December 22, 2018

Hey all you Last Minute Larrys!

Need a holiday gift idea? A little something for a New Year's Eve party host? Forget that tired old bottle of wine! Dump the fruitcake! THIS is the gift you need to give:

Pick one up at the Jones for just $10.

December 20, 2018

Our end of year appeal to you, dear Friends.

December 15, 2018
Dear Jones Library Supporter,

The end of 2018 is fast approaching. As you contemplate your year-end charitable giving, we hope you will consider the Friends of the Jones Library. The Jones Library is one of the best investments that you can make to sustain what makes Amherst a vibrant and wonderful place to live and work.

Few other institutions more vividly represent the heart and soul of our Town; our library helps define who we are. Amherst’s library should be one of the premier public libraries of western Massachusetts – and it is.

Did you know that each year:

  • almost 500,000 items are borrowed;
  • 300,000 people enter the library buildings;
  • our computer workstations are used 29,000 times;
  • 4,800 adults, 6,500 youths, and 2,800 teens attend programs;
  • 3,200 people attend ESL tutoring sessions; (25% of the children in Amherst’s schools come from families whose first language is not English).

The Jones Library can play this role because, from its inception, it has thrived with private support above and beyond Town funding. Samuel Minot Jones’ original bequest ($16 million in today’s dollars) allowed its unique building, and an endowment, to create a town library that is not just a place to borrow books, but to serve as the core of our community as well.

In consolidating the financial appeals of both the Friends of the Jones Library and the Jones Library, Inc., we’re seeking to revive that private support. Tax revenue alone doesn’t provide the support to maintain the quality of services the library provides each year. We want every resident of Amherst to continue to be able to benefit from a library that is so much more than what tax revenue delivers. We need your help.

We hope you will remember the Friends as we say goodbye to 2018. We look forward to providing the community with more programming, books, and materials in 2019. The Friends cannot do it without you and we are so grateful for your support. Thank you.
Elaine Donoghue                                
Co-Chair, Friends of the Jones Library

Lucy McMurrer          
Co-Chair, Friends of the Jones Library

Sharon Sharry                         
Director, Jones Library 

December 10, 2018

The Great Pretenders

Perhaps you know a few phonies in your world? Feel free to call them on it. And call them using a lot of different choices.

December 9, 2018


What WOULD Sherlock cook? 

Click here to find out...

December 8, 2018

40 Clever Words That Begin With the Letter C

Oh ho ho. The Friends have known a "climb-tack" or two in our day. Read on to discover the true meaning of "catch-fart." Just make sure you don't "cachinnate" too loudly.

December 7, 2018

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

The folks over at NPR have done it again. 
Here's your Best Books of 2018 brought to you by 
your very own book concierge. 

Happy reading, Friends!

December 6, 2018

Free Saturday movie

Swing by the Jones on Saturday the 22nd at 2:30 and get yourself in the holiday spirit. It's a ridiculous, funny, silly movie. 
Come laugh at the library.

December 1, 2018

Reading a Book Takes Time — Deal With It

Go pick up a book, maybe even a heavy one -- read a few pages now, get lost in it for the day, or read it over the course of the next six months. Go back and reread the stuff that didn't make sense the first time around. It's okay to take your time.

November 29, 2018

10 Fascinating Facts About The Handmaid’s Tale

Disturbing. Thought-provoking. Acclaimed dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale has been made into multiple adaptations. Here are 10 things you perhaps didn't know about the most recent TV series.

November 28, 2018

Are You Obsessed With Books?

Silly question. 'Course you are. You wouldn't be staring at this particular thing on your screen if you weren't. You'd be watching this.

But since you're here, look at these photos and click how they make you feel. You'll find out how truly obsessed you really are.

November 26, 2018

Buying a novel in the digital age

Tom Gauld, a Scottish illustrator, nails it.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Like it? His books are in the CW/MARS system.

If you're over 12

whatever you do, don't read these books. The article says specifically that you're supposed to read them before you you're 12. 

We're not quite sure what happens if you try them after 12. Maybe you can let us know?

November 25, 2018

10 animals who've broken into the library

Some of them are so adorably cute (four little baby raccoons in New Jersey). 
Some of them are utterly terrifying (we're looking at you, Georgetown library snake knot).


14 Illustrations That’ll Make All Book Lovers Laugh

This illustrator really gets how it is to be a bookworm.

November 24, 2018

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

You're an amateur cryptozoologist, setting out on an adventure to evaluate evidence of monsters around the world. On your plane ride to your first destination, we recommend you bone up on your monster lore here.

Good luck.

C. S. Lewis, W. H. Auden, & Edmund Wilson on "The Lord of the Rings"

We'll give you a hint. One of them said, "No fiction I have read in the last five years has given me more joy."

November 23, 2018

100 Notable Books of 2018

On these cold winter nights, snuggle up under a blanket in front of a fire and read, read, read!

Richard Russo’s Advice on Writing Through Self-Doubt

Be like Odysseus. Strap yourself to the mast of the ship as the siren songs of fear and doubt try to drown your hope and ability, and keep going.

