Monday, March 23, 2015

The Princess Bride - As I Wished It

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the March 26, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


My daughters were very young when the film version of The Princess Bride released in October of 1987. It had a Motion Picture Association of America rating of PG which warned that it might contain material that parents would not want for young audiences. A Parental Guidance rating usually means bad language, violence or frightening scenes not recommended for young children. And there might be kissing, of course.

And so, a PG rating meant that the little girls in my family – and we adults, too – missed the experience entirely in the late 1980s. My daughters undoubtedly watched the video as they grew up when it was earning its cult-following (after its widespread VHS release in the 1990s.) We rented plenty of videos at our local video store. I have vague recollections of watching some scenes in the movie as I busily moved through the room of giggling sleepover girls who were now pre-teens, ready for sword fighting, bad language and kissing.
     
I finally watched The Princess Bride this weekend in its entirety, in one sitting.  I now totally regret that I waited 27 years to do so.
   
The movie is full of amazingly funny scenes and has a fairytale of a cast.  It is Robin Wright’s debut performance as Princess Buttercup (several years before her epic role in Forrest Gump.) Comic Mandy Patinkin, hilarious Wallace Shawn, cute Fred Savage (later of The Wonder Years) and handsome Cary Elwes are other stars. One of the world’s favorite actors, the late Andre the Giant, stars as Fezzik. Sadly, this was six years before his death in 1993.) Another favorite, Peter Falk, plays the grandfather. Billy Crystal has a hilarious performance under mountains of makeup that transform his younger face into that of Miracle Max.
    
The Princess Bride is a story within a story, and it is based upon the book within a book by William Goldman. The whole title, The Princess Bride – S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the Good Parts Version is meant to be confusing. The ruse is that there is no author named S. Morgenstern, who wrote this classic tale. It claims to be an abridgment which is merely a device used by Goldman to speed up some parts. “Flash forward,” he writes, in the story.
  
In the story, Goldman, as the narrator, recalls that as a young boy he returned home from a 10-day stay in the hospital with the pneumonia. His father comes in to say good night, sits on the edge of his bed with a book, and begins to read Chapter 1: The Bride. Wait! “"Has it got any sports in it?" he cries?  Oh yes. “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love,” his father replies.
    
Of course, this is where the fun begins in the film when a young boy (an unnamed grandson, played by 11-year old Fred Savage) is very skeptical. Peter Falk plays the grandfather who begins to read his sick-in-bed grandson a story called The Princess Bride, a book that certainly sounds like a fairytale which must be full of love, romance, girls, and kissing. Ick!  Grandfather Falk promises it is full of adventure, intrigue, kidnapping, sword fighting, action, pirates, thievery, and killing. And, yes. There will be kissing, he admits.   
    
The Princess Bride (the book, that is) is usually shelved in the teen (or young adult) collection in libraries. That said, the literary device, satire, and comedy is not lost on adults. It’s a laugh-out-loud appreciation that makes both the book and the movie so fun.
    
Which brings us to Rob Reiner, director extraordinaire and king of comedic romances. Carl Reiner, a friend of the William Goldman, apparently gave Reiner the 1973 book while they were filming All in the Family.  Genius that he is, Reiner apparently knew it would make a great movie.  IMDB.com (The Internet Movie Database) has a list of great trivia about the making of the film, and it includes the story that Rob Reiner became nauseated while watching Billy Crystal acting as Miracle Max. It’s hardly far-fetched because that is a terrifically funny scene.
    
Another significant source of Princess Bride trivia is a website entirely devoted to it. PrincessBrideForever.com includes the very best of film clips, especially the much-loved Battle of the Wits (which I admit I had seen before.) There are also more than enough links to trivia quizzes across the Internet and an online store called “Tweasure.”
    
The treasure trove of stories about the film, however, did not appear until last October 2014 with the publication of “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride” by Cary Elwes who played Westley, the hero who outwits them all and saves Buttercup from a disastrous marriage to an evil prince. It’s a behind-the-scenes story which, inconceivably (but understandably) takes a whole book to tell.
    
