Credits

Staff Reads — Labor Day 2017!

Book Projector Treble Clef

Liz: Two things I’ve read, recently. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, and The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn. Vastly different genres, but both fantastic.

Janet Z.

Pat A.:

Debora H.:

  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult: A story about how race colors every facet of life in this country – and how differently we perceive that inequality. Told in three voices in a gripping, page turner style, it is the story of Ruth Jefferson, an African American nurse who is fired from her job when a patient dies; Turk Bauer, the white supremacist who refuses to let Ruth care for his son; and Kennedy McQuarrie, the white lawyer who defends Ruth at trial.
  • The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian: Another story told in three voices, the plot revolves around what happens when a bachelor party goes horribly wrong and two men are killed. The two men, it turns out, are handlers for the two young prostitutes who have been trafficked into sexual slavery from a young age. The most compelling voice is that of Alexandra, one of the prostitutes, and we learn how she was tricked into leaving home with a man who then began trafficking her. Like so many of Bohjalian’s books, this one is well researched and has a lot of eye opening – and painful – information about human trafficking.
  • Lovers of historical fiction will find these books by Pam Jenoff – The Kommandant’s Girl and The Diplomat’s Wife – hugely satisfying. The first is set in Poland during WWII and is the story of a Jewish woman who is able to escape the ghetto and live as a non-Jew. She gets a job working for a Nazi and begins helping the resistance by giving them information she has access to. The second book is set just after WWII ends and is about a woman who survived the concentration camps only to find she has to hide from her past.
  • I love anything by Michelle Moran who has written about ancient Egypt: Cleopatra’s Daughter, The Heretic Queen, and Nefertiti; 18th Century France:Madame Tussaud; and most recently India: Rebel Queen and Mata Hari’s Last Dance.

Mary V.:

  • Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar: One of the slaves of Martha Washington, Ona Judge, escaped from the Washington household when the President and Mrs.Washington were living in Philadelphia. Her escape was successful which was a very rare occurrence. The author relies on the oral testimony of Ona Judge who told her story at the end of her life and before emancipation.
  • Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson: I liked this mystery because it takes place on Beacon Hill in Boston.
  • Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister: This novel is based on the life of a nineteenth century woman who was the first woman to be hired by the Pinkerton Detective Agency.
  • Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry: This is the latest William Monk mystery
  • Someone Wants You Dead by Dick Bartlett: Dick Bartlett is a local author. This was an enjoyable mystery that takes place in New England, mostly in Rhode Island. If you are looking for some light reading, borrow this book and support a local author.
  • Cruel Mercy by David Mark: This is the latest Aector McAvoy mystery. This one is different because it takes place in New York City where Aector has gone to find a missing brother-in law.
  • The Ripper’s Shadow by Laura Joh Rowland: This is another novel based on the murders contributed to Jack the Ripper. I thought it was very well done.

Laura:

  • March Trilogy by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell: This compelling graphic novel trilogy details the 1960’s Civil Rights movement as seen through the eyes of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s and future Congressman John Lewis. The books work well as either an introduction to those less familiar with this part of history or as a complement to what budding historians have already learned. I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Congressman Lewis and Mr. Powell speak at the American Library Association Conference in June.
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (Audiobook on CD narrated by the author): This is a beautifully but not sentimentally told memoir by the current host of The Daily Show. Noah, the son of a black woman and a white woman, discusses growing up during and after apartheid in South Africa. Noah is witty and thoughtful and brings an interesting perspective to the complicated topic of race relations. I recommend the audio version to get Noah’s full effect.
  • The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon: This lovely teen/young adult novel hits so many emotions. It’s sad, hopeful, and romantic, and has managed to become one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. The book is told in alternating points of view between Natasha, a Jamaican-American teenager whose family is about to be deported and Daniel, a Korean-American boy who is trying to live up to his parents’ expectations. The two cross paths one day and have a great effect on each other’s lives. Although this is Natasha and Daniel’s story, secondary and (seemingly) minor characters get their due and contribute, strongly, to the book. This may sound corny but I wanted to hug this book!
  • Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed by Sonia Choquette: If you loved Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Wild by Cheryl Strayed and are looking for a readalike, this memoir by a woman who found herself with a pilgrimage hiking el Camino de Santiago in France and Spain will be right up your alley. The book came alive for me when Choquette described all of the fellow pilgrims and travelers she encountered on the way.
  • The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (Downloadable Audiobook read by Linda Lavin): This novel, set in Boston during the early part of the twentieth century, is a great celebration of female friendships, empowerment, and family. I really enjoyed the story of Addie Baum, who details the story of her late childhood and early adulthood to an unseen granddaughter. Anita Diamant is known for writing strong female characters and this book is not an exception. Linda Lavin’s narration is wonderful!

Todd:

  • House: Two Stories: This box set has the first two House movies from the 1980s. If you are a fan of campy/comedy horror from the 80s, you’ll love this. The first House is way better than the second one. I’m going to have to watch the other two movies that are in this series.
  • Sleight: This was a pretty captivating and sad movie by the producer of Get Out.
  • This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong: I loved the first book & movie, John Dies at the End. If you enjoyed that, you should read this.
  • Tranny by Laura Jane Grace: The Autobiography of the singer of Against Me! It is about the band, her life, and her transition from Tom Gabel to Laura Jane Grace. If you have never listened to them, you should! Their older albums from when they were signed to Fat Wreck are available on Freegal.
  • Coffin Hill: A pretty good graphic novel that takes place in Dorchester and Salem. Only three volumes in this series so it is an enjoyable quick read.
  • Streets of San Francisco by Swingin’ Utters: For the last 20 years, they have been one of my favorite punk bands, and I still haven’t seen them live. This is their first album that came out in 1995.
  • Turnstile Comix by The Slow Death: Just a great melodic punk album!
  • Live in Europe by Otis Redding: I rarely like live albums. So few singers perform with the energy of Otis Redding. I’ve listened to this way too many times!

Doreen:

  • The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson: WWI Historical Fiction. Wonderful rich language, character-based. Two thumbs up!
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: E-Book: Woman escapes the horrors of slavery through the Underground Railroad network. Three thumbs up!
  • Wonder by RJ Palacio: E-Book: Life of a disfigured boy. Amazing boy. Shares his feelings and observations of how the world views him. Also told from perspective of family and friends. Three thumbs up!
  • Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance: Audio Book: Memoir of a family in crisis. Describes his Appalachian upbringing and struggles. Thumb up!
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt: Story about a girl faced with dyslexia. Two thumbs up!
  • Canterbury Sisters by Kim Wright: A Woman’s pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral after her mother’s death. Travels with other women on the journey. They each share their own stories. Was a good light summer read. Thumb up!
  • And lots of great picture books! Here are some recent favorites:
    Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
    My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook👍🏼
    What Do You Do with an Idea by Kobi Yamada 👍🏼👍🏼
    Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
  • Solar Eclipse August 21st

    Are you ready for the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st? While Massachusetts is not in the path of totality, which means we won’t get the full eclipse, we will however still get to see a partial eclipse.

    Tips for Safe Viewing

    Only wear special glasses with a solar filter to watch the eclipse. Ordinary sunglasses will not protect your eyes. As the retina does not have nerve ending, you won’t be aware of any damage from the sun for hours, so wearing the proper safety gear is important.

    Always cover your eyes with solar viewing glasses or equipment before you look up at the sun.

     

    For more information visit these sites

    Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum https://airandspace.si.edu/eclipse-2017

    NASA https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

    Space.com https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html

     

    Information About Glasses

    NASA https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

    Order glasses here http://www.solareclipse-glasses.com/

    Glasses can also be obtained at the Museum of Science store, but you may want to call ahead.

    Watch! Read! Listen! Watch

    WRL logo

    Watch Read Listen Events

    WATCH READ LISTEN is an annual community-wide initiative to encourage Waltham to experience a story together. Our goal is for the whole city to engage in conversation and programming designed to delve deeper into a story, start a dialogue, uncover new perspectives, and mostly, bring people together in an entertaining and enriching way. This year our story is Frankenstein.

