standing Westerly Library

The new books (as well as DVDs and audio CDs) have been flying in lately! There are so many great new releases, from absolutely fascinating tomes about the most esoteric of subjects to books on social issues to the latest novels by popular authors like James Patterson and Danielle Steel. No matter your taste, there’s something for you here at the library.

Personally, I have a fondness for nonfiction (considering my occupation as a reference librarian, I suppose this isn’t all that shocking) and particularly enjoy authors who make random or seemingly mundane subjects entertaining. This month, I’m interested in “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World” by the great Simon Winchester, and “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding” by Daniel Lieberman, the latter of which was described by Bill Bryson as “strik[ing] a perfect balance of scholarship, wit, and enthusiasm.” Since Bryson is the king of making boring subjects titillating, his endorsement is good enough for me!

For those of you who like a bit of adventure, maybe “Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World” by Andrea Pitzer will appeal to you. At the very least, it’s a good reminder that the snowy weather we’re experiencing could be far worse! Foodies and environmentally conscious folks may like “Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat” by Robert Paarlberg, an analysis of the modern food movement. And our DIYers and Makers out there will love “Craft: An American History” by Glenn Adamson, a look at how artisans help build our country.

“Martha Stewart’s Very Good Things” is great for those who are ready to tackle your spring cleaning. If you’re still in hibernation mode, perhaps “Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing” is more on your level. And if you’re somewhere in the middle and want to DO things, but just basic things like learn how to actually keep one of your houseplants alive, browse through “The Little Book of Life Skills: Deal with Dinner, Manage Your Email, Make a Graceful Exit, and 152 Other Expert Tricks” by Erin Zammett Ruddy.

There are plenty of great works of fiction, as well! “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald entered the public domain at the beginning of the year, so it is now free for anyone to use or adapt. Author Michael Farris Smith wasted no time in releasing his prequel, “Nick”, which gives readers some background on the original narrator, Nick Carraway. For something even more original, check out “Outlawed” by Anna North, a feminist Western-inspired book that’s both genre-bending AND gender-bending. “The Push” by Ashley Audrain is now a New York Times bestseller, but approach with caution: this psychological thriller is described as being just as disturbing as it is gripping. And finally, let’s end on a lighthearted note with “The Liar’s Dictionary,” a comedy-thriller-love story about … a dictionary. Because, why not?!?

Top requested books

1. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

2. “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

3. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig

4. “Before She Disappeared” by Lisa Gardner

5. “A Time for Mercy” by John Grisham

6. “Win” by Harlan Coben

7. “Daylight” by David Baldacci

8. “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson

9. “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama

10. “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age” by Sanjay Gupta

Top requested DVDs

1. “The Crown Season 3”

2. “Tenet”

3. “Wild Mountain Thyme”

4. “Let Him Go”

5. “Greenland”

6. “The Undoing”

7. “Yellowstone Season 3”

8. “Fatman”

9. “News of the World”

10. “All Creatures Great and Small”

This week

MONDAY — The library will be closed for Presidents’ Day.

TUESDAY — 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Crafternoon To-Go: Painted Wine Glasses – Each kit comes with supplies for TWO glasses for a great date night or gals night craft! Reserve your kit today, supplies are limited; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email to help connect you with local services/resources. Email her at; 4-4:30 p.m., Magic Show: Watch and Learn (Ages 5+) – Join the Great Baldini as he shows some tips and tricks on how to be the ultimate magician! Preregister (required) on our website at; 5:30-7:30 Virtual Knit and Crochet Club – We’re still meeting virtually! Email for details.

WEDNESDAY — 2-3 p.m., Virtual Film Club – We will discuss three movies we selected last month and choose three to watch for our March meeting. Contact Hannah at for meeting details; 4-4:45 p.m., Kids Harry Potter Bingo (Ages 8+) – Preregistration is required! Participants will receive Zoom login information, as well as a link to their virtual, interactive Bingo card; 6-7 p.m., Cookbook Club: Dine and Discuss – We’ll be preparing and (virtually) sharing recipes from “Jubilee” by Toni Tipton-Martin. Contact to register.

THURSDAY — 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Grab’n’Go Solar Ovens (Ages 6+) - Come into the Children’s Room to pick up your supply kit between 9am and 8pm, then watch our video on our Westerly Library and Wilcox Park YouTube Channel to learn how to make your solar-powered oven; 3-4 p.m., Teen Virtual Book Club – Join us on Zoom for an open discussion on anything book or writing related! Email to register; 6-7 p.m., Virtual Author Talk with Christina Lane | Phantom Lady – Join us for a virtual author talk with Christina Lane about her book “Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock”. Register on our website at

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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