Comix Con and Star Wars Symposium

The Somerville Public Library Comix Con will take over the Central Library on May 5th from 11 AM to 4 PM! Comix Con is an all-ages celebration of fandom, combining the worlds of film and television, science fiction, fantasy, comic books, graphic novels, anime, books, cartoons, gaming, and collectibles.

Highlights include a cosplay presentation, a costume content, an Artists' Alley with over 30 local comic artists, gaming with Knight Moves, hundreds of prizes and giveaways, and fandom-related crafts and activities.  
As a preamble to Comix Con,  we are celebrating May the Fourth with an after-hours Star Wars Symposium! The all-ages symposium will consist of a pop-up Star Wars museum, a costume contest, character identification, trivia games, and more.

For more information on either of these programs, contact Ellen at 
(617) 623-5000 ext. 2950  or
Both programs have been made possible in part thanks to funding from the Friends of the Somerville Public Library.
Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale

Mark your calendars! The Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale is only one month away. Browse through thousands of titles and stock up on summer vacation reading material! The Friends Book Sale will be held at the Central Library on the dates and times below:
  • Wednesday, May 95-8 PM
  • Thursday, May 105-8 PM
  • Friday, May 11: 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, May 12: 10-2 PM
  • Sunday, May 131-5 PM
All proceeds benefit the Library. Learn more about the Friends of the Somerville Public Library on the Friends web page.
New Upholstered S eating in 
Wellington Hall 

All upholstered furniture in Wellington Hall (the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Central Library) has now been replaced by colorful blue seating. We could not be happier, and hope you will be, too!

We even have custom matching pillows thanks to Mary from the Reference Department.

Our new furniture is perfect for reading, knitting, or working on your laptop!
Adult Recommendations 
This issue's recommendations come courtesy of Heidi and Cassie at the Central Library and Max at the West Branch.
This futuristic novel is set in California after a collapse of  the modern economy. Everything becomes so expensive that only the rich can afford to buy anything. The book centers around Cal and Frida, a married couple trying to survive in a desolate land. This is a serious page-turner that will keep you wanting to know more. A must-read you won't be able to put down.
Recommended by Heidi
Robert Wright, author of The Moral Animal, returns with another thought-provoking look into evolutionary psychology. This time he examines how cutting-edge neuroscience and evolutionary psychology align with Buddhist philosophy and thought. A fascinating read for those interested in world religions and/or meditation.  
Recommended by Cassie
why Buddhism is true book cover
Lyndsey Faye's excellent novel injects an extra dose of crime and horror into the classic Jane Eyre. Re-imagining the title character as a serial killer, albeit one in the sympathetic Dexter mold, this book follows many of the same plot points as the original novel while putting deadly new spins on them. When she comes face to face with the man who has inherited the house and money she believes rightfully hers and finds he's a righteous man rather than a scoundrel, Jane must decide whether there are solutions other than murder--especially when it seems he's captured her heart too. Standing out from the run of the mill literary mashups, Jane Steele is a fast paced and thrilling novel perfect no matter what your prior knowledge of Jane Eyre .  
Recommended by Max 
This real life Victorian murderer yields a fascinating tale of horror and redemption. When Robert Coombes was just thirteen, he killed his mother and spent the days after living it up with his brother and a family friend. When the corpse was discovered, Robert readily admitted to his crime, and yet many questions of motive and cause were left unanswered. Summerscale traces the case from the murder through the complex trial, a thrilling courtroom drama that shows the ways in which we have and haven't changed from 19th century views. With questions of criminality and the goal of prison as key in our society as ever, this book shows how things once were and yet will leave the reader with questions about our own society. 
Recommended by Max

