Thursday, May 31, 2007

Word of the Day

I was reading Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert when I came across this paragraph. “She was watching him with that speculative look he had noticed earlier. As though she was an entomologist and he was some kind of interesting lepidopteran”.

I don’t know about you, but it really annoys me when I am happily reading along and run smack into a word I am not sure of the meaning of. I used to be a lazy reader and just take a guess at the meaning. You can infer from this paragraph that a lepidopteran must be some sort of bug. But what kind? Enquiring minds want to know. I ran to the Merriam-Webster dictionary for a quick definition and it was as suspected: a lepidopteran is any of a large order (Lepidoptera) of insects comprising the butterflies, moths, and skippers that as adults have four broad or lanceolate wings usually covered with minute overlapping and often brightly colored scales and that as larvae are caterpillars.

I can’t wait to toss that little gem out into conversation.

It is satisfying to continue expanding your vocabulary even when you are done with school or not competing in national spelling bees. Now I just need to check up of hagiography (thank you, New York Times) and spurious.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dangerous Diseases

The breaking news of a man who is currently being detained by the CDC due to the dangerous strain of tuberculosis he carries reminded me of one of my favorite historical fiction novels about Hawaii. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert does not deal with tuberculosis, it explores the even more stigmatizing diagnosis of leprosy, and how that had the power to destroy lives at a point not so long ago in our nation’s history. Rachel Kaluna was 7 years old when she developed odd lesions on her skin where the nerves had died. Her desperate mother consulted a Hawaiian healer in the hope that the authorities wouldn’t find out. When Rachel was betrayed by her own sister’s angry cry of “leper!” it was not long before the little girl is seized from her family and sent to Molokai, the leper colony. The novel explores not only what is was like to grow up, and fall in love on Molokai but also provides a fascinating study of the colony, and what life was like for the exiled men and women. The little community experiences all the breath taking changes of Americans entering the 20th century as well as some unique to the isolated island. Compelling and poignant, this is a superb piece of historical fiction.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Summer Hours in Effect

Even though summer does not officially start until June 21st, the Library has switched over to what we refer to as our "summer hours." Our hours are:

Mon-Wed 9am - 8:30pm
Thur - Fri 9am - 5:30pm
Saturday 9am - 1pm
Sunday Closed

Friday, May 25, 2007

And the winners is....

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer has won both the Isinglass and the Flume Awards! The Isinglass Award is a state wide award for 7 & 8 graders. Each year a list of 20 books is selected by a committe, from suggestions by teens, and kids have a year to read the books on the list to get ready to vote in May. The Flume Award is also a state wide award but for teens in grades 9-12. It is similar to the Isinglas, except that the number of books on the list is 13.

If you haven't yet read Twilight is is time that you did! It is a wonderful romance/vampire story--how can you go wrong with a combination like that. This is a series and book two New Moon, is already out, and book 3, Eclipse, is expected in July, but you can put your name on the waiting list now. Here is a description of Twilight:

Deeply sensuous and extraordinarily suspenseful, TWILIGHT captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Best Historical Fiction of 2006

Booklist Magazine noted in their April 15 issue, "We continue to acknowledge that the renaissance of historical fiction continues unabated...we encourage enjoyment of the following outstanding historical novels reviewed over the past year."

The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd
Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende
The Scroll of Seduction by Gioconda Belli
The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund
Redemption by Frederick Turner
Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland

Many of the librarians here at the DPL are avid fans of historical fiction. We noticed the same trend and have developed several bookmarks of recommended historical fiction. Make sure to come in and pick up "If You like English Historical Novels", "2006 Best Historical Fiction" and "Henry VIII and Company". You can also find our bookmarks at our wiki; the Rabid Reader.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pre-school Education in Dover Booklets

The Children's Room is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of its "Pre-School Education in Dover" booklets. Began in 1977 by our former Children's Librarian, Judy Lindberg, as a hand typed list of information on area pre-schools, the list has evolved into a 50+ page booklet of valuable information on Dover pre-schools and childcare centers.

The recently updated booklet, prefaced with guidelines for choosing a school, has full descriptions of many Dover nursery schools and kindergartens.

Thanks to Barbara Porter, who has updated the booklets for several years, five copies are available for borrowing from the library. You may now also access/download the booklet from our website (click here)!

