Holiday Reading and Viewing

Everyone loves A Christmas Carol (both the book and the film), A Christmas Story, and It’s a Wonderful Life, but here are a few other suggestions for books and movies to help stoke your holiday spirit.


A Christmas Hope by Anne Perry

Duck the Halls by Donna Andrews

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

Rustication by Charles Pallister

Silent Night by Robert B. Parker


The Christmas Visitor by Linda Byler

A Gift from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

A Magical Christmas by Heather Graham

A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber


Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

Prayers of a Stranger by T. Davis Bunn

A Season of Angels by Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer

A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson


The Christmas Blessing

Deck the Halls

The Family Stone

Four Christmases

One Christmas


The Bishop’s Wife

Christmas in Connecticut

I’ll Be Seeing You

Miracle on 34th Street

White Christmas

Thanksgiving Day Fare

Are you looking for some reading (or viewing) suggestions to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit? Here are just a few Thanksgiving-themed titles from our collection. (Who would have guessed Thanksgiving-themed mysteries would be such a common thing?!)


Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich
Thanksgiving Groom by Brenda Minton
The Loner’s Thanksgiving Wish by Roxanne Rustand


A Fatal Feast by Donald Bain
A Catered Thanksgiving by Isis Crawford
The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis
Turkey Day Murder by Leslie Meier
Thankless in Death by J.D. Robb
Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes


Thanksgiving : The Pilgrims’ First Year in America by Glenn Alan Cheney
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick


A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Pieces of April

BookPage Read-ALike

What’s grey, smells like newsprint, and flies? The monthly BookPage!
The ever-popular periodical flies off the rack every month and the Chatham Area Public Library has taken note! So the Library asked itself, “How can we supplement this enduring enthusiasm?”

We subscribe to the bimonthly magazine called
Bookmarks: For Everyone Who Hasn’t Read Everything!
Your favorite features of  recommendations, reviews, and author interviews abound throughout its glossy pages, but  with more detail.

Bookmarks also has additional items such as: an easy-to-follow rating scale, comprehensive”new books guide” covering all genres, an “awards” list, and even a “coming soon” sneak peek.

You can check out this well organized, colorful magazine for a full two weeks right from the Chatham Area Public Library‘s magazine rack!

Library Lines– April 8, 2013

Library Lines—April 8, 2013
Michelle Barr

Tax season is notorious for financial attentiveness and The Chatham Area Public Library District can be your personal Treasury Department.

Beginning a new year by paying in even more taxes certainly creates opportunities for new Imagecost-saving techniques, so the Library recommends Save Big: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands by Elisabeth Leamy and 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget by Wise Bread.  Perhaps, though, some even more creative accounting is necessary.   The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better by Chris Farrell and The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide To Enjoying Life More By Spending Less by Jeff Yeager will definitely stretch your adjusted gross income!

ImageStart Late, Finish Rich: A No-Fail Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom at Any Age by David Bach is a great choice for those who have paid in the past but are receiving refunds now. The Big Secret for the Small Investor: A New Route to Long-Term Investment Success by Joel Greenblatt and Buy High, Sell Higher: Why Buy-and-Hold is Dead and Other Investing Lessons from CNBC’s “The Liquidator” by Joe Terranova are also great tools for getting started on your portfolio.

Is three months of tax talk starting to levy your interest?9999107  The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin, Too Damn Rich by Judith Gould, and Half-Price Homicide by Elaine Viets are perfect credits when you’re feeling overdrawn. The Library 680120.1020.Aalso has How to Marry a Millionaire, the First Wives Club, and Annie on DVD for staying within the frame of duty but getting some much needed mental respite.

Knowledge is a nontaxable income so come join us at the Chatham Area Public Library District!

National Golfer’s Month

For all you golfers out there, did you know that August is National Golfer’s Month? Well, it has arrived. The Chatham Area Public Library District carries golfing books of various sorts that may strike your fancy. You are also welcome to request items. Here are some suggestions :

Women in Golf: The Players, the History, and the Future of the Sport by David Huds
Go Golf by Gavin Newsham
50 Years of Golfing Wisdom by John Jacobs
The Golf Book: The Players, the Gear, the Strokes, the Courses, the Championships by Nick Bradley
Your 15th Club: The Inner Secret to Great Golf by Bob Rotella and Robert Cullen

Also, if you are an Internet user, you may want to check out some the following golfing Websites:
Golf Digest

The library even carries Golf Digest Magazine.