The misuse of wealth to distort law

Book talk and signing.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

November 22, 2018


Friends, as we sit down together to break bread and remember the good in our lives, we want to make sure you know how very much we appreciate you. The Friends of the Jones Library System literally could not survive without community support. You complete us.

This Thanksgiving, please know that the Friends are thankful for all of you.

Our Friends.

November 20, 2018

What a good guy

Stephen King has been selling rights to his short stories that aren't under contract to students. And some high schoolers in Wales just bought one for $1. But it's not only those kids who can buy Stephen King short story rights. You can, too.

Why kids say they love fairy tales

One big reason? They speak to universal themes of good versus evil and moral values like hard work and kindness. Here they are, in their own words.

November 19, 2018

Judge a book by its cover. Go for it.

Here's a little online quiz to test how well you know your book covers. 
Surely you can beat our 16/18. 

Respecting differences of political opinion

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November 18, 2018

Folk tales & traditional life snuck into Soviet kids’ books

Here are some Soviet children's books that broke the rules of propaganda. "The more you dig into Soviet children's literature the more you find outliers doing really interesting things..."

The 10 graphic novels everyone should read

Although it didn't win this year's Man Booker prize, for the first time ever, a graphic novel was short-listed for it. If you're not familiar with the genre, here are some recommendations to get you started.

November 17, 2018

Time to get comfy cozy.

Take this little time-waster to find out "what kind of 'smart' you are" based on the way you'd build your perfect reading nook. The Friends learned we "visualize the world in a way that no one else can, and that's what makes you special and unique."

Proving once again that Mom was right: we are special.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

It's a great read (and it's available here!) but it sure is a mouthful to say. 
And that's just when you're saying it in English

Pick up a copy in Naples and you'll be reading Il Club del Libro e Della Torta di Bucce di Patata di Guernsey. Bop over to Krakow and you've got Stowarzyszenie Miłośników Literatury i Placka z Kartoflanych Obierek. The French opted to lop of half the title with their Le Cercle Littéraire de Guernesey. And our friends the Islanders? Well, we have no way to even write that one. See it for yourself.

November 16, 2018

Outlawing alphabet letters

"Restricting a minority one way to oppress a minority." Find out why the letters Q, W, & X were illegal in Turkey. Until 2013.

Fictional characters we'd want to write love letters to...

Well of course Mr. Darcy's on the list. 
But you might be surprised who else makes the cut.

November 15, 2018

BOOK SALE, baby!

Friends! FRIENDS! 
Tomorrow night for us, Saturday for EVERYONE! 
Woo hoo! Yippee skippee!

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Poetry reading for FREE!

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Wuthering Heights told in charts

This will appeal to the PowerPoint geek in all of us.

November 14, 2018

5 Good Writing Habits You Need to Learn Now

With the Two-Minute Rule, the Friends think this might actually be possible!

Quotes from modern African poetry

"The following bits of poetry contain perspectives which may have eluded readers in the United States, where African culture remains chronically unknown and undervalued. Spare a moment for these poets..."

You must be from my country
I see it by the tick
of your soul around the eyelashes
and besides you dance when you are sad
you must be from my country.

November 13, 2018

A human book conveyor belt

A shop in England asked for 100 volunteers to 
help "lift and shift" their books down the street. 

"Crazy Rich Asians" Fun Facts

Adored the book? Loved the movie? Here are a few more tidbits about the film that you might not have known. And if you want to watch it all over again, the movie's in the CWMARS system.

You're welcome.

November 12, 2018

Public school winter clothing drive

This year the Jones Library is serving as a collection point for the Amherst Regional Public Schools winter clothing drive. There's a box in the Kids' Room to collection donations and a school volunteer will be coming weekly to pick up donations. 

The Jones will serve as a collection location from Nov. 7th through Nov. 28th. The three town elementary schools will be the distribution places for donated items.

We need winter coats, jackets, and other outdoor winter clothing for both ARPS students and community families.


coats  *  jackets  *  snow pants  *  snow boots
hats  *  mittens  *  gloves
scarves  *  snowsuits

Donations should be clean and in good condition.

The Slave Master of Trinidad

(Just after the Friends book sale ends!)

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Almost here!

The Friends annual book sale is coming right up. 
Friends Only "Browse & Buy" Friday, Nov. 16 6:30pm-8:00pm.
Not a Friend? Not a problem!

Then, open to the general public Saturday, Nov. 17, 9:00am-3:00pm.

See you at the Jones!

November 10, 2018

"Eyes on the Prize" film & discussion TUESDAY!

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Can you spell these 15 tricky spelling words?

It's a time-waster, sure, but it's a fun one. And? It's quick. Try the Merriam-Webster Difficult Spelling Words quiz. It's got 14 of the most difficult common English words and one difficult word that's ... less common.

Good luck.

November 9, 2018

The Barbarian’s Cookbook

A newly translated 17th century cookbook from Japan features delicacies from Portugal. Want to make some konpeitō candy (pictured below)? Read more here...