standing Westerly Library

The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the singsong voices of vendors selling peanuts and Crackerjack ...it’s baseball season again! I was born and raised in the Boston area. My grandfather was a lifelong Red Sox fan and took me to my first game when I was about seven years old. Later, my brother and I would take the subway into Fenway with our baseball gloves on (because you never know if you’ll get an opportunity to catch a ball — we wanted to be prepared!) and go to games ourselves. This month marked the beginning of the 2019 baseball season, always an exciting time for baseball-lovers.

If you’re a baseball fan like me, you probably love books and movies about the sport. We have some great books that feature baseball so come on in and get excited about the upcoming season! “Calico Joe” by John Grisham is about a star rookie in the 1973 season who gets called up to the majors. The story is told through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy whose father is a pitcher for an opposing team. A quick read but well worth it! Growing up, I was always very interested in Satchel Paige, possibly the greatest pitcher of all time, so I recommend the nonfiction title “Don’t Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball” by Mark Ribowsky.

There are numerous DVDs available in Rhode Island libraries on baseball. One I am interested in is a six-DVD set titled “The Boston Red Sox Essential Games of Fenway Park,” which includes six games from 1967 to 2007 that Sox fans selected. The 2014 DVD, “Pride and Perseverance: The story of the Negro Leagues,” focuses on African-American players of the past, who for years had to play in a separate league due to segregation. For feature films, I love the movie “The Sandlot” — a new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his team in this coming of age movie set in the summer of 1962. Another one I recommend is “Sugar,” which focuses on the life of a minor league ball player raised in the Dominican Republic. I go to at least one PawSox game each year and this movie was eye-opening regarding the difficult life of a minor league player.

Yogi Berra, the Yankees catcher, died a few years ago. We have six books written by Yogi, and of course many books about him. His hilarious quotes are classics. My grandfather used to share them with me often. We have a great audio book titled “Yogi Berra’s Favorite Baseball Radio Shows,” which has old-time radio programs personally selected by Yogi. It begins with Abbot and Costello’s classic “Who’s on First?” skit and includes many great moments.

I hope some of my fellow baseball-lovers will stop into the library and take out one of these books or DVDs. In closing, I would just like to say — Go Sox!!!

Top requested books

1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

2. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

3. “Run Away” by Harlan Coben

4. “The 18th Abduction” by James Patterson

5. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

6. “Redemption” by David Baldacci

7. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

8. “Neon Prey” by John Sandford

9. “Someone Knows” by Lisa Scottoline

10. “Summer of ‘69” by Elin Hilderbrand

Top requested movies

1. “Green Book”

2. “Mary Poppins Returns”

3. “Vice”

4. “On the Basis of Sex”

5. “The Mule”

6. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

7. “Bohemian Rhapsody”

8. “Aquaman”

9. “A Star is Born”

10. “Homeland, the complete 7th season”

This week

MONDAY — 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; 6-7:30 p.m., Adult S.A.G.A. meeting -- a discussion and support group for adults about LGBTQ+ stories and issues in books, movies, TV shows, and more; 6-7:30 p.m., Cookbook Club! – this group meets once a month, picking a different cookbook each time for members to select a recipe to prepare and bring in! Please note: registration is required every month.

TUESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Family storytime for all ages; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Radicle Book Club: Feminism -- Read something along the theme of “feminism” and come share it with the rest of the group! 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 experienced sewers are welcome!

WEDNESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 1-3; 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners; 2-3:30 p.m., Film Club – We will choose three movies to watch in the month of May; 5-7:45 p.m., Art Opening in the Hoxie Gallery! – This month’s exhibit is the Westerly High School art show, and any proceeds will benefit the Westerly Visual Arts Scholarship.

THURSDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 3-5; 10-11:30 a.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners; 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 — 4-5:30 p.m., Teen Craft: Paint a Birdhouse – come paint a birdhouse to take home! Pre-registration required, spots are limited! 4-5:30 p.m., Teen Advisory Board (with birdhouses)-- Pitch new program ideas, suggest new additions to our collection, and earn volunteer hours while you do so; 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics.

SATURDAY —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; 1-2:30 p.m., Dungeons and Dragons (Teen Led Program) – No prior experience with the game is necessary—registration is required; 1-2 p.m., Music with the Elderly Brothers! – Enjoy the solid groove and the upbeat, move-it-or-lose-it, ‘50s and ‘60s bandstand repertoire of these long-time popular musicians, serving up mint-condition “oldies” rock ‘n’ roll.

Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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