The Great Stone Face Book Award is Announced

The Great Stone Face Book Award is sponsored by the Children's Librarians of New Hampshire and is given each year to an author whose book receives the most votes from fourth through sixth graders throughout the state. The purpose of the award is to promote reading enjoyment, to increase awareness of contemporary writing, and to allow children to honor their favorite author. Each year the Great Stone Face committee chooses 25 recently published titles, which children then use as a guide for voting. The vote takes place every April during National Library Week, and the winner is announced in May at the New Hampshire Library Association Conference.

And the winner for 2006-07 is ...

The Ghost's Grave
by Peg Kehret

The Great Stone Face brochure that lists the nominees for 2007-08 is now available in the Children's Room and on our website (click here to view).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Teen Reading Alive and Well

Recent market trends have reported that teen book sales are booming--up by a quarter between 1999 and 2005. According to Michael Cart, a leading authority on young adult literature, "Kids are buying books in quantities we've never seen before, and publishers are courting young adults in ways we haven't seen since the 1940s...We are right smack-dab in the new golden age of young adult literature."

Of course teens don't have to go to bookstores to enjoy current fiction, magazines, graphic novels, comics, and poetry just visit your local public library. Here at the Dover Public Library teen reading trends have also been on the rise. Check out the graph below which shows young adult fiction circulation statistics from 1998 to 2006.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Until Next Year

Our 5th Annual Poetry Contest officially came to a close on Tuesday night with our Evening of Poetry. Kids from grades K-12 entertained and amazed the audience with their creative and imaginative poems. Visit our web site to view a list of winners, the full-text of the winning poems, as well as photos from the Evening of Poetry.

Try a Pink Martini

One of the wonderful things about the Library's eclectic music CD collection is that it exposes me to all sorts of fabulous new music. I would not have discovered Amy Winehouse, Jack Johnson, or Paris Cafe music if I had to pay $15 for each CD. It is so easy to grab a handful of CDs just to experiment when they come free from the diverse collection at the Library.

My latest find is Hang On Little Tomato by Pink Martini. Like the Blue Man Group, they are difficult to describe, but not to be missed. They are an unusual group influenced by French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish music. Although most of the songs are written by the band, you would swear you are listening to an old World War II tune, or a lively Cuban dance song. The title song "Hang on Little Tomato" is sweetly melodic, one of those songs that you actually enjoy lingering in the background of your mind all day. This is one of those rare CDs on which I liked every single song. Visit their website if you would like to listen to a few of their gems or find out more about Pink Martini.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A One-Volume Educational Gem!

I am a Reality TV watcher, I confess. I recently rooted for Yau-man on "Survivor" and I'm pulling for Apollo on "Dancing with the Stars" and Melinda on "American Idol". These guilty pleasures are assuaged by the fact that I usually have a book in my lap while I watch this nonsense. I have irrationally convinced myself it's okay to peer at "Big Brother" (coming in July!) if I also read while I view. I have found the perfect book to complement television drivel.

It's called "The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class" by David S. Kidder & Noah D. Oppenheim. Religious readings were often compiled in books called Daily Devotionals, read once each day for a dose of spiritual guidance. This book calls itself a secular companion in the same tradition. This is a marvelous collection of 365 entries from seven fields of knowledge (history, literature, visual arts, science, music, philosophy, and religion) and they're all things we should know about! Topics explored and explained, on one page each, include things like: the solar system, Gothic art, Catch-22, the placebo effect, the Magna Carta, and the Golden Ratio. Famous people summarized include Plato, Charlemagne, Chekhov, Verdi, Buddha, and Raphael. Classics such as "The Scarlet Letter", Ginsberg's "Howl", "Moby Dick", "Beowulf" and "The Divine Comedy" are given excellent sngle-page synopses.

You are invited to read one page per day for a year, or the reader can skip around and read just the ones that appeal or the ones for which you need enlightenment or review. I tried to read the whole book but admit to skipping even the short, painless explanations of photochemistry, chemical bonds, metalloids, batteries, and the electromagnetic spectrum. No one would ever suspect me of being a scientist!

Not since "An Incomplete Education" by Judy Jones and William Wilson (1st published in 1987 and now in its 3rd edition) has there been such a wonderful autodidactic volume. My one quibble is the book's very small print but even this is understandable. There is just so much information squeezed into this compact volume's 377 pages.

Be sure and read this book before you try out for another of my favorite TV shows: Jeopardy!

Celebration of Poetry

The Library's 5th Annual Poetry Contest will be wrapping up with an Evening of Poetry tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 15th at 6:30pm in the Lecture Hall. All students who participated in the contest are invited to read their poetry at this event, but this will be purely voluntary. The general public is encouraged to come and enjoy the readings. Prizes will be distributed in six different grade categories: K-2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 9 & 10, and 11 & 12. Refreshments will be served.

The following poem was the winning entry in the K-2 category. You will see why we are partial to the poet's subject.
The Library
by Joseph Thompson

Tunnel of imagination
Has to be quiet
Elaborate quietly

Live another life
Isn’t so cool to be yelling
Books, Books, Books, Dictionaries, and more books
Rare tenderness kids peace
A dictionary is not enough
Roll to the adventures
You are the mastermind

French By Heart

French by Heart: An American family’s adventures in La Belle France by Rebecca S. Ramsey

American Rebecca Ramsey had always loved France so she packed up her three young children, an elderly cat, all her household belongings, and followed her husband to a small village in France. Culture shock soon set in. Ben’s first grade teacher speaks only French to him, peanut butter is considered exotic and too rich by the French, Rebecca’s neighbors think nothing of scrutinizing her every move from behind their lace curtains and are not shy about telling her that barefoot Americans are sauvages. Her high school French, spoken with a Southern accent, is not sufficient to get her through everyday life. Her first visit to the bank, like many of her experiences, will have you cringing as well as laughing. But along the way Rebecca discovers a wonderful little antique store that sells furniture refinished with a secret formula that rejuvenates the wood, and the purchaser, she learns the French woman’s knack of accessorizing and being comfortable with who you are, and the neighbor she thought of as the Wicked Witch of the West becomes her friend and counselor. This memoir is full of amusing adventures and misadventures, as well as some observations of the differences between French and American culture that could be useful to those planning visits to France. Don’t pack those running shoes and jeans!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dover Public Library's Annual Poetry Contest Winners

The Dover Public Library would like to announce the winners of our 5th Annual Poetry Contest. We would like to thank our judges: Janice Alberghene, John Michael Albert, Maria Faskianos, Joseph Nadeau, and Marsha Pelletier.

Category 1: 1st Place: Joseph Thompson, Grade 1, Garrison School

2nd Place: Alex Chesley, Grade 2, Saint Mary Academy

3rd Place: Aiyana Grace Brough, Grade 1, Garrison School

Honorable Mention: Paul Staude, Grade 2, Portsmouth Christian Academy

Category 2: 1st Place: Lizzie MacEachern, Grade 4, Portsmouth Christian Academy

2nd Place: Kieran Lombard, Grade 3, Home School
3rd Place : Kyle Bowers, Grade 4, Garrison School

Honorable Mention: Thomas Vincent, Grade 4, North Hampton School (tie)
Madison Stewart, Grade 4,
Garrison School (tie)

Category 3: 1st Place: Sean Lombard, Grade 6, Home School

2nd Place: Michelle Poisson, Grade 5, Saint Mary Academy

3rd Place: Alexander Marshall, Grade 6, Saint Mary Academy

Honorable Mention: Scott Lamoureux, Grade 5, Dover Middle School

Category 4: 1st Place: Lauren Morrison, Grade 7, Dover Middle School

2nd Place: Dana Doucet, Grade 7, Dover Middle School

3rd Place: Maurisa Hale, Grade 7, Saint Mary Academy

Honorable Mention: Cailey White, Grade 7, Dover Middle School (tie)

Roisin Bermingham, Grade 7, Dover Middle School (tie)

Category 5: 1st Place: Alycia Schramm, Grade 10, Portsmouth Christian Academy

2nd Place: Katy Sternberger, Grade 10, Portsmouth Christian Academy

3rd Place: Lizzie Kinney, Grade 9, St. Thomas

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Clayton, Grade 10, Portsmouth Christian Academy

Category 6: 1st Place: Reina Laaman, Grade 12, Homeschool

2nd Place: Sara Smith, Grade 11, Dover High School

3rd Place: Taylor Pledger, Grade 12, Nute High School

Honorable Mention: Nikki Childers, Grade 11, Dover High School

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Going Anywhere This Summer?

The Library has just received hundreds of 2007 travel books. We have you covered if you want to go to Indonesia, Mexico, Australia, Istanbul, Hawaii, Amsterdam, Ireland, Germany, London, Prague, Paris, Budapest, Naples, Tuscany, Milan, Venice, Madrid, and many other exotic locations.

Don’t forget you are living in a vacation destination. Why not check out a travel guide on Vermont, Maine, Nantucket or New Hampshire? We also have magazines that cover local events and attractions. Take a look at New Hampshire To Do, Portsmouth and Portland magazines. You will find many options for having fun this summer.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Queen at the Library on Saturday

OK fine the real Queen (shown in the photo with yet another great hat!) has concluded her visit to the United States, but the Library will be showing the movie, The Queen, this Saturday, May 12th at 2:00pm in the Lecture Hall. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress, Dame Helen Mirrren gives a spellbinding performance in The Queen, the provocative story behind one of the most public tragedies of our time--the sudden death of Princess Diana. In the wake of Diana's death, the very private and tradition-bound Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren) finds herself in conflict with the new Prime Minister, the slickly modern and image-conscious Tony Blair.

Why Do You Purchase a Book?

In a survey investigating the book-buying habits of Americans, the advertising firm Spier NY asked 813 people what motivated them to buy a book. Those surveyed could choose more than one answer; the top eight answers are below:

1. Friend's recommendation 49%
2. Familiarity with author 45%
3. Description on jacket 32%
4. Reviews 22%
5. Advertisement 21%
6. Place on bestsellers list 17%
7. Reading Group pick 16%
8. Cover design 12%

For me, there were no surprises on this list.Not asked, but I hope analogous, is what would motivate a library patron to borrow a book. I would also hope that the #1 answer would be Librarian's Recommendation!

Remember that we're not here just to help you find the gross national product of Peru! You are highly encouraged to ask us your "what should I read next" questions too. Mention an author or a genre you've enjoyed and we'll suggest some similar titles you'll like. This service at libraries is called "Readers' Advisory" and it's a part of our job we love to do!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Thanks, Dover Main Street!

The library grounds received an extreme makeover on Saturday, thanks to volunteers from Dover Main Street's 8th annual "Dover Pride Clean-Up Day". The library was one of nearly 20 sites around the downtown area that were spruced up this weekend by over 300 volunteers. Led by expert gardener Valerie Renaud of Sweet Meadows Flower Shop, the library crew raked and planted and mulched and trimmed all the way from our streetside wooden sign to our front steps to our Children's Room walkway.
And the bulbs that were planted by Main Street volunteers last fall (purchased by the Friends of the Library---thanks, Friends!) are now blooming in the Soldiers' Monument circle. Dozens of daffodils and tulips make a grand entrance to our driveway! The City of Dover's downtown looks glorious thanks to Main Street's efforts on May 5. Dover's Main Street program always does such great things but often struggles to survive financially. The program needs your support and I would urge anyone who's enjoying the springtime scenery to send a small donation to Dover Main Street, 301 Central Avenue. There's not a better way to show your pleasure for downtown beautification. Thanks!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

What American Accent Do You Have?

I bet you think you don’t have an accent but everyone does. Take this simple quiz and it will tell you what region of the U.S. you probably live in. They knew I was from New England even though I don’t have an accent. I am curious to know what results you get. One of our lifelong New England Librarians was told she had a Minnesota accent. Oh yah, you betcha.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


The Friends of the Library spring mini book sale continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday (unless we run out sooner) with books priced at $1 per bag or box for all you can carry! The library is open this weekend 9-5:30 on Friday, 9-5 on Saturday, and 1-5 on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Humanities Council Book Discussion

"Then, what I had waited for pounced on me. The stars went out, and I
fell. Like something come alive, the rope lashed violently against my face
and I fell silently, endlessly into nothingness, as if dreaming of falling. I fell fast, faster than thought, and my stomach protested at the swooping speed of it. I swept down, and from far above I saw myself falling and felt nothing. No thoughts, and all fears gone away. So this is it!"
These are the words of Joe Simpson in his book Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival. Simpson's book recounts the hiking expedition he took with his partner Simon Yates. They had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Simpson plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. In the hours that followed, darkness fell and a blizzard raged as Yates tried to lower his friend to safety. Finally, Yates was forced to cut the rope, moments before he would have been pulled to his own death. Can you imagine having to make the decision to cut the rope? Is this just part of the climbing life that one must be prepared for? Join us at the Dover Public Library on Monday, May 7th to discuss these and other questions surrounding Simpson's book Touching the Void.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Top Best Selling Books of 2006

As listed by Publishers Weekly:


For One More Day by Mitch Albom
Cross by James Patterson
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Next by Michael Crichton
Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris

Non Fiction

Innocent Man by John Grisham
You on a Diet- The Owners Manual for Waist Management by Michael F. Roizen
Marley and Me by John Grogan
Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilley

Children’s Books

The End by Lemony Snicket
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

The Library owns all of these books!