Cheshire Library Blog

Library News, Book Reviews, Info to Peruse

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Zen Doodles and Zentangles; When Creativity and Relaxation Collide

zen1Zentangles and Zen Doodling are an art form that has become a new trend. Many are using this artistic endeavor like meditation, others are using it to flex their creative muscles, and others are just trying it because it is new and fun. This art form is using structured patterns or forms. Since it all starts with following a series of steps and set pattern there is no real right or wrong way to go. It does not matter if you think you are lacking talent or a phenomenal artist, everyone’s effort  is wonderful and there is no way to fail. It can be a great way for the art leery to get started in creative endeavors.

zen2If you are ready to go, we have a Zen Doodle Program on May 29th from 3 to 4:30 pm in our Mary Baldwin room. No registration is required, so join in and enjoy. Interested but too nervous to jump on in? Well, you can always check out some of the books we have acquired on Zen Doodling and Zentangles. Most are new to the collection and offer clear instructions and samples to help inspire you.

zen3The art of Zentangle : 50 inspiring drawings, designs & ideas for the meditative artist senior editor, Stephanie Meissner

One zentangle a day : a 6-week course in creative drawing for relaxation, inspiration, and fun by Beckah Krahula

Zentangle basics. 1 by Suzanne McNeill

Zentangle 10 : featuring ideas for origami & paper crafts by Suzanne McNeill

Let’s tangle! the art of zentangle : a step-by-step guide to this simple but elegant art form by Kathleen Murray, CZT

zen4For further reading you might want to explore the Zentangle website or request these books from other libraries: Zen doodle : oodles of doodles edited by Tonia Jenny, Zen doodle : tons of tangles edited by Tonia Jenny and Amy Jones,The beauty of zentangle : inspirational examples from 137 tangle artists worldwide by Suzanne McNeill, CZT and Cindy Shepard, CZT, Zen doodle : tons of tangles edited by Tonia Jenny and Amy Jones, Joy of Zentangle : drawing your way to increased creativity, focus, and well-being featuring contributing artists Suzanne McNeill, CZT, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT, and Marie Browning, CZT, Zentangle basics by Suzanne McNeill, The Zentangle untangled workbook : a tangle-a-day to draw your stress away by Kass Hall, or The book of zentangle by Rick Roberts & Maria Thomas.

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Cozy Mysteries – April and May 2015


Like May flowers – new cozy mysteries are popping up!

Slayed on the Slopes (A Pacific Northwest Mystery) – Kate Dyer-Seeley

The Icing on the Corpse (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery) – Liz Mugavero

Marked Fur Murder (A Whisky, Tango, and Foxtrot Murder) – Dixie Lyle

Shadow of a Spout (A Teacup Collector Mystery) – Amanda Cooper

A Fright to the Death (A Family Fortune Mystery) – Dawn Eastman

Buy A Whisker (A Second Chance Cat Mystery) – Sofie Ryan

Lemon Pies and Little White Lies (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery) – Ellery Adams

Demise in Denim (A Consignment Shop Mystery) – Duffy Brown

Dark Chocolate Demise (A Cupcake Bakery Mystery) – Jenn McKinlay

Wicked Stitch (An Embroidery Mystery) – Amanda Lee

Grave on Grand Avenue (An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery) – Naomi Hirahara

Wedding Duress (Southern Sewing Circle) – Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Oh Say Can You Fudge (A Candy-coated Mystery) – Nancy Coco

Seven Threadly Sins (A Threadville Mystery) – Janet Bolin

Hiss and Tell (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery) – Claire Donally

Some Like It Witchy (A Wishcraft Mystery) – Heather Blake

One Foot In The Grape – A Cypress Cove Mystery) – Carlene O’Neil

Musseled Out – Barbara Ross


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Guest Post: Download FREE Audiobooks May Through August!

Children’s librarian Nicole is an avid audiobook listener. Today, she’s taking ot the blog to pass along a great opportunity to listen to some free audiobooks this summer!


For its sixth year running, AudioFile is making free downloadable audiobooks available for children, teens and adults. The program is geared towards inspiring teens to discover new books and authors, but the books themselves have great crossover appeal for adults (and some children) as well. Starting in May, two free audiobooks are available each week for downloading. The audiobook pairings are “listen-alikes” – a classic and a popular contemporary titled paired by theme.

A detailed list of the free audiobooks (along with listening clips) is available online at If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of the titles, you can also choose to receive text prompts when new audiobooks are available by sending the text message “syncya” to 25827.

Whether you’re new to audiobooks, or you’re a long-time fan, this is definitely an annual event that you don’t want to miss out on! And if you’re new to downloading audiobooks, have no fear – staff members at Cheshire Public Library are available for personal one-on-one tutorial sessions to help you along the way. Call Cheshire Library at 203-272-2245 to make an appointment.


Check out the great titles that AudioFile is making available to the masses this season!



May 21-27

X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon (read by Dion Graham)

Here in Harlem by Walter Dean Myers (read by Muhammad Cunningham, et al.)


May 28-June 3

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (read by Jennifer Ikeda)

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (read by Eloise Oxer & Paul English)


June 4-10

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (read by Fiona Hardingham et al.)

