What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in August

31 Jul

Lots more summer fun to be had before the kids head back to school (and adults, we’ve squeezed in a few programs for you, too!). Here are some of the events on our schedule for August:


Butterfly Program with Jerry Schneider

Friday August 1, 10:30 AM

Participants will learn about wing symmetry, defense mechanisms, and interesting butterfly behavior (did you know that butterflies taste their feet?),  and then make a butterfly t-shirt! Please bring a white or light colored t-shirt to this program, (participants need to have registered previously for this program).

Movie Matinees

Tuesdays at 1:00 PM, no registration required.

  • August 5 – Hopscotch (1980)
  • August 12 – Murder by Death  (1976)
  • August 19 – A Shot in the Dark (1964)

The Gulf of Tonkin – 50 Years Later

Tuesday Aug 5,  7:00 PM

Join local author and historian John White as he discusses his book The Gulf of Tonkin – 50 Years Later.  White “blew the whistle” on the alleged attack upon two U.S. naval ships on August 4, 1967. President Johnson used this as an excuse to rush Congress into passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which provided him with the legal authority to wage war on Vietnam. Copies of his book will be available for purchase. Registration Online.

Builder’s Brigade

Wednesdays,  Aug 6 and Aug 20, 4:00 PM

Kids have the opportunity to use their best creativity to design buildings, creatures, and more using Lego and Mega blocks. They can work alone, or in a team with peers. A different theme is picked for each session and kids can build on that theme or build a creation of their own. At the end of each session, kids can put their creations on display at the library for all to see until the next club is scheduled! (NOTE:  Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult.) No registration required.

Teen Games Drop-In

Fridays, Aug 8, 22, and 29, 2:30-4:30 PM

Nintendo Wii available for group play with ROCK BAND 2, DDR, MARIO KART, BRAWL, and lots more! We’ve got board games too, so come play games and nibble snacks, no registration required.

Cartoon Workshop with Rick Stromonski

Monday Aug 11, 7:00 PM 

Rick Stromonski, a nationally recognized cartoonist and author of Soup to Nutz, will lead children ages 6 and up in a cartoon workshop. Participants need to bring a pencil and pad of paper. Registration Online starting August 1st.

Fab Film Summer Movies: DIVERGENT (rated PG-13)

Wednesday Aug 13, 6:00  PM

Come enjoy some great box office family movies with Fab Film Saturdays at Cheshire Public Library! NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

Divergent is set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four (Theo James) and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late. Based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth.

Is There Water on Zork?

Thursday Aug 14, 10:30 AM

Become inhabitants of the alien planet zork and help Earthlings find water. After listening to the story — June 29, 1999 — you will conduct simple experiments to test the characteriestics of mystery liquids to discover if Zork has water. Participants will work in groups and use common household objects to test liquids for pH, adhesion, evaporation and other properties to make their conclusions.
For ages 7-12.  Registration Online starting on August 1st.

Summer Reading Finale with Jester Jim

Monday Aug 18, 6:30 PM  –  8:30 PM

With nothing more than a trunk full of props, Jester Jim will have you glued to his every sound as he performs his amazing beat-boxing, juggling, and balancing.
For kids of any age who have completed the Cheshire Public Library summer reading challenge.  Pre-concert snacks and beverages from 6:30-7:00 pm, performance by Jester Jim at 7:00 PM.

Registration Online starting on August 1st.



Happy Birthday Paperback Books!

