NSYA Book Group Meeting – Reminder (November 19)

32075663The next NSYA group meeting will take place Monday, November 19 at 7pm in Robbins Library’s conference room (4th floor). We’ll be discussing Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

Copies of the next book, The truth about forever by Sarah Dessen, are on their way and will be available to pick up after the meeting.

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Robbins Library was on Talk of the Town!

Robbins Library was on local TV (take a look at our beautiful Reading Room)!
Check out the following video featuring published author Anjali Mitter Duva, our upcoming guest for the “Meet the Author” event this Saturday, November 10 from 2:30-pm – 4:00pm. Learn more about the event here.

Thank you ACMi for making all of this possible!

Description from ACMi website

Indian-American author and Arlington resident Anjali Mutter Diva sits down with ToT in advance of the “Meet the Author” event she will be featured in on November 10 at the Robbins Library. She discusses her rich personal history, from her upbringing in France to her first career as an urban planner to her budding new career as a novelist of historical fiction.

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Next Robbins Library Book Discussion Group | Monday December 3

The Robbins Library Book Discussion Group will next meet on Monday December 3 at 7 pm in the Robbins Library Community Room.

The group discusses “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. New members are welcome. Book will be available at the Circulation Desk after November 5.

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Celebrate, meet local author Anjali Mitter Duva on Saturday

In addition, ‘Come Write In’ Nov. 26

Meet the Author_Anjali Mitter Duva (1)Robbins Library is celebrating writers in Arlington during November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with a “Meet the Author Event” with local author Anjali Mitter Duva on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2:30 pm.

NaNoWriMo launched in San Francisco in 1999 with a challenge to 21 aspiring novelists to write a 50,000-word manuscript between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30.  Since then, NaNoWriMo has grown into an international creative-writing project.  Continue reading

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Love You! (Platonically!)

Romantic relationships tend to take center stage when we talk about our favorite relationships, so we decided to show platonic relationships some love (pun intended) this month.  We asked our librarians what their favorite platonic relationships in media are, and here are their answers!

SadinaWhen it comes to graphic novels / comics, any platonic relationship Wade Wilson (Deadpool) has is a riot worth reading. Wade and Clint Barton (Hawkeye) are quite the duo when they’re working together and Wade’s moony-eyed reverence of Steve Rogers (Captain America) is always worth reading. Although, one could make the argument that his on again off again friendship with Peter Parker (Spiderman) is romantically one-sided.

Honorable mention to the brothers Cabal from Jonathan L. Howard’s Johannes Cabal novels. Johannes and his brother Horst are darkly hilarious together; often with some resentment between them. I think that makes their relationship more endearing and honest. Even when family has upset you and brought you to your wits end, there is always a connection wrought in childhood that remains…begrudgingly so.

Willow2In no real order…
Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg from Discworld – Their strong personalities do tend to clash at times, but they are always there for each other.
Legolas and Gimli from LotR – Their people are antagonistic to the point of almost being enemies on sight, but over the course of the quest, these two become the best of friends.
Dean and Castiel from Supernatural – There is definitely some subtext there, but it has been confirmed to be a platonic relationship (at least for now ;)). These guys will burn the world down for each other, but that doesn’t keep them from messing up and pushing the other one away much of the time.
The Doctor and Donna Noble from Doctor Who – “I just want a mate!” “You’re not mating with me, sunshine!!”. There is absolutely no romance there, and they are one of the best pairings I have seen.
The Addams Family – Even setting aside the very romantic relationship between Gomez and Morticia, the whole family dynamic is wonderfully supportive. The parents engage with their children’s interests and support them totally, the extended family is welcome and valued (Granny and Uncle Fester), and the friends/staff (Lurch and Thing) are a real part of the family.
Doreen and Nancy from Squirrel Girl – Randomly assigned as roommates, they accept and support each other’s oddities, while being realistic about interactions with the outside world.
Boris and Hank from Royal Pains – Hank is one of the few people that Boris trusts completely, and Hank will put his plans and dreams on hold to help Boris.
Merry and Pippin from LotR – These cousins are as close as brothers, always getting each other into and out of the best trouble. They find time for the little moments within the greater Quest.
Morgan and Garcia from Criminal Minds – There is a bit of flirting, but it’s all in good friendly fun.
Vimes and Vetinari from Discworld – Vimes has been described as “Vetinari’s Terrier”, but he’s not afraid to take him down a peg when needed.
Cutter and Skywise from ElfQuest – Brothers in all but blood, these two are so close that they know each other’s soul names, which usually only happens with lifemates.

JennyGreat question. A lot of the platonic relationships that came to mind right away turned romantic later (Katsa and Po from Graceling, Lyra and Will from The Golden Compass). Jesse and Leslie from Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson are a great platonic pair (though, had things gone differently, I imagine they might have gotten together when they were older); Leslie upends a lot of Jesse’s ideas about boys’ and girls’ respective roles, and family life, and imagination and play…she just opens the world up to him in ways no one had done before. In a more recent novel, Aza and Daisy from John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down have an amazingly strong friendship where each opens the other one’s eyes to the ways their lived experiences are different. Oh, and the friendship between co-workers Beth and Jennifer in Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is just so true and gossipy and strong and delightful – everyone should be blessed with a co-worker/friend like that, at least once.

stephanieIn a TV series, I love the friendship between Kimmy, Titus, Jacqueline and Lillian, in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

In books, the friendship between Lyra Belaqua and the bear Iorek Byrnison in The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman is one of my favorite pairings of all time.



