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.

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.

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.

August Arrivals – New Items for All Ages!

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

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

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

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

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

New Books Coming Out At Abbot Public Library This Summer…

Visit the Abbot Public Library’s website to peruse the new titles that became available in July. You can reserve them for Curbside Pickup on your library account, as well as the following titles which will be coming out later this summer! 

***

Reserve these titles on the library catalog to pick up at the Abbot Public Library’s rear entrance.

A Few New Mysteries to Reserve for Curbside Pickup!

Here are a few new mysteries to reserve by three great authors! Reserve them for Curbside Pickup by following these instructions.

The Long Call and The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves’ latest book, The Darkest Evening: A Vera Stanhope Novel, can be reserved now in the catalog. It is the #9 in the series and due out in September. 

The Long Call is out now and can be reserved in physical format for Curside Pickup, or you can check out ebook or audiobook format on Overdrive or through the Libby app. 

The first in the Two Rivers series, it is set on the coast of North Devon, England. Meet Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, who is investigating the death of a man found on the beach, as well as two kidnappings in which key suspects are discovered that are involved with the Woodyard Centre which is managed by Venn’s partner, Jonathan Church.

The Witch Elm by Tana French in print, ebook, or audiobook format

Toby, a publicist for an art gallery in Dublin, is savagely attacked in his apartment by robbers. He moves in with his Uncle Hugo to recover when a human skull is discovered in the hollow of a witch elm tree in the backyard.

Keep an eye out for The Searcher, French’s latest book, due out in October. She is also the author of the popular Dublin Murder Squad Series.

A Better Man and All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

A Better Man by Louise Penny is #15 in the Chief Inspector Gamache Mysteries. Gamache is now the head of homicide again, working with his son-in-law to solve what appears to be a murder of a pregnant woman by her husband. Unexpected events call for the investigation to be reexamined in this complex psychological mystery. Familiar characters appear in the setting of Three Pines, Canada.

Check it out in print , ebook, or audiobook format. 

All The Devils Are Here, #16 in the series, is due out in September.

Reserve These New Library Books For Curbside Pickup!

These are just a few of the new books Abbot Public Library has to offer for Curbside Pickup! Just click the links in the titles below and log in to your account to reserve your copy. Please read the full instructions for Curbside Pickup Service for further details. If you don’t want to wait for the physical book, some titles may be available to check out in digital formats through our online services.

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Nothing feels like summer like reading an Elin Hilderbrand novel. Get away to Nantucket for sun, sailing, and a journey with her well-crafted novels. A movie which started as a play in 1975, Same time, Next Year, inspired the book. Mallory Blessing has been meeting Jake McCloud for 28 years on Labor Day weekend, but they are both married to other people. When Mallory receives bad news about her health, she has to face what might be their last meeting. 

You can reserve the physical copy or check it out in ebook or audiobook format on Overdrive or through the Libby app. Hilderbrand’s next book coming soon is Troubles in Paradise, which you can also reserve now for Curbside Pickup.

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

Prolific writer Jane Green is the author of Swapping Lives and Falling, as well as many others. Her latest novel follows the lives of Evvie, Maggie, and Topher, who became fast friends during college. Through the ups and downs of life their friendship has remained a constant anchor, but one betraying secret threatens to damage these ties when they need each other most.

You can reserve the physical copy or check it out in ebook or audiobook format.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Christmas in July! This brilliant writer can always bring a smile to the reader in her humorous fiction. In the latest volume of her Shopaholic Series, Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is suddenly hosting her first family Christmas party. Between her quest (which becomes quite involved) to find her husband, Luke, the perfect present, and planning the perfect party for her friends and family, Becky might be in over her head. Lovable, familiar characters make this a cozy read.

Reserve the physical copy or the ebook format, and keep a lookout for Kinsella’s latest book coming out soon!

Check Out These New Library Books!

Here are some new books you can check out, including a couple of physical copies you can reserve for Curbside Pickup! Please read the full details of Abbot Public Library’s Curbside PIckup Service here.

Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier may come to mind while reading this book. Engaging writer Sarah Morgan offers a new novel about Flora the florist whose whirlwind romance becomes difficult when meeting the family and friends of Jack Parker and the secrets emerging surrounding his late wife. Check out the ebook on Overdrive or the audiobook on hoopla.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird : a Novel by Josie Silver

Lydia Bird tragically loses her partner, Freddie Hunter, in a car accident. In an effort to cope with her grief through medicine, she experiences lucid dreams about her continued life with Freddie while living her other life by day. Josie Silver’s book is beautifully written with richly developed characters. 

Check it out in print or ebook format. 

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen, author of the enjoyable Royal Spyness Mysteries and Molly Murphy Mysteries has written some historical fiction as well, including The Victory Garden. Set in England in the early 1900s during World War I, Emily Bryce falls for a pilot who is recuperating. He is sent back into battle in France and Emily joins the Women’s Land Army and leaves home. This novel depicts a time of turbulent change during this tragic war.

Reserve the physical copy now for Curbside Pickup!