Month: November 2017

November 27th – December 3rd

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We finished Vacationland by John Hodgman, a former resident of Massachusetts who once met Black Francis. It was a collection of good essays, with more cairn-building stories than we had expected but fewer cairn-building stories than we had hoped.

It’s always interesting reading how other people deal with death, because we all think about it and most of us have had some sort of traumatic experience with the death of a loved one. John Hodgman does you the courtesy of being up front about it, and not presuming he can make it any less terrifying.

If you are looking to purchase a game on Steam that’s cheap before the next time it’s cheap we recommend taking a look at Tacoma. It is a lovely followup to Gone Home with well-realized characters, interesting interactive features, and an understanding of the importance of labor unions.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Write-In
Writer! Write with others! Tackle your novel at an event that encourages writers of all skill levels and experience to tackle the challenge of writing a novel! This is led by Forbes Writer in Residence Naila Moreira. Prizes will be awarded to NaNoWriMo writers who finish their novels!
Tuesday, November 28th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Teen and Tween Art Club
Teens! Tweens! Art? Make art at the club!
Thursday, November 30th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Homework Hang
“Need somewhere to do homework or help with an assignment? Stop by the Teen Room after-school on Thursdays for homework assistance, supplies, or just a quiet spot to work!”
Saturday, December 2nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Susan Shea Artist Reception
Susan Shea, an artist, will be having a reception! See her beautiful and excellent artwork while eating some fancy cheeses we’re guessing!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Creative Papermaking
A half-day workshop exploring how to create beautiful handmade paper with recycled paper scraps and cotton pulp! All materials provided, costs $25!

Board Games:

Tuesday, November 28th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 AM
Chess Club
Chess, the game of dukes as they say! Hone your skills at a board game that’s really been waiting on a sequel forever! Get some games under your belt so that you’ll be able to follow the plot in the upcoming Chess: The Movie!
Saturday, December 2nd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Board Game Night
Play boardgames with friends and soon-to-be-friends as well as some of the friendly staff at Modern Myths! It’s a great night to try out something you may have been meaning to check out! We really recommend Istanbul or Photosynthesis if they’ve got those. Chill, entertaining games of friendly competition.

Books:

Monday, November 27th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Local Author Reading – John Clapp
Thoreau enthusiasts! Join John Clapp at the GPL as he shares readings from his book “A Tale of Two Cabins: Comparative Stories of Thoreau’s Cabin, Nature, and Life”. Find out some new things about a wonderful local author from a wonderful local author! Delightful.
Wednesday, November 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Joshua Max Feldman, Start Without Me
“The author of the critically acclaimed The Book of Jonah explores questions of love and choice, disappointment and hope in the lives of two strangers who meet by chance in this mesmerizing tale that unfolds over one Thanksgiving Day.” Was it this past Thanksgiving day? Yes! The book was written over the course of less than a week, quite impressive.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Community Discussion of Democracy in Chains
From the site: “Join economist and educator Francisco Perez (Center for Popular Economics, UMass Amherst) for a community discussion of MacLean’s award-winning book, Democracy in Chains. Organized by Forbes Library, the Center for Popular Economics and the UMass Amherst History Department.”
Thursday, November 30th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Are There Cougars in Your Backyard? The Quest for the Eastern Cougar
This seems like the sort of question you really want to answer sooner than later. Like, we’d take a look out back if we were you. Our backyard is currently mostly Cougar-free, but we usually wait until there are absolutely no cougars there to head out to the car. For real though it’s fascinating that it’s this difficult to say 100% whether a giant cat exists in a given range of hundreds of miles!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
A Night of Books, Trails, and Music
From the site: “The Appalachian Mountain Club and the Jones Library invite you to come spend an evening learning about the history of canoes in North America, and how you can take a canoe on the Massachusetts stretch of the Connecticut River Paddlers Trail. By land, find out more about the New England National Scenic Trail and then get serenaded by music inspired by this long-distance trail. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments will be served.”
Saturday, December 2nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple Author Talk
From the site: “Join Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple for a celebration of their books about birds! The acclaimed mother/daughter author team will also talk about other stories they’ve written, and about what it’s like to be a writer.” Excellent local authors telling you about their books!
Sunday, December 3rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Book Talk with Ed Orzechowski: You’ll Like It Here
Ed Orzechowski tells the story of Donald Vitkus, who was committed to Belchertown State School in 1949 when he was six years old. He was clinically labeled a “moron”, and spent a lifetime convincing others and himself after the dehumanizing experience of schooling that he wasn’t something less. To register for the talk, call 413-283-3330 ext 0!

