New for You: E-Audio Series Entries, RBG, and Sedaris on Overdrive/Libby

As 2020 winds down and the light fades earlier each day, we at the Abbot Public Library are searching for some good, solid reading fare to see us through the long evenings. There’s nothing like the comfort of familiar storylines continued and the company of characters we know and love (or love to hate). We’re also craving the words of cultural icons like the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Sedaris, both of whom saw us through many decades before we were plunged into the present reality. If you’re feeling the same, then the newest round of digital audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby should be just the ticket!

If the grandeur of historical epic is what you’re in the mood for at present, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can now listen to Ken Follett’s new prequel to the wildly popular Pillars of the Earth, which was published thirty years ago. Follett is past master at spinning tales of derring-do from the pre-Norman Conquest era in Britain. He certainly doesn’t disappoint in The Evening and the Morning, a book “rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.”*

Ann Cleeves lands us in a thoroughly modern England with her latest Vera Stanhope novel, The Darkest Evening. The irascible and complicated Detective Inspector not only finds yet another mystery on a snowy night in Northumberland but is confronted with new knowledge about her family’s past. With an atmospheric blizzard and an old country house as major plot elements, this offering is certainly one to curl up with by the fire.

There’s also the opportunity to hear more from a hero and icon lost this year, in her own voice. Jeffrey Rosen, head of the National Constitution Center, offers us an intimate series of recorded tête-à-têtes in Conversations with RBG. With observations on her own life and on Supreme Court matters, the audiobook will make you feel that this fiercely intelligent woman is in the room with you, and that she has not been and will not be silenced.

And who couldn’t do with a bit of sardonic comic relief in the form of David Sedaris’s latest? He’s compiled his funniest stories from the past three decades and added a new one in The Best of Me. You’ll also get a new interview with the writer.

So that’s your long autumnal evenings sorted! You may also want to check out the newly-added thriller One by One from Ruth Ware and The Searcher by Tana French for further bestselling listens.

If you are new to Overdrive/Libby, please have a look at our FAQ section for pointers. And if you don’t yet have a library card, you can get started here.

*Description from the publisher.

Video Stream LGBTQ Movies and Series To Celebrate Pride Month!

51 years ago today, the Stonewall riots began, when the New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn club in Greenwich Village and the LGBTQ members fought back, with six days of protests that lead to the gay liberation movement. To commemorate this pivotal point in LGBTQ history, and continue the celebration of Pride Month, here are some movies and TV shows available on IndieFlix and hoopla with your library card! 

Angel Dumott Schunard is one of the kindest and yet most controversial characters in the popular award-winning musical RENT. Throughout the movie, Angel dresses in drag and sometimes identifies as “he” and at other times “she.” However she identifies, she is there for her friends as well as her lover. Angel isn’t alone in being an LGBTQ character in this musical. Maureen Johnson flirts with both guys and girls, making her girlfriend, Joanne, jealous. But RENT isn’t just about the relationships. It’s about coping with illness, the characters finding their voice or calling in life, and trying to make ends meet so they can pay their… you guessed it: rent! 

Also on hoopla is a movie with many recognizable characters, including Christina Ricci, known for her role as Kat in Casper; Lisa Kudrow, recognizable as the eccentric Phoebe Buffay in Friends, and Johnny Galecki, who played Leonard Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. In The Opposite of Sex, Ricci portrays 16-year-old Dedee, who runs away from her mother to live with her half-brother, Bill, and intrude on his relationship with his boyfriend, Matt. Despite Dedee being the narrator, there are moments when it’s difficult to be on her side. 

There are plenty of other LGBTQ movies to pick from in hoopla’s LGBTQIA+ Pride Month movie collection, including The Feels, about a girl couple celebrating their joint bachelorette party; My Summer Love, which has a deceptively cheery title for a psychological thriller; and The Wedding Banquet, a comedy about a Chinese yuppie in New York who tries to fake a marriage of convenience to hide his sexuality from his parents in Taiwan. 

If you don’t have the time or patience to sit through a whole movie, or if you’re interested in creative films such as the ones shown at the Marblehead Festival of Arts Film Festival, go over to IndieFlix and try some of the short films and series there. 

Consisting of two seasons of episodes only a few minutes long, The Coffee Shop Series is like a flash fiction series in visual format which you can easily binge in one night. Get a glimpse into everyday encounters Carol experiences in various coffee shops, where she meets girls and guys, sometimes running into them repeatedly, as fate would have it, all the while trying out various types of art, including sketching, writing, and making necklaces. 

One road trip you wouldn’t want to be on is the one with Tristan and Zooey in the 15-minute film, The Thing. With both of them unable to hold their annoyances towards the other about taking the trip, they struggle to reconnect as they travel to “The Thing.”

