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Engaging Methuen Readers


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New from Nevins: The Internet in a Box

So you know about the telescope. And the Binge Boxes. And the charging cables. What, you may be asking, will the library lend next? How will they top a telescope? Cake decorating supplies? Puppies? Actual money?

That’s small potatoes. Any library can do that stuff. We here at Methuen have our eyes on the prize. Fellow humans, I humbly present…the Internet!

 

Yup, that’s what it looks like. The whole entire Internet. Cute, right?

Actually, that’s not the whole Internet. I was just kidding! That’s just free, unfettered wifi access to the whole Internet that you can use without additional charges to your data plan or account. It has a range of about 50 feet and a battery life of several days.

If you have a Methuen library card, you can borrow this piece of sliced gold for three weeks. Yes, three. Whole. Weeks. If you’re not sure what to do with this modern phenomenon, then we have just a few ideas for you.

Go on a picnic

389286No longer are your World of Wizardcraft tournaments limited to the indoors. Get your geek on out in the real world! Whether you’re working, playing, or just don’t want to burn up your data plan out in nature, your solution is borrow a hotspot.

Just don’t forget that Interneting with the birds and the sunshine is hard work. You’ll work up an appetite for sure! While you’re in getting your hotspot, grab a copy of John Madden’s classic tailgating cookbook to help you prepare.

See the world country

From sea to shining sea, the hotspot will transport you to the world of the Internet. Take it1649533
to the Wild West or Las Vegas! Take it on the road and run your streaming music app on it. Or carry it in your pocket and check your map data-free as you explore your vacation destination.

There is, alas, one caveat: the hotspot will only work within the U.S. where there is T-Mobile coverage. Don’t worry. There are other ways to have fun while you see the world.

Make a statement

1588286Whether you’re selling Girl Scout cookies or peacefully presenting your opinion in the company of a thousand of your closest friends, a little wifi goes a long way. At Town Hall meetings, at farmshare coops, and at popup art demonstrations, our hotspot will be your buddy. Go ahead and livetweet that event!

While you’re at it, take inspiration from our online collection. You can download I am Malala through OverDrive, our digital book downloading service.

Be the life of the party

Ever host an event at a venue that doesn’t have wifi? If you have, then you know the misery that can ensue. You also may know the pain of hosting a neighborhood get-together and handing your home wifi password out to just one person who really, really 396450needs it. The next thing you know, you’re sharing your wifi with everyone.

Don’t just borrow a wifi hotspot for situations like these. Present it with etiquette fit for the 21st century. This is one situation where using the Internet to read up on something probably won’t work. Because, y’know, it’s the Internet. (If you disagree, by all means, please comment below. Don’t hold back!) If manners maketh man, then Miss Manners maketh a successful party.


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Tales from the Home of the World’s Worst Weather!

The Nevins Library presents:

Tales from the Home of the World’s Worst Weather!

Thursday,  March 30, 2017   7:00 PM  –  8:30 PM

While many places on Earth experience severe weather, few are inhabited by humans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Mount Washington Observatory has been operating a continuously-staffed scientific outpost on this remote peak since 1932, providing the Observatory many remarkable stories and an intimate knowledge of the mountain.   They have amassed one of North America’s longest continuous climate records, and developed an intimate understanding of the place known as the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather.”

Click here to register for this interesting program or call 978-686-4080 x 16.

For more information on what it’s like at the Mount Washington Observatory, check out

Among the clouds: work, wit & wild weather at the Mount Washington Observatory  by Eric Pinder; [foreword by Mish Michaels]


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Eyes on the Sky

Did you know that Nevins Library is now loaning a telescope kit? It’s true! We’re loaning a giant box of optical wonder complete with a real live telescope, an instruction book, a pair of binoculars, and a couple of pillows in case you get tired. Stargazing does tend to happen quite late at night.

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The telescope, snugly nestled in its bin, waiting for you to borrow it

There’s a wait list right now, but the sooner you get on it, the sooner you can get your star

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The telescope, ready to stargaze

fix. Contact us about that. Meanwhile, here are a few things you can look for when you turn your gaze to the heavens above us. Or, since we’re really just riding a tiny sphere that is screaming pell mell through the endless void of space, the heavens that are all around us. All the time. Even when we can’t see them through the comforting blue illusion that is our sky.

