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.

Online Registration for Curbside Pickup Now Available!

We have now made it even easier to pick up your library items. Once you receive a notification that your items are ready for pick up, simply click on the registration link in your notice to be brought to our events calendar, or visit abbotlibrary.org and click on the “Curbside Pick-Up” button. From there, choose the time slot that works best for you and hit “Register.” Please read the instructions carefully — we are constantly updating our curbside pick up service to better serve you — and fill out the registration form as completely as possible. Once you have submitted the form, you will receive an email confirming your appointment time. Should you need to cancel your appointment, it’s as easy as clicking on the cancellation link in your confirmation email.

Items will continue to be placed outside of the rear entrance of the library in labeled bags. Bags will be set out at the start of your appointment slot, and will remain outside for a half hour. We appreciate your mindfulness of social distancing requirements while picking up your items.

Appointment slots are available Monday through Friday from 2:00 – 5:30, and on Saturdays from 9:30 – Noon and 1:00 – 3:00. Please call the Library at (781) 631-1481 during these business hours for assistance. 

A very special thank you to the Friends of Abbot Library, who have generously provided the funding to make our new registration system possible for curbside and beyond!

Please carefully read the full details of our Curbside Pickup Service here.

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! 

A Little Summertime Hocus Pocus

If you weren’t ready for Christmas in July, what about Halloween in August? You may remember that last summer, Marblehead was overrun with ghosts, pumpkins, and cobwebs during the filming of the upcoming Netflix original, Hubie Halloween. To get back into that spooky spirit, here are some Halloween Items you can check out online or reserve for Curbside Pickup!

Another movie filmed in Marblehead and the surrounding areas, Hocus Pocus features a trio of evil witches who are brought back from the dead and wreak havoc on Salem, Massachusetts. You can enjoy the book version, Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel, as an ebook or audiobook on Overdrive or an ebook on hoopla. The book contains the original tale as well as a new adventure that takes place one generation later.

This year, Salem’s Haunted Happenings will be quite different. You can read about Salem and its Halloween happenings in J. W. Ocker’s A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, which you can reserve  in print format for Curbside Pickup or read on Overdrive as an ebook. The book includes the occult enthusiast’s experiences visiting the attractions and historical sites, as well as black-and-white photos which give a glimpse into Witch City.

If you want to stay safe and healthy at home this October 31st, you can make your own Halloween celebration! Listen to Halloween music on hoopla to get in the groove and have a good motivational backdrop for crafting and making decorations and costumes. The Spirit Of Halloween – 62 Classic Halloween Songs has theme songs from Harry Potter, The Addams Family, Corpse Bride, GhostBusters, and more! Some of these as well and others can be found in Halloween Treats – 50 Spooky Songs And Tunes For The Spirit Of Halloween!. For music geared towards kids, try this trio of Kidz Bop Halloween or Drew’s Famous – The Very Best Halloween Songs For Kids, or even Mickey’s Monster Mash.

Creative Costumes & Halloween Decor: 50 Projects to Sew & Craft will give you ideas not only of costumes you can easily make, with designs for tabards, gowns, and full suits; but it will also give you ideas for how to decorate your house with common household items and popular craft materials such as papier mache, felt, craft foam, floral materials, and polymer clay. You can make it even more simple and decorate with origami from Origami for Halloween.

Some other ways to decorate are carving pumpkins, creating a haunted house, and making festive fall quilts. If you need more ideas, reserve some of these Halloween decorating items for Curbside Pickup, which include Martha’s Halloween Ideas (DVD), Halloween: The Best of Martha Stewart Living, Spooky & Bright : 101 Halloween Ideas, and Better Homes and Gardens Halloween : 101 Frightfully Fun Ideas.

If you don’t want to think about decorating for Halloween yet, get comfortable with a cozy like Halloween Murder: a Lucy Stone Mystery by Leslie Meier, which you can check out in ebook format on Overdrive/the Libby app or hoopla. The book includes two Halloween mysteries set in Tinker’s Cove, Maine. More books in the series can be found in print and ebook format, including a few more Halloween stories such as Trick or Treat Murder (in print and ebook format) and Wicked Witch Murder (also in print and ebook format – these two mysteries are the ones that make up Halloween Murder), as well as Candy Corn Murder (print and ebook), and Haunted House Murder (print and ebook).

Browse through all the Halloween print books, ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and more on the library catalog for Curbside Pickup, or online through Overdrive, hoopla, and IndieFlix!

A Trip to the Farmers’ Market!

One of the pleasures of the summer is the weekly trips to the local farmers’ market for fresh produce. Kids enjoy these outings as well. Involve them in the process and they can learn about where their food comes from and how to pick the ripe items. There are also other treats often sold at the local Farmers’ Market. The Marblehead Farmers’ Market is taking place on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm outside of the Marblehead Veterans Middle School. Take a look at their website to read up on their social distancing protocols. Here are some books kids can read to learn more about farmers’ markets.

*All book descriptions are from the publishers. 

At the Farmers’ Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands by Ethel Brennan

“Finish your vegetables!” becomes a phrase of the past when kids discover the diversity and deliciousness of farmers’ markets. From exploring the vibrant booths to selecting produce and tasting the unique flavors each season brings, the farmers’ market provides a fertile playground for kids and brings families together while building healthy habits and supporting sustainable eating. At the Farmers’ Market with Kids profiles the fruits and vegetables available at most farmers’ markets, explaining how to tell which ones are ripe and how to store them. With age-specific tips that cater to children of all ages, plus 65 nutritious and kid-pleasing recipes to put your farmers’ market spoils to use, this cookbook makes it easy for everyone in the family to eat healthfully and live well.

We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market by Stefan Page

In this story, readers get to visit local farmers, fill baskets with fresh fruits and vegetables, and then head home to cook a feast, all with goodies from the farmers’ market! Featuring Stefan Page’s graphic art, this delightful ebook is filled with bold splashes of color and unique patterns. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.

Let’s All go To The Farmer’s Market! by Weingart Cydney

This rhyming book explores the farmers’ market with children and families. Healthy foods, fresh air, and community are all part of the farmers’ market – it is a great way to expose children to fruits and vegetables.

What’s your favorite thing to get at the Farmers’ Market? Comment below with your favorite food or craft you’ve gotten!

Marblehead High School Summer Reading 2020

Here are the MHS Summer Reading 2020 titles that are accessible through Overdrive/Libby and hoopla with your library card. You can find the original list and requirements on the MHS website here.

  • The Fountains of Silence By Ruta Sepetys 
  • Frankly in Love By David Yoon 
  • The Gilded Wolves By Roshani Chokshi 
  • The Grand Escape : The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century By Neal Bascomb 
  • Gut Check By Eric Kester 
    • Accessible as an Overdrive ebook 
  • Heroine By Mindy McGinnis
  • Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am By Harry Mazer & Peter Lerangis
    • Accessible as an Overdrive ebook 
  • There’s Something About Sweetie By Sandhya Menon 
  • They Called Us Enemy By George Takei 
  • We Are The Perfect Girl By Ariel Kaplan
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

You can also check out the MVMS Summer Reading List ebook titles here.

Beginning on Monday, July 6th, you can also reserve physical copies of Marblehead High School Summer Reading items on your NOBLE account and schedule a curbside pickup. Please read the full details here.

MVMS Summer Reading 2020

Here are the summer reading 2020 titles accessible through Overdrive/Libby and hoopla with your library card. You can find the original list and requirements on the MVMS website here.

  • A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher
  • Village of Scoundrels by Margi Preus
  • Free Lunch by Rex Ogle
    • Accessible as an Overdrive ebook 
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
  • Golden Arm by Carl Deuker
  • The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Line Tender by Kate Allen
  • Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu
    • Accessible as an Overdrive ebook

You can also check out the MHS Summer Reading List ebook titles here.

