September 25, 2017

Words Have Power: Read a Banned Book





During Banned Books Week, the American Library Association and all of us here at the Almy Library want to remind you how lucky you are to have the right to read!  

Each year hundreds of books are challenged by patrons, parents, religious organizations and even the government, because of things like perceived profanity or socialist views or violence or LGBTQ themes, etc.

Thanks to the vigilance of librarian superheroes like Ms. Dow and Ms. Duncan...


only 10% of those books ever actually get removed from the shelves.  

You, too, can stand up for your right to read by checking out a banned book today!

Here's a great short list of reasons why to read a Banned Book!

Chances are, you've already read a bunch of them.

This one for example...



 has been banned in some regions for: "references to the occult" or because it was considered "anti-family". 

Stop by the Almy Library to check out your next read from our Banned Books Display.



September 7, 2017

New in the library!  Ms. Wunder's Bookshelf


Look up and to the left of the library desk to find Ms. Wunder's bookshelf!  


I'll be pointing out a few new and notable books in our collection, starting with this week's pick:  Lit Mags!

Sometimes obscure and difficult to find, literary magazines are where a lot of new fiction and poetry germinates.  Budding writers take note!

Ploughshares is a magazine near and dear to my heart. Conceived by some folks in Cambridge in the seventies, it began its operations at the "Plough and Stars," an Irish pub on Mass Ave. Each issue is guest edited by a different literary superstar so its tone is varied and constantly in flux.  The current issue is compiled by the great Stewart O’Nan (author of 16 novels including Last Night at the Lobster) and contains stories and nonfiction by: Stephen King, Peter Orner, Lucy Corin, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum and more…


Poetry, the second new journal  in our collection is the oldest monthly magazine devoted to verse in the English language.  This month find a dedication to the late Denis Johnson, and poems by Joy Harjo (a personal fave), Patricia Lockwood and A. R. Ammons.

Check them out!



May 11, 2017

All Hail King Aaron!

The BB&N Community has elected its new King of Quiet: Aaron K., Class of 2017! 

King Aaron, in repose

Innumerable votes were cast, and though the competition was stupendously sleepy in its own right, Aaron won the crown. We're thrilled to have named the Dozing Denizen, the Restful Ruler, the Sleeping Superior of 2017! May Aaron enjoy many restful naps over the summer, as may all of you.

Keep one eye open for our camera next year; you may be the next King or Queen of Quiet!!

April 13, 2017

Welcome to Ms. Wunder's Book Corner...

...in which I try to persuade you to take a closer look at some of the library's newest titles...

This month we're featuring memoirs by two women from the Middle East trying to forge and solidify their identities against all odds.

Imagine living in a place where being a tomboy was a death sentence. In A Different Kind of Daughter, Maria Toorpakai recounts how her liberal father honored her request at age five to burn her clothes and dress as a boy in Pakistan's violently oppressive northwest tribal region. Consequently, she began playing squash with her brothers and rose to become the number one female squash player in Pakistan. When the Taliban found out, they issued death threats against her family and hunted her down. She was rescued by an elite Canadian squash coach, who smuggled her away from Pakistan and into Canada, where she is now among the top fifty players in the world. Toorpakai's is different kind of courageous sports memoir that reveals some dark truths of global politics and the oppression of women around the world.

In The Home That Was Our Country, Alia Malek also takes a humanistic approach to the complicated political and cultural history of the Middle East. Malek relates the hopeful story of moving to Syria during the Arab Spring to restore her grandmother’s abandoned Damascus apartment. She describes the peaceful microcosm of Middle Easterners who live in the building together (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Armenians and Kurds) while contrasting this with drastic the political shifts that threaten to tear the country apart. By weaving together the story of her family with the history of a country, Malek provides a sympathetic glimpse at the devastation of the Syrian War. For anyone seeking a closer look into Syria’s history and future.

Check back in May for more blurbs from Ms. Wunder's Book Corner!