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.

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!

Something to Be Thankful For: November Is Bonus Borrows Month on hoopla!

Believe it or not, there have been some good things about 2020. In the spring and summer of this year, hoopla introduced a hugely popular Bonus Borrows initiative, meaning that patrons could borrow from a generous group of titles in various formats without using any of their monthly borrowing allowance. Guess what? The Bonus Borrows are back!

Just in time for the longer autumnal evenings ahead, you’re being treated to over a thousand new titles to choose from in five formats: audiobook, ebook, movie, television, and comic book. In the “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All Audiobooks” category, you’ll find a number of classics in both adult and children’s fiction. What better time than now to catch up on that book you’ve meant to read since high school, or to introduce your kids to beloved favorites? Sign on for the literary adventure that is Moby Dick or get a taste of thwarted love in Edwardian America with The Age of Innocence. For the little ones, Beatrix Potter is well-represented, with classic titles like The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tailor of Gloucester on offer.

If you’d prefer to read rather than listen, then you’ve also got an ample curated collection of ebooks to choose from: “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All eBooks.” Here, you can browse some cozy seasonal offerings from the likes of Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott or go on an adventure with Jules Verne in Around the World in 80 Days—and of course, there are 257 titles to try, modern books included.

With the 358 films included in “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All Movies,” there’s something to please every viewer, as holiday movies, documentaries, and features are all well-represented. There’s so much on offer that you’ll just have to take a look yourself! The TV Bonus Borrows selections have an educational focus, which may be particularly welcome right now.

And if all of that isn’t enough, hoopla has truly outdone itself in the comics category, offering two different collections, one with standalone titles and first volumes, and another with “Series You’ll Love”. Truly a feast for the eye!

So, in this season that celebrates abundance, make sure that you take advantage of all the goodness on offer through November 30! If you are new to hoopla, please visit our FAQs page to learn how to set up your account. And if you don’t yet have a Marblehead library card, you can start your adventure here!

Now Hear This! New Audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby

We’re falling for autumn here at the Abbot Public Library: the trees are turning, the weather is cooling, and reading seems even more appealing than ever. But if the arrival of fall has filled up your schedule, you may be finding it difficult to curl up with a book as often as you’d like. That’s where the library can help! Take your books with you wherever the season takes you by checking out audio versions from Overdrive/Libby. And you’ll find that your virtual bookshelf has recently expanded to include some soon-to-be-favorites!

If you’re craving the comfort of another instalment in a top-notch mystery series, then you’re in luck. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache in Paris rather than Quebec. Read by English actor Robert Bathurst, who is notable for playing Sir Anthony Strallan in the Downton Abbey series, this audiobook will whisk you away to the City of Light with the whole of Gamache’s family as they search for answers “from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.”* Sounds a treat!

Or if you’re eager to settle down with a favorite author once again after a summer hiatus, you’ll be pleased to find new offerings from the likes of Christina Baker Kline, Emily Giffin, Jodi Picoult, and Elena Ferrante. The Exiles follows the intertwined lives of three underprivileged women–a disgraced governess, a petty thief, and an aboriginal chief’s daughter–as they navigate the dangerous, unjust, yet fascinating world of 19th-century colonial Australia. The Lies That Bind will take the reader back to the era of 9/11 and the dilemma of an investigative reporter searching for her missing boyfriend, who quite possibly wasn’t who she thought he was. In The Book of Two Ways, we’re brought to the present day with a plane crash that is not the tragedy the reader might think. Instead, it gives the main character the opportunity to consider the path she is on and explore another one. And if you’ve been enthralled by the internationally acclaimed Neapolitan Quartet, you’ll not want to miss The Lying Life of Adults. Once again, Ferrante turns her lens on the angst of the transition to adulthood and renders an oft-told tale fresh and fascinating.

You’ll also find fresh and timely nonfiction from Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents), as well as “indie” novels from Maggie O’Farrell (Hamnet), Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom) and Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic).

Here’s to autumn and brand-new “To Read” lists!

If you’re new to Overdrive/Libby, our FAQs page will get you started. And if you need a Marblehead library card, you can begin here.

Celebrate Your Freedom To Read With Banned Books Week!

Every year, certain books are challenged in public schools and libraries for a number of different reasons, including profanity, vulgarity, LGBTQIA+ content, references to magic and witchcraft, going against “family values/morals, being sensitive, controversial, or politically charged, and so on. In order to inform the public about this censorship, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top challenged books based on reports and media stories. 

566 books were targeted in 2019, and of those books the most challenged are listed below. You can check all of them out in at least one format from Abbot Public LIbrary, and many are in multiple physical or digital formats. Some even have movies or TV shows based on them, which you can reserve in DVD format for curbside pickup, currently with no charge! 

George by Alex Gino (print, Overdrive/Libby app ebook and e-audiobook, hoopla e-audiobook)

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebook

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller (Overdrive/Libby app ebook and hoopla ebook)

Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth (print and hoopla ebook)

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis (print only)

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas (print only)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (regular print, large print, book on CD, related TV show Seasons 1-3, and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling:

All the Harry Potter books are also available on hoopla in different languages in ebook and audiobook format.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole (print and hoopla e-audiobook)

Celebrate your freedom to read what you choose by reserving the above titles for Curbside Pickup (please read about the process here for reserving titles and setting up an appointment to pick them up), or checking them out online through our digital services.

Find out more about Banned Books Week on the American Library Association website or the Banned Book Week website, including the history of Banned Books Week, virtual events taking place this week, the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books or the decade, and more! 

Celebrate Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week!

Hobbit Day started in 1978 and was chosen to be September 22nd, the date referenced in The Hobbit and The Lord of the RIngs as being the birthdate of both the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Tolkien Week – a celebration of both J. R. R. Tolkien and his son and editor, Christopher J. R. Tolkien – takes place through the whole calendar week of Hobbit Day, which this year would fall from Sunday, September 20th through Saturday, September 26th.

In honor of this Middle Earthian Celebration, we invite you to check out Tolkein’s books (in physical or digital formats) as well as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies (which currently have no check out fee)! You’ll also find some other hobbit and LOTR-related items which can teach you more about Middle Earth and the brave creatures therein.

Tolkien’s Tales of Middle Earth 

The Hobbit (print copies and annotated version, book on CD, Overdrive ebooks and e-audiobooks, and hoopla ebook and e-audiobook)

The Fellowship of the Ring (print copies, Overdrive ebooks and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

The Two Towers (print copies, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

The Return of the King (print copies, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

Bilbo’s Last Song (print and ebook)

The Silmarillion (print and ebook)

The Fall of Gondolin

Narn i chîn Húrin : the Tale of the Children of Húrin  

The Book of Lost Tales: Part One (print and ebook)

The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two (print and ebook)

Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth (print and ebook)

The Lost Road and Other Writings: Language and Legend Before ‘The Lord of the Rings’

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Movies and Music

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Check out the music from or inspired by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on hoopla!

Other Books By Tolkein

Beowulf (print and ebook

The Fall of Arthur (print, Overdrive ebook, and hoopla ebook)

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (print and ebook)

Letters from Father Christmas

Tales From The Perilous Realm 

The Lay Of Aotrou & Itroun 

The Story of Kullervo 

A Rare Recording Of J.R.R. Tolkien

Check out all the books by J. R. R. Tolkien in the library catalog, Overdrive, and hoopla. Hoopla also has a multitude of Tolkien biographies and materials about hobbits, which include trivia books, reader’s companions, literary criticisms, and more!

What’s New in Nonfiction Books: History

Recently, many distinguished, interesting, or even outstanding nonfiction books have been published; books that received starred reviews in leading newspapers and captured readers’ interest.

Here are some of the latest library acquisitions of history books.

Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson is one of those books that is both hailed by the critics and also has attracted numerous readers.

Deeply researched, the book explores and examines the American caste system that has shaped the country through its history and demonstrates the effects of the system on the country’s culture and politics. You can read a splendid review in The New York Times.

Reserve the print book or book on CD for Curbside Pickup, or the ebook or audiobook on Overdrive.

Isabel Wilkerson is also the author of The Warmth of Other Suns (2010), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize. Publication of Caste revived an interest in her previous work and placed The Warmth of Other Suns on hold shelves again.

Reserve the print book or Playaway (audio format) for Curbside Pickup, or read the ebook on Overdrive. 

also available as a hoopla audiobook

Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein (in print and ebook format) is another book on American history. This is the fourth book by the author, which concludes a saga about the rise of conservatism in modern American politics. The others that come before it are Before the Storm (print and hoopla audiobook), Nixonland, and The Invisible Bridge. The author examines the four years of the Carter administration (1976-1980), and shows how that time period created a Launchpad for conservatism that is still alive today. The New York Times reviewed the book.

The 20TH Annual Massachusetts Book Awards were recently announced, and the books below received nonfiction Honors:

American Radicals: How 19th-Century Protest Shaped the Nation by Holly Jackson explores the turbulent history of the nineteenth-century political activism and activists. Many names are forgotten today, but those people were influential in their time, and their work is associated with reformers such as Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Cody Stanton.

The book was named one of Ten Best History Books of 2019. Check it out in ebook or audiobook format. 

Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter by Kerri K. Greenidge is a very well researched, meticulously documented, and well-written biography of William Monroe Trotter, a Harvard-educated Black radical, and the founder, editor, and publisher of the weekly Boston Guardian that launched in 1901. Written by a Tufts University professor, the book offers a fresh perspective on African-American history.

Check out Black Radical in print, Overdrive ebook, Overdrive audiobook, or hoopla ebook

And here is yet another history book, which explores a fascinating subject: the history of hurricanes.

It is a particular pleasure to introduce this book, written by Eric Dolin, who is a successful nonfiction writer and resident of Marblehead. The Abbot Public Library has hosted several of his book presentations, including talks about his books Black Flags, Blue Waters and Brilliant Beacons.

A Furious Sky is Dolin’s latest book, which earned him very positive reviews, including from The New York Times. The author chronicles the history of American hurricanes from the 16th century through 2017, discusses their nature, and traces the development of hurricane science. He reflects on the American history and shows how hurricanes impacted it.

Reserve A Furious Sky in print, book on CD, or ebook format. He will be speaking about this book at the local Jewish Book Month, sponsored by the JCCNS, which will be held online starting on Tuesday, October 6th!

Other books by Eric Dolin include:

All books are available in print format or digital, very frequently both. Browse Dolin’s books in the library catalog or on Overdrive or hoopla

The library’s digital nonfiction collection has grown significantly in the last few years, and even more so in the past 6 months. You can access the collection through Overdrive/Libby or hoopla with your library card.

Currently, almost every book published on paper is also available in digital format, as the library strives to satisfy public demand, and purchase books to appease diverse tastes and interests.

If you have a choice between print and digital formats, please know that digital books circulate much faster, since they cannot be kept overdue, and do not need to be quarantined. You can reserve print books to pick up in our Curbside Service – please read our instructions carefully about how to reserve titles and set up an appointment once all your items come in.

Celebrate National Waffle Week!

Waffles are so good, one day wasn’t long enough to enjoy them – there’s a whole week in their honor! Celebrate National Waffle Week this week by cooking up something good from the safety of your kitchen. Get inspired by the recipes in the following cookbooks, available to check out on hoopla via Abbot Public Library with no wait!

Dawn Yanagaihara’s recipes in her book, Waffles, include more than thirty different waffles, ranging from the classic Buttermilk Waffle to the more creative Ham and Gruyère Waffle Tartines. The crispy golden delicacy isn’t just for breakfast – find out how you can enjoy these for lunch and dinner as well. 

If the cover is any indication, Tara Dugan’s Waffles also contains some delicious recipes for the popular breakfast sweet, as well as savory options to enjoy later in the day. The recipes for chicken & waffles and waffle sandwiches might make you wonder why you’ve only been eating waffles for breakfast.

Want to make sure you don’t overindulge? Mini-Waffle Cookbook can help. Peruse recipes perfect for your mini waffle maker, sweet and savory options that include Banana Walnut Waffles, Fritaffle, Waffle-Blini, Waffled Panini, Waffled Calzone, Waffle Joe, Strawberry Shortcake Waffles, and Waffle Pops. You’ll even find gluten-free and vegan options! For even more vegan options, you can check out The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook.

Daniel Shumski takes a slightly different approach. In Will It Waffle?, he experiments with putting different foods in his waffle iron to see if they, like waffles, result in little compartments for their complimentary sauces. Entertain your kids by making dinner more fun with Waffled Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Pressed Potato and Cheese Pierogi, Waffled Meatballs, or mac ‘n’ cheese-turned-grilled cheese sandwich.

Trying to eat healthy? Don’t have a waffle maker? You could celebrate Waffle Week by reading or watching stories about waffles instead! In the movie Waffle Street, the main character works as a waiter at a waffle house after being a V.P. at a $30 billion hedge fund. 

Benny the Woodpecker tries to sneak into a waffle house in the kids’ book, Woodpecker Wants A Waffle, available on hoopla as a Read-Along ebook and audiobook. If you’re in the mood for an adult cozy, check out Murder With Fried Chicken And Waffles, also available as an ebook or audiobook. There are even more waffle-related items to explore on hoopla!

Celebrate Shark Week with Abbot Public Library!

Every summer, Discovery Channel hosts a week full of new films and documentaries about carnivorous Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes), a celebration known as Shark Week. Featuring a range of subjects, from Great Whites breaching to catch seals, to the little-known species of the deep, every year there are new surprises to learn about these long-feared creatures.

If you don’t subscribe to Discovery Channel, or if you want even more than what Shark Week can provide, Abbot Public Library can help! Check out the following selections from our collections in physical format through the library catalog, or online through Overdrive and hoopla

You’ll find a curated collection of Shark Week movies on hoopla with a few family-friendly titles such as Sea Level and Shark Lady (also in print format); to selections geared towards mature audiences, like the horror movie Shark Lake or the action/adventure Swamp Shark, two movies about shark attacks which give these peaceful creatures their bad reputation. But if you watch documentaries such as Tiger Shark: Predator Revealed, you’ll find that sharks don’t seek out humans as prey, but prefer their natural appetite of fish, seals, and other sea creatures. The documentary Sharks shows how many shark species are becoming extinct and need our help in order to survive. 

IndieFlix has a few shark videos you can stream as well, including Sharks in My Viewfinder, about an underwater photographer who went around the world to film sharks; and the short, The Shark and The Can, in which a shark tries to find acceptance from the other ocean creatures who are scared of him. Log into IndieFlix via Abbot Public LIbrary’s RB Digital Services to access these and more IndieFlix videos. 

You can check out even more shark movies in DVD format! While Abbot Public Library is offering curbside service, there will be no fee to check out DVDs. Reserve them online for Curbside Pickup and make an appointment to pick them up from the rear entrance of the Abbot Public Library. Read these instructions for the full details. There are kid-friendly titles like Finding Dory and Wild Krats: Shark-tastic! to the adult thrillers Jaws and The Shallows. For something realistic, try the documentaries Oceans, which features other sea creatures as well, or Shark Dive

If you’d rather read about sharks than watch them (some of these shark attack movies can be pretty gruesome and scary), check out Abbot Public Library’s print, Overdrive, and hoopla collections for all ages!

Some feature fiction titles for kids include Swimming with Sharks by Heather Lang, about how Eugenie Clark saw a shark at the aquarium when she was young and grew up to be a scientist who studied them; Shark Baby by Ann Downer, about a lost baby shark trying to find out what kind of shark he is; and Fins by Randy Wayne White, about three kids who help a marine biologist research the local endangered sharks. 

Adults can enjoy titles such as the horror classic Jaws by Peter Benchley, which you can reserve in print format for Curbside Pickup or listen to with no wait as an audiobook on hoopla. You can also reserve the movie based on the book. The Shark Club by Ann Kid Taylor features a woman who is attacked by a shark and grows up to be a marine biologist. 

To learn true facts about sharks, check out some of these nonfiction titles on hoopla! Discover The Truth About Great White Sharks, learn 101 Amazing Facts About Sharks, and find out about Deepwater Sharks and the World’s Weirdest Sharks. You can also learn about individual species such as the hammerhead, Great White, thresher, bull, tiger, goblin, whale, and more!

Between the Abbot Public Library’s online collections and digital resources, you’ll learn everything there is to know about sharks!

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

July is National Ice Cream Month. And no wonder, with how hot the summer can be! If you want to practice social distancing away from those long lines at the ice cream stores, here are some ebooks to help you make, enjoy, and celebrate this tasty summertime treat! 

Get the scoop on how to make ice cream in Charity Ferreira and Lou Seibert Pappas’s ebook with 25 recipes for homemade ice creams and frozen desserts. The A to Z Ice Cream: Making Ice Cream at Home for Total Beginners by Lisa Bond is another great way to start learning how to make this popular frozen dessert, as well as facts about ice cream you can share with friends and family! Find 51 recipes in Nicole Weston’s How to Make Ice Cream, including classics such as coffee and chocolate, as well as original flavors like goat cheese and honey, maple bacon, and more! Or learn from master chef Louis P. De Gouy in The Ice Cream Book, which includes over 400 recipes. We guarantee you will find The Best Ice Cream Maker Cookbook Ever in our hoopla collection! If you care about cows so much you don’t eat dairy products, try Vegan A La Mode by Hannah Kaminsky, with 100+ recipes made from almond, coconut, and other dairy alternatives. 

Once you have your frozen dessert in hand, enjoy while reading an ice cream-themed adult mystery or romance! Jen and Sherry try to solve the Chunky Raspberry Fudge Murder in Penelope Manzone’s cozy mystery. Listen to Lexy Baker and her grandmother, Nans, solve a mystery in Leighann Dobbs’s audiobook, Ice Cream Murder. For A Deadly Inside Scoop, Abby Collette’s wintertime mystery features a recent MBA grad who took over her family’s ice cream business and found the body of a man with an old feud with her family.

If you want something more romantic, Eileen Dreyer’s The Ice Cream Man features Jenny Lake investigating an ice cream man who may be selling something else from his ice cream truck. You could also travel back in time to Grace Thompson’s Ice Cream in Winter, about a woman trying to run a struggling ice cream shop in the winter of 1940. Or take a contemporary road trip in Tiffany Carby’s romance, $(mint)en Chocolate Chip, in which a successful blogger takes a road trip to find the best ice cream spots.

What goes well with ice cream? Dogs! In Drawing with Mark: Happy Tails & We All Scream for Ice Cream, children will learn about popular flavors of the frozen dessert, and they will be taught how to draw an ice cream cone and truck! They’ll also learn how to take care of and draw puppies and kittens. If you want to see doggos enjoying their own frozen treats, take a look at the photos in Diana Lundin’s Dogs vs. Ice Cream! Splat the Cat and Stick Dog also have something to scream or dream about ice cream in the children’s books by Rob Scotton and Tom Watson.

Check out the rest of hoopla’s ice cream-themed items, which include recipe books, fiction, music, and other entertaining items for all ages!