Once you’ve seen the movie, of course, the terms familiar to The Princess Bride worshippers make sense. “Inconceivable,” “as you wish,” “tweasure,” “mawwidge” and “I am Inigo Montoya” are hilarious moments during the first viewing in the film.  Inconceivably, they become more and more laughable every time. Trust me on this.
   
A 25th anniversary edition of The Princess Bride was published in 1998, and an illustrated version was published in 2013. Minuteman Libraries have copies of all of them, including the original book published in 1973.  Author Goldman also wrote The Marathon Man (the film version was released in 1976) and he wrote the screenplays for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), All the President’s Men (1976) and Stephen King’s bestselling thrillers, Misery (1990) and Dreamcatcher (2003). 
    
Minuteman libraries also have multiple copies of the film on DVD and the 25th anniversary version contains tons of extras including commentary by Reiner and side stories about the acting, the fencing, the make-up, and the fairy tale.

    
Don’t wait to watch this kid’s film. It’s just as funny, if not more amusing, for adults. Or read the book (also available on audio CD) which includes the hysterical and very original satire. Trust me on this.  But. There will be kissing.            

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Husband is a Tapeworm

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the March 19, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

It is almost a foregone conclusion that most librarians are prolific readers and often surround themselves with others of a similar persuasion. From my experience, a love of reading is often passed down through the generations, so readers often come from families of bookworms. Additionally, many librarians seem to choose partners that share their passion for the written word.

I have bucked these trends. While my mother, sister, and I are passionate readers, my dad does not even pretend to understand how reading could be an activity from which anyone could derive pleasure. Similarly, my husband, Andy, is not a reader.

Andy rarely enjoyed reading as a child and school often felt like a chore to him, if not an outright punishment. He is incredibly bright and sees things with immediate clarity. His mind just moves faster than the action written on the page. In short, reading often bores him.

Inactivity also drives Andy nuts. If we were to rewrite the punishments endured in Dante's Circles of Hell tailored to my husband’s dislikes, sitting down to read for an extended period of time would be the penalty in Andy’s 8th Circle of Hell. The punishment for ending up in the 9th Circle would be sitting in eternal traffic. Therefore, it is easy to understand my shock when Andy asked me to find a few audiobooks for him to listen to in the car now that he drives to work more often than he used to.

I have always had a long commute, so I am used to “reading”  by listening to audio books borrowed from the library and have my favorite genres and narrators. I began racking my brain for the best titles to get Andy started. I knew that if I chose the wrong books, he may abandon the idea.

I always wished that I could share the books that that bring me so much joy with my husband. This was my chance, so I chose some safe bets. Andy loves sports, so “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown was a no brainer. “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand combines athletics, war stories, and action/adventure- perfect. Fiction was harder. I finally settled on “The Art Forger” by Barbara A. Shapiro. A dear friend had recommended the book to me, and I couldn’t get over how well researched it was and liked the local connection. The Art Forger rounded out my picks.

While I am not certain that audio books have entirely replaced sports’ radio for commuting entertainment, my husband is tearing through them. He gave both “The Boys in the Boat” and “Unbroken” two enthusiastic thumbs up. He is on the final chapters of “The Art Forger” and he is clearly enjoying it, if not as much as the non fiction titles. I am excitedly preparing the next batch, filled with nonfiction by Bill Bryson and Erik Larson.


The humorist David Sedaris once observed, “If a person who constantly reads is labeled a bookworm, then I was quickly becoming what might be called a tapeworm,” in response to listening to books on tape. I think it is safe to say that my husband has officially become a tapeworm, and I could not be more pleased. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Boston's Own Dr. Spock

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the March 12, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


 We’ve all taken our seats at the Mugar Omni Theater at Boston’s Museum of Science and settled in as the lights dim. The first thing we always hear is an explanation of the amazing visual and audio effects with its 180 screens and 360-degree speakers. It begins “this is a test” and during the three-minute introduction we listen to a familiar voice, that of Boston-born Leonard Nimoy. His voice has been testing “who put the bomp in the bomp, she’bomp, she’bomp” since the theater opened in 1987.

Nimoy grew up in Boston’s West End, an area between Beacon Hill and North Station. It was just three blocks from the museum, but sadly his childhood home is no longer there. His neighborhood of Italian and Jewish immigrants was razed to give way to urban renewal in the last half century. Nimoy speaks lovingly of his neighbors and friends and in a commencement speech at Boston University, he recalled trying often to find the spot where he lived on Chambers Street, but to no avail. It’s impossible in this new neighborhood of hospital buildings, parking garages, and high rises.

Nimoy moved to California long ago taking some acting classes at Boston College and deciding that acting was what he wanted to do. Nimoy’s father, a Jewish barber, believed that his son needed to fall back on a skill other than acting.  However, Leonard moved to California long ago after taking some acting classes at Boston College. His passion led eventually to his role as Spock in the three seasons of the original Star Trek series.

While I was never a Star Trek aficionado, I was once married to a Trekkie or Trekker and hence, my daughters were raised on Vulcan milk, so to speak. Reruns of the original series (1966-1969), the six Star Trek films (1979-1991), and all 178 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation were constantly on our television sets. Some of our pets were named after Star Trek characters (Klingon) or actors (Whoopi Goldberg). Starship Enterprise ornaments always hung from the branches of our Christmas trees, and we always teased one of our daughters about her Spock ear – a little sharp point at the top of one of them.

I sometimes blame my non-Trekkie tendencies on the fact that I could never give the Vulcan salute, (with its sentiment “Live Long and Prosper” – that of the four fingers of either hand separated by the middle and ring fingers into a V shape. I always figured this was a gift that one was born with – like being able to roll one’s tongue (a genetic trait).  It certainly is evidence of manual dexterity, and even some of the actors in Star Trek did have to preposition their fingers in the Vulcan salute because, they, like I, can’t seem to manage it.
            
That said, I soaked up Star Trek episodes through osmosis – either by walking through the room where Star Trek episodes or movies were playing  – or by being too lazy to get off the couch when episodes were always, inevitably tuned in. I always had great respect for Spock, half-Vulcan and half-human. Emotionless, yet logical and grounded, Spock had great respect for us, and us for him.
        
What I never knew about Leonard Nimoy, until his death at the age of 83 this past February 27, was that he was also a poet, a photographer, a film director, an author and a recording artist.  A search of the Minuteman Library catalog for Leonard Nimoy results in over 172 hits or thousands of items. These include all of the varied Star Trek movies and TV series, two autobiographies, voice-overs in various documentaries and movies, and his celebrated photographic series, “The Full Body Project” published in 2007. In addition, he wrote several books of poetry and sings baritone on his five pop albums that feature songs like “I Walk the Line” and “Proud Mary.”
           
I didn’t realize that in addition to directing two of the Star Trek films (III: The Search for Spock in 1984 and IV: The Voyage Home in 1986), he also directed Three Men and a Baby (1987) and The Good Mother (1988). Before creating his role as Spock in, he acted in television shows that include the gamut of popular television in the 50s and 60s: Dragnet, Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt, Wagon Train, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Virginian, Get Smart, Man from U.N.C.L.E. and dozens more.  He did voice overs for half a century, and after he had retired from Spock, he continued acting in television series such as The Fringe and The Big Bang Theory.
            
In 1975, Nimoy wrote his first autobiography, I Am Not Spock. It was partially an attempt to separate himself from the Spock role. In his second memoir, I Am Spock published twenty years later in 1995, he explained that he loved playing Spock and was very proud of it.
            
Nimoy’s long and productive life is to be admired. After taking those summer classes at Boston College after high school, Nimoy studies photography at UCLA.  He earned a master’s degree in education at Antioch University in Austin, Texas. Boston University and Antioch College both conferred Nimoy with honorary doctorate degrees. He wrote and spoke fluent Yiddish. Nimoy was much beloved by his five grandchildren. In 2009, another beloved Boston resident, Mayor Tom Menino, proclaimed November 14, 2009 as Leonard Nimoy Day in the City of Boston. He will always ‘live long and prosper’ in the hearts of Trekkies everywhere, especially in his hometown of Boston.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Winter of My Discontent

Librarian April Cushing is head of Adult and Information Services at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the March 5, 2015 issue of the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin.


If you were to pick one title to sum up this much-maligned season, Hugo’s “Les Miserables” might come to mind. Or maybe “The Winter of Our Discontent.” I was pretty sure Shakespeare first penned those immortal words but to be sure, I did what any good Reference Librarian would do: I googled it. So begins the tragedy “Richard III”: “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York.” I wondered if the future sovereign had survived a tough winter himself back in 1471 before “snow events” become commonplace, so I read on. It seems Will was waxing more metaphorical than meteorological.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sweet Land - Tale from the Heartland

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the February 27, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

With the exception of a few years I spent living in such exotic places as Texas and Ireland, I spent the other 60 years of my life making my home on either the west or east coasts of the United States. I’ve lived within a drive to an ocean and sometimes had a bird’s eye view of a bay.

What about spacious skies, fruited plains, and waves of grain and the landscapes of The Great American Midwest? Besides a very quick drive (mostly at night) through the uppermost United States, the tall grasses of the prairies and the little houses in the big woods were simply foreign to me.
 
It wasn’t until I was fortunate enough in college to have a terrific American Lit professor that I was introduced to the short stories of Willa Cather. As it was a survey course covering many years, we concentrated on Wharton and Twain, Chopin and Hawthorne. It was the plain and simple language of Cather, however, that drew me in. I did, in fact, compare the grammatical construction of the short stories, “Neighbour Rosicky” by Cather and “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In my estimation, Cather won for the rhythms, the imagery, and emotion of her work.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Prints in the Snow

Read Jean Todesca's column in the February 20, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.

Let’s just say, I live in the woods. Although my home is 17 miles southwest of Boston, you would think I lived in the Maine wilderness. Day to day, I forget the large amount of wildlife that surrounds me. With the current snowstorms that we have experienced, there are reminders everywhere. The many paths the deer created through the snow. The tiny white footprints impressions placed all over my driveway. The mounded tunnels running across the ground.

When my children were young, we identified many animal tracks using library books. We’ve seen deer, squirrel, opossum prints and many more. We watched tunnels develop that were created by voles and squirrels.

Animal tracking is a great outdoor activity for both adults and children. The Children’s Department has books to guide in the identification process. “Who Was Here? Discovering Wild Animal Tracks” by Mia Posada and “Wild Trackers! A Guide to Natures Footprints” by Jim Arnosky are nonfiction titles. “Who’s Been Here? A Tale in Tracks” by Fran Hodgkins and “Tracks in the Snow” by Wong Herbert Yee are picture book titles that will introduce the experience of tracking in story form.

As the animal population changed, I’ve returned to books to help identify coyote and fisher cat prints. As this snowy winter wears on, try animal tracking. You’ll never know what you might find in the “wilds” of Norwood.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Gift You Never Thought to Ask For

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the February 12, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Last summer, we learned that we would be grandparents, again, in early 2015 and it was twins. Two more babies to love! How cool was that!

Early in the fall, our family was told that one of the babies not only had a severe heart defect but that she, our precious new granddaughter-to-be, would be one of the 6,000 babies born each year in the U.S. with Down syndrome.  Her twin and brother would be born “normal.”

Gerry and I were not sure if it was our old-age wisdom, or perhaps simply our unaffected acceptance of any baby to our family, that this child would have lessons, wisdom, and gifts to offer our family.  We were, so-to-speak, grateful just to know that she would be joining our family and we were convinced that all of our family would welcome our granddaughter and grandson with open, loving, and accepting arms.  We felt amazingly blessed with this news.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Answers to the Question Why

Bonnie Wyler is a Literacy/Outreach Librarian at the library. Read Bonnie's column in the February 5, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


I am known in my family of origin as the one who’s always asking questions, and

often too many.  The answer I often got was an exasperated, “WE don’t know!” 

Perhaps that is why I am drawn to books that answer the question “Why?”   Although

I love a good story I can lose myself in, at this point in my life I am more likely to

browse the nonfiction shelves of our library, looking for answers to questions about

health, nutrition, sleep and other quality of life topics.  I’m finding books that address

these questions in depth and satisfy my curiosity in the process.  Two of the topics

I’ve read about recently are memory and sleep.


