Engaging Methuen Readers

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LibraryReads July 2020: top ten books librarians love!


 July 2020 LibraryReads List

Cover image for Peace TalksPeace Talks

by Jim Butcher

ISBN:  9780451464415

“Eagerly awaited by wizard Harry Dresden’s legion of fans, this 16th book in the series is definitely worth the wait. Wonderful scenes feature magical illusions, and many familiar characters return for peace talks in Chicago. Not much is peaceful for Harry, as the wizards might kick him off the White Council, faerie Queen Mab wants him to do a couple of favors for vampire Lara, and Harry’s half-brother is in prison after an assassination attempt. For series fans of The Hollows, The Iron Druid Chronicles, and The Nightside.

Brenda O’Brien, Woodridge Public Library, Woodridge, IL
NoveList read-alike: The Arcadia Project series by Mishell Bake

Boyfriend Material

by Alexis Hall

Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN:  9781728206141

“Incredibly proper Oliver and drama-laden Luc are extreme opposites. Despite a case of annoyance at first sight, the two antagonists reluctantly agree that faking a relationship might help each of them out of a bind. Hall crafts a well-paced relationship that will have readers completely invested in a happy ever after. Perfect for fans of If I Never Met You and Red, White, and Royal Blue.”

Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library,Huntington Station, NY
NoveList read-alike: Jilted by Lilah Suzann

Crooked Hallelujah

by Kelli Jo Ford

Grove Press
ISBN: 9780802149121

“A well-crafted story of identity, survival, and loyalty that explores the terrain of love and heartbreak, loss and displacement for four generations of Native American women across four decades. Finding their own sources of strength, these proud, fierce women magnetically draw the reader in. For readers who enjoy Louise Erdrich and Diane Glancy.”

Janet Schneider, Peninsula Public Library, Lawrence, NY
NoveList read-alike: Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobso

The Heir Affair

by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 9781538715918

“This sequel to The Royal We follows Nick and Bex through the first years of their marriage–a challenging time for anyone, let alone a royal couple whose wedding was disrupted by a sex scandal.  As they settle into their new home, they uncover a secret that could change the future of Britain. Fans of Royal Wedding (Cabot) and Royals (Hawkins) will enjoy this funny and sensitive novel.”

Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, SC
NoveList read-alike: American Royals by Katherine McGee

Cover image for The Lost and Found BookshopThe Lost and Found Bookshop: A Novel

by Susan Wiggs

William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062914095

“Personal tragedy turns Natalie’s life upside down and leads her back to her childhood home,including her family’s beloved homegrown bookstore. Natalie faces the decline of her grandfather’s health, a building in need of repair, and a business in the red but also finds unexpected love. Give to readers who liked How to Find Love in a Bookshop and The Readers of Broken Wheel.”

Joyce Livingston, Collinsville Community Library,Brogue, PA
NoveList read-alike: The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

Memorial DriveMemorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir

by Natasha Trethewey

ISBN:  9780062248572

“Explores the author’s relationship with her mother, piecing together events that led up to her mother’s murder at the hands of her stepfather. For fans of No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder and The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson.”

Mary Bell, Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham, MA
NoveList read-alike: Blood by Allison Moorer

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-LondonOne to Watch:  A Novel

by Kate Stayman-London

Dial Press Trade
ISBN: 9780525510444

“In this hilarious and poignant rom-com debut, Bea Schumacher is a highly influential, body positive, heartbroken fashion blogger, who one day writes a blistering, viral, blog post about the lack of diversity on her favorite reality tv dating show, Main Squeeze. For readers who enjoyed Bridget Jones’s Diary and Me Before You.”

Ann-Marie Anderson, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, OR
NoveList read-alike: Insert Groom Here by K.M. Jackson

Cover image for The Only Good IndiansThe Only Good Indians

by Stephen Graham Jones

Sage Press
ISBN: 9781982136451

“An own voices horror novel that begins with four young Native American men on a hunting trip that will haunt each of them in unimaginable ways. For fans of Owl Goingback’s Coyote Rage.”

Sarah Fetzer, West Palm Beach City Library, West Palm Beach, FL
NoveList read-alike: Boy in the Box by Marc E. Fit


Cover image for Survivor SongSurvivor Song: A Novel

by Paul Tremblay

ISBN:  9780062679161

“The gripping story opens with a rampant strain of virus (in this case rabies), followed by quarantines, lockdowns, fear, and irrational behavior. It hits alarmingly close to home. For fans of Severance by Ling Ma and Contagion by Robin Cook.”

Sandra Woodbury, Burlington Public Library, Burlington, MA
NoveList read-alike: Sealed by Naomi Booth


Cover image for What you wish forWhat You Wish For: A Novel

by Katherine Center

St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250219367

“Sam thought the dynamic Duncan Carpenter was out of her life forever, until he returns to the school at which she’s a librarian and makes her think she might just get her happily ever after. For fans of JoJo Moyes and Rebecca Serle.”

Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, NC
NoveList read-alike: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren


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Adult Summer Reading Program 2020

The children get a Summer Reading Program with prizes, and so do the teens.  Now it’s time for the adults…

We are going digital this year for the Summer Reading Program for Adults at Nevins Library!

The main parts of the program remain the same:

Read, or listen to, a book each week of the program and get a chance to win a gift card!

The program will start July 6th and run for 6 weeks (until Aug 16th) – so there are 6 chances to win!

To participate, simply click this link and fill out the form!

It will ask for your name, how to contact you, which week you are entering, and the title and author of a book you read or listened to during the week.

Don’t have a computer? That’s okay. Call the library at 978-686-4080 and press 2 for the Main Desk. Be prepared to answer the same questions as above – we’re happy to enter you into the drawing.

Each drawing will take place on Monday morning of the next week. For example, enter your books for week #1 anytime during July 6th – July 12th, and we will draw the Week #1 winner on Monday, July 13th (the start of week #2).  The gift cards are from local establishments and provided by the Friends of the Nevins Library.

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

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Author Event: J. Courtney Sullivan

Come join us on Zoom as we hear J. Courtney Sullivan discuss her new novel, Friends and Strangers, in conversation with WBUR’s Robin Young.

Tuesday July 14th at 7pm with Zoom

From the best-selling author of Maine and Saints for All OccasionsJ. Courtney Sullivan’s Friends and Strangers is an insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life…A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.

ROBIN YOUNG brings more than 25 years of broadcast experience to her role as host of Here & Now. She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has also reported for NBC, CBS and ABC television and for several years was substitute host and correspondent for The Today Show.

Make sure to register for this very special event, HERE.   This event is in partnership with libraries in the Merrimack Valley and beyond, as well as Haley Booksellers.

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Calling All Local Teens!

No photo description available.Calling All Local Teens!

Have you seen the Nevins Library Young Adult Facebook page recently?

Even when our building is closed, our Teen Services Librarian, Alison, has been working hard to provide you with many online programs, activities, and fun reading suggestions this summer.

Don’t be left out, follow the NL Young Adult  Facebook page to keep informed about upcoming programs, news from the library, new materials to check out, and fun stuff related to YA literature and pop culture.

Recent events have included Netflix watch parties (links provided), a poetry contest, ongoing writing workshops, trivia, and sign-ups for the Summer Reading Challenge.

For any questions on, or suggestions for, teen services, contact Alison at

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LibraryReads: Hall of Fame June 2020

LibraryReads Hall of Fame:  June 2020

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.

Alpha Night

by Nalini Singh

ISBN:  978-1984803627

“This continuation of the Psy-Changeling series features the shapeshifting wolves of Moscow and their pack alpha, Selenka, but it also brings back many characters from previous books. Another enjoyable, fast-paced paranormal romance from Singh.”

Cathy Shields, East Lyme Public Library, Niantic, CT

Read-alike: The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston
Read-alike: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Read-alike: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Read-alike: The Last Wolf by Maria Vale

Cover image for DANCE AWAY WITH ME.Dance Away With Me:  a novel

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

William Morrow
ISBN:  978-0062973054

“Phillips’ slow-burn romance centers around a grieving young widow who is drawn into the life of a frustrated artist. The story’s darker turns are lightened by humor drawn from the small-town Tennessee setting. Highly recommended.”

Rose Miller, Orange Public Library, Orange, CA

Read-alike: Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman
Read-alike: Blackberry Summer by RaeAnne Thayne
Read-alike: Sanctuary Cove by Rochelle Alers

Cover image for The DilemmaThe Dilemma

by B.A. Paris

St. Martin’s Press
ISBN:  978-1250151360

“If you knew something that was certain to change everything, would you keep it a secret to hold on to tranquility for one more day? Paris’ driving narrative, alternating between the perspectives of a husband and wife, guarantees your book group will be divided over this very question.”

Lorri Steinbacher, Ridgewood Public Library, Ridgewood, NJ

Read-alike: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
Read-alike: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
Read-alike: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Home Before DarkHome Before Dark: a novel

by Riley Sager

ISBN:  978-1524745172

“Maggie’s father wrote a famous book about the family’s paranormal experiences when she was a child living at Baneberry Hall. Twenty-six years later she returns to the house to finally face what happened long ago. This suspenseful and compelling book keeps you guessing to the very end.”

