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Smyth Library

October with Smythie


The monthly e-newsletter of the Smyth Public Library

October, 2018

Volume 12, No.7



Walking France with Gale Carey

Postponed-To be Rescheduled

New Date will be announced soon!

One pilgrim’s story of 500 miles on the Chemin de St. Jacques.

The Chemin de St. Jacques is an amazingly beautiful walking route cherished by the French and traveled by pilgrims for nearly 1000 years. The journey through lush woodlands, flower-laden fields, volcanic formations, and ancient villages and towns, allows for meditative walking, engaging conversation, and introspection. Gale made this 35-day trek last summer and brings us the story of her journey as a modern day pilgrim – from the practical to the philosophical.

12th Annual Beatles Night 2018

Saturday, October 13th at 7pm

Join us for a night of classic music!

Bizarre Birds of the World

with Steve Hale from Open World Explorers

Wednesday, October 17th at 6:30pm

With over 10,000 bird species in the world, there are some extreme examples that stretch our understanding of what it means to be a bird. This entertaining and educational program features extreme examples of birds and bird biology. Examples include the Hoatzin, Kakapo, Oilbird, Standard Wing Nightjar, and more.


Coming in November…

“The White Mountain: Rediscovering Mount Washington’s Hidden Culture”

Tuesday, November 13th at 6:30 pm

NH Author Dan Szczesny discusses his new book

Candia “Antiques Roadshow”


Thursday, November 15th at 6:30 pm

Our own local “Antique Roadshow” comes to Candia!

Sponsored by the Heritage Commission.



How to Knit/Crochet with Lisa Cote

Postponed and to be Rescheduled-Date to be announced.

Learn how to knit and crochet with Lisa Cote!

(Please register at front desk!)

Painting with Currier Art Museum

Monday, November 19 at 6 pm.

Learn how paint with Holly Rosseau, Currier’s inspiring instructor, with a theme based on the museum fall show featuring artist Ethan Murrow showing great Manchester historical connections!

(Class size limited; Please register at front desk!)

Holiday Cards with Deb’s Stampers

Tuesday, November 27 at 6 pm.

Craft your own beautifully handmade cards this year with Debbie Dunn.

(Class size limited; Please register at front desk!)

If you have a special talent you’d like to share, please see Heidi at the front desk

Check out our monthly calendar on our website for all our events and programs.




Smyth Public Library is now offering home delivery of library materials for any Candia community residents in need.  Please contact us for a registration form for this service or use the link to a form to fill out on our website.

The library is proud to now offer The Healing Library; reading kits to aid with coping with difficult situations. We offer The Death of a Loved One, The Death of a Pet, plus Alzheimer’s & Your Family. These are located in the children’s room, along with books relating to each topic. The kits are available now for check out.



Digital Movies, Music and More Instantly Available 24/7 Free with your Library Card!

We are excited to announce hoopla digital coming next month: a new digital media service provided to you, our patron, through which you may access and enjoy nearly half a million titles, from six different formats: Movies, TV,Music Albums, eAudiobooks , eBooks, and Comics/Graphic Novels. All in one location, from your computer, tablet or Smartphone!

With hoopla, there are no hold lists, no extra apps or accounts needed or special steps to use it.

It just works! On a mobile device, borrowed content may be temporarily downloaded and accessed offline or, in either the app or on a computer, all borrowed content may be enjoyed while connected to the internet by streaming.

Don’t forget  – you can always borrow our internet hot spot or telescope!

New on our shelves…


New Fiction          

Transcription Atkinson, Kate

A noise downstairs: a novel Barclay, Linwood

Suffer the children Black, Lisa

The moment before drowning: a novel Brydon, James,

The alienist Carr, Caleb

Wild fire Cleeves, Ann

The forgotten recipe Clipston, Amy

The house girl: a novel Conklin, Tara

The last Mrs. Parrish: a novel Constantine, Liv

Shadow tyrants Cussler, Clive

Red war: a Mitch Rapp novel Mills, Kyle

Lethal white Galbraith, Robert

The mystery of three quarters: the new Hercule Poirot mystery Hannah, Sophie

The thirty-one kings: Richard Hannay returns Harris, Robert J.

