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Local History

Discover the beautiful towns of Westerly, RI and Stonington, CT.

In an effort to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community Westerly Library will be closed until at least April 4th. All programs have been cancelled through April 4th as well. We will continue to communicate with you as our response to this outbreak evolves. Please check back regularly for updates.

Staff Picks

April 2020

Cassie S. recommends:

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka

This graphic memoir about the authors childhood - grappling with a mother's addiction, being raised by grandparents, and finding therapy and meaning in art. The book is beautiful and emotional, and though it is technically a Young Adult book, it can (and should!) be read/enjoyed by adults as well.

young adult memoir

 


Monica B. recommends:

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

From kids.scholastic.com: Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake -- and her own.

                                    children’s

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Guts by Raina Telgemeier

From kids.scholastic.com: Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on?

children’s

 

 

Bethany K. recommends:

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

From amazon.com: Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

historical fiction

 


Stacy C. recommends:

Love Her Wild, The Dark Between Stars, and The Truth About Magic by Atticus

 

A few years ago a friend gifted me the first book of the series on my birthday and I fell in love with it immediately. Atticus is famously known for being the masked poet who does not reveal his identity. The "Love Her Wild" trilogy is a wonderful collection of poetry for the dreamers, romantics and wild at heart. His poems are beautifully written about love, loss and life. Each book is a nice quick read for anyone interested in a few lovely poems.

poetry

 

 

Sara C. recommends:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

From amazon.com: Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben.

Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

thriller

-and-

The Hunters (2020 web TV series)

From amazon.com: Inspired by true events, Hunters follows a rag-tag team of Nazi Hunters in 1977 New York City who discover that hundreds of escaped Nazis are living in America. And so, they do what any vigilante squad would do: they set out on a bloody quest for revenge and justice. But they soon discover a far-reaching conspiracy and must race against time to thwart the Nazis’ new genocidal plans.

drama

 

 

 

 

Alan P. recommends:

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

From amazon.com:  In the rolling dales of Yorkshire, a simple, rural region of northern England, a young veterinarian from Sunderland joins a new practice. A stranger in a strange land, he must quickly learn the odd dialect and humorous ways of the locals, master outdated equipment, and do his best to mend, treat, and heal pets and livestock alike. This witty and heartwarming collection, based on the author’s own experiences, became an international success, spawning sequels and winning over animal lovers everywhere. Perhaps better than any other writer, James Herriot reveals the ties that bind us to the creatures in our lives.

                                    memoir

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Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Burton

From amazon.com: The woodland animals were all getting ready for the winter. Geese flew south, rabbits and deer grew thick warm coats, and the raccoons and chipmunks lay down for a long winter nap. Come Christmastime, the wise owls were the first to see the rainbow around the moon. It was a sure sign that the big snow was on its way.

children’s

 


Brigitte H. recommends:

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

From goodreads.com: Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.

One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon's grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.

                                    magical realism

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The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

From goodreads.com: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River. The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father’s Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor’s apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman’s disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie.

                                    fiction

 

 

Colleen W. recommends:

Who Let the Dogs Out (2019 film)

This documentary could sound dry and boring, but it's actually a funny, fascinating film based on one man's research into the history and copyright of the Baha Men's hit song, "Who Let the Dogs Out." Turns out it's an intellectual property rollercoaster with surprising twists and turns. Who stole the song from whom? Who? Who? Who?

documentary

-and-

The IT Crowd (2006-2010 TV series)

Follow the isolated IT department of a large company as they navigate situations ranging from the every day (have you tried turning your computer off and on again?) to the absolutely bizarre. This British comedy has four hilarious seasons.

comedy

 

 


Amanda S. recommends:

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

From amazon.com: When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

historical fiction

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Moonrise Kingdom (2012 film)

From rottentomatoes.com: Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore -- and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl's parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the boy and girl.

dark comedy

 

Sandra K. recommends:

The New Me by Halle Butler

For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh. From amazon.com: Thirty-year-old Millie just can't pull it together. She spends her days working a thankless temp job and her nights alone in her apartment, fixating on all the ways she might change her situation--her job, her attitude, her appearance, her life. Then she watches TV until she falls asleep, and the cycle begins again.

When the possibility of a full-time job offer arises, it seems to bring the better life she's envisioning within reach. But with it also comes the paralyzing realization, lurking just beneath the surface, of how hollow that vision has become. 

fiction