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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Libraries Rock! Book Reviews Of Late...

The Gatekeepers

By Chris Whipple

For fans of Leo McGarry of "The West Wing" or maybe more recently Doug Stamper of "House of Cards," this book explains the role of Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. The author, journalist Chris Whipple, was able to get 18 living chiefs together to be interviewed about their job and their particular troubles navigating the politics of their time and the Presidential figure they served. 

This book is a thorough look behind the scenes and offers some insight on how critical decisions were made by presidents going back to Nixon. Gain more understanding of politics and who influences the President by reading this book.

~ Christopher R. 

The Stranger

By Harlan Coben

This book was so good, I was sorry to have to put it down to sleep and eat. Fast paced action, lots of twists and turns. Unexpected but great ending. Passing my book on. Recommend it to read. Taking out more by this author!

~ Karen S. 

This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare 

By Gabourey Sidibe

Why I chose this book:

I enjoy reading memoirs of contemporary figures. They are personal histories that help me better understand how other people think and view the world. When I saw this among Harcourt Houghton Mifflin's Spring offerings, I requested a review copy, which was provided.


Gabourey Sidibe, the star of the film Precious, relates her struggles and triumphs from childhood and young adulthood.

From a young age, Gaborey struggled with healthy eating; she struggled through obesity and an eating disorder. She also struggled with her parents' divorce (when her Senegalese father engaged in his cultural norm of polygamy), financial hardship, and bullying. Hand in hand with those issues, she suffered from depression, to the point that it became necessary to drop out of college. After improving her mental health, she was unable to re-enroll in college due to financial constraints and then struggled to find work due to her lack of a college education. She ended up working as a phone sex "talker" and helped to support her family. Through a series of fortuitous events, she arrived at an audition for the film Precious and became the actor she is today.

This Is Just My Face was eye-opening. I didn't know anything about Gabourey before reading this book. The synopsis of the book stated that it was about the star from Precious; I had seen the film, I like memoirs, and I especially like reading about inspirational or strong women, so my attention was caught, but that was all I knew going in. I couldn't have told you who Gabourey was a month ago. Now I think I know her as well as she is comfortable being known by the public, though her writing style is such that I felt like I was having a long conversation with a best friend. And she is funny! That was really my biggest impression of her, aside from her being an inspirational example, that is. She tackles serious topics, shedding light on how she has dealt with unhealthy relationships, what has precipitated her forgiveness, and about maintaining her mental health. Her strength and perseverance are heartening, and reading about her responses to different struggles has validated my own responses to similar issues, such as forgiveness and (unrelated) bullying. I devoured this book and have been recommending it to everyone I can. I am a new fan of Gabourey Sidibe after reading this

~ Victoria D.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Libraries Rock! Summer Reads 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!

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

I loved this book! It wasn't the usual type of book I like to read but I kept hearing people talk about it. So I decided to give it a try. I wasn't disappointed i couldn't put it down. It made me laugh it 

~ Jasmine A.

Steve Jobs

By Walter Isaacson

This is an excellent read. Almost 600 pages, it avoids feeling long and stuffed and repetitive. It gets to the essence of what made Jobs so successful and also so irritating. For someone, like myself, that grew up during the infancy of computers, it reminded me of so much that took place to make so much of what takes place seem simple. The truth is that all the technology we enjoy today took years and years and mistakes to get to where we are, and Isaacson along with Jobs had me asking, at the conclusion and throughout, where we will end up. And this is coming from me, someone not in love with technology, but strangely curious about it. I suggest and recommend this book to anyone in their 40s and 50s as a nostalgia ride, to anyone younger as a reminder of what they did not experience, and to anyone of any age that is curious.

~ Cameron L.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart advice for Difficult Times

By Pema Chödrön

A beautiful and inspiring book about learning to accept the ebb and flow of whatever comes our way in life. Pema Chödrön is able to simply but powerfully convey this message through a variety of different analogies. Highly recommended!

~ Sarah L.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Libraries Rock! Summer Reads 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!

How to Forget a Duke (Misadventures in Matchmaking #1)

By Vivienne Lorret

Why I chose this book:

I came across this book some time ago on Goodreads, added it to my "Want to Read" shelf, and promptly forgot all about it. It popped up on Goodreads again, just being published, and when I read the synopsis I was still interested. Avon (HarperCollins Publishers) provided a review copy upon request.


Regency-era England, matchmakers, amnesia, and forbidden love? How to Forget a Duke has it all. The Duke of Rydstrom employs the Bourne Matrimonial Agency to find him a wealthy bride, but Jacinda Bourne is hesitant to do so; she suspects that he is withholding vital information from the agency. When she ventures out of London to his estate to investigate, she meets with disaster. Washed up on the rocky shore and unable to remember anything, Jacinda must recuperate at the nearby estate of, you guessed it, the duke. Rydstrom doesn't want her there at first because he is indeed hiding something. But of course they fall in love. And of course they cannot marry. Don't worry, Lorret delivers a happy ending to readers.

