August 29th 2008
If you are looking for a new movie to enjoy, the AV department has some new titles on the way. Make sure to stop by and check out these and many more new movies this fall! Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) "Ireland, 1920. Damien and Teddy are brothers. But while the latter is already the leader of a guerrilla squad fighting for the independence of his motherland, Damien, a medical graduate of University College, would rather further his training at the London hospital where he has found a... Read Post
August 19th 2008
I'm sure many of you are on the hold list for books such as Unaccustomed Earth, The Last Lecture, or What Happened. While you're waiting, you might want to pass the time with some of the older books in our collections--many of which never have been and never will be the flavor of the month but are great reads nonetheless. Joseph Mitchell was one of the great journalists of the mid-twentieth century, writing wonderfully detailed portraits of people and places in New York City--an exemplar of... Read Post
August 13th 2008
Last Saturday's talk on Somerville, Massachusetts: A Brief History was a success. Dee Morris gave a brief talk on the writing of the book. Her co-author (and former Somerville librarian) Dora St. Martin read a couple of passages--one on Franklin Roosevelt's devoted secretary (and Somerville native) Missy LeHand and another on Somerville poet Sam Walter Foss. People came and went for the better part of two hours to buy copies and talk to the authors. There were so many buyers the author ran out... Read Post
August 11th 2008
Ian Frazier

Ian Frazier is a funny guy. He's so funny that when The Atlantic Monthly published selections from the best writing ever to appear in its pages, Frazier was one of only four authors represented in the category of humorous essays. The others were Mark Twain, James Thurber, and Kurt Vonnegut. Frazier's latest collection, Lamentations of the Father, exemplifies why he belongs in such illustrious company. The title essay is a list of directives from a father to his offspring couched in biblical... Read Post

August 6th 2008
We've decided to ask local authors what books they've been enjoying lately. First up is Pagan Kennedy, the award-winning author of Black Livingstone, The First Man-Made Man and The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories (coming out in September). "These days I'm most interested in narrative nonfiction, so here's a pick from that genre: The Scarlett Professor by Barry Werth. In the 1950s, a professor at Smith College revolutionized the field of literary criticism. Newton Arvin was... Read Post
July 30th 2008
Cover of book "Introducing Somerville: a Brief History"

Enter Somerville, a city packed with stories larger than itself, to salute a heritage that justifies the fierce pride of its citizens. Share a perch on one of Somerville's celebrated hills with Dee Morris and Dora St. Martin and watch the raising of America's first flag and the stringing of its first telephone line. Strolling from neighborhood to neighborhood, this brief history knocks on the doors of everyone from the father of Fenway Park to Missy LeHand, Franklin D. Roosevelt's private... Read Post

July 22nd 2008
STORYBOOK WALK Monday, July 28th: 6:00-7:30 p.m. Come one, come all, come in your pajamas! But especially kids ages 3-5, come to the Central Library for an evening walk to the Somerville Community Growing Center at 22 Vinal Avenue. Wear your pajamas if you can, because we're going to snuggle into the garden and read stories with librarian Cathy Piantigini. For more information, contact Kate Cohen at (617) 591-6926 or kcohen@... Read Post
July 15th 2008
Kidstock logo

We are very lucky (and excited!) to have the kids from Kidstock! back again this summer for another series of great theater for children!

The first performance will be “A Conga Line” which will be held on Wednesday, July 16th. The next show will be “The Emperor’s New Kangaroo” on Wednesday, July 30th, and the final performance will be “Surfing Beauty” on Wednesday, August 13th.

All performances are in the library... Read Post

July 14th 2008
Wild Reads logo

Wild Reads is the Massachusetts Summer Reading theme this year and the children's room has some great book ideas to help get you started.  If drawing is your thing, we have books to teach you how to draw wild animals, dinosaurs, and underwater creatures.  If you enjoy true stories of real animals, you might like reading about Knut, a polar bear cub raised at the Berlin Zoo, or Owen and Mzee, a hippo and a tortoise who strike an unusual friendship.  Below is a suggested book... Read Post

July 11th 2008
One of the pleasures of living in Somerville is the availability of wonderful food--and I'm not just talking about the restaurants. Every Saturday through October 25 from 9 until 1, there's a farmer's market in Union Square offering fresh fruit (the plums are amazing), potted herbs, fresh-cut flowers, free-range meat. It's all local and it's all wonderful. And if you want to know more about why shopping at a local farmer's market is a good thing to do, consider reading one of these books:... Read Post
July 7th 2008

Magical, sinister, mysterious: twins in literature always seem to have something extra. Here's a list of some great books about twins:

In the Country of the Young by Lisa Carey... Read Post
June 25th 2008

Are you a native French speaker who misses books from home? Are you an American who studied French in college or high school and would like to take a refreshing dip in la langue? The Somerville Public Library has a growing collection of books in French, ranging from the latest Prix Goncourt winners and American fiction in translation to cookbooks and biographies.

Sample titles:

Alabama song de Gilles LeRoy.

... Read Post
June 24th 2008
side by side comparison of two statues, Clarence and Damoxenus

Here at the Central Library’s reference desk we have a companion – a statue of a Greek boxer who, in accordance with long-standing Library tradition, we call Clarence. Clarence is actually Damoxenus, and he has an interesting history.

“Damoxenus. A boxer of Syracuse, excluded from the Nemean Games for killing his opponent in a pugilistic encounter. The name of the latter was Creugas; and the two... Read Post

June 16th 2008
If you would like to research your family tree but don't know how to begin, this workshop is just for you. I'll cover basic rules to follow no matter who you are or where your family is from, and resources (both in the Library and beyond)  helpful for different locales and nationalities.  I'll also walk participants through a search for documents on family members using HeritageQuest and, both available through the library.
June 11th 2008

To celebrate the return of the farmers’ markets to Somerville ( and give a shout out to the great services offered by the Somerville Garden Club ( and the Somerville Community Growing Center (, and to cheer on every seedling growing in the backyards, community gardens, and window boxes throughout the city, a list of books to share with children about the trials, tribulations and sheer joys of... Read Post