Looking for a Mindful Moment?

Find one with InsightTimer. This app and website publishes the world’s largest collection of free guided meditations. Over 40,000 free titles can help you manage stress, cope with anxiety and improve your sleep. You’ll find options for timed meditations, music and nature sound recordings, and meditation practices designed specifically for children and teens. There’s even a free 7 day course for people new to the practice of meditation. Download the app today and enjoy a moment of mindfulness.

5 Books on Climate Change to Commerate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

by Deborah Hersh

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Established as a national annual event in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U S Senator from Wisconson, Earth Day was created to focus on the environment and to raise public awareness about pollution. Nelson’s idea’s for Earth day came about after witnessing the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. Further inspired by the protests of the 1960’s, Earth Day began as a “national teach-in on the environment”, and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. Today Earth Day is observed globally by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior, create global, national and local policy changes, and to champion the health of our planet. All 5 suggestions are available as ebooks and/or eaudio books in the C/W MARS digital catalog .

The Unihabitable Earth: a Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells. Wallace-Wells is not a scientist. He is a journalist and the deputy editor of New York magazine. Well-organized and fully sourced, Wallace-Wells vividly and powerfully explains the planetary changes happening now and their dire human consequences. He relates how economic and political systems are linked to environmental catastrophies. Yes, Wallace-Wells warns “it is worse, much worse, than you think.” Still, even with all this overwhelming and compelling evidence of impending doom for our planet presented here, Wallace-Wells asserts that there are solutions and that it is not too late to implement them. A clear and impassioned clarion call to action.

Drawdown: the Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken. Environmentalist Hawken outlines an optimistic pathway for getting out of our present environmental mess. Hawken’s international coalition of environmental experts, researchers and professionals survey and explain one hundred current, economicaly viable techniques and practices to reverse global-warming. Do-able solutions that exsit now to mitigate climate change.

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer. In this contemplative and honest series of essays, novelist Foer extends an argument that began with his book Eating Animals (2009):  A prominent driver of climate change is deforestation, and a prominent engine of deforestation is clearing ground for animal agriculture. So lessening the number of animals slated to be eaten will decrease the rate and scale of deforestation. We need to eat lower on the food chain. A meaningful action to mitigate climate change is presented as both incredibly simple and terribly difficult.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. Tracing how extinction evolved as a scientific concept, New Yorker staff writer Kolbert discusses the great animal extinctions of the past in context with the loss of present-day animals. Kolbert traveled all over the world to interview marine biologists, atmospheric scientists, geologists, forest ecologists, and paleontologists about today’s evidence of human-made mass extinction and loss of biodiversity. Coupled with her personal experiences in the field, Kolbert gives us a lively and compelling presentation of the devastation humanity has wrought on the natural world.

Rising: Dispatches From the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush. Rush, who teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University, gives us a sobering account on how climate change is affecting American shorelines.  Rush traveled extensively along the US coasts, interviewing scientists and coastal dwellers directly affected by today’s devastating floods and catastrophic storms. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place. A meditation on how to let go of the places we love and call home.

Northborough Children’s Book Award Nominees

Who will win? You decide!

How do I participate?

Kids in grades 3, 4, and 5 are eligible. Participants must read at least 3 of the following books by May 31st. After reading, participants should vote for their favorite book, and the winning title will be announced in early June.

And the nominees are…


Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah sometimes stretches the truth to fit in at school. One day, three kids show up at Aru’s house to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon. The only way to stop it is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death.


Bob by Wendy Mass

It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house. It turns out she’s right. Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who―or what―he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.


Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. # 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Each day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, 10-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel.. # 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. # 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?


Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

It is Earth year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed. Or so he thinks. Because before this day is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space and find out that the human race is just one of many in our universe locked in a dangerous struggle for survival.


New Kid by Jerry Craft

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?


Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao. To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.


Restart by Gordon Korman

Chase doesn’t remember falling off the roof. He doesn’t remember hitting his head. He doesn’t, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again, starting with his own name. He knows he’s Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets. Pretty soon, it’s not only a question of who Chase is–it’s a question of who he was, and who he’s going to be.


Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet

Caldecott Honor winner Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell the story of this American literary icon. Readers young and old will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Dean & Shannon Hale

14-year-old Doreen Green moved from California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of…a squirrel! Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born! She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go…NUTS?


The Vanderbeekers of 141st St. by Karina Yan Glaser

The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home. 

All images and summaries are paraphrased or copied from www.amazon.com.

Staff Picks the Best of 2019

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a murder, Kya Clark, who has survived alone for years in a marsh near the North Carolina coast, becomes targeted by unthinkable forces.

“I loved reading about Kya and her journey in this amazing story” – Kate


Funny man : Mel Brooks by Partrick Mcgillian. A deeply textured and compelling biography of comedy giant Mel Brooks, covering his rags-to-riches life and triumphant career in television, films, and theater.

“He can be an acquired taste, but I found the back stories of Brooks’ life experiences as well as the “sausage making” of his TV, movie, and Broadway hits fascinating.” — Rick

In the Woods by Tana French is the first book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. Twenty years after witnessing the violent disappearances of two companions from their small Dublin suburb, detective Rob Ryan investigates a chillingly similar murder that takes place in the same wooded area, a case that forces him to piece together his traumatic memories.

” These mysteries have rich story lines and extraordinary characters.  Listen to the audiobooks to really feel like you’re in Dublin City Centre!” — Lindsay

The Intelligence Trap : Why Smart People make dumb Mistakes by David Robson draws on cutting-edge ideas in the understanding of expertise and intelligence to reveal how smart people are equally or more prone to making mistakes, citing lessons that can be learned from the setbacks of intellectuals ranging from Benjamin Franklin to Richard Feynman.

“This book has very valuable information regarding some common errors in thinking and decision making, as well as strategies to mitigate those errors.” — Eric

The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Surviving a horrific multiple homicide, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks is unexpectedly offered a full scholarship to Yale, where her mysterious benefactors task her with monitoring the university’s secret societies.

“This is a strange and atmospheric mystery with compelling characters and a plot filled with creepy twists and turns.” — Carly

Come Hell or Highball by Maia Chance. In this Prohibition-era mystery, society matron Lola Woodby agrees to recover a stolen film reel for its rightful owner, but before she can retrieve it, the man in possession of the reel is killed.

” Lola and Berta made a memorable pair in this funny and engaging series starter.” — Kimberlee

Map Of The Soul: PERSONA by BTS. The record-breaking band BTS from South Korea continues to set the world on fire, and they keep the momentum going with this follow-up to their 2018 releases Face Yourself and Love Yourself: Tear.

“Although the CD is pretty much completely in Korean, I don’t find it to be a barrier at all – music is the universal language after all!” – Kristen

Internment by Samira Ahmed. Forced into an interment camp for Muslim-American citizens in a near-future United States, 17-year-old Layla Amin helps forge an alliance of new friends and outside sympathizers before becoming the leader of a revolution against the camp’s corrupt guards.

“This is and extremely powerful story of a possible near future United States.  I highly recommend listening to the audio book.” — Bonny

3 Must-Have Library Apps

By Spencer Stevens

With these three apps, you can use the library catalog when you’re on the go, download free e-books and e-audiobooks, and send print jobs to us from anywhere.

An image of the CW MARS Libraries app from the Google App Store.

1. The CW MARS Libraries App – We’ve crammed the ENTIRE catalog into a free app you can download and use on the go. The app functions just like the catalog from the website. Here’s what you can do:

  • Search & Place Holds – You’re out with your friends. Your friends mention how much they absolutely LOVED Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, and you feel left out. The CW MARS app will let you place a hold on Big Little Lies from wherever you are. Place that hold and enjoy your friends’ company. You’ll get the book in time.
  • Your library card is now on your phone – You and your family spend a nice weekend in the Berkshires and visit the local library, which happens to be a member of CW MARS. You see that the book with over 1,000 holds is miraculously available near the Circ Desk—but you forgot your library card! Pull out your phone, open the app, and select “Show card.” There it is—your card number and that lovely black-and-white barcode. The librarian will take it from there. (Don’t worry, if you want to read on the drive home, take the book with you and return it to our library. We’ll make sure it gets back.)
A picture of the Libby app's homepage, featuring a search bar, the CW MARS logo, and a way to set preferences for searches.