Ashley Borer, Normal Memorial Library, Fayette, OH

Read-alike: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Read-alike: The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott
Read-alike: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

Party of Two

by Jasmine Guillory

ISBN:  978-0593100813

“In the fifth book of the Wedding Date series, sparks fly between a smart, independent lawyer and a charming, impulsive senator. Guillory thoughtfully incorporates serious issues into her books while keeping the tone light and uplifting. Sweet, sexy, and a lot of fun.”

Jayme Hughes-Gartin, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, OH

Read-alike: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Read-alike: Rumor Has It by Cheris F. Hodges
Read-alike: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Read-alike: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Read-alikes provided by NoveList and the LibraryReads community.

Courtesy of LibraryReads Hall of Fame Authors

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Virtual Author Program: Nancy Thayer

The Nevins Library welcomes back Nancy Thayer!

We love Nancy and are so glad to spend some time with her online!

Nancy will be joining us via Zoom to discuss her latest novel, GIRLS OF SUMMER (available for purchase 5/26) on

Wednesday July 8, 2020 06:30 PM  Eastern Time (US and Canada)


One life-changing summer on Nantucket brings about exhilarating revelations for a single mother and her two grown children in this sensational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.

Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly–and very handsome–local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior. Lisa’s children worry about the potential for their mother to suffer another broken heart, all while finding complicated potential romances of their own. As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

To join us in this special Zoom event, you must click here to register.  You will then receive your invitation link to the event.  For questions or further information, contact Sarah Sullivan at 978-686-4080 x16 or

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LibraryReads June 2020: top ten books librarians love!


 June 2020 LibraryReads List

Mexican Gothic

by  Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Del Ray
ISBN:  9780525620785

“A perfect gothic mystery with an updated sensibility that will appeal to the modern
reader. Noemí is a Mexico City socialite in the 1950s. When her father receives a
disturbing letter from his niece, he sends Noemí to check on her cousin at the remote house where she is living–a grotesque and rotting English-style mansion, built on dirt imported from England by the colonialist eugenicist family she has married into. Lush descriptions and the creepy atmosphere make this a good choice for readers who liked The Witch Elm, The Little Stranger, or The Haunting of Hill House.

Lorena Neal, Evanston Public Library, Evanston, IL
NoveList read-alike: The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

The Boyfriend Project

by Farrah Rochon

ISBN:  9781538716625

“In this contemporary romance, three women who were two-timed by the same man become friends. The unique, funny premise cleverly serves as a catalyst for why the women are trying to make changes in their lives. The romance is lovely and finds ways in which the couple struggles to be together. Give this to fans of Mia Sosa and Alisha Rai.”

Ann Carpenter, Brooks Free Library, Harwich, MA
NoveList read-alike: The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Cover image for Devolution :Devolution:  A Firsthand Account of the
Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

by Max Brooks

Random House
ISBN: 9781984826787

 “Nobody imagines the end of the world quite like Brooks! Here he takes a group of privileged idealists, sets them in a beautiful utopia where they can escape the headaches of the city but suffer none of the inconveniences, and then brutally removes all the comforts they expect to be delivered. Throw in some hungry Sasquatch and things get really interesting. For fans of Blake Crouch and Jeff VanderMeer.”

Amy Hall, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO
NoveList read-alike: The Abominable by Dan Simmons

Cover image for The Empire of GoldThe Empire of Gold: a novel

by S.A. Chakraborty

Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062678164

“This is a story about colonialism and cycles of trauma, giving an in depth look at the politics and psychology of a land warred over by ethnic factions for centuries. Highly recommended to anyone looking for an imaginative fantasy with complex characters, well developed relationships, and insightful social commentary. For readers who enjoy N.K. Jemisin and Tasha Suri.”

Lauren Mitchell, Neenah Public Library, Neenah, WI
NoveList read-alike: Books of Ambha by Tasha Suri

The Girl From Widow Hills: A Novel

by Megan Miranda

Simon & Schuster
ISBN:  9781501165429

“Miranda returns with another engrossing psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The story is primarily told from Olivia’s unreliable perspective. News reports, book excerpts, and other media are also used to fill out the story, which keeps the plot moving. For fans of Conviction (Mina) and The Other Mrs. (Kubica).”

Megan Coleman, Cecil County Public Library, Elkton, MD
NoveList read-alike: Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

The Guest List: a novel

by Lucy Foley

William Morrow
ISBN:  9780062868930

“A wedding celebration on a remote island off the coast of Ireland turns eerie and
nightmarish in this gothic atmospheric mystery. A good choice for fans of Ruth Ware.”

