Staff Book Picks

  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user_name::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field_user::init(&$view, $data) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/modules/user/ on line 61.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_user_name::value_submit() should be compatible with views_handler_filter_in_operator::value_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/modules/user/ on line 143.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_user_name::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/modules/user/ on line 143.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/plugins/ on line 24.
Enter a comma separated list of user names.
Jul 8, 2016 by eileenf

Thomas Crane Public Library: your gateway to amazing stories from around the globe!

Come celebrate the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Read Around the World during our Adult Summer Reading program. Expand your worldview and read great books from authors and settings in countries all over the globe. Watch our website and Facebook and Twitter feeds for inspiration. From now through September 1, adults are encouraged to read as many books as they can from different countries. You’ll get a peek into other people’s experiences and also win the opportunity to take home some cool prizes!

Here’s how it works:

  • Pick up an informational brochure at any public service desk at any one of our branches. 
  • Log the books you read online. You will need an email address; if you don't have an email address simply visit the Reference Desk or Device Advice Tuesdays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Main library for help with setting one up.
  • Each book read earns a chance to win one of six prize baskets, which will contain books and other goodies - come by the library to see them as the summer progresses. A raffle for the baskets will be held at the end of the program.
  • We'd like to give a huge thank you to the Friends of the Library for purchasing the raffle baskets for this program!

Come to the top floor of the main library, call 617-376-1316, or email if you have any questions.

This summer, why let the kids have all the fun?





When the Baseball Hall of Fame opened in 1936 Ty Cobb was the first inductee. Baseball royalty. By far the most thrilling player of his era many argue that he was the greatest to play the game. He was also one of its most controversial. Noted for fights both on and off the field, an aggressive style (he attempted to “create a mental hazard” for the opposition), he was a fierce and fiery competitor. And after his death in 1961 something strange happened to his reputation: he became a virulent racist, who hated women and children, and was in turn hated by his peers. Leerhsen’s biography, winner of the Society of Baseball Research’s 2015 Casey Award, takes on a formidable reclamation project and tells us how this happened and how wrong the received history is. Full of whimsical detail this is the biography that America’s first sports celebrity deserves. The Boston Globe called this “the best book ever written on this American sports legend.” Check Our Catalog

Jun 22, 2016 by michelleb

One morning, Sophie Dupont finds a hastily written goodbye note from her wealthy, playboy lover, Wesley.  When his brother Stephen arrives, he realizes that Sophie has been left not only heartbroken but also pregnant.  Captain Stephen Overtree proposes marriage to Sophie 'in name only' to preserve her honor and give legitimacy to his brother's child.  Just as they begin to fall in love, he is called back to the battlefront.  Wesley returns soon after, determined to win Sophie back, and she must choose between the two brothers.  This sweet and romantic story, set in Devon, England in 1815, contains no strong language or graphic violence and is a relaxing summer holiday or beach read.  The characters are complex enough to keep you engaged and Klassen builds enough situational and romantic tension to keep the love triangle from being predictable. Details of the countryside and the historical backdrop also help keep things interesting. Recommended for fans of Jane Austen or regency fiction. Check Our Catalog

Jun 20, 2016 by eileenf

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside a gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, FL, killing 49 and injuring 53. When violence like this happens, many people sit in front of their TVs or computers, asking themselves, “What can I do to help?”

The Huffington Post has several suggestions on how to help Orlando shooting victims and their families. They include:

Books for Kids 
Books for Adults 
  • Donating Money. Equality Florida, Planting Peace, CrowdRise, and OneOrlando are just some of the organizations accepted contributions to directly aid the victims.
  • Donating Blood. Orlando has received a massive amount of blood donations from residents, but blood is always needed. Weymouth has the closest Red Cross donation center, located at 208 Main St., and there are drives happening daily in the South Shore and Boston.
  • Resisting Islamophobia and Homophobia. The Anti-Defamation League clears up myths regarding Muslim people. GLAAD has information and resources about LGBTQIA acceptance.
  • Talking About It. The GLBT National Help Center can help if you need to talk about the tragedy.

