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Engaging Methuen Readers


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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.

 

 


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For a good time, stroll the library grounds!

Once again, the Nevins Library Children’s Department has created a “Story Time Walk” by posting the pages from the highly original picture book, “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis, around the outside of the library.  To an imaginative bunny, a box is not always just a box!  Go from page to page and explore the lovely library grounds.

Nature lovers of all ages may 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.

Whether you’re doing the Story Time Walk, or just having a ramble, stop by and see the majestic turn-of-the century 8 foot-tall Blue Heron sculpture that has recently been resurrected on our property.  The statue, made of white bronze, was original to the Nevins Family homestead and had been in storage for years until it was re-discovered in pieces.  The statue has been painstakingly restored and dedicated to the memory of Red Winn, a long-time and beloved Nevins Library employee and groundskeeper. See the July 2017 issue of Methuen Life for an article on our other recent dedications and the stunning new/old Heron sculpture.

Happy strolling!

 

 

 

 

 


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LibraryReads July 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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July 2017  LibraryReads List

 

The Lying Game:  A Novel

by Ruth Ware

Published:7/25/2017 by Gallery/Scout Press
ISBN: 9781501156007

“Isa and her friends are boarding school misfits who are notorious for playing “the lying game.” The more believable your lies, the more points you earn. A suicide at the school results in the girls being expelled under a cloud of suspicion. Fifteen years later, Isa hasn’t seen her three closest girlfriends in a decade, but one text will bring them together again to deal with their deadly childhood secrets. I could not put this atmospheric book down. This is definitely going to be a summer hit.”

Virginia Grubbs, Darien Library, Darien, CT


Watch Me Disappear: A Novel

by Janelle Brown

Published: 7/11/2017 by Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780812989465

“Billie is a beloved and loving wife and mother to Jonathan and Olive – or so they believe. Her disappearance while hiking dredges up secrets about Billie’s radical past, doubts about how well either of them knew the woman around whom their lives revolved, and questions about whether Billie is even dead…or simply vanished. Hand this one to fans of domestic thrillers like The Woman in Cabin 10or The Couple Next Door. They won’t be disappointed.”

Donna Maturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH


The Marriage Pact: A Novel

by Michelle Richmond

Published: 7/25/2017 by Bantam
ISBN: 9780385343299

“Newlyweds Jake and Alice are understandably nervous about starting married life together. So, when given the opportunity to join the exclusive group known as “The Pact” –whose stated goal is to keep married couples happy and together forever, they jump at the offer. However, things quickly take a sinister turn and readers will be hooked as Jake and Alice struggle to find their way out.”

Becky Bowen, Kenton Public Library, Independence, KY


Final Girls: A Novel

by Riley Sager

Published: 7/11/2017 by Dutton
ISBN: 9781101985366

“When Quincy Carpenter survived a massacre while the rest of her friends were murdered, the press labeled her a “Final Girl”- part of a group that consisted of two other women who were the only ones to survive their own tragedies. Quincy has no desire to claim this label and wants to move on. But when one of the final girls dies, and the other confronts Quincy, claiming that a killer might be targeting them, Quincy’s new life unravels. Readers will be invested in seeing if Quincy can retain her status as the last one standing.”

Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY


Down A Dark Road: A Kate Burkholder Novel

by Linda Castillo

Published: 7/11/2017 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250121288

“A once Amish police chief in a rural Pennsylvania town is faced with a dilemma. Her childhood friend has escaped from prison after being convicted of killing his wife. Kate still knows the Amish ways and after talking with the family and the community, thinks there might be something to Joseph’s story. Kate is caught in the crossfire between the “English” and the “Amish” and needs to solve this so her past won’t haunt her. Starts out with a bang and finishes just as rough.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


When The English Fall: A Novel

by David Williams

Published: 7/11/2017 by Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616205225

When the English Fall offers a new perspective on apocalyptic fiction, written from the point of view of an Amish farmer named Jacob. Part insight into Amish culture, part dystopian novel, the story follows the days leading up to a solar storm and its aftermath. Jacob lives a peaceful life with his family. As events unfold outside of the community, he becomes witness to his English neighbors’ unraveling. Jacob and his family, already accustomed to a life without modern conveniences, must decide what course of action they will take, and what assistance they will provide to their English neighbors.”

Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH


The Almost Sisters: A Novel

by Joshilyn Jackson

Published: 7/11/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062105714

“Leia finds her life is spiraling out of control. First she discovers she is pregnant from a one night stand, then she receives a phone call that her beloved grandmother is acting erratically. Meanwhile, she finds her stepsister in the middle of a marital crisis. Returning to her grandmother’s small hometown in Alabama to figure out the future, Leia is confronted by the past including a dark family secret. This is a compelling story about love and family told with humor and charm. Jackson paints a picture of the South that is filled with affection but is also honest.”

Janine Walsh, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY


The Wildling Sisters

by Eve Chase
Published: 7/25/2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN: 9780399174131

“In 1959, the Wilde sisters spend the summer at Applecote, a country manor, with their aunt and uncle who are still reeling after the disappearance of their daughter Audrey. The spirit of Audrey is everywhere and the sisters’ close bonds are tested with secrets and jealousies revealed. Fifty years later, Jesse and her family move back to Applecote, hoping for a fresh start. Their transition is not smooth and they are swept up into the old mystery. A page turning, suspenseful novel with richly created characters, a twisting plot, and a gothic setting. A delicious, shivery tale!”

Judy Sebastian, Eastham Public Library, Eastham, MA


Wired

by Julie Garwood

Published: 7/4/2017 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780525954460

“When Agent Liam Scott recruits a beautiful hacker, Allison Trent, to find a leak within the FBI, he uses her cousin’s criminal record as leverage. As they try to deny their growing attraction, the computer program Allison developed is stolen. Liam helps track down the thief while protecting her from continual harassment and attempts on her life. I genuinely enjoyed reading this novel. The whole book was tightly plotted and well written. This is a story I would highly recommend to romance readers, especially those new to the genre.”

Maria Gruener, Watertown Regional Library, Watertown, SD

 


Hello, Sunshine!

by Laura Dave

Published: 7/11/2017 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781476789323

“Sunshine’s entire world comes crashing down on, of all days, her birthday. What I love about Sunshine is that she exudes confidence even when she shows up at her estranged sister’s home with only the things that fit in her car. Sunshine formulates a plan and sees it through. She completely embraces the only job available in her new path to greatness. I found myself rooting for her from the very beginning and I couldn’t wait to read what she was up to next. I loved this novel. I’m a big fan of this author!”

Melissa Barber, Lubbock Public Library, Lubbock, TX

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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Bookish Confessions: summer and dystopian fiction

I don’t know if it’s the summer scorchers when the grass is dry and crunchy and all the vegetation looks desiccated — or the heavy humidity which leads to languidness, violent thunderstorms,  and sudden heavy downpours — but it all  drives me to read futuristic dystopian books featuring cataclysmic climate changes.  The heat waves that break all existing records, and the super storms in unlikely places, make these books with their dysfunctional world settings seem quite palpable.

As I sat down to read Gold, Fame, Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins, this summer’s post-apocalyptic book about a destroyed and drought-ridden South California, I reflected on other books with similar themes I’ve read over the last few summers.  Last year I read Emily St. John Mandel’s beautifully constructed Station Eleven, involving a flu pandemic and a unique theater troupe.  This book had gotten rave reviews from both the public and the review journals, even winning some awards along the way, but I was never interested in it…until the following summer, filled with crazy weather, when anything seemed possible!  Other post-apocalyptic summer reads have included California by Edan Lepucki, World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler,  The Water Knife, Ship Breaker, Windup Girl, all by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Happy summer reading (even about disasters)!


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Nevins Book Club-Approved LGBTQ Reads

Did you know that the Nevins Memorial Library has an LGBTQ book club? It’s true! Though the club is off for the summer, it meets at 7:00pm every second Thursday of the month. This year, these are the books that we read.

51qgsn2wkwlThen Comes Marriage by Roberta Kaplan & Lisa Dickey       

There’s no better way to capture the drama of the marriage equality movement than in the words of one of the lawyers who fought it. Roberta Kaplan was the attorney for United States v. Windsor, the case that finally defeated DOMA and allowed same-sex couples to legally marry.

 

 

220px-aristotle_and_dante_discover_the_secrets_of_the_universe_coverAristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe  by Benjamin Alire Saenz                                 

Friendship blossoms in the unlikeliest of places – even between a nerd and a jock. But as Aristotle and Dante’s friendship becomes deeper, they may both have to face something important about their identities.

 

onthemove-by-oliversacksOn the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks was more than just a groundbreaking neuroscientist. Author, bodybuilder, motorcyclist, traveler, and drug addict, this complicated man tells his own story at last.

 

 

51xb0lb0mml-_sx322_bo1204203200_Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

The Dark Ages was a bad time to be alive in general, and worse if you were a woman. But one girl dared to take on the system through stealth, secretly becoming a priest and eventually taking on the robes of the papacy itself.

 

 

51ekup0xjwl-_sx328_bo1204203200_Tales of the City  by Armistead Maupin

Many people have seen the TV adaptation of Tales of the City, but reading it is another experience entirely. This long-running series, which Maupin famously directed according to the wishes of the readers of his daily serial, is a snapshot of LGBTQ life in 1970s San Francisco.

 

72003Angels in America by Tony Kushner

If Tales of the City is a snapshot of 1970s LGBTQ life, then Angels in America must stand for what came in the next decade. As AIDS ravaged the gay community, forsaken angels call upon one afflicted man to spread a new message to humanity.

 

 

downloadBeijing Comrades  by Bei Tong   

Tumultuous and steamy, this book is largely a mystery in itself. Who wrote it? Was the author a man or a woman, gay or straight, ally or voyeur? No matter what the truth may be, this depiction of gay life in modern China is an intense, fascinating take on a culture in flux.

 

14649555The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

When Cam’s parents die, she is perversely relieved…relieved that they never had to find out that she had kissed a girl. Then her holy roller aunt comes to town, and life gets *really* complicated.

 


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Author Event: Hallie Ephron

Nevins Library Presents:

 Hallie Ephron

July 10th @ 6:30pm

Please join us as we welcome New York Times Best Selling author Hallie Ephron to the Nevins Library!

Hallie will be here to talk about her latest book, You’ll Never Know, DearPublisher’s Weekly said this book is an “engaging portrait of three generations of bickering, bull-headed, but loving women challenged to become their bravest and best selves.” A little about the book:

Lissie Woodham was only seven years old when her little sister Janey disappeared. They had been in the front yard, playing with their dolls, custom creations made for them by their mother Miss Sorrel, a famous dollmaker. Lissie wandered off for a moment. When she returned to the yard, Janey was gone, and so was her doll.

Now an adult with a college-aged daughter of her own, Lis has never stopped blaming herself for what happened, and it continues to haunt her. Every year on the anniversary of Janey’s disappearance, Miss Sorrel places a classified ad in the local papers with a picture of Janey’s one-of-a-kind doll, offering a cash reward for its return. Never, in all these years, has anyone brought her a doll that could be Janey’s—until now. Four decades after Janey went missing, a woman responds to the ad with a broken porcelain doll.

What begins as a small clue in a tragic cold case turns into something far more sinister. The women in Miss Sorrel’s family may be in danger, because whoever knows the truth about what happened all those years ago will do anything to keep it hidden.

Ms. Ephron is also the author of Night Night, Sleep Tight and four other mystery books.

Copies of her books will be available for purchase and signing. 

Refreshments will be available.

To register for this program, click here.

For more information, contact Sarah   978-686-4080 x20   ssullivan@nevinslibrary.org


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Pairing books and music

There are lots of good articles out there pairing books and music. The Guardian has one. So do BookRiot and Flavorwire. But now we have one of our own, and it’s the best!

 

The Stand by Stephen King / “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

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Stephen King is a notorious music aficionado, and he often adds soundtracks to his books in the form of music within the story. However, even when he doesn’t, his dark, evocative tales of terror inspire certain moods. The Stand is the tale of a plague and the supernatural threat that follows in the form of Randall Flagg, embodiment of all human evil. Flagg is a master at convincing mortals to bargain away their souls in exchange for luxuries or security, and as such, strongly evokes the haunting melody “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Listen and tremble.

 

 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath / “Where Is My Mind” by the Pixies

plath04

“Where Is My Mind” is best known for being the theme song to Fight Club, the nineties movie about men fighting masculinity by fighting other men and…yeah, it kind of breaks down once you start to think about it. Personally, I think it would have been a much better pairing with The Bell Jar, where Plath’s protagonist struggles against her own looming insanity.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood / “Evelyn” by Kim Tillman and Silent Film

51nwvn-wm6l-_sx323_bo1204203200_

Chronicling both the aftermath of a disaster and a twisted love triangle involving genetic engineering, Oryx and Crake will rock you a little. What does it mean to be human when humanity can build itself better? Can we engineer away our baser urges and destructive instincts? Protagonist Crake thinks so, but, of course, the reader – and Kim Tillman – may be less optimistic by the end.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon / “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay

history-of-the-decline-and-fa

Most people don’t read Decline these days unless they have to for a class, and that’s a shame. There’s a reason it’s a classic! Rome was the original blueprint for Western society, and we basically still follow their model. Reading about it can be…well, a little spooky. “Viva la Vida” could broadly apply to French, British, or American imperial ambitions, but it all comes down to Rome in the end.