Happy Father’s Day!

Yes, we’ve got some great books (and movies) about fathers and sons, and daughters, too. Here’s just a sample.  Enjoy!

Letters to father

Sister Maria Celeste corresponds with her father, Galileo Galilei. A unique introduction to a brilliant family.

Father's Soul

In 1953, Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary. In 1996, his son, Jamling Tenzing Norgay, also climbed the mountain. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Norgay’s clever weaving of the parallel stories of his climb and his father’s enriches an already gripping tale.”  This is also the first modern tale of ascent from the indigenous people who revere the sacred mountain. Continue reading “Happy Father’s Day!”


June is LGBT Pride Month

Aspen Mays’ Book Sculpture.  This image was used by the Westchester Library System in an ad placed in the White Plains LOFT pride brochure.

LGBT Pride Month is celebrated every year in June  to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan. In the early morning hours of  June 28, 1969, police raided a Greenwich Village bar that had a largely gay clientele.  Patrons, who were angry about the frequent raids, fought back and soon a crowd of more than 400 people gathered in the streets. News of the event spread and inspired others to mobilize in support of gay rights.

The Westchester Library System has a growing collection of books with LGBT themes.  For this post, I will spotlight three fiction writers who have made LGBT content an important part of their writing.

Sarah Waters writes historical fiction for adults:


The Paying Guests:  In 1922 London, economics force a widow and her daughter Frances to take in lodgers . Their lives are profoundly changed after they rent to a young couple and Frances has a dangerous clandestine affair with the wife.


FingersmithFingersmith:  Sue Trinity, an orphan raised by thieves, is recruited by a con man to help in his quest to marry Maude, a wealthy heiress.  Sue agrees to pose as a maid to gain Maude’s confidence, but finds herself falling in love with her.


TippingTheVelvetTipping the Velvet:  At a London music hall in 1887,  a male impersonator falls in love with her dresser.




Affinity: Visiting a grim Victorian London prison as part of rehabilitative charity work, Margaret Prior, a woman recovering from a suicide attempt, is drawn in by an inmate who asks Margaret to help her escape.


Continue reading “June is LGBT Pride Month”

It’s Hug your Cat Day!

Yes, really! Hug Your Cat Day is celebrated on June 4.

On Hug Your Cat Day, I am going to:Whether you can hug a cat or not, you can still celebrate with some great books and media from the library! Continue reading “It’s Hug your Cat Day!”

North White Plains is Celebrating National Pet Week All Month Long!


Be Kind to Animals Week® is May 7 – 14! What can you do to protect and better the lives of animals?

NWP Pet Display

In 1915, American Humane initiated Be Kind to Animals Week® in hopes of inspiring millions of Americans to come together and show their compassion—and build a more humane world—for animals. Over a century later, Be Kind to Animals Week® is still celebrated annually during the first full week of May and is the longest-running, most successful humane education campaign in American history. (American Humane.org)

The American Humane Society would like you to take The Kindness Pledge, pledging to be kind to animals all year by:

  • Buying Humanely Raised Products
  • Protecting Earth’s Animals through Conservation Efforts and Education
  • Protecting Animal Actors
  • Adopting or Rescuing a Pet from and Animal Shelter (Kindness 100.org)

Other ways to celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week all year long:

  • Take care of your pet by keeping vaccinations up to date and taking him to the vet regularly.  Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification.
  • Appreciate wildlife by learning how to coexist peacefully and humanely with it. Create inviting spaces in your yard for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other interesting wildlife.
  • Learn the signs of animal abuse and report it immediately to your local animal control, law enforcement or humane organization.  Pets need you to help keep them healthy and safe.

Come into the branch and check out a few books from out pet display.  Learn about different kinds of pets – an iguana perhaps? – read about how animals help us heal, find out if dogs really dream, catch up on Dewey the Library Cat or read a cozy mystery in which dogs or cats play a starring role.  And celebrate animals all year long.

National Biographer’s day!

It’s national biographer’s day on May 16th! Here are some new biographies to celebrate.

1.”In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just nineteen years old and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former first lady Jackie Kennedy. The next thirteen years of her life were spent in Jackie’s service…” (from Amazon summary)  Soon to be available in the library!

Jackie's girl

Continue reading “National Biographer’s day!”

Special Needs: Diet and Supplement Books

This is the second part of a Special Needs series of posts.  We know that caretakers of people with special needs are short on time, so please contact the reference department if we can help you with research.  We want to help.

Undoubtedly, if you deal with special needs, you deal with the question of diet and vitamin supplements. If you need a book more specific to your circumstances, let us know, and we will find the right book.

For tfood ruleshe caretaker who is over her head, and being told too much, here’s a good book to thumb through quickly:

Pollan, Michael.  Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.

Many special needs have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you determine this to be an issue, it would be well worth reading this, as treatment could result in better effects in many areas:

Wagnen, Stephen. The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. 

Do you just want an easy guide on vitamins and minerals, to see what they are supposed to do, and what to
beware of?

vitamins and minerals

Pressman, Alan. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vitamins and Minerals 

Here are a couple books that are worth reading from cover to cover, with notes on the pages that deal with supplements.


grain brainPerlmutter, MD, David. Grain Brain,   In this controversial best seller Perlmutter explains the thoughts and fears behind grain. The publisher claims that it’s help for those who battle a number of conditions, from ADHD to “senior moments”.  His discussion on supplements on pp. 187 – 193, and again on pp. 223 – 224.

The End of IllnessAgus, David B. The End of Illness.  Agus does not run exactly opposite for Perlmutter, has a different perspective, from Perlmutter, if you have the time. Discussion on supplements, Chapeter 7, The Truth About Synthetic Shortcuts, p.150 – 173.


Don't eat this if

If you are taking supplements, or more than one medication, consider this book, Fernstrom, Madelyn and John. Don’t Eat This If You’re Taking That


Special Needs Resources Online

We wish the best for all our patrons, but I would like to extend a personal welcome to parents of children with special needs. I’d like to inform you of what is available through the library, and in the community. If you don’t have time to research, tell me (or any librarian) what you need, and I’ll do my best to find it. If you know someone who needs help, please pass that message on. There’s no reason to walk that road alone. Help us connect you with what you need.

At North Castle Library we have our sources, then there are county and state sources, community sources, state sources, and then there are some wonderful nonprofits that want to help, and there are for profits.  This post is just the beginning.

Here are the sources in the library that are at our patrons’ disposal, to learn about the diagnosis:

If you are looking for doctors who are recommended by doctors, try this non-exhaustive, but excellent source, also it’s where Westchester Magazine gets its list:

Castle Connelly Top Doctors