Wednesday, March 31, 2021

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


Time for your weekly dose of adult patron book reviews! This week's reviews, submitted through the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page, feature nonfiction titles. We love hearing from our patrons, so if you've read a great book, let us know about it!  Interested in one of these books? Click on the title to place a hold. If you want to explore similar titles, try our Book Bundle service. A librarian will select five books for you based on your preferences. Pick the bundle up at the Main Branch or have a list emailed to you. Let us help connect you with your next great read!

The Opposite of Worry by Lawrence J. Cohen

Highly recommended for parents with anxious kids, or who are anxious themselves! A great read with simple to do activities and recommendations. ~ Tabitha K.

A collection of essays by Black writers chronicling, and reflecting on the Black experience in America over the last 400 years. A well executed collaborative; each piece flows well into the next. Worth the read! ~ Mary T.

This book travels with Peter from childhood through Covid-19. Somewhat of a child prodigy in terms of his guitar playing, he became known in elite circles for this skill. We all know him for his "Frampton Comes Alive" album that knocked Carole King's Tapestry off the top of the charts at the time, but this success became a bar too high to be replicated, and he knew it. The impression I got from reading his words is that he is humble, thankful, and generous. Worth the read. ~ Linda J.

This book was so much fun to read as a woman in her early 30's. Jacobson was so honest and brave with her storytelling which was incredibly refreshing to read and witness. ~ Mary R.

Monday, March 29, 2021

This April, Celebrate 25 Years of National Poetry Month!

Launched in April of 1996 by the American Academy of Poets, National Poetry Month reminds us that poets have an integral role to play in our culture. In 2021 the importance of poetry can perhaps be seen by Amanda Gorman, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, who was also the first poet ever commissioned to write a poem to be delivered at a Super Bowl. Whether you've been interested in poetry all your life or have been recently inspired by poets such as Gorman, there is a host of events and websites to help you celebrate. Below you'll find virtual events from our library and other sources, booklists that link to our catalog, and other links of interest.

Poetry Month Events at the Worcester Public Library

A Writing Workshop with Worcester's Poets Laureate

Wednesday, April 14, 7-8pm

Join the City of Worcester’s Poets Laureate Juan Matos and Amina Mohammed for a Poetry Writing Workshop! Experienced poets and novices, teens and adults alike are invited to join this virtual workshop and hear the experiences of the Poets Laureate, who will share some of their works and guide attendees through creating their own poetry. In celebration of National Poetry Month, this Poetry Writing Workshop is hosted in partnership between the Worcester Public Library and the City of Worcester’s Cultural Development Division. For ages 16+.

Juan Matos earned a Master's Degree in bilingual education at Worcester State University and went on to teach Spanish Literature and ESL for 32 years, the last 22 of which in Worcester Public Schools. During this time he wrote and published 12 poetry books and anthologies, took part in local and international literary festivals and founded several literary groups and workshops.

Youth Poet Laureate Amina Mohammed grew up in Worcester's Main South neighborhood, the daughter of an immigrant family. Her parents worked long hours to provide for her and her siblings with considerable support from neighbors. Mohammad is the first Youth Poet Laureate in the state of Massachusetts.

Register for the workshop with this link.

Sisters Outsider: A Virtual Panel of Black Women Creating Poetry 

Wednesday, April 21, 7-8pm

Worcester Public Library invites you to an evening of Black women creating poetry, inspired by Audre Lord's book Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Expect great verse and conversation with poets Rush Frazier, Tina Gaffney, Amina Mohammed, Xaulanda Thorpe, and Ashley Wonder.

Read more about the poets and register to attend with this link.

Looking for even more poetry events? Visit the websites for the Worcester County Poetry Association and Mass Poetry for local and statewide calendars.

Poetry Booklists

Best Poetry Collections of 2020: This list contains some of the best poetry collections that were published in 2020 according to The Guardian, LitHub, and The Washington Post.

Most Anticipated Poetry for 2021: The poetry collections in this list are highly anticipated for 2021 (so far).

Staff Picks: Poetry Writing Guides: Whether you're new to writing poetry or a seasoned pro, these books offer advice and inspiration to poets of many levels.

Voices of the Poets: This list of downloadable audiobooks features poetry read by the poets who wrote it.

And don't forget our library carries Poetry: A Magazine of Verse and Poets & Writers magazine. They're both great resources!

Other Links of Interest

Poem-a-Day: Want some guidance or variety in your poetry reading? Check out Poem-a-Day at Poets.Org, where there's a new poem every day in both text and audio. You can even sign up to have the daily poems sent straight to your inbox.

Poem in Your Pocket Day: This year Poem in Your Pocket Day takes place on April 29th. Poets.Org has suggestions on how to celebrate.

Poetry and Racial Justice and Equality: From the Poetry Foundation. The poems gathered here document struggles for dignity and justice; they praise political heroes; they express pride, frustration, and rage. They call for action and accountability, sometimes loudly yet always compellingly. They promote positive identities and self-esteem and make a claim for the sanctity of all humans.

New Releases: April Edition

Did one of the book covers on our homepage catch your eye? They are all new titles being released in April 2021, and all are well-reviewed and anticipated. You can either watch the video below read the description of each, then click the linked title to request a copy or get your name on the wait list. And don't forget to watch for more featured releases next month!

Featured Fiction Titles for April

In the Company of Killers by Bryan Christy
Tom Klay is an investigative wildlife reporter, but he's not just a journalist. His reporting is cover for an even more dangerous job: CIA agent. Klay's press credentials make him a perfect spy--able to travel, engage politicians and warlords, and record what he sees. But while in Kenya, Klay is attacked and his friend is murdered. The CIA offers Klay a devil's bargain to capture the man who killed his friend by infiltrating the offices of the woman he once loved, Hungry Khoza. But Klay discovers he and Hungry are part of a larger, more lethal game--one that involves a global superpower. The deeper he digs, the more he realizes that everything he thought he knew about his work may have been a lie. 

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
In a London pub, two people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools, both are now artists―he a photographer, she a dancer―and both are trying to make their mark in the world. Tentatively, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over a year their relationship is tested by forces beyond their control. Narrated with deep intimacy, Open Water is an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body; to be vulnerable when you are respected for strength; to find safety in love, only to lose it. 

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
When Meddelin Chan accidentally kills her blind date, her mother calls her aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a body is more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cooler to the billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working on at a resort in California. It's the biggest job yet for the family wedding business and nothing, not even a corpse, will get in the way of her auntie's buttercream flowers. But things become torturous when Meddy's great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes an appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

Featured Nonfiction Titles for April

Philip Roth: The Biography by Blake Bailey
Appointed by Roth and granted complete access, Bailey spent years pouring over Roth’s personal archive, interviewing friends and lovers, and engaging Roth in candid conversations. The result is a portrait of an American master and his literary scene. Bailey shows how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish milieu to reach literary fame, how his career was nearly derailed, and how he championed dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain. Bailey examines Roth’s friendships and reveals the truths of his love life, culminating in his relationship with actress Claire Bloom. Tracing Roth’s path to the masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores his engagement with postwar America.

I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust: A Memoir of Autism and Hope by Valerie Gilpeer and Emily Grodin
“I have been buried under years of dust and now I have so much to say.” These were the first words 25-year-old Emily Grodin ever wrote. Born with nonverbal autism, her only means of communicating had been one-word responses or gestures. Her parents, Valerie and Tom, sought every therapy possible and when this miraculous breakthrough occurred, Emily was able to give insight into her life. She could express what her younger years had been like and reveal the intelligence within her. Told by Valerie with stories and poetry from Emily, this book highlights moments of Emily’s childhood that led to her awakening—and how her ability rapidly accelerated after she wrote that first sentence. 

The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with Recipes) by Kate Lebo
A is for aronia, berry member of the apple family. D is for durian, endowed with a dramatic rind and a shifting odor. Q is for quince, which, when fresh, gives off the scent of “roses and citrus and rich women’s perfume."  These and other difficult fruits serve as the central ingredients of twenty-six lyrical essays (with recipes). What makes a fruit difficult? Its cultivation, harvest, preparation, the brevity of its ripeness, its tendency toward rot, the way it might overrun your garden. Here, these fruits will take you on unexpected turns and give sideways insights into relationships, self-care, land stewardship, medical and botanical history, and so much more. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


WooReaders are on the move! Check out this week's adult patron book reviews to see the exciting places our patrons visited. Don't forget to share your reviews and log your books for the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page!

Want to explore Worcester from home? Register for our Art of Worcester virtual tour on April 3rd, presented by the Worcester Art Museum. This program will look at artworks and historic photos that capture the people and scenes of the heart of the commonwealth. You'll be sure to enjoy this artistic voyage!

Texas Outlaw by James Patterson & Andrew Bourelle

I think this was one of his best joint books. Didn’t want to put it down. A Texas Ranger saves people in a bank robbery, his country singer girlfriend writes a hit song about him. Gets sent to a small town to check on a suicide. The sleepy, quiet little town isn’t as quiet as it seems. Great read! ~ Karen S.

Wonderful book! ~ Carolyn D.

Olive Belgrave is desperately searching for a job in 1920's London when her wealthy cousin announces she plans to marry. Her family suspects the young man is not who he claims to be and needs someone to investigate his background without raising too many suspicions. Olive is happy to step up. Entertaining cozy mystery set among the "bright young things" with lots of action and details.
~ Mary R.

Wonderful book. Can't wait for the next one!
~ Miriam V.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Staff Picks with Devon & Joy: March 2021

Join Librarians Devon and Joy for this month's Staff Picks review. Books discussed include one of the best fiction books of 2020, a true crime story about a murder at Harvard, a mystery set in India, the memoir of an artist born with disabilities, a romance set during the suffrage movement in England, and a book on ways the world might end.

Staff Picks for March 2021
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Golem Girl: A Memoir by Riva Lehrer
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Free Financial Literacy Webinars by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


In March, CFPB FinEx is offering two free webinars:

Strategies to pay for college

Thursday, March 25, 2021, 2-3 p.m. ET

Join us for a presentation on how to finance higher education. You’ll hear from our Office for Students and Young Consumers on the federal financial aid process, college funding sources, and college budgeting techniques. What’s more, we will discuss nonfinancial ways to help students reach their higher education goals.

Audio and presentation: 


Event number: 199 682 7962

Audio only:
Dial-in:   +14043971590
Access code:   199 682 7962
Event Password: 3VfPQmvpm*42 (38377687 from phones)

Understanding the women’s wealth gap

Wednesday, March 31 2021, 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Join us for facts about the women’s wealth gap and the unique challenges many women encounter on their journey to financial well-being. The presentation addresses the impact of COVID-19 on women, the challenges women face in retirement, and how intimate partner violence can impact women’s pursuit of financial well-being.

According to the five principles of effective financial education, programs can be more effective when they matched to people’s specific circumstances, challenges, and goals. This webinar can help you improve your effectiveness through a better understanding of the people you serve.

Audio and presentation:

Event number: 199 468 0363

Audio only:
Dial-in:   +14043971590
Access code:   199 468 0363
Event Password: tvD2B6JKav3@ (88322655 from phones)

We look forward to having you join us!

Thank you,

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


Enjoy this week's adult patron book reviews submitted by our patrons through the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page

March is National Craft Month! If you're looking for something to do when you're not reading, try our craft programs. Join us on Facebook every Wednesday at 3:30  for a live demo on DIY crafts. Upcoming crafts may include candy tin candles, chalkboard signs, memory slabs, upcycled coat hanger book stands, T-shirt cat tents, milk jug plant hangers, jewelry, and color dipped shoes!

Our Knitting Circle is now virtual! Knit along with us on a themed project, knit for charity, or feel free to knit something you are working on already. Knitters of all skill levels and other needlecraft enthusiasts are welcome to join us via Zoom. Patterns for themed projects will be sent to registrants via email.

If you're looking to get crafty, check out our Craft All The Things! booklist for ideas on what to create next. Like crafting and cozy mysteries? Browse our Cozy Craft Mysteries booklist. 

The Diva Paints the Town by Krista Davis 

"The Diva Paints the Town" is number 3 in the "Domestic Diva" series of cozy mysteries. Sophie is helping to redecorate a deceased neighbor's mansion when she discovers a dead body. By the time the police arrive, the body has disappeared and the detective suspects Sophie of pulling a practical joke. Sophie and her friends (and frenemies) make a good team as they fix up the house and solve a decades old puzzle. I will definitely go back to read the previous books in this series. ~ Mary R.

Crimson Joy by Robert B. Parker

A killer leaves a red rose with his victim. The police arrest the killer, but Spencer knows it's not the right person because his girlfriend received a rose after the arrest. Fun, easy read. ~ Karen S.

"The Kingdom of Back" had a unique concept that mixed together music and fantasy. The book focuses on Mozart’s sister Nannerl, and her life of being a female composer during the 1700’s, her relationships with her prodigy brother Wolfgang and a mysterious magical creature called Hyacinth. The author’s descriptive world building behind the magical kingdom is very thoughtful and well written, but the plot was very predictable. I would recommend it as a light read to fans of music and fantasy. ~ Yucheng Z.

A melancholy novel that celebrates the bittersweet chapters of life.
~ Kathryn K.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Kanopy: Celebrating Women's History Month

Celebrate Women's History Month with Kanopy, a streaming service that is free to use with your WPL card. Watch films directed by women and learn about notable figures of Women's History. Sign in to to watch on your computer or download the Kanopy app to watch on your mobile device or smart TV. Click here for directions on how to create an account. 

She's Beautiful When She's Angry

A provocative, rousing and often humorous account of the birth of the modern women's liberation movement in the late 1960s to its contemporary manifestations in the new millennium, direct from the women who lived it.


She humbly defied the odds and overcame insurmountable obstacles to fight injustice and gave a voice to the voiceless. And yet few people know her name. Mankiller is the story of an American legend, Wilma Mankiller, who overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation's first woman Principal Chief in 1985.

The Revival: Women and the word

This documentary chronicles the US tour of a group of Black lesbian poets and musicians, who become present-day stewards of a historical movement to build community among queer women of color. Their journey to strengthen their community is enriched by insightful interviews with leading Black feminist thinkers and historians.

