Tag Archives: Library News

Five Book Friday!

And a messy, snowy rainy, bleak day it is out there, beloved patrons!  But never fear, we are here, the heat is on, and we have books, cds, and films galore to help you deal with the weather, holiday stress, and visiting relatives.

Just as a reminder, the Library has scheduled a staff meeting on Monday, November 19.  The Main Library will be closed from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.  The South Branch and West Branch Libraries will be closed from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Additionally, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be closing at 5pm on Wednesday, November 21.  We will reopen on Saturday, November 24 at 9am.  We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing you soon!

And now, on to the books!

FoeFans of Iain Reid’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things will be pleased to know his second book is out, and just as mind-bending and fascinating as his debut.  Set in the near future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with alarming news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm…very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Henrietta won’t have a chance to miss him, because she won’t be left alone—not even for a moment. Henrietta will have company in the form of a synthetic replica of Junior.  But if you think the weirdness ends there, you haven’t read enough of Reid’s puzzling, eerie prose, and should pick this book up post haste!  Booklist gave this novel a starred review, cheering that “Reid is at it again, exploiting readers with plot twists, narrative unease, and explosive conclusions in his second novel… [he] has the rare ability to make readers both uncomfortable and engaged, and this drama will surely send them back to the beginning pages to track the clues he left to the surprise ending.”

In the House in the Dark: Local readers already have plenty of background for the setting and premise of this story, but the twists and turns it takes on its way to its conclusion are sure to keep even the most devoted scholar of witchcraft and Puritanism captivated.  The story opens in colonial New England, where an upstanding Puritan woman has gone missing.  Or perhaps she has fled or abandoned her family. Or perhaps she’s been kidnapped, and set loose to wander in the dense woods of the north. Alone and possibly lost, she meets another woman in the forest. Then everything changes.  On a journey that will take her through dark woods full of almost-human wolves, through a deep well wet with the screams of men, and on a living ship made of human bones, our heroine may find that the evil she flees may be much closer than she ever suspected.  This is a story that beautifully blends Native American folklore with colonial myths into a wholly unique original tale that is as haunting as it is unsettling.  The New York Times Review of Books loved this story, saying “[Hunt] has fashioned an edge of-the-seat experience more akin to watching a horror movie…Darkness is everywhere. . . . So prepare yourself. This is a perfect book to read when you’re safely tucked in your home, your back to the wall, while outside your door the wind rips the leaves from the trees and the woods grow dark.”

InsurrectoArmchair explorers, historians, and fiction lovers alike will love this tale, which uses a modern premise to tell the tale of the Balangiga massacre in the Philippines in 1901.  Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte’s Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about the events that transpired in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created “a howling wilderness” of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara’s film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator—one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher, creating a wholly unique narrative that sheds light not only on the stories we fear to tell, but on the way we construct history and memory.  Publisher’s Weekly gave this wonderfully inventive novel a starred review, describing how  “Apostol fearlessly probes the long shadow of forgotten American imperialism in the Philippines in her ingenious novel of competing filmmakers . . . Layers of narrative, pop culture references, and blurring of history and fiction make for a profound and unforgettable journey into the past and present of the Philippines.”

Death and Other Holidays: Marci Vogel’s debut novel has critics everywhere delighted, and the book has already been nominated for–and won!–several literary prizes.  Life is coming fast at  twenty-something April. All the heavy stuff of adulthood—including the death of a loved one—seems to have happened to her all at once, leaving her reeling, and challenging her wit and grit in ways she never imagined.  Over the course of a single year, we see her confront her fears and vulnerability, as well as find a deep well of strength that propels her forward.  This is a clear-sighted, enormously empathetic story that won a starred review from Kirkus, who called it a “beautiful book…The prose is stunning..a moving and graceful novella of overcoming sorrow.”

