standing Westerly Library

I had the great fortune to visit France several months ago. I absolutely fell in love with the culture, landscape, and history of the country. With the help of an audiobook, “Total French” with Michel Thomas, I did my best to learn how to say some extremely important phrases like “I would like a glass of wine.” After several months of lessons in my car I made my first attempt to communicate and completely massacred the French language. Fortunately, the people I met were incredibly kind and tolerant, which made the trip even more special.

One afternoon, we walked from our hotel to the charming town of Giverny because we wanted to get a closer look at Claude Monet’s house and gardens. Undaunted by the fact that they were closed, we climbed on some wooden poles so that we could see the ponds made so famous in his paintings as well as get a glimpse of his gardens. Even though it was November, they were gorgeous! “Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies” by Ross King tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came closer to Paris and Giverny.

One of the days we were in Paris, we ventured into Montmartre. I didn’t know a thing about it, but feeling adventurous, we decided to take the underground there. A lovely woman took us to see where Vincent Van Gogh had lived for a few years, we climbed the bell tower at Sacré-Cœur Basilica (which I would not recommend if you are claustrophobic!) and saw the Cafe des Deux Moulins that was made famous in the movie “Amelie.” If you haven’t seen it, “Amelie” is a charming film about a young woman with a whimsical and romantic nature who works in the aforementioned café. She discovers that she is pretty good at playing Cupid and guardian angel, so she decides to reach out and help others.

Even if you cannot make the trip to France, we have some fabulous books and movies at the library that will help transport you there. If you get a chance check out one of my favorites, “The French Cat” by Rachel McKenna. It has lovely photos of cats in various towns and homes that really capture the essence of France. We also have a collection of French cookbooks, tons of French feature films, and books about the culture and history of the country. Stop by the library to find something that piques your interest. There’s something for everyone!

Top-requested books

1. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama 

2. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

3. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

4. “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty 

5. “The 18th Abduction” by James Patterson

6. “Run Away” by Harlan Coben 

7. “Never Tell” by Lisa Gardner

8. “The First Lady” by James Patterson

9. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

10. “Redemption” by David Baldacci

Top-requested movies

1. Bohemian Rhapsody

2. Green Book 

3. A Star is Born

4. The Wife

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

6. Vice

7. The Favourite

8. Mary Poppins Returns

9. Fantastic Beasts-the crimes of Grindelwald

10. If Beale Street Could Talk

Top billing

For All Ages

MONDAY — 4-6:30 p.m., Tax Prep Help with AARP! First come, first served, space is limitedSIGN-UP BEGINS AT 3 PM; 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Homework Help/Tutoring (for grades K-8) – homework help and then tutoring in individual subjects, done by teens.

TUESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Family storytime for all ages; 3:30-5:00 p.m., Teen Reaction Videos – Make your own with the library’s iPads. Pick your topic, record your reactions, and upload your video! 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group! – a friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club. Open to adults who have some experience with knitting; 6-7:45 p.m., Quilters Corner – all are welcome to this quilting club; 6-6:45 p.m., Demystifying Meditation –Join Chris Liguori, a Davidji certified meditation teacher to practice awareness and discuss mindful living. All are welcome.

WEDNESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 1-3; 10-11:30 a.m., Westerly Memory Café – Are you or a loved one living with memory loss?  For anyone with cognitive impairment or dementia, and their care partners; 2-3:00 p.m., Film Club – We will choose three movies to watch in the month of March; 4:30-7:30 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens grades 7-12 interested in STEM and Robotics; 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners.

THURSDAY — 10-11:30 a.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners; 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 3-5; 3:30-5:30 p.m., 3:30-5:30 p.m., Teen Anime Club – You choose the movie, we provide the snacks; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Homework Help/Tutoring (for grades K-8) – homework help and then tutoring in individual subjects, done by teens.

FRIDAY — 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics.

SATURDAY — 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tax Prep Help with AARP! First come, first served, space is limited. SIGN-UP BEGINS AT 9 AM; 10 a.m.-12p.m., Project Outreach – Service officers will be on hand to help veterans in navigating benefits and other services available to them; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Make & Take Crafts for children! 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 1-2:00 p.m., Thousands are Sailing: Songs of the Irish Diaspora; 1-2:30 p.m., Dungeons and Dragons (Teen Led Program) – No prior experience with the game is necessary — registration is required.

By Caroline Badowski is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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