29 Jul


On July 30, 1935, a new technology was born that provided knowledge, stories, entertainment (with text and pictures, no less) that was convenient and cheap.  It was light enough to carry anywhere and you could tag specific areas to penguinre-read at a later date.  An early e-reader?  Nope – the paperback book!  Penquin Publishers, in England, was the first to successfully publish respectable, quality writing without a hard cover.  (There were earlier paperback books called penny dreadfuls, yellow-backs, and dime novels that generally featured lurid stories and were printed on cheap pulp paper.)

pocketPartnering with Simon & Schuster, Robert de Graff introduced the first paperbacks in America on June 19, 1939 called Pocket Books.  The first American paperback book to be printed in the United States was The Good Earth by Pearl Buck.  The cost to purchase these new books – 25 cents versus $2.75 for a hardcover.  In order to make a profit on paperbacks, de Graff had to print 100,000 copies at a time.  He couldn’t rely on bookstores to sell that many copies so he began using magazine distributors to place Pocket Books in newsstands, subway stations, drugstores and any other outlet to reach suburban and rural populations.  He designed bold, colorful, eye-catching book covers to catch people’s eyes.  By September 1944, 100 million books were sold in more than 70,000 outlets across the United States.   By the end of the 1940’s, the paperback industry began publishing original stories.  Previously, the industry only reprinted hardcover titles.  There are now more than 20 major publishers producing high quality, original and reprinted paperbacks.


Today, there are many sizes of paperback books and all different prices, but the two major sizes are mass-market and trade.  Authors originally wrote stories for publications in magazines, but soon shifted their attention to mass-market paperbacks.  They could write longer, more in-depth, entertaining novels that boasted beautiful, bold, color covers and were prominently displayed in all types of venues.  They were affordable and easy to carry and proved to be a huge hit.  Mass-market paperback readers have a large selection of genres of original stories to choose from, in addition to best-selling hardcovers republished in paperback form.  In the beginning, Westerns were the biggest selling genre, followed by Crime and Science Fiction.   The most popular genre for mass-market today is Romance.  Within this genre you will find many sub-genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, small town romance, and paranormal romance.  The Cheshire Library has a separate section dedicated to mass-market Romance Books located towards the front of the library, near the large windows.    Another very popular genre for mass-market paperbacks are Cozy Mysteries.  The Cheshire Library has a large selection of these interfiled among the hardcovers in the Mystery section of the library.  You can also find regular Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy paperbacks in the library’s collection.



Some literary authors, critics and bookstore owners turned their noses up at mass market paperbacks.  When Doubleday’s Jason Epstein was a college student, he lamented the fact that he and his fellow students couldn’t afford hardcover editions and envisioned a line of upscale paperbacks of hardcover bestsellers and classics.  By 1953, Trade paperbacks were introduced.  These were larger, more durable, with attractive covers illustrated by fine artists with an appeal to a more intellectual market.  They sold for 65 cents to $1.25.    The library’s selection of Trade paperbacks are filed among the hardcover books.  They also come in a variety of genres, with the most popular genres being erotic romance – with Fifty Shades of Grey topping the charts – and Christian-themed books.


There were many who thought paperbacks would kill the publishing industry, but instead, the books proved to be quite the sensation.  As recently as 2010, paperbacks outsold hardcover books.  Although the ebook has taken some of the market away from paperbacks, they still continue to be a much beloved tool for readers everywhere.  The look, feel, texture, smell, size, and portability makes the paperback book very inviting.


Smart Summer Reads for Older Teens and Adults

26 Jul

Are you looking for a great read this summer that is not pure fluff, but not so heavy that you wonder why you are reading it for fun? Here are some books with great insights about life, different cultures, history, and society. They also happen to be fantastic reads, although not necessarily fun reads. These books would be good choices for a curious high school student, the college bound, and for adults that are just looking to expand their knowledge and reading while not afraid to cross the threshold of the teen room doors.

1. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The great-granddaughter of Iran’s last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life.

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

3.  The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. An account of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event–architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.

4. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. In an action-packed modern fable about the problems young Chinese Americans face when trying to participate in American popular culture, the lives of three apparently unrelated characters–Jin Wang, Monkey King, and Chin-Kee–come together with an unexpected twist.

5. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan. Presents an oral history of the dust storms that devastated the Great Plains during the Depression, following several families and their communities in their struggle to persevere despite the devastation.

Looking for even more books that are smart and fascinating read? Here are a few more reading suggestions. If I missed one you would like to recommend please leave a comment and let us know so other readers can add it to their list as well!  Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Maus and  Maus II  by Art Spiegelman, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by Ann Marie Fleming, Walden by Henry David Thoreau, I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchú, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, Persepolis 2: the Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed
Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
by Allie Brosh, or The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures  by Anne Fadiman.

Romantic Beach Reads

24 Jul

hotMake sure you have plenty of your favorite cold drink on hand!  These books are sizzling!

in the moodIn The Mood For Love by Beth Ciotta – Sugar Creek, Vermont, is a world away from Los Angeles for high-powered, media-obsessed Harper Day. When she took the job doing publicity for the Cupcake Lovers, she never expected to be won over by the town’s old-fashioned charms. But that was before she moved into the Victorian vacation home of her dreams and fell in with a man whose good looks and irresistible ways are anything but small-town.  Sam McCloud is a widowed father of two. He and bossy, big-city Harper appear to have nothing in common… though the attraction they feel toward one another cannot be denied. But will their romance last longer than the day’s headlines?betrayed

Betrayed by Rebecca York -Rockfort Security operative Shane Gallagher has been brought into S&D Systems to find a security leak. Confidential information has been stolen, and Shane suspects Elena Reyes, a systems analyst with the access and know-how to pull it off. As he finds excuses to get close to her, their attraction is too strong to ignore, but how can Shane trust the very woman he’s investigating?  Elena has spent her life proving herself, but now she’s risking it all: everything she’s worked for, and her growing feelings for Shane. Much as she wants to trust the devastatingly sexy, hard-as-nails investigator, she can’t let herself fall for him…the stakes are too high.

never been kissedNever Been Kissed by Molly O’Keefe – As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue.then came you

Then Came You by Jill Shalvis – Veterinary intern Emily can’t believe she wound up in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho, instead of the Los Angeles clinic she had always imagined. Now she has to put her plans to move to L.A. on hold for a whole year while she fulfills the obligation of her vet school scholarship.  Then Wyatt, her gorgeous one-night stand from a Reno vet conference, introduces himself as her new boss.

longest nightThe Longest Night by Kara Braden – Years ago, former Marine Captain Cecily Knight fled her dark past and the nightmares forever haunting her nights. Alone in the remote Canadian wilderness, she survives day to day…until Ian Fairchild comes storming into her life and shatters her protective seclusion.  Aloof but intriguing, defensive but undeniable, Ian is everything Cecily shouldn’t want but can’t ignore. He watches her with shrewd blue eyes, as if determined to decipher her secrets…and for the first time in years, she finds herself coming alive beneath the hands of a man with too many scars to count.something sweet

Something Sweeter by Candis Terry – Seattle event planner Allison Lane is an expert at delivering the perfect wedding—even if she might not exactly believe in the whole “’til death do us part” thing. When her father decides to tie the knot with a woman he barely knows, Allison heads to Sweet, Texas, to make sure his new honey is the real deal. What she didn’t expect to find at the local honky-tonk was a sexy Southern man as bent on charming her pants off as he is on blowing her “true love doesn’t exist” theory all to hell.Veterinarian, former Marine, and Sweet’s favorite playboy Jesse Wilder takes one look at Allison and knows she’s a handful of trouble he can’t deny. But even after a sizzling kiss and obvious mutual attraction, it seems Allison has no such problem. When Jesse uncovers her sweet side, can he crush his playboy image, melt her cynical heart, and change her mind about taking a trip down the aisle?

longest timeThe Longest Time by Kendra Leigh Castle – After a perfect storm of events leaves Sam high, dry, and jobless, she has to head home to Harvest Cove to regroup. Growing up, she was the town misfit, and a brief high school romance that resulted in heartbreak made her realize she was never going to fit in. But now with the support of her mother and an unexpected circle of allies, Sam starts to wonder if she’s misjudged the town all these years.  Life’s been good to Jake Smith. He transitioned from popular jock to town veterinarian without any trouble. But Sam’s homecoming makes him question his choices. The sharp-tongued beauty was never a good fit for the small community, but he’s never forgotten her—or how good they were together. While she makes it clear she’s not about to repeat the past, Jake’s determined to convince her to give him—and Harvest Cove—a second chance.sunset beach

On Sunset Beach by Mariah Stewart – Carly Summit’s name couldn’t be more fitting, since in life she always lands on top. She grew up wealthy and privileged in a tony Connecticut town, opened her own gallery in New York City, and is about to make art world history displaying previously unknown works by a prominent twentieth-century painter. No wonder she possesses a can-do attitude that can’t be soured. Ford Sinclair is another story. A military career in war-torn Africa, where he witnessed unspeakable violence and suffering, has left him haunted and deeply cynical. Now he’s looking for a way to forget and a place to belong. He hopes to find both back home in St. Dennis.
red bikiniThe Red Bikini by Lauren Christopher – For the last five years, Giselle McCabe’s life has been about sippy cups and playdates. But when her husband suddenly leaves her, Giselle flees to her sister’s California beach house for a two-week getaway. Out of her element, she’s surprised to receive such a warm welcome—especially from gorgeous celebrity athlete Fin Hensen.

Riding the Wave by Lorelie Brown – With a make-or-break world championship on the line, riding the waveprofessional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden. The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree.

where the horsesWhere The Horses Run by Kaki Warner – Wounded in body and spirit after a shootout, Rayford Jessup leaves his career as a lawman and uses his gift with damaged horses to bring meaning to his solitary life. Hired by a Scotsman in Heartbreak Creek to purchase thoroughbreds, he travels to England, unaware that a traumatized horse and a beautiful Englishwoman will change his life forever.

At the Library: Online Language Courses

22 Jul

Hola, amigos! Comment allez-vous? Rydw i’n iawn diolch.

Wait a minute! Rydw i’n iawn diolch? Yes. That’s Welsh for “I am fine.”

Welcome to Transparent Language Online, a language-learning service with over 80 language options including English for speakers of other languages.French

Accessed via the Cheshire Public Library website, library (“la bibliothèque” in French) cardholders can learn everything from Afrikaans to Zulu. Transparent Language Online features listening, reading, speaking, and writing exercises, as well as pronunciation analysis, vocabulary exercises, conversational language courses, and video grammar lessons. C’est vrai!

It has great features like Quick Start. Here, you’ll find a series of 10 simple lessons that will teach you 100 of the most useful words and phrases that form the foundation of your chosen language. The program will automatically track your progress, so you can start and stop any time without losing your place. This section is really useful. Kan du hjälpa mig? (“Can you help me?” in Swedish.) Molim te. (“Please” in Croatian.) An bheori. (“Beer” in Irish.)

And then there’s Vocabulary. The list in the sidebar shows the many subjects you have to choose from such as Asking for Directions, At the Hotel, and the all-important Bathroom. One of my favorite vocab lists? Dessert! Ah, what I wouldn’t give for some il cioccolato right now!

Reference. This is an assortment of useful tools to help you learn more about your language of choice: Grammar Tips, a Quick-Help Grammar Reference list, and History, which has interesting tidbits about the language. If you are studying Latin, you will discover that much of English vocabulary comes from ancient Rome, and our everyday communications are peppered with Latin phrases like et cetera and per capita.

ItalianLearned Items. Here, you can keep track of the vocabulary terms you’ve mastered and refresh your memory of learned items that you have not recently practiced. Each learned item is classified as “fresh” (meaning that you have practiced it recently or mastered it through repeated practice) or “stale” (meaning that it may be at risk of being forgotten). And let me tell you, being fluent in a language beats carrying around a kamusi (“dictionary” in Swahili).



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