Still looking for more? See the Staff Picks page! 
YA (Young Adult) Recommendations
This issue's YA recommendations come from guest reviewer Katherine, Lilly and Cassie at the Central Library, and Max at the West Branch. 
This is the best book-to-movie transformation I've ever seen.  All of the important scenes were there, and all of the characters were exactly as I had imagined them.  Some things were changed to fit the movie better, but the important plot lines were still there. The movie really contained the meaning of the book, and that is the best possible thing you can hope for in a book-to-movie transformation.
Recommended by Katherine (age 11) 
simon vs homo sapiens agenda
Melissa Albert's dark new fairy tale is the story of Alice, a 17-year-old who has been running from bad luck for as long as she can remember. When Alice's mother mysteriously disappears, she knows it has something to do with Tales From the Hinterland , a famous book of stories her estranged grandmother wrote many years before. Alice soon discovers that the Hinterland could be more than a story and the bad luck is anything but random. A fun read for fractured fairy tale enthusiasts!  
Recommended by Lilly
hazel wood book cover
Leah Westfall joins a grand tradition of women, both real and fictional, disguising themselves as men to seek their own destiny. "Lee" joins a wagon train heading West in hopes that her talent for finding gold will help her strike it rich and escape the man who murdered her parents. The first installment in a trilogy, Walk on Earth a Stranger promises a great deal of adventure, a fair bit of real history, and just a touch of magic and romance for those seeking their next girl-powered YA read. 
Recommended by Max
walk on earth a stranger book cover

Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld  
Basketball fan or not, you'll find inspiration in the life of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This YA memoir spans from Abdul-Jabbar's childhood years through the end of his college career. The book touches on issues including overcoming shyness, dealing with racism and prejudice while growing up, his passion for activism and conversion to Islam, and finally his decision to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks. 
Recommended by Cassie
becoming kareem book cover

Looking for a couple extra recommendations? Check out our YA Staff Picks  from Ron and Ellen! 
Children's Recommendations
This issue's recommendations come courtesy of Alison at the West Branch and Annamarie at the Central Library.
In an unnamed part of the world, children have been taken from their families to help solve strategy puzzles in an effort to stop a war.  Threads of Blue finds Mathilde alone, dealing with the consequences of a major decision, trying to find those she loves and reconcile different truths.  The powerful sequel to Beautiful Blue World covers complicated topics like friendship, war, family, independence and loyalty in an accessible, adventurous, heartwarming manner.
Recommended by Alison

threads of blue book cover
Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet
Told from the viewpoint of an 11-year-old American boy with an incredible stutter whose life is turned around when his parents take him to live in East Berlin in 1989. It's a story of his great friendship with Cloud-Claudia, the lonely girl who lives in his building, with her terrifying grandmother. Something has happened to her parents and together they try to solve this mystery. Readers will witness life behind the iron curtain and events leading up to the fall of the Berlin wall.
Recommended by Annamarie 
cloud and wallfish
This debut picture book has colorful illustrations and catchy, rhyming text, but its best feature is the self-affirming message that every kind of hair is princess hair.  
Recommended by Alison

princess hair book cover
A heartwarming story about a lost wolf pup who finds shelter and love from a polar bear. The wolf is scared at first, but the polar bear gains his trust by taking care of him. Even though she is not his mother, she keeps him warm, shows him where to catch fish, cares for the little pup, and provides love as only a mother would. A beautiful picture book about the love and kindness of a stranger and acceptance of others.
Recommended by Annamarie

SPL Attends Public Library Association Conference

Library staff returned from  Public Library Association (PLA) Conference this month full of ideas and enthusiasm! They joined thousands of other public library professionals from across the United States at the bi-annual conference.

Our staff attended informational sessions and workshops, learning how to improve services and programs offered here in Somerville. Key areas of the conferences discussion focused on advocacy; library funding; consumer health information; equity, diversity, and inclusion; and digital literacy. Speakers included former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and comedian and activist Hasan Minhaj.

PLA has made video highlights of the conference available online.  
sustainaville week
SustainaVille Week Activities at the Library

For the second year in a row, we are partnering with the City of Somerville's Office of Sustainability and Environment to host numerous 2018 SustainaVille Week events and programs.  SustainaVille Week takes place from April 21st to April 29th and is an annual celebration of sustainability and climate action in Somerville.

Find all of our SustainaVille Week activities in our recent article in the Somerville Journal.

All three libraries are exhibiting displays that highlight the Library's environmental collections and resources during the month of April. Additional recommendations can be found on our Library blog at

For more information about SustainaVille Week events at the Somerville Public Library, please call 617.623.5000 ext. 2966.

The City of Somerville is also hosting a number of SustainaVille Week events in other locations across the city. View the entire schedule of events on the SustainaVille website.

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