Wednesday, December 2, 2020

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page

We're back for another week of adult patron book reviews! Our readers explored other dimensions, dived into political drama, and learned about the life of Judy Garland. If one of these books interests you, click the title to place a hold. Once you've read your books, don't forget to log them for the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page. Help us reach our community goal of 3,000 books read by the end of May 2021. If you read 20 books, you'll be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Paperwhite! If you're not sure you can reach 20 books, try our Book Bundle service. A librarian will select five titles for you, based on your reading preferences. Four book bundles equals twenty books! 

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts

I like this author. She has great character studies. I enjoyed learning the whole background of Dorothy and Judy Garland. ~Jane O.

The Warsaw Protocol by Steve Barry 

Extremely good book. Loved it! ~ Miriam V.

Freefall by Jessica Barry 

Exciting read. A woman survives an airplane crash with her fiancĂ©e, and then discovers men are out to kill her. We don’t know why or if she’ll make it to safety. ~ Karen S.

5/5 stars. A very long but enjoyable read. Probably one of the longest books I have ever read. This is the author's first adult fantasy work, which I was excited to read about. I really liked the world building in this book, the characters, not so much. The last 200 pages held a very surprising plot twist, and I blazed through the last part very easily. ~ Yucheng Z.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Sunflowers in Florida? You Can Enjoy Van Gogh from Your Home

If you haven't heard, the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, is featuring an immersive art experience called Van Gogh Alive through April of 2021. This is the first time the exhibit has been shown in the U.S., and it features thousands of large-scale images of Vincent van Gogh's work. Since travelling to Florida isn't possible for many of us, here are some books and DVDs on Van Gogh so you can immerse yourself in his work from the comfort of your home. 

While browsing the list of recommendations below, enjoy this video of Don McLean's musical tribute to Vincent van Gogh along with images from the artist. 

During a self-imposed exile in Arles and Auvers-Sur-Oise, France, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh develops his unique, colorful style of painting. While grappling with religion, mental illness and a tumultuous friendship with French artist Paul Gauguin, van Gogh begins to focus on his relationship with eternity rather than the pain his art causes him in the present. 

This book tells the story of Van Gogh' s time in Arles. Based on original research, it reveals discoveries about the artist and give an account of his time there. He loved walking up into the hills with the ruined abbey of Montmajour and drew and painted landscapes there. He went to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer where he saw the Mediterranean for the first time. He painted portraits of friends and locals, and started his flower still life paintings, culminating in the Sunflowers. He rented the Yellow House and invited Paul Gauguin to join him. This encounter had a profound impact on both of the artists. 

This collection of Vincent van Gogh’s letters opens a window into the mind of one of history’s greatest artists. Giving rare insight into his relationships with family, friends, and other artists, the letters describe his doubts, fears, and his overriding passion for art. Introductions by the letters editors from the Van Gogh Museum highlight the most recent discoveries and theories surrounding his work and personal history. Illustrated with original manuscript letters, sketches, paintings, and photographs of correspondents, this book brings Van Gogh’s story and work to life. 

Done with oil painted animation. A year after the death of Vincent van Gogh, Postman Roulin gets his son, Armand, to deliver the artist's final letter written to his now late brother, Theo, to some other worthy recipient. Although disdainful of the chore, Armand travels to Auvers-sur-Oise where a close companion to Vincent, Dr. Gachet, lives. Armand meets many people in the village who not only knew Vincent, but who were also models and inspirations for his art. In doing so, Armand becomes fascinated in the fate of van Gogh as numerous suspicious details fail to add up. 

Naifeh and Smith have written an detailed, readable portrait of Vincent van Gogh. Working with full cooperation from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, they have accessed untapped materials to bring understanding to the larger-than-life mythology of the artist: his struggles to find his place in the world; his relationship with his brother Theo; and his move to Provence, where he painted some of the best-loved works in Western art. The authors also shed light on many unexplored aspects of Van Gogh’s inner world: his romantic life; his depression and mental illness; and the cloudy circumstances surrounding his death.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Consumer Reports Holiday Gift Guide

Need help finding the best brands for your holiday purchases?  Before you head to the stores or start shopping online, check out the Consumer Reports Holiday Gift Guide.  

You will find:

❅Top gift ideas
❅Holiday deals
❅Buying guides
❅Safe gathering suggestions 
❅Do’s & Don’ts for safe holiday cooking
❅Holiday shopping tips & advice 

You also have FREE access to the online version of Consumer Reports with your Worcester Public Library card.   If you’re a fan of the magazine, you’ll enjoy being able view the same helpful information from home.

To access Consumer Reports, go to WPL's website and then to the online databases page in the Resources tab and click on the home icon where Consumer Reports is listed. All you need to enter is your WPL library card number and password.  You can also click here for direct access to the database page.  

To borrow the print issue you can place a hold for pickup at the main library or one of the branches.  
  1. First go to account login at  Enter your library card number and password. This will bring you to the online catalog.
  2.  Enter "Consumer Reports" in the search bar and select "serial publications & magazines" in the format drop down menu.  Hit enter.
  3. Click on the "Place Hold" button.  You can then choose a specific issue using the "Select a Part" drop down menu.
  4. Select which issue you want, choose how you want the library to notify you when it's ready for pick up, and which library you want to pick up at.  Click submit.
For more information on Consumer Reports click here to see our previous blog.

Weekly DVD Picks

WPL has a great selection of DVDs for movie night! We have the latest blockbusters as well as the classics you can't get enough of. Watch the trailers for the films below. If you like what you see, click on the title. You'll be directed to our catalog where you can place a hold. 

If you don't want to wait for a specific title to be available, try our Grab and Go DVD service. Each DVD bundle has a theme. You can grab these to go at the circulation desk at the Main Library. Bundles cannot be requested in advance. The titles will be a surprise. If you would rather request specific titles, please do so through our catalog at

Get rewarded for borrowing movies from WPL! Use #movienight @worcesterpubliclibrary on Facebook. Each post will be entered into a monthly drawing for WPL gear!

How to Build a Girl (R)

Watch the trailer here

Johanna Morrigan is a bright, quirky, sixteen-year-old who uses her colorful imagination to regularly escape her humdrum life. Desperate to break free from the overcrowded flat she shares with her four brothers and eccentric parents, she submits an earnestly penned and offbeat music review to a group of self-important indie rock critics at a weekly magazine.

Deerskin (Not Rated)

Watch the trailer here

Language: French 

In this dark comedy of middle-aged masculinity gone awry, a recent divorcee becomes obsessed with a vintage-fringed deerskin jacket that begins to exert an uncanny hold on him. Set in a sleepy French alpine village, he falls into the guise of an independent filmmaker and befriends a trusting bartender who becomes his collaborator on a movie that will document a surprising new goal he sets himself.

The Wretched (R)

Watch the trailer here

Following his parents' separation, a rebellious teenage boy is sent to live with his father for the summer in an idyllic tourist town. The quiet town offers him little solace, and his problems become more disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door.

Sometimes Always Never (PG-13)

Watch the trailer here

Alan is a stylish tailor with moves as sharp as his suits. He has spent years searching tirelessly for his missing son Michael who stormed out over a game of Scrabble. With a body to identify and his family torn apart, Alan must repair the relationship with his youngest son Peter and solve the mystery of an online player who he thinks could be Michael, so he can finally move on and reunite his family.

Enter the Forbidden City (Not Rated)

Watch the trailer here

Language: Mandarin

Yue Jiu, the most famous opera singer in all of Imperial China, is expelled from the capital city for vulgarity. He heads south, where he encounters Wang Runsheng, a promising young opera singer for the Chuntai Troupe. When the Emperor invites all of China’s opera troupes back to the capital city for a celebration, Yue Jiu and Runsheng are forced to choose between their reputations, their safety, and their love of opera.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Weekly Reads Episode 34

Join Librarians Devon and Joy for Weekly Reads. This week's suggestions include a book set in Amsterdam, the story of a mill town in Mexico, Maine, an historical fiction set in 1960s Brooklyn, a graphic novel memoir, and of course a coming soon title!

Featured Titles for Episode 34:
Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains by Kerri Arsenault
How to Catch a Queen: Runaway Royals, Book One by Alyssa Cole
House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon
Deacon King Kong by James McBride
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine

Friday, November 27, 2020

Urban Fiction Series Available Now!

If you're an Urban Fiction fan and hate reading series out of order, have we got some news for you! We now have several full series available for checkout. All you have to do is order ahead online by clicking the links below or call 508-799-1655, option 3, to reserve your copies. The library will notify you when your items are ready, and you can pick up your books during regular business hours - no appointment needed! Here is just a sampling of some of the series that are available.

Murderville: First of a Trilogy by Ashley & JaQuavis
Liberty is dying, but she wants to survive until her 25th birthday when her sister has promised to visit her. Liberty wants A’shai to tell her a story, to help her remember what brought them to this point. A’shai walks her though their past, reliving their journeys through the streets. The story will take them from an arranged marriage, through Mexico’s drug cartel, child brothels, hustling in Detroit, to escaping the high-powered heads of L.A.’s underworld.

The series continues with
Murderville 2: The Epidemic by Ashley & JaQuavis
Murderville 3: The Black Dahlia by Ashley & JaQuavis

White Lines by Tracy Brown
Jada left home at sixteen, running from her own demons and the horrors of physical abuse from her mother's boyfriend. Life seemed good when she was with Born, the neighborhood kingpin whose name was synonymous with money, power, and respect. But his love couldn't save her from a crack addiction. Jada goes from addict and prostitute to survivor and back again before she finds the strength to live for herself and come out on top. 

The series continues with:
White Lines II: Sunny by Tracy Brown
White Lines III: All Falls Down by Tracy Brown

BFF's Forever by Brenda Hampton
Kayla, Evelyn, and Trina have been on-and-off-again girlfriends for many years, but the lines of true friendship have been crossed, the knives that went into another friend's back cut deep, and trust no longer applies when one woman has an affair with another's man. Once the lines of friendship have been crossed, will this trio be able to regain the bond of loyalty they once shared?

The Banks Sisters Complete by Nikki Turner
Meet the Banks sisters: Mona, Bunny, Tallhya, and Ginger. One of the few things they have in common is their love for their grandmother, Me-Ma. When Me-Ma has a heart attack, the sisters discover that she left the house and her money to the church. Now the pastor wants them out, unless they can find the money to buy the house back. The sisters devise a plan that could get them plenty of dough--if they can stay away from law enforcement that's looking for a group of female bank robbers.