Long Titles For Shorter Days

As the days get shorter, we asked our librarians for their favorite long titles! Here are their responses.


Books:
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
Birding is my Favorite Video Game: Cartoons About the Natural World by Rosemary Mosco
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Girl in the Locked Room: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardullo
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C O’Brien
The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater…That Grandma Knit by Debbie Macomber
An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles by Arthur Evans and Charles Bellamy

Movies and TV:
Darby O’Gill and the Little People
The Great British Baking Show
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides


The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eisele
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Famous Men Who Never Lived by K. Chess
How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K Jemisin
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Nonfiction titles tend to be long (especially with the subtitles!) so I’ll just list a few:
Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas In Your Car, and Food on Your Plate by Rose George
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson


Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K Jemisin
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris
The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See


Books:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
In the House in the Dark of the Woods
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Movie:
Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb
What We Do in the Shadows

TV:
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
What We Do in the Shadows


Let us know your favorite long titles in the comments!

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Red Letter Poem #37

Steven Ratiner, Arlington’s Poet Laureate, is today’s guest blogger.

“Songs are thoughts, sung out with the breath when people are moved by great forces and ordinary speech no longer suffices…And then…we, who always think we are small, will feel still smaller.  And we will fear to use words.  But it will happen that the words we need will come of themselves.  When the words we want to use shoot up of themselves – we get a new song.”  This description comes from Orpingalik, a Netsilik hunter, shaman and poet, and they represent an experience documented in almost all early cultures: the roots of poetry and song are wholly intertwined.  This proved true of the ancient Greek poets performing with lyre in hand, the Chinese court poets strumming the qin, or African griots plucking the harp-like kora or pounding the djembe drum to recite for the tribe.  It applies right up through Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan’s verses sung over his jangly guitar or Jay-Z’s flow riding a thunderous beat.

Lloyd Schwartz is the Poet Laureate for neighboring Somerville, MA, but that is just one of the many creative ‘hats’ he wears.   Author, scholar and teacher, his voice is familiar as the longtime classical music critic for NPR’s Fresh Air.  For three decades before that, he was the classical music editor of the Boston Phoenix for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.  Most often, the vocal register of his poems is closer to that of colloquial speech, but occasionally he cannot resist pure song.  He was inspired here, he explained, by a trip to Moosehead Lake in northern Maine, and the words arrived unexpectedly in a manner of which, I believe, Orpingalik would heartily approve.  The poem is included in his forthcoming Who’s on First? New and Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press).  I was also delighted to learn that it is part of “Schwartzsongs”, a musical setting of three of Lloyd’s poems by the great composer John Harbison.  Sometimes the Muse simply demands song and any seasoned poet needs to be ready.

Red Letter Poem #37: 

Red Letter 37

The Red Letter Poems Project was created in grateful partnership with many of our town’s cultural resources: the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, the Arlington Center for the Arts, the Robbins Library, the Arlington International Film Festival, and Arlington Community Education.  See the full archive of the project at http://artsarlington.org/red-letter-poems/.  We’ll send out a poem from a new poet every week. If you enjoy them, we encourage you to forward them to friends –  in Arlington and beyond –  or to post them on your social media platforms with the hashtags: #RedLetterPoems, #ArlingtonPoetLaureate. If you want to make sure you receive these poems directly – or to receive notices about future poetry events – send an e-mail to: steven.arlingtonlaureate@gmail.com with the subject line ‘mailing list’.

In ancient Rome, feast days were indicated on the calendar by red letters.  To my mind, all poetry and art – and, in truth, even the COVID-19 crisis itself – serves as a reminder that every day we wake together beneath the sun is a red-letter day.

– Steven Ratiner

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Robbins Library Materials Pick-up Resumes Dec. 14

We are restoring drop-in materials pickup services and contactless pickup on Monday, December 14 on the basis of further testing for COVID-19 among staff, and negative results.  

Items that were on hold when we closed on December 7 will be available for pick-up until December 28. Outdoor book returns are open.

We closed on December 7 because a library staff member had tested positive for COVID-19. The closure was a safety precaution, but there is not a concern over public exposure to COVID-19 at the library.

Residents can find information about Arlington’s COVID response at arlingtonma.gov/covid19

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Materials Pick Up Suspended; Book Drops Open

A library staff member tested positive for COVID-19. There is not a concern over public exposure to COVID-19 at the library at this time, however, as a safety precaution for library staff and the public, effective Dec. 7, 2020 library materials pick up service is suspended. Materials pick up service will resume on December 18th. We continue to offer book return service through our drop-boxes. Items on hold will be available for pick up until December 28.

