Hometown Famous

Whether you’ve lived here a short time or half a century, Cheshire can seem like a sleepy, quiet little town, without much going for it beyond being close to most of the state’s highways. Settled in 1694 as part of Wallingford, Cheshire broke away to become a separate town in 1780 – eight years before Connecticut would ratify the Constitution to become the fifth state of a brand-new nation. Between the Grange Fair, Strawberry Festival, and the annual Memorial Day Parade, sometimes it feels like we haven’t changed much since then. We’re a small town that doesn’t attract a lot of attention.

Or do we? Little Cheshire seems to be a hotbed for creating artists, writers, actors, athletes, celebrities, and more.

If you read the signs as you pass in and out of town, you’ll know that we’re the “Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut” – our multiple large farms and greenhouses grow and distribute flower-bed plants to stores and markets throughout the state. You’ve probably passed by the Foote House on West Main Street – Samuel Foote was the 28th Governor of Connecticut, born the year Cheshire became a town. In 1823, Amos B. Alcott, born in Wolcott, became a teacher in Cheshire – his daughter Louisa May would go on to find greater fame.

Yeah, yeah, but those aren’t people *I* would know.

Then let’s look at some of our locals and graduates whose names are known not just in town. You have certainly heard of some of them! I know I’ve gone to school with a few, or their siblings.

     – as well as several scientists and economists and inventors. With such a rich, diverse list of accomplished graduates and residents, remember to support educational opportunities in town, especially arts and sports! Even if all you do is look at a school art show, or check a book out from the library.  Take an art class. Take a writing class. Check out the wide range of programs at the library or Adult Education. It’s never too late to start. You never know when the next star will appear!

If I’ve missed you, I apologize, our space is limited, and there are MULTITUDE of artists and authors in Cheshire!

 

What is the Next Book in This Series?

whats-nextIt is extremely frustrating to read a book only to discover it is part of a series, and there is no clear list of reading order. While some series are loosely tied together and allow for skipping around and reading out of order, others can only be fully enjoyed when read in order. To help ease your frustration, I am going to share the tools that I use to help determine the correct reading order. There are several routes to find the answer to this question, some are simple and easy, others require a little work.

The first way to find the answer of reading order is to find the author’s website. Many internet savvy authors, or their publishers, maintain websites with series listings in order and, in the case of multiple series, the suggested reading order for everything. Not all authors do this, but some have very helpful lists to help out their readers. Many include printable lists so you can easily keep track of titles you have read and what you should read next.

Some examples of authors that offer comprehensive lists or tools on their websites to find the reading order include Nora Roberts, Gail Carriger, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, and many more. I highly suggest checking with the author’s website first before branching out and trying other avenues, because who better to explain the best reading order than the person that wrote them?

goodrdsIf the author fails you, do not lose heart! My second choice for series order, and further reading suggestions, is Goodreads. If you search for a book title, Goodreads will give you a wonderful amount of information. On the book’s page you can follow links to the author page or a list of book in that series (both published and sometimes books that have not been released yet) in order. The bonus is you get suggestions for books that might appeal to you because some authors list what they are currently reading or their own recommendations. For instance, on the author page for one of my current favorites, Maria V. Snyder, you can see her books listed by series, in order, and what she is currently reading.

There are also a few websites dedicated to helping readers find the next book in a series, or the complete reading order of any given series.  One website that I often use is well titled as: Book Series in Order which you can search by author or character name.  Order of Books is a second site that can help you find the reading order of different authors and series. This site allows you to search by author or main character. If you are looking specifically for children’s series check out Juvenile Series and Sequels, and if you need young adult series listings I would suggest using Series and Sequels. whats-next-in-series1

If  you still are not sure about the series order of the books you are reading or want to read, please stop in and visit our Welcome Desk or give  the library a call. We are here to help.

The World’s Least Known Endangered Animal

Do you know what a pangolin is? It’s an adorable little creature that is native to areas of Africa and Asia. It looks a little like an armadillo with similar keratin-based scales. They eat mainly ants and termites and roll up in a ball when they feel threatened. They are odd little guys, with tongues that can actually be longer than their body when full extended, which I suppose is extremely helpful when hunting termites.
pangolin4 Alamy Submission January 2013

pangolinIt is also one of the world’s must hunted and illegally trafficked animals on Earth. This one small animal current makes up 20 percent of the black market involving wildlife.  For more information on this oddly adorable creature take a look at Save Pangolins and the dedicated page on the World Wildlife Federation website.  You can also see some children’s books that include the creatures like Roly Poly Pangolin by Anna Dewdney and What on Earth is a Pangolin? by Edward R. Ricciuti.

The third Friday in February has been named World Pangolin Day to help raise awareness and conservation efforts of this endangered animal. This year it falls on February 18th. People are encouraged to recognize the day by sharing information about the pangolin and to help raise awareness about the danger the entire species is in. I think that is a wonderful idea, but we can take it a step further by learning more about a variety of threatened animals.

