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Archive for Category: Reading Room
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Join a Book Group at the Library

   Friday, November 19th, 2010 - by: Becky Herrmann, Library Director

Book group meetingDo you enjoy reading and then discussing what you thought of the book with others? Come join one of the library's book groups!

We have several options for book groups - morning and afternoon sessions at both the main library and at the MacKay branch. Here's a brief breakdown on each one:

  • Evening Book Group
    Run by Library Director Becky Herrmann, this group meets at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, and has been going on for about 7 years. It's an informal and talkative mix of men and women with ages ranging from mid-thirties to mid-seventies. They read a mix of fiction and non-fiction (with a heavier emphasis on fiction). Check out their list of upcoming books or sign up for email meeting reminders.
  • Morning Book Group
    The Morning group is run by Technical Services Librarian Vickie Turcotte, and meets at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. This group is mainly women, primarily elderly folks but still a mix, and they read mainly fiction. Check out their list of upcoming books or sign up for email meeting reminders.
  • History Book Group
    This is a relatively new book group, meeting at 7 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month. It is run by one of our volunteers, and focuses on books that are historical in nature. Check out their list of upcoming books or sign up for email meeting reminders.
  • Mystery Book Group
    This group meets at the MacKay Branch Library at at 6:45 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month. They have been meeting for about 20 years, and they focus on several authors each month rather than particular books - these are die-hard, mystery fans who have read extensively in the genre. Check out their current authors list.
  • "Novel Conversations" Book Group
    This popular daytime book group meets at the MacKay Branch Library on the first Friday of each month at noon. This group reads fiction with the occasional biography or memoir thrown in. Check out their list of upcoming books.
  • Now... It's Your Turn
    This is a seasonal readers advisory program (designed with baby boomers in mind but suitable for all adults). Each season, Becky Herrmann and Mayleen Kelley highlight a group of mostly new books, to keep people reading for a few months. Attendees are also welcome to suggest titles. As this group meets sporadically, check our events calendar for dates, and also previous suggestion lists.
  • Readergirlz Teen Book Group
    This is a book group for Teens, led by Tricia Moore, and meets from 4-5:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. At each meeting participants will complete a craft or activity related to the book. Refreshments will be served. Pick up a copy of this month's book at the circulation desk.
  • "Cinema Night Out" Film Discussion Group
    A "book group" for movie buffs, led by Teen Services Librarian (and film aficionado) Tricia Moore. The film starts at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, with discussion to follow - and refreshments are provided. Due to our public performance contract, film titles are only announced a few days in advance, but you can check the online listing or sign up for email notification.

All of our groups are open to the public, and all are welcoming new members. Each group meeting will be listed on the library's events calendar, and many of the groups send email reminders.

If none of these groups quite meet your needs, a variety of other book groups are listed on Meetup.com and LibraryThing Local.

   Posted in Books, Library Information, Programs, Reading Room, Teens | No Comments »




Recommended Under-The-Radar Reads

   Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Seattle Librarian Nancy Pearl recently appeared on National Public Radio to highlight a few great books she that felt might not get noticed by readers this summer.

The titles of each book are listed below, with links so you can request the book from the library's catalog (or request that we purchase it if we haven't already). If you'd like to read Nancy Pearl's description of the books, check out the story on NPR.

Finding George Orwell in BurmaFinding George Orwell in Burma
By Emma Larkin

Check our Catalog

The Good SonThe Good Son
By Michael Gruber

Check our Catalog

Blood HarvestBlood Harvest
By S. J. Bolton

Check our Catalog

Miss HargreavesMiss Hargreaves
By Frank Baker

Check our Catalog

Under HeavenUnder Heaven
By Guy Gavriel Kay

Check our Catalog

Last Night in MontrealLast Night in Montreal
By Emily St. John Mandel

Check our Catalog

The Lotus EatersThe Lotus Eaters
By Tatjana Soli

Check our Catalog

Instead of a LetterInstead of a Letter
By Diana Athill

Check our Catalog

Purchase Request Form

Words for Empty and Words for FullWords for Empty and Words for Full
By Bob Hicok

Check our Catalog

Purchase Request Form

For help requesting one of these books from our catalog, or with placing a purchase request, please contact the Reference Desk. For more reading suggestions, check out our Reading Room page, and other book recommendations by Nancy Pearl.

   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »




Ebooks Now Available

   Monday, May 3rd, 2010 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Ebook imageThe Library's Overdrive subscription has been expanded to offer ebooks in addition to audiobooks.

These ebooks are in the Adobe EPUB format, and work with many ereader devices, including the Barnes and Noble Nook and Sony eReader - they are not compatible with the Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad.

Anyone with a valid MVLC library card can visit http://mvlc.lib.overdrive.com to start browsing. We're starting with a small ebook collection, but will continue to add titles.

Searching for ebooks works the same as searching for audiobooks, but you will need to download and install the free Adobe Digital Editions software. Overdrive provides instructions for getting started, and offers a great video guided tour of using our Overdrive library. We also have an introductory brochure [pdf] that gives tips on using Overdrive.

In addition to Overdrive, our Reading Room page lists other places from which Chelmsford residents can download free ebooks (including some Kindle resources).

If you're still considering purchasing an ebook reader, here are resources to help you evaluate which device would work best for you:

   Posted in Books, Overdrive, Reading Room | 2 Comments »




Food and Music are the Keys to Memory

   Friday, April 16th, 2010 - by: Becky Herrmann, Library Director

Do I need help? I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking and talking about food.

As I ponder the benefits of using Meyer lemons over your basic supermarket brand, I wonder at times what matters of consequence I could be contemplating instead - the pros and cons of health care, the meaning of life or perhaps why the sky is blue. But no, I would prefer to think about food. It is part of my genetic make-up - when planning family get-togethers, the first question any of my sisters asks is, "What can I bring?" (meaning food, of course…).

I think I have been obsessed with meal planning since I made my first dinner from the Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cookbook - homemade "Shake and Bake-style chicken, a bunny salad (pears with cottage cheese tails) and molasses crinkles for dessert.

Food stimulates my sense memories - it is how I navigate my history. I even recollect visits from friends by what I served them for dinner - "Ah yes, I remember it well, that was the night of the roasted tomato and goat cheese appetizer." "No, I think you are wrong - I distinctly recall we had the porcini mushroom risotto."

Food is my memory trigger. It starts with the recollection of the meal, leads to remembered conversations - a shared laugh and a visual journey down memory lane. Food memories are how I orient myself. I even give directions in the Boston area using restaurants as my compass points - they are just around the corner from Redbones; they live half a block from Dali; you won't miss their place, they are right next to Rosie's Bakery.

Music is the other trigger for me - a familiar provocation for most. Rickie Lee Jones' "Chuck E.'s in Love" sends me to a spring day, hanging out on a dorm roof in my first shorts of the season. "Truckin" by the Grateful Dead brings me to Harvard square on a summer evening, listening to the street musicians. Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of your life)" has me back in an auditorium seat watching the Senior class video as my daughter graduated from high school. And it is not always your favorite songs that elicit the memories - "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas was my senior high class song. I am sure that is what made it pour that day.

There is nothing I like better than to invite friends over, try out a few new recipes and put on some of my favorite music. Here are two cookbooks I have recently admired and a few CD's that are worth checking out.

Cookbooks:

The Conscious Cook -Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change Your Life by Tal Ronnen - A vegan cookbook that puts protein at the center of the plate and creates satisfying meals for both meat-lover and vegetarian palates. 75 creative and diverse recipes accompanied by beautiful full-color photographs (and they taste good too!).

Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition by Barbara Lynch - A local girl, self-taught chef Barbara Lynch was raised in the projects of South Boston, where she ate mostly processed foods. She was introduced to cooking by her high school home economics teacher and fell in love with the craft. Since then, she's opened a cooking school, a cookbook store, a deli, a butcher shop and several award-winning restaurants including No. 9 Park. She has also given us this gorgeous cookbook filled with mouth-watering recipes including a few of her restaurants' signature dishes.

Music:

Theresa Andersson, Hummingbird, Go! - Raised in Sweden and based in New Orleans, Andersson got her start recording quirky harmonies in her kitchen. Influenced by both folk music and Motown, her voice is reminiscent of a contemporary Dusty Springfield.

Big Star, #1 Record and Radio City - With the untimely passing of Alex Chilton, it is time to look back at the pop band, Big Star - a cult-level band that followed Chilton's stint as the lead singer of the Box Tops. Big Star was said to combine elements of the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks and the Byrds. Bands like R.E.M., the Replacements and Wilco have helped Big Star to gain its mythic stature, citing the band as influential on their music (watch for these two CDs, soon to be in our collection).

XX, The XX - This young Indie quartet from London sings candidly about relationships and makes music that's simple and raw, but very captivating. I suspect that this is a band to watch.

Neil Young, Sugar Mountain Live at Canterbury House, 1968 - Neil Young was just 22 when he took the stage at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Mich. He was nervous and had to be coaxed from his hotel room. The concert was an intimate performance combining new material and familiar Buffalo Springfield tunes. Forty years had to pass before we could hear this concert in its entirety - but it was worth the wait.

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




Pleasure Reading for Adults

   Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

book group imageThis summer, we're encouraging adults to rediscover the pleasure and magic of reading!

Join the library’s staff for brown bag lunch series called "Now... It's Your Turn." While this program is aimed at baby boomers - you've worked hard, and now it's time to relax and enjoy yourself - it is open to everyone.

The lunch series will be at noon by the library's fireplace, and will feature book talks on both current and classic titles you can add to your summer reading list.

If you're looking for reading suggestions, check out the latest series bibliography or visit the library's Reading Room web page. Then, come to one of the lunches and enjoy talking about what you're reading.

For more information, visit the "Now... It's Your Turn webpage," or contact Mayleen Kelley (mkelley@mvlc.org) or Becky Herrmann (bherrmann@mvlc.org) at 978-256-5521.

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




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