Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goodbye Harry!

Mark your calendar for the final movie in the Harry Potter series opening in theaters July 15. The release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two ends the run of 8 fantasy adventure films based on J.K. Rowling’s novels.  Rowling wrote the first of the series when she supported her child and herself through the state welfare system in Scotland.

If you’d like to reread any part of the series or find a list of the volumes in order , head over to Shmoop on the NHTI Library’s databases page. Click Bestsellers and you’ll find all seven titles. The Intro tab tells you “In a nutshell” about the story. Additional tabs offer a summary, themes and characters. There will also be explanations of symbols, allegory, setting and tone. Best of the Web tab within the Sorcerer’s Stone includes a trivia test for all seven titles. How well do you really know Harry and his world?

Novelist (found under EbscoHost Services Menu) provides a list of the series in order and provides links to J.K. Rowling’s website. Wild about Harry by Bonnie Kunzel recaps the entire series. 

 If you still need some magic and wizardry the author of the following article suggests authors and  books in a similar style. Read  Is There Life After Harry? By M. Delbridge.

The library owns the Harry Potter books as well as the movies on DVDs.  Check with staff at the Circulation Desk to see what’s available.

Delbridge, M (2007) Is there Life After Harry?  Retrieved May 25, 2011 from

Kunzel, Bonnie (2010) Wild about Harry   Retrieved May 25, 2011 from

Friday, June 24, 2011


What’s the third most popular participation sport? Paintball! And guess what? It has roots in New Hampshire. The evolution of paintball has two scenarios. In the New Hampshire version, forest rangers marked trees with paintballs so the loggers would cut selectively.  Some say the rangers developed the sport.  Meanwhile ranchers in the Midwest identified their cattle with paintballs.

For the second scenario check the article in Credo Reference

An unexpected ecological benefit of paintball games is the growth of trees in the woods. While playing the game, weeds and weed trees are destroyed underfoot allowing the larger hardwood trees to flourish.

Corporations and groups take to paintball games because it develops team skills and it’s fun to play in the New England woods. 

If you head out to play, bring your goggles.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Reading

By popular demand, the library staff and friends have compiled a list of recommended summer reads.

1. American Tabloid
James Ellroy
PS3555.L6274 A8 1995

“A visceral, dizzying, tightly plotted novel unfolds on a much wider stage, delivering a compelling and detailed view of America from the late 1950s to the assassination of JFK. Demythologizing the Camelot years in a prose style to die for, James Ellroy depicts a nexus of renegade government agencies, mobsters, industrial tycoons and Hollywood players fueling the rise and fall of the Kennedy administration. The holy grail of grateful readers and conspiracy theorists alike!”

2. The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein
PS3569.T3655 A88 2008

Narrated by Enzo, the family dog, during his final hours, Stein’s novel is truly unique. In a voice that is both poignant and humorous, Enzo tells his family’s story, from his first days with Denny to the death of Denny’s wife and the custody struggle that ensues afterward. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a memorable novel that is not to be missed.

3. Big Stone Gap
Adriana Trigiani
PS3570 .R459 B54 2001

A Cinderella story begins when the 35 year old spinster and town pharmacist discovers a life changing “skeleton” in her family’s closet. There is also a great character in the local librarian who drives the bookmobile.

4. Deadly Kin
Tom Eslick
PS3605 .S57 D43 2003

Local NH author Tom Eslick sets his mysteries in the White Mountains. The main character Will Buchanan is a high school teacher and outdoorsman.

5. Fever Dream
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
PS3566.R3982 F48 2010

Authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child write mysteries featuring Special Agent Pendergast, a brilliant, crime solving FBI agent.  In Fever Dream, Agent Pendergast learns that his wife Helen, who died in a violent incident, was murdered and he sets out to discover who was behind her death. 

6. Little Princes
Conor Grennan
HV1285.9 .G74 2010

Grennan shares with readers his struggle to open an orphanage in Nepal. What at first began as a whim becomes Grennan’s life mission as he learns more about the orphans, their struggles, and the lasting effects of Nepali Civil War.

7. Red Mutiny
Neal Bascomb
DK264 .B37 2007

Red Muntiny is a quick read and, despite its non-fiction status, its form is similar to that of a novel. Bascomb introduces the sailors and explains their dream of the entire squadron joining them in a rebellion against their oppressive lives. In addition to examining how the mutiny affected tensions in the Black Sea, it also touches upon the subsequent global ramifications for a weakened Russian Empire and delves into the social and economic issues that led to the mutiny.   

8. A Soldier of the Great War
Mark Helprin
PS3558.E4775 S65 1990 (or 1996)

“Helprin's dramatic, sweeping narrative focuses on one man's experiences during a turbulent period of history. In summer 1964, a distinguished-looking gentleman in his seventies dismounts on principle from a streetcar that was to carry him from Rome to a distant village, instead accompanying on foot a boy denied a fare. As they walk, he tells the boy the story of his life.”

9. A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson
F106 .B92 1998

Humor writer Bill Bryson details his journey of discovery as he struggles to hike from one end of the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail to the other. In his typical humorous style he recounts his fear of bears sniffing out his Snickers bars, discovering how out of shake he really is, the antics of his belligerent, overweight hiking partner, and learning to poop in the woods (don't worry, no graphic details there).

10. Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen
PS367.R696 W38 2007

Water for Elephants will keep you at the edge of your seat from the first page to the last. This circus adventure will make you gasp, cry, cheer, and laugh as you are immersed into the story of the profoundly beautiful love someone can have for an animal. Sara Gruen is sensational. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ballet and Ballerinas

Natalie Portman won the 2011 Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a ballerina, pushed to the edge of a breakdown, in Black Swan (DVD PN1997.2 .B53 2010). Moira Shearer plays another troubled ballerina in Red Shoes (DVD PN1997 .R43 R43 1999) a dancer torn between two forces: the composer who loves her and the impresario determined to make her a star. These poor ballerinas! In Limelight (STEE VIDT PN1997 .L629 1990), Charlie Chaplin portrays a broken down music hall comedian determined to save a young ballerina, performed by Claire Bloom, from suicide.  

A new first novel Russian Winter (GV1787 .H58 2010) by Daphne Kalotay tells the story of Nina Revskaya, once a star ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet, who escaped from Soviet Russia, taking her jewelry and leaving her husband behind. Now in a wheelchair, she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection to benefit the Boston Ballet Foundation.  As the auction house curator catalogs her jewelry, Nina finds herself overwhelmed with memories of her childhood and career in Russia, plus her defection to a new dancing career, romance, mystery and fame in Boston.

Jennifer Homans, an historian and critic as well as a professional dancer, has written a new history of ballet, Apollo’s Angels (GV1787 .H58 2010). While all dancers share ballet movement, each ballet troupe reflects distinct national styles, cultures and traditions. Homans traces the origin and history of the ballet with vivid descriptions and includes many of the artists who helped make the art enduring, including what, at first, was a spectacular trick by Amalia Brugnoli who blithely danced on her toes creating what we know as en pointe.

Aronofsky, D. (Director). (2010) Black Swan [Film]. United States: 20th Century Fox.
DVD PN 1997.2 .B53 2010

Chaplin, C. (Director).  (1990) Limelight [Film]. Farmington Hills, MI: Playhouse Video.  STEE./VIDT PN1997 .L629 1990

Homans, J. (2010) Apollo’s Angels: a History of Ballet.  New York: Random. 
CV1787 .H58 2010

Kalotay, D. (2010) Russian Winter: a Novel. New York: Harper. 
PS3611 .A4555 R87 2010

Powell, M. & Pressberger, E. (Directors). (1999) The Red Shoes [Film].
New York: Criterion Collection.  DVD PN1997 .R43 R43 1999

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Up Close and Personal: Looking at the Bunker Hill Monument

In Yankee Magazine’s March/April 2011 Up Close feature, Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, Massachusetts, (pg. 120) former NHTI Library Director Wm John Hare has done his research on the monument which included climbing all 294 steps to the top. Hare shares with Yankee readers interesting, little known, fun and obscure facts and stories about a monument sited on Breed’s Hill in Charlestown, MA where most of the Revolutionary War battle of Bunker Hill was fought (Bunker Hill is adjacent to Breed’s Hill). While the monument itself is closed until summer due to restoration, the grounds and museum are open, without charge for admission.