Engaging Methuen Readers

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Podcasts for the New Year

You can never have too many podcasts. (Okay, perhaps you can. I may or may not have *mumble* more than 200 episodes on my queue *mumble*. I’m working on it, I’m working on it.

In all seriousness, there are just so many interesting podcasts out there and since I’m a librarian who likes to recommend things to people, here are four more podcasts that I think are pretty interesting.

The Dream

I’ve never really had any personal experience with Multi-Level Marketing. I know what Avon is, have used their stuff before, but, not in any sort of way other than having a few things here and there (their bug repellent used to be really, really, really good).

So, I went into this podcast only knowing the bare basics. But, that was okay with this podcast. It didn’t just interview (predominantly) women who either had participated or are participating in things like Mary Kay and the other current Multi-Level Marketing organizations, it also went into the history (Amway, etc.).

To my academic brain it was endlessly interesting, and to my compassionate brain it very much saddened me. Especially in some of the very dodgy MLMs how can one human do this to another human? Wherever they are on the pyramid?

Death in Ice Valley

This podcast was about a woman who was found dead in Ice Valley (in Norway) in 1970. Her identity still has not been figured out.

I listened to this before I did The Teacher’s Pet podcast. And so this was the first podcast that I listened to that was an ‘Open Journalism’ sort of podcast. The hosts didn’t just give us listeners the information that they knew, but, they opened it up to the public. Asked the public for help to figure out, in this case, who this woman is, and even if she was killed or not.

It was a sad story in a lot of ways, and I know that I’m definitely keeping it in my queue to see if at some point they have a bonus episode that perhaps has the semi-good news that they’ve figured out who this woman was.

Noble Blood

I was quite surprised when I found that I liked this podcast. I mean, two words, Revolutionary War. I have not really paid attention to Royals unless they were the kind of Royals who were “very important” people in history.

So far they have had everyone from Anna Ivanovna (Russian I believe) to multiple episodes on Marie Antoinette. It’s almost also always been a story that I haven’t heard of, and it’s always interesting (and just as a warning sometimes quite violent and bloody too).

The Dark Side Of

I really like Parcast Podcasts (I mean, just saying their name is fun too). They have a lot of ‘True Crime’ that isn’t totally and entirely current crime. It’s more like, historical mysteries, or like this podcast, series where they try to explain humanity.

The two hosts look at the Dark Side of a different thing each ‘season’. The first was Music, the second was Hollywood, and this third one, the one that I’ve listened to all of is the Holidays.

Just like all the other Parcast podcasts, they’re super professionally made. And even from something that is as widely covered as people behaving badly during Holidays (from Halloween to Christmas and everything in between) I learned something from these episodes. Can’t wait to go back and listen to the seasons about Music and Hollywood too!

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Christmas Books and Movies

I’m a sucker for a media tie-in/novelization, and at Christmas time it seems like nearly all the Christmas movies are in someway or somehow created directly from, or inspired by Christmas books.

Some of these movies won’t be surprising to most, they’re either classics, or they don’t hide that they’re from books. But, with a lot of them, the only way you can tell is from a quick flash of an author’s name and their book’s title during the credits.

They fall into three categories:

The Famous Ones

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

There are three, count them, three movies with this title or a title very much like it that you can watch. I’m talking about the original 25 minute short with Boris Karloff and Thurl Ravenscroft (speaking and singing respectively).

It’s based on the book by Dr. Seuss, and, you can’t go wrong with either watching the movie or reading the book because the two stories are so similar. Just, I beg you, don’t watch the Jim Carey version!

A Christmas Carol

Definitely go read this book if you haven’t yet. There are a bunch of different and great versions of this. Personally, the one with Patrick Stewart, and the Muppet Christmas Carol are my favorites.

Luckily, whether you like George Scott, Jim Carey, or any of the other takes on the classic story, there seems to be a Christmas Carol for everyone.

The Polar Express

This (at the time) was a groundbreaking movie because it melded live action motion capture with animation.

Like the Grinch, the author, Chris Van Allsburg was one of the producers, and, you can tell that in how close the book and movie are in theme, tone, and plot.

It’s a Wonderful Life

In the final one of the famous movies, this is a definite classic, and, the only one on this part of the list that I didn’t know was based on a story. It’s based on “The Greatest Gift” short story by Philip Van Doren Stern.

The Surprising Ones

Ah, we’ve gotten to the Hallmark/Lifetime/Up/Etc. movies. Quite a few of these are based on one book or another. Some of them tout that, but, a lot of them don’t.

Here are just a smattering of them:

Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses

The movie is a Hallmark one, and, we’re starting with an easy one because it’s based on a book of the same name by Jenny Hale.

It’s about Abbey and Nick. Abbey gets hired to decorate Nick’s family’s mansion, and, well, Nick is a bit of a grump about it at first.

Hale writes a lot of Christmas romance books, but, also has some set in the summer as well. She also has “Coming Home for Christmas” which was on Hallmark in 2017 and also based on a book of hers of the same name.

Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow

When you’re Debbie Macomber, you get to have people know from the outset that the movie is based on your book.

This movie (and book) is about Ashley and Dash, who wind up having to share a car so that Ashley can get home. There’s even a bit of a suspenseful subplot that goes on, and –the– cutest dog ever on television.

She also has at least two or three other (very obviously titled) Christmas movies.

The Nine Lives of Christmas

Based on a book of the same name by Sheila Roberts. Zach is a fireman and committment-phobe who adops a stray cat (yay, it’s a cat and not a dog movie!!) and then happens to meet a Veterinary Student who may just break his phobia.

And, it also looks like Sheila Roberts has gone cross channel, and has a Lifetime Christmas movie as well called, “On Strike for Christmas”. Gutsy.

The Mistletoe Secret

The Mistletoe Secret is based on a book of the same name by Richard Paul Evans. Aria convinces a famous travel writer to come to her hometown for Christmas, but, instead there’s some big ole twists and turns in there when the travel writer’s ghostwriter shows up first.

Richard Paul Evans doesn’t just have a Christmas movie in this millenium either. But, back in 1995 his book “The Christmas Box” got turned into a movie too.

The Book/Movie being Semi-Simultaneous Published

Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 version, also known as, the only one that I will acknowledge).

I did not know that the film and book came out at the same time. I guess if Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick can do it, so can Valentine Davies (he wrote the movie and the novelization of it).

If these aren’t enough movies to keep you busy until the 25th, here are a couple of good links for this years (and previous years) Christmas movies that are based on books:

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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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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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Are You Ready for “The Chaos”?

A poem by Gerard Nolst Trenité (Some say it’s amazing, others not so much, read it for yourself and see):

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpsecorpshorse and worse.

I will keep you, Susybusy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
   Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
   Queer, fair seerhear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
   Just compare hearthear and heard,
   Dies and dietlord and word.

Sword and swardretain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
   Made has not the sound of bade,
   Saysaidpaypaidlaid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
   But be careful how you speak,
   Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
   Wovenovenhow and low,

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughterlaughter and Terpsichore,
   Branch, ranch, measlestopsailsaisles,

Sameexamining, but mining,
   Scholarvicar, and cigar,
   Solarmicawar and far.

From “desire”: desirableadmirable from “admire”,
Lumberplumberbier, but brier,
   Topshambroughamrenown, but known,

   GertrudeGermanwind and wind,
   Beau, kind, kindred, queuemankind,

Reading, Readingheathenheather.
   This phonetic labyrinth
   Gives mossgrossbrookbroochninthplinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
   Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
   Peter, petrol and patrol?

Billet does not end like ballet;
   Blood and flood are not like food,
   Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
   Discountviscountload and broad,
   Toward, to forward, to reward,

Ricocheted and crochetingcroquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
   Roundedwoundedgrieve and sieve,
   Friend and fiendalive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
   Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
   Buoyantminute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
   Would it tally with my rhyme
   If I mentioned paradigm?

Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
   Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
   Rabies, but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
   You’ll envelop lists, I hope,
   In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You’ll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
   To abjure, to perjureSheik
   Does not sound like Czech but ache.

Libertylibraryheave and heaven,
   We say hallowed, but allowed,
   Peopleleopardtowed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between moverploverDover.
   Chalice, but police and lice,

   Petalpenal, and canal,

Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
   But it is not hard to tell
   Why it’s pallmall, but Pall Mall.

   Worm and stormchaisechaoschair,

Has the a of drachm and hammer.
   Pussyhussy and possess,
   Desert, but desertaddress.

Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
   Courier, courtier, tombbombcomb,
   Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker“,
Quoth he, “than liqueur or liquor“,
   Making, it is sad but true,
   In bravado, much ado.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
   Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
   Fontfrontwontwantgrand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
   Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
   Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
   MindMeandering but mean,
   Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
   Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
   Tier (one who ties), but tier.

Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
   Prison, bison, treasure trove,
   Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severanceRibald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.
   Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
   Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffetbuffet;
   Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
   Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
   Evil, devil, mezzotint,
   Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
   Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
   Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
   Funny rhymes to unicorn,
   Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of Cholmondeley.
   No. Yet Froude compared with proud
   Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
   Troll and trolleyrealm and ream,
   Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
   But you’re not supposed to say
   Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
   How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
   When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
   Episodes, antipodes,
   Acquiesce, and obsequies.

Please don’t monkey with the geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,
   Rather say in accents pure:
   Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
   Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
   Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you
More than rch or w.
   Say then these phonetic gems:
   Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget ’em
   Wait! I’ve got it: Anthony,
   Lighten your anxiety.

The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
   With and forthwith, one has voice,
   One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
   Realzealmauve, gauze and gauge,

Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
   Dostlostpost, and dothclothloth,

Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowingbowing, banjo-tuners
   Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
   Puisnetruismuse, to use?

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
   Putnutgranite, and unite.

Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyrheifer.
   Hintpintsenate, but sedate.

   Tour, but our, dour, succourfour,
   Gasalas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
   Bona fide, alibi
   Gyrate, dowry and awry.

PsalmMaria, but malaria.
   Youthsouthsoutherncleanse and clean,

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
   Rally with allyyeaye,

Say aver, but everfever,
   Never guess-it is not safe,
   We say calvesvalveshalf, but Ralf.

Starry, granarycanary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
   Face, but preface, then grimace,

Oughtoust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
   Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
   Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
   With the sound of saw and sauce;
   Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, puttingPutting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
   Respite, spite, consent, resent.
   Liable, but Parliament.

Seven is right, but so is even,
   Monkeydonkeyclerk and jerk,

A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
   G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
   I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
   Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
   Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
   Won’t it make you lose your wits
   Writing groats and saying “grits”?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlockgunwale,
   Islington, and Isle of Wight,
   Housewifeverdict and indict.

Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying latherbatherfather?
   Finally, which rhymes with enough,
   Thoughthroughboughcoughhoughsough, tough??

Hiccough has the sound of sup
My advice is: Give it up!

For more information on this amazing poem. The best page that I’ve found is THIS one.

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One Thousand!

1000 what you ask.

Here at the Nevins Library we don’t just have this awesome blog from which you can get book (and more) recommendations. We also have a Tumblr Blog called A Book A Day

And, on A Book a Day we just hit 1000 books/movies/podcasts/albums and more recommended!!!

Here’s just a taste of what sorts of books you can get recommendations for on it.

Mystery/Thriller Monday


When it comes to Mysteries I have read a lot, and I love recommending them. I’ve recommended everything from Police Procedurals to Cozies, to very very Thrillers.

Totally Random Non-Fiction Tuesday


I’m a sucker for prose random non-fiction (i.e. non-fiction meant to be consumed by those who don’t know anything about a topic). Here’s one of my favorite books, but, I’ve also recommended everything from books about space to World War II to all about the DC Universe. (There have also been some changes to Tuesday in the new year, but, have no fear, Non-Fiction will still be recommended).

Weird & Wonderful Wednesday


Science Fiction and Fantasy get their own day. This particular book isn’t totally indicative of what is usually recommended, but it’s one of my favorites. I’ve also recommended everything from Zombies, to Speculative Fiction, and everything in between.

Youthful Thursday


Who doesn’t like children’s books. And, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t still read them either. I mean, I liked it as a kid, I like it now. Honestly, there could be so many different favorite ‘Youthful’ tomes that I’ve read since it covers both children’s books as well as middle readers, middle grade, and young adult books. But, King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub and he won’t get out is my favorite picture book repeating phrase. Go Page!!! (Like Totally Random Non-Fiction Tuesday, this particular day is going through some changes in 2019).

Not A Book Friday


I mean, we’re all here for books right, but, sometimes you just want to sit around and watch something, or listen to something. This here is the day for you then. Everything from an underrated classic (with a librarian protagonist) like The Mummy to Die Hard (the non-christmas Christmas movie), and sometimes a great Soundtrack or Podcast as well. (And one amazing website).

Comic Book Saturday


Comic books are my Kryptonite. And I’ve read a lot of them. (They really help up my books read per year too *shifty eyes* Shhh… don’t tell anyone). But, in all seriousness. Whether you’ve been reading Superman and Batman and X-Men all your lives, or you want to know about some amazing non-cape wearing graphic novels. I recommend graphic memoirs, and from all genres (there’s mysteries, so so many fantasies, some science fiction, and basically, if you can find it in a prose book, someone has written a graphic novel in that genre too).


So, come visit us at A Book A Day. You don’t have to have a Tumblr account, and if you still use an RSS feeder you can even get updates every day that way.

I will say that you’ll probably want to have some scrap paper nearby though, for all the additions to your TBR.

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3 More Amazing Podcasts

Traveling for the holidays?  Whether you’re on a plane, train, in a car or waiting in a line, here’s a wonderful way to mentally escape the wait…. podcasts!

I never know whether to start or finish with my favorite of the podcasts. If you’ve read my previous two posts on the subject, My 3 Favorite Podcasts, and 3 More of My Favorite Podcasts (and a Podcast Network), you’ll know that I like a lot of podcasts. Thankfully they don’t update every day, so, at some point in 2040 or so I’ll probably catch up with all that I want to listen to.

This time I’ll start with the podcast that I currently think is amazing.

Unobscured with Aaron Mahnke

There were two places it seemed as though we went to every single year during elementary and middle school (and once in high school, but that one was different, we actually got to see all about the History of Salem’s sea heritage, it was amazing), Salem and Lexington (and Concord). (Spoiler alert, if you have a town/city green that’s closer than Lexington go to that, stand there, imagine a statue at one end, you have now approximated visiting Lexington Common where the Revolutionary War started, and, it was probably easier to park as well).

So, The House of the Seven Gables, Salem Witch Trials, etc. I may not be able to rattle off all the names of the accusers and the accused when it comes to the Witch Trials, but, when they were said in this podcast, I found myself nodding along. From Hawthorne to Putnam to Nurse to Proctor and everyone in between, this podcast isn’t just about the trials, but, all this history that is woven above, below, and inside and out of the trials.

I’m on the sixth episode and, I thought that I knew a lot about the Trials, but, I really, really, really didn’t.

I’m also not sure what’s going to happen in the next seasons, since I guess that this will be one of the podcasts where each season is a little different, but hopefully around the same sort of theme/format. But, no matter if I listen to Season 2 or even if there is one, this first season is amazing.

We have tons of stuff on the Salem Witch Trials, but, I do believe that we have the book “The Witches” by Stacey Schiff that is referenced a few times in the podcast.


Last Seen

This is such a close second for a podcast that is 10 stars at the moment (out of 5).

I guess that I was technically alive when this robbery happened (the 90s), and, I was even sorta old enough to have memories of the time. And yet, it never even near registered (and there were other things during those years that I do remember vividly).

So, listening to this podcast is a revelation. It’s all about the famous theft of Dutch Paintings (and a few other things) from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Back Bay in March of 1990 (they still haven’t found the paintings and such, and have not officially arrested anyone either).

It’s put together really amazingly. It started at the beginning, laying out the actual robbery (which, not all true crime podcasts do). And then it is going through all the different parts, not to mention, all the different theories about who could have done it, and where the paintings could be. Ooh, and when you get to the episode that has the intrigue with the FBI thrown in there. Tension. Love it.

I may have started listening to it because it’s a collaboration between WBUR and the Boston Globe, but, now I’m hooked and I’m dreading when it ends and we’re all again stuck with this seemingly unanswerable question of, ‘Where are the paintings?

We have books both on Isabella Stewart Gardner as well as on the Robbery.


Dr. Death

That is quite the title right?

For someone who is looking for a podcast that is finished (mostly) so that they don’t have to wait for new episodes, this is it.

It’s about Christopher Duntsch, who could technically be called a Neurosurgeon, and all the people that he touched in his time practicing (and, most not in a good way at all). He was the last resort for a lot of the patients he treated. But, slowly (way too slowly) as more and more patients of his started having complications after their surgeries, people inside and outside of the medical community started pushing back as much as they could (which wasn’t always enough).

And then he was put on trial, and that was one of the questions that was posed during the podcast. For a Doctor/Medical Professional where does Malpractice end, and criminality begin?  It was horribly fascinating.

It was such a macabre podcast, and yet, I’m not sure that there’s any person out there today who goes to a doctor, any type of doctor, without just a little hesitation in their step.

I couldn’t find any books on Duntsch, but, there have been a lot of articles written about what happened. Here’s one from the Texas Observer (where it all happened, and written closer to when a lot of it happened), and one more recent one (because of the Podcast) from Esquire as well.

And of course, I have the most important question of this post, because, one cannot have too many podcasts to listen to!

What’s your favorite podcast?

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2018 Friends Quilt Raffle

Need something to stay warm on those chilly December/January/February/March and beyond Months?

The Friends of the Nevins Library are holding a raffle for a beautiful and unique book-themed quilt, The Cat Who Quilted, quilted and designed by Joanne Billings.

Tickets for the raffle will be sold at the Main Desk, 6 for $5, or one for a dollar.  The winning ticket will be drawn on December 19th.

Here’s a photo of just part of it. Amazing!!! Come see the whole quilt on display on the Main Floor of the Library across from the Main Desk!!!

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Giving at the Nevins Library in 2018

Again this year we have not one, but two Giving Trees gracing the Nevins Library, as well as our ongoing monthly food drive which supports the Friday Food Backpack program in the Methuen Public Schools. The Giving Trees will be here for the holiday season. You can come to the library and pick an ornament from one of the trees, and then purchase the item identified on the ornament. Drop the item (unwrapped) back at the Library, and we will make sure the items get to a child or elder in need of some holiday cheer! Details about our Giving Opportunities are below:

Children’s Giving Tree for Emmaus House

The Children’s Department of the Nevins Library has led the way for many years by hosting a Giving Tree for charity. This year we are helping provide gifts for the children served by Emmaus House in Haverhill.

Did you know that the average age of a homeless person in Massachusetts is 8 years old? Through its shelters and housing programs, Emmaus, Inc. serves nearly 3,000 homeless men, women, and children annually, primarily from Merrimack Valley and Northeastern Massachusetts., and on any given night 300 adults and children call Emmaus home.

Please help ensure that these children have a happy holiday by donating gifts through the Nevins Library’s Children’s Giving Tree – stop by the Children’s Room and choose a wish list item to purchase and put under the tree by December 12, and we’ll wrap and deliver them to Emmaus!

Friday Food Backpack Program

We also still have going our year-round Friday Food Backpack program, you may donate food now, or throughout the school year by placing your donations in the basket near the front door in the Library’s main lobby. Food items are then distributed on Fridays to children whose families need help on weekends and school vacations when the kids do not have access to school breakfast and lunch programs.

Secret Santa for Seniors Tree for the Nevins Nursing Home

Help bring some holiday joy to the residents of Nevins Nursing and Rehabilitation Center by participating in the Secret Santa/Giving Tree here at the Nevins Library. When you enter the library it’s directly to the right of the Main Desk.

Anonymous tags with gift ideas will hang on the tree on the Library’s main floor. Pick up a tag and purchase the suggested item (no more than $10.00 please.)

Please return your unwrapped gift by December 12th to the Main Desk.

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A Wrap Up of Useful Voting Resources

Phew, we’re done with another National Voter Registration Day.

If you didn’t get a chance to register, that’s okay. Here’s the webpage where you can find all the different ways you can register to vote in Massachusetts.

Just make sure that you do it before October 17th. That’s the deadline to vote in the coming election. (And you can register now even if you do not turn 18 until November 5th).

If you want to know if you are registered or need to register to vote, there’s a webpage for that as well. It also has a lot of other important information on it, such as where you should vote come November 6th, and so much more!

This year MA has early voting in at least one location in your town, no excuse required. (i.e. You don’t have to have a reason to want to vote early, you can just do it.)

Stay tuned to this page for updates on where you can vote early!

If you’ve mailed in your vote you can even track that HERE.

If you have more local questions, the Methuen City Clerk’s office is who you want to contact HERE.

Happy Voting!!!