The Way of All FleshA fascinating historical mystery that has already earned a devoted following in the UK, this book blends fact and fiction into an intriguing concoction that readers are sure to savor.  We begin in Edinburgh, 1847.  Young women are being discovered dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. In the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Simpson’s patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognizes trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of his intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education. With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.  Ambrose Parry is the pseudonym of husband/wife writing team Chris Brookmyre and historian Marisa Haetzman, and their talents shine in what we hope will not be their last collaboration!  Publisher’s Weekly noted that “Parry provides a fascinating look at how medicine was practiced at a period when anesthetics were still not widely used or understood, as well as certain things that have changed little over time: mansplaining, the subservience expected of women of any social class, and religious leaders demanding their God-given right to control reproductive health. Readers will eagerly await the sequel.”

 

Until next week, beloved patrons–happy reading!

And speaking of upcoming events…

We are truly lucky, beloved patrons, to live in an area that is rich with libraries, and we here at the Free For All love fostering relationships between our libraries and our patrons.  We share books and dvds, cds, and magazines.  We also share recommendations and programs from our NOBLE friends, because you are as welcome in their Libraries and you (and their patrons) are in ours!

So, with that in mind, we wanted to share with you some upcoming programs being held at the Beverly Library, to which you are most cordially invited.  Information for registering for these programs can be found on the posters below–just click on them to enlarge the images.  And if you have any questions, give our Beverly buddies a call at (978) 921-6062.  We hope you are able to attend, and pass on our best wishes if and when you do!

Looking Ahead…

It’s pretty dark and gloomy out there today, dear readers, but we are eager to combat our growing autumnal lethargy with a look at the phenomenal programs that we have coming up in November and December!  We have done our best to assemble a line-up of classes, concerts, film screenings, and activities to drive away the winter doldrums.  You can register for these lovely events by going to our website, giving us a call, or coming in and speaking with your friendly public service staff.

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As ever, if you have ideas or suggests for programs you would like to see here at the Library, please let us know!  We are here for you, after all.  And now, on to the calendar!


At the Main Library: PowerPoint, Photographs, and Digital Slideshows

Tuesday, December 4, 4:00 – 5:30pm

In this one day course, learn how to use Microsoft Powerpoint to share your favorite pictures with family and friends. Topics will include the basics of Powerpoint, digital photo editing and scanning, and creating digital slideshows using your favorite memories. Bring digital photo files that you’d like to use on a flashdrive, any physical photographs that you’d like to scan, and your own laptop, if possible- the library has just (5) available laptops with Powerpoint 2016 for attendees.


At the South Branch:

Tuesday, November 20, 2:30 – 3:30pm: Introduction to Yoga & Meditation

This four week series is designed to help adults discover the fundamentals of yoga.  This is a practice of reconnecting the Mind and Body through Breath & Movement. Guided meditation, yoga philosophy, and posture alignment with modifications will be shared during the class. This class will allow you leave class feeling grounded in your body and balanced in your mind.  The South Branch Library has a small number of mats for use, but we ask to please bring your own, if possible. You may also bring a throw blanket or pillow to sit in meditation with. Wear comfortable clothing you can move freely in. This series will be led by Certified Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master, and Peabody native Marco Aurelio Vinci. Any direct inquiries about the class should be e-mailed to marcovinciyoga@gmail.com


At the West Branch:

Wednesday, November 14, 1:00 – 2:00pm: Heritage Films presents Norman Rockwell, Illustrator

Come join us for a 40 minute film presentation by local historian and film maker Dan Tremblay of Heritage Films! This particular film will focus on Norman Rockwell.


In the Teen Room (Main Library)

Wednesday, December 5, 6:30 – 8:30pm: Open Mic Night

Come share your songs, your stories, your poems, and your jokes at the library’s Open Mic Night!   Whether you’re a musician, storyteller, writer, comedian, or other type of entertainer, the mic is yours. The sign-up sheet goes out at 6 p.m., and performers can sign up on a first-come-first-serve basis.  And if performing’s really not your thing, that’s okay.  Come hang out, drink coffee, and support some inspiring local talent.  All ages welcome!
We hope to see you soon, beloved patrons!

Five Book Friday!

We also wanted to alert you to the fact that the West Branch Library is once again a site for early voting in Massachusetts!

Early voting will begin on October 22nd and continue through
November 2nd, 2018. Prior to the enactment of this new law, the only way a registered voter was allowed to vote prior to Election Day was through absentee voting. Although absentee voting will still be available for registered voters who qualify, only those who will be absent from their city or town on Election Day, or have a disability that prevents them from going to the polls, or have a religious belief
preventing the same, are legally allowed to vote by absentee ballot.
Unlike absentee voting, early voting is for every registered voter. Registered voters do not need an excuse or reason to vote early. Regardless of whether a voter wants to take advantage of early voting, vote absentee or vote on Election Day, the first step is making sure you are registered. To check to see if you are registered to vote, and to find information on how to register to vote, you may visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website. To be eligible to vote in the November 6th State Election, you must have registered to vote or made any necessary changes to your voter registration by Wednesday, October 17th, 2018.

Check out this handy fact sheet for early voting times and locations around Peabody!

And now, on to the books!

MelmouthAnyone who savored Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent will no doubt be delighted to hear her second novel has arrived!  For those who haven’t yet encountered this magical world, do yourself a favor and do so!  It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy. But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears.   What unfolds is a spellbinding, time-hopping, thoroughly haunting tale that is as philosophical as it is chilling, and is sure to keep you in suspense through these ever-lengthening nights!  Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review, describing it as “An unforgettable achievement…Perry’s heartbreaking, horrifying monster confronts the characters not just with the uncanny but also with the human: with humanity’s complicity in history’s darkest moments, its capacity for guilt, its power of witness, and its longing for both companionship and redemption.”

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger: Women are angry, and with every passing day, it seems that rage is more and more justified.  But, as Soraya Chemaly notes throughout this book, contrary to the rhetoric of popular “self-help” and an entire lifetime of being told otherwise, women’s rage is one of the most important resources available, the sharpest tool against both personal and political oppression. Women have been told for so long to bottle up our anger, letting it corrode their bodies and minds in ways they don’t even realize. Yet anger is a vital instrument, a radar for injustice and a catalyst for change. On the flip side, the societal and cultural belittlement of our anger is a cunning way of limiting and controlling our power.  With insight, energy, and wit, Chemaly insists that anger is not what gets in our way, it is our way, sparking a new understanding of one of our core emotions that will give women a liberating sense of why their anger matters and connect them to an entire universe of women no longer interested in making nice at all costs.  The Guardian loved this book, praising it in a beautiful review which read in part “Rage is a battle-cry of a book, drawing on all corner of contemporary life, from media to education and medicine. She takes the reader through a woman’s life, from infancy to adulthood, highlighting the systemic ways female rage is suppressed, diverted or minimalised. And she provides scientific evidence to back up her ideas. If life as a modern woman is maddening, then Rage is a sanity-restorer.”

Shell Game: Sara Paretsky’s acclaimed detective, V.I. Warshawski, is back, and taking on a twisting shocker of a case that is sure to keep fans spellbound.  Legendary sleuth V.I. Warshawski returns to the Windy City to save an old friend’s nephew from a murder arrest. The case involves a stolen artifact that could implicate a shadowy network of international criminals. As V.I. investigates, the detective soon finds herself tangling with the Russian mob, ISIS backers, and a shady network of stock scams and stolen art that stretches from Chicago to the East Indies and the Middle East. This is a case where nothing and no one are what they seem, except for the detective herself, who loses sleep, money, and blood, but remains indomitable in her quest for justice. Booklist gave this series installment a starred review, calling it “An expertly woven tale… Paretsky’s landmark series remains as popular as ever, and the social consciousness behind the stories seems ever more in tune with contemporary events.”

Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times: If you’re like me, and had a sensational crush on Chopin, then this is the book for you!  Based on ten years of research and a vast cache of primary sources located in archives in Warsaw, Paris, London, New York, and Washington, D.C., Alan Walker’s monumental work is the most comprehensive biography of the great Polish composer to appear in English in more than a century. Walker’s work is a corrective biography, intended to dispel the many myths and legends that continue to surround Chopin. Throughout this compelling text, Walker presents the intricate dynamics of a dramatic life; of particular focus are Chopin’s childhood and youth in Poland, which are brought into line with the latest scholarly findings, and Chopin’s romantic life with George Sand, with whom he lived for nine years. Comprehensive and engaging, and written in highly readable prose, the biography wears its scholarship lightly: this is a book suited as much for the professional pianist as it is for the casual music lover. Kirkus agreed, giving this book a starred review and calling it “A sensitively discerning examination of a 19th-century superstar . . . a magnificent, elegantly written biography . . . An absorbing biography unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.”