    Participate by watching!

    Frankenstein, Boris Karloff The Bride of Frankenstein Scene from The X-Files Frankenweenie Poster

    Watch! Read! Listen! READ

    WRL logo

    Watch Read Listen Events

    WATCH READ LISTEN is an annual community-wide initiative to encourage Waltham to experience a story together. Our goal is for the whole city to engage in conversation and programming designed to delve deeper into a story, start a dialogue, uncover new perspectives, and mostly, bring people together in an entertaining and enriching way. This year our story is Frankenstein.

    Participate by Reading!

    Watch! Read! Listen! Listen

    WRL logo

    Watch Read Listen Events

    WATCH READ LISTEN is an annual community-wide initiative to encourage Waltham to experience a story together. Our goal is for the whole city to engage in conversation and programming designed to delve deeper into a story, start a dialogue, uncover new perspectives, and mostly, bring people together in an entertaining and enriching way. This year our story is Frankenstein.

    Participate by listening!

    Audiobooks

    Frankenstein Audiobook

    Music

    Young Frankenstein Original Cast Recording

    WPL Archives Finding Aid

    Our Archives and Special Collections has made possible a new way to see what we own. Welcome to the Waltham Room Finding Aid now online! You can have instant access to the massive listing of our collections. Many of the descriptions give detailed information on scope and coverage of the various books, manuscripts, brochures, typed histories, maps, newspaper articles, etc. which make up our valuable coverage of Waltham’s history. Go here to take advantage of this new resource. Of course, please contact the library for access to the actual materials.

    Staff Reads March 17, 2017

    Book Projector Treble Clef

    Jan: I read Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann.
    In the 1890’s oil was discovered at the Osage Indian reservation in Oklahoma, making the tribal members extremely wealthy. What followed those residents was a terrifying era of unexplained murders which the local “lawmen” were unable to solve. Only the efforts of the Justice Department’s newly formed unit, the Bureau of Investigation, later the FBI, were able to bring justice to the victims’ families. This book is a tale of incredible greed, corruption, incompetence and discrimination in the Old West-no John Wayne here! You’ll probably never be able to watch a Western in the same light again!

    Deb:

    Doreen:

    Mary V.:

    • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena: This is a suspenseful story that kept me interested almost to the end. There are a few pages at the the end which could be deleted and make it better. I hated that additional ending.
    • The Phantom Passage by Paul Haller: This is an old-fashioned mystery in the style of Erle Stanley Gardner or Agatha Christie. My brother, James, recommended it to me and I enjoyed reading it. He read everything else he could find in library by this author, but one is enough for me.
    • The Knife Slipped by A. A. Fair: This book was written about 1940, supposedly the second in a long series of Cool and Lam mysteries. It has been missing and has now been republished. A. A. Fair is Erle Stanley Gardner. I didn’t like it well enough to look for more of the series, but may do so when I can’t find anything else.
    • Agatha Christie’s Closed Casket by Sophia Hannah: I really enjoyed this new Hercule Poirot mystery. Since Agatha Christie died in 1976 at the age of 85, she did not write it, but the author was true to the Hercule Poirot character and I did enjoy reading it.
    • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: This was the worst book I have ever read. Many times I was ready to stop reading it, but I thought it might get better. It didn’t. It is supposed to be a novel about President and Mrs Lincoln after the death of their son, Willie in 1862. Even though it is a novel, the author inserted his footnotes into the text which was very distracting. Also, it is mainly conversations among the dead in the cemetery and the dead peoples’ s attempts to help Willie transition into the next life. There are hundreds of holds on this book because anything with the Lincoln name is popular. I will be interested in someone else’s opinion about this book.
    • Crooked House by Christobel Kent: This is a spell-binding book about a young woman who survived the mass murder of her mother, brother and sisters thirteen years ago. Her father survives the assault and is accused of the murders.She is forced to return to the town where the deaths occurred. While there for a wedding she searches for answers to what actually happened.
    • The Story of God Season one: This documentary on DVD is narrated by Morgan Freeman. He travels all over the world to find answers to many age old questions such as creation. He meets and has discussions with many different people with different religious views. If there is a season 2, I will watch it.
    • The Cedar Creek Sessions Music CD by Kris Kristofferson: A new release by Kris Kristofferson and he sings some of his classic songs. Since he is now eighty years old, he does not sound the same. He is still touring which I find amazing.

    Maureen:

    • The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris (MUSIC CD) ,a tribute album to Emmylou with a great selection of artists.
    • Manchester by the Sea: Tough movie to watch but Affleck did a good job. You really felt his devastation, loneliness and complete disconnect from his hometown community and friends.
    • All the Way: Bryan Cranston does a tremendous job portraying LBJ and the struggles he faced in his first year in office. The supporting cast was fantastic, it was uncanny how much Melissa Leo looked like Lady Bird.
    • Hell or High Water: I was really surprised by how good this movie was. Basically I would watch Jeff Bridges in anything and be happy. A clever plot sprinkled with humor.
      Chris Pine and Ben Foster are two downtrodden, yet very committed brothers, who turn to bank robbing to save the family land. Jeff Bridges is a Texas Ranger on the verge of a reluctant retirement and he is determined to get to the bottom of these robberies.

    Nancy D.:

    • Currently reading Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson. A murder thriller that takes place in Boston. The action grabs you pretty much from the start. It involves multiple points of view, which adds richness and depth to the story. I’m liking it so far!
    • I See You by Clare Mackintosh. Her second novel after her smashing first one I Let You Go. I was really looking forward to this thriller, because her first one hooked me from the first page and wouldn’t let go. I was somewhat disappointed in this one. It was slow to draw me in, and a lot of the characters annoyed me. But it did have a couple good twists at the very end.
    • The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers. I loved this novel about a wife accused of murdering her baby during the waning years of the Civil War in the South. Great story, many wonderful characters, and the language beautifully evokes this turbulent time period.
    • The Girl Before by JP Delaney. Really good thriller that takes place in a very unusual rental building with even more unusual rules.
    • The River at Night by Erica Ferencik. Another great adventure/thriller placed in the wilds of Northern Maine. I highly recommend this one.
    • I’m currently listening to Damaged by Lisa Scottoline. I didn’t realize it was part of a series involving a lawyer named Mary Dinunzio, but it seems like it can stand alone. In this story, Dinunzio takes on the case of a 10 year old boy whose sole guardian, his grandfather, comes to her saying his grandson ( who has dyslexia) is being bullied and abused at school in Philadelphia. The case gets more involved when the grandfather dies and the boy is accused of committing the crime and is declared dangerous. Dinunzio takes the boys side and fights to become his temporary guardian. I want to like this story, but I have to admit Mary Dinunzio is beginning to annoy me. She seems much too gullible and naive.
    • The Trespasser by Tana French. Loved this London-based murder mystery. Lots of twists and turns, and very good character development.
    • I recently saw Arrival with Amy Adams. As others have mentioned, it’s a thinking person’s UFO story with a heart and soul. I really liked it although I didn’t completely understand the time jumps (very nonlinear). Perhaps that’s the point.) I’d love to discuss it with someone!!!

    Pat A.:

    Laura:

    • All our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai: This is one of those time travel stories in which the main character (Tom) goes back in time, makes one small change which ends up drastically changing the present. Think you’ve read or watched that premise one too many times? You haven’t. The twist here is that we are living in the altered timeline. The original timeline was a world full of flying cars, cleaner air, and more efficient productivity. Tom, though, was a man whose beloved mother was killed in a freak accident and who shared a distant relationship with his father. His (unintentional) change created a lot of problems for the world, but also exposed some of the problems in the original world. I devoured this book and read it fewer than two days. It was witty and sarcastic but also extremely emotional. I often laughed and cried at the same page. The book is a cautionary and hopeful look at the world where we reside. I would suggest this as a readalike for The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson.
    • The Book of Joy: Last Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams: This lovely little book was written under the backdrop of Desmond Tutu traveling to Dharamshala, India to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. Their wisdom, love, and amazing senses of humor come through so much in this volume. I wanted to hug the book when I was finished with it.
    • Moana: The latest Disney movie is a lot of fun. Moana is the future chief of a South Pacific Island about 2,000 years ago who sets off to find the demi-god Maui to return the heart of Te-Fiti in order to ensure her people’s survival. Newcomer (and 16 year old) Auli’i Cravalho does an amazing job as the title character. Her stint on the Oscars in which she still continued performing without even pausing after getting hit on the head by accident, proves that she is the consummate professional!

    Stephanie: The Sign Will Say Weehawken by Charles Vallely: I rarely read poetry. Maybe a glance at the new Billy Collins or a recent compilation of Emily Dickinson’s, but this book really took hold of me. From the minute I opened it up, I was entranced by the imagery and emotions that spilled out of the page and into my heart. Even the title has made a vivid and lasting imprint on my mind. The author alas, has passed and this will be his final work. Please pick up this book. It is a national treasure.

    Bentley University Centennial

    Bentley University Flex

    Congratulations to Bentley University on their Centennial!!! They’ve advanced from just a single classroom offering accounting studies to a world-renowned university, still best known for their business expertise. Come see our display outside the Waltham Room and participate in Bentley’s social media contest! Take a photo of the mascot Flex, send it off, and be entered to win! Click here for details.

    Services for Immigrants and Newcomers — 2017

    Ellis Island

    The Waltham Public Library welcomes everyone from around the world! If you are settling here or in the area, here are some services that you may find helpful.

    Immigrant Agencies and Services (Non-Government) | Immigrant Agencies (Government) | Organizations for Newcomers from Specific Areas | Legal Assistance | English Language Learning

    Immigrant Agencies and Services (Non-Government)
    The following organizations can provide help to newcomers.

    Immigrant Related Agencies (Government)
    The following government agencies provide information about legal residency, citizenship, and can answer questions.

    Organizations for Newcomers from Specific Areas

    Legal Assistance

    English Language Learning
    Waltham Public Library’s English Language Learning Page

    • English at Large
      781-395-2374
      800 West Cummings Park
      Suite 5550
      Woburn, MA 01801
      English at Large offers free conversation groups at the Waltham Public Library to adult intermediate and advanced English speakers, as well as individual instruction.

    • WATCH: Breaking Barriers
      781-891-6689
      24 Crescent Street
      Suite 401
      Waltham MA 02453
      “Breaking Barriers at WATCH is an adult education, training, and leadership program for immigrants of all nationalities. The program expands the skills and strengthens the voice of immigrants in the Waltham community.”

    • Waltham Family School
      781-314-5696
      517 Moody Street
      Waltham, MA 02453
      “Waltham Family School (WFS) empowers English Language Learner families to be literate, self-sufficient and connected to the greater Waltham Community.”

    • Hope International Church Threshold English Classes
      781-891-5238
      21 Bruce Rd.
      Waltham, MA 02453
      “Hope International church strives to help the immigrant, student, and speakers of other languages to learn the English language.”
    • Project Literacy @ Watertown Free Library
      617-924-8797
      Watertown Free Library
      123 Main St.
      Watertown, MA 02472
      “Project Literacy offers free services to adults learning to read, write, or speak English. Many are immigrants who are studying English and learning about American culture and some are native or nearly fluent English speakers who are improving their literacy skills.”
    • Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline
      1-800-447-8844
      “The Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline provides referrals to over 300 adult education programs that offer one-on-one tutoring, small-group or classroom instruction to adult learners. We provide information about basic reading, math, adult basic education, English language training, family literacy, High School Equivalency Test preparation or testing sites.”

    Staff Reads — January 27, 2017

    Book

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    Jan: I read the new book by Julian Fellowes Belgravia. Of course, he is the famous author of fiction all Anglophiles recognize: Snobs; Past Imperfect; Gosford Park, and Downton Abbey. This latest gives us all the twists and turns and surprises we’ve come to expect in an epic story. You’re sure to love this engrossing read.