Enjoy!

Constellations

In the olden days, before TV, people still wanted to watch “Adventure Time” all night. That’s when we first cast our eyes starward and made up awesome stories about all the rad dudes and dudettes who lived in the sky. This was, like, the nineties. We didn’t know any better.

1068424Today, we still look at constellations because sometimes Netflix is slow. Start with Robin Scagell and David Frydman’s Stargazing with Binoculars, your all-in-one guide to observing the universe from an ocularly enhanced perspective. Of course, for more lore about the stars themselves, you might want to check out Mike Lynch’s Minnesota Star Watch, a vividly colorful book that will give you a thing or two to look at in the night sky.

Planets

The word “planet” originally meant “wanderer.” That’s because, while stars always appear to be in the same positions relative to one another night after night, the planets zip around the sky in predictable, but more dramatic, patterns. They’re also impossibly beautiful and pristine otherworlds, powerful testaments to the grandeur of nature. And humans might live there someday. Think about that. Someday, 966360the majestic desolation of Mars could have dog parks and McDonalds and registries of motor vehicles and smog.

But until you can drive through Olympus Mons for a spaceburger, learn about the planets with Dava Sobol’s The Planets, a journey through the solar system that doesn’t even require you to leave your chair. Sobol is also a fantastic writer who will keep you gazing at the page for as long as you’ll gaze at the planets.

The Past and Future of our Universe

Did you know that when you look at the stars, you’re looking into the past? It’s true! Light itself takes a long time to travel from the far-flung reaches of the universe, meaning that when it reaches your eyes it’s been on the road for long enough that it’s definitely run out of car games and music. (Our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, is four years away if you’re traveling at the speed of light. We estimate that light from this star listens to Dizzy Up the Girl by the Goo Goo Dolls over 94 million times over the course of its trip to your 667725eyeball. Do not judge its musical tastes. It’s been out of the loop for a while.)

And if that blows your mind, think about this: when does that light ever stop? And what happens when it does?

The universe is a wild and wooly place, and a telescope is only the key to its box of wonders. Stephen Hawking is on hand to explain it to you in The Universe in a Nutshell, and if you want more of the crazy awesomeness that is reality, check out Simon Singh’s The Big Bang: the origin of the universe, too.

Aliens

Yes, aliens! Statistically speaking, they’re out there somewhere, but why the big hush? Where are our interstellar neighbors? Are we not forthcoming enough with the welcome 1220933cookies?

Maybe not. According to Paul Davies, chairman of the SETI Post-Detection Task Group, the lack of contact with alien life could mean any number of things. He lays it all out in his book, The Eerie Silence. In it, he does not suggest cookies. However, in my humble experience, a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. If you happen to see any interstellar visitors while gazing into the night sky, remember that. Aliens deserve a welcome wagon, too.

 

 

Contact the Nevins Memorial Library to reserve the telescope today!


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Author Event: Peter Swanson

Nevins Library Presents:

 Peter Swanson

Saturday March 25th, 1-2:30pm

Please join us as we welcome author Peter Swanson to the Nevins Library!  His most recent thriller is Her Every Fear.

A bit about the book:

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life. Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own — curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London. When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves — until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

Come and meet Peter Swanson, and listen as he reads from the book and talks a bit about it.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

To register for this program, click here.

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

 


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LibraryReads January 2017: top ten books librarians love!

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March 2017  LibraryReads List

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley:  A Novel

by Hannah Tinti

Published:3/28/2017 by The Dial Press
ISBN: 9780812989885

“Meet Samuel Hawley, a man in a constant struggle with his violent past, doing the best he can to raise his daughter.  Meet Loo, his daughter, a girl with an obscure past and an uncertain future, on the cusp of adulthood.  And meet Lily, the dead woman who connects them both. In this finely woven novel, the past and the present gradually illuminate the story of a man’s life through the bullet wounds he carries with him and makes readers consider what it is to be both good and evil.”

Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX


 The Women in the Castle: A Novel

by Jessica Shattuck

Published: 3/28/2017 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062563668

“Three German women’s lives are abruptly changed when their husbands are executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. They band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and keep each other standing. Rich in character development, this book is narrated by each of the women, giving us a clear understanding of their sense of loss, inner strength and the love they have for each other. This story examines the human side of war, where the lines are blurred between hero and victim.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


The Wanderers

by Meg Howrey

Published: 3/14/2017 by Putnam
ISBN: 9780399574634

“A private space exploration company is mounting a manned mission to Mars. To prepare for the actual event, the company plans an elaborate training program to match the conditions and potential problems the team might face. The ordeal, though simulated, is no less dramatic for the astronauts, their families, and the crew. The lines cross between fiction and reality and none of the participants is left unchanged. Part literary fiction, part sci-fi, all amazing.”

Marie Byars, Sno-Isle Libraries, Oak Harbor, WA


The Bone Witch

by Rin Chupeco

Published: 3/7/2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781492635826

“Fifteen-year-old Tea discovers that she has a power that sets her apart from the other witches in her village and will incur their hatred. She is a “bone witch” who can raise the dead. Aware that a darkness is coming, Tea agrees to leave her home and family so she can learn to save the very people who hate her. Her training, outlined in rich and fascinating detail, includes the courtly arts of singing and dancing, as well as classes in fighting. Told in short chapters, Tea reflects on her life, revealing how she becomes a courageous warrior. Although written for young adults, this will equally appeal to adults. The cliff-hanger ending will make readers eager for the promised sequel.”

Trisha Perry, Oldham County Public Library, Lagrange, KY


The Hearts of Men: A Novel

by Nickolas Butler

Published: 3/7/2017 by Ecco
ISBN: 9780062469687

“In the summer of 1962, we are introduced to popular Jonathan and social outcast, Nelson, aka ‘The Bugler.’ The only thing the two seem to have in common is that they both spend a few weeks of one summer at Camp Chippewa in the woods of Wisconsin. Yet, over the course of decades, their lives and the lives of those they love the fiercest are intertwined.  This wonderful novel peels back the layers of male friendship and shows what loyalty, compassion, and selflessness looks like.”

Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien CT


Eggshells

by Caitriona Lally

Published: 3/14/2017 by Melville House
ISBN: 9781612195971

“Whimsical and different, this novel’s humor hooked me.  Vivian is an eccentric, living in Dublin and searching for a place where she can feel she belongs. How can you help but love a character who checks every wardrobe for Narnia and every yellow road for an Emerald City?  This novel movingly explores the outcasts and the different among us, showing that they are only hoping to fit in and find a friend.”

Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT


Say Nothing: A Novel

by Brad Parks

Published: 3/7/2017 by Dutton
ISBN: 9781101985595

“Fans of crime fiction and fans of domestic drama will find much to love in Parks’ genre-blending thriller. Judge Scott Sampson is a devoted family man and a respected jurist thrown into every parent’s worst nightmare: his 6-year-old twins are kidnapped, and the kidnappers blackmail Scott into increasingly immoral legal decisions. Cue marital meltdown, ethical dilemmas, paranoia, and a thrill ride that suspense lovers will race through to learn what happens next. It’s a departure from the author’s lightly snarky Carter Ross series, but a welcome one for readers of Harlan Coben and Gregg Hurwitz.”

Donna Matturri, Pickertington Public Library, Pickerington, OH


The Stranger in the Woods:
The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

by Michael Finkel

Published: 3/7/2017 by Knopf
ISBN: 9781101875681

“There are three types of hermits in the world, according to Finkel: protesters, pilgrims, and pursuers. But Christopher Knight doesn’t seem to fit any of these categories. So why, at the age of 20, did he drive into a forest in Maine and disappear for 27 years, his only human interaction a single ‘hi’ with a passing hiker? This book uses the incredible but true story of Knight, ‘the last true hermit,’ to explore themes of solitude, introversion and the meaning of life.”

Megan Tristao, San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA


The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

by Lisa See

Published: 3/21/2017 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781501154829

“Li-Yan and her family, devote their lives to farming tea. Like her mother, Li-Yan is being groomed to become a midwife in her Chinese village. She yearns for more and is allowed to pursue her schooling. The arrival of outsiders seeking the Pu’er tea of Yunnan brings the modern world into this isolated village. When Li-Yan finds herself alone and pregnant, she leaves her child, wrapped with a tea cake, at an orphanage. Her daughter is adopted by a couple from California, but she is drawn to the study of tea. A sweeping historical novel that juxtaposes ancient China with its modern incarnation.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA


 If Not For You: A Novel

by Debbie Macomber

Published: 3/21/2017 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780553391961

“High school music teacher, Beth, and tattooed auto mechanic, Sam, are set up by mutual friends, but neither sees a relationship developing. Their mutual disinterest quickly turns into friendship and then develops into much more. Just as their romantic relationship truly begins, Beth’s controlling mother and Sam’s hidden past get in the way and threaten to break them apart. As fans have grown to expect from Macomber, this tale tugs the heartstrings in every direction but is ultimately uplifting. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her characters.”

