2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge_Graphic

Announcing the Robbins Library Official 2016 Reading Challenge!

We’ve created a list of categories to guide your 2016 reading, if you choose to participate, and at the end of the year you can turn in your completed list for a chance to win a prize.

To participate, you can either grab a hot pink 2016 Reading Challenge bookmark from our 1st floor display, or print this list. Either way, just check off the categories as you complete them and be sure to include your name and contact information.

Here are the categories:

  • the Arlington Reads Together book (Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
  • a  book by an Arlington author
  • a book from the Staff Picks shelf
  • a graphic novel
  • a travel memoir
  • a classic
  • a 2016 debut novel
  • a novel for teens
  • a biography of someone you admire
  • a historical novel
  • choose a book based on its cover
  • a book published the year you were born
  • recommendation from a friend
  • nonfiction book about science
  • a poetry collection
  • a book you’ve been meaning to read

A book can fulfill more than one category, so choose wisely!

You don’t need to include the titles you read for the challenge. Remember, this is more about having fun than anything else so don’t worry too much about whether or not a particular book fits a category. Anything you read in 2016 qualifies, so don’t forget to check off categories you may have fulfilled in January!

Do you need help finding books that qualify?

We have a display this month with some books that will qualify for some of the categories (and some qualify for more than one) so hopefully this will be helpful. If you need help finding just the right sort of book you’re looking for, stop by the Reference desk for help, call us at 781-316-3233, email us at arlmail2@minlib.net or chat with us by going here and clicking on the chat window in the bottom right corner.

Most importantly, have fun! We hope you discover some great books this year!

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Brand New Books: January’s Fiction



Wonder what your neighbors are reading this month? Who do the critics like?  Here are a few of the Robbins Library’s new and popular fiction releases.

Continue reading

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Next Not-So-Young Adult Book Group

illgiveyouthesunThe next meeting of the NSYA book group will be on February 17 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room.

We’ll be discussing I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. If you like authors such as John Green and Rainbow Rowell, this book is probably right up your alley! I loved it and I hope you all do too.

Copies are available now at the Robbins circulation desk.

When we meet we also need to vote on future titles. I’m compiling a list of suggestions now, but if you want to recommend titles please just comment below and I’ll add them to my list.

I hope to see many of you on Feb. 17!

The NSYA Book Group is a friendly, casual book group group for adults in which we read and discuss books written for teens. Newcomers are always welcome!

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Legendary Locals of Arlington

Last night, we hosted Barbara Goodman and Marjorie Howard in our newly renovated community room. They were here to promote their new book , Legendary Locals of Arlington.

Public servants, entrepreneurs, actors and scientists. These are just a few of the legendary locals who made Arlington a great town. Barbara and Marjorie used a playful pop quiz format to introduce the audience to 10 locals who made a significant impact on the community, or once called Arlington home. It may be old news to Arlingtonians, but I was excited to learn that Tom and Ray Magliozzi (of Car Talk fame) have called Arlington home. We learned about Mildred Dresselhaus and Gwen Hooper, woman blazing their own trails, and inventors George Franklin Grant and Bob Frankston.

We had the great fortune of have 4 Legendary Locals in the audience, who shared their own stories. Here are the authors with Kay Donovan, Glenn Koenig, Bob Frankston and Ann Smith (wife to Dick Smith).


Bob Frankston arrived just as his slide was being shown to the audience! Here he is pointing to where VisiCalc was invented, the first electronic spreadsheet.

photo 1 (1)


Thank you Barbara and Marjorie for visiting us at Robbins Library. Check out their website for more details about the book and future book events.

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Not-So-Young Adult Book Group Meets on 1/20

UnknownHappy new year, everyone! The first NSYA meeting of 2016 will be next Wednesday evening, January 20, at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room.

We’ll be discussing Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer. Copies are still available at the circulation desk and it’s a quick read so if you haven’t started it yet, you still have time.

This discussion is actually sort of timely, because researchers have just now confirmed the execution site. You can read all about this news here!

Copies of the next book have already been ordered, so when you come to the meeting on Wednesday you’ll be able to pick up your copy of I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.

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Wild – A New Year’s list of recommended books (and movies)

During the month of November you may have noticed a WILD display on the Little Table at Robbins.


WILD  has since been dismantled,  but due to a recent request for a WILD booklist – the following  are many of the items that were on display that month.

Grizzly Man  [videorecording]

Into the wild   by Jon Krakauer

Into thin air: a personal account of the Mt. Everest disaster  by Jon Krakauer

Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail   by Cheryl Strayed

Last season   by Eric Blehm

Treasure of the Sierra Madre [videorecording]

H is for hawk  by Helen MacDonald

a goshawk

a goshawk

The goshawk  by T. H. White

Falconry  by Humphrey Ap Evans

The AMC guide to winter hiking and camping: everything you need to plan your next cold-weather adventure  by Vemaya Maurer

Winter camping handbook: wilderness travel and adventure in the cold weather months   by  Stephan Gorman

Wilderness skiing and winter camping  by Chris Townsend

Following Atticus: forty-eight high peaks, one little dog, and an extraordinary friendship     by Tom RyanAtticusWild

High huts of the White Mountains: nature walks, natural history, and day hikes around the AMC’s mountain hostels   by William E. Reifsnyder

Appalachian trail guide to Massachusetts, Connecticut with Northern Berkshires trails 

a portion of the Appalachian trail in Western Massachusetts

a portion of the Appalachian trail in Western Massachusetts


A walk in the Woods: rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail   by Bill Bryson

The Appalachian Trail food planner: recipes and menus for a 2,000 mile hike  by Lou Adsmond

Murder on the Appalachian Trail: a novel  by Jess Car



Eight below [videorecording]


A history of dog sledding in New England  by Bruce D. Heald          DogSleddingWild

We took to the woods  by Louise Dickinson Rich

My neck of the woods  by Louise Dickinson Rich

Frozen in time, an epic story of survival, and a modern quest for the lost heroes of World War II   by Mitchell  Zuckoff

In the kingdom of ice: the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeanette                        by Hampton Sides

The man who ate his boots: the tragic history of the search for the Northwest Passage  by Anthony Brandt

Antarctica: an intimate portrait of he world’s most mysterious continent                               by Gabrielle Walker



Alone on the ice: the greatest survival story in the history of  exploration   by David Roberts


Alone in Antarctica: the first woman to ski solo across the southern ice                                 by Felicity Aston

Polar dream: heroic saga of the first solo journey by a woman and her dog to the Pole            by Helen Thayer

Balto  [videorecording]           BaltoWild


Wild: stories of survival from the world’s most dangerous places  edited by Clint Willis

Eiger dreams: ventures among men and mountains  by Jon Krakauer

Quabbin: the accidental wilderness   by Thomas Conuel


And,  for wilderness closer to home   –  a local hiking map

a map of Middlesex Fells

a map of Middlesex Fells


a piece of wood found in Middlesex Fells

a piece of wood found in Middlesex Fells

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

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Top Ten YA Titles from Robbins and Fox Libraries

The top ten YA titles of 2015 highlight some of the most popular anime and manga series available at Robbins and Fox Libraries. All the Light We Cannot See continues to be a favorite, appearing on a few summer reading lists.

  1. Case closed by Gōshō Aoyama
    Case Closed
  2. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
    Eleanor and Park
  3. Fairy tail by Hiro Mashima
    Fairy Tail
  4. All the light we cannot see : a novel by Anthony Doerr
    All the Light We Cannot See
  5. Fruits basket by Natsuki Takaya
    Fruits Basket
  6. Maximum Ride by NaRae Lee
    Maximum Ride
  7. A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini
    A Thousand Splendid Suns
  8. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  9. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  10. Let the great world spin : a novel by Colum McCann
    Let the Great World Spin
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