Resources for Book Groups

With fall comes our library book groups' selections for the following year. Whether your book group is ready to pick new books or you're thinking it might be fun to get some friends together, here are some resources for book groups you may enjoy:
  • LitLovers - A one-stop shop for all things book club, including how to get started, book reviews, reading guides - even recipes. This is a great resource for book discussion questions, including ones for generic fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, and more that may not come with a discussion guide. Best of all, it's totally free!
  • BookBrowse - Another great source of reading guides and discussion questions. Some content is free, and others is only for members (fee-based).
  • Publisher's websites - If you're looking for discussion questions, make sure to check out the author's or publisher's website. They're often a great resource for behind-the-scenes info about the book, and may have discussion questions, interviews with the author, and more.
  • Reading Group Choices - This annual publication is a go-to resource for great book group titles, giving a short description, readalikes, and discussion questions to help you decide what to read next. The Wilbraham Public Library has 2015-2017 available, but you can request previous years from other libraries.
Also, feel free to check out one of the library's book clubs! We offer three for adults: Booked for Lunch on the first Tuesday of the month at 12 noon, the Classics Book Club on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. and an Evening Book Discussion the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Newcomers are always welcome. Ask us what we're reading this month!

Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease

'Tis the season for ticks and tick-borne diseases. Check out these books to educate and protect yourself against Lyme:

Lyme Disease by Alan G. Barbour, MDAn expert on tick-borne diseases, Alan G. Barbour explains the course of illness that results from infection, diagnosis and treatment options, and steps that can be taken to avoid a tick bite in the first place. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease may also transmit other disease-causing pathogens, and these other infections are considered as well.

Out of the Woods by Katina I. Makris This memoir 
recounts the author's battle with Lyme disease, including the initial misdiagnoses, the disease's toll on her family and career, and how she found spiritual, emotional, and physical enlightenment, along with an overview of the disease.

Cure Unknown by Pamela WeintraubA provocative and awareness-raising investigation into the science, history, and politics of Lyme disease as observed by a journalist whose entire family contracted the illness traces its significant rise and the atypical presentations that have made its diagnosis and treatment difficult.

Finally, the Nahant Public Library, in collaboration with Margot Malachowski, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the National Library of Medicine, and University of Massachusetts Medical School, have compiled a fantastic binder Stop Lyme: 

information for tick-borne disease prevention, identification and patient care that includes handouts, fact sheets and more. They have been distributed to multiple libraries in the state; ours is circulating.

All of these books are located on the Mezzanine with the call number HEALTH DISEASES LYME. Please ask a librarian if you need any assistance.

Beyond Walden - Celebrating Thoreau's Bicentennial

July 12, 201Walden book cover7 is the 200th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau's birth and the Wilbraham Public Library is joining with the Palmer Public Library and Monson Free Library to participate in a Statewide Read celebrating his life and works. We have multiple copies of Walden and Walking available for our group reads. A book discussion on Walden will be held Monday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m. and on Walking on Saturday, July 22 at 1:00 p.m.

Though Walden is Thoreau's best known work, there are many reads by, about or inspired by Thoreau that you may enjoy checking out as well. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
  • A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers is Thoreau's first book. In it, Thoreau uses an actual 1839 trip with his brother in Massachusetts and New Hampshire as a springboard for ruminations on the self, nature, and more. He worked on his first draft while living at Walden Pond.
  • Faith in a Seed collects Thoreau's later writings on nature and natural history, including an essay drawing from Darwin's theory of natural selection.
  • Thoreau's Journal, collected in two volumes, gives you a behind-the-scenes look as he develops his thoughts and essays in his daily writing process.
  • Westward I Go Free by Corinne Smith chronicles Thoreau's trip to Minnesota in 1861 with Horace Mann.
  • Thoreau and his transcendalist friends are the subject of American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever. The author explores the Alcott family, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other prominent writers and thinkers in Concord, their beliefs and their influences on each other.
  • Our "For Nature Lovers" grab bag collects Best American Science Writing 2014, The Man Who Planted Trees by Jim Robbins, Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold and Winter World by Bernd Heinrich. 
Still can't get enough Thoreau? Check out online book lists like this one of readalikes for Walden, and let us know what your favorites are!

April is National Poetry Month

Check out our display and these suggestions for some great reads!

CeRobert Frostlebrate National Poetry Month by reading a book of poetry! Some of our librarian favorites include Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Billy Collins. We have a display of poetry collections going on for the month of April, so check it out for a variety of current and classic poets. We also have a Poetry section near the beginning of the Fiction collection on the first floor of the library, including everything from classic poetry such as Beowulf to more modern works.

If poetry sounds like a return to school to you, check out Book Riot's list of 10 Poets for People Who Don't Think They Like Poetry. They recommend current, accessible poetry to get you started.

Don't want to invest in reading a whole book? Check out where you can sign up for a poem a day to be emailed to you, and Poetry Foundation which is the online component of POETRY magazine.

Finally, make sure to check out our monthly Poetry Discussion group. They meet on Mondays at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the work of a particular poet chosen for the month, then leave time to read poetry that participants have written, if desired. We hope to see you there!

March is Women's History Month

Check out the display at the library for a selection of titles to learn more about influencial women in history.

Documents the pioneering round-the-world journey of the woman adventurer, tracing how she disguised herself as a boy to accompany her lover, botanist Philibert Commerson, on his 18th-century voyage before her true gender was exposed. Click here to check availability.