8 Graphic Novels We Recommend for Adults

By Spencer Stevens

Graphic novels bridge the gap between comics and novels. Cartoonist Will Eisner popularized the term “graphic novel” in the 1970s, but the true heyday of graphic novels began in the 1980s with books like Maus, Watchmen, and darker, lengthier Batman comics. Today, the graphic novel genre is diverse: authors still write fictional stories, but rising in popularity are graphic memoirs, biographies, and general nonfiction reads. Here are eight graphic novels from the Northborough Free Library’s Adult Collection that we recommend (click the pictures for links to the catalog!):

Maus
Maus
by Art SpiegelmanMaus recounts the experiences of Spiegelman’s father, who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Maus depicts the Nazis as cats and Holocaust victims as mice. Spiegelman’s graphic novel is a haunting reimagination of one of history’s darkest periods. Maus remains the only graphic novel to receive the Pulitzer Prize. Maus, alongside earlier graphic novels by Will Eisner, marked graphic novels as a legitimate, respectable form of adult literature.

FunHome

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – Alison Bechdel’s relationship with her father is central to the plot in this “tragicomic.” We explore this complex relationship from Alison’s point of view as a child, as a young adult, and as an older adult. Bechdel reminisces about discovering her homosexuality, discovering her father’s concealed sexuality, and her father’s early death. Fun Home is a moving, heartbreaking exploration of the relationship between father and daughter.

Fire!!ZoraNealeHurston

Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story by Peter Bagge – Zora Neale Hurston is best known for her book Their Eyes Were Watching God and the recent posthumous publication Barracoon. In this colorful, cartoonishly illustrated graphic biography, Peter Bagge shows us Zora’s vibrant personality and the tragedies that she overcame before becoming one of America’s most well-known authors of the Harlem Renaissance.

LighterThanMyShadow

 

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green – In this hand-drawn graphic memoir, Katie Green relives her experience of suffering and recovering from an eating disorder. Her memoir combines text and simple yet striking illustrations to show her battle with her body image and the rising threat of the “shadow” within her.

 

MarchBookOneMarch, Volumes 1-3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell – In this trilogy, Congressman John Lewis recounts his days in the Civil Rights Movement. March covers Lewis’ participation in various sit-ins, the Selma to Montgomery march, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Lewis also covers the influence of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Barack Obama on Black people in America. With illustrations based on historic photographs, March is a modern, accessible look at Civil Rights in the 1960s.

MyFavoriteThing

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris – Set in 1960s Chicago, My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a gripping murder mystery told in illustrated form. Ten-year-old Karen attempts to solve the murder of her neighbor, and we follow her story and those of people around her. With illustrations inspired by 1950s-1960s B-movies, My Favorite Thing is Monsters was nominated for several awards and has become a modern classic.

SabrinaSabrina by Nick DrnasoSabrina came out earlier in 2018 and is the only book ever to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize. A Chicago woman named Sabrina goes missing, only for a video of her murder to surface and become viral on the internet and the news. Conspiracy theories about her murder erupt: people claim the video is fake and that Sabrina’s grieving family members are crisis actors. This important and timely graphic novel questions the influence of fake news on our society and the power of the internet to amplify conspiracies.

GraphicCanonThe Graphic Canon, Volumes 1-3 edited by Russ Kick – If you don’t have the patience to read Homer’s Odyssey or can’t find the time to work through the complete works of Shakespeare, this graphic novel trilogy is perfect for you! The Graphic Canon is a three-volume set of the world’s most beloved novels, poems, epics, and plays in graphic novel form. Each entry has a different author and illustrator. From Gilgamesh to Homer to Voltaire to Emily Dickinson to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Graphic Canon offers a little bit of world literature in an updated, artistic form.

 

5 Novels in the Spirit of the Season

by Deborah Hersh

Halloween has become one of the most popular and widely celebrated holidays in the contemporary America.  Many scholars trace the roots of our modern celebration back to the 2,000 year old Celtic new year festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) . The Celts believed this was the time spirits came out to haunt, and they would appease these spirits by giving them treats.  When Christianity was introduced to the Celts, the observance of the Christian celebration All Saints Day (November 1)  became incorporated into the Celtic festival of Samhain (October 31st), and called All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween.  Explore more about the history, folklore, and significance of these celebrations in this collection of essays called Halloween and Other Festivals of Death, and be haunted by these five ghostly tales:

 

Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin. Moving in with his reclusive artist aunt after his mother’s death, 11-year-old Marcus learns the story of a local cottage from which a family disappeared during a hurricane half a century earlier, a tragedy that compels him to explore the cottage, where he meets a ghost with a mysterious agenda. A spellbinding supernatural novel that explores the many forms of  different forms of, strength and survival.

