Calling all BLUESTOCKINGS!!

On a blue note:
Remember the contest to write a piece, take a photo, or generally be creative with your bluestockings – to show your literary side. The long weekend is a perfect time to put your thinking caps on and come up with some ideas. Remember you get to pick your prize book from our rather extensive bookshelf! We will try to find titles/authors/genre if we can. Deadline is 9th June!
NB I just finished my first summer beach read Soulless by Gail Carriger, and by page 10 the main character was defined as a ‘bluestocking’! Now if I could just figure out how to make a photo of vampires and werewolves and bluestockings….!

Making Haste From Babylon


Making Haste from Babylon: the Mayflower Pilgrims and their world. A New History.
Nick Bunker (2010)
I couldn’t imagine what more there could be to tell about the Pilgrims. I loved the recent Mayflower book, and tend to keep up to date with this historical era. I have even visited sites on both sides of the Atlantic. I have several relatives that came over on that ship (and many since then), so have alot of historical knowledge. And here is another book, that really DOES have more insight, and even more information. There is an excellent index, as well as footnotes to each chapter, with references should you chose to delve further. Some of them are well worth reading (e.g. the title!) but also just to see what sources he found. I understand all too well the attics he must have sifted through to find many of these documents. And saved them for posterity! It is a fairly dense read, involves a lot of economics, as well as politics, but really is fascinating. I might be biased, but I will return to reread sections of this book, and have recommended it to all my family.
NB the baby robins in the photo just launched themselves into the new world today.

Contest Official Rules

Official Rules:
All entries must be electronic and emailed to: friendsbookstorerochmn@gmail.com

All entries will be posted on the Friends and Friends’ Bookstore Blog where positive comments will help determine the winning entry.

Photographs must be original and all winning individuals must agree to sign a release form for publication within our newsletters and social media sites.

Winning entries may be published in newsletters and posted on our social media sites and displayed in the Library/Friends’ Bookstore. Winner(s) may remain anonymous if they so choose.

The content of the entry must be suitable for viewing by an audience of all ages.

No more than one entry per person per contest.

Only one prize per entry.

The prizes consist of donated books; a variety of children’s, young adult, fiction, non-fiction, etc. will be available to choose from. Every effort will be made to find a book of the winner’s choice.

If your entry contains any copyrighted material the entrant will be responsible for securing the licensing rights and giving appropriate credits.

A qualified panel will review all entries and decide the contest winners.
Each entry will be graded on the following criteria:
1. Quality of entry – style, content, and enthusiasm
2. Does the entry relate to the topic?
3. Creativity of entry
4. Blog Comments
5. Overall impression

Creative Social Media Contests

We are going to be holding literary contests for our social media patrons. Once a month we will have a topic for your creative talents to illustrate. Prizes will be awarded to the most original and imaginative entries.

Our First Contest!

Calling all literary personnel (bookgroups)! We are looking for Bluestockings. Hint: Check out the Friends Bulletin Board in the library or the Friends and Friends’ Bookstore blog. Submit a photo of your favorite Bluestocking(s) with details of what you’re reading. The best entry will win a book of your choice from our prize bookshelf. Entries must be submitted by June 9, 2010.

Set your thinking caps for July’s contest, which will be favorite beach reads. The bookstore will have a display of beach reads if you need any.

If you have any ideas for future contests, feel free to email us: friendsbookstorerochmn@gmail.com


Tower of Prizes!

Official Rules:
All entries must be electronic and emailed to: friendsbookstorerochmn@gmail.com

All entries will be posted on the Friends and Friends’ Bookstore Blog where positive comments will help determine the winning entry.

Photographs must be original and all winning individuals must agree to sign a release form for publication within our newsletters and social media sites.

Winning entries may be published in newsletters and posted on our social media sites and displayed in the Library/Friends’ Bookstore. Winner(s) may remain anonymous if they so choose.

The content of the entry must be suitable for viewing by an audience of all ages.

No more than one entry per person per contest.

Only one prize per entry.

The prizes consist of donated books; a variety of children’s, young adult, fiction, non-fiction, etc. will be available to choose from. Every effort will be made to find a book of the winner’s choice.

If your entry contains any copyrighted material the entrant will be responsible for securing the licensing rights and giving appropriate credits.

