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Engaging Methuen Readers


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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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One Minute Book Review: Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Cover image for GhosterGhoster by Jason Arnopp offers a contemporary twist on the horror genre as we know it. With the dual meaning of the title, making reference to the internet term “ghosting”, as well as referring to actual supernatural entities, this novel sheds a spotlight on the reliance on our devices that we face today as a society. Through the eyes of Kate Collins, we are able to see the potential consequences of online dating and not knowing exactly who you’re talking to online. A whirlwind of internet stalking, cellphone addiction, possible murder, and supernatural occurrences, Ghoster will capture your attention from the first page and hold it until the very last.

∼ Brianna, Library Page

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp
New York : Orbit, 2019


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Author Event: Hallie Ephron

Author Event: Hallie Ephron

Thursday October 17, 2019  7pm – 8pm

We are pleased to welcome bestselling author Hallie Ephron back to the Nevins Library!  She will be here to discuss her latest thriller Careful What You Wish For.

A little about the book:

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.  Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.  Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.

But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.

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

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


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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: You

Cover image for You : a novelYou by Caroline Kepnes

The book, You by Caroline Kepnes, upon which the Netflix series is based,  will keep you enthralled from the first sentence. The novel is written from the perspective of bookstore employee, Joe Goldberg, and details his unhealthy obsession with one of his customers, Guinevere Beck. This book takes so many unexpected twists and turns and will transport you to the darkest places in Joe’s mind. Well-written and complex, You will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more.

∼Brianna, Library Page

You:  a novel
by Caroline Kepnes
First Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books, c. 2014


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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


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Author Visit: Peter Swanson

Author Event: Peter Swanson

Wednesday August 1st, 2018 6:30pm – 7:30pm

 

Best Selling author Peter Swanson is returning to the Nevins Library with his latest thriller ALL THE BEAUTIFUL LIES.

A bit about this page-turner, which has been called “a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder”:

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an “otherworldly” way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years.  Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.

Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way.

Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous—even deadly—secrets . . . and that neither one is telling the truth.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.  Refreshments will be served.

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


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Local Author Event: “Implant” by Dr. Robert E. Kellan

Local Author Event: Dr. Robert E. Kellan

Wednesday June 6th, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Dr. Robert E. Kellan has been practicing opthamology in Methuen for just over 30 years.  He has now taken his personal experiences from developing an implant for cataract patients to setting up an eye center in Lithuania and put them into his first book IMPLANT.

A bit about this espionage thriller:

Internationally acclaimed eye surgeon Alex Kirby designed his cataract intraocular lens to help people recover their sight.  He never thought it could be adapted for surveillance or that he’d find himself deeply involved in the tangled world of international espionage.  In the field for the first time, Kirby quickly learns no mission goes according to plan, especially in a world of beautiful CIA agents and Russia’s brutal Federal Security Force.  For the State Department’s audacious plan to succeed, sacrifices will be required – possibly including Kirby’s own life.

Come hear Dr. Kellan talk about this book, and the events that inspired him to write.  He is generously donating 20 books that will be signed to the first 20 people to arrive at this event!  Refreshements will be served.

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


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Author Event: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Author Event: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Wednesday, September 13th  6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

 

Hank Phillippi Ryan is coming back!  Our last scheduled event was upended by the winter weather, but we should not have that problem this time!

Hank will be here to talk about her latest novel, now available in paperback:  SAY NO MORE.

A little 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, and now she’s under pressure to tell all to the police. She’s also digging up the inside scoop for an expose of sexual assaults on Boston’s college campuses for the station’s new documentary unit, and is working with a victim to reveal her heartbreaking experience on camera. But, 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. 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? What’s really going on behind closed doors at a prestigious Boston college? And when will the killer strike again? Jane and Jake–now semi-secretly engaged and beginning to reveal their relationship to the world–are both on a high-stakes quest for answers. Can they handle the consequences of the truth?

Books will be available for purchase & signing.  Refreshements will be served.

To register online for this event, click here.  For more information or to reserve a spot, call/email Sarah at 978.686.4080 x20/ ssullivan@nevinslibrary.org


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What’s Your Four this Summer?

Cover image for Station elevenSummer is always a great time for doing some concentrated reading. For me, it happens up at the lake house in between projects. This year, like last year, I was happy to share my “four” in the #WhatsYourFour program for the ReadsinMa program for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).  This program is meant to highlight the need for kids to read just four books over the summer to increase their success in reading comprehension tests in the fall.

 

Cover image for The FiremanI started out reading two novels portraying different dystopian futures caused by pandemics which leave the planet populated by groups of people who strive to keep their families and friends safe and secure. While they were interesting and engrossing they did make me feel the need to take a break and move to something a little lighter so I picked up a thriller by Catherine Coulter, Devil’s Triangle. This is a fast paced novel that explores the possibility of an invention of DaVinci and Tesla falling in to the wrong hands and wreaking havoc on the planet.

 

Cover image for The devil's triangleFinding myself again in the area of annihilation of the planet it was time to refocus onto something uplifting and so my final choice was Hidden Figures, the story of several black women who contributed untold amounts of hours and brain power to the fledgling space race and the organization of NASA. Along with their story the author relates the coinciding issues of race in the country during the 50’’s and 60’s. This was a great read which is why it was also made into a motion picture which garnered several Oscar nominations.

 

VacationCover image for Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition‘s over now but I still have several options in my book bag….thank God for renewals!!  I encourage everyone to visit MBLC’s Read Four website and follow the instructions to share your four. Let’s see what everyone is reading this summer and spread the word of how important it is for kids to read over the summer.  Have Fun!

Kirsten, Head of Reference Services