April 23 is the date traditionally observed as the birthday of William Shakespeare, an occasion celebrated wherever English is spoken with performances, readings, parades and other events. In Oxford today there was a parade and performances by school children. At Vanderbilt University in Tennessee there are jugglers, troubadors, puppet shows and performances of favorite scenes from the plays. Pittsburgh has declared April 22-28 "The Week of Will," with events ranging from plays in parks to... Read Post
By now, you have likely heard of the passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking, one of the most celebrated thinkers of our time. Dr. Hawking was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, advocate for disability rights, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
If you would like to learn more about his work or life, the Somerville Public Library owns several of his books, as well as biographical books and films written or produced about... Read Post
First time novelist Angie Thomas has made a big splash with her young adult novel, The Hate U Give. Released last month, the novel has already topped the New York Times's Best Seller List for Young Adult Hardcover Books, been optioned for a Hollywood film, and been acclaimed by critics and in numerous articles, such as this one in New York Magazine, this one on Fusion.net, and this one in the New York Times. It is also currently one of the most requested books in the Minuteman Library... Read Post
Blog by Kathryn Smith, author of “The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency.”
Thanks, Cathy, for letting me be your guest blogger today.
Missy LeHand was one of Somerville’s most famous residents in the 1920s-1940s, when she was the private secretary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Especially during her White House years, 1933-1941, every visit to her family home at 101 Orchard Street generated an interview by the Boston... Read Post
...for August 24 and 25.
Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most innovative and influential writers of the last century, was born August 24, 1899 in a suburb of Buenos Aires. He was raised bilingual in Spanish and English and published his first literary translation when he was 9. His work is almost impossible to classify other than to say much of it reflects a skepticism regarding the existence of an objective reality. The Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel... Read Post
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
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
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
We're getting ready for Somerville Reads 2016 - our next One City, One Book program, which will take place in the early Fall - and we need your input! Which of these books would you most like to read and discuss as a community? You can read about each book below (the reviews have been edited for length then vote for your pick at the bottom of this post.
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowel
What do you get when a woman who's obsessed with death and U.S. history goes... Read Post