The wife between us Hendricks, Greer

Field of bones Jance, Judith A.

Depth of winter Johnson, Craig

Blackout Ragnar Jónasson

Walking shadows Kellerman, Faye

When the lights go out Kubica, Mary

Crazy rich Asians Kwan, Kevin

The yellow diamond Martin, Andrew,

Bury the lead Mayor, Archer

A likely story McKinlay, Jenn

The pieces we keep McMorris, Kristina

The tattooist of Auschwitz: a novel Morris, Heather

The mistletoe bride & other haunting tales Mosse, Kate

Robert B. Parker’s Colorblind: a Jesse Stone novel Coleman, Reed Farrel

Juror #3 Patterson, James

Dark tide rising: a William Monk novel Perry, Anne

Leverage in death: an Eve Dallas novel Robb, J. D

The sisters of the winter wood Rossner, Rena,

Lila and Theron Schubart, Bill,

Courtney’s war Smith, Wilbur A.,

In his father’s footsteps: a novel Steel, Danielle

Nomad Swallow, James,

A forgotten place: a Bess Crawford mystery Todd, Charles

Leave a candle burning Wick, Lori

New Non-Fiction


Coast to coast ghosts: true stories of hauntings across America Rule, Leslie,

Mind change: how digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains 

Greenfield, Susan,

Slow: simple living for a frantic world McAlary, Brooke,

Spy School: Are You Sharp Enough to Be a KGB Agent? Bukin, Denis.

The spy and the traitor: the greatest espionage story of the Cold War Macintyre, Ben

Accessory to war: the unspoken alliance between astrophysics and the military 

Tyson, Neil deGrasse

On call in the Arctic: a doctor’s pursuit of life, love, and miracles in the Alaskan frontier 

Sims, Thomas J.,

The younger next year back book: the whole-body plan to conquer back pain forever Crowley, Chris.

Out in blue fields: a year at Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm Riley, Janice,

Run fast. Eat slow: nourishing recipes for athletes Flanagan, Shalane,

The everything tapas and small plates cookbook: hundreds of bite-sized recipes from around the world Shirk, Lynette Rohrer.

Am I there yet?: the loop-de-loop, zigzagging journey to adulthood Andrew, Mari,

The champion’s mind: how great athletes think, train, and thrive Afremow, James A.

Horse people: scenes from the riding life Korda, Michael

Adrift: a true story of tragedy in the icy Atlantic- and the one man who lived to tell about it Murphy, Brian

War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of World War II Hutton, Robin L.

Mysteries and legends of New England: true stories of the unsolved and unexplained McCain, Diana Ross.

Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s perilous journey and his vision for the American West Ross, John F.,


New Books on CD…

The gray ghost : CD (9) Cussler, Clive

Audio disc: Shadow tyrants CD (9) Cussler, Clive

Audio disc: Red War CD (8) Mills, Kyle

Audio disc: Field of bones CD (9) Jance, Judith A.

Audio disc: Walking shadows CD (10) Kellerman, Faye

Audio disc: Robert B. Parker’s colorblind: : a Jesse Stone novel CD (8)

Coleman, Reed Farrell 

JUROR #3 CD (7) Patterson, James

Audio disc: Leverage in death CD (11) Robb, J. D


New Video…

Book club DVD 1110 [PG13] 

Hart’s war DVD 1111 [R] 

Videodisc: Adrift DVD 1112 [PG13] 

Videodisc: Adventures of Bailey DVD 1113 [PG]: the lost puppy ; Bailey’s billion$ ; More than puppy love ; The painted hills 

Videodisc: Get Smart DVD 1114 [PG13] 

Videodisc: Jurassic world DVD 1115 [PG13] — Fallen kingdom / 

Videodisc: Anna and the King DVD 746 [PG13]

Did Charlotte Bronte create life?

