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

Welcome to fall!  In October we’re meditating, gaming, cooking, and getting in the Halloween spirit as we continue our virtual programming for all ages. There are even some live animals to see this month! Check our Event Calendar to see more and register for our programs.

Book Buzz Teen Book Club – pick up Alice by Heart this month!

Our new teen book club meets next month, and for our first book we’ll be talking about Alice by Heart by Steven Sater. Teens can pick up a copy at the Children’s Desk, or by calling the Children’s Desk (at 272-2245 x 33003) to schedule a Grab n Go pickup. Don’t forget to register to join the book club on Zoom November 18!

Support Through Meditation – Weekly Zoom Event

Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:00pm

This introductory meditation class is geared towards helping you through these anxious and challenging times. You will learn various meditation techniques that you will practice in session and guidance to perform meditation on your own. Presenter Tia Mandrozos will explain the purpose of meditation and interact with the participants to provide the help needed and to address specific concerns. Please register via the Event Calendar for each session you wish to attend.

Kids Cook Dinner

Wednesdays, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Spend some quality time with your children in the kitchen while encouraging them to try new foods! An instructor from Food Explorers will show kids 7-14 how to prepare a delicious meal for the whole family!  Registration is required, and the  ingredients needed for each program can be found on the Event Calendar listing.

Spirits of the World

Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Dustin Pari from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International shares some of his favorite stories from investigations in Irish castles, French chateaus, Australian prisons, and more! Grab your passport and prepare for a fun and frightening journey! Registration is required, registered participants will receive a link on Oct. 7 to join the Zoom virtual program.

Christine’s Critters

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Learn about birds of prey and reptiles with a virtual visit from live animal ambassadors! All ages are welcome to attend. Please register in advance to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event.

Before Salem: Witch Hunting in CT

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Decades before the Salem Witch trials, 11 people were hanged as witches in the Connecticut River Valley. Dr. Richard Ross will present his acclaimed book and discuss new information his research has uncovered regarding Connecticut’s witch hunting history. Please register in advance to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event.

Switch it up at CPL! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

2:00 – 3:00pm:

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2020
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020

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, all skill levels welcome! No registration required, instructions on our Event Calendar for how to join. For teens in grades 6-12.  A Nintendo Online Account required to connect with others and play online.

Baby Playgroup on Zoom

Tuesdays, October 20 – November 17, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

For babies ages 0-12 months and their caregivers,  this program provides an opportunity to strengthen your connection with your child and enriches your baby’s cognitive development through joyful movement and social experiences.  We will meets five times,  you only need to register once to attend all five classes. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the morning of each program.

Preschool Storytime

Wednesdays, October 21 & 28, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

A virtual storytime for preschoolers to learn through talking, singing, reading, writing,and playing! Best for children ages 3-5, younger and older siblings are also welcome. This program meets four times: October 21 & 28 and November 4 & 18, (there will be no storytime on November 11). Register once to attend all four sessions. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the morning of each program.

Spooktacular Storytelling (dramatic reading)

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join us for master storyteller Christian Hege as he delights us with a Spooktacular storytelling.  Hear Christian tell the tales of:

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow based on the story by Washington Irving
  • Josh: a Werewolf Story (original story)
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe

Registration in advance is required to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event. Please note this program is intended for adults. 

Virtual Books Over Coffee: The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Wednesday, October 28, 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 Oct. meeting. This month’s book is The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. Please register in advance, registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting link on the day of the program.

Witches in CT

Thursday, October 29, 2020, 6:30 – 7:45pm

The trials and executions of witches in Connecticut predated the more famous Salem witch panic by over 40 years. Hear the stories of some of the women and men accused, tried, and executed as witches and learn how Connecticut successfully controlled the spread of witch accusations long before Salem erupted in panic and violence. Please register in advance to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event.