Our library has something for everyone. For more information, please stop by and see us or check out our website at Please call us with any questions at 483-2713.

Happy Reading!
Sheila Battin
Assistant Director

Library Lines — June 21, 2012

Library Lines
June 21, 2012
Heather Burgess

Summer is the season that is nearly synonymous with traveling. It seems that in June and July, we’re constantly packing our bags, loading the car, or boarding trains and planes headed for destinations near and far, exotic and more mundane. Those of us who are compelled, for one reason or another, to stay closer to home, might be inclined to feel a bit jealous of our globe-trotting friends, family, and acquaintances. Luckily, with a very short trip to the Chatham Area Public Library, you too can have a global adventure through the perusal of one of these exciting travel memoirs.

One time when it may be preferable to travel via the pages of a book than in the physical world might be when the destination under consideration is particularly remote, dangerous, or otherwise difficult. Chuck Thompson is a professional travel writer who exposes the sugar-coating and lies of commercial travel-writing in his memoir Smile When You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer. The book is packed full of anecdotes that could never have seen print in traditional travel magazines. Thompson followed that volume up with To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies and the Art of Extreme Tourism, in which he visits some of the world’s locales with the worst reputations—the Congo, India, Mexico City, and Disney World—to see if those reputations have been earned, or whether they’re out of sync with reality. If you enjoy Thompson, then Carl Hoffman’s The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World…Via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes should also appeal. As the title implies, Hoffman set out to travel around the world by means of the modes of transportation with the worst safety records and scariest reputations. Hoffman’s goal for this slightly insane trek was to report on and understand the reality of travel as most people experience it.

On the other end of the spectrum from Thompson and Hoffman are travelers who do so as a way of finding personal fulfillment or emotional satisfaction. One of the best known examples is Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything across India, Italy, and Indonesia about her yearlong, global quest for pleasure, devotion, and balance. If you enjoyed Gilbert’s book, then you might also be interested in The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents, One Unconventional Detour around the World in which the authors—Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner—decide to quit their high-pressure media jobs and explore the world to find themselves. In locations like the Amazon, Brazil, Vietnam, and Kenya, they face a variety of challenges together and forge a lifelong friendship. Like Gilbert, the lost girls’ intention was to “find themselves.” In contrast, Eric Weiner’s goal in writing The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World was to shed his grouchy persona and find a new, more pleasant aspect with which to face the world. Weiner, a long-time foreign correspondent for National Public Radio and avowed grumbler, visited ten places around the world whose strengths are things we tend to think of as happiness-inducing: money, pleasure, spirituality, family, chocolate, etc. Would dabbling in these things in far-flung foreign sites foster Weiner’s pursuit of contentment?

Even if you’re firmly grounded this summer, travel and adventure still await you at the Chatham Area Public Library. We look forward to your next visit.

Summertime Viewing

Summer has arrived and in that spirit, it is always a great time to kick back and relax. Come to the library and checkout or request your favorite DVD. Hey, it is free to checkout or request and it is free entertainment! If you are needing suggestions, there are some listed below:

Hope Floats (1998): If you are a romantic, you might want to check out this romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. Birdie Calvert (Bullock) returns home with her young daughter after her husband divorces her and another man (Connick, Jr.) comes back into her life. Will she follow her heart or her obligations?

The Dark Knight (2008): This film stars Christian Bale as Batman and Heath Ledger as the Joker. When the Joker creates chaos, Batman must deal with the outcomes. After his passing, Ledger was awarded an Academy Award for his performance. If you like action, this movie might be for you.

Red (2010): This movie stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman. When Frank Moses’(Willis) nice and quiet life is disrupted, adventures and antics ensue. Moses is a retired black-ops CIA agent and his life is now being threatened by assassins. To survive and track down his attacker, Moses brings back his old team which includes Mirren and Morgan. If you want action, suspense, and comedy, you may want to check out this film.

The Help (2011): Based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, this movie stars Emma Stone as Skeeter , an aspiring writer, who chooses to write a book about African-American maids and their struggles during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, Mississippi. The movie also stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. If you want a gripping drama with superb acting, this movie is a great choice.

