What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in February

You’ll find history, crafts, music, and more on our Event Calendar this February – check out the full month of offerings and Save your spot for these programs!

February Art Show

A selection of oil paintings and paper cuttings by Cheshire artist Susan Fenaughty will be on display in the Mary Baldwin Room during the month of February.

Open Art Studio

Fridays, February 3, 10, 24, from 1-3pm

Bring your works in progress and supplies to this weekly drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup (please do not bring turpentine).

Juggling and Comedy Show

Saturday, February 4, 2023, 11:00 – 11:45am

Join us for an afternoon of laughter with Bryson Lang in celebration of Take Your Child to the Library Day! Bryson’s show mixes comedy, audience participation, juggling, giant beach balls, improv, and more! For kids of all ages. Please register the number of children and teens attending.

Black Bears in Connecticut

Tuesday, February 7, 2023, 6:30 – 8:15pm

Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn will be here to teach us about our fascinating neighbors, Connecticut’s black bears. We’ll get to hear about their natural history, how to coexist with these creatures, and explore black bear artifacts. Registration is required.

Movie Matinees

  • Tuesday February 7: Philomena (2013)
  • Tuesday February 21: Hopscotch (1980)

Join us in the Library Loft for a movie on the big screen! Registration is not required and movies begin at 1pm.

Tories, Spies, & Traitors: Divided Loyalty in Revolutionary Connecticut

Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

In 1775, as the thirteen colonies began a rebellion against British rule, loyalty was not only a matter of words or opinion. For soldiers and civilians alike, loyalty could mean loss of fortune, of friends, and even of life. This presentation reveals stories— some well known, some obscure— of Nutmeggers who risked and sacrificed to support their chosen side during this “tumultuous jarring time of civil war.” Registration is required.

Craft Night: Embroider a Heart

Monday, February 13, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Learn three basic embroidery stitches to create a festive heart decoration you can display all year long. Patrons will receive personal instruction from Bristol instructor, Dawn Zillich – The Stitching Coach. Supplies will be provided, all you need to bring is creativity and love of fiber arts to the library. Space is limited for this adult program and registration is required.

Meh. : An Un-Valentine’s Day program (Teens, Grades 6-12)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 4:00 – 4:50pm

Are you tired of the cliché valentines day nonsense? Annoyed by all the cupids and candy hearts? This Un-Valentine’s day party is all about celebrating the non-romantic relationships in our lives- family, friends, and best of all self-love. Join us for crafts, snacks, and fun activities! For teens in grades 6-12, registration is required.

Explore New Worlds: Virtual Reality

Experience virtual reality with the library’s Oculus headsets. Choose from a wide selection of tours adventures and games all in an interactive virtual world. 30 minute spots available from 6:00 to 7:30. Register for the date you want, you will be contacted prior to the program to select your spot.

Adult Loft Knitters

Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come socialize, learn, and share your techniques with other knitters.  Experience the relaxing and calming effect of knitting. All levels of adult knitters are welcome. Please bring your own yarn and knitting needles (crocheters are also welcome!). This group meets monthly, please register in advance.

Weed-Free Gardening (ONLINE)

Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 7:00 – 8:15pm

Join us for a program on organic weed control prevention and control strategies that really work. Tasha Greer goes way beyond the usual suggestions for mulching and pulling weeds. In fact, she will explain why pulling weeds can actually be a bad idea and that mulching can cause problems when used with the wrong weeds. Please register in advance for this online program.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Thursday, February 16, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a monthly open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Registration is required.

Upcycled Sweater Party

Friday, February 17, 2023, 10:30am – 12:00pm

Give your old sweaters a second life by turning them into winter accessories, home decor, or even another piece of clothing! We’ll provide inspiration, directions, and help for a variety of sewing and no-sew projects. In the spirit of upcycling, please bring your own sweaters from home if possible. Registration is required.

Guide to Student-Athlete College Recruitment

Thursday, February 23, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

s your child looking to play sports beyond high school? Hear a father share his child’s recruitment journey and lessons learned. Find out what to expect as you navigate your student-athlete’s recruitment process. Parents and teens are encouraged to attend. Please register in advance.

Concert: Silk’n Sounds

Saturday, February 25, 2023, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Silk’n Sounds is a women’s chorus based in the Greater New Haven area, bound together by their love of singing. The group has a broad repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs, including jazz standards, ballads, and rhythmic pop favorites from the Great American Songbook. This a cappella chorus is dedicated to excellence in the performance of four-part harmony in the barbershop tradition.

Teen Book Reviews: This is Our Story & The Inheritance Games

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from two teens who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

This is Our Story by Ashley Elston. Reviewed by Kathleen H.

If you like murder mysteries with some romance, this one’s for you. The book opens with five best friends who are on a hunting trip, yet only four of them are still alive. When the four alive boys look at their group’s leader, Grant Perkins, sprawled out dead with a rifle’s bullet hole in his chest, they are all in complete shock and panic, not sure which of their friends shot him, or if it was even an accident. With each boy about to turn on each other, all in fear of going to jail, our mystery narrator assures his three friends that they’ll all be fine if they stick together. He then tells them “their story”–what they’ll say to the police, lawyers, judges, the media, and even their families–in order to not accidentally rat out the killer or make themselves look guilty with inconsistent accounts of what happened.

The book then flashes to the main character’s perspective, Kate, who has a senior internship at the District Attorney’s office, and who’s boss has been handed the murder case. The more and more she digs into the evidence in the case file, the more is revealed about each boy’s personal stakes in Grant’s murder. Throughout her investigation, we also learn more about her personal ties to Grant’s murder, and the resulting guilt she holds. This novel is fast paced and easy to read in big chunks, with readers wanting to learn more about the case, and even the romance that arises. Plus, it deals with relevant issues such as how much the wealthy can get away with, and the sway that privileged people have on the justice system. Most importantly, the novel is one that genuinely keeps readers wondering “who did it?” until the bitter end, while still maintaining a sense of realism in its plot twists.

5 stars.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Reviewed by Ella K.

The Inheritance Games is a mystery book written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The book begins by introducing the reader to Avery Grambs, a witty and compassionate student who lives with her sister, Libby, and her sister’s abusive boyfriend. While Avery works to get out of that situation and go to college, she unexpectedly finds herself thrown into a familial battle after the passing of famous billionaire Tobias Hawthorne. Despite not knowing him or having anything to do with him, Avery has been left as almost the sole inheritor of his fortune. The catch? She has to live at the Hawthorne mansion for a year.

Tobias’s relatives, including his four grandsons, upset that a stranger robbed them of their inheritance, treat Avery with contempt throughout the duration of her stay, until one of them, Jameson Hawthorne approaches Avery with a proposition. He thinks that Tobias had something up his sleeve and enlists Avery to help him solve the puzzle. The book follows Avery as she deals with her newfound fame and wealth, while also avoiding the not so pure intentions of the other Hawthornes.

This book brought me back to the puzzle books of my childhood, reminding me specifically of The Mysterious Benedict Society. The book was much more complex than that series, but the riddles and puzzles that the author writes were just as enticing. The newfound fame aspect was also an interesting concept to read about. My problem with this book is its ending. All of the major twists of the plot felt like they were shoved into the end of the book. It was a little bit confusing at times and that confusion almost undermined the twist that the author was going for. Despite this, the book is well written and well worth the read for anyone who enjoys puzzles and mystery books.

4 stars.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in January

Welcome to 2023 at Cheshire Library! We’re bringing our popular Virtual Reality programs back this month, along with a new Tabletop Gaming group. We’ve got plenty of indoor activities for the cold weather months – check our Event Calendar for all the lastest happenings at CPL!

Movie Matinees

Join us in the Library Loft for a movie on the big screen! No registration is required and movies begin at 1pm.

Explore New Worlds: Virtual Reality

Experience virtual reality with the library’s Oculus headsets. Choose from a wide selection of tours adventures and games all in an interactive virtual world. 30 minute spots available from 6:00 to 7:30. Register for the date you want, you will be contacted prior to the program to select your spot.

Color Yourself Calm (With a Movie)

Monday, January 9, 2023, 6:00 – 8:00pm

De-Stress from this busy time of year and color. In addition to coloring we will be watching  The Lost City. All supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Registration required for this adult program.

Wellness Talk – Osteoporosis

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 4:30 – 5:30pm

This talk will include different information about osteoporosis. Talked about will be prescribed exercises, reducing your risk, what does a physical therapy session look like, vitamins and minerals associated with bone health and methods to increase protein intake. Register to attend in-person or online.

Adult Loft Knitters

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come socialize, learn, and share your techniques with other knitters.  Experience the relaxing and calming effect of knitting. All levels of adult knitters are welcome. Please bring your own yarn and knitting needles (crocheters are also welcome!). This group meets monthly, please register in advance.

Backyard Wildlife: All About Opossums

Thursday, January 12, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join Ferncroft Wildlife Rescue for an overview of wildlife rehabilitation and their rescue efforts with opossums. Adults and kids can learn what makes opossums awesome, and how you can give support to wildlife in your neighborhood. There will be time for questions and a meet-and-greet with the opossum ambassadors! Registration required. This program is made possible by the Al Sanders Memorial Fund.

Family Storytime

Saturday, January 14, 2022, 11:00 – 11:30am

Family Storytime is a drop-in, interactive storytime for children and family members! Learn through talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing! This storytime is for children of all ages. No registration is required.

Tabletop Gaming Group

1:00pm – 4:00pm

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Saturday, January 28, 2023

Join us for an afternoon of gaming featuring the popular role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons! Try out D&D with a four-week campaign, or just enjoy a quick round of board games and card games that you can borrow from the library. No gaming experience necessary. Snacks will be provided. No snacking experience necessary. Registration required. This program is best for adults and teens. The Dungeons and Dragons campaign will run for four sessions: January 14, 21, 28, and February 4.

Houseplants are For Everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Do you want to fill your home with easy-care housplants ? Or learn to care for the ones you already have? Join us for a program with garden expert Karla Dalley who will discuss houseplants that work for all areas of the home. Karla will bring handouts and a selection of plants for “show and tell”. Bring your questions! Registration is required.

Concert–World Café!

Concert--World Café!

Saturday, January 21, 2023, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Experience an exuberant celebration of cultures with this exceptional program of music from around the world performed by Judy Handler and Mark Levesque on guitar and mandolin! No registration required.

Life Planning Series

Mondays at 6:30pm.

January 23: Downsizing Doesn’t Need to be Painful

January 30: Your Children Don’t Want It (online)

February 6: Leave your loved ones with answers…not questions (online)

Cat Tales Writers Group

Thursday, January 26, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a monthly open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Registration is required.

Know Your News: Become a Media Expert

Thursday, January 26, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Not sure if a new source is fact or fake? Learn how to tell the difference in this hands-on workshop. You’ll learn tips and tricks for finding reliable and credible information in any format and get a chance to practice your new skills. Registration is required.

The Happy Place

The Happy Place

Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 10:30am – 12:00pm

Find your happy place with soothing music, hot drinks, socializing, crafting, and other self-care activities. We’ll provide a low-stress craft,66-=[`but feel free to bring your own crochet, scrapbook, cross stitch, or other projects from home that help you reach your happy place. Registration is required.

January Book Clubs:

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: Light on Bone

Books Over Cocoa: Wintering (January 24, 7pm)

Books Over Coffee: Wintering (January 25, 2:30pm)

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: Light on Bone (January 26, 1pm)

Eight Entertaining Reads for Hanukkah

Hanukkah is here! Here are 8 fun books for kids and adults to celebrate the season.

KIDS:

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. Illustrations and rhyming text present some of the different ways a well-behaved dinosaur can celebrate the eight days and nights of Chanukah. By the award-winning team behind the internationally best-selling How Do Dinosaurs…? series.

Meet the Latkes by Alan Silberberg. Lucy Latke’s family is a family of potato pancakes. After lighting the menorah and gobbling the gelt, Grandpa Latke tells everyone the Hanukkah story, but it’s up to the Latke family dog to set the record straight.

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica S. Perl. It’s Hanukkah, and Max and Rachel are excited to light the menorah in their family’s new apartment. Unfortunately, their Hanukkah box is missing! Luckily, their neighbors happily help, offering thoughtful, often humorous, stand-ins each night. Just as Hanukkah is nearly done, Max and Rachel, inspired by the shamash (‘helper’) candle, have a brilliant idea: to celebrate the Ninth Night of Hanukkah as a thank you to everyone!

The Golden Dreidel by Ellen Kushner. After receiving a one-of-a-kind Chanukah gift—an enormous golden dreidel—Sara discovers that there’s much more to the dreidel than meets the eye when she spins herself into a whole new world and must rely on her courage to find her way back home.

