You Know Winter Has Arrived When

Topsham Public Library is blessed with beautiful grounds. Not only do we have beautiful grounds, but we have great volunteers who have transformed our grounds into producing gardens. We receive many positive comments about the gardens and their beauty and their peacefulness.

The gardens are at the rear of our building, and in the summer we keep the door that leads from the gardens into the library unlocked. This door provides quick access to the grounds or to the library and we want our patrons and visitors to enjoy both.

Well, winter has arrived and I know this because we don’t unlock the garden door anymore. It’s necessary. It makes sense. But it’s sad, too. Now the flower and vegetable beds are under snow. Brrrrrrr.

It’s all part of the cycle of life, and it’s funny how in the little ways, such as the simple act of locking a door, that cycle seeps into our lives.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

If you have a little one who gets excited by the thought of Santa Claus, you don’t want to miss these opportunities at Topsham Public Library!

On Wednesday, December 13 at 10am we are hosting a special storytime with Miss Mariah. Children will meet Santa and have a tasty holiday treat! Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Children also have two opportunities to stop by and hear a story with Santa and they will also receive a book to bring home and keep. Sponsored by Priority Real Estate Group LLC, Santa will be at Topsham Public Library on Thursday, December 14 6pm-7pm, and again on Saturday, December 16, 1:30pm-2:30pm.

Meeting Santa can be exciting for everyone, and it only happens once a year!

Ho! Ho! Ho! See you there!

Should You Mess With a Classic?

Recently I borrowed the audiobook Huck Out West by Robert Coover, and I chose it because it is a sequel to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I was intrigued to discover how Coover envisioned the continuation of Huckleberry Finn’s life. All the pertinent characters are there, Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, and Jim, plus he refers to others from Twain’s original and, introduces new ones. The plot twists are interesting, and at times surprising, and I have found myself wondering what Mr. Twain would think of Coover’s tale.

Of course, this is not the first or only continuation of a classic that was not written by the original author. A sampling includes: Susan Hill’s sequel to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca titled Mrs. de Winter; Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley is the sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind; there is even a sequel to Les Miserables titled Cosette: the Sequel to Les Miserables by Laura Kalpakian.

If there are sequels, you know there must be prequels, too. Ruth’s Journey: The Authorized Novel of Mammy from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind is a prequel that shares the story of Mammy’s life (People really like Gone With the Wind!); to know what happened to Anne Shirley before living with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, you want to read Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson; even the crazy lady locked up in the attic in Jane Eyre gets her say thanks to Jean Rhys who wrote Wide Sargasso Sea

Not only are there sequels and prequels, but there are classics that have been written through another characters eyes. Caroline by Sarah Elizabeth Miller is the retelling of the Little House stories from Caroline’s perspective; Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig is Gone With the Wind through Rhett’s eyes; Grendel by John Gardner allows the monster in Beowulf to tell his side of the story.

These lists are certainly not exhaustive, and I may not have mentioned one that you love, or perhaps hate, but it’s something to get you started if you are so inclined.

I’m still not sure what I think, but questions about whether stories can actually be “owned”, what purpose stories have in society, and what happens when you change something so familiar are questions worth thinking about.

What do you think?

Happy Thanksgiving!


Topsham Public Library wishes you all a Happy Thanksgiving! We truly are a part of a great community, and we are so thankful for all of your support.

In observance of Thanksgiving, we will be closed Thursday, November 23, 2017, but we will re-open Friday, November 24, 2017 at 9am, and that same day join us for the Film After Feast at 1pm and watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen. Popcorn will be available. Bring pillows/blankets for extra coziness. All ages welcome.

You Are The Best!

Photo courtesy of Topsham resident Doug Griffin. 

Well, we survived. Honestly, I didn’t see it coming. I know the meteorologists were warning about the high winds, but I thought I was ready and unconsciously I thought, “Meh, how bad can it be?” Well, I was surprised, shocked almost, by the damage and power outage. I live in a part of Topsham that rarely loses power. We lost it early Monday morning, but we had it back by that afternoon. I didn’t realize how extensive the power outage was until my son’s friends came over and they were discussing the damages in their own neighborhoods and towns.

