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The monthly e-newsletter of the Smyth Public Library
December, 2019
Volume 13, No.9


Friends of the Library ~ Fall Baking Contest

…and the winner is: Thea Norstrand

Congratulations Thea!!

“How Much is it Worth?” Rare Book Appraisal Program with Ken Gloss of Boston’s Brattle Book Shop. (Registration Required)
Tuesday, December 10 at 6 pm

Kenneth Gloss, proprietor of the internationally known Brattle Book Shop in Boston’s Downtown Crossing section, will discuss the value of old and rare books. Ken, who is also a frequent guest appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow, will talk in part about the history of his historic bookshop (, which goes back to circa 1825. He is a second-generation owner.Ken will talk about and show some of his favorite finds and describe some of the joys of the “hunt,” as well as explain what makes a book go up in value. He has many fascinating anecdotes to share as well as guidelines for what to look for when starting a collection. There is also a Q&A session before the conclusion of his talk.
Following the talk and question-and-answer session, he will give free verbal appraisals of all books that attendees have brought with them or will do so at his shop in Boston.

Thursday, December 12, 6-7 pm,
Story Time with Santa and Mrs. Claus!
Come in your PJs for a special visit from the North Pole and hear stories and share snacks and go home with a small gift.

Saturday, December 14, 12-2 pm,
Holiday Gingerbread House making party!
All goodies provided, just sign up and bring your smiles!

Saturday, December 21, 11-2 pm,
Fifth Annual Christmas Cookie Swap!
Bake five dozen homemade cookies and drop off Friday, December 20, between 5-8 pm and pick up anytime between 11-2 pm on Saturday your new tray with a new selection of goodies to take home and share with your family and friends. Sponsored by the Friends of Smyth Public Library.
Please include recipes to share.


January 14, 6 pm

Keys to Speaking Confidence that No-One is Talking About
With Linda Ugelow

You stand up to speak at a meeting and your heart starts racing, palms sweaty, you can’t remember your talking points… this is common for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. Most people assume that being afraid of speaking is natural. We are told that fear is inevitable and we either push through it or avoid it by staying out of the spotlight. You can be set free from this and truly enjoy being on the stage.

Join Smyth Public Library and Linda Ugelow for a fun, interactive presentation and leave with the secrets to true ease and confidence that will banish speaking anxiety once and for all.
During the Class you will:
1. Explore personal beliefs around being seen and heard
2. Find ease by reasoning with old story lines
3. Rebuild your inner critic around freedom and self-expression

BIO: Linda Ugelow is host and producer of the Women Inspired TV show which highlights the lives of artists, healers, change-agents and entrepreneurs. As a speaker and confidence coach for entrepreneurs and professionals, she has helped hundreds of people overcome their fears of being seen and heard so they can enjoy the experience of speaking during important moments like meetings, presentations, interviews, on stage, or on camera. Her upcoming book, Delight in the Limelight is due out in 2020.

January 16, 6 pm

How To Maple Sugaring Seminar
Sponsored by the Ag Commission

Coming in January! Saturdays 10am-1pm
How To “College Essays” workshop
Write Your College Essay
offered by Robin Small

In this one day workshop, students may arrive with no more than a college essay
prompt and will leave with the tools they need to create finished products that
showcase their unique voices and experiences. We will inspire their creativity,
help them inject personality into their essays so they stand out to readers, and
turn a task that seems as exciting as cleaning the bathrooms at the airport into
one that you might actually enjoy

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.

Local Holiday Gift Ideas
Available now at the library:
Friends In-House Book Sale!
Holiday Special: Buy one get one Free!
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. Proceeds go to the Friends of Smyth Library. All items only $1!
Candia 2020 Conservation Calendars!
$10 each to Candia Conservation Commission
Proceeds from this beautifully photographed calendar of Candia’s nature scenes will sponsor a camper for a week at the Barry Conservation Camp in Berlin, NH in 2020.
Candia Heritage Trust Fund books!
Smyth Public Library~A History 1791-2016 for $10 each
A Sense of Place~Candia’s Past & Present 1763-2014 for $15 each
Water Powered Mill Sites in Candia, NH for $20 each
Holiday Special: Buy all three for only $35

New on our shelves…

New Fiction…

Minute To midnight Baldacci, David
Lexicon Barry, Max
The confession club: a novel Berg, Elizabeth
Let justice descend Black, Lisa
Secret service Bradby, Tom,
Galway girl Bruen, Ken
Tom Clancy Code of Honor Cameron, Marc
Kiss the girls and make them cry Clark, Mary Higgins
Silent night, holy night: a Colleen Coble Christmas collection Coble, Colleen
Final option: a novel of the Oregon files Cussler, Clive
Nothing more dangerous: a novel Eskens, Allen
Twisted Twenty-six Evanovich, Janet
Noel Street Evans, Richard Paul
The old success: a Richard Jury mystery Grimes, Martha
The second sleep: a novel Harris, Robert
River run James, J. S.,
The family upstairs Jewell, Lisa
Cilka’s journey: a novel Morris, Heather
Robert B. Parker’s Angel Eyes Atkins, Ace
Criss cross Patterson, James
Won’t back down Rhoades, J. D.,
Ramses the damned: the passion of Cleopatra Rice, Anne
The rise of magicks Roberts, Nora
An Irish country family Taylor, Patrick
Lethal pursuit Thomas, William David
Ninth house Bardugo, Leigh
Premeditated peppermint Flower, Amanda
The enlightenment of bees Linden, Rachel,
Christmas blessings Spencer, Katherine

New Non-Fiction…

10% happier: how I tamed the voice in my head, reduced stress without losing my edge, and found self-help that actually works : a true story Harris, Dan
The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election: 101 Nonpartisan Solutions to All the Issues That Matter No Labels (COR)/ Clancy, Ryan/ White, Margaret.
Catch and kill: lies, spies, and a conspiracy to protect predators Farrow, Ronan,
Finding Chika: a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family Albom, Mitch
Hitman: the untold story of Johnny Martorano : Whitey Bulger’s enforcer and the most feared gangster in the underworld Carr, Howie
Bob Fogg and New Hampshire’s golden age of aviation: flying over Winnipesaukee and beyond
Rice, Jane.
Changing your child’s heart Sherbondy, Steve.
Kindness and wonder: why Mister Rogers matters now more than ever Edwards, Gavin,
Friday night lights: a town, a team, and a dream Bissinger, H. G.
Northeast passage: a photographer’s journey along the historic Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Smith, Clyde H.
Operation Swallow: American Soldiers’ Remarkable Escape from Berga Concentration Camp
Felton, Mark,
Escape from Paris: a true story of love and resistance in wartime France Harding, Stephen,
A castle in wartime: one family, their missing sons, and the fight to defeat the Nazis
Bailey, Catherine

New Books on CD…

Say when CD (6) Berg, Elizabeth
Blue moon: a Jack Reacher novel CD (9) Child, Lee
Kiss the girls and make them cry CD (8) Clark, Mary Higgins
The night fire CD (9) Connelly, Michael
Final option CD (9) Cussler, Clive
Twisted twenty-six CD (6) Evanovich, Janet
The lost summer of Louisa May Alcott: [a novel] CD (7) Mcnees, Kelly O’Connor
Child’s play: a novel CD (6) Steel, Danielle

New Video…

The Nutcracker and the four realms DVD 1216 [PG]
The art of racing in the rain DVD 1217 [PG]
Stuber DVD 1218 [R]
Aladdin DVD 1219A [G]
The angry birds movie 2 DVD 1220A [PG]
The lion king DVD 1221 [PG]
Ophelia DVD 1222 [PG13]
Hobbs & Shaw DVD 1223 [PG13]
Where the red fern grows DVD 232C [PG]
The national tree DVD 234 [PG]
Martha’s classic Thanksgiving DVD
Martha’s homemade holidays DVD
Martha’s New Year’s celebration DVD
Toy story 4 DVD TOY4 [G]

Was the editor of Mein Kampf the first grammar Nazi?

Tip from the front desk

13 Reading Tips From Theodore Roosevelt
(excerpt by Erin McCarthy;, October 25, 2019)
In April 1915, former president Theodore Roosevelt penned, “The Books That I Read and When and How I Do My Reading.” In it, he notes that “it would be impossible to try to enumerate all the books I read, or even all the kinds”—which is understandable, considering he typically read around a book a day and was often reading several at a time.
1. Start reading young.
“Fathers and mothers who are wise,” Roosevelt wrote, “can train their children first to practice, and soon to like, the sustained mental application necessary to enjoy good books.” Confined to the indoors as a young boy because of his asthma, he read constantly.
2. Don’t force yourself to read what you don’t like.
“The reader’s personal and individual taste must be the guiding factor” when choosing a book, Roosevelt wrote. “I like hunting books and books of exploration and adventure. I do not ask anyone else to like them.”
3. Take book recommendations with a grain of salt.
You’re the best person to choose what books you want to read. “If a man or woman is fond of books he or she will naturally seek the books that the mind and soul demand,” Roosevelt wrote.
4. Train yourself to enjoy the classics …
Roosevelt has a lot to say about personal preference when it comes to books, and how that should dictate what someone reads. However, he also has opinions about reading classics versus reading … the trashy stuff. “If anyone finds that he never reads serious literature, if all his reading is frothy and trashy, he would do well to try to train himself to like books that the general agreement of cultivated and sound-thinking persons has placed among the classics,” he wrote. “Let man or woman, young man or girl, read some good author, say Gibbon or Macaulay, until sustained mental effort brings power to enjoy the books worth enjoying.”
5. … And avoid “vicious” books.
“It is clear the reading of vicious books for pleasure should be eliminated,” Roosevelt concluded. “It is no less clear that trivial and vulgar books do more damage than can possibly be offset by any entertainment they yield.”
6. Don’t be afraid to follow a topic that interests you.
Roosevelt wrote that he reads in “streaks,” where he gets interested in a particular subject and reads about it in book after book after book, “and probably also [reads] books on subjects suggested by it … Even in pure literature, having nothing to do with history, philosophy, sociology or economy, one book will often suggest another, so that one finds one has unconsciously followed a regular course of reading.”
7. Find a few minutes to read every day.
You may think that you’re too busy to read, but Theodore Roosevelt would disagree—he always found time to fit in a book (or four) every day. He wrote that he could “almost always” read in the evenings, and if he was otherwise occupied, he’d schedule half an hour of reading before bed. But he never limited himself to just the evening for reading. “All kinds of odd moments turn up during even a busy day, in which it is possible to enjoy a book,” he wrote. “And then there are rainy afternoons in the country in autumn, and stormy days in winter, when one’s work outdoors is finished and after wet clothes have been changed for dry, the rocking chair in front of the open wood fire simply demands an accompanying book.”
8. Read big books on vacations.
Theodore Roosevelt, who traveled quite frequently, knew the value of bringing a good book along on vacation. “Railway and steamboat journeys were, of course, predestined through the ages as aids to the enjoyment of reading,” he wrote. “I have always taken books with me when on hunting and exploring trips.” He put Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in his bag on hunting trips; when pursuing boat thieves in the Dakotas, he brought along a copy of Anna Karenina (he finished it on the trip, then borrowed a dime novel from one of the thieves); and he took sixty—given to him by his younger sister, Corinne—on his year-long African safari.
9. Use reading as a respite from the real world.
Later, he wrote (and one gets the sense that he’s speaking from experience here) that “if one is worried by all kinds of men and events—during critical periods in administrative office, or at national conventions, or during congressional investigations or in hard-fought political campaigns—it is the greatest relief and unalloyed delight to take up some really good, some really enthralling book … and lose all memory of everything grimy, and of the baseness that must be parried or conquered.”
10. Let your mood dictate what you read.
Roosevelt was widely read, devouring books on everything from history and the military to volumes of poetry and natural history. “A man with a real fondness for books of various kinds will find that his varying moods determine which of these books he at the moment needs.”
TR also wrote in his autobiography, “A book must be interesting to the particular reader at that particular time.” So there’s no shame in putting a book aside if it’s not what you’re in the mood for at the moment!
11. Focus on reading of “permanent value.”
If there’s one thing you’ll learn from reading “How I Read,” it’s that TR seems to prefer classics to brand-new books.
“I would much rather see the heading ‘books of the year before last.’ A book of the year before last which is still worth noticing, would probably be worth reading; but one only entitled to be called a book of the week had better be tossed into the wastebasket at once. Still, there are plenty of new books which are not of permanent value but which nevertheless are worth more or less careful reading; partly because it is well to know something of what especially interested the mass of our fellows, and partly because these books, although of ephemeral worth, may really set forth something genuine in a fashion which for the moment stirs the hearts of all of us.”
12. Ignore lists of the best “100 books,” and forget about that “5-foot library.”
In his autobiography, he wrote that he had “no sympathy” for either concept, saying, “It is all right for a man to amuse himself by composing a list of a hundred very good books; and if he is to go off for a year or so where he cannot get many books, it is an excellent thing to choose a 5-foot library of particular books which in that particular year and on that particular trip he would like to read. But there is no such thing as a hundred books that are best for all men, or for the majority of men, or for one man at all times; and there is no such thing as a 5-foot library which will satisfy the needs of even one particular man on different occasions extending over a number of years.”
13. Read historical works to feel better about the present.
Roosevelt wrote that books can provide “consolation of a non-literary kind.” He advised that those who are irritated or frustrated or depressed about the current state of affairs might find reading books that deal with history “illuminating” or “consoling.” In some cases, “he will be …. devoutly thankful that his lot has been cast in the present age, in spite of all its faults.”
Come in to Smyth Public Library and find your own book to suit you and your holiday mood and enjoy the season with words of permanent value so we can all feel better about our present! You can even find books on Teddy too!
Enjoy this cozy holiday reading season!

Heidi Deacon, Director

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

Coloring night for all ages, all supplies provided, Fridays 6-7 pm
Writers’ group
Currently on a writer’s break!
Sign up if interested in joining the group!
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.

Drop In Family Game Nights!!
First Friday of every month at 6:30

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 Wednesday of the month, 6 pm

Monthly Lego Night!
EVERY third Friday 6:30-7:30 for all ages.

Family Movie Night
Friday, December 27, 6 pm

“Abominable”rated PG

Did you Know???
In 1910, Virginia Woolf and her friends dressed up in costumes and donned fake beards in order to convince the Royal Navy they were a group of Abyssinian princes. And thus they pulled off what became known in newspapers as the ‘Dreadnought Hoax,’ earning a 40-minute guided tour of the ship.

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!

In theGallery…

Art by Candia’s own
Thomas Philbrick

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

#2 Did you Know???

According to Google, as of 2010, there were roughly 130 million books in print throughout the world. While counting the exact number is virtually impossible, the estimate was generated through an advanced Google algorithm that analyzed more than 150 pieces of metadata relating to the world’s books, and by discarding anything that was a duplicate or not by definition, a book.

Now! 2 groups! 2 times!
How about sharing your thoughts on a book at the friendly monthly book discussion group?

Wednesday, December 18th, 7 p.m.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
by Heather Morris

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

Extra titles of this book are available at the front desk

Thursday Morning Book Group :
Smyth Public Library is making space for a new reading club on the second Thursday of the month at 11-noon. Come in and pick up the title for the next meeting on January 23:

Chances Are
by Richard Russo
Extra titles of this book will be available at the front desk

What do you call Santa’s elves?
Subordinate Clauses!

Library Assets…

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!
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.

Smyth Library Patrons Now Have Access to Kanopy featuring more than 30,000 Films, For Free!
Library card holders can access Kanopy and view up to four films per month. Films can be streamed from any computer, television, mobile device or platform by downloading the Kanopy app for iOS, Android, AppleTV, Chromecast or Roku.
With the motto of “thoughtful entertainment,” Kanopy provides patrons with access to films of unique social and cultural value; films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere, and programming that features diversity, with a wide array of foreign language films and films on race, and current affairs.

Don’t forget – you can always borrow our internet hot spot, telescope and newly offered Ukulele and a dozen baking pans!

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 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.
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.
Smyth Library has available:
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. 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.

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!

Kids’ Stuff…
Check out our monthly calendar for children on the Children’s tab on our website.
Candia Kids Conservation Club with Mrs. Lindsey
First and Third Mondays, October-May at 3 pm

Library Clubs! Meeting on Thursdays 3&4 pm

First Thursdays 3 pm
Art Club (K-5) January 2

Second Thursdays 3 pm
STEM Club (K-5) December 12

Third Thursdays 3 pm
Magic Tree House Book Club (K-2) December 19
Polar Bears Past Bedtime by Mary Pope Osborne

Fourth Thursdays 3 pm
Crafting Club (K-5)
No meeting-Happy Christmas!

***Also, starting two new clubs!

Saturdays 1 pm
Creative Writing Club

Second Thursdays 4 pm
Harry Potter Readers Club (Grades 4-7)

Happening on the Second and Fourth Thursdays at 4pm.

Seeking Teen Readers to Lead and Run a new monthly Book Club for Teens by Teens!
You pick the title, the time, and we pick up the pizza!

Smyth Public Library presents:
Free Math Tutoring available with sessions by appointment.
With Candia resident, Scott Hewitt, retired Math teacher and current instructor at community college.
For all ages and abilities with help from Arithmetic to Calculus. (

Baby—Preschool children-
Stories, games, crafts, music, puppets
During Thursday Story Time 10 a.m.

NOW presenting two Storytimes:
Thursdays, 10 am with Jessica
Thursdays, 6 pm with Abigail
Preschoolers and babies welcomed
WHEN: Tuesdays from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (no meeting on 12/24 or 31)
WHERE: The Smyth Public Library Meeting Room
**entrance will be through the side door – I will have more info for those attending**
FREE to any Mom or Mom-To-Be who lives in Candia.
**Registration is required – there are limited spaces available**
SIGN-UPS: Please email Carol at:
**Please include: Your name, your cell number, number of children and their ages.**
ABOUT:– This is a non-profit FREE group that was created on a volunteer basis, to provide moms and babies a safe place to meet and socialize, seek advice, etc.
– Siblings are welcome, however, this group is geared towards babies age 0-18 months.
– Bathrooms, a kitchen sink, small fridge and a microwave are available during this time for use.– I will be providing some baby toys, blankets and seats.-You are welcome to bring your own coffee, tea and snacks.

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…
An auto mechanic Florian, Douglas
Hi, I’m Norman: the story of American illustrator Norman Rockwell Burleigh, Robert
From a small seed: the story of Eliza Hamilton Andros, Camille,
The Berenstain bears’ Christmas tree Berenstain, Stan
Santa and the three bears Catalano, Dominic.
The hike Farrell, Alison,
Looking for yesterday Jay, Alison
A wish to be a Christmas tree Monroe, Colleen.
Merry Christmas with love Patty, Sandi,
Buster gets braces Zalben, Jane Breskin
LEGO City reader collection: LEGO city emergency Sander, Sonia.

New books for juni ors…
Tech lab: brilliant builds for super makers Challoner, Jack,
Lin-Manuel Miranda: award-winning musical writer Kramer, Barbara,
The wild robot Brown, Peter
Allies Gratz, Alan
The Shockoe slip gang: a mystery Hass, Patricia Cecil.
Casper and Jasper and the terrible tyrant Jacobs, Tilia Klebenov,
The woman in the wall Kindl, Patrice.
The forty thieves: Marjana’s tale Lenzi, Christy,
The nebula secret Trueit, Trudi Strain,
From the Junior Shelves~

The Nebula Secret
(Explorer Academy #1)
by Trudi Trueit

Review by Elizabeth Jones

Cruz is a twelve year old boy whose mother has died. He has been accepted to go to the same school his mother went to, Explorer Academy, the school for kids around the world that dream of exploring. While he is at the academy, a mysterious man starts stalking him.Soon,Cruz wonders if this man is connected to his mother’s death. Explorer Academy is hiding more secrets than it seems. Make sure to check out this fact filled book full of adventure.

New books for young adults…
The queen of nothing Black, Holly
Lost and found Card, Orson Scott
Shadowscent Freestone, P.M.,
Danielle: chronicles of a superheroine Kurzweil, Ray,
Rebel: A Legend Novel Lu, Marie
The memory thief Mansy, Lauren,

From the Young Adult Shelves~

The Memory Thief
by Lauren Mansy

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

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. Early in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice shrinks down to a very small size and then has to swim through a river of what?

A. A pool of tears
No Winner!
This Month’s Trivia Question:

Who was the author of six romance novels published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott?

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.


Until next month’s Smythie, this is my best book of 2019.

This is the account of Odie O’Banion, a soon to be 13-year-old orphan who was sent to an Indian School with his brother when their father died. They escape the horrible labor camp cum school with two other friends, a mute and a little girl. Together, the four leave the school in Minnesota and head down to St. Louis.

Along the way, they are pursued, reviled and cherished depending upon whom they run across that day or that week. They cross paths with all sorts of interesting people during the summer of 1932 as they drift through the Midwest in the midst of the Depression. The book reads like a classic, connecting Americans in a big-hearted telling. This is far more than a kid’s coming of age story or a mere adventure. It is a look at us all.

Readers of modern American mysteries are well familiar with John Sandford, the author of over twenty Lucas Davenport novels. He spun off one of the supporting cast of those novels, Virgil Flowers.

Virgil is a cop who wears rock star tee shirts, has longer than normal hair for a policeman and writes nature and hunting articles on the side. Like Davenport, Flowers progresses through these books, but each stands alone just fine.

This started a bit slow for me, but it picked up when Flowers found some direction when trying to solve the murder of a professor in the university library.

Mr. Sandford is always reliable for a good solid mystery.


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Tuesdays With Morrie comes Mitch Albom’s most personal story to date: an intimate and heartwarming memoir about what it means to be a family and the young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change his heart.
Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Albom operates in Port Au Prince.

With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika’s arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, “No one in Haiti can help you with.”

Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that American medical care can soon return her to her homeland. Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of their household, and their lives, as they embark on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika’s boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learns that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost.

Told in hindsight, and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself, this is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable. Finding Chika is a celebration of a girl, her adoptive guardians, and the incredible bond they formed—a devastatingly beautiful portrait of what it means to be a family, regardless of how it is made.

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