Have a Household Party This Halloween!

If you’re planning on playing it safe and staying in this Halloween, it’s not too late to plan a household party. 

The most important part of a Halloween party is making it look good. Learn how to craft costumes, create decorations, or just make some fun crafts to celebrate on Halloween. You can even draw and color Halloween pictures with your kids!

Music makes the perfect backdrop for Halloween crafting or cooking and baking up some Halloween treats. The music on hoopla is available with no wait! Choose from any of the titles here and enjoy the sounds of the spooky season. To make sure the music is child-appropriate, simply click “Children’s titles only” to the left. 

There are plenty of cookbooks with delicious spooky Halloween treats you can check out on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla. Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook is in ebook format on Overdrive and hoopla, complete with almost 100 recipes, each with a full-color photo, of frightening delights such as Boneyard Dirt Pops, Spiderweb Black Bean Burgers, Chilling Jack-o’-Lantern Smoothies, and more, and it even has tips for setting up a Halloween buffet. Include the Pillsbury Dough Boy in your celebration with Pillsbury Halloween Fun! Below are some more cookbooks with recipes for main dishes, deserts, beverages, and more to make your Halloween full of delicious fun! 

Check out this collection of children’s Holidays & Celebrations Halloween ebooks with more ways to celebrate on Saturday with the family!

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.

Positive Magic: Nonfiction About Witches and Witchcraft

We previously discussed fiction titles featuring witches, including popular titles such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling and Hocus Pocus, the movie and the ebook/e-audiobook (on Overdrive or hoopla); as well as some lesser known titles which include Hannah Abigail Clarke’s novel The Scapegracers or Hallmark Channel’s romance movie The Good Witch.

If you want to learn facts about witchcraft, check out the following nonfiction books. Discover the different traditions and practices of witchcraft, spells you can cast, crystals to help enhance your spiritual energies, and more!

The Witches’ Almanac is a yearly publication founded in 1971 by Elizabeth Pepper, modeled after the Farmers’ Almanac. This publication features not only time-specific information such as the annual Moon Calendar (weather forecasts and horoscopes), but also legends, rituals, herbal secrets, mystic incantations, interviews, and stories that are relevant and interesting even after the dates for the issue have passed. If you want to know this year’s moon calendar, check out the Spring 2020 – Spring 2021 issue

How do you know if you’re a witch? What are the different practices of witchcraft? The Weiser Field Guide to Witches: From Hexes to Hermione Granger, from Salem to the Land of Oz by Judika Illes answers these and more questions you may have about the subject, and the book introduces witches from fiction and real life. Gabriela Herstik’s Inner Witch: a Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft is a handy introduction to various aspects of witchcraft, including understanding the meaning of the different tarot cards, learning the different chakras, creating your own grimoire and altar, using herbs and crystals for divination, and more. 

Below are some other nonfiction titles you can check out to learn more about these subjects. The print books can be reserved now for Curbside Pickup after staff return to the building on November 2nd.

also on hoopla in e-audiobook format

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!

New in Nonfiction: Biographies

If you are a biography devotee – and there are many readers who are, as this literature genre is very popular and much loved – you might be especially interested in a few of the recently published collective biographies.

The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War by Catherine Grace Katzis a story of the historical meeting of the heads of the governments of Great Britain, the USA, and Soviet Union, which took place in the Crimea in the final months of the Second World War. The narrative is viewed through the eyes of the daughters of leaders of the British and American delegations. Not only does the book portray each of these three daughters, but it also gives fascinating backstories of each of their father-daughter relationships, as well as interactions among these three young women. Based on very thorough research that used personal letters, diaries, and oral histories, the author creates a fascinating, entertaining, and well regarded story.

Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars by Francesca Wade is a collective portrait of five revolutionary women, immensely talented and independent – Virginia Woolf and Dorothy L. Sayers among them – who lived, at various times, in the same square in London.

The author traces interconnections among the five women and their influence on each other’s work.

A combination of literary history and biography, the book is very well researched. Numerous anecdotes make for an amusing read, which received starred reviews.

Mad and Bad: The Real Heroines of the Regency by Bea Koch.

Regency-era romance novels are a very popular genre of fiction, and in her book, Bea Koch captures a collective portrait of the most notable and trailblazing women of Regency England (1810-20), women who would become prototypes of historical romance novel heroines.  

The book reflects on the artistic and scientific accomplishments of these women: outlining biographies of the royally-connected, illuminating notable women of color, as well as Jewish women. The book is not only informative but is also fun to read.

Another recently published book of collective biographies is Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aureliusby Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, which discusses the lives of 26 major ancient stoics, whose philosophy emphasized personal success and perseverance, and believed that courage, justice, and wisdom were the requirements for living a happy life.

Kirkus Reviews esteemed the book highly, saying, “At a time when public nobility is hard to come by, this is a good reminder of the power of ethical leadership.”

For those interested in political science, along with biographies, Abbot Public Library offers the following:

His Truth Is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hopeby Jon Meacham, which portrays the life of the recently-deceased Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. Check this title out in print, book on CD, ebook, or e-audiobook format. 

Eleanorby David Michaelis is the first major single-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt in more than a half century. The work earned a good review from The NYT.

As always, these books are available in the library catalog, either in print or digital format,and sometimes both.

Digital downloads are available through Overdrive/Libby with your library card. 

To obtain a print copy, carefully read the instructions for reserving a copy and scheduling an appointment for Curbside Pickup.

Please note that Curbside Pickup will be unavailable from Sunday, October 25 through Sunday, November 1, as the building is having air duct cleaning and therefore staff will be unable to be in the building. We will resume Curbside Pickup services on Monday, November 2.

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

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.

New in Nonfiction: Books on WWII

World War Two ended in Europe on May 7th, 1945. In the Pacific, Japan formally surrendered four months later, on September 2nd, ending the war in Asia. This year, as the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, numerous books on the history of the war were published.

In May, we posted a list of recently published books on military history and WWII in Europe. Here are some recent books about the Pacific front. 

Ian Toll’s Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific 1944-1945 is the final volume of the trilogy on WWII in the Pacific. It begins with a historical meeting between President Roosevelt and major American military leaders, during which strategy and tactics for the rest of the war against Japan were decided.

Other books in the Pacific War Trilogy by Ian Toll are Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 and The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (in print and ebook format). It took the author nine years after the publication of the first volume to finish the trilogy. 

All books were extremely well researched, informed by primary documents and official reports, and powerfully written; they have all earned high praise. You can read a New York Times review here.

Operation Vengeance by Dan Hampton (in large print and ebook format) recounts a very secret US operation to assassinate Admiral Yamamoto, a Japanese admiral who was a major force behind the attack on Pearl Harbor. The US Air Force pilots carried out this mission.

The author, a decorated combat pilot who served 20 years in the US Air Force and flew numerous combat missions, became a military historian and writer. He is very well-equipped to recreate the dramatic events in the air moment-by-moment.

The Race of Aces: WWII’s Elite Airmen and the Epic Battle to Become the Masters of the Sky by John Bruning (in print and ebook format) is another recent book about the battles in the Pacific theatre. In this one, a group of five American pilots, inspired and motivated by a legendary WWI pilot Eddie Rickenbacker, started a wild race for the title of America’s Greatest Fighter Pilot during combat against the Japanese air force.

Chris Wallace’s and Lesley Blume’s books examine the bombings of Japanese cities in August 1945. 

Wallace’s Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days that Changed the World (print, ebook, and e-audiobook) explores how and why the decision to use the weapon of mass destruction was made.

Blume’s Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed it to the World (print and ebook) is the story about the aftermath of the bombing, and about American journalist John Hersey, who gained access to Hiroshima in 1946 to see for himself and report on the horrible after-effects of radiation. You can read the New York Times’s splendid review here.

As always, all these titles are able to be checked out in multiple formats. You can acquire digital books through Overdrive/Libby using your library card. 

If you prefer books in print, you can reserve them for pick-up with our Curbside Service. Please carefully read our instructions on how to reserve titles and set up an appointment to pick them up, once all your items come in.

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