Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with books for all ages

Each year, Americans observe Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans  whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a month long period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Check out these books from Cheshire Library that celebrate Hispanic culture and authors!

For  Adults:

For Teens:

For Kids:

Summer Love: 11 Great New Romances to Read This Summer

From debut authors making a splash to new books by favorite authors,  here are some romances to fall in love with this summer!

Beach Read by Emily Henry. A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Dance Away With Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Seeking refuge in a Tennessee mountain town to recover from heartbreak, a young widow and midwife bonds with an enigmatic artist, a helpless infant and a passel of curious teens in a small and suspicious community.

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas. Determined to marry for love, Lady Cassandra Ravenel resists the advances of compelling railroad magnate Tom Severin, who takes advantage of a situation that nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory. Going against her better judgement, LA lawyer Olivia Monroe secretly starts dating a hotshot junior senator until their romance is made public and her life falls under intense media scrutiny, jeopardizing everything.

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. With his rock-star dad making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye. To clean up his image, he needs to be seen in a nice, normal “relationship”…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating…

Daring and the Duke by Sarah Maclean. When she is reconciled with the man who betrayed her, who will go to any lengths to win her back, fiercely independent Grace Condry, who has spent a lifetime running from her past, vows to take revenge on this man she once loved.

Hideaway by Nora Roberts. Years after escaping a kidnapper with the help of a young man, a Hollywood hopeful pursues healing in Ireland before she is compelled to return to Los Angeles, where she encounters unexpected opportunities in love and vengeance.

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. When her career is threatened by a red-carpet photo that appears to have romantic undertones, a Hollywood showrunner and her female assistant are targeted by paparazzi before realizing their actual feelings for each other.

Someone to Romance by Mary Balogh. Forced to consider an arranged marriage in spite of her disdain for the ton, Lady Jessica is brazenly courted by the heir to a mysterious fortune who declares his intentions to marry her upon their first encounter.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams.  A sequel to The Bromance Book Club finds restaurant employee Liv Papandreas fired for reporting sexual harassment before teaming up with Bromance Book Club member Braden Mack to turn the tables on an abusive celebrity chef.

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. When a live tweet of a horrific date reveals the unscrupulous dealings of an internet catfisher, three duped women make a pact to invest in themselves for six months, prompting one to pursue a dream career.

 

 

Have you read a great romance this summer? Share it in the comments!

 

 

A Librarian’s Guide to “Longform” Reading

Long-form journalism is a branch of journalism dedicated to longer articles with larger amounts of content. Typically this will be between 1,000 and 20,000 words. Long-form articles often take the form of creative nonfiction or narrative journalism

Publications such as Reader’s Digest, The Atlantic, and Harper’s Bazaar popularized this format of writing, which led to the founding of several new long form coverage companies such as The Atavist and Longreads. These articles tend to be categorized as “non-fiction” with a majority of the titles falling into human interest or think piece articles on a specific topic. These topics cover a broad range of subjects, including but not limited to: crime, art’s and culture, books, business and tech, current events, essays and criticism, food, profiles and interviews, science and nature, and sports.  Much like a non-fiction book, these articles are long enough to really develop a story, and inform you on topics you may not know much about. Personally, this is my favorite part about reading longform. These articles help you learn more about a topic, without overwhelming you with becoming an expert. They also give you a view into a strangers lifestyle, ideas or hobbies, which is one of the many reasons why non-fiction keeps me coming back for more.

There are thousands of articles that are as long as books, or as short as short stories, on thousands of different topics and subject matters. If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite “longform” websites, as well as several popular non-fiction titles available at the Cheshire Public Library.

            1. First up is Narratively, which is my favorite of all. Narratively’s tagline is “celebrating humanity through authentic storytelling”. The website works with a network of over 3,000 talented journalists and storytellers that explore the hidden stories of the world, focusing on the “underdogs” and the “overlooked tales that enlighten us”. The website has several subsections, including: hidden history, memoir, renegades, secret lives, and super subcultures. Examples of articles include “Secret Life of a Children’s Party Princess“, which explores the not so glamorous life of a part time princess, full time college student, as well as “That Time I Conducted an Autopsy Without Any Medical Training” or the mistaken identity of a med school poser. These articles, and many others, are charming, heartbreaking, and insightful. Narratively is a gem of a website, and worth coming back to again and again.

              2. Longreads and Longform are two fantastic websites that recommend longer works of fiction across the web. Each  feature in-depth investigative reporting, interviews and profiles, podcasts, essays and criticism. Both websites curate content from a variety of different publications including, The Atlantic, Harper’s Bazaar, The Guardian, and Cosmopolitan. Articles include a variety of subject matters from serious to silly, including “Taken: How police departments make millions by seizing property” (Anna Lee, Nathaniel Cary, and Mike Ellis, The Greenville News) and “I Walked 600 Miles Across Japan for Pizza Toast” by Craig Mod. Each website is updated frequently, and each hosts a fantastic array of human interest stories as well as investigative reporting.

