HomeCulturalWhat’s Happening at the Library? And the Annual Staff Recommendations for Gift-giving!

What’s Happening at the Library? And the Annual Staff Recommendations for Gift-giving!

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News from the J.V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main St., Westford, MA (1-978-692-5555), http://www.westfordlibrary.org.

Unless otherwise noted, all of our programs are generously funded by the Friends of the Library, Inc.

Please Consult the Library Website and Social Media for any changes to these programs resulting from COVID impact.

Holiday Hours: The Library will close at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 23.  We will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24 and Saturday, Dec. 25.  The Library will close at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30.  We will be closed on Friday, Dec. 31 and Saturday, Jan. 1. We will reopen on Monday, Jan. 3 at 10 a.m.

Festival of the Trees: Please stop by the Westford Regency and cast a vote for the Library’s imaginative “Captain Underpants” tree as your pick for the “favorite tree”! Our very talented “Miss Nancy” worked hard to bring the story of Captain Underpants to life!

Teen and Tween Make & Take Crafternoon: Mon., Dec. 20, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Learn to make pop-up greeting cards for friends and family! Extra cards will also be donated to those in need. This program is for teens and tweens in grades 5 and up.  No registration required.

6th Annual 9-Hole Mini Golf in the Library: Wed., Dec. 29 from 11 to 3 p.m. It’s back – a nine hole (and a bonus hole) mini-golf course all over the library – here is something to do with the whole family during the holiday break. Please register your group for one of the available half hour time slots to keep this event socially distanced and safe. This free program is once again generously funded by the KDK Memorial Foundation (in honor of Kurt Kelly).

VIRTUAL Preschool New Year’s Noon Party: Thursday, Dec. 30, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: The Youth Services librarians cannot possibly stay up until midnight so sign up and Zoom in for a fun filled New Year’s party with a kid friendly craft, a dramatic performance, a possible dance off, and a celebratory countdown with noisemakers and hats and other goodies! This free virtual program is geared for children ages 5 and under with their caregivers (but let’s face it – it will be a good time for all) Register through the Library Events Calendar and come by to pick up your bag of supplies before the party.

The J. V. Fletcher Library’s Annual Staff Recommendations for holiday gift-giving and/or reading for pleasure:

FICTION:

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. “Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.”

Eternal, by Lisa Scottoline. “Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and a doctor. Their friendship blossoms to love, with both Sandro and Marco hoping to win Elisabetta’s heart. But in the autumn of 1937, all of that begins to change as Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy’s Fascists with Hitler’s Nazis and altering the very laws that govern Rome. In time, everything that the three hold dear–their families, their homes, and their connection to one another–is tested in ways they never could have imagined.”

The Good Sister, by Sally Hepworth. “From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one, with a home and a husband and a fierce desire to become a mother. Fern is the quirky one, the free spirit, the librarian who avoids social interaction and whom the world might just describe as truly odd. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small. Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn’t realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.”

Guncleby Steven Rowley (fiction). “Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is honestly a bit out of his league. So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled career, and a lifestyle not so suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting—even if temporary—isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.”

The Judge’s List, by John Grisham.” As an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, Lacy Stoltz sees plenty of corruption among the men and women elected to the bench. Stoltz took on a crime syndicate that was paying millions to a crooked judge. Now, the crimes are even worse. The man hiding behind the black robe is not taking bribes – but he may be taking lives.”

The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave.” A gripping mystery about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life until he disappears. Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers–Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity–and why he really disappeared.”

The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles.” In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction-to the City of New York. Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view.”

The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict. “In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. Pierpont Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white.”

The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich. “A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.”

 The Upstairs House , by Julia Fine. “Recovering from a difficult childbirth, a woman caring for her newborn alone while her husband travels for work suffers a psychological unraveling that causes her to see the ghost of famed children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown..”

NONFICTION:

The New York Times Cooking: No Recipe Recipes, by Sam Sifton. Cooking without recipes is a kitchen skill, same as cutting vegetables into dice or flipping an omelet. Sifton makes improvisational cooking easy. Each recipe uses ingredients you have on hand or could pick up on a quick trip to the store.

The Secret History of Food, by Matt Siegel. “Exploring cultural, scientific, sexual, and culinary substructures, this essential read for all foodies, at turns both funny and fascinating, looks at the little-known history surrounding food.”

Taste: my life through food, by Stanley Tucci. “”Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.”

CHILDREN:

Peace Train by Cat Stevens, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. “Celebrate fifty years of Cat Stevens’ timeless anthem with this joyfully illustrated picture book filled with hope, love, and the celebration of all cultures and identities. Fifty years ago Peace Train changed the world and defined a generation with its universal message of peace, hope and love between all people and cultures, and the heartfelt and heart-warming lyrics of this anthem have never been more relevant.”

Check out the Ilustrated MinaLima editions of the Harry Potter series. “The MinaLima editions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets are AWESOME gifts for any Harry Potter fan.”

TWEENS:

Middle Grade: Emmie and Friends  series by Terri Libenson.  A popular graphic novel series that humorously explores the highs and lows of middle-school life.

YA Fiction: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. “In a near future when life is harsh outside of Earth’s last unpolluted place, Cee tries to leave an abandoned island while her sister, STEM prodigy Kasey, seeks escape from the science and home she once trusted.”

YA Non-Fiction: The Most Important Comic Book on Earth: Stories to Save the World by various authors. “A global collaboration for planetary change, bringing together a diverse team of 300 leading environmentalists, artists, authors, actors, filmmakers, musicians, and more to present over 120 stories to save the world. Whether it’s inspirational tales from celebrity names such as Cara Delevingne and Andy Serkis, hilarious webcomics from War and Peas and Ricky Gervais, artworks by leading illustrators David Mack and Tula Lotay, calls to action from activists George Monbiot and Jane Goodall, or powerful stories by Brian Azzarello and Amy Chu, each of the comics in this anthology will support projects and organizations fighting to save the planet and Rewrite Extinction.”

If you have questions or need assistance, please call us at 978-399-2300 or send us an email at westfordlibrary@westfordma.gov.

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