What’s happening at the Library: Two Holiday Entertainment Recommendations

Published 5:27 pm Monday, December 13, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By John Maruskin
Some bright-or even some overcast-day this month, you owe it to yourself to head on over to College Park to read the Library’s Story Walk book for December.

It’s “The Gift of Nothing”, by Patrick McDonnell. (Which is also available at the Library; call # EM). Patrick McDonnell is the author/illustrator of the Mutts comic strip which features Mooch the Cat and his best friend Earl the Dog.
Mooch’s dilemma in “The Gift of Nothing” is that he wants to get Earl something special, but what can he give someone who already has everything?

The answer is simple, elegant and perfectly brilliant. Patrick McDonnell’s artwork is wonderful.

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His lines are a pleasure to observe and absorb. Not to mention this book is just plain fun.

The whole family will enjoy December’s Story Walk. Of course, that’s the purpose of Story Walk every month. “The Gift of Nothing” gives any reader inspiration to walk and muse and enjoy their thoughts (or no thoughts) a little longer. I read it last week and can honestly say, Patrick McDonnell’s “The Gift of Nothing” is one of the best books I’ve read all year.

Then, if you’ve watched “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” until you know the number of dust particles falling from Pigpen, try something a little different but just as delightful. “The Tree of Truth,” episode one, season six of the BBC Father Brown Mystery Series.

This episode has everything. As the parishioners of Kembleford prepare for their annual Christmas play, an adaptation of Cinderella, they discover (spoiler alert) a mystery, an innocent wrongly accused and sent to prison, a pining mum, a veteran with a lost love, Sergeant Goodfellow and Inspector Mallory cast as Cinderella’s evil step-sisters, Mrs. McCarthy denied the role of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother; subsequently, Father Brown solves the mystery, the innocent is reprieved, the mum rejoices, the veteran gets his girl, Sergeant Goodfellow and Inspector Mallory steal the show, and Mrs. McCarthy swings from the Moon as the Fairy Godmother. Whoosh. All in (without commercials) 45 minutes. Masterfully wrought.

Of course, season six of Father Brown on DVD will probably be checked out. (I checked it out to a patron last Saturday.) But, because CCPL’s online Library platforms include Hoopla, any patron can watch “The Tree of Truth” anytime.

Go to www.clarkbooks.org, click the Online Library tab, select Hoopla, change the search box field to Television, type in Father Brown, et viola, season six is the first link on the page. That Father Brown episode may be better than Perry Mason…and I wouldn’t say that about any other video content, not even the original Barbara Stanwyck, S Z Sakall “Christmas in Connecticut.” Highly recommended. Not available through Hoopla, although the Library has numerous DVD’s. Another reason why CCPL’s on Santa’s Nice List.

As Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell used to say: “Always Merry and Bright.”

That’s CCPL’s wish for your Holidays. Start with a rejuvenating Story Walk in College Park.