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Engaging Methuen Readers


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Stranger than Fiction!: NL’s non-fiction book club

Truth is stranger than fiction  Non-Fiction Book Club @ Nevins Library

If you enjoy reading non-fiction, you’ll love our newest book club–

“Stranger than Fiction” will meet at the library on the 2nd Monday of the month from 7-8pm.  We’ll read across all topics within nonfiction (ex. Biographies, True Crime, Travelogues) except for religion and politics, because after all, we want to start a discussion, not a fight!  Some months we’ll be discussing a single title, other months there will be a theme and a list of suggested books on that topic from which participants can choose.

Please join us for our first meeting on Monday September 12 in the Trustee’s Room at the Nevins Library.  Come prepared to share a favorite non-fiction book with us and to discuss which topics we will cover (and when) in the future.

For more information, contact Tatjana 978-686-4080 x12.

Click here for our events calendar.

Derf-ff


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The Library, Comic Books, and Punk Rock

 

Punk. Comics. Punk and comics. Punk and comics and angsty teens who are now well-balanced adults who write comics about being angsty punk teens. It’s all kind of a perfect fit. What more needs to be said? Nothing. Go read.

Image of itemPunk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy

It’s a rocket-fueled ride, an allegory that seems entirely plausible in our hyped-up reality TV world. A huge media corporation clones Jesus from the Shroud of Turin and proceeds to run a live reality TV show around his life. As you might expect, teenaged J2 develops a little bit of an anger issue. Luckily, there are musical ways to take care of anger, and they have been known, on occasion, to change the world.

 

 

Punk Rock and Trailer Parks by Derf Backderf

From the auteur behind My Friend Dahmer comes a nostalgic look at growing up punk. Otto is a Loser. Not just a loser, but a capital-L Loser high school band dork who nobody wants to be around, despite his growth spurt. He lives in a trailer park and gets beaten up by bullies half his size. But that’s all about to change! When he’s exposed to Wendy O., Klaus Nomi, and the Ramones firsthand, Otto will transform from weird kid to punk adult living on the edge of the 1970s music scene.

 

Image of itemBumperhead by Gilbert Hernandez

Coming on the heels of Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, this book follows Bobby as he navigates through – or, rather, floats through – his teenage years. Friendships, relationships, musical styles, and life itself flows on with Bobby riding the current, never plotting his own course or noticing as opportunity passes him by.

 

 

Cut My Hair by Jamie S. Rich

If Catcher in the Rye took place in history, then Holden Caulfield would have been a punk. Mason is another blank slate, but unlike Beto Hernandez’s Bobby, Rich’s protagonist may have a chance to capture something more meaningful: a vision of who he really wants to be. That may involve a sepcial girl, a raucous band, and a punk rock coming of age story.

 

 

Image of itemHopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter

What happens when punks grow up? They move to the suburbs and have kids, of course! But they never, ever abandon their identity. The children of Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Strange grow up, and remain, resolutely punk. (Except Rat, who betrays his family by going corporate. Where did they go wrong?) As they navigate the globe, getting into trouble and living life to the hilt, you’ll know that punk isn’t dead: it’s just grown up!

from gohawaii.com


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Aloha, Nevins Buzz readers!

On this date, August 21st, in 1959 President Dwight Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii to the Union. Thus completing the 50 states of America we know today.  Get to know the lush, beautiful Aloha State by perusing the fiction, non-fiction books and movies listed below.

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The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
A descendant of royalty and one of the largest landowners in Hawaii, Matthew King struggles to deal with his out-of-control daughters–ten-year-old Scottie and seventeen-year-old Alex–as well as his comatose wife, whom they are about to remove from life support. (Also, check out the movie version of this book).

Eddie Would Go  by Stuart Holmes Coleman
The story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian hero and pioneer of big wave surfing.

This is paradise: stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila
“A visceral, poignant, and elegantly gritty work of debut fiction set in Hawaii, in the vein of Junot Diaz’s Drown and Danielle Evans’s Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.  This is the real Hawai’i: life is not the paradisical adventure that honeymooners or movie-goers see. Danger lurks on beautiful beaches, violence bubbles under the smooth surf, and characters come face to face with the inevitability of change and the need to define who they are against the forces of tradition and expectation.”

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
An examination of Hawaii’s emblematic and exceptional history, retracing the impact of New England missionaries who began arriving in the early 1800s to remake the island paradise into a version of New England.

Hawaii by James Michener
Hawaii’s prehistory and history appears through the eyes of its natives, missionaries and Asians who came to influence it.

Lost kingdom: Hawaii’s last queen, the sugar kings and America’s first imperial adventure by Julia Flynn Siler
Siler brings to life the ensuing clash between a vulnerable Polynesian people and relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. Portraits of royalty and rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries combine into a sweeping tale of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rise and fall.

For your viewing pleasure, check these DVD’s out:

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Magnum, P.I.

Hawaii Five-O (the classic series and the reboot)

Who could forget these classic TV show’s from the 70’s and 80’s that introduced Hawaii to millions of viewers?

Blue Crush
Ann-Marie, a big-wave surfer on the North Shore of Oahu, drives to make a comeback after nearly drowning in a surfing competition. Her life becomes more complicated by her romance with a handsome football player. Ann-Marie and her surfer buddies work as maids at a posh resort and share a beach shack with Anne-Marie’s wayward young sister. Ann-Marie struggles between her need to prove herself and her desire to take the easy way out.

Wild Hawaii
From its hot molten core to the mega sized waves battering its coast, Hawaii is an untamed and very wild bit of paradise that continues to transform itself and challenge expectations.

Jake Shimabukuro: life on four strings
Follows ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro over the course of a musical season, capturing dynamic performances before sold-out crowds, intimate moments of life on the road, and visits to his native Hawai’i, where he has risen from local hero to international star.


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I Hate Fairyland

AKA “F**k Fairyland,” this obscenity-laced (well, fake obscenity-laced) gorefest is a shoo-in for fans of Deadpool and Tank Girl.

First of all, we have Gertrude. When Gert was six, she made a thoughtless wish and was instantly (and traumatically) transported to Fairyland, where the colors are brighter, the queen is made of clouds, and the only way out is an unfindable key. Which, of course, Gert is supposed to find. After 27 years of this nonsense, Gert has had enough. Maybe she never developed anger management skills. Maybe the diet of constant sugar has worn her personality down to a blackened nub. Maybe 27 years of being a six-year-old would drive anyone crazy. Regardless of the reason, Gert has become an unchecked homicidal terror who slaughters the fair folk with gleeful abandon. The queen is desperate to be rid of her…by any means necessary.

This book is a simple joy. It is also critically important to the safety of every living human. Every American should be given a copy on the day of their birth. It should be required reading in elementary, middle and high schools. College courses should be taught. Degrees should be given. This book is the blueprint for surviving a trip to a magical land. Not The Chronicles of Narnia. Not Harry Potter. This.

Allow me to explain.

Since time out of memory, fairies, which are amoral, shapeshifting beings made of pure magic, have been tricking humans. Sometimes, they have done this for fun, as you’ll see in the case of a sprite like Puck of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other times, they settle for profit or political gain, as you’ll see in the case of Morgana le Fey of the Arthurian legends. But to a fairy, they’re fickle and easily distracted.

Except when they really, really want to get something done.

Remember, these are beings of 100% magic we’re talking about. They have no reason to care about cash because they can magic it up out of thin air. Human lifespans are blinks to them. When they’re even remotely interested in something that happens in the mortal world, that means there’s something up. Since we humans aren’t beings of pure magic, odds are decent that we have no idea what the hell is really going on. In the case of I Hate Fairyland, everyone in the magical kingdom wants Gert to find the key and return to the human world…but why?

Why bring a little human girl to Fairyland in the first place? To open the door to Earth, of course! Why can’t a fairy find the key and open the door themselves? Because they are magically inhibited from doing so, obvs. Why is that?

They lost a war. To us.

Look around you. Notice the lack of talking flies and capering fauns. Yet they feature prominently in our literature and, according to this invaluable tome, know nearly everything about Earth. Once, they were familiar with human society, enough to adopt sartorial traditions, lingustic foibles, and a taste for refined sugar. Now, they are gone without a trace. So is all their mischief: very little magically-enhanced gold-hiding, boot-switching or baby-stealing happens these days. As the world became increasingly wealthy, shod and conscious of child safety, even small mischiefs would have become a hitch in the system. That is why humanity defeated fairykind and locked them up in the disgustingly, ironically, maddeningly cute and harmless Fairyland. Fierce fairy warriors? Reduced to a stoner punchline. Their noble queen? Going stir-crazy. Their denizens? Confined. Jailed. Limited…to muffin-chomping Fairyland. And only a human can free them.

Free them to wreak their sweet, sweet revenge on the species that trapped them in Hell.

Gertie may seem awful. She may seem out of control. But by dramatically failing in her quest time and time again, she has saved humanity from a neon rainbow nightmare. By causing the doom of hundreds of fairies, Gert has cut down on the army that waits for a single gullible child to open the way. By distracting the queen with sheer hatred, she has once again saved us all. Gert is a hero.

Let’s treat her as such.

Also Read:

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Tank Girl, Book One by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin

She drives a tank and does not care about your pain. She’s Tank Girl! From terrorizing her kangaroo boyfriend to blowing up your mom, she’s the best action the Outback has seen since the Apocalypse.

 

 

 

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Deadpool v. 1 by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn

The Merc with a Mouth is back again…and again…and again! Let’s amend that: the unkillable Merc with a Mouth is back to drive you crazy, win your heart, and make the chimichangas.

 

 


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Christmas in August!

christmas in augustAs a quilter and crocheter, I love the idea of making handmade gifts and cards for friends and family, especially for the holidays. Unfortunately, like most people I have limited free time, so my ideas and my reality often don’t quite mesh. Last year’s crocheted mermaid blankets for my nieces, intended for Christmas presents, finally made it into the girls’ hands around St. Patrick’s Day. A quilt for a cousin’s new baby–whose arrival I had ample time to prepare for–arrived just in time for the little one to celebrate her five month birthday.

For years, I have sworn that I won’t begin any intended Christmas present any time later than Labor Day. And every year, around Columbus Day or so, I find a great gift idea that I decide I can just whip up in the next two months. And every year, I come up empty on Christmas morning, but I make up for it with what end up being really elaborate Valentine’s Day presents.

This year, I’d like to think I’m going to do things differently. And to that end, I’ve already started to collect ideas for all the great Halloween crafts I’d like to do with my kids, the new recipes I might try for Thanksgiving, and the gifts I’ll give no later than New Year’s Day. If you would like to get a jump on costumes, cards, recipe-collecting, and gift-making, here are a few titles that I’ve found at the library–come check out our display for more great holiday ideas!

halloweenHalloween Costumes

dazzlingDazzling Disguises and Clever Costumes

cards

100 Fresh and Fun Handmade Cards: Step-by-Step Instructions for 50 New Designs and 50 Amazing Alternatives

sweet

Sweet Treats for the Holidays: Edible Creations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and More

gifts of food

Gifts of Food

simply

Simply Homemade Food Gifts

handmade

Handmade Gifts

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Reading in a Non-Material World

Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy? These books call into question all that we know and experience, from the things we care about to the very air we breathe. These aren’t tales of parallel universes – instead, they deal with minds trapped in worlds within the world, embedded in realities that are as real as we believe them to be.

Image of itemReady Player One by Ernest Cline

The Earth is a wreck. The cities are miserable places. Being alive in general isn’t a great experience. Luckily, there’s virtual reality! Plug into OASIS, where knowledge of pop culture and classic video games can earn you vast wealth and save you from your bleak life…or put you directly in the cross hairs of ruthless enemies.

 

 

 

 

Image of itemSophie’s World by Jostein Gaardner

Part philosophy primer and part coming-of-age novel, this unique book is not to be missed. Young Sophie tries to catch herself blinking in the mirror, but she’s never fast enough…until one day. As she learns about philosophy from her mysterious tutor, she begins to question the reality of the world she sees.

 

 

 

 

Animal Man by Grant Morrison

To make a long story short, comic book hero Animal Man, who can borrow the abilities of any animal, realizes that his life is an elaborate fiction engineered for maximum drama by an
unscrupulous comic book writer. When he does, he needs to come to terms with his existence. Does he reconcile himself to being fictional? Or does he confront his creator and demand justice for the death of his family?

 

 

 

Image of itemThe Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

In a world where literary authors have the same social status as rock stars, Jane Eyre is a literary enforcer. Her job is routine: stop militant Baconians from bombing performances of Shakespeare plays, detect criminal forgeries of Byronic verse, and things like that. But when someone starts kidnapping literary characters from within the pages of their own books, she’ll need to go deeper into her books than ever before!

 

 

Image of itemSnow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Any one of a number of cyberpunk novels could qualify for world-within-a-world status, but Snow Crash is one of the most famous. Hiro is a pizza boy and hacker, skilled with swords and code alike. But there’s an ancient, deadly neurolinguistic virus moving through the virtual world, and it threatens to end the fun…permanently. Only Hiro can uncover the plan of the dangerous religious fanatic behind it all.

 


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LibraryReads August 2016: top ten books librarians love!

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August 2016 LibraryReads List

A Great Reckoning blogA Great Reckoning:
A Novel

by Lousie Penny

Published:8/30/2016 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250022134

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.”

David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC 


couplenextdoorblog

 The Couple Next Door

by Shari Lapena

Published: 8/23/2016 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9780735221086

“This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed.”

Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS


 

Adobe Photoshop PDFWatching Edie

by Camilla Way

Published: 8/2/2016 by NAL
ISBN: 9781101991633

“Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

 


CityBakers blog

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

by Louise Miller

Published: 8/9/2016 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9781101981207

“Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn’t make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller’s writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers.”

Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO

 


Dollhouse blog

The Dollhouse: A Novel

by Fiona Davis

Published: 8/23/2016 by Dutton
ISBN: 9781101984994

“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!”

Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

 


BookThatMattersblog

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel

by Ann Hood

Published: 8/9/2016 by W.W. Norton
ISBN: 9780393241655

“A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending.”

Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY

 


Arrowood blog

Arrowood: A Novel

by Laura McHugh

Published: 8/9/2016 by Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780812996395

“Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters’ kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel Un-put-down-able! Highly recommended.”

Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

 


Behind Closed Doors blog

Behind Closed Doors

by B.A. Paris
Published: 8/9/2016 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250121004

“On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end.”

Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI

 


First star blog

First Star I See Tonight: A Novel

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Published: 8/23/2016 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062405616

“First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book.”
—Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI

Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI

 


Die Like an Eagle blog

Die Like An Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery

by Donna Andrews

Published: 8/2/2016 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250078551

“Meg and her family embrace America’s favorite past time. It’s the opening weekend for the Caerphilly Summerball baseball league and Meg finds a body in the porta-potty. Meg, her friends and family must catch a killer and figure out how to oust the petty league president before everyone’s weekend is ruined. Reading Andrews’ books are like a visit home to your favorite relatives, plus she weaves humor and fun while still penning an enjoyable mystery.”

Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN


 

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org

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