 

 

https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/4172961Widow’s Point by Richard and Billy Chizmar.  Longtime residents of Harper’s Cove believe that something is wrong with the Widow’s Point Lighthouse. Originally built in 1838, three workers were killed during the lighthouse’s construction.  In the decades that followed, additional deaths occurred in or around the lighthouse, eventually causing the lighthouse to be shuttered and the property surrounded by security fencing.  Thomas Livingston is the acclaimed author of thirteen books about the supernatural and this evening he will enter the Widow’s Point Lighthouse, Searching for material for his next bestseller, acclaimed supernatural author Thomas Livingston will be locked inside for the weekend with no way of contacting the outside world. And although no human has stepped foot inside the structure in nearly three decades, Livingston will not be alone.  A classically chilling illustrated ghost story by a father and son team.

 

 https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/2550567Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.  After they inherit a London flat near Highgate Cemetery from their aunt Elspeth Noblin, two American twin teenagers move in, but they soon discover that much is still alive at Highgate, including, perhaps, their aunt, who can’t seem to leave her old life behind.  This is a profoundly unnerving tale of the way love can be both a radiant and a malevolent force.

 

 

 

https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/2445386Ghost by Alan Lightman.  Three months after being unexpectedly fired from his banking job, David takes a temporary position at a local mortuary, where he experiences an inexplicable encounter with the unknown that transforms his relationships with everyone around him, forces him to confront the shifting nature of reality, and explores the boundary between the physical world and the spiritual one.  A gripping tale that dramatizes fear, fantasy, and faith.

 

 

https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/197075 Beloved by Toni Morrison.  Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, Paul D. finds his old slave friend Sethe and moves in with her and her daughter Denver.  Then, a  strange girl comes along by the name of “Beloved.” Sethe and Denver take her in and then strange things begin to happen. Part ghost story, part history lesson, part folk tale, Morrison’s profoundly affecting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath is spell-binding.

Oh My Goth! 6 Modern Gothic Novels

by Deborah Hersh

Crumbling castles with hidden doors, dark cellars, secret passageways, an isolated protagonist, an evil villain, a creeping sense of doom and foreboding.  Named for the medieval style of architecture of the same name, Gothic fiction has been haunting readers for more than 200 years.  Today’s Gothic novel can take place in any kind of eerie setting, but will still evoke the high emotions of fear and suspense.  If you like reading spooky, atmospheric stories with a touch of romance, mystery and the supernatural, here are seven modern Gothic novels to raise the hair on the back of your neck:

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/medium/r/4073292Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  English author Dame Daphne du Maurier first published Rebecca in 1938.  This creepy tale of psychological suspense find the second Mrs. de Winter isolated on the windswept Cornish coast in the fictional estate of Manderley.  Her new husband Max seems haunted by the memory of his glamorous first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy is lovingly tended by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.  Increasingly burdened by the shadow of her predecessor, the second Mrs. de Winter become determined to uncover the dark secrets that threaten her happiness, not matter the cost.  For fans of Gillian Flynn and Diane Setterfield.

Image of itemWe Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson.  American writer Shirley Jackson’s career spanned more than two decades and includes six novels, two memoirs, and over 200 short stories.  Best know for her horror and mystery writing, We Have Always Lived in a Castle was published in 1962 and was her last work.  Eighteen-year old  Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood, lives with her sister and uncle on an estate in Vermont.  Six years before the events of the novel, the Blackwood family experienced a tragedy that left the three survivors isolated from the rest of their small village. Like much Jackson’s work, this story explores the persecution of “otherness” and the psychology of isolation.  For fans of Neil Gaiman and Joyce Carol Oates.

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/2307099Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  Born in Barcelona, Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind has been translated into more than 35 languages and is the most successful novel in Spanish publishing history after Don Quixote.  Set in Zafon’s native city, Shadow of the Wind is a story about a boy named Daniel who selects a novel from a library of rare books.  Enjoying it so much he searches for the rest of the author’s works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.  Part detective story, part romance, fantasy, and Gothic horror, this intricately plotted  treasure of a book is a rare gem.  You know that book you think about all day and can’t wait to get home to read?  Shadow of the Wind  is that book.

