Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Reading Lists w/ E-book + Audiobook links: FHS, Keefe, and Middle Schools

It's August and Summer Reading is in full swing. Haven't finished yet? Not to worry. FPL has made it
even easier to get your reading done this year.

We will always love a good print book, of course, but we have other exciting options for you, too. Can't get a ride to the library? Did you know you can listen to library audiobooks on your phone? How easy is that, don't you always have your phone with you? Or, did you know that you can put eBooks on your iPad and read them in places where you don't have WiFi, like in the park or on the beach?

There are two different Apps available: Overdrive and Hoopla. Overdrive doesn't have a monthly limit on titles (you can have 10 at any give time,) but some of the books require a waiting list if lots of people want a digital copy at the same time. Hoopla has a monthly limit of 5 checkouts, but all the items are available INSTANTLY for download. That is correct, if it is on Hoopla, you don't have to wait to get the item. That means even when the library is closed, you can download the audiobook on your phone in seconds. Most items are available only on Overdrive, but look below for a few Hoopla links, too. For more information about these two apps, please see our Digital page.

Whether you're in high school at FHS or Keefe, or in Middle School in Framingham, click the links below to get started. Happy Downloading!

PS- For the Framingham Public Schools Summer Reading List for 2015, please click here.


FHS Summer Reading 2015
*FHS eBook Instructions*

Grade 9:
All students entering 9th grade must read at least one of the following four books:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon: eBook
Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario: eBook
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher: eBook
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: eBook ; Audiobook


The following are other options for the second required book:
American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang: eBook
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: eBook
Please Stop Laughing at Me: One Woman's Inspirational True Story by Jodee Blanco: eBook
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen: eBook
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson: eBook
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell: eBook ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)



Grade 10: 
All students entering 10th grade must read at least one of the following four books:
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: eBook
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom: eBook ; Audiobook
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: eBook ; Audiobook
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina: eBook
 
The following are other options for the second required book:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: eBook ; Audiobook
Early Autumn by Robert Parker: eBook ; Audiobook
Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen: eBook
The Lost City of Z by David Grann: eBook
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey: eBook
Paper Towns by John Green: eBook


Grade 11:
All students entering 11th grade must read at least one of the following four books*:

*Students entering A.P. English Language & Composition must also read An American Childhood by Annie Dillard: eBook ; Audiobook

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie: eBook**
Lucky by Alice Sebold: eBook
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner: eBook ; Audiobook
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler: eBook**;
Audiobook
**Must be logged in with a Framingham card to see this title.


The following are other options for the second required book:

An American Childhood
by Annie Dillard: eBook ; Audiobook
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield: no digital format
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown: eBook
On the Road by Jack Kerouac: eBook ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)
Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss & What I Learned by Judd Winick: no digital format
A Secret Edge by Robin Reardon: eBook


Grade 12: 
All students entering 12th grade must read at least one of the following four books:
Students entering A.P. English Literature must also read The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare: eBook ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: eBook
Bossypants by Tina Fey: eBook** ; Audiobook
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: eBook
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: eBook ; Audiobook

**Must be logged in with a Framingham card to see this title.

 

The following are other options for the second required book:
The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci: eBook
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman: eBook**
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung: eBook
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: eBook ; Audiobook
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare: eBook ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan: eBook1 ; eBook2 ; Audiobook
World War Z by Max Brooks: eBook ; Audiobook1 ; Audiobook2
**Must be logged in with a Framingham card to see this title.



Keefe Tech Summer Reading 2015
-All students enrolled in an Honors course are expected to read two books
-All students enrolled in a CP1 and CP2 course are expected to read one book
-All students will be expected to complete an essay upon returning to school in September
 

Grade 9:
The Lightning Thief by Percy Jackson (or any book in the series): eBooks & Audiobooks
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon: eBook
Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper: eBook
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (or any book in the series): eBooks & Audiobooks
American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang: eBook
The Bully by Anne Schraff: not avilable
A Matter of Trust by Anne Schraff: not avilable


Grade 10:
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers: not available
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom: eBook ; Audiobook
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: eBook ; Audiobook
The Last Hero by Rick Riordan: not available
Blank Confession by Pete Hautman: eBook
Lost and Found by Anne Schraff: not available
The Gun by Paul Langan: not available


Grade 11: 
Looking for Alaska by John Green: eBook
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (or any book in the series): eBooks & Audiobooks
Sold by Patricia McCormick: eBook
Maus by Art Spiegelman: not available
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer: eBook
Invisible by Pete Hautman: eBook

Grade 12:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: eBook ; Audiobook
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: eBook ; Audiobook
Christine by Stephen King: not available
The Dead Zone by Stephen King: not available
Animal Farm by George Orwell: eBook ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: not available
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom: Audiobook



Middle School Summer Reading 2015

Grade 6:
Students entering grade 6 are required to read one of the two district selections. They are also encouraged to read as many books as possible from their recommended grade level list, as part of the World Series of Summer Reading Incentive Program.

District Read Choices:

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin: eBook ; Audiobook

The Color of My Words
by Lynn Joseph: not yet available

Full List:
Firegirl by Tony Abbott: Audiobook
El Deafo by Cece Bell: eBook
Heartbeat by Sharon Creech: eBook
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko: eBook ; Audiobook
Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins: eBooks & Audiobooks
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd: eBook
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans: eBook
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: eBook
Among the Hidden by Margaret P. Haddix: eBook
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai: eBook1 ; eBook2
Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment by Carla McClafferty: not yet available
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli: Audiobook
Smile by Raina Telgemeier: eBook
So B. It by Sarah Weeks: eBook ; Audiobook
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams- Garcia: eBook
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: eBook ; Audiobook

 

Grade 7: 
Students entering grade 7 are required to read one of the two district selections. They are also encouraged to read as many books as possible from their recommended grade level list, as part of the World Series of Summer Reading Incentive Program.

District Read Choices:
Out of My Mind
by Sharon Draper: eBook
Freak the Mighty
by Rodman Philbrick: eBook

Full List:
City of Orphans by Avi: eBook
Can I See Your I.D? by Chris Barton: eBook
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol: eBook
Tracking Trash : Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion by Loree Griffin Burns: not yet available
Matched by Ally Condie: eBook ; Audiobook
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan: eBook
Phineas Gage, A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science by John Fleischman: eBook
Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham: eBook ; Audiobook
Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein: eBook ; Audiobook
The Odyssey (Graphic novel) by Gareth Hinds: not yet available
Heat by Mike Lupica: eBook ; Audiobook
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano: eBook
Thirteen by Lauren Myracle: eBook
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen: eBook ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel: eBook ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson: eBook ; Audiobook
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman: eBook ; Audiobook
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain: eBook (Overdrive) ; eBook (Hoopla) ; Audiobook (Overdrive) ; Audiobook (Hoopla)
The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh: eBook
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin: eBook (Framingham card required) ; Audiobook


Grade 8:
Students entering grade 8 are required to read the district selection. They are also encouraged to read as many books as possible from their recommended grade level list, as part of the World Series of Summer Reading Incentive Program.

District Read Choice:
The Boy on the Wooden Box
by Leon Leyson: Audiobook (Hoopla) ; Audiobook (Overdrive)


Full List:
Code Talker: A novel about the Navajo Marines by Joseph Bruchac: eBook
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: eBook
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier: eBook ; Audiobook
Reckless by Cornelia Funke: Audiobook
The Trouble with Lemons by Daniel Hayes: not yet available
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen: eBook ; Audiobook
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: eBook ; Audiobook
A Separate Peace by John Knowles: eBook
Legend by Marie Lu: eBook ; Audiobook
Cinder by Marissa Meyer: eBook ; Audiobook
Monster by Walter Dean Myers: eBook
Bystander by James Preller: eBook
Boy 21 by Matthew Quick: eBook (Framingham card required)
Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn: eBook
Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team that Changed a Town by Warren St. John: not yet available







Wednesday, July 22, 2015

August Newsletter

This month's newsletter is complete! The electronic copy can be viewed here, and print copies will be available at both Libraries in a couple of days.

See below for what can can look forward to at FPL this month.


FPL By the Numbers
First of all, this edition of Look Here First comes with a special insert, called FPL By the Numbers. This infographic shows what we have been up to so far in 2015. We've had over 700,000+ "Points of Service," including:
  • Over 300,000 items were borrowed from our shelves
  • 400+ Programs were enjoyed by 11,811 people
  • 1,200 new library cards were issued
  • The Homework Center tutored 960 students, and 1,188 students participated in Literacy Unlimited programs
  • 1,220 Museum Passes were borrowed
  • 83% of total Circulation was print; Digital Borrowing continues to rise with 19,055 Downloads

Brown Bag Learning Series
Join us from 12-1:00pm one Friday a month for an informal lunch time program featuring speakers from local businesses and organizations. A wide range of topics will be discussed that are educational and entertaining. The Brown Bag Learning Series is free to the public. Guests are welcome to bring their lunch; refreshments will be provided. This month, get tips about nutrition and health:

Eat This Not That – Proper Nutrition for a Healthy Life
Friday, August 7, 12:00-1:00pm, Main Library, Costin Room
Presented by MaryEllen Giombetti

Have you been on a million diets? Are you looking to lose weight or maybe just develop healthier eating habits? Learn how the right foods can actually HELP to fuel your body properly and transform it in a positive way. Walk away with a clear idea on how to eat right for your life. Gain helpful tips on food planning, metabolism boosters, portion control, hydration, “superfoods” and their benefits.


About MaryEllen Giombetti: MaryEllen is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness and Nutrition Specialist with over 15 years of experience in the health industry. She is the owner of EMPOWER Fitness in Framingham and a regular instructor for the Keefe Tech at Night’s continuing adult education program. MaryEllen has been training and coaching individuals since 2007. She holds a B.A. from Syracuse University.


Friendly’s “FUNraiser” to Support the Framingham Public Library!
Love ice-cream? Stop by Friendly's on Temple Street every Thursday in July and August and 20% of your check will be donated to FPL!

Just in time for summer, Friendly’s Ice Cream at 27 Temple Street in Framingham will donate 20% of all checks to the Library, as long as you present a voucher dated for the Thursday that you visit. The fundraiser will take place on the following Thursdays: July 9, 16, 23, 30 and August 6, 13, 20 and 27. Vouchers are good on both dine-in and takeout orders. You will be able to print the correct voucher out each week from our website (see below), or pick one up at either library location. Enjoy summer food and ice cream, and help the Library at the same time. Thanks for supporting your community library!
Print Vouchers:
July 23  |  July 30
Aug. 6  |  Aug. 13  |  Aug. 20  |  Aug. 27



Overdrive Media Station
Come play with our new toy! And don't forget about Device Advice, running every Mon. and Wed. from 6-9pm.

We are excited to have the OverDrive Media Station on loan from Minuteman Library Network, at the Main Library near the Circulation desk. The Station is a discovery tool that you can use to browse, sample, and borrow our digital collection of eBooks, audiobooks and video from an interactive touchscreen monitor.
In addition, digital titles are available anytime, by visiting http://digital.minlib.net. Or browse the Library’s website to borrow titles, including music and magazines, using a valid Library card, and enjoy on all major computers and devices. For more ways to borrow for your device, go to www.framinghamlibrary.org/digital.
Questions about our digital collection? Call 508-532-5570 x4361, or stop in for Device Advice at the Main Library on Monday or Wednesday nights between 6-9:00pm or by appointment.



And last but not least, enjoy a special activity for the kids!

Stuffed Animal Overnight and Storytime 
Thursday, August 13, 7:00-7:30pm
Costin Room, Main Library, Ages 3+.
Pre-registration requested.
Refreshments provided by Take the Cake of Ashland.

Do you have a book-loving, adventurous stuffed animal who would like to sleep over at the library? If so, we invite you to join us for some stories before leaving your adventure-seeking companion behind for an exciting night at the library. Stuffed animals must be picked up Friday morning, August 14 any time after 9am. Pictures of the event will be live tweeted and posted on Facebook Thursday night. 



There's lots more happening this month! See more events and activities in our August Newsletter or on our website!
Want to receive our monthly newsletter in your e-mail? Sign up here! http://conta.cc/1sm1Q9U

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Friendly’s “FUNraiser” to Support the Framingham Public Library!


     Just in time for summer, Friendly’s Ice Cream at 27 Temple Street in Framingham will donate 20% of all checks to the Library, as long as you present a voucher dated for the Thursday that you visit. The fundraiser will take place on the following Thursdays: July 9, 16, 23, 30 and August 6, 13, 20 and 27. Vouchers are good on both dine-in and takeout orders. You will be able to print the correct voucher out each week from our website (see below), or pick one up at either library location. Enjoy summer food and ice cream, and help the Library at the same time. Thanks for supporting your community library!

Print Vouchers:
July 16  |  July 23  |  July 30
Aug. 6  |  Aug. 13  |  Aug. 20  | 
Aug. 27

 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Buy a Brick Deadline August 1


Buy a Brick Deadline August 1

The new McAuliffe Branch Library is coming soon! Drive by the new location in Nobscot, across from Hemenway School, and see the progress we are making! You can still become a part of this important community resource by buying a brick, deadline August 1, purchasing a naming opportunity, or making any size donation to the Framingham Public Library Foundation at either Library, or online at the Foundation's website. For more information, please go to
www.framlibfoundation.org or call Ruth Winett, President and FPL Trustee, at 508-877-1938.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Reading for All

Here at FPL, we have Summer Reading for all ages!

Adults: 
Adult Summer Reading 2015: Escape the Ordinary
June 25 - August 19 

How to participate:
Register at the Circulation Desk and receive a Summer Reading t-shirt! Enter a raffle ticket for each book you read for a chance to win a weekly prize or a grand prize.


What you can win:
Weekly prizes will be drawn on the following days
July 13 - $10 gift cards from J&M Diner at Old Path Village

July 20
- $10 gift cards donated by Café Bagel or $10 gift cards donated by Famous Pizza

July 27
- $25 gift card donated by Sunshine Farm or $20 gift cards donated by Fresh City

August 3
- $25 gift card donated by Zaftigs or $20 gift cards donated by Fresh City

Grand prizes - Winners will be drawn Thursday, August 20 at 7pm
$80 gift card to Barnes & Noble donated by the Friends of the Framingham Library
OR
Cooking class for 2 donated by Sur La Table valued up to $170


Adult Summer Reading Finale
Thursday, August 20 at 7pm, Costin Room, Main Library
The grand prize winners will be drawn, followed by a concert by the Love Dogs
After the concert enjoy ice cream donated by Ben & Jerrys Natick Ice Cream Parlor  
For more information: Call 508-532-5570 x4351 or visit http://www.framinghamlibrary.org/adultsummerreading.htm.

Escape the Ordinary is sponsored by the Framingham Public Library, the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.  


 Teens
Summer Reading Grades 6-12
Make your summer reading more fun and rewarding with prizes and programs for teens this summer!

Registration begins Friday, June 26 at both Libraries’ Young Adult departments, and registrants receive a bag, button (limited supply), bookmark and ten hours of reading slip. Stop in to learn more.

Win a prize or free book each time you submit an online book review or read 10 hours and submit a 10 hour slip! You may pick up ten hour slips in the teen area or at the main desk.

Check out an eBook or Audiobook for your Summer Reading!
   -Middle Schools
   -FHS
   -Keefe Tech



Kids:
  Every Hero Has a Story!
This year’s summer reading adventure is coming to a library near you!!—
Signups begin Saturday, June 20!
When you sign up at either branch, you’ll get a packet that explains:
how to win a prize at the end of the summer as well as receive a free t-shirt,
and how to keep track of your reading online if you’re spending the summer away.
This year, get your name up on our wall of reading fame—
no special lists, no restrictions on what you read.

Paid for by the Framingham Cultural Council and Friends of the
Framingham Library, Framingham Coalition, DCU Digital Federal Credit Union and
Mutual One Bank as well as our t-shirt sponsors.


Every Hero Has a Story
is sponsored by the Framingham Public Library,
the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins,
and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

*Framingham Public Schools Summer Reading Lists*



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Graphic Novels for Adults

This just in! From our July newsletter:

We are excited to announce the creation of a new Adult Graphic Novel collection! Titles include award-winning classics such as Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, in-demand books like The Walking Dead, titles based on superheroes like The Avengers and Batman, and literary graphic novels such as The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage and The Sculptor. Consider trying one of these titles if you are looking for a new type of reading experience. This new collection will be on display near the new books at the Main Library. We also have graphic novel collections for children and teens located in separate sections.

We are always interested in ways to build and diversify our collections. Please let us know if there is something you would like to see added! Ask for a suggestion form at the library or fill one out online at www.mln.lib.ma.us/catalog/suggest.htm.


   

Monday, June 22, 2015

Staff Recommends

Looking for your next good read? Why not try a book off of our Staff Recommends page? Updated each month, you will find lots of recommendations from FPL Staff!

2015

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Mary Murphy, Borrower Services

Inside the O’Brien’s by Lisa Genova
Neuroscientist Lisa Genova has written this novel bringing attention to the lethal neurodegenerative disease called Huntington’s. There is no current treatment or cure for this disease. This story is about Joe O’Brien who is a 44 year old police officer who begins to display uncharacteristic bouts of rage and uncontrolled movements. These symptoms make his family and his fellow officers think that he has either a drinking or a drug problem. Finally, his wife and his partner convince him to see a neurologist and this is when he is handed down the diagnosis. Joe and his wife Rose have four adult children who have a 50% chance of developing Huntington’s. Life continues in turmoil as he has to give up his job and tell his children that he has possibly given them this disease. Joe comes to realize that each moment is precious and with his self-awareness tries to comfort his family members. This novel skillfully emphasizes the emotional struggle of friends and family and how they try to pull together and live their lives.
Also available as an E-Book and Audiobook.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Lena Kilburn, Assistant Supervisor, Branch Services
The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey
(Also available as an E-Book and Audiobook)

An immersive and breathtakingly thrilling read, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey tells the story of an alien invasion and the subsequent systematic annihilation of the human race, unleashed in four waves of destruction upon the Earth. Cassie, a 16-year-old girl who has managed to survive the first four waves, is left alone in a nightmarish world where the invaders have suddenly become indistinguishable from humans and no one can be trusted. Alone and devastated by the loss of her parents, she survives harrowing brushes with death, clinging to the hope that she will be reunited with her 6-year-old brother Sam.

When Cassie nearly dies from a gunshot by an invader, she is rescued and nursed back to health by a mysterious young man named Evan Walker. Though Evan has become the only person Cassie can possibly call a friend, she begins to notice unsettling peculiarities about him, which become increasingly difficult to ignore. Cassie must choose whether to trust Evan and accept his help in what seems the impossible task of rescuing her brother from an encampment controlled by, Cassie suspects, humans under alien mind control. Here the narrative begins to switch between Cassie and another young survivor, known as Zombie, also being held at this same encampment where he is being trained as a soldier, ostensibly to wage war on the invaders. As Cassie's and Zombie's narrative evolve, both are forced to question the true nature and intentions of those around them. Cassie finds her relationship with Evan growing more complex and Zombie begins to realize his mission is not what it appears. When their narratives meet in the novel's heart-stopping climax, both are forced to confront the horror of the fifth and final wave of annihilation already underway.

Though The 5th Wave has all the hallmarks of popular YA fiction, it differs from other post-apocalyptic YA books in its unrelenting detail and realism. Were it not for the young protagonists, this book could easily have been billed as a novel for adults. The novel evokes brutal images of post-apocalyptic destruction and it's unflinching in its depiction of human suffering, both emotional and physical. This grim backdrop however is tempered by Cassie's and Zombie's pitch-perfect adolescent voices, funny and smart and full of the unfailing drive and optimism that could arguably only be sustained in the face of such horrors by someone so young. Overall, The 5th Wave is a great story about survival and human resilience. I highly recommend it for readers of any age.


Book Talk: We Recommend

Recommended by Janet Drake, Borrower Services

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Why, when we tidy our homes, do we have so little time to enjoy our new clarity before the clutter comes bounding back? Marie Kondo knows what's going on. This world renowned tidiness guru tells why our usual ways of decluttering don't last and why her repeatedly proven way does. Based on her belief that clearing is for the person we are becoming, not for the person we used to be, the author guides us in refining our possessions to revitalize us in our relationship with our belongings. She shows that putting your home in order with the things that touch your heart is the magic that transforms a cluttered home into a space of serenity and inspiration.
Also available as an E-Book and Audiobook.

The Transition Companion by Rob Hopkins
If you have an interest in helping any community you’re a part of, this is the gem you’ll feel glad you found. Without sugar coating the grave problem of living beyond our earth’s resources, every chapter offers examples of positive change and problem solving in moving away from fossil fuel dependency. With a positive viewpoint born from experience, The Transition Companion offers you help, hope, and problem solving tips to know the ways you can make a difference.

Book Talk: We Recommend

Recommended by Laraine Worby, Information and Research Services

These two novels, Nora Webster by Colm Toibin and We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas, feature Irish working class women, one in 1960’s Ireland and one in mid-20th century New York. Their lives are somewhat parallel, with each finding their way as an independent woman and both making questionable choices in her journey.

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
Nora Webster’s journey is one of mourning, healing and a slow awakening. As a young widow, she is living a lonely life, wanting only to protect and be surrounded by her children as she grieves and attempts to ignore the society around her. We realize that her whole life has been lived through her beloved husband, with opportunities unexplored and rejected, never having had a chance to form her own self or create her own life.

As she comes to terms with her new situation, she is slowly and cautiously drawn back into a world filled with outside relationships and interests. Through the re- discovery of her love of music she begins to find her own voice.

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
We Are Not Ourselves is both a tale of the changing landscape and values of middle class America in the late 20th century, and one of enduring familial love.

Eileen Leary, the main character at the heart of the novel, longs to leave behind the harsh, working class world in which she was raised. She marries a man, Ed, who she believes will facilitate that escape, and is disillusioned when she realizes that he is not interested in the upward climb that she desires.

A strong woman, Eileen embarks on the path to rising mobility anyway, with determination and fierceness. They have a son, Connell, who they both adore. Eileen is constantly pushing Connell academically while Ed is more affectionate.

Along the way, Ed begins to exhibit uncharacteristic, strange behavior and the family dynamic is altered dramatically. His decline occupies the final two-thirds of the novel, as Eileen and Connell struggle for normalcy, but the consequences of his disease are inevitable. Eileen soon learns that plans and dreams have no power over reality as she attempts to maintain his dignity and her control.


Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Jennifer T., Information and Research Services

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
A short but powerful read, this World War I novel tells the story of a shell-shocked soldier named Chris Baldry whose injury during the war leaves him with partial amnesia. After a concussion, Chris wakes up in a hospital bed and cannot remember anything from the past fifteen years of his life. His cousin Jenny and wife Kitty are strangers to him, but who he does remember is his first love, a woman from his past named Margaret Allington. More cheerful than ever, Chris eagerly telegrams the now Mrs. Margaret Grey to arrange for a meeting, despite not having spoken to her in over a decade. Shocked, Kitty and Jenny watch helplessly as he falls in love with Margaret all over again, as they are left wondering whether he was ever happy living with them in the first place, or if his amnesia unmasked the inner feelings he had been harboring all along.
Read Online: Project Gutenberg EBook

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Helen Lui, Borrower Services

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Inspiration comes from the least likely of characters in this story about a quadriplegic and his caretaker. What starts out as a menial job for Lou becomes an eye opening experience and the opportunity to discover a life beyond her small English town. The relationship between the two main characters is acerbic in the beginning but develops into one of mutual gratitude.


Also browse our recommendations from 2014, 2013, and more!