Daily savings time ends this Sunday, March 11; so on Saturday night (or very early Sunday morning) everyone should set their clocks ahead one hour. Many (quite reasonably) wonder why we set our clocks back an hour during the fall in the first place. The idea behind it is conserving resources. If everyone gets up an hour later (when it’s lighter) during the winter months we’re supposedly saving energy. Supposedly Benjmain Franklin first proposed daylight saving time (DST) as a way to save... Read Post
Are you a graphic novel fan? Why not check out your local library for your favorites? We have an entire area dedicated to graphic novels. Is there a title missing, that you’d like to see added? Just ask a reference librarian! Or just come sit and read in our lovely little alcove.
Below are some great titles that you shouldn’t miss!
Saga. Book Two- By Brian K. Vaughn
"Saga. Book Two continues the action-packed education of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents... Read Post
Would you believe that word-puzzle contests were so popular in the mid-20th century that many libraries had to put their dictionaries under lock and key? Puzzle-solvers devoured dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works in pursuit of cash prizes, and deluged library staff with requests for answers to puzzle questions. They ripped pages from dictionaries and hid reference books to thwart other contestants’ chances.
In a recent browse of our local history room, we... Read Post
Monday was a big day in the children’s literature world -- the American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards were announced! The annual awards include not only the big two -- Caldecott and Newbery -- but a number of other awards recognizing a broad spectrum of children's and young adult literature.
The Randolph Caldecott Medal, which recognizes the most distinguished American picture book for children each year, was awarded to “Wolf in the Snow,” illustrated and... Read Post
Are you interested in learning more about the history of Somerville or reading books that take place in Somerville? We've got you covered with this reading list. This list was compiled with the help of library staff at all locations and across all departments. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas!
1. Beyond the Neck : the Architecture and Development of Somerville, Massachusetts by Carole Zellie
We're kicking our list off with a few books that provide some... Read Post
African-American history is endlessly fascinating: it's the troubling, complex counterpoint to the sanitized, triumphalist version of American history so many of us were taught in school and that still appears in popular historical works. The Internet is a trove of riches on the black American experience. Below are links to a small, eclectic sample of what's available online.
At the Library of Congress you can listen to, or read transcripts of, interviews conducted with former... Read Post
Have you ever bought a product online because of great reviews and customer ratings but ended up disappointed with it? You're not alone: the problem is common enough to warrant news coverage. Many of the rave reviews on retail websites are fakes: written by paid reviewers who've never used the product or service in question. In some cases the reviews aren't even written by actual people.
Fakespot.com can help you identify dishonest reveiws: simply paste the url of a product (for... Read Post
If you haven’t explored our magazine section lately, you could be suffering from the Fear Of Missing Out on our new titles! Just to tempt you to come to the second floor of the Central Library and take a look, here are a few of our edgier new additions... With a valid Minuteman library card, you can check out all magazines, even the most recent issues, for one week.
Bitch – a feminist essential for any reader. Expect snappy reviews, in-depth... Read Post
Ursula Le Guin, the acclaimed author of The Earthsea Trilogy, The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness and more than 40 other works of science fiction and fantasy, died this past Monday. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including being declared a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. Le Guin was 88.
Yale professor and literary critic Harold Bloom called her a “major stylist” who “raised fantasy into high literature.” It’s almost impossible to imagine science fiction... Read Post
Looking for some new toys? Check something out from the Library! We’ve got you covered with fun games like...
Feed the Monkey: work on that pincer grip and feel like you’re accomplishing something.
Easy-Twist Animal Builders: fine motor skills, matching, and crazy animals.
And a personal favorite, Don’t Let the Bugs Fall: it’s like Jenga with dice. (You can see SPL librarians playing this game at the Somerville Media Center!)
Available at all... Read Post
The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of... Read Post
I read so many books in 2017 most of them seem to have run together in my head. But four absolutely stand out in my memory. The first one is a re-read. The other three were new discoveries.
Absalom! Absalom! by William Faulkner.
Every time I read this novel I am astounded and moved, often by passages I don’t recall from previous readings. For those who haven’t read Absalom, Absalom!, it’s a novel within a novel. For his entire life, young Quentin Compson has heard vague,... Read Post
This year we have compiled our top 10 fiction checkouts for adults, young adults (teens), and children's books.
Gail Honeyman took the number one adult fiction spot this year with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Paulette Jiles was a close second with News of the World. In third place, The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve. Somerville adult readers also showed a penchant for a good mystery in 2017.
Not surprisingly, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale from our YA... Read Post
The Boston area's white Christmas has given way to bone-chilling cold. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson, local temperatures are and will be 20-25 degrees colder than normal into the next week. Frostbite is possible after as few as 30 minutes outside. Tomorrow the wind chill will be -13.
Here's what you need to do to stay warm and safe:Make sure your heating system is working... Read Post
In This Book, Craftsmanship Is a Matter of Life or Death
In the underground city of Caverna, the setting of Frances Hardinge’s novel A Face Like Glass, a sip of wine can rewrite memories, a bite of cheese can spark visions, and certain perfumes make the wearer literally irresistible. Its citizens’ facial expressions, too, are carefully and expensively crafted and taught by experts, and the ability to display the perfect Face for any occasion is more than just a mark of status: it’s... Read Post