OpenDyslexic Font Option for Library eBooks

For many of us, reading is a pleasurable and relaxing way to spend time. For people who struggle with dyslexia, it can be a source of frustration and stress, and the opposite of relaxing.

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability, and how it manifests itself can vary greatly from person to person. At its core, though, is a difficulty with reading words, and with identifying how speech sounds relate to letters and words. Many people with dyslexia have trouble “decoding” certain letters or numbers that they see, they don’t always interpret them correctly. For these people, different font types can make a difference in how they see the letters and words they are trying to read.

In 2008, Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer,  who struggled with dyslexia, started working on a font that would help him read more easily. The Dyslexie  font used heavier line thickness to emphasize the bottom of most characters. This was to try to “anchor” the letters since some people with dyslexia may have trouble getting letters on the page to stay still.  In 2011 a similar (and free)  open-source font was released, called OpenDyslexic. It has been updated continually and improved upon based on input from dyslexic users.





OverDrive began offering OpenDyslexic as a font option for its ebooks back in 2015. The wider spacing, bottom heavy and unique character shapes can help make it more difficult to confuse letters. If you or someone you know has trouble “decoding” printed words, try downloading an eBook from our OverDrive collection and using the OpenDyslexic font to read it. While it’s not a cure-all, it may make reading a little bit easier.

For more information, Cheshire Library also has many books on dyslexia,  in both print and  audiobook formats.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in March

In like a lion, out like a lamb, & all that. March in New England certainly keeps the weather unpredictable, but you can count on great things happening at CPL, no matter the weather.  Our calendar is packed with terrific programs this month, here’s a sampling:

Kitchen Céilí

Sunday Mar 4, 2018, 2:00 PM

This Irish/New England band serves up healthy portions of spirited tunes and songs in an atmosphere of unpretentious good humor. Their repertoire includes driving reels and lilting jigs as well as stately waltzes, slow airs, and old and new songs. No registration required.

Spring and Summer Gardening Tips

Monday Mar 5, 2018, 6:00  –  7:30 PM

Spring and summer is a great time to be working in the garden for beauty and foods, but you might encounter a number of puzzling issues. This presentation will answer and discuss some common questions about general care, pruning, water management, fertilizing, and disease control in lawns, flower gardens, small fruits, and vegetable gardens.  Registration is required.

Introduction to Gmail

Thursday Mar 8, 2018, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

We will learn how to compose an e-mail, send an e-mail, create folders, organizing e-mails, and working with attachments. Prerequisite familiarity with computers and internet. Space is limited and registration is required.

Library After Hours: KC Sisters Family Concert

Friday Mar 9, 2018, 5:00 PM  –  7:30 PM

Join us for a family concert featuring the KC Sisters, a family band featuring 5 sisters with dad on piano! Music will include multi-harmonized songs, country fiddling, originals and a wide variety of standards from jazz to country to pop to oldies. There will be some simple crafts in the Children’s Room and pizza and drinks will be available for sale from the Friends of the Library.  There is no admission fee, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per family to help offset costs.  Registration is requested. (Please note that the Lower Level of the Library will not be open to the public. )

Drop-in Tech Help

  • Saturday Mar 10, 1:00  –  3:00 PM
  • Tuesday Mar 13, 1:00  –  3:00 PM
  • Tuesday Mar 20, 1:00  –  3:00 PM
  • Saturday Mar 31, 1:00  –  3:00 PM

Do you have questions about your computer, smartphone, or iPad? Do you need help navigating Facebook or downloading an ebook? Let us help! Our weekly drop-in sessions are available on a first come first served basis, and may be limited to 15 minutes per person. In the event your question or issue is more involved, we may ask you to schedule an appointment to come back for one-on-one help. Please be sure to bring your device, and make sure it is fully charged. No registration required.

Pysanky Egg Decorating (ages 8 – adult)

Saturday Mar 10, 2018:

  • Session 1: 11:00 AM  –  1:00 PM
  • Session 2: 1:30 PM  –  3:30 PM

Bring your friends & family and learn the art of Pysanky Egg decorating from the egg lady Sharon Leonard. This form of Ukrainian egg decorating uses special wax and color to make beautiful eggs.  Each participant will be able to go home with one decorated egg.  Registration is required for each participant, children must be over the age of 8 and please sign up for only one session. Please tie back hair and refrain from loose fitting clothing, as open flames are used during this process.

Author talk : Kate Moore, author of Radium Girls

Thursday Mar 15, 2018, 6:30 PM

Please join us as we welcome KATE MOORE, the author of Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, who is coming from England to do a U.S. promotional tour of the paperback version of her non-fiction bestseller. Moore is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. We are thrilled to have her at Cheshire Library to talk about the incredible true story of the young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium and their brave struggle for justice. Bookclubs are encouraged to attend. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing, registration is required.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Friday Mar 16, 2018, 10:00  –  11:00 AM

Learn about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day with volunteers from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. We’ll read folktales from Irish culture, make crafts, and even explore science! Registration required starting February 15 for Cheshire residents and March 1 for nonresidents.