For something a bit more odd, try Candy Cravings, about a woman who has an insatiable appetite.. for people! It must be difficult to be in a relationship when all you want to do is eat your girlfriend. Find out what happens by logging on to your RB Digital account! 

It doesn’t end there! View the whole Indieflix LGBTQ collection for more short movies and series. You can also find out more about the history of the LGBTQ community in this selection of nonfiction titles, and peruse the reading lists of LGBTQ+ YA Books and YA Novels Featuring Trans and Nonbinary Characters

Also, check out the Pride Month events held by some of our museum partners, including a musical and visual performance from singer-songwriter Anjimile and artist Jess T. Dugan at 2:00 pm today, Sunday, June 28th!

Rediscovering IndieFlix: Off the Beaten Path…On the Right Track

If you’ve noticed an uptick in your Netflix binging over the past few months (who hasn’t?), then perhaps you’re in the market for some bite-sized–and possibly more challenging–fare. You’ve racked up a good bit of mileage on that popular-entertainment highway–why not stray off the beaten path for a while?

IndieFlix, the very first video streaming option offered by the Abbot Library, has since been joined by Acorn TV and hoopla, but it merits more than a cursory glance. It’s a hidden gem, with thousands of movies, series, documentaries, and film shorts to sample. Be forewarned–much of this stuff really is indie. You’ll probably be finding yourself in pretty unfamiliar territory: Cannes this is not. But the fascination of the selections on offer lies in their quirkiness. Where else would you find an animated short starring “a sofa-bound dog [who] is shocked to learn that a huge world lies outside the door–the maddening, unbreakable door?” Such is the premise of Cooped, which clocks in at less than half an hour and is squarely in the bite-sized category. 

There’s a range of more serious titles on offer as well, from socially-conscious picks like The Millennial Dream to arts-inspired choices like The Artist’s Toolbox, 14 episodes of interviews with the likes of Isabel Allende and John Legend. Typical comedy, horror, foreign, and romance genres are well-represented–and if it’s a bit of nostalgia you’re after, titles like Flash Gordon, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Roy Rogers will beam you back to the black-and-white era.

So, grab your Marblehead library card and check out a 7-day unlimited-viewing pass today–and either binge or graze to your heart’s content. You might just find that you’re right on track!

If you don’t currently have a Marblehead library card, begin here. And if you have any further questions about IndieFlix or any of our digital services, please feel free to contact the reference staff at mar@noblenet.org.

Manga to Check Out

Manga are Japanese comic books and graphic novels, considered their own genre though they cover a wide variety of themes and settings. If you like graphic novels already, chances are you will enjoy manga as well, and they are usually a part of a larger series, so the stories have plenty of material to become immersed in. The artwork is typically black and white and read right to left, which can take some getting used to if you are not familiar with the format. But, if you are reading digitally, you can view an entire page at once without having to worry about what may be lost in the gutter of the spine, making it slightly easier to read. 

Recently, we have been adding more manga to our digital collections. So if you are already interested in manga or want to try them out, now would be a great time to. Here are a few of the manga that we have available on Overdrive/Libby.

*All descriptions are from the publisher and are for the first volume in the series.

Seven Deadly Sins by Nakaba Suzuki

When they were accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy, the feared warriors the Seven Deadly Sins were sent into exile. Princess Elizabeth discovers the truth – the Sins were framed by the king’s guard, the Holy Knights – too late to prevent them from assassinating her father and seizing the throne! Now the princess is on the run, seeking the Sins to help her reclaim the kingdom. But the first Sin she meets, Meliodas, is a little innkeeper with a talking pig. He doesn’t even have a real sword! Have the legends of the Sins’ strength been exaggerated…?

My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny.

Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akiduki

Shirayuki is famous for her naturally bright-red hair, and the prince of Tanbarun wants her all to himself! But when she escapes into the woods of the neighboring kingdom, a young man named Zen and his two friends come to her aid. But who is Zen really…?

Demon Slayer by Koyoharu Gotouge

Learning to destroy demons won’t be easy, and Tanjiro barely knows where to start. The surprise appearance of another boy named Giyu, who seems to know what’s going on, might provide some answers—but only if Tanjiro can stop Giyu from killing his sister first!

Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

Bisco HatoriOne day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the “Host Club,” a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it’s there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else.

And as a bonus, Kanji de Manga by Glenn Kardy and Chihiro Hattori

Learn how to read and write Japanese the fun and easy way—with Kanji de Manga!

Manga University’s award-winning series uses original comic artwork to teach readers how to identify and write the most common Japanese kanji ideographs.

Volume 1 introduces 80 of the most common kanji, including those for numbers, days of the week, directions, relatives, and sizes. Each page features its own comic strip, kanji pronunciation guide, stroke order, and English explanations.


What are some manga that you would like to see added to our collection? Let us know in a comment!