Outside Book Groups

Art Book Discussion: The Lost Painting

Friday, October 16, 2020, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Do you love to read? And love art? Let’s discuss! Join us for a monthly book club discussion on the third Friday of each month from 11am to 12:30pm in a Zoom Virtual meeting.  This month’s discussion is on The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr. Please register for this program online, registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: The Widows of Malabar Hill

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Do you like to read and talk about mysteries? Then join us for monthly book discussions, fresh perspectives, new authors and a friendly atmosphere!  We are meeting virtually via Zoom. This month’s discussion is on The Widows of Malabar Hill: A Perveen Mistry Novel (Book 1) by Sujata Massey. Please register for this program online, registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

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 at Cheshire Library (virtually) in May

Greetings from isolation! We hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. The library building may be closed, but our staff has been working remotely on some pretty great “virtual” programs for the month of May. You’ll find events for kids, teens, and adults on our Event Calendar – we hope to see some familiar faces and some new friends joining us!

Jackbox Games with Zoom

Mondays, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Looking for ways to connect with friends? Tired of only talking to your pet all day? Let’s play a Jackbox Party Pack! Fibbage, Drawful and more!Please register through our Event Calendar, and we will email you before start time with a link to join this Zoom Virtual program. THEN go to https://jackbox.tv/ on your mobile device, enter the 4-letter Room Code, your name, and click PLAY! For grades 6-12.

Virtual Cheshire Anime Club

Fridays, 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! 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 through our Event Calendar, and we will email you before start time with a link to join this Zoom Virtual program. For grades 7-12.

Virtual Storytime

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 10:00 -10:30am

The library might be closed, but storytime is still on! Join us virtually for interactive songs, stories, and other fun activities for little ones with Miss Ali (Tues), Miss Andrea (Wed) and Miss Lauren (Thurs). No registration required, click the link in our Event Calendar to join the fun!

Support Through Meditation

Tuesdays 2:00 – 3:00pm

This introductory meditation class presented by Tia Mandrozos is geared towards helping you through these anxious and challenging times. You will learn various meditation techniques that you will practice in session and guidance to perform meditation on your own. Please register via our Event Calendar. Registered participants will receive an email link to attend the day of the program.

Switch it up with CPL!

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, (check Event Calendar for dates and times)

Teens: add us on  Nintendo Switch and let’s play! Our Friend Code is: SW-2591-8360-3045 under CheshirePL. We’re playing Animal Crossing on Tuesdays, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Wednesdays, and Thursday games are TBA. No registration required! Info on how to join in is on our Event Calendar. For grades 6-12. (A Nintendo Online Account required to connect with others and play online.)

Organizing Your Photos

Thursday, May 7, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Are your printed photos hiding in boxes, drawers, and closets all around your house?  You aren’t alone!  Cathi Nelson, author of Photo Organizing Made Easy: Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed will share her top tips on ways to bring your photos and their stories back into your life. Please register via our Event Calendar. Registered participants will receive an email link to attend the day of the program.

Creating Musical Readers: Listen to My Trumpet!

Monday, May 11, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

Musicians from the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra will read Listen to My Trumpet! by Mo Willems and use a trumpet to bring the story to life! Children will be shown the different parts of a trumpet and learn how it works. Best for ages 3 & up. Advance registration required. You will receive a link via email for the Zoom meeting prior to the event. If you would like to ask the performer questions, you can send questions to cplkids@cheshirelibrary.org. Please include your name and age.

Food Explorers

Join Katie, Registered Dietitian from Food Explorers for a fun virtual baking program for ages 7-12. Parental help may be needed for some steps, ingredients listed on the registration page. Registration through our Event Calendar is required  (1 registration per device), registered participants will receive a link to the Zoom meeting before the program.

Virtual Author Talk: A Fatal Finale

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Local author Kathleen Marple Kalb will explain how her career in radio news inspired her to write A FATAL FINALE, the first in a Gilded Age mystery series featuring a swashbuckling mezzo-soprano who sings male roles. She’ll also share some fun facts from the period, and shed a little light on some unexpected corners of Old New York. Please register via our Event Calendar. Registered participants will receive an email link to attend the day of the program.

Organizing & Decluttering Your Life

Thursday, May 14, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Jan Blatrush, professional organizer and creator of FindYourStuffCT.com will teach you the tools to get organized.  Jan will help you tame the paper piles and organize your closets, kitchens, garages and home offices. Please register via our Event Calendar. Registered participants will receive an email link to attend the day of the program.

