All posts by Jeff Hartman

Suitcase Stories

Suitcase Stories

Suitcase StoriesJoin Cheryl Hamilton of the International Institute of New England for a 2-part storytelling workshop. Part 1 will help you to select a story from your own life and begin to craft that story. Part 2 will ask you to bring your finished story, ready to polish into a compelling monologue for performance. On Friday September 27, participants will be invited to share their stories with a live local audience.
This program is an offshoot of the larger Suitcase Stories series which features professional storytellers sharing their own experiences as refugees and immigrants to this country. Find out more about that project here.

August Concerts at MacKay

Summer Concert SeriesJoin us this August for classic rock, blues, folk music, an jazz on the lawn at MacKay. Bring your chairs or a blanket! Rain location: Chelmsford Senior Center, 75 Groton Rd., N. Chelmsford.  Drop in for ages 8 to 108!

August 7 – Knock on Wood with Howie Newman play Classic rock covers and original tunes on a warm summer evening.

August 15 – A Family Affair with Pete and Yamica Peterson bring a mix of blues and rock and roll, covering the classics and performing original music too. You won’t want to miss this electric show!

August 22 – Women in World Jazz celebrate the diversity and power of creativity, presenting vocal and instrumental music from different eras, cultures, and styles. Audience participation is encouraged!

Finished Game of Thrones? Binge your next literary TV show with us!

History, romance, thrillers, and fantasy! The golden age of TV has given us some amazing adaptions of some of our favorite novels. Check these titles out from the library as we give you access to them both on the page and on the screen! Can’t find the latest season? Just put in a request and we’ll get it for you as soon as it’s available.

Big Little Lies (by Liane Moriarty, coming back to HBO for season two this weekend): Friendship and lies, marriage and murder, rumors abound among the families in beachside Monterey, California. While the first season followed the plot of the bestselling novel, no one knows where it goes from here. After winning major awards, the second installment brings in Meryl Streep to join Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Zoe Kravitz.
The Handmaid’s Tale (by Margaret Atwood, returning for season three on Hulu in June): Long since it has abandoned and updated the plot of the 1985 novel, this show continues to be emotionally devastating as it critiques the politics, religion, and gender relations of the real world. With more thoroughly developed characters than the original presented, it’s even inspired Atwood to write a sequel, out in September. Starring the Emmy-winning Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, and Yvonne Strahovski.
Queen Sugar (by Natalie Baszile, season four comes to Prime in June): A Louisiana family reunites after a tragedy and has to deal with the challenges of their changing relationships while running a sugarcane farm. Produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Ava DuVernay, the show has won Best TV Drama from the African-American Film Critics Association for three years running.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (by Kerry Greenwood, all three seasons available on DVD): The Honorable Phryne Fisher is a glamourous, gun-toting detective in 1920s Australia, solving crimes and charming the blokes. Full of style, humor, an extensive cast of entertaining characters, the books and the show will thrill traditional and new mystery lovers.
Poldark (by Winston Graham, four seasons on DVD with a fifth coming to PBS later this year): Dark, romantic, and moody, a British veteran of the American Revolutionary War returns to Cornwall at the end of the 18th century and needs to rebuild his life and family. The show has been a surprise hit, adapting books that were originally written in the 1940s and were already adapted for television once before in the 1970s.
Outlander (by Diana Gabaldon, four seasons available with at least two more to follow on Starz): Perhaps the closest in scale to Game of Thrones, Gabaldon has written eight huge novels with more on the way, along with spinoffs focusing on recurring characters. The stories take place as World War II nurse Claire Randall accidentally travels back in time to Scotland in the 1740s where she becomes embroiled in the struggles between the highlanders and England, and later events leading up to the American Revolution.


Bonus content! Get in on the ground floor by reading the books before these brand new adaptations come out:

Catch-22 (by Joseph Heller, now on Hulu): You probably read it in high school, but maybe you need George Clooney to really help you appreciate the absurdity of war and the military?

His Dark Materials (by Phillip Pullman, coming soon to BBC/HBO): After an unsuccessful film adaptation 10 years ago, this dark YA fantasy trilogy drew lots of comparisons to Harry Potter, but with a more philosophical bent. The new version stars Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Good Omens (by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, coming soon to Prime): Two British masters of fantasy and humor combine for the story of the anti-Christ, destined to bring about the end of the world, but accidentally switched at birth so that he lives a happy and idyllic childhood in the English countryside and would rather NOT usher in the apocalypse.

NOS4A2 (by Joe Hill, coming in June to AMC): Stephen King’s son has turned out to be a master of horror in his own right, particularly in this story of a woman’s lifelong battle against a supernatural child predator.

Parenting for Grandparents: Raising the Second Generation

Are you a grandparent that helps out with childcare? Are you a parent who needs your own parents look after the kids sometimes? If you missed our previous meeting in April, or if you want to come back for more advice, Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. should be a great time to learn better ways to support yourself and your extended family.

JoAnne Cullinan and her granddaughter will facilitate a discussion group on the dilemmas facing grandparents who find themselves the primary or part-time care-takers of their grandchildren, a situation that seems more and more common of late. Continue reading Parenting for Grandparents: Raising the Second Generation

A to Z World Food Database

World Food Database

Want to break out of a meal planning rut?  Plan a special dinner for friends and family? Learn more about cooking traditions around the world?

A to Z World Food DatabaseAtoZ World Food is an amazing new resource available through the library that offers access to more than 6,000 recipes from 174 different countries.  Not only can you prepare the food, but you can also discover the cultural significance and traditions associated with each dish.  The database also offers guides to help distinguish between different types of ingredients and provides resources for complex subjects like sauce making, wine and craft beer, or coffee and tea.

From Albanian byrek to Zimbabwean matemba and everything in between, you’ll get plenty of ideas to spice up your culinary life!