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January 15th 2016
It's an  election year. Candidates are saying a lot of things to get people's votes, which means many of them are, to be blunt, lying. How do you know what to believe? How do you sort fact from fabrication? Surprisingly, the Internet can actually help if you go to the right places. Factcheck.org is just what it sounds like: a website devoted to finding the truth behind politician's statements, misleading headlines, and viral rumors. Factcheck is published by the Annenberg Public Policy Center... Read Post
January 12th 2016

Have you ever noticed the 600 section in the main Somerville library on the second floor? The one where all the eating healthy and fitness books are? Well, I’m on a mission to read all of those books. Will I fail or succeed, who knows? Starting in the 613.2 section, I’m going to read the ones that interest me the most, and write mini reviews along the way. So here it is. Laurie Bell in her book, Loose the Lies, Loose the Weight, is incredibly mmotivating and will... Read Post

January 4th 2016
Recently I walked past a re-shelving cart and noticed a paperback romance called Some Like It Scot, with cover art depicting a heterosexual couple  under-dressed for Scottish weather. According to the catalog record, the novel is part of a series called Scandalous Highlanders. Then scanning the shelves where we keep paperback romances at SPL, I realized that tartan-themed passion seems to be a really popular genre (I know next to nothing about romance novels, so this is all new to me): The... Read Post
December 28th 2015
Now that I think about it, this blog post title sounds like it should be the name of a kid's book--the If You Give a Pig a Pancake for the automated warfare age. But seriously, drones were one of the most popular gifts this Christmas. And anyone who owns a drone has to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration--even if it's tiny, and even if you're not using it to attack people. So, to register your drone, go here. And somebody out there go write that kid's book.
December 22nd 2015
Is online privacy important to you? Worried that someone will hack into your account, or worse steal all your credit card and personal information? If so, you should practice internet security. A very important, part of internet security is choosing the right password. So, how do you choose the right password? Well first off, 1. A password should be between 8-12 characters long. 2. Does not contain a solid word (especially not your name, username or company name!) 3. Must be different from... Read Post
December 18th 2015
If you're lucky you'll have some time off next week.  Many Americans aren't that fortunate. What do you plan to do with your time?  I will be reading Jenny Lawson's new(ish) memoir Furiously Happy and returning to some old favorites: Carl Hiassen's Tourist Season and Daniel Boorstin's The Discoverers. If you're looking for book suggestions, the staff of Jezebel have compiled a list of their favorite reads this year. And Slate's critics have compiled a list of the year's overlooked books. If... Read Post
December 9th 2015
Income inequality: it's one of the most troubling issues we face. A presidential candidate has made it the focus of his campaign. Two years ago a book on the issue made a French economist into a media rock star. Even some billionaires are worried about it.  You may think it's something only the federal government can address, but as a Speaker of the House from this area famously said, "All politics is local," so go to the Alderman's chambers in City Hall tomorrow night to share your concerns... Read Post
December 2nd 2015
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a novel describing the hardships of women during war. This charming book set in France during World War II, focuses on two sisters, set apart early in life by a dead mother and distant father, tells the story of each woman.

Vianne, the eldest sister, additionally a mother and concerned for her young child’s survival, deals with the loss of her husband, who was drafted into the war. She fights to feed her daughter and battles... Read Post

November 28th 2015
A few years ago Esquire posted an online list entitled "80 Books Every Man Should Read,"  that keeps popping up relentlessly on social media. The list consists almost entirely of books by male writers. The list attracted the notice of writer and Harper's contributing editor Rebecca Solnit who wrote a brief commentary about it called "80 Books No Woman Should Read." She had a few sharp comments to make about some of the authors whose works are on the list. Of Hemingway she wrote, "if you get the... Read Post
November 20th 2015
Two copies of the Union Square Neighborhood Plan and the draft Fiscal Impact Analysis of Union Square and Boynton Yards are available at the library for public review and comment. The city Department of Planning and Zoning is accepting public feedback through noon of December 31. Their email address is planning@somervillema.gov. Other contact information is available on their home page. The documents are in the upstairs reading room at the Central Library on the shelf beneath a window near the... Read Post
November 1st 2015
For the week of Oct. 26 - Nov. 1, 2015. Oct. 27: Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath are both born on this date in 1914 and 1932, respectively. While both are considered among the greatest 20th century poets who wrote in English, their work is extremely different. Thomas wrote elegaic poetry influenced by the Victorian poets Hardy and Hopkins, with imagery drawn from the Bible, Welsh folklore and the works of Freud.  The much-younger Plath shocked  readers with the angry tone and brutal imagery she... Read Post
October 29th 2015
Wondering what to do on the upcoming weekend? The Friends of the Library  Book Sale starts at noon on Friday at the Central Library. It continues through Sunday. If you've got kids to entertain you could take them to the East Branch at 3 pm Friday for festive snacks and craft-making with their ever-so-much-fun children's librarian Meghan Forsell. The Boston Calendar has a list of events occurring this Saturday, many Halloween- themed, others not. And if you just feel like curling up with a... Read Post
October 27th 2015
Erica Jones, the dynamic Outreach Director for Somerville Community Access Television, asked people from the community to read spooky stories on TV in honor of Halloween. It's a fun, spook The link to all the Spooky Story Readings is here. And below are two readings by our very own head Children's Librarian Cathy Piantigini and James Fox of the Friends of the Library. Enjoy!
October 6th 2015
Remember Mark Watney in The Martian modifying the astronaut habitat to grow potatoes? Over at Quirk Books Danielle Mohlman has posted some potato recipes from various online sources. And if you're interested in food real-life astronauts would eat, Tara Ziegmont of Feels Like Home has instructions for making astronaut pudding. The post includes a video of an astronaut on the International Space Station demonstrating how he and his co-workers make dinner. Yum.
October 2nd 2015
Earlier this week, NASA announced the discover of water on Mars.  However, the Curiosity rover is banned by treaty from analyzing it. The Mars Orbiter spotted a dry-ice avalanche on the planet. Over at Space.com, staff writer Mike Wall outlines the various ways NASA might get a manned mission to Mars. And over at Wired.com, Angela Watercutter explains why the movie is better than the book.

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