Lets Go For A Walk: A Reading List

As we move (all too) slowly into spring and summer my thoughts, like many, turn to long walks in interesting places. With that in mind I thought our section of hiking books could use an upgrade. Check out the GV section of the New Books Room for the result. In the mean time check out…

Jen Recommends: Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night

“In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive, figure whose career is widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic…

A Few Favorite Poetry Collections

National Poetry Month is drawing to a close, but there are many more days left in the year to appreciate and celebrate poetry. Here are two collections that I’ve recently read and thought were knockouts: Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky With Exit Wounds “In his haunting and fearless debut, Ocean Vuong walks a tightrope of historic…

Becca’s Reading List: The Armchair Scientist

The latest updates to our science collection with a spotlight on: Physics Everyday Physics Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (October 2014) Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, one of the founders of quantum loop gravity theory, breaks down some of the most basic laws and theorems acknowledged by contemporary physics. Not bad for a tiny volume that,…

Today In History Reading List

In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 1653 Thomas Cromwell Dissolves the Rump Parliament At the end of the English Civil War in 1648 the Long…

Recommended by Fran

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (a local author; she also wrote The Good Thief) “Samuel Hawley isn’t like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his beloved daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back.…

Jen Recommends: Victoria: The Queen

About Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire: “When Victoria was born, in 1819, the world was a very different place. Revolution would threaten many of Europe’s monarchies in the coming decades. In Britain, a generation of royals had indulged their whims at the public’s expense, and republican sentiment…

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

For this Saint Patrick’s Day we thought we’d offer up some histories of Ireland that show Ireland’s interacation with the outside world throughout history. Also these titles might be a little less well known. Enjoy!   Ireland in the Virginian sea : colonialism in the British Atlantic by Audrey Horning. In the late sixteenth century,…

In Brief: Three Reviews from Rachel

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai All Our Wrong Todays is one of the few books where the actual story lived up to the book’s hype and summary. (Mastai’s ability to form letters into words into sentences doesn’t hurt, either.) We follow our bumbling protagonist Tom Barren – through his mother’s death, a string…

Jen Recommends: The Time In Between

The Time In Between was adapted into a Spanish-language series for Netflix (see trailer below). Jen’s notes: The series is a close adaptation of the novel, and filled with beautiful scenery and fashion. “The inspiring international bestseller of a seemingly ordinary woman who uses her talent and courage to transform herself first into a prestigious…

If You’ve Read…History of Wolves

If you’ve read Emily Fridlund’s History of Wolves: “Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new…

Today In History Reading List

In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 1327 Edward III Crowned King of England Due to colossal misrule, Edward II was deposed by his wife Isabella…

Lit Links | 1.2017

“25 of the Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017” | via Vulture “As the episode progresses, each character gets a chance to wink broadly at the camera. Then the Doyle stories are stuck back into the blender, and the plot hurries on.” | “Not My Sherlock: A Sherlock Holmes Expert On “The Six Thatchers” and…

Jim Reviews: The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic and How It Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World – Steven Johnson

You might be surprised to know that throughout much of the 19th century Europe and the United States were overrun by a series of pandemics that killed thousands. The disease was Cholera, which is cause by a bacteria that essentially causes its sufferer to discharge all the fluid in their body over the course of…

Cartography: A Reading List

Sometimes there’s a collection of books at the library that we feel just needs to be noticed. Our books on cartography and maps.fall into that catagory. Its a large collection of books that are scattered around the library. We’ve got everything from Atlases of Civil War Battles to fantasy fiction centered around map making. Here…

Jim Reviews: America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union – Fergus M. Bordewich

I know what you are all thinking, “Why hasn’t anyone written a history of the Compromise of 1850?” Well, your heart’s desire has been granted. Fergus Bordewich’s America’s Great Debate is just such a book. For those of you who are not US history teachers or 19th century political history junkies, the Compromise of 1850…

Patrick’s Pop Culture Spotlight: Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie is a celebrated author, considered to be at the forefront of the Native American literary renaissance. A movement starting in the 1960’s, in which Indigenous Americans sought to reclaim, and record their oral traditions and history. Utilizing western literary formats these writers challenged the established historical narrative, and explored their new cultural identity.…

Lit Links | 12.2016

“Soon, a wide readership formed and her posthumous fame grew, nourished by the stories people passed around. After a gregarious girlhood, it was said, Dickinson had gradually become a near-total recluse, known around Amherst as “the myth.” Children boasted of catching a glimpse of her at an upstairs window. Some thought she was a mystic.…

Today In History Reading List

In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 69 Vespasian Declared Emperor After the suicide of Nero in 68 Rome was plunged into what was called The…

Christmas Gift Ideas For 2016: A Reading List

Have a special book lover in your life and don’t know what to get them? Well the staff at the Peabody Institute Library Danvers have you covered. Below are some of our favorite books that we think will make great gifts. Anderson, Scott Lawrence In Arabia: War Deceit Imperial Folly And The Making Of The…

Reading List: Women in STEM

Reading List Curated by Rachel Although I picked up Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers who Changed the World for its charming illustrations, the content is fascinating and makes me want to seek out everything I can on even more rad women. Feel the same way? Here are a few to get started! Ada’s Algorithm:…

Lit Links | 11.2016

“Poetry is a solitary process. One does not write poetry for the masses. Poetry is a self-involved, lofty pursuit. Songs are for the people. When I’m writing a song, I imagine performing it. I imagine giving it. It’s a different aspect of communication. It’s for the people. We always write a certain amount of poetry…

Nordic Noir & More: A Reading List

The Noir Headhunters Nesbo, Jo Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but…

Lit Links | 10.2016

“At the scary, broken heart of each of these three novels stands a woman of tremendous courage. It’s a quality she—each of these three very different “shes”—will need in order to face the horrors bent on destroying her. Also marking each heroine is a possibly fatal flaw that draws the monstrous entities in her direction with…

Tracy Reviews: The Hopefuls

I randomly picked up the audiobook The Hopefuls as I was finishing my shift on the circulation desk. I started listening to audiobooks a few years ago when my commute time nearly doubled, when I was at my previous job, and now I find it hard to be in the car without listening to a…

Lit Links | 9.2016

“The meaning of words, and the way we used them, change all the time — and that’s OK with linguist John McWhorter of Columbia University. He writes about how the English language has evolved in his new book, Words on the Move: Why English Won’t — And Can’t — Sit Still (Like Literally).” | “Our…

Today In History Reading List

In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 1692 The Last Convicted Witches Hanged In Salem The Salem Witchcraft trials resulted in the execution of 20 persons,…

Rachel on TV Shows That Should Be Books

There are sooo many shows I watch (and with which I am OBSESSED) that would work really well as a stand-alone or multi-book series. Here are the ones at the top of my list! 12 Monkeys: This series has quickly become one of my favorite shows, and it makes me think of a trilogy filled with time…

Nature Writing: A Reading List

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin Set in the untamed American West, a highly original and haunting debut novel about a makeshift family whose dramatic lives are shaped by violence, love, and an indelible connection to the land. Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen Marine biologist Chaz Perrone can’t tell a sea horse from a sawhorse. And…

Jim Reviews: Six Suspects – Vikas Swarup

Swarup’s Six Suspects opens with a murder. Vicky Rai, a disreputable playboy, is having a party to celebrate getting off on a charge of murdering a bartender. In the middle of the party Rai is shot to death and as the title of the book suggests there are six suspects. Mohan Kumar, retired corrupt Chief…

Rachel’s Buy, Borrow, Bypass: On Grief

Book Riot does this great feature called “Buy, Borrow, Bypass” and I like it, so I’m going to do that here. A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold Sue Klebold is best known as the mother of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold – and she knows it. Although her memoir twists…

Lit Links | 8.2016

“Most of us who embark on a long hike do so seeking change, buoyed by the almost-magical hope that we can walk ourselves into a new body or a new state of mind. But when it actually takes place, the experience of transformation can be unnerving.” | Robert Moor, author of On Trails: An Exploration,…

Today In History Reading List

                In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 79 BC – Mount Vesuvius Erupts One of the larges volcanic…

Tracy Reviews: Before the Fall – Noah Hawley

“On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and…

What I’m Reading Now

Add Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks to the pantheon of books that are best read slowly so that every word, every image, every bit of new knowledge might be savored to the fullest. In the grand scheme of categories and genres and other restrictive labels, Landmarks would most readily find its footing in nature writing, but it…

Wouldn’t You Rather Be On The Riviera?

Making Monte Carlo: A History of Speculation and Spectacle by Mark Braude. A rollicking narrative history of Monte Carlo, capturing its nineteenth-century rise as the world’s first modern casino-resort and its Jazz Age heyday as infamous playground of the rich. [GoodReads] The Other Side of Silence  by Philip Kerr. The war is over. Bernie Gunther,…

The Olympics: A Reading List

Reading list curated by Tracy | The Summer Olympics are around the corner, with the opening ceremony set to take place Friday, August 5th. To help you get inspired and excited for the Olympics, we’ve compiled a list of nonfiction and fiction books related to the Olympics as well as nonfiction books on the topic…

What’s Your Four? – Vol. 1

We asked our staff to list four books they planned to read over the summer – here are the titles they responded with: The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware “In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been…

Two of a Kind, the Mary Astor Edition

An out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye glance at a line-up of books focused quickly when one in particular – it’s cover full of two animated faces, the title writ large, a particularly urgent newspaper headline – caught my attention. I thought it was a picture book, and then I read the subtitle. And the summary. And it is decidedly…

What I’m Reading Now

The title of this post is declarative, when in fact it should appear a bit more harried: italicized, containing a completely capitalized word, punctuated by both a question mark and an exclamation point. What am I NOT reading right now?! is more representative of the current state of things, at least from the vantage point…

What I Didn’t Read On My Vacation

I have this fear (some might say pathological fear) of going somewhere and not having something to read. With libraries, bookstores, and of course ebooks that really isn’t a problem. However, I went on vacation last week, and that brought about a further problem I have: over packing books. Picture me standing in my bedroom…

Rachel on Two “Modern Retellings”

Done right, book adaptations are one of my favorite things to read. What’s not to love about revisiting favorite characters in a different setting, or with different life experiences, or even just at different ages? Although breathing life into original characters is hard work, tweaking well-loved fictional characters so that the source material’s fandom doesn’t…

Tracy Reviews: The Forgetting Time – Sharon Guskin

I can’t recall how I first heard about this book, but I will admit that one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult’s quoted recommendation on the front cover, calling the book, “Provocative, evocative, fresh, Guskin’s book is an explosive debut,” may have played a part in my decision to check it out. The beginning chapters…

The Tony Awards: A Reading List

Reading list curated by Rachel Nominees for the 2016 Tony Awards were announced May 3rd and – no surprise here – Hamilton snagged a record-breaking sixteen, but there’s more to Broadway than just a genre-spanning musical about dead white guys. (Even though it’s awesome!) While there were twenty-six musicals and plays nominated, this list is…

Rachel Reviews: A Gathering of Shadows

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift…

Jim’s Bedside Table

Once again my bedside table has gotten so full of books that my eyeglasses case and alarm clock are threatening to move to some other bedside table. Lets see what’s on there. 1916: A Global History by Keith Jeffery When I picked up this book originally I thought, “oh goodie, another World War I book,”…

Jim Reviews: Liberty’s Exiles – Maya Jasanoff

What do you think when you think of American’s who remain loyal to England during the American Revolution – aka Tories or Loyalists? If you are like me some common images come to mind: white, wealthy, church of England, maybe arrogant.That is the image we get of Tories before and during the revolution from movies,…

Jim Reviews: Clash of Eagles – Alan Smale

If you read enough history sooner or later someone asks you: “What would happen if a Roman army were to go up against [insert anachronistic warrior culture here]?” I’ve gotten Romans vs Vikings, Romans vs Samurais, and Romans vs Incas. I always hate these because it’s always comparing apples and oranges, but that is exactly…

Jim Reviews: Immortals – Jordanna Max Brodsky

Brodsky’s Immortals is the first book in her Olympus Bound series, a fantasy of Greek gods and goddesses in present day New York City. It’s a great concept. As people gradually stopped believing in the gods of Olympus they started to weaken. Finally, hundreds of years ago, Zeus decided to throw in the towel. The…

Book Display Preview – April

Here is a small sample of the books you will find on display here at the library. All of these are done by members of our staff who put a lot of time and thought into them. The Pyramid Charlotte has given the Pyramid display inside the main entrance a Red Sox theme to go…

Happy National Poetry Month!

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’ve put together a reading list based on the works and lives of New England poets. It’s by no means an exhaustive list; the majority of the poets included here are practically household names (I’m looking at you, Robert Frost. You too, Emily Dickinson). You’ll find below: biographies, letters, fictionalized…

Rachel’s Hold Shelf

Very rarely do I place library holds on new releases – either because I can’t predict when a book will find its way to me (when I’m in the middle of something else??) or because there just isn’t anything I absolutely have to read right away. And then there are these titles: The City of…

Today In History Reading List

In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 598 Avars Lift the Siege of Tomis Part of the larger Balkan Campaign of Byzantine emperor Maurice. The Avars,…

Rachel Reviews: Between the World and Me

Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged…

Jim Reviews: Trinity Six – Charles Cumming

Trinity Six is a modern spy novel that hangs on the search for the fabled Sixth Man. In the 1930s, the NKVD (the predecessor to the KGB) recruited five spies at Trinity College, Cambridge. Now known as the Cambridge Five, these individuals– Kim Philby, Donald MacLean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross– went on…

Rachel Reviews: City on Fire

City on Fire is a behemoth of a novel – clocking in at over 900 pages – but it feels overwrought and excessive, as if author Garth Risk Hallberg simply wanted the world to know that he was capable of writing such an opus. The core action – which spans about seven months in 1977…

New Irish History | Reading List

Over the past year or so I’ve noticed an uptick in books being published about Irish history. It only occurred to me last week that the reason for this uptick was probably the up coming hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising (April 24-29). Given the holiday I thought it appropriate to give you a list…

Hamilton The Musical: A Reading List

Perhaps you’ve seen Hamilton: An American Musical? Or read Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, the biographical seed of inspiration that grew into the musical? Or perhaps the buzz has simply piqued your interest? From biographies of people like Burr, Lafayette, Jefferson and Hamilton himself to stories of the creation of the United States of America, we’ve got…