Category Archives: From the Library – A Weekly Column

This Year’s Books Make Great Gifts – by Charlotte Canelli

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the December 11, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Librarians really aren’t against purchasing books. In fact, most librarians have one thing in common – a love of their own collections of books. Becoming a librarian customarily involves working among thousands and thousands of books, all at our fingertips. Owning one of your own, however, makes it even more special.

I adore giving books as gifts. However, I ponder carefully about it, though, because I want to make certain that the book will be treasured. I stay away from fiction unless it’s a classic or for a child because fiction seems so fleeting. I want the recipient of my book to go back to it again and again.

Cookbooks make fabulous gifts and some delicious titles were published this year. Gabrielle Hamilton wrote her memoir, “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef” in 2012. Trained as a writer (she received her MFA) but drawn to serving and cooking food most of her life, Hamilton opened her NY City restaurant, Prune, in 1999. Fifteen years later, she has written the cookbook by the same name. “Prune” is a journey through the recipes of yummy, unfussy, relaxed food that she has served in her 30-seat restaurant. Although Hamilton sensed that her cookbook should be about the food and not her profound philosophies (don’t forget, she already wrote the memoir), she includes annotations and brief commentary along the way. The book is very popular in the Minuteman Library System and copies are repeatedly checked-out in most libraries. It’s a perfect book to add to your favorite cook’s bookshelf. (more…)

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Christmas Traditions and the Movies – by Kate Tigue

Read Kate Tigue’s column in the December 4, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Kate is a Children’s Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

The holiday season has begun and all the yearly traditions we look forward to are on the horizon. One of my most highly anticipated holiday traditions is watching Christmas themed movies. It used to be popular to head to the movies on Christmas Day but the ubiquity of DVDs and streaming services have many people staying home and crowding around their TV. Many holiday traditions are rooted in family celebrations or get-togethers but my particular fondness for Christmas movies comes from my time in college. At the end of the semester, my friends and I would be obsessing over finals, practically living in the library while studying. In order to blow off some steam and take a much-needed break, we decided to hold a Christmas movie marathon that would feature our childhood favorites. We agreed to meet up in the dorm’s common area with each person bringing a DVD and, of course, a snack. After nearly 12 hours, we emerged from our Christmas cocoon, totally stuffed and ready to refocus on school. We had so much fun that we made a yearly tradition out of it for the remainder of our collegiate years. I’ve long since graduated and my friends have moved away but I’ve managed to turn this tradition into a family one ever since I turned one of those friends into my husband! We still watch our favorites every year just before Christmas and fondly recall those end-of-semester movie marathons. Looking for some suggestion for your own Christmas movie marathon? Here are some suggestions! All of these films are available for checkout through the Minuteman Library Network. (more…)

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The Saga of Mildred Pierce – by Charlotte Canelli

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the November 27, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As a follower of Kate Winslet since the “Titanic” days, I chanced to come across a recommendation of her appearance in an HBO miniseries (available on DVD at our library). The description of the five-part series, “Mildred Pierce,” intrigued me.

One reason is that I’ve always been fascinated by the depression, the setting for “Mildred Pierce.” Growing up I’d listened to stories by my grandmother, my mother and aunts and uncles who endured those years in the 30s. Living in a Massachusetts mill town, many of my mother’s family scraped by to make ends meet during the Depression’s darkest days. I am also the owner of a quilt created by my great-grandmother in the 30s. It was crafted from scraps of clothing that had been carefully ripped apart and remade into dresses and shirts for the large family. During my own quilting days, I remade that worn quilt and named it “Aunties’ Dresses”; I had heard the tale of which calico piece had earlier been a grown-up dress. That same dress became a child’s shirt in the 1930s and it later became my inherited quilt.

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A Book Club of Two – by Allison Palmgren

Read Alli Palmgren’s column in the November 20, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

With our annual family reunion approaching, I have been thinking about a particular trait that makes our family unique. You see, my family is blessed with a genetic predisposition to produce vast numbers of twins. If you don’t believe me, check out the September 1938 issue of National Geographic that recounts the story of my great-grandparents, Harry and Lydia Fifield. They managed to have an astounding six sets of twins in 13 years- a record at the time.

My sister Jessi and I continued this genetic tradition as the youngest set of twins in the family. This made us a novelty at family reunions as children, resulting in endless picture taking, cheek pinching, and talking about how similar we were. As our distant relatives correctly assumed, Jessi and I are two pages from the same book. We love the outdoors, we are unendingly competitive with one another (we have managed to turn Trivial Pursuit into a blood sport on more than one occasion), and we love to read. (more…)

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