Our library has something for everyone. For more information, please stop by and see us or check out our website at Please call us with any questions at 483-2713.

Happy Viewing!
Sheila Battin
Assistant Director

Featured Author: Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster is our Chicago residing New York Times Bestselling Author of 6 books  known for their scathing wit in real life happenings; no person, place, or circumstance is exempt from her snarky observations and reactions– not even herself! Non-fiction works written in story form make her autobiography type musings relatable, touching, and compellingly funny. After being laid off from her high-paying, prestigious job, Jen begins her long journey through a new reality laced with irony, frustration, but increasing levity that begins the day she carried her Prada bag to the unemployment office. Get to know her through her earliest works while you prepare for her May 2012 release  Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adults Attempt To Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It’s Never Too Late for Her Dumbass To Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not For Dinner. You won’t want to miss a second!

Bitter Is The New Black (2006)

In her first book, we learn Jen’s backstory. “This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment…It’s a modern Green tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which “the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected.” In other words? The *B* had it coming.” (Back Cover Synopsis)

Bright Lights, Big Ass (2007)

“Jen Lancaster hates to burst your happy little bubble, but life in the big city isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Contrary to what you see on TV and in the movies, most urbanites aren’t party-hopping in slinky dresses and strappy stilettos. But lucky for us, Lancaster knows how to make the life of the lower crust mercilessly funny and infinitely entertaining.
Whether she’s reporting rude neighbors to Homeland Security, harboring a crush on her grocery store clerk, or fighting-and losing-the Battle of the Stairmaster- Lancaster explores how silly, strange, and not-so-fabulous real city living can be. And if anyone doesn’t like it, they can kiss her big, fat, pink, puffy down parka.” (Publisher Comments)

Such a Pretty Fat (2008)

“To whom the fat rolls…I’m tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life. And I hate the message that women can’t possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans. I don’t find these stories uplifting; they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecake and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don’t matter. Unfortunately, being overweight isn’t simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a dose healthy of positive self-esteem. It’s a health matter, and here on the eve of my fortieth year, I’ve learned I have to make changes so I don’t, you know, die. Because what good is finally being able to afford a pedicure if I lose a foot to adult onset diabetes?” (Publisher Synopsis)

My Fair Lazy (2010)

“Readers have followed Jen Lancaster through job loss, sucky city living, weight loss attempts, and 1980s nostalgia. Now Jen chronicles her efforts to achieve cultural enlightenment, with some hilarious missteps and genuine moments of inspiration along the way. And she does so by any means necessary: reading canonical literature, viewing classic films, attending the opera, researching artisan cheeses, and even enrolling in etiquette classes to improve her social graces.
In Jen’s corner is a crack team of experts, including Page Six socialites, gourmet chefs, an opera aficionado, and a master sommelier. She may discover that well-regarded, high- priced stinky cheese tastes exactly as bad as it smells, and that her love for Kraft American Singles is forever. But one thing’s for certain: Eliza Doolittle’s got nothing on Jen Lancaster-and failure is an option.” (Publisher Synopsis)

The Last Chance! Bookshelf

by Michelle B., Front Circulation Services Assistant

Quick; it’s your last chance! You have a little less than two weeks to squeeze out every drop of enjoyment of your few precious hours of solitude before the children are let loose for summer break! I compiled a suggested reading list called “Last Chance! Bookshelf;” run, don’t walk, in to the Chatham Public Library and check them out for yourself!

Wives Behaving Badly

Elizabeth Buchan writes what many long-term married women are secretly paranoid about in her first novel Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, and follows it up with Wives Behaving Badly; a story of a mistress who got what she wanted—but finds dissatisfaction when the glamorous affair packaging didn’t match the prize inside. In Buchan’s sequel, we follow the ‘other woman’ through her struggle of being the second wife.

“The tables have turned on Minty Lloyd. The once irresistible mistress now finds herself deeply uneasy in her role as the second wife to her husband Nathan and mother of their twin boys. Though she has finally achieved the comfort and stability she once craved, family life has brought her more disappointment that she can admit…She is also struggling, yet determined, to make her marriage work. ‘The trouble is,’ she cries, ‘everything I do is secondhand.’ Meanwhile Rose, Nathan’s first wife, is still high from her victorious revenge and making her living as a glamorous travel journalist…And, as Minty now sees only too clearly, her hold on Nathan is both disquieting and deep. Dark and destructive notes of jealousy and bitterness reverberate through the new marriage…” (Publisher Synopsis)

If the idea of a home wrecker getting her comeuppance makes you smirk, then this is the read for you! But beware; this author’s writing may also inspire sympathy in you for our anti-heroine.

Waiter Rant

Steve Dublanica revels in the taboo topic of your waiters behind the scenes. He became a waiter at thirty-one years old and has been serving in New York ever since; he knows the ins-and-outs of the business and of human nature.

“According to The Waiter, eighty percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining twenty percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths. Waiter Rant offers the server’s unique point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen bits of human grace transpiring in the most unlikely places.  Through outrageous stories, The Waiter reveals the secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and how to keep him from spitting in your food. The Waiter also shares his ongoing struggle, at age thirty-eight, to figure out if he can finally leave the first job at which he’s truly thrived.” (Publisher Synopsis)

This non-fiction written in story timeline fashion is both endearing and offensive, honest and biased. It is definitely worth consuming!

  On What Grounds

Cleo Coyle serves up a perfect blend in the first book of the Coffeehouse Mystery collection; this series is as addictive as a Starbucks! We meet coffeeshop owner Clare Cosi and follow her through her self-proclaimed investigation when she is dissatisfied with the police’s open-and-closed opinion of her assistant manager’s murder. Clare even gives us real recipes and coffee tips along the way!

“…Clare is thrilled to return to work. Until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Police arrive on the scene to investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Case closed. But Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, there are a few things she just can’t get out of her mind…Why was the trash bin in the wrong place? If this wasn’t an accident, is Clare in danger? And…are all detectives this handsome?” (Publisher Synopsis)

A quick read that’s a perfect compliment to your morning cup o’ joe!

Where Lilacs Still Bloom

Jane Kirkpatrick writes fiction that is meant to inspire everyone to recognize the potential of their own real, day-to-day life stories to divinely heal and restore.

One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.
German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.

Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference?  (c.2012)”  (Publisher Synopsis)

A masterfully crafted, uplifting read for anyone! If you need to be strengthened and refreshed, come pluck this novel off my “Last Chance! Bookshelf”.

Featured Author: A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs is a journalist and currently the editor-at-large for Esquire. He’s made a name for himself recently, however, by writing books about the kooky experiments he conducts on himself. The resulting volumes are both funny and informative.

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

In his latest quest for perfection, Jacobs immerses himself in the world of competing health claims. How do we know what’s best for us? Jacobs sets out to try it all. The bizarre activities he tests out in his quest for a healthy lifestyle include running barefoot through New York City, attending a laughing group, exploring the benefits of wearing noise-cancelling headphones, and even attempting to write the entire book while walking on a treadmill. Was his quest for perfect health a success? For a quick answer to that, you can watch his TED Talk video about this experiment, How Healthy Living Nearly Killed Me.

The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment

This book collects several of Jacobs’ briefer life experiments into one volume. In one essay he discusses his foray into “radical honesty,” the movement that requires practitioners to be completely, bluntly honest about everything they’re thinking and feeling–and to say it out loud. Needless to say, reactions to Jacobs’ honesty experiment are mixed. In another experiment, Jacobs decides to outsource his life to India. He hires assistants to answer his email, do research for his job, pay his bills, and even buy flowers and birthday presents for his wife.

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

In this book, Jacobs takes the religious desire to follow the Bible literally quite literally. He grows his beard out. He doesn’t wear clothes of mixed fibers. He stones an adulterer and offers an animal sacrifice. But he also tries to learn as much as he can about religion as it’s really practiced by visiting groups such as an Amish family in Pennsylvania, a group of Hassidic Jews in Brooklyn, and a proselytizing Jehovah’s Witness. This book has been optioned for a movie. Watch Jacobs’ TED Talk video about this experiment, A.J. Jacobs’ Year of Living Biblically.

The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World

In The Know-It-All, Jacobs strives to expand his mental capacities by reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica–all 32 volumes, amounting to more than 33,000 pages. He also decides to beef up his IQ by hanging out with other smart people at Mensa meetings, crossword puzzle tournaments, on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and even in Alex Trebek’s backyard.

For more information about A.J. Jacobs or any of his books, you can visit his official website.