LindaI really love stories about sisters, and one of my favorite sisters books is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath and Wren are twin sisters who write fan fiction together, but start to drift apart when they go to college. There are a lot of great things about this book and just thinking about it makes me want to read it again.

The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood is an excellent series about three sisters in an alternative historical New England. They’re witches but have to keep it secret from the ominous Brotherhood who seek out and persecute women for the least offense. A very dark prophecy hangs over the sisters, which makes their relationship even more complicated. It’s one of my favorite teen series although it’s not as well-known as it should be.
I read two books earlier this year that had some very unconventional relationships that I enjoyed reading about. One was A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, in which an adult man befriended an older couple who became parental figures for him. There’s a lot more going on in this book so I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that they end up adopting him, and it was very touching to see this man who had never really had parents finally have some great ones.
The other one was Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, a memoir about a scientist and her work. She had a friendship with a man that remained platonic, but very close. He was sort of an outcast who sometimes lived in a vehicle or a lab. Once they started working together, they were pretty much a package deal – when Hope got a job out of state, she just took Bill with her. I really loved reading about their friendships, adventures, and how they helped each other through hard times.

  • RobEdward & Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist are a pair of brothers who will do anything for each other.  The whole series revolves around their quest to help Al restore his body & Ed to restore his leg and arm – all of which were lost in an alchemy accident when the brothers tried to bring their mother back to life.
  • Steven & EVERYONE from Steven Universe. Steven is the ultimate friend maker!  He’s so lovable, it’s hard to resist his earnest & sunny disposition. I love how Steven’s solution to many problems is to talk, listen, and make friends with villains that in other shows would simply get beaten in a fight.  I’m so curious to see where the story goes & how Steven deals with villains that don’t want to talk things out.
  • The Sailor Scouts from Sailor Moon have such a great dynamic together.  They’re all so different, but there are so many sweet moments between them and a lot of good natured ribbing.
  • The Benton sisters from Jem & the Holograms in both the comic book & TV show iterations.  They may clash over things, but you can really tell there’s a strong undercurrent of love and support there.
  • Kell & Rhy from the Shades of Magic series have a really strong familial bond.  Kell was adopted by the royal family, to which Rhy is the only son.  He always wondered if the king & queen adopted him because they cared about him, or simply because he is a rare and powerful dimension traveling mage known as an antari.  Kell may have questioned his adoptive parents’ motivations for adopting him, but never questioned his brother’s love for him.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but Kell really goes above and beyond at the end of the first book in showing how much he cares for Rhy.
  • May & Libby from I Am Princess X were best friends, until a horrible accident took Libby’s life.  Or did it?  May sees stickers for the comic they created together, but never put online, and becomes convinced she’s her best friend’s only hope for survival.
  • Julie & Chet from Moonstruck are adorable monster friends & coworkers!  They have such fun banter!
  • All of the relationships in the Wayfarers series. There are too many great platonic relationships in this series to go in to detail about them all.  Ashby & Sissix, Jenks & Kizzy, Pepper & Owl, Tak & Sidra, Kip & Eyas, Tessa & her family. All have such different relationships but are so fantastically developed.
  • Al & Sulla from O, Human Star have a kind of uncle/niece type relationship, despite the fact that Sulla is actually a clone of Al.  It’s fascinating to see how their relationship develops from Sulla being curious & kind of putting Al on a pedestal to learning that he’s only human, and Al’s wariness that eventually warms, as he begins to care for her & see pieces of himself in her.
  • House of Xtravaganza from The House of Impossible Beauties are a group of people who go through hell but get through it by being there for and loving each other.  Their own families didn’t work for them, so they found each other and made their own.   They go through so many devastating things, but are always there for each other.

KatyRaleigh and Mako – Pacific Rim
Zoe and Mal – Firefly
Leslie and Ron – Parks and Rec
Janet and Michael – The Good Place
All the friendships in Holes by Louis Sachar
Harry and Hermione, Harry and Luna – Harry Potter Series
Han and Chewie – Star Wars
Finn and Jake – Adventure Time
Merry and Pippin – Lord of the Rings

What are your favorite platonic relationships?  Tell us in the comments below!

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NaNoWriMo Write-In at Robbins

Social Media_ Write-In at RobbinsMonday, November 26
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Robbins Library Conference Room

Robbins Library is inviting Arlington’s aspiring novelists to use our quiet space to continue their NaNoWriMo projects. The event will take place in the Robbins Library Conference Room and participants are free to discuss ideas, use our WiFi, borrow laptops, and use a variety of our resources to reach their goals. We will offer refreshments and will hold a contest for the largest word count. The winner gets a NaNoWriMo-themed prize. Patrons can also ask for a NaNoWriMo calendar at the reference desk to keep track of word count goals.

Additional resources:
NaNo Prep

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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!

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Many mills along Mill Brook – a Library exhibit


Mill Brook Library display



Captain George 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






BF Woods’ Mystic River Mill


The antique toy baby stroller pictured to right that was found on Franklin St. 23 years ago was not actually made  by BF Woods’ mill on the Mystic River.  Let us know if you can identify it’s manufacturer!

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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.

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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!

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