Fran Reviews: Eternal – Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline has brought to life the fear and terror of Mussolini’s reign and the horrors of Fascism in World War II Italy. Through the characters of Elisabetta, Marco, Sandro and their families. the reader can visualize what it felt like to be a Jew or a friend of a Jew and the inhumane consequences…

What Jen is Reading…

“IN A TIME OF RASPUTIN’S MAGIC AND ROMANOV MYSTERY, A YOUNG GIRL FINDS HERSELF AT THE HEART OF THE ROYAL FAMILY She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majestry. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for…

Michelle Reviews: Warlight – Michael Ondaatje

“We order our lives with barely held stories. As if we have been lost in a confusing landscape, gathering what was invisible and unspoken…sewing it all together in order to survive…” Nathaniel and his sister Rachel were children when their parents left them in the care of a man they called The Moth. The connection…

Coming Soon to the Collection: Radio Dramas Edition

Did you know we already have a collection of full-cast radio dramas on CD? We do! Titles range from Agatha Christie’s mysteries to David Tennant reprising his role as the Tenth Doctor to comedies such as Cabin Pressure and Jeeves and Wooster (and plenty more besides). Below are a few new-to-the-library dramas that will soon…

What Jen is Reading…

The Mitford Scandal – Jessica Fellowes (Also available in Large Print) “In the third book in the Mitford Murders series, lady’s maid Louisa Cannon accompanies Diana Mitford into a turbulent late 1920s Europe. The year is 1928, and after the death of a maid at a glamorous society party, fortune heir Bryan Guinness seizes life…

Sue Reviews: Writers & Lovers – Lily King

Lily King is a local author, having grown up on the North Shore, her father was a teacher at Pingree and she is an alumni of the school. Her latest book Writers & Lovers is a book about grief, determination and challenging decisions. Casey Peabody, a young girl living in Brookline is mourning the unexpected…

What Jen is Reading…

The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication – Alexander Larman (ebook) “On December 10, 1936, King Edward VIII brought a great international drama to a close when he abdicated, renouncing the throne of the United Kingdom for himself and his heirs. The reason he gave when addressing his subjects was that he could not…

Recommendations from the Middle School Book Club

Keeper of the Lost Cities – Shannon Messenger (ebook) “Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at…

What Jen is Reading…

The Best of Me – David Sedaris (ebook | eaudio) “For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside. It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and…

Notes from Spring 2021 Book Buzz Presentations

After watching several webcasts presented by marketing teams from various publishing houses my notebook is now full up with lists of upcoming titles of interest. Below is a very small selection of fiction and non-fiction titles pulled from those lists (release dates range from February to June). Happy (future) reading! We Begin at the End…

Sarah Recommends: Mind-Bending Movies

This past year, many of us have faced quarantine boredom and tried to combat it with puzzles, books, games, or television shows. While all of these are acceptable substitutes, sometimes the best way to drag our minds away from the monotony of the world we are currently living in is through films that leave us…

Fran Reviews: Walking with Ghosts – Gabriel Byrne

A very engaging and well-written memoir. The actor’s strong educational background is very evident as he recalls his strict Catholic upbringing and all the factors in his life that brought him such success as a respected actor. About Walking with Ghosts [ebook]: “As a young boy growing up in the outskirts of Dublin, Gabriel Byrne…

Recommendations from the Middle School Book Club

The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken “When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that…

Julie Recommends: International Mysteries

  Three of our more popular mystery authors are Louise Penny, Donna Leon, and Ann Cleeves, whose books are set in Quebec, Venice, and England respectively.  Always on the lookout for new (to me) mystery series with international settings, here’s one I’m enjoying now, and a few I’ll be trying soon.  And if you’re looking…

Becca Spotlights: Jan Brett

Author and illustrator Jan Brett has captured the hearts of adults and children alike over the past four decades. Her books often feature adorable animal characters getting into mischief and you can find a hedgehog either front and center or secretly hidden in many of her stories. You can check out many of Jan’s books…

Sarah Spotlights: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Hoopla

Valentine’s Day: a holiday meant to celebrate the Feast of Saint Valentine and also a day filled with the promise of candy, flowers, jewelry, and love. Annually couples traverse the streets, making reservations at fancy restaurants where they can share a meal and celebrate love. However, with the events of 2020 following us into 2021,…

Ari Reviews: Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly

Stepsister is a dark version of the tale of Cinderella that is told from the viewpoint of the stepsister named Isabelle. Isabelle does not have the qualities compared to Cinderella with beauty, grace, kindness, etc. Isabelle tries to deceit the prince to claim him when she removes her own toes to fit in Cinderella’s glass…

Lisa Spotlights: The Scholastic Storybook Treasure Series

Do you want to bring some of the Scholastic Classic stories to life? Enjoy the Scholastic Storybook Treasure DVDs! There are 12 different topics including: Family Adventures, Nature Stories, Holiday Adventures and more! Each DVD includes 20 stories that come to life! Perfect to enjoy with the family! Titles currently available in the children’s DVD…

Ari Reviews: The Downstairs Girl – Stacey Lee

The Downstairs Girl is set in 19th century Atlanta, Georgia that tells the story about a young seventeen-year-old girl named Jo Kuan. Jo and her guardian Old Gin live secretly under Mr. Bell’s house who is a publisher for the newspaper called “The Focus” that is not doing so well with publications and public interest.…

Recommendations from the Middle School Book Club

The War that Saved My Life – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley “Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join…

Recommendations from the Middle School Book Club

Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch “Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All…

Lisa Spotlights Holiday Children’s Movies

Here’s a list of the top 30 Holiday Movies that the Danvers Children’s Room has available. These are in the interest of children under 8 years old, but could be older too. Enjoy some new movies and some classics! A personal favorite is Prep & Landing about Santa’s elves doing their job to get your…

Fran Reviews: White Ivy – Susie Yang

What a delightful surprise this novel was! The reader goes from feeling sorry for Ivy to castigating her for her choices. Through the many plot twists and turns, this hard to put down novel will have the reader guessing and making their own choice on how to perceive the main character. About White Ivy: “Ivy Lin…

Michelle Recommends: The Booksellers (Documentary)

Antiquarian booksellers are part scholar, part detective and part businessperson, and their personalities and knowledge are as broad as the material they handle. They also play an underappreciated yet essential role in preserving history. THE BOOKSELLERS takes viewers inside their small but fascinating world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers. Executive…

Lisa Highlights: New Arrivals on Playaway for Children

True Tales of Childhood: by David Stabler & Robin Stevenson The Children’s Room recently added a new series to our Playaway collection: True Tales of Childhood by David Stabler and Robin Stevenson. There are six editions to borrow: Kid Presidents, Kid Authors, Kid Artists, Kid Athletes, Kid Activists, and Kid Scientists. Did you know that…

Staff Recommended Seasonal Reads (Rachel)

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz “I Know Your Secret . . . Boarding school junior Stacey Brown has nightmares too real to ignore.  Her nightmares come true. This time they’re about Drea, her best friend who’s become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. To  try and protect her, Stacey’s working with…

Staff Recommended Seasonal Show (Becca)

Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season “Ichabod Crane, a British expatriate who dies in the American Revolution, is revived in upstate New York during the time of the cell phone – as is the evil Headless Horseman, who plans to annihilate mankind! Teaming with a feisty police lieutenant, Crane races to vanquish the newly unearthed…

Staff Reading/Viewing List (Charlotte)

Autumn – Ali Smith “From the Man Booker-shortlisted and Baileys Prize-winning author of How to be both: a breathtakingly inventive new novel–about aging, time, love, and stories themselves–that launches an extraordinary quartet of books called Seasonal. Readers love Ali Smith’s novels for their peerless innovation and their joyful celebration of language and life. Her newest,…

Staff Recommended Seasonal Movies (Angelina)

A Quiet Place Angelina’s Note: I’m excited to see part II which was scheduled to be released in September but has now changed to April 23, 2021. About the movie: “If they hear you, they hunt you. In this terrifyingly suspenseful thriller, a family must navigate their lives in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that…

Staff Recommended Seasonal Movies (Lisa)

Lisa’s Note: I geared my selections for children under 8 years. 1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! 2. The Nightmare Before Christmas 3. Halloweentown and Return to Halloweentown 4. Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie 5. Hotel Transylvania (1, 2, and 3) 6. Curious George A Halloween Boo Fest 7. Toy Story of Terror 8. The…

Staff Recommended Seasonal Selections (Jen)

Jen’s seasonal reading recommendations First Frost – Sarah Addison Allen “Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beat-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. But the Waverleys have enough trouble…

Staff Recommended Seasonal Reads (Skylis)

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern Skylis’ Note: Night Circus is heavily atmospheric and fantastical, with several cozy sensory passages about food smells that always remind me of fall and fair season. And of course, there’s magic! Publisher’s Summary: “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it…

Staff Recommended Seasonal Movies (Chris)

Chris’ Note: The Roger Corman adaptations of Poe stories are good seasonal viewing material if cheesy. My two favorites are House of Usher (1960) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964) The Fall of the House of Usher “Upon entering his fiancée’s family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that…

Charlotte Recommends: Face It – Debbie Harry

Charlotte’s note: Anyone who has an interest in the iconic Debbie Harry or the outrageous history of New York’s punk rock scene will eat this up! “Musician, actor, activist, and the iconic face of New York City cool, Debbie Harry is the frontwoman of Blondie, a band that forged a new sound that brought together…

Skylis Tries: Game Bar

Recently I’ve been producing tutorial videos on our digital resources collection. Essential to shooting these videos is a good screen recording program. There are an abundance of programs for both Mac and Windows operating systems out there, but I wanted to start with something basic. Windows 10 comes with one built-in app that allows users…

Ari’s Top Four Overdrive Recommendations

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk – Kelli Estes “Inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut serves as a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories. The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets… Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt’s…

Rachel’s Hold List

Books I have on hold and am hoping to read but probably won’t because I have been in a slump: Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman (Overdrive & print) Now two friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, tell the story of their equally messy and life-affirming Big Friendship…

Sarah’s LGBTQIA Non-Fiction Picks

Hear Us Out by Nancy Garden Nancy Garden, author of popular LGBTQ+ book Annie on My Mind set out in Hear Us Out! to bring life to the history and struggles behind the LGBTQ+ community. In this non-fiction book, Garden weaves together two tales, one from the 1950’s and one from the 2000’s, both of which…

Sarah’s LGBTQIA YA Fiction Picks

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren Do you know what it’s like to be kept a secret? Do you know how it feels to hide part of your identity from the world? For Tanner Scott and Sebastian Brother, this is just part of their daily lives as they navigate the intricacies of living in Provo, Utah, a…

Charlotte Recommends: I Am Not Your Negro – Directed by Raoul Peck

About the documentary: “Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. It is a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to #BlackLivesMatter. It questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond and examines the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.”…

Jim Recommends: African History Reading List

Current events have reminded me that like many white Americans I am sadly lacking in my knowledge of African History. Over the course of the pandemic I’ve put together an African history reading list that I have been slowly working my way through. This is only the beginning of the list which focuses mostly on…

Skylis Reviews: Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a captivating, exploratory speculative fiction novel set in a pandemic-ravaged United States. The narrative follows the entwined stories of several people across time, all connected to an actor who dies the night the pandemic begins. St. John Mandel’s writing is intimate and lyrical in this melancholy work…

Patron Recommendation: Hidden Valley Road – Robert Kolker

Our patron’s thoughts on the book: Story of an American family with 12 children – six of whom are diagnosed schizophrenic. Fascinating look at mental illness in America through the mid-20th century. Riveting detail about the scientific pursuit for answers, medical treatments, social stigmas associated with diagnosis, and the impact of all these factors in…

Jen Reviews: Unorthodox – Deborah Feldman

“As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. Yet in spite of her repressive upbringing, Deborah grew into an independent-minded…