.” “Painting is my way to focus in on the quiet beauty around us,” she continues, “while tuning out the ‘noise’ of modern media and fast-paced living.”
The Russell Vermontiana Collection
By Bill Budde, Curator
May has been quieter compared to the flurry of activity around the eVermont and Mack computer equipment donations and set up. We have started to see some old and some new visitors as the summer research season begins. Visitors from Florida, Ohio, and Texas have used the collection in May.
The Russell Collection genealogy related trainings were well attended. Two, 2 hour seminars were offered twice, one on reading early American handwriting and the second on preserving paper documents. Attendance for the four offerings was about 23 people. The next seminar is scheduled for June 18 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm with a repeat on July 9 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The subject will be Genealogy Software for Family Research. We will look at free and for purchase software to help save, share, and report our family history research. We will use the new laptop computers, wireless internet access, and wireless printer for this training.
One benefit of the eVermont grant was the purchase of copies of Family Tree Maker software for our use, and this seminar will be our first opportunity to demonstrate the computers, wireless printer, and software together. I hope to schedule the eight hour Introduction to Genealogy in the month of August. If you have your own laptop computer and would like to use it for our seminars, please feel free to bring it along. That will help free up our ten laptops for others to use.
Are you looking for some good summer beach reads? Or paperbacks to take on vacation? Check out our book sale in the Community House on Route 7A. We’ll be open every Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00, and every Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 through Columbus Day. In addition to a wide range of fiction we have how-to books, biographies, poetry, gardening, cooking, puzzles, videos and more. We are happy to accept donations of gently used books, DVDs, games, puzzles and CDs at the Library during our regular hours. However, we can’t use Readers’ Digest Condensed books, textbooks, National Geographics, or old encyclopedias.
The Martha Canfield Library is offering a Summer Program for the Sandgate, Arlington and Sunderland communities. The program’s theme is One World, Many Stories. The program will be held on the four Wednesdays in July, at 10:30. We are looking for someone who is interested in working with children, to present a 1½-hour program on Wednesday July 27. The individual should have spent time visiting or living in a foreign country. We will able to provide you with support which includes program materials, CDs and videos. If anyone is interested they should contact the program chair, Robert Dudley at
or 375-2219. Any individuals who are interested in assisting with these programs or with the auxiliary summer reading program should also contact Bob.
If you have any experience with refrigerators, we would love it if you could stop in and take a look at ours. It seems to be getting water inside occasionally.
A sandwich board sign with interchangeable letters would be a great help in letting you know when and where our programs are. If you would like to contribute a sign, please contact Phyllis at the library.
The Non-Fiction Corner By Robert Dudley
I have very eclectic reading tastes despite the fact that I have read only one romance novel in my life, I read only a selective few mystery novels and my taste in science fiction tends to be old school. I enjoy a lot of fiction, however I usually find myself perusing the nonfiction shelves for reading material. One of the sub-genres of nonfiction that I thoroughly enjoy is the writings about nature. I discovered these books at an early age and the books influenced my choice in careers. As a child I wanted to be a biologist (actually field biologist) though I ended up a chemist. One of the earliest nature books that I read was A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Several years after reading this book I purchased a copy and after 40 years I still periodically read it again. Another early book was Edwin Way Teale’s book North With The Spring, a book that I intend to read again soon. Of course there is Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek, a book that stands up well with time and has made me take an interest in women naturalists. My favorite of the women naturalists is Ellen Meloy, a marvelous author writing about the desert southwest. I would highly recommend her book, Eating Stones, which displays both her astute observations and her wicked sense of humor. One cannot write about nature writers, especially those that write about the desert southwest, without mentioning Edward Abbey, known to his friends and fans as Cactus Ed. Unfortunately he is more known for his fiction, especially The Monkey Wrench Gang, which highly influenced the Earth First! environmental group. However, many of his fans, me included, think that his best book was Desert Solitaire. It is a collection of essays, mostly true, about his time as a forest ranger and park ranger in the desert southwest. Like Ellen Meloy he was an astute observer of life and his writings have the same sly humor. There is a beauty and poetry in this book that is hard to describe and makes one wish that they were in the desert southwest back in the early 1960’s. Parts of this book are not for everyone as Abbey knew which buttons to push, but, even though published 43 years ago it is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written. Note: All the books mentioned can be found in the Martha Canfield Library or obtained through inter-library loan.
The Mystery Corner
Mysteries Go To the Movies II
By Martha Folsom
It’s been over a year since we talked about movies, so here is another list. These are mysteries on the big screen.
An Agatha Christie classic – Miss Marple is portrayed by Angela Lansbury in the 1980 film, The Mirror Crack’d. As usual, the film is studded with performances by a multitude of stars, Geraldine Chaplin, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, Kim Novak and Elizabeth Taylor. As usual, everyone has a reason to kill.
A good example of an English manor mystery – Gosford Park is a 2001 film starring Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon among others. It was nominated for a total of 61 film awards, worldwide, winning 25 of them.
Film Noir – Taken from a 1939 novel by Eric Ambler, The Mask of Dimitrios was released in 1944. Peter Lorre portrays a mystery writer trying to track down the history of a famous criminal, Dimitrios, whose body has been washed up on the shore.
The hard-boiled detective – No one played the hard-boiled detective like Humphrey Bogart. It’s hard to pick just one, but Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not is my favorite. This is the movie that started the love affair between Bogie and Bacall. It was her first film. The great scene where she says, “You know how to whistle, don’t you…” was her screen test and not even in the movie script, but it was such a great scene they put it into the film. And the rest is history….
A Police Detective – The 1971 film, The French Connection, was a fictionalized drama of two real NYPD detectives. It won 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and the Best Actor award for Gene Hackman. The car chase scene (actually a car chasing an elevated train) is one of best in film history.
After the bad guy is caught there is a trial – 12 Angry Men begins with the judge sending the jury off to deliberate the verdict in a murder case. It seems an open and shut case, but one juror believes the defendant to be innocent. This movie has been remade several times, but the best film is the 1957 version starring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb. It is considered one of the best films of all time in any genre.
The historical mystery – The Name of the Rose takes place in northern Italy during the 14th century. Based on the book by Umberto Eco, this1986 film stars Sean Connery as the Franciscan friar William, Christian Slater as his apprentice and F. Murray Abraham as the representative of the Inquisition. The movie did poorly in the US for some reason but was widely acclaimed in Europe.
The Cozy Mystery – One doesn’t think of Alfred Hitchcock and the term “cozy mystery” together, I will admit. But Hitchcock’s 1955 movie, The Trouble With Harry, fits the bill. The ‘trouble’ with Harry is that he is dead. And his body causes a lot of trouble while folks figure out what to do with it! Starring John Forsythe and Shirley MacLaine, it was filmed in Barre, Vt., during a colorful autumn.
Sherlock Holmes – Most film critics consider The Hound of the Baskervilles as one of the classic movies of all time. And if you are looking for a film of an actual Holmes story it is the one to watch. For contrast, however, you might give the new Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law a try.
Mystery/Suspense – Kenneth Branagh plays Mike Church, a know-it-all LA private eye who specializes in missing persons, in the 1991 film Dead Again. The film also stars Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi and Robin Williams. Emma Thompson plays a woman that is suffering from amnesia and having recurring nightmares about a murder. The movie starts out seeming like a quiet, ordinary mystery but suspense builds throughout and the climax is a real finger-nail biter.