1,000 Books to Read: A Life-Changing List: This marvelous book takes the stress of dying out of your reading experience by instead presenting the volumes that will help you live a more full, engaged life.  Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, these selections ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.  There are nuts and bolts, too—best editions to read, other books by the author, “if you like this, you’ll like that” recommendations , and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate. Add it all up, and in fact there are more than six thousand titles by nearly four thousand authors mentioned—a life-changing list for a lifetime of reading.  Booklist waxes rhapsodical about this work, giving it a starred review and saying “Every so often, a reference book appears that changes the landscape of its area of focus. In the case of reading and readers’ advisory, this is one such book….lively, witty, insightful prose…It might be wise to invest in several copies of this wonderful meditation on life lived with and enhanced by the written word.”

Until next week, beloved patrons–Happy Reading!

Planning For Autumn!

You wouldn’t really know it by looking out the window, but it is indeed Autumn, beloved patrons (give it a day or so, and you’ll remember).  And, like the leaves that cascade down around us, we have a big pile of programs, classes, and events going on in and around the Library this month, and into November.

As ever, we do our very best to meet the needs and preferences of our community, but if there is a program you would like to see offered, a class you would like to take, or a skill you would like to learn, please let us know!  We are, as ever and always, here for you.

And so, with that said, let’s check out some of the super offerings on our calendars, as well as some important dates to add to your datebook.

STATEWIDE: DEADLINE FOR VOTER REGISTRATION:

October 17, 2018.  Check your status and register to vote here, at the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

STATEWIDE: ELECTION DAY

November 6, 2018.
Information on State Ballot Questions can be found via the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth 


At the Main Library:

Monday, October 29: 7:00 – 8:00pm: Baseball as American Culture

Join us for a fascinating history of America’s game with UMass Lowell professor Frank Morris. Learn how baseball galvanized a divided nation in the 19th century and developed into ‘America’s Pastime” as an allegory to our cultural identity in the decades to come. Includes a history of the Boston Red Sox and a look at how the game both reinforced and challenged cultural themes over time.
This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Peabody Institute Library.


At the Creativity Lab:

Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 – 8:30pm: Make a Laser Cut Stamp

Learn to use the Creativity Lab’s laser cutter to make a customized stamp that you can use for any craft project. Materials will be provided.  For ages 18+ only.


At the South Branch:

Wednesday, November 7, 1:30 – 3:00pm: Make Your Own Appliqué

Learn the art of appliqué hand-stitching just in time for the holiday season! Appliqué is a form of ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern.  In this 2-week workshop, participants will be stitching a maple leaf in honor the New England’s most beautiful season!  In the first week, participants will learn the basic techniques of appliqué and begin stitching the design. In the second week, participants can finish their design and are encouraged to ask any questions they may have.  All materials will be provided.


At the West Branch:

Wednesday, November 14, 1:00 – 2:00pm: Heritage Films presents Norman Rockwell, Illustrator

Come join us for a 40 minute film presentation by local historian and film maker Dan Tremblay of Heritage Films! This particular film will focus on Norman Rockwell.


 

Dreaming of September…

Did someone say September?

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Personally, each and every one of us here agrees that we seemed to have slipped into a time vortex, and we are completely unable to account for the swiftness with which September is approaching.  Professionally, however, we have been hard at work planning events, classes, concerts, and other programs here at the Library for you, beloved patrons.  With the start of a new school year comes the potential for lots of learning, fun, and new beginnings, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Library for these events, and the many others listed on our website, soon!  Registration is open for these events, so please call or go online to secure your place!