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

From the birth of the 1940s comic book heroine, Wonder Woman, to the blockbusters of today, this film looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about strong and healthy women. Wonder Women traces the fascinating birth, evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and introduces audiences to a dynamic group of fictional and real-life superheroines fighting for positive role models for girls, both on screen and off.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

Best known for groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy works such as A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin defiantly held her ground on the margin of "respectable" literature until the sheer excellence of her work forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature. Produced with Le Guin's participation over the course of a decade, this film is a journey through the writer's career and an intimate journey of self discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author. 


The epic story of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman in history elected to lead a Muslim nation. A favored daughter of the family often called the "Kennedys of Pakistan," Benazir was elected Prime Minister after her father was overthrown and executed by his own military. Her time in power saw acts of courage and controversy as she broke the Islamic glass ceiling, fought for the rights of women, and tried to quell the fires of religious extremism, while battling accusations of corruption.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


We’ve got food on the mind with this week’s adult patron book reviews. A foodie memoir, a fruit-inspired mystery, and chicken soup inspiration left our patrons entertained and hungry!

Speaking of food, join us for delicious recipes and healthy eating tips during our Healthy Living series this spring. Featured programs include The Timing of Our Calories with Registered Dietician Judy Palken, TerrificTubers and Radical Roots with Colin McCullough, and Boring Dinner Do-Over with Chef Kim.

Log these activities for the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page. Log three events to be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Paperwhite!

Relish: My life in the kitchen by Lucy Knisley

A pleasant graphic memoir centered around food. Be advised, don't read on an empty stomach! The images, food descriptions, and provided recipes definitely make your mouth water. ~ Mary T.

Long since I have been a bride, but lots of loving stories!
~ Karen S.

The Speaker of the House of Commons is stabbed and crushed by a load of oranges and lemons. This is a case for the Peculiar Crimes Unit - but it has been disbanded and its members have moved on. The crimes pile up, and it appears someone is using the old rhyme about the bells of London to murder England's politicians. Curmudgeon Arthur Bryant and his saintly partner John May are recalled to duty. As always, the author includes loads of fascinating history and trivia, quirky characters and dry British humor. Five stars! ~ Mary R.

Best book I've ever read! ~ Virginia B.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


Mark your calendars! WPL’s spring programming is here. Our events include an Irish poetry reading, a virtual road trip with Ted Reinstein, an organization workshop with Jenna Elliott, and ASL Night. View our calendar here so you can reserve a spot now! 

Check out this week's adult patron book reviews to see what your fellow readers have been up to. They're doing a great job writing reviews and logging their books for the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page. You can do the same by joining today! Create an account here

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

It can be difficult to read because it is thoughts and incomplete sentences. It is definitely worth the effort because it is a powerfully emotional book about a young woman who experiences traumatic events. You see how these events shape her and her reactions to life.
~Katherine R.

This was the longest Patterson book I have read. Over 500 pages, worth every word. A boy and girl are adopted. The brother is suspected of being a serial killer. So many twists. Great read! ~Karen S.
Hour Game by David Baldacci

Enjoyed reading this series of David Baldacchi! ~Tabitha K.

This was a great fairytale read! Something different! ~Carolyn D.

Monday, March 1, 2021

E-books & Digital Media


If you want to access digital content from home, try one of the many services available with a WPL card. Check out our resources below to begin streaming movies, reading e-books, and much more. If you don’t have a WPL card, click here to apply for one.

If you need help using these resources, attend our drop-in tech help every Wednesday night from 6:30-7:30 pm in the first floor computer lab or call our information line at (508) 799-1655, option 3. 

Borrow e-books, audiobooks, magazines & videos


OverDrive is a free service that lets you borrow digital content anytime, anywhere. You can use Overdrive on your computer or handheld device, and may borrow 10 titles per month. 

Watch this video to learn how to use Overdrive

Libby by Overdrive

Libby, by Overdrive, is an app to read and listen to books on your phone or tablet. Go to your app store on your handheld device to download the app. Libby is not available on Amazon/Kindle devices. However, you can send books to your Amazon/Kindle device from the Libby app.

Read these tips on getting started with Libby

Stream Videos


Kanopy is a video streaming service that includes independent and world cinema, documentaries, instructional films, TV series and many other genres. You may watch three videos per month. 

Videos can be viewed on a range of devices by downloading the Kanopy app. 

Read these tips on getting started with Kanopy

Borrow e-books, audiobooks, movies, TV Shows & music 

Allows you to stream and temporarily download movies, music and TV shows. Content is always available without waitlists. Access Hoopla through your web browser or download the app to your handheld device. You may borrow 4 items per month.

Read these tips on getting started with Hoopla

Download Music

This music download service offers hundreds of thousands of songs in the Sony Music catalog. You can download two songs per week to your computer and then add the songs to your personal music player.