Something Witchy This Way Comes: Fictional Books and Movies About Witches

Witches are portrayed in books and movies in many different ways, and have been showing up in literature for a long, long time. Take Circe from The Odyssey or Morgan Le Fay in the legends of King Arthur. Now, real witches may not have actually been portrayed in The Crucible by Arthur Miller (whose birthday happens to be today!), but you can see the relationship between witchcraft and society during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. If you’re interested in reading or listening to the play, you can check it out in the following formats: print, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook, and the movie adaptation

For other fictional portrayals of witches and witchcraft for teens and adults, check out the titles below! Print copies can be reserved on your online account for Curbside Pickup (read the full instructions here). Currently there is no check out fee for DVDs, so now is a good time to reserve them! For electronic versions of titles, all you need is your library card to access them on Overdrive/the Libby app or hoopla.

Fans of the beloved Bewitched series, starring Elizabeth Montgomery as witch and housewife Samantha Stevens, will enjoy the film adaptation (which currently has no check out fee!) with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. For more magical romances, try one of hoopla’s October Movies of the Month, You Cast a Spell On Me, about a warlock who is having problems with his powers after meeting a mortal with whom he has an instant connection; or Hallmark channel’s The Good Witch, about Cassie Nightingale, a mysterious new resident of Middleton who seems to have the magic touch with helping the people in the small town.

also on hoopla

In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you’ll find out how the character from the popular TV show found out about being a witch, much like how Harry Potter discovers he’s a wizard in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Local residents will appreciate the Salem setting in the movie Hocus Pocus, which even has some scenes shot in Marblehead! Read Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel in ebook format on Overdrive or hoopla, or listen to the e-audiobook on Overdrive. 

Click the item covers below for more portrayals of witches, including more witch stories set in Salem or Massachusetts, fairy tale retellings, and more macabre tales to give you goosebumps!

also on hoopla
book or movie

Coming Soon to a Library Near You! New DVDs at APL

Autumn is a season of anticipation. We’re all on the lookout for the leaves to turn, for a season of holidays to begin, and maybe even for something fresh to curl up and watch when the rainy, blustery days keep us indoors. Have a look at the latest DVD offerings in the catalog, our October Watch List–if they haven’t yet dropped, they will very soon, and you’ll want to be the first to get your name on the holds list!

First off, the BBC roundup. David Tennant returns as an investigator in Deadwater Fell, a series that will get under your skin very much as Broadchurch did. Eve Polastri and Villanelle’s mutual obsession gets even more complicated in Season 3 of Killing Eve. The delightfully creepy Dead Still gives us mystery with a macabre twist: the sleuth is a postmortem photographer in Victorian Ireland (really!). And who could resist another instalment of the ever-engaging prequel to Inspector Morse, Endeavour (Series 7), which brings the story into a new decade–the 1970s.

Outlander (Season 5) bridges the ocean between the UK and its colonies as the intrepid hero and heroine strive to make a place for themselves in the New World. And if you missed the Emmy-winning Succession, you’ll find both Season 1 and this year’s Season 2 at APL–catch up so you’re in the know! 

There are some real gems among the newest feature DVDs, as well. Autumn is the time for all things bookish, and if you’re in the mood for something charming and heartening, The Booksellers is just the ticket. You’ll get a peek into New York’s rare book world alongside the likes of Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, and Gay Talese. Hope Gap is autumnal in tone as it takes a heartbreaking yet ultimately affirming look at a middle-aged couple’s crumbling marriage. Driveways, starring the late Brian Dennehy, offers a redemptive portrait of friendship between young and old.

And there’s more! Get this month’s viewing all set by placing holds on your favorites and utilizing our popular Curbside Pickup service. And if you just can’t wait, you’ll find Dead Still, Deadwater Fell, and plenty more on our Acorn TV video streaming service! If you haven’t tried it before, have a look at our FAQ section to get started.

Grab some mulled cider and enjoy!

Dig Up Some Facts About Prehistoric Creatures for National Fossil Day!

As part of Earth Science Week, National Fossil Day was created to promote the importance of preserving fossils. The National Park Service, the American Geosciences Institute, and hundreds of other museums, institutions, organizations, and other groups provide activities to help the public understand the scientific and educational purposes of fossils. Abbot Public Library has a number of items in the library catalog, on Overdrive/the Libby app, and on hoopla for all ages that relate to fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.

Here are a sampling of books for kids on fossils, paleontology, dinosaurs, and other prehistoric creatures: 

also available on hoopla
also available on hoopla

Also check out the Pebble Plus Dinosaurs books, which includes 4D titles featuring different species of dinosaurs, including T. Rex, Velociraptor, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and others.

For adults who would like to learn more about these subjects, check out the following items about dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, including humans! 

also available on hoopla
in print format from other NOBLE libraries
also available on hoopla

Check out these feature films and documentaries on hoopla for various age groups…

… or reserve DVDs for Curbside Pickup (currently with no charge!).

For more information about fossils, paleontology, dinosaurs, and prehistoric animals, browse through the items in these collections and searches: 

Horror Stories, Astronomy, and More – See What’s New At Abbot Public Library!

Many of the new titles that came into the library’s physical collections last month, some of which were previously mentioned in past blog posts, are able to be checked out not only in print but also in ebook or e-audiobook format on Overdrive/the Libby app or on hoopla. View all the new arrivals on the library’s website

While the teen collection mostly expanded on Overdrive with ebooks and e-audiobooks, children can enjoy physical copies of new picture books, reader books, concept books, graphic novels, fiction, biographies, and nonfiction; and adults can reserve for Curbside Pickup new graphic novels, fiction, paperbacks, biographies, nonfiction, large print, books on CD, and DVDs (currently with no checkout fee!).

For fantasy loving adults, you are now able to check out the 16th volume of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Peace Talks, which is also in ebook and e-audiobook format on Overdrive/the Libby app. Read how Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team during negotiations between the Supernatural nations. Or take a trip back in time to Victorian London in Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (also an Overdrive ebook and hoopla ebook and e-audiobook). This novel explores what inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula, including his relationship with a talented actress and his walks on London streets terrorized by the Ripper. Perfect in time for October is Stephen King’s collection of horror novellas, If It Bleeds (also in large print, book on CD, and Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook format).

Sometimes real life is just as interesting as fiction. Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is the true story behind the pseudonymous Twitter account created by a grief-stricken writer who rebuilt their life. Less able to hide their identity are Harry and Meghan in Omid Scobie’s and Carolyn Durand’s Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family (also an ebook and e-audiobook on Overdrive/Libby) or Donald Trump in True Crimes and Misdemeanors: the Investigation of Donald Trump by Jeffrey Toobin (also on Overdrive in ebook and e-audiobook formats). 

Look to the sky in The Last Stargazers: the Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers by award-winning astronomer Emily Levesque (hoopla ebook and e-audiobook), exploring the human side of astronomy and how curiosity, creativity, and passion are just as important as telescopes and machines. Rebecca Giggs looks in the opposite direction in her book, Fathoms: the World in the Whale, an exploration of the condition or our oceans and how whales experience ecological change.

There are plenty of books to choose from, and reserving them for Curbside Pickup is easy! Just log into your account (if you don’t have an online account, email mar@noblenet.org for assistance) to place your holds, wait to be notified your items have come in, and then either register online for a time to pick up your items or contact the library at 781-631-1481 during service hours (Monday through Friday from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm and Saturday from 9:30 am – Noon and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) to set up a pickup appointment. Your materials will be checked out in advance of your appointment and be waiting for you by the time your scheduled time slot starts! Read the full instructions here.

Books, Movies, Magazines, and More for National Yoga Month!

Did you know September is National Yoga Month? Even though today’s the last day, you can continue this healthy routine all year round. Abbot Public Library has hundreds of yoga items to reserve for Curbside Pickup or check out online via our various services, which can help teach poses and routines you can use every day. Starting last month, we even resumed our monthly children’s program Story Time Yoga with Lindsey Kravitz on our new YouTube Channel, which you may have read about on our previous blog post. Watch last month’s video below!

Kids have plenty of yoga-related items to choose from through the library catalog, Overdrive/the Libby app, and hoopla. Back in April, we discussed a few children’s selections in our Continuing Yoga for Kids at Home post from before we continued our yoga story time program online. Some physical books on the way to the shelves which you can reserve in advance for Curbside Pickup include:

The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who Lost His Breath: a Fairy Tale to Help You Feel Better by Susan Verde, art by Jay Fleck (available now on hoopla)

Dinos Don’t Do Yoga: A Tale of the New Dinosaur on the Block by Catherine Bailey; illustrations by Alex Willmore 

Teach Your Child Yoga: Fun & Easy Yoga Poses for Happier, Healthier Kids by Lisa Roberts

Yoga for Kids written by Susannah Hoffman; foreword by Patricia Arquette (available now on hoopla)

While you’re waiting for these to come in, there are plenty of other titles to choose from which will be available sooner. Doreen Cronin’s and Scott Menchin’s Stretch is a rhyming book that describes different ways of stretching. Kids will be mimicking plants, animals, and objects with the poses in Thia Luby’s Children’s Book of Yoga. These children’s yoga DVDs currently don’t have a checkout fee. Get a whole family workout from Yoga for Families, a dinosaur-themed routine from Yoga for Kids: Dino-Mite Adventure, and learn stellar practices from Yoga for Kids: Outer Space Blast-Off. Don’t want to wait? Everything on hoopla can be checked out right away! Stretch in the shape of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet with Alef-Bet Yoga For Kids by Bill and Ruth Goldeen or get a magical workout with Unicorn Yoga. You can even watch movies and Read-alongs!

Kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy borrowing yoga books, movies, and more from the library. Yoga For Everyone: 50 Poses For Every Type of Body by Dianne Bondy has customized routines based on body type. Learn to sleep better and longer with Yoga for Better Sleep: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science–Postures, Breathing Exercises, and Mindfulness Practices For All Ages by Mark Stephens. Wake up with Waking Energy: 7 Timeless Practices Designed to Reboot Your Body and Unleash Your Potential by Jennifer Kries.

Yoga At Home: Inspiration for Creating Your Own Home Practice by Linda Sparrowe will teach you yoga practices from leading experts of Yoga Journal, accompanied by Sarah Keough’s photography. You can reserve print copies of Yoga Journal magazine through your online account, or check them out online through Overdrive/Libby. For a little humor, check out Dan Borris’s Yoga Dogs which teaches poses through the hilarious imagery of canines posing.  

Peruse through more yoga items for all ages in the library catalog or online through Overdrive/Libby and hoopla. There’s even a How To Do Yoga Great Course video series which you can stream through our RB Digital service

See It in September! New DVDs in the APL Collection

The whirl of back-to-school–under new circumstances–may have you in a bit of a post-summer tizzy. If so, you may want to set aside a bit of time for cinematic self-care with one or more of the Abbot Public Library’s brand-new DVDs. They’re currently fee-free, and you can check them out for two weeks (with renewals if there are no other patrons waiting), so if a demanding autumn schedule upends your movie-night plans, no need to stress!

Latest in are 17 recently-released titles that span the genres: documentary to docudrama,  romance to comedy, action/thriller to road-trip feature. Here’s hoping that our unique list, See It in September, will offer plenty to entertain you. You’ll be linked directly to the catalog, where you can place your holds right away!

If jazz is your beat, you’re in for a very special treat. Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool collects the artist’s music, home movies, manuscripts, and paintings for a close-up new look at his life. For timely social justice-themed films, The Infiltrators and Burden offer challenging perspectives on U.S. border detainment and the power of friendship and radical transformation across a racial divide.

Crowd pleaser The High Note explores themes of family, women’s ambition, and romance, all wrapped up in a fantastic soundtrack propelled by Tracee Ellis Ross. For another music-lover’s gem, have a look at Military Wives, a comic tribute to women’s resilience and friendship, with the brilliant Kristin Scott Thomas in the lead role. The pleasures of travel and a droll male friendship will also delight, as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon take you on a Trip to Greece. (Oh, and if you enjoy that, try the duo’s Trip to Italy and Trip to Spain, also ready for you at the Abbot Public Library!)

Recent weather events may draw you to the hurricane-related thriller Force of Nature, starring Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth, and Mel Gibson, while The Outpost spins a classic David-and-Goliath tale into a thriller pitting a few American soldiers against the ferocity of the Taliban militants.

If you’re in the mood for something quieter and more contemplative, you’ll also want to see the father-son road trip in Ireland that is End of Sentence, a film of reconciliation that has pleased critics and the public alike. If nothing else, the scenery will enchant you!

Once you’ve made your selections, placed your holds, and received notification that your holds are ready to pick up, visit this page or give us a call at 781-631-1481 to schedule your curbside pickup appointment

Happy viewing!

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!

August Arrivals – New Items for All Ages!

Since the Abbot Public Library began offering Curbside Pickup Service a couple months ago, we have continued to expand our collections of physical items, which you can reserve for Curbside Pickup. It’s easy: reserve your items online and, once you receive a notification that they’ve come in, just call the library at 781-631-1481 or register online for an appointment to pick up your items, and we’ll get them ready for you by your appointment time! Please carefully review our instructions here. You can peruse all the new arrivals on our website, but below is a selection from each department.

Children and adults alike will recognize the popular Disney character in the books Mulan: Loyal. Brave. True by Carin Davis and Mulan’s Story, adapted by Judy Katschke. These are two different versions of the same story from the Disney movie, which you can check out with no charge right now! Sonic the Hedgehog makes a strong appearance in the new children’s graphic novels. Sonic, with the help of his friends, fight off robots and search for Mr. Eggman. You can also reserve the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie for Curbside Pickup at no charge!

New to the Teen collections, Big Ideas for Curious Minds will explore some of the great philosophical ideas with great thinkers. Find out what’s normal or not with Albert Camus, learn how to know yourself with Socrates, and discover the meaning of life with Aristotle. Harness and develop your philosophical instinct with the help of this book! As we move closer to Halloween, read about The Science of Monsters : the Truth about Zombies, Witches, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Legendary Creatures. Find out the truth behind the science in popular horror movies, such as the zombies decomposing In Night of the Living Dead or the night terrors that inspired the creation of Freddy Krueger.

Some of the new adult books may look familiar from past posts, for instance The Pull of the Stars, a highly reviewed novel by Emma Donoghue, which we mentioned here. We shared a whole list of books here, which included Brad Thor’s Near Dark, Susan Wigg’s The Lost and Found Bookshop, and Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (which was also mentioned in the first of our two new audiobooks posts).

If books aren’t your cup of tea, try our new DVDs, which include Bad Boys for Life and the musical Cats. Currently there is no charge for DVDs, so reserve them now for Curbside Pickup! 

Summer Doldrums–Sorted! August Movies of the Month on hoopla and DVD

The dog days are definitely dragging on. Do you feel like you’ve been there, done that with your summer viewing? If you don’t have the energy to trawl through whatever’s available on TV right now (face it, you know there’s nothing), then hoopla and the Abbot Public Library have some ideas for you! 

Too heat-beat to budge from the couch–or really to move anything except your fingers? hoopla’s got a fabulous little curated collection right at your fingertips. Explore August Movies of the Month for a spectrum of offerings, from an Academy Award winner to a couple of indies to an almost cult-status tween favorite. You can revisit 2016’s Moonlight and recall the historic mixup at the 2017 Oscars. Lad: A Yorkshire Tale certainly didn’t achieve such dizzying heights of acclaim, but as an endearing coming-of-age story in the cool, green landscape of God’s Own Country, it should satisfy.

Or, if you like, travel to the southern end of the Eastern Hemisphere and take in a South African-flavored romance that’s a bit off the beaten track: Forever. With 1,013 viewer reviews averaging 4.5 stars, you probably won’t regret following the path less traveled! And who could say no to Anne Hathaway in her early-career charmer Ella Enchanted? With elements of sci-fi, fairy tale, and fantasy (as well as romance), this is one for the whole family on a balmy summer’s evening.

If you find that you need a good stretch, then hop off the couch and try out APL’s curbside service for the DVD versions of a number of the titles recommended on hoopla: Moonlight, Florence Foster Jenkins, Legally Blonde, and The Last Word are ready for you to place on hold and pick up when they’re ready! And if you don’t see your choice on that list, remember that you can get some of the rest of the titles via interlibrary loan, through APL: A Small Act, Human Capital, Knock Knock, and The Rover! And right now, all DVDs have no checkout fee, too–our treat!

Here’s hoping we’ve helped you beat those summer doldrums!

If you’re new to hoopla, have a look here to get started. If you don’t currently have a library card, you can get started here. It’s easy!

Creature Features! Summer Film Favorites from hoopla and the APL DVD Collection!

Summer is still very much with us, and you just may be craving the sort of  blockbuster viewing that the season usually provides. Something to take your mind entirely off of the pressures of real life and plunge you into the midst of impossible drama and adventure. Something with fabulous special effects to engross the senses and take you somewhere else, far from the world as it is. If you haven’t yet made it to a drive-in theater, or if you’re eager for more of this sort of thing, APL has you covered! Whether you prefer streaming video or watching DVDs, you’ll find “creature features” on hoopla and via our easy Curbside Pickup Service.

hoopla dishes up ravening dinosaurs, alligators, and sharks galore (also see this week’s Shark Week post) with its specially-curated Creature Feature category. Here, you can wander at will in unabashedly B-movie territory–because who doesn’t secretly love them, however bad the reviews may be? If you’d like a dollop of literature with your sci-fi/fantasy/horror experience, you might go for Journey to the Center of the Earth or Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, both of which reimagine classic 19th-century novels in modern terms. Or perhaps try a comic take on H. P. Lovecraft’s famously weird tales with The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu, in which the author’s last living relative must reckon with the fearsome monster.

Once you’ve exhausted the 47 possibilities represented in hoopla, hop over to our library catalog for a bijou, hand-selected list of DVDs that are sure to give you those chills and thrills you crave! Get reacquainted with Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, or opt for a real-life adrenaline rush with the documentary Shark Dive. If you’re in the mood for something a little gentler than Jaws, have a look at a critically-acclaimed, fantastical film full of tall tales: Big Fish. There are vintage heebeegeebees to be had too, if you want to try the classic film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

If you’re new to hoopla, take a look at our FAQs page to get started. And if you haven’t tried our Curbside Pickup Service, learn all about it here and check the updates here. Oh–and you’ll be happy to know that there’s currently no fee for DVD checkouts!