Celebrate the Great Maine Outdoor weekend with us!

Bring your family to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature this winter right here at the Topsham Public Library…

Saturday, February 14th-16th is the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend and we are hosting two events on Saturday the 15th:

  • From 9:15 on will be a hands-on exploration and identification of the trees along the library’s paths using a camera and the Trees of Maine guide.
  • Starting at 10:00am will be a DIY bird feeder activity, perfect to honor National Bird Feeding month.  Choose from several feeder options.  When you are through, head outside to hang them up throughout the library’s gardens and paths and have fun exploring. 


We look forward to seeing you then!

National Seed Swap Day

Did you know that there is a National Seed Swap day?  There is!  It’s the last Saturday of January every year.  Check out this link to learn more:
National Seed Swap Day


Although the date has come and gone, it’s never too late to do a little seed swapping.  If you’re ready for some spring-time fun and would like to organize your own seed swapping party, you might like to check out this book:

Seedswap: The Gardener’s Guide to Saving and Swapping Seeds by Josie Jeffery

There are also some PDFs from the book that you can download:

Seed Saving Techniques & Creating a Seed Bank

If you do host a seed swapping party, we’d love to hear about it!

Mariah’s Top 6 of 2013

Adult fiction: Tenth of December by George Saunders Amazing.  I could try to write a review but it wouldn’t do this book justice!  Read it!

Juvenile fiction: The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo When a magician accidentally conjures an elephant out of thin air, it sets off a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone.  This book is technically written for kids, but I would recommend it to every adult – it is absolutely beautiful!

Picture book: Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin, Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri “Poor Raccoon.  All he wants in life is some pizza.”  The creators of “Dragons Love Tacos” (one of my top five of last year!) have returned with (is this even possible?) a funnier, sillier, amazing-er book!  My favorite quote of the year is from this book (“pizza smell gives me the happy screams”), and the whole thing was so funny I laughed all the way through.  Then I read it again, and again laughed all the way through.  Then I cornered as many coworkers as possible, and watched them read it/read it over their shoulder, laughing all the way through.

Adult Nonfiction: Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer I found out this morning that Lehrer apparently fabricated parts of this book (most notably, certain quotes by Bob Dylan) which has led to its removal from stores and being recalled by the publisher.  I am hugely disappointed, because this was one of my favorite nonfiction reads ever!  Even knowing that some of this book is inaccurate, it was still fascinating, and it raised some very important questions on our assumptions about creativity.  Perhaps an opinion piece on creativity is in order….

Young Adult: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This book completely swept me away – I basically went without sleep until I finished it, sped through the second book, and what?! The third and final book isn’t even WRITTEN yet?!  I highly recommend this book, but you may want to wait until the trilogy is completed….

Movie: I Am If you ever feel discouraged about humans, watch this movie!  Definitely the most “feel good” movie I have ever seen!

Bernardo’s Top 5 of 2013

The Legend of Korra by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino (TV Series)

Seth’s Blog by Seth Godin (Blog)
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Book)
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard (Graphic Novel)
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow (Book)

Cyndi’s Top 5 of 2013!

1. The Good Nurse: A True Story Of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber

2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

3. Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

4. Magic Rises by Ilona Daniels

5. Shades of Earth: An Across the Universe Novel by Beth Revis

Susan’s Top 6 of 2013

1. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

2. Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
3. Secret Daughter by Shilipi Somaya Gowda
4. Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
5. The Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier
6. Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain

Helen’s Top 6 of 2013

1. Two Graves by Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child

2. The Blood Gospel by James Rollins
3. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
4. Joyland by Stephen King
5. Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty
6. The Black Country by Alex Grecian

Linda’s Top 5 of 2013

Bury Your Dead
by Louise Penny
Once again, Louise Penny is at the top of my list. Each installation of her Inspector Gamache series is better than the last. In her sixth mystery, she actually weaves together two complete storylines, which could stand on their own, and for a coup de gras, adds a ribbon of plotline that wraps up  her last novel, The Brutal Telling, like a gift. All of this excellently and brilliantly carried out, holding the readers interest, right up to the last page. This one is not to be missed. This is definitely a series that must be read in order, though. So if you haven’t had the pleasure of getting lost in Three Pines with Inspector Gamache, start with the first one, Still Life.

Speaking From Among the Bones
by Alan Bradley
This 5th in the series is just as delightful as the other four. Flavia de Luce, precocious and daring 11 year old, lives in a small English village in the 1950’s. Her mother died in a plane crash when Flavia was very young and is greatly missed by all.  She has two sisters who are the bain of her existence and a father who cannot keep up with her.  Thus encouraged to find her own amusement, Flavia has a penchant for finding trouble, and dead bodies. Alan Bradley does an excellent job creating this small village and populating it with interesting, some might say, eccentric characters. Yet for all this the mysteries are engaging and challenging. If you haven’t read these I suggest you start with the first installment, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and watch the story unfold from the beginning.

Killing Floor
by Lee Child
After hearing so many complaints from Jack Reacher fans over the movie casting, I had to try this series. I was not disappointed. This thriller/mystery/action story was thoroughly enjoyable. It is the kind of book I just can’t put down. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! Jack Reacher, retired military policeman, loner, and stranger in town was arrested for murder. Everyone wants him to be guilty. It’s up to Jack to get himself out of this nightmare. Jack Reacher is a man’s man, tough, strong, capable, and trained in hand to hand combat. He’s also a gentlemen and has a way with the ladies. Accompanying him on his journey is some ride!

Her Royal Spyness
By Rhys Bowen
Cute! Perky! Charming! are the words I would use to describe this mystery series by Rhys Bowen. Meet Lady Georgiana, 34th in line for the British throne. Georgie, as her friends call her, is not interested in an arranged marriage to a foreign prince so she leaves the family castle in Scotland to make her own way in the world. Alone in the family home in London it’s not too long before she finds trouble, in the form of a body in her bath.  Light and easy to read, these books are the perfect companion for a day at the beach or an evening on the couch.

Dead Level
by Sarah Graves
I enjoy this series that is set in Eastport, Maine.  Jacobia Tiptree, New York transplant to the island, has an uncanny knack for finding bodies and getting in the way of killers. In this episode, the killer gets up close and personal, making Jake his main target. After all, she did get him put away. There are plenty of thrills as Jake and her BFF Ellie do their best to outwit their stalker. There is plenty of action and excitement in this one. It’s a quick read.

Winter Garden Fun

Are you finding yourself longing for green garden views during these cold and snowy Maine days?  There’s no reason why your garden can’t be a fun and inviting space during the winter months.  

We’ve put together a collection of fun ideas to help overcome the winter doldrums.

Build Snow Animals:  The National Wildlife Federation Kids has some ideas with easy instructions.  If you’d like to feed feathered friends at the same time, decorate your snow animal with berries, bird seed, and other bird delicacies.

Snow Painting: Color some water with food coloring and use spray bottles or ketchup-type squirt bottles to decorate the snow.

 Create snow land art Andy Goldsworthy style

Cover the garden with greenery snowflakes

Enjoy!  If you try some of these ideas, stop by and let us know how it turned out…