Engaging Methuen Readers

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Welcome to StoryWalk 2018!

Welcome to StoryWalk 2018!

The Children’s Department has once again created a “Story Time Walk” for young children around our lovely library grounds.  The big colorful pages from Jarrett Krosoczka’s storybook Punk Farm, with its band of rockin’ farm animals, will have kids cheering and singing along as they make their way from page to page.

Nature lovers of all ages may also enjoy strolling the grounds to view the blooming day lilies and the beautifully landscaped trees and shrubs from around the world.  These were planted here by Henry Nevins when he and his family established the library in memory of his father, David Nevins Sr, in 1883.  Maps including the names and locations of the Library trees are available at the Reference Desk.


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My Three Favorite Podcasts

What’s your favorite podcast?

So, maybe you’re sick of the music on the radio.  It always seems like when you turn on shuffle on your phone the music that comes up is not what you want to listen to while in the Traffic Jam to end all traffic jams, and listening to the roar of trucks and the rattling of the undercarriage of your car isn’t really appealing (it’s definitely best not to think about those clunks and kachunks). Have you tried a podcast?

Now, podcasts aren’t a new thing (I mean, they’re new, but not new new. They started in the 1980s and came into prominence in early 2000s). There are, of course, the podcasts that make the news, Serial, Welcome to Night Vale, In the Dark, This American Life. They’re all good, no doubt about it, but, everyone has reviewed those. The podcasts I’m recommending here are a little more off the beaten path in most cases, but, I think they’re still great to listen to.

All of these are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts (and so probably on other platforms like CastBox, Podcast Addict, and Pocketcasts). Cult Faves is also available on Spotify.

30 for 30 Podcasts

I got into this podcast for one simple reason. I really like the 30 for 30 documentaries. The podcast is made by the same company, ESPN, but, I try not to hold it against these hour-long (or so) gems. So far I’ve listened to some really cool stories. My favorite as of today is actually the first one I listened to, “The Trials of Dan and Dave”. I most definitely remember those Reebok ads, but I only sort of remembered that there was some hullabaloo around them and those 1992 Olympics.

But, like the 30 for 30 Documentaries, these podcasts are as widely different. Sometimes they’re about the first all-female relay team to the North Pole, or about the Yankees Suck T-shirts. They also have add-on podcasts for some of the visual and audio documentaries that they’ve presented which are cool extras.

I also like the fact that it’s not always the same people. If I like a host or hosts, then it’s great to have 150+ episodes to go, but, different voices doing the narrating is nice too.

If you like sports, or like the 30 for 30 mondo series (they now have the original documentaries, and the shorts, and then some that are middling I think, and then these podcasts. It’s awesome!!)

Did you know that you can get the first volume of the first season of the 30 for 30 Documentaries here at the Nevins Library too?

Xena Warrior Podcast

I am a Xena fan. Have been since it was on in the mid-nineties. And this podcast means that every day as I’m driving to and from work on a highway that can sometimes be… trying…, I have a smile on my face. I know. It’s weird but true.

It has three hosts, Vera, Katie, and Livy. All three are graduates of film school. Vera watched the show originally when she was a child, whereas the other two were brought into the fandom by Vera later, but, I’m not sure if it’s research that they do, or just who they are, but, they know more about Xena than I ever thought possible.

It’s a neat balance that they have during the podcast between fangirling about how much of an amazing show Xena is, to literally talking about specific shots (and thank you, thank you, thank you, usually remembering to explain their terms) and turns of story in the show.

Somehow it has made me enjoy and appreciate even more a show that was already up there in my top three.

Through the MVLC we can get you a lot of the Xena: Warrior Princess TV series as well as some new and old comics that have come out in their Xena world!

Cult Faves

I’m a big fan of Gwenda Bond’s books, Strange Alchemy, the Lois Lane series, and the series she writes with her husband Christopher Rowe, the Supernormal Sleuthing Service. And so, when she announced that she was going to be
starting this podcast about Cults, I was in!

It’s so amazing. And sooo nerdy in such smart ways. I’ve only listened to three podcasts with Gwenda and her co-host Cher Martinetti, but, so far I think it works. They seemed to strike the right balance between information and hilarity.

And boy oh boy they were nicely prepared too (nothing will make me drop a true crime/history/etc. sort of podcast faster than a host umming and ahhing on the facts of whatever case/group/person they’re purporting to be talking about, even if, like these two, cults aren’t their jobs.

So very much looking forward to more of the episodes, as what they’ve done for episodes one through three have been awesome. (Ooh, and did you know that today is Gwenda Bond’s birthday too?)

We have lots of books on Cults including famous ones like the ones led by Charles Manson and the one at Jonestown. We also have books by Gwenda Bond too, like Fallout and Strange Alchemy!!!

What’s your favorite podcast?

Heh, as if I need more. Oh, who am I kidding, there can never be too many podcast episodes in my Queue (okay, technically that’s not true, I only have so many gigabytes on my SD card, so, there is a limit, but, I have quite a bit to go before I hit it, and who really needs photos and music on a phone right???)

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Summer and the TBR List

Finally, it’s summer!  For the most part, all of our library book groups are on hiatus over the summer.  That means that librarians now have more time to read titles according to their whims and can start to tackle their toppling TBR (To Be Read) lists or piles.  Here are a few titles librarians at the Nevins Library can’t wait to read this summer:

Cover image for The crow trapEllen, Readers’ Services:

The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Kirsten, Head of Reference:  Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance


Cover image for Number one Chinese restaurant : a novelCynthia, Readers’ Services:

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee (sequel to A Rising Man)

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li


Cover image for Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage murders and the birth of the FBIAnne, Children’s Services:  One Summer:  America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

Tracy, Readers’ Services:  By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benson Frank

Samm, Library Page:  The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Tatjana, Reference Services:  Killers of the Flower Moon

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?




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LibraryReads July 2018: top ten books librarians love!


July 2018 LibraryReads List

Spinning Silver

by Naomi Novik

Published: 7/10/2018 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9780399180989

“A wonderful reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin story. A tale of love, family, magic, and destiny, told from the perspective of three strong female characters.”

Melanie Liechty, Logan Library, Logan, UT


Clock Dance: A Novel

by Anne Tyler

Published: 7/10/2018 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780525521228

“Willa Drake gets a second act when she steps in to care for a nine-year-old in a complicated situation. Character driven fiction and a sweeping storyline.”

Mary Anne Quinn, Warwick Public Library, Warwick, RI


Dear Mrs. Bird: A Novel

by AJ Pearce

Published: 7/3/2018 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781501170065

“In 1940s London, Emmy takes a job as a typist that evolves into answering rejected letters sent to an advice columnist.”

Judy Hartman, Mechanicsville Public Library, Mechanicsville, IA


Baby Teeth: A Novel

by Zoje Stage

Published: 7/17/2018 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250170750

“A fragile woman struggles against her mute daughter’s schemes for her father’s undivided attention. Dark, creepy, and downright scary.”

Kathryn Neal, Skiatook Library, Skiatook, OK


Give Me Your Hand

by Megan Abbott

Published: 7/17/2018 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316547185

“Kit competes for her dream job with a rival who was once her closest friend. Gripping psychological suspense.”

Kristy Gates, Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, Jonesboro, AR


Believe Me: A Novel

by JP Delaney

Published: 7/24/2018 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9781101966310

“An unemployed actress works for a divorce lawyer entrapping unsuspecting husbands until she finds herself ensnared in a murder investigation. This roller-coaster ride of a book will keep you guessing with an unreliable narrator and and a twisty plot.”

Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT


Caught In Time: A Novel

by Julie McElwain

Published: 7/3/2018 by Pegasus Books
ISBN: 9781681777665

“The third book in the Kendra Donovan series finds our protagonist investigating the murder of a mill owner against the the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution.”

Melissa Barber, Lubbock Public Library, Lubbock, TX


Somebody’s Daughter

by David Bell

Published: 7/10/2018 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780399584466

“Michael Frazier is searching for the missing daughter he never knew he had. A multi-layered plot with so many compelling, complex characters, this book grabbed me from the first sentences.”

Evelyn Cunningham, Norwalk Public Library, Norwalk, CT


The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna

by C. W. Gortner

Published: 7/10/2018 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780425286166

“A look at Maria, Empress of Russia, and her trials before and after becoming the Russian Empress. Well written historical fiction.”

Janette McMahon, Fremont County Library System, WY


Fruit of the Drunken Tree: A Novel

by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Published: 7/31/2018 by Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385542722

“Set against the violence of 1990s Columbia, a young girl and a maid form an unlikely and dangerous relationship. Equal parts heartwrenching and beautiful.”

Alejandra Rodriguez, Osceola County Library, FL




 Courtesy of

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2018 Free Fun Fridays!


Ack, no school, now what to do???  No worries, once again the Highland Street Foundation is offering Free Fun Fridays this summer so everyone may enjoy all the cultural treasures Massachusetts has to offer for free.

Each Friday during the summer months there are several museums and outdoor activities that you can visit free of charge. That’s right I said FREE so check it out!  You can pick up a schedule of the 100 participating museums and cultural venues that are participating in the Free Fun Fridays at any of the public service desks at the library.

The gorillas at the Franklin Park Zoo, Old Sturbridge Village, the Hall at Patriot Place, and the Telephone Museum (!) are on my to-see list this summer.  What’s on yours?



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Important Info: Changes to our eBook Collections

You may have noticed that the eBook page on our website has changed a bit. This June and July we’re going through a transition when it comes to eBooks as a result of changes in the state budget regarding libraries.

On June 30 the Commonwealth eBook Collections’ (CEC) access to Axis360, BiblioBoard and eBook Central will end. That means that any eBooks/eAudiobooks on Axis360, BiblioBoard, and eBook Central you have checked out you will no longer be able to read/listen to, and any holds on eBooks through those platforms will be canceled.

But have no fear, we still have our amazing Overdrive service. If you’ve been using it in conjunction with Axis360 & Biblioboard then you’re good to go. You can sign in with your Nevins (or other MVLC) Library card and borrow the books as usual.

On the other hand, if you’re an Overdrive newbie, I bid you many welcomes, and I have good news. Using the new Overdrive Libby App is just as simple as Axis360 and Biblioboard used to be.

You can find Libby on all the App Stores (here are a few links to the Apps — iTunes Libby App, Android Libby App, Microsoft Libby App). Or if you prefer to read a bit about it first, you can go to Once you’ve downloaded it, you’ll be asked to sign up with your Library Card #, and then you can download/read/listen to both eBooks and eAudiobooks either online or offline just like you could on the other platforms.

There are also awesome new things that will be happening with Overdrive and how you get your Overdrive books in the future (Hint: Those who are working on it hope that it will be much more like how Massachusetts lends out print books right now!!) Stay tuned for all that exciting news.

For more information as always feel free to drop by the Reference Desk and ask us your question, call us at 978-686-4080 x12, or even leave a comment on this post. We can help you get started on Libby, get a BPL eCard for even more Overdrive goodness, or whatever else your Tech Help needs are.

The state also has a website set up that talks about the Changeover HERE.

Gender, Sexuality and Identity in Non-Fiction

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