I devoured this book. It was fun, funny, and just a bit exasperating (in a good way). There were several romance tropes in this novel, and they came together perfectly, making for an enjoyable ride. I wrote about why I read romance novels in a previous post, and I'd like to elaborate a bit on why I was interested in a book that used multiple plot devices common to the genre. It's for the same reason that I enjoy walking the same route through the same park and looking for the same animals. The park is a pleasant, relaxing environment to spend time in. I know the route I like. I'm always on the lookout for squirrels, ducks, and dogs. On top of that, I enjoy the different surprises along the way, like the giant hawk on the playscape or the trick bikers showing off. The familiar setting, path, and characters, combined with unexpected highlights are what make for a satisfying evening stroll ... or read.

~Victoria D.

Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales

By P.D. James

Mark these words: don't read at night when you're in your bed or sleep is the last thing you will do. How will you sleep after you read a meticulous plan of cold blood murder? Or when you picture a stabbed Santa Claus lying on the floor on Christmas? Or when you make company to a girl that loves graveyards and tombs pursuing her own ghost from the past? Six murderous tales told in different perspectives, from murders or witnesses, that won't let you sleep because the images will stay on you mind and the minds of the characters will trick you.

~Juliana M.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Kick-Off Summer Reading 2018 with the WPL Magazine Collection!

Summer Reading is kicking off this Saturday June 16th at the Main Library with a musical bang! With this year’s theme of “Libraries Rock! Read, Learn, Connect”, the WPL is bursting with programs, classes, and reading suggestions. Periodicals (Main Branch, 3rd floor) will display a selection of our popular rockin’ magazines in celebration of our musical Summer Reading kick-off, but we don’t stop there! With over 400 magazine titles to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to read, learn, and connect.

Read: Whether it’s poetry, political commentary, or good ol’ fiction stories, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Granta, and The Atlantic have plenty of content to help you reach your reading goals this summer.

Learn: New ideas and skills are easy to integrate into your reading this summer – titles like Cooks Illustrated, Make, and Popular Mechanics yield everything from recipe testing for the perfect brownie to how to make a pizza oven from an old car (and we’re all suddenly very hungry.)

Connect: Whether it’s in our backyards or across state lines, we can find ways of connecting with our community through local magazines like Boston Magazine, Worcester Living, Connecticut Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. Find out what’s happening in New England this summer!

The Adult Summer Reading Kick-Off will be from 10:00am- 1:00pm in the Fiction Area of the Main Library. You’ll be able to sign up for SummerReading, register for programs and classes, and learn about events and services provided by the WPL this summer. Also enjoy rock painting, for all ages!

Rock (or read) on!


Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Our cooking series continued with a recent Gluten-Free class held at the Main Library, with Johnson and Wales culinary student, Jordan L’ecuyer.  She demonstrated how to make gluten-free flour from scratch and techniques on how to mix and roll out pie dough.  Each participant got to roll out their own piece of dough, wrap it up and then take home the ready-to-bake pie crust. Samples and recipes were also provided!

 The program concluded with a Q&A session about community
farming with Amanda Baker from 
Cotyledon Farm in Leicester
Click here to sample some Gluten-Free Cooking titles from our catalog 

NEW Spring Cooking Classes:

WPL continues to partner with VegWorcester, for Colin McCullough's return with two classes:

March 24 -  Fresh Whole-Food Soups
Use fresh, whole-food ingredients to make delicious, heart-healthy soups--ditch the cans of soup and learn how much healthier and tastier fresh soups can be!  Come learn how to make Fragrant Coconut Soup, Lebanese Red Lentil Soup, Creamy Tomato Soup, and Broccoli Cheezy Soup. (2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
April 21 - Breakfast Smoothies that Taste Like Dessert
Why not have dessert for breakfast?  In this class, learn how to make delicious whole-food smoothies that taste like dessert but are great for your health!  Recipes for the class include Carrot Cake Smoothie, Key Lime Pie Smoothie, Orange Creamsicle Smoothie, Chocolate Power Smoothie, plus how to make fresh almond milk. (2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
Chef Kim Youkstetter also returns . . .
May 5 - Tea Party Appetizers
Appetizers fit for royalty! Chef Youkstetter will share recipes and ideas for appetizers that are truly “royal”. In honor of the royal wedding,come create and sample different types of sweet and savory bites that are not only beautiful, but easy to recreate at home. This class will provide samples, recipes and a chance to make and take some creations. (note this class runs from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
See our website for details and to register online. 

Popular Magazines archived at Worcester Public Library

Check out how the world has changed through this snapshot of America’s Popular Reads!

Cosmopolitan (first issue published in 1886): The WPL holds the very first issues of the magazine, back when it went by “The Cosmopolitan”, covering family and domestic interests, along with publishing various serial novels and stories. Today, “Cosmopolitan”, or, “Cosmo” as it is commonly referred to, covers topics focused more on romance and fashion. 

Then (July 1922)
Now (Feb. 2018)
Digital Access: New/recent issues of Cosmopolitan can be accessed through the RB Digital Magazine Collection on our website through any phone, tablet, or computer by creating an account with a valid Worcester Public Library card.


Harper’s Magazine (first issue published in June 1850): According to its website, Harper’s Magazine is “the oldest general-interest monthly in America, explor[ing] the issues that drive our national conversation, through long-form narrative journalism and essays”. In its over 168 years in print, Harper’s Magazine featured the early printed works of Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Robert Frost, and many others. Today, Harper’s Magazine, in both its online and print materials, continues to highlight well-researched opinion and culture pieces. 

Then (June 1893)

Now (Feb. 2018)

Microfilm Access: Harper’s Magazine from June 1850-December 1989 is available on microfilm on the third floor Periodicals department of the Main Branch of the WPL.


National Geographic (first issue published in 1888): National Geographic, best known for its extensive and rich color photography, began as a text-based scientific journal in 1888 as the official publication of the National Geographic Society. The first issue contained no pictures or photography whatsoever, but did include maps, geographic surveys, and the Proceedings of the National Geographic Society along with their members list. 
Then (Jan. 1915)

Now (Feb. 2018)

Digital Access: New/recent issues of National Geographic can be accessed in the RB Digital Magazine Collection on any phone, tablet, or computer by creating an account with a valid Worcester Public Library card.


Print Access: Patrons may check out any circulating copy of any of the magazines listed for 1 week with up to 2 renewals. Check our catalog to see when we get the newest issue, to place a hold, or to check availability. 

Archived issues/volumes may be requested at the Periodicals desk on the third floor of the Main Branch of the Worcester Public Library located at 3 Salem Square, Worcester MA, 01608.

If you have any questions regarding the archives at the WPL or online access to any journal, magazine, or newspaper, please let us know through the Ask a Librarian function of our website, by calling the WPL’s information line at 508-799-1655, ext 3 or the Periodicals Department at 508-799-1669.

Happy researching!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Bringing HIV/AIDS Information to the Heart of the Commonwealth

Together with University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) Lamar Soutter Library and AIDS Project Worcester, Worcester Public Library seeks to improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS by delivering HIV/AIDS information to the residents of Worcester and the surrounding areas. 

Through our collaborative community project funded by a National Network of Libraries of Medicine grant, Bringing HIV/AIDS Information to the Heart of the Commonwealth, Worcester Public Library will raise awareness of the disease through the purchase of books and DVDs and make available resources such as AIDSinfo, AIDSource,, MedlinePlus, and PubMed.

Just this past week, books and DVDs were processed and are available on the 2nd floor of the Main Library.

View our Reading List and discover some new information today. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New issues of magazines this week!

The New England Patriots are headed for their eighth Super Bowl against Philadelphia Eagles in hopes of catching their sixth ring. The latest issue of Sports Illustrated tackles highlights from the AFC Championship and shares professional predictions for Sunday’s big game. Check out a copy to learn more about how Belichick, Brady, and the rest of the team prepare for the biggest game yet!
Looking to upgrade your Super Bowl menu that scores a touchdown with your party guests? February’s Food Network Magazine helps you get game day ready with easy and delicious recipes like Bacon-Jalapeño Popcorn and Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins.
Also, check out the “custom game day cocktails” created for each NFL team—spirits to put you in the team spirit!
Lights, Camera, Action! Get ready for a whole new Oscars this year by checking out “The Oscars 2018 Viewers Guide” in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Find out how the Academy diversified its membership of women, minorities, and genres (yes, there is now a superhero genre!)
You will also find insider interviews with Hollywood’s biggest film star nominees like Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird.). Read the thorough film critiques, explore the Academy Awards history, and more!
Who will win and take home the golden Oscar?
Visit Periodicals on the 3rd floor of the Main Branch and browse our collection of over 300 magazines! Speak to one of our knowledgeable library staff and get helpful recommendations on whatever you may need. Don’t forget to check our online catalog!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018


WPL is offering a new series of cooking classes at the Main Library. These classes are taught  in the Saxe Room on Saturday afternoons from 2:00 to 3:30.

We had an amazing turnout recently for Chef Colin McCullough’s Amazing Vegan Sauces cooking class! Colin demonstrated how to prepare several delicious sauces for bowl meals and the audience got to sample them all!

WPL will be partnering with VegWorcester,
to continue our vegan cooking series with Colin’s return on March 24.  Watch our website for details.  Click here for more photos from the Vegan Sauces class and photos from other events held at WPL:

Next up will be Gluten-Free Cooking, Saturday, February 17. Join us for a demonstration on mixing and rolling out pie dough.  Each participant will receive a pre-mixed piece of dough, a pie tin, and plastic wrap to roll out their own piece of dough. Then wrap up the ready-to-bake pie crust to take home! Samples and recipes will be available. Register online:

Click here to sample some titles from our catalog:  Vegan Cooking List