What impressed me, though, was the way the community looked out for one another. Neighbors were looking out for neighbors and people were offering their homes, showers, washers, and dryers to their neighbors and friends. The Town of Topsham got the word out about water stations and warming stations; American Legion Post 202 provided free meals after 3pm; Mt. Ararat High School opened as a warming station and the Mt. Ararat Sports Boosters offered free hot dogs and drinks.

Topsham Public Library had power through it all, and it was bustling with people coming in to get warm, work, charge their electronics, and get a free coffee or tea (Thanks you so much to Wicked Joe for providing the coffee). We were packed, and parking was tight, but the spirit was one of encouragement and helpfulness as neighbors and strangers alike gathered here in those difficult days.

This is just a sampling of how the community reached out to help, I’m sure I am missing other community members and businesses who helped out and contributed in the time of need.

As Thanksgiving draws close, and we think about what we are thankful for, I know we are truly thankful for our community. You are the best!

Author to Visit Topsham Public Library

We have a variety of book discussion groups here at Topsham Public Library, and one of them is Mens’ Book Club. This month they are reading Remarkable Americans: the Washburn Family by Kerck Kelsey, and they invite you to join them when the author visits on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 6pm and learn about one of Maine’s oldest and most political families.

Mr. Kelsey graduated from Princeton in 1955, where he majored in English. Following his military service, he was an educational salesman for Houghton Mifflin Company. Over the next twenty-one years, he sold books and tests throughout the United States and Canada. He then returned to Boston as a trust officer with the Bank of Boston. While there, he started extension classes at Harvard. He earned a Master’s Degree in History in 2002.

He wrote his thesis on Israel Washburn, Jr. and after moving to Maine in 1992, Mr. Kelsey rewrote his Harvard thesis for public consumption and published it in 2004 as Israel Washburn, Jr, Maine’s Little-Known Giant of the Civil War. He took on the whole story of the Livermore Washburns in Remarkable Americans: The Washburn Family published in 2008. He also authored a biography of the most spectacular Washburn brother titled Prairie Lightning: The Rise and Fall of William Drew Washburn, in 2010.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Movie Night with Topsham Public Library and Smitty’s Cinema

Topsham Public Library, in conjunction with Smitty’s Cinema in Topsham, is sponsoring a movie night and a movie matinee. (Smitty’s is located at 65 Topsham Fair Mall Road – the opposite end of Hannaford.) That’s right! Free movie tickets! Pick up tickets here and enjoy the movie at Smitty’s. Details below! (If you have questions, please call Topsham Public Library at 725-1727.)


THESE TICKETS HAVE ALREADY GONE–SORRY! Free movie tickets for Murder on the Orient Express sneak preview on Thursday, November 9 at 7p.m. will be available for Topsham Public Library cardholders on Wednesday, November 1 (today). One free movie ticket per card, on a first come, first served basis. There are a limited number of tickets available. Tickets must be picked up in person at Topsham Public Library. (Make sure you have your library card with you as you will be asked to show your card.) Additional tickets may be purchased at Smitty’s.


Free movie tickets for a special screening of Wonder on Tuesday, November 21 at 4p.m. will be available for Topsham Public Library cardholders on Friday, November 10. One free movie ticket per card, on a first come, first served basis. There are a limited number of tickets available. Tickets must be picked up in person at Topsham Public Library. (Make sure you have your library card with you as you will be asked to show your card.) Additional tickets may be purchased at Smitty’s.

High Demand Items

Every month, Josh Tiffany, Director of Gray Public Library, sends out a system wide email that alerts libraries of the items that are in high demand. Below you will find the list for October, 2017 high demand items. This will give you a glimpse of the value interlibrary loan is to libraries in Maine. And as a bonus, at the bottom of the list, Josh gives us the list from two years ago. Check out what was popular back in 2015!


