At the Library: Books can help you keep up with time

At the Library: Books can help you keep up with time

The Westerly Sun

I have a thing for watches. It hasn’t yet reached the level of a problem, at least in my opinion. Others may disagree, including my two nieces who I dragged to a pop-up museum of Patek Philippe watches in New York City over the summer. They deserved it, I had to go to the American Girl store twice! I also have a thing for being on time. That’s why I was intrigued by a new book called “Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed with Time,” by Simon Garfield.

Garfield’s book explores how we have become obsessed by time. “Time, once passive, is now aggressive” he states. We are obsessed with deadlines and every time we pick up our phones the time glows and glares at us as we try to take a call or send a text. Garfield clearly has done a lot of research for his book, and he makes it a thoroughly enjoyable read by filling the pages with fascinating anecdotes about the history and science of timekeeping.

When I picked up that book, my eye was drawn to another non-fiction book called “The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine,” by Lindsey Fitzharris. It is an absorbing history of how Lister pioneered antiseptic methods for surgery. Lister, after reading Louis Pasteur’s study on food spoilage if micro-organisms were present, began sterilizing wounds and surgical instruments with carbolic acid in order to stop the spread of infection. It seems impossible to even fathom, but this idea was controversial at the time! Fitzharris’ descriptions of hospital and surgical conditions during the Victorian era are not for the faint of heart, but makes a compelling read.

There are a few other newish non-fiction books that are on my ever growing list to check out. One is “The Gourmand’s Way: Six Americans in Paris and the Birth of a New Gastronomy,” by Justin Spring … because I love food, so why not? Another one is “The House of Worth 1858-1954: The Birth of Haute Couture,” by Chantal Trubert-Tollu. It’s probably not a book I’ll read right through, but the pictures and illustrations are gorgeous. There are plenty more books available at the library for every interest. If we don’t have it here, we can always order it from another Rhode Island library. All you have to do is ask!

Top-requested books■1. “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff■2. “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn■3. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng■4. “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah■5. “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham ■6. “The Midnight Line” by Lee Child ■7. “The 17th Suspect” by James Patterson■8. “The Wife Between Us” by Greer Hendricks■9. “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate■10. “Origin” by Dan Brown

Top-requested movies■1. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” ■2. “Lady Bird”■3. “Dunkirk (2017)”■4. “Darkest Hour”■5. “Wonder”■6. “Victoria & Abdul”■7. “Coco”■8. “A Bad Mom’s Christmas”■9. “Blade Runner 2049”■10. “Only the Brave”

Top billingFor All Ages■MONDAY –– 4-7 p.m., Tax Prep Help (with AARP) – This program is available to all taxpayers, no AARP membership required. Drop by the library for assistance with your taxes, given on a first-come, first-served basis; 6:30-7:30 p.m., Ravelry Workshop – Yarn crafters of all experience levels will love this free workshop, which will introduce you to an amazing website called Ravelry. Learn about this online community, the benefits and resources it provides, and sign up for a free account; 6-7:30 p.m., Computer Basics 2: Fundamentals of Windows – This free class will cover the basics of Windows 10, including what programs and files are, and how to interact with them. ■TUESDAY –– 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Writer’s Workshop – We’ll have snacks, writing prompts, and time for everyone to share their work; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:45 p.m., Ninigret Quilters – Members of the Ninigret Quilters will be in the Makerspace for a weekly meetup! Bring a project to work on, or stop by if you have questions/need pointers; 6-6:45 p.m., Meditation Group – Practice your mindfulness and breathing on our third floor Terrace Room! ■WEDNESDAY –– 10-11 a.m., 1 to 3-Year-Old Storytime – We’ll venture through story and song in this interactive storytime; 10-11:45 a.m., Homeschooler’s Book Group – Our book for this session is Story Thieves by James Riley, copies of which will be provide at the first meeting. Preregistration is required; 5-7:45 p.m., Paint/Print Winter Festival Exhibition – Join us for an opening reception for the new exhibit in the Hoxie Gallery, featuring original works by local printmakers and painters. Artists will be demonstrating various techniques.■THURSDAY –– 10-11 a.m., 3 to 5-Year-Old Storytime – This story hour is full of stories, song, play, and crafts; 4:30-5:15 p.m., Game Board Bonanza (Teens) – We’ll have a ton of board games on hand, just waiting to be played, but feel free to bring your own from home as well; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome; 6-7 p.m., Adult Writer’s Workshop – We will be meeting on alternating Saturdays and Thursdays to share our work, discuss readings, and free-write together! New members are always welcome; 6-7 p.m., Eating for Your Health: Superfoods for Longevity – Join us for this free seminar, and learn about some of the superfoods that you can add to your diet to improve your energy levels and overall health; 6-7:30 p.m., Internet Basics 1: Navigation – This beginner level course will introduce you to common internet browsers, search engines, and websites. ■FRIDAY –– 10-11 a.m., Toddler Studio (FULL) – Children aged 2-4 will enjoy art, play, and socialization, all while getting a bit messy; 3-5 p.m., Paint Your Feelings – Drop into the Teen Space for some therapeutic art: no rules, no expectations, just paint your feelings and stresses away!■SATURDAY –– 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Tax Prep Help (with AARP) – This program is available to all taxpayers, no AARP membership required. Drop by the library for assistance with your taxes, given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Caroline Badowski is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.


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