What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in August

Play, learn, and create with these programs at Cheshire Library in August!

Color Yourself Calm

Thursday Aug 3, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

De-stress your busy life with a relaxing night of coloring. We’ll provide coloring pages and supplies, but feel free to bring your own pages, art supplies. This adult only program meets the first Thursday of every month, drop on by!

Builders Brigade LEGO Club

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017, 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Do you love building with LEGO® blocks or Mega Bloks? The Builders Brigade is the program for you! All Ages, No registration required.

The Bear Reality

 Wednesday Aug 16, 2017, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

The black bear population in Connecticut has continued to increase since 1980. It’s important for residents and outdoor enthusiasts to learn real facts about black bears enabling them to stay safe, protect themselves and their property and make possible coexistense with bears.  Join presenter Felicia Ortner, a Connecticut Master Wildlife Conservationist (MWC) for a program  that will provide education and facts about bears and help dispel myths and common misunderstandings. Registration is required.

Pottery Night

Thursdays,  Aug 17 & 24, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Join us for two nights of fun with pottery.  You will learn the origin of clay, how it’s been used through the ages and how it’s used today.  Participants will have the opportunity to make handprint bowls and lace bowls.  Your pottery will be fired at Cheshire’s own Ready Glaze Fire. Space is limited, registration required for this adult only program. By signing up you agree to attend both 8/17/17 & 8/24/17.

Trading Card Club: Yu-Gi-Oh & Pokemon

Friday Aug 18, 2017, 3:00 – 4:30 PM

Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon trading card game tournaments here at CPL!   Just bring your cards, and join in the fun!  No registration required, Grades 7-12

Afternoons of Awesome: Exploring the Eclipse

Monday Aug 21, 2017,  1:00 – 2:00 PM

Kids entering grades 3-6 are invited to Afternoons of Awesome (or A-squared for short) for fun with art, science, technology, and games. Today we’re learning about the solar eclipse taking place across the U.S. today, and we’ll head outside to view its beginning here in Cheshire! Registration required. Registration begins August 1 for Cheshire residents and August 15 for nonresidents.

Free glasses for viewing the eclipse will be given out at Cheshire Library beginning August 16 –  1 per person, first come first served.

University Admissions and the Application Process

Tuesday Aug 22, 2017, 6:30  –  7:30 PM
Join Jas Jernaill, the Managing Director of Bulldog Tutors, for a general discussion on the university admissions and college application process. Topics will include the primary components of a successful application, standardized testing options, how the admissions timeline differs for aspiring collegiate athletes, and building the common app. Registration is required.

Baby Play Group (pre-walkers)

Wednesday Aug 23, 2017, 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Baby Play Group is a special time for babies and caregivers to interact with books, songs, rhymes, American Sign Language, PLAY. This program is for pre-walking babies and their caregivers. In order to give our youngest patrons a safe space of their own, we request no siblings, pleaseRegistration required starting August 1st for Cheshire residents and August 16th for all others.

Five Common Diseases of Apple in New England

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Apples are important specialty crops in New England. Join Dr. Quan Zeng as he explains the most common diseases of apple in New England orchards and backyard gardens, from the aspects of disease symptoms, diagnostics, and management. Registration is required.

Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride

Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley is a funny and interesting biographical graphic novel about Lucy’s relationship with her boyfriend, John, and their wedding. This book takes you through how they met in college, moved in together, broke up, dated other people for three years, then abruptly became engaged.

Then, it takes you through a year of a DIY wedding. DIY: decorations (ALL the decorations), music playlist, ties for the men in the wedding party, photo booth, personalized gifts for every single guest, personalized gifts for everyone in the wedding party, and the list goes on. What they could not do themselves they worked out as cheaply as possible: a wedding dress that was on sale (it had pockets!), a backyard barn built for the occasion, and a friend of the family to cater everything.

There is also plenty of wedding stress. Lucy’s mother had her own list of guests to invite that mostly consisted of people who were strangers to Lucy and John, and it was longer than Lucy and John’s list of guests. The mother-of-the-bride also kept insisting on other things such as hiring a wedding planner without consulting the bride and groom, changing the size of the intended barn which forced the couple to remove guests from their invitation list, a band instead of their DIY playlist, and her badly-behaved dog walking down the aisle at the wedding. As Lucy and John worked through all of this stress, Lucy also reflected on what weddings used to be, what they have become, what marrying a man means for her bisexuality, and what she wants most in a marriage.

Genre: Non-fiction graphic novel

Setting: Most of the story takes place in modern-day Chicago and New York state.

Number of pages: 291

Is this good for a book club? Yes, if the club is willing to read a graphic novel. This book contains a lot of good discussion material about an important cultural milestone. It is also very quick to read, despite the number of pages.

Themes: The history of weddings, the modern wedding industry’s influence on what people think weddings are supposed to be (and what they are supposed to cost), how weddings can negatively impact people who are not heterosexual, what it means to have a good marriage, different types of relationships, and how wedding stress can bring out the worst in people.

Objectionable content: Suggestive themes, sexuality, and alcohol.

Can children read this? Teenagers would enjoy this.

Who would like this? Anyone who is preparing for their own wedding, preparing for someone else’s wedding, has gone through a wedding, thinks weddings are overrated, thinks weddings are wonderful, or enjoys examining the wedding industry.

Rating: Five stars

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It’s International Cake Day!

July 20th is International Cake Day! Here’s a low-calorie way to celebrate the day.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Being able to taste people’s emotions in food may at first be horrifying. But young, unassuming Rose Edelstein grows up learning to harness her gift as she becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

 

 

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlin
In this irresistible memoir, the #1 “New York Times” bestselling author writes about her life and the lives of women today, looking back and ahead–and celebrating it all–as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all that stuff in our closets, and more.