As always, please let us know what kinds of programs you would like to see offered here.  We constantly try to meet the needs of the community, and your input is vital to ensuring we achieve that goal!


At the Main Library:

Monday, September 10, 6:00 – 7:30pm: All About Social Networking: Social Media Services and What’s Right for You

One of the easiest ways to stay in touch with friends and family is through social media. In this class we’ll walk you through the most popular social networks and talk about which ones are best for you.  Feel free to bring your own smartphone and laptop or just follow along.


In the Creativity Lab:

Tuesday, September 4 & 11, 6:30 – 8:30pm: Sew a Personalized Wallet

No sewing experience necessary. In this two-session class, you will sew a fabric wallet from scratch. You will also learn how to make it yours with a custom embroidery design that will be stitched into the front. Fabric and sewing machines will be provided, but you may bring your own if you wish.  This class is for ages 13-adult. Space is limited and sign up is required. Signing up for the first class session automatically registers you for the full two-session class.

At the West Branch:

Tuesday, September 18, 1:00 – 3:00pm: Eco Jewelry Making Workshop

Green Art Workshop Presents Eco Jewelry Making!  Discover how to upcycle paper, metal, and natural objects into one-of-a-kind decor and wearable art! Play with your favorite eco-friendly materials and design earrings, a pendant, necklace, or bring an accessory to adorn. Please register in advance as space is limited to 15 participants. There is no charge and all materials will be provided, unless you want to bring an accessory of your own to adorn.

This program is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Peabody Institute Library.


At the South Branch: 

Tuesday, September 25, 6:30pm – 8:30pm: peabody Recreation Department Fall Painting Program

The Peabody Institute Library’s South Branch will host Peabody Parks & Recreation Department’s Fall art class taught by Jeanette Lerner.  This session will run 6 weeks on Tuesdays, September 25, October 2 & 30th, and November 6, 13, and 20 from 6:30-8:30pm. For more information or to register, please contact the Peabody Parks and Recreation Department at 978-536-0600.

 

Getting Ready For School? We’re Ready to Help! (Part 1)

First and foremost, our apologies for the deafening silence on this blog in the past few days.  We were getting over a bit of summer sickness, and appreciate your patience with us a great deal.

We’re back, and, no doubt like many of you, getting ready for the all the back-to-school fun.  There’s no joy quite like a new box of crayons for the first day of school–but there’s also a lot of stress and anxiety around heading back to school, too.  That’s true no matter how old you are, how long you have been a student, or where you go to class.

The good news is that, as with nearly all things, the Library is here to help!

We’ve already mentioned the Library’s subscription to Tutor.com, which provides on-demand, one-to-one tutoring in an online classroom for students in kindergarten through college in over 60 academic subjects and test preparation areas, including the ACT and SAT.  It’s a phenomenal resource that can help students in any grade.  Today, we’re eager to feature a class that might very well prove helpful to those who may be writing research papers in the coming school year, and would like to learn more about the process and the resources available to you as Library patrons.  Here’s the course description:


Intro to Research and Writing

Writing a research paper can feel feel scary and overwhelming, but having the right tools and skills at your disposal can help make the process clear, and aid you in making the grade with confidence.  

This 2-week class is for students of all ages who are looking to acquire or enhance their research and academic writing skills for any class or academic program.

We will begin by looking at the physical and digital resources available through the library to help you assemble the facts, data, and sources necessary to write a strong paper.  We will then discuss how to construct a research paper, including building a strong thesis statement, crafting a persuasive argument, and citing your sources correctly. We will also brainstorm some effective writing strategies and support methods for students to help make the research and writing process as easy and low-stress as possible.


This course will be held at the Main Library on Monday, September 17 & 24, from 6:00 – 7:30pm.  As mentioned in the description, students of all ages and from any academic discipline are welcome–as are patrons looking to brush up on the research and writing skills.  Registration is now open on our website, or you can call us are (978) 531-0100 to register by phone.

We hope this class, and the other resources that we’ll be featuring in the coming weeks will prove useful to those of you heading back to school, supporting a student, or looking to learn more for yourself alone.  Please let us know what else we can do to make your academic life more easy, too!