Engaging Methuen Readers

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Are you ready for Dictionary Day?

On October 16th, we celebrate that great wonder of words, the dictionary! These days, people take for granted that dictionaries live online, ready to provide a definition, synonym, pronunciation, or translation at the touch of a button. But before computers, dictionaries were works of art accomplished by teams of brilliant people working together for an ideal. Dictionaries may be dry, but their history sure isn’t!

The Professor and the Madman: a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

25019The Oxford English Dictionary was a collective effort, but one man contributed more than his fair share of entries. When the OED’s project managers decided to honor him, they discovered something shocking: the brilliant wordsmith W.C. Minor was permanently confined in an insane asylum.



Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea


Have you ever wanted to just sit down and read the entire dictionary? This guy has! Join Shea as he reads through the 137-pound complete Oxford English Dictionary.




Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper

30781490The process of making dictionaries is way more interesting than the books themselves. It can take up to nine months to define a single word, and the small ones are the worst! Try defining is, for example.




The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

155396Another dictionary book by Simon Winchester, this one describes the entire wild history of how the Oxford English Dictionary came to be. Rife with charming anecdotes and fascinating lexographical information, this is a classic of the dictionary-focused nonfiction genre.




Caught in the Web of Words: James Murray and the Oxford English Dictionary by K.M. Elisabeth Murray

587471The Oxford English Dictionary is a popular subject, and the personalities involved in its creation no less so. Here, meet James Murray, a self-educated boy who grew up to both make his fortune and cement his place in history as the first editor of the OED.




23590If you haven’t had enough of the characters who created the Oxford English Dictionary, then consider J.R.R. Tolkien. Yes, THAT Tolkien! Without his stint as an assistant on the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary, he might never have written The Lord of the Rings.

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2018-2019 Nevins Library Book Group Schedule

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 new(ish) 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.

NEW-ish! Stranger than Fiction Book Group – Meets the 2nd Monday of Each Month @ 7 PM

Contact Tatjana for more information

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

Contact Krista for more information

Cookbook Book Club – Meets the 3rd Tuesday of Each Month @ 6:30 PM

Contact Pat for more information

Wednesday Afternoon Book Group – Meets the 3rd Wed. 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: History Decoded by Brad Meltzer

Cover image for History decoded : the 10 greatest conspiracies of all timeThis riveting book, History Decoded,  encompasses ten conspiracies from history that still intrigue to this day. For those readers out there who believe conspiracy theories are a load of bogus, Meltzer does his research, cites researchers, historians, and other experts, and only offers his viewpoint as simply that- another viewpoint of history.
So far, I have only read a few of them, but I’m already enthralled by Meltzer’s writing. He includes “evidence pieces,” aka removable facsimile documents that add to the detective feel of the read. The reader almost feels like a secret vigilante agent, looking at classified documents and reading thinking thoughts contrary to what the government tells us. Meltzer makes reading his book an experience, one that holds the reader willingly captive until the end of each section.
∼Samm, Library Page
History decoded : the 10 greatest conspiracies of all time 
by Brad Meltzer
New York, NY : Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 2013

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Author Event: Dennis DiZoglio

Author Event & Book Launch: Dennis A. DiZoglio

Wednesday Aug 29, 2018 at 7pm

In 1994, Dennis A. DiZoglio became Methuen’s first modern Mayor. Now he has written a book “The Value of Political Capital” chock full of his stories, experiences, and insights.

Join us as Mr. DiZoglio talks about his book and his time in public service in Methuen and beyond.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing, and refreshments will be served.

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

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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?




Gender, Sexuality and Identity in Non-Fiction

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Chappaquiddick Tragedy: Kennedy’s Second Passenger Revealed

Author Event:

Chappaquiddick Tragedy: Kennedy’s Second Passenger Revealed

Wednesday June 20th at 7:00 PM

On July 19, 1969 Sen. Ted Kennedy reported an accident he had been in the previous night. No one believed the story he wrote in his police report, but, what really happened?

Join us as Donald F. Nelson talks about his book and presents his new theory of what really happened that night.

A research physicist at Bell Labs for twenty-eight years with a PhD from the University of Michigan, Don Nelson has had a distinguished scientific career that has included basic research, teaching at Michigan, Southern Cal, Princeton, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the publication of a book based on his research, Electric, Optic, and Acoustic Interactions in Dielectrics. Don lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Martha’s Vineyard with Margaret (Fuerstenau) Nelson, his wife of sixty-three years. They have two daughters and five grandsons.

To register for this event, CLICK HERE.  For more information, contact Danielle at 978-686-4080×12 or