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Engaging Methuen Readers


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One Minute Book Review: Mother Land by Leah Franqui

Cover image for Mother land :

Escape to India with Mother Land by Leah Franqui.

This charming and wise story of a mother-in-law (Indian) and daughter-in-law (American) is mildly sensuous and thought provoking. The strong wills of culturally diverse and generationally different characters gave me food for thought and perked my interest in reading other books based on Indian culture.

∼ Cynthia, Reader’s Services

Mother Land
by Leah Franqui
William Morrow, 2020


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One Minute Audiobook Review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Cover image for The switch

If you love audiobooks and you’re in the mood for a light, feel good suggestion, give The Switch by Beth O’Leary at try. This audio portrays the lively, warm, fun and engaging story of a granddaughter and grandmother’s spirited, loving and courageous relationship. The author’s sense of humor and the narrators wonderful English accents kept me wanting to hear more.

If you like this book, I recommend another of O’Leary’s books, The Flatshare.

∼ Cynthia, Reader’s Services

The Switch by Beth O’Leary
Audio Narrated by Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones
MacMillan Audio, 2020

 
 
 


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Author Event: J. Courtney Sullivan

Come join us on Zoom as we hear J. Courtney Sullivan discuss her new novel, Friends and Strangers, in conversation with WBUR’s Robin Young.

Tuesday July 14th at 7pm with Zoom

From the best-selling author of Maine and Saints for All OccasionsJ. Courtney Sullivan’s Friends and Strangers is an insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life…A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.

ROBIN YOUNG brings more than 25 years of broadcast experience to her role as host of Here & Now. She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has also reported for NBC, CBS and ABC television and for several years was substitute host and correspondent for The Today Show.

Make sure to register for this very special event, HERE.   This event is in partnership with libraries in the Merrimack Valley and beyond, as well as Haley Booksellers.


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Virtual Author Program: Nancy Thayer

The Nevins Library welcomes back Nancy Thayer!

We love Nancy and are so glad to spend some time with her online!

Nancy will be joining us via Zoom to discuss her latest novel, GIRLS OF SUMMER (available for purchase 5/26) on

Wednesday July 8, 2020 06:30 PM  Eastern Time (US and Canada)

In GIRLS OF SUMMER:

One life-changing summer on Nantucket brings about exhilarating revelations for a single mother and her two grown children in this sensational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.

Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly–and very handsome–local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior. Lisa’s children worry about the potential for their mother to suffer another broken heart, all while finding complicated potential romances of their own. As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

To join us in this special Zoom event, you must click here to register.  You will then receive your invitation link to the event.  For questions or further information, contact Sarah Sullivan at 978-686-4080 x16 or ssullivan@nevinslibrary.org


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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.

 

 

 

 


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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: Something Real

Cover image for Something realSomething Real by Heather Demetrios

Ever wonder what it would be like to be famous? To have your own reality television show? Well, according to Bonnie™ Baker, it’s horrible. That’s right, her name is indeed trademarked. Bonnie™ and her eleven siblings have their own reality TV show called A Baker’s Dozen.  Since her birth, the show has been documenting all of their lives, up until her parent’s divorce. Now, Bonnie™ thinks she’s free of the reality (ahem, horror) show and the paparazzi, until she finds out her mom and step-dad sold their rights (again) for a reboot.

More than just a teen drama book, Something Real deals with mental illness, the rights of people, especially children, suicide, and the reality of it all. 

∼ Samm, Library Page

Something Real
by Heather Demetrios
New York:  Henry Holt and Company, c. 2014