Dracula by Bram Stoker (read by David Horovitch and a full cast)


June 11-17

The Living by Matt de la Pena (read by Henry Leyva)

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger (read by Richard M. Davidson)


June 18-24

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (read by Sasha Pick)

Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold (read by Barbara Rosenblat)


June 25-July 1

Monster by Walter Dean Myers (read by a full cast)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (read by William Golding)


July 2-July 8

Echoes of an Angel by Aquanetta Gordon & Chris Macias (read by Robin Miles)

Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja (read by Spencer Murphy and a full cast)


July 9-15

The Explorers Club by Neil Benjamin (read by Carson Elrod et al.)

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (read by Michael Prichard)


July 16-22

Crows & Cards by Joseph Helgerson (read by MacLeod Andrews)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (read by Robin Field)


July 23-29

March by Geraldine Brooks (read by Richard Easton)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (read by Christina Ricci)


July 30-August 5

Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles by Tanya Lee Stone (read by JD Jackson)

John Ball’s In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey (adapt.) (read by Ryan Vincent Anderson et al.)


August 6-12

Under a War-Torn Sky by L.M. Elliot (read by Elizabeth Wiley)

The Old Brown Suitcase by Lillian Boraks-Nemetz (read by Sofia Newman)

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Gardens, Gardens, Everywhere

For most gardeners, there is no better season than spring. After a long winter, we forget about previous garden disasters (like those darn deer that ate their way through last summer’s flower beds…) and look forward to what will surely be our most fabulous garden ever!  As I do every year, I spent part of last winter looking through gardening books and catalogs and planning improvements to my home landscape.  One of the many wonderful aspects of working at a library is easy access to all of the best books on any subject, including lots of garden and landscape books.  Here are some of my favorites from the last couple of years.

Jacket.aspxCoffee for roses : …and 70 other misleading myths about backyard gardening  Garden “myth-busting” done with wit and style.  Save yourself time and money–one of the tips I picked up from this book will save me both.

Jacket.aspxThe Know Maintenance Perennial Garden  This simplified approach to perennial gardening uses hardy, attractive plants grown on a 10×14 foot grid. Each of the 62 garden plans combines complementary plants that thrive together and grow as a community and are designed for easy maintenance, the goal of most home gardeners. Even if you don’t switch to this system, you will find some good ideas.

Jacket.aspxLandscaping Ideas That Work.  Your yard should be an extension of your home and this terrific book covers front, back, and side yards and provides strategies for combining elements and creating spaces that work with any home. Some great before and after photos.

Jacket.aspxLawn gone! : low-maintenance, sustainable, attractive alternatives for your yard.  My husband and I have ongoing “discussions” about our too-large lawn.  Every year I drag books like this home in hopes that he will give up the turf war.  No luck yet, but I keep hoping!

Jacket.aspxThe Shady Lady’s Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening.   This is a great book for those of us whose yards are graced with large shade trees.  The Shady Lady identifies best practices, best plants, and best information, specifically designed for the zones of the greater Northeast – and leaves out all the rest. Includes a large yet highly selective illustrated plant gallery that includes all the indispensable perennials, ferns, and bulbs.

Don’t forget magazines!  We get many home and garden magazines in paper and downloadable formats, including Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening and more.

This year, in addition to my own gardens and a period herb garden I help maintain at the Thankful Arnold House Museum in Haddam, I am assisting with a garden project here at the Cheshire Public Library.  Cheshire Garden club member Anupa Simpatico has designed a low-maintenance garden with four-season appeal for the front of the library.  This project supports and promotes a healthy environment for birds and pollinating insects and carries out the Cheshire Garden Club’s mission of garden education, civic beautification and the preservation of wildlife.  Click here to see the plan and plant list. This project wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Friends of the Library, who are helping fund it with money donated in memory of Margaret Andersen, a long-time member of the Friends and an avid gardener. The Cheshire Town Beautification Committee and several anonymous donors have made  generous contributions towards the cost of the plants and shrubs.
The garden will be enjoyed by library visitors as well as countless people who pass by the front of the library  in vehicles and on foot. We are looking for volunteers to help plant and maintain the garden.  Please contact me at if you are interested in helping.



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On Our Shelves: New Romance for May 2015

loveLove is blooming at the Cheshire Library!


The Harlot Countess – Joanna Shupe

The Scoundrel and the Debutante – Julia London

The Duke and the Lady In Red – Lorraine Heath

The Rake To Reveal Her – Julia Justiss

Lady Sarah’s Sinful Desires – Sophie Barnes

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake – Jake Lee

The Tempting of Thomas Carrick – Stephanie Laurens

The Unlikely Lady – Valerie Bowman

Romantic Suspense

Twisted – Cynthia Eden

Running Fire – Lindsay McKenna

Her Wild Hero – Paige Tyler

Playing Dirty – Helenkay Dimon


Hold Me – Susan Mallery

Ever After At Sweetheart Ranch – Emma Cane

A Midsummer Night’s Romp – Katie MacAlister

Walking On Sunshine – Luann McLane

Crazy for the Cowboy – Vicki Lewis Thompson

Busted – Shiloh Walker

Lawless in Leather – Melanie Scott

Summer on Lovers’ Island – Donna Alward

Sinful – Joan Johnston


Cat’s Lair – Christine Feehan


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