Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

Got Fines? Bring Food!

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Got fines?  The Grafton Public Library is once again be accepting nonperishable food donations in lieu of overdue fines, now through December 31. Donations are accepted at the Library at 35 Grafton Common, Mon-Thu 10am-9pm and Fri-Sat 10am-5pm.

We ask that borrowers use their own sound judgment to make a food donation equivalent to the amount of fines owed. Food for Fines may not be applied to the costs of lost or damaged materials or other fees, such as faxing, photocopying or replacement library cards.

All contributions will go to the Grafton Food Bank. The Grafton Food Bank distributes baskets to Grafton families in need of food assistance during the holidays and throughout the year.

Non-perishable food of all kinds is needed, but especially welcome are gifts of jellies, juice, canned fruit and peanut butter. Personal toiletries, e.g. soap, toothpaste, etc, are also always needed.  Donations of dented cans or items past their expiration date will not be accepted, as they may not be safe to consume, and will only have to be discarded.

We thank the public and the Library Board of Trustees for their support of this wonderful program. If overdue fines are stopping you from using your card, please take advantage of this program to bring your account current before the end of the year. During the rest of year, there are options to work off fines, replace materials at lower costs, and set up a payment plan so your card can remain in good standing.

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Library to Close for Thanksgiving Holiday

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The Grafton Public Library will CLOSE at 5 pm on Wednesday November 27, and CLOSED all day Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29 in observance of Thanksgiving. The Library reopens at 10:00 am on Saturday November 30.

Please visit our Digital Branch to:

The Library staff are so happy to serve our enthusiastic and appreciative visitors! What are YOU thankful for this year?

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Library CLOSED Monday November 11 in Observance of Veteran’s Day

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The Grafton Public Library will be CLOSED Monday November 11 in Observance of Veteran’s Day. Additionally, the online catalog Evergreen will be down for updating from 6 PM Friday November 8 to 7AM Tuesday November 12. Thanks for your patience!

All services requiring a library card will still work – please visit our Digital Branch to:

Download eBooks for your Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Smartphone, Tablet, PC…

Learn a new language with Mango Languages

Discover your roots with HeritageQuest

Streaming independent film, on demand — documentary, short film or features — with IndieFlix

Reserve a museum pass and make plans to visit a local attraction

Get suggestions for what to read next from Novelist

 

Thank you so much to all who served!

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New Book Discussion Group for Adults who love to read Young Adult Literature

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being_henry_david   The Grafton Public Library is pleased to offer a new book discussion group in the library’s Main Reading Room at 35 Grafton Common on Monday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m. The “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group is for adults who enjoy reading and talking about young adult literature.

Even though Yong Adult literature is typically about teenage characters dealing with young adult issues, adults now represent a higher percentage of the readership than ever before, accounting for 55 percent, according to Publishers Weekly (2012, Sept. 13. New Study: 55% of YA Books Bought by Adults. PublishersWeekly.com. http://www.publishersweekly.com).

So if you are part of that 55 percent or have a favorite YA novel that you just want to talk about, this group is for you! Stop by the library to sign up and check out a copy of this month’s book: Being Henry David, by Cal Armistead. Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old “Hank”, who can’t remember his identity, finds himself in Penn Station with a copy of Thoreau’s Walden as his only possession and must figure out where he’s from and why he ran away.
For more information, please contact Heidi Fowler, Reference Librarian at 508-839-4649 ext. 1102 or graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com.

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Congratulations to Alice Munro for winning the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature

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Dear Life bookcoverAlice Munro, 82, is a renowned Canadian short-story writer, widely beloved for her spare and psychologically astute fiction that is deeply revealing of human nature. She has published 14 short story collections, and is considered by many to have revolutionized the architecture of short stories, often beginning a story in an unexpected place then moving backward or forward in time.

Her collection Dear Life, published last year, appears to be her last. Upon learning of the award, Ms Munro said, “I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.”

The Grafton Public Library has many of Alice Munro’s collections, and we’ll be happy to order anything for you that we don’t!

Read some Alice Munro stories online for free

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Review: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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The Paris Wife book coverWhen it comes to learning about famous literary or historic figures, it pays to listen to the spouses’ point of view. Such was the case in The Aviator’s Wife  about Ann Morrow Lindbergh and so it is about Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife in The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain.

Hadley and Hemingway (H & H) met in Chicago in 1920 when she was 28 and he was 21. An aspiring writer, Hemingway worked at low-paying newspaper jobs before it occurred to him that given time and space, he could write about his own experiences, of which he would have plenty.

He was encouraged by Sherwood Anderson to go to Paris where all the action was. It was the Jazz Age in Paris, and Hemingway lived a bohemian lifestyle with the likes of Gertrude Stein, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce to name a few. It was a fast-living, hard-drinking crowd with no apparent family values. When H & H had a son, Hadley could no longer keep up, and her husband’s interest and eyes wandered.

As much as she disliked bull-fighting, Hadley would accompany her husband to Pamplona, where he actually participated in amateur bullfighting. In addition, beside the fact that Hadley could no longer hold her husband’s interest, she seemed unaware that other women were flirting openly with him and in active pursuit mode.

As Hemingway’s work goes, I was never a big fan of The Old Man and the Sea with its simple declarative sentences, but I am curious to read The Sun Also Rises, which was written when he was married to Hadley.

Although this may not be the most stylistically perfect book, it provides insight into an American icon and what drove him. It also is a further reminder that often the most famous, intelligent, talented and handsome of men do not make the best husbands or fathers–Charles Lindbergh and Ernest Hemingway being prime examples.

In any case, Papa Hemingway, Hadley and Paris make for a good literary experience.

I give the book 3 9/10 picadors.

Happy reading from Beverly!

Download The Paris Wife eBook

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What’s Brewing at the Grafton Public Library?

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fresh coffee

We now have, for your drinking pleasure, hot coffee (regular and decaf), hot tea and hot cocoa! Just purchase a cup at the front desk for $1 and, with the Keurig technology, brew yourself a fresh cuppa! Many thanks to the Friends of the Grafton Public Library for making this possible!

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Review: A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama

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A Hundred Flowers bookcoverWhat could be more refreshing to a reader than an historical, cross-cultural novel that’s fast and easy to read? Gail Tsukiyama has done it again in A Hundred Flowers. The author became known to me last year in the powerful Women of Silk, and she has followed up with an equally impressive work.

Set in 1957 China, A Hundred Flowers refers to Chairman Mao’s admonition that there be a new intellectual openness where ideas could flourish. Unfortunately, that was a ruse to identify dissidents who were arrested and sent to far-off labor camps for re-education.

This is the situation in the home of Kai Ling, an herbalist in the village of Guangzhou, China. Her husband Seng was arrested for writing a letter perceived to be anti-government, and she has heard little from him since he was sent away.

Kai Ling lives with her young son Tao, her father-in-law Wei and a family friend Auntie Song, and they pass each day together awaiting word from Sang.

The characters take turns narrating the story from their own perspective, and it is clear that each of them is suffering in their own way, some of it guilt. They long for the happy days of the past and look forward hopefully to the future, but the present is not that easy to endure.

To add to the turmoil in the home that Kai Ying has to manage, Wei falls from the kapok tree and has serious injuries. All the family members aid in his recovery by making special medicinal soups, reading to him and in general trying to keep his spirits up. He doesn’t understand why his father has been away so long.

In addition another character appears who has her own set of problems–-Suying. She is very young, starving, homeless and pregnant. Although this event could add more turmoil to this embattled family, the baby generates a caring attitude among all the family members and diverts their attention from
their own problems.

Because of the author’s previous work, I was not surprised at how deep this deceptively simply stated book is. It somehow gently points out the tribulations everyone goes through to one degree or another and learning how to cope with them.

It’s time to smell the flowers–A Hundred Flowers.

I give the book 4 herbal teas.

Happy reading from Beverly!

Request A Hundred Flowers in print

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Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

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Flight BehaviorIt has been many years since I read Barbara Kingsolver’s transcendent novel, The Poisonwood Bible. Her latest work does not take place in far-away Africa, however, but in rural Tennessee. This is an area the author knows well since she and her family live on a farm in Appalachia. It is the setting for Flight Behavior.

Dellarobia Turnbowis a young mother toiling on a family farm. As she climbs a nearby mountain one day on her way to a tryst, she sees a remarkable sight. Through a clearing of trees, she sees a sea of quivering red which turns out to be monarch butterflies who have lost their way. Their natural habitat, a mountain in Mexico, has been deforested with resulting landslides, and the monarchs somehow found their way to Tennessee.

This cautionary tale of the environment gone awry is a major theme in the story. As scientists arrive on the scene to assess the situation, Dellarobia, named after the wreath, becomes active in the research involved. Her education had been halted due to the responsibilities of parenthood, but her natural curiosity and innate intelligence took over.

In addition to this tale of climate change is the story of a woman who has found her life tedious and unfulfilling. She has lost connection with her husband, lives in a home owned by her in-laws and poverty is grinding her down. Then came the monarchs. How she deal with these elements, including the church and the arriving scientists and media is a unique look into an all too possible situation.

Thanks to Barbara Kingsolver, the reader is given a view of a style of life not ordinarily mentioned. I do not find her preachy at all, just realistic. At one point in the book, for example, the locals are warned by the scientists about leaving a smaller carbon footprint-–they could perhaps fly less. This advice was given to people who had never had occasion to cross the state line.

If you haven’t done so yet, become acquainted with the world of Barbara Kingsolver; Flight Behavior would be a great start.

I give the book 4 recycled water bottles.

Happy reading from Beverly!

Download Flight Behavior eBook

Request Flight Behavior  in print

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New Writers Group to Meet

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The Grafton Public Library is pleased to serve as host to a new writing group for adults. Serious-minded writers seeking peer support and professional-level criticism are invited to participate. Participants should have goals to learn, publish, and possibly earn a living as a writer. The first meeting will be held Wednesday, April 24 at 7 pm.  Sessions are facilitated by Neil Brett. Space is limited, registration is required; contact Neil at neil.brett.007@gmail.com or 774-293-1134.

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