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Thursday’s Book Discussion!

index3ALTS5PAThursday at 7:00 pm in the Grosebeck Room at Manhattan Public Library will be our final event in our Big Read programs regarding the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. We are especially excited to have Dr. Kim Stanley, a professor at McPherson College and a representative of the Kansas Humanities Council, here in Manhattan to lead our discussion. Dr. Stanley is very knowledgeable about this book and promises to provide an informative and lively discussion. Refreshments will be served. Join us for this interesting discussion!

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The Real History of the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving

by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager
The story of the first Thanksgiving is rooted in history but the mythology surrounding it has grown over the centuries till it barely resembles actual events. As is nearly always the case with history, the truth turns out to be far more complicated and vastly more interesting than the myth. If you’re interested in learning more about the real story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and about our country’s complicated, fascinating history, try one of these books from Manhattan Public Library.

mayflowr“Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick details the history of the Pilgrims as Separatists in England and as religious refugees in Holland, and then follows their voyage on the Mayflower, chronicling the early years of Plymouth Colony and examining relations between European settlers and Native Americans. Philbrick adds depth to what we know of familiar historical figures like William Bradford, Chief Massasoit, Squanto, Miles Standish, Priscilla Mullins, John Alden, and Edward Winslow, and reveals unexpected and surprising historical details.

“Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World” by Nick Bunker is another richly-detailed historic overview. The author, an Englishman, writes about the Mayflower Pilgrims as Englishmen themselves and places them in the context of the political world in which they lived. It’s an exhaustively detailed recounting of the first years of settlement which “scoops up every relevant character and links all to the basic tale of indomitable courage, religious faith, commercial ambition, international rivalry, and domestic politics.” (Publisher’s Weekly). (more…)

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Gratitude for Veterans

left: Rich Wartell, Orris Kelly, Chuck Murphy, Beryl Adams, Mike McDermott, Ron Trewyn, and Mike Kearns.

left: Rich Wartell, Orris Kelly, Chuck Murphy, Beryl Adams, Mike McDermott, Ron Trewyn, and Mike Kearns.

The staff at Manhattan Public Library would like to thank the distinguished group of Vietnam veterans who participated in the Veterans’ Day Forum at the Wareham Opera House on November 11, 2014. We appreciate the time and effort of Beryl Adams, Orris Kelly, Mike McDermott, Chuck Murphy, Ron Trewyn, and Rich Wartell who bravely shared their experiences, with Mike Kearns leading the discussion.

Trewyn

Dr. Ron Trewyn

We would also like to thank the many audience members who came out on a very cold evening and expressed their appreciation for these veterans. We believe everyone found the 90 minutes to be interesting, rewarding, and moving, as they heard these six individuals share details of their life-changing experiences during and after the war.

Events of this size only come together with the help of many people. We are very grateful for the assistance of Dave Ekart and the Flint Hills Veterans Coalition, and Ryan Platt from the Wareham Opera House, for their help planning the event. Dave Lewis and Ron Frank were instrumental in the process, providing sound support and a video recording of the forum. Thanks to Ron Frank, copies of the DVD will soon be available for checkout at the library as part of the Veteran’s Oral History Project collection.

Thank you to Briana Nelson Goff and Kansas State University’s Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families for their partnership and support.

We appreciate the enthusiastic support provided by Cheryl Collins and Allana Saenger-Parker from the Riley County Historical Museum. Their poignant display of artifacts belonging to Roger Parrish, a soldier who did not return home after the war, as well as a series of photographs from the FHVC, will be on display at the library throughout the month of November.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Kansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for grant funding that enabled us to provide books and publicity for the Big Read events. These grants are designed to promote reading and a shared experience of storytelling in communities.

The staff at the Little Apple Brewing Company were the generous hosts of a book discussion for the Big Read on November 13. We appreciate the use of your space, your friendly hospitality, and hope to make this a recurring partnership.

A final event is planned for the Big Read on Thursday, November 20 at

7:00 p.m. at the library. Dr. Kim Stanley from the Kansas Humanities Council will lead a discussion of the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

We appreciate the support of all the members of the community in showing gratitude to our soldiers. Thank you for your service.

With gratitude,

Judi Nechols

Mary Newkirk

Danielle Schapaugh

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National Adoption Month

by Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian, and Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

Family_jumpDuring the month of November, the act of adoption is celebrated through an initiative of the Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids. There are currently more than 5,000 Kansas children in foster care, with just under 900 waiting to be adopted.  Most children waiting to be adopted are 10 years or older, or are part of a sibling group. Profiles for waiting children can viewed through Adopt US Kids.

The qualifications needed to become an adoptive parent through the foster system vary statewide. In the state of Kansas, it is required for prospective parents to complete the 30-hour PS-MAPP (Partnering for Permanency and Safety—Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) training course, as well as a full home study done by a social worker. Numerous agencies exist in the state of Kansas which assist with domestic infant adoptions, and qualifications and costs for adoptions vary per agency.

Often, adoptive parents find themselves in need of extra support as their children grow older and begin to understand their identity as adopted, but deeply loved. There are many resources available for parents in such situations. Most agencies that facilitate adoptions offer parent and caregiver support groups. During these support groups, parents can connect with other adoptive parents and resources to help them be the best possible parents. The Child Welfare Information Gateway also has numerous resources for assisting parents in helping their child process their identity as an adopted child.

Here at Manhattan Public Library, there are also a wide variety of adoption-related materials for each step of the way.

 

Learning About Adoption for Parents

 

Adoption Books for Kids (Fiction and Nonfiction)

Fiction

Nonfiction

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Do you Love Peanut Butter?!

by Janet, Adult Services Librarian

I’ve heard it’s Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. James A. Garfield said, “Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” For those of you that do love peanut butter, “There’s nothing peanut butter and a spoon can’t fix.” Thank you George Washington Carver for giving us this incredible invention.

peanutPick up Jon Krampner’s book, Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, The All American Food to learn more about the tasty sticky stuff.

I found a recipe that got my saliva glands going that I must try soon. It’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie on page 159in Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My World! Recipes that Take You Places by Emeril Lagasse.

 

You too can find books that have great peanut butter recipes to suit your own taste buds and gain new ways to enjoy this wonder paste using our library catalog.

 

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Honoring Veterans

TBR-Logo-BWIt is hard to believe that it is the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. For many of us, it seems like only yesterday that our families and friends were watching the draft lotteries on television (hoping for a high number—the higher the number, the less likely you would be drafted), and sending letters overseas to servicemen. This momentous anniversary will be recognized at our local Veterans Day celebrations, which include events at the Manhattan Public Library.

This year, the Manhattan Public Library received a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Arts allowing us to plan for a Big Read.  The Big Read is a program designed with the goal to encourage reading as a shared experience in the community, with grant funding allowing the purchase of books to give away, making speakers available, providing for the cost of printing materials and posters, etc. The Big Read  engages American readers by awarding grants to local communities for local Big Read projects.  By improving access to the art of literature readers will be able to connect with great works of literature. O
Our Big Read events have been planned in conjunction with the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This award-winning novel is considered a literary classic and has been taught in classrooms around the world since its publication in 1990.

thingsThe book is a fictionalized account of the author’s experiences as an infantryman in Vietnam. A collection of stories that comprise the novel, O’Brien conveys the chaos, fear and other feelings that make up warfare in his writing. ““War is hell, but that’s not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.”

Our Big Read events include the parade on Veterans Day, where we will be handing out copies of the book “The Things They Carried” (while they last!) as well as the Vietnam Veteran’s Forum later in the afternoon. Also, stop by on Veterans Day or at the library during November and write a note on a Thank You to Veterans postcard. We will be sending these for distribution to VA Hospitals and other agencies that serve our Veterans.

An exciting and important event will take place on Veterans Day at 4:00 at the Wareham—the Vietnam Veterans Forum. Several distinguished local Vietnam Veterans will discuss their experiences during the war in Vietnam. Join us to hear their stories and their reflections on the Vietnam War. The Flint Hills Veterans Coalition has been very helpful in organizing and planning for the forum.

We have planned two book discussions for community members. On Thursday Nov. 13 at 6:00pm, we are sponsoring Books and Brew—a discussion at Little Apple Brewery. Appetizers will be provided, and food and drink may be ordered. If you can’t make it to the Brewery, we will be having another discussion of the book at the Good Books Club on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 pm at the library. Refreshments will be provided.

 

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Native American Exhibit at the Beach Museum

earth and loom resizedEarth and Loom: A Century of Native American Art from the Collection of Dennis and Carola Deschner

October 28 – December 21, 2014

This exhibition includes twenty Navajo weavings from the late nineteenth century and twentieth century representing different regions and weaving stles. Also included are twenty-six pieces of Pueblo pottery by significant late-nineteenth and twenty-century Native American potters from nine pueblos.