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/2368608The Keep by Jennifer Egan. Best-selling and Pulitzer Prize winning author Egan’s haunting tale of two cousins, Daniel and Howard, reunited after twenty years to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe evokes a horrifying tale of crimes from the past and the present.  The Keep weaves many of best elements in Gothic fiction — a fearsome tower with a sinister secret, an isolated protagonist, a mysterious baroness, a creeping sense of impending doom, a jaw-dropping revelation — into a wholly satisfying modern horror story.  Atmospheric and absorbing.

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/3808064Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue.  This romantic suspense novel set in the Old City of Quebec is steeped in the supernatural.  Kay Harper takes shelter in a mysterious toy shop late one night, where she is turned into a puppet and placed in a magical circle of similarly transformed puppets who come to life at night and struggle to regain human form.  Her only chance of returning to the real world lies in her husband Theo’s ability to recognize her in a her new form.  A creepy and compelling take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. For fans of Audrey Niffenegger and Elizabeth Kostova.

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/4045274The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.  In late-nineteenth century England, intellectually minded young widow Cora Seaborne and pious vicar William Ransome investigate rumors about a mythical sea creature that has been blamed for a death in coastal Essex. These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart–an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.  This engaging, complex and suspenseful novel recalls the spirits of Shelly and Dickens. For fans of Sarah Waters and Guillermo del Toro.

Banned Books Week

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Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and highlights the value of free and open access to information.  Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.  In 2017, the American Library Association tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services.  Of the 416 books that were challenged or banned in 2017 here are the top ten most challenged:

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/4038422Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaces as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name.  This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.

 

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/930480The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such a povery, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.

 

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/2885370Drama by Raina Telgemeir.  This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”

 

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/2189745The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  This critically acclaimed, multi-generational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”

 

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George by Alex Gino.  Written for elementary-aged children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.

 

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/3553897Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth.  This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because if addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or to ask questions about sex.”

 

 

Image of itemTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and it’s use of the N-word.

 

 

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/3869460The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculum because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity and offensive language.

 

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/803305And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole. Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.

 

https://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/medium/r/3432492I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas.  This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.

 

Sultry Stories

by Deborah Hersh

Embrace the heat of a sultry romance novel.  Here are eight steamy novels to melt away the last days of summer.  Some of these sexy stories feature dark and sultry heroes, and some are more of the slower-to-burn type of love story.  Many feature witty banter between the lead characters, and all fall somewhere along the erotica spectrum.

Image of itemWaltz This Way by Dakota Cassidy.  Former ballroom champion Melina Cherkasov newly divorced and devastated by her ex-spouse’s cheating packs up her dog and her dignity and takes refuge in her dad’s retirement community in New Jersey.  To make ends meet, Melina puts her dancing shoes to use as an instructor at a private school for boy geniuses. Teaching a bunch of hormonal teenagers to waltz is trying, but the school’s sexy handyman provides ample distraction. Drew McPhee is perfect, except for one thing: he doesn’t like dancing.   However, the finesse Drew lacks on the floor is more than made up for by his skills in the bedroom and now it is Melina who is getting swept off her feet.

 

Image of itemThe Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.  From the best man’s toast to the bouquet toss, Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible. But before they know it, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other. Can this fake date go the distance?

 

 

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Dark Lover: The First Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward.  Ever wonder why those “vampire love stories” are so popular?  Try this steamy paranormal novel and find out.  The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed, orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate, Wrath must put down his dagger and usher this beautiful female into another world.  Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger—one that threatens to consume them both.

 

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First Grave on the Right by Daryinda Jones. Here is another paranormal novel full of heat, humor and romantic suspense.  Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life – and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

 

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai.  One night. No one will know. That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts—and the last names that made them enemies.  Although the passion between them might run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.  Being together might be against all the rules – but being apart is impossible.

 

 

 

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.  Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

 

Image of itemOnce a Rebel by Mary Jo Putney. Lord Gordon Audley accepts a mission to America to rescue an English widow and return her to her family during the final days of the War of 1812. He arrives just in time to prevent her from being attacked and is shocked to find that the widow in question is his childhood friend Callista. Viciously torn apart as teenagers, they were sent from England—Callie to marry a Jamaican planter and Gordon to the Australian penal colony—and they hadn’t seen each other since. Yet the connection between them hasn’t weakened, and as they make their way through the war-torn countryside toward Baltimore and what remains of Callie’s stepfamily, they see their childhood friendship slowly growing into something more.

