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Engaging Methuen Readers


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Bestseller Book Club

Come join the Bestseller Book Club (formerly the Romance Book Club) as we read through the bestsellers you may have missed. We meet the 1st Tuesday of each Month at 7pm, and every month we will have a different genre of bestseller to read and discuss.

September’s Title is a Best Mystery: A Death Along the River Fleet by Susanna Calkins

Lucy Campion, a printer’s apprentice in 17th Century London, encounters a young woman suffering from amnesia and the victim of an assault. When the woman reveals she is a nobleman’s daughter, Lucy must decide how far she will go to protect the woman.

The first meeting is on September Tuesday 5th at 7pm.  For the year’s schedule of books to read  click here.

Books are available to pick up at the Main Desk one month prior to the meeting.

New members are always welcome! For more information contact Pat Graham at 978-686-4080 x16.

 


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LibraryReads August 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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August 2017  LibraryReads List

Young Jane Young:  A Novel

by Gabrielle Zevin

Published:8/22/2017 by Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616205041

“Aviva Grossman was involved in a relationship with her boss, who just happened to be a member of Congress. She becomes ostracized as her name is associated with scandal and  reinvents herself as Jane Young.  She has a daughter, Ruby, who decides to run away to look for her father. Ruby learns things are not always what they seem. I loved Zevin’s engaging style. The characters are flawed and real. You are rooting for them until the end.”

Audra Bartholomew, Bossier Parish Library, Bossier City, LA


Glass Houses: A Novel

by Louise Penny

Published: 8/29/2017 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250066190

“A new threat arises in Three Pines as a mysterious masked figure stands watch on the village green. ‘It’ refuses to communicate in any way, which is just the start of another thrilling adventure in this long-running series. Gamache is still trying to restore the Sûreté du Québec back to what it was before it was corrupted under the previous regime. Choices are made that will forever change our hero in ways we can only begin to imagine. The next book can’t get here fast enough.”

Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH


How to Find Love in a Bookshop

by Veronica Henry

Published: 8/15/2017 by Pamela Dorman Books
ISBN: 9780735223493

“When Emilia’s father dies, she returns to her small English village, takes over his beloved bookshop, and begins working through both her grief and the myriad renovations and changes the store needs. The author weaves stories of multiple village residents and their romantic travails and triumphs. I admired the well-crafted nature of this story, with the interwoven storylines offering wide variety without becoming scattered or straining to remain believably interrelated. All in all, just lovely.”

Carol Reich, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro, OR


If the Creek Don’t Rise: A Novel

by Leah Weiss

Published: 8/22/2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 9781492647454

“It is 1970 and pregnant seventeen-year-old Sadie Blue is trapped in a marriage with her horrific moonshiner husband Roy in an Appalachian mountain town. Their friends and neighbors live stark, gritty lives that are written with vivid and captivating detail. Hope and strength shine through in bits and pieces in this terrific debut about Sadie’s struggles. Weiss’s fresh voice captivates the reader as this tale spins from several perspectives that draw the reader into Sadie’s world. A terrific debut that will keep you riveted until the last page.”

Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY


Reincarnation Blues: A Novel

by Michael Poore

Published: 8/22/2017 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9780399178481

“A witty and fascinating look at reincarnation. Milo has been reincarnated more than any other human. He’s been enjoying his lives and grown wise without quite achieving perfection, the ultimate goal. He is absolutely in love with Death, who’d rather just be called Suzi and ultimately would like to settle down and run a candle shop. Unfortunately, he comes to find out there’s actually a limit on how many chances you get at perfection. A moving and lovely story about love, meditation, the journey of life, and becoming the best person you can be.”

Jessica Trotter, Capital District Libraries, Lansing, MI


Morningstar: Growing Up with Books

by Ann Hood

Published: 8/1/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393254815

Morningstar is Hood’s account of growing up in a family and a town that did not value books and learning to love them anyway, finding them a gateway into ‘a big, beautiful world.’ Her taste in literature runs the gamut from Dickens to Jacqueline Susann, Frost to Rod McKuen, and Hood makes a powerful case for what each contributed to her life. Give this to avid readers; it will likely send them off to reread old favorites and maybe inspire curiosity about titles they missed. Fascinating reading.”

Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY


The Address: A Novel

by Fiona Davis

Published: 8/1/2017 by Dutton
ISBN: 9781524741990

“In New York City in the 1880s, Sara Smythe emigrates from England to manage a new apartment building, the Dakota. She soon becomes the lover of the architect, Theodore Camden. After Sara murders Theodore, she is sent to an insane asylum which is infiltrated by journalist Nellie Bly. A second story line also takes place at the Dakota, but this time in 1985. Bailey is hired to renovate the apartment after she gets out of rehab and uncovers mysterious secrets and her personal connections to Camden. This suspenseful book provides a fascinating look at the history of New York during this period.”

Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, MA


Emma in the Night: A Novel

by Wendy Walker
Published: 8/8/2017 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250141439

“One night, Emma and her sister Cass go missing. Three years later, Cass returns home without Emma and tells the story of a couple who held the girls hostage and kidnapped the child to whom Emma gave birth. FBI Special Agent Abby Strauss is brought in to interview Cass with the hope of finally finding Emma. The more answers Cass gives, the more questions Abby has, and she knows that beneath all of Cass’s stories lies the truth. This thriller, with many unreliable characters, will keep readers off-kilter and uncertain, even after one final twist.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ


The Burning Girl: A Novel

by Claire Messud

Published: 8/29/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393635027

“Julia and Cassie were once inseparable, but once they start middle school, things unexpectedly change. Cassie has found new friends, and it is clear Julia is not welcome. Julia doesn’t understand how Cassie could just forget how close they were and leave her to navigate a new school alone. When things start to go wrong for Cassie, Julia steps in to help but is left to wonder how close they really were. Messud really captures the anguish of the early teen years, when friendships are heartbreakingly intense and can change in an instant. Beautifully written and moving.”

Pamela Wiggins, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC


The Clockwork Dynasty: A Novel

by Daniel H. Wilson

Published: 8/1/2017 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385541787

“When an inventor, employed by Peter the Great, creates two human-like clockwork automaton robots using anima discovered near a stream, he has no idea about the history behind those anima, nor could he imagine his creations’ future. Weaving through the present and the past, this book creates a world where humans co-inhabit alongside a group of powerful automaton robots. Fun, intriguing and nearly impossible to put down! I loved reading this book.”

Katherine Rose, Edwardsville Public Library, Edwardsville, IL

 

 Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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My First ALA Conference Experience

This past June, I had the opportunity to attend my first American Libraries Association Annual Conference.  This Conference is the largest conference for librarians, with nearly 20,000 librarians in attendance from around the world.  This is the prime opportunity to meet and network with colleagues, see the latest products available for libraries, check out what great things other libraries are doing, meet great authors and illustrators, and hear some wonderful and inspiring speakers.

Leading up to the conference, the schedule starts becoming available in bits and pieces so that before I knew it – I had “favorited” 4 things to attend all at the same time over and over again!  Therefore, as the conference drew closer, I refined my personal “schedule” to something more manageable that kept in line with my conference goals.  My goals including finding out more about participating in round tables, award juries, and other committees as well as professional development sessions and meeting a few vendors for our library.  At the conference, I found that it was great to have my personal “schedule” as a guideline – but the locations of said events really matter as some were about a half mile away within the conference center, or located in a hotel somewhere else in Chicago.  So that was a learning experience.

I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to meet with the Feminist Task Force, which I hope to become more involved with as well as the EBSCO Scholarship winners – a scholarship for which I had the pleasure of serving on the jury last year.  I hope to serve on a jury again in the future.  I spent a good deal of time in different sessions, during which librarians from all over the country created panels on various topics and shared what they were doing in their libraries.  I also went to the “Ignite Sessions” in which different librarians spoke for 5 minutes each on what they were doing, but each speaker was in no way connected to the other.  I loved these Ignite sessions, and hope to bring some of these ideas home to our library.  As a side note, one thing I learned was to get to any of these sessions early unless I wanted to sit on the floor!  The Exhibit Hall itself was huge.  I had specific vendors that I needed to speak with for various reasons, but I always swept by the publishers to see which pre-published books they might be handing out or what authors were signing books.

Chicago itself is a wonderful city!  I had never been before, and spent a few hours on either end of the trip doing some walking around and sightseeing.  I didn’t get to see or do everything of course, but my three favorite things were to go to the top of the Sears Willis Tower and step out onto the glass ledges, visit the Art Institute of Chicago, and take an architectural boat tour.  I highly recommend all of these things!

Overall, the conference was more than I expected.  I was overwhelmed and exhausted a good amount of the time, but I really felt plugged into the great library conversation taking place across the country (and world!).  I came back not just with ideas of things to do here in Methuen, but with a sense of confidence about my own librarianship and professional philosophies.  I’m still a pretty young librarian, professionally speaking, and I will always love to learn and experience new things.  I hope that I will be able to continue to attend conferences like this throughout the rest of my professional life.

 


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AWESOME books recommended by YOU redux

The AWESOME BOX is brimming with, what else but, awesome summer reads!  These are some of the books recently recommended by patrons in the Methuen community.

If you’re returning a book (or CD, DVD, graphic novel) to the Nevins Library that your really enjoyed, please drop it in the special AWESOME BOX on the counter instead of the regular book drop and we’ll let others know how great it is.


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Kicking Butt and Saving Money…With the Library!

Libraries, right? They’re all about books and paper and dusty old cardigan-wearing women with chains on their glasses. Right? Right?

Obviously, all wrong. If I had chains on my glasses, they wouldn’t fall off my face whenever I sneezed. Also, I mislaid my last cardigan the other day while I was getting a tattoo. If you see it, please tell me. I’m cold and I want it back. It’s yellow.

Like this.

Just like librarians aren’t just cardigan-wearing book biddies, libraries aren’t just dusty, atmospheric book warehouses. One of the most popular complaints I hear at the reference desk goes something like, I hate reading. There’s nothing for me here. This is a fun desert. HAH! That’s where you’re wrong! Let me ask you one question: how does saving money strike your funny bone?

If you’re anything like me, then you just jumped up with a whoop and fistpumped so hard you hyper-extended your elbow. I love saving money! It’s the second best thing to adopting kittens and teaching them kung-fu. That’s why I love the fact that Nevins Library owns and loans a Kill-A-Watt.

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Hyperdrive not included.

What does the Kill-A-Watt do? As its name suggests, this device does kung-fu on your energy bill, much like a kitten might if I were allowed to adopt any more of them. Simply plug the Kill-A-Watt into the wall and then plug one of your household appliances – let’s say your XBox – into the Kill-A-Watt. Kick back with a little Call of Duty and the Kill-A-Watt will tell you how much juice your gaming habit is sucking out of your monthly power budget.

While you’re killing zombies, zombies are killing your checkbook. Who’s winning the game now?

Look what you’ve done!

The library will loan the Kill-A-Watt to you for one week, which is plenty of time to run a load of dishes, chill a batch of potato salad, and clean a pile of towels. Think you know how much all of that is costing you? I dare you to check. Maybe your fridge will turn out to be an inefficient carbon-gobbler that fairly screams to be repurposed into a shelving unit. Maybe it’s time to make way for a new dryer, or to do as I do and not wash towels at all. (Guys, guys, stop. It’s OK. We’re already clean when we use them. Think about it!)

How to recycle old refrigerator - Little Piece Of Me

Or whatever.

Take control of your energy use. Borrow our Kill-A-Watt and begin kicking some power bill butt today!

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What’s Your Four this Summer?

Cover image for Station elevenSummer is always a great time for doing some concentrated reading. For me, it happens up at the lake house in between projects. This year, like last year, I was happy to share my “four” in the #WhatsYourFour program for the ReadsinMa program for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).  This program is meant to highlight the need for kids to read just four books over the summer to increase their success in reading comprehension tests in the fall.

 

Cover image for The FiremanI started out reading two novels portraying different dystopian futures caused by pandemics which leave the planet populated by groups of people who strive to keep their families and friends safe and secure. While they were interesting and engrossing they did make me feel the need to take a break and move to something a little lighter so I picked up a thriller by Catherine Coulter, Devil’s Triangle. This is a fast paced novel that explores the possibility of an invention of DaVinci and Tesla falling in to the wrong hands and wreaking havoc on the planet.

 

Cover image for The devil's triangleFinding myself again in the area of annihilation of the planet it was time to refocus onto something uplifting and so my final choice was Hidden Figures, the story of several black women who contributed untold amounts of hours and brain power to the fledgling space race and the organization of NASA. Along with their story the author relates the coinciding issues of race in the country during the 50’’s and 60’s. This was a great read which is why it was also made into a motion picture which garnered several Oscar nominations.

 

VacationCover image for Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition‘s over now but I still have several options in my book bag….thank God for renewals!!  I encourage everyone to visit MBLC’s Read Four website and follow the instructions to share your four. Let’s see what everyone is reading this summer and spread the word of how important it is for kids to read over the summer.  Have Fun!

Kirsten, Head of Reference Services


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BYO Library!

Ever seen a Little Free Library? They’re the adorable tiny houses full of books that have been popping up on street corners and in front of houses for the last decade. Now, libraries are starting to adopt them. In case you want to get ahead of the trend, here are some books that will show you how to build and place your own free library exchange.

 

download (1)The Little Free Library Book by Margaret Aldrich

Obviously, this is the best book for starting your LFL. It’s got a description of that they are and what they do, as well as some construction plans.

 

There’s not much difference between a big birdhouse and a mini-library. This book will teach you how to build a birdhouse, but you may as well turn it into a book house!

 

51NDwMxRN8L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Do you feel weird asking people to put books into your itty bitty library for free? Time to get in the mood and get hip with the fine art of saying “please!” In case you’re wondering, then yes, this is that Amanda Palmer.