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Tempting Fall Fiction for Adults

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burtonby Marcia Allen, Technical Services and Collections Manager

The fall book season always provides a nice helping of new fiction surprises. This year’s list of standouts includes many offerings by bestselling favorites, but it also includes some unusual stories from authors who may not be familiar. I invite you to sample some of my latest discoveries in the hope that you may find some appealing new fiction.

The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton is that rare piece of historical fiction that manages to create memorable characters in an authentic period setting. Recently contracted bride, Nella Oortman, arrives in 1686 Amsterdam only to find that her new husband has no real interest in her. Compounding Nella’s loneliness are the facts that the household is dominated by her husband’s rigid sister, and the family sugar trading business may be failing. Nella’s only joy is the puzzling gift of a cabinet house that her husband has purchased for her. When a life-like series of tiny figures and furniture soon arrives, Nella is determined to meet the artist who created them. What makes this book memorable is the dynamics among the characters, as well as its vivid portrayal of the city and its strict adherence to religious code. Author Burton delivers a young heroine forced to accept what she cannot change.

A Sudden Light” by Garth Stein is the latest from the author who gave us the magical “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” an emotional story told from the point of view of the family dog. This new tale is a flashback with supernatural elements. When Trevor Riddell was fourteen years old, he and his father traveled to Riddell House, the dilapidated family estate, in order to convince Grandpa Samuel to sell the place to developers so that all could share the proceeds. Complications arise because the grandfather has mental lapses, and the home seems to be haunted by family ancestors who died under tragic circumstances. While the story does have its eerie moments, it’s more a tale of old hurts and odd family dynamics. Trevor is a sharp young character who wants to heal old wounds, so he finds himself caught between opposing loyalties.

The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen is a very pleasant surprise for those who can’t get enough epic fantasy. Life will never be the same for nineteen-year-old Kelsea Glynn, as soldiers of the Queen’s Guard have come to remove her from her adopted parents’ home and place her on her rightful throne. Since her queen mother’s death, ambitious forces, like her greedy uncle and the Red Queen of Mortmesne, have struggled for control of the kingdom and have often shipped the Tearling citizenry off to slavery. Kelsea is a kind and decent heroine, but she knows little of governance. This first installment in a planned trilogy features well written magic touches, like gigantic hawks and a mysterious glowing sapphire that Kelsea wears, and it effectively pits good and evil forces against one another throughout.

The Boy Who Drew Monsters” by Keith Donohue is a disturbing tale of horror. This supernatural tales features an isolated Maine setting under cover of snow and a boy who suffers from crippling psychological problems. Young Jack Peter refuses to leave the house, communicates little with his parents, and constantly draws sketches of threatening monsters. At some point, the monsters of the drawings begin to take on lives of their own, and the boy’s parents and neighbors sight unbelievable creatures. Is the story eerie? You bet! The fleeting visions, the impending danger, the isolation and the confusion about what is real make for an uneasy reading experience.

New fall titles are arriving on a daily basis, so be sure to check the MPL website for upcoming novels. There’s lots of new romance and adventure, westerns and science fiction yet to be read.

 

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It’s National Cook for your Pets Day!

petsby Janet, Adult Services

Our pets deserve to have nutritious meals too. Try out some of the recipes from The Healthy Homemade Pet Food Cookbook and treat your pet to a nutritious home-cooked meal today! Check out the other books in our collection about pet nutrition. You’ll find nutrition information for turtles, sugar gliders, parakeets, cats, and dogs. I’m sure your pets will love you for it.

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October is National Reading Group month!

by Rhonna, Adult Services

Hopefully you’ve noticed that we have some options for gathering to talk about books here at the library  but even if you prefer to create your own book group, we’re here to help you out.
Two databases are available to help you. Novelist Plus is the go-to tool for exploring all information about books, including helpful discussion guides for some titles. BookBrowse also offers discussion questions, but goes beyond that to provide advice for starting and running a book group, book recommendations, and author interviews. Both resources are available from the library Research Page .
readingIt can be difficult to get enough books for your entire group to read. Fortunately, some libraries in Kansas have created book group kits, including several books and often a discussion guide. The Kansas Library has provided a list of all of the sets available in the state. If you find something that works for you, contact our Interlibrary Loan department at 785-776-4741 ext. 139.
We also have some books that might be helpful for you: Read It and Eat: A Month-By-Month Guide to Scintillating Book Club Selections and Mouthwatering Menus by Sarah Gardner, Reading Group Choices: Selections for Lively Book Discussions, and Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason.

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