Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Great Course begins in January

What: Brown-bag screening of From Yao to Mao: 5,000 Years of Chinese History
Where: Morrell Meeting Room
When: Thursdays from 12:15 to 1:15 beginning January 8

The Brunswick Rotary Club and Curtis Memorial Library are hosting a weekly "brown-bag" screening of From Yao to Mao: 5,000 Years of Chinese History a Great Course featuring Dr. Kenneth Hammond, Professor at New Mexico State University, with a PhD from Harvard. Each session will feature two half-hour lectures on DVD with the opportunity for a short discussion after the screening. Bring a lunch if you wish.

Screenings are in the Morrell Meeting Room at the library and begin Thursday, January 8 from 12:15 to 1:15 with four screenings a month through April (no session on Feb. 19). Thanks to funding from the Brunswick Rotary Club, Curtis Memorial Library purchased five Great Courses on DVD from the Teaching Company. Each DVD contains an in-depth lecture series from a talented college professor.

FMI about the screenings, call the reference desk at 725-5242 x 510.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brunswick history: a new online resource!

Thanks to the diligence and painstaking work of Jackie Young of Pejepscot Historical Society we now have a readable transcription of John Furbish’s Facts About Brunswick, Maine. These were Furbish’s observations and commentary of events in Civil War era Brunswick. Previously, this work existed as a facsimile edition in Furbish’s handwriting. It is a fascinating read that now has grown wings thanks to Ms. Young.

Furbish included local and national politics as well as reports on the weather and hay crop. The latter two items were of great importance to a community largely dependent on land travel by horse and carriage.

He wasn't shy in his opinions. He noted on the death of a prominent Brunswick banker that he was “last of several brothers, and probably the least loved” and that he was “very excentric man, giving or not as he saw fit or was in a mood to do, dressing in a style peculiarly his own: pants always six inches too short, with a white hatte.”

Elsewhere Furbish wrote of the profound effect in Brunswick to the news of Lincoln’s assassination. “The feeling here was the most intense imaginable: people only looked and thought for hours, feelings were too deep for utterance.”

Of great interest was a parenthetical notation that Lieutenant General. U.S. Grant and Major General O. O. Howard were guests of Brevet Major General J. L. Chamberlain at Bowdoin’s 1865 commencement exercises held in the First Parish Church.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Read Around Maine: an online book club

Read Around Maine

On December 17, The Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald announced that the paper is launching an online book club tied to works featured on the Literary Map of Maine. The first selection, chosen through online voting is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. This collection of thirteen stories features a retired teacher in Coastal Maine and her presence in the lives of ordinary people. The stories are described in by Publisher's Weekly as as " a heart-wrenching, penetrating portrait of the
of ordinary coastal Mainers living lives of quiet grief intermingled with flashes of human connection." Kirkus Reviews describes Strout's prose as luminous and Library Journal features the book as a notable book of the year. The book club begins in January and each month will feature a new book.

About the Literary Map of Maine
Literary Map of Maine

The Literary Map of Maine is a partnership between the Maine Sunday Telegram and several Maine libraries and humanities groups. Readers were asked to nominate Maine books and authors. A committee narrowed the list of reader-submitted titles and their own nominations to 50 places. The committee also annotated the titles and added selected quotes from the books. A print version of the map was published in the Aug. 31, 2008 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram. That version was a starting point and the online version continues to grow. You can still nominate books for the Literary Map of Maine. Submit your ideas to the map