Bill Anderson, Scott CountyPublic Library, Scottsburg, IN
NoveList read-alike: Go To My Grave by Catriona McPherson


The Last Flight: a novel

by Julie Clark

Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 9781728215723

“Claire and Eva both have reasons for wanting to disappear, so when they happen upon each other at the airport, they decide to take the other person’s flight. However, when one of the planes crashes, the danger they thought they were leaving isn’t far behind. For readers who enjoyed The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine and The Passenger by Lisa Lutz.”

Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL
NoveList read-alike: Layover by David Bell

Cover image for LIES THAT BIND.The Lies That Bind: a novel

by Emily Giffin

ISBN: 9780399178955

“Cecily is fresh off a break up and meets a “too good to be true” stranger in a local dive bar. For fans of Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.”

Stephanie Hall, Topeka Public Library, Topeka, KS
NoveList read-alike: Ghosted by Rosie Walsh


Cover image for Take a Hint, Dani BrownTake a Hint, Dani Brown: a novel

by Talia Hibbert

ISBN:  9780062941237

“Dani and Zaf have been low-key flirting forever when a gallant moment is turned into a viral video and the pressure is on for these two to become a couple. This is a fabulously fun and meta take on a classic romance trope, the fake relationship. For fans of The Wedding Date and The Kiss Quotient.”

Jessica Trotter, Capital Area District Libraries, Lansing, MI
NoveList read-alike: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Cover image for The Vanishing HalfThe Vanishing Half:  a novel

by Brit Bennett

ISBN:  9780525536291

“Centering on two twin light-skinned black girls who grew up in a strange town in the Jim Crow south, this book explores racism, colorism, sexism, and familial relationships through the interweaving storylines of vivid and complicated characters. For fans of Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson.”

Pamela Gardner, Medfield Public Library, Medfield, MA
NoveList read-alike: A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton


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Bookish Confessions: the right book at the right time

I checked out Lev Grossman’s The Magicians from the library five times.  Not because I loved it so much and wanted to re-read it, but because it just didn’t “take” on tries one through four.  What kind of an idiot wastes their time trying to read a book, voluntarily, over and over again without getting into it, especially when there is access to an almost infinite number of other interesting books?  A book nerd.  A very determined book nerd.  A book nerd who is studying readers’ advisory and has had the famous phrase “the right book for the right person at the right time” drilled into them.

When it came out in 2009, The Magicians garnered rave reviews from professional journals and readers alike, as a noteworthy literary fantasy for adults.  That sounds great, said I, and picked up the book, only to return it largely unread.  Maybe it will catch my attention more if I read it in the winter, I thought?  Nope.  Over the years, several friends and colleagues suggested it to me as a book I would like.  Yes, but no. I guess it was just the wrong time.

Cut to the pandemic of 2020 and stay-at-home orders…I’m working from home and have The Magicians at hand.  With no reading pressures on me and time to spare, I finally found the right book at the right time.  I am a little over halfway through the book and all indicators point to a satisfactory finish in the next week.  All I had to do to get into the book was wait for a world-wide pandemic.  Who knew?

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In the Garden

If you are like me and are seeking solace in gardening, you may be chomping at the bit to start planting vegetables and flowers.  New England’s Spring weather is iffy at best, and this April was the coldest on record, complete with frost warnings and even snow.  Cold weather vegetables can be cautiously planted earlier in the Spring, but traditionally, New England gardeners wait until after Memorial Day to start planting their warm weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  The following are some books (ebook and print) that can help inspire you and answer your gardening questions.  Ready, set, go — get your hands dirty!

Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening by Deborah Martin
A beginner’s guide to starting a healthy garden.  This is a classic in the field!

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
Ten new features in this all new updated edition.  Anyone anywhere can enjoy a square foot garden!

Pollinator Friendly Gardening by Rhonda Fleming Hayes
Gardening for Bees, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators.  Help protect threatened butterflies, bees and other pollinators and have an alluring colorful garden, too.  It’s a “win-win” solution!

Container Gardening Secrets: tips for the beginner by Danielle Long
A great tool that will help the novice gardener to learn the techniques that are required to have a successful container garden. It is also a great text for those who have limited or no garden space that wants to grow some vegetables and herbs for home consumption or simply want to add some color to their home with some great flowers.

Grow Food for Free by Huw Richards
The sustainable, zero-cost, low-effort way to a bountiful harvest.  Grow your own vegetables from kitchen scraps!

Covering Ground by Barbara Ellis Unexpected ideas for landscaping with colorful, low-maintenance ground covers.  A pretty, practical and sustainable way to transform your ordinary lawn.

All titles are available in ebook format through Overdrive or it’s app, Libby