Volume XLIIII, September 2021
Your Monthly News & Updates
Covid-19 Safety
At this month's board meeting, the library board voted to require masks at all indoor events. When you come, please bring your mask. If you forget one, complimentary masks will be available. We plan to record programs for those who prefer not to attend in person. Recorded programs will be available on the library website.

Masks are strongly recommended at all times in the library. Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe during this recent surge of Covid cases.
The Epic Meeting of a King, a Poet, and
an Artist @ Lanier
Sidney Lanier at left, N.C. Wyeth at right.
Sir Thomas Malory (1415-1471), Sidney Clopton Lanier (1842-1881), and Nowell Covers Wyeth (1882-1945) are together at Lanier Library. Their imaginations and talents unite in the 1917 edition of “The Boy’s King Arthur” published by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel in Warwickshire is most likely the “knight prisoner” who compiled, translated, and edited material from French and English chivalric prose while imprisoned for alleged crimes against the Duke of Buckingham. His epic chronicle “Le Morte d’Arthur” was first published posthumously by William Caxton in 1485.

In 1880, Southern poet/author/musician Sidney Lanier debuted his edited and modernized version of “Le Morte d’Arthur.” Lanier felt, “I suspect there are few books in our language which lead a reader – whether young or old – on from one paragraph to another with such strong and yet quiet seduction as this.” Revisiting Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot appealed to the romanticism of the poet and to the former Civil War prisoner who appreciated as many sources of income as possible.

Lanier’s “The Boy's King Arthur ” condensed and organized “Le Morte d'Arthur” into seven chapters retaining only major episodes of the Arthurian legend.

Compare, for example, the first sentence of the 1893 version of Malory published by J.M. Dent, London, to the Lanier update.

DENT: “It befell in the days of Uther Pendragon, when he was king of all England, and so reigned, that there was a mighty duke in Cornwall that held war against him long time.” Many pages follow with intrigues and illicit passions. The Dent version is particularly notable for the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley.
Aubrey Beardsley in the 1893 version of “Le Morte d’Arthur.”
LANIER/SCRIBNER’S: “It befell in the days of the noble Utherpendragon, when he was King of England that there was born to him a son who in after time was King Arthur.”

N. C. Wyeth achieved early success with paintings of cowboys, pioneers, and Native Americans. He had studied with artist/author Howard Pyle (1853-1911) who had written and illustrated his own 1903 interpretation of Arthurian legend titled “The Story of King Arthur and His Knights.”
In the 1910s, Wyeth’s appeal expanded with paintings of medieval adventures such as Robert Louis Stevenson's “The Black Arrow” and Paul Creswick's “Robin Hood.” In 1917, Wyeth envisioned Lanier’s “The Boy’s King Arthur” with 17 original works. This Scribner’s edition became a classic and led to art commissions for Arthur Conan Doyle's medieval classic “The White Company” and Thomas Bulfinch's “Legends of Charlemagne.” Wyeth’s career totaled more than 3,000 paintings and 112 illustrated books.
Howard Pyle from his 1903 “The Story of King Arthur and His Knights.”

Whether a fan of King Arthur or not, if you enjoy art from the golden age of illustration, check out “The Boy’s King Arthur” for the lush colors of Excalibur rising from the lake, the lighting on King Mark with sword uplifted over the unsuspecting Tristram, or the dynamism of Sir Lancelot escaping with Queen Guinevere on horseback. Perhaps you will also be led from one paragraph to the next with strong and quiet seduction.
Support @ Lanier
Smiling for Lanier
We now have 40 members who have designated the library as their charity of choice with Amazon Smile, and the pennies are mounting! Help us to reach our goal of 50 Smile contributors!

Here is the direct link to the library on AmazonSmile:
Membership renewal
Is your membership about to expire? No need to come in to the library, just visit the library website by clicking on: https://thelanierlibrary.org/membership/online-membership-form/ and renew online.
2021 Lanier Library Book of the Month
Reading Challenge
You can choose from some well-regarded works of fiction for our September reading challenge including The Awakening by Kate Chopin, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, or Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

Our next display is very open-ended. "Enjoy a 300+ Pages (or longer!) Book For Our October Reading Challenge." We encourage our members to share with us some of their favorite titles.

You can pick up a 2021 Lanier Library BOM Reading Challenge book log at the library, or download it here:

We're still unsure of the prizes, but you can count on a prize for each group this time. You will earn one ticket with your name on it for each monthly challenge accomplished and be entered into the drawing to be held on January 31, 2022. Since we got a late start, the challenge will run from February 2021 through January 2022.
Books @ Lanier
BOOK LOVERS Meets September 4th @ 10 am
Book Lovers will meet in the library Saturday, September 4th at 10 am. All are welcome. The only requirement is a love of reading, and a desire to discover more books to love!

NONFICTION BOOK CLUB, Sept. 12, 1:30 pm
The Nonfiction Book for September is The Hospital: Life, Death & Dollars in a Small American Town by Brian Alexander. The book is available through the Cardinal system at Polk County Library and as an audiobook through Lanier Library's Hoopla digital platform.

The Nonfiction Book Club will meet in Greene Park on September 12 at 1:30. If it rains, they will meet at Robbie ter Kuile's house on the lower deck of 79 Woodhaven Ridge Lane, Tryon. Bring a chair to the outdoor meeting.
And here are the links to our August orders and acquisitions. Feel free to contact the library to put your name on the hold list for any you would like to read. You can call us or log in through the catalog on the website using your library card number for ID and PIN. And, as always, let us know if there is a book or DVD you think would enhance the collection.

August Book Review
The Giver
Lois Lowry


When Lois Lowry wrote The Giver (YA -- 1993), she probably did not intend for it to be a Banned Book. Considered a dystopian novel, it has no fatal bow-and-arrow competitions, no scenarios in which only a few characters remain after a deadly pandemic, and no caches of dwindling food supplies and gold coin hoarded up in the hills. Let’s call it “Dystopian Lite.”

For Jonas and his other eleven-year-old friends, late December in their utopian community is anxiety-producing. At the annual Ceremony of Twelve, all the Elevens receive their life assignments – an indication of what bodes for their futures. However, it’s a big day for all the children in the community for each year holds something new and wonderful for them. The Ones receive a name and a family; the Sevens receive their first bicycles.

But perhaps anxiety is too strong a word for the inhabitants of this community. It is without arguments and conflict, divorce and acrimony; everyone is treated with kindness, patience, and civility. Poverty and inequality are nowhere to be found. There are no broken hearts or hurt feelings, there’s no gossip or backbiting. Nobody has a “Blue Monday,” Tuesday or Wednesday, either. We see no unwanted children; heck, there’s not even a mention of menstrual cramps!

Except. We know that’s not the way things work.

During Jonas’s eleventh year, his father does something unheard of: he brings home another baby, the family’s third. This child needs constant attention at the facility where babies live during the first year of their lives, and the attendants do not have time for the extra care this child demands. The family even gives him a name, Gabe, forbidden before the Ceremony of One.

The end of December arrives and the Ceremony of Twelve is underway. Jonas’s friends are called up in order by their designated birth numbers to receive their assignments, based on personality and character, as discerned by The Elders who have observed them from birth. Pleased as his friends receive their welcome placements, Jonas is edgy as he awaits Number 19 to be called, but the Announcer skips it.

Saved for last, Jonas has been selected for a special assignment: the Receiver of Memory. It’s seldom awarded; few people remember the last one. We’ve already seen evidence that Jonas has some differences from his classmates, so no one is really surprised by this designation.

Jonas will be tutored by The Giver whose job is to share the memories of the community so they will not be forgotten. Memories like the feel of snowflakes on his tongue and the pain of a broken arm in a sledding accident, the gaiety of Christmas lights and the excitement of opening gifts, but also the horrors of war and the hunger and desperation of those left behind.

As The Giver shares his memories, Jonas begins to change. The crisis comes when his parents are required to return Gabe for possible “release,” for only Jonas can calm him.
Dystopian? Lowry cleverly reveals such as the novel progresses. Utopian? We feed on our memories; they sustain us, they teach us, they guide us. Banned? If you read The Giver, which I recommend, maybe you can explain why it was banned the next time we meet.
Meanwhile, maybe I’ll start my next article: “That Book was Banned? Huh?”

Review by Gloria Underwood, PhD
Programs @ Lanier
The Amazing Trek of Birds over Western NC

Of the more than 10,000 bird species in the world, at least 4,000 in North America migrate south from summer breeding places. In an amazing seasonal trek for food, they come at 15 to 55mph depending on species and weather. Many pass over while we sleep.

They all start in a state of hyperphagia: a compulsion to bulk up on food to store fat. The Blackpoll Warbler, for example, almost doubles in weight before flying 2,300 miles non-stop, eating insects while in flight.

At the next Live@Lanier, Simon Thompson, owner of Ventures Birding Tours and Board Member of The Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society in Asheville, will let us know what birds are passing through Western NC this Fall, from warblers and hummingbirds to swans and birds of prey.

Simon’s passion for birding began as a youth in Suffolk, England, and went with him through life in Lebanon, Kenya, Yemen, and Ghana, ultimately arriving in North Carolina over 20 years ago. As owner/operator of Ventures Birding Tours, he leads birding tours ranging from day trips near Asheville to 20-days in Australia.

Join Simon on Thursday, September 9, 2 PM if you want to know more about migration species, numbers and routes, and what hazards birds encounter on their journeys. According to the American Bird Conservancy, for example, up to seven million birds collide with cell, radio, and TV towers each year.

“Bird Migrations in Western NC” is a Felburn Nature and Wildlife Collection Program made possible with sponsorship by the Tryon Garden Club.
Lacemaking with
Jane Armstrong
Thirty people of all ages gathered in Greene Corner Park on August 7 to participate in the Soapbubble Circus with entertainer Steve Langley. Steve was scheduled to visit in 2020 and we were thrilled to host him in person one year later. He demonstrated how to create bubbles big and small, and some of the tools he uses to make the largest bubbles and bubble “snakes” of the tiniest size, mixing in some science along the way. The sun was shining; the laughter was flowing. Everyone is a little happier around bubbles.
The mood was bittersweet as library members and friends gathered to wish Sunday librarian and newspaper editor Clare O’Sheel well on the next leg of her journey to Northern Virginia. Denny Crowe graciously donated a beautiful arrangement of flowers. Special thanks to Mary Prioleau for donating all of the food, and especially for the inspired idea of bento boxes as a safer way to enjoy food during this COVID time. Even with masks on, we could tell that everyone was enjoying being together and celebrating our friend and colleague. Clare, thank you for sharing your gifts with the library for many years. We sincerely hope you will be back to visit often.
Clare, Lee & Jenny
Pets @ Lanier
Lanier Library welcomes all library-friendly dogs,
but asks that they remain on leash at all times.

What a treat - a cat visitor! This is Emma Kennelly.
Her mom, Connie, promises they will both come to Lanier again really soon.
Displays @ Lanier
Sandra's September Shelf Display is very open-ended. "Enjoy a 300+ Pages (or longer!) Book For Our October Reading Challenge." We encourage our members to share with us some of their favorite titles.

As always, Sandra's book displays are designed to be dismantled. And if you have a favorite banned book, be sure to share it with us to add to the display.
Our September Display
At first this surprised me to learn of this. But then I realized that many of my earliest and happiest memories are of meals around my parents' kitchen table. And on that table there was always salt and pepper shakers.

I inherited many of mine. Later I began noticing others in flea markets, yard or estate sales - and I bought them. For years some decorated window sills in my kitchen. Most are ceramic, some are wood or glass. Some are old, many are whimsical, all are useful, and decorative. They all are useful, and interesting. Just think of the stories they could tell!
By Phyllis Martin
Thank you, Jane Armstrong, for the lovely display of lacemaking tools and examples that complemented her presentation in August (above).
Final Notes
A Calendar of Sonnets: September

O golden month! How high thy gold is heaped!
The yellow birch-leaves shine like bright coins strung
On wands; the chestnut’s yellow pennons tongue
To every wind its harvest challenge. Steeped
In yellow, still lie fields where wheat was reaped;
And yellow still the corn sheaves, stacked among
The yellow gourds, which from the earth have wrung
Her utmost gold. To highest boughs have leaped
The purple grape,–last thing to ripen, late
By very reason of its precious cost.
O Heart, remember, vintages are lost
If grapes do not for freezing night-dews wait.
Think, while thou sunnest thyself in Joy’s estate,
Mayhap thou canst not ripen without frost!

Helen Hunt Jackson
Lanier Library | 828-859-9535| thelanierlibrary@gmail.com