Spooky Staff Recommendations

We love spooky reads at the Patten Free Library! Here are some of our favorites, all of which are available at the Patten Free Library or through Minerva:

They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

“Great spooky campus murder thriller with a English professor, an extreme feminist serial killer.”

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The Tailypo told by Joanna Galdone and illustrated by Paul Galdone

“An old ghost story that’s still really scary!”

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

“Excellent, with a library setting!”

Lakewood by Megan Giddings

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

“I couldn’t put this one down, and I didn’t want to.”

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

“Only for people who enjoy the combination of vampires and feeling really gross about everything in the world, ever.”

Wytches by Scott Snyder

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming

Cold Earth by Sarah Moss

“Gripping and eerie. “

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

” Strange and luminous and entrancing- it’s easy to see why this collection has been so acclaimed. “

The Shining by Stephen King

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

” What starts off as a grown up version of Scooby Doo goes somewhere even deeper and more exciting- clever and scary and lots of fun.”

At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketteman

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

” Part mystery, part homage to noir and horror films, part multimedia case file, and all well written, edge of your seat excitement, full of twists and turns. You’d better pay close attention! “

Book Review: Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

In 1902, two girls at the Brookhants School for Girls founded the Plain Bad Heroine Society in honor of their favorite writer; the scandalous Mary McLane.  Not long after they meet a gruesome death and Mary McLane’s book is banned, but students continue to die, and Mary McLane’s book seems to have something to do with it.

One hundred years later a bestselling book about the school inspires a horror movie adaptation, which will be filmed on the grounds of what remains of Brookhants.  As the author of the book and the two stars are thrust together strange things keep happening all around them.  Is Hollywood exploiting them, or is there something even more sinister going on?

It’s impossible to describe how delightful and yet totally creepy this book is without giving any more away.  It’s a queer, entertaining romp with a gothic flair and some genuinely scary moments, full of twists and turns, genre call backs and black and white illustrations.  This book is 623 pages but will make you wish there were 623 more to go!

Drop in Chess will continue through October

Drop in Chess will continue in the Library Park Gazebo through the end of October.  Chess sets are provided and all ages are welcome.  Mondays from 3-5 p.m.

Bath Book Bash

A family friendly book festival and celebration of children’s literature featuring author panels, workshops, and more.  More information (including author lineup) visit bathbookbash.org or on social media @bathbookbash.

Summer Chess in Library Park!

We’ve reserved the Gazebo for a weekly drop-in Chess session on Mondays from 3 to 5 p.m. starting June 21.  It is open to anyone ages 14 and up who wants to pick up some games.  We’ll have tables and chairs and a few chess sets; please bring your own if you have a set that travels well. 

Questions? Contact Roberta Jordan at rjordan@patten.lib.me.us, or at 443-5141, ext. 25. 

SPECIAL Outdoor Story Time with Bath Garden Club!

SpecialSpringStorytime2021 by Kathryn Louise

Book Review: “Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains” by Kerri Arsenault

Growing up, Kerri Arsenault witnessed relatives, friends, and neighbors in her small hometown succumb to cancer and other debilitating, often fatal diseases. It wasn’t until she grew up and moved away that she realized these illnesses were the direct and indirect result of the chemicals released from the paper mill where a majority of people in her hometown of Mexico, Maine, were employed.
In this book, Arsenault blends memoir, science, and history to explore the harmful effects that paper mills throughout Maine inflict upon the same communities that depend on them for economic survival. Her research runs the gamut from personal interviews with mill workers to exhaustive searches for incriminating documents in dim backrooms of government buildings. Arsenault’s search for the true impact of the paper industry intensifies after her father, who worked at the mill in Rumford most of his life, is diagnosed with cancer.
One of the prevalent themes in this book is Arsenault’s challenge to the idyllic image most people have of Maine: “In Maine, we clear-cut our forests while tourists exalt them. Pollution bankrupts the fresh air we advertise. We let dioxins invade our environment, which end up in lobsters tourists eat… What gives our town life could also be what’s killing it.”
For a new perspective on the “real” Maine, an exploration of the harm our prosperous industries create, and a deeper look at the lives and struggles of the working-class within Maine’s mill towns, this book will not disappoint.  

Review by Shannon Bowring, Technical Services Coordinator.  

Click here to request a copy. 