 

Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Hannah is marrying Ross Barton, her college crush, but not before she can solve the murder case of nasty celebrity chef Alain Duquesne found stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler.

 

 

Eat Cake: A Novel by Jeanne Ray
Ruth draws on her talent for concocting delectable cakes and desserts when her family begins to disintegrate around her–her husband loses his job, her mother moves in, and her long-estranged father shows up at the door with no place to go.

 

 

Have Your Cake and Kill Him, Too by Nancy Martin
When the tycoon owner of a spectacularly tacky sports bar is killed, Nora Blackbird suspects a secretive politician, a shady former rock star doubling as a pastry chef, and a dangerous aristo-brat on the verge of stardom.

 

Smart from the Start

Let’s face it. Toddlers are adorable, but they’re a pain in the kneecaps when you have to keep getting up to chase them. Like an overcaffeinated octopus in a waterpark, they get into EVERYTHING. Once a baby starts to creep, your time to sit and relax evaporates. So what do you do to keep them busy long enough to check your email without having to hold them, yet manage to keep them from banging on the keyboard?

The worst thing you can do is plug them in. No child under the age of two should be parked in front of a TV or – and I see this every day in one store or another – a cell phone. Babies and toddlers need to DO. They need to use their bodies – crawling and climbing and running for gross motor, and touching, poking, pulling, pushing to develop not only fine-motor skills, but tactile, sensory integration, mental mapping, visual-motor integration, social expectations, and spatial memory – things they cannot develop from passive observation of a flat screen.

And that is not an easy task. Walk through Toys я Us or Walmart and almost every toy is merely a piece of plastic that beeps or flashes when you push a button. Maybe it sings a song or says the ABCs. Cute, but useless, really. Learning without context is gibberish – it has no meaning. If I suddenly switch to кириллица alphabet, and give you no explanation, ქართულად წერა, most of you will never clue in to my meaning*. These are no better than a cell phone or endless Dora. But the toys that ARE geared for actual learning are not usually found in stores but educational catalogs, and those are  often overpriced because they expect a school system to pay for them – like these awesome 32-pc clear plastic magnet builders, for $53. My favorite toddler toy is the Bilibo chair, an artfully designed piece of plastic that has endless imaginary uses: a chair, a stepstool, a rocker, a doll bed, a helmet, a bucket, a turtle shell, and it creates a vortex really well – but at $30, these two toys alone are close to $100 without shipping, making Christmas a stretch.

One of the memes making the rounds of the internet is one Dad’s solution, which is genius. Give the kid all those things he wants to explore, but in one safe location: a real-life busy board. Phones, switches, calculators, all those forbidden things, right in reach, and no one yelling. Finding myself the unexpected guardian and caretaker of an infant and starting all over again, I wanted one of those. As she started to crawl, I built one, too. Wheels for spinning, latches, jingly keys (and old dog license tags), a push-on closet light, a light switch that turns on an actual LED, a small baking sheet for magnets (we use photos of relevant family and friends), interchangeable carabiners with a pacifier, a fun keychain, a small measuring tape that retracts, a mailbox flag that goes up and down, a brush for sensory input, Velcro dots for sticking pictures to (and they feel fun), a light-up keychain, numbers for counting and matching clothespins, an old TV remote, and most importantly – the springy door stoppers that go BOING when you whap them. Fastened to the wood, they make a very satisfying sound. Another important item was a small grab bar fourteen inches off the ground. This allows the beginning stander and walker to hold on and pull, and feel secure while standing and playing. All this, on a 2  by 3 foot piece of plywood attached to the dining room wall. The only other thing we did was add three mirrored tiles at baby height on a different wall.

Now, raiding your garage or your family’s may land you half these items, but to buy them all from scratch is not cheap – easily in the $100 range, as the plywood section alone was $20, and all those $5 items add up. Of course, you can start off with just a few and add on. A toddler’s toy that can’t be thrown, lost, and actually occupies them over and over while letting them explore and learn? Priceless.

Today it’s building the busy wall; tomorrow the treehouse, then the race car, the playhouse, and the sandbox. Are you game? Then check out these books on simple building projects, and things to keep your toddler busy.

        

 

* by the way, the above is the word Cyrillic in Russian, and the words writing in Kartuli, which is Georgian Russian.

Keeping a Reading Log

Do you keep a reading log? People who read a lot inevitably find themselves at the point where they pick up a book and wonder, “Did I already read this?” I know I do! If I had to rely on my memory, I’d be in trouble.

What are the best ways to keep track of your reading? Some write down titles in a notebook, others use index cards. The trouble with those is that it can be cumbersome carrying a big notebook or box or cards around the library or bookstore. That’s why I prefer a digital log.

There are several good ones to try. The following are available as mobile apps as well as desktop sites. That way you can always have your reading log with you!

GoodReads [mobile apps available for Apple & Android devices]. This is the one everyone knows. A free “social cataloging” site where you can search people’s shelves, participate in book discussions, etc.

LibraryThing [mobile app available for Apple devices]. LibraryThing is a little more serious than GoodReads. The social aspect takes a back seat to your bookshelves. Free for up to 200 books, then there is a fee.

aNobii [mobile apps available for Apple & Android devices]. A community for readers allowing you to catalog your books, share reviews, and connect with other book lovers.

Libib [mobile apps available for Apple & Android devices].  A free cloud service that will let you store up to 100,000 titles for free. If you have more than 100,000 books in your home library, better get the paid version.

You can also keep an automatic log of the books you check out from Cheshire Library. Sign in to your account from our website, then select Reading History, then “Save Reading History” from the options in your account. You can sort the list by title or author, even export or print it out.