Chelm for the Holidays by by Valerie Estelle Frankel. Celebrating Jewish holidays has never been sillier than in Chelm, the Village of Fools! While the Chelmites try to solve problems—like outsmarting bees to get Rosh Hashanah honey, and keeping Hanukkah menorah candles lit without enough oil—their foolishness causes even more chaos.

ADULTS

Holiday by Candlelight by Laurel Greer. Is a Hanukkah miracle right around the corner? This year, Dr. Caleb Matsuda could do without holiday cheer. After an avalanche robbed him of his ability to practice surgery, he struggles to make it through each day. He may be intrigued by new colleague Garnet James, but she’s also a search-and-rescue volunteer who could be in danger at any moment. If only she wasn’t perfect for the man he used to be…

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer. When her publisher insists that she write a Hanukkah romance, Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt, a Jewish woman with a secret career as a Christmas romance novelist, unexpectedly finds inspiration when she encounters a childhood acquaintance at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah.

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan. The co-founder of a popular sex-education platform joins forces with a young rabbi who would save his cash-strapped synagogue to host a seminary series on modern intimacy. This book includes a thoughtful look at faith, and a romance featuring a rabbi!

One Book, Two Readers – Teens Review “It Ends With Us”

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from two teens who did just that, and get their takes on the same book. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. Reviewed by Anja J.

This book had me in actual tears by the end of it, and I finished it in less than 2 days. Colleen Hoover did an outstanding job at portraying the hard-to-hear truths of domestic violence in this book. The story outlines the childhood of Lily Bloom living and growing up in an unstable household, with a father that got angry at her mother very easily. At the same time, she falls in love with a boy, Atlas, with whom she found refuge and comfort. The two, however, part ways.

Fast-forwarding to her post-college years, she meets a man in Boston, Ryle, who seems like the perfect fit for her. Until he isn’t. Meanwhile, Lily runs into her first love, Atlas, after all these years, which challenges the strength and trust of Lily and Ryle’s relationship.

The story of Lily and Ryle’s relationship has the reader engaged from the very beginning. It perfectly demonstrates the gray areas of abusive relationships and how one can fall into the cycle of abuse and struggle to break their way out. Hoover’s beautiful writing creates a waterfall of emotions and exemplifies the contradictions in characters that we see in everyday life. Everything is written so personally and eloquently that it is like you are literally in Lily’s shoes and experiencing everything firsthand. Parts of the book were also written in the form of journal entries that provided so much more insight into the internal workings of Lily. This book has never made me hate, and yet, sympathize with a character more. After reading this book, I had realized this story could be so much more realistic than it is fiction. So many women face the same awful and heart-breaking situations that Lily was in and reading this story was getting to know, intimately, what that is like. This book has recently gained a lot of popularity, and it is justifiable, as it truly lives up to all of the hype.

5 stars.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. Reviewed by Jocelyn C.

Lily Bloom grew up in a traumatizing household. She never had it the same as some of her classmates and friends. She was born in a small town in Maine, graduated from college, and ended up moving. She moved to Boston and opened up her own business, which she’s always dreamed of. When she meets a handsome neurosurgeon, Ryle Kincade, her whole life is turned around. She falls in love with him.

Ryle had many attributes. He is stubborn, strong, and even a little conceited. Among all of these, he is extremely caring with a huge spot in his heart for Lily. As Lily navigates through her crazy and wild ride of a relationship with Ryle, thoughts of Atlas Corrigan come back to haunt her. Atlas was her first love. Her protector with the biggest heart and soul she’d ever met. They were together when they were in high school and were inseparable. They saw each other every waking moment of the day. They couldn’t bear to not see each other until one day Atlas left and Lily was left all alone, completely heartbroken. When she graduated college, she finally said she needed to get out of Maine, and that’s how she ended up in Boston, where everything seemed better.

When Atlas all of a sudden reappeared back in her life 15 years later, Lily and Ryle’s entire relationship is jeopardized. He was a link to her past that she didn’t want to remember. Lily and Ryle struggle to rekindle their relationship, all while Atlas is in the back of both of their minds. We see jealousy, anger, and reconciliation all throughout the book. It will make you fall in love, rip your heart out, and be so angry while dealing with sensitive topics. Colleen Hoover conveys an excellent novel of love and heartbreak that jump started a new groundbreaking career for her.

5 stars