OCTOBER 2017 High Demand Hold Digest


  • Glass Houses (Penny) – 379 holds on 77 items
  • Y is for Yesterday (Grafton) – 206 holds on 63 items
  • A Gentleman in Moscow (Towles) – 171 holds on 69 items
  • What Happened (Clinton) – 144 holds on 29 items
  • A Legacy of Spies (LeCarre) – 103 holds on 41 items
  • My Absolute Darling (Tallent) – 96 holds on 21 items
  • Don’t Let Go (Coben) – 94 holds on 26 items
  • Little Fires Everywhere (Ng) – 89 holds on 31 items
  • Origin (Brown) – 84 holds on 16 items
  • Unbelievable (Tur) – 75 holds on 17 items
  • Haunted (Patterson) – 73 holds on 35 items
  • The Girl Who Takes An Eye for an Eye (Lagercrantz) – 59 holds on 28 items
  • Manhattan Beach (Egan) – 59 holds on 8 items
  • The TB12 Method (Brady) – 37 holds on 6 items
  • Winter Solstice (Hilderbrand) – 34 holds on 14 items
  • The Ship of the Dead (Riordan) – 25 holds on 7 items
  • Killing England (O’Reilly) – 24 holds on 6 items
  • Merry and Bright (Macomber) – 22 holds on 10 items
  • The Plant Paradox (Gundry) – 22 holds on 7 items
  • Kennedy Babylon (Carr) – 20 holds on 3 items

Large Print

  • Glass Houses (Penny) – 49 holds on 6 items
  • A Gentleman in Moscow (Towles) – 30 holds on 11 items
  • Haunted (Patterson) – 27 holds on 5 items
  • Don’t Let Go (Coben) – 26 holds on 4 items
  • Before We Were Yours (Wingate) – 25 holds on 10 items
  • A Legacy of Spies (LeCarre) – 16 holds on 5 items
  • Little Fires Everywhere (Ng) – 15 holds on 4 items
  • Origin (Brown) – 15 holds on 4 items
  • The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Lagercrantz) – 11 holds on 4 items
  • Fletcher (Perrotta) – 8 holds on 4 items


  • Glass Houses (Penny) – 57 holds on 22 items
  • What Happened (Clinton) – 22 holds on 4 items
  • Don’t Let Go (Coben) – 19 holds on 3 items
  • A Column of Fire (Follett) – 16 holds on 8 items
  • The Alice Network (Quinn) – 11 holds on 5 items
  • Little Fires Everywhere (Ng) – 11 holds on 5 items
  • Origin (brown) – 11 holds on 2 items
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky (Sullivan) – 10 holds on 2 items
  • The Cuban Affair (DeMIlle) – 10 holds on 4 items
  • Secrets in Death (Robb) – 10 holds on 1 item


  • Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 – 21 holds on 3 items
  • The Circle – 16 holds on 4 items
  • Wonder Woman (2009 animated) – 13 holds on 1 item
  • Baywatch – 12 holds on 3 items
  • Snatched – 11 holds on 5 items
  • Alien: Covenant – 10 holds on 5 items
  • Born in China – 10 holds on 2 items
  • The Big Sick – 8 holds on 2 items
  • Gifted – 8 holds on 4 items
  • It Comes At Night – 7 holds on 2 items
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (1990 feature film) – 6 holds on 1 item
  • Transformers: The Last Knight – 5 holds on 1 item
  • The Hero – 4 holds on 1 item
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village – 4 holds on 2 items
  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2-disc set)– 4 holds on 1 item
  • The Case for Christ – 3 holds on 1 item
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – 3 holds on 1 item
  • 47 Meters Down – 2 holds on 1 item
  • Certain Women – 2 holds on 1 item
  • How To Be A Latin Lover – 2 holds on 1 item


