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February 2022 Newsletter

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New and Coming Soon to the Library...


See a book that looks interesting? Let us know if you'd like your name added to the hold list! For more information about the materials on order, check the Coming Soon page on our website.
 
Two hands wrapped around a mug of hot cocoa with heart-shaped marshmallows floating in it, against a background of rustic whitewashed boards. Two additional heart-shaped marshmallows are also scattered on the boards.
Hello, folks!

As most, if not all, of you know, it's been a bit of a tumultuous couple of months at Thomaston Public Library. Missy tested positive for COVID and I was quarantined for a week waiting for my own results, which came back negative, thankfully, so I could rejoin Caitlin and we were able to open back up to the public at least part-time, though we were still down to curbside a few days a week while we were short-staffed. We're very grateful for everyone's patience and understanding while we did our best to make sure services would still be safely available. I'm happy to report we are now back to our regular hours, barring the big winter storms we've already had recently! As a reminder, we post storm closings on WCSH 6, WMTW 8, and WGME 13 as well as on our social media.

Stay safe, folks!

Best,

Caroline

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Library Closed February 21

 

The library will be closed on Monday, February 21 in observance of Presidents' Day. We expect to reopen for our usual hours on Tuesday, February 22 at 11 am. 

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Thomaston Public Library Help Yourself Shelf with non-perishable food, personal care, and pet care items

New "Help Yourself Shelf" at Library


As many of you know, reducing food insecurity in our community is a cause near and dear to our hearts here at the library. We are excited to announce that the Free Room (the elevator lobby on the main floor of the library) now features a Help Yourself Shelf mini-food pantry! The Help Yourself Shelf is available any time the library is open, and no income qualifications, sign-ins, or appointments are needed. No questions asked! Folks are welcome to take what they need.

If you are able to donate items for the Help Yourself Shelf, non-perishable, in-date food (no expired canned peas, please!), personal care, or pet care items would be most welcome.

Curious about the Little Free Pantry movement? Find out more here. 

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Senior Exercise Class

 

Join us for our free Senior Exercise Class with Sandy Bodamer from the YMCA from 11 to 11:45 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the gym (downstairs from the Library). The exercises focus on standing and chair routines using light weights, resistance bands, and small fitness balls, and are easily adaptable to all fitness levels. We follow the CDC’s COVID guidelines to keep the class safe by allowing for plenty of social distancing in the gym and requiring masks.

Sandy Bodamer began her career at the Pen Bay YMCA when she moved to Maine from Pittsburgh. Her love of fitness and working with others has kept her at the Y for over 20 years. She loves working with the Active Older Adult population, helping to improve the quality of health and wellness through her classes and outreach in the community.  
 
This class is generously underwritten by the Friends of the Thomaston Public Library, and everyone is welcome to join. There is no charge but donations are gratefully accepted at the Library.

Masks are required during class, as they are in the library itself. We also offer recordings of the classes online if you would prefer to follow along from home. Contact us at library@thomastonmaine.gov to be added to the email list!

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Origami Pop-Up!

 

Join us for a new monthly origami group, starting Saturday, February 26 from 11:30 AM - 1 PM! It is an all-ages group since origami is fun for everyone - no experience necessary. We welcome everyone from beginners to advanced paper folders. Work on a creation of your own or feel free to use one of our models for ideas.

You can bring your own materials to work with if you want - any paper that folds easily, from newspaper, wrapping paper, butcher paper, construction paper, old books, catalogues, dollar bills, scrapbook paper, etc. We'll have traditional origami paper available as well, and some templates for creating your masterpieces. 

For more information, please contact the library at library@thomastonmaine.gov for (207) 354-2453. 


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Book Clubs!

Book Cover for The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin

February 15: Intergenerational Book Club


The IGBC will have a hybrid meeting on February 15 at 2:30 PM in the Community Conference Room and on Zoom to discuss The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin.
 
From the publisher:

"Three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life’s curveballs, are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing–and maybe even a second chance–just when they least expect it.

"Forty-four-year-old Alice Holtzman is stuck in a dead-end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn’t turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren’t helping her feel better these days.

"In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake–a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County–while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake’s sincere interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm.

"And then there’s Harry, a twenty-four-year-old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice’s ad for part-time farm help, he’s shocked to find himself hired. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees–and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.

"Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don’t turn out the way you expect."

On the third Tuesday of every month, the Intergenerational Book Club, a group of men and women of all ages from Thomaston and from surrounding communities, comes together to share their opinions and ideas about the book selection. Titles include fiction, biography and other non-fiction, Maine authors and subjects, adult and young adult levels. All are welcome to join. These meetings have recently been hybrid, both online and in-person, so folks are welcome to join from anywhere, not just Thomaston!
 
For March 15, we are reading Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. Request your copy today by clicking on the link, or email Caroline at cwardnesbit@thomastonmaine.gov for assistance.

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February 17: Pop-Up Book Club

For February, the Pop-Up Book Club is reading a sub-genre (of sorts) that many, many avid readers love: books about books! Fiction or non-fiction about books, booksellers/bookstores, libraries, authors, reading, etc. falls into this category. There are many lists out there on the internet (here's a couple that Book Riot has done: https://bookriot.com/books-about-books-for-bibliophiles/ and https://bookriot.com/100-must-read-books-books/), but Caroline also compiled a short list of personal favorites to share, in no particular order:

84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff
Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (this is an off-the-wall one – only recommended if you are a fan of weird stories with lots of puns)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane (also a little weird but not as much as The Eyre Affair, and far fewer puns)
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern
The Library Lovers Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay (cozy mystery series starring a librarian – the first is Books Can Be Deceiving)
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

And there are many, many more! We have most, if not all, of the above titles at the library, so feel free to contact us at library@thomastonmaine.gov to request one. 

The Pop-Up Book Club began as a limited series book group meeting outside during the warmer months at Thomaston Public Library to discuss light-hearted reads and share yummy snacks.  We've been having too much fun to stop and decided to continue meeting indoors in the Community Conference Room during the colder months on the third Thursday of the month at 2 PM. Snacks will resume when the weather warms up and we can be outdoors, or when masks are no longer needed at the Library! 

All are welcome to join!

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Book Cover for The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

March 3: Mystery Book Club

The Mystery Book Club will meet on Thursday, March 3 to discuss Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series, which begins with The Various Haunts of Men. Book group members are welcome to read any title in the series.

From the publisher about The Various Haunts of Men:

"As the story begins, a lonely woman vanishes while out on her morning run. Then a 22-year-old girl never returns from a walk. An old man disappears too. When fresh-faced policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case, she runs the risk of getting too invested--too involved--in the action. Alongside the enigmatic detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrallier, she must unravel the mystery before events turn too gruesome. Written with intelligence, compassion, and a knowing eye--in the tradition of the fabulous mysteries of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James--The Various Haunts of Men is an enthralling journey into the heart of a wonderfully developed town, and into the very mind of a killer..."

The Mystery Book Club meets on the first Thursday of every month. For April, the group has decided to read thrillers by Lucy Foley. For more information about this or any of the book clubs, please contact us at (207) 354-2453 or library@thomastonmaine.gov.



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White text that reads "Well-behaved women seldom make history" over a purple background

March 8: Let's Talk About It Book Club

Let's Talk About It has embarked on a new series with a slightly different format than in the past. For the next few months, we will be reading books about the underrepresentation of women throughout history, with a focus on a different theme each month. We began in January with women writers and women in publishing; in February we turned to women in science, and in March, in honor of women's history month, we are reading books about women in politics (including political activism) and government. Readers are welcome to pick any title, fiction or nonfiction, that fits the theme. 


The Let’s Talk About It Book Club was born of a Maine Humanities Council-sponsored discussion series at Thomaston Public Library several years ago and meets the second Tuesday of every month to read and discuss a set of five to six books grouped around a common theme. For more information about this or any of the book clubs, please contact us at (207) 354-2453 or library@thomastonmaine.gov.

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On Display at the Library

Black History Month


We celebrate Black history year-round here at the library, but February is an ideal time to highlight some of the amazing books in our collection that center Black history! Check out some of the selections on the display table in our main reading room today.

 

Cozy Reads

We've had some big winter storms lately, and it's put us in the mood for some particularly cozy reads. In the Reading Room, we're featuring some of our favorite books in all genres that leave us with all the warm-and-fuzzy feelings!


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What We're Reading & Recommending

Book Cover for Tidesong by Wendy Xu
Caroline: I'm a huge fan of Studio Ghibli's brilliant animated films such as Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro. So when Caitlin recommended the middle grade graphic novel Tidesong by Wendy Xu as having "big Studio Ghibli vibes," I knew I had to read it. It did not disappoint! This fantasy story about a young witch who can't quite control her magic and a water dragon who gets entangled in it was utterly delightful, and the art is indeed beautiful and reminiscent of some of my favorite Ghibli animation, as well as other wonderful graphic novels like The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag. 
Book Cover for Where the Truth Lies by Anna Bailey
Missy enjoyed the new thriller by Anna Bailey, Where the Truth Lies. A teenage girl goes missing from an insular small town in Colorado. As her best friend sets out to discover the truth about what really happened that night, all the town's long-held secrets start to come to light. If you're a fan of slow-burning suspense novels like those of Megan Miranda and Celeste Ng, you'll want to check this one out! 
 
Caitlin recently read and really enjoyed another middle grade graphic novel, Sheets by Brenna Thummler. Marjorie lost her mom just over a year ago, and since then she’s helped her highly-depressed father run the laundromat her mother opened. They live in the apartment above it, where Marjorie assists in cooking and keeping an eye on her little brother not yet old enough for kindergarten. The local busybody makes sales offers so he can open his so-called yoga spa, but Marjorie won’t have it. Meanwhile, in the land of ghosts, a ghost named Wendell takes the train into the human world without permission. The town he lands in is a little familiar, and the laundromat? Best sheets around. But it looks like Marjorie needs help. Maybe Wendell can lend her a ghostly little hand in keeping the place open.
Book Cover for The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
Blake recommends The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman, which is the sequel to the wildly popular Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim are back to solve another mystery, this time to help Elizabeth's ex-husband, a former secret service agent, who has been accused of stealing £20 million worth of diamonds. As funny and entertaining as the first - request it today! Oh, and Blake offered a bonus recommendation from his lovely wife, Alethe, who very much enjoyed Diane Chamberlain's The Last House on the Street!
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