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August 8th 2016

Posted by: Kevin

I’m re-reading The Great Gatsby for the first time since college and am astounded. I remember loving the lush, delicate writing at the time but little else. Now I can’t get over the deceptive, seeming simplicity of  this very short novel that has so much going on it: a snapshot of the Jazz Age, a critique of class, of entitlement, of capitalism, and the brutal clash of dreams and reality, all conveyed in exquisite prose.

Many of the people and a couple of the... Read Post

July 28th 2016

By: Aimee Bender

This endearing book is set in California and is about Rose Edelstein, who when tasting food, can feel the hidden emotions of the person who cooked it. The book is about her relationship with her out of touch parents, disappearing brother, fake classmates and how she handles all the emotions people dump into their food. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is about being present in everyday life; and how important it is to spend time with people who you actually like... Read Post

July 19th 2016

First, I would like to thank James O’Keefe and Dr. Steve Revilak for their great work at SPL’s cryptoparty last weekend. They were very generous with their time and expertise. Several people left at the end of the day with their smartphones and laptops optimized for online privacy.

Second, let’s talk about Windows 10. If you’re a pc user, this latest Microsoft operating system will almost certainly be thrust upon you at some point. There’s something very important you need to know:... Read Post

July 18th 2016

Posted by: Heidi

A new book club at the Central Library on Highland Avenue, for stay-at-home moms’, working moms’ and/or anyone in between is starting up! If your interested in participating in this club, follow this link and vote on your favorite book!

Book titles include:

Me Before you by JoJo Moyes – “They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose. Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life–steady boyfriend, close... Read Post

July 15th 2016

Have you ever taken a stroll in Somerville, to come across an octagon shaped house with all the windows boarded up and cameras leering down at you? Well, if you know what I'm talking about, you've seen the Round House at 36 Atherton Street in Somerville. Although, it may not be as mysterious as we all think. The house was built by Enoch Robinson sometime around 1847, right after the locksmith and designer moved to Somerville. He lived in the house with his wife, three daughters, one son and... Read Post

July 12th 2016
If you want to read a book, but have no idea what book, here are some sources for ideas. A list of the most popular books in the Minuteman Library Network is here. Just be aware that since the titles on this list are so popular, you might have to wait a while for a library copy. Here are the titles that have won the PEN/Faulkner Award in recent years.  The award is given to the best work of fiction by an American citizen in the calendar year (or at least, "best," in the opinion of the judges... Read Post
July 7th 2016
To learn what Google knows about you, follow the instructions in this Business Insider article. And check out this discussion of search engines that respect your privacy.
July 6th 2016
There are so many different ways we're being watched, it's easy to think having any privacy is hopeless, but you shouldn't give up. On Saturday, July 16 at noon we're hosting an online privacy workshop here at SPL. It will be very hands on, so bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop (or all three)  so fix your settings, download apps, and add browser extensions to keep your online activities safe from prying eyes. In the meantime here are some easy steps you can take now to lay the... Read Post
July 1st 2016
You've probably already made your Independence Day plans, but if you haven't, here are some ideas: The Boston Calendar has a list of 76 Things to Do in Boston this Weekend. If you want to see fireworks but dread the mobs at the Esplanade, here are some options. And for food, historic walking tours, live entertainment, and art, consider going to Boston HarborFest. Have fun and be safe.  
June 28th 2016
It will get easier to say no to Windows 10.  Soon when you click on the x in the upper-corner of the pop-up box nagging you to "upgrade" to Windows 10, the box will actually disappear as you would expect instead of downloading Windows 10. Furthermore the pop-up will soon feature the option "Decline Free Offer" which means you will never see it again. But be aware if you use Windows 7 there will be no more system updates. However, Microsoft will continue to support the system with security... Read Post
June 27th 2016
Last week I posted about books, plays and television programs related to Henry VIII (last Friday was the anniversary of his coronation). A reader of this blog pointed out to me that I omitted a certain musical tribute to England's most famous king, so here it is:   I also discovered this video that sums up most of what you would learn from any books about Henry VIII and his wives:   Never say I don't give the public what they want.
June 24th 2016
...for June 24: Henry VIII was crowned King of England on this day in 1509. It was the beginning of a turbulent reign, and nearly all of the turbulence was caused by his difficulties in fathering a son: he was only the second monarch of  the Tudor dynasty, a family whose claim to the crown was shaky at best. To prevent a return to civil war it was essential Henry have at least one male heir. In his quest for sons, he married six times, beheaded two of his wives, and took England out of the... Read Post
June 20th 2016

Children who don't read during the summer vacation don't do well on reading comprehension tests when school resumes. The cumulative effect can be devastating: summer non-readers can end up two years behind their peers by sixth grade. By contrast, children who read four or more books over the summer fare much better academically in the fall than their peers who read only one book or no books.  The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is challenging people of all ages to read four or... Read Post

June 13th 2016
The Friends of the Somerville Public Library are hosting a six-mile tour of the three library branches, with refreshments and activities along the way.  The aims of this event - beyond celebrating the arrival of summer! - are to introduce Somerville residents to the three historic branch libraries and to highlight the wonderful programs and services they offer. When: Saturday, June 18, 9:15 AM. Where: The Library Ride starts at the West Branch, 40 College Avenue (near Davis Square). Cost: $... Read Post
June 8th 2016

Ladies, are you looking to read a trashy novel that's going to get you into the summer mood? Do you want to travel to Nantucket but don't have the time? Try reading about it instead. The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand is set on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachuset ts. The book is set around two housewives Grace Pancik and Madeline King. Grace, with two teenage daughters, may just start a steamy love affair with her landscaper. Madeline, a famous writer, struggles to... Read Post

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