She invented Eyre.

Coloring night for all ages, all supplies provided,

Fridays 6-7 pm

Plus, packets available to use anytime we are open !


Tip from the front desk

For students of all ages or anyone looking to improve their memory, read on for

7 tips and tricks for better reading retention.

While there are some who can retain the details of entire books, stories, and poems, most people have a hard time remembering everything they read. The exact amount each person forgets varies, but the forgetting curve, as researchers call it, is the most extreme within the first 24 hours. That means, unless you actively work to remember what you’ve read, chances are you’ll forget many of the plot points, characters, and quotes within a single day, after which you’ll forget more and more as more time passes.

Whether you’re a student who wants to improve your ability to recall book details for exams or essays, or a reader who hopes to improve for the benefit of book club discussions or yourself, here are seven tips and tricks you can follow to improve your retention.

Keep a reading journal.Do you want to remember what books you read and what happened in each one? Jot down titles, authors, important plot points, character names — whatever you want to be able to recall later, keep it in a journal you can refer back to.

Read out loud.It may seem strange at first, but if you want to improve reading retention, you’re going to have to use your mind and your voice together.

Take notes as you goWhether you jot down your thoughts in the margins or keep a notebook to write your ideas in, taking notes as you read is one of the best ways to improve your memory and retention of the story. You can record important plot points, copy your favorite quotes, or write character names and descriptions — whatever you want to remember, put it down in paper.

Read at night– If you are one of the many book-lovers who enjoy reading before bed, you’re in luck, because that’s actually the best time of day to read and remember new things. According to studies, brains learn better at night.

Stick to physical books -While it’s true that there are many benefits to e-readers, including their convenience, digital books certainly have their downsides, too. According to studies, readers forget more of what they read in ebooks than they do physical books. If you want to improve your retention and memory, stick to old-fashion print.

Skim the book first, or read a summary-While you don’t want to spoil the end of a new novel before you get the chance to read it, skimming a book first can greatly improve your ability to retain it. Before diving in on page one, scan the entire book to get a loose idea of the overall plot, main characters, and general themes. This will give you context as you read, and a solid base to build off of, which will make it easier to remember the finer details as you go. (This is not advised if you are a stickler for avoiding spoilers.)

Have a reading buddy-Whether it’s a friend, a partner, or an entire book club, reading a new novel at the same time as someone else means you will have someone to talk to once you’re done. Engaging in discussions about your recent reads helps you create personal connections with the story and its characters, which in turn can help you not only retain more of the story, but have fun while doing it.

Excerpt by Sadie Trombetta (Sep2018)

Now you can come to Smyth Public Library and find some books to practice with.


-Heidi Deacon, Director

The comma broke up with the apostrophe…he was too possessive

Writers’ group

Come on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month at 6:30pm

The Smyth Public Library hosts a gathering of writers once or twice a month where we work together on timed writing exercises using prompts and other sources of inspiration. The writing periods will be followed by sharing some of the work with each other. The goal of the group is to loosen up and get the pen moving on paper. We don’t seek to have a finished work by the end of the session and you don’t need to arrive with a finished piece of writing to share. The writer’s group is a place to meet with other writers and to flex your writing muscles.

Please come ready with a writing medium of your choice: paper and pen/pencil, computer, tablet, etc.

Ongoing Book Sale!

You can browse at your leisure now and bring home a favorite to keep or to give away to a friend. Just look for the bright signs just inside our main doors on the left. Pay at the front desk. Only… $1 for hardcover and $.50 for paperbacks. Proceeds go to the Friends of Smyth Library.

Family Game Nights!!

First Friday of every month at 6:30

Come and choose a fun board game and play away!

