Birchard Public Library

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Mon-Thurs 9-8:30
Friday 9-5:30
Saturday 9-5
(Summer Saturdays 9-3)
Sunday 1-5
(September - May)

Mon & Wed 12-8
Tuesday 9-5:30
Thursday 12-5:30
Friday 12-4
Saturday 10-3

Computer Classes
Third Thursday Movie Club
Pick of the Litter Book Club

February 10, 2015

Bill Bryson
ISBN-13: 978-0767919418
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Bryson (A WALK IN THE WOODS, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID, etc.) is his usual breezy, engaging self in recounting the myriad of events and personalities which combined to make the Summer of 1927 a memorable one indeed.

It would be easy to underestimate Bryson's accomplishment and simply argue that the Time Itself did most of the work for him. After all, with things like the Flight of Charles Lindbergh, the Dempsey-Tunney fight, Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly setting a record for staying atop a flagpole for twelve days straight, etc one might think that it would take more effort to muck things up than it would to produce a book recounting that amazing year. But to do so would be a mistake: The real heart of the book is in Bryson's Voice which simply brims with gentle enthusiasm for his various topics and which never seems to lack for some new telling detail which makes even the familiar seem new. The book is long, but seemingly over in an instant. Just like all those summers we remember from our youth.

December 22, 2014

Bob Ryan
ISBN-13: 978-1620405062
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Here are some things you probably already know about Bob Ryan, if you're even a casual sports fan:
He was a sports columnist for The Boston Globe for over 45 years
He's one of the most trenchant, distinctive commentators on ESPN
He lives, breathes, eats, and embodies a Love of Sports.
Those things alone should be enough to convince you to give this culminating work of his career an enthusiastic whirl.
But just in case it's not, here is one Big Thing you may not know about SCRIBE that might prove to be (basketball pun intended) the tipping point for you to take possession:
You don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy the book.

Ryan's crusty personality cranks its way across every page, the portraits of the athletes and fellow writers are unique and indelible, and the writing is so PROFESSIONAL it will make you weep for the days before blogs and tweets sent standards down to the minor leagues.

December 15, 2014
Tigerman: A Novel

Nick Harkaway
ISBN-13: 978-0385352413
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Tigerman: A Novel
A crazy combination of Joseph Conrad and DC Comics that shouldn't work but does to produce a tale of intrigue, adventure, and soul-searching.

It's the story of two people and an island...and, believe me, each is as fully-rounded a character as the other. A battle-weary soldier now charged with keeping the peace on the  environmentally-ravaged island of Mancreau befriends a comic-book obsessed street urchin whom he would like to adopt but can't find the courage to make the moves necessary to do so.

When the island erupts in violence, however, the 'retiring' Sergeant and his young charge have to turn 'superhero' to try and turn things around.

This is a story of idealism, hope, derring-do...and of darkness, violence, and catastrophe. It's a tale that will never stop surprising you.
It's a novel that sticks.

December 8, 2014
Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation

Adam Resnick
ISBN-13: 978-0399160387
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Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation
The first book that's made me laugh out loud in a long, long time. 
(I've grinned, nodded in agreement, chuckled...but not laughed out loud so long and hard I've had to put the book down and avert the eyes of surrounding strangers. This book did that to me. Seriously.)

It's a series of stories, all of which are True even if they are not actually Factual, relating certain seminal events in the life of the author as he embarks upon his quest to life a life that is "euphorically antisocial." Resnick would not like you or me if he were somehow compelled to share a space with us, but fortunately he has agreed to 'meet' with us via the unique shared consciousness that reading creates.

One Reader Beware Note: If it turns out you don't share at least some aspect of Resnick's World vVew, you'll likely just find him creepy, cruel, and very much NOT funny at all...and he KNOWS this is how he will be seen.  But I suspect that there is something 'in' most READERS that will strike a resonating chord.

December 3, 2014
How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Jordan Ellenberg
ISBN-13: 978-1594205224
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How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg If you think that Math is just about Numbers...and, of course, Anxiety and Failure, right?...then this is the book for you.

First of all, you'll learn that the Numbers are just the way Math 'talks' to us, and that its real substance is in the system of thought that leads to what those numbers are saying. 'Math' is a way of thinking which helps us to perceive the order and pattern beneath the chaotic reality that threatens to engulf us at each moment. Without ever having to memorize a single formula or even break out a calculator, mathematical thinking can clarify questions as diverse as: Is it worth it to play the Lottery? Why do tall parents have shorter children? And is it more to your advantage to be tried by a jury or a judge?

Secondly, you'll never feel anxious or depressed about Math ever again. (Well, maybe not. But you WILL see the World as a cleaner, saner place to live and think  And that should cheer you up a little bit, right? )

Kevin's Short Review: THIS is the book that those Freakonomics Guys would like to have written.


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February 11, 2015

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