Recent Book Orders

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A new mystery is afoot in the third book in the Thursday Murder Club series from million-copy bestselling author Richard Osman.
“The quartet of aging amateur sleuths…remain wonderful company,” –the New York Times Book Review
“The Bullet That Missed hits on every front.” –the Wall Street Journal

It is an ordinary Thursday, and things should finally be returning to normal. Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case–their favorite kind–leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers.
Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill or be killed. Suddenly the cold case has become red hot.
While Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim chase down the clues with help from old friends and new. But can the gang solve the mystery and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again?
From an upmarket spa to a prison cell complete with espresso machine to a luxury penthouse high in the sky, this third adventure of the Thursday Murder Club is full of the cleverness, intrigue, and irresistible charm that readers have come to expect from Richard Osman’s bestselling series.

Review Citations:
Publishers Weekly 07/11/2022 (EAN 9780593299395, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 08/01/2022 (EAN 9780593299395, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Booklist 09/01/2022 pg. 37 (EAN 9780593299395, Hardcover)
Library Journal 09/01/2022 pg. 119 (EAN 9780593299395, Hardcover)
Shelf Awareness 09/23/2022 (EAN 9780593299395, Hardcover)

Lessons in Chemistry

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK – A must-read debut! Meet Elizabeth Zott: a “formidable, unapologetic and inspiring” (PARADE) scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show in this novel that is “irresistible, satisfying and full of fuel. It reminds you that change takes time and always requires heat” (The New York Times Book Review).
A unique heroine … you’ll find yourself wishing she wasn’t fictional. –Seattle Times
Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with–of all things–her mind. True chemistry results.
But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.
Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 11/01/2021 pg. 15 (EAN 9780385547345, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 02/01/2022 (EAN 9780385547345, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Publishers Weekly 02/28/2022 (EAN 9780385547345, Hardcover)
Booklist 03/01/2022 pg. 24 (EAN 9780385547345, Hardcover)

West with Giraffes

“Few true friends have I known and two were giraffes…”
Woodrow Wilson Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away. But when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he finds himself recalling the unforgettable experience he cannot take to his grave.
It’s 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe, and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California’s first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Behind the wheel is the young Dust Bowl rowdy Woodrow. Inspired by true events, the tale weaves real-life figures with fictional ones, including the world’s first female zoo director, a crusty old man with a past, a young female photographer with a secret, and assorted reprobates as spotty as the giraffes.
Part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story, West with Giraffes explores what it means to be changed by the grace of animals, the kindness of strangers, the passing of time, and a story told before it’s too late.

Review Citations:
Booklist 12/01/2020 pg. 31 (EAN 9781542021746, Hardcover)

Civil Service Exam Study Guide 2021-2022

Updated for 2021, Trivium Test Prep’s unofficial, NEW Civil Service Exam Study Guide 2021-2022: Preparation Book with Practice Test Questions for the Civil Service Exams (Police Officer, Firefighter, Clerical, and More) isn’t your typical exam prep! Because we know your time is limited, we’ve created a product that goes beyond what most study guides offer. With Civil Service Exam Study Guide 2021-2022, you’ll benefit from a quick but total review of everything tested on the exam with current, real examples, graphics, and information. These easy to use materials give you that extra edge you need to pass the first time.

Trivium Test Prep is not affiliated with or endorsed by any testing organization and does not own or claim ownership of any trademarks. All test names (and their acronyms) are trademarks of their respective owners. This study guide is for general information and does not claim endorsement by any third party.

Trivium Test Prep’s Civil Service Exam Study Guide 2021-2022 offers:

A full review of what you need to know for the civil service exam
Practice questions for you to practice and improve
Test tips to help you score higher

Trivium Test Prep’s Civil Service Exam Study Guide 2021-2022 covers:

Reading
Writing
Verbal and Reasoning Skills
Mathematics
Clerical Skills

…and includes a FULL practice test!

Life Time: Your Body Clock and Its Essential Roles in Good Health and Sleep (backordered)

A guide to using the science of the body clock to promote better sleep, better health, and better thinking
“Full of surprising and useful facts. . . . Unlike many science books with similar subtitles, it really might ‘revolutionise’ your life.”–James McConnachie, The Times (London)
“A comprehensive manifesto for living in harmony with our body clocks, penned by someone who has devoted his career to studying them.”–Financial Times

Biological clocks are embedded in every aspect of human biology, guiding us toward the prime times of day to sleep, eat, think, and work. Award-winning scientist Russell Foster brings decades of study to this journey through the circadian rhythms that dominate our days and nights. He shows how the realities of 24/7 life–including night-shift work, overbooked calendars, and caring for newborns–disrupt the body clock, taking a toll on sleep and on mental and physical health.
By dismantling long-standing myths and citing cutting-edge science, Foster empowers readers to get back into rhythm and live healthier, sharper lives: scheduling meals to prevent obesity and diabetes; timing medications to increase their effectiveness; getting better sleep through exposure to natural light; and much more. “If you want to embrace life,” Foster writes, “then embracing biological time will help you do this.”

If the law cannot protect a person from a lynching, then isn’t lynching the law?
In By Hands Now Known, Margaret A. Burnham, director of Northeastern University’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, challenges our understanding of the Jim Crow era by exploring the relationship between formal law and background legal norms in a series of harrowing cases from 1920 to 1960. From rendition, the legal process by which states make claims to other states for the return of their citizens, to battles over state and federal jurisdiction and the outsize role of local sheriffs in enforcing racial hierarchy, Burnham maps the criminal legal system in the mid-twentieth-century South, and traces the unremitting line from slavery to the legal structures of this period and through to today.
Drawing on an extensive database, collected over more than a decade and exceeding 1,000 cases of racial violence, she reveals the true legal system of Jim Crow, and captures the memories of those whose stories have not yet been heard.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 12 (EAN 9780393867855, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 06/06/2022 (EAN 9780393867855, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Library Journal 07/08/2022 pg. 1 (EAN 9780393867855, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Kirkus Reviews 09/01/2022 (EAN 9780393867855, Hardcover) – *Starred Review

Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

The definitive history of World War II from the African American perspective, written by civil rights expert and Dartmouth history professor Matthew Delmont
“Matthew F. Delmont’s book is filled with compelling narratives that outline with nuance, rigor, and complexity how Black Americans fought for this country abroad while simultaneously fighting for their rights here in the​ United States. Half American belongs firmly within the canon of indispensable World War II books.”
–Clint Smith, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
Over one million Black men and women served in World War II. Black troops were at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge, serving in segregated units and performing unheralded but vital support jobs, only to be denied housing and educational opportunities on their return home. Without their crucial contributions to the war effort, the United States could not have won the war. And yet the stories of these Black veterans have long been ignored, cast aside in favor of the myth of the “Good War” fought by the “Greatest Generation.”
Half American is American history as you’ve likely never read it before. In these pages are stories of Black heroes such as Thurgood Marshall, the chief lawyer for the NAACP, who investigated and publicized violence against Black troops and veterans; Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., leader of the Tuskegee Airmen, who was at the forefront of the years-long fight to open the Air Force to Black pilots; Ella Baker, the civil rights leader who advocated on the home front for Black soldiers, veterans, and their families; James Thompson, the 26-year-old whose letter to a newspaper laying bare the hypocrisy of fighting against fascism abroad when racism still reigned at home set in motion the Double Victory campaign; and poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a war correspondent for the Black press. Their bravery and patriotism in the face of unfathomable racism is both inspiring and galvanizing. In a time when the questions World War II raised regarding race and democracy in America remain troublingly relevant and still unanswered, this meticulously researched retelling makes for urgently necessary reading.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 14 (EAN 9781984880390, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 07/25/2022 (EAN 9781984880390, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2022 (EAN 9781984880390, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Library Journal 09/01/2022 pg. 150 (EAN 9781984880390, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Booklist 10/01/2022 pg. 13 (EAN 9781984880390, Hardcover)
Booklist 10/01/2022 pg. 13 (EAN 9781984880406, Other)

Myth America: Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies about Our Past

America’s top historians set the record straight on the most pernicious myths about our nation’s past
The United States is in the grip of a crisis of bad history. Distortions of the past promoted in the conservative media have led large numbers of Americans to believe in fictions over facts, making constructive dialogue impossible and imperiling our democracy.
In Myth America, Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer have assembled an all-star team of fellow historians to push back against this misinformation. The contributors debunk narratives that portray the New Deal and Great Society as failures, immigrants as hostile invaders, and feminists as anti-family warriors–among numerous other partisan lies. Based on a firm foundation of historical scholarship, their findings revitalize our understanding of American history.
Replacing myths with research and reality, Myth America is essential reading amid today’s heated debates about our nation’s past.
With Essays By
Akhil Reed Amar – Kathleen Belew – Carol Anderson – Kevin Kruse – Erika Lee – Daniel Immerwahr – Elizabeth Hinton – Naomi Oreskes – Erik M. Conway – Ari Kelman – Geraldo Cadava – David A. Bell – Joshua Zeitz – Sarah Churchwell – Michael Kazin – Karen L. Cox – Eric Rauchway – Glenda Gilmore – Natalia Mehlman Petrzela – Lawrence B. Glickman – Julian E. Zelizer

Review Citations:
Publishers Weekly 06/13/2022 (EAN 9781541601390, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Kirkus Reviews 08/01/2022 (EAN 9781541601390, Hardcover)
Library Journal 08/01/2022 pg. 110 (EAN 9781541601390, Hardcover) – *Starred Review

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human

From the author of The Emperor of All Maladies, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and The Gene, a #1 New York Times bestseller, comes his most spectacular book yet, an exploration of medicine and our radical new ability to manipulate cells. Rich with Mukherjee’s revelatory and exhilarating stories of scientists, doctors, and the patients whose lives may be saved by their work, The Song of the Cell is the third book in this extraordinary writer’s exploration of what it means to be human.
Mukherjee begins this magnificent story in the late 1600s, when a distinguished English polymath, Robert Hooke, and an eccentric Dutch cloth-merchant, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek looked down their handmade microscopes. What they saw introduced a radical concept that swept through biology and medicine, touching virtually every aspect of the two sciences, and altering both forever. It was the fact that complex living organisms are assemblages of tiny, self-contained, self-regulating units. Our organs, our physiology, our selves–hearts, blood, brains–are built from these compartments. Hooke christened them ” cells”.
The discovery of cells–and the reframing of the human body as a cellular ecosystem–announced the birth of a new kind of medicine based on the therapeutic manipulations of cells. A hip fracture, a cardiac arrest, Alzheimer’s dementia, AIDS, pneumonia, lung cancer, kidney failure, arthritis, COVID pneumonia–all could be reconceived as the results of cells, or systems of cells, functioning abnormally. And all could be perceived as loci of cellular therapies.
In The Song of the Cell, Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. He seduces you with writing so vivid, lucid, and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling. Told in six parts, laced with Mukherjee’s own experience as a researcher, a doctor, and a prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate–a masterpiece.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 17 (EAN 9781982117351, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 08/01/2022 (EAN 9781982117351, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 10 (EAN 9781982117351, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 08/29/2022 (EAN 9781982117351, Hardcover) – *Starred Review

