Saturday, October 27, 2018

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… "

Reading soothes, entertains, humors, educates, thrills, and through them we travel to foreign places, and the past. Through reading we learn to empathize, relate, draw parallels with the human condition, and most of all widen our perception of the world around us. Different from the visual media-based culture that is encompassing our lives, books provide us a mechanism to combine our previous perceptions and knowledge with new ideas and character stories easing us into expanding those ideas and perceptions. Alternatively, the visual media-based outlets spend a lot of time and money figuring out how to “market” to you to keep you watching.

The wonderful, but sometimes overwhelming, pleasure of working behind the circulation desk is seeing so many books that have the ability to expand my world view, challenge me, and even sometimes "touch a nerve". Through reading each of us can walk away gaining something different from the same book.

The National Book Foundation sums up great literature with these values:
  • Books are essential to a thriving cultural landscape
  • Books and literature provide a depth of engagement that helps to protect, stimulate, and promote discourse in American society
  • Books and literature are for everyone, no matter where the reader is situated geographically, economically, racially, or otherwise.
Next time you are in the library and checking out your favorite genre or author - take home an additional read outside of your "comfort zone". Pick up a novel with characters with a cultural background you are unfamiliar with, read a classic or historical fiction to gain a perspective from the past, or try a non-fiction book about a country or current topic in the news. Even a different genre can often surprise you and alter the way you think.

Here are a two interesting and engaging books which were outside of my favorite genres (Mystery and Historical Fiction)  and presented intriguing multiple perspectives:

“Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario is a nonfiction story recounting the story of a Honduran family torn apart when the mother decides to migrate to the United States leaving her family. As her children mature they too attempt that same journey. Recommended as a young adult summer read I picked up this book because of immigration being in the forefront of our current news. Engagingly written it provided historical, emotional, and thoughtful insight.

"An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones is a novel about the lives of three people who are brought together through love and friendship and tested as a result of unimaginable circumstances. On many "top reads" lists and very popular with patrons, the book was available as an audio through Hoopla so I downloaded it to listen to on my walks. The story is told through the voices of three characters, each with the same hopes and dreams of most of us. In such a lyrical and engaging manner, the author weaves in the common threads most of us share of family, love, friendships, and working our dreams into our careers with the glimpse into the realities and perspectives changed by growing up and living as an African-American. Whether you read or listen to this story - you will find it hard to put down and the voices of Roy, Celestial, and Andre will draw you into their families, lives, and their own perceptions of the world around them.  This book is listed on the Goodreads Most Popular Books published in 2018 and National Book Award long-list finalist.

Reading provides connections with characters with which we might not have anything in common. It exposes us to ideas we might hear in our family, educational, and societal circles .. with these connections comes compassion.

Books that will "broaden your perspective" and also stand out in my favorites are: "An Invisible Thread" by Alex Tresniowski and Laura Schoff, "Homegoing"  by Yaa Gyasi, and  "What is the What" by Dave Eggers.

However, as I compiled this list I realize most the books we find as favorites are probably something that touched our compassion and altered our conscience.

Engage and  be entertained by your reading, embracing the world around us.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I'm looking for a really great read.

How many of us have come into our libraries and asked,"Can you tell me how to find a book that was recommended to me and I heard everyone is reading.".  Subsequently you are disappointed when told there are 50+ people already waiting for one of the copies available in the network.  

Perhaps you are about to embark on that long awaited and much needed vacation and want to take a great read. You come into the library and can't think of anything based on author or title and don't know what to pick.

The library is a great place to just browse and choose one or multiple books off the shelves, take them home, and not worry if they grab our interest because we can just put it down and read the next one. However, in our hurried world, we often have little patience to spend reading the first 50 pages of a book to see if we like it. Also, our free time is so valuable we are hesitant to make a selection other than based on recommendations. 

"Please, just tell me what to read."