Knitting & Crochet Circle

Help with the cap, blanket, and scarf charity project, work on your own items, or just come to learn. Call Lisa 587-0603 for more info.

Third Thursday of the month, 7pm

Try out our new “Volunteer Your World” ideas at Smyth Public Library. Visit our Volunteer Your World Page

Monthly Lego Night!

EVERY third Friday 6:30-7:30 for all ages.


Featuring : Magic-The Gathering

Held monthly on the First Wednesday of the month at 4 pm!

For ages 8 and up! Next meeting-November 7

Family Movie Night   

Friday, October 26, 6:00 p.m.

“Hotel Transylvania 3”

rated PG ~

Did you Know???

“Fudgel” is a word popular in the 18th century.  It means pretending to work while doing nothing.

In theGallery

The Artwork of Lorriane Woodford

Paintings by Candia artist Lorraine Woodford

Coming Soon a New exhibition:

Ukraine “Home, Family, Motherland”

by the Fermata Arts Foundation


Our art gallery and (locked) glass case is always available for the works of local artists.  Just see Heidi at the front desk to display your works


Now! 2 groups!

2 times!

How about sharing your thoughts on a book at the friendly monthly book discussion group?

Thursdays mornings…

Thursday, October 11, 11:00 a.m.

Anatomy of a Miracle

By Jonathan Miles

A profound new novel about a paralyzed young man’s unexplainable recovery—a stunning exploration of faith, science, mystery, and the meaning of life

Rendered paraplegic after a traumatic event four years ago, Cameron Harris has been living his new existence alongside his sister, Tanya, in their battered Biloxi, Mississippi neighborhood where only half the houses made it through Katrina. One stiflingly hot August afternoon, as Cameron sits waiting for Tanya during their daily run to the Biz-E-Bee convenience store, he suddenly and inexplicably rises up and out of his wheelchair.

In the aftermath of this “miracle,” Cameron finds himself a celebrity at the center of a contentious debate about what’s taken place. And when scientists, journalists, and a Vatican investigator start digging, Cameron’s deepest secrets—the key to his injury, to his identity, and, in some eyes, to the nature of his recovery—become increasingly endangered. Was Cameron’s recovery a genuine miracle, or a medical breakthrough? And, finding himself transformed into a symbol, how can he hope to retain his humanity?

Brilliantly written as closely observed journalistic reportage and filtered through a wide lens that encompasses the vibrant characters affected by Cameron’s story, Anatomy of a Miracle will be read, championed, and celebrated as a powerful story of our time, and the work of a true literary master.

*Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk

Tuesday, October 23rd at 7:30 pm

The last Painting of Sara de Vos

by Dominic Smith

Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it.

New York City, 1957: The only known surviving work of Sara de Vos, At the Edge of a Wood, hangs in the bedroom of a wealthy Manhattan lawyer, Marty de Groot, a descendant of the original owner. It is a beautiful but comfortless landscape. The lawyer’s marriage is prominent but comfortless, too. When a struggling art history grad student, Ellie Shipley, agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer, she finds herself entangled with its owner in ways no one could predict.

Sydney, 2000: Now a celebrated art historian and curator, Ellie Shipley is mounting an exhibition in her field of specialization: female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. When it becomes apparent that both the original At the Edge of a Wood and her forgery are en route to her museum, the life she has carefully constructed threatens to unravel entirely and irrevocably.

*Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk

Library Assets


Brought to you by the Friends of the Smyth Public Library

The Little Free Library is up and running at the CYAA complex – anyone can take advantage!!

Making Your Life Easy:

By going to our website, you can search our entire catalogue for books, CD’s, DVD’s and movies.  Once found, you can check to see if what you want is in.  If so, just to our website and reserve the book.  The next time you come in, it will be waiting for you at the front desk.  WITH OUR NEW WEBSITE YOU CAN DO IT WITH YOUR MOBILE DEVICE!