    Maureen:

    • Missing, Presumed : a novel / Susie Steiner: Another great British crime novel with superb character development.It centers around a young woman who goes missing and the implications to her family and friends as the investigation into her whereabouts continues. The author reveals frustrations involved in missing person cases, plus harmful effects of media on the processes used.
    • Behind Closed Doors / B. A. Paris: A psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.It was creepy, disturbingly so but I was unable to put it down!
    • Bookshop on the Corner /Jenny Colgan: This book was the perfect antidote to all the crime and psychological thrillers I seem to read on a regular basis. It was a perfectly delightful read about a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. However Nina is facing a crisis, her library is being closed for redundancy. She ends up purchasing a large van, perfect for a mobile bookshop and moves to the wilds of Scotland! And there her life and adventures really begin to flourish.Heartwarming with a great message.
    • The Trespasser / Tana French: Have just started reading this novel by one of my favorite authors, Tana French. Tana is an Irish writer who has an uncanny knack for character development, especially the characters who reside in the Dublin murder Squad. Antoinette Conway, is a woman detective in a man’s world. I know this won’t disappoint.
    • The Family Fang / DVD: Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman and Christopher Walken are the stars in this dysfunctional family story line. It is funny, perceptive, thought-provoking.

    Amber:
    A Tale of Two Cocktail Books…

    • The Essential New York Times Book of Cocktails: Along with over 350 recipes for cocktails, many from current NY establishments, this collection also includes essays written by well-known cocktail writers. The book is primarily divided by drink with chapters on the negroni, Martini, and Manhattan for instance, along with sections that encompass wine, beer, bitters and champagne, as well. The recipes are simple to follow but many require ingredients that may not be on hand at a home bar. However, I found several cocktails that I was able to put together without a trip to the store, including recipes that allow me to combine my love for cocktails with my love of beer into one festive drink.
    • Cocktails for Drinkers: If the ingredients of the NYT book seem unattainable, check out Cocktails for Drinkers. These “not-even-remotely artisanal” (per the cover) cocktails are comprised of four ingredients or less and, along with author Jennifer McCartney’s pithy remarks, will be the salve for your thirsty cocktail-desiring soul.
    • The Mothers by Brit Bennett: This debut novel appeared on several ‘best of’ lists at the end of 2016 and it was one of my top reads of the year, as well. The title accurately sums up the central theme of the novel but concepts of gender and race also play heavily here. The questions raised within stay with you long after you finish the last page.
    • 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino: It’s Christmas Eve Eve in this fantastic novel that bebops through one day in the life of several Philadelphia city dwellers. We are introduced to characters at an energetic, almost frenzied pace that brings to life the great jazz music that plays a prominent role in the lives of those we met as well as in the life of the city. Ultimately, this is a story about the power of music that boasts an ending that ranks on my list of best ever.

    Jeanette:

