Celebrate National Cat Day With These Cat Stories!

October 29th is National Cat Day, and what better way to appreciate cats than a good cat book? Take a look at our previous blog post, Cat Stories To Purr-use!, or browse through the titles below! 

If you’re feline like a good cozy, Rita Mae Brown and Lilian Jackson Braun both have a series of cozy mysteries with cats! The Mrs. Murphey Series by Rita Mae Brown, which you can check out in ebook or e-audio format, features Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her cat, Mrs. Murphy in the small town of Crozet, Virginia. In the first title, Wish You Were Here, victims receive a postcard with a tombstone and the message, “Wish you were here,” before being found dead. Mrs. Murphy and her corgi companion, Tucker, help find clues to save their human friend.

In Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who series (previously mentioned in Cat Stories To Purr-use!), read or listen along as Jim Qwilleran solves mysteries with her siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum in Pickax City, Moose County, Michigan. 

Black cats have the unfortunate connection with bad luck if they cross your path. In Black Cats and Superstitions, Chloe Rhodes explores the stories behind legends and superstitions and how fear of the supernatural leads people to performing rituals and wearing or hanging talismans to repel evil spirits.

Abbot Public Library is Always Open Online!

Until the building reopens for staff so we can continue Curbside Service and resume accepting returns in our library return bins, you can peruse through ebooks, e-audiobooks, magazines, movies, television, and more from our digital collections

Overdrive and its Libby app, as well as hoopla, have many selections of ebooks and e-audiobooks which can be checked out online. Any items on hoopla can be checked out with no wait – although there is a limit of 5 items per month. Many titles are available on Overdrive, and those that aren’t can be reserved while you check out other available titles. If you didn’t want to bother with waiting, there’s a selection of always available ebooks and e-audiobooks you can browse through on Overdrive. 

With Halloween coming up, you may want to read or listen to some spooky stories to get into the spooky spirit. You’ll find ghost stories in ebook format for all ages, including these children and teen collections, all available on hoopla to read right away. Or you can listen to these hoopla e-audiobooks. There’s also a selection of ghost stories on Overdrive, as well as a collection of Halloween Books for All Ages on Overdrive and Halloween selections and supernatural stories on hoopla, the latter of which includes not only ebooks and e-audiobooks, but also streamable movies and television series, music, and more! Plan a movie marathon on hoopla with their various collections, including their featured Thrilling Series for Fall or October Movies of the Month, You don’t want to miss the Leaving hoopla in October movie collection.

If you want more than the 8,000 + movies offered on hoopla, check out IndieFlix and Acorn TV on RB Digital, along with RB Digital Magazines, which offers back issues of popular magazine titles with no return date!,  and The Great Courses, video lectures from some of the top professors about various health, economics, professional and personal development, and more!

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

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

What’s Brewing for International Coffee Day?

Today is International Coffee Day, and to help celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of some coffee-themed items you can reserve for Curbside Pickup or check out online in digital format through Overdrive/the Libby app or hoopla. You’ll find fun fiction titles set in coffee shops, caffeinated cozy mysteries, and even some books on the history of coffee and how to make your own at home! So sit back and relax with some coffeehouse or coffee-themed music from hoopla as you make and enjoy your cup o’ joe. 

When it comes to making your own craft coffee at home, it can be overwhelming just to figure out what equipment you need. Craft Coffee: A Manual: Brewing a Better Cup at Home (which you can reserve in print format for Curbside Pickup or read as an ebook with no wait on hoopla) can help you figure that out, as well as what coffee to get and how to make it the way you want it every day. Treat yourself to a specialty coffee from one of the recipes in Coffee: The Ultimate Guide for The Coffee Lover. Or learn the science behind the bean in Lani Kingston’s How To Make Coffee. And if having tasty coffee isn’t enough, you can even make coffee-flavored treats to go with your morning brew. Pudding cups, waffles, coffee-braised ribs – these are just a few of the recipes in Cooking with Coffee by Brandi Evans. 

If you’re curious about coffee, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood’s The Coffee Dictionary: An A-Z of Coffee, From Growing & Roasting To Brewing & Tasting has everything in the alphabet you need to know about coffee! Learn about the techniques and equipment you can use to make it, and the beans and roasts to use. You can also learn about coffee from different places. Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour will reveal coffee experiences from espresso bars, plantation tours, urban roasteries, and cafes from 37 different countries around the world. Stop in New York with Erin Meister in New York City Coffee or Louisiana with Suzanne Stone for New Orleans Coffee. And if all of these titles make you want more, peruse the rest of the Coffee & Tea items on hoopla.

Would you like some murder with your coffee? Enjoy a nice cozy mystery as you drink your caffeinated or decaf delight. Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mysteries begins with On What Grounds, in which coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi goes to work to find the assistant manager’s body in the back of the store. You can find many of the titles in regular print  or large print format to reserve for Curbside Pickup, or listen to the e-audiobooks right away on hoopla. 

If you’re not into murder mysteries, try the following fiction stories, which take place in coffee houses or relate to coffee in some way. In The Coffee Trader by David Liss, Miguel Lienzo partners with Geertruid Damhouder to introduce coffee to seventeenth-century Amsterdam. Sunny runs a coffee shop in Kabul in A Cup of Friendship by Deborah Rodriguez. Chelsea works at a run-down old-fashioned coffee shop after separating from her NFL superstar husband in Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café by Max Lucado, with Eric Newman and Candace Lee. Katherine Reay’s character purchases and remodels the local coffee shop in Of Literature and Lattes, available in ebook and e-audiobook format on hoopla.

Whether you take your coffee with sugar or literature, there are many ways you can celebrate this popular morning beverage!

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.

Ready, Steady, Listen Up! New CD Audiobooks at APL

Have you missed them? The humble CD audiobook may not be the newest kid on the block, but it’s as dependable as an old friend, and no WiFi necessary. So if you feel like going off grid for a bit, or just prefer physical formats to digital ones, you can feel free to place holds on new offerings or browse around older titles. Our curbside pickup service will help you get your hands on the books you’ve had on your to-listen list!

We have a handy selection of newbies at the ready right in the Evergreen catalog: just click here. Remember Crazy Rich Asians? The author is back with another frothy tale of romance among the 1%, complete with exclusive settings in Capri and East Hampton, hate at first sight, and family-forbidden attraction: Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan. If you like your romance a bit more local and with a literary twist, you’ll not go wrong with Writers and Lovers by Lily King. Savor the life dramas of a recently-bereaved protagonist trying to finish her first novel while subsisting in a slummy Boston apartment and considering the merits of two possible love interests. Or settle down with perennial beach-read favorite Elin Hilderbrand, whose reliably entertaining fiction will whisk you away to Nantucket for a mind-vacation from present realities in 28 Summers.

Not so keen on romance right now? There are a couple of recent celebrity-endorsed book club picks to choose from. You might give J. Courtney Sullivan’s psychologically-complex exploration of women’s relationships a try with her newest novel, Friends and Strangers, now a “Read with Jenna” title (from July 2020). Alternatively, Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age examines a vexed relationship between a women’s self-help guru and her babysitter that is complicated by racial tension.

There’s more, so do go and have a look for yourself! All the titles mentioned here–as well as the others highlighted in the Evergreen list–are also available on Overdrive/Libby. And keep an eye out for more new CD audiobook titles in the coming weeks!

Vet on Call! Visit Herriot Country via Overdrive/Libby, Acorn TV, and DVD

Remember the days when a trip to a petting zoo or small farm was an absolute delight? Perhaps it still is! There’s much to be said for the therapeutic value of low-stress contact with farm animals, whether you’re feeding a pony a carrot, trying your hand at milking a goat, or simply sinking your fingers into a lamb’s soft wool.

While the life of a country vet is far from placid, as Alf Wight (writing as James Herriot) could attest, there are many such moments of grace–and even more humor–to be found in his semi-autobiographical series of books set in the scenic Yorkshire Dales. Beloved the world over for nearly 50 years, four of the five titles (as published in the U.S.) were inspired by a beloved British hymn: All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small (also available on hoopla), All Things Wise and Wonderful, and The Lord God Made Them All (the final title is Every Living Thing). As promised (see this previous post), all of these are now available for your listening pleasure on Overdrive/Libby! Relax into the world of Darrowby and its surrounding farms as mellow-voiced Christopher Timothy brings Jim Herriot and the various eccentric village characters to vivid life. It’s hard to imagine tales less in keeping with the current state of affairs, and therein lies their charm. That’s not to say that they’re sentimental or that sad events do not intrude, but the tales do radiate a comforting sense that “there’ll always be an England.”

If you’ve streamed The Yorkshire Vet on Acorn TV (as previously suggested) and have become engrossed in the day-to-day drama and humor of the Herriot/Wight practice as it operates today, then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a brand-new series 6 available! It just premiered on July 20th and offers 8 all-new episodes, some featuring Alf Wight’s affable protégé, Peter Wright.

And if you’re up for some 1970s-80s TV nostalgia, it’s hard to do better than the renowned BBC television series All Creatures Great and Small (starring no less than Robert Hardy of Harry Potter fame, alongside Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison), which spins its particular brand of charm over seven seasons two Christmas specials. Now that the library is offering Curbside Pickup, you can place holds on the DVDs in the library catalog here, and get them with no rental fees! New to curbside pickup? Have a look at this post for all the details.

Savour a slice of Herriot heaven and let us know what you think in the comments below!