Starting on Monday, July 6th, you can also reserve physical copies of items on your NOBLE account and schedule a curbside pickup. Please read the full details here.

You Can Begin Returning Library Items To Book Returns Today!

As of Monday, June 29th, the Abbot Public Library is pleased to announce that we will be accepting returns of library items charged out before the Library closed in March.

Returns will be accepted Mondays through Saturdays. Please note: the library will be unable to accept returns on Friday, July 3rd or Saturday, July 4th, due to the Independence Day holiday.

Please return items to the outdoor book drops only, located outside of the library on Pleasant Street. If you have borrowed an item that will not fit in the book return, such as a children’s backpack kit or bookclub bag, please call the library at (781) 631-1481 between 2:00 pm – 5:45 pm Monday through Saturday to make arrangements to return the item.

Return items
to outdoor
book returns
Mondays through
Saturdays

Please note that we are unable to accept any book donations at this time.

All returned library materials will be quarantined to eliminate the potential for the spread of the coronavirus. Returned items will be checked in after the quarantine period, and, therefore, may continue to appear on your library account during this time. In view of this new system, the library will not be charging overdue fines.

No fines!

While we are looking forward to having library items come home, please do not feel obligated to return items immediately. The current due date for items already checked out is Monday, July 20th. The  purpose of this extended due date, along with the removal of overdue fines, is to encourage everyone to return items when it feels safest for you to do so. If you have been waiting to get rid of those library books since March, feel free to return them on June 29th — if you would like to hold onto them for a while longer, we encourage that as well.

Beginning on Monday, July 6th, Abbot Public Library will also begin to offer a curbside pickup service. Please read the full details about this service here.

Enjoy the 2020 Marblehead High School Senior Art Show – A Virtual Exhibit!

The Marblehead High School Senior Art Show, in May, has been a highlight of the Abbot Library’s exhibits program, each year. Working with art faculty member Rachel Branham, and two or three MHS seniors, for whom presenting the exhibit serves as their senior project, the Library has enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to bring the talent and creativity of the High School’s “art majors” to the Marblehead community. With the library and schools closed, this partnership is continuing in a new and exciting way.

This year, show your support for the Class of 2020 from your living room! For the first time, Marblehead High School’s annual Senior Art Show is being presented virtually. Available for viewing as of Monday, May 25th, the exhibit can be found on the Abbot Public Library’s website

Citrus State of Mind by Hadley Kaeyer

The show includes pieces in a variety of media, made both during the year in art class and, more recently, while schools have been closed due to COVID-19. Students were invited to produce artwork expressing the impact of the COVID-19 closure on their Senior year experience. Many pieces have accompanying text further describing this experience. This year’s show was organized as the senior project of Colette Bender and Lily Yates.

Covid 19 by Bella Damon

We encourage everyone to spend time enjoying this virtual exhibit — a wonderful opportunity for this year’s graduating seniors to showcase their creations while maintaining social distancing. The seniors have worked hard this year to produce some remarkable works of art, so visit the show and give these artists the recognition and appreciation they deserve!

A Modern Great Wave by Lucy Tedford

Register Now for “Look Up Look Down: Let’s Celebrate Trees” with Nationally Acclaimed Storyteller Judith Black!

Sustainable Marblehead, in collaboration with the Abbot Public Library, will present a virtual storytelling event on Tuesday, May 5th at 3:30 pm. Come join “Look Up Look Down: Let’s Celebrate Trees” with nationally acclaimed storyteller and Marblehead resident Judith Black. Judith will share a 30-minute program of songs and international stories celebrating trees. The program is suitable for ages 5 and up.

From the British Isles to West Africa, traditional cultures have created stories that celebrate the value and resonance of the forest. Listen and meet a crafty spider, a hungry koala bear, and three brothers whose lives depend on their relationship to their ancient forest friends.

Registration is required. To register, please contact: sustainablemarblehead@gmail.com.

For more on Judith Black, visit Stories Alive.