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Archive for Category: Reading Room
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Seconds, a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O`Malley

   Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 - by: Christine Sharbrough, Head of Reader Services & Circulation

secondsOk, I've been on a binge of graphic novels this past month. But, that's because there are so MANY that are SO GOOD!! This one has to be my reigning favorite (outside of the Marvel and DC Universes that is). It tells the story of a rather prickly restaurant owner and chef, Katie. The restaurant, Seconds, is doing a brisk business and Katie wants to open an additional restaurant across town.  The location is in a less desirable area but the building has historic charm.  Life is good.

After a series of mishaps and accidents at the restaurant, her life is starting to seem not so good. One night after work, she falls asleep wishing she could reverse all the bad that has happened.  Waking in the night she finds a mysterious girl crouching on her dresser. (Stay with me here) As the girl slowly disappears from view, Katie finds a small notebook and a red mushroom left behind.

Within the notebook is a recipe for a do-over, a second chance to make things right. All Katie has to do is write down her mistake in the notebook, eat the mushroom, and things will go back to the way they were. Katie, a type-A personality, cannot be happy with making things the way they were however.  She succeeds in finding the source of the red mushrooms and begins redoing her entire life over and over to disastrous results.

With chibi-like characters, bright coloration, and unusual framing for a comic, it is a delight to the eyes yet remains a cautionary tale. How many second chances can you have without your life becoming unrecognizable as your own? The answer lies within.

   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »

Season for Suspense

   Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by: Jessica Fitzpatrick

What better way to spend a snowy afternoon than with a really great page-turner. Here a few suggestions to help eat up those hours indoors:

The Girl On The TrainThe Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins: TGOTT is being heavily marketed as the next Gone Girl – it’s even been  optioned for film by Dreamworks. This fast-paced thriller follows Rachel, a thirty something Brit whose life is descending into shambles, due to being jilted by her husband and a developing drinking problem. After a few devastating misjudgments, Rachel finds herself embroiled in a mysterious disappearance rife with timeline gaps and unexpected suspects. As with Gone Girl, the book relies on the accounts of different characters to tell the full story, those accounts are mostly unreliable, and the plot of the novel is full of twists that catch the reader off-guard.



HerHer by Harriet Lane: Set in London, and full of sharp social and psychological insight, the narrative unfolds from the alternating perspectives of Nina and Emma, two thirty-something women whose lives have led them down very different paths. On the surface, Nina is a trendy artist and Emma is a harried mother of two. Nina knows Emma somehow, but Emma shows no indication that she knows Nina when they meet. What is the connection between these women, and why does Nina suddenly take such an interest in Emma? Motivations are revealed and the result will not disappoint.



The Kind Worth KillingAnother title to watch out for is called The Kind Worth Killing, by Chelmsford native, author Peter Swanson. His first book, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, is a gripping mystery that takes place in Boston and the North Shore, and was hailed as one of the best first novels of 2014 by the Washington Post. His latest, a re-imagining of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, begins on an overnight flight from Boston to London, where two strangers form a dark bond over a plot to commit murder. Nelson DeMille calls it “an extraordinarily well-written tale of deceit and revenge told by a very gifted writer…The twists are not just in the plot; they are also in the heads of the plotters.”



   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »

People of the Book, a Novel Conversations Selection for February.

   Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 - by: Christine Sharbrough, Head of Reader Services & Circulation

peoplebookThis book has been on my nightstand for a long time and I finally had the time to read it. Stitched into a series of vignettes, the story follows the life of a 500 year-old illuminated Haggadah. Hanna Heath, a book conservator tasked with the job of ensuring the stability of the book, travels from her home in Australia to Sarajevo, Bosnia where the book is under heavy guard. Upon taking the book apart to restitch and fix small holes in the binding and seams, she finds evidence of where the book has been throughout its 500-year history. The story alternates between the present (in this case 1996) and the past. The story of the Haggadah is told in reverse chronology - moving steadily backwards, ending with the creation of the drawings that become the Haggadah.

Not only a story of a book as the title would suggest, but in many ways a history of the Jewish struggle to exist in a world that found reason after reason to make that as difficult as possible. For a student of history as I am, I found more questions than answers that have led me onto more history books about the history of the Jewish people.

If you have never seen an illuminated Haggadah take a look. They are absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea until now that they existed.

Bottom line: I am told that it is a tough book to read because of the alternating plot lines. I didn't have the same sensation perhaps because I listened to it. Try it and see and then come join us at the main library on February 6th, 2015 at Noon to discuss.

NB:  I checked this book out of the Chelmsford Public Library.  I received no compensation from this review.

   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »

Digital Services at the Chelmsford Library

   Friday, January 9th, 2015 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

econtent tabletAre you paying for a subscription to a service like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix to receive digital books, movies, music and television? Did you know that similar services are available for free through your library?

With just a library card, you can download bestselling eBooks, like John Grisham's Gray Mountain; full-color magazines, like National Geographic; classic films, like "To Kill a Mockingbird;" and popular television shows, like "Wallander" and "MI-5." You can even download and keep up to five songs per week. Whether it's Mozart or Megan Trainor, select from among 8 million songs to keep for as long as you want.

Connect to any of these services from the library's webpage at http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/econtent/. For assistance with these services, contact or visit the library, sign up for a one-on-one help session, or register for one of the Tech Talk workshops held each month. The next workshops are scheduled for January 28 at 10 a.m. and February 4 at 10 a.m. Bring in laptops or mobile devices for help setting up, or just attend to learn more. Contact the library's Reference Desk with questions at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

   Posted in Reading Room, Resources, Web Tools | No Comments »

Adult/Teen Summer Reading Program 2014

   Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Summer Reading 2014Chelmsford's Adult & Teen Summer Reading Program is on!

The theme this year is Literary Elements, because each book you read is a building block for your reading history. And in keeping with the idea of blocks, we're using a Bingo board to make tracking your reading this summer fun. Here's how it works:

  • Choose any five (or more!) categories on your Bingo Card
  • Read a book within each of your chosen categories
  • Log the title and author on the back of the bingo card (Include any notes about the book or whether you liked it if you wish!)
  • Turn in your Bingo card to either the Main Library or the MacKay branch by the end of the summer to be entered into a raffle for some great prizes!

You can download and print your own Summer Reading Bingo Card [pdf], or pick one up at the Readers Services Desk in the Main Library or at the MacKay Branch. And if you get stuck for ideas, we also have a list of suggestions based on the Bingo Card boxes [pdf].

Here are some common questions:

Q: When does the program start?
A: The program runs June 9th - August 15

Q: Who can participate?
A: Teens 13+ and adults

Q: Which books are eligible?
A: Any book you read or listen to - including graphic novels!

Q: How do I join?
A: Download and print a Bingo Card [pdf], or pick up a packet at the Readers Services Desk. Start recording your books and turn your completed sheet in by August 15th

All completed Bingo cards turned in by August 15th will be entered into our drawing for summer reading prizes. The drawing will take place on Tuesday, August 19th.

If you need more reading suggestions, check out our Reading Room webpage - or contact our Readers Service staff.

The Children's Summer Reading Program, Fizz Boom Read, has also started!

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

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