Health Department contact tracers continue to work closely with all positive cases in Arlington. It is important to answer contact tracer’s calls to help reduce the spread of the virus. If you are not contacted, you have not been identified as a close contact and do not have to quarantine. Residents can find information about Arlington’s COVID response at arlingtonma.gov/covid19.  Information about virtual programs still be offered, please visit robbinslibrary.org.  

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Red Letter Poem #36

Steven Ratiner, Arlington’s Poet Laureate, is today’s guest blogger.

I’m baffled – let’s start with that.  And often frustrated, angry and, yes, ashamed.  We are forever living – all of us – inside the echo of George Floyd’s pleas for help.  Inside the shadow of Breonna Taylor, Philando Castille, Sandra Bland, Ahmaud Arbery, and an unscrolling list of names that serves as an awful reminder: in the land of all men are created equal, we’ve built durable systems hardwired to guarantee the very opposite.  And each time I think about the magnitude of the challenges we’re facing, thought ties itself in knots.

Which is why I found Ellen Steinbaum’s poem so useful.  Like a Cubist painting, she portrays multiple perspectives at once.  After reading a blog post entitled ‘Resist Numbness’ by David Howse (the Executive Director of Boston’s ArtsEmerson), the poet took an honest first step: she allowed his words to enter her consciousness, to locate her own knots and to begin pulling at the tangle.  Ellen found herself deconstructing one of his lines, forming a prism through which she might examine her own confused feelings.  And we, ours.  I cannot help but believe that such an internal action will spur external ones, perhaps the next time a situation demands that a hard choice be made.  Words matter.  They are not so easily dispersed as, sadly, a breath can be.  After all, our nation’s founding documents used them to solidify a grand promise: that if we as a people continued to envision that more perfect union, our thoughts, our path forward might always bring us closer.

Poet, journalist, blogger, undoer of knots, Ellen is making her second appearance in the Red Letters.  Her most recent collection is This Next Tenderness (CW Books).  “we have no words…” appeared originally in River Heron Review.

Red Letter Poem #36: 

Red Letter 36

The Red Letter Poems Project was created in grateful partnership with many of our town’s cultural resources: the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, the Arlington Center for the Arts, the Robbins Library, the Arlington International Film Festival, and Arlington Community Education.  See the full archive of the project at http://artsarlington.org/red-letter-poems/.  We’ll send out a poem from a new poet every week. If you enjoy them, we encourage you to forward them to friends –  in Arlington and beyond –  or to post them on your social media platforms with the hashtags: #RedLetterPoems, #ArlingtonPoetLaureate. If you want to make sure you receive these poems directly – or to receive notices about future poetry events – send an e-mail to: steven.arlingtonlaureate@gmail.com with the subject line ‘mailing list’.

In ancient Rome, feast days were indicated on the calendar by red letters.  To my mind, all poetry and art – and, in truth, even the COVID-19 crisis itself – serves as a reminder that every day we wake together beneath the sun is a red-letter day.

– Steven Ratiner

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Red Letter Poem #35

Steven Ratiner, Arlington’s Poet Laureate, is today’s guest blogger.

It’s not the turkey – though symbols and traditions do foster a sense of continuity.  It’s not just the table heaped high with all manner of delicacies – though it’s rare that many are permitted (or permit themselves) an occasion of sheer abundance.  All the loved faces gathered together – of course that comes closer to the heart of the matter even if, this Thanksgiving, much of the gathering must be done via Zoom or through memory.  To my mind, the great gift of the holiday is how we’re ushered into experiencing gratitude – and that has deep transformative power.  Gratitude confirms to the body, to the expansive mind, that what is present is enough.  And even enduring the most difficult circumstances: enough.

In Polly Brown’s lovely poem, Peggy has the courage to step away from safety’s embrace and, even facing the prospect of impending loss, she claims a moment of determination, quiet joy, and gratitude.  The subject of this poem is Peggy Lawler (1929-1966) – an important figure in the modern dance movement, and a great-hearted woman whose friendship and generosity are things for which Polly is forever thankful.  And now, because of this beautiful lyric, so are we.  Peggy on the Hill is making its debut in these electronic pages but, I’m happy to say, Polly’s recent collection, Pebble Leaf Feather Knife (Cherry Grove) contains a wealth of finely-crafted, deeply-felt poems like this one.  And in keeping with the holiday, let me add that, after nine months of the Red Letter project – after having witnessed the generosity of spirit from poets and readers alike – and even as our country struggles mightily to find its way through our devastating challenges – I can say without hesitation: life is, indeed, more than enough.

