Wednesday, September 29, 2021

New Releases: October Edition

Did one of the book covers on our homepage catch your eye? They are all new titles being released in October 2021, and all are well-reviewed and anticipated. You can watch the video or read the description of each below, 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 for October

Nightwatch on the Hinterlands by K. Eason
When Lieutenant Iari hears screams, she expects to interrupt a robbery or break up a fight. Instead she finds a murder with an impossible suspect: a riev, a battle-mecha decommissioned after the last conflict, repurposed for manual labor. Riev don't kill people. And yet one has. Gaer, officially, is an ambassador from the vakari. Unofficially, he's a spy, sending information back to his government, unfiltered by diplomatic channels. Unlike Iari, Gaer isn't so sure the riev's behavior is a malfunction, since the riev were created using unstable alchemy and arithmancy. As Gaer and Iari search for the truth, they discover that the murderous riev is just a weapon in the hands of a wielder with wider ambitions than homicide.

Payback's a Witch by Lana Harper
Emmy is a witch who hasn't been to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has to do with her complicated family and the tiniest bit to do with Gareth, heir to a powerful magical family, breaker of hearts, and destroyer of dreams. But when a spellcasting tournament that her family judges for approaches, the pull of tradition (or the guilt trip that comes with it) brings Emmy back. She'll do her familial duty; spend time with her best friend, Linden; then get back to Chicago. On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia—an adept in the darker arts—who is fresh off a breakup with Gareth. Talia had discovered Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. Now she and Linden want revenge. Is Emmy in? And why can't she stop thinking about the charming Talia?

Trashlands by Alison Stine
A few generations from now, the coastlines have been redrawn by floods and tides. Global powers have agreed to not produce new plastics, and what is left has become valuable: garbage is currency. In the region-wide junkyard of Appalachia, Coral is a “plucker,” pulling plastic from the rivers and woods. She’s stuck in Trashlands, a dump named for a strip club where local women dance and the club's owner is the unofficial mayor. In the polluted landscape, Coral tries to save enough to rescue her child from the recycling factories, where he is forced to work. In her free hours, she makes art. When a reporter from the coast arrives, Coral is given an opportunity to change her life. But can she choose a future for herself? 

Featured Nonfiction for October

Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life by Sutton Foster
Whether she’s an “age-defying” editor on television or dazzling audiences on Broadway, Sutton makes it look easy. How? Crafting. When she picked up a cross stitch needle to escape bullying chorus girls, she became hooked. Cross stitching led to crocheting, then collages, which led to drawing, and more. Channeling her emotions into creating centered her and gave her tangible reminders of her experiences. Now Sutton shares those moments, including her relationship with her agoraphobic mother; a divorce splashed on tabloid pages; her struggles with fertility; the thrills she found on stage; her breakout TV role in Younger; and the joy of adopting her daughter, Emily. Accompanying the stories, Sutton has included crochet patterns, recipes, and so much more!

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron and Clint Howard
In The Boys, Ron and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity—and stress and bullying. For Clint, starting on programs like Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence. With the perspective of time and success, the Howard brothers delve into an upbringing that seemed normal to them. Their parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their dreams. But it was their sons who found employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego to become Ron and Clint’s teacher. Jean became their protector from the traps of Hollywood. Confessional, nostalgic, and harrowing, The Boys is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ lives. 

In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain by Tom Vitale 
It's been nearly two years since Anthony Bourdain's death. His genuine interest in the cultures he visited made the world feel smaller and more knowable. Despite his affable, sometimes arch TV persona, the real Tony was intensely private, conflicted about his fame, and an enigma-except to the crew following him around the world. And almost no one knew him better than his producer and director Tom Vitale. Over ten years traveling together, Tony became a boss, friend, hero and, sometimes, tormentor. In the Weeds goes behind the scenes and behind the guise, to reveal not just the insanity that went into filming in some of the most volatile places in the world, but the complicated man behind the Anthony Bourdain persona. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

WooReads Fall Reading Challenge For Adults

WooReads: Fall Reading Challenge for Adults 2021

Sep 1, 2021 - Nov 30, 2021 

Join WooReads on Beanstack, an online tool where you can
keep track of your reading, post book reviews, discover good reads, win prizes,
and stay connected with the many library-related programs and resources!

***Win a WPL Tote Bag!***

Readers who log at least 9 books will be automatically entered into a drawing* for two chances to win a L.L. Bean Boat and Tote zip-top bag embroidered with the WPL logo. These coveted totes have been gently-used for our book club in a bag kits but have found new life as an exciting prize for our dedicated readers!

*Books read starting September 1, 2021 must be logged by November 30, 2021.
*Must be a Worcester Resident to win. Library employees are ineligible.

Programs and Resources
 be inspired by local talent.

-Visit WPL’s Reader’s Corner for staff picks, new titles, book lists, and more.

-Attend one of our several librarian-led book clubs to discuss books and meet 
like-minded readers.

Sign up at today. For mobile users, download the Beanstack Tracker app to get started.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Oxford Dictionaries Online

Image result for oxford dictionaries
Trying to learn a new language? Want to check pronunciation or grammar for words in Spanish, German or Chinese? Check out Oxford Dictionaries online! We carry nine languages - English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, French and Russian. Use it for your language learning in conjunction with Mango Languages – another language learning tool offered for free by the library.

 All you need is a WPL card. Go to Under Resources, select Online Databases and look for Oxford Dictionaries alphabetically. You can search the language dictionaries using the search bar on top. Each language comes with its own set of Grammar guide (on top left) to help with language resources.

The English language page has added tools such as Synonym finder to find substitutes, Grammar to find usage, spelling and punctuation, Explore for word lists, origins, games and quizzes. Click on Premium, if you are looking for advanced tools such as Oxford’s Style Guide, Garner’s Guide to Legal Vocabulary or other resources for writers. You are just a click away from improving your vocabulary. Learn something new and dazzle your friends!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

La Borinqueña: A new hero for our time


Who is La Borinqueña? 

If you’re like me and have a list of favorite superheroes (and a few villains), then allow me to add another to your list: La Borinqueña. I may be five years behind (she debuted in 2016), but as they say, better late than never.

La Borinqueña (Marisol Rios De La Luz) is an original character created and written by graphic novelist, activist, and philanthropist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. While many comics feature Eurocentric mythology in which characters battle otherworldly creatures, La Borinqueña is of Puerto Rican descent (which includes African and Indigenous ancestry) and focuses on real-life social issues.

Marisol is a Columbia University Earth and Environmental Sciences undergraduate student living with her parents in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When she studies abroad in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico, she finds five crystals while exploring a cave. Atabex, the Taino mother goddess, appears before Marisol once the crystals are united. She summons her sons Yúcahu (spirit of the seas and mountains) and Huracán (spirit of the hurricanes). They give Marisol superhuman strength, the power of flight, and control of the storms. In addition to her powers being drawn from the history and mysticism found on the island of Puerto Rico, La Borinqueña is also fiercely patriotic. Her name is derived from the Puerto Rican national anthem, which is a variation on Borikén, the name the indigenous Taíno people called the island.

When Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez was invited to attend the 2016 Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, he asked the organizers if they were interested in La Borinqueña, who was only a sketch at the time. When he unveiled La Borinqueña at a press conference, she became a media sensation overnight. 

(Image courtesy of Somos Arte)

Coming Together for a Cause 

After Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017, Miranda-Rodriguez teamed up with former DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio to create a collection of short stories featuring iconic DC characters such as Wonder Woman teaming up with La Borinqueña to help hurricane victims. Artists and celebrities such as Frank Miller, Gail Simone, Rosario Dawson and Rubén Blades joined the collaboration. The collection, titled Ricanstruction, generated $200,000 in sales, all of which was given to grass-roots organizations in Puerto Rico. 

In a quote to Publisher's WeeklyEdgardo Miranda-Rodriguez said this of La Borinqueña: "She is not liberal or conservative. She’s trying to figure it out. I intentionally wrote a story around the perspective of a college student who gets to go away. When you are living away, it’s a massive paradigm shift. It will either move you closer to the ideology you grew up with or take you in a completely different direction. That’s what I wanted to do with Marisol.”

If you missed when this anthology first debuted, check out these press releases:

(La Borinqueña pin-up by Wilfredo Torres & Juan Fernandez)

More to Come

Since La Borinqueña teamed up with the Justice League, Miranda-Rodriguez has created the La Borinqueña Grants Program. Most recently, he's partnered with Chocolate Cortes P.R. in which he created an original story that will be reproduced in a comic strip series in four limited edition chocolate bars. Proceeds from this chocolate bar will go towards Fundación Cortés as part of the La Borinqueña Grants Program. You'll also see La Borinqueña on the Masks for America initiative, which provides N95 masks to healthcare workers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 

In the past five years, La Borinqueña has been drawn by world-renowned graffiti artist John "Crash" Matos, has appeared in the Kiki Koko children's book series by Ed Rodriguez, and had her costume displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History- and she's just getting started! 

Watch and Learn

Monday, September 13, 2021

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) celebrates the history, culture and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. The day of September 15 is significant as it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18.

Below are resources for everyone to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, so that we may celebrate it all year long and honor the stories of all Americans. 

WPL Resources

Hispanic Heritage Month Reading ListEnjoy our booklist highlighting the culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States.

Romance Reads for Hispanic Heritage Month- Romance featuring prominent Hispanic & Latinx characters. 

Celebrating Hispanic Athletes Reading List Learn about the contributions made by Hispanic & Latinx athletes to the sporting world. 

Overdrive Reading List - Fiction and nonfiction books in electronic and audio format. 

Hispanic Heritage Month Watch ListA collection of documentaries from Kanopy, a free streaming service with your WPL card. 

Finding Your Hispanic Roots by George R. Ryskamp- Recommended by our genealogy department for exploring your Hispanic ancestry. 

National Poetry Month: Hispanic Poets- Read our blog about poets Pablo Neruda & Julia de Burgos. 

Learn More 

Clark University Latin + American Art Exhibit: Gallery video/Artist video

Local Events

9/18: Ceremonia de Izado de la Bandera Salvadoreña, 3pm @ Worcester City Hall 

Kanopy: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th - October 15th) recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. To learn more about this integral part of American history, try one of these films available through Kanopy, a streaming service that is free to use with your WPL card. If you do not have a Kanopy account, you can create one. Click here to get started. If you’ve enjoyed any of these films, or have other suggestions, leave a comment below. 

Los Punks

This film, directed by renowned photographer Angela Boatwright, explores the young, mostly Hispanic, Punk scene in L.A. and finds an undeniably gritty, yet creative environment.


Spanning the past 60 years of Cuban history, this film discusses universal themes of loss, freedom, assimilation, struggle and triumph through the stories of Cuban exiles that have achieved acclaim in diverse fields in the U.S.A. and beyond. 

I am The Queen

In Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, the Vida/Sida Cacica Pageant brings together members of the Puerto Rican community to celebrate its transgender participants.

Las Marthas 

Follows two young women as they prepare for the annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas that honors George Washington's birthday. 

Every Child is a Poet 

This film traces Piri Thomas' path from childhood to adulthood in New York City's Spanish Harlem from the 1930s through the 1960s. It explores his parents' immigrant experience, his struggle to come to terms with his mixed racial identity, and his emergence as a writer and acitvist.