Your Chemical Free Home

Wednesday Mar 21, 2018, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

Discover how the chemicals lurking in your home directly relate to your body and health. Not all green cleaners are 100% natural.   Presenter Marie Bristol will explain how to tell what is really in your cleaners, and share options for better, healthier ways to clean. Registration is required.

Conn-Men A Cappella

Sunday Mar 25, 2018, 2:00 PM

The Conn-Men are UCONN’s premier all-male a cappella group.  Join us for an exuberant concert, no registration required!

#TimesUp: Unpacking the #MeToo Movement

Tuesday Mar 27, 2018, 6:30 PM

Join staff from Hartford’s Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in discussing sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, developing a more complete understanding of these important issues, and placing them in their cultural and historical context. This dialogue-based program gives everyone the chance to “share the air” as part of a thoughtful conversation that creates opportunities for learning, understanding, and empathy. Bring your thoughts. Registration is required.

March Madness Math (Grades 3-6)

Thursday Mar 29, 2018, 4:00  –  4:50 PM

As the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball teams dribble and shoot their way to the championships, we’ll learn about sports math with hands-on experiments. We’ll look at player statistics, explore the geometry behind throwing the ball, calculate our own shooting percentages, and decide if it’s better to shoot two-pointers or three-pointers. For kids in grades 3-6. Registration required starting February 15 for Cheshire residents and March 1 for nonresidents.

18 Books Hitting the Big Screen in 2018

Film adaptations of books have hit the ground running in 2018, with bestsellers Horse Soldiers, The Death Cure, and Fifty Shades Freed released in theaters already, and we’re barely into the year. Here’s some of what’s in store for the rest of 2018 (release dates may be subject to change), if you want to read them before you see them:

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  1. Every Day by David Levithan (release date Feb. 23). A 16-year-old girl falls in love with a spirit named “A”, a traveling soul who wakes each morning in a different body.
  2. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer (release date Feb. 23).  A group of female scientists undertakes an expedition to “Area X”, a portion of land in the United States that has been secretly quarantined due to abnormal activity.
  3. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews (release date Mar. 2).  Ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is recruited to ‘Sparrow School’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon.
  4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (release date Mar. 9). After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend across the barriers of space and time to find him. The all-star cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Chris Pine.
  5. The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian (release date Mar. 9). An elderly couple suffering from cancer and Alzheimer’s decide to sneak away from their doctors for one last hurrah and escape on a cross-country trip.
  6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli (release date Mar. 16).  Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it’s a little more complicated. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he’s fallen for online.
  7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (release date Mar. 30). The buzz about this film adaptation began almost before the book was even published.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, this dystopian thriller takes place in a future where more and more people are escaping into a virtual reality world that’s more bearable than the real one. Expect a kind of Matrix-y vibe with a bunch of 80’s pop culture references.
  8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows (release date Apr. 19).  A writer doing research learns about a unique book club that the residents of Guernsey formed as a front during German occupation in WWII.
  9. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (release date May 11). after her eccentric, agoraphobic mother disappears, 15-year-old Bee does everything she can to track her down, discovering her troubled past in the process. Starring Cate Blanchett in the title role.
  10. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (release date Aug. 17).  American-born Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu  accompanies her boyfriend to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding only to get thrust into the lives of Asia’s rich and famous.
  11. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (release date Aug. 31). After being summoned to treat a patient at dilapidated Hundreds Hall, Dr. Faraday finds himself becoming entangled in the lives of the owners, and the supernatural presences in the house in this horror-thriller.
  12. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (release date Sep. 14). In this sci-fi thriller, sixteen-year-old Ruby breaks out of a government-run “rehabilitation camp” for teens who acquired dangerous powers after surviving a virus that wiped out most American children.
  13. The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs (release date Sep. 21). A young orphan aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world. Starring Cate Blanchett (again), Jack Black, and Kyle MacLachlan.
  14. Boy Erased by Garrard Conley (release date Sep. 28).  In the film adaptation of thie memoir, the son of a baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program. Starring Lucas Hedges in the title role, with Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his parents.
  15. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen (release date Oct. 12). Ryan Gosling stars in the title role in this true story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961–1969.
  16. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz (release date Oct. 19). Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.
  17. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (release date Oct. 19). Young and adventurous Mowgli meets Bagheera (Christian Bale), Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), and other animals while growing up in the jungle.
  18. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (release date Dec. 14). Millennia after much of the world was destroyed in a cataclysmic event,  cities survive a now desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in February

Did you know February is Library Lovers Month? We’ve got lots to love at CPL this month, check out these great programs:

Dirty Harry, Dirty Rotten Scounfrels, The Dirty Dozen, Dirty Dancing (DVDS)Dirty Movie Month at CPL

Tuesdays at 1:00 PM

Now that we’ve got your attention, we should explain that our Matinee Movies this month all have the word “Dirty” in the title. Disappointed? Relieved? Come by every Tuesday at 1:00 for some good, (mostly)clean fun! No registration Required.