2. The Libby App – We’ve crammed thousands of free e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines into the CW MARS Digital Catalog. Borrow them with the Libby app (for smartphones and tablets) or the OverDrive app (for Kindle and Nook). Here’s what you can do with these apps:

  • Download Books – You can download e-books from the CW MARS Digital Catalog with one of these apps. You can even read a sample of any book to see if you enjoy it.
  • Download Audio – You’ve been meaning to read A Game of Thrones for a while now. You decide to listen to it on your commute. The physical version of the audiobook—almost 30 CDs—might be difficult to transport. Download it onto your phone, no CDs required.
  • Browse your favorite magazine – There are a ton of magazines available in the Digital Catalog for you to enjoy. You can read them all immediately—no holds lists.
The homepage for the PrinterOn app, featuring four boxes: documents, email, photos, and web. Users can select a box and print the item attached.

3. PrinterOn – No printer? No problem. You can send a document to the library and print it out when you arrive. Here’s what you can do with PrinterOn:

  • Print anywhere – You’re going on vacation and want to print your boarding pass, but your printer ran out of ink. Send that boarding pass from your email to the library using PrinterOn and print it out when you get here. Safe travels!
  • Print anything – Send documents, photos, emails or attachments, and websites all from your phone or tablet. Black-and-white or color printing available.
  • Print (almost) anytime – When you send us something to print out, it stays in our queue for 24 hours before being automatically deleted. Feel free to send us a document on Sunday night and print it when we open on Monday at noon.

Try out these apps for yourself, or ask a staff member at the Adult Services Desk for help getting started.

Check out this “stellar” app!

Did you miss our Night Sky Viewing event this past Monday? Part of our time was exploring an app available in the App Store for Apple devices called Night Sky. It’s free to download, with options for upgrade.

The app is *awesome*! You don’t need to be outside at night to view the locations of constellations, planets or even the International Space Station in real time! If you’re running iOS 11, you can even tap on an item to get information and a 3D view to explore.

What do you think of the app? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

8 Books for Stonewall’s 50th

On June 28, 1969, a group of LGBTQ+ people, led by transgender women of color, fought back against an anti-LGBTQ+ police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City . The ensuing riots are called the Stonewall Riots or Stonewall Uprising. This year, we commemorate 50 years since the riots that most people agree launched the modern LGBTQ+ Rights Movement. Since 1971, the American Library Association has honored books portraying the LGBTQ+ experience with the Stonewall Book Awards. Here are a few Stonewall Book Award winners to check out as Pride Month draws to a close.

Cover of the book Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis NuttBecoming Nicole introduces us to Wayne and Kelly Maines, who adopted twin baby boys. As the twins grew up, one of them, Nicole, came out as transgender and began presenting as a woman. Becoming Nicole relates the transformations Nicole, her family, and their community underwent and the prejudices they overcame.

Cover the graphic novel Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – Alison Bechdel is a lesbian cartoonist and author known for various graphic novels. In Fun Home, Bechdel explores her childhood living in a funeral home, her growing self-realization and acceptance of being gay, and her relationship with her late father, who kept his sexuality closeted for most of his life.

Cover of book How to Survive a Plague by David France

How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS by David France – During the 1980s and 1990s, hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ people contracted HIV, and hundreds of thousands died of AIDS complications. In How to Survive a Plague, David France relates the stories of activists who created, funded, smuggled, and distributed life-saving medications to LGBTQ+ people nationwide. This book was adapted from the documentary film of the same name.

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski – In A Queer History of the United States, Michael Bronski shows us how lesser-known LGBTQ+ activists have been fighting for rights in America decades and centuries before the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager – Numerous LGBTQ+ people have left their mark on world history. In Queer, There, and Everywhere, Sarah Prager introduces us to some of these people–including gender-defying holy warrior Joan of Arc, American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, and transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, who was present at the Stonewall Riots and became a founder of the Gay Liberation Front.

Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron – In Raising My Rainbow, blogger Lori Duron tells us about C.J., her gender-creative son, who loves playing with Disney princesses, wearing tutus, and singing Lady Gaga’s catchy songs. Duron takes us through the difficulties and joys of raising a child who goes against traditional gender norms.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock – Janet Mock is a transgender activist, writer, and television producer. She worked as an editor for the magazines Marie Claire and People and currently is a producer, director, and writer on the FX series Pose. In this frank memoir, Mock takes us through her turbulent childhood and her journey for self-determination as a transgender woman of color.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum – The uprising at the Stonewall Inn was complex and had roots in sexual, gender, racial, and class oppression. To learn more about this pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history, try Stonewall by Ann Bausum.