All of these websites have a handy feature which lets you subscribe to their stories, which sends you articles by email on a weekly basis. This lets you cater your taste in articles, and lets you catch up on news when you have a moment. It’s a fantastic way to exercise your brain, and learn more about the world around you.

If you’d prefer a physical title, the Cheshire Public Library has a large collection of non-fiction titles, as well as newspapers for current events and other human interest pieces. My personal favorite is our biography section, as well as our true crime selection. A few new titles that I’ve been enjoying lately are “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo, and “I’ll be Gone in the Dark” by Michelle MacNamara, . There are plenty of titles on a variety of subjects, and if you see gaps or something we don’t have, you can always feel free to mention it to a staff member (we’re pretty great about supplying titles our patrons suggest!)

 

Looking for more? Here are some titles from our new non-fiction section:

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British Mysteries from Book to Screen

Today’s post comes to us from our Deputy Director Deb, who loves a good mystery!

Many devoted mystery readers began with Agatha Christie’s classic golden age mysteries featuring Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot. I certainly did! These distinctly British offerings are a perfect gateway into the world of mysteries. And like so many other British mysteries, they have been made into marvelous television series, which you can watch using the library’s new streaming video service, Acorn TV. Or you can download the books in e-book or e-audio from the library’s website.

Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are both well represented on Acorn TV and in our e-book and e-audiobook collections. Consider reading or listening to Murder on the Orient Express, The ABC Murders or The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Check out Acorn TV and watch Marple, Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime, The Agatha Christie Hour and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Also try Christie’s classic locked-room mystery, And Then There Were None, considered to be the world’s best-selling mystery, available in e-book and e-audio and on Acorn.

The Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton features a middle-aged woman who sells her London PR firm and moves to the country (the Cotswolds, to be precise), where, in true amateur detective fashion, she encounters—and solves– murders galore! Try the first book in the series, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, available in both audio and ebook. Or read any of the others—like so many long-running mystery series, it isn’t necessary to read them in order. Then watch Agatha Raisin on Acorn, a top pick for fans of cozy British mysteries.

One of my favorite village cozy series, also by M.C. Beaton, features the unambitious and charming policeman Hamish Macbeth who patrols the village of Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands. I have listened to all of them on audio. The reader, Graeme Malcolm, imbues the audiobooks with such charm and personality that I’m betting you, too, will be hooked! We have more than a dozen titles available on e-audio, including Death of an Honest Man and  Death of a Gossip. Then check out Hamish Macbeth on Acorn.

The Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood, featuring a glamorous private detective in 1920s Melbourne, is actually Australian, but close enough to fit in with our British theme. The supremely independent Miss Fisher has class, sass and the means to pull it all off! Try Cocaine Blues, the first in the series, or The Spotted Dog. The clothes alone make the series worth watching Miss Fisher on Acorn!

Ann Cleeves’ series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope is considerably darker than the other series in this post. DCI Stanhope is a solitary, obsessed, caustic, brilliant investigator near the end of her career working in northern England. Try listening to the first in the series, The Crow Trap, or read The Seagull. And be sure to watch Vera on Acorn TV.

Set in Ireland, the long-running Jack Taylor series by Ken Bruen has been thrilling readers (and now TV fans) for years. Taylor is a classic ex-cop turned seedy private eye prowling the underbelly of Galway. Try e-book or e-audio  Galway Girl or e-audio Purgatory and check out Jack Taylor on Acorn.

What’s Happening (virtually) at Cheshire Library in July

Welcome to summer! Our virtual programming continues this month as we begin to expand services, and continue to maintain social distancing protocols for the health and safety of our patrons and staff. Here are some of the great programs you can “tune in” to this July:

Starting a Vegetable Garden

Thursday, July 2, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Have you wanted to start a vegetable garden but don’t know where to begin?  Join us with master gardener Sarah Bailey as she shows you the tools you will need and the techniques to use to start a vegetable garden and enjoy vegetables all summer long. No gardening experience required.  Registration is required, registered participants will receive an email with a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Virtual Teen Volunteers

Mondays, from 3:00 – 4:00pm

Let’s give the world as much kindness as we can right now. Virtual volunteering makes it possible for teens to make a difference in the world, even during the pandemic. We can meet via Zoom to socialize while we’re volunteering but it’s not required. Head to our Event Calendar to register and see some suggestions for virtual volunteering (but you can certainly come up with your own ideas as well).

