Patron Recommendation: Lies – T.M. Logan

“Six days ago, Joe Lynch was a happily married man, a devoted father, and a respected teacher living in a well-to-do London suburb. But that was before he spotted his wife’s car entering a hotel parking garage. Before he saw her in a heated argument with her best friend’s husband. Before Joe confronted the other…

Jim Reviews: African samurai – Thomas Lockley

Before William Adams (immortalized as John Blackthorn in James Clavel’s novel Shogun) became the first English samurai in the early 1600s there was Yasuke. Yasuke was an African slave/mercenary who ultimately become a samurai and served as a retainer of Ode Nobunaga a Japanese warlord from the Waring States period of Japanese history. Lockley’s African…

What The Library Director Is Reading

I’m reading To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis. Willis is an incredible science fiction author, best known for Blackout/All Clear, a two-part novel about Oxford historians who travel back in time to observe (and not alter) historical events. They go back to World War II London. They’re amazing and stressful, and Willis…

Poetry Recommendation: Joanna Klink

Raptus “Everywhere, a forceful, scrupulous intelligence is active- a luminous diction, a range of cadences.” So has Mark Strand written of the work of Joanna Klink, who has won acclaim for elegant, sensual, and musical poems that “remain alert to the reparations of beauty and song” (Dean Young). The linked poems in Klink’s third collection, Raptus,…

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. 1616 – Sir Walter Raleigh Freed From The Tower Of London Famous as an explorer Raleigh was also a…

Michelle Recommends: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory In Northern Ireland – Patrick Radden Keefe

“In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was…

Jen Recommends: The Gown – Jennifer Robson

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes…

February Lit Links

However long ago it was that I first came across word of Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree, it was right then I determined to read it immediately upon its release (Feb 26, for the curious). With less than a week to go, Shannon has an essay up on Boundless that looks at…

Michelle’s Mid-Read Recommendation: Figuring – Maria Popova

“Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries—beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalyzed the environmental movement. Stretching between these figures…

Jim Recommends: Cooking + Historical Fiction!

I just recently discovered (and by discovered I mean a friend told me about them) the author Crystal King who writes cooking based historical fiction. Given that food and historical fiction are two of my favorite things I can’t wait to start these books. Also the covers are gorgeous. Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of…

The 2018 NOBLE Book Awards!

Late last year the librarians of NOBLE came together to vote on their favorite books of 2018. Here are the winners by category. You can view the runners-up and the sort-list at NOBLE Book Awards 2018. Adult Fiction Finn, A. J. The woman in the window : a novel It isn’t paranoia if it’s really…

What The Director Is Reading

I’m rereading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, which is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi books. It follows a character who isn’t able to discern gender and so the narrative doesn’t give many clues to the genders of the characters. At first this is somewhat confusing, but then it becomes clear that it doesn’t really…

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. 1571 Royal Exchange Opens in London The Royal Exchange of London was based loosely on a similar institution in…

Søren Recommends: Katherine Kellgren’s Audiobooks

Today I’m honoring Katherine Kellgren, a renowned actress who voice acted more than 250 audiobooks. This month is the anniversary of her passing from a long battle with cancer that ended on 10 January, 2018. Kellgren is one of my all-time favourite audiobook performers; her voice acting brings characters to life like no other, and…

Michelle Recommends: Pretty Monsters – Kelly Link

“Through the lens of Kelly Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. From the multiple award- winning “The Faery Handbag,” in which a teenager’s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of “The Surfer,” whose narrator (a soccer-playing…

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. 1154 Henry II of England Crowned King In Westminster Abbey Henry was the son of Matilda the daughter of…

Michelle, Currently Reading…

The first two of the following titles are on top of the pile so that I can discuss them with sixth graders at the middle school (or, barring that, as a potential summer reading option). Foxheart – Claire LeGrand Twelve-year-old Quicksilver dreams of becoming the greatest thief in the Star Lands. With her faithful dog…

Ari Reviews: Pride and Prometheus – John Kessel

If you are a fan of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley I highly recommend reading the book Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel. Kessel combines the novels Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein that sparked my interest in coming across this book. I was curious to see how the two books combined would play out. Kessel uses Mary Bennett…

