Authors

March 21st 2017
The Hate U Give book cover

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

August 31st 2016

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

August 25th 2016

...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

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

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

June 6th 2016
The Library of America is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to producing  durable high-quality editions of the best of American writing. And it's not just fiction: their nonfiction volumes include the World War II reporting of A.J. Liebling, the movie reviews of James Agee, and the four-volume collection of diaries and letters, The Civil War Told by Those Who Lived It. If you want to get exposure to a range of American writing but are daunted by the size and number of LOA books, sign up for "... Read Post
May 12th 2016
...for May 12, 2016. Canadian author and environmentalist Farley Mowat (1921- 2014) was born on this day in Bellville, Ontario. He wrote more than 40 books, the most famous being Never Cry Wolf (1963), supposedly an account of his experiences observing wolves in the wilderness of subarctic Canada. Mowat was often accused of not actually having spent as much time with wolves as he recounts in the book.  Mowat's usual response was that his critics were confusing facts with truth. The book was an... Read Post
April 29th 2016
Top view of Somerville Public Library

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

April 29th 2016
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 on vacation? This wacky,... Read Post
March 17th 2016
It's St. Patrick's Day. For some that might mean drinking some Guinness or listening to Irish folk music, but for enthusiastic readers it's an occasion to add some books by Irish writers to their reading list. I am steering clear of the usual suspects (e.g., Ulysses) to point out some books that might be under the radar of many readers. John Banville is a prolific writer of both beautiful, challenging literary fiction and of mysteries (the latter under the name Benjamin Black). He's also... Read Post
February 24th 2016
Fates & Furies- Lauren Groff’s third book, describes marriage over a 23 year period, very vividly. The book illustrates marriage from two different perspectives, the husband and wife, seemingly, somewhat realistic, but who really knows for sure? After all, how many of us are completely honest in marriage? I enjoyed the book immensely; many reviews compared the book to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I see where some readers may contrast character’s Amy Dunne (Gone Girl and Mathilde (Fates and... Read Post
February 20th 2016
The world lost a brilliant mind and ingenious writer yesterday. Umberto Eco, author of phenomenally popular novels such as The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, died of cancer yesterday. He was 84. Some were taken aback by the popularity of his work. On the face of it, Eco's first novel, The Name of the Rose--a historical murder mystery with a crime-solving friar--sounds as if it was written to cater to the taste for crime novels in the Brother Cadfael vein. But in Rose, Eco immerses... Read Post
February 10th 2016
It's going to be cold. Looking for something fun to do inside this weekend? Join us at the Central Library Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 pm, where local artist/musician/children's book author Jef Czekaj  is hosting a DJ dance party for children and families. Jef is a Somerville resident and dad.  He plays grown-up music kids love.  And he'll be taking requests!  Jef is a longtime friend of the library and host of library programs. Everyone has a great time at a Jef Czekaj event!
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

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