In honor of Valentine’s day, we put together a few leisure reading recommendations.
If you’re looking for a love story…
If you enjoyed Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this book is worth checking out. In this modern day retelling of the classic tale, Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties, Jane is a yoga instructor, Mary is working on her third master’s degree, Kitty and Lydia are too busy with crossfit to get jobs and Mrs. Bennet has only one thing on her mind: How to marry off her daughters. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving
After Big Little Lies hit HBO last year, we’ve had our eye on Liane Moriarty. In the Husband’s Secret, Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.
If you haven’t read or seen the movie for Me Before You yet we highly recommend checking it out (and skipping over the rest of this recommendation to avoid spoilers). After You picks up where Me Before You left off, with Lou trying to pick up the pieces after Will’s death. After an accident that leaves her in rough shape, Lou finds herself joining a Moving On support group that takes place in a church basement. The members lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future.
If you’re not looking for a love story…
So you’ve read Harry Potter and you’re obsessed with wizards… give this book a try. When a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born, he discovers a moment too late that the son is actually a daughter. Now the young girl is forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!
If you’re looking for an adventure story filled with puzzles and pop culture, this may be the book for you. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Looking for a good detective novel? Detective Alex Cross is on his way to resign from the Washington, D.C., Police Force when his partner shows up at his door with a case he can’t refuse. One of John Sampson’s oldest friends, from their days in Vietnam, has been arrested for murder. Worse yet, he is subject to the iron hand of the United States Army. The evidence against him is strong enough to send him to the gas chamber but Sampson is certain his friend has been framed.
This month’s Under10 spotlight will be familiar to faculty, staff, and returning students—it’s Viga, a campus favorite for event catering. While you’ll probably enjoy their sandwiches or pizza on-campus at some point this year, I thought it’d be nice to highlight their takeout options, as Viga is a regular in my lunch spot rotation. There are four locations in the city and both the Stuart Street and Devonshire Street locations are within a 10 minute walk of campus. I have an arbitrary preference for the Stuart Street one, but there’s no difference in their offerings.
Viga’s menu consists of standard Italian takeout joint fare: calzones, pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. They have a set rotation of daily specials for calzones, pizza, and pasta, which adds nice variety to their regular options. You can find these on their website.
With the exception of whole pizzas, everything is under $8.00. My go-to is their pasta, which is particularly cheering on a cold day. The baked ziti is reliably good; for specials, I like the Penne Badia (Tuesday) and the Pollo Tuscano (Friday). A small regular pasta runs from $3.39-$4.49 and small special pastas are $4.49 or $6.19. All pastas come with a fresh homemade roll, which makes it an even better deal. For $6.99 you can get a small pasta ($4.49 or under), a small salad, a soda, and a roll. Their other options are equally wallet-friendly: sandwiches run from $6-$8, pizza slices around $3, and calzones around $5.
At the checkout counter, there are a number of tempting baked goods. Their molasses ginger cookie is outstanding, a perfect balance of crispy and chewy, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of their desserts. When you pay, be sure to ask for their frequent diner card. On your 6thvisit, you’ll get $3.00 off and on your 12th you’ll get $5.00 off. It’s one of the better visitor rewards programs I’ve seen.
The restaurants are usually packed between noon and 1pm—people sometimes spill out onto the sidewalk—but the line always moves fast. There are different stations for each type of food, so things progress easily once everyone has sorted themselves out. The Devonshire Street location has some seating, but the Stuart Street one does not. If you visit the latter and don’t want to head back to campus, enjoy the weather while it’s still nice in the Public Garden or on the Common.
Viga. 304 Stuart Street, Boston, MA. Monday-Friday 11am-3pm | 291 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA. Monday-Friday 11am-3pm. Both locations accept cash, credit cards, and LevelUp.
Do you have a favorite day-of-the-week special at Viga? Do you want to debate me that the Devonshire Street location is better? Write to us!
Summer is here and everyone at HHSL is looking forward to the 4th of July. There are so many options for celebrating in Boston that it can be overwhelming, so we asked some staff members for their recommendations:
My friends like to rent a kayak or canoe and watch the fireworks from the river!
-Becky Philio, Library Assistant
You can reserve a boat ahead of time, if you’re feeling nautical.
I like to watch the fireworks just standing on Memorial Drive. They pipe the music from the Pops along the Cambridge side of the River, so you can enjoy the spectacle without having to camp out all day for a spot on the Esplanade.
-Katherine Morley, Administrative Coordinator
If you do decide to enjoy the Pops on the Esplanade, this handy guide has all the info you need.
Go check out the Old Ironsides turnaround cruise. You can book a ticket on a boat that follows her around the harbor or just watch from shore as the world’s oldest commissioned warship takes her annual voyage to Castle Island. This is the year to do it, though–she’ll be undergoing restoration until 2018.
-Becky Morin, Head of Research & Instruction.
I’m not a native New Englander, so I was really excited last year when I was invited to a community clam bake for the 4th of July. Even though it was deathly hot (near 100 degrees F), it was really fun to celebrate with the whole neighborhood out on the rocky beach, eating all of the food everyone made. It was also really interesting to watch the evolution of the fire pit throughout the day. I’m not a big seafood eater, so I didn’t partake of the steamers and lobster, but everything looked and smelled amazing!
Katie Houk, Research & Instruction Librarian
Don’t know anyone with beach access? You can attend a clambake on Spectacle Island on the July 3rd, or any Thursday throughout the summer.
What’s your favorite thing to do on the 4th? Let us know!
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