All posts by Jessica FitzHanso

Read This Next: Read with Our Book Groups!

If you’re a reader, you’ve probably been reading a lot lately, and perhaps this has depleted your TBR pile more quickly than past years. While we’re always ready to provide you with recommendations for new books, you might consider trying one of our book groups for an opportunity to read and share books you might not otherwise consider. While we’re not meeting in person, these groups have been very active virtually, connecting and sharing great books with each other while we’re all staying home. All of our groups are welcoming new members. Books for all the groups are available at the library’s Main Desk.

Read on to see just how many different reading experiences our groups accommodate. I have no doubt one will appeal to you.

Novel Conversations: Our Novel Conversations Group reads a variety of genres and subjects, and has well-informed and interesting conversations about their chosen titles. They typically meet on the first Friday of the month at 12:30 PM. Novel Conversations is meeting next to discuss Educated by Tara Westover on March 5, 2021 at 12:30PM.


Evening Book Group: The Evening Group challenges members to think beyond the standard discussion points by exploring diverse themes and subjects. The Evening Group meets on the first Monday of each month at 7PM. In March, they will be meeting to read The Engineers Wife, by Tracy Enerson Wood.

Knit-Lit Book Discussion Group: Are you a crafter as well as a reader? Then Knit Lit is the group for you! The members meet to discuss the chosen book and also to share the different projects they are working on. Knitters, crocheters, sewers, felters and anyone else engaged in crafting by hand are welcome. Knit-Lit meets on the second Friday of each month at 10:30AM. In March, they will be meeting to read The Oysterville Sewing Circle, by Susan Wiggs.

SoJust Discussion Group: Join one of our newest book groups to become more engaged and aware of the critical issues of social justice impacting our communities today. This group reads a chosen title and then meets to discuss the book and steps we can all take to help. The Social Justice Book Group meets every third Tuesday of each month at 7PM. In March, they will be meeting to discuss Evicted, by Matthew Desmond.

Wednesday Morning Book Group: Grab another cup of coffee and join this lively group on Zoom to discuss books from a variety of genres and subjects. The Wednesday Morning Book Group meets every third Wednesday of each month at 10:00 AM. In March, the group will be meeting to discuss The Lady in the Lake, by Laura Lippman


MacKay Mystery group: Calling all armchair sleuths! This long-standing group meets to discuss mysteries of all sorts, from cozies to noir; thrillers to chillers, the members meet to evaluate style, characters, setting, and of course, the solution. The Mystery Group meets every fourth Wednesday of the month at 2PM. In March, they’ll be meeting to discuss Bad Axe County by John Galligan.

History Book Group: If you love dissecting past events and discussing with deeply knowledgeable contemporaries, then the History book group is the group for you. The History group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7PM. In March, the group will be reading The Race Underground, by Doug Most.


Bibliobites: Foodies rejoice – here’s a book club just for you! Bibliobites is our cookbook book club. Each month, members take home a cookbook, try out the recipes and then report on their experiences at the meeting. Bibliobites typically meets on the fourth Friday of the month at 10:30AM.  Check the calendar in March to see which book they’ll be testing next!


The Classics Book Group: If you have been wanting to read (or re-read) the classics and don’t have time for another Zoom on your calendar, then this book group might be the one you have been waiting for!  The discussion is online (through Goodreads), where you can post your thoughts and read what others in the group have to say, all on your own schedule.  The group is currently discussing Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

New Year, New Books To Share!

If your TBR list needs some new titles for 2021, we have a great list for you! Shared during our first Book Brunch book share meeting, this list is composed of titles to satisfy almost any reading taste, recommended by readers just like you. Browse the list below and click through to place holds. Need even more recommendations? Check out our most recent episode of BookMarked! taped with help from Chelmsford Telemedia. And don’t forget about our current Winter Reading Challenge – many of the books shared fit nicely into those categories too!


Read This Next… Comfort food and reading with author Ann Hood

In case you missed it, last Thursday evening bestselling author Ann Hood joined us for a conversation with our own Andrea Grant. Ms. Hood began by reading her essay “Memories of a Marsha Jordan Girl,” about the famous Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins. The essay is a part of her collection, Kitchen Yarns, our selection for One Book 2020, and was a favorite among our readers who remember the muffins vividly. The book even includes that actual recipe for the beloved baked goods!

During their conversation, Andrea and Ann discuss favorite recipes and cookbooks, in particular, her husband Michael Ruhlman’s NYT article on Indiana Fried Chicken; comfort reads by her favorite authors and more. Watch the recording of the whole conversation, and check out some of the books and authors mentioned below. Stay tuned for an announcement of our next One Book Chelmsford selection, and have a wonderful and comforting holiday season!

Cozy up to these new books!

Check out which titles we’re excited about this month! Our November new books list has something for every reader – from the first in an epic new sci-fi series (Black Sun, #1 Between Earth and Sky series) to the latest in a sweet series about a romance book club for men (Crazy Stupid Bromance)  from a moving novel about compassion over the course of one night in a hospital (One Night Two Souls Went Walking), to a powerful punch of a horror story that would appeal to fans of HBO’s Lovecraft Country (Ring Shout).

Don’t forget – curbside services are still available so go place holds in our catalog and when they come in, we’ll carry them out to you safely. Not sure about the books in this list? Fill out our online reading request form and we’ll pick out some other great recommendations for you.


Bookmarked! with Deanna and Jess

On Wednesday morning, we went over to the Chelmsford Telemedia studio to film a new episode of our reading recommendation show Bookmarked! With Halloween coming up, we decided to focus the first part of the show on classic and contemporary Gothic fiction. The second part of our show is a lightning round of six books we’re excited to read. A list of all of the books featured in the show is included below the video.


New Recommendations from Readers Like You!

Thank you to everyone that joined us Friday morning for our second Summer book share. Everyone brought along some great titles to share and you’ll see in the list below there is certainly something for everyone. And many of these titles are older than the last year, so there’s a good chance they’re available to take home this weekend!

Recommendations From Readers Like You!

If you’re looking for something new to read, check out this list of books shared during our July Virtual Friday Fiction event. Everyone in the group shared three or four they read recently, resulting in a fabulous list of new-to-you titles. Many of them are also on our shelves right now or have shorter waiting lists so there are some quality recommendations here for people sitting in long queues for current bestsellers. Take a look:

Summer Reading 2020: For Adults Too!

Our Youth Services department has put together an awesome challenge for kids and teens, but did you know Adults can get in on the virtual summer reading fun too and earn chances to win prizes like gift certificates for local restaurants and book stores? Here’s how to sign up:

  1. Start by visiting the Chelmsford Library Beanstack landing page.
    • If you have created an account for another member of your family, login and select Add a Reader from the top right to add yourself to the same account:
    • If you have not yet registered yourself,  click to register as an individual:
  2. Select 18+ in the registration form to indicate how old you are:

You will be automatically entered in the adult challenge! Now you too can spend time reading, logging your reading and earning raffle tickets for trying new genres and sharing reviews!

If you have questions about the challenge, please contact Jessica at I hope you will choose to read with us this Summer!