Engaging Methuen Readers

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Mocktail Books To Rock Your Dry January

I’m a big fan of Dry January, the movement to abstain from alcohol for one month a year. No matter what your reasons are – weight loss, pregnancy, health, tolerance decrease, or just plain old fun – good for you! It takes a lot of willpower to avoid alcohol.

But just because you can’t get drunk doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! If you’re looking for new stuff to drink, we’ve got you covered with these non-alcoholic beverage recipe books. Cheers!

Drinking for Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom-To-BeDrinking for Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom-To-Be by Diana Licalzi and Kerry Criss

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t drink alcohol while you’re pregnant, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t blow off some steam! These mocktails are both delicious and nutritious.

Dry: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Cordials and Clever ConcoctionsDry: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Cordials and Clever Concoctions by Clare Liardet

A lot of the recipes in this particular book are absolutely new…and absolutely delicious! Do yourself a favor and try this magical collection of easy-to-find syrups and nonalcoholic spirits.

Mocktails, Punches, and Shrubs: Over 80 Nonalcoholic Drinks to Savor and EnjoyMocktails, Punches, and Shrubs: Over 80 Nonalcoholic Drinks to Savor and Enjoy by Vikas Khanna

The DK reference brand never disappoints! The sheer quantity of drink recipes available here is staggering. Before long, you’ll be making up your own recipes!

Mocktails: The Complete Bartender's GuideMocktails: The Complete Bartender’s Guide by Kester Thompson

Any bartender who doesn’t know how to make a delicious mocktail is a bad bartender – and you don’t want to be that! Before your next big bash, brush up on your booze-free drinks with this handy, practical guide.

Party Like A Mock Star!: Have a Booze-Free Blast with No-regrets Mocktails!Party Like a Mock Star!: Have a Booze-Free Blast with No-Regrets Mocktails! by Zoe Robinette

If you’ve ever been 16, then you know the frustration of being at a party and unable to drink. Here’s your cure! This glamorous drinks guide discusses why women drink, what they drink, and why glamorous women drink mocktails.

Zero-Proof Cocktails: Alcohol-Free Beverages for Every OccasionZero Proof Cocktails: Alcohol-Free Beverages for Every Occasion by Liz Scott

Chef Liz Scott has alternatives to every cocktail out there – and they’re just as good as their alcoholic inspirations! From Cosmo to Sangria, you’ll find all your favorites here.

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New Year, New You Book Review: Boundaries by Henry Cloud

Editor’s Note:  One of my colleagues suggested this for the previous blog post,  Staff Favorite reads in 2019, but I thought it was so important that it deserved its own separate post.

Cover image for Boundaries :Boundaries:  When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud

If you find yourself drawn to the trendy buzz words “toxic”, “self-care” or the beloved classic “dysfunctional”, reading Boundaries may be suitable for you.  I consider myself to be a caring and helpful person; however, when boundaries were crossed or not present, I became the “toxic” one, the “dysfunctional” one and not taking care of myself. I continually found myself overwhelmed by others around me, whether it be their unspoken demands, their high expectations, or reckless behavior.  What I learned from this book is how responsible I was for allowing the aforementioned to overwhelm me, where to identify the boundary issues and how to set healthy boundaries. The changes I made within and around myself after reading this book have proven to make a significant difference in my well-being and presence.

Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend
Updated and expanded [edition], 2017
ISBN: 9780310350231

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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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Space Walk into the Solar System!

Take a “Space Walk” at the Nevins Library

The Children’s Department has created an informative “Space Walk” for young children around our lovely library grounds.  Walking from page to page, you’ll learn all sorts of interesting facts about the planets in our solar system.

Nature lovers of all ages may also enjoy strolling the grounds to view the blooming day lilies and the beautifully landscaped trees and shrubs from around the world.  These were planted here by Henry Nevins when he and his family established the library in memory of his father, David Nevins Sr, in 1883.  Maps including the names and locations of the Library trees are available at the Reference Desk.

SOS: True Adventure and Survival Books

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Get it All: Fiction and Non-Fiction combos

Have you ever read something in a novel that you were curious about and wanted to explore further?  Satisfy your curiosity (and widen your understanding) by pairing a fiction with a non-fiction  book on the same subject.  Here are some pairings to try:

Cover image for The atomic city girlsCover image for The girls of Atomic City : the untold story of the women who helped win World War IIThe Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard  FICTION

The Girls of Atomic City: the untold story of the women who helped win World War II by Denise Kiernan  NON-FICTION




Cover image for The Last Kind Words Saloon : a novelCover image for Dodge City : Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the wickedest town in the American WestThe Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry  FICTION

Dodge City:  Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the wickedest town in the American West by Thomas Clavin NON-FICTION




Cover image for The only woman in the roomCover image for Hedy's folly : the life and breakthrough inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the most beautiful woman in the worldThe Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict  FICTION

Hedy’s folly: the life and breakthrough inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the most beautiful woman in the world by Richard Rhodes  NON-FICTION




Cover image for The wanderersCover image for Endurance : a year in space, a lifetime of discoveryThe Wanderers by Meg Howrey FICTION

Endurance:  a year in space, a lifetime of discovery by Scott Kelly  NON-FICTION



What fiction/non-fiction titles would you recommend that would go together well?