Services Will Be Expanding Beginning On Monday, May 17th!

Expanded services will begin on Monday, May 17th. Abbot Public Library will offer two days of browsing – Tuesdays and Thursdays – and will be adding Monday and Friday mornings to our Curbside Pickup hours. The full schedule for our Curbside Pickup and Browsing Services will be as follows:

CURBSIDE PICKUP SERVICE

Please register online by clicking the button below or call 781-631-1481, Ext. 217 or 237 for children’s items and Ext. 201 or 223 for teen or adult items.

MONDAY: 10:00 am – Noon & 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
WEDNESDAY: 10:00 am – Noon & 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
FRIDAY: 10:00 am – Noon & 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
SATURDAY: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm 

BROWSING SERVICE

No appointment needed!

TUESDAY: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm & 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
THURSDAY: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm & 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

PLEASE NOTE: Teen Curbside Pickup Appointments and item hold pickups will now be available through the Main Desk rather than the Children’s Room.

The browsing service will be offered without appointments and will allow browsing of all main level adult collections and all lower level children’s and teen collections. Appointments will be replaced by a three-hour morning and a three-hour afternoon browsing period. The morning time will run from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, and the afternoon time will run from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. 

Please understand that, while these browsing periods are three hours long, they are intended to allow ample time to select items and then check them out. Despite our expanded services, our space will not be set up for reading or socializing.

Patrons will be able to enter the building from either the main entrance or the back door, both of which will be unlocked at 9:30 am for the morning browsing time, and at 2:30 pm for the afternoon browsing time. Elevator service will be available but we ask that only one person use the elevator at a time except for members of your household.

Those who would like to use our browsing service are encouraged to pick up their holds when they come into the building in lieu of waiting to pick up their holds via Curbside Pickup. Please have your library card or some form of ID with your name on it handy to make the transaction easier. 

Please note: you will be required to wear a mask and to social distance when in the building.

These expanded services may continue to change – please watch for details at abbotlibrary.org, on our Facebook page @AbbotLibraryMarblehead, or on our blog at https://abbotpubliclibrary.wordpress.com

Thank you for your patience and your continued support, as we navigate through these unprecedented times!

Browsing By Appointment Coming in April!

Abbot Public Library is pleased to announce the expansion of our services to include an additional way for patrons to select and borrow tangible materials. Based on the results of our Library Services Survey, we will be offering limited browsing, by appointment, one day per week, while continuing to provide our very popular Curbside Pickup Service, five days per week.

Our hours for Curbside Pickup and the Browsing By Appointment Services will be as follows, starting the week of April 8th:

Curbside Pickup Service

Monday: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Tuesday: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Wednesday: 10:00 am – Noon & 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Friday: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Saturday: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm 

Browsing By Appointment Service

Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm & 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Appointments will be ½ hour long with ½ hour between appointments for sanitizing and cleaning. 

Registration for browsing appointments will be open on Thursday, April 1st. The first appointment date will be Thursday, April 8th. Appointments will be a half hour long, and browsers will be required to wear masks (patron-provided) and gloves (library-provided). Browsing will be limited to designated areas where new and recent additions to all categories of the Library’s collections will be gathered.

Appointments will be specific to the department you would like to browse – either Children’s/Teen, or Adult. If you would like to browse multiple areas, you will need to make separate appointments for each space.

To browse the adult sections on the Main Level, please register for an Adult appointment by calling the Main Desk at 781-631-1481, Ext. 201 or 223 or emailing mar@noblenet.org

To register for an appointment in the Children’s Room AND/OR the Teen Room on the Lower Level, please call the Children’s Room at 781-631-1481, Ext. 217 or 237, or email the Children’s Department at marchild@noblenet.org or the Teen Department at marteen@noblenet.org

Adhering to social distancing space requirements, we are able to accommodate up to four adults on the main level, and an additional four total patrons – children, teen, or adult – on the lower level in the Children’s Room and/or the Teen Room, per half-hour appointment. 