    • I’m not usually current with what everyone is reading but I managed to get to this one recently –
      A Man Called Ove [sound recording] / Fredrik Backman: I didn’t think I would be able to make it through the first disc…as I was not enjoying this story. Almost gave up on it but glad I didn’t. An excellent story about an unhappy man who finds happiness even though he remains true to his cantankerous self.
      Also by listening to the book I found I’d been mispronouncing the title – The narrator pronounced the name as Oova! (With the O being a U sound) I was saying Ohve (with the O being an O sound) If that makes any sense! If not you’ll have to get the book and listen to it hear it for yourself…
    • The Charm Bracelet : a novel / Viola Shipman: I loved this book – Getting ready for my 50th High School Reunion – I came across my own Charm Bracelet – Saw an essay in a magazine about a Charm Bracelet written by the author Wade Rouse – who used the pseudonym Viola Shipman to honor his two Grandmothers when writing this novel.
    • Nine Women, One Dress : a novel [sound recording] / Jane L. Rosen: Started this but decided I just didn’t care about the dress – I enjoyed The Charm Bracelet more!
    • Night [sound recording] / Elie Wiesel: I read this book back in high school because I had to – When Mr. Wiesel passed away and a copy of his story was returned – I decided to revisit it. Meant more to me as an adult though the horrors experienced were difficult to hear.
    • The Guilty [sound recording] / David Baldacci: Loved this book – Great story and it kept me on the tip of my ear buds…descriptive chases and gun battles were well done. Male and Female readers added to the enjoyment!
    • Where’d You Go, Bernadette [sound recording] / Maria Semple: Couldn’t get into this one – Think I’m too old to get involved with notorious Mom’s dealing with family problems.
    • Rogue Lawyer [sound recording] / John Grisham: Hadn’t read a John Grisham book in awhile this was a bit different!
    • 11.22.63 (Mini Series): Stephen King was getting a little repetitious for me with all the blood and gore and spooky characters. This was a different Stephen King story and though I didn’t like the subject, I liked his take on how things may have worked out.
    • Suits: Season one [videorecording]: Well written – though didn’t like the way the story was going with characters making the same mistakes over and over – Don’t think I’ll be watching anymore Seasons of this one.
    • Eye in the Sky: Good movie – Had me squirming the same way the movie – Tora Tora Tora did!
    • Silk Season two: Interesting learning about the court system in England. Story line and Characters were in the same vein as the American series The Good Wife.
    • Here are a couple of Children’s books I liked
      The Boy who Bit Picasso / Antony Penrose: I was intrigued by the title and really enjoyed this book – a true story. Fun looking thru the eyes of the young boy at Picasso’s life. What a great experience for him – Not sure how much children will enjoy it but this young at heart reader loved it!
      Includes photos and drawings also…
    • The Book with No Pictures / B.J. Novak: This book is the opposite of my previous “Children’s Read”, The Boy Who Bit Picasso – I think I would enjoy reading the book to a child or two! Fun fun fun and silly too!

    Pat O.: Just started reading A Man Called Ove and recently watched The Secret Life of Pets with my grandson—cute & funny,especially for animal lovers!

    Laura:

    • The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood: Ava, whose husband recently left her for the a yarn graffiti artist (aka the “Yarn Bomber”) finds solace in a local book club. This year, the members must choose a book that matters most to them. This quick paced book is full of coincidences and some plot contrivances, but Ava is a strong female character and the book club members make for interesting side characters.
    • Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth by Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer: I very much enjoyed this biography of first cousins Eleanor and Alice (daughter of Theodore Roosevelt). I knew quite a bit about Eleanor, but very little about Alice, who was extremely fascinating in her own right.
    • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, narrated by Hope Davis: Ann Patchett’s worst books are better than a lot of authors’ best, and so, I eagerly read (or listen, in this case) to her newest titles. This loosely autobiographical novel tells the story of the blended Keating and Cousins Families. The alternating (third person) viewpoints and timeframes make for a nice leisurely pace and I found myself very much caught up in the saga of this family. Davis’s narration also gave the story even more depth.
    • Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung: This teen Australian novel is the story of Lucy, the daughter of immigrants from Vietnam, who leaves her public school for a prestigious private school, ruled by a group of girls known as “The Cabinet”. This plot driven novel is a good view of the immigrant experience, and also a good readalike for the movie, Mean Girls.
    • Kindred by Octavia Butler: This classic time traveling novel is harrowing! Dana, an African-American woman, keeps going back in time, accidentally, crossing paths with her slave owner ancestor, who is, increasingly, more deplorable. Although time travel does provide as a device for the plot, this book is very accessible to readers who are not fans of science fiction. Although written in the 1970’s, this book has a very contemporary feel, dealing with issues regarding modern race relations and identity. This book did not feel dated at all.
    • Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham, narrated by the author (Overdrive): This breezy short read is the story of Franny in the 1990’s, who is trying to make it as an actress in New York. This (assumed) autobiographical novel is a good read for readers who enjoy a lot of dialogue and the New York acting scene.
    • The Fifty Year Mission:The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman: This Trekkie loved the uncensored and juicy tidbits from behind the scenes involving Star Trek: The Original Series. Some involved have very strong opinions about certain crew and cast members (and huge egos!). I also came away having a lot of sympathy for famed director, Robert Wise, who was (perhaps) unfairly blamed for a lot of the problems with the bland 1979 film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I can’t wait to read The Next 25 Years!
    • I recently tried multiple recipes from two recently published cookbooks. The Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes from Prohibition Bakery were a huge hit at a dinner party as well as with family members. Chili peppers added to the scotch infused filling and the ganache frosting give it just the right amount of kick without overwhelming the eater. I’m looking forward to trying the mojito and Saucy Pumpkin cupcakes. If baking isn’t your thing, you can always visit the real Prohibition Bakery in New York!
    • I have my co-worker, Ashley, to thank for introducing me to Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls. I know it may seem as if I’m a rabid fan of this show between this and the Lauren Graham book, but I’m much more of a casual fan. Normally, I wouldn’t even buy a cookbook for my favorite TV show, but this cookbook is fabulous. Sookie’s Jalepeno Chipotle Mac and Cheese is delicious and a great way to use left over peppers from the Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe. I consider myself a mac and cheese connoisseur, and this is high on my list. My mouth is watering while I’m writing this!

