Looking for Your Next Book?Kennebunk Free Library staff love helping patrons find their next great read! We invite you to email us or call us at 207-985-2173, and we also welcome you to check out the online forms and resources on this page.
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Request a Book Stack Customized for YouWould you like to start the new year by borrowing a stack of books handpicked by a librarian? We’d love to choose some books for you! Request a book stack by filling out the Google Form below. If you'd only like a list of titles, rather than an actual book stack, you may request that option on the form. A KFL library card is required. We'll let you know when your book stack is ready to pick up curbside!
Adult/Young Adult Book Stack Request Form
Request a Book Stack Customized for Your ChildWould you like a librarian to handpick a stack of books for your child? Request a book stack by filling out the Google Form below. A KFL library card is required. We'll let you know when your book stack is ready to pick up curbside!
Children's Book Stack Request Form
Request a Customized DVD BundleWant some DVDs, but have no idea what exactly you want to watch? Let the librarians at KFL take care of that! Request a customized DVD Bundle by filling out the Google Form below. A KFL library card is required. We'll let you know when your bundle is ready to pick up curbside!
DVD Bundle Request Form
Hot New Releases on Order for February
Staff Picks for January 2021
Jenny, Library Assistant
February is a great time to peruse Wildflowers and Winter Weeds written and illustrated by Lauren Brown to learn the winter forms of many of our local wildflowers. (Note: An older edition of this book is titled Weeds in Winter, and a newer edition is titled Weeds and Wildflowers in Winter.)
The book starts with a finder key, and the illustrated glossary that follows is very helpful for both learning botanical terms and using the key. The plant accounts are organized by family, and for many of the families, a short description of the family introduces the member plant or plants. For each plant, the author provides both a scientific name and one or more common names and includes a description alongside a black and white illustration. I like that the illustrations are not perfect examples of the plant but rather look the way you would find the plant after time and weather have left their marks.
I enjoyed reading this book while I was warm and cozy indoors, but it definitely motivated me to get outside, enjoy some walks in the cold fresh air, and pay attention to these plants who might otherwise escape my notice. I was also able to “key out” (i.e. identify using the finder key) a type of Speedwell (Veronica sp.) and discovered that the unopened seed capsules are heart-shaped!
Kat, Library Assistant
Beowulf : a new translation by Maria Dahvana Headley
Ok, I hear your groaning. I too, have a dark history with this title, but let me explain. The author has done extensive studies of the earliest texts as well as multiple translations through the centuries. Just the introduction is worth your time, fascinating history of the tale telling, especially the downplaying of Grendel’s mother. The epic poem itself is redone in current language and the story is engaging! Kings, queens, mead halls, monsters, dragons and golden hoards in mountain caves – what’s not to like?
The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett
Calling all “Pillars of the Earth” fans because here is the prequel! It begins in 997 CE at what will be Kingsbridge, but prior to the bridge it is known as Dreng’s Ferry. England is being attacked by the Welsh and the Vikings as the people struggle to survive life in the Dark ages. Follett is great at showing us how the rich and the poor lived and loved. He is also good at depicting good and evil among the rich, the poor, different cultures and the church. Great story line and characters and best of all, Follett left another hundred years before “Pillars” timeframe for another prequel. You won’t be disappointed.
Fatima / director, Marco Pontecorvo
I loved this movie! The story of the Blessed Mother Mary’s apparitions to three peasant, shepherd children is shown through the tumult of the effects on the family, the town, the church and politicians. It so beautifully depicts Portugal toward the end of World War I: the people, how they dressed, lived and earned their living. The special features on the making of the movie were fascinating.
Kyle, Library Assistant
The World Aflame: A New History of War and Revolution 1914-1945 by Dan Jones and Marina Amaral pace of change the world experienced in the 20th century is both breathtaking and difficult for us to fully wrap our understanding around. Countless books have been written to describe the world wide upheaval that took place between the start of World War I and the conclusion of World War II (1914-1945). But even the most vivid descriptions in words struggle to convey the same emotion, provide the same level of comprehension, or instill in the reader a shared human connection to someone in another time and another place quite like a photograph can. That is what sets this book apart.
In The World Aflame, noted author and historian Dan Jones once again teams up with visual artist Marina Amaral. Amaral’s specialty is the colorization of historical photographs. She takes the black and white originals and, only after much research, adds color to the image that is as historically accurate as possible. It is upon those photographs that this book is built.
Through the roughly 200 colorized photographs and their short accompanying text readers are taken on a global tour of those turbulent years in a way I had yet to experience in a book. We start with a photograph that shows the waning days of the previous era — one taken in London in 1910 of the funeral procession for Edward VII. It included nine kings and emperors along with a host of princess, princesses, and other royalty. Seeing the vivid pomp and splendor, one would easily be forgiven if you momentarily scoffed at the idea that most of these royals, along with the centuries old traditions and institutions that surrounded them, would be deposed or dead within the decade. From there the book progresses chronologically: briefly through the lead up to World War I, then the horrors of the Great War itself before detailing the interwar years, all leading to the climax of World War II.
There are stirring photographs of smartly dressed young men marching in their sendoff parades to glorious battle, followed by the haunting images of battlefields littered with the dead in torn and tattered dress, some still in their complete human form while others having been reduced to mere pieces. There are the stately portraits of the major leaders and players during these years: Chamberlain, Churchill, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Roosevelt, and many others. The most meaningful and lasting images of the book are those of the ordinary people caught up in the storm that was this time period. The Armenian woman kneeling over a dead girl during the genocide at the close of World War I, the starving Russian children during the famines of 1921 and 1922, the Auschwitz entry photo of Czeslawa Kwoka — a 14 year old Roman Catholic Pole deported along with her mother to clear her home village for future German settlement, and a French woman, head shaven, being forcibly paraded through a newly liberated French town to publicly shame her for allegedly consorting with the Germans during occupation are just four of the countless images that stayed with me after I finished the book.
Alongside each photograph is a short, two to four paragraph caption by Dan Jones. The captions give the reader a clear understanding of the who and what is going on in the photograph, along with how this specific freeze frame interconnects with the larger global geopolitical events. The calm, evenhanded manner of Jones’ writing is the perfect compliment to the bold and dramatic nature of the photographs.
This book would serve as a great introduction to the complex storylines of this time period for the novice historian, but it also would provide a deeper human perspective and nuanced narrative for someone well read on this history. As much of our modern world was forged, for better or for worse, during the course of these years, this is an important reading, and viewing, to better understand not only our past but also our present.