Like most of us in middle or late middle-age, I wonder what has happened to my

memory.  These days I am making lists like crazy in order to remember important

appointments, errands, and my daily to-do list.  I can’t seem to remember anything for

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Whale of a Tale

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the January 29, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
           Over the recent holiday break, my husband, Gerry, and I toured the New Bedford Whaling Museum on the south coast of Massachusetts.  We’ve developed an appreciation for New Bedford, a city that has been undergoing a cultural Renaissance in recent years - much like that of Providence, RI, and Worcester, MA. New Bedford claims to have had one of the highest per capita incomes in the world during its whaling-capital heyday in the 19th Century.>

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Curing Cabin Fever Blues

Read Jean Todesca's column in the January 22, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.

Oh No! The days are shorter and winter’s cold has settled in.  The kids are getting restless and cranky. It’s time to find cures for “Cabin Fever”. Bundling up everyone and getting some outside activity is an answer, but some days it’s too too cold.

Cure 1. Let’s get moving! The library offers books and DVDs to enhance your fun. The DVDs; “Yogakids” and “Barney. Shake Your Dino Tail!” will get them exercising. “Llama Hoppity Hop”, “From Head to Toe” and Doreen Cronin’s titles “Bounce” and “Stretch” are books you can move to.

Cure 2. How about cooking?  You can eat like a super hero with “The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook” or enjoy cupcakes from the “Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook”.  Why not travel the USA with “The United States Cookbook:Fabulous Foods & Fascinating Facts From All 50

Cure 3. Get crafty!  The Children’s Department offers books covering sewing, papercrafts, knitting and more. Kids can recycle egg cartons, milk jugs, and cardboard tubes. Titles like “Fun Things to Do with Egg Cartons” and “Fun Things to Do With Milk Jugs” have fun ideas. Budding artist will find titles to enhance their skills. Titles include “Oil Paints” by Mari Bolte and “365 Things to Draw & Paint” by Fiona Watt.

Cure 4.  Learn a new game.  The library offers many books that contain instructions for Chess, Minecraft, Checkers, and more.

Cure 5.  Just sink into a good book.  Librarians are here to assist in finding the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winters day.

So, bundle up, stay warm and use the library to help you enjoy our winter season.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Airports: A Local Experience

Victoria Andrilenas is an Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Vicki's column in the January 15, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

My husband and I moved to Norwood a few years ago and have enjoyed learning about the town and community.  One local feature that was a nice surprise for me is Norwood Airport.  I grew up near a small airport and my family has long been interested in aviation and airplanes.  For me the noise of planes flying overhead brings back memories of being out in the backyard during the summer and looking up to see what kind of plane was overhead; one summer there were some gliders which was exciting. 

Many of today’s municipal airports were sites of major events in aviation history and served as training fields during World War I and World War II.   “Norwood: a history” by Patricia Fanning provides some history on the Norwood Airport.  In 1942 a small airfield was approved by the town as the site of the Norwood Airport.  The new airport was used for military training until the end of World War II.  After the war, local aviation company Wiggins Airlines moved their aircraft sales and repairs, and flight lessons from Canton to Norwood and expanded their business to include passenger and cargo operations (150-151).  This past fall the Wings of Freedom tour of historic World War II made its annual stop here on Norwood Day.  College Park Airport in Maryland is considered to be the nation’s longest continuously operating airport and was the site of the Wrights’ early military demonstrations.  Today it has a small museum and is used for general aviation.  Pearson Airfield in Vancouver, WA is part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and was the landing site of the first transpolar flight from Moscow in 1937.  My childhood airport was near several early airplane manufacturers.   Alastair Gordon’s “Naked airport: a cultural history of the world’s most revolutionary structure “examines the history of airports.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year?