Red Letter Poem #35: 

Red Letter 35

The Red Letter Poems Project was created in grateful partnership with many of our town’s cultural resources: the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, the Arlington Center for the Arts, the Robbins Library, the Arlington International Film Festival, and Arlington Community Education.  See the full archive of the project at http://artsarlington.org/red-letter-poems/.  We’ll send out a poem from a new poet every week. If you enjoy them, we encourage you to forward them to friends –  in Arlington and beyond –  or to post them on your social media platforms with the hashtags: #RedLetterPoems, #ArlingtonPoetLaureate. If you want to make sure you receive these poems directly – or to receive notices about future poetry events – send an e-mail to: steven.arlingtonlaureate@gmail.com with the subject line ‘mailing list’.

In ancient Rome, feast days were indicated on the calendar by red letters.  To my mind, all poetry and art – and, in truth, even the COVID-19 crisis itself – serves as a reminder that every day we wake together beneath the sun is a red-letter day.

– Steven Ratiner

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Robbins Library Seeks Community Input For Website Redesign

The Robbins Library is seeking input from community members to improve the library’s website, robbinslibrary.org. Patron experiences and feedback are central to the redesign process.  The 8-question survey takes about three minutes to complete and is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RobbinsWebsite through Dec. 31, 2020.

Andrea Nicolay, library director, says, “Our website is our third branch. It’s a gateway to information on using our physical and virtual resources. With hundreds of thousands of visits to our site annually, and especially this past year, it’s obviously a crucial tool.  We want to help users find what they need more easily, and make happy discoveries.” 

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Red Letter Poem #34

Steven Ratiner, Arlington’s Poet Laureate, is today’s guest blogger.

Let’s take a moment, shall we?  And perhaps another moment?

A deceptively simple suggestion, but not all that far from the impetus behind the Japanese haiku.  From the time of Basho onward – and fortified by the Buddhist emphasis on being present within even the simplest of experiences – the haiku became both a method of fully engaging with one’s surroundings and a way of reflecting such moments within a succinct but imaginatively-charged poem.   Rather than explaining the mind’s journey, the three-line poem arranges the sense-impressions to propel a reader along a similar path, allowing the power of implication, juxtaposition, surprise to strike the deepest possible chord.  So right now: after one of the most contentious elections in American history; while the Covid pandemic rages anew and economic uncertainty makes our future feel more than a little tenuous; and even our prospects for a safe Thanksgiving dinner are fraught with genuine concern – Brad Bennett’s fine poems offer the reminder of what is actually ours: this moment.  And then, if we’re fortunate, the one after that.  Not too small a reason for gratitude.

Beside the fact that Brad has made haiku writing a central feature in his life, it pleases me tremendously to know that he’s taught the practice as a regular feature in his third-grade classrooms. I can only imagine the balm it provides to a young mind – not to mention the ability it develops to better participate in one’s own unfolding life. Brad’s poems have appeared in dozens of the important haiku publications including Chrysanthemum, New England Letters, and Gratitude in the Time of COVID-19: The Haiku Hecameron (edited by Scott Mason) where some of these poems first appeared. His two collections are: a drop of pond (which won a 2016 Touchstone Distinguished Book Award from The Haiku Foundation); and a turn in the river – both published by Red Moon Press.

Red Letter Poem #34: 

Red Letter #34

The Red Letter Poems Project was created in grateful partnership with many of our town’s cultural resources: the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, the Arlington Center for the Arts, the Robbins Library, the Arlington International Film Festival, and Arlington Community Education. We’ll send out a poem from a new poet every week. If you enjoy them, we encourage you to forward them to friends –  in Arlington and beyond –  or to post them on your social media platforms with the hashtags: #RedLetterPoems, #ArlingtonPoetLaureate. If you want to make sure you receive these poems directly – or to receive notices about future poetry events – send an e-mail to: steven.arlingtonlaureate@gmail.com with the subject line ‘mailing list’.

In ancient Rome, feast days were indicated on the calendar by red letters.  To my mind, all poetry and art – and, in truth, even the COVID-19 crisis itself – serves as a reminder that every day we wake together beneath the sun is a red-letter day.

– Steven Ratiner

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Red Letter Poem #33

Steven Ratiner, Arlington’s Poet Laureate, is today’s guest blogger.

