New Monthly Book Chat

The Staff Picks Book Group is on hiatus, and we’re trying something new: a monthly book chat, where all are welcome to come share and discover great books. This month’s theme is favorites, so bring along a favorite book (or two or three, if you’re having trouble picking just one).

A librarian (this month it’s me, Jenny) will guide the discussion and provide a handout with suggestions and plenty of room for note-taking. If you’re wondering what to read next, this is the group for you! Get great recommendations from other readers, and watch your to-read list grow.

Our first Book Chat will be Monday, January 12, at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room. No registration required – we hope to see you there!


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QBG and Rubyfruit Jungle on Wednesday, 12/17/14

QBG’s last meeting of 2014 is tomorrow, Wednesday 12/17, at 7 PM.  We’re going to chat about the classic-lesbian-coming-of-age-and-semi-autobiographical-work-of-fiction-(?), Rubyfruit Jungle (also, it’s your last chance to hang out before an extended visit with the family which might be great or might be not be so great or might be somewhere in the middle).

Oh, and if part of your holiday tradition includes going to church that one time a year to make your grandma happy (and facing the eternal question: to host or not to host?), take a gander at this:


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Next Not-So-Young Adult Book Group

PortChicago50Thanks to everyone who came on Monday night to talk about Will Grayson, Will Grayson. What great turnout!

Next month we’ll be meeting at our new day and time, which will be the third Tuesday of the month. On January 20 starting at 7pm, we’ll be discussing The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. Copies are available now at the circulation desk.

Earlier this week we also voted on some upcoming titles, so here’s a preview:

February 17: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

March 17: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

April 21: Nothing by Janne Teller

If you’re unfamiliar with this group, it’s a book discussion group for adults in which we read and discuss books written for teens. Our meetings are casual and newcomers are always welcome!

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Pop-Up Program: Holiday Cards!

Should you happen to be in the vicinity of the Robbins Library today, stop in to write a holiday card! We’ve got pens, cards, envelopes, and even stamps. Write a few words of cheer to family or friends, and give the postal workers something to carry other than catalogs!


Write a letter or a holiday card today!

Pick a card, any card

Pick a card, any card

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Check out our new holiday display, and here’s why:

Alright.  So if you’re anything like me, the holiday season is a mixed bag.  Yes, I adore shiny, festive houses, the smell of pine, and that people are trying to be on their best behavior.

I like that.

But the holidays can be a little much.  The stores and the sales and the decorating of the house (because if it isn’t up for a solid month, then is it even worth it?), and did we spend enough on the kids, and trying so hard to create that Christmas magic that all I want to do is take a nap.

That, I don’t like.

I’ve decided that a little perspective is needed, and that I should enjoy my holiday season in moderation.  Perhaps you would also like to do this?  I’ll be watching these movies in the next month or so.  If I get too much Christmas magic in my system, I’ll just pop in Rare Exports and freak out over Scary Santa.

family stonerare exports








love actually







The music situation is a little harder to get out from under.  I’m a commuter, so I listen to music several hours a day.  As we push through December, the music situation is going to go from repetitive (how many versions of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” are there now?) to bizarre (“The Christmas Shoes”! Johnny Mathis’ version of “Winter Wonderland”!  WHAT IS HAPPENING, JOHNNY, ARE YOU OKAY?!).  And just when you think you can’t take one more happy/sad song about family and nostalgia…well, suddenly something weird is going to happen, and you won’t be able to listen to regular music without hearing a phantom jingle bell underneath (wouldn’t Lil Wayne sound better with some bells? C’mon).  Ugh.  And then Christmas will be over, and the radio stations will leave you high and dry, with maybe a pity play of Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” or Joni Mitchell’s “River,” and that will be that.

But before we all get to that point of complete holiday saturation, remember that you do have some say in what you listen to.  Pace yourself.  Use your car CD player.  Load up your iPod or your phone with music that you definitely won’t hear on the radio.  Check out Hoopla (our free database that features Netflix style browsing, with a vast holiday collection).  If you’d like to go old school, stop by the library and check out the holiday display across from the reference desk.  Albums and movies for every taste.  Make sure that you’re filling up on quality holiday music.

Here are some of my picks:

she and him christmas








Americana christmas






So what albums can you absolutely not do without this season?











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Queer Book Group Discusses Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle on 12/17/14



Before she was writing cozy mysteries with her cat, Sneaky Pie, Rita Mae Brown wrote Rubyfruit Jungle, a semi-autobiographical account of her experiences growing up.

Copies are available at the circulation desk.

Wednesday, December 17th at 7PM

Call Rebecca with any questions: 781.316.3226

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Congratulations, WriMos!

nanowrimoCongratulations to all 2014 NaNoWriMo participants! Writing a novel is a huge undertaking, and you were brave enough to tackle it – in just one short month.

Before you shove your manuscript in a drawer (or close your laptop) and take a well-deserved nap, please take the opportunity to show off a little. If you attended a “Come Write In” session at the library this November, or even if you hatched your novel elsewhere, we’d love to highlight a little snippet right here on this blog.

Send us a line or paragraph you’re proud of – it could be from your first page, last page, or anywhere in between – and we’ll feature it here. Feel free to send any other feedback as well; we want our Write Ins to be as welcoming and helpful as possible, so let us know what else we can do!

The fine print: Send your sentence or paragraph in the body of an e-mail to jarch (at) minlib (dot) net, with “NaNoWriMo” in the subject, by Monday, December 15.

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