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the January 8, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
As the new year blossoms, the trope of New Year's resolutions overwhelm us. We quickly assess our lives and find them lacking just in time for a clean slate. Just like the first fresh page of a new notebook, there's so much opportunity to the new year. Maybe I'll get in shape and lose that weight this year, maybe I'll read "War and Peace," maybe I'll quit smoking, or finally organize my shoe collection. All of these are great ideas but usually by Feb. 1 they end up crumpled in a corner. So how do we make New Year's resolutions stick?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

No Need to Wait for the New Year

Jillian Goss is a graduate student of library science at Simmons College in Boston while she also works as a Library Assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Jillian's column in the January 1, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As the new year blossoms, the trope of New Year's resolutions overwhelm us. We quickly assess our lives and find them lacking just in time for a clean slate. Just like the first fresh page of a new notebook, there's so much opportunity to the new year. Maybe I'll get in shape and lose that weight this year, maybe I'll read "War and Peace," maybe I'll quit smoking, or finally organize my shoe collection. All of these are great ideas but usually by Feb. 1 they end up crumpled in a corner. So how do we make New Year's resolutions stick?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Starting Your Own Book Club

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column in the December 25, 2014 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

At first it might seem intimidating—the idea of starting a book club. After all, there’s a lot to think about, and so many books available to read. Where does one begin?

As you begin to narrow down your options however, you may discover this is the perfect time to organize a club of your own. With four book clubs under my belt, I believe I’m getting the hang of it now. That said, each group is as different as the people and the books that come to the table.

Keeping these seven questions in mind when forming a book club of your own might prove to be beneficial:

1. Why start a book club?
It’s essential to answer this question before you work out all the other details. Initially, there is quite a bit of work that goes into organizing your group. Take a moment to ask yourself how important this venture is to you and why. What do you hope to gain from this endeavor? Of course sharing a love of books is the main reason why most people start a book club. Likewise it’s a way to grow a community, bringing people closer around a theme or book. This is the reason I started two book clubs at different housing facilities in town—with the hope that a community would come together around a book discussion. So far, so good.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Great Gifts - Books!

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the December 11, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Librarians really aren’t against purchasing books. In fact, most librarians have one thing in common – a love of their own collections of books. Becoming a librarian customarily involves working among thousands and thousands of books, all at our fingertips. Owning one of your own, however, makes it even more special.

I adore giving books as gifts. However, I ponder carefully about it, though, because I want to make certain that the book will be treasured. I stay away from fiction unless it’s a classic or for a child because fiction seems so fleeting. I want the recipient of my book to go back to it again and again.

Cookbooks make fabulous gifts and some delicious titles were published this year. Gabrielle Hamilton wrote her memoir, “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef” in 2012. Trained as a writer (she received her MFA) but drawn to serving and cooking food most of her life, Hamilton opened her NY City restaurant, Prune, in 1999. Fifteen years later, she has written the cookbook by the same name. “Prune” is a journey through the recipes of yummy, unfussy, relaxed food that she has served in her 30-seat restaurant. Although Hamilton sensed that her cookbook should be about the food and not her profound philosophies (don’t forget, she already wrote the memoir), she includes annotations and brief commentary along the way. The book is very popular in the Minuteman Library System and copies are repeatedly checked-out in most libraries. It’s a perfect book to add to your favorite cook’s bookshelf.

Contributors to the Morrill Memorial Library "From the Library" Column

Library Director, Charlotte Canelli began writing columns for the Peterborough Transcript in 2001 when she was the Youth Services Librarian at the Peterborough Town Library, 2001-2005. Soon after becoming the director of the Morrill Memorial Library, she began to write weekly columns for the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript. Since February 2009 other Morrill Memorial librarians have written many other columns. They include: April Cushing, Vicki Andrilenas and Liz Reed, Adult and Information Services Librarians; Jean Todesca and Kate Tigue, Children's Librarians; Allison Palmgren, Technology Librarian; Bonnie Warner, Literacy and Outreach Librarian; Diane Phillips, Technical Services Librarian; Norma Logan, Literacy Coordinator; Nancy Ling, Outreach Librarian; Cynthia Rudolph, Graphic Artist and Circulation Assistant; Margaret Corjay, Circulation and Outreach Assistant; Patricia Bailey, Circulation Assistant; retired librarians Hope Anderson, Marie Lydon, Shelby Warner, Margot Sullivan and Tina Blood; previous MML librarians, Beth Goldman, Kelly Unsworth, Brian Samek and Jenna Hecker; and library interns, Samantha Sherburne, Melissa Theroux and Khara Whitney-Marsh.