Check out APL’s Book Club Kits To Go – Great For Your Online Zoom Book Club!

Each of Abbot Public Library’s Book Club Kits has ten copies of the book and a binder with information about it which may include articles, discussion questions, and reviews. 

To reserve a kit, call 781-631-1481 or email mar@noblenet.org. When it is time to pick up your kit, call us and we can have it out for Curbside Pickup by the back door, near the parking lot.

The following are the books currently available in Book Club Kits.

The Splendid and the Vile: a Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

In this biography, Erik Larson gives a detailed account of Winston Churchill’s first year as Britain’s Prime Minister during the Blitz, the start of World War II. Germany had just taken over France and started an air force attack against Britain. Told in Erik Larson’s engaging writing style, the book includes day-to-day accounts of this terrifying time.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

This is the story of Lydia Perez and her son, Luca, who must flee their home in Acapulco when a cartel leader orders the death of her entire extended family. Surviving their escape, they embark on a terrifying journey across the U.S. border, seeking shelter with her uncle’s family in Denver.

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes

This is the biography of Samuel Pozzi, a surgeon in Paris who travelled to Britain in 1885. John Singer Sargent painted a portrait of him wearing a red coat. He was a doctor who transformed the practice of gynecology. High society is depicted, as Pozzi was an associate of famous figures such as Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Marcel Proust, and Sarah Bernhardt.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch House is a mansion in Philadelphia that Cyril Conroy surprises his wife by purchasing in 1945. Maeve and Danny, their young children, suffer the abandonment of their mother, the death of their father, and being sent from their home by their stepmother. The siblings form a close bond, increased by the neglect of their family.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Theo Faber is a psychotherapist in London in this psychological suspense novel. His patient, Alicia Berenson, has been convicted of the murder of her husband six years ago. Since the day of the murder, Alicia hasn’t spoken a word. Intrigued by the case, Theo is determined to get Alicia to speak.

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.

A Trip In Time – YA Historical Fiction

A great way to learn about history is to read stories set during times past. From 1955 Virginia to 18th century Europe, the books listed below will take you on a trip exploring people’s yesterdays.

*All book descriptions are from the publisher.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, Overdrive audiobook, and hoopla audiobook

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography—and fate—introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War—as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and Overdrive audiobook.

Flygirl by Sheryl Smith

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot, and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.

When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots—and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and hoopla audiobook.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this year long escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, Overdrive audiobook, hoopla ebook, and hoopla audiobook.

Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, hoopla ebook, and hoopla audiobook.

Reading on the High Seas: Maritime Books For World Ocean Month!

In honor of National Ocean Month, check out these books from different genres featuring an ocean theme! Included are mysteries, historical fiction, historical nonfiction, and a classic in fiction you may recognize! Check them out for free on Overdrive with your library card.

Mysteries

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

In this novel of psychological suspense, journalist Lo Blackwood is embarking on a luxury cruise ship on assignment. The cruise ship Aurora is sailing its maiden voyage to the Norwegian Fjords. Suffering from the tramatic aftershock of recently being the victim of a home invasion, Blackwood witnesses a murder on board ship.

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Number eight of the enjoyable Royal Spyness cozy mystery series set in the 1930s, Queen of Hearts features Lady Georgiana Rannoch who, despite being of Rannoch Castle in Scotland, lives in gentile poverty and often finds herself embroiled in mysteries, aided by love interest and detective Darcy O’Mara. In Queen of Hearts, Georgiana’s actress mother takes her on a transatlantic cruise to New York so her mother can obtain a divorce and marry yet another lover. The first book in the series is Her Royal Spyness. The latest book will come out in August 2020; The Last Mrs. Summers. Rhys Bowen has been a recipient of the Agatha Award.

Fiction

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea was written by Ernest Hemingway in 1952. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Nobel Prize for Literature. In this story, an older fisherman named Santiago has been not catching fish of late. His young friend, Manolin, wants to go out fishing with him but his parents said to fish with a more successful fisherman. One day Santiago takes his boat out into the Gulf Stream, north of Cuba and finally catches a great marlin, and a terrific battle ensues.

History

Mayflower: A Story of Courage Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

As well as writing In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, Philbrick writes the history of the pilgrims arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts aboard the ship the Mayflower, and their relationship with the Wampanoag people. There is the first Thanksgiving, where the pilgrims and the Wampanoag join together to celebrate, and also the tragic King Philip’s War, which marked the eventual conflict between the indigenous people and the pilgrims. This historical account is brought to life by Nathanial Philbrick’s skillful writing.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is the heroic story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II veteran. Written by the brilliant writer Lauren Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit). When Zamperini in his Army Air Forces bomber flies over the Pacific Ocean, his plane crashes into the water and he is stranded at sea. When he finally gets to land on the coast of Japan, he becomes a prisoner of war. 

Historical Fiction

The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light between Oceans is a historical fiction novel set in the early 1900s. Tom Sherbourne became a lighthouse keeper in Australia after serving in World War I. Marrying Isabel Graysmark, he unhappily tried to conceive a child with her, only to suffer miscarriages and a stillbirth. Then a small boat washes to shore carrying a deceased man and a surviving baby. Isabel is blissfully happy to think of having a baby at last and wants to keep the child as their own. Tom agrees until they find out about the baby’s biological mother still grieving for the child and her husband, who she thinks are dead. The novel was adapted into a film and released in 2016.

History: New Books on WWII

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, which ended in Europe on May 7th after Germany’s unconditional surrender, but was not officially over in Asia until September 2nd, when Japan formally surrendered in a ceremony aboard USS Missouri.

For history buffs, military history buffs, and WWII buffs, as well as those wanting to learn more about the previous major historical event that affected the whole world, we created a curated collection of new books:

The latest Eric Larson’s book is about Winston Churchill as the newly appointed Prime Minister in the early days of the war.

Though Churchill is the main character of this story, the book is more about the country and, especially, London and its denizens during the Blitz. The inclusion of witness accounts, taken from the diaries of those who tried to survive the horrors, lend a particularly chilling and poignant tone to the narrative. It’s on the NYT Bestseller List. Accessible as an ebook or audiobook

Sinclair McKay’s book is about the bombing of Dresden by Allied forces, which occurred in February 1945 and is considered one of the most controversial actions during WWII. Was it a war crime against German civilians or a calculated step to a victorious end?

The book was reviewed as “well researched, powerfully written and balanced.”

In the Pacific theatre, a group of five American pilots, inspired and motivated by legendary WWI pilot Eddie Rickenbecker, started a wild race for the title of America’s greatest fighter pilot during combat against the Japanese air force. Read about it in Race of Aces by John R. Bruning.

ebook format
ebook format
audiobook format

Martha Maccallum also writes about the Pacific and its battles, and the heroic and courageous men that fought them. Her book, Unknown Valor, is accessible as an ebook and audiobook.

The Battle of Normandy was the epic invasion by the Allied forces that marked the beginning of the end of war in Europe. Begun on June 6th,1944, it was known as D-Day.

Lately, a number of books were published on the incredible contribution of women to the war effort, and the role they played in the Allied path to victory. These are books about women who became spies and operated in Europe. True stories, based on exhaustive research, all these books gained much praise and became bestsellers.

As always, all these titles are available through Overdrive/the Libby app with your library card. Click the book covers above to access the titles in Overdrive.

Recommended Reading: “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a children’s historical fiction book recommended for ages 9-12. It’s on Overdrive in an ebook and audiobook format.

Set in England during WW ll, this sometimes wrenching but hopeful story details a child’s journey from abuse and isolation to accepting love and personal fulfillment against great odds and a background of war.

Ada, ten, and her six-year-old brother live in a tiny apartment where Ada never goes outside, including never attending school, because her malicious Mam is ashamed of her daughter’s club foot. Deprivation and isolation from others are Ada’s life, until the German bombing. When urban children are evacuated to the English countryside for safety, both children end up on a farm taken care of by a woman with her own sorrows to cope with.

So begins a restart for Ada. She learns to read, to walk, and to ride a neglected pony. She learns to trust and accept love from an adult for the first time in her life. The war’s violence and danger is still near, as there is a busy military airstrip nor far from the farm. Looming also is the fact that their abusive mother may come back and take them away. Against this backdrop of worry and challenges, Ada finds the courage to enter life on new terms.   

3 Graphic Novels for Teens on Overdrive and hoopla

Graphic novels are great to read digitally. If you are reading on a tablet or smartphone, you can zoom in on individual panels and take a closer look at the artwork than you would be able to with a physical copy. Not to mention, the combination of art and text allows a different reading experience than novels alone. We are currently building up our digital collection of graphic novel titles through Overdrive and hoopla, and some titles are available through both services! So here are 3 graphic novels available through Overdrive and hoopla with your Marblehead library card.

If you need any help navigating Overdrive/Libby or hoopla, please see our handy FAQs page.

*All descriptions are for the first book in the trilogy and from the publisher.

Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooklyn Allen

At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

Available on: Overdrive and hoopla

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s—and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In a stunning graphic memoir, Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of over 100,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon—and America itself—in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

Available on: Overdrive and hoopla

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo

When a tragic accident takes the life of seventeen-year-old Raven Roth’s foster mom—and Raven’s memory—she moves to New Orleans to live with her foster mother’s family and finish her senior year of high school.

Starting over isn’t easy. Raven remembers how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can’t remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. When strange things start happening—impossible things—Raven starts to think it might be better not to know who she was in her previous life.

But as she grows closer to her foster sister, Max, her new friends, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she’s ready to face what’s buried in the past…and the darkness building inside her.

Available on: Overdrive and hoopla

Are there any graphic novels that you have enjoyed recently that aren’t available through either of these sources? Leave a comment to let us know and we might be able to add them to our digital collection!