PLUS!!  Check out our website updates and Smyth Library’s new Public Catalog featuring:

– A crawl of new items.

– “What’s Hot” now covers several choices.

-“Most Popular” titles (a combination of checkouts and reserves are used to determine this list).

– “More Search Options” includes Medium that lets members search by DVD or Large Print, etc.

Available at the library…

Candia Walking Tour Guides to Candia Village, East Candia and Meetinghouse Hill ($2 each or $5 for all three to the Heritage Commission)

A Sense of Place: Candia’s Past & Present 1763-2014: A Compilation of Town Tributes, Personal Histories & Cherished Memories in Celebration of the Semiquincentennial ($15 to the Heritage Commission) Water Powered Mill Sites in Candia, New Hampshire ($20 to the Heritage Commission)

The Candia Heritage Commission is pleased to announce the acquisition of a valuable historical resource, bound volumes of the Rockingham County News encompassing the years 1978-1998.  The newspaper begins with the “Candia Current”, weekly news from our town.  Within the pages of the newspaper is a wide variety of news from Candia and our surrounding towns.  A survey of a volume gives a delightful illustrated picture of life in Candia during that year.  A sample copy can be viewed at the Smyth Public Library. A two week loan of a volume can be arranged by contacting Sis Richter 483-2585, president of the Historical Society or Diane Philbrick 483-8239, chair of the Heritage Commission.

Heritage Commission is now seeking your

Library Memories

Leave your special memories of time spent at our library at the front desk or

More Research Options:

Full text articles from thousands of magazines, journals and national newspapers, plus NoveList. Call or e-mail us and provide your name and your library card number, and we’ll give you the password.

We’re on Facebook!

Like the Smyth Public Library

Look at our page on Facebook for events and updates about our library!

Downloadable Books!!!!

Ipods and Kindles work and you can

Order right from our website!

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Smyth Library


Check our website for passes!!!

All are listed in the “museum passes” tab of the website and can be reserved there.

Kids’ Stuff


Book Clubs!

Magic Tree House Book Club (K-2)-Third Thursday 3pm

Meeting: October 19

Reading Tigers at Twilight by Mary Pope Osborne

Dear America Book Club- Wednesday, November 7

Reading A City Tossed and Broken by Judy Blundell

Rick Riordan Book Club – Wednesday, November 14

Reading Sea of Monsters

STEM Club (K-3)

Combined Math and Science

Second and Fourth Thursday 4pm; Meeting: October 11&25

Art Club (K-5)

First Thursday 3pm

Meeting: November 1

Wednesday, October 31, 3pm, Halloween Party for ALL ages! Come in costume!  Play SPOOKY games and eat CREEPY snacks!

Please Sign Up at the Front Desk

Check out our monthly calendar for children on the children’s tab on our website.

Baby—Preschool children-Stories, games, crafts, music, puppets at Thursday StoryTime 10am



(please sign up at the Front Desk!)

Teen Read Week- read for the FUN of it!

Thursday, October 11, 4 pm: “Reading Photos”

Saturday, October 13, 11 am: “Redesign a Book cover”

Teen Book Club-Wednesday, October 17 at 4 pm

Discussing House of Furies by Madeline Roux

Teen Creative Club- Wednesday, October 24 at 4 pm

Water color painting!

Read to Simon, Gwen Paprocki’s Certified Therapy dog.

Want to boost reading confidence?

Why is reading to a dog educational AND fun? Because Simon is soft, furry and warm and he loves the attention you give him when you practice your reading out-loud skills! In the Children’s Library Room ~ one-on-one with Ms. Gwen and Simon present. (Simon and Gwen Paprocki are certified through Therapy Dogs International)

Please sign up if interested.  Call Gwen for more info at 483-8245


Pajama Story Night

2nd Thursday of the Month, 6-7 pm

Join us monthly for a night of storytelling and treats!

Storytime with our new Librarian-Jessica

Thursdays, 10 a.m.

Preschoolers and babies welcomed



Second Friday, 6:00 p.m.

We break out our snap circuits! Build exciting projects including computer interfaced experiments and solar cell applications. Build over 175 exciting projects now with lights.  All new kits and all ages welcome! Check our Facebook page for some cool snap circuit projects.

1000 BOOKS before Kindergarten

Personal memory registers and book bags are available for parents.

New books for children…

M is for Mayflower: a Massachusetts alphabet Raven, Margot Theis.

The Ice Witch and the Unicorn: a chilling hologram book Bethlen, Julianna.


Lost in the library: a story of Patience & Fortitude Funk, Josh,

The cat at night Ipcar, Dahlov (Zorach,)

Whispers on the Seacoast: a Haley Mae story Kruse, Martha,

The shadow in the Moon: a tale of the Mid-Autumn Festival Matula, Christina,

10 minutes till bedtime Rathmann, Peggy

I can draw it myself: by me, myself with a little help from my friend Seuss, Dr

The princess of pink slumber party Kann, Victoria

Splat the cat Big reading collection: 5 fun-filled adventures with Splat the cat (5 books)

New books for young adults…

The fall of Gondolin Tolkien, J. R. R

Traveler Dayton, Arwen.

Thr3e Dekker, Ted

Brave enough Gardner, Kati,

Wildcard Lu, Marie

Resistance Nielsen, Jennifer A

Seafire Parker, Natalie C.,

From the Young Adult Shelves~

Brave Enough

by Kati Gardner

Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory’s artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason’s life. But that’s about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it’s much worse than anyone imagines.

Davis Channing understands all too well what it’s like to give up control of your life. He’s survived cancer, but his drug addiction nearly killed him. Now he’s been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he’s got it together, Davis’s ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life.

Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?       Goodreads

New books for juniors…

Star wars: the unauthorized trivia book Brown, Damon,

The assassination of Brangwain Spurge Anderson, M. T

Mouse Scouts Dillard, Sarah,

The Promise: A Perilous Journey 

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street Glaser, Karina Yan,

Big Nate goes bananas Peirce, Lincoln

The cobalt prince Siegel, Mark

Hello universe Kelly, Erin Entrada

The unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair Makechnie, Amy,

Island of dragons McMann, Lisa

Island of fire McMann, Lisa

Island of Graves McMann, Lisa

Island of Legends McMann, Lisa

Island of Shipwrecks McMann, Lisa

Island of silence McMann, Lisa

The Unwanteds McMann, Lisa

If you come softly Woodson, Jacqueline

From the Junior Shelves~

If You Come Softly

by Jacqueline Woodson (Goodreads Author)

Both Elisha (Ellie) and Jeremiah (Miah) attend Percy Academy, a private school where neither quite fits in. Ellie is wrestling with family demons, and Miah is one of the few African American students. The two of them find each other, and fall in love — but they are hesitant to share their newfound happiness with their friends and families, who will not understand. At the end, life makes the brutal choice for them.  Goodreads

Trivia Time!

Every month we ask a trivia question.  If you know the answer, drop it off at the front desk or e-mail it here.  We will randomly select the winner from the correct answers and the WINNERwill win ONE FREE WEEK of OVERDUE FINE AMNESTY ON ONE BOOK

Last month’s question and answer:

Q.   What is considered the first science fiction novel?

A.    Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818)

No Winner!

This Month’s Trivia Question:

What is considered the mystery novel?

From the New and Recent Shelves~

We (being I) are always looking for contributors to this reviews section.  The editor has a limited range of taste, so any reviews would be more than welcomed.  Just e-mail them in reply to this, or to

I admit to a rather limited taste in reading materials.  I generally eschew science fiction, fantasy and what are euphemistically referred to as “chic books”.  I realize this is a deficiency in not only me, but the “From the New and Recent Shelves” section of “The Smythie”.

