QBG Reads… Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples

We’re meeting a week early this month! Join us on Wednesday 10/24 for a discussion of Outlaw Marriages : The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples by Rodger Streitmatter.

“For more than a century before gay marriage became a hot-button political issue, same-sex unions flourished in America. Pairs of men and pairs of women joined together in committed unions, standing by each other “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” for periods of thirty or forty–sometimes as many as fifty–years. In short, they loved and supported each other every bit as much as any husband and wife.

Among the high-profile couples whose lives and loves are illuminated in the following pages are Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith, literary icon Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, author James Baldwin and Lucien Happersberger, and artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.”

There are still copies of the book at the circulation desk here at the Robbins Library!

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Many mills along Mill Brook – a Library exhibit

Captain Cooke’s mill marker


Come immerse yourself in mills!  The Robbins Library Mill Brook display in the lobby portrays Arlington’s more modern history from the year 1637 –   to the late 1800s.  This display will run through the end of October.

For further information on Arlington mills head  over to  the Old Schwamb Mill,  a living history museum at 17 Mill Lane, Arlington.  This historic site has  claims to be located on the oldest continuously used mill site in the United States.  The Old Schwamb Mill  is currently featuring an extended exhibit  — A Brook Runs through it : Arlington’s Mill Brook legacy.  An exhibit  rich in information and design also includes kid-oriented mill-related crafts.

Old Schwamb Mill


From 1637 until the 1920’s Mill Brook bustled with industrial activity, ranging from grist & saw mills to large-scale manufacturing of saws, spices, wheat meal, fur clothing, wood products, & calico printing.

  The original source of water power was gradually replaced by stream & electric, but this once fast-moving brook was a major reason for Arlington’s growth from the colonial period throughout the late 1800s.  Traveling nearly 3 miles – and dropping about 150 feet, Mill Brook once generated enough water flow to fill 7 large mill ponds that powered 8 different mill sites in Arlington.   

From:  Old Schwamb Mill Oktoberfest brochure


Historic postcard of the Dam at the Old Cutter Mill





Posted in displays, Local History, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Not-So Young Adult Book Group Reads Midnight at the Electric (November 19)

The next NSYA group meeting will take place on Monday, November 19 at 7pm in the 4th floor’s conference room. We’ll be discussing Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

32075663Goodreads description:
Kansas, 2065. Adri has secured a slot as a Colonist—one of the lucky few handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934. Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine fantasizes about her family’s farmhand, and longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called the Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire—and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life—Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919. In the recovery following the First World War, Lenore struggles with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined.

Copies of the book are available at the front desk.

Posted in Book group, Books, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Author: Anjali Mitter Duva



Credit: Mark Ostow Photography

Saturday, November 10
2:30pm – 4:00pm
Robbins Library Community Room

Robbins Library is celebrating National Novel Writing Month by inviting a fellow Arlingtonian to talk about her life as a published author.

Anjali Mitter Duva, Indian American author of the bestselling historical novel Faint Promise of Rain, will be stopping by the library’s Community Room on Saturday, November 10 from 2:30pm – 4:00pm to share her experiences in the literary world, discuss her bestselling book, and offer advice to aspiring novelists.

Anjali will also be selling and signing copies of her book.
This event is free and open to the public. Mark your calendars!


Posted in NaNoWriMo, Programs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NSYA Book Group Meeting Reminder – October 15

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.inddThe next NSYA group meeting will take place Monday, October 15 at 7pm in Robbins Library’s conference room (4th floor). We’ll be discussing The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.

Copies of the next book, Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson, are on their way and will be available to pick up after the meeting.

Posted in Book group | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Seriously Series

Keeping up with the latest book in a series is hard!  Even librarians struggle to keep up with them.  This month we share some series we’ve started but haven’t gotten around to finishing.  This includes ones we plan to finish & ones we’re all too happy to never go back to!

Years ago I read Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, but then never read the rest of the MadAddam series, but I still really want to!

There are also two duologies I’ve only read the first one of: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan and Prisoners of Peace by Erin Bow. I loved the first book in both of these series, so I can’t explain why I still haven’t read the second of either.

But the unfinished series that haunts me the most is Gemma Doyle by Libba Bray. I read and loved both A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels, but when The Sweet Far Thing was published I didn’t read it right away for some reason, and the longer I waited the less I remembered about the first two books in the series. It’s still a life goal of mine to re-read the first two and then finally finish the series.

I have started the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett about a thousand times. I think I mostly strike out because no one agrees on where to start this series. I think I’d like it but there’s just so many books and branching series and different read orders…. I might just be too late to Discworld.


  • March by John Lewis – I read the first one and loved it, but every time I remember that I want to read the rest, book 2 is checked out at the library!  I’ll have to put it on hold sometime so I can finish it up!
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore – I read Graceling & Fire and LOVED them, but haven’t gotten around to Bitterblue yet.  I think I may subconsciously be avoiding it because I don’t want the series to end!
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I loved the first book and thought the second, The Glass Sword, was just ok.  I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to finish it because of that, especially now that I know it’s a 4 book series, not a trilogy.
  • Batwoman by  J.H. Williams III – I read Elegy & the first 4 volumes, but I heard that the the creative team changed up for volume 5 and that it doesn’t have the same sensibility as the rest of the series.  Some people even say that volume 5 ruins the whole thing, especially because of how the treatment of a queer couple.  I read a few reviews advising others to skip volume 5 so that the series doesn’t end on a sour note.  I’ve heeded that advice and decided to permanently skip it.  I’m satisfied with where things left off in volume 4, so I don’t regret my decision.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas – I read the first book and really enjoyed it.  A Court of Mist and Fury went off in some really weird directions and kind of disregarded all the relationship building that happened in the first book.  Couple that a decrease in the quality of writing (there were multiple mentions of a character giving another a “male smile” – what even is that!?) and I’ve decided to skip all future books in this series.
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld – I read the first two books when they came out and somehow missed the release of the third.  Fast forward many years later – I remember the series exists and realized the 3rd book was out.  But now I feel like I’d need to go back and re-read the first two books to remember what happened.  I have such a hard time re-reading things because it feels like time that could be better spent trying to keep up with all the new books coming out that I want to read, so that’s a tall order for me.  I plan on getting around to finishing this one someday, but probably not in the immediate future.

The Saga graphic novel series by Brian Vaughan. I start the series, then get sidetracked by something else, and then have to start all over again. But I don’t mind, because it’s so good.

Can I answer a question that is the opposite of the one you asked, and talk about the joy of starting a series that is already completely finished, so if you like it, you can read them all in a row? Last month I started a Harry Potter re-read and am about halfway through the series, nearly done with the fourth book of seven. I also started N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy – after many, many people recommended it to me – and I loved the first book (The Fifth Season) and am going straight on to the next. As for middle grade series – there are so many excellent ones to choose from! – I read the first book of Maryrose Wood’s The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, The Mysterious Howling, and it was wonderful. A classic series opener, it had its own complete plot, but also left many loose ends to tempt the reader on to the next in the series. Earlier this year I read V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy (friends who read it before I did said that the each book improved upon the last, and I agree!). And I will always recommend Kristin Cashore’s Graceling trilogy and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy to any YA fantasy fans who will listen (and who haven’t already read them). Oh, and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle (four books, starting with The Raven Boys).
To answer the question you asked, there are some series I have left unfinished, though I liked the first book(s): The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde, Three Pines by Louise Penny, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Rot & Ruin by Daniel Maberry, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. If I have to wait years for the next in the series, I often lose steam.

Even though I love the fantasy & sci-fi author Tad Williams, I have yet to finish his Shadowmarch series. He hadn’t written anything new in a while series-wise when I last read the first 3 books, so I was loathe to finish the fourth and not have any more to read! Now that he’s started a new series, Last King of Osten Ard, I can finally get back to Shadowmarch . . . at some point!

I started the Rogue Angel series by the pseudonym Alex Archer years back when I managed a Borders bookstore. I’ve been able to collect copies sporadically over the years while managing used bookstores, too. Unfortunately, I haven’t read too far into the series because it was a bi-monthly serialized type. I’d like to finish it eventually but haven’t gone on any scavenger hunts for it.

The series by Gail Carriger, The Parasol Protectorate, is in the same boat. Found it first while managing Borders, found bits and pieces while managing used bookstores, but haven’t put any real effort into finding the missing titles. I’m usually pretty good about starting a series and reading it through to the end; even when it includes spin offs like Bardugo’s works. I think these titles are outliers because they were serialized or mass market titles. If I catch a series while its still in hardback or trade print, I’ve got a better chance of keeping up with it.

Series I loved and intend to finish:
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs
Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Series I started and disliked so much I had to stop:
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
Time Quintet series by Madeleine L’Engle

Series I may or may not continue because it intrigues me but bores me at the same time:
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Let us know some series you haven’t yet finished in the comments below!

Posted in Books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Next Robbins Library Book Discussion Group | Monday November 5

The Robbins Library Book Discussion Group will next meet on Monday November 5 at 7 pm in the Robbins Library Community Room.

The group discusses “Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. New members are welcome. Book will be available at the Circulation Desk after October 1.

Posted in Book group, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cookbook Club cooks from Smitten Kitchen Every Day

Greetings, food lovers! The Cookbook Club will be meeting on Monday October 29 from 6:30-8 to share dishes from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman. We’ll each bring a dish to share, and talk about the book while sampling all the delicious food.

Space is limited, so grab a copy of the book at our front desk and email me at ldyndiuk@minlib.net with the name of the recipe you want to make. A list of recipes that have already been chosen, and more information about the group, is on our Cookbook Club page. RSVP by October 24 to secure your spot!

Per Massachusetts state law we need to let you know that the neither the food nor the facilities have been inspected by the state or by a local public health agency.

Posted in Programs | Tagged | Leave a comment

QBG Makes Queerigami!

We’re making queerigami! (aka queer origami) Make origami unicorn bookmarks, stars, or hearts! (Or anything else you feel like!) Not into origami? Bring your own craft from home to work on or color in one of the coloring books we’ll provide!

Wednesday September 26th @ 7PM in the Robbins Library 4th Floor Conference Room!

Posted in Book group, LGBT, QBG, Queer Book Group | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Not-So Young Adult Book Group Reads The Sun Is Also a Star (October 15)

The next NSYA group meeting will take place on Monday, October 15 at 7pm in the 4th floor’s conference room. We’ll be discussing The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.


Goodreads description:
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Copies of the book are available at the front desk.

Posted in Book group, Books | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment