Monday, February 28, 2022

WooReads: Spring Reading Challenge For Adults

WooReads: Spring Reading Challenge for Adults 

March 1, 2022 - May 31, 2022 

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 March 1, 2022 must be logged by May 31, 2022.
*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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

New Releases: March Edition

Check out these highly anticipated March releases featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Click on the title to request a copy or get your name on the waitlist. Don’t forget to watch for more featured releases next month! 

Featured Fiction

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K is expected to end in chaos: elevators plunging to earth, world markets collapsing. None of that happens. But at a Blockbuster Video in New Jersey, four teenagers  are attacked. Only one inexplicably survives. Fifteen years later, more teenage employees are attacked at an ice cream store in the same town, and again only one makes it out alive. In the aftermath of the latest crime, three lives intersect: the lone survivor of the Blockbuster massacre, the brother of the fugitive accused, and FBI agent Sarah Keller who must delve into the secrets of both nights.

Kamila Hussain’s life might not be perfect, but it’s close. She lives a life of comfort, filled with her elaborate Bollywood movie parties, a dog with more Instagram followers than most reality stars, a job she loves, and an endless array of friends who clearly need her help finding love. In fact, Kamila is so busy with her friends’ love lives, she’s hardly given any thought to her own. Fortunately, Kamila has Rohan Nasser, longtime friend of the family. Only lately, Kamila’s “harmless flirting” with Rohan is making her insides do a little bhangra dance.

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

As she grows up, Joan finds relief in her artwork, painting portraits of the community in Memphis. One of her subjects is the enigmatic Miss Dawn, who claims to know something about curses, and whose stories about the past help Joan see how her passion and imagination are the continuation of a long matrilineal tradition. Joan begins to understand that her mother, her mother’s mother, and the mothers before them made impossible choices and put their dreams on hold so that her life would not have to be defined by loss and anger-that the sole instrument she needs for healing is her paintbrush.

Featured Nonfiction

The Worth of Water by Gary White & Matt Damon

On any given morning, you might wake up and shower with water, make your coffee with water, flush your toilet with water and think nothing of it. But around the world, more than three-quarters of a billion people can’t do any of that because they have no clean water source near their homes. This crisis affects a third of the people on the planet. It keeps kids out of school and women out of work. It traps people in extreme poverty. It spreads disease. From the founders of nonprofits & Water Equity Gary White and Matt Damon, the incredible true story of two unlikely allies on a mission to end the global water crisis for good. 

Celebrated feminist writer Mona Chollet explores three types of women who were accused of witchcraft and persecuted: the independent woman, since widows and celibates were particularly targeted; the childless woman, since the time of the hunts marked the end of tolerance for those who claimed to control their fertility; and the elderly woman, who has always been an object of at best, pity, and at worst, horror. Examining modern society, Chollet concludes that rather than being a brief moment in history, the persecution of witches is an example of society's seemingly eternal misogyny.

In four essays, Elena Ferrante offers a rare look at the origins of her literary powers. She writes about her influences, her struggles, and her formation as both a reader and a writer; she describes the perils of “bad language” and suggests ways in which it has long excluded women’s truth; she proposes a choral fusion of feminine talent as she brilliantly discourses on the work of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Ingeborg Bachmann, and many others.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

WooReads Winter Reading Challenge For Adults: Patron Book Reviews


Enjoy this week's adult patron book reviews submitted through the WooReads: Winter Reading Challenge for Adults. Join now for a chance to win a L.L. Bean tote bag featuring the WPL logo. All you have to do is log at least 9 books from December 1- February 28 to be entered into the drawing. 

We're here to help! If you'd like to sign up for WooReads but need assistance creating an account, call us at (508) 799-1655  (option 3), use our chat service, or send us an email

A Comedy of Terrors by Lindsay Davis

When rancid nuts begin making Romans sick just as Saturnalia starts, Flavia Albia, her husband Tiberius and their quirky household staff set out to investigate who is eliminating the competition in light snacks. They uncover an unhappy wife, a double dealing nephew, some mob bosses and lots of shady characters. Another great mystery novel by Lindsey Davis set in classical Rome. ~ Mary R.

I wanted to like this book, but could not. It felt rushed and the story line did not necessarily reflect the summary. It lacked details. Frankly, it was a good idea but a boring execution.
~ Miriam V.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife is the story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley. Their love story is rich in intensity, friendships, travel and booze. Paula McLain does a superb job with her writing. I was pulled in from the first page. I now need to go back and read some of Hemingway’s books as I think I’ll interpret them differently after reading about his life.
~ Lisa G.

Jack Reacher prevails again! A thrilling read.
~ Sandra B.

Reading Resources

Looking for something new to read or watch? Our librarians are here to help you find books, magazines, and DVDs you'll enjoy - just tell us a bit about what you're looking for by filling out one of these forms

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Together We Read: The Five Wounds by Kirsten Valdez Quade


From February 7-21, library users can participate in Together We Read: US featuring The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade. This e-book club connects readers with the same book at the same time without any waitlists or holds. Download the discussion guide to start a conversation with other readers. You can also visit the discussion board to share your thoughts.
The Five Wounds takes place during Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico. Thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother's house, setting her life on a startling new path. The Five Wounds spans the baby's first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo's mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel's mother, Marissa, whom Angel isn't speaking to; and disapproving Tíve, Yolanda's uncle and keeper of the family's history. Each brings expectations that Amadeo, who often solves his problems with a beer in his hand, doesn’t think he can live up to.
The Five Wounds is a miraculous debut novel from a writer whose stories have been hailed as “legitimate masterpieces” (New York Times). Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that will linger long after the final page, bringing to life their struggles to parent children they may not be equipped to save.

-Click here to borrow The Five WoundsTo read this book on a handheld device, download the Overdrive app or Libby app.

-Read a letter from Kirstin Valdez Quade
-Share your thoughts on social media by using #togetherweread

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

WooReads Winter Reading Challenge For Adults: Patron Book Reviews


Enjoy this week's adult patron book reviews submitted through the WooReads: Winter Reading Challenge for Adults. Join now for a chance to win a L.L. Bean tote bag featuring the WPL logo. All you have to do is log at least 9 books from December 1- February 28 to be entered into the drawing. 

We have a variety of virtual programs this winter, so if you're looking for something to do from the comfort of home, check out our programming calendar here

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is an incredible storyteller. I hung onto every word and was absorbed to the end of this tale about the ancient mythological golem who is brought back to life during the darkest days of the holocaust. I was first introduced to the golem through the stories of my youth written by Isaac Bashevis Singer. This is a story of the power of unrelinquished love and resilience.            ~ Carole D. 

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout

A bit of a slow start but then really picked up about 1/4 of the way in and I couldn’t put it down. There were a lot of questions I couldn’t wait to get the answers for. Looking forward to the next in the series.                     ~ Amanda J. 

Read this for book club. This is the second time I've read this (and not mad about it); first with an audiobook and this time with a physical copy (wanted to see if I'd have different feelings about it). Still 5 out of 5 for me! The characters are well developed, Backman is an excellent storyteller, the relationships are spectacular and I fell in love with the book/characters/story all over again. If I see this at a used book store I'll be adding this to my library/collection!               ~ Mary T. 

Pulled on my heartstrings until the very last page. Broken, struggling families. Pets loving their owners unconditionally and not fully understanding life's obstacles and challenges. I thought of all my past and current pets and I hope they knew how much I cared for them. I hope they never felt alone and that they understood my affection for them. Beautiful story of a man and his faithful companion. ~Sarina S.

Reading Resources

Celebrate Black History Month, this month and every month, at Worcester Public Library. Staff have put together their recommendations for fiction and nonfiction titles highlighting Black history and Black authors. 

Get the list at: