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216 South Robinson Avenue, Pen Argyl, PA 18072


February 2020

Volume 10, Issue 2

A Newsletter of the Blue Mountain Community Library

Join us on Wednesday, FEBRUARY 19, 2020

11am – 7 pm


21 S. Broadway

Wind Gap

Call 610 881 4261

to place your order


Adult volunteers are needed, especially for evening shifts (6-8PM) and Saturday morning shifts (10AM-noon). Please consider volunteering your time.


Food Drive!


We are collecting non-perishable items which will be given to St. Elizabeth’s Ministry.


Preschool Storytime

Wednesday mornings @ 10:30am


Thank you to all who were part of the MLK Indoor Carnival.

A special thanks to the following Junior Volunteers: Elizabeth Minnich, Brianna Salamone and Sydney Schreck for volunteering their time on a school vacation day.


The next board meeting will be February 19 at 6:30 PM. The public is welcome to attend.


Thank you to all who purchased items at our January semi-annual Book Nook sale


Save The Date!

Our 5th Annual




Thursday, April 30, 2020

Tickets are $12.00 and will be available beginning March 16th


Adult book discussion group

February 18, 6:30PM – Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

March 17, 6:30 PM – Cold Woods by Karen Katchur


BMCL’s Top Ten for 2019:

Adult Fiction:

1. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

2. River Bodies, Karen Katchur

3. The Subway Girls, Susie Orman Schnall

4. The Cemetery Keepers Wife, Maryann McFadden

5. Redemption, David Baldacci

6. The Reckoning, John Grisham

7. Look Alive Twenty-Five, Janet Evanovich

8. Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty

9. Summer of ’69, Elin Hilderbrand

10. Someone Knows, Lisa Scottoline

Adult Non-fiction:

1. Educated, Tara Westover

2. Becoming, Michelle Obama

3. Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis

4. The Pioneers, David McCullough

5. The First Conspiracy, Brad Meltzer

6. Grateful American, Gary Sinise

7. The Unknowns, Patrick O’Donnell

8. From Scratch, Tembi Locke

9. How to Forget, Kate Mulgrew

10. Leadership: In Turbulent Times, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Large Print:

1. The View From Alameda Island, Robyn Carr

2. The Tinderbox, Beverly Lewis

3. The Road Home, Richard Paul Evans

4. Target: Alex Cross, James Patterson

5. Secrets at Cedar Cabin, Colleen Coble

6. On Magnolia Lane, Denise Hunter

7. Year One, Nora Roberts

8. A Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult

9. You Don’t Own Me, Mary Higgins Clark

10. When We Were Young, Karen Kingsbury

The Library Manager’s Top Ten Picks for 2019:

1) The Better Sister, Alafair Burke – Fiction

2) The Ones We Choose, Julie A. Clark – Fiction

3) A Woman Is No Man, Etaf Rum – Fiction

4) Know My Name – Chanel Miller – Non-fiction

5) Beyond the Point, Claire Gibson – Fiction

6) Becoming – Michelle Obama – Non-fiction

7) The Subway Girls, Susie Orman Schnall – Historical Fiction

8) Someone Knows, Lisa Scottoline – Fiction

9) The Couple on Cedar Close, Anna-Lou Weatherley – Fiction

10) A Stranger on the Beach, Michelle Campbell – Fiction


Other end-of-year statistics:

Money from our communities

Pen Argyl $ 8,100.00

Plainfield Tsp. $ 7,500.00

Wind Gap $ 4,985.02

Some of our expenses include (water, electricity, sewer, internet, phone, gas, snow removal, cleaning, repairs, salary, insurances) for a total of $29,000.00

Special Projects this year included new flooring for the computer room area, a lap top, lighting for the parking lot, and chairs for public seating for a total of $4,200.00

Your donations are gratefully accepted!

New memberships 155

Items borrowed 7,739

New items 682

Volunteer hours 3,263

Patrons served 7,700


Book review:

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race around the World

book by Matthew Goodman

review by Jill Silvius

Who knew 1889 was such an exciting year?

Like many of author Goodman’s elder neighbors, I had heard of Nellie Bly but knew virtually nothing about her. Happily, Goodman fills in most of the blanks about her race, and that of her competitor Bisland, against Father Time and the fictional “Phileas Fogg” of Jules Verne’s famous novel. The book is well-researched and, while a reader likely won’t be able to keep track of the two women (Goodman’s account jumps back and forth between them), it presents a rich panorama of the perils and pleasures of late 19th-century global travel.

The book contains a host of compelling historical snippets beyond the women’s long journeys: Bly’s early undercover journalistic efforts in an insane asylum, the biographies of famous figures like Verne but also “oddballs” like “globe-girdler” George Francis Train, competition between rival newspapers, and the public’s massive interest in a contest predicting the winning woman’s time.

Goodman also weaves in or suggests a host of thought-provoking ideas and questions that the 1889 race raises: Who really is the winner if the aftermath of the race is unpleasant and the public’s adoration is fickle? How much is winning such a race about “pluck,” and how much is about luck (i.e. the power of technology over the power of nature? Read about the storms of Bisland’s last few journeying days!) How much did (or does) nationalism and patriotism affect circumnavigational success? Goodman notes the rich irony in The World’s acknowledgement of American womanhood and perseverance in success but its overlooking of German, British, and Chinese innovation essential to that success (pg. 294 in our library’s copy).

Questions remain. What was Bisland’s husband’s illness? Did the prediction winner go on the trip? Why exactly did Bly and her mother have a falling out?

Still, the reader here is an “armchair traveler” in both place and time–and his/her journey takes far less than eighty days