A qualified panel will review all entries and decide the contest winners.
Each entry will be graded on the following criteria:
1. Quality of entry – style, content, and enthusiasm
2. Does the entry relate to the topic?
3. Creativity of entry
4. Blog Comments
5. Overall impression

Trenton Lee Stewart Book review

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Reviewed by Rhea Kohli

Eleven-year-old orphan, Reynie Muldoon, sees an ad in the newspaper asking, “Are you a gift child looking for special opportunities?” Reynie is convinced he is. Many other children are taking this test about bravery, logic, etc. Does he stand a chance? While he doubts himself, he passes all but the last test. He has to go through a maze and ring a bell. When he finishes this, he meets three other children who have also passed these series of tests. Finally they meet Mr. Benedict, a narcoleptic who lives behind the maze and before he knows it, he’s off to the Learning Institute of the Very Enlightened on a very important mission. He is sent with George “Sticky” Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. They must find and stop the man who wants to control the minds of people throughout the world with his evil machine. This seems very hard for even four gifted children.
To find out what happens next, read The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Beverly Nichols


Rhapsody in Green: The Garden wit and wisdom of Beverly Nichols ed. by Roy C Dicks. (2009)

“Welcome hilarity to the all-too-serious literature of gardening” NYTimes.
“Master of hyperbolic understatement”
Pen and Ink Drawings by William McLaren (these are a charming part of the book!)

“One doesn’t read gardening advertisements in moments of cooler judgment. One reads them in an ecstasy of unquestioning faith. That is why everybody should buy shares in seed firms.”

This book is TOO short! 128 pages of delight, of memories, of enchanting descriptions laced with wry wit. You keep turning the pages for the plant details, the lovely word photographs and the skewered individuals/gardeners!
I have to email quotes to various people: for the heathers, the white garden, the critics, Chelsea, cyclamen, bulbs, ….the list becomes dozens of people!

BBC news, Elliott Prize

Three novelists vie for £10,000 Desmond Elliott prize : Jacob Polley, Maria Allen and Ali Shaw and will find out if they have won in June. A former bookseller, an acclaimed poet and a teacher have made the final shortlist for the Desmond Elliott prize for first time novelists.

Bookmakers have made Before the Earthquake by teacher Maria Allen favourite to win the £10,000 prize.

Talk of the Town by poet Jacob Polley and The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw make up the shortlist.

The prize was set up in 2007 in honour of the publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, who died in 2003.

The three shortlisted books cover a range of genres from a coming-of-age tale to historical fiction and magical realism.\

The latter is Ali Smith’s Girl with Glass Feet which Gail Harris and I loved!

Anne Perry, The Sheen on the Silk (2010)

Anne Perry, The Sheen on the Silk
This is an interesting book, similar to the Ariana Franklin books I have just finished reading. It is however all Perry – intricate plot, complex characters, intrigue, incredible detail and wonderful historic setting. Constantinople and Constantine 1100s. A girl who masquerades as a physician to restore her twin brother’s name/reputation. A girl with a complicated past, uncertain present and nearly no future. Constantine is equally fascinating, leaving one wondering if he did indeed realise how corrupt he had become, and the implications of his power designs. And all those lost souls.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson

Helen Simonson Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand 2010
Delighted that Gail recommended it. Debut novel, and absolutely delightful. Has the perfect pitch sense of time and place for modern England, while also delving into small town / village politics, tough issues of immigration, cultural abyss, inter-racial marriage, death, and class. All in a book that is charming to read! The Major has a terrible shock with the death of his brother by massive heart attack. Mrs Ali is collecting paper money and shares a cup of proper english tea when he truly needs one. She is kind, understanding how he feels, what he is going through, but also because her world is changing as she is being forced back into her culture, no longer being allowed the english freedoms after the death of her husband. Everything reads true here – the voice is just right – several of the language idiosyncrasies of both Indian and English, how to brew the tea, what the neighbors will say, the gardening, the vicar, the silent disapproval, the club…. He has stood for all things English his entire life, honor, duty, decorum. He had such joy with his wife, while disapproving, but not knowing what to do about it with his son, his brother’s wife, some friends. It is as if Major has put on a new set of eyeglasses and is finally measuring his life and deciding to LIVE large, not just be English (this could be American, European, etc). The point is how we live. And it is so delicately and joyously described for us. This novel flowers.

Quilt, Threads of Our Community, RACE Exhibition


The Rochester Library has a fabulous new display that was created by many people within the Community. This Quilt illustrates the diversity within our town and is a lovely supplemental event to the RACE exhibition. Be sure to read about each artist in the accompanying book that was so beautifully put together by Gail, Purna and Ginny. Thanks for all your efforts!