Please watch for further details of our expanded services by following us on Facebook, or by visiting our website or here on our blog.

Thank you for your patience and your continued support, as we navigate through these unprecedented times!

Check out APL’s Book Club Kits To Go – Great For Your Online Zoom Book Club!

Each of Abbot Public Library’s Book Club Kits has ten copies of the book and a binder with information about it which may include articles, discussion questions, and reviews. 

To reserve a kit, call 781-631-1481 or email mar@noblenet.org. When it is time to pick up your kit, call us and we can have it out for Curbside Pickup by the back door, near the parking lot.

The following are the books currently available in Book Club Kits.

The Splendid and the Vile: a Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

In this biography, Erik Larson gives a detailed account of Winston Churchill’s first year as Britain’s Prime Minister during the Blitz, the start of World War II. Germany had just taken over France and started an air force attack against Britain. Told in Erik Larson’s engaging writing style, the book includes day-to-day accounts of this terrifying time.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

This is the story of Lydia Perez and her son, Luca, who must flee their home in Acapulco when a cartel leader orders the death of her entire extended family. Surviving their escape, they embark on a terrifying journey across the U.S. border, seeking shelter with her uncle’s family in Denver.

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes

This is the biography of Samuel Pozzi, a surgeon in Paris who travelled to Britain in 1885. John Singer Sargent painted a portrait of him wearing a red coat. He was a doctor who transformed the practice of gynecology. High society is depicted, as Pozzi was an associate of famous figures such as Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Marcel Proust, and Sarah Bernhardt.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch House is a mansion in Philadelphia that Cyril Conroy surprises his wife by purchasing in 1945. Maeve and Danny, their young children, suffer the abandonment of their mother, the death of their father, and being sent from their home by their stepmother. The siblings form a close bond, increased by the neglect of their family.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Theo Faber is a psychotherapist in London in this psychological suspense novel. His patient, Alicia Berenson, has been convicted of the murder of her husband six years ago. Since the day of the murder, Alicia hasn’t spoken a word. Intrigued by the case, Theo is determined to get Alicia to speak.

Travel the World with Your Library Resources

Despite the limited possibilities of a real escape due to the ongoing pandemic, thanks to the Internet and resources offered by your library, you can explore the world and enjoy travel – virtually!

Lately, the travel industry has cooperated with government agencies to create a wonderfully appealing virtual experience for travelers who might enjoy exploring the world from the comfort of their homes. 

Explore and discover five National Parks, a series Hidden Worlds of the National Parks created by the National Park Service with Google Arts & Culture.

You will find even more National Parks to tour virtually here.

Travel book publishers were also exploring beyond travel guide books. Here is their new product—a series called Passenger.

Greece: Passenger for Explorers of the World is the second book in the series, tailored to the tastes of armchair travelers. It concentrates on the best writing, photography, and arts of the region. Greece can be reserved in print for Curbside Pickup, or you can check out the ebook on hoopla.

America the Beautiful by the National Geographic Society is a book of gorgeous photography that celebrates the unique beauty of all the 50 states. The book offers an alternative way to see the country in the time of limited travel. It is a gratifying and very worthwhile visual journey.

Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of Himalayas by Bruce Kirby shares the author’s account of a journey that his family undertook, chartering an absolutely new and unfamiliar territory by travelling to a distant Tibetan locale, staying at the Buddhist monastery, and backpacking in the Himalayas at high altitudes.

The book is a mixture of local history, culture, travelogue, and personal experience, and very well reviewed. You can reserve it in print for Curbside Pickup or check out the ebook on hoopla.

The Lost Pianos of Siberia by Pamela Roberts is aware of and inspired by the huge role that music, and pianos in particular, played in Russian culture. The British travel writer follows the ways pianos travelled from major Russian cities to distant Russian locales, and explores and portrays Siberia – the part of Russia that has long intrigued foreigners, though it is not much travelled and understood.

The book combines a travelogue with Russian history and culture, as well as music history. You will find a New York Times review here. Reserve the book in print for Curbside Pickup or read the ebook on Overdrive or hoopla

Scandinavian Noir: In Pursuit of a Mystery by Wendy Lesser is another oeuvre by the author – a fan of Scandinavian mysteries – who has been sharing her enthusiasm and reviews with the public for almost four decades. 

Her deep interest in Scandinavian mysteries and voracious reading of numerous books written by writers from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark lead to her deep knowledge of those countries: their geography, history, culture, social norms, and laws.

When she traveled to Scandinavia, the author said she found it “even lovelier than she expected.”

Part literary criticism and part travelogue, the book was well regarded in The New York Times review.


As always, these books are available through the library catalog, either in print or digital format, sometimes both. 

Digital downloads are available through Overdrive/Libby or hoopla with your library card. 

To obtain a print copy, please carefully read the instructions for ordering and Curbside Pickup.

Learn To Be Healthy In The New Year!

Being healthy is always one of the top New Year’s Resolutions every year. Abbot Public Library has items in digital and physical formats that can help you become mentally and physically healthier in the New Year!

Overdrive’s Health & Fitness Collection has ebooks, e-audiobooks, and downloadable magazines for children, teens, and adults about eating healthier, exercising, and living a healthier life. 

Kids can learn about the current pandemic in Coronavirus: A Book for Children written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts; and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The book explains in a way for children to understand how you can catch coronavirus, if there is a cure, and more about the disease that has spread across the world during this past year. In Megan Borgert-Spaniol’s and Lauren Kukla’s ebook Crafting Calm, exercises, quizzes, crafts, and activities help children improve their emotional intelligence, boost their self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and help them connect with the world around them. My First Cookbook is a fun way for children ages 5-8 to begin learning how to cook with fun food projects they can do with their families! 

Meik Wiking’s New York Times Bestseller, The Little Book of Hygge, is a guide that explores the Danish concept of living a happier life with a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. Get inspired to find your reason for living in the international bestseller Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, for which the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds. Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. is one of the Health and Fitness books on Overdrive that can help you lose weight, sharpen your memory, and do more to make your mind and body healthier.

If you want more than what Overdrive’s collection can offer, try some of the 8,000+ titles in hoopla’s Health & Fitness ebooks collection. You’ll find some of the same titles on Overdrive plus some different titles, with many sub categories to choose from, including Diet & Nutrition, Exercise, Yoga, and Tai Chi. Learn how to make medicine with herbs and plants in Marysia Miernowska’s The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary. Figure out What to Eat When in the ebook by Michael Crupain, Michael F. Roizen, M. D., and Ted Spiker. Discover different yoga poses and how to accept your body in Jessamyn Stanley’s Every Body Yoga.

And if all these ebook titles aren’t enough, check out the Health & Fitness movies on hoopla, including the Yoga for Health with Jenny Cornero series, Kung Fu for Kids, A Healthy Diet For A Healthy Brain, In Defense of Food, and more! You can also stream video lectures with The Great Courses. Learn about everything from cooking with vegetables and making healthy food taste great to yoga, how to boost your physical and mental energy, and essentials of strength training,  as well as other interesting subjects related to being healthy. 

For those who prefer physical titles, reserve exercise books, and DVDs; health magazines, books, and DVDs, and more on you NOBLE account for Curbside Pickup! If you need help finding materials on a specific subject, feel free to contact a Reference Librarian at mar@noblenet.org or by calling 781-631-1481. 

A Virtual Garden Tour

Take a (virtual) tour through some of the most beautiful gardens of the world! 

Though the weather might not be well-suited for a garden tour right now, with books borrowed or downloaded from the library, you can enjoy armchair travelling from the safety of your home, take pleasure in looking through books with gorgeous color illustrations and photographs of splendidly designed gardens from all over the world, and learn about the people who designed them.

A Garden for All Seasons: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood by Kate Markert is the first book on the history and design of Hillwood, the estate of Marjorie Post, the businesswoman and the heir of General Foods, Inc.

The gardens were designed with the idea of planting a very diverse range of plants and trees, thus providing something flowering or simply beautiful to look at for every season. The new commissioned photography for the book perfectly reflects the beauty of the garden.

For Rachel Lambert Mellon – best known as Bunny Mellon – plants and gardens have been a passion for all her long life (1910-2014), and she was really remarkable with garden designs. Best known for her redesign of the White House Rose Garden, she planned grounds designs for all the multiple estates her family owned in various parts of the world. She also designed a couple of gardens for the celebrated French couturier, Hubert de Givenchy, and several other gardens of the White House.

The Gardens of Bunny Mellon by Linda Holden includes spectacular newly commissioned photographs of some of Mellon’s gardens, as well as her sketches and watercolors.

In American Gardens, Monty Don, an eminent British horticulturist, travels across the US with celebrated photographer Derry Moore, exploring the country’s iconic as well as lesser-known gardens. Best known as a presenter of the BBC gardening television series, Mr. Don did one of the episodes this past year on American gardens; the book complements the series, and includes some previously unpublished photographs. 

The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast by Jana Milbocker describes 120 botanical gardens, historic estates, and nurseries from Southern Maine to Pennsylvania. 

665 luscious photos make this book more than a guidebook; it offers aesthetic enjoyment of horticultural colors and designs.

For those wishing to explore outside North America, the library has the following offerings:

Japanese Gardens: Kyoto by photographer Akira Nakata showcases 96 stunning Japanese gardens of Kyoto. These awe-inspiring works of art date between the 13th and the 17th centuries.

A recognizable aspect of Japanese culture, gardens embody a philosophy about the relationship between humanity and nature through seamless incorporation of living elements with man-made design and the surroundings (such as buildings).

Not to be missed, especially if Kyoto is a travel destination.

Everyday Monet: A Giverny-inspired Gardening and Lifestyle Guide to Living Your Best Impressionist Life by Aileen Bordman will take you to France, to the third most-visited site in the country: Giverny, a commune in Normandy best known for the location of an estate that was once home to Claude Monet, one of the founders of the French Impressionism.

Gorgeously illustrated with photos of Monet’s spectacular garden designs, reproductions of his paintings, and filled with instructions, the book becomes a practical guide for creating a lifestyle inspired by Monet’s works.

As always, these books are available through the library catalog, either in print or digital format, sometimes both. 

Digital downloads are available through Overdrive/Libby with your library card. To obtain a print copy, please carefully read the instructions for reserving and Curbside Pickup.

Discuss the Poetry of Rita Dove This Sunday At APL’s Virtual Poetry Salon!

Join Marblehead poet Claire Keyes on Zoom this Sunday, November 15th, from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm for a friendly conversation about the poetry of Rita Dove, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The first African-American U.S. Poet Laureate, Dove was also the first woman to fill the position, and the youngest at 41. She is known not only for the layered eloquence of her language and ideas but also for portraying the black experience, both on a personal and collective front.

Access the Zoom event at 2:00 pm on Sunday, November 15th by clicking this link or by dialing +1-929-205-6099 from the New York Time Zone (if you’re in a different time zone, find out what number to call here) and entering the following information: 

Meeting ID: 960 3810 8180

Passcode: 497729

Dove’s book, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, will be the primary focus of Sunday’s Salon, which we have in print format to reserve for Curbside Pickup (please carefully read these instructions if you’re new to our Curbside Pickup Service). This event is free and open to the public. We hope to see (or hear) you there!

New in Nonfiction: Spine-Tingling True Spy Stories

If you find spy stories thrilling and captivating, the Abbot Public Library has recommendations from our newest collection additions.

Our previous post on nonfiction spy stories introduced brilliant British historian and writer Ben Macintyre. His series of books on 20th century espionage were very highly regarded.

Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy is Ben Macintyre’s newest book, very much anticipated by his numerous readers and fans. It is a story of the most celebrated female spy (alias Agent Sonya), who had worked for the Soviet Union. Her long (1907-2000), very effective espionage work, full of many accomplishments, and her colorful personal life make her an excellent subject for a nonfiction spy thriller. Ben Macintyre has excelled at creating a narrative centered around this very complex and extraordinary person. You can find a review in The New York Times here. Reserve a print copy for Curbside Pickup or check it out in ebook format on Overdrive.

Atomic Spy: The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs by Nancy Greenspan is a biography of one of the most infamous spies of the Cold War, another true-life story of a spy who belonged to the same ring as Agent Sonya. 

A brilliant scientist and a Nazi fighter, Klaus Fuchs immigrated to Great Britain and soon joined the atomic bomb research project… at the same time handing the materials over to the Russians. Unlike previous biographies of Klaus Fuchs, Greenspan’s book features a biographical account of a very complex character, portraying him as a passionate person with very strong ideological beliefs that motivated him to share secrets with Cold War enemies of the British and Americans. Very well researched due to access to numerous German, British, and American archives, as well as Fuchs’s correspondences, the story, full of tension, captures readers entirely. Here is The New York Times review.

In addition to spies, the library also owns books on American spymasters and the Intelligence Agency itself, their accomplishments and failures:

Dead Doubles: The Extraordinary Worldwide Hunt for One of the Cold War’s Most Notorious Spy Rings by Trevor Barnes is an incredible story of the CIA and the British Intelligence Service cooperation in cracking the most damaging spy ring of the Cold War in the 1960s. Barnes uses tools and his skills as a fiction writer to make this real-life story as fast-paced and compelling as fiction.

The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War: A Tragedy in Three Acts by Scott Anderson, war correspondent and writer, is a story of the spying world during WWII and, later, the Cold War, through the eyes and lives of four remarkable, very talented American spies who helped shape the earliest CIA operations. Read The New York Times review here.

The Spymasters: How the CIA Directors Shape History and the Future by Chris Whipple is a fascinating behind-the-scenes story of the CIA recounted through the actions of its directors. The book is well-documented and based on interviews with every living CIA director. It delivers an informative history of the agency, describing how it works and what the director’s job is.

Reflecting on some of the operational failures, the author proposes some reforms to improve the agency’s performance. Here is a NYT review.

As always, these books can be reserved through the library, either in print or digital format, and sometimes both. 

Digital downloads are available through Overdrive/the Libby app with your library card. 

To obtain a print copy, please carefully read the instructions for Curbside Pickup.

Popular Titles on CD Audio at APL

Everyone has been saying that 2020 has been an “unprecedented” year, and they’re not wrong. Here at the APL, we realize that, in the midst of it all, you may have missed a few fabulous listens along the way. If you have an inkling that you did, you may want to check this curated list  of CD audiobooks in the catalog. Most of these titles are not brand new–some were published in the spring, some over the summer, but we think it’s worth highlighting them now.

If you’re addicted to the adrenaline rush of the thriller, then there are several strong options for you. In The First to Lie, Hank Phillippi Ryan serves up a novel of betrayal and obsession with revenge that plays out among several characters pushed to life-or-death breaking points. The tale is expertly narrated by Audie Award-winner Cassandra Campbell, who has the likes of Where the Crawdads Sing to her credit.

You can return to a world of espionage with a long-awaited fourth series entry from Olen Steinhauer after an eight-year hiatus. In The Last Tourist, CIA agent Milo Weaver must re-engage with a group of assassins he thought had been successfully eliminated. His quest takes him to the Western Sahara and involves a new young CIA analyst in a nail-biting plot.

In a novel that resonates eerily with our present reality, Paul Tremblay offers a thriller-cum-horror tale in Survivor Song. Set here in Massachusetts, the novel centers on a terrifying, fast-spreading, almost supernatural pandemic with zombie associations. In this case, you may just feel a bit better about the current state of affairs after you’ve finished listening to award-winning Erin Bennett’s narration!

For a gentler listening experience, Phaedra Patrick–beloved author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and other quiet novels of self-discovery and second chances–has published The Secrets of Love Story Bridge. After heroically rescuing a woman from drowning, the protagonist, a confirmed sceptic about love, begins a quest to discover her story and find her again. If you’re feeling a little battered by this year’s events, then perhaps a hot cup of tea and a date with this charmer is in order.

Don’t miss two other titles, either: Richard Ford’s short story collection, Sorry for Your Trouble, which considers Irish-American experience in both historical and contemporary permutations, and Alicia Keys’ memoir, More Myself: A Journey, “an intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression.”*

We hope there’s something for everyone to discover here! You may place holds on any of these CD audiobooks and get them via our popular curbside pickup service. If you do not yet have a library card, you can get started here.

Please note that the building is closed to staff for air duct cleaning this week, but we will resume Curbside Pickup Service on Monday, November 2nd. 

*Description from the publisher.

New in Nonfiction: Biographies

If you are a biography devotee – and there are many readers who are, as this literature genre is very popular and much loved – you might be especially interested in a few of the recently published collective biographies.

The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War by Catherine Grace Katzis a story of the historical meeting of the heads of the governments of Great Britain, the USA, and Soviet Union, which took place in the Crimea in the final months of the Second World War. The narrative is viewed through the eyes of the daughters of leaders of the British and American delegations. Not only does the book portray each of these three daughters, but it also gives fascinating backstories of each of their father-daughter relationships, as well as interactions among these three young women. Based on very thorough research that used personal letters, diaries, and oral histories, the author creates a fascinating, entertaining, and well regarded story.

Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars by Francesca Wade is a collective portrait of five revolutionary women, immensely talented and independent – Virginia Woolf and Dorothy L. Sayers among them – who lived, at various times, in the same square in London.

The author traces interconnections among the five women and their influence on each other’s work.

A combination of literary history and biography, the book is very well researched. Numerous anecdotes make for an amusing read, which received starred reviews.

Mad and Bad: The Real Heroines of the Regency by Bea Koch.

Regency-era romance novels are a very popular genre of fiction, and in her book, Bea Koch captures a collective portrait of the most notable and trailblazing women of Regency England (1810-20), women who would become prototypes of historical romance novel heroines.  

The book reflects on the artistic and scientific accomplishments of these women: outlining biographies of the royally-connected, illuminating notable women of color, as well as Jewish women. The book is not only informative but is also fun to read.

Another recently published book of collective biographies is Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aureliusby Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, which discusses the lives of 26 major ancient stoics, whose philosophy emphasized personal success and perseverance, and believed that courage, justice, and wisdom were the requirements for living a happy life.

Kirkus Reviews esteemed the book highly, saying, “At a time when public nobility is hard to come by, this is a good reminder of the power of ethical leadership.”

For those interested in political science, along with biographies, Abbot Public Library offers the following:

His Truth Is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hopeby Jon Meacham, which portrays the life of the recently-deceased Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. Check this title out in print, book on CD, ebook, or e-audiobook format. 

Eleanorby David Michaelis is the first major single-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt in more than a half century. The work earned a good review from The NYT.

As always, these books are available in the library catalog, either in print or digital format,and sometimes both.

Digital downloads are available through Overdrive/Libby with your library card. 

To obtain a print copy, carefully read the instructions for reserving a copy and scheduling an appointment for Curbside Pickup.

Please note that Curbside Pickup will be unavailable from Sunday, October 25 through Sunday, November 1, as the building is having air duct cleaning and therefore staff will be unable to be in the building. We will resume Curbside Pickup services on Monday, November 2.