We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

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At a trade show for the publishing industry this past fall, I entered a ballroom lined with tables, and at each table sat an author with their new book stacked in front of them.  Beside them stood their handlers: publicists or sales reps from their publishing companies.

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Frost Faerie Crafternoon

Friday, January 20 at 3:30 p.m. for ages 7-12 years.  Registration required

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When my brother and I decided to purchase The Book Shop of Beverly Farms from retiring owners Pam Price and Lee Brown Simonds, we created an LLC that we called Industry Books. Industry is the town in Maine our family has been visiting every summer for our entire lives (Sam was born there), but we also liked how the name connoted hard work, business, the making of things.

There's plenty to do this week at the TOHP Burnham Library in Essex.  Author David Sobel (“Best Bike Rides in New England”) will reveal some of his favorite rides, and then there's the library's annual Gingerbread workshop!

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After a successful Christmas by the Sea holiday stroll and the book sale, we're looking to the coming week.  There's a lot going on this week at the Manchester Public Library, from author David Sobel's visit to a workshop on making Turkish Flat Weave Bracelets.

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Last month a new book by Manchester’s Chuck Wisner, The Art of Conscious Conversations: Transforming How We Talk, Listen, and Interact was released and it’s received a lot of positive attention from the likes of Fast CompanyPsychology Today, and the Harvard Business Review

The book’s focus—taking murky theories and philosophies on communication and turning them into practical, everyday tools—is a timely topic.  Our national political climate is often filled with discord.  This week Manchester and Essex held dueling Special Town Meetings that offered heated exchanges and face-to-face votes.  And of course, the holidays are here, which can bring unexpected consequences of togetherness.

Wisner is a former partner at a Cambridge architectural firm, and has spent the last 25 years as a leadership consultant and advisor to leaders in high-profile companies like Google, Apple, Tesla, General Motors, Shell, among others.  Wisner sat down with Erika Brown, editor of The Cricket, to talk about how the dynamic of conversations can be powerful engines of change and growth.

Want to learn about floral arrangements?  Take part in musical story time?  Read with Jackson the rescue dog?  Or just check out some items from the library of things?  It's all going on now at the TOHP Burnham Library in Essex.

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The Library will be open Sundays, beginning Sunday October 16 from 1-4 p.m.

Digital Advice Drop in Has Moved to Mondays

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. increase your comfort level with technology.  Register for a dedicated session at 11 or 11:30 a.m. or drop in between 12-1 p.m.

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Veterans Day

Friday, November 11 the library will be closed for Veterans Day.  

Open Saturdays

 The library will be open Saturday mornings from 10 – 12 noon.

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The Manchester Public Library has a lot going on this week, including stroller walk and talk, discovery of some amazing, female fiber artists as they show off their skills and projects to the library, and more.  

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I’ve been thinking a lot about blurbs lately.  The blurbs I’m talking about are book descriptions, also called flap copy, because it’s the description of the book you can find on the inside flap of a hardcover book.  On a paperback it’s usually on the back cover.  I often read these descriptions in publisher’s catalogs long before a book comes out.  It’s part of how I decide what to order for the store (along with the author’s track record, confirmed media appearances, and a host of other criteria).  Lately, though, I’ve been noticing that some of the blurbs for the books I’ve been reading don’t always meet expectations for what the book turns out to be.

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Each fall sees some of the biggest names in fiction releasing new books, some of whom crank out novels regularly and reliably and some of whom surprise us after a long wait. Here’s a quick guide to some of the rest of what’s coming so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

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MPL Children’s Events: 

Stories & Songs on the Library Lawn with Ms. Carol  

Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. starting September 21 

Our youngest patrons and their caregivers are invited to share songs, rhymes and simple stories on the Library Lawn with Ms. Carol.  *There is no registration for this program.  In the event of rain, we will postpone it until the following week. 

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While my A/C unit remains on high and the humidity continues to perm my hair daily, I’m paradoxically thinking about winter, ordering Christmas wrapping paper and Chanukah cards and putting the 2023 calendars on the shelves in the shop.  I sent the last of my fall book orders out last week, including for the recently announced book by Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry, about staying hopeful in uncertain times.  Retail is a guessing game, and book retail even more so, but a new book by the former first lady is, at least, a no-brainer.  On publication day (November 15), we’ll have it on the floor in stacks. 

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MPL Children’s Events: 

Stories & Songs on the Library Lawn with Ms. Carol  

Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. starting September 21 

Our youngest patrons and their caregivers are invited to share songs, rhymes and simple stories on the Library Lawn with Ms. Carol.  *There is no registration for this program.  In the event of rain, we will postpone it until the following week. 

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Reader’s Digest has released its list of the “30 Most-Anticipated Books of 2022” and Manchester’s Shannon Capone Kirk made it onto this list with her eighth book, Tenkill.  The list features all genres, from romance to legal thrillers like Kirk’s book.  Tenkill is described as  “early John Grisham with an all-female-led cast,” and the plot centers on a tech-savvy lawyer Greta Vinet Seville who has cache of potentially explosive data and is on the run from her own high-powered law firm. 

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Night Letter to the Reader, a poem by Billy Collins, is a beautiful piece of writing that reminds us the simple life is the best life.  Especially at night, when awoken by insomnia.

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The 17th Annual Newburyport Literary Festival returns April 29 - May 1 as a fully online extravaganza, with dozens and dozens of events across genres and topics, available for you to enjoy from the comfort of your homes — all free and open to the public.