    Mary V.

    • Brighton by Michael Harvey: I borrowed this book because it takes place in Brighton, Massachusetts. It was very brutal and I am not recommending it.
    • A Midsummer’s Equation By Keigo Kigashino: This is the third in the series and I did enjoy it. It was better than the second book, but Kigashino has not been able to write a story as good as his first, The Devotion of Suspect X.
    • Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner: A young woman is missing, but I could not bring myself to care. I finished the book because I wanted to see how it ended, but it was slow.
    • Points and Lines by Seicho Matsumoto: This book was written in the seventies. It is a murder mystery with a rather surprise ending. I liked it because it was about the murder only. There were no side stories about the lives of the detectives.
    • I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh: This mystery was a little slow for the first part, but became very good in the last part. The twists at the end were very unexpected.
    • I am now reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I want to learn more about the underground railroad without reading non-fiction. As expected, it is very brutal and disturbing.
    • 75th Birthday Celebration, Joan Baez’s latest CD. I was surprised by how different she sounds now.
    • Turn: Washinton’s Spies, a series about the American Revolution on AMC. I think that is very well done, but I was surprised how upset I was when the Americans hanged Major John Andre for spying. I knew he was hanged, but I didn’t expect to like him so much. I have never been fond of George Washington, but watching this series makes me dislike him even more.The fourth and final season will not be on television until September, by which time I will have forgotten all about it.
    • Night School by Lee Child: This is the latest Jack Reacher which goes back in time. Reacher is an Army MP on a special assignment. As usual with Reacher, hard to put down.

    Seana: I am listening to Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

    Pat A.:

    Ashley:

    • Conviction by Julia Dahl: Third installment of the Rebekah Roberts mysteries. These follow a young reporter in Brooklyn as she solves crimes through her reporting. Sort of a grown up Nancy Drew.
    • The Rift: Uprising by Amy S Foster: Science Fiction features teenagers who were given super human abilities in order to protect “rifts” between other versions of earth. Has a strong, independent female main character.
    • Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
    • The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie: Science Fiction/Fantasy with pirates and giant sea creatures! Alo features a strong female main character.
    • The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron: Interesting Science Fiction/Dystopian novel with twists and reveals that keep the reader guessing.
    • Channel Zero (on the SyFy channel): Familiar with the term “creepypasta”? It refers to horror legends that are copy and pasted on the internet. Sort of the online folklore/urban legends of our time. Channel Zero is a 6 part horror anthology and the first season is based on the “Candle Cove” story by Kris Straub. The story centers on adults who as children watched an obscure television show that aired for only two months. The same two months several children were murdered.
    • Christine and the Queens (Music): Heloise Letissier also known as Christine and the Queens is a French singer/songwriter who released her English language self titled album in the states last year. Her melodies and lyrics while catchy, also usually speak to serious subjects like loneliness, feeling different, and the need to express her own desire, which is not often accepted of female performers. She wears only men’s clothes in an attempt to control the male gaze.
    • Podcast: Secrets Crimes and Audiotape has made a 6 episode audio series of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Well acted and produced,l it makes for a somewhat sinister listen.

    Tory: