All posts by Deanna Parsi

While You Are Waiting…The Woman in the Library

I read The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill for the title (obviously!) and am glad to report that I wasn’t sorry – it is an excellent mystery.  The set-up is intriguing: an Australian mystery writer named Hannah is writing a murder mystery set in the Boston Public Library and one of her characters, Freddie, is also an Australian mystery writer, in town on a writing fellowship.  Freddie is in the BPL reading room, trying to write her book, but actually watching her fellow researchers and making up stories about them in her head, when there is a loud terrified scream.  Everyone is asked to remain in place, so the four tablemates start talking.  Drawn together by the extraordinary circumstances, Freddie, Cain, Whit and Marigold begin a friendship.  But it turns out that each of them has secrets, and Freddie begins to realize that one of them might have been connected to the murdered woman in the library. Interspersed throughout the story are letters to Hannah from a man named Leo, who appears to be a fellow writer giving her advice from afar.  This gives the story some immediacy and reminds the reader of the story-within-a-story. The mystery is well done and I enjoyed all the local references.

There is a hold list for this one right now, so if you like the idea of a story within a story, here are a few books to try while you are waiting for The Woman in the Library:


And for those of you working on our Summer Reading Challenge – any of these books would count for the “Read a book recommended by a CPL librarian” square!

Adult Summer Reading Challenge 2022!

One of our favorite things about summer is having a little bit more time to read, whether it is packing a paperback in with the sunscreen, or enjoying the extra daylight to read on the deck after dinner. We know you feel the same way! We also know that while reading is always good summertime fun, reading to win prizes is even better!

Come into the library to pick up your game card, or print it out from the copy below.  This year’s theme is “Reading…Off the Beaten Path”.  Complete Bingo squares to earn tickets for an end of summer raffle!  5 squares = 1 ticket, 10 squares = 2 tickets, or complete the entire card for 3 tickets!

Drop off your completed game cards at the Main Desk or email them to Jessica FitzHanso at by Saturday August 27th.

Or, if you want to track your summer reading through Beanstack along with your kids, you can sign up HERE.

Happy Summer Reading!

Spotlight: Morning Book Group

The Morning Book Discussion Group meets at 10:00 AM on the third Wednesday of every month.  The group recently held their selection meeting and came up with a great list for the upcoming year.  The titles are a fun mix of nonfiction, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and an American classic for light summer reading.

Currently the group is fashioned on our hybrid model – members can attend in person at the main branch of the library or attend via zoom.  We always enjoy welcoming new readers with different perspectives to the group.  For more information, please contact Jessica FitzHanso at

Here are the selections for the rest of this year.  Click HERE to register for our July 20th meeting- we hope to see you there!

April: One Book Chelmsford 2023 title

Book Brunch: Summer Reads!

Thanks to all who joined us for our Book Brunch book share meeting this month!  Jess and Deanna shared some new titles coming into the library, and attendees (readers just like you!) told us what they have been reading and recommending.

This month featured books for your summer reading pile – literary fiction, twisty mysteries and thrillers, historical fiction, family sagas, a fun romance, and a few titles perfect for Pride Month.  Take a peek at the list below and get yourself on the hold list for these soon-to-be-popular titles.  Need more recommendations?  Check out our Reading Room blog, sign up for the next Book Brunch on July 13 and check out our latest episode of Bookmarked!  featuring even more titles for your summer reading enjoyment.

Bookmarked! Fresh Summer Fiction

Tune in to our latest episode of Bookmarked!, where Jess and Deanna talk about some fresh summer fiction to add to your TBR pile.  From a haunting gothic to a summer romance, from an action-packed spy thriller to a story about family – this list has something for everyone.

Looking for more reading suggestions?  Join us for our next Book Brunch on Wednesday, June 8th at 10:30 AM.  We hope to see you there!

June Is Pride Month!

June is Pride Month! We hope you will attend one of our events or browse the many displays throughout the library. We will be spending the month reading some great memoirs and novels that focus on LGBTQIA authors and themes. Here are a few of our favorites so far, and don’t forget to check out our reading list below!

Deanna recommends:

Like a House On Fire by Lauren McBrayer

Meritt is at a crossroads in her life.  She loves her family, but she needs something more so she decides to return to the career she abandoned when she had her first child.  She lands a job at an architectural firm, working for the beautiful, witty, and charming Jane.  They immediately hit it off, getting along “like a house on fire”, their working relationship quickly turning into a close friendship. Before long, Meritt starts to feel something more for Jane, but will she have the courage to act on it?  This is a book about friendship, about falling in love, and about being true to yourself – however unexpected the new path might be.

Laura recommends:

Becoming a Man by P. Carl

Becoming a Man is a thoughtful and reflective memoir which chronicles the author, P. Carl’s, midlife transition. Carl contemplates his manhood at a time when toxic masculinity permeated the American political landscape and the #MeToo movement continued to gain traction. Carl does not gloss over any of the hardships of his lived experience nor does he forget to consider the privileges he holds as a white man living in America. Isolation, love, fear, acceptance, anger, honesty, and healing all have a place in Carl’s path to becoming a man. A deeply engaging and personal read.

Spotlight: Mystery Book Group

The Mystery Book Group meets at 2:00 PM on the fourth Wednesday of every month.  We read a wide variety of titles, from the classics to historical mysteries to contemporary thrillers.

Currently the group is fashioned on our hybrid model – members can attend in person at the main branch of the library or attend via zoom.  We always enjoy welcoming new readers with different perspectives to the group.  For more information, please contact Deanna Parsi at

Here are the selections for the rest of this year.  Click on the title to register for the meeting – we hope to see you there!

May 25 Before She Disappeared Lisa Gardner
Jun 22 When No One Is Watching Alyssa Cole
Jul 27 Pieces of Her Karin Slaughter
Aug 24 We Begin at the End Chris Whitaker
Sep 28 Sidney Chambers & the Shadow of Death James Runcie
Oct 26 Daughter of Time Josephine Tey
TBD The Last Child  &  Selection Meeting John Hart

2022 Titles

2021 Titles

Town of Chelmsford Land Acknowledgement

On March 14, 2022, the Chelmsford Select Board signed a Land Acknowledgement Proclamation which was drafted by a subcommittee of the Town’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, library staff, and Select Board member, Pat Wojtas. This important first step seeks to recognize the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this land and honor the Indigenous peoples that are still connected to this land now known as Chelmsford.

Town of Chelmsford Land Acknowledgement

The Town of Chelmsford acknowledges that its land, upon which the government buildings, town common, and libraries are situated, is the traditional and ancestral territory of many diverse Indigenous Nations and we strive to honor these peoples.

We acknowledge the history of genocide and forced removal from this land, now known as Chelmsford, and we honor the Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we live, work, and learn. This area comprises, in part, the homelands of the Pawtucket-PennacookAbenaki, and their close neighbors the Massachusett and Nipmuc peoples.

The Town of Chelmsford extends our deepest respect to citizens of these Nations who live here and elsewhere today and to their ancestors who have lived here for generations.


Click here for more information on the Land Acknowledgement.

Click here to learn more about local Indigenous Nations.







Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Did you know?

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week was established in 1978. The first ten days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad completed May 10, 1869.

In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is a month for recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history, culture, literature, and achievements of the United States.

Join us for these events:

The Story of Sriracha on Thursday May 19th at 7:00 PM.

One Book Chelmsford, A Conversation with Ocean Vuong on Thursday May 26th at 7:00 PM

And check out our recommended reading below!

Spotlight: Social Justice Book Group

Here at CPL, we have a wide variety of book groups, many of which are using the “hybrid” meeting model – meaning that you can come to the main branch to meet in person, or you can zoom in from the comfort of your own home.  All of our groups are happy to welcome new members at any time – drop in when you can or come every month, it is up to you!  Over the next few months, we will spotlight each of our groups – first up is the Social Justice Book Group.

Are you interested in engaging in conversations about how we as a community can move towards a more socially just future? Well then the Social Justice Book Group may be the book group for you! The books we read address civic engagement and cover themes of identity, equality, justice, the environment, and much more.  We meet at 7:00 PM on the third Tuesday of every month for lively conversation about our book picks, a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles that cover these subjects.  See our 2021-2022 reading list below. Our next meeting is scheduled for May 17, where we will be discussing Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong.  You can register for the meeting HERE.  We hope to see you there!