 

Miami Purity by Vickie Hendricks. Sherri Parlay gives up her life of depravity, and with best intentions, finds a respectable job as a dry cleaner in hopes for a decent future. But nature and nurture plot against her when she meets the beautiful, tortured, and rich young Payne, who tempts her with the love and life she never thought possible. Even Brenda, Payne’s domineering mother, can’t keep the lovers apart when Sherri’s animal passions take control. Unfortunately, Payne is not only a different kind of man from those in Sherri’s past, he’s worse than any on her list of sordid affairs. Twisted psychology and a pure heart lead her into the dark realm of disillusionment and crime, where she reaches into her deepest reserves for the strength to survive. Perfect for the beach, everyone will mistake your blush for a sunburn.

 

 

 

10 Books to Share with a Friend

by Donna Kafel and Deborah Hersh

July 30th is International Friendship Day.  Here are a some books that celebrate that special bond we have with the people we choose to have in our lives.

Image of itemThe Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler.  Camp Chippewa, 1962. Nelson Doughty, age thirteen, social outcast and overachiever, is the Bugler, sounding the reveille proudly each morning. Yet this particular summer marks the beginning of an uncertain and tenuous friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan. Over the years, Nelson, irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War, becomes Scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa, while Jonathan marries, divorces, and turns his father’s business into a highly profitable company. And when something unthinkable happens at a camp get-together with Nelson as Scoutmaster and Jonathan’s teenage grandson and daughter-in-law as campers the aftermath demonstrates the depths—and the limits—of Nelson’s selflessness and bravery.  This is a sweeping, panoramic novel about the slippery definitions of good and evil, family and fidelity, and the challenges and rewards of lifelong friendships.

 

https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/4013181Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.  No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.  She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking.  Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions.  But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living.  And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

 

Image of itemThe Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder. Meet twenty-two ordinary guys who gather each fall to reenact what ESPN has called the most shocking play in NFL history: the November 1985 play in which Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins had his leg horribly broken by Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.  Over the course of a weekend we follow the men as they choose roles; spend a long night of the soul revealing their secret hopes, fears, and passions as they prepare for the game; and finally enact this strange and yet oh-so-American ritual.  This moving and very funny tale is filled with pitch-perfect observations about manhood, friendship and middle age.

 

Image of itemThe Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. The friendships endure through adulthood and into late-middle age as their lives alternately intersect, diverge and reconnect. Wolitzer explores the differences in their fates, in what their talents become and the shapes their lives take in this treatise on talent, fate, friendship, and the limits of all three.

 

 

http://catalog.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/4158604The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar.  This sequel to The Space Between Us continues the story of Bhima, now bereft of her position as servant in the present-day Mumbai household of Serabai Dubash and desperate to find some way to support herself and her granddaughter, Maya.  Bhima’s fortunes take an unexpected turn for the better when her path intersects with Parvati, a bitter, taciturn older woman. The two acquaintances soon form a tentative business partnership. As they work together, these two women seemingly bound by fate grow closer. Discovering her first true friend, Bhima pieces together a new life, and together, the two women learn to stand on their own.

 

Image of itemDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote tells the story of a Spanish gentleman who, obsessed with the chivalrous ideals found in romantic books, decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked.  Seated upon his horse and accompanied by the pragmatic Sancho Panza, Don Quixote travels the roads of Spain seeking glory and grand adventure.  The adventures and friendship of this sane madman and wise fool has haunted readers’ imaginations for nearly four hundred years.

 

 

Image of itemLet’s Take the Long Way Home by Caldwell. In this moving and powerful memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gail Caldwell relates her mid-life coming-of-age story, and her extraordinary friendship with the author of Drinking: A Love Story, Caroline Knapp—fellow writers, AA members, dog lovers, and observers of life. In her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion and grief in this wise and affecting account about loving and losing her best friend.

 

 

https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/3740964Leonard: My Fifty-Five Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner.  Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science-fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated.  Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, how they saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows as well as recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set.  Shatner also  gathered stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.  As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, this is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

 

https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/3756176The Penny Poet of Portsmouth: A Memoir of Place, Solitude and Friendship by Katherine Towler.  The author reflects on her friendship with Robert Dunn, a brilliant poet who spent most of his life off the grid in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire expertly capturing the story of a rare individual who charted an entirely unorthodox life that challenged the status quo in every way.  This memoir of a shared journey and a portrait of an abiding friendship is also a meditation on what writing asks of those who practice it, and on the nature of solitude in a culture filled with noise and clutter.

 

https://bark.cwmars.org/opac/extras/ac/jacket/large/r/4121488Text Me When You Get Home: the Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer. “Text me when you get home.” After joyful nights out together, female friends say this to one another as a way of cementing their love. It’s about safety; but more than that, it’s about solidarity. This book is a mix of historical research, the author’s own personal experience, and conversations about female friendships across the country.  A celebration of the evolution of female friendship in pop culture and modern society.