  • Wonder Woman (single-disc 2017 feature film) – 89 holds on 10 items
  • Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 – 65 holds on 28 items
  • The Big Sick – 54 holds on 21 items
  • The Mummy – 41 holds on 13 items
  • Beatriz at Dinner – 33 holds on 10 items
  • Transformers: Last Knight – 33 holds on 6 items
  • Going in Style – 31 holds on 15 items
  • Paris Can Wait – 24 holds on 8 items
  • Rough Night – 24 holds on 5 items
  • Baywatch – 23 holds on 11 items
  • Dunkirk (2004 BBC documentary) – 19 holds on 1 item
  • Wonder Woman (2009 animated) – 16 holds on 1 item
  • Wonder Woman (2-disc 2017 feature film) – 14 holds on 4 items
  • Kong: Skull Island (2-disc special edition) – 13 holds on 6 items
  • The Ottoman Lieutenant – 11 holds on 4 items
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (1990 feature film) – 10 holds on 1 item
  • The Case for Christ – 9 holds on 3 items
  • It Comes at Night – 9 holds on 3 items
  • First Kill – 8 holds on 1 item
  • Shut In – 8 holds on 1 item

Blu-ray / DVD combo

  • Wonder Woman (2017 feature film) – 14 holds on 7 items
  • Kong: Skull Island – 11 holds on 3 items
  • The Boss Baby – 10 holds on 2 items
  • The Zookeepers Wife – 10 holds on 2 items
  • CHiPS – 8 holds on 2 items
  • Ghost in the Shell – 8 holds on 1 item
  • The Mummy – 8 holds on 1 item
  • Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 – 7 holds on 2 items
  • King Arthur: legend of the sword – 6 holds on 2 items
  • Going in Style – 5 holds on 1 item

TV Series

  • Big Little Lies – 46 holds on 18 items
  • Broadchurch: Season 3 – 37 holds on 11 items
  • The Big Bang Theory: Season 10 – 17 holds on 7 items
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Season 10 – 14 holds on 3 items
  • Orphan Black: Season 5 – 11 holds on 2 items
  • Major Crimes: Season 5 – 10 holds on 3 items
  • ER: Season 1 – 9 holds on 1 item
  • The Flash: Season 3 – 9 holds on 1 item
  • Death in Paradise: Season 6 – 8 holds on 1 item
  • Once Upon a Time: Season 6 – 8 holds on 1item
  • Chicago Fire: Season 5 – 6 holds on 3 items
  • The White Princess – 5 holds on 2 items
  • Designated Survivor: Season 1 – 4 holds on 2 items
  • Doctor Blake Mysteries: Season 4 – 4 holds on 0 items
  • The Goldbergs: Season 4 – 4 holds on 1 item
  • Grey’s Anatomy: Season 13 – 4 holds on 1 item
  • Suits:  Season 6 – 4 holds on 1 item
  • Survivor: Season 4 – 4 holds on 1 item
  • The Vietnam War (blu-ray) – 3 holds on 1 item
  • The Goldbergs: Season 3 – 3 holds on 1 item

Music CDs

  • Baby Driver soundtrack – 4 holds on 1 item
  • Now That’s What I call Music vol. 63 – 4 holds on 1 item
  • Back trios – 2 holds on 1 item
  • Concrete and Gold (Foo Fighters) – 2 holds on 1 item
  • A Deeper Understanding (War  on Drugs) – 2 holds on 1 item
  • Now That’s What I call Rock – 2 holds on 1 item


FLASHBACKS – High Demand holds from October 2015


  • The Nature of the Beast (Penny) – 309 holds on 71 items
  • Make Me (Child) – 275 holds on 60 items
  • X (Grafton) – 188 holds on 57 items)
  • The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Lagercrantz) – 166 holds on 54 items
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Kondo) – 115 holds on 56 copies
  • The Murder House (Patterson) – 114 holds on 26 items
  • Fates and Furies (Groff) – 88 holds on 23 items
  • After You (Moyes) – 66 holds on 12 items
  • My Brilliant Friend (Ferrante) – 61 holds on 21 copies
  • The Scam (Evanovich) – 50 holds on 24 copies


  • Homeland: Season 4 – 81 holds on 17 copies
  • Cinderella – 68 holds on 12 copies
  • The Age of Adaline – 66 holds on 16 copies
  • Pitch Perfect 2 – 55 holds on 9 copies
  • Spy – 49 holds on 3 copies
  • Aloha – 45 holds on 11 copies
  • Outlander: Season one, volume two – 43 holds on 5 copies
  • The Walking Dead: Season 5 – 41 holds on 12 copies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – 34 holds on 13 copies
  • Love & Mercy – 32 holds on 11 copies


Thank You! From Friends of Topsham Public Library

Below is a thank you note from The Friends of Topsham Public Library concerning the book sale:

The Friends of the Topsham Public Library once again want to extend a sincere thank you to the amazing citizens of Topsham and the entire community. We had a very successful book sale. Your support is neverending and much appreciated. We brought in over $7000 which will be used to support programs and activities at Topsham Public Library that are not part of the town budget.

The following is a list of individuals and local businesses that deserve special thanks for their contributions. Volunteers help by: sorting books into categories; moving boxes to and from their storage spaces; getting tables set up; putting books up on the tables; keeping books neat during the sale; cashiering; breaking down after the sale; and in dozens of other ways. Our list wouldn’t be complete without thanking the people who donated their beloved books and those who bought them. See you next year!

Area Businesses: Androscoggin Animal Hospital, Black Lantern B&B, Brunswick Business Center, Cosmic Stone & Garden Supply, The Highlands, Keith Spiro Media, Mid Coast-Parkview Health, Norway Savings Bank, Seaview Accounting & Counseling, Inc., shines & jecker labs, Smith & Associates CPA, Sunset Farms, Topsham Garden Club, T. Kevin Sullivan, DMD. Thank you to Topsham Hannaford for supplying our bags for “Brown Bag Sunday”.

Town of Topsham Staff: especially Pam LeDuc and Ed Caron.

The Highlands: book donors and staff.

Library Trustees: President Larry Fitch, Jerry Davis, Jim Demosthenes, Jen Ecker, Anne Eustis, Anne Macri, Diane Hender, Hahna Patterson, Irene Martin, Larissa Vigue Picard, Megan Therriault, Joe Trafton, Sally Von Benken.

Library Staff: Jen Balser, Cyndi Burne, Cat Campbell, Emma Gibbon, Julie McDuff, Linda Meadows, Dale Morgan, Lynne Morgan, Dave Mosley, Susan Preece, Sharon Ross, Mariah Sewall, Helen Tomer.

Members of the Friends and other volunteers who sorted books, moved books out of the shed, set up tables, worked during the sale and helped with clean up: Alison Harris, Melissa Hoy, Nate Hoy, Ruth Mlotek, Anne Lewis, Ross Lewis, Becca Lewis, Barbara Laurie, Barry O’Neil, Connie Bailey, Lori Aliberti, Kim Fletcher, Claudia Beckwith, Liz Volkening, Monique Marchilli-Barker, Cynthia Crawford, Peg Nulle, Joyce Munier, Bob Munier, John Light, Christine Pearson, Erin Scott, Bart Scott, Charlotte Scott, Maddie Scott, Matt Lawrence, Ed Preece, Don Marsh, Nicole Jakubowski, Brad White, Rina Mae White, Marhabo Uzoquva, Mike Snow, Lyndsay Patton, Alyssa Hubbard, Miki Alroy, Jeff Hanscom, Diana Ohmacht, Nancy Shaeffer-Muldowney, Shirley Edwards, Lori Bouley, Teri Schultz, Ron Poulin, Shirley Davis, Sally Claire McCrea, Brandon Bursky.

For comments or suggestions for improving the sale, or to volunteer to help next year, please email”