Sadly, there are many animals out there that are endangered or threatened that people are unaware of, unless they go looking for the information or stumble across it accidentally. That is how I found out about the pangolin. This in turn made me think about the number of animals and insects that make their way on to the endangered or extinct list every year and what can be done to stop (or at least slow) the process.

pangolinwolfThankfully, more and more information is available about animals at risk, and what we can do to help. This is particularly true with children’s books. There are several publishers making an effort to raise interest and awareness. National Geographic has an entire series of books about making a mission of protecting at risk areas. Thus far we have the books: Mission: Tiger Rescue, Mission: Wolf Rescue, Mission: Elephant Rescue, Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue, Mission: Polar Bear Rescue , Mission: Shark Rescue, Mission: Panda Rescue, and Mission: Lion Rescue.

pangolinbatsAuthor Sandra Markle has also research and written several books about creatures that are at risk. So far we have: The Case of the Vanishing Honey Bees , The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats , The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs, The Great Monkey Rescue: Saving the Golden Lion Tamarins, and The Great Leopard Rescue: Saving the Amur Leopards.

While there are many more animals at risk out there, these books are a great way to dive into the information and get kids interested in helping animals, both in our backyard and miles away.

Save

Save

Save

Anti-Valentines Day Viewing

As Valentines Day looms closer many are feeling the pressure to plan the perfect date, find the perfect gift, or find a way to express their feelings towards that special someone. Others are firmly enjoying their single hood. Some are wishing they could find their perfect match or grieving the loss of someone. And then there are those of us, regardless of relationship status, that are just not into grand displays and all the mushy stuff that comes with the holidays. Regardless, as wonderful as this day can be for some lucky folks, for others it can be a depressing nightmare, or just another day. No matter what camp you find yourself in, finding a book to read or movie to watch that is not all sunshine and roses can be hard, particularly this time of year.valday1

Here are some movies that can be enjoyed by anyone who does not need or want a sappy love story for Valentine’s day but would rather enjoy something distinctly anti-Valentine’s Day.

Ruby Sparks
Struggling with writer’s block and a lackluster love life, p9165539_p_v8_abonce-famous novelist Calvin creates a beautiful fictitious character named Ruby who inspires him. But not only does this bring his work to life–it also brings Ruby to life–literally! Face-to-face with an actual relationship with his once-virtual girlfriend, Calvin must now decide whether to pen this love story or let it write itself.

Happy-Go-Lucky
Poppy is a life-loving and irrepressibly cheerful primary valdayhglschool teacher. She is thirty years old, single, and infinitely optimistic and accepting. She lives with her best friend and flatmate Zoe in London. She is tested by a repressed driving instructor with anger problems, and, in turn, she decides to test him. She has exciting flamenco lessons, an encounter with a homeless man, an argument with her pregnant sister, and a love-affair with the social worker guiding one of her students.

John Tucker Must Dievaldayjohn
When the class-overachiever, the head cheerleader, and the vegan lover discover they’re all dating the same guy – namely the star basketball player John Tucker – the girls decide to recruit a bashful new girl named Kate to become the ideal girl to break Tucker’s bad boy heart. But as Kate uses the girls’ combined wiles to lure Tucker, his interest gives her a social standing she’s never had before. But the intoxicating experience may cost her a chance at honest love with another boy.

Lars and the Real Girlvaldaylars
Lars is a sweet but shy guy who has a hard time talking with his family, coworkers, and neighbors. Although his family fears the worst when Lars brings home Bianca, a life-sized companion doll whom he thinks is a real girlfriend, a doctor encourages them to play along with him so that he can work through his delusions. The whole community rallies to his support, and Lars begins to deal with all of his emotions. He even begins to develop feelings for Margo, an attractive co-worker, in what becomes a hilariously unique love triangle.valday500

(500) Days of Summer
For Tom, it was love at first sight when Summer Finn, the new administrative assistant, walked into the greeting card company where he worked.  Soon, Tom knows that Summer is the woman with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life. Although Summer doesn’t believe in relationships or boyfriends, Tom and Summer become more than just friends.

How to Be Single
A young woman searches for love in New York City in this romantic comedy based on the novel by Liz Tuccill.

Looking for more movies to binge watch this holiday or to just enjoy without all the sappy love? Here are some more distinctly anti-Valentine’s Day movies that you might enjoy; Muriel’s WeddingThe Break-up, Fried Green TomatoesSwimfan, Baby Mama, Under the Tuscan SunThe Shining, High FidelityShame , Young Adam , Think Like a Man, Blue Valentine , Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Mystic Pizza , Jeff Who Lives at HomeMy Bloody Valentine, and Thelma & Louise.