I may therefore resort to pilfering reviews from for a book at times to widen the breadth of this service.  I’d much rather have a contributing reviewer (or twelve).  If you’ve read a book you’ve loved, please shoot me a review so we can enjoy a more personal perspective.

Fiction…Author! Author!

The editor, that is, me, was on vacation for a good hunk of this month.  Therefore, I am deviating a tad from the “new and recent shelves” for an homage to one of favorite authors…


Ivan Doig (1935-2017), was born and raised in Montana.  He left to go to Northwestern where he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism.  His thesis was on the televised Congressional hearings on organized crime in 1962 – a new thing back then.  After years being a journalist, he published THIS HOUSE OF SKY, his memoir, followed by HEART EARTH, a companion book and WINTER BROTHERS, A SEASON ON THE EDGE OF AMERICA, based upon the diaries of a pioneer.  But his fiction is what he is best known for after his award-winning HOUSE.  ENGLISH CREEK was the first of a trilogy.  WHISTLING SEASON may be his best known.  All of his books are set in Montana which helped him win the Wallace Stegner Award for “sustained contribution to the cultural history of the west”.  He has deviated from Montana, in a humorous coming of age book, LAST BUS TO WISDOM – on a bus to Pleasantville, NY, the young lad told an older lady that he was on his way there to be with his father who “is a reader digest”.  Think about that.  His only book I would not recommend is THE ELEVENTH MAN.

So why do I love him?  His writing is incredible.  On the one hand it is literary and makes you want to go back and reread the sentence.  On the other, it is pure American in style and tone.  The characters are outstanding and the plots are all about showing society.  Not idealized, but realistic while painted by a loving, caring respectful brush.

Our library has some of his books, Overdrive has a few more and Hoopla even more.

If you’re looking for good stuff, go to Ivan Doig, thank me, just don’t ask me for the proper pronunciation of his last name.


Under a Dark Sky, from the critically-acclaimed author of The Day I Died, Lori Rader-Day, comes a terrifying twist on a locked-room mystery that will keep readers guessing until the last page.

Only in the dark can she find the truth . . .

Since her husband died, Eden Wallace’s life has diminished down to a tiny pinprick, like a far-off star in the night sky. She doesn’t work, has given up on her love of photography, and is so plagued by night terrors that she can’t sleep without the lights on. Everyone, including her family, has grown weary of her grief. So when she finds paperwork in her husband’s effects indicating that he reserved a week at a dark sky park, she goes. She’s ready to shed her fear and return to the living, even if it means facing her paralyzing phobia of the dark.

But when she arrives at the park, the guest suite she thought was a private retreat is teeming with a group of twenty-somethings, all stuck in the orbit of their old college friendships. Horrified that her get-away has been taken over, Eden decides to head home the next day. But then a scream wakes the house in the middle of the night. One of the friends has been murdered. Now everyone—including Eden—is a suspect.

Everyone is keeping secrets, but only one is a murderer. As mishaps continue to befall the group, Eden must make sense of the chaos and lies to evade a ruthless killer—and she’ll have to do it before dark falls…  Goodreads


Fly Girls, by Keith O’Brien, is the untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won

Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.

Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness. Goodreads

Ever want to be one of those know-it-all reviewers?

Got a book to recommend?

Want to write a blurb?

Have a child with a favorite book who would like to contribute to the Smythie?

We welcome contributors (less for us to write!), especially children and teens to review and recommend favorite books.  Just drop Heidi Deacon an e-mail at or “reply” to this and we’ll include it here.  It need not be a new book – it can be a golden oldie, a classic, a trashy beach book or whatever you have enjoyed.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition.  Comments, suggestions and, of course, reviews are always welcomed.

Rick Mitchell

The Smythie is now over 700 subscribers strong!!

But… We may not be for everyone.  If you do not want to be on this e-mail list, just reply and tell us to remove your name.

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