Jenna Friebel, Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

Courtesy of LibraryReads.org


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Dystopias, Police States, and Other Uplifting Tales

Ever find yourself or your society sliding inexorably backward toward a dystopian hellscape reminiscent of Europe’s Medieval Dark Ages? Ever feel like the forces arrayed on the horizon of liberty are gathering like the coming of a long and merciless storm? Ever nurse the simmering fear that you might rise one morning to find that you no longer draw free breath, say free words, think free thoughts?

Buddy, you’re too serious! What you need is a good old dose of catharsis. Try these gut-busters. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll have something to talk about during your mandatory annual loyalty test.

 

1984 by George Orwell449585

OK, you knew I was going to say it. You did. But seriously, have you actually read it?

Go do it. I’ll wait.

 

 

1488284Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

If your system isn’t good for people, change the people. It’s efficient! In a warped future America, mass-produced citizens inhabit pre-made social strata, kept there by brainwashing, genetic engineering, and physical reward. However, like all precision machines, a grain of sand in these works can initiate a total system breakdown. When an outsider penetrates the mechanics of this Brave New World, it will show itself to be anything but.

 

 

Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller, Jr.1047211.jpg

The end of the world has already come. Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse. Society is gone, replaced by a social system deathly afraid of the technology that caused the demise of civilization. But in one abbey, a group of dedicated monks preserve the writings of ancient pro-science sage Leibowitz, who may still, one day, become a saint.

 

 

1310034When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Hannah Payne is a criminal. It’s written on her skin, which has been genetically altered to show the world her crime: red, for the murder of her unborn baby. For the crime of abortion, she becomes simultaneously a pariah and the source of entertainment for a world both repelled by and deeply invested in sin. A modern revisioning of The Scarlet Letter!


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8 Books About Chicken Coops

Did you know that there’s solid evidence suggesting that the common domestic chicken is the closest living relative to the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex? It’s true! No wonder they’re such jerks! Let’s invite a whole bunch of them into our lives.

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Backyard projects for today’s homestead

by Chris Gleason

Don’t move: improve! Chicken coops are among the projects here, but you’ll find yourself embarking upon a complete DIY-a-thon if you dare crack its cover. Be warned.

Art of the chicken coop

by Chris Gleason

Yup, this guy again. Turns out that he really knows his stuff. If you and your chickens really want a beautiful coop, this is your first stop. Think of your chickens and their yearning for beauty.

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DIY chicken coops : the complete guide to building your own chicken coop

by John White

This book claims that even a novice woodworker can build a chicken coop. I personally dare you to try.

How to build chicken coops: everything you need to know

by Samantha Johnson and Daniel Johnson

You know that this one’s legit because it’s backed by the Future Farmers of America, an educational group that helps young people enter the rewarding profession of farming. See that kid on the cover? She has literally forgotten more about chicken coops than you know right now. Not after you read this book, though!

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Building chicken coops for dummies

by Todd Brock, Dave Zook, and Rob Ludlow

Yup, there’s a For Dummies about this. Come on, it’s a chicken coop! How hard can it be? (She says, ignorantly.)

Chicken coops: 45 building plans for housing your flock

by Judy Pangman

No two coops should be alike. If you and your neighbors all get in on this, you might be able to build every one of these cute and innovative designs. Your only other alternative is to go into business. Sorry, you now know too much about chicken coops to back out.

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Reinventing the chicken coop : 14 original designs with step-by-step building instructions

by Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe

Fourteen? Just fourteen? Before you scoff, consider how badly you want a modern art version of a chicken coop. For the conceptual performance artist who also likes breakfast.

Backyard chickens’ guide to coops and tractors

from BackYardChickens.com

At this point, if you don’t know how to build a chicken coop, then there’s nothing more I can do for you. Godspeed, and may free-range options present themselves to you in droves.

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