Book Review: “The Tender Bar” by J.R. Moehringer

This critically acclaimed memoir has been on my “to read” pile for years.  The recent news that George Clooney is directing an Oscar-bait adaptation starring Ben Affleck made me finally crack it open.  I devoured it, and I’m truly sad that I didn’t get to it earlier.

At its core, this is a story about a fatherless boy seeking something he feels he’s missing.  JR’s mother is an incredible advocate for her son.  As many such stories go, she works hard to give JR a good life. The bond between mother and son is beautiful.  The extended family with which they live is a vibrant cast of characters – some sane, some cruel, some strong, and some tragically flawed.  One summer, JR’s mom asks her brother, who tends bar at a popular watering hole, to keep an eye on her son.  What begins as a tag-along trip to the beach for a 12-year-old with his uncle’s friends morphs into evenings at the bar as everyone gets to work.  JR immediately connects with these men; they acknowledge him in a way that he craves.  His education at the edge of the tender bar shapes much of his life’s journey.

Any story that features a bar as a major character and role model is going to include some heartache.  JR’s maturation from tween to Ivy-League student to young professional is anchored at the bar.  His concept of manliness and self-worth is so tightly tied to the welcome he receives at the bar that it inevitably impacts relationships and professional prospects.  Yet JR’s story doesn’t moralize about the pitfalls of his lifestyle.  In this memoir, life experiences are formative without judgement. 

If you haven’t already caught this coming of age story, it’s a worthwhile read.  If you prefer to read the book before seeing the movie, check this one out.  I suspect we’ll be hearing more about this film in the near future.  Now’s your chance to be “in the know!”

Review by Development Director Emily Read.

Click here to request a copy.



Book Review: “The Daughters of Ys” by M.T. Anderson and Jo Rioux

The Daughters of Ys by M.T. Anderson and Jo Rioux is a stunningly illustrated mythical graphic novel fantasy about two sisters descended from a faerie mother and a prince. The beautiful illustrations are a lovely and stark contrast to the dark and sinister tale they tell. 

The story is a retelling of a classic Breton folktale about the mythical city of Ys, which once sat upon the coast of Brittany but was swallowed by the ocean. Ys is a city of wealth and wonder, but has a history of dark secrets.  In Anderson’s version, Ys is built by the magic of Queen Malgven.  She and her husband, King Gradlon, have made a deal with a demon to keep the Kingdom from sinking under the ocean.

After their mother’s death, King Gradlon is lost in grief. The two sisters, Rozenn and Dahut, drift apart.  Dahut loves the intrigue of palace life. She learns about her mother’s magic and continues to uphold the agreement with the demon, under pressure from the King.  Rozenn, the rightful heir, spends her time on the moors, away from the palace, and is unaware of the deal that’s been made.  But in end, she is one who has to save the Kingdom’s people after all goes wrong.

If you are looking for a chilling fantasy to hold you over through the remaining cold, dark days of winter, I recommend giving this graphic novel a try. 

Review by Megan Hultman, Circulation Assistant.

To request this book, click here.

Book Review: Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

This book is the result of a collaboration by seven young adult authors, all women; their work provides a very readable history of Tudor England from the perspectives of Henry VIII’s six wives. Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr all come to life on the pages of their respective chapters. Each story is interesting in its own right; together, their individual voices form a simple but cohesive account of the relationships at the foundation of King Henry’s 38-year reign.

I love historical fiction because you can pick up so many interesting facts as you immerse yourself in the story. Did you know that Jane Seymour was idolized by Henry after producing him a male heir? She died after giving birth to his son, and Henry had her heart buried in the Chapel at Hampton Court. Anne of Cleves never consummated her marriage with the king, but lived on a generous settlement long after the annulment of her marriage, and was referred to as Henry’s ‘beloved sister.’ I also did not know that poor Catherine Howard, beheaded at just 18 years old by the jealous 50-year old Henry, was a cousin of Anne Boleyn. And I learned that Katherine Parr, the well-educated wife who survived him, served as regent, ruling all of England for a summer while Henry went to battle in France.  She also worked to bring together and educate all three of Henry’s children.  

As always, a book like this always makes me wonder how much fact is integrated in the fiction. Judging from the information provided at the end of book, it appears that the stories of each queen are based on extensive research. The brief “Tudor Timeline” and a “Who’s Who in the Court” both are both helpful references.

If you love stories that make history come alive, this is a great read.

Review by Roberta Jordan, Outreach and Instruction Librarian

To request a copy, click here.

News & Updates

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