Card Games:

Friday, December 1st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic (Casual/101)
Learn to play Magic in a casual setting with the friendly staff of Modern Myths! Test out a cool new deck, play with constructed decks if other folks are into it, get special door prizes! It’s the perfect night for new Magic players or people who just want to take it easy! It’s $5 to attend, which is immediately converted to store credit.

Computers:

Monday, November 27th
Click Workspace [9½ Market St Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
A Conversation on DevOps and Secrets Management – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Managing secrets is a big part of deploying any app that relies on the cloud. API Keys, database credentials, AWS keys, etc. How do you manage them and keep your app secure? How do you scale up as your app gets more complex? Geri Jennings, a software engineer at CyberArk, will talk about it!

Entertainment:

Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Far Out Film Discussion: Naked Lunch
Watch the movie first! Then, come here and talk about how there was that one joke in the Simpsons about this film.
Friday, December 1st
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The Music of Claude Debussy Performed by Amherst College Student Chamber Musicians
Performances of the music of one of the most famous Claudes, performed by Amherst College student musicians. This is offered in conjunction with the exhibition “From the Picturesque to the Modern Vision: Landscape Painting in Europe Across the Centuries.” Free and open to all!
Saturday, December 2nd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
End-of-Year Celebration at Historic Northampton
Historic Northampton invites you to celebrate Northampton’s history, enjoy excellent refreshments, and hear the latest news about their state-of-the-art collections storage!
Sunday, December 3rd
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Talk: Have I Got a Story for You: More than a Century of Fiction from the Forward
Editor Ezra Glinter combed through the archives of the Forward to grab some of the best stories from the newspaper’s 120-year history! Wartime novellas, avant-garde fiction, satirical sketches of immigrant life, it’s got it all!
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Star Trek Discovery Episodes 8-9 & Potluck
Potluck! Star Trek! Bring something for eating or drinking, pitch in a couple bucks to pay for the streaming service, and enjoy! Join the Meetup group here: https://www.meetup.com/4scifi/

Kids:

Tuesday, November 28th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Ages 5 and up can enjoy an afternoon playing with LEGOs!
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Storytime
Give your kids a chance to hear a nice story told by a friendly librarian! Also there are snacks and crafts!
Thursday, November 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Tweens and Teens Book Club: Bring Your Own Book Edition
Share what you’ve been reading with other people and get some recommendations! Next month, they’ll be reading The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman!
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Lunatunes!
A sign-a-long for babies and toddlers! We imagine the babies are quite a bit less capable of the whole “along” part of the singalong but they have fun. There’s also always a snack, so your kids will not turn into the scary kind of Gremlin.

Movies:

Friday, December 1st
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Teen Lounge: Movie – The Dark Tower (PG-13)
The Dark Tower is a very well-regarded book series and an extremely not well-regarded film! But it’ll be fun to watch regardless.

RPGs:

Wednesday, November 29th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A monthly D&D club for players 8-12! You can become a member of this club by prepaying $50. That gets you help with creating a character, a mini, a custom D&D session, and a set of dice! It’s the perfect way to play a fun game with friends! We recommend you play a bard. Actually everyone should play as a bard and you should be adventurers by day and a traveling band by night!
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Paper Stars with Luna
“Learn how to fold kite paper into translucent starts! Perfect for decorating your windows or sending to friends in the mail. 100 times easier than origami but just as cool!” Picking a fight with Origami, eh? Bold!
Thursday, November 30th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A monthly D&D club for players 8-12!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Play one of the classic RPGs at Modern Myths! New players are always welcome, and there’s a friendly crowd there every week! We recommend playing fast and loose, since it’s a drop-in drop-out game, so worst case you can come back in a few months with your bard’s ‘long-lost uncle who’s also secretly a god’.

Video Games:

Sunday, December 3rd
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley] at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
MAKE TALK PLAY: Holiday Jamboree!
The last and most casual meetup of the year for local game devs! Play games on the big screen and just hang out and chat with wonderful people! Gang Beasts is a fun one for the big screen, if you’ve got it! Oh, or the Jackbox games!

 

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Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right is on Kickstarter for one more day and it is neat.

A couple weeks back we got to play an early production version of the runaway Kickstarter success Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right at the spectacular Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat.

What is Root? We’re glad you asked! It’s an asymmetrical strategy boardgame. Unlike every other asymmetrical strategy boardgame we’ve ever played, the theme isn’t “you dropped your history textbook” but is instead “you dropped your most beautiful children’s book”. It is the fastest and most intuitive example of the genre we have ever played.

We played as the Eyrie, a bunch of birds working to retake the forest. It was fun as heck!

Here is the explanation of the Eyrie on their Kickstarter page:

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The Eyrie muster their hawks to take back the woods. They must build roosts and capture as much territory as possible before they collapse back into squabbling and turmoil, choosing a new commander to guide them.

The Eyrie have to try to get as much as possible on the board, while managing their extremely rigid social structure. Every turn you need to build up more and more orders in a queue that you NEED to complete, or else society will collapse and there will be a time of crisis while a new leader is chosen. It’s a great way of making you feel ever more powerful and less steady as play proceeds.

Other players were the Marquis de Cat, whose goal is to use her position as the current ruler of all the forest to build up her domain into an industrial juggernaut, the Woodland Alliance who want to try to boot out both the Eyrie and the Cats using their Conspiracies because they’re tired of being stamped on by monarchs, and the Vagabond who is interested in getting as much as possible from everyone by whatever means necessary whether that’s killing, stealing, or giving gifts.

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But what’s an asymmetrical strategy boardgame? Basically think Risk only every player has a completely different set of rules and paths to victory. The differences can be anything really, it’s just important that while some players might share some aspects of their strategies, it’s not “four people try to all control the largest area of the map”.

In the case of Root, everyone wants to get to 40 points, but for instance the Eyrie get points by controlling the map while the Vagabond can get points by giving cards to other players and the Marquis can get some by building a sawmill.

These games tend to be intriguing but complicated. The fact that they have to balance disparate player goals means they can be a real bear to actually play. You need to focus on your own goals, recall what other people need to do to win, track their progress against your progress against the possible result of this turn if you do A, or B, or C, and if they do X, or Y, or Z on their turn… they’re often very much Boardgames for People Who Love Boardgames.

Our favorite example of this complexity is from the excellent game that we like “Liberty or Death” from GMT Games, which is about the American Revolutionary War. This is what the French player does in that game:

As the French, you have the ability to be the thorn in the side of the British in North America. With the Hortalez Rodrigue et Cie Company, formed to feed the Patriots resources, you can fund the Insurrection. Your agents can rally assistance in and around Quebec and you can facilitate privateers to steal resources from the British. When you sign the Treaty of Alliance with the Patriots, you can bring French Regulars to America to March and Battle. You can also increase French Naval Intervention, Blockade Cities, move Regulars by sea and Skirmish with the British.

That’s a short summary of the set of actions available to a single player and it starts with teaching you that the Hortalez Rodrigue et Cie Company exists. We don’t even remember how the French win the game. It is exactly as intuitive to play Liberty or Death game as you imagine it would be, and it takes exactly as long to play as you wish it wouldn’t.

Root took about two hours, using almost exclusively the