This reading list for children and their caregivers has books about dealing with death and trauma. This adult reading list offers suggestions for understanding gun culture, bigotry, and coping with traumatic events.

How can you not love a book whose last chapter chapter begins, “In the morning we ate more piranhas”, right below a marvelously detailed pen-and-ink drawing of a Bird-eating spider eating a . . . bird. In this great travel book, subtitled, A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon, O’Hanlon recreates the 19th century Englishman’s dogged exploration of a place where no person with any sense (but a lot of adventure) should visit. With a prim Colombian scientist and a handful of ne’er do wells only along for the money, the author mixes minute observation of this bizarre area of the world and its host of strange critters with humorous insights about himself and his incongruous crew. Curiosity and hilarity ensue. And let us not forget the long-expected rendezvous with the legendary Yanomami who are expected to murder them with poison arrows that eat flesh. A narrative with a difference and an edge. Check Our Catalog

May 31, 2016 by megana

Young and newly widowed archaeologist Charlotte leaves home with no forwarding address, fleeing the oppressive attentions of her grieving in-laws. She washes up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she rents a room on a houseboat with two other oddballs: elderly and a bit odd Grace, widowed a few years previously after a long and happy marriage, and 17-year-old Chloe, who has basically run away from home. This motley threesome becomes a family of sorts, caring for each other through Charlotte’s mourning process, Chloe’s unplanned pregnancy, and Grace’s sudden stroke. It may sound like a made-for-TV movie, but this book is a beautifully told study of loss, memory and redemption. Check Our Catalog

May 19, 2016 by eileenf

It’s the last day of civilization, and famed actor Arthur Leander dies of a heart attack. This sets in motion the events of the story, with several characters and timelines weaving in and out, painting an elegiac ode to the survival of art in this brave new world. The author considers this book literary fiction, rather than sci-fi/fantasy, and her care with the book's ideas and characters make this statement ring true. If you’re looking for an action-packed, apocalyptic tale, you may want to read Stephen King's The Stand or Robert McCammon's Swan Song. If you’d like a thoughtful meditation on what artists would do to keep our culture alive after a pandemic kills 99% of the world's population, this is the book for you. Listen to the author read a short selection from this great read in the clip below (from the 2014 National Book Award Finalists ceremony). Check Our Catalog

Alexander von Humboldt was one of the last polymaths. He died at a time when scientific disciplines were hardening into tightly fenced and more specialized fields. Largely forgotten in the English-speaking world, at one time he was the most famous scientist of his age. His portrait was placed in the Great Exhibition in London and hung in palaces as remote as that of the King of Siam in Bangkok. His birthday was celebrated as far away as Hong Kong and one American journalist claimed, “Ask any schoolboy who Humboldt is, and the answer will be given.” Humboldt’s idea of nature as a living organism animated by dynamic forces set the stage for the modern environmental movement. This arresting biography of an ecological visionary and humanist will go a long way in restoring this strange genius to the public. Check Our Catalog.

Apr 25, 2016 by cathyd

I enjoyed listening to the women’s perspective of the Space Race and early days of NASA. This is the entertaining story of the wives of the heroes of the Mercury missions through the Apollo moon walks. These mostly military wives were transformed overnight into American celebrities. Pressured to conform to an ideal of “perfect American housewife,” these very human women had to deal with stresses of intense media attention - two families even went so far as to build their dream homes with no front windows.  With husbands gone for long stretches, the ever present possibility that they could be widowed at any time, and without any official support for their roles, they formed a close-knit band of friends that endured the tragedies and triumphs of their unique position in history. The audiobook reader has a pleasant voice and does a nice job with the accents.  The narrative and anecdotal stories of these strong women acting “happy, proud and thrilled” for the media, while hiding various secrets (such as a previous divorce, a pronounced stutter, or a genuine desire to drive their husbands’ Corvettes) brings them to life and gave me a richer, more sympathetic understanding of this fascinating time in American history. Check Our Catalog

Apr 13, 2016 by claytonc

The story of seven lives intersecting on a rainy, cold November day in 1999 in Seattle. The setting is the street demonstrations outside World Trade Organization meetings - the year the protests were huge, had amazing solidarity across diverse organizations, shut down the city, and elicited an overwhelming police response, including the National Guard. This debut novel tackles themes both personal and global, from father/son relationships, race relations, nonviolent principles and conflict, and first world / third world confrontations. Raw language fuels intense moments of action. Full of rage and a cry for humanity, the limits of compassion are explored and set against the ever-present challenge of hard reality. Check Our Catalog

It’s hard to imagine a world without a weather forecast. Or a time when the vagaries of nature were considered solely the mysterious purview of the Divine. Modern climate models are indescribably complex. They combine advanced mathematics, Newtonian physics, thermodynamics, radiative transfer, particle microphysics, chemistry and biology to create forecasts that can them be projected on to increasingly tiny squares of the earth to suggest how the climate might evolve in the years ahead. All the formulas are processed by supercomputers. It is a system that for sheer complexity would have baffled, amazed and thrilled nineteenth-century scientists, who had little more to go on than their barometers, thermometers and weather maps. Moore tells the fascinating story of the pioneers who codified the atmosphere, quantified it, painted it, mapped it, described it and predicted it as never before. A tale full of powerful personalities, serendipity, unbelievable attention to detail and sheer genius. Check Our Catalog

Apr 9, 2016 by amandap

April is National Poetry Month for kids and grownups alike!

Nursery Rhymes

    Poetry Books

    Novels in Verse

Have you been reading some poetry this month? Writing some poems? Not sure where to start? Not sure if poetry is for you? Take a look at books of poetry and some online poetry resources and find out!

You could spend all month just reading Shel Silverstein and still have plenty to read come May. You could also branch out, discover some new poets and poems. No matter what you like, we've probably got some poetry you'll enjoy. You can find poetry collections full of different poets, poetry books all by one person. You can find poems from the United States, England, Africa, Finland, Japan, China, and more! How about novels told in poems instead of prose? Sure, we can help you find those too. Some poems are serious, some are funny. Some are even different shapes, like stars or sharks or piles of leaves. 

Take a look at the book suggestions in the sidebar to the right, or you can explore some of the websites below:

Mar 31, 2016 by claytonc

Charlie Asher almost died in A Dirty Job. Thanks to Audrey, his Buddhist-nun lover, he survived, but now he’s stuck inside a fourteen-inch high body made from lunchmeat and spare animal parts. He doesn’t want to scare his adorable seven-year old daughter, Sophie, so he hasn’t seen her in a long time, which is really sad. Did I mention that she’s the Luminatus and has (or at least recently had) dominion over Death? In most author’s hands this would be the entire book. For Moore, this is just where it starts - it gets a lot freakier from here. While it’s certainly not required that you read Moore’s books in any logical order (logic only loosely applies in these quarters), if you like this, you’ll want to seek out more from this wonderful, zany mind. Check Our Catalog

Mar 23, 2016 by megana

A minor payroll fraud turns into a risky year-long undercover investigation for Welsh Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths. Assuming the identity of down-on-her-luck, intermittently homeless Fiona Grey, she abandons her regular life and descends into the dangerous world of highly organized crime. In the world of police procedurals, Fiona is a unique character with her mysterious origins and unusual history of mental illness. This is the third book in the series but you could either start with this one or go back to Talking to the Dead if you like to read books in order. This series has it all: absorbing plots, an arresting narrative voice, and exceptional writing. Don’t miss them! Check Our Catalog

