standing Westerly Library

America’s obsession with the true- crime genre is pretty evident; a quick scroll through streaming services like Netflix and Hulu come up with heaps of docuseries on everyone from Ted Bundy to the Zodiac Killer. In the library, this section (typically beginning with the Dewey Decimal number 364.1523) is positively bursting with titles. Personally, I enjoy the mystery and suspense that the genre brings, but cases involving homicides and serial killers are way too heavy for me lately. If you’re also interested in all of the true-crime intrigue (without the blood and gore), there are still plenty of options!

I recently began “This is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist” on Netflix , a four-part series detailing the infamous 1980 Boston art heist in which two men dressed as police officers stole over $500 million worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Despite a $10 million reward, none of the works have been recovered and no arrests were ever made. While the show is not yet available on DVD, there are plenty of books about the case at the library. Start with “Master Thieves” by Boston Globe journalist Stephen Kurkjian. Another good option is “Stolen”, which was actually commissioned by the museum itself and includes plenty of interviews/comments from inside staff, as well as high-quality photographs of the missing works. For more on art thefts in general, try “Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists” by Anthony M. Amore!

White-collar crime is another captivating lane to dive into. You may have heard of Theranos, a health technology company founded by 19-year-old Elizabeth Holmes, who became the wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America … until it was found that the technology didn’t really work. Read all about it in “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou, and check out the documentary “The Inventor” at the library. If you’re into financial fraud, try “Billion Dollar Whale” by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, the story of the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal and the mastermind behind the fraud: the (now) international fugitive Jho Low. From greedy investors to offshore accounts to Britney Spears and Leonardo DiCaprio, this book has it all.

These are just a few interesting titles, but there are innumerable others, including a fantastic compilation entitled “The New York Times Book of crime,”which pulls together 166 years’ worth of New York Times articles on every sort of crime imaginable. Or, if you prefer, stop on in and browse through this section on the second floor — I guarantee you’ll find something that speaks to your unique true-crime interests!

Top requested books

1. “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave

2. “Golden Girl” by Elin Hilderbrand

3. “The Paper Palace” by Miranda Cowley Heller

4. “The Madness of Crowds” by Louise Penny

5. “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

6. “The Cellist” by Daniel Silva

7. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig

8. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

9. “People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

10. “I Alone Can Fix It” by Carol Leonnig

Top requested DVDs

1. “The Truffle Hunters”

2. “Cruella”

3. “Wrath of Man”

4. “The Misfits”

5. “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”

6. “Queen Bees”

7. “A Quiet Place Part II”

8. “Palm Springs”

9. “Here Today”

10. “In the Heights”

This week

MONDAY –– 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Maker Mondays Summer Reading Program – Grab a new fun craft for kids to take home and enjoy. Stop by while supplies last; 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Teen Maker Mondays Summer Reading Program – Pick up a craft project from the Teen Space! Available while supplies last. One per teen please.

TUESDAY –– 9-10 a.m., Yoga in the Park with Chelsea Hauck – A beginner-friendly yoga practice on the YMCA side of the park. Please bring a yoga mat, a towel, a water bottle; 10-10:30 a.m., Virtual Kids Yoga (Ages 3-12) – Join us on Zoom for a fun children’s yoga class to introduce kids to poses, sequences, and mindfulness. Preregistration is required; 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; 3-3:45 p.m., Teen Live Trivia with Kahoot – Join us for some trivia fun! We’ll be meeting through Zoom and using Kahoot. Topics will vary. Contact to register; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group is meeting weekly upstairs in Reference.

WEDNESDAY –– 9:30-10:00 a.m., Essentrics Stretch in the Park – This workout will elongate and strengthen all the muscles chains in the body. Bring a mat, bath towel, and water; 12:30-2 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Wednesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required.

THURSDAY –– 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Friends Pop-up Book Sale – Every Thursday over the summer, the Friends of the Library will host a Summer Pop-up Book Sale on the library esplanade; 4-4:45 p.m., (Virtual) Teen Book Club – Join the teen librarians for book discussions, recommendations, and creative writing tips! Contact to register; 6-8 p.m., Stage Door Theater Presents a Staged Reading of “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett – Enjoy a new performance in Wilcox Park. This play will run through Sunday, August 29th.

FRIDAY –– 10-10:20 a.m., Kids Facebook Live Storytime – Each week we do a short storytime through Facebook Live. Participants can go to the library Facebook Page and click on the ‘Live’ tab at the top.

SATURDAY –– 9 a.m.-12 p.m., URI Master Gardener Kiosk – Get research-based answers to all of your gardening questions, and have your soil tested for free; 10-11:30 a.m., Walking Tour of Wilcox Park | Native Flowers and Trees – During this tour you will learn about the value of natives, and see the native perennials and trees in Wilcox Park. Please meet on the Esplanade at the side entrance of the library; 10:15-11 a.m., Zumba in the Park – Join us in Wilcox Park for Zumba with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi! Classes are FREE and will be held on the grassy area near the gazebo, weather permitting.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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