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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Extraordinary Playfulness of the English Language

(Or, what is the difference between "continual" and "continuous?"*)
The Wallingford Public Library hired Dan McDonnell in 2014 as a "security monitor." This means that his primary job is to keep tabs on the general safety of the patrons, the staff and the library building itself. Over the years, Dan has been drawn into what he calls "other duties as assigned." In Dan's case, this has included fixing the 3D printer, painting picture frames, assembling furniture, tuning a ukulele and other odd jobs.  One time he was asked to help Santa Claus put on his boots!

Starting at the beginning of 2018, Dan added a new "other duty" to his roster, albeit a temporary one. He started stocking a quadrant of the Staff Picks display in the North Main Book Nook. And as you will learn from the following blog post, Dan is absolutely captivated by the English language. Read on...

When I was much younger I had a deep love of reading that was eroded by t…

Thursday Night Book Club -- January, 2018

On the evening of a very cold January 18th, the Thursday Night Book Club gathered to discuss Annie Proulx's Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning novel The Shipping News. Set on the rugged Newfoundland coast, The Shipping News is "an account of a few years in the life of Quoyle," a 36-year old third-rate newspaperman and father of two young daughters who is married to a woman who treats him like dirt and cheats on him regularly. When his parents die and his wife is killed in a car crash, Quoyle's Aunt Agnis convinces him to uproot himself and his daughters and return with her to their ancestral home in Newfoundland. There, he gets a job writing the shipping news for The Gammy Bird, the local paper. Quoyle makes mistake after mistake in trying to establish a new life, but as he and his family settle into the small fishing community of Killick Claw, he grows as a father, as a friend and as a man. We meet a fabulous cast of characters, and each one of them has…

One Book One Wallingford 2018

If you visited the library on Wednesday January 10th, you were treated to an unexpected sight as you walked past the Circulation Desk and towards the computers, DVDs and books.  Instead of the usual round bookcase, stocked with books in a themed display (most recently, novels that take place in or are otherwise about winter), you would have seen a strange, octagon-shaped structure covered in a sheet and wrapped in caution tape.


You might have been tempted to sneak a peek under the sheet to try to find out what was hidden on the display. And over the course of the day, several people did try to lift up the bottom of the sheet to peer underneath, but no one was able to find out what was stocked on the display until shortly after 7:00 Wednesday evening, when the book choice for the inaugural One Book One Wallingford extravaganza was revealed.

A One Book One Town event is the general term for a community reading program that attempts to get everyone in the same city or town to read the s…

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

For those of us whose reading interests tend towards literary fiction, the disparity that often exists between book publication dates in the United States and in the United Kingdom can be a source of frustration. Some of you may remember, for example, that the first several Harry Potter books were published in the UK many months before they were released in the US. This caused significant consternation on our side of the pond, and the parents of middle grade and YA readers started to pay extra to get the UK version shipped over before the books were available at home. Needless to say, this displeased the series' US publisher, and the publication of the later books in the series took place at midnight on the same day in both countries.

But the disparity in publication dates remains for many other novels. Winter, the second novel in Ali Smith's planned seasonal quartet, was published in the UK in November, but its US publication date is today. The Dark Angel, the next installme…

Traveling with Books

A new year brings many new things. We have to learn to write 2018 instead of 2017, for example. We may or may not be trying to live under a fresh set of resolutions. This year, we have a brand new set of tax laws to learn. And we have a fresh crop of staff members stocking the North Main Book Nook Staff Picks display. Each of the four people filling the display with his or her favorite books, movies and music will be writing one (or more) blog posts for North Main Book Notes. We kick off 2018 with a post from Sunnie Scarpa, the tireless, endlessly creative Head of Children's Services at the library:

Years ago, a friend asked me for book recommendations for a trip he was going on (when you are a Librarian, you are never NOT a Librarian). He was looking for something very specific -- works of narrative non fiction set in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, preferably by a local author. It took a little digging, but I did find him the perfect books, and he came back raving about how muc…