Back to the Garden

A fifty-year-old cold case involving California royalty comes back to life–with potentially fatal consequences–in this gripping standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.
A magnificent house, vast formal gardens, a golden family that shaped California, and a colorful past filled with now-famous artists: the Gardener Estate was a twentieth-century Eden.
And now, just as the Estate is preparing to move into a new future, restoration work on some of its art digs up a grim relic of the home’s past: a human skull, hidden away for decades.
Inspector Raquel Laing has her work cut out for her. Fifty years ago, the Estate’s young heir, Rob Gardener, turned his palatial home into a counterculture commune of peace, love, and equality. But that was also a time when serial killers preyed on innocents–monsters like The Highwayman, whose case has just surged back into the public eye.
Could the skull belong to one of his victims?
To Raquel–a woman who knows all about colorful pasts–the bones clearly seem linked to The Highwayman. But as she dives into the Estate’s archives to look for signs of his presence, what she unearths begins to take on a dark reality all of its own.
Everything she finds keeps bringing her back to Rob Gardener himself. While he might be a gray-haired recluse now, back then he was a troubled young Vietnam vet whose girlfriend vanished after a midsummer festival at the Estate.
But a lot of people seem to have disappeared from the Gardener Estate that summer when the commune mysteriously fell apart: a young woman, her child, and Rob’s brother, Fort.
The pressure is on, and Raquel needs to solve this case–before The Highwayman slips away, or another Gardener vanishes.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 2 (EAN 9780593496565, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 07/04/2022 (EAN 9780593496565, Hardcover)

Captive (Eve Duncan)

Eve Duncan’s daughter Jane MacGuire seems to have found a perfect life with Seth Caleb–until a ruthless madman threatens to destroy it all, in this gripping suspense novel from #1 bestselling author Iris Johansen.
Jane MacGuire is enjoying a period of domestic bliss as she focuses on her art and her partner Seth Caleb uses his unique abilities as an agent for the MI6 intelligence service. But when Seth crosses crime lord Hugh Bohdan, he incurs the wrath of one of the world’s most powerful criminal empires…one whose tentacles reach across the globe and even to the idyllic Scottish retreat where Jane is working.
Soon Jane is on the run, struggling to stay one step ahead of Bohdan’s army and his devastating high-tech weaponry. Even with the assistance of Earl John MacDuff, she finds danger at every turn. But with that peril comes an astonishing discovery: a 200-year-old secret on the brink of becoming lost to history.
Jane and Seth must join forces to unlock the fascinating puzzle, even as they hurtle toward a lethal final confrontation in the Highlands. But before their adventure is over, Jane and Seth will encounter their biggest shock of all…and realize nothing can be the same for them ever again.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 6 (EAN 9781538726297, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 07/25/2022 (EAN 9781538726297, Hardcover)
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 26 (EAN 9781538726297, Hardcover)

Dreamland

1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – From the author of The Wish comes a poignant love story about risking everything for a dream–and whether it’s possible to leave the past behind.Colby Mills once felt destined for a musical career, until tragedy grounded his aspirations. Now the head of a small family farm in North Carolina, he spontaneously takes a gig playing at a bar in St. Pete Beach, Florida, seeking a rare break from his duties at home.
But when he meets Morgan Lee, his world is turned upside-down, making him wonder if the responsibilities he has shouldered need dictate his life forever. The daughter of affluent Chicago doctors, Morgan has graduated from a prestigious college music program with the ambition to move to Nashville and become a star. Romantically and musically, she and Colby complete each other in a way that neither has ever known.
While they are falling headlong in love, Beverly is on a heart-pounding journey of another kind. Fleeing an abusive husband with her six-year-old son, she is trying to piece together a life for them in a small town far off the beaten track. With money running out and danger seemingly around every corner, she makes a desperate decision that will rewrite everything she knows to be true.
In the course of a single unforgettable week, two young people will navigate the exhilarating heights and heartbreak of first love. Hundreds of miles away, Beverly will put her love for her young son to the test. And fate will draw all three people together in a web of life-altering connections . . . forcing each to wonder whether the dream of a better life can ever survive the weight of the past.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 9 (EAN 9780593449554, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 07/18/2022 (EAN 9780593449554, Hardcover)
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 34 (EAN 9780593449554, Hardcover)
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 34 (EAN 9780593449561, Other)

Fairy Tale

Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher–for that world or ours.
Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself–and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.
Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.
King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy–and his dog–must lead the battle.
Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?”
“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city–deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 10 (EAN 9781668002179, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 07/15/2022 (EAN 9781668002179, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Booklist 07/01/2022 pg. 29 (EAN 9781668002179, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 07/25/2022 (EAN 9781668002179, Hardcover)

Robert B. Parker’s Fallout (Jesse Stone Novel)

When two seemingly unconnected mysterious deaths occur on his watch, police chief Jesse Stone must pull out all the stops to unravel the truth and stop a killer from striking again.
The small town of Paradise is devastated when a star high-school baseball player is found dead at the bottom of a bluff just a day after winning the team’s biggest game. For Jesse, the loss is doubly difficult–the teen was the nephew of his colleague, Suitcase Simpson, and Jesse had been coaching the young shortstop. As he searches for answers about how the boy died and why, he is stonewalled at every turn, and it seems that someone is determined to keep him from digging further.
Jesse suddenly must divide his attention between two cases after the shocking murder of former Paradise police chief, Charlie Farrell. Before his death, Farrell had been looking into a series of scam calls that preyed upon the elderly. But how do these “ghost calls” connect to his murder? When threats–and gunshots–appear on Jesse’s own doorstep, the race to find answers is on. Both old and new enemies come into play, and in the end, Jesse and his team must discover the common factor between the two deaths in order to prevent a third.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 6 (EAN 9780593540275, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 09/15/2022 (EAN 9780593540275, Hardcover)

A Song of Comfortable Chairs: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (23) (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency)

In this latest installment in the beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Grace Makutsi encounters a pair of quandaries that will require all of her and Mma Ramotswe’s cleverness and generosity to resolve
“An escape from life’s woes as well as a suggestion for how to make the whole deal more palatable–fragility, fruit cake, and all.” –The Boston Globe
Grace Makutsi’s husband, Phuti Radiphuti, is in a bind. An international firm is attempting to undercut his prices in the office furniture market. Phuti has always been concerned with quality and comfort, but this firm seems interested only in profits. To make matters worse, they have a slick new advertising campaign that seems hard to beat.
Meanwhile, Grace is approached by an old friend who has a troubled son. She and Phuti agree to take Patience and Modise in and lend a hand, but things don’t work out quite as intended, and the situation proves difficult for them to handle. It will require not only all of their persistence and dedication but also help from an unexpected quarter to find a solution that will make everyone happy.
Faced with more than her fair share of delicate dilemmas, Mma Makutsi deals with it all with her usual graciousness. This–along with the kindness, generosity, and good sense for which the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is known–assures us that, in the end, each of these matters will be set right.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 2 (EAN 9780593316979, Hardcover)
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 31 (EAN 9780593316979, Hardcover) – *Starred Review

Sweetwater and the Witch (Harmony Novel)

Welcome to the world of Harmony, where–despite its name, things are anything but–danger lurks just beneath the surface in this new novel by New York Times bestselling author, Jayne Castle.
If there’s something Ravenna Chastain knows, it’s when to end things. And after she almost winds up the victim of a cult that believes she’s a witch, it’s easy to walk away from her dead-end career, ready for a new start. But where to find a job that would allow her to use her very specialized skill set? The answer is clear: she becomes a matchmaker.
But even a successful matchmaker can’t find someone for everyone, and Ravenna considers Ethan Sweetwater her first professional failure. After nine failed dates, Ravenna knows it’s time to cut Ethan loose. But Ethan refuses to be fired as a client–he needs one final date to a business function. Since Ravenna needs a date herself to a family event, they agree to a deal: she will be his (business) date if he will be her (fake) date to her grandparents’ anniversary celebration.
What Ethan fails to mention is that attending the business function is a cover for some industrial espionage that he’s doing as a favor to the new Illusion Town Guild boss. Ravenna is happy to help, but their relationship gets even more complicated when things heat up–the chemistry between them is explosive, as explosive as the danger that’s stalking Ravenna. Lucky for her, Ethan isn’t just an engineer–he’s also a Sweetwater, and Sweetwaters are known for hunting down monsters…

Review Citations:
Booklist 09/01/2022 pg. 42 (EAN 9780593440254, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Booklist 09/01/2022 pg. 42 (EAN 9780593440261, Other)

Two families. One courtroom showdown. – John Grisham’s most gripping thriller yet. – “A legal literary legend.” –USA Today
The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to Mississippi with the riveting story of two sons of immigrant families who grow up as friends, but ultimately find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Grisham’s trademark twists and turns will keep you tearing through the pages until the stunning conclusion.
For most of the last hundred years, Biloxi was known for its beaches, resorts, and seafood industry. But it had a darker side. It was also notorious for corruption and vice, everything from gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, and drugs to contract killings. The vice was controlled by small cabal of mobsters, many of them rumored to be members of the Dixie Mafia.
Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up in Biloxi in the sixties and were childhood friends, as well as Little League all-stars. But as teenagers, their lives took them in different directions. Keith’s father became a legendary prosecutor, determined to “clean up the Coast.” Hugh’s father became the “Boss” of Biloxi’s criminal underground. Keith went to law school and followed in his father’s footsteps. Hugh preferred the nightlife and worked in his father’s clubs. The two families were headed for a showdown, one that would happen in a courtroom.
Life itself hangs in the balance in The Boys from Biloxi, a sweeping saga rich with history and with a large cast of unforgettable characters.

Review Citations:
Kirkus Reviews 10/01/2022 (EAN 9780385548922, Hardcover)

The Christmas Spirit

Two lifelong friends decide to trade places the week before Christmas and end up finding love along the way in this delightful novel from the queen of holiday stories, #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.
Peter Armstrong and Hank Colfax are best friends, but their lives couldn’t be more different. Peter, the local pastor who is dedicated to his community, spending time visiting the flock, attending meetings, and, with the holiday season approaching, preparing for the Christmas service and live nativity. As a bartender, Hank serves a much different customer base at his family-owned tavern, including a handful of lonely regulars and the local biker gang.
When Peter scoffs that Hank has it easy compared to him, the two decide to switch jobs until Christmas Eve. To their surprise, the responsibilities of a bartender and a pastor are similar, but taking on the other’s work is more difficult than either Peter or Hank expected. As the two begin to see each other in a new light–and each discovers a new love to cherish–their lives are forever changed.
In The Christmas Spirit, Debbie Macomber celebrates the true meaning of the holidays and the inclusive community spirit that binds us all.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 8 (EAN 9780593500101, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2022 (EAN 9780593500101, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 08/29/2022 (EAN 9780593500101, Hardcover)
Booklist 09/01/2022 pg. 30 (EAN 9780593500101, Hardcover)
Booklist 09/01/2022 pg. 30 (EAN 9780593500118, Other)

Daughter of Darkness (Viridian Deep)

The thrilling second novel of an all-new fantasy series from the legendary author behind the Shannara saga, about a human girl adapting to her place in a magical world she’s only recently discovered
It’s been two years since Auris escaped from the sinister Goblin prison and learned of her heritage as one of the Fae. She is now happily partnered with her Fae lover, Harrow, and deeply bonded with her new family. All seems to be going perfectly–until, surprisingly, the Goblin attacks begin again. Someone, it seems, has not forgotten that Auris exists and seems determined to retrieve her . . . but who? And why?
As Auris begins to dig deeper into the mystery, old friends and new enemies appear, and she starts to realize that her still-shrouded past must contain the answers she needs. But even Auris does not suspect how far down the rabbit hole she is about to go, until Harrow is taken and an impossible ransom demand is issued. With two new companions at her side, Auris must attempt to unlock the remaining secrets of her past. For if she cannot, she will never see Harrow alive again.

Review Citations:
Publishers Weekly 07/25/2022 (EAN 9780593357415, Hardcover)

Distant Thunder (Stone Barrington Novel)

Stone Barrington finds himself in hot water in this exhilarating adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
During an intense storm in Dark Harbor, Maine, a perplexing murder lands a dead man on Stone Barrington’s doorstep. As secrets swirl around this mystery man’s identity, Stone quickly sets out to unravel a web of cunning misdirections and lies.
Soon enough, he is embroiled in an elaborate game of cat and mouse between the CIA and nefarious foreign forces, including a bewitching new companion who comes under his protection. But when Stone’s actions draw the attention of an old enemy, one who will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from getting out, Stone realizes he may have finally met his match.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 6 (EAN 9780593540039, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 08/29/2022 (EAN 9780593540039, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 09/01/2022 (EAN 9780593540039, Hardcover)
Booklist 10/01/2022 pg. 27 (EAN 9780593540039, Hardcover)
Booklist 10/01/2022 pg. 27 (EAN 9780593540046, Other)

The High Notes

In this heartfelt novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel, a young woman with an unforgettable voice fights for the freedom to pursue her dreams.
Iris Cooper has been singing ever since she can remember, hitting the high notes like no one else. When she is twelve, her father convinces the owner of a bar in Lake City, Texas, to let her perform, and she stuns the audience. In the ensuing years, never staying anywhere for long, father and daughter move from one dusty town to the next, her passion for music growing every time she takes the mike in another roadhouse.
But it is not an easy life for Iris with her father in charge and using her income to pay for gambling, women, and booze. When she starts to tour at age eighteen, she takes on a real manager. Yet he exploits her too, and the singers and musicians she tours with are really the only family she has. It is they who give Iris the courage to finally fly free, leave the tour, and follow her dreams.
After years of enduring the hardships of the road, exploitation, and abuse to do what she loves, Iris’s big chance comes as her talent soars. But at the top at last, Iris still has to fight every step of the way. In The High Notes, Danielle Steel delivers an inspiring story about finding the strength to stand up for yourself and your dreams, no matter what it takes.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 8 (EAN 9781984821744, Hardcover)

Long Shadows (Memory Man)

From the author of The 6:20 Man, “Memory Man” Amos Decker–an FBI consultant with perfect recall–delves into a bewildering double homicide in this new thriller in David Baldacci’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.
When Amos Decker is called to South Florida to investigate a double homicide, the case appears straightforward: A federal judge and her bodyguard have been found dead, the judge’s face sporting a blindfold with two eye holes crudely cut out, a clear sign that she’d made one too many enemies over her years on the bench.
What at first seems cut and dry is anything but: Not only did the judge have more enemies than Decker can count–from violent gang members, drug dealers, and smugglers to a resentful ex-husband–but the bodyguard presents additional conundrums that muddy the waters even further. Who was the real target in this vicious attack?
Meanwhile, Decker must contend with a series of unsettling changes, including a new partner–Special Agent Frederica “Freddie” White–and a devastating event that brings Decker’s own tragic past back to the present . . . and forces him to reckon with his future. As potential witnesses start disappearing, Decker and White are inexorably pulled down a twisted tunnel of secrets, crimes, and scandal–at the end of which lies Decker’s deadliest threat yet.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 4 (EAN 9781538719824, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 10/01/2022 (EAN 9781538719824, Hardcover)
Booklist 10/01/2022 pg. 28 (EAN 9781538719824, Hardcover)

No Plan B: A Jack Reacher Novel (Jack Reacher)

The gripping new Jack Reacher thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling authors Lee Child and Andrew Child
“No Plan B is not to be missed. A perfectly plotted, fast-paced thriller, with bigger twists than ever before. It’s no wonder Jack Reacher is everyone’s favorite rebel hero.”–Karin Slaughter
In Gerrardsville, Colorado, a woman dies under the wheels of a moving bus. The death is ruled a suicide. But Jack Reacher saw what really happened: A man in a gray hoodie and jeans, moving stealthily, pushed the victim to her demise–before swiftly grabbing the dead woman’s purse and strolling away.
When another homicide is ruled an accident, Reacher knows this is no coincidence. With a killer on the loose, Reacher has no time to waste to track down those responsible.
But Reacher is unaware that these crimes are part of something much larger and more far-reaching: an arsonist out for revenge, a foster kid on the run, a cabal of powerful people involved in a secret conspiracy with many moving parts. There is no room for error, but they make a grave one. They don’t consider Reacher a threat. “There’s too much at stake to start running from shadows.” But Reacher isn’t a shadow. He is flesh and blood. And relentless when it comes to making things right.
For when the threat is Reacher, there is No Plan B.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 4 (EAN 9781984818546, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 08/29/2022 (EAN 9781984818546, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 09/15/2022 (EAN 9781984818546, Hardcover)
Library Journal 09/09/2022 pg. 1 (EAN 9781984818546, Hardcover)
Booklist 09/15/2022 pg. 22 (EAN 9781984818546, Hardcover)

The Oracle of Maracoor (Another Day #2)

Multimillion-copy bestselling author Gregory Maguire brings us the enchanting second novel in the series Another Day, returning to the world he first created in Wicked.

The Oracle of Maracoor, the second in the trilogy called Another Day, continues the story of Elphaba’s green-skinned granddaughter, Rain. That strange land, Maracoor–across the ocean from Oz–is beset by an invading army. In the mayhem, Rain and Cossy, a child felon, break out of prison. Helped by a few flying monkeys, they struggle to escape the city before it falls under siege. Their arresting officer, Lucikles, also retreats with his family to a highland redoubt. But safety eludes them all. Chaos thunders upon them in the form of warriors, refugees, and brigands. The very fabric of reality loosens, liberating creatures of myth and legend–huge blue wolves, harpies, and giants made of the very landscape.
Cued in by secrets known only to the most highly placed members of the royal court, Rain and her companions hunt the fabled Oracle of Maracoor for guidance and soothsaying. Rain has to recover her forgotten past if she is to consider returning home. Cossy, the ten-year-old convicted of murder, must become invisible to avoid being taken into custody again. Meanwhile, the Fist of Mara, an arcane artifact that renders all around it barren, hammers against human lives. If the reclusive Oracle should spin a prophecy, might the desperate wicked years promise another day, one less perilous?

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 7 (EAN 9780063094017, Hardcover)

Righteous Prey (Prey Novel)

Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers are up against a powerful vigilante group with an eye on vengeance in this stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
“We’re going to murder people who need to be murdered.”
So begins a press release from a mysterious group known only as “The Five,” shortly after a vicious predator is murdered in San Francisco. The Five is made up of vigilante killers who are very bored…and very rich. They target the worst of society–rapists, murderers, and thieves–and then use their unlimited resources to offset the damage done by those who they’ve killed, donating untraceable Bitcoin to charities and victims via the dark net. The Five soon become popular figures in the media …though their motives may not be entirely pure.
After The Five strike again in the Twin Cities, Virgil Flowers and Lucas Davenport are sent in to investigate. And they soon have their hands full–the killings are smart and carefully choreographed, and with no apparent direct connection to the victims, the killers are virtually untraceable. But if anyone can destroy this group, it will be the dynamic team of Davenport and Flowers.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 6 (EAN 9780593422472, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 08/01/2022 (EAN 9780593422472, Hardcover)
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 29 (EAN 9780593422472, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 09/01/2022 (EAN 9780593422472, Hardcover)
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 29 (EAN 9780593422489, Other)

Suspect

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Presumed Innocent and The Last Trial returns with a riveting legal thriller in which a reckless private detective is embroiled in a fraught police scandal.
For as long as Lucia Gomez has been the police chief in the city of Highland Isle, near Kindle County, she has known that any woman in law enforcement must walk a precarious line between authority and camaraderie to gain respect. She has maintained a spotless reputation–until now. Three male police officers have accused her of soliciting sex in exchange for promotions to higher ranks. With few people left who she can trust, Chief Gomez turns to an old friend, Rik Dudek, to act as her attorney in the federal grand jury investigation, insisting to Rik that the accusations against her are part of an ugly smear campaign designed to destroy her career and empower her enemies–both outside the police force and within..
Clarice “Pinky” Granum spent most of her youth experimenting with an impressive array of drugs and failing out of various professions, including the police academy. Pinky knows that in the eyes of most people, she’s nothing but a screwup–but she doesn’t trust most people’s opinions anyway. Moreover, she finally has a respectable-enough job as a licensed P.I. working for Rik on his roster of mostly minor cases, like workman’s comp, DUIs and bar fights. Rik’s shabby office and even shabbier cases are a far cry from the kinds of high-profile criminal matters Pinky became familiar with in the law office of her grandfather, Sandy Stern. But Rik and Pinky feel that Chief Gomez’s case, which has attracted national attention, is their chance to break into the legal big leagues.
Guided by her gut instinct and razor-sharp investigative skills, Pinky dives headfirst into a twisted scandal that will draw her into the deepest recesses of the city’s criminal networks, as well as the human mind. But she will need every scrap of tenacity and courage to unravel the dark secrets those closest to her are determined to keep hidden.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 6 (EAN 9781538706329, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 07/04/2022 (EAN 9781538706329, Hardcover)
Booklist 07/01/2022 pg. 24 (EAN 9781538706329, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2022 (EAN 9781538706329, Hardcover)
Shelf Awareness 09/23/2022 (EAN 9781538706329, Hardcover)

Titans of War (Egyptian)

Global bestselling author of River God and The New Kingdom, Wilbur Smith, returns with the next epic book in his brand-new Ancient Egyptian series.
A RUTHLESS ENEMY. A CIVILISATION IN RUINS. A QUEST FOR SALVATION.
For over fifty years Egypt has known nothing but war and devastation at the hands of the Hyksos, a bloodthirsty barbarian people from the distant east who continue to advance, crushing armies in their wake. Times are desperate, but throughout the conflict, a brave resistance fights on under the great Taita, a slave who has risen far beyond his ranks.
Piay, entrusted into Taita’s care by his parents at the age of just five, has been trained to become a great spy, unmatched by any other. Determined to prove his worth, he embarks on a dangerous mission to the north – to Mycenae and through the heart of Hyksos land and across the great sea – to find allies to help defend Egypt. As the situation becomes increasingly precarious, and the fate of the kingdom is hanging in the balance, can Piay succeed in his quest or will this mean the end of the glory that is Egypt once and for all?
“Best historical novelist – I say Wilbur Smith” Stephen King

Treasure State: A Cassie Dewell Novel (Cassie Dewell Novels #6)

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

1 New York Times bestselling author C. J. Box’s Treasure State finds Cassie Dewell in Montana on the trail of a con man.

Private Investigator Cassie Dewell’s business is thriving, and her latest case puts her on the hunt for a slippery con man who’s disappeared somewhere in the “treasure state”. A wealthy Florida widow has accused him of absconding with her fortune, and wants Cassie to find him and get it back. The trail takes Cassie to Anaconda, Montana, a quirky former copper mining town that’s the perfect place to reinvent yourself. As the case develops, Cassie begins to wonder if her client is telling her everything.
On top of that, Cassie is also working what’s easily one of her strangest assignments ever. A poem that promises buried treasure to one lucky adventurer has led to a cutthroat competition and five deaths among treasure-hunters. But Cassie’s client doesn’t want the treasure. Instead, he claims to be the one who hid the gold and wrote the poem. And he’s hired Cassie to try to find him. Between the two cases, Cassie has her hands full.
In Montana, a killer view can mean more than just the scenery, and Cassie knows much darker things hide behind the picturesque landscape of Big Sky Country. Treasure State, C. J. Box’s highly anticipated follow-up to The Bitterroots, is full of more twists and turns than the switchbacks through the Anaconda Range.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 1 (EAN 9781250766960, Hardcover)
Library Journal 07/01/2022 pg. 44 (EAN 9781250766960, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 07/15/2022 (EAN 9781250766960, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 07/25/2022 (EAN 9781250766960, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Booklist 08/01/2022 pg. 31 (EAN 9781250766960, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Shelf Awareness 09/30/2022 (EAN 9781250766960, Hardcover)

Triple Cross: The Greatest Alex Cross Thriller Since Kiss the Girls (An Alex Cross Thriller #28)

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author. The creator of Alex Cross, he has produced more enduring fictional heroes than any other novelist alive. He lives in Florida with his family.

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 5 (EAN 9780316499187, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 09/01/2022 (EAN 9780316499187, Hardcover)

Voice of Fear (Original) (Krewe of Hunters #38)

A killer is looking to silence them, once and for all.
FBI agent Jordan Wallace is close to cracking the human trafficking case she’s been working, when she does the one thing she should never do: let her guard down. The botched undercover mission is semisalvaged by the last-minute appearance of criminal psychologist Patrick Law, but Jordan can’t imagine making a worse first impression. Especially when she’s partnered with Patrick moving forward.
Patrick’s innate ability to get inside a criminal’s head is an asset for the Krewe of Hunters. But Jordan wishes she could protect her own thoughts from her new partner. Patrick assures her that both she and her thoughts are safe with him, but Jordan’s less sure about her heart. Letting someone have her back has never been her strong suit, but with a dangerous killer still at large, trusting in Patrick might be the only thing keeping them alive.
“A harrowing journey… Intelligent, fast-paced and frightening at all times.”
— Suspense Magazine on The Final Deception

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 6 (EAN 9780778387183, Hardcover)
Library Journal Prepub Alert 04/01/2022 pg. 6 (EAN 9780778386544, Mass Market Paperbound)

One by One, the Stars: Essays (Crux: The Georgia Literary Nonfiction)

A tireless and discerning advocate for contemporary practitioners of creative nonfiction, Ned Stuckey-French was at the center of every national discussion about the genre. He greatly contributed to our scholarly understanding of the history of the essay and was working on his first essay collection when he died of cancer in 2019.


That collection, One by One, the Stars, presents new, highly personal essays tracing Stuckey-French’s childhood in Indiana and a burgeoning interest, during adolescence, in politics and social justice to his life as a father, teacher, and writer. Thematic threads connect these elements, and foremost is his growing commitment to activism on behalf of the disadvantaged, overlooked, or threatened. The volume also features some of Stuckey-French’s “greatest hits” as a public scholar and writer, including “Don’t Be Cruel: An Argument for Elvis,” “Our Queer Little Hybrid Thing: Toward a Definition of the Essay,” and his popular essay on his Facebook addiction–for which he was widely known.
Along the way, his stories and reflections offer fascinating and timely insights into family dynamics, history, politics, ecology, social justice, and literature. All of it is infused with Ned Stuckey-French’s guiding spirit, full of curiosity, compassion, and conviction.

Bazaar: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes

One of the Washington Post’s most inspiring cookbooks of 2019
bazaar
noun: a market in the Middle East
Bazaar is a colorful, flavourful and satisfying celebration of vegetable dishes, designed tosuit every occasion and every palate. The magic of this cookbook is that you won’t feel like anything is missing, with dishes full of easy-to-achieve flavors and depth that would win over even the most die-hard carnivore.
Each recipe utilizes the abundance of varied flavour profiles of the East, from spices, herbs and perfumed aromatics to hearty staples such as grains and pulses, combined with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. You will find salads for all seasons, spectacular sides, bowl comfort, moreish mains and sweet treats.
Recipes include:
Grilled halloumi flatbreads with preserved lemon salsa
Charred tomato & roasted chili soup with herb-fried croutons
Root vegetable bastilla
Grilled tofu salad with peanuts, sweet tamarind & spiced miso dressing
Potato, ricotta & herb dumplings with walnuts & chili butter
Feta, pul biber & oregano macaroni cheese
Courgette, orange & almond cake with sweet orange yogurt frosting

Review Citations:
Publishers Weekly 03/04/2019 (EAN 9781784725754, Hardcover) – *Starred Review
Library Journal 06/01/2019 pg. 140 (EAN 9781784725754, Hardcover) – *Starred Review

Introducing Young Adult (YA) Literature for Older Adults

You don’t have to be young to read young adult literature.

In PPL’s new hour-long program, Young Adult (YA) Literature for Older Adults, brought to the community by the creative and enthusiastic Laura Brown, you’ll be introduced to diverse topics, formats, and styles of writing from a variety of authors, and you’ll get to read and discuss excerpts from some great titles (that you can then check out!).

On Saturday, Oct. 15, at noon, in the Potsdam Public Library North Country Section, come share an hour with Laura where you will get to learn more about all that YA Literature has to offer to readers of ALL ages, focusing on historical fiction.

YA Literature lives in the south eastern corner of PPL, with a reading nook and plants-a-plenty!

Laura is SUNY Potsdam’s Chair / Associate Professor, Secondary English, and Program Coordinator for the Adolescence English Education Program. She teaches Young Adult Literature as well as the MST and undergraduate methods courses, and Intro to Education.

But Laura is also passionate about her community. In developing this program with PPL, Laura talked about her love of working with people.

“(B)ut I especially love working with older adults,” she said. “I think some of that comes from the fact that my dad and I were so close. He was 53 when I was born, and I didn’t get to have him in my life for very long, but that just made the moments we did have together more special.”

Laura said her father was “a born storyteller,” who would make up stories (and different voices for his characters) for her and her brothers, when she was a little girl, . They would huddle together on the bed, mesmerized by their father’s tales.

Sharing stories with others is Laura’s way of recapturing her father’s gift of storytelling.

“I used to volunteer at Maplewood in Canton, and I would read to residents,” she said. “It was such a joy to be able to give that time and those stories to people who really needed and wanted them. When that ended, I spent years trying to figure out how to reconnect, and I wound up doing that through the development of a SOAR (Stimulating Opportunities After Retirement) class with the same name: YA Literature for Older Adults. I love YA Literature, and I love working with older people, so win-win!”

Among the YA Literature stacks can be found renowned science fiction writers Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. LeGuin, as well as Lois Lowry’s The Giver, which was made into a film with Jeff Bridges and Allan Wolf’s historical-fiction novel The Watch That Ends the Night, focusing on the voices of the Titanic.

Young Adult Literature became of specific interest to Laura when she taught high school and was confronted with a closet full of books that were both “amazing” and “disappointing.”

“Most of the books were older and were not really geared toward young adults. It’s not that they were bad books, but I remembered reading a number of them myself as a teenager. Wasn’t there anything new?” she said. “Also, I was working at a school that had a significant population of struggling readers from very diverse backgrounds, and I needed books that would draw them in and let them see themselves in the pages. Honestly, I wasn’t sure where to start.”

She began buying books geared towards young adults from used book stores and started her own classroom library. In reading as many as she could, she said she found the writing “every bit as strong as some of the classics we were ‘supposed’ to read.”

“(A)nd students were more drawn to the characters and the topics because they were more relevant,” she said. “When I decided to go to graduate school and, eventually, to get my PhD, I put my focus on YA Literature and how it can help students better understand the world around them and their place in it.”

And that is where the PPL Program YA Literature for Older Adults comes in: examining a stigma of reading YA Literature, Laura said.

“I have had some parents come to me upset that their kids are ‘only’ reading YA Literature, as if it’s a bad thing. For me, reading is an essential skill, and if young people are reading at all, then that should be celebrated!” Laura said. “Also, YA Literature is not ‘less than’ other literature. YA authors are often more innovative, inclusive, and risky in their writing, as they have a tough audience! Plus, YA Literature can teach us more about adolescents themselves, and there’s a lot to learn!”

Come cozy up with a good book by a window at PPL and see what YA Literature has to offer you.

In working with the library on this program, Laura said she has had a love of libraries since she was a preteen, walking to her local library with a backpack and check out as many books as she was able, (which she believed to be 10 books at that time).

“The library, to me, is a magical place, but I think because we can just open our computers and get books online, the library has faded into the background a bit,” Laura said. “Don’t get me wrong, access is important – if people are buying books online and reading, then yay! – but I really want to draw people back to the library as a community space to talk about books, to share ideas, to have conversations about what we read. There is nothing like holding a book in your hand and turning the pages. And there is nothing like sitting around a table with other people and hearing their perspectives on different stories.

“Reading is often seen as a solitary event, something we do silently in bed at night or at our desks in school, but I would argue that it can also be a shared experience,” she said. “And that’s what I’m hoping to create with this, and hopefully, future events. I want to read with people, to get them excited about new books, to hear stories and perspectives, and build a new (old) community of readers.”

To sign up for this Saturday’s Young Adult Literature for Older Adults, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ya-lit-for-older-adults-tickets-431867817267

PPL on the Outside: Supporting our Supporters – The ADK Mountain Club’s Laurentian Chapter

Blair led a beginner snowshoe trip at Lampson Falls during February 2021. He has given many a chance to fall in love with winter in the north country by exploring nature in the snow.

Greetings to all you PPL on the Outsiders, new and journeyed. The spring and summer have brought us a busy schedule, with lots of new indoor programs, as well as conflicts and life events that has prevented some newer outdoor events as part of PPL on the Outside, but stay tuned . . .

That said, many of our previous programs have been led by our friend and neighbor, Blair Madore, a math professor at SUNY Potsdam, and the vice chair, education of the Adirondack Mountain Club Laurentian Chapter, though which he is the Red Sandstone Trail Coordinator.

Blair has been a partner and real asset to our program and while he and other members of the ADK Mountain Club’s Laurentian Chapter have been supportive of us, we want to remind our community of the support we can all show for them: below are the summer events that they ensure keep us outside, in the wild, and become at home in nature.

Dr. Blair Madore, during a history and nature hike on the Red Sandstone Trail, often stopped to talk about the many natural wonders we can find in our backyards, encouraging kids to engage with their surroundings.

To paraphrase something Blair always says: while we all get great benefit from being outside on these hikes and journeys together, it’s the people we meet and the conversations we have on them that make them so valuable.

To learn more about the Laurentian Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club, and to find other events, contacts, and how to become a member, visit https://adklaurentian.org/

ADK Laurentian Summer Outings:

July Weekly Walk, (July 14, 21, 28) Clarkson Munter Trails Thursdays 6:00pm. We will walk the roads for approximately 2 miles, 1 hour round trip. Meet at 6:00pm near the parking lot behind the Clarkson Walker Arena and Hantz Field off Clarkson Ave (CR59 “Back Hannawa Road”). Leaders for each week will vary. Contact Marianne Hebert, chair@adklaurentian.org, 315-265-0756 for information. 

Saturday July 16 – ADK Anniversary Celebration at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. As US/Canada border considerations still pose problems for some, we’re holding a local celebration north of the St. Lawrence. The organized event will be a social gathering and picnic to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Adirondack Mountain Club and the 50th anniversary of the Laurentian Chapter. There are excellent possibilities of self-organized hiking, paddling, and cycling trips as well as swimming available. All from both sides of the border are welcome. Contact John Barron, (613) 828-2296 or johnbarron@sympatico.ca.

July 24, 2022 50th Anniversary Celebration at Sandstoner Park 2:00-8:00PM.

Outing choices for our celebration:

Greg Smith & Cindy Glover Paddling the Log Driver’s Trail in Potsdam. 2:00PM departure from Sandstoner Park beach. Join us for an easy 3 mile scenic paddling tour of attractive islands in the Raquette river and a view of downtown Potsdam below the dam. smithgn.greg@gmail.com

John & Susan Omohondro: The hike will mix nature observation with some history of the Raquette River. We’ll start walking at 2:00, from the Mill St trailhead (across from the Hannawa Fire Department), We’ll amble north along the river shore for an hour or so, then retrace our steps. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring some water. adknwoutings@gmail.

Tom Ortmeyer:Upper and Lower Lakes Bicycle Tour.  We’ll start at 1pm from the Grass River Boat Launch on Rte. 68, and bike around the perimeter of the Upper and Lower Lakes Wildlife Management Area.  This will be a leisurely ride with multiple stops, including the Indian Creek Nature Center.  16 to 18 miles total.  Level 3.  Contact Tom Ortmeyer for details (315-244-3707, tortmeye@gmail.com

Monday, July 25: Huckleberry Lake Hike. 4.4 mile round-trip hike to Huckleberry Lake in Wolf Lake State Forest from the west parking area on Ames Road in Talcville.  This will be a leisurely out and back hike with a lengthy lunch at the lean-to, so you might bring something special to share.  Trails in Wolf Lake State Forest have little elevation gain but sometimes rough or wet footing, suggesting hiking boots and poles. The forest is geologically part of the Laurentian Shield of Canada, so the terrain and plant life are as seen in the paintings of Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven at the National Gallery in Ottawa.  Contact Dick Mooers at  315.854.4186

Sunday, July 31: Joint Laurentian/Black River Chapter Bicycle Outing to Kring Point State Park. We will start near Oak Point on the St. Lawrence, and take an inland route upstream to Kring Point State Park, where we’ll have a leisurely lunch break with perhaps a stop for ice cream when leaving the park.  We’ll ride at a relaxed pace and enjoy the views.  Our return will be along the river, and we expect to have a nice tailwind.  Total distance: 31 miles.  Level 3-4 depending on conditions.  Contact Tom Ortmeyer to sign up and for details (tortmeyer@gmail.com, 315-244-3707)

August Weekly Walk, (Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25) Bayside Cemetery Thursdays 6:00pm. We will walk the roads for approximately 2 miles, 1 hour round trip. Meet at the entrance to Bayside Cemetery (730 CR59 “Back Hannawa Road”). Leaders for each week will vary. Contact Marianne Hebert, chair@adklaurentian.org, 315-265-0756 for information. 

Wednesday August 3 ‐ Evening paddle on Hannawa Pond.  We’ll meet at 5:00pm at the cartop launch at the junction of Lenny Road and Browns Bridge Road, and paddle Hannawa Pond.  We’ll stop for a picnic along the way.  Contact Tom Ortmeyer 315- 244-3707 for details. Life jackets required.  

Sunday Aug. 14 Wellesley Island State Park. This is an ADK Laurentian Loony Loop Challenge hike. The trail passes through a variety of habitats and offers spectacular views of “The Narrows” and Eel Bay along the St. Lawrence River. The climb to the overlook is fairly steep and rocky. State Park day use fees may apply.  3.5 miles RT, 180 ft. elevation gain. Level 2, Fairly easy. Contact Marianne Hebert, chair@adklaurentian.org, 315-265-0756 for information. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022: Hike in the 5-mile conservation easement to the West Branch of the St. Regis River and Moose’s Pond.

We will hike a 4-mile loop trail with stops at the West Branch of the St. Regis River and Moose’s Pond, in the D.E.C. 5-mile conservation easement.  Learn where to hike, paddling opportunities and how a D.E.C. conservation easement works.  We will also see the entrance to the proposed D.E.C. Kildare conservation easement.

Just on the dirt road drive in, I have seen deer, ruffed grouse, spruce grouse and wild turkey.  On the hike, we may see a Barred Owl, beaver or Red-shouldered hawk.

Contact Greg Nye Smith at smithgn.greg@gmail.com

September Weekly Walk (Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29)  Clarkson Munter Trails Thursdays 6:00pm. We will walk the roads for approximately 2 miles, 1 hour round trip. Meet at 6:00pm near the parking lot behind the Clarkson Walker Arena and Hantz Field off Clarkson Ave (CR59 “Back Hannawa Road”). Leaders for each week will vary. Contact Marianne Hebert, chair@adklaurentian.org, 315-265-0756 for information. 

Saturday September 17 – Arkon Loop in Frontenac Provincial Park. Rugged trails in Canadian Shield country. 11km, Level 3-4. A Loony Loops Challenge destination. Contact John Barron, (613) 828-2296 or johnbarron@sympatico.ca.

Saturday, Sept. 24. Lost Pond Loop (Cranberry Lake). This is an ADK Laurentian Loony Loop Challenge hike. A lovely trail through an open pine forest to a boreal pond.  2 miles RT, no significant elevation gain. Level 1. Easy. Contact Marianne Hebert, chair@adklaurentian.org, 315-265-0756 for information. 

Potsdam Summerfest Theatre Series at PPL

Theatre continues to make a home of PPL’s Main Reading Room during this year’s Potsdam Summer Festival, themed Small Town, Bright Lights.

While Market Street, and the surrounding downtown area will be a flurry of activity, from two stages of live music on Market Street as well as the music at the gazebo in Ives Park, a cornhole tournament, a beer, wine, and cider tent, laser tag and family fun, to food trucks and local vendors, fireworks and more, PPL will be hosting three days of theatre and readings, beginning Thursday July 14 and ending Saturday July 16, with each production created and curated by local artists.

Additionally, PPL’s Family Literacy Specialist, the Marvelous Maria Morrison, will be over at Fall Island, Friday July 15, doing storytimes.

Below you can find the full schedule of PPL events during Summerfest. We hope to see you out enjoying what PPL and Potsdam, as a whole, has to offer! Checkout the hyperlink above to see the full Summerfest schedule, or visit: https://www.potsdamchamber.com/summerfest2022/

Thursday, July 14:

5:30PM: Two 10-minute plays with musical interludes by guitarist Tom Baker.

Play One: The Book Stealer  by Betsy Kepes – starring Maria Morrison, Art Johnson, Ester Katz, Eros Samnarine. An old time minister tries  to rid the library of ‘immoral’ books. Could the library become  ‘one flew over the cuckoo’s nest?

Play Two: Allowed by Kim Bouchard  starring Morgan Hastings and Karen Wells. Edith, the Librarian,  frowns upon William reading out loud in the Library. But, William can only read out loud. O, Pioneer! Will it be allowed?

7PM: Spirit Whispers on the Grasse, by local playwrights Mary Egan, Art Johnson and Elaine Kuracina. (50 minute Monologues)

Starring Carole Berard, Jennifer Berbrich,  John Berbrich,  Jeanne Blake, Derrick Conway, Art Johnson, Esther Katz, Mia Kostka-Hickey,  Elaine Kuracina, Aubrey Slaterpryce, Steven Sauter, David Weissbard, Karen Wells .

The true stories of the people who lived at the Canton County home  1880-1950.

Friday, July 15:

10AM: PPL Storytime with Mrs. Morrison at Fall Island.

11AM: PPL Storytime with Mrs. Morrison at Fall Island.

NOON: PPL Storytime with Mrs. Morrison at Fall Island.

1PM: PPL Storytime with Mrs. Morrison at Fall Island.

1PM: Spirit Whispers on the Grasse.

3PM: Two 10-minute plays with musical interludes by guitarist Tom Baker.

5:30PM: Celebrating the Cantos of Dante’s Divine Comedy (30 minute reading).

Memorable lines from Dante’s Comedy (The Inferno) – year of first edition, 1472 AD, using the new English translation by Potsdam resident and retired Professor of Italian Literature Walter Nobile. The audience will hear voices  from 700 years ago!! Has anything changed? Accompanied by projections of art from the Divine Comedy. 

Saturday, July 16:

1PM: Spirit Whispers on the Grasse.

3PM: Two 10-minute plays with musical interludes by guitarist Tom Baker.

5:30PM: Celebrating the Cantos of Dante’s Divine Comedy. 

Finding Financial Wellness at PPL

Financial Wellness is something that everyone can benefit from, whether it is finding out regardless of income, saving is still possible, learning how to build a credit score, or how to become a homeowner. That’s why, starting this Thursday, PPL will begin hosting a series of discussions led by our newest partner, Key Bank’s Personal Banker Alene Dishman.

At 3:30PM, Thursday, May 12, in the PPL mezzanine classroom, Ms. Dishman and Key Bank Branch Manager Richard Gum will facilitate Introduction to Financial Wellness, and hour-long, free discussion group that will address the question, what is financial wellness, and outline the importance and impact it has on individuals and all aspects and members of their lives.

Registration is free and can be done at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/introduction-to-financial-wellness-with-alene-dishman-tickets-333037172147

This discussion will be focused on defining financial wellness for the everyday individual no matter where they find themselves personally, professionally or financially, as well as sharing and developing some best practices and methods of thinking. For this discussion Alene will come prepared with information on Key Bank’s checking, savings and credit products as these are typically the foundational products to developing financial wellbeing.

Since starting at the Potsdam branch of Key Bank, located at 17 Elm Street, Alene said she has been driven to get the word out about Key Bank’s mission to help communities develop Financial Wellbeing and to teach the practices and skills that can make this possible for every individual. 

“The most common objective I face from clients on a daily basis is ‘I don’t make enough money to save,’” Alene said. “This simply is not the case. I want to help open the door to the possibility of financial stability for all members of our community but also to the understanding that financial wellness is based on consistent decisions rather than flow or amount of income.”

Thursday’s discussion group is going to be a platform to continue bringing community members together to discuss other aspects of financial wellbeing. Alene said the range of potential future discussion groups is wide, but that she wants to allow it to be created by the needs of community members. She is currently developing future talks on:

  • Credit and How to Build It, 
  • Banking Products (Checking, Savings, CD’s, Lines of Credit, Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Mortgages, HELOCS, Auto Loans, etc.) their uses, the environment currently surrounding them, and how to know the right product for you, 
  • Fraud Prevention, and
  • Steps to Becoming a Homeowner.

“I want to help simplify it and make it understandable, less intimidating and more manageable for the everyday person, no matter what their financial situation is,” she said. “I’ve always had a deep passion for inspiring and empowering individuals to do and be more, whatever that means for them.

“My experience with clients has taught that I am far from the only adult in our geographical area that was unprepared for the unforgiving nature of the long term commitments we can be lured into entering adulthood,” she added. “I have this knowledge now of the financial industry and if it can help someone I just want to be proactive in sharing it.”

Baltimore Reading to Lead Talk About Campus Racism

Building on the fantastic April 22 community reading of Polar Bears, Black Boys, and Prairie Fringed Orchids, by Vincent Terrell Durham, and the rich conversation that followed, PPL is excited to continue our play reading series, Friday, with Baltimore, by Kirsten Greenidge

Come join us at 6PM, Friday, May 6, in our Main Reading Room, with our community partner, the Associated Colleges of St. Lawrence Valley, as we hold the third reading in our play-reading and discussion series Breaking Barriers: Plays at the Library.

Tickets are free and available on Eventbrite, at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/baltimore-by-kirsten-greenidge-a-staged-reading-tickets-328211558607 and on our Potsdam Public Library Facebook Page. Register today, share with your friends and come out to support arts and conversation in your community!

In selecting Baltimore, Associated Colleges of St. Lawrence Valley Executive Director Peter J. Anderson said, “Greenidge’s play addresses a difficult topic that gets to the heart of the most important thing we need to get right on our campuses.”

“But our campuses don’t have hard borders here in Potsdam, and our students are part of our larger community,” he said. “We have to learn to talk with each other about racism. Theater has always been one of the ways society can explore difficult topics and can be a powerful way for us all to be provoked into new ways of thinking about our power and collective responsibilities.

For the Associated Colleges, as we move into a new strategic plan focused on community building, economic development and diversity, we value these kinds of conversations as fundamental to getting anything done.”

Baltimore focuses on the subject of racism on campus and  when a racially-charged incident divides her first-year students, reluctant resident advisor Shelby finds herself in the middle of a conversation she does not want to have. As pressure to address the controversy mounts from residents, the new dean, and even her best friend, Shelby must decide if she will enter the fray or watch her community come apart at the seams. Sharp, funny, and searing, Baltimore is a timely drama about racism on college campuses.

Breaking Barriers is a four-part series looking at issues that are controversial and central to our community through the lens of theatre arts. To learn more about the project, its creation and its mission, check out our blog, here: https://potsdamlibrary.org/new-ppl-play-series-breaks-barriers/

Rivka Eckert, Breaking Barriers co-creator and SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance Assistant Professor, said we had originally looked to partner with SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Diversity, and were encouraged to expand the frame and collaborative opportunity for all the colleges represented by the Associated Colleges of the St Lawrence Valley.

“Because they are already working to bring together scholars, students, staff and community members, working with them in this capacity offers an enriching opportunity to use the arts to share and reflect on common experiences of our colleges,” she said.

In choosing Baltimore, Eckert developed a survey that went out to students, faculty, and staff at Clarkson, SUNY Potsdam, Saint Lawrence University, and SUNY Canton. The survey asked what topics they would like to bring to the community for conversation, and about stereotypes of the college experience.

“Reading through the results illuminated a wide and diverse experience, but one of the throughlines was around a desire to move conversations around justice and racial equity towards action,” Eckert said. “Kristen Greenidge’s play addresses the tension of a college campus in conflict with an earnest desire to move forward. As Peter mentioned, this play reading series offers a unique opportunity to reflect on our collective responsibility towards equity.”

Actors will read the script in the style of a staged or choral reading, reading from music stands with spoken stage directions. Following the readings, there will be a conversation between Breaking Barriers creators, participants, and community organization liaisons meant to engage in the themes, concerns, and impact of the play.

The play’s director Angela Sweigart-Gallagher, a St. Lawrence University Associate Professor of Performance & Communication Arts, said Baltimore speaks directly to one of the major issues facing universities communities, which is how to encourage students to communicate across cultural and racial differences. 

“So, often we see this issue as one that only affects our students of color but it affects the entire community,” Sweigart-Gallagher said. “We need to help our students understand how harm does not hinge on intent and to accept that sometimes how we see ourselves and our actions may not be how others see them.” 

Sweigart-Gallagher said she was “thrilled to be asked” to participate in Breaking Barriers as St. Lawrence University is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with other artists in the community and to give their students opportunities to work on different kinds of projects. 

“I loved the concept of community partnerships. I am always stressing with my students how theatre (at its best) represents and speaks to the issues of the day. Even theatre that might be considered escapist reflects something back about the need for escapism,” she said. “So, this kind of collaboration mirrors my belief that theatre can be a conduit for conversations, a way to think deeply about issues that matter to us, and to be in community with others who also care about those issues.”

This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and administered by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council.

Actor/Director Bios:

Director Angela Sweigart-Gallagher is an Associate Professor of Performance and Communication Arts at St. Lawrence University. Her research interests and performance projects focus on the intersection of politics and performance. Her scholarly writing and performance reviews have appeared in the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, New England Theatre Journal, parTake, Performance Matters, Performance Research, Theatre Symposium, Theory in Action, and Youth Theatre Journal. Dr. Sweigart-Gallagher earned her PhD in Theatre Research from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Angela Sweigart-Gallagher

Kaleb Davis is a senior Performance and Communication Arts major and film studies minor. He is a former student athlete as a member of the football team and he is very excited to be apart of this production. He has a passion for the arts and storytelling. He is the co-director of the How Did We Get Here?, a documentary about gentrification in several cities on the east coast.

Kaleb Davis

JD Larabie is a Junior and currently working on an English and PCA double major with a focus on Theatre and Performance and creative writing at St. Lawrence Unviersity. He has performed in The Bakkhai (Fall ’19) as a member of the chorus and in She Kills Monsters (Fall ’21) as Chuck. He also performed in University Theatre’s Zoom Production of Sweat (Fall ’20) as Jason.  

JD Larabie

Emily Mose is a senior studying Performance and Communication Arts with a focus on Theatre and Performance at St. Lawrence University. Her previous productions include being the stage manager for In The Next Room, the servant in The Bakkhai, in the company of Me Too and SLU, assistant stage manager for Sweat, and Agnes in She Kills Monsters.  

Aja Samuel is a sophomore at St. Lawrence University and is a PCA major and Spanish minor. Her most recent roles were in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and She Kills Monsters at St. Lawerence University.  

Aja Samuel

Penda Sarr is a sophomore at St Lawrence University majoring in Anthropology and minoring in PCA.  She recently appeared in St. Lawrence’s production of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind 

Penda Sarr

Carmiña Goya is a first year student at St. Lawrence University from Argentina who plans to major in Performance and Communication Arts with a focus on Theatre and Performance and a minor in Studio Art. 

Carmiña Goya

Aysha Benjamin attends The State University Of New York at Potsdam and studies in theatre. Her most recent performance was SUNY Potsdam’s production of Our Town as Mrs. Gibbs. Aysha was also cast in SUNY Potsdam’s production of Ready. Steady. Yeti. Go. as Carly. At Brooklyn Children’s Theater, Aysha appeared as Rafiki in the Lion King Jr, Winfred in Mary Poppins, Witch in Into The Woods Jr., and Fiona in Shrek Jr. This program also allowed her to perform with Broadway star Jelani Aladdin. Aysha has also been in five other Broadway Junior shows in which she got to perform on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre. Aysha is a recipient of the Robert and Kristen Anderson Lopez/Katherine L. Lopez scholarship for excellence in musical theatre.

Aysha Benjamin

Katelin Guerin is also a SLU students reading in the play. A bio and photo were not immediately available.

Theatre, Community, & Conversation begins Friday at PPL!

Communication is at the heart of understanding, and beginning Friday, April 8, Potsdam Public Library will be host to the first of a four-part series looking at issues that are controversial and central to the community through the lens of theatre and a community talk-back.

Breaking Barriers: Plays at the Library begins the community conversation with Paula Vogel’s play How I Learned to Drive, 6 p.m. Friday in the library’s main reading room.

Tickets are free and available on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-i-learned-to-drive-by-paula-vogel-a-staged-reading-tickets-295441492457 and on the PPL Facebook page under events.

The play was selected with the help of community partner, St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House, an organization that, according to their mission statement, “respond(s) immediately to the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in St. Lawrence County through services which empower victims and increase community awareness.”

For How I Learned to Drive, actors will read scripts in the style of a staged or choral reading, reading from music stands with spoken stage directions. Following the readings, there will be a conversation between Breaking Barriers creators, participants, and community organization liaisons meant to engage in the themes, concerns, and impact of the play.

Renewal House Executive Director Ilene Burke, in an email wrote, “Being approached by the creators of the play series was very exciting for us, because it shows a readiness to have a conversation about sexual assault and an opportunity, through a different platform, to bring awareness to our community.  Oftentimes, our community has only a vague idea of the violence that happens around us.”

The project was created by SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance Assistant Professor Rivka Eckert and PPL Adult Program Coordinator William Eckert. 

How I Learned to Drive tells the story of Li’l Bit, now a woman of around thirty-five years, coming to terms with the abusive and emotionally complex relationship that she had with her Uncle Peck. The play works in a non-linear way, using flashbacks, monologues, and a heightened sense of the surreal to show how Li’l Bit relates to her memory and trauma.

“We are hopeful that this play will assist in having an open conversation surrounding sexual assault, while strengthening our community’s knowledge and response in supporting victims/survivors,” Burke wrote.

Rivka Eckert said Renewal House’s reputation as a stable and reliable service provider for families in the North Country precedes them.

“I knew that the complexity of the work they do serving survivors of domestic assault and sexual violence and the important roles they fill within the community as a safe and healing space for survivors would make them strong community partners,” she said. “My hope is that this project will introduce more people to the variety of services they offer, destigmatize some of the stereotypes around asking for help, and break down some of the barriers around the stigma and shame that can be associated with being a survivor.”

She said Vogel’s Pulitzer-prize winning play was chosen because of the nuanced and poetic way the play moves through the trauma and impact of sexual abuse manifest in the characters’ lives. 

“The story is not what you expect and offers haunting portrayals of how abuse changes lives, which gets at the goals of our project,” Eckert said. “There is just so much to say and feel by the end of the play. Perfect for starting a conversation!”

The play will be directed by Jennifer Thomas. Thomas is an associate professor of performance at St. Lawrence University. Her recent productions include: She Kills Monsters, #metoo & SLU, and Spring Awakening. “(I’m) grateful and excited to present work beyond the walls of the theatre and the university setting,” she said. 

Jennifer Thomas

Aja Samuel, stage directions, is a sophomore at St. Lawrence University. She is a Performance and Communication Arts major and a Spanish minor. Her most recent roles include Tilly in University theatre’s production of She Kills Monsters (fall ‘21) and Ensemble in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (spring ‘22). 

Aja Samuel

Emily Brisson will be reading the part of L’il Bit. Brisson is a current senior at St. Lawrence University studying Pre-Law with an English and Government major and a minor in film. Throughout her time at St. Lawrence she has participated in Spring Awakening, #MeToo and SLU, and She Kills Monsters and is excited to get one final script in before graduation. 

Emily Brisson

Danny Thomas will be reading the part of Uncle Peck. Thomas is a father and husband in Canton, New York. He works in the biotech industry as a Customer Success Manager. He has worked in theatre primarily as a sound designer and foley artist, but does enjoy the occasional opportunity to be on stage, under the lights.

Danny Thomas

Patsy Buckley will be reading the part of the Greek Chorus. Buckley is a senior at St. Lawrence. She is majoring in performance with a minor in education. She is grateful for this opportunity. Next year she is looking forward to moving out west and finding shows to audition for.

Patsy Buckley

In addition to Renewal House, Breaking Barriers creators are partnering with Adirondack Diversity Initiative, John Brown Lives!, and Associated Colleges of the St Lawrence Valley, which comprises SUNYs Canton and Potsdam, Clarkson, and St. Lawrence University. Based on partner feedback, an artistic team of local directors, actors, professors, and theatre-makers selected plays that speak to the concerns of each group. In working across university and community lines, we are better able to collaborate and exchange ideas towards a shared vision of strengthening civic participation through the arts. 

Future plays will be held on the following dates:

Friday, April 22, 6 p.m.: Polar Bears, Black Boys, and Prairie Fringed Orchids, by Vincent Terrell Durham with community partner Adirondack Diversity Initiative

Friday, May 5, 6 p.m.: Baltimore, by Kirsten Greenidge with community partner Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley

Friday, June 10, 6 p.m.: Curios and Crinolines, by Elaine Kuracina with community partner John Brown Lives!

To learn more about Breaking Barriers and its creation and purpose, visit https://potsdamlibrary.org/new-ppl-play-series-breaks-barriers/

This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and administered by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council.

Village Writers Guild Seeks to Grow Writing Community

Dear Library Community,

Hello! Are you a writer or interested in exploring creative writing? 

The Village Writers Guild, hosted by Aubrey Slaterpryce, at the Potsdam Public Library, offers the space you seek. This space pursues creative freedom and openness, ultimately seeking to have you do one thing: continue to write. During the meetings, members have the opportunity to share written projects they’ve been working on, receive high quality feedback, and engage in various prompts to help start the creative process. Please bring and share your writings of any kind; poetry, fiction and nonfiction, stage and screenplays, or even a graphic novel you’ve been working on! 

The most important part of the workshop is providing feedback for each writer. Structured after the Critical Response Process by Liz Lerman, this feedback requires no outside work—focusing only on your observations in the moment. If interested, you can read more about the Critical Response Process by visiting lizlerman.com/critical-response-process/

We look forward to welcoming you into our growing creative community. Meetings will be held on Sundays (Group A) and Thursdays (Group B) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Find the meetings at the Potsdam Public Library. On Sundays, Group A will meet on the first floor. On Thursdays, Group B will meet in the upstairs classroom. Please feel free to attend either group, at whatever time is convenient for you. Though, we encourage you to continue attending that group to help build and nurture a community with your fellow writers. 

The first meeting will be held on Thursday, March 3rd, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, and each Sunday and Thursday after that. We recommend you bring a notebook, a writing utensil, and a piece of writing you would love to share!

Hand sanitizer is located near the central circulation desk, on the first floor of the library. It is highly recommended that you wear a mask in attendance.

Interested in hearing more from the Village Writers Guild? Sign up for news and other information with the form below: https://forms.gle/rMHmiar3GERMEFmu9

We hope to see you there!

Aubrey Slaterpryce

aslaterpryce@potsdamlibrary.org

Potsdam Public Library Clerk

PPL Brings Family Literacy Specialist Aboard

Warmest greetings to you, our People of PPL!

With the light at the end of the renovation tunnel approaching and a grand opening event on the horizon, we have additional exciting news!

Potsdam Public Library is pleased to officially announce Maria Morrison as PPL’s new Family Literacy Specialist.

Long-time educator and PPL Literacy Is For Everyone (LIFE) staffer Maria Morrison is now taking over as the library’s Family Literacy Specialist.

If you have been following us on our YouTube page, Facebook Page, or Instagram page, you might have seen Maria doing a read-aloud of Iggy Peck, Architect, while appropriately surrounded by all the renovation equipment on our library floor and pop-up storytimes in the parks to the tots of our community. She’s fun like that and is going to bring a lot to our programming for families. 

As part of her storytimes with families, Maria said she made little reading quilts so everybody can maintain sufficient distance during the pandemic, but the quilts also bring in that concept of connection to children, she said.

“What in your quilt is similar to the person sitting next to you?” she said. “Do you share a piece? Do you share a pattern in your quilt? Do you share blues? Do you share flowers? And so you can create a community that way, where the quilts bring you into a learning process of colors, a learning process of patterns, but also a connection process.”

PPL Director Annie Davey said Maria has boundless energy and is passionate about literacy for everyone, from babies to grandparents and everyone in between. 

“She had been single-handedly stocking hundreds of little free libraries (which we call Shelfies), getting books into people’s hands wherever they are, in waiting rooms and gas stations, all over northern NY and even into Vermont,” Annie said. “One of my favorite things about Maria is how she inspires people. Hearing someone say, ‘I’m just not good at learning, I’ve never been any good at math, you’re wasting your time with me,’ her response is, ‘Well, I saw you walk in here today. You didn’t start out knowing how to walk. You learned that, and you can learn this too.’ And with small steps forward, her students build confidence. It changes how they see themselves.”

“I’m so excited that we get to channel her enthusiasm and her sense of fun into our PPL Kids programming,” she said.

Maria also brings a broad teaching experience and has worked with kids from birth to 18 years of age. She has been working with the library since 2016 where she started with Literacy of Northern New York. When Literacy for Northern New York pulled out of St. Lawrence County, Maria was hired by PPL as a library employee under LIFE: Literacy is for Everyone. 

“In 2015 I started working for Literacy of Northern New York and when they decided to stop funding the St. Lawrence County portion of Literacy of Northern New York, the library graciously said, ‘hey, we need to have literacy in Potsdam, not just in St. Lawrence County.’ That was in 2016, so we set up LIFE, Literacy is for Everyone, and put up our own umbrella and started pulling things in.”

That included Literacy, ESL (English as a Second Language), Adult Learning, and kids. 

Maria became program manager for L.I.F.E. and, among her duties, taught classes. Then she went back to teaching full time. 

“So my job fell back to a part-time position and Bobby Gordon came in and was handling training tutors, matching people up, testing people to see where they were and then I walked back out, again, from teaching in 2018 and said, ‘I don’t really want to do that anymore.’

Then, PPL Public Service Manager Sarah Sachs contacted her to become our family literacy person?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely. You are going to pay me to read to kids? I am on board!’”

Maria has been doing pop-up storytimes in parks around Potsdam when she not only reads to kids and their parents but sings songs and teaches kids how to connect through her storytime quilts.

But Maria will be doing a whole lot more than reading to kids, and even focusing on children alone, Sarah said. 

“Maria’s practice is meant to promote children’s literacy in a very purposeful and research-based way, as is our adult program, and since we initiated LIFE, we have been wanting to more and more do stuff for families, adults and children together, and so that’s something that Maria does particularly well,” Sara said.

In addition to PPL’s traditional programs for children like baby times, storytimes, a summer reading program, and Battle of the Books, there will also be a family piece, so that parents can learn a lot about helping their children with their literacy and have fun at the same time.

Maria said literacy is intergenerational and it needs to be addressed as such.

“If there are no books in the house, then children don’t read and parents don’t read,” Maria said. “So pulling parents in, even at the level of reading to children, is going to add to that literacy level for those children.”

And there are a lot of stigmas attached, she added.

“Parents who don’t read well don’t want to read to their kids,” she said. “They don’t want their kids to get beyond them, but that needs to be addressed and we need to address it as a family crisis because that’s what it is. It’s not just that the kids don’t read well or the parents don’t read well, if the whole family is not reading well, then you are raising generations of people who aren’t able to function as well as they should be in society.”

So keeping that family connection and that community connection going is really the heart of family literacy.

PPL Renovation Update

Hey gang,

PPL Adult Program Coordinator William Eckert here again with the much-desired, frequently-requested update as to where we are with renovations.

The truism is that you have to have a solid foundation and that is what architect Rebecca Naomi Weld, founder of Renew Architecture & Design said she is working on with contractors.

Work has been delayed mainly due to issues at the foundation level, but also as a result of the historic nature of the building, Ms. Weld said.

Contractors with Continental Construction of Gouverneur, the company doing the work, cut a series of holes into the library floor where steel beams will be located to support the new second-floor mezzanine; however, there were some issues when it came with the alignment of the blueprints for the library and the blueprints with the basement, resulting in the delays, Ms. Weld said.

“When we go to connect these dots down below, we had very accurate drawings of the two,” she said, “but they were slightly off in terms of where they were, relative to each other–just a couple of inches–but that did mean that we had to adjust the steel frame to be able to do that.”

Moreover, there was a concern with doing work in the basement because it is occupied by tenants other than the library, so to avoid disturbing the other tenants, “plastic cages” or enclosures have been created where each of the posts will be installed.

Inside one of the enclosures, Ms. Weld points to the cuts in the existing floor in order to get into the ground underneath. Above that cut, she points to the matching cut in the ceiling that is also the library floor. In the way of that hole are two pipes, one being a water main, that Ms. Weld said has become part of the infrastructure since the original blueprints were created.

Because it was not on their radar, Ms. Weld said a change order had to be created with the contractor for any additional costs. A relatively minor change, but a delay, she said.

Contractors have been working around other existing infrastructure they’ve encountered, including existing steel posts they don’t want to disturb. Ms. Weld said they are placing structures and steel beam supports around them to avoid disturbing the structural integrity of the existing building.

Cutting into the concrete slab of the basement floor, an old sewer main pipe was also discovered. Ms. Weld said it was undetermined as to whether it was still working and could come from the original 1937 construction of the building.

“When this building was first built there were several sets of changing rooms and bathrooms. The bathrooms for the people who were coming to see the theater were up here more towards the front, Park Street side of the building here, and then back here there were changing rooms and locker rooms,” she said. “So this could be a pipe from 1937 but we can’t just cut it out and find out later that it was actually the water main that goes to the water in the back, so we had to extend that footer.”

Of the nine beams in total, the beams on the floor across from the Friends of the Library bookstore will be covered with custom-made bookcases that will cover the structure and replace the existing bookcases in front of the bookstore.

In the corner of the basement next to the doorway leading into the offices of the St. Lawrence Arts Council and Village Planning and Development offices, contractors are working to “shoehorn” a post in very close to an existing post; the space beyond it had a closet for the equipment of the elevator.

“And of course, we need some of that space where the equipment for the elevator is for a footer,” she said. “In the end, it will just be changes under the ground, but we got permission from the Village to very temporarily shut down the elevator, pull the equipment out of the way, build our footer, put the equipment back in.

“And, of course, there is a pipe there, an old pipe that has asbestos, and they remediated 85 feet of asbestos pipe . . .” she said.

Ms. Weld said they also made some starting assumptions about the soil conditions and about the existing foundation, but it is an existing building with a slab covering all of that.

“So we had to do our best guess and it turned out that our best guess was a bit optimistic,” she said. “So that causes a delay in that they did what we had drawn and then when they saw some of those conditions we had to literally go back to the drawing board.”

“So the long and short of it is, there was a delay because we had to revisit what those situations were going to be, but now we have a plan and we are very close to them coming back in and moving,” she said.

From there, she said work should be able to proceed fairly smoothly but all of it essential, especially due to the weight the steel beams will carry.

“That’s going to have books on it as well,” Ms. Weld said of the mezzanine, “so that is a whole other level of structural load, and there is nothing heavier than books. So we didn’t want to set two floors of books on one old, 1937 steel frame.”

In addition to the Phase One mezzanine project, the first of three phases, Phase Two will see the 1976 drop ceiling with the fluorescent lighting removed to create eight more feet of ceiling space, showcase the original ceiling which has a historic cornice around the whole perimeter and make room for the mezzanine, which she said would currently only have a six-foot ceiling with the drop ceiling in place.

The new mezzanine will create a second floor that will cover about a third of the existing library floor, where there will be a new children’s area.

The restorations to the rest of the library’s main reading room will only complement the mezzanine, she said, including not just the restoration of the cornice around the ceiling, but also new “more historically-pleasing” lights, exposing some of the details around the back wall, where the staff offices are located and what was previously the stage of the auditorium.

“There are pilasters that we can see the base of on the walls but we can’t see the tops of them but they do exist,” Ms. Weld said. “And then the hardwood floor from when it was an auditorium has been covered with carpet.”

While some of that hardwood floor will be restored, Ms. Weld said carpeting will likely remain in the children’s area in order to mute some of the sounds there.

The library will also be fashioned with a new heating and cooling system that will give the space air conditioning in the summer months, which it has been without. That, along with the ceiling and carpet removal, will be a part of the second phase of the renovations, which needs to go out to bid to determine what construction agency will get the job. Ms. Weld said if the job goes to Continental, they would likely be able to overlap the two phases, quickening the pace of the work.

“The air conditioning units are going to be a series of wall-mounted units, so we do have to deal with the existing infrastructure,” Ms. Weld said. “As we have been doing this construction, we’ve learned more than when we first started designing it. We were taking some stabs at things and now we have a better handle on what is actually here and so we’ll be incorporating that as well. The whole place will be air-conditioned, which will make it a really nice refuge for the larger community once the space is open. So next summer, when we get these 80-90 degree days, people can come and hang out in the reading room, hang out in the mezzanine and stay cool in here.”

In the third phase of renovations, which will be a more behind-the-scenes project with no impact on the library’s re-opening, the “stage area” where the offices, staff room, and restroom were created in 1976, will all be redesigned.

 “The bathroom isn’t accessible, the children’s room and the room that they are currently using for a meeting room is a little bit small,” Ms. Weld said. “When the mezzanine goes in, it actually is going to match the level of the balcony you can see up here, so we would like there to be a classroom space off of that, so we are going to improve that classroom space a little.”

Currently, there is a third-floor balcony about three-feet wide that is storing furniture. Ms. Weld said the wall is going to be brought out to utilize that space on the office side with the addition of more windows.

The ceiling over the circulation desk where patrons enter the library will also be replaced with the current light fixtures remaining in place.

“And then the detail that we did on the railing of the mezzanine and the stair that goes up to the mezzanine, all of those details were taken from the original drawings that I found,” Ms. Weld said. “I have blueprints from 1937 that the building department has on file that show full-scale drawings of the bases of some of these columns, the lovely turn detail for the tops of all of the newel posts. So things like that, some of it we are doing very similar, and some of it we are duplicating some of those details.”

The original building housing the library was built in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration building, as part of the New Deal to keep people employed coming out of the Great Depression.

The ceiling above the entranceway to the library used to be a balcony that has since been closed in.

“What is nice about it is that it was done in 1937 so the details are fairly classical but they aren’t so fancy that restoring them is a whole production of sourcing materials and going back to old-world processes,” she said. “It is pretty straight forward, relatively speaking but still a nicer detail than some of the sort of 70s finishes that went in now.”

Up until the time of the 1976 renovations, Ms. Weld said the auditorium was fairly famous for its community-wide Halloween dances and other things.

“If anyone has pictures to send us, please do, because I can’t find pictures,” she said. “It actually used to open to the building next door, so when it had theater productions here, the place that is currently used for Village Planning Board and administrative meetings was actually a reception hall for the theater.”

Ms. Weld exuded a certain sense of pride and excitement in the work she is doing in bringing this classical look back to the library, pride and excitement that is shared with the entire staff at the library and we hope is shared with our patrons.

But the good work takes time and she said a finish date is not solid but is estimated to be in mid-autumn.

“I certainly can’t make any promises though. At some point, when we revise the contract, the promised finish date for Phase One will be known, but, like I said, there is still the question with how Phase Two is going to work, but certainly our goal is getting it all done at one time, and overlap with the COVID setback, so that’s a long time for the library to be closed, but when it is open again it is going to be spectacular,” Ms. Weld said. “It is going to have more room for people. It is going to have more amenities for people, so we are hoping that people will be patient with us and come back when we’re open.”