Reader's Pick by Martha Folsom
The Voyages of Brian Seaworthy by Ralph Nading Hill
This entertaining novel is presented in an older format, to be consistent with the style of the period in which it is set - the 1870's - with two columns of print on a page and lots (37) of well-drawn, full-page black and white illustrations that greatly add to the charm of the story. Ralph Nading Hill worked for three years on the Ticonderoga, the last of the side-wheel steamers that ran between New York and Vermont on Lake Champlain. He was an accomplished nonfiction writer, Vermont historian and preservationist. I knew very little about this part of history and the story really brought to life, for me, the period, the area and the part the side-wheel steamboat played in this region. The Voyages of Brian Seaworthy is Hill’s fictional story of a 15-year-old boy whose father’s death makes him the owner of a steamboat company beset with financial problems. It’s a great adventure – and it includes a tug of war between a steamboat and a locomotive, a fraudulent uncle, a crooked captain and a good friend.
Wanted: More Reader's Picks
How about a Biography Reader's Pick for this newsletter? Or a History Reader's Pick, a Young Adult Reader's Pick -- even a Cookbook Reader's Pick? Send us short reviews of favorite books you think other like-minded readers will enjoy. E-mail to
or drop them off at the desk. By the way, if the library doesn't yet own the book, perhaps you'd like to purchase a copy -- at the library's 20-45% discount -- and gift it to the collection. Talk to Phyllis.
Those in Peril, by Wilbur Smith
Lost Empire, by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood
The Solitude of Prime Numbers, by Paolo Giordano
10th Anniversary, James Patterson
Caleb’s Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks
The Jungle, by Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul
Pursuit of Honor, by Vince Flynn
Spartan Gold, by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood
Treasure of Khan, by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
Whispers and Lies, by Joy Fielding
Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris
Sixkill, by Robert B. Parker
One Was a Soldier, by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Dead in Vineyard Sand, by Philip R. Craig
Scavenger Hunt, by Robert Ferrigno
Mobbed, by Carol Higgins Clark
Frommer’s Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg
Breakfast With Socrates, by Robert R. Smith
Fallen Founder: the Life of Aaron Burr, by Nancy Isenberg
Cleopatra, a Life, by Stacy Schiff
The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent
Hunting Badger, by Tony Hillerman
Testimony, by Anita Shreve
The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley
The Good Thief, by Hannah Tinti
China Moon, with Ed Harris, Madeleine Stowe, Benicio Del Toro and Charles Dance
Lost, with Dean Cain, Ashley Scott and Danny Trejo
Juno, with Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman
The Good Shepherd, with Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Alec Baldwin
Baby One More Time, by Britney Spears
Cover Girl, by Shawn Colvin
Cryptic Writings, by Megadeth
Dance Naked, by John Mellencamp
ELO’s Greatest Hits Lyle Lovett and His Large Band New Moon Shine, by James Taylor
One Man Dog, by James Taylor
Stop Making Sense, by Talking Heads
Three Snakes and One Charm, by the Black Crowes
Whenever We Wanted, by John Mellencamp
Who Made Who, by AC/DC
Throne of Fire, by Rick Riordan
Annexed, by Sharon Dogar
We Want You To Know: Kids Talk About Bullying, by Deborah Ellis
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, by John Flanagan
A Long Walk To Water, by Linda Sue Park
Goal: the Fire and Fury of Soccer’s Greatest Moment, by Mark Stewart
Ellie Ever, by Nancy Patterson
Haunted Houses, by Robert San Souci
The Trouble with May Amelia, by Jennifer L. Holm
Olivia Goes to Venice, by Ian Falconer
Rain School, by James Rumford
Arthur Turns Green, by Marc Brown
The Best Family in the World, by Susana Lopez
Bobbie Dazzler, by Margaret Wild
A Friend, by Anette Bley
Hannah Duck, by Anji Yamamura
My Father’s Shop, by Satomi Ichikawa
My Japan, by Etsuko Watanabe
New Clothes for New Year’s Day, by Hyun-Joo Bae
The Nights of the World, by Corinne Albaut-Arno
Nina Bonita, by Ana Maria Machado
Passing By, by Yona Tepper