Nevinsbuzz

Engaging Methuen Readers


Leave a comment

Books to Take You Away

For those of a certain age, you may remember the classic commercial for Calgone brand bubble bath  from the 1980’s.  Beset by heavy traffic, a difficult boss, and a crying baby, a working woman voices the famous plea, “Calgone, take me away!”.  Cut to the woman luxuriating in a bubble bath, her problems slipping away in this moment of bliss…

During this time of uncertainty and stress, my “Calgone” of choice is immersive books that take me away to a different place and time.  Here are three of my recent favorites:

Cover image for Virgil WanderVirgil Wander by Leif Enger (2018)

“Virgil Wander survives a car crash with some speech and memory problems, and encounters a kite-flying stranger searching for information about his long-lost son. Enger explores and intricately layers the feelings and stories of an entire town full of people, each trying to survive their own life-changing experiences.” — Elizabeth Isabelle, DeKalb County Public Library System (October 2018,  Libraryreads.org)

The small Minnesota town in which this story is set feels like one of its quirky characters, broken-down and ready for rebirth.   A touch of magical realism, whimsy, and engaging characters make this an uplifting reading experience.  The audio book, narrated by MacLeod Andrews, is mesmerizing and casts a cozy, homey spell.

Cover image for With the fire on highWith the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (2019)

“In a distinct, perceptive, and vulnerable first-person narrative, Emoni, a young single mom being raised by her grandmother while raising her own daughter, relates the story of her last year of high school in vignettes and short chapters, trading off between sharing bits of the story and her musings about her life and her future. Emoni has a gift for cooking, and her food, like magic, conjures emotions in people she shares it with. Her teachers, friends, and family are all ready to support her when the subject of culinary arts schooling comes up, but the one Emoni needs to learn to trust is herself.” –Kristina Pino (Reviewed 3/15/2019 for Booklist)

This book has beautiful writing (“Acevedo’s keen, stirring prose reads like poetry and demands to be read slowly”), interesting and complex characters, realistic depiction of a young woman juggling her responsibilities and opportunities, and most important for me, a warm embracing atmosphere.  Though complicated at times, the love between ‘Buela, Emoni, Angelica and Baby Girl, is visceral and I find great comfort in being included in their extended family.  The audio rendition is read by the author.

Cover image for The lost manThe Lost Man by Jane Harper (2019)

“Meeting at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches on an isolated belt of the Australian outback, two brothers navigate the haunting realities of the isolation that ended their third brother’s life.” (Novelist)

This is a gritty, dark rural noir that vividly transports you to the harsh and unforgiving Western Australian desert.  Even though the outback setting conjures images of stocking up and hunkering down that may provide eerie parallels to our current situation, it is appropriate to the dramatic landscape so evocatively brought to life here.

 

All the titles described above may be downloaded in either ebook or eaudio format through the free Overdrive app.

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Local Author: Joanne Carota

Local Author Event: Joanne Carota

Saturday, February 1st 2020  at 1pm

Please join us in welcoming local author Joanne Carota as she talks about her new novel THE DOCKS.  Set in South Boston, THE DOCKS is a murder mystery that will keep you guessing.

A little about the book:

Kate Finn grew up on the South Boston docks idolizing her commercial fisherman father, Seamus Finn and his friends. Now she’s a marine biologist working for the FDA who still spends as much time as she can on the docks near this salty crew. That is, until one misty morning when she discovers her father’s best friend, Sammy, dead there. All signs point toward Seamus and he is arrested and accused of the murder. At the bail hearing Kate learns a family secret—her father killed a man in self-defense when her mother was pregnant with Kate. Acquitted then, this time he’s sent to prison to await trial. Raised with the fierce loyalties of South Boston in her blood, Kate vows to clear his name. Soon Kate accepts a job that violates all of her family legacy. She goes to work for Colin Greely at Greely Seafood Labs where fish are genetically engineered. Kate will use her scientific training to investigate the murder of Sammy and save her family. Turns out she has some distractions. Another fisherman is attacked on the docks. Now who can she trust? Greely? His right-hand-man Ed McGann? Detective Rich Madley? Her mentor, Dr. Zion? Her old love interest Pierre Gosselin? Or, are they all in league against the Finns? Kate learns that circumstances are not always as they appear.

Joanne Carota will have copies of her book available for purchase and signing.

Refreshments will be available.

To register for this event, CLICK HERE.   For more information, contact Sarah at 978-686-4080 x20 or ssullivan@nevinslibrary.org


Leave a comment

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!!


Leave a comment

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Sherlock Holmes

That’s right, kids: it’s Sherlock time! The world’s greatest detective (other than Batman) was born on January 6, 1854. He is now 165 years young and still the most filmed fictional character in the world. Here’s a little Sherlock trivia for true fans and movie nights.

1. He’s been on screen more than 254 times

As of 2012, Holmes had been portrayed on film an average of three times per year since his TV debut in 1938. This statistic comes to us courtesy of the good people at Guinness Book of World Records, who must have spent an awfully long time counting up Holmes appearances. That figure doesn’t even count more modern Holmes portrayals, such as the spoof that currently stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

In case you’re dying to see some obscure Holmes on screen, then the MVLC library system can connect you with such wonders as Young Sherlock Holmes, where Sherlock is a hip teen; The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, where Gene Wilder tries desperately and hilariously to live up to the real deal; and Sherlock Gnomes, which only gets away with that pun because it’s for kids. See the whole list here!

2. Holmes claimed he used drugs because he got bored between cases

Sherlock was addicted to both cocaine and morphine, which were technically legal in Victorian England. That said, their adverse health effects were well known to the medical community. Holmes’ friend, the medical doctor Watson, wasn’t anywhere near as bumbling in the books as he’s generally portrayed on-screen, and he voiced considerable alarm at Holmes’ drug use. In return, his friend shot him down with one of the lamest excuses in literature: he was bored. Here’s what he had to say in Chapter 1 of The Sign of the Four:

“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession,—or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”

Maybe do a puzzle instead?

3. The TV show House was based on Sherlock Holmes

Suspend your disbelief for a minute and consider that Gregory House solved unsolvable medical mysteries through deduction, had a drug problem, and had a friend named Wilson. House is a close match for Home, which sounds like Holmes. Wilson and Watson are also close. House even lives at an address numbered 221b. Best of all, Hugh Laurie himself confirms that the surly doc was modeled on the Victorian detective.

4. Sherlock has never been played by a woman…until now!

It’s not surprising that a male detective from the Victorian era is generally played by guys. At the same time, there’s been a female Watson, a female Doctor Who, and lots of modernized adaptations of Sherlock Holmes himself. If Holmes can be a grumpy doctor, a garden ornament, and a New Yorker. Why not a lady?

In fact, a female Sherlock, who lives in Japan, is set to release on HBO Asia.

There’s one caveat that needs pointing out, however. Holmes hasn’t been played on-screen by a woman, but literature is a completely different story. In the Eleanor Arnason story Holmes Sherlock, an alien woman studying Earth literature adopts the stylistic peculiarities of Sherlock Holmes when she becomes enchanted by Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries. Incidentally, this alien’s people are universally homosexual and female-led. You can read the entire story here!

 


Leave a comment

Author Event: Carla Neggers

Author Event: Carla Neggers

Saturday September 29th 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Best-selling author Carla Neggers will be visiting the Nevins Library to talk about her new book, IMPOSTOR’S LURE, the latest in the popular series featuring FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan.

About the book:

Newlyweds Emma and Colin are suspicious when prosecutor Tamara McDermott is a no-show at a Boston dinner party. Matt Yankowski, head of HIT, Emma and Colin’s small, elite Boston-based team, is a friend of Tamara’s, and he needs them to find her.  In London, a woman who was supposed to meet Emma’s art-detective grandfather to talk about forgeries is discovered near death. Her husband, who stayed behind in Boston, has vanished. The couple’s connection to Tamara adds to the puzzle.  As the search for Tamara intensifies, a seemingly unrelated murder leads Emma, Colin and HIT deep into a maze of misdirection created by a clever, lethal criminal who stays one step ahead of them.  As Emma draws on her expertise in art crimes and Colin on his experience as a deep-cover agent, the investigation takes a devastating turn that tests the strengths of their families and friendships as well as their FBI colleagues as never before. Impostor’s Lure is full of clever twists that will keep readers guessing right to the stunning conclusion!

Carla is the author of more than 75 novels, which have been translated into dozens of languages and sold in over 35 countries.  Copies of this book and others will be available for purchase and signing.  Refreshments will be served.