  • Feb 6 : Dirty Harry
  • Feb 13: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Feb 20: The Dirty Dozen
  • Feb 27: Dirty Dancing

Victoria & Abdul movie posterMovie Night – Victoria & Abdul

Thursday Feb 8, 2018, 6:00  –  8:00 PM

The extraordinary true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and a young clerk, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend. Based on the book of same name by Shrabani Basu.  Please register for this event.

stylized Cheshire CatCheshire Anime Club

Friday Feb 9, 2018, 3:00  –  4:30 PM

Konnichiwa, minna-san! Can’t get enough Anime and Manga? Be an “Otaku” and join the Cheshire Anime Club! We meet monthly, read and talk about what’s hot in the world of Manga, and watch some of the latest Anime releases on the big screen! Japanese snacks (like Ramune and Pocky) will be available for refreshments. For grades 7 -12, no registration required.

River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs (musical group)Sunday Concert – River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs

Sunday Feb 11, 2018, 2:00 PM

It’s Mardi Gras and time to party with River City Slim and The Zydeco Hogs, who bring the exuberant sounds of the steamy bayous of southwestern Louisiana to the hills of New England.  Whatever you do, don’t forget your dancing shoes!  Cheshire is Slim’s old hometown so be prepared to give him a big Cheshire welcome! This concert is Paid for by the Friends of the Library  and free to the public, no registration required.

Trivia Night logoTrivia Night

Wednesday Feb 14, 2018, 6:00  –  8:00 PM

Come by yourself or bring your sweetheart for a Valentine’s Day Trivia Night. Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all For Pride, Not Prize.  Registration for this adult program begins January 31.

Queen Victoria reenactor Sally MummeyMeet Queen Victoria

Thursday Feb 15, 2018, 6:00  –  7:30 PM

Using Queen Victoria’s diary and letters, this program reveals the personal details of a powerful yet humane woman, who took seriously her role as monarch in a time of great expansion. Sally Mummey’s portrayal as the queen is one not to miss! Registration is required.

Year of the Dog illustrationChinese-English Storytime

Friday Feb 16, 2018, 10:00  –  11:00 AM

Celebrate the first day of Chinese New Year with a special storytime! We’ll sing simple songs, learn rhymes, and read books in Chinese and English, and complete a craft as well. For children ages 2-5 and their caregivers.  Registration required starting January 15 for Cheshire residents, and February 1 for nonresidents.

candleholders made from booksCraft Night: Book Candle Holder

Monday Feb 19, 2018, 6:00  –  8:00 PM

A fun night crafting and upcycling books into beautiful candle holders.  Registration required for this adult program.

Queen VictoriaThe Men in the Life of Queen Victoria

Wednesday Feb 21, 2018, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

Join us for a fun evening, as we learn about the Queen and the men in her life.  From her infatuation with the Duke of Brunswick, through Uncle Leopold, her Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, Albert, then the dreaded John Brown,  Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and finally the Munshi, her Indian secretary. Registration is required.

Carolina Gold rice plantThe Rice That Helped America Grow

Monday Feb 26, 2018, 6:00 PM

A variety of rice named Carolina Gold was the first food product that America exported to Europe, and helped the coastal colonies achieve economic independence. Learn the legend of how this rice came to America, how West African ingenuity helped it thrive and become a local and international delicacy, and how it was almost lost forever before being revived by amateur enthusiasts in the past few years. Registration is required.



The Best Audiobooks of 2017 (a subjective list)

The editors of AudioFile Magazine have released their selections for Best Audiobooks of 2017. AudioFile is a publication that reviews and recommends audiobooks, taking into account all the things that make an audiobook enjoyable: a great story, of course, but also the skillful pacing, structure, and narration that make them worth listening to.  (Full disclosure: I am a reviewer for AudioFile, mainly for romance books, and I have received free audiobooks from them to provide honest reviews). I have perused the dozens of audiobooks selected as “best”, and winnowed them down to three favorites in six categories, click on the titles to read more about each one. Consider this a jumping off point, audiophiles!


  • Beartown by Frederik Backman, read by Marin Ireland.
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, read by Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Rutina Wesley, Chris Chalk.
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, read by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris and George Saunders, with a full cast that includes Carrie Brownstein, Don Cheadle, Kat Dennings, Lena Dunham, Bill Hader, Miranda July, Mary Karr, Keegan-Michael Key, Julianne Moore, Megan Mullally, Mike O’Brien, Susan Sarandon, Ben Stiller, Jeffrey Tambor, Jeff Tweedy, Bradley Whitford, Patrick Wilson, and Rainn Wilson.