It’s an elemental gesture, the cairn – placing a stone atop a stone.  In a Jewish cemetery, stones balanced upon grave markers signify a mourner’s visit, remembrance.  On a mountain climb, rocky piles mark paths, offer direction for travelers.  I often see little precarious towers of beach stones along the shore, and watch other passersby taking pleasure in bolstering them: I too was here.   But in introducing his poem “A Cairn by the Cabin” for an upcoming RED LETTER LIVE video-reading, Fred Marchant focused on the massive cairn being perpetually erected beside the site where Henry David Thoreau’s cabin once stood at Walden – and he takes it as both a sign of gratitude and a commitment toward maintaining the psychic edifice that is our grand democratic experiment – something Thoreau spent so much of his energy fortifying.

The late Congressman John Lewis wrote, in what would become his final message to America: “Democracy is not a state.  It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”  Are we capable now of acting in just such a manner – choosing our words, our gestures carefully as if laying a stone upon the existing stones – to establish a marker, to stand before the doorway of Thoreau’s invisible home, believing we can find shelter there, and offer shelter to others?  In light of our contentious election, the Black Lives Matter movement, the rampant fear fanned by the pandemic and economic uncertainty – is such a presumption still viable?  I have no doubt most of the poets who have been featured in these virtual Red Letter pages would answer: yes.  And you reading these words: yes.  Acting for the sake of our children and grandchildren; and our neighbors’ children and grandchildren: indeed yes.  And again tomorrow morning, responding to that face staring back at us from the mirror: we build yes upon yes upon yes.  By this cairn we’ll know we were here, mark our path forward, and offer guidance to those travelers who follow after us.

I’m delighted to feature Fred Marchant’s poetry once again.  Author of five collections including the recent Said Not Said, he is the Emeritus Professor of English at Suffolk University where he founded their Poetry Center.  Fred continues to work tirelessly to develop younger talents and to keep the rootstock of American poetry refreshed.

Red Letter Poem #33:

The Red Letter Poems Project was created in grateful partnership with many of our town’s cultural resources: the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, the Arlington Center for the Arts, the Robbins Library, the Arlington International Film Festival, and Arlington Community Education. We’ll send out a poem from a new poet every week. If you enjoy them, we encourage you to forward them to friends –  in Arlington and beyond –  or to post them on your social media platforms with the hashtags: #RedLetterPoems, #ArlingtonPoetLaureate. If you want to make sure you receive these poems directly – or to receive notices about future poetry events – send an e-mail to: steven.arlingtonlaureate@gmail.com with the subject line ‘mailing list’.

In ancient Rome, feast days were indicated on the calendar by red letters.  To my mind, all poetry and art – and, in truth, even the COVID-19 crisis itself – serves as a reminder that every day we wake together beneath the sun is a red-letter day.

– Steven Ratiner

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Thankful

This month we asked our librarians what books & other media they are thankful for. Check out their responses here:


The Office, US version
Doctor Who
Star Trek (any and all, especially Discovery!)
The Great British Bake Off/Baking Show (not the latest season!!!)
Nadiya’s Kitchen
The Repair Shop


Movies: Embrace of the Serpent

Books: Hotel World by Ali Smith


During the past several months, I have been grateful for the sheer variety of books I can get from the library, both physically and via Libby, which has ensured that no matter what kind of mood I’m in I have just the right thing to read.

More specifically, there are two TV shows I am particularly grateful for recently:

Schitt’s Creek – not only is it hilarious, but it contains a whole cast of people who were very flawed, and yet still managed to be decent humans.

The Great British Baking Show – the only reality or competition show I will watch because despite the fact that the contestants are competing, they are always so kind and supportive of one another. Plus, I love baked goods.

Both of these shows really highlight the best in people and serve as a reminder that humans are basically decent.


I am thankful for graphic non fiction, which helps me learn about issues and people in a way that I find very appealing and engaging. Here are a few I have read recently:

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. About life in a Kenyan refugee camp for a Somalian orphan and his brother.

Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder. Understanding grief from a teen’s point of view, and finding ways to laugh about it.

I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi by Gina Siciliano. Learning about what it was like as a woman Renaissance artist.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, & Steven Scott, art by Harmony Becker. Takei’s memoir as a Japanese American prisoner of internment camps. 

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. A memoir of displacement and immigration by a Vietnamese woman after the Vietnam War.

Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story by Peter Bagge. A spirited biography of the African American author.

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. A moving memoir of being raised by grandparents, while his mother is in and out of rehab, by a beloved children’s graphic novel author.


White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Final Fantasy X & X-2


What media are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments!

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