Looking for a good read? Our staff always have something to suggest … read on!

Dianne's Favorites of the Year

As the calendar winds down, our Director, Dianne Hathaway always selects her favorite book of the year. In 2021 she read just under 60 books, still off her pre-COVID pace. She had many favorites (see below), and after weeks of pondering, the one that rose to the top is The Guncle by Steven Rowley!

  • A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South by Cinelle Barnes

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

  • The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim

  • West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge

  • Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

  • The Guncle by Steven Rowley

  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw

  • Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light by Hellen Ellis

  • The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

  • Call Me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujic

  • The Shell Collector: Stories by Anthony Doerr

Introducing Pick of the Week Short Videos

New in 2021! Brought to you by Goffstown TV and our staff – “Librarian’s Pick of the Week” short videos. Catch each episode on YouTube and see what titles are on our minds.

These short videos also air on local access Comcast Community Ch. 16 (Goffstown).

Staff Picks

Staff Picks are a year-round display at the Library that you can browse when you visit our online catalog, too. Scroll down to Staff Reads whenever you visit www.goffstownlibrary.com/search.

For Further Reading

It’s the most wonderful time of year! We’re not talking about kids jingle-belling – we’re excited about couches, fuzzy blankets, cocoa, and
holiday-themed books we wait all year to read. Find seasonal books, movies & music on display at the Library – and get your cozy on!

Search the catalog, or stop by and pick up something new today.

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Snowed in? Away for the holidays? You have lots of options when it comes to getting cozy with a good book. You can access our digital resources 24/7 at www.goffstownlibrary.com/247-library.

We’re very excited about streaming holiday music straight from www.hoopladigital.com – no holds, no waiting!

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With the Libby by OverDrive app, it’s easy to pick out a new e-book, e-audiobook, or magazine at anytime, anywhere. Even when school’s out or the Library may be closed, the e-library is always open. You can see what’s available on OverDrive, and get started right now at https://nh.overdrive.com/nh-goffstown/content.

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Read, learn, listen, and discover with CloudLibrary e-books and e-audiobooks, available at ebook.yourcloudlibrary.com/library/GMILCS/Featured

cloudLibrary logo with lights

Visit www.goffstownlibrary.com/digital for more information.

blinking holiday lights

Whether we are aware of it or not, the Merrimack River—quietly and forcefully—runs through all our lives in ways far beyond the water we drink. What did the rivers and wetlands mean to Abenaki people, and what is their cultural importance today? What does the archaeological record tell us about the importance of rivers to Native Americans?

Nebizun: Water is Life”
Painting by Francine Poitras Jones,
Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe

On display as part of the traveling exhibit “Nebizun: Water is Life,” curated by Vera Longtoe Sheehan.

Nebizun is the Abenaki word for medicine and the root word Nebi is the Abenaki word for water. The rivers and tributaries of N’Dakinna (our homeland) were our highways for traveling and the water itself is important to the species of fish and other wildlife that is necessary to our way of life.

In November, the “Indigenous Peoples and the Merrimack River” event was about the indigenous life on and around the lands where St. Anselm College now stands, and the past and present realities of indigenous life in N’Dakinna, the Western Abenaki homeland where we now live and work.

Presented by Sherry Gould, enrolled member and Tribal Genealogist in the Nulhegan Band of Coosuk Abenaki and Co-founder of Nulhegan’s Abenaki Trails Project, and Dr. Robert Goodby, Professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce University.

This event was part of the Gregory J. Grappone ’04 Humanities Institute’s BIG THOUGHT Series: A RIVER RUNS THROUGH US. This event was brought to you in partnership with the Goffstown Public Library and Saint Anselm College, with funding from the Goffstown Rotary Club.

It Came From the Library

There’s something spooky for everyone at the library, from R.L. Stine to Stephen King. Whether it’s a classic, or a new thriller, you can find what you’re looking for on display or by searching the catalog – try searching for: “ghost“, “horror“, “scary“, or “zombies“.

Real Life Monsters

The scariest things in this life aren’t fiction – they’re cold, harsh reality. After all, Stephen King Famously wrote: “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”

These titles feature non-fiction villains, criminals, and real life monsters.

Dying for a Good Book?

Some more suggestions for titles that may have you sleeping with the lights on:

Digital Scares

Online, the thrilling treats are always available! From charming Halloween titles for kids to cult, indie, and new horror for adults, check out one of our digital providers and discover something for everyone to enjoy. Learn more at www.goffstownlibrary.com/digital/.

Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2020. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Purple and Green BBW logo

Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.

Celebrate the right to read. The Goffstown Public Library supports your Constitutional right to access the information you want and hopes you will exercise that right by reading a challenged book. Visit the Library to interact with this week’s banned book displays, check out a book, or participate in one of the special activities on the calendar.

Banned Books Week is an annual week-long event celebrating the freedom to read, highlighting the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 on YouTube

Celebrate Banned Books Week September 26 - October 2

Some people find the name “Banned Books Week” confounding. Banned Books Week doesn’t promote banning books, rather, it was created to alert readers everywhere that literary repression is still happening. Banned Books Week tips a hat to the continued vigilance and advocacy through which the number of challenged books far exceeds the number of books which are actually banned.

The origins of Banned Books Week lie in the 1982 Supreme Court ( 4-3) ruling in Island Trees School District v. Pico. The Court determined that the removal of books from a school library by a school board (in response to complaints about objectionable content) violated students’ first amendment rights by impinging on their freedom to read. The Court’s majority established libraries as places of “voluntary inquiry,” places which embrace the idea that there are no ideas so dangerous that they cannot be discussed or read about, even if many people find them unorthodox, unconventional, or distasteful. Protective covenants established in the Island Trees decision reverberated throughout public libraries, publishing, bookselling and journalism. Candid dialogue between professionals in all of these fields led to the establishment of the coalition which created Banned Books Week. Their website is www.bannedbooksweek.org.

Authors whose work has been challenged comprise a Who’s Who of the literary world while also making strange bedfellows; only in censorship would you find Stephen King, Harper Lee, L. Ron Hubbard, Toni Morrison, J.D. Salinger, Shakespeare, Danielle Steel and William Faulkner keeping company. Since the 1990s, The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom compiles an annual list of titles which have been most frequently challenged and/or banned (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks). These lists can be a reflection of imminent social sea change; eight of this year’s top ten banned and challenged titles feature LGBTQIA+ content. The ever-increasing popularity of e-books begs the question of whether censorship will become harder to defend against in future; while digital materials cannot be hidden, defaced or burned, it only takes destructive technological know-how, a software update or a power outage to render them inaccessible.

Word cloud of reasons books have been challenged.

For those further interested in Banned Books Week, we suggest two informative videos on YouTube : Ask Me Anything About Censorship with Kristin Pekoll, geared towards adult public library patrons, and Banned Books 101, aimed at students in grades 6-12. As always, you can get more information at the Goffstown Public Library, or contact Director Dianne Hathaway directly through dianneh@goffstownlibrary.com.

The American Library Association has been tracking challenges since 1990, for more information, visit https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks.