Engaging Methuen Readers

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One Minute Book Review: Mother Land by Leah Franqui

Cover image for Mother land :

Escape to India with Mother Land by Leah Franqui.

This charming and wise story of a mother-in-law (Indian) and daughter-in-law (American) is mildly sensuous and thought provoking. The strong wills of culturally diverse and generationally different characters gave me food for thought and perked my interest in reading other books based on Indian culture.

∼ Cynthia, Reader’s Services

Mother Land
by Leah Franqui
William Morrow, 2020

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LibraryReads January 2021: top ten books librarians love!


January 2021 LibraryReads List

Cover image for The Wife UpstairsThe Wife Upstairs:  A Novel

by Rachel Hawkins

St. Martin’s Press
ISBN:  9781250245496

“Mild-mannered Jane cobbles together a living as a dog walker for the wealthy
residents of Thornfield Estates, when an encounter with Eddie Rochester turns
into a whirlwind romance. But plain Jane has a mysterious past…and so does
everyone else in this upscale neighborhood. Loosely inspired by Jane Eyre, this
domestic suspense novel features the twists and turns that fans of the genre
expect. Perfect for fans of Liv Constantine and Louise Candlish.”

Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
NoveList read-alike: The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

Cover image for The children's blizzard :The Children’s Blizzard: A Novel

by Melanie Benjamin

Delacorte Press
ISBN:  9780399182280

“A deadly snowstorm roared through the Great Plains on January 12, 1888, at a time when many children were in school with teachers little older than themselves. Based on actual oral histories of survivors, and told from
perspectives of teachers, students, and the media, this book is perfect for readers who enjoy historical fiction by Ariel Lawhon and Marie Benedict.”

Wendy Paige, Shelby County Public Library, Shelbyville, KY
NoveList read-alike: Answer Creek by Ashley E. Sweeney

Cover image for The Ex TalkThe Ex Talk

by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Berkley Books
ISBN:  9780593200124

“Shay’s lifelong dream has been to be in radio, and she’s been working at a Seattle NPR station since she was 19. Ten years later, she and new wunderkind
Dominic create a show around the idea that they’re exes talking about relationships. The burn between Shay and Dominic is slow, intense, and HOT. Give to fans of The Kiss Quotient and The Hating Game.

Jessica Werner, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA
NoveList read-alike: Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park

Cover image for The House on Vesper SandsThe House on Vesper Sands

by Paraic O’Donnell

Tin House Books
ISBN:  9781951142247

Three stories—a mysterious suicide, a wayward young man searching for his uncle, and a young journalist investigating the story behind several missing girls—unfold before finally converging. The dark mood is palpable as
Inspector Cutter, Gideon Bliss, and Octavia Hillingdon travel through Victorian London to fit the puzzle pieces together. Perfect for fans of The Night Circus and Jane Steele.”

Maribeth Fisher, Scotch Plain Public Library, Scotch Plains, NJ
NoveList read-alike: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Cover image for OutlawedOutlawed

by Anna North

ISBN: 9781635575422

“Bank robberies and women’s health may not seem like natural companions, but North weaves them together seamlessly in this alternate history Western. Cast out of her hometown for failure to get pregnant after a year of marriage, Ada joins the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang and becomes an outlaw,
all the while seeking real information about pregnancy and fertility. For fans of Inland and The Power.”

Emily Calkins, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
NoveList read-alike: Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Cover image for The Perfect GuestsThe Perfect Guests

by Emma Rous

ISBN: 9780440000488

“When down-on-her-luck Sadie is offered a lucrative weekend acting job at a sumptuous Raven Hall, as a guest in a period mystery event, she jumps at the chance. Before the weekend is over, Sadie and the other “perfect guests” will learn about Raven Hall’s tragic past.”

Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, TX
NoveList read-alike: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Cover image for The push :The Push:  A Novel

by Ashley Audrain

Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
ISBN: 9781984881663

“Blythe comes from a longline of women not cut out to be mothers. When she falls in love with a man who wants nothing more than a happy family she tells herself she can be a good mother.When her daughter is born however she finds that motherhood is just not that simple. For readers who enjoyed The Woman in theWindow (Finn) or Baby Teeth (Stage.)”

Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT
NoveList read-alike: The Unprotected by Kelly Sokol

Cover image for Remote ControlRemote Control

by Nnedi Okorafor
ISBN:  9781250772800

“As a girl living in a future version of Ghana, Yatima was given an object from space that gave her the ability to emit a green light that brings death to all she touches. Now, as a young teen, she occasionally leaves death behind her as she searches for the alien object that was stolen from her.  Africanfuturism, sci-fi, and magic.  For readers who enjoyed The Fifth Season and Monstress.”

Katie Kalil, Sterling Library, Sterling, VA
NoveList read-alike:  The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Cover image for ShippedShipped

by Angie Hockman

Gallery Books
ISBN: 9781982151591

“Graeme and Henley are competing for the same job at their adventure cruise company. When their boss sends them on afamiliarization trip of the company’s cruise in the Galapagos the enemies to lovers’ plot gets steamy.  For readers who enjoyed A Sweet Mess (Lee) and The Unhoneymooners (Lauren).

Laura Bonds, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX
NoveList read-alike: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

Cover image for Siri, who am I?Siri, Who Am I?:  A Novel

by Sam Tschida

Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781683691686

“Mia awakes in a hospital in a gold cocktail dress, a cape covered in her blood, a head wound and her cellphone, and no memory of who she is or how she got there. She uses her Instagram account to begin to piece together her life. For readers who enjoyed Surprise Me (Kinsella) and What Alice Forgot (Moriarty).”

Douglas Beatty, Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, MD
NoveList read-alike: The One that Got Away by Leigh Himes

 Courtesy of

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Methuen Friendship Quilt Project

Methuen Friendship Quilt Project

In the mid-1800s, “Friendship Quilts” were a popular way to commemorate events and memories, often with a large group of people creating the quilt for a particular person or family. These quilts were often personalized with the signatures of those who made the squares in the quilt.

We would like to announce our take on this idea: The Methuen Friendship Quilt Project.

Methuen is a strong community with equally strong neighbors, and we’d like to help create this quilt to show just how resilient and creative we can be.

Anyone and everyone is invited to create a square (or two!) for this quilt. It can be any design, any color, any thing you’d like (although we have the right to not include anything vulgar, profane, etc.) but it needs to be made primarily of cotton cloth, able to be displayed outside, and measure 8″ x 8″ (leaving 1/2″ border for sewing together).

We encourage personalization, like the signatures in the historic quilts. We would like the quilt we build together to encourage hope, friendship, and unity throughout our community.

We will have resources available at the library to show you how and to answer your questions.

We will begin collecting these quilt squares at the library beginning December 1 and continue with the collection through the end of March.

We hope to have an outdoor display of the quilt prepared by mid-April for all to enjoy.

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2021 Winter Reading Challenge

2021 Winter Reading Challenge

From January 1st to January 31st, the Nevins Library will participate in Beanstack’s Fourth Annual Winter Reading Challenge, sponsored by Simon & Schuster. Books Like Us is a celebration of diversity, harnessing the transformative power of seeing oneself reflected in a book. This Winter, participating communities are invited to explore these books, from authors spanning an array of diverse backgrounds.

It will also help the Nevins Library reach our community reading goal and possibly win prizes!

You can Pre-Register for this Challenge by going to our Beanstack page !

The Challenges

  • Reach a personal goal of 5 books!
  • Help the Nevins Library reach our community reading goal of 1000 books!

How to Participate

It’s easy to sign up and start logging minutes – if you used Beanstack for the Summer already, just login with the same username/password you did before. If you’ve never used it before, register online by following the prompts at

Don’t want to have to use a laptop/desktop, you can also use the Beanstack Tracker app for Android and iOS devices on your smartphone (download the app by searching for “Beanstack Tracker” in the App Store or Google Play). It allows you to add books to your log by scanning their ISBN barcodes. and also has a clock to time your reading your sessions and record your minutes.

Need help getting started in Beanstack? Go HERE for instructions.

Keep things interesting by trying a variety of genres and reading platforms during the challenge — fiction and nonfiction books, graphic novels, eBooks, audiobooks, whatever suits you best. Besides your own books or school reading, don’t forget that the library has a wide range of books as well as eBooks to choose from, and a librarian can steer you towards what might interest you.

Record the books you read in your Beanstack account — you will unlock and earn virtual badges as you progress towards your goal.

If you reach your 5 book goal before January 31st, 2021, congratulations, you did a fantastic job! But, we still need your help to meet our community reading goal of 1500 books. So keep recording them!

Help others find out about new books (and see your progress!) by sharing what you are reading using the hashtags #WinterRead2021 and #BooksLikeUs on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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LibraryReads: Hall of Fame December 2020

LibraryReads Hall of Fame:  December 2020

The LibraryReads Hall of Fame designation honors authors who have had multiple titles appear on the monthly LibraryReads list since 2013. When their third title places on the list via library staff votes, the author moves into the Hall of Fame.


Cover image for The Dark ArchiveThe Dark Archive: an Invisible Library novel

by Genevieve Cogman

ISBN: 9781984804785

“Time-traveling librarian/spy Irene Winters is having a week: dodging assassins, training a Fae intern, and contending with her dragon lover’s meddling brother. Colorful characters, a lightning pace, and a surprising revelation will please fans of Cogman’s Invisible Library series.”

Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City County Library, St. Peters, MO

Read-alike: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Read-alike: The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
Read-alike: Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore edited by Paula Guran

Cover image for The Mystery of Mrs. ChristieThe Mystery of Mrs. Christie: A Novel

by Marie Benedict

Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 9781492682721

“Taking the 11 days that Agatha Christie went missing in the 1920s and adding a fictional twist, Benedict produces this gem of a historical novel with psychological thriller overtones. This novel appeals on so many levels; there is much to love and discuss here.”

Douglas Beatty, Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, MD

Read-alike: The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
Read-alike: The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
Read-alike: And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

Cover image for Perestroika in ParisPerestroika in Paris: A Novel

by Jane Smiley

ISBN:  9780525520351

“Smiley writes the perfect book to help you escape: Like Charlotte’s Web for grown-ups (but no spiders die!). Lovable, charming animals–an adventurous racehorse, a lonely dog, a know-it all raven, a pair of ducks–interact with one another and with the compassionate humans they encounter in the City of Lights.”

Nancy Wiseman, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

Read-alike: The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Read-alike: Sirius by Jonathan Crown
Read-alike: A Dog’s Life by Peter Mayle

Read-alikes provided by NoveList and the LibraryReads community.

Courtesy of LibraryReads Hall of Fame Authors


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One Minute Audiobook Review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Cover image for The switch

If you love audiobooks and you’re in the mood for a light, feel good suggestion, give The Switch by Beth O’Leary at try. This audio portrays the lively, warm, fun and engaging story of a granddaughter and grandmother’s spirited, loving and courageous relationship. The author’s sense of humor and the narrators wonderful English accents kept me wanting to hear more.

If you like this book, I recommend another of O’Leary’s books, The Flatshare.

∼ Cynthia, Reader’s Services

The Switch by Beth O’Leary
Audio Narrated by Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones
MacMillan Audio, 2020


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Free Charging Stations


Isn’t it awful when there’s a big storm and you lose power for hours? Or you are studying in the library and your phone is about to die? We’ve got you covered! We are installing charging stations like this one on each floor of the library to help with your device charging needs!

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Holiday Photo Op at the Library

Looking for a nice place to take some family Christmas photos this year? Come to the Children’s Garden at the Nevins Library, and use our festive, decorative backdrop to take them.

Christmas 2020 will be different from other years, but we can share our photos, and create some good memories in spite of the pandemic and its restrictions.

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AmazonSmile for the Library

Amazon Smile Logo with text You Shop. Amazon Gives. It's as easy as 1 2 3 with four red and green presents underneath it

Already using Bring smiles to the Friends of the Nevins Library this year by using AmazonSmile when ordering gifts online.

What could be better than getting your gift shopping done and contributing to the library at the same time? And, it’s easy to access!

It’s easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Go to
  2. Choose the Friends of the Nevins Memorial Library Inc. as your choice of charities
  3. Shop, and O.5% of your purchase will be donated to the Friends of the Nevins Library by the AmazonSmile Foundation!

And just like that, you’re helping support the Friends raise money for museum passes; programs for all ages; a subscription to the free book review magazine Book Page; and so much more.

For more information, CLICK HERE.