Zoom – At the Library: Books to beat the heat during the dog days | Guest Columns
After a very wet first half of the month, the Dog Days of Summer have certainly arrived. The phrase refers to the fact that Sirius, a.k.a. the Dog Star, is the brightest star in the sky this time of year (not counting our sun). Whether you choose to spend these weeks lazing on the beach or semi-permanently parked in front of an AC unit, one thing is for certain: summer is here and will fly by before we know it, so we may as well enjoy the season while it lasts! Here are a few ideas from our “Summer Bucket List” to get you started.
If you’ve never made your own homemade ice cream, there’s no time like the present. “No-Churn Ice Cream: Over 100 Simply Delicious No-Machine Frozen Treats” by Leslie Bilderback is great for beginners, as you don’t need any fancy equipment or kitchen experience to get started. The more ambitious among you may enjoy “Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery” by Anne Walker, which has recipes and tips and tricks for everything from vanilla to balsamic strawberry.
While we’re on the subject of food — are your gardens exploding? Another fun part of summer is finding new and unique ways to use your home-grown goodies! The library is holding a “DIY Pickling and Fermenting Demonstration” via Zoom on Thursday, July 29, where we’ll show you how to pickle various veggies AND how to ferment peppers to make homemade hot sauce. We have a small number of start kits available for early registrants, so contact Amanda at [email protected] to register and learn more. We also have tons of cookbooks full of seasonal recipes, so stop by the second floor of the library to browse through them.
If you’re not afraid of the heat, there’s plenty to do outdoors. Check out the newest “beach read” and take it on your next trip to Misquamicut, or lounge in Wilcox Park and read the day away. Take a walk in a new location with “Hiking Connecticut and Rhode Island” by Rhonda Ostertag. Take the kids to the Flying Horse Carousel or just spend the day in Watch Hill, and stop by the Watch Hill Memorial Library on your way! It’s open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and has a fantastic selection of new books and movies.
Let’s remember that — despite the complaints about the heat/humidity — the “dog days” does not imply that there is anything inherently wrong with our canine friends (if you need a reminder of how great dogs actually are, check out the book “Underwater Puppies”. You won’t regret it)! In fact, many libraries are celebrating pups as part of their Summer Reading programs, since the theme is “Tails and Tales.” If you haven’t already, sign up for our library summer reading program at westerlylibrary.beanstack.org, and check out our online calendar of events for more things to keep you busy over the coming weeks.
Top requested books
1. “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave
2. “Golden Girl” by Elin Hilderbrand
3. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah
4. “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
5. “The Madness of Crowds” by Louise Penny
6. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig
7. “People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry
8. “The Maidens” by Alex Michaelides
9. “The Cellist” by Daniel Silva
10. “The Paper Palace” by Miranda Cowley Heller
Top requested DVDs
1. “Wrath of Man”
3. “The Truffle Hunters”
4. “Palm Springs”
5. “Unforgotten Season 4”
6. “A Quiet Place Part II”
7. “Queen’s Bees”
8. “Godzilla vs. Kong”
9. “Artemis Fowl”
10. “Blithe Spirit”
MONDAY — 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Maker Mondays Summer Reading Program – Grab a new fun craft for kids to take home and enjoy. Stop by while supplies last; 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Teen Take and Make – Pick up a craft project from the Teen Space! Available while supplies last. One per teen please; 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Anyone under 18 can join us for a takeaway lunch, no income limits or registration required. This program is offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lunches are available Monday through Friday; 7-9 p.m., Virtual Crafternoon: Paint Party (FULL) – In lieu of our normal Crafternoon, we’ve teamed up with TDP in New London, CT to host a paint night via Zoom. Registration is required.
TUESDAY — 9-10 a.m., Yoga in the Park with Chelsea Hauck – Take part in a beginner-friendly yoga practice on the YMCA side of the park. Please bring a yoga mat, a towel, a water bottle; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email to help connect you with local services/resources. Email her at [email protected]; 3-3:45 p.m., Teen Live Trivia with Kahoot – Time for some trivia fun! We’ll be meeting through Zoom and using Kahoot. Topics will vary. Contact [email protected] to register; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group is meeting weekly upstairs in Reference!
WEDNESDAY — 9:30-10:00 a.m., Essentrics Stretch in the Park – This 30 minute workout will elongate and strengthen all the muscles chains in the body. Bring a mat, bath towel, and water; 10-10:30 a.m., Tiny Tails (Ages 4-12) – Join us on Zoom for a fun, educational, and interactive virtual animal experience. Registration is required; 12:30-2 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Wednesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 2-3 p.m., Virtual Film Club – We will discuss three movies we selected last month and choose three to watch for our August meeting. Contact Hannah at [email protected] for meeting details.
THURSDAY — 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Friends Pop-up Book Sale – Every Thursday over the summer, the Friends of the Library will host a Summer Pop-up Book Sale on the library esplanade! Please note they will accept cash or check only; 6-7 p.m., DIY Pickling and Fermenting Demo – Please join us for a virtual how-to on quick pickling and fermenting! For the list of supplies and pantry items needed, or to register, please contact Amanda at [email protected].
FRIDAY — 10-10:20 a.m., Kids Facebook Live Storytime – Each week we do a short storytime through Facebook Live. Participants can go to the library Facebook Page and click on the ‘Live’ tab at the top; 1-1:45 p.m., Harry Potter Birthday (ages 7-15) – Join us on Zoom for HP trivia, interesting Potter items, easy magical craft tips, and maybe even a portkey trip to Knockturn Alley! Preregistration is required; 7-9:30 p.m., Colonial Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park – Running from Friday, July 30th through Sunday, August 1st.
SATURDAY — 10:15-11 a.m., Zumba in the Park – Join us in Wilcox Park for Zumba with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi! Classes are FREE and will be held on the grassy area near the gazebo, weather permitting.
Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.