Creating Musical Readers: Trombone Shorty

Friday, May 22, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

Join us virtually as musicians from the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra read Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews and use a trombone to bring the story to life! Children will be shown the different parts of a trombone and learn how it works. Best for ages 3 & up. Advance registration required. You will receive a link via email for the Zoom meeting prior to the event. If you would like to ask the performer questions, you can send questions to cplkids@cheshirelibrary.org. Please include your name and age.

Virtual Trivia

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all For Pride, Not Prize. Please register starting May 14 via our Event Calendar. Registered participants will receive an email link to attend the day of the program.

What’s up all you cool cats and kittens? Books for those craving more Tiger King!

You, like many others across the world, just finished watching Tiger King. The Netflix docuseries just launched on March 20th, and it’s already taken the world by storm. The series received acclaim from critics, and according to Nielsen ratings, was watched by 34.3 million people over its first ten days of release, ranking as one of Netflix’s most successful releases to date.

The series follows the larger than life character Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, and his sprawling zoo, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. Joe has quite the history, with the law and with other big-cat owners. He twice unsuccessfully ran for public office, first for President of the United States in 2016 as an independent, and then for Governor of Oklahoma in 2018 as a Libertarian. In 2019, Maldonado-Passage was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse (eight violations of the Lacey Act and nine of the Endangered Species Act) and two counts of murder for hire, for a plot to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO, Carole Baskin. He is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison.

It doesn’t seem like reality until you’re watching it unfold in front of your eyes, and like some terrible fire, you can’t pull your eyes away from the madness. There are no “characters” you can root for, except for the cats. As a true crime lover, I felt myself wanting more after the credits rolled! Instead of digging deeper into the depths of Netflix, I decided to do some digging through the libraries’ digital collections to satisfy my craving for tiger true crime mania.

Due to the fact that the library is closed at this time, we’re recommending books and audiobooks that are accessible through the libraries’ digital services, including RBdigital, Libby, and Overdrive. If you need help accessing these services, help is available on our website, and librarians are available by phone remotely. Call 203-272-2245 and leave a message. Someone will get back to you shortly! 

First up is The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers by Bryan Christy. The book is described as “The Sopranos of Snakes”, focused on the fascinating account of a father and son family business suspected of smuggling reptiles, and the federal agent who tried to take them down. If you’re looking for more animal justice and federal takedowns, then The Lizard King is the perfect fit. The audiobook and ebook are available online through RBdigital.

Next is a little bit more fanciful, but showcases a star tiger, Richard Parker. Life of Pi is a classic, and mixes fantasy and dangerous reality into a beautiful story, in which you can’t quite tell reality from fiction (much like tiger king, is this guy real life?) The story’s back cover states: ” Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. ” The story is an escape from reality all of us could use right now. The audiobook and ebook are available online through RBdigital. 

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt is a true crime classic, covering art dealings, murder and mystery, all in the deep south. It includes the same courtroom drama that was brought to life in Tiger King. The book is described as: ” Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.” Another classic worth checking out from our digital collections, available online as an audiobook through RBdigital, and ebook through Overdrive.

If you spent the whole documentary wishing they’d focus more on the tigers less on the mullets, then The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus could be your fit. Written by Jacques Cousteau, an author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water, the book “weaves gripping stories of his adventures throughout, he and coauthor Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the world’s oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith”. It’s a heartfelt tale which inspires us to do better, and be better for our planet, and the animals we share it with. It’s available online as an audiobook through RBdigital.

“A man is killed for his prized pet fish” Whaaaaaat? That first line hooked me right away on The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story Of Power, Obsession, And The World’s Most Coveted Fish“A tycoon buys a single specimen for $150,000. Meanwhile, a pet detective chases smugglers through the streets of New York. Delving into an outlandish realm of obsession, paranoia, and criminality, The Dragon Behind the Glass tells the story of a fish like none other” This book follows tiger kings footsteps in chasing animal smugglers throughout the globe, all for the very expensive, very lucrative, animal black market. Download the audiobook through RBdigital.

Looking for more? Here are a few more titles available through RBDigital, Overdrive and Libby for your phone, tablet, or computer!