Those of us in circulation find our tastes as eclectic and amorphous as anyone else.  Your previously read book, time for a short or long read, current happenings in your life, often affect what you are in the mood to read.  Recommendations are usually a result of only having time to ask a question or two. "What type (genre) of book you enjoy?" "What did you enjoy reading recently?" Sometimes we are lucky and a "hot read" has recently been returned making us feel like "fairy godmothers" granting wishes. Most of the time we will provide ideas from previous recommendations and favorites from  the past that we know are more available. 

Where to search for books that will be more likely available on the shelves?

Best sellers are not always a good “go to” for books that are readily available. If you enjoy browsing the bestsellers, look up last year's. (One source is Publisher's weekly). We also often forget to look for more books by authors we previously enjoyed. Even though a book is noted as one of our favorites, they next books do not appear on our radar. This will be a quick browse as Fiction books are on the same floor as our circulation desk and shelved by author. 

Here are some other hints to help you find a book the next time you come in.

Goodreads Choice Awards - Goodreads is a website that allows users to log their reads as well as "to read". Readers rate their completed books and I've found the rating system and comments to be very helpful in refining my selections. The Choice Awards are a compilation of yearly favorites by the readers. They also have a number of lists by genre and read-a-likes. Listopia.

 Need Recommendations  link - on the Duxbury Free Library Website. Details a number of sources for book ideas.

Novelist - Available from Duxbury Free Library website page "Need Recommendations": Enter a title of a favorite book and press Search. Most books will have a like "Title Read a-Likes" and "Author Read-a-Likes" to help you search for similar books.

We also have a Patron Pick display and Staff Pick display that changes periodically based on suggestions placed in the Awesome box or offered by our staff.

Always, please ask us at the circulation desk or upstairs in reference for recommendations. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fun Summer Activities.

Duxbury Library not only carries your summer reading enjoyment, 
but is also your one-stop unplug activity hub.

During the past year we have been acquiring activity kits based on a variety of interests and for all ages.

Discovery activities include Tide Pool Discovery Kit perfect for beach exploration, croquet in your back yard, or our assortment of robotic and science technology kits in our children's library. 

We have a number of robotic kits. Come in and check out all of our education toys, such as, Sphero - A Round Robot you can control wirelessly through your digital device (for ages 8 and up), See it in action.

Another popular item is Dash is a robot which responds to voice, navigates objects, dances, and sings (for ages 6 and up).   See it in action.

Start up a game of croquet or pickleball with our sports kits that have everything you need.

Fun hobby kits include: arts and crafts like learn to crochet, a new beading toolkit, polymer clay, weaving loom kits for beginners and the more advanced weaver.

Puzzles and games have been popular with our summer cottage residents - we have children's and adult puzzles and games.

Our home and garden kits offer many activities for the summertime. Borrow our canning tool to put up that batch of jam or pickled cucumbers. The kit includes a recipe book and instructions if you have access to a bountiful crop.

Do not forget our variety of musical instruments with music books and instructions.

Enjoy exploring!  All our "library things" can be found on our website under:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Road Trips, Beach Trips, Exploring the United States.

This week brings us into July with beach trips, road trips, camping trips, and enjoying our national parks. Looking for books set in your destinations (or to daydream)? Through the month of July and August we are selecting favorites and displaying them in the "Reader's Challenge" bookshelf across from the circulation desk. Authors Nancy Thayer and Elin Hildebrand will transport you to Nantucket.  Traveling to Maine? Enjoy mysteries by Linda Greenlaw (America's famous woman Swordfishing captain). The variety of displayed selections will transport you all over the United States and will change throughout the summer.

Looking for ebooks to download set throughout the United Status check out this list "The Most Famous Book Set in the United States" published by Business Insider. Does your selection have a hold list? Don't forget Duxbury library code holders can check out books in the Sails Library Network and Minuteman Library Network.

Packing for your road trip - don't forget the selection of audio mp3 players we have for all ages, cds (and cd players), and video playaways for children.

Looking for what's trending in July? 
I've selected a couple of interesting lists that have come in my inbox.

Off of BookPage Top 10 Books of July: 
Are you a fan of Anthony Horowitz? Many Duxbury readers enjoyed his last novel "Magpie Murders" (which I'm enjoying on Hoopla) and his newest mystery "The Word is Murder" promises to delight fans with a great twist - the author places himself in the action. Want to find out more? Bookpage interviews the author.

From Penguin Books: "The Best Beach Reads of All Time":
Enjoy these popular beach reads.
Jane Green "The Sunshine Sisters" - fans of Elin Hildebrand, Sophie Kinsella, and Emily Giffen may enjoy her.
Kevin Kwan "Crazy Rich Asians" the first in a trilogy to be released as a movie in August.
Tana French "In The Woods" - the first in a best selling mystery series.

From TheSkimm:   
My morning news "skimm" shared great 4th of July reads to be enjoyed not just on 4th of July but any of these great summer days.

So many wonderful summer read selections. What will you read next?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What books are librarians reading?

The June Library Reads newsletter Top 10 Books Librarians Love  mentions a number of new releases by popular authors, such as, B.A. Paris, Anthony Horowitz, and the sequel to Fredrik Bachman's Beartown.

Working behind the circulation desk we are often asked for reading recommendations. We have "Patron Picks" and "Staff Picks" that are readily available for check out and we change out these selections regularly. What are we reading? Probably no different that what you are reading - our best sources are our patron recommendations.

With an endless stream of books new and old being passed through our hands on a given day we are always on the lookout for repetitive checkouts and transit items. Unfortunately, our online "hottest holds" often has books that are on order and not available for release. Elin Hildebrand's latest "The Perfect Couple" has been on order and available for holds since February and has been on our "hottest holds" list for months. (Note: it is set for release on June 19). Bestselling lists are geared toward the more popular repeat authors who have automatic name recognition and generate thousands of pre-orders based on reputation. Looking for a way to discern bestselling books? Look at the number of weeks they are on the list. Kathryn Stockett's "The Help" was on the list for 131 weeks and Celeste Ng's "Little Fire's Everywhere" has been on the current list for 37 weeks.

Thus, with all of us having limited time for reading enjoyment, how can we become more discerning in our selections? Duxbury's tech service department entered over 1000 new items into circulation last month so you can imagine how many new books catch our eyes. Many of us take home piles of books that catch our interest, but only are able to get through one or two of them.

I often check if a book looks promising based on the cover description or I've noticed that it continues to be popular with patrons. Through Goodreads they provide detailed descriptions and book reviews and ratings entered by readers. If it has a large reading audience and rates over 4.0 then most often I've found the books to be enjoyable reads.

Come in, browse our shelves, take home that pile of books, and read the ones that catch your interest the most. Has it been a while since you found a really good book? Ask friends for recommendations, browse our patron recommendations, and utilize the tools we have available on our website that help you find books based on theme, favorite author, or favorite title.

Want to know what librarians are reading?  Here are the Duxbury Library Staff Picks.

Want to know what is being "buzzed about" in the publishing world? Here are highlights that were recently published by "Novelist". Diane Setterfield's "Once Upon a River", Neil DeGrasse Tyson's "Accessory to War", Michelle Obama's upcoming memoir "Becoming", Australian author Markus Zusak's YA novel "Bridge of Clay", Adriana Trigiani's "Tony's Wife", and Louise Penny's "Kingdom of the Blink"

Most of all - share your latest favorite with us by placing it in our "Awesome Box" by the circulation desk and we will spread the word.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Summer Reading Lists!

Lazy days of summer bring long daylight hours to sit outside, soak up the sun, and read. The television and computers are switched off and we awaken our imagination, knowledge, and dreams. Do you have a favorite author you like to read over the summer? Maybe you enjoy reading old classics or eagerly anticipate the "Hot Summer Reads" Duxbury Free Library orders each year from a list of favorites identified throughout the year.

The beginning of summer also brings "Summer Reading Lists": from schools, newspapers/magazines, and bloggers. I pour through the reading lists marking the ones that interest me, never worrying about the time it will actually take to read them all.

I've gathered a number of lists that have made it into my inbox. Access to the "Duxbury Free Library Hot Summer Reading" list will be available all summer on my blog and highlighted just right of the blog post.

Are you a patron of the Duxbury Library? Credit yourself with all those books you will read this summer by signing up for the Adult Summer Reading Challenge where you will be entered into a gift certificate raffle drawing for each book you read and log over the summer. Also, if you read the most books you will win a gift certificate. This summer there are fun programs for all ages at the Duxbury Library.

Enjoy these lazy days of summer! I hope to hear about your favorite summer reads through the comments on this post or Facebook.

Here are some great summer reading ideas:

From "Read It Forward": author Taylor Jenkins Reid ("The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo") shares her summer poolside recommendations.

"Stellar Reads for the Dog Days Ahead" :  shared by - a new blog of real stories by women jumping in with both feet and tackling it all. One of the co-editors is based in the Boston area.

My favorite source for summer reading for grades 2 - 12. Connecticut Nutmeg Award Winners (4 age ranges of books nominated by librarians and winners chosen by the kids who read them throughout the year)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Planning or about to take a trip? Check out our many vacation resources.

This time of year many of us our planning or preparing for summer vacation travels. Whether you are exploring the many vacations spots in the United States or around the world, brushing up or learning a language before a foreign country visit, or researching the history and culture of a place, you can find resources at the Duxbury Library.

Recently returned from a trip to France, I checked out the many travel books about the area. My favorites were the Rick Steves' and Lonely Planet guides and World Travel Adapter that was a useful in charging both my phone and camera at the same time.
a unique travel book called "Sundays in Paris.". Families will enjoy the DK Eyewitness travel books and there are a number of children's books on traveling to popular destinations. I also checked out the

Do you prefer ebooks? You can login to Hoopla or Overdrive and access many travel resources.

Want to learn a little of the language of where you are visiting? We have a subscription to Mango Languages, as well as, online and audio cd language resources (search for the language you are interested, ex. French

Packing for the trip? In addition to travel adapters, you can borrow cameras? We have a GoPro and Polaroid Cubes for loan.

Planning a day trip around the Boston area, Rhode Island, or Connecticut? In addition to travel guides, don't forget to reserve the variety of museum passes we have available for the surrounding areas. For families visiting in the summer there are are number of books about Duxbury you can borrow.

Renting a house or planning a long car ride? Visit the library before you leave and check out an audio book, children's or adult puzzle, or game to take with you. Note: Looking for puzzles in the catalog: Search for Title:Puzzle or Game with Format : 3-d object.

 Enjoy your summer trips and we look forward to seeing you at the library.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Never too old for a magical read

It has been about a decade since my kids were in middle school and they took me on the magical journey through "Harry Potter", led me through a dystopian world and adventure in "The Hunger Games", and the fantasy romance of the "Twilight Series". However, once they were on to high school their reading marathons were often replaced by music and sporting activities or homework, so I was no longer exposed to the books beloved by our youth. Working in circulation I once again have the advantage of seeing what the teenagers and young adults are checking in and out.

Captioned "A Harry Potter-esque adventure." by Time Magazine, I recently was intrigued by a young adult book "The Trials of Morrigan Crow" by Jessica Townsend. The last rainy weekend I put down my historical fictions and family sagas and delved into Morrigan Crow's world of "Nevermoor". Reminding me a lot of Harry Potter, I was quickly enthralled and taken into innocent world of imagination, where a cursed girl escapes death and is transported into a magical world finding friendship and mentors to help her discover her "true self". I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read and escape from our current realities. Surprisingly, although I was attracted to the book because of the similarities to the "Harry Potter" theme, those similarities took some of the charm away from the story.  However, young "Harry Potter" fans will find those similarities engaging. 

I encourage you to explore our "Young Adult" section as well as our Children's library for reads that will allow you to recapture our innocence as well as our imagination. Popular series authors include Sarah Maas, Cassandra Clare,Veronica Roth. Rick Riordan continues to have a number of series popular with middle school age kids. I remember enjoying his first the "Percy Jackson" series. 

I hope you enjoy "magical" reading in your near future.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Library "News"

Spring is in the air, well almost, and planning is in full force for our summer events. In Circulation we are busy preparing this year's "Hot Summer Reads", books for the summer "Book Breeze Events" and in the Children's Library they are working on the much anticipated "Summer Reading Program".

New items come into circulation almost daily. This week, we received a number of patron requests  and  New Non-Fiction,  Don't miss out of what's coming out next for books, movies, and cds by signing up for one or more of our emails. From the email place holds and get in line early for new and popular reads and movies.

In addition to the New York Time's bestsellers hottest holds, popular books in Duxbury include Anna Quindlen's newest "Alternate Side" and Lisa Genova's "Every Note Played".  Elin Hildebrand's "The Perfect Couple" won't be released until June 19 and it is already on our hottest holds list. 

Duxbury Library's newsletter "Library Lore" will keep you up to date on upcoming events. It is published quarterly. Ask us about our new "Book Club Card", "Junior Friends", and new book delivery program through the Senior Center meal delivery service. 

Hope you have enjoyed these last cold days in a cozy place with a good book. 
We look forward to seeing you at the Circ. Desk.

Monday, March 26, 2018

What are you reading? Check out popular author's new releases and what others have recently enjoyed.

What have you been reading this winter?  Have you found your favorite book of the year? I have two so far, "My Absolute Darling" by Gabriel Tallent and "The Good Daughter" by Karen Slaughter. Both are not for the faint of heart, but the main heroines will engage and endear you through to the end.


Popular authors Clive Cussler, Kristin Hannah, and Brad Meltzer shine again with their newest releases and top the New York Times Best Seller list. British author Rachel Joyce, author of a Duxbury favorite "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry", has released a charming story,  "The Music Shop"based on another engaging eccentric male character. Author JoJo Moyes has released "Still Me", her third installment of the story of heroine, Louisa Clark. Patrons have told us that "Still Me" is more reminiscent of the best seller "Me Before You" than JoJo Moyes 2015 release "After You"Chris Bohjalian's new release "The Flight Attendant" is one of our library network's hottest holds. The other hottest holds include the newest of favorite authors James Patterson, Lisa Scottoline, and Mary Higgins Clark, all whom regularly churn out popular reads.

If you enjoyed "The First Daughter" by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, put your request in now for "My Dear Hamilton".  To be released on April 3, it is the story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton and her struggles as a revolutionary woman who "shaped an American legacy", written from the research of thousands of letters and original sources. 

Many patrons are raving about "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" by Mark Sullivan. This popular historical fiction is based on the true story of Pino Lella, a 17 year-old Italian boy who led Jews escaping the Nazis over the Alps, became a spy inside the German High Command, and fell in love with a woman who would haunt him the rest of his life". Patrons say that, although there are at times too many historic details, the story is enthralling.  

We have also had many patrons, including me, who have enjoyed the historical fiction  and New York Times bestseller by Lisa Wingate, "Before We Were Yours", based on the 1940s stories surrounding the children of Georgia Tann's Memphis, Tennessee Children's Home. 

Did you see Matt Jennings on Chronicle last week? His book "Homegrown" is one of our new non-fiction books. Finally, 'tis the season for gardening books to be checked out.  Even through there's still snow on the ground, there sure are a lot of books on vegetable gardening and landscaping coming off the shelves. If you find the gardening section a little sparse due to the number of motivated gardener's ready for  the spring thaw, a popular New England Gardening book, "The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Northeast", is now available for download via Hoopla (no holds necessary). 

Want to be informed about the newest Fiction or Non-Fiction books added to our collection?  Subscribe Here

I hope this gave you some ideas for your next read. Based on repeated patron recommendations, I've put a 2017 bestseller I never read, "The One In A Million Boy" by Monica Wood, on the top of my list.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

With a Single Check Out - Watch 2018 Oscar Best Picture Nominees and Previous Oscar Winners


Interested in viewing the 2018 Oscar Best Picture selections?   "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri",  "Darkest Hour", "Lady Bird" have been loaded on our ROKU disc sets and the DVDs are being added to the collection as they are released.  "Dunkirk" has arrived on BluRay and DVD.   

What is ROKU?  The library has purchased three ROKUs and loaded them with available digital copies of our newest BluRay/DVDs.    All you have to do is plug in the ROKU to your TV, using the provided HDMI cord, and you will have access to over 140 movies as well as some TV series.  A complete list of what is on each ROKU is available on our website and updated periodically.

ROKUs are great for people who are recovering from surgery
or in vacation homes. 

When you look up the ROKUs on our catalog you will search for "ROKU" in "Duxbury". "ROKU Set 1" is a set of G and PG movies appropriate for children. We have two "ROKU Set 2" boxes and one "ROKU Set 3". "ROKU Set 2" and "ROKU Set 3" each have different collections of  moviesWhen you select to "PLACE HOLD" you will be able to select DISC 1 (SET 1 Childrens), DISC 2 (Set 2), or DISC 3 (Set 3).

We have many the previous year's Oscar winners loaded on "ROKU Set 2"and "ROKU Set 3" as well as on BluRay & DVD.  Also, find a lot of older Oscar winners in our Classic DVD collection.
 Enjoy your movie watching 
and let us know which one you'd vote for Best Picture Award.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Find Road Trip Entertainment at the Library

School vacation week brings in many families checking out entertainment options for long car rides. Our audiobook section has an extension selection of fiction and non-fiction favorites on cd as well as loaded on an mp3 player called a "Playaway". 

Our children's library collection also includes books on video, "Playaway Views", as well as, interactive video books ,"Playaway Launchpads". The Young Adult section upstairs has an additional collection of audiobook selections.

In addition to the audiobooks on cd, accessing Duxbury Library's Old Library Network catalog you will find an assortment of downloadable audiobooks. You will also find video streaming options in the network's online collection. With your smartphone or tablet you can access the catalog as well as download and listen to your audiobook via the Libby app

Want to browse more selections? Download the Hoopla app and enter your library card information on your smartphone or tablet for access to an another catalog of audiobooks, videos, music and ebooks. Hoopla often highlights seasonal choices as well as award winners.

Features of the Libby and Hoopla apps give you the ability change the listening speed of the voice, quickly review with a 30 second rewind, as well as,  setting sleep timers.

the audiobook had Hold list
 on our Old Colony Network,
but I found available on the
Sails Network - see link on right
Recently, I've enjoyed listening to 
"The Husband's Secret", by Liane Moriarty. (Found on Hoopla) Narrated by Caroline Lee. Her Australian accent brought the setting and Aussie characters to life. Liane Moriarty's "Big, Little, Lies" and "Truly, Madly, Guilty" are also read by Caroline Lee. I have also enjoyed "Small Great Things", by Jodi Picoult, narrated by three people portraying their strong differences of the perceptions and points of view reinforcing the author's style of relating a story from different "voices".

A popular patron audiobook recommendation is "Lincoln In the Bardo", by George Saunders, adapted into a "cinematic" audiobook with a cast of 166 narrators, including the author George Saunders, Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Megan Mullaly, and Keegan-Michael Key.

In addition to browsing audiobooks by genre, try searching for a popular celebrity reader through "Novelist" (available through our website). For example, try Claire Danes, who narrates "The Handmaid's Tale"(Note: You will need your library card number to search in Novelist.)  Novelist also has a great selection of audiobook recommendations under "Famous Voices:Celebrity Readers" and "Audiobooks for Road Trips"

Note: Unfortunately, there is not a direct link from Novelist to the catalog for borrowing the audiobook selection so make sure you note the books of interest then search for them in the our catalog for availability.

I hope you enjoy expanding your "reading" and entertainment options and perhaps share a great read with the whole family during that next long car ride.  

As always - we are available to provide any assistance in Circulation, Children's, or Reference.