Engaging Methuen Readers

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Civil War Femme Fatales

When you think of the Civil War, do you think of the crafty women who infiltrated enemy lines, risking their lives to pierce the fog of war and retrieve secrets for their side? No? Why on Earth not? The Civil War was all about female espionage. Here are seven fantastic titles, fiction and non-, about the femme fatales of the Civil War.

Cover image for Liar, temptress, soldier, spy :Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: four women undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

This book follows four women as they hide their identities and take a big risk. As gripping as fiction, this true life story is an ideal book club pick.


Cover image for The spymistress :The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini

Elizabeth van Lew is a Union sympathizer in a Confederate land. Using her education and wits, she’s able to do a lot for the Richmond underground…and the political prisoners being held by the rebels!


Cover image for An extraordinary unionAn Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Most people would just be happy to have their freedom after a life begun in slavery. Not Elle Burns! She turns spy and discovers that espionage comes with its share of romantic entanglements in this work of romantic fiction.


Cover image for Stealing secrets :Stealing Secrets: how a few daring women deceived generals, impacted battles, and altered the course of the Civil War by H. Donald Winkler

Did you know that one of the ways that women smuggled war secrets out from behind enemy lines was by concealing them in their hoop skirts? It’s true! All those details and more come to vivid life in this nonfiction book.


Cover image for All the daring of the soldier :All the Daring of the Soldier: women of the Civil War armies by Elizabeth D. Leonard

In an era when the best women could hope for was the life of a servant, many felt that spying was a more stimulating career option. Exploding myths and painting vivid portraits, this nonfiction book is a must-read.


Miss Lizzie's War: The Double Life of Southern Belle Spy Elizabeth Van LewMiss Lizzie’s War: the double life of southern belle spy Elizabeth Van Lew by Rosemary Agonito

This is the spy upon whom Chiaverini’s The Spymistress is based! She was an actual person and her true-to-life story is all written down here, including the clever strategies that she used to aid the Union Army.


Cover image for Wild Rose :Wild Rose: Rose O’Neale Greenhow, Civil War spy by Ann Blackman

Using her Washington connections, this spy for the Confederacy charmed secrets from Union officials as easily as a wave of her fan.

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2019-2020 Nevins Library Book Group Schedule

It’s that time of year again…back to school for kids and back to book clubs for adults!

Do you enjoy reading books? Or want to find new and different books to read? Join one of Nevins Library’s Adult Book Clubs!

We have books in a variety of different genres and topics that the clubs and groups read. More information about all of the Book Groups can be found on our website (with descriptions and sometimes the books/themes we’ll be reading).

And the dates that they’re happening can be found on our Calendar of Events (and even if you don’t plan on participating in any of the Book Groups, go see the Calendar of Events anyway. It’s awesome!!)

Bestseller Book Group – Meets the 1st Tuesday of Each Month @ 7 PM 

Contact Pat for more information.

Thursday Evening Book Discussion – Meets the 1st Thursday of Each Month @ 7 PM

Contact Krista for more information.

Stranger than Fiction (Non-Fiction) Book Group – Meets the 2nd Monday of Each Month @ 7 PM

Contact Tatjana for more information

LGBT Book Discussions – Meets the 2nd Thursday of Each Month @ 7 PM

Contact Krista for more information

Sociable Seniors – Meets the last Friday of Each Month @ 10 AM

Contact Tracy for more information

Wednesday Afternoon Book Group – Meets the 3rd Wednesday of Each Month @ 1 PM

Contact Sarah for more information

NEW-ish Forever Young-ish Book Group – Meets the 3rd Thursday of Each Month @ 7 PM

Contact Amy for more information.

You can always call us at 978-686-4080 to find out more about any of these groups as well.

We hope to see you at one or more of these if they spark your interest!!

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One Minute Book Review: Sickened

Cover image for Sickened : the memoir of a Munchausen by proxy childhood

Sickened:  the memoir of a Munchausen by proxy childhood by Julie Gregory

Sickened by Julie Gregory tells the story of a young girl, the victim of Munchausen by proxy, and her struggle to survive in an abusive household. This book will capture you from the first few pages, taking you into the life of a child whose sickness is all in her mother’s head. Perfect for anyone looking to learn more about the rare disorder that plagued the life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard among others, Sickness provides a firsthand account of a victim’s experience.

∼ Brianna, Library Page

Sickened: the memoir of a Munchausen by proxy childhood
by Julie Gregory
Bantum Books, 2003

Some Great Black History Month Reads

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Native American Heritage Books: Non-Fiction


Gender, Sexuality and Identity in Non-Fiction

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This gallery contains 12 photos

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Hiking the Camino de Santiago

Hiking the Camino de Santiago

Thursday May 31, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Theresa Fersch in hiking gear in a field of flowersTheresa Fersch didn’t always consider herself an adventurer, but in 2015 she found herself in the middle of rural Spain hiking the Camino de Santiago.


The Camino is a 500-mile pilgrimage traveled by pilgrims for over 1,000 years. It is said to bring great physical, mental and spiritual growth to all who travel its routes and provide continuous examples of kindness, generosity, friendship, and love. The Camino gives people the opportunity to experience life as it is meant to be.

Join us as Theresa shares her own adventures in hiking this famous trail.

She has also written a book about her hike, Sunrise in Spain, and will have it available for purchase.

 To register for this event, CLICK HERE. For more information, contact Danielle at 978-686-4080 x12  or

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A Year in the Life

For those who wonder what it would be like to be an astronaut, a farmer, or to live a year as a man (when you’re a woman) …

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The Library, Comic Books, and Punk Rock


Punk. Comics. Punk and comics. Punk and comics and angsty teens who are now well-balanced adults who write comics about being angsty punk teens. It’s all kind of a perfect fit. What more needs to be said? Nothing. Go read.

Image of itemPunk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy

It’s a rocket-fueled ride, an allegory that seems entirely plausible in our hyped-up reality TV world. A huge media corporation clones Jesus from the Shroud of Turin and proceeds to run a live reality TV show around his life. As you might expect, teenaged J2 develops a little bit of an anger issue. Luckily, there are musical ways to take care of anger, and they have been known, on occasion, to change the world.



Punk Rock and Trailer Parks by Derf Backderf

From the auteur behind My Friend Dahmer comes a nostalgic look at growing up punk. Otto is a Loser. Not just a loser, but a capital-L Loser high school band dork who nobody wants to be around, despite his growth spurt. He lives in a trailer park and gets beaten up by bullies half his size. But that’s all about to change! When he’s exposed to Wendy O., Klaus Nomi, and the Ramones firsthand, Otto will transform from weird kid to punk adult living on the edge of the 1970s music scene.


Image of itemBumperhead by Gilbert Hernandez

Coming on the heels of Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, this book follows Bobby as he navigates through – or, rather, floats through – his teenage years. Friendships, relationships, musical styles, and life itself flows on with Bobby riding the current, never plotting his own course or noticing as opportunity passes him by.



Cut My Hair by Jamie S. Rich

If Catcher in the Rye took place in history, then Holden Caulfield would have been a punk. Mason is another blank slate, but unlike Beto Hernandez’s Bobby, Rich’s protagonist may have a chance to capture something more meaningful: a vision of who he really wants to be. That may involve a sepcial girl, a raucous band, and a punk rock coming of age story.



Image of itemHopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter

What happens when punks grow up? They move to the suburbs and have kids, of course! But they never, ever abandon their identity. The children of Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Strange grow up, and remain, resolutely punk. (Except Rat, who betrays his family by going corporate. Where did they go wrong?) As they navigate the globe, getting into trouble and living life to the hilt, you’ll know that punk isn’t dead: it’s just grown up!