Virtual Tech Help

Do you have questions about your laptop, smartphone, or iPad? Do you need help downloading an ebook or audiobook? Are you wondering how to get started with Acorn TV or other streaming services? Let our tech experts help! Bring your technology-related questions and issues to Cheshire Public Library’s Virtual Tech Help. three half-hour appointments will be available for each day.  Our librarians will be available to answer your questions and offer advice. Please register in advance, registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting link the morning of the program.

Switch it up at CPL! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Wednesdays, 3:00 – 4:00PM

Social distancing got you down? Got a Nintendo Switch? Join us at CPL’s Smash Ultimate arena! Play against your friends and folks from all across Cheshire! For TEENS in grades 6-12. All skill levels welcome, no registration required. View the program description in our Event Calendar for details on how to join.

Introduction to Composting

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Presenter Dawn Pettinelli, Associate Extension Educator, Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture at UConn will detail how to create a successful compost. Registration is required, registered participants will receive an email with a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Science Tellers: Dragons and the Return of the Ice Sorceress

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 3:00 – 3:45pm

Don’t miss this fun, fantasy adventure featuring awesome dry ice effects brought to you by Science Tellers! Best for ages 5-12. Please register in advance,  a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent 1 hour prior to the program.

Virtual Cheshire Anime Club

Fridays (except July 3rd), 3:00 – 5:00pm

Konnichiwa, minna-san! Can’t get enough Anime and Manga? Be an “Otaku” and join the Cheshire Anime Club! We’ll meet on Zoom and watch Anime movies together! For grades 7-12. The link to this Zoom Virtual Program will be posted on Cheshire Anime Club’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/13673851607/) OR you can register on our Event Calendar, and we will email you before start time with a link to join this Zoom Virtual program.

ABC Amigos

Tuesdays from 10:00 – 10:30am

ABC Amigos is a bilingual program to start teaching Spanish to preschoolers. This storytime will be tons of fun with songs, games, activities and stories in both English and Spanish. No prior knowledge of Spanish is necessary. Best for ages 3-5. Please note, this is a virtual program that will be held on Facebook. You can access the program by visiting https://www.facebook.com/cheshirelibrary and clicking on the “live” tab. You may register to receive an email reminder.

Mad Science

  • Wacky Water (Grades K-2): Wednesday, July 22, 2:00 – 3:00pm
  • Kitchen Chemistry (Grades 3-6): Thursday, July 30, 2:00 – 3:00pm
  • Bugs (Grades K-2): Friday, July 31, 2:00 – 3:00pm

A series of fun science themed programs for two age groups, grades K-2 and 3-6.  Please register for each session individually, through our Event Calendar. Registered participants will receive a link to join the program in Zoom.

Lunchtime Sing-along

Start your afternoon on a good note with a family-friendly lunchtime sing-along! Listen in and sing along to storytime favorites with Miss Andrea, Miss Lauren, and Miss Ali!There are two options to view: either join us on Zoom (link in the program description on our Event Calendar or watch us on Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/cheshirelibrary/

Food Explorers

Join Registered Dietitian, Katie, from Food Explorers will show young chefs how to make some homemade pasta, and make and bake homemade bagels with a twist!!   Please register through our Event Calendar to see what ingredients you will need for each program. Registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting link one hour prior to the start of the program.

Sing Your Story

Friday, July 17, 2020, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Sing Your Story is an education music experience where kids become songwriters! Creator, Michele Urban, is an Early Childhood Music specialist, songwriter and vocal performer. She combines music and language instruction to help kids tell their story through song lyrics. Best for children in grades K-6. Please register for this virtual program to receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the program start time.

Family Jamboree with Liz McNicholl

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 10:00 – 11:00am

During this fun interactive concert for ages, Liz McNicholl from Musical Folk leads the audience in drumming while she plays on a wide range of musical instruments including guitar, ukulele, banjo, and a traditional Irish drum. There are two options to view: either join us on Zoom (link on our Event Calendar) or watch us on Facebook Live.

Virtual Books Over Coffee

Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. We will meet over Zoom for our July meeting. This month’s book is The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Registration is required. Multiple copies of the e-book or eaudio will be made available to download on Overdrive/Libby for 1 Day ONLY on Monday July 6 from 8:00am-9:00pm.  If you register after July 6 you will be able to participate in the discussion but multiple copies of the book will no longer be available to download from Cheshire Library.

Author Talk with Deborah Vadas Levison

Thursday, July 30, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Join award-winning author Deborah Levison for the true story of her family’s discovery of a gruesome crime and of surviving the Holocaust. Her presentation is based on her debut book The Crate, an account of her parents’ ordeals, both in one of the darkest times in world history and in their present-day lives. Registration is required, registered participants will receive an email with a Zoom link on the day of the program.