Credits

Star Wars!

Vader's Little Princess Darth Vader and Son

In the event that you have been pulling a Rip Van Winkle and have been asleep for the last 20 years, you are very aware that last night marked the opening of the latest Star Wars film, the first in ten years, and the first since 1983’s Return of the Jedi featuring Luke Skywalker (we hope), Han Solo, and Princess Leia. As you gear up to watch the latest movie once, twice, twenty times in the theater, the library has plenty to offer you, whether you believe the movies should be watched in numerical order (starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace) or in the order they were released (starting with Star Wars, later to be called Episode IV: A New Hope). Enjoy and may the force be with you!
(Before we continue, I’m just going to share the opinion that the only way to watch the movies is in the order they were released, the first movie will always be called just Star Wars, and it’s okay to pretend the prequels don’t exist).

posted by Laura

Staff Reads — Week of December 7, 2015

Book

Here is what the staff has been reading, lately:

Todd: Peter & Max: A Fables Novel: “If you are fan of the graphic novel Fables, you will like this. It drags on a bit, but it is a good story.” Todd also downloaded the album Calypso Kitch from the library’s subscription to Freegal. He also viewed the “mediocre horror movie” The Cabining from the library’s subscription to Hoopla.

Louise:

  • “Catch The Jew by Tuvia Tenenbom, like its title, is funny and alarming at the same time. Picture Michael Moore traveling through Israel and its environs and you will have a foretaste of what is to come. Tenenbom was raised in an Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel. He has since moved to Brooklyn where he runs the Jewish Theatre of New York. Tuvia speaks fluent German, Arabic, Hebrew and American. He poses as Tobi the German when interviewing people who have an Anti-Zionist bias.
    This book will change your perspective on the complex situation of Israel vis a vis the Ultra-Orthodox groups, the Palestinians, the Israeli government, the Israeli army, the Right wing, the left wing, the Bedouins and the many European NGOs who have a presence in the country. Whether you agree with Mr. Tenenbom or not, you will laugh even as you cry. This book was a number one best seller in Israel and in Germany as well. Recommended for anyone interested in this subject who likes a little humor with their reporting.
    I give this book five Dead Sea Scrolls up!”
  • “Pulitzer Prize winning reporter David Finkel follows the Second Battalion in The Good Soldiers, Sixteenth Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army as they are called in to Iraq as part of President Bush’s Surge in 2007. Most of the soldiers in this regiment are very young men, with an average age of nineteen. We see the horror and the boredom, the victories and the losses that the battalion must struggle with. The soldiers and their Iraqui translator in this very well written book come across as extremely human and vulnerable.
    There is some profanity in this book and some violence. However, it presents a relatively objective reporting of one Regiment’s experience both in Iraq and afterwards. Recommended for anyone who is interested in reading about wartime experience written by a journalist without a particular political agenda.
    I give this book four army helmets up!”
  • “Nathaniel Fick writes a first person account of his very rigorous and grueling training to be a Marine Officer in One Bullet Away: The Making Of a Marine Officer. (This reviewer can’t even do a cartwheel and is awed by the many amazing feats that Fick is able to perform. I had no idea how difficult Marine Officer training could be!) Fick graduated from Dartmouth University in 1999 and decided to embark on this challenging journey. He tells you about his experiences in Iraq and in Afghanistan. This book is recommended to anyone who wonders about what it takes to be a capable leader in wartime. This book also is recommended to anyone who is interested in the amount of teamwork that is required for a military unit to succeed.
    This book has some profanity and violence.
    I give this book four marine corp insignias up!”
  • All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen: “Shulem Deen was raised in a very religious family and chooses to live his adult life in a very traditional Hassidic community. This first person account of his experience in the Skverer community in Rockland County, New York, opens a window to a world that very few have experienced. The reader follows Shulem’s Yeshiva education, arranged marriage, and his gradual disaffection from the community.
    This book is recommended to readers of memoir, those interested in learning about cultures and beliefs different from their own, and people interested in questions of faith in the modern world.
    I give this book five yarmulkes up!”

Jeanette:

Laura:

  • In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume: “Judy Blume, my childhood hero, is the only woman who could actually get me to read about plane crashes, three of them, to be exact. Based on true events in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the 1950’s, this novel details how a community is affected by three planes crashing into the town over the period of a few months. Told in third person point of view, but from the minds of various community members, the book mainly features the story of 15 year old Miri Ammerman, and how her life changes in many ways during that fateful year. I enjoyed this book very much, mainly because it had a very similar vibe to Blume’s Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself, one of my favorite novels.”
  • The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar: “In an effort to save their marriage after the death of their son, Frank and Ellie Benton, move to India for Frank’s job, where Frank becomes attached to the young son of their cook and housekeeper. This novel is thoughtful, melancholy, and beautifully written, until the end, when the tone completely shifts and it turns into an over the top thriller.”
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: “Hayley has been on the road for many years with her veteran father, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He decides that it’s time for them to be settled and so he moves them to his hometown, where Hayley attends public high school. She is quick to mistrust the adults in her life, and is skeptical about potential friends, as well. Meanwhile, she must continue to play the adult in her house, as her father’s problems with PTSD continue to spiral out of control.”
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: “I agree with Jeanette that there is a bit of a Rear Window vibe in this book, so I would suggest this book for any suspense fans who like a bit of a twist. Three first person narrators, a couple not so reliable, relate the tale of Rachel, a British commuter obsessed with a couple she sees every morning from the train window. When the woman she dubs “Jess” disappears, Rachel finds that she’s perhaps closer to the situation than she initially realized. Told from the point of view of Rachel, her ex-husband’s new wife (Anna), and the missing woman in the months leading up to her disappearance, The Girl on the Train is a thriller about a world not as it seems told through the mind of a raging alcoholic. For those of you who were less than thrilled with Gone Girl, don’t be deterred by the comparisons. I was not a fan of Gone Girl and I enjoyed this one.”

Maureen:

  • Perfect/ Rachel Joyce: “England is the backdrop for this story that is set in two different time zones; the spring and summer of 1972 and the present, with the some of the characters featuring in both zones. As the story unfolds, it eventually becomes obvious that there will be some merging of the two strands.
    There are many layers to “Perfect” and also a range of interesting characters. Byron Hemmings and James Lowe are boys in 1972, interested in the world around them and full of ideas and plans. They are particularly interested in the thought that two seconds will be taken away from time during the year and it is Byron’s amazement at seeing the second hand of his watch moving backwards that leads to an event which will ultimately change his life and the lives of those around him. A very intriguing read.”
  • The Ghost Fields / Elly Griffiths: “Another great Ruth Galloway mystery, I am really hooked on these books. Ruth is such a believable, down to earth character.
    In this installment, a bulldozer makes a grizzly discovery of a WWII airplane with the pilot still instill inside. Galloway is called in and discovers the body is the son of the family living in a nearby manor and he hadn’t been piloting that particular plane. How did he get there and why? Evidence points this way and that, leaving the reader in suspense about murderer and motive.”
  • White Dresses : a Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters / Mary Pflum Peterson: “This is a compelling story of several generations of women all connected by the white dresses from all the significant life events they experienced. Mary Pflum Petersen tells her mother’s story and her own through the white dresses marking major events in their lives. Mary couldn’t rescue her mother from eventual hoarding, however she managed to pull the meaningful white dresses out of the horrific wreckage. Mary’s Mom always told her that White dresses were symbolic of starting over…a clean slate.This was an captivating story and I had a hard time putting it down. This book was engaging to the end; ultimately, it is a beautiful testament to the love and devotion of mother and daughter.”
  • Off the Black [videorecording]: “A very good indie debut by first time director James Ponsoldt, just a well told story and some very fine performances. Nolte, in particular, totally embodies his characters ailments and addictions. He is a
    grumpy high school umpire and catches one of three high school boys who are in the act of vandalizing his house. From there a very unlikely friendship develops.”
  • After You / Jojo Moyes: the long awaited sequel to Me Before You and I have just started it. So here’s hoping I won’t be disappointed.
  • First Degree / David Rosenfelt.(hoopla streaming): “This is my first David Rosenfelt book and I am captured. Andy Carpenter is a New Jersey defense attorney who owing to an inherited windfall from his Dad no longer needs cases to survive for a living. However this is an inviting case that involves a dubious character who comes into his office confessing to the grisly murder of corrupt police officer Alex Dorsey. So far it is smooth and entertaining and I find myself laughing out loud. And better still it is on hoopla which means it is always available for streaming!”

2016 Waltham Public Library Book Club Selections

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling The Greater Journey by David McCullough The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Announcing the 2016 reading list for the Waltham Public Library Book Club!*
Printer Friendly List

*The Waltham Public Library Book Club meets on the third Thursday of each month (except December) from 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm in the library’s Trustee Room. Copies of the books are available at the Main Circulation Desk during the month before the respective book’s meeting. For more information about the Waltham Public Library Book Club, please contact Laura Bernheim at lbernheim@minlib.net, 781-314-3435 or Louise Goldstein at lgoldstein@minlib.net, 781-314-3429.

Election 2015

Don’t forget! Waltham is having a municipal election on Tuesday, November 3. Registered Waltham voters will vote for mayor, City Council Members (Councilors at Large and Ward Councilors) and School Committee Members. Here is all of the information that you need:

Registering and Where to Vote

  • If you are not already registered to vote, it’s too late for this election, but registering now will make you eligible for all future elections, including the 2016 Presidential Primary on March 1, 2016. Unsure if you’re registered? Click here. You can get a voter registration form at one of the following locations:
    • Register to vote in person at the Waltham City Clerk’s Office; City Hall, Second Floor, 610 Main Street; 781-314-3120.
    • Pick up an application at the first floor reference desk or at the ground floor community bulletin board at the Waltham Public Library. You will have to mail the completed registration form.
    • Register online through the Secretary of the Commonwealth Website. Anyone doing so must either have a Masssachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Issued Driver’s License or State ID card.
    • Download a registration form and mail it: English, Spanish/Español, Chinese/中國
  • Unsure where to vote? If you don’t know your ward or precinct number, you can look up your polling place here. If you do know your ward and precinct number, you can look up your polling location here.

The Candidates (Candidates are listed in order as they appear on the City Clerk’s website)

Need More Information?

Girls who Code Club

Girls who Code logo

We are very excited to be hosting a Girls who Code Club starting this fall!
Girls who Code is a National Non-Profit organization leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st Century opportunities.

Open to middle school and high school students, the club meets Thursday nights throughout the school year from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, starting November 5. There will be a (non-mandatory) information session for anyone who is interested on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm.

Register today! Space is limited! Priority given to Waltham residents.

There will be no meeting on November 19, November 26, December 24, December 31, February 18, and April 21.

For more information, call 781-314-3435 or email walthamgwcclub@gmail.com

Jackie Collins, 1937-2015

collins

We are sad to learn of the death of Jackie Collins and offer our condolences to her sister, Joan Collins.  Celebrate her life by checking out one of her books.

Dangerous Kiss

Dangerous Kiss

Deadly Embrace

Deadly Embrace

Double Lucky: Two Books in One: Drop Dead Beautiful & Goddess of Vengeance

Drop Dead Beautiful

Goddess of Vengeance

Hollywood Divorces

Hollywood Divorces

Hollywood Kids

Hollywood Wives – The New Generation

L.A. Connections

Lethal Seduction

Lethal Seduction

Lovers & Players

Lucky

Married Lovers

Married Lovers

Poor Little Bitch Girl

Poor Little Bitch Girl

The Power Trip

The Power Trip

The Power Trip

The Santangelos

The Santangelos

The Santangelos

The Santangelos

Thrill!

Thrill!

Vendetta: Lucky’s Revenge

 

What We’re Reading — August 31, 2015

book
What have we been watching reading and listening to the last few weeks?

Kelly: “I read Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell recently and loved it – it’s sort of a thrilled in the style of Gone Girl. Beautifully written. I haven’t enjoyed a book that much in a long time.”

Doreen: “I’m listening to: Boston Girl (Anita Diamant) – Addie Baum, a young Jewish girl, growing up in Multi-cultural North End, during the early 1900s. Narrates her life in Boston to her granddaughter.
The Devil’s Workshop (Alex Grecian) Scotland Yard’s Monster Squad novel, third book. Set in 1890s. Rather gruesome but suspenseful telling of escaped killer, Jack the Ripper.
I’m also reading Charlotte’s Web and Mary Poppins

Laura: “I just read the new novel, Dietland by Sarai Walker. Plum Kettle has been frustrated with her weight most of her life, going so far to follow an unhealthy fad diet called the Baptist Plan. She gets recruited into an underground group seeking to right many wrongs about societal views of women. The book has a lot of dark humor, and most women will relate to Plum’s struggles about her image, but I had trouble finishing it. It was almost as if the book couldn’t decide if it was a satire, a coming of age novel, or a thriller.
I also just completed watching the Canadian series Orphan Black. If you have ever spent a day binge watching Alias and then topped it off with a viewing of The Parent Trap (the original one, of course!), then this is the show for you. (And yes, there are people who do spend the day doing that. I may be one of them.) In the pilot episode, Sarah Manning (played by the versatile and amazing Tatiana Maslany) witnesses her doppelganger commit suicide by jumping in front of an oncoming train. If you follow any entertainment media, you already know the twist, but I won’t reveal it here. All I’ll say is that all of the characters are well developed, the plots are science fiction while still being believable, and the action is heart stopping. If Tatiana Maslany doesn’t get her Emmy, I will feel personally offended!”

Virginia:

  • The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons (fiction) : This book is slow. I mean s-l-o-w! There’s a reason why I don’t normally read books that are 600 pages long. Such a slow slog. Which is not to say that this book isn’t interesting. It features Sherlock Holmes in 1893 America with his unwilling companion, American author Henry James. Supposedly James is on the verge of suicide when he is mysteriously waylaid by a disguised Holmes. Thus begins a very long-winded account of Holmes attempt to circumvent the assassinations of both Queen Victoria and President Grover Cleveland. Holmes’ drug addiction plays a part in the very involved story along with guest appearances by real life personalities such as Samuel Clemens. But in the end I could not finish the book no matter how well-written it is. I just can’t handle 600 pages.
  • Lost and Found : the True Story of Jaycee Lee Dugard and the Abduction that Shocked the World by John Glatt (non-fiction) : In 1991 a pretty shy little 11 year old girl was kidnapped as she walked to her school bus stop. This began a grueling and gruesome saga of 18 years as Jaycee was held captive by a monstrous sadist Phillip Garrido and his wife as a sex slave. She was confined to a sweltering shed in Garrido’s secluded backyard. Eventually she bore him 2 daughters as he considered the child to be his second wife. I am not in favor of the death penalty as a general rule but I would make an exception in this case. Eventually Jaycee was recovered after 18 years of captivity, thoroughly brainwashed into thinking that these horrible people were her ‘family’.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Furry : Life with the World’s Most Melancholy Cat by Tom Cox (non-fiction) : Actually this is about a thirty-something man with four cats, not just one. I am normally leery of cat books because inevitably the cat dies in the final chapter but in this case Janet (a male cat) passes away in the first chapter. But Cox has plenty more cats at home plus visitor cats who let themselves into his home by means of an unguarded cat flap in his back door that leads into his back garden in the British countryside of Norfolk. Ralph, Shipley and The Bear (the melancholy cat) have their own unique personalities and for a time Cox enjoys living a solitary life with just his cats. But life with three moggies can be complicated. Cox gets a new cat-loving girlfriend and eventually a new female kitten, Roscoe. Nothing enormous happens in this book, the adventures are small, but life and cats continue on in a warm and loving household. Maybe you just have to be a cat person to appreciate the day-to-day life of a cat-filled home.

Pat A: “I just finished Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. It is a new book. It is the story of a family that owns a winery in Sonoma County, California. It gives a little history and information on how wine is made and incorporates family issues (when things get tough, we do what gives us comfort, returning to our roots). It is about family, love and the importance of finding a place to call home.”

Nancy W: “I just finished Summer Secrets by Jane Green and I’m reading The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand. Can you tell I love beach reads?”

Jan: “There’s a new addition to the Beatles saga… Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Seth Starr (no relation, as he explains in the introduction.) “The World’s Most Famous Drummer” has spent most of his life trying to emerge from the shadow of his arguably more talented bandmates and has done so very successfully. Indeed, he had the first solo release after The Breakup, beating Paul by a few weeks. This book is actually a quintessential study of the all too typical ride of rock stars from the heights of fame to depths of alcoholism or other problems. Unlike many others, including his good friend Keith Moon of The Who, Ringo was able to recover and forge a remarkable career. Highly recommended for like-minded fanatics.”

Hurricane Katrina — Ten Years Later

According to Time Magazine, it was “the most catastrophic and costly hurricane in U.S. history.” After it made landfall on the Gulf Coast (most infamously New Orleans), Hurricane Katrina was responsible for the deaths of around 2,000 people and the displacement of thousands more. According to Time, the population of New Orleans dropped from 483,633 to 200,000 residents. A decade later, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still dealing with Katrina’s aftermath.
To honor the anniversary, the library is a valuable resource.

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — August 23, 2015

Here are the best seller lists for the week of August 23, 2015.

VJ Day — August 14-15, 1945

Victory in Japan Day Times Square -- image courtesy of NPR
This year marks the 70th anniversary of several key dates in World War II, including the Liberation of Auschwitz (January 27, 1945), Victory in Europe (May 8), the bombings of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9), and on August 15, the official end of the War, other known as Victory over Japan (August 14 or 15 depending on the time zone).
As we honor and remember those who were involved in World War II, remember that the library is a great resource in honoring VJ Day. And be sure and check out our VJ display in the reference room!

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