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Recommended by Readers!

   Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 - by: Jessica Fitzpatrick

Here's a list of the latest submissions to our "Terrific Books" box, located next to the main desk. Check out what other people in our community are reading, and leave a few suggestions the next time you come in!

Ming TeaMing Tea Murder, by Laura Childs

"I enjoy the tea shop and wish there was one like it around here!"


name of warThe Name of War, by Jill Lepore

King Philip's War, the excruciating racial war--colonists against Indians--that erupted in New England in 1675, was, in proportion to population, the bloodiest in American history. Some even argued that the massacres and outrages on both sides were too horrific to "deserve the name of a war."

Telling the story of what may have been the bitterest of American conflicts, and its reverberations over the centuries, Lepore has enabled us to see how the ways in which we remember past events are as important in their effect on our history as were the events themselves.

edgar sawtelleThe Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski

A tale reminiscent of "Hamlet" that also celebrates the alliance between humans and dogs follows speech-disabled Wisconsin youth Edgar, who bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove that his sinister uncle is responsible for his father's death.


breaking pointThe Breaking Point, by Jefferson Bass

Called in to identify some remains, Dr. Brockton finds his life plunged into chaos when his identification is called into question, a killer from his past returns, and his wife delivers some news that changes everything.

"(I) enjoyed the interaction of the different branches of police to solve the mysterious plane crash."

turbulenceTurbulence, by Samit Basu

Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn't have the right connections--but then he gets off a plane from London to Delhi and discovers that he has turned into a communications demigod. Indeed, everyone on Aman's flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires.

resistanceResistance, by Samit Basu (Sequel to Turbulence)

How would you adapt to a world of superhumans? And how far would you go to stop them destroying it? In 2020, eleven years after the passengers of flight BA 142 developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, some for evil, and some just want to pulverize the world's most iconic monuments and star in their own reality show. But now, from New York to Tokyo, someone is hunting down supers, killing heroes and villains both, and it's up to the Unit to stop them.

"Both clever and fun!"


betrayalBetrayal, by Robert Fitzpatrick

A complete account of the true-crime story introduced in the Jack Nicholson film, The Departed, traces how the author, a top FBI agent, confronted internal corruption and political adversaries to catch, prosecute and convict feared gang lord Whitey Bulger.


the nightingaleThe Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

"A wonderful historic fiction book about 2 sisters in WWII."

Reunited when the elder's husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.


"Just read all Kate Morton books - Very Good!"

morton 3 morton 4 morton1 morton2 morton5 morton6

   Posted in Books, Reading Room, Town of Chelmsford | No Comments »

Terrific Book suggestions

   Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 - by: Jessica Fitzpatrick

Here's a list of the latest submissions to our "Terrific Books" box, located next to the main desk. Check out what other patrons are reading, and leave a few suggestions the next time you come in!

Image of itemOrdinary Grace, by William Kent Kruger:

Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.

Image of itemThe Dissertation, by R. M. Koster

To fulfill his Ph. D. requirement, Camillo Fuertes decides to write about his father, the martyred president of Tinieblas, a country in Latin America. We follow Leon as he winds his twisted path through delinquency, learning, bravery, and incest to the presidency. At once a powerful vision of Latin American history and a brilliant parody of the academic form--complete with end notes!--The Dissertation is an essential postmodern novel in the tradition of Vonnegut, Barth and Nabokov, ready to be embraced by a new generation of readers.

Image of itemCorelli's Mandolin, by Louis DeBernieres

In 1941, on a remote Greek island, an Italian artillery garrison is established to maintain order. One Italian officer, Captain Corelli, adopts an attitude of mutual co-existence with the Greeks and engages in such activities as music festivals and courting the daughter of a local doctor. In 1943, however, after Italy surrenders to the Allies and changes sides in the war, Captain Corelli must defend the Greek island against a German invasion.

Image of itemFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by J. K. Rowling

A facsimile edition of the text required for the Hogwarts' Care of Magical Creatures class offers alphabetically arranged entries detailing the characteristics of such mythical beasts as hippogrifs, blast-ended screwts, dragons, and unicorns.

   Posted in Books | No Comments »

Reading List: Friday Fiction Summer / Fall 2015

   Friday, July 24th, 2015 - by: Jessica Fitzpatrick

Were you unable to attend our bi-monthly presentation of new and upcoming releases to read this fall? Here’s a list of the ones we presented last Friday. As always, contact or visit us for even more recommendations!

   Posted in Books, Programs, Reading Room, Resources | No Comments »

Read/Watch List: Slow crime/True Crime/Pulp Noir

   Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 - by: Jessica Fitzpatrick

Here’s a new genre for fans of True Detective and the like: Slow crime. Back in March, Matt Zoller Seitz, TV critic and editor-in-chief of rogerebert.com, described slow-crime in an article for New York Magazine as a genre that reflects more recent groundbreaking entertainment, including True Detective, the podcast Serial, American Crime, The Jinx and The Killing. The most distinctive characteristic of the genre is its pacing and its attention to detail. As opposed to episodic crime shows, which will often neatly wrap a case in the span of 55 minutes, slow crime serials follow one case through an entire season, exposing a larger theme or attitude than the case itself. Slow crime attempts to relate that the facts of the case, slowly revealed over the course of the show, suggest greater implications for society.

Seitz, in terming the genre slow crime, did so to contrast it with more traditional episodic cop dramas, but when I became a fan of True Detective during its first season last year, I connected it with much more seasoned genres of True Crime and Noir or pulp detective fiction. There are similarities: True Crime and Slow Crime address the whole story of a case, taking time to reexamine every detail, to attempt to uncover a truth or reason, a mission that often ends in vain. Similar to Noir or Pulp crime fiction which features a beleaguered detective, a little rough around the edges, who is at odds with the traditional structure, Slow Crime employs experimental methods to solve the crime.

So, since there’s a week between episodes of True Detective, the next season of Serial doesn’t start until the Fall, and it doesn’t look like there will be any more episodes of The Jinx, here’s a reading/ watching list to keep your suspicions piqued.

In cold blood In Cold Blood

A classic of slow/true crime, Capote follows the case of two men sentenced to death for inexplicably murdering a family in western Kansas. Capote began his research for the book before the arrest and conviction, and thus transcribes first-hand accounts of the trial and sentencing, and spends an immense amount of time interviewing the inmates sentenced to death row. The level of grisly detail, as well as the way a cool, measured tone directly and deliberately contrasts the overwhelmingly chaotic horror of the crime, makes this novel the preeminent example of the genre.

To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee and Capote met as children (the character of Dill is actually based on the young Capote) and she accompanied Capote on his assignment to cover the murders in Kansas. Lee's own novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, (her only published work until July 2015,) tackles similar themes of truth and justice. While not as bleak in tone as the others in this list, the setting, the mystery of Boo, Scout’s peculiar perspective and the sinister, base nature of the Ewells', places this novel in the southern-Gothic canon.

Helter Skelter Helter Skelter

Diving back now to the bleak, dark recesses of humanity, the realms of the Yellow King, in Helter Skelter, the number one best-selling true crime narrative, former L.A. District Attorney Vincent Buligosi provides a firsthand account of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Charles Manson, whom he successfully prosecuted against in 1969. Buligosi’s densely detailed prose, including intimate knowledge of the evidence and the grisly details of the man, his madness and the seven murders he orchestrated and carried out with “The Family”, makes this work a must read for True Detective fans.

The Wire The Wire

Despite being considered one of the greatest American TV dramas, (in my opinion, True Detective has much to thank it for) The Wire debuted in 2002 to only mild reviews. The series’ creator David Simon was already known in television for Homicide, another cult-hit cop show. The Wire, however, achieved something different: the series addressed the issues of law enforcement in the city as it relates to each of five other city institutions. The appeal of the show wasn’t immediate perhaps because of the lack of recognizable markers that made hits out of other cop series. In The Wire, the police equipment wasn’t flashy. The camera work was composed of straightforward shots using no filters (though artfully so). The gang members, drug dealers, politicos and bosses were three-dimensional rather than card board stand-ins for criminals. But perhaps most pertinent to this discussion, it took an entire season to bring down a corrupt entity by exploring the way crime is inevitable as long as no one addresses the deeper problems of inequality and systemic corruption.

Twin Peaks Twin Peaks

FBI Agent Dale Cooper, played by Kyle MacLachlan, investigates the murder of teenage homecoming queen Laura Palmer in a small, Washington logging town called Twin Peaks. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Created by filmmakers David Lynch and Mark Frost, the series explores the world that exists below the surface of this seemingly tranquil mountain town. Each character possesses some ulterior motive, disturbing dreams expose truths in the waking world, and, like True Detective, the closer Agent Cooper gets to the truth in his investigation, the darker and more dangerous the journey becomes. The series aired for 30 episodes, between 1990 and 1991, before ABC cancelled it due to lackluster ratings. Since then, the series has garnered a substantial cult following, allowing for a feature-length film related to the series, and an upcoming limited renewal of the series in 2016.

LA Confidential LA Confidential

If you’re looking for something that encapsulates the gritty LA noir-style of the TD s02, try James Ellroy’s LA Confidential. LA Confidential is one of Ellroy’s best known works, because it so aptly captures the sinister underworld of 1950s LA and Hollywood and the complex nature of the investigators pursuing justice, not to mention the highly acclaimed film starring Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe.

Chinatown Chinatown

Polanski’s Chinatown, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, is another version of the LA noir scene: this time the P. I.’s focus is on the murky background of a wealthy LA industrialist. Plot twists and family secrets abound until Nicholson’s character is so enmeshed it’s no longer clear who‘s in control, similar to the bind Rust Coehle finds himself in as he battles his various demons.

For more reading lists, check out our Pinterest page here, or visit our reading room page, here.

   Posted in Books, Reading Room, Resources | No Comments »

Now You Can Download Comic Books and Ebooks from Hoopla!

   Monday, June 1st, 2015 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Chelmsford residents now have a new source for free ebooks, as well as a way to download digital comic books!

We've offer Hoopla for over a year, allowing patrons to download audiobooks and watch streaming movies and television episodes, all using Hoopla. Now through Hoopla, you can also download ebooks and comic books to your computer or mobile device.

Downloadable comic books is a new digital format for us, and it compliments our print graphic novel collections (for Children, Teens, and Adults). The collection so far is small but growing, and some of the most popular titles have been:

hoopla-comic-1peanuts hoopla-comic-2drwho hoopla-comic-3garfield

The library has offered ebooks for years, mainly through our Overdrive catalog. The new ebooks through Hoopla are different. Just like the Hoopla audiobooks and videos, these ebooks are always available - which means no waiting lists!

Ebooks are a new format for Hoopla, so they're still building this collection too. A few of their featured ebook titles are:

hoopla-ebook-1debt hoopla-ebook-3beaton hoopla-ebook-4whitehouse

All of these new Hoopla ebook and comic books can be checked out for 21 days (and of course downloaded again after that if you need more time, since they are always available!). Most of them are also available for both streaming and downloading to you mobile device.

Give them a try at https://www.hoopladigital.com - if you don't already have an account, set one up at https://www.hoopladigital.com/register or contact the Reference Desk at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211 for help.hoopla-ebook-comic

   Posted in Books, Library Information, Resources | No Comments »

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