What The Library Director Is Reading

I just listened to Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman, which is a memoir? a how-to-book? a satire? After enjoying Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year (a cookbook? a memoir? a tell-all?), I thought I’d give this a try, but it wasn’t really for me. I’m currently listening to The Cleaner, by Brett Battles, a thriller…

The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts by Ruth Goodman Every age and social strata has its bad eggs, rule-breakers, and nose-thumbers. As acclaimed popular historian and author of How…

Mood Boards: Teen Fiction & Graphic Novels

mood board noun an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept. The Wee Free Men The Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett “The first in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching. A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side…

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. 1386 Tamerlane Sacks Tblisi Tamerlane, aka Timur, was the Turkic Emir of Samarkand who conquered much of Central Asia…

What The Library Director Is Reading

I’m almost done with When by Daniel H. Pink, which is about effective timing. Certain types of work are more effective at certain times of day. Being aware of this face and of our individual “chronotypes” (per wikipedia: “a chronotype is the behavioral manifestation of underlying circadian rhythms of myriad physical processes. A person’s chronotype…

What The Library Director Is Reading

I’m listening to My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl, read by the author. Ms. Reichl was the last Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet and this book is her recipe-laden memoir of the year after the magazine shut down. It’s your standard food-related memoir, but because it has very short chapters, it zips right along. It’s odd to…

The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah’s War Against America. By Fred Burton. On April 18th, 1983, a van rigged with 2,000 pounds of heavy explosives broke through the security perimeter of the American embassy in…

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. 1360 – Treaty of Brétigny Ratified The Treaty of Brétigny marks the end of the early phase of the…

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. 1187 Siege of Jerusalem Begins The Kingdom of Jerusalem was established after the First Crusade along with several other…

The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership. Are…

Jim Reviews: Grant – Ron Chernow

After the success of the Hamilton musical based on Chernow’s biography Alexander Hamilton, it is not surprising that Grant would be a hit. In fact it was such a hit, the History Book Group here at the library picked it for its September book. We will be discussing it September 19 at 7pm. This like…

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. 1485 Battle of Bosworth Field Bosworth was the last major battle of the Wars of the Roses and the…

Rachel Reviews: Renegades – Marissa Meyer

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew. Nova has a reason to…

Michelle Recommends: Packing My Library – Alberto Manguel

“In June 2015 Alberto Manguel prepared to leave his centuries-old village home in France’s Loire Valley and reestablish himself in a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Packing up his enormous, 35,000‑volume personal library, choosing which books to keep, store, or cast out, Manguel found himself in deep reverie on the nature of relationships…

Sarah’s Multicultural Picture Book Recommendations

African American: Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome In this beautifully illustrated book, Lesa Cline-Ransome tells the inspiring life story of Harriet Tubman. The book reads in reverse-chronological order, starting with Harriet reflecting on her life now that she has grown older. This is a great book for anyone hoping to learn more about…

Emily Brontë’s Bicentenary

Wuthering Heights was a tough read for this cynophilist, and I’ve often wondered if I would have enjoyed it more had the dogs in the book not suffered a cruel fate. To this day, having read the book years upon years ago, what sticks in memory most tenaciously is wrapped around dogs – and that Heathcliff…

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. 306 Constantine I is Declared Emperor of Rome By His Troops. Constantine was born in the Balkans and like…

If You Watched Man in the Orange Shirt, Read…

About Man In An Orange Shirt: “From novelist Patrick Gale, this is a tender, powerful film sure to spark conversation about outdated attitudes and equal rights. Two love stories set 60 years apart are linked by a secret that echoes through generations, from a forbidden relationship impossible during WWII, contrasted with a present-day romance that…

The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle over the Greatest Riches in the American West  by Gregory Crouch Born in 1831, John W. Mackay was a penniless Irish immigrant who came of age in New York City, went to California during…

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. 1685 James Scott Duke of Monmouth declares himself King sparking the Monmouth Rebellion James Scott was Charles II’s illegitimate…

Patrick Recommends: Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Non-Fiction Graphic Novels

The Peabody Institute of Danvers not only has superhero graphic novels, but a growing collection of non-fiction titles. These books use sequential art to make complex topics more accessible. They work especially well with reluctant readers. Make no mistake; these books are complex, funny, and smart. Several of the titles have even made it onto…