Bunny Hop Tales: Tales from the Bunny Hop Road

Bunny HopBunnies are a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, as well as of spring. Here on Long Island bunnies abound on the Bunny Hop Road. This is our tribute to the Bunny Hop Road, through photographs of some of our favorite bunnies, along with bunnies from the collections of Ann Caliandro, Penny Murley, and Meredith Sweet, and bunnies featured in books from the Long Island Community Library.

We welcome your stories about the Bunny Hop Road!

Curated by Erin Love and Nancy Noble

Long Island Community Library, Winter-Spring 2016

Favorite books of 2015: a top 10 list

Amidst all the wonderful books I read last year, here are some of my favorites (in somewhat chronological order)

 

A fine romance: falling in love with the English countrysidefine romance

By Susan Branch

Lent to me by my friend, coworker, and kindred spirit, Melissa, reading this book was a great way to start the New Year. This wonderfully illustrated and told story of Susan Branch’s love affair with not only the English countryside but also her husband who she met in her home town on Martha’s Vineyard.

The good braider : a novel

By Terry Farishgood braider

I read this young adult novel for the Maine Historical Society book group about “Home.” This book, written in free verse, tells the story of a young refugee woman from Sudan who is adjusting to life in Portland, Maine. A must read for anyone who lives or works in Portland, to appreciate what some of our fellow Portlanders have gone through to call our fair city home.

 

Under the wide and starry sky: a novel

By Nancy Horanunder the wide and starry sky

This lyrical story, mentioned several times in previous blogs in 2015, about Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny educated me about this author of “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped” in an entertaining way. “Louis” and Fanny travel the world in search of good health (and fodder for stories) for Louis before his early death at the age of 44 in the Samoan Islands.

 

To bless the space between us: a book of invocations and blessings

By John O’Donohueto bless the space between us

I really loved this man’s poetry – so much that I shared “For a new father” with a coworker who had his first child last spring, and “For a new position” with friends who started a new job. Other favorites are for a new home, for the traveler, for marriage, and for work.

 

Hawaii: a novel

By James MichenerHawaii book

This book, which I bought for myself on my birthday at an antique store, took up several months of my summer, in anticipation of a cruise to Hawaii that Michael and I took with my mom. While quite a tome it kept my interest and was great historical background for our trip. It was a wonderful book for reading on Long Island’s beaches, as well as on the cruise ship with my mother, while enjoying our afternoon tea.

 

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

By Susan Cainquiet

Lent to me by a fellow introvert, this book was encouraging for those of us who fall into that spectrum.

 

For all of us, one today

By Richard Blancofor all of us

I recommended this for my book group without reading any of Richard Blanco’s work, and promptly fell in love with his words – while he is a poet his prose was just as joyous. This book, about his journey as the inaugural poet for President Obama’s second term, inspired me to read some of his poetry books.

 

Broken for you

By Stephanie Kallosbroken for you

Another book group selection, I really loved this book. The book is full of quirky characters – my fellow book group participants thought it too unreal, but I said, “oh no, this is just like living on an island where quirky characters abound!” I loved the setting (Seattle), the characters, and the story. I was sad when it ended.

 

From holidays to holy days: a Benedictine walk through Advent

By Alfred Holtzfrom holidays to holy days

This was my Advent reading, which was a wonderful way to ease into the Christmas season. Written by a Benedictine monk in New Jersey and his observations of the street scenes in the light of the Benedictine philosophy and way of life, I was uplifted and inspired.

 

A week in winter: a novel

By Marcia Willetteweek in winter

Finally, another wonderful author introduced to me by Melissa (see the first book in this list) – Marcia Willette, a British writer who sets many her novels in Cornwall. I loved this book with the setting and great ending (although a bittersweet love story amidst, which is where the title came from). Fortunately Marcia Willette has written many books so I’m eager to enjoy her books for years to come.

 

What were some of your favorite books in 2015?

Coffeehouse Library Project

PPL outreach 3Several of us islanders like to wait for the ferry in places other than the ferry terminal, including Portland’s numerous watering holes and cafes. But what if you have no reading materials while drinking your cappuccino? Thanks to the Coffeehouse Library Project, an outreach of the Portland Public Library, great books are at your fingertips, with no due dates or fees – just return the books when you are done! This is where I found the wonderful “Under the wild and starry sky” by Nancy Horan, about Fanny Stevenson, the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson. Brilliant!

PPL outreach 2

So, next time you are killing time, waiting for the ferry, settle in to a great cup of coffee or tea … and a book!

For more information see:

https://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/coffeehouse-library-project/PPL outreach 1

 

Santa’s Village – a new exhibit at LICL

Santa's Village closeupWe are pleased to announce a new exhibit in the Long Island Community Library’s small glass case about Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire, a Christmas themed village. Even though we are enjoying a lovely and warm autumn, we all know that winter is around the corner, including a visit from Santa on December 24th. This exhibit will put you in the mood. It includes memorabilia (plates, ashtrays, spoons, salt and pepper shakers, etc.) and family photographs, which will enchant and delight.

The exhibit is curated by Sue Hemond, whose family owns the items in the exhibit. Sue’s grandparents owned a dairy farm in Jefferson, NH. When they sold a piece of their land in the 1950s to the friends who started Santa’s Village, the deal included a lifetime pass to the park for all the family. Thus began many summers of visits to Santa with cousins in tow, and a permanent love of anything to do with Christmas.

Santa's Village

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhibit is open during library hours

 

Bicycling in foreign films

What do many foreign films have in common? Main characters bicycling along scenic country roads!  In the Italian movie, “The Postman” (Il Postino), the postman delivers, on his bicycle, letters to Pablo Neruda. In “The Lunchbox,” the “dabbawala” delivers home cooked lunches to the city workers in Mumbai, India. In “Greenfingers,” the main character delivers flowers on his bicycle in a small English village.Bicycle in Catalina Island 3

Many foreign films take place in countries where the bicycle is used primarily as transportation, including Corsica, where in “Queen to Play,” Helene, a chambermaid, rides her bicycle to work along winding roads with the ocean as a backdrop. In “As it is in Heaven,” one of my favorite movies, Lena teaches Daniel to ride a bicycle, along Swedish country roads.

It’s no wonder that when I bicycle around the island after watching one of these wonderful movies, I feel like I’m still in a movie, a wonderful transition from movie world to home life.bicycle on Long Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long Island Community Library has a nice selection of foreign films in the collection, including some of the ones mentioned above.

The Soundtrack of our Lives: An Exhibit of Vinyl at the Long Island Community Library

Remember the vinyl records of many years ago? A few of us still have them kicking around, unable to let go of them, for nostalgia’s sake. Amazingly, vinyl is making a comeback. A younger generation is discovering them, which goes to show one should never give up on old technologies.

The Long Island Community Library has a small exhibit in the glass case between the library and small meeting room which showcases a sampling of vinyl records owned and loved by Long Islanders, as well as examples of other types of technology that came about afterwards, some of which we’ll probably never see a resurgence of. There is a notebook that we would love to have you tell your stories of favorite records. Record player

This exhibit is open during library hours.

 

 

Robert Louis Stevenson at Saranac Lake

Saranac Lake

When we were at Saranac Lake last fall on our Adirondack holiday I was surprised to learn that Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish writer known for his adventure stories such as Treasure Island, had spent some time there, from 1887-1888, for his health. While we were in the Adirondacks I picked up “The Adirondack Reader,” which has selections of letters from Robert Louis Stevenson, his mother Margaret Balfour Stevenson, and a memoir by his stepson Lloyd Osbourne. Coincidentally, as I was reading these writings, I was reading the historical novel about the love story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny. Reading this wonderful novel, “Under the wide and starry sky,” by Nancy Horan, brought to life even more the excerpts from “The Adirondack Reader,” regarding this famous author and his family, especially their time in upstate New York.

I love this kind of confluence, of mixing a place with fact and fiction, to make for a richer understanding of a time and place, and the characters which populate them. I only wish we could have visited the Robert Louis Stevenson cottage, but next time!

Of Sea and Cloud

Of interest to Long Island readers:

Jon Keller speaks about “Of Sea and Cloud” at the Brown Bag Lecture Series Wednesday, August 26 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Location: Main Library

spring on Long Island black and whiteNicolas Graves raised his sons to be lobstermen. Bill and Joshua (known as Jonah) Graves grew up aboard their father’s boat–the Cinderella–learning the rules and rites of the antiquated business they love. But when their father is lost at sea and the price of lobster crashes worldwide, Bill and Jonah must decide how much they are willing to risk for their family legacy. Standing against them is Osmond Raymond–former Calvinist minister, mystic, captain of the Sanctity, and their father’s business partner for more than twenty years. Together with his grandson and heir, Julius, Osmond is determined to push the Graves family out of their lobster pound, regardless of the cost or the consequences.

About the author Jon Keller holds an MFA from Boise State University. After graduate school, he moved to the coast of Maine and spent several years working aboard a lobster boat and writing for a commercial fishing newspaper. He is now a clam digger on the coast of Maine.

About the Series » Brown Bag Lecture Series

Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series features bi-weekly reading and question-and-answer sessions with authors from around the nation as well as those who hail from right here in Maine. All Brown Bag Lectures are free to the public (unless specifically noted as a fundraiser). Because they usually take place over the lunch hour, guests are encouraged to bring their lunch; coffee provided by Coffee By Design. Special thanks to our Brown Bag Lecture Series coffee sponsor, Coffee by Design, and welcome to our new refreshment sponsor, Whole Foods. Books on sale at each lecture courtesy of Longfellow Books, who generously donates a portion of the proceeds to the Portland Public Library. Questions about our Brown Bag Lectures or to be added to our weekly calendar e-mail, please send us an e-mail. – See more at: https://www.portlandlibrary.com/events/jon-keller-speaks-about-of-sea-and-cloud-at-the-brown-bag-lecture-series/#sthash.dNxM8bML.dpuf

Cambridge Book Bike

bike on beach

I just heard, from a librarian friend, about a great program in Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Book Bike. Librarians ride around on bikes loaded with books and park in a designated park at a designated time to give kids free books. Their logo is:

Delivering books and a love of reading in Cambridge, ma.

Their VISION:

All children in Cambridge will have access to quality literature to build home libraries for enjoyment and learning outside of the academic year.

Their MISSION:

  • The Book Bike supports healthy bodies and healthy minds by visiting many of the Cambridge parks that participate in the Summer Food Program.
  • Meeting families in the park for stories and activities, the Book Bike models that reading is fun!
  • The program empowers children of all ages to choose their own free book, selected by literacy professionals to encourage reading in summer months.  Books include a wide variety of titles, topics and languages.
  • The Book Bike connects families to other programs that support summer reading in Cambridge including the local public library.

What can be better – to combine exercise (at least for the librarians) and book reading, as well as being in a park on a beautiful sunny day. (And food and snacks provided)

For more information:

http://www.cambridgebookbike.org/

 

Tribute to travel books

Not books about traveling, but books to read while traveling! This is my tribute to, and observations about, books to read while traveling. Not one for a Nook or Kindle, I prefer the old fashioned paper copies(which don’t require batteries). I travel most days by boat (some call it commuting) and I carry two books to dip into per voyage – a non-fiction and a fiction book. Preferably paperbacks, for the weight factor. Sometimes this isn’t possible, give that public libraries, where I get many of my books, tend to avoid paperbacks, as they don’t hold up as well as hardcovers. If a hardcover is needed for one book, hopefully the second book is a paperback.

Connie reading

And then there are airplane books. I’ve learned over the years that the best books to bring while flying are not only light in weight, but light in reading – that is, ones you don’t have to think too much about. So when you’re stuck in an airport because of a layover or flight delay, you have a book that absorbs you and provides an escape from the tedium. As well as when you’re on a long flight, you need a great read to really take you away.

suitcase

While traveling it’s also good to have books that are not library books nor belong to someone else – in other words, books that you don’t have to worry about if you lose or damage them. Or, if you don’t like them, you can leave them somewhere along the way, such as at your relative’s house or in the back pocket of the seat in front of you. That will lighten your load during your travels (or allow you room to pick up more books).

Finally, for the many people who vacation/travel end up on beaches (lucky us Long Islanders who can visit the beach much of the year), there are beach books. These are also books you don’t want to have to worry about if they get damaged or sandy, as well as being lightweight as you stretch out on your beach blanket.

beach reading

And then there are the contents of books that you bring on travels, but that’s another topic for another time.

See you on the ferry!