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.

Pausing Browsing By Appointment Service

In light of the post-Thanksgiving COVID spike, as well as the likelihood of another surge after the Christmas holiday, we are pausing our Browsing Service. We will offer only Curbside Pickup Service until after the winter holidays, when, taking our cue from the Marblehead Public Schools, we will review the suitability of resuming the Browsing Service.

To set up a Curbside Service appointment, please visit abbotlibrary.org or call the library at 781-631-1481.

To set up a Curbside Service appointment, please visit our website or call the library at 781-631-1481. Curbside appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm and on Saturday from 9:30 am – Noon and 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm.

The health and safety of the public and library staff remain our utmost priority. We appreciate your understanding and are grateful for your continued support! Stay tuned for more updates here on the blog, on Facebook, or on our website.

A Gift for You: Extra hoopla Borrows for December!

This is a season for giving, and we at the Abbot Public Library have been thinking about how we can express our appreciation to our patrons. You are what makes the library so vital to our community! This year, our gift is a virtual one, and we hope you will love it—go ahead, open it!

Here it is: with the shorter days and longer nights of December upon us, we’re thinking that you just might like a couple more audiobooks, movies, or music albums to brighten the darkness. So we are giving you two extra hoopla borrows during this month! Now you have seven borrows to take you right through the holiday season.

There’s just so much to explore in hoopla’s curated holiday collections. For audiobooks alone, there are three appealing categories: Holiday Mysteries, Holiday Romance, and Christmas for Kids.

Movies? Oh, yes. We’ve got you covered! For an eclectic sampling of what’s on offer, have a look at the 63 titles in Best of Holiday and 34 New Holiday Movies (not previously available on hoopla). Snuggle down with the younger members of your family and browse through the 146 age-appropriate films represented in Christmas for Kids and Hanukkah for Kids.

For a little extra helping of love with your cocoa and cookies, try the Holiday Romance and It’s a Wonderful Lifetime collections. Or just wrap up the cinematic year with the retrospective 100 Most-Borrowed Movies of 2020 and Leaving hoopla in December categories.

Want some fresh music selections to liven up your decorating, baking, and gift-wrapping efforts? You’ll not be disappointed! There are no fewer than 2597 albums available in five categories, some of them brand-new in 2020: Holiday, Holiday Classics, Holiday Jazz, Holiday Movie Soundtracks, and Spiritual Holiday. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

So go ahead and splurge a little on some cheering entertainment, all for free! Hope you like your gift from us!

If you’re new to hoopla, you can get started here. And if you don’t yet have a Marblehead library card, you can register for one here.

Important Service Updates Starting Monday, December 7th

Expanded Services Scheduled to Begin December 7th

Updated Service Hours are as follows:

Curbside Pickup Service Hours

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm 

Saturday
9:30 – Noon & 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Browsing By Appointment Hours

Tuesday and 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. 

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

Call the library at 781-631-1481, Ext. 201 for more information on how to register for an appointment to browse a limited area of the library. The first appointment date will be Tuesday, December 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.

Adhering to social distancing space requirements, we are able to accommodate up to four adults and/or teens, on the main level, and an additional four Children’s Room patrons – adult and/or children – on the lower level, per half-hour appointment. A half hour will be reserved, between appointments, to sanitize service desks and other public areas, for patron and staff safety.

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

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

New for You: E-Audio Series Entries, RBG, and Sedaris on Overdrive/Libby

As 2020 winds down and the light fades earlier each day, we at the Abbot Public Library are searching for some good, solid reading fare to see us through the long evenings. There’s nothing like the comfort of familiar storylines continued and the company of characters we know and love (or love to hate). We’re also craving the words of cultural icons like the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Sedaris, both of whom saw us through many decades before we were plunged into the present reality. If you’re feeling the same, then the newest round of digital audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby should be just the ticket!

If the grandeur of historical epic is what you’re in the mood for at present, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can now listen to Ken Follett’s new prequel to the wildly popular Pillars of the Earth, which was published thirty years ago. Follett is past master at spinning tales of derring-do from the pre-Norman Conquest era in Britain. He certainly doesn’t disappoint in The Evening and the Morning, a book “rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.”*

Ann Cleeves lands us in a thoroughly modern England with her latest Vera Stanhope novel, The Darkest Evening. The irascible and complicated Detective Inspector not only finds yet another mystery on a snowy night in Northumberland but is confronted with new knowledge about her family’s past. With an atmospheric blizzard and an old country house as major plot elements, this offering is certainly one to curl up with by the fire.

There’s also the opportunity to hear more from a hero and icon lost this year, in her own voice. Jeffrey Rosen, head of the National Constitution Center, offers us an intimate series of recorded tête-à-têtes in Conversations with RBG. With observations on her own life and on Supreme Court matters, the audiobook will make you feel that this fiercely intelligent woman is in the room with you, and that she has not been and will not be silenced.

And who couldn’t do with a bit of sardonic comic relief in the form of David Sedaris’s latest? He’s compiled his funniest stories from the past three decades and added a new one in The Best of Me. You’ll also get a new interview with the writer.

So that’s your long autumnal evenings sorted! You may also want to check out the newly-added thriller One by One from Ruth Ware and The Searcher by Tana French for further bestselling listens.

If you are new to Overdrive/Libby, please have a look at our FAQ section for pointers. And if you don’t yet have a library card, you can get started here.

*Description from the publisher.

Post-Turkey Viewing: Holiday Movies on hoopla – And Don’t Forget Your Bonus Borrows!

With Thanksgiving Day nearly upon us, we here at the Abbot Public Library are beginning to think about our post-prandial plans. Wash the dishes—tick. Take a long walk—tick. Eat pie—tick, tick. And after that? Get cozy with some films that’ll help get us in the mood for the rest of the holiday season—big tick. If you’d like to join us, read on!

Thankfully, hoopla has anticipated our cravings and has curated a collection of 62 “Best of Holiday” titles. There’s a smorgasbord to choose from. Of course, there are the romances: some from Lifetime, and at least one from Harlequin (A Very Country Christmas). Kids’ options abound, with everything from Caillou’s Holiday Movie to the family-friendly, dog-centered Alone for Christmas—which is also a Bonus Borrow title through the end of this month! You can also catch some of the BBC series Christmas specials you may have missed: Call the Midwife: Christmas Special 2018, The Great British Baking Show: Christmas Masterclass, and Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays.

Indulge in some classics like the 1955 Miracle on 34th Street and The Snowman, or watch the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Henry Winkler in One Christmas, which is based on an autobiographical short story by Truman Capote.

And if, after the tribulations of 2020, you just need a holiday-themed laugh, we have you covered. For ex-con shenanigans, try All Is Bright, starring Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti, and Sally Hawkins. Or join a New Zealand family as they attempt to return Santa to the North Pole in Kiwi Christmas.

If you’re running low on borrows this month, don’t forget that you can watch, read, or listen to anything in hoopla’s special Bonus Borrows collection through the end of November—without using any of your monthly allotment!

If you’re new to hoopla, you can visit our FAQs page to get started. If you do not have a library card, go here.

Happy holiday watching to you and yours!

Marblehead Racial Justice Team Will Be Hosting A New Conversations on Race Event This Monday, November 16th!

In the past, Abbot Public Library has teamed up with the Marblehead Racial Justice Team to bring our patrons a series of events, and we’re pleased to announce we’ve added a program, to take place Monday, November 17th, starting at 7:00 pm: Continuing Conversations on Race: What does it mean to “Do the Work?” 

You will be able to access the event on Zoom by clicking this link or by dialing +1 929 205 6099 from the New York Time Zone (for other time zones, click here to find the right number to dial) and enter the following Meeting ID: 463 613 7679. 

Find out more about the program in the description below!

Over the last few months there have been more and louder calls for us to “Do the Work.” But what is the work we can personally undertake? Our conversation will begin with a general discussion of the current state of racial justice in Marblehead and in Massachusetts and what work needs to be done. We will consider work to address systemic racism, both in our society and in ourselves.

Then, in smaller groups, we will discuss what our personal vision for racial justice is, and some actions we will take to advance that vision. To conclude, we will share our visions and actions, and perhaps we will hear some ideas that will prompt us to add a few more to our own lists.

Please join us for an invigorating conversation and some ideas to start “Doing the Work” for racial justice.

These ongoing conversations are a safe and welcoming place in which we explore our own privilege and biases, our questions, and continue to learn and grow by hearing each other’s stories so that we can best make a difference. It is a place for listening, conversation, and engagement.

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!