standing Westerly Library

Thanksgiving is next week and I suspect when you think of errands you need to run and places you need to go to get ready for the holiday, you don’t think of the library. Instead, most people are either figuring out their travel plans, or thinking of errands involving the grocery store and recipes or centerpieces for their table.

I think a stop at the library should definitely make it onto your to-do list, however! We have numerous books related to the holiday. Have children? There are a lot of great books in our Children’s Room about how Thanksgiving became a holiday and what life was like for the pilgrims. If you are a crafty person, we have books for that. Check one out and learn how to make Thanksgiving crafts and decorations using everyday objects and materials. These books provide step-by-step instructions and illustrations, and also include activities and games. We even have a DVD by Martha Stewart that covers centerpieces for your table, decorating ideas for your home, and crafts for the kids. And, of course, we have numerous cookbooks devoted to the Thanksgiving feast. Westerly Library has an outstanding cookbook collection and there is a nice selection of cookbooks focusing exclusively on this holiday.

If you’re all set with food and décor, we still have a lot to offer in terms of reading material. “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick rethinks the events and players that gave rise to a national mythology about Pilgrims living harmoniously with their Indian neighbors. Instead, Philbrick tells a story of ethnic cleansing, bloody wars, and the deterioration of English-Indian relations.

Fictional reads abound as well. “The Thanksgiving Visitor” by Truman Capote is a short story based on Capote’s bittersweet memories of his early childhood. The narrator, Buddy, tells of the Thanksgiving that his eccentric spinster cousin invited Buddy’s archenemy Odd Henderson to dinner. It is a very moving tale. Another good read is a quirky, heartwarming story titled “Thanksgiving Night” by Richard Bausch. It features two squabbling women — Holly Grey and her aunt Fiona — who want to have their house literally divided in half.

No time to read a book right now? We have lots of DVDs, including a great collection of holiday films. One of my favorite Thanksgiving movies is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”, a classic starring Steve Martin and John Candy desperately trying every mode of transportation to make it home in time for their Thanksgiving meal. I highly recommend “Home for the Holidays” as well. It’s a comedy about a totally dysfunctional family and it is wacky and poignant.

This holiday season, stop by the library and check out our collection of books, movies and events. Take some time for yourself amidst the chaos of cooking, cleaning, and eating to relax with a good book.

Top requested books

  • 1. “Blue Moon” by Lee Child
  • 2. “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett
  • 3. “The Guardians” by John Grisham
  • 4. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  • 5. “Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout
  • 6. “The Night Fire” by Michael Connelly
  • 7. “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes
  • 8. “A Minute to Midnight” by David Baldacci
  • 9. “Catch and Kill” by Ronan Farrow
  • 10. “Little Voices” by Vanessa Lillie

Top requested movies

  • 1. “Game of Thrones, season 8”
  • 2. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • 3. “Angel Has Fallen”
  • 4. “The Art of Racing in the Rain”
  • 5. “The Lion King”
  • 6. “Toy Story 4”
  • 7. “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
  • 8. “Hustlers”
  • 9. “Good Boys”
  • 10. “The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3”

This week

MONDAY — 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Movie and Q & A with Westerly’s Plastic Reduction Committee – this month’s movie is “Oceans: The Mystery of the Missing Plastic”; 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Healthsource RI Enrollment Event – Open to all Rhode Islanders who are in need of health insurance for 2020; 2-2:30 p.m., 2 O’clock Tales! – all ages welcome for this storytime with read-alouds, songs, and games; 4-5 p.m., Handmade Holiday: Photo Coasters – For the first workshop in our Handmade Holiday series, we’re making coasters with photos decorated with your favorite photos. Registration is required; 6-7:30 p.m., Cookbook Club – This month, we’re sharing recipes from “Ottoleghi Simple”. Please note: registration is required every month.

TUESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Family storytime for all ages; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – drop-in hours available to learn what social services are available for food, clothing, healthcare, and more; 2-4 p.m., Technology Drop-In Assistance – Stop by the library and pick the brains of our technology staff about those pesky problems that are troubling you, or get help with a device; 4-5:30 p.m., Sci-Fi Night – Join us for a night of Sci-Fi and snacks. Get ready to discuss your favorite books, TV shows and films; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group – a friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club; 6-7:45 p.m., Sewing Social – amateur or experience sewers are welcome; 6:30-7:30 p.m., Explore Mindful Living – Join Chris Liguori, a certified meditation & yoga teacher to discover how to live in the present moment. This month will focus on Gratitude.

WEDNESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for kids ages one to three; 1-3 p.m., Senior Technology Social – meet fellow seniors and talk about your technology problems; 3-5:30 p.m., Swampabots – for ages 9-12, Join this First Lego League Robotics team as they practice building and coding with Lego robots; 4-7:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 5:30-6:30 p.m., Movie and Q & A with Westerly’s Plastic Reduction Committee – this month’s movie is Oceans: The Mystery of the Missing Plastic.

THURSDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages three to five; 3-6 p.m., Family Game Night – different board games for families to come and enjoy. Games are for ages 7 and up but all are welcome; 5-7:30 p.m., Experience VR – a special night of guided virtual reality experiences and gaming for adults in our Makerspace; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 6-7:30 p.m., Irish Games Night! – come play Irish games in the Irish language, beginners welcome!

FRIDAY — 4-5 p.m., K9 Reading Buddies (grades 2-5) – preregistration required! Reserve your 15 minute time slot to read to a therapy dog; 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 6-8 p.m., Star Party – Join us under the stars on the Terrace Room Balcony. We will be using the library’s telescope to find planets and other celestial objects.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-4 p.m., NaNoWriMo Come Write In! – Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? We have tables in Reference reserved, where you can work on your novel in a quiet environment, with other writers; 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Swampabots – for ages 9-12, Join this First Lego League Robotics team as they practice building and coding with Lego robots; 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.

Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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