Sunday, August 26, 2018

Digital Spotlight on Periodicals

Summer Reading 2018 has come to an end… you’ve collected your prizes, attended events all summer, and logged your reading to help Worcester read waaay over our goal of 1 million minutes! After all that frenzied reading to get that Libraries Rock! tote bag, t-shirt, or maybe even a special raffle prize, you deserve to sit back, relax, and enjoy some casual reads.

Lucky for you, over 100 popular magazines you know and love can now be accessed online thanks to the magazine collections on
RB Digital and Overdrive. Access to latest issues of magazines like Newsweek, Yoga Journal, Reader’s Digest, US Weekly, and many others are at your fingertips, from anywhere, at any time, and for as much time as you need! You can access both resources from our ebooks and digital media page!

Unlike checking out physical magazines, digital magazines have unlimited checkouts with no return dates or late fees- once you check it out, you have it in your account for as long as you desire. So whether you’re on a beach somewhere with your kindle soaking up the last of the summer rays or catching up on the news at home, come visit your digital magazine collection on RB Digital and Overdrive.

Read on!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Libraries Rock! Historical Fiction Book Reviews Abound

Our summer reading program has come to an end but we still have some book reviews to share! Enjoy these historical fiction book reviews and see what other books were reviewed on our blog. Not only did patrons share book reviews but they also shared reading selfies and bookfaces. Thanks for reading and sharing with us, Worcester!

By: V.S. Alexander

Did you know Adolf Hitler had 15 young women taste test his food during World War II? This story was inspired by a real life, sole-survivor of the 15 tasters, Margot Wölk, who didn’t reveal her past life until she was 95 years old. In The Taster, the heroine’s name is Magda Ritter. She must learn how to detect all different types of poisons and bad mushrooms; her life depends on it. However, she is potentially sacrificing her life for a man she secretly loathes. This is a heart-wrenching tale of the horrors of that war through the unclouded eyes of a German woman who finds herself working very closely with the man himself.

                                                                 ~ Lex P.

Salt to the Sea

By: Ruta Sepetys

This is Sepetys first book I read, and it lead me to read all of her books at the beginning of the summer. You see the story through multiple characters eyes, but it doesn’t get confusing at all, if anything it makes you want to keep going and see how one persons point of view differs so much from
another’s. It’s one of my highest recommendations for a good book hand down.

~Lisa P.

Between Shades of Gray

By: Ruta Sepetys

I’m not usually one for historical fiction but wow this was such a good read! Each page just made me want to read more. It’s sad, but also uplifting. Definitely recommend to anyone looking for a snapshot of history.

~Lisa P.

Edgar Allan Poe and the London Monster

By: Karen Lee Street

In this adventure with Poe, the readers will find not only a great and mysterious hunt for his family's past but also some events that could have inspired the American writer, such as the raven, his most famous poem. It is worth every single page. Will Poe face his past once and for all? You will only discover at the very last chapter!

~Juliana M.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Libraries Rock! To the Woods and Beyond Book Reviews

Our summer reading program ends August 18th but there is still time to submit book reviews! Submit 5 book reviews or any combination of book reviews, reading selfies, and bookfaces, and be entered into a random drawing to win a fun prize!

The Woods 

By: Harlan Coben

Great book, couldn’t read it fast enough, but, sad when it was done. It’s about a summer camp, 4 counselors turn up missing. Only 2 bodies were found. (2 of my kids are working at a summer camp this year)! Years after the fact, the brother of one tries to find what happened to his sister and one other. Bodies were never found. A few twists along the way as usual with Harlan Coben. Great not want to put it down read.

~Karen S.

Ill Wind

By: Navada Barr

Murder mystery set in Mesa Verde National Park. The main character is Anna Pigeon a National Park Service ranger. The plot revolves around her interactions as a ranger, and the death of a fellow ranger under mysterious circumstance. The backdrop is the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi people who lived there for over 700 years before vanishing. Interesting story with an archaeological flavor.

~Deborah B.

The Martian

By: Andy Weir

This book review is about The Martian by Andy Weir. The main character, Mark Watney, is an astronaut stranded on Mars, alone. An unexpected dust storm nearly kills him, and his crew has to abandon him and the Mars expedition altogether. This story is essentially Apollo 13 meets Castaway, but the stakes are much higher. There isn’t even oxygen to breathe on Mars and no way to signal anyone for help a planet away. Andy Weir is a very technical writer; he goes into great detail about the chemistry, math, and engineering pertinent to the story. This can be somewhat intimidating and confusing to read through, but the storyline is worth it. The Martian keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time, wondering if Mark can pull off the biggest space disaster of all time.

~Lex P.

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.
Victor Hugo

Friday, August 10, 2018

Libraries Rock! Short and Sweet Book Reviews

Our summer reading program ends August 18th but there is still plenty of time to submit book reviews! Submit 5 book reviews or any combination of book reviews, reading selfies, and bookfaces, and be entered into a random drawing to win a fun prize!

Girl, Wash Your Face

By: Rachel Hollis

Such an amazing book! So glad I read it! 


Homer's Odyssey

By: Gwen Cooper

Homer’s Odyssey is the story of a blind cat adopted by the author Gwen Cooper. There was pathos, humor and sadness (as is almost always the case where animals are concerned). I highly recommend it for cat/animal lovers.

~Deborah B.

By: Jeremy C. Shipp

The Atrocities is a quick easy read. Grabs you from the beginning with all its twist and turns. 


The Lopsided Christmas Cake

By: Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter

I love this book because it brings me back when I started baking and decorating cakes and some of them came out lopsided or uneven. Lol brought smiles to my face while reading.

~Cathy Ann T.

The Golem and the Jinni

By: Helene Wecker

The Golem and the Jinni was a delightful surprise. It is the story of a golem and a jinni whose lives intersect in 1890s New York City. As the story unfolds, you discover the intriguing relationship between these two creatures. The book is exceptionally well written, and held my interest from beginning to end.

~Sharon B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Libraries Rock! Witty and Cozy Book Reviews

Share your book reviews with us on our Summer Reading site and we will share them here. Submit 5 book reviews or any combination of book reviews, reading selfies, and bookfaces, and be entered into a random drawing to win a fun prize!

Elements of Wit 

By Benjamin Errett 

This book contains several examples of the great wits of the world and how they developed their craft. Some stories are familiar, such as Winston Churchill's many lines, and others not so much, but overall the book succeeds not on the strength of the subjects, but the subject itself-wit. Errett carefully defines what wit truly is and how to differentiate it from comedy, etc. When finished, you will have a new appreciation for the word play and careful, hard work that goes into a person seemingly witty without effort.

~Cameron L.

Lost Books and Old Bones

By Paige Shelton

Why I chose this book:

One of my favorite genres is cozy mystery. When I came across this one, the title jumped out at me, and so did the setting — not only do I like cozy mysteries and bookshops, but I particularly like mysteries with a different geographical setting (Great Britain, Botswana, Georgia...). Minotaur Books provided a review copy.


I cannot stop thinking about this book since finishing, which happened altogether too quickly. I shall have to seek out the others in this series.

Delaney Nichols is an American in Scotland, working at a used bookshop. The bookshop houses various treasures, including an antique scalpel set that belonged to Dr. Knox. In the 1820's, Dr. Knox had conducted medical research using murder victims' bodies. When an acquaintance of Delaney is murdered outside the bookshop a few hours after discussing the scalpels, and the history of Dr. Knox and his suppliers pops up again and again, Delaney is drawn into hunting down the present-day killer. After an exciting and complex search, an unexpected though not unimaginable culprit is apprehended.

I was consumed by Lost Books and Old Bones. The contemporary characters were people whom I could imagine running into in a bookshop or museum. You find out more about them organically, just as you would with actual acquaintances. I also enjoyed her inclusion of historic figures, namely Dr. Knox, William Burke, and William Hare (the latter two were murderers and cadaver suppliers). Tying the cozy mystery to true crime enhanced my suspension of disbelief. If you think about it, who comes across multiple murders (this book is third in a series) and sets out to solve them herself, other than protagonists in cozy mysteries? No one. But tying the actually-caught-and-convicted murderers to the fictitious murder grounded the novel in a unique way.

The search for the killer was a perfect balance of complexity, red herrings, and common sense. At no point did a question of, "Really???!!!" interrupt my reading. Just as I uncovered layers of the characters, so too were layers of the crime uncovered. Everything developed naturally, from the clues to Delaney's and the police's investigations. At the end, though, the culprit did start monologuing about the crime. Even that, somehow did not feel contrived.

Can I recommend this any more highly? You like mysteries? Bookshops? History? You'll probably like this.

~ Victoria D.