To register for this program, CLICK HERE.  For more information, contact Sarah at 978-686-4080 x20 or ssullivan@nevinslibrary.org


Leave a comment

Summer and the TBR List

Finally, it’s summer!  For the most part, all of our library book groups are on hiatus over the summer.  That means that librarians now have more time to read titles according to their whims and can start to tackle their toppling TBR (To Be Read) lists or piles.  Here are a few titles librarians at the Nevins Library can’t wait to read this summer:

Cover image for The crow trapEllen, Readers’ Services:

The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Kirsten, Head of Reference:  Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

 

Cover image for Number one Chinese restaurant : a novelCynthia, Readers’ Services:

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee (sequel to A Rising Man)

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

 

Cover image for Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage murders and the birth of the FBIAnne, Children’s Services:  One Summer:  America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

Tracy, Readers’ Services:  By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benson Frank

Samm, Library Page:  The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Tatjana, Reference Services:  Killers of the Flower Moon

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?

 

 

 


Leave a comment

One Minute Book Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

In Jackaby, Abigail Rook, who has recently arrived in New Fiddleham, becomes assistant to R. F. Jackaby.  Jackaby is an eccentric detective of supernatural and inexplicable occurrences, whose last assistant has been turned into water fowl.  Jackaby’s home houses himself, a ghost named Jenny, Douglas, the aforementioned assistant turned duck, and now Abigail. The author does an amazing job of introducing us to the characters while still shrouding them in mystery.

With a string of murders occurring in New Fiddleham, Jackaby and Abigail set out to discover who, or what, is committing them. With the help of Officer Charlie Cane, they discover a banshee who reveals the next victim.  While keeping the identity and species of the killer in question, Ritter keeps it interesting and fast paced, never leaving a dull moment. He leads readers on an adventure with plot twists and even a few things that go bump in the night. It is a great read for anyone looking to be scared or for lovers of lore.

∼ Bistany, Library Page

Jackaby
by William Ritter
Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin, c2014

 

 

 


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

Author Event: Hank Phillippi Ryan

We are very excited to welcome Hank Phillippi Ryan back to Nevins Library!

 

Saturday February 11th, 1pm

in the Great Hall

She will be here to speak about Say No More, the latest in the thrilling Jane Ryland series.

About the book:

When Boston reporter Jane Ryland reports a hit and run, she soon learns she saw more than a car crash—she witnessed the collapse of an alibi. Working on an expose of sexual assaults on college campuses for the station’s new documentary unit, Jane’s just convinced a date rape victim to reveal her heartbreaking experience on camera. However, a disturbing anonymous message—SAY NO MORE—has Jane really and truly scared.Homicide detective Jake Brogan is on the hunt for the murderer of Avery Morgan, a hot-shot Hollywood screenwriter. Her year as a college guest lecturer just ended at the bottom of her swimming pool in the tight-knit and tight-lipped Boston community called The Reserve. As Jake chips his way through a code of silence as shatterproof as any street gang, he’ll learn that one newcomer to the neighborhood may have a secret of her own.A young woman faces a life-changing decision—should she go public about her assault? Jane and Jake—now semi-secretly engaged and beginning to reveal their relationship to the world—are both on a quest for answers as they try to balance the consequences of the truth.

Copies of Hank’s 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


Leave a comment

Moody British Mysteries for the Telly

Image of itemImage of itemImage of item

At this time of year, when the weather starts to get chilly and blustery and the daylight gets shorter, I love to watch a good, brooding, British mystery on the “telly”.  I especially love those BBC TV mysteries that are set in the  English countryside, equal parts bucolic and sinister, or the craggy, atmospheric sea-side.  Throw in the English country dialect or a Scottish brogue and I’m in heaven!

Three gripping series that I have watched lately that complement each other well are Broadchurch (with David Tenant and Olivia Coleman, British version), the Vera series* (Brenda Blethlyn and David Leon) and Shetland* (Douglas Henshall).  All three series are set in small coastal towns with atmospheric land/seascapes and feature tough, quirky detectives.  Think a horrible crime committed in a close-knit community where everyone knows each others’ business and relationships are intricate and complicated, including those of the detectives.  Add beautiful and spare landscapes, cable-knit sweaters, blustery weather, and cozy but rustic cottages.   Complete with a haunting soundtrack — both the music and the accents, teasing and taut.

Now, pet, if you will excuse me, I have a hot cuppa and a blanket ready with more watching to do!

 

* Based on the novels by award-winnning author Ann Cleeves