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!

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!

Check out These Books From the 2020 Salem Lit Festival!

It’s one thing to read a good book. It’s another to hear an author talk about it, especially from the comfort of their own home. If you attended this past weekend’s virtual Salem Lit Fest and want to read the books you heard about, never fear! Abbot Public Library has many of the books by the authors who presented programs, and many of the ones we don’t have can be reserved from other libraries. See what authors and moderators participated in the festival, and if you missed any of the programs, many of them have been posted on Salem Lit Fest’s Facebook page.

As we move closer towards Halloween, and especially being a neighbor to Witch City, this may be a good time to start reading stories of witches and vampires. Rose Mortiz deals with family secrets and learning to understand her new powers in Zoraida Córdova’s Wayward Witch. More family secrets are revealed in The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson. Immanuelle Moore’s family is disgraced by her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race, and so she does her best to behave in her puritanical society until she finds herself in the forbidden Darkwood, where four powerful witches were once chased and killed by the first prophet. Estranged family members can also be found in The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. In order to save Four Paths, May Hawthorne is stepping up when no one else seems to be, seeking help from her despised father. This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling steps away from familial problems. Hannah and her girlfriend instead must face the Hunters who are hunting them down to steal their magic. If you prefer fangs to broomsticks, Vampires Never Get Old (previously mentioned in Our Favorite YA Vampire Stories) is a collection of vampire stories which includes one by Zoraida Córdova. 

Not long after Halloween is election day! In The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, when Marva Sheridan is voting for the first time, she sees someone denied his right to vote and does everything she can to help. The whole book takes place in a single day! Natalia Sylvester gets even closer to the candidates than the voting booth in Running. Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president and she sees the reality of his public life vs. his private life. For more political teen books, take a look at our Read. Think. Vote post. 

This is just a small sampling of all the wonderful authors who spoke last weekend. Below is a list of all the books from this year’s Salem Lit Fest which can be checked out from Abbot Public Library or one of our partner libraries. If you don’t see a book here that was featured in the Salem Lit Fest events, feel free to contact one of our Reference Librarians at mar@noblenet.org or at 781-631-1481 (please only call during Curbside Pickup Service Hours). 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

 TEEN BOOKS

ADULT BOOKS 

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!

Sneak Peak at our September Virtual Programs!

We are pleased to announce we will be offering more virtual programs in September, via Zoom and the new Abbot Public Library YouTube Channel!

In the past few months, we have offered “Story Time A-Go-Go” with Debbie Leibowitz. Each week, Debbie writes a new story and posts a video of her reading it on YouTube to entertain and educate children. Check out this week’s video below:

We also offered “Music with Dara” on Fridays, and are happy to say Dara VanRemoortel, an early childhood music specialist, will be returning in September to offer her virtual program of songs and visual props. Check out these videos featuring original music by Dara!

These two programs will be continuing in September, but the videos will now be compiled on the Abbot Public Library’s brand new YouTube Channel, along with a couple new-to-the-screen children’s presenters and a familiar monthly adult program!

Joining Debbie and Dara for the first time online are some faces you will recognize from the children’s programs we offered inside the library. Yoga Story Time with Lindsey Kravitz will be a half-hour video geared towards babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. And, returning to the library’s lineup is Songs with Spencer! Spencer and his orange monster friend, Bowie, will share stories and tunes to get kids singing and dancing!

For adult programs, the library’s monthly Poetry Salon will be continuing virtually! Marblehead poet Claire Keyes will be discussing the poetry of Terrance Hayes via Zoom! Stay tuned for details on accessing this meeting on the Abbot Public LIbrary website

In the meantime, you can prepare for the Salon by reserving the featured book, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, in print for Curbside Pickup, or listen to the audiobook on hoopla with no wait!

Visit the Abbot Public Library’s website News & Events page for more information on these programs! 

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!

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!