 

 

 

 

 

TV Shows to Binge on Your Summer Vacation

By Spencer Stevens

Summer is here! If you’re looking for a TV show to enjoy, here are some suggestions.

FortitudeCool off with Fortitude, a thriller set in a tiny Norwegian research community as close to the Arctic Circle as people can live. A grisly murder rocks the town, and Fortitude’s residents question their trust in each other and their leaders.
Recommended for: Fans of Stephen King, atmospheric horror/suspense, and non-American TV.
Warning: Not recommended for the squeamish as this show features very graphic violence.
Status: Ongoing (Season 3, final season, in production)

Schitt$CreekLaugh till it hurts with Schitt’s Creek, a Canadian “riches to rags” comedy. The wealthy Rose family loses everything–except for the run-down town of Schitt’s Creek that they bought as a joke years earlier. The family now lives in a motel in town and attempts to reclaim their former glory.
Recommended for: Fans of family sitcoms and quirky comedies with the same tone as the works of Christopher Guest (Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman).
Warning: This show includes strong language and lewd humor.
Status: Ongoing (Season 5 in production)

OrphanBlackAbsorb yourself in Orphan Black, a Canadian-American science fiction thriller starring Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany. Orphan Black focuses on the women who are unknowingly part of a human cloning experiment and the organizations that continue to control and study their bodies.
Recommended for: Fans of science fiction thrillers and female-led dramas.
Warnings: This show features graphic violence, sexual situations, and strong language.
Status: Complete (5 seasons)

CrazyEx-GirlfriendSway to the music with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This series flips the sexist stereotype of the “crazy ex-girlfriend” on its head with its lead character, a successful lawyer named Rebecca who lives with mental illness. Rebecca decides to leave New York City and move to California after a chance encounter with her middle school summer camp ex-boyfriend. Every episode features one or two musical numbers.
Recommended for: Fans of musicals and romantic comedies.
Status: Ongoing (Season 4, final season, in production)

Everything is connected in Dirk GenDirkGentlytly’s Holistic Detective Agency. Hotel employee Todd runs into Dirk Gently, a fast-talking British detective, and finds himself wrapped up in a chaotic quest to solve a bizarre murder. The duo take on the four members of the Rowdy Three, a woman who can’t die, and a sinister government agency trying to control people with extraordinary abilities.
Recommended for: Fans of science fiction, unconventional detective shows, and Doctor Who.
Warnings: This show depicts graphic violence and occasional strong language.
Status: Complete (2 seasons) but with a possibility of revival.

MissFisherTravel to 1920s Australia with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Phryne Fisher, a private detective with a glamorous lifestyle solves murders plaguing Melbourne. She butts heads with Detective Inspector Jack Robinson and reflects on a tragedy from her past.
Recommended for: Fans of mysteries and period dramas.
Warnings: This show features violence and other adult content.
Status: Complete (3 seasons) with a made-for-TV film in production

TheKillingGet drawn into The Killing. Homicide detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder investigate the murder of a teenager in Seattle, Washington. The series features season-long plot lines rather than episodic plots.
Recommended for: Fans of mystery, police procedurals, and female-led dramas.
Warnings: This show features violence and other adult content.
Status: Complete (4 seasons)

TheAmericansSpy on The Americans. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are your average 1980s suburban couple: they have two great kids, live in a typical house–and they’re Soviet spies. They grew up in Russia, learned the art of espionage, and now collect intelligence under a variety of aliases.
Recommended for: Fans of suspense, espionage, and family drama.
Warnings: This show features graphic violence, sexual situations, strong language, and other adult content.
Status: Complete (6 seasons)

Bonus!
 BuzzfeedUnsolvedLogo.jpgGet creeped out by Buzzfeed Unsolved, a free YouTube series starring two guys who love to talk about unsolved mysteries–both true crime and supernatural. The show is dark and disturbing, but the hosts, Ryan and Shane, have good senses of humor and try to find levity in the heavy topics. The Supernatural episodes generally feature paranormal investigations.
Recommended for: Fans of true crime, paranormal mystery, and paranormal investigation.
Warnings: This show includes strong language, discussions of difficult topics like murder and sexual assault, and occasional graphic imagery.
Status: Ongoing (several seasons uploaded per year)

All of these shows, with the exception of Buzzfeed Unsolved, are available at the Northborough Free Library or elsewhere in the C/W MARS Catalog. You can find Buzzfeed Unsolved on YouTube.

Enjoy your binge!