Mar 18, 2016 by claytonc

The lead voice of the Pretenders waited for her parents to die before telling this story about her early years. Born in Ohio and a student at Kent State when the students were shot by the National Guard in May, 1970, Hynde was a flower child who hung out with scary bikers then moved to London and was tight with the burgeoning punk movement, almost marrying Syd Vicious (to help with her legal troubles). I listened to this as an audiobook, read by Rosanna Arquette, and thought it was wonderful. Brutally honest, self-reflective, and un-apologetic (mostly), I gained a newfound respect for this singer and her work. The drug use is rather extreme and she is not sympathetic to many (except non-human animals - she’s been vegetarian for decades), there are no blinders on here - it is raw, unfiltered, and remarkably clear. Check Our Catalog

Lonely and depressed A. J. Fikry owns a bookstore on Alice Island off the coast of Massachusetts.  His wife has died. He’s a literary snob and only stocks titles that satisfy his old-fashioned tastes. Rather unsurprisingly, he has few friends and fewer customers. Then his most valuable possession, a first edition of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tamerlane, is stolen. But everything changes when someone unexpected shows up in the children’s section of his bookstore. Plot twists abound and are wonderfully all tied up with the perfect amount of humor, sadness and grace. An old-fashioned story of books, bookstores and the people who love both. Check Our Catalog

Feb 19, 2016 by claytonc

In the spirit of many an excellent first novel, Kushner drew from her own family’s history to weave this gripping tale set in Cuba on the cusp of the Communist revolution. It is a tale of rural, midwestern families with farming roots trying to make a go on a sugar plantation. It is a tale of race and class. It is a tale of guerillas and a strange veteran of WWII (a nazi) who gets involved with untrained soldiers hiding in the mountains. It is a tale of women with few options making the most of what they have in a timeless Havana. It is a tale of growing up. I really admire Kushner’s work, both while reading it, and later upon reflection. You may want to start with Flamethrowers (see my post about that one here) but this is also well worth your time. Check Our Catalog

Feb 12, 2016 by cathyd

Downton Abbey fans will enjoy visiting (or revisiting) this classic Agatha Christie murder mystery. Written one year after the current season of Downton takes place, in 1926, this book is set in a small English village with all the usual characters of British mystery fiction – the sly butler, the gossip, the housemaids, and the upper crust young people being forced into an arranged marriage. The story is narrated by the local Dr. Sheppard, a neighbor of Hercule Poirot’s, and a friend of the murder victim. I listened to the audiobook version, and 40 years after reading this story for the first time, I was still enthralled by the puzzle and enjoyed historical fictional setting. This book was the first to bring world-wide attention to Agatha Christie, and remains one of her best. Check Our Catalog

Feb 11, 2016 by eileenf

Paranormal fans who are tired of reading about vampires and werewolves will enjoy this genre-blending tale of the adventures of a Seattle succubus. (Although vampires make an appearance, they’re relegated to the background.) This is Mead’s first book in a six-part series featuring the immortal Georgina Kincaid, the reluctant corruptor of men’s souls. Mead effortlessly combines urban fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance and makes Georgina a sympathetic figure, even though her job is to seduce and suck the life essence from her conquests. She wants a relationship with a normal guy but the sudden and brutal murders of other members of her supernatural circle keep getting in the way. It’s up to Georgina to ferret out the culprit and get the guy. Check Our Catalog

Macdonald’s life is in ruins - her father has just died. Some deep part of her is trying to rebuild itself and its model is standing right there on her fist: a goshawk she names Mabel. The hawk is everything she wants to be: solitary, self-possessed, free from grief, and numb to the hurts of human life. And yet, Mabel also helps her to remember what happiness feels like. This poignant memoir describes a poetic transformation. Coming to see her own hawk for who she really is, Macdonald comes to see herself more clearly too. Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Book Award. Check Our Catalog

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

Developed by Isovera, Inc.