I am getting ready for a vacation in a couple of weeks, so I’m looking for books to take. My calculation works like this — for a week off, I estimate I will read about four books (probably less now that I have kids!) and I need backups for those books in case I start one and it just doesn’t click. So I need to bring at least eight books along. I eagerly welcome recommendations from friends and family, however, we don’t have exactly the same taste in books, so I can’t rely on them alone for my reading list.
Where else can people go when they are looking for their next read? I have a free account at Goodreads (www.goodreads.com) and that site is very helpful. I enter books as I finish reading them so I have a log of what I’ve read. Goodreads also has lists on their main page, such as “Best Books of the 20th Century” and “Best for Book Clubs,” to name just two, that are great for finding new ideas. These features are all helpful, but my “To Read” list is the best. Anytime I see a book that looks appealing, I immediately log in to Goodreads and add it to my list, and it eliminates the stress an avid reader feels when they don’t know yet what their next book will be (and, additionally, what the backup book to the next book is). Now I just need to access my list and I have more choices than I can handle. This is a wonderful “problem” for a reader!
Westerly Library subscribes to a database that is also very useful called Novelist. To access it, go to www.askri.org, and you’ll see it listed there (among many other great databases). It is free to our library patrons, and you can use it from anywhere you can get on the Internet! Looking for a book for your teenager or child aged 9-12? They have numerous lists for both age groups. Also, they provide book discussion guides — very helpful for those of you in book groups! Another handy feature is author read-alikes. I love this section and use it a lot in my job at the library. It is always fun to recommend books I have read and enjoyed, but not everyone likes the same kinds of novels. With the author read-alike feature, you can enter a book’s title, and Novelist will furnish you with two lists — one of books similar to the book you entered, and another of authors with a similar style to the one you looked up.
So the next time you are wondering what you’re going to read as you get to the end of a book, come to the library! Or, from the comfort of your home, turn to Novelist or Goodreads. There is a lot of assistance out there, and, fortunately, many many good books to be read!
Top requested books
1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
2. “Summer of ‘69” by Elin Hilderbrand
3. “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert
4. “One Good Deed” by David Baldacci
5. “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner
6. “The New Girl” by Daniel Silva
7. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover
8. “A Better Man” by Louise Penny
9. “The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware
10. “The Nickel boys” by Colson Whitehead
Top requested movies
1. “Game of Thrones, season 8”
2. “Marvel’s Avengers. Endgame”
3. “Outlander, Season 4”
5. “Long Shot”
6. “The Hustle”
7. “Captain Marvel”
MONDAY — The library will be closed for Victory Day.
TUESDAY — 10-11 a.m., Sunflower Kids Yoga at Craig Field (17 Mountain Ave.) – for ages 4-12, a yoga storytelling adventure! 10-11 a.m., Feel Good Circus at Cimalore Field (10 Wilson St.) – for ages 5-12; 1-2 p.m., Afternoon Book Group! New members are welcome, this month’s selection is “The Immortal Irishman” by Timothy Egan; 2-4 p.m., Galaxy Jars – for teens (12-19), create your own glow in the dark lamp! 5-7:30 p.m., Experience VR – a special night of guided virtual reality experiences and gaming for adults in our Makerspace; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group! – a friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club; 6-7:30 p.m., Renaissance Toastmasters – meets twice a month to share stories and get comfortable speaking in front of an audience; 7:30-10:30 p.m., Colonial Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park—this summer’s production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
WEDNESDAY — 9:15-10 a.m., Storytime at the Watch Hill Library – for ages 3+, at 2 Everett Ave.; 1-3 p.m., Animation Nation Club (ages 8-12) – a stop-motion film making program, online pre-registration required; 2-3:30 p.m., Summer Coding Classes; 4-5:30 p.m., Swampabots – for ages 9-12, Join this First Lego League Robotics team as they practice building and coding with Lego robots; 7:30-10:30 p.m., Colonial Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park—this summer’s production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
THURSDAY —10:15-11 a.m., Toddler Painting (birth-4 years) – online registration required for a short story time followed by a group painting class, held near the fountain in Wilcox Park! 11:30-12:30 p.m., Storytime for ages 3+ at Mel’s Downtown Creamery; 1-3 p.m., Community Conversation on Alzheimer’s Disease – registration preferred, come discuss with the Alzheimer’s Association; 2-4 p.m., Teen Anime Club – come discuss your favorite manga and anime, snacks and supplies provided; 5-7:30 p.m., Experience VR – a special night of guided virtual reality experiences and gaming for adults in our Makerspace; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 7:30-10:30 p.m., Colonial Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park—this summer’s production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
FRIDAY — 10-11 a.m., All About Cats – an interactive presentation about cats for ages 6-12; 2-4 p.m., Teen Book Club – Share what you’ve been reading lately and get to take home a free book! Snacks provided; 7:30-10:30 p.m., Colonial Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park—this summer’s production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
SATURDAY — 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Return of Camera Obscura – weather permitting (must be sunny), find us in Wilcox Park; 7:30-10:30 p.m., Colonial Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park—this summer’s production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.