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Fireside Reads 2017

fireplaceWe hope you were able to join librarians Beth Goldman and Margot Sullivan at this year's Fireside Reads session.  If you missed it, or would like a refresher of what books were discussed, click on the book carousel below for the full list with links to the catalog.


2016 Sneak Peeks

Reserve January & February 2017 Best Sellers and Sneak Peeks

Want to get a preview of some of the new releases coming out next month?


Download or view the January Fiction and January Non-Fiction lists to see if anything interests you. Click on the links for the complete list with titles (in blue) linked to the Minuteman Library catalog.  Log into your account and place a reserve. You may also pick up a complete list in the library and ask librarians to request them for you.

Broken Heart Plate

Missing Paul

Broken Heart PlateIt had only been a month since my two year old brother Paul had died as I padded down the stairs for my daily evening cry in my parents arms. Paul and I were best buddies. Since I was the big girl of the family, a fourth grader, I was often given the responsibility of watching him. We would hang out on my parent’s bed. Paul would giggle in hysterics as I bounced the bed below him. Paul was born with disabilities. He was two years and hadn’t learned how to sit up. Often he would have seizures that frightened me and my siblings. Having four germy older brothers and sisters would unfortunately cause the pneumonia that took his life.

When I reflect on those days and my reaction to Paul’s death, I have such compassion for my parents. They were dealing with their own grief, but they were constantly barraged by mine. I swear it was months that I would make my trek downstairs to sob. I don’t believe there is an antidote for someone’s grief no matter what age, but the Children’s Department has many books that may help parents and children cope with its ravages. There are titles that address the process of funerals and cremation. What Happened to Daddy’s Body by Elke and Alex Barber explains what happens to the physical body after death. A Place in My Heart by Annette Aubrey helps children to learn how to hold onto a loved one’s memories. Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler’s Guide to Understanding Death by Bonnie Zucker provides parents of younger children assistant in explaining this life change. Children often face the death of a pet before a family member. Titles like Good Bye Jeeper:What to Expect When Your Pet Dies by Nancy Loewen are a good choice. There are many fictional picture books that present ways for children to work through grief. Jim’s Dog Muffins by Miriam Cohen and Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant tackle this issue in a meaningful manner.

Dealing with difficult issues through books is called bibliotherapy. Having the ability to read to a child about death provides parents with the opportunity to separate from their own grief in order to further explain and acknowledge the child’s experience. We are all have to cope with grief whether an adult or child and the library provide Please do not hesitate to ask a librarian to help you wade through a difficult time.

Jean Todesca is the Head of Youth Services at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Jean’s article in the January 19, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Tomorrow I Will…

change2017 has dawned, and it’s time to think of new beginnings and challenges.  It’s always a healthy thing to think about how one can change and improve, and what better time than the New Year?

When I was younger, I used to take New Year’s Resolutions more seriously and engage in them ambitiously, at least for a short time.  Health options are always good.  Exercising and eating better have been on my list on and off for years, but neither has a good track record.
In the computer age, I have spent more time looking at a screen than a page in a book.  So I want to plan to read more books.  I have, of course, read some books on screen, but the comfort level is still not there.

Speaking of books, I have sort out some guidance by looking for resolutions in books. “52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier Healthier You” by Brett Blumenthal is a fun and comprehensive book.  Each chapter is a week (52) and gives a suggested life change for each one.  Changes range from diet/nutrition and fitness/prevention to mental well-being and green living.   It is very specific by giving sample diets and instructional exercises.  Blumenthal’s premise is that change takes time, and if one follows a change each week, by the end of the year, one will feel happier and healthier.   It would take a lot of discipline to follow his recommendations that closely, but the book gives some very interesting and realistic changes from which one can choose.

“30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans” by Karl Pillemer,Ph.D. is a book that can make one think what changes can be made to have a more fulfilling life.  Pillemer is a gerontologist who collected advice of wisdom from people over the age of 65.  He wanted to “find out what older people know about life that the rest of us don’t.”  Advice is given in the book for lessons on such life issues as marriage, career, money, children, aging, regret and happiness.  Pillemere claimed that interviewing the people and writing the book changed his own perspective on life.

“Pivot: The Art and Science of reinventing your career and Life” by Adam Markel is a newer self-help book on how to change one’s life.  The idea for the book came from a health scare that Markel had as a result of a stressful and unhealthy life style.  He presents the book as a toolkit and roadmap for reinventing one’s life.  Markel’s advice goes beyond simply choosing a new year’s resolution, but the book is an interesting read for anyone who is considering some serious and sweeping life changes.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man”.  I guess that sums it for all time.  New Year’s resolutions at least give us the chance for pause and reflection.  Happy 2017!

Norma Logan is the Literacy Volunteer Coordinator at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Norma’s column in the January 12, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


The Public Library: Where All Your Resolutions Are Met

new-years-day-goalsOne of my favorite childhood memories is spending New Year’s Eve with my grandparents. They lived in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, a spot overlooking Mt Shaw and surrounded by pine trees and heaps of snow in the winter. During this time, I remember a fire in the fireplace and the smell of Nana’s homemade fish chowder. Sometimes my family would stay up to watch the ball drop in New York City but more often we’d gather in the living room where each person would share what they were grateful for in the past year. It was a peaceful, reflective time.

Needless to say the calm often disappeared the next day when the mad scribblings of New Year’s resolutions began. Even now the difference between a goal and a resolution confound me. However, I found the clearest distinction between these two words on author Gretchen Rubin’s blog. She says: “You hit a goal, you achieve a goal. You keep a resolution.” In other words, if healthy living is your resolution, Pilates might be your goal.

After many, many years of struggling with my annual list of resolutions, I’ve come to a wonderful conclusion. This is big news, so listen up! All of your goals and resolutions can be met by the public library. “What’s that?” you say. “Did you go heavy on the eggnog?” “How can the library possibly help me fulfill my goals in 2017?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. Let us count the ways together.

1.    Perhaps you’ve been meaning to help others in your community but you aren’t sure where to begin. Did you know the Morrill Memorial Library has one of the twelve Literacy Affiliate programs in the State of Massachusetts? If you have the time and desire to help adult learners improve their literacy skills, the library has an opportunity for you. Likewise, our Outreach department has volunteers who deliver books and resources to patrons who are physically unable to get to the library.

2.    Are you hoping to read more this year? Well, how about that? The library happens to have books galore. But let’s get specific. Not only do we circulate the latest Best Sellers, but should you be too busy to enter our doors, we have a solution for you too. You can borrow books using OverDrive and Hoopla on your cellphone or tablet with your library card. And, if you don’t want to read alone, we have a variety of book clubs available for you to join.

3.    Need to shape up? Ah, that fateful word—exercise. I believe I heard a community sigh echo across the room. But let’s think about it in the broad sense of becoming healthier this year. You can accomplish this goal at your public library as well. We have exercise DVDs for the young, the mature and the restless. Everything from Kick Starting Your Metabolism to Cardio Kickboxing. We also have Pilates and Yoga, for the gentler souls.

4.    Then again, you may prefer to revamp your diet rather than twist your body into a variety of yoga contortions. We have a bevy of cookbooks for the occasion. My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl “follows the change of seasons as Reichl heals through the simple pleasures of cooking after the abrupt closing of Gourmet magazine.” Or try Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown. “If you’re living on a tight budget, Brown shows you how to maximize every ingredient and gives you tips on economical cooking methods; shopping and kitchen equipment; and much more.” And you can’t go wrong with Ree Drummond. Her book entitled The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper answers the question “What’s for Dinner?” with 125 simple recipes for the whole family.

5.    Want to stay in touch with family and friends but your social networking skills are a bit rusty? While we offer a variety of structured classes, you are welcome to sign up for individual technology assistance with our fabulous gurus. Some of the topics covered are help purchasing new technology, using a mobile device tablet, or Facebook and Twitter guidance.

6.    Who doesn’t want to add “Seeing the World” as a resolution for this year? The library has a whole travel section on our second floor. You can prepare for your trip ahead of time, without purchasing every single guide. And, speaking of travel, does your passport need updating? The Morrill Memorial Library is now an authorized US Passport Acceptance Facility. Several staff members have been trained to process passport applications. Book an appointment online, bring all your required paperwork and payment, and soon you will be all set to jet.

7.    Maybe you’d like to learn something new! We have workshops and lectures ready and waiting for you. Our Reference and Children’s departments create wonderful programs for all ages, including movie nights (with movie theater popcorn), expert speakers, and Learn to Knit classes. Maybe your child/grandchild can introduce you to a new board game (which you can now check out from the library) or to Queen Elsa when she visits.

8.    But wait! There’s more! Have you been meaning to find some of those relatives who may have fallen off of your family tree? We have several databases that could help you trace your roots. American Ancestors and Ancestry Library must be used at the library but Heritage Quest may be searched from home or a device with your library card. Also, Joe Petrie is our volunteer genealogist. You may schedule a one on one appointment with him for two hours and he will assist with your research using the online databases.
Isn’t that amazing? So many of your New Year’s resolutions can be found under the roof of your public library. In the words of Ray Bradbury, “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” What are you waiting for? Come check us out!

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read her article in the January 5, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

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