Monday, November 14th, 2016 at 7:00 pm
A nationally renowned expert on Frederick Law Olmsted, Alan S. Banks will give a slide show and presentation on the founder of American landscape architecture at the Morrill Memorial Library on Monday, November 14 at 7 p.m. Banks, a Supervisory Park Ranger, oversees historical interpretation at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, MA.
The firm Olmsted established more than a century ago was involved in over 1,200 landscape architecture projects throughout the state, ranging from expansive public parks to intimate private gardens. One of Olmsted’s greatest achievements is the six-mile “Emerald Necklace” of ponds, parks, and parkways that winds its way through Boston and Brookline. This hour-long illustrated lecture will examine his rich landscape legacy and explore the ideas that shaped some of the most treasured lands in Massachusetts. You can visit the house and grounds of the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline for free.
To sign up for this program, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, please call 781-769-0200, x110 or 222, email email@example.com, or stop by the library Reference or Information Desk.
Join stitchers of all types (knitters, crocheters, cross-stitchers, etc.) for Stitch Therapy. Motivate yourself to start or finish a project or to learn a new craft by watching others. This is an informal group of stitchers helping stitchers. No formal instruction is planned.
Stitch Therapy will be held in the Simoni Room unless otherwise noted from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on the following Tuesdays:
November 15, December 20, January 17, February 21.
Space is limited; please register for this group by visiting or calling the library, 781-769-0200 x110 or x222. You may also sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 at 6:30 pm
For this unique look inside Castle Island Brewing Co., we’ll all be meeting at the brewery itself, located at 31 Astor Ave in Norwood just off of Route 1. Owner Adam Romanow will tell us the Castle Island story, from the first inkling of what the brewing company could be to how this hidden gem found a home in Norwood. On tours through the brewery, we’ll learn about their brewing process and philosophy. And of course, samples of their freshy brewed suds will be available for tasting. This program is open to everyone aged 21 and older.
To find out how Castle Island Brewing Co. is carrying on the strong tradition of craft brewing in New England, don’t forget to register with the library by calling 781-769-0200 x110 or 222, or by emailing us at email@example.com.
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Thursday, December 1st, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Have you ever wanted to learn to knit, but don’t have the tools and aren’t sure who to ask? This program is for you! Several librarians, who happen to be veteran knitters, will lead a workshop about how to knit, from casting on to binding off. The class will work together on the same project, and all materials will be provided in a kit for $5.00. After you’ve taken the Learn to Knit Class you’ll be able to join us later in the month for Stitch Therapy to continue working on your project.
Space is very limited, so call 781-769-0200 x110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or if you have any questions! Participants must be 14 years of age or older.
I wish I had thought to spend my 60th birthday having as much fun as author Ann Hood has. By the time she turns 60 this December 9, she will have celebrated with 60 cupcakes with 60 different book groups.
Right after it was published, I discovered Ann Hood’s non-fiction memoir Comfort (2008). I read the advance review with interest. Having lost a child myself, I was related to her raw expressions of grief after losing her five-year old daughter in 2002. It was an absolutely hell-ridden journey of only 36 hours, when Grace died of an unthinkably virulent and destructive strep infection. It was a horror that some parents have to endure – the unimaginable sojourn of a losing a child.
Ann Hood and her husband returned from the hospital to tell their living older son, Grace’s older brother Sam, that his sister had died. So unexpectedly and so quickly.
Ann Hood’s raw grief was that which only a parent can feel. The mind-fog. The confusion. The nightmarish realization that life has sped up but left you behind with a child’s clothing left on a hook, her toys left on a shelf, desolate comforters and pillows left on a bed.
Ann Hood and other parents never really recover from the gut-wrenching grief of losing a child. But, they do learn to live again. Deeply, richly, and happily. Comfort speaks to the journey back to life that Ann Hood lived.
Besides reading a few non-fiction essays in books that were edited by Ann Hood, or those that she was included in, I had little experience with her writing before or after 2008. A few years ago, however, my husband gave me Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting in 2013, a compilation of essay written by women who knit (and who happen to write, too.) When her book, Knitting Pearls: Writers Writing about Knitting (2016) hit the library shelf earlier this year, I was one of the first to grab it.
After Grace died in 2002, Ann Hood could not write for several years. Consumed with grief, she sought solace in the comfort of knitting. Two years later, however, The Knitting Circle was published with a familiar theme: a woman who has lost her only child suddenly. In the book, mother Mary Baxter not only learns knitting technique, but that a caring and loving camaraderie can be found in a group of knitters.
Ann Hood did not begin to write about grief only after her daughter Grace died, however. One of her earlier novels, (Ruby, 1998) is the story of a woman who is widowed early in her marriage. Yet, it is not until her own father’s struggles with cancer in the late 1990s does Ann face death head on in her non-fiction memoir, Do Not Go Gentle.
And what does this have to do with 60th birthday parties, cupcakes, and celebration?
Ann’s latest novel, The Book That Matters Most, was published in past August. Her publisher challenged her to visit 60 book groups before her 60th birthday which is coming up on December 9. On her Facebook page, Ann invited herself to any book group – whether it be on Skype or in person. Because Ann lives in Providence, Rhode Island, the staff book group at our library was the perfect venue. I invited Ann and the only stipulation for her visit was that we all read her most recent book and sing happy birthday with a candle and cupcake.
On Friday, September 30, nearly 20 of our staff wished Ann a happy 60th birthday after she shared her stories of writing with us. While she began with questions about The Book That Matters Most, she quickly answered questions about her writing history, writing style, and writing techniques. We learned that Ann has written a young adult novel, biographies for children, and that she teaches writing in an online course through the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. In addition, she has taught in writing programs in New York and Vermont.
Ann began her published writing history when she finished her first novel (Off the Coast of Maine, 1983). She was a flight attendant at the time, attending graduate school, and spending her furloughs feverishly writing the book that would begin her career as a published writer. At the time, she was overcoming the loss of her older brother, Skip, who had died unexpectedly in an accident. When the book was finally published in 1987, Ann had already learned that her person experience in three short stories, was really meant to be a novel.
Shortly after Ann’s career as a flight attendant ended with layoffs due to a TWA strikes, she began writing full time and in earnest. Her second book was followed by a third and within a decade, she had published at least seven novels.
Ann’s recent novels (The Red Thread, 2010; The Obituary Writer, 2013; and The Italian Wife, 2014) join the personal essays she has contributed to compilations. These appear in Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women; Sorrow’s Company: Writers on Loss & Grief; Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up; Every Father’s Daughters: 24 Women Writers Remember Their Fathers; Cook and Stealing; and Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond.
In the essay “Little Audrey” (in Cooking and Stealing, 2004), Ann writes of her personal pilgrimages of helping heal her father of cancer. In “Not the Daughter She Had in Mind” (in Because I Love Her, 2009), Ann looks back on the relationship she had with her mother. “How I Lost Her” (in Dumped, 2015), Ann shares her sadness of a friendship ended with one of her oldest and dearest friends.
I find Ann’s essays particularly poignant and relevant to my own life. She has found both comfort and joy in life lost and in life found.
Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the October 13, 2016 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.