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Engaging Methuen Readers

LOL: Humorous Non-Fiction

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Adulting @ the Nevins Library

Help! Will someone please teach me how to be an adult?!

No worries, the Nevins Library is here!

adulting

“To ‘adult’ is to behave like an adult, specifically to do the things—often mundane—that an adult is expected to do.

It’s also common as a gerund—that is, in the form adulting as a noun, as in “Adulting is hard” or “I’m not very good at adulting.”

To adult is to behave like an adult, to do the things that adults regularly have to do. This includes things like having a job and living independently, sure, but also such mundanities as taking clothes to the dry cleaners (and remembering to pick them up), making and keeping dental appointments, getting your car registered, doing yardwork.”

from Merriam-Webster

Luckily, the Nevins Library is offering an “adulting” series to help you learn the basics of cooking, financial literacy, applying for college and sewing.  Click on the links above to check out the description of the programs, the dates, and to register.


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Program: Be Happy! The science of happiness & how to be happier

Be Happy! The Science of Happiness and How to be Happier

Monday October 23rd, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Do you ever find yourself wishing you could feel happier?  Many of us do and we think we will feel happier as a result of something – such as finding a new job, finishing a project, losing 10 pounds, etc.  However, psychologists and neurologists are now realizing that happiness can be more readily achieved through changing the way we think.

Lizzie Linn Casanave, professor of philosophy at Northern Essex Community College, will explain this revolutionary concept and provide you with practical tools for achieving this new mindset.

This program is brought to you through the NECC Speakers Bureau.

To register, CLICK HERE.  For more information, contact Sarah at 978.686.4080 x20 or
ssullivan@nevinslibrary.org

 


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LibraryReads October 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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October 2017  LibraryReads List

Seven Days of Us: A Novel

by Francesca Hornak

Published:10/17/2017 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780451488756

“The Birch family will be spending the Christmas holiday in quarantine, thanks to eldest daughter Olivia’s recent relief work in a disease-infested Liberia. She has returned to England but must be in quarantine for seven days. This family has not ever spent that much time in each other’s company. Each person has secrets that are slowly revealed over the course of the seven days. It is particularly interesting to watch them become the family that they should have been all along: supportive and loving. An enjoyable read.”

Cheryl Braud, Iberia Public Library, New Iberia, LA


The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel

by Liv Constantine

Published: 10/17/2017 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062667571

“Daphne seems to have hit the jackpot by marrying Jackson Parrish. They live in a lovely Connecticut mansion and travel around the world, all the while raising two beautiful daughters. When Mrs. Parrish meets Amber, a kindred spirit, Daphne instantly feels a connection, perhaps someone to fill the endless void of sorrow that has plagued her since her sister’s death. We learn that nothing is what it appears to be. The author sets an atmospheric pace for this story, leading up to its dramatic conclusion.”

KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT


The Last Ballad: A Novel

by Wiley Cash

Published: 10/3/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062313119

“The story of little-known union hero Ella May Wiggins is central to this look at unionization during the late 1920s. Once she sings her first song at a union rally, she becomes a beacon for others. As her story becomes intertwined with the violence and fear of the clash between owners and workers, we are swept up in a powerful novel that exposes the prejudice and hatred among races, genders, and economic classes. The stories of Ella, her children, and friends woven throughout cement Cash’s place among our great living writers. This one will be a huge book discussion hit!”

Ron Block Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, Ohio


From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

by Caitlin Doughty

Published: 10/3/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393249897

“America’s favorite mortician takes you on a tour of death cultures around the world in her latest book. Sharing what she’s learned, Doughty presents everything from composting bodies to ma’nene’, a ritual of periodically exhuming corpses to clean and redress them as a sign of respect. She encourages us to consider our options and become less distant from physically caring for the deceased and ultimately our own mortality. We’ve all got it coming. Honest, yet gentle and with the appropriate amount of humor, Doughty makes the morbid very readable.”

PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC


The Rules of Magic: A Novel

by Alice Hoffman

Published: 10/10/2017 by Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781501137471

The Rules of Magic is the prequel to Hoffman’s Practical Magic. Here we learn the background of sisters Franny, Jet, and their brother Vincent. The story begins with all three as teens, ostracized for being witches. Their mother sets up rules designed to suppress their natural ability. When the siblings are sent to visit their aunt they learn family secrets and find out who they truly are. I was enraptured by this fabulous book, which is filled with magic and charm.”

Terri Smith, Cornelia Habersham County Library, Cornelia, GA


The Stolen Marriage: A Novel

by Diane Chamberlain

Published: 10/3/2017 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250087270

“Interracial marriage, money fraud, and adultery are just a few elements of this historical fiction. Set during WWII, sweet Tess has dreamed of marrying Vincent Russo since she was a teenager. Plans have been made and a date has been set, but several decisions made in the course of the engagement will cause a detour in both Vincent’s and Tess’s lives. Will they be able to find their way back to one another?”

Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS


Uncommon Type: Some Stories

by Tom Hanks

Published: 10/17/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9781101946152

“Hanks writes about characters that he would love to play in the movies, had they been written. This collection of stories holds a myriad of emotions, settings, and time periods with two common threads: the typewriter and uncommonly normal men and women. You love the characters because you have something in common with all of them – some win, some lose, some are heroic and some timid, but they are all borne of the human existence and go largely unnoticed. Hank’s charm and wit come through.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True

by Gabrielle Union
Published: 10/17/2017 by Dey Street Books
ISBN: 9780062693983

“Union writes with such heart and energy that it really does feel like she’s talking to you while you share one (or several) bottles of wine. She touches on so many topics, including infidelity, women’s sexual health, and teaching young black men to protect themselves in a world that fears them. She also manages to talk about multiple famous people without sounding fawning, with the exception of Prince, which makes sense because…it’s Prince. I thoroughly enjoyed this title and can’t wait to put it in the hands of others.”

Lisa Hoffman, Bloomfield Public Library, Bloomfield, NJ


Strange Weather: Four Short Novels

by Joe Hill

Published: 10/24/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062663115

“Hill’s four short novels expose the individual and societal pressures that motivate our sometimes fateful decisions. The first story is a coming-of-age tale with an added bit of horror. The second story is an unflinching look at what has become a common tragedy: mass shooting. The third story is an unrequited-love-meets-the-Twilight-Zone story that touches on loneliness. The final story is poignant and introspective. All four tales often gave me pause and made me think. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of character-driven works of horror and/or drama.”

Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN


Manhattan Beach: A Novel

by Jennifer Egan

Published: 10/3/2017 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781476716732

“Anna and her father Eddie arrive at the home of Dexter Styles on Manhattan Beach searching for a job during the Depression. After Eddie goes missing five years later, Anna supports her mother and sister by working at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. One night, Anna approaches Styles for information about her father. They become involved, but he is still marked by his past relationship with Eddie. Egan’s description of New York in the 30s and 40s is so immersive that you feel like you’re waking up when you have to put the book down.”

Barbara Birenbaum, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA

 

 Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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Review: “Perdido Street Station” by China Mieville

The back of Perdido Street Station dismally fails to capture it in summary. Oddly, it succeeds for exactly this reason, drawing people into the book through what are essentially false premises. By the time the hapless reader understands that they have been duped, it is too late. They are too far into the snare and there is no escape from the land of Bas-Lag.

Here’s the blurb:

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies the city of New Crobuzon, where the unsavory deal is stranger to no one–not even to Isaac, a gifted and eccentric scientist who has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before encountered. Though the Garuda’s request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger. Soon an eerie metamorphosis will occur that will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon–and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it evokes.

The blurb gets a few things right, namely that Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, a brilliant but unfocused dabbler in several scientific pursuits, is the primary focus of the book. However, the rest sucks. So I’m going to write a few better descriptions that the good people of Del Rey are free to borrow in exchange for a slice of royalties.

A visit from a mutilated foreign stranger sends scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin

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Artist unknown. Saved from Pinterest

careening down a dangerous path that leads through the twisted streets and various dens of criminal activity that is the city of New Crobuzon. Along the way, he’ll hatch a deadly public health threat from its pupa, disrupt the drug trade and its maniacal mobster kingpin, and confront the most fearsome menace of all: his own closest friend. As the hum of New Crobuzon is replaced by nightmare screams and its many alleys grow dark with fear, Isaac must risk everything to save the city that he loves.

See, THIS description pulls in the city of New Crobuzon itself, which represents a vivid backdrop to the tale, while implying a decent threat level that does not rope in the *entirely incidental* Ambassador of Hell.

However, there are some issues with this description, too. After all, the cast of characters in Perdido Street Station is expansive. Let’s see if we can’t introduce a couple other people.

 

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Artist unknown. Saved from Pinterest

A chilling misstep by a hapless scientist unleashes a fate worse than death on the city of New Crobuzon. Now Isaac  Dan der Grimnebuilin must bear the burden of his mistake and repair the damage before more of his friends die. Meanwhile, Isaac’s girlfriend, half-insect artist Lin, struggles with a commission that may have everything to do with the accident, while the mysterious wingless bird-man, Yagharek, wanders the city in search of his lost power of flight. Together, they will join forces with criminals and drug addicts, inter-dimensional demigods and monsters made of gears and wheels, only to face the difficult truth: it may already be too late…

This isn’t bad at all! See? Already better than that first blurb! But what it *doesn’t* capture is the Steampunk aesthetic of New Crobuzon and the roiling wave of political tension upon which the story bucks and sways for the duration of the book.

In a city that runs on both steam and thaumatergical magic, where the political elite soar in blimps and the polity ride in taxis pulled by machines that may yet become sentient, the punishment for transgression is worse than death. But that threat can’t equal the rewards: the scientist who discovers how to make a mutilated bird-man fly could generate unlimited energy and finally correct the many social ills of New Crobuzon. But when Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin goes too far, the consequences of his research reverberate through the twisted streets of brick and stone, even as far as the great copper thinking machine that hides in the city’s expansive dump and into dimensions where enormous forces communicate in transcendent poetry. All centers on the city’s hub and center of government: Perdido Street Station, from whence all trains travel and where all dangerous things end up sooner or later.

Et voila: you now have a decent idea of what Perdido Street Station is about. Therefore, you also have no excuse to not go and borrow it from the library today.

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Artist unknown. Saved from Curufea.com


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Methuen Magical History Tour

Methuen Magical History Tour

Saturday October 14th, 2017

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Come to the Nevins Library and start your “Magical History Tour” finding some of the wonderful historical monuments and sites in the downtown area.

Using an app for your phone you can take a walk around the city and find out what things were like over 100 years ago at the sites on the tour.

We’ll get you started and then finish here at the library with some snacks and some prizes for the winners. Along the way stop by some of our local businesses and they’ll help you win prizes for  participation and maybe there will be some specials along the way too.

This is a fun way to learn about our local lore while getting some exercise.

This program is open to teams of all ages; families are welcome as well anyone wishing to participate.  The route should take about an hour to walk and begins and ends at the library.  While a smart phone (iPhone/Android) is recommended it is not required.

Hope you’ll join us for a fun event.  CLICK HERE to register online, or call the Reference Desk at 978-686-4080 x12 for more information and to register for this fun tour.