Engaging Methuen Readers

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LibraryReads: Hall of Fame Authors August 2019

LibraryReads Hall of Fame:  August 2019

The LibraryReads Hall of Fame designation honors authors who have had multiple titles appear on the monthly list since 2013. As of the October 2018 list, when an author’s third title places on a monthly list via library staff votes, the author moves into our Hall of Fame.


The Perfect Wife: A Novel

by JP Delaney

Published: 8/6/2019 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9781524796747

“Abbie wakes up with no memory of how she ended up in the hospital. Her tech wizard husband tells her that after a horrific accident, he spent five years trying to bring her back. But is Abby’s return a miracle of science, or a nightmare? Delaney’s latest psychological thriller keeps you guessing.”

Joan Meis Wilson, Needles Public Library, Needles, CA


Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
How to Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman
The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

The Turn of the Key

by Ruth Ware

Published: 8/6/2019 by Gallery/Scout Press
ISBN: 9781501188770

“Rowan travels to northern Scotland to nanny for a rich, eccentric family; a seemingly perfect job until everything unravels. The isolated location, creepy gothic vibe, unreliable narrator, and brilliant twists keep readers on edge from start to finish in a pulse-pounding read.”

Cyndi Larsen, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT


Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt
The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman

Courtesy of LibraryReads Hall of Fame Authors


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The Wildest Classic Choose Your Own Adventure Books Still Circulating At The Library

If you’re bookish and of a certain age, then you grew up with Choose Your Own Adventure books, the popular series by R.A. Montgomery that let you choose the path of the narrative. Half game, half story, these books were video games before consoles were available for the average household. A lot of them are still fun to read today, partially because they’re incredibly zany. Each book featured a large handful of storylines, which each had to be 100% original. Wackiness was inevitable. Think “I’ve become a shark and eaten a version of myself that became an octopus because I broke into a Buddhist temple” levels of wacky. Reincarnation, kids!

Sadly, a lot of these books are now out of print. I mean it! I’d love another chance to read through You Are A Shark or the extremely bizarre, much-celebrated Inside UFO 54-40. That said, the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium still owns or circulates reprints of a number of the most insane CYOA books ever written, as well as new books in the same style. Here are some of our favorites.

Race Forever


Looks pretty innocuous, right? Well buckle up, buttercup, because one of the endings of this book sends you right back to the beginning. It’s Race Forever – get it? If you play right, you can keep reading eternally. Of course, if you want to keep going forever, you’ll need to flip through the same sequence indefinitely. Whether this is a reward or a punishment depends on you.




The Case Of The Silk King


This is pretty standard CYOA fare, except that it’s actually based on a real-life event. In 1967, silk tycoon Jim Thompson disappeared during a walk in the Thai jungle. During the investigation, it came out that he’d had money issues and might have just left it all behind. Now you – YOU! – can solve the mystery of the disappearing silk magnate!




The Trumpet Of Terror


Norse gods? Check! Time travel? Check! Doomsday weapon? Hope you paid attention in band class! This book lets you toot evil away. In the grand scheme of insane CYOA plots, this isn’t too remarkable, but the incredible lameness of the “Trumpet Of Terror” makes up for it. Especially in contrast to Mjolnir and the rest of the general Viking badassery. Really? Amongst the bloodthirsty gods of a warrior culture, no extra hammers lying around?



Project UFO


There’s an alien named Freedo who talks to you telepathically, and if you run away from the nice people in white lab coats you can go on trippy space adventures with him – yeah, this is a CYOA about a psychotic episode. In fact, if you try to get help for your delusions, you fail the book. This is a CYOA about embracing your psychotic break because believing the voices in your head is just more fun than the alternative.




The Worst Day Of Your Life


Your reward: pig farming with your uncle all summer while your family goes to Hawaii. Your failure: the worst of everything. This book isn’t so much about the carrot as the stick. If you don’t keep moving, all manner of unlikely disasters will befall you and wreck everything that matters to you.

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LibraryReads August 2019: top ten books librarians love!


August 2019 LibraryReads List

The Right Swipe: A Novel

by Alisha Rai

Published: 8/6/2019 by Avon
ISBN: 9780062878090

“An intelligent, multicultural contemporary romance. Rhi, CEO of the Crush dating app, and Samson, NFL star, embark on a joint project that turns into more than just talk. Issues of #MeToo in the tech industry and the NFL’s concussion problem are woven in. For readers of the Forbidden Heart series, Elle Wright, and Alyssa Cole.”

Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA 
NoveList Read-alike: Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Ellie and the Harpmaker

by Hazel Prior

Published: 8/6/2019 by Berkley
ISBN: 9781984803788

“When Ellie walks into the Harp Barn, her life is bound to change. Dan the harpmaker is a sensitive soul who gives Ellie a harp. Ellie’s husband Clive thinks the gift is inappropriate and doesn’t support her desire to play, so she takes lessons behind his back. An engaging and tender book for fans of Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion.”

Kathleen Harriott, Punta Gorda Public Library, Punta Gorda, FL 
Novelist Read-alike: The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Inland: A Novel

by Téa Obreht

Published: 8/13/2019 by Random House
ISBN: 9780812992861

“Obreht lays a mythical voice over an already dreamlike landscape of drought in Arizona. A mother and half-grown sons generate a powerful dynamic not often explored, and the youngest, who knows about scary beasts, brings magic and intuition. A journey into a barren world, inside and out. For fans of Larry Watson and Alice Hoffman.”

Katherine Phenix, Rangeview Library District, Adams County, CO 
NoveList Read-alike: The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami

The Last Widow: A Novel

by Karin Slaughter

Published: 8/20/2019 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062858085

“A fast-paced thriller in the Will Trent series has Will and Sara trying to prevent a deadly epidemic. The book tells the story of what is happening to three different people during the same short time periods, as they are unaware of the actions of the others. For readers who enjoy Tana French and John Sanford.”

Susanne Guide, Union County Public Library, Liberty, IN
NoveList Read-alike: The Helen Grace series by M.J. Arlidge

Life and Other Inconveniences

by Kristan Higgins

Published: 8/6/2019 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780451489425

“Explores the complex relationships between caregivers and their children, as four generations of one family reflect on their past, and the failing health of the family matriarch looms large. For readers who like fully developed characters with real-world problems, and fans of Jennifer Weiner and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.”

Amanda Kowalcze, Green Hills Public Library District, Palos Hills, IL
NoveList Read-alike: The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos

Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy Novel

by Ilona Andrews

Published: 8/27/2019 by Avon
ISBN: 9780062878342

“The fifth Hidden Legacy paranormal adventure requires middle sister Catalina, now head of House Baylor, to use all her skills and poise to make the right decisions for herself and her family. For fans of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series and Patricia Briggs’ Moon Called.”

Lynne Welch, Herrick Memorial Library, Wellington, OH 
NoveList Read-alike: The Lily Bound series by Yasmine Galenorn

The Swallows: A Novel

by Lisa Lutz

Published: 8/13/2019 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9781984818232

“A dark, satirical book that centers around a school and the revenge that we seek in times of humiliation. It’s a twisty read that will have you following an investigation filled with secrets, lies, and threats. For readers who liked Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld and Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel.”

Kathryn Neal, Skiatook Library, Skiatook, OK 
NoveList Read-alike: The Red Word by Sarah Henstra

Things You Save in a Fire: A Novel

by Katherine Center

Published: 8/13/2019 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250047328

“A traumatic event as a young woman has left firefighter Cassie with a hard shell which breaks apart as she learns about forgiveness, love, and friendship. With gripping firefighting scenes and a love story, this is perfect for fans of Jo Jo Moyes or Marissa de los Santos.

Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, IL
NoveList Read-alike: Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

The Warehouse: A Novel

by Rob Hart

Published: 8/20/2019 by Crown
ISBN: 9781984823793

“Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud where they work, live, and have their productivity and location tracked through their smartwatches. Gibson is the dying industrialist who created the Cloud company and is touring the country visiting his facilities. This near-future dystopian sci-fi thriller made me leery of ever shopping online again. For fans of The Circle by Dave Eggers and Notes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone.”

Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Library, Raleigh, NC
NoveList Read-alike: 1984 by George Orwell

The Whisper Man: A Novel

by Alex North

Published: 8/20/2019 by Celadon Books
ISBN: 9781250317995

“Tom and his son Jake move to Featherbank to rebuild their life after the death of Tom’s wife; unknown to them, the town has a dark history and another little boy has gone missing and Jake begins to hear whispers in his new house. For fans of Joe Hill and Paul Tremblay.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ 
NoveList Read-alike: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton


 Courtesy of

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We’re Still Here, physically and electronically!

How to Find the Nevins Library Online

This one won’t be quite as poetic and alliterative as the previous explanation of where we are on the web, but, since we are currently experiencing quite a few changes (and will continue to experience them in the near future) I think it’s important for everyone to know where you can get more information about what is going on.

The first place anyone should go is, I hope, our website. It is always up to date, especially when we are closed (or open). Whether that’s in the winter for snow and other bad and horrible winter things, our next holiday closing, or the unexpected closing.

We also have a ton of other stuff on our website. It’s where you can reserve Museum Passes , get to all the online resources that you can sign into from home, find info on all our programs, from our downloadable and printable Children’s Calendar to our Event Calendar  (which has all the library programs that we do, on site and off site).

We’re on social media as well.  Check out our main Twitter feed @nevinslibrary1! We also have a newish one for the kids too, @nevlibskids. It has reminders and sign up, links for the programs, but, also some fun on it as well. Come and follow us. See if we can get 100 followers there!!

We have an awesome Instagram too @nevinslibrary. All ages are on there, and updates about the library can be found too.

And let’s not forget our 3 Facebook pages!  Our main one, Nevins Memorial Library as well as Nevins Childrens and Nevins Young Adults. You can find updates there, and our events are posted as Facebook Events as well (but, please try to sign up on the calendar on our webite).

Of course, we have this blog. You can always find a variety of things here, from what podcasts we’re liking, to what books we’re reading (and think y’all should try too). You can follow this blog on email as well as coming and seeing us in your browser.

Last, but definitely not least, we have a Tumblr Blog called A Book A Day. It is what it says it is on the tin, every day (well, minus Sunday) a book is recommended. You don’t even need to be a member of Tumblr, just go to the website, and they’re all there (and I do mean all, we have over 1,160 recommendations so far). From sci fi to mystery to graphic novels and even kids books. Something for everyone.

Things probably aren’t going to settle down right away here at the Nevins Library, but we do hope that by following us on one or more of these places that we’ll be able to keep you up to date on the goings on as we get back into the swing of things.

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Nevins Library’s “Fluid” Situation

Over the weekend of July 20-21, the Nevins Library experienced the failure of an air conditioning unit that caused large amounts of water to come from the ceiling into the Non-fiction stacks on the top floor of the Library, and then penetrate down into the second floor Fiction stacks.

The number of books damaged by water was much smaller than originally feared.  The most significant remaining problem is walls, ceilings, carpeting and woodwork in the affected areas.

The east section of the new wing has been cordoned off on the Main and Top Floors so that sheet rock, woodwork, ceiling tiles, etc, can be removed and replaced.

Unfortunately, there will be some limitations due to the work being done in the library in the forthcoming weeks.  Limitations will include a reduced number of computers for public access, limited ability to locate adult non-fiction and fiction, limited seating, construction noise, and reduced bathroom and meeting room access.

The Library staff and Trustees are appreciative of the support of the public, city officials and the vendors and contractors involved in helping us recover.

For more information, please visit our website.   Click here for the full statement from Library Director Krista McLeod.



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More Podcasts That You’ll Have the Need to Binge

This time around, it’s a little bit of True Crime, some old fashioned flim flam sort of fraud brought into the 21st Century, and then in keeping with our summer reading theme, A Universe of Stories™, a really awesome podcast about living on Mars…. sort of.

I’ll start with The Teacher’s Pet, and I do have a caveat for this one. I had no problem listening to it here in the United States, but, apparently, in Australia, where the crime allegedly took place, it has been pulled from the ‘airwaves’ so that the courtroom/lawyerly stuff can go ahead unhindered.

Saying I enjoyed it would be the wrong words, since, it’s about a young wife with two children who went missing in 1982. But, it was very well presented by the host. It is long, it’s 16 episodes, the longest discrete series that I’ve ever listened to (i.e. not like the Parcast ones or Criminal that just keep going and going), and I will say that on occasion it does go over stuff more than once.

But, on the whole, the host, Hedley Thomas tells a compelling story, and, while this isn’t the kind of story that will ever have a happy ending. Perhaps there’ll be an update in the future that at least brings things to a resolution. (And Australia will get to listen to it again).

I was late to The Dropout, and, the story that it tells I only vaguely remember hearing about in the paper. Elizabeth Holmes started the company Theranos with big dreams, with all sorts of things that she seemed to want to revolutionize. I mean, one machine that could do so so so many different tests on one drop of blood. That would be amazing for those who either do not like or have literal trouble giving a venus draw of blood.

But, uh, yeah, none of it went quite that way for Holmes. It seemed to be going great for her for many years, the company going up and up, a deal with Walgreens, acclaim, being called the next Steve Jobs. So so well, until, well, it stopped going so well.

It was a fascinating look. Not just at the facts of what happened, but, also at all the different and disparate characters in this story. Amazing.

So, The Habitat is about 6 people who go to Mars for months. Well, sort of. They’re actually in a specially made Habitat on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, and, while if there is some sort of emergency they can simply get out (since they’re on Earth), unless it’s something life-threatening, these six people (most of whom have always wanted to be Astronauts and this might be the closest they get to that) are in that habitat, for better or worse, until they’re let out (one year later).

The podcast is told by a reporter covering the experiment with the help of the residents of the habitat themselves, as, they keep a diary-like recording during the experiment. And, while, I did think it would be interesting to hear about what they were doing in there, I was entirely surprised by just how much drama there was when you get six definitely different sorts of people in there. Some married, others not married (most definitely not).

I will warn you that the 3rd Episode is a hard one to get through at times. The participants’ year took place during 2015, and one of them, Cyprien Verseux, is French, and he had to deal with learning about the 2015 Paris attacks while in the habitat.

On the whole, there were a lot of interesting parts, not to mention, a ton of simply hilarious parts too. Now when we get to Mars I fully expect that they make a podcast with those astronauts and see if the same sorts of things come up as did in this podcast.

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One Minute Book Review: You

Cover image for You : a novelYou by Caroline Kepnes

The book, You by Caroline Kepnes, upon which the Netflix series is based,  will keep you enthralled from the first sentence. The novel is written from the perspective of bookstore employee, Joe Goldberg, and details his unhealthy obsession with one of his customers, Guinevere Beck. This book takes so many unexpected twists and turns and will transport you to the darkest places in Joe’s mind. Well-written and complex, You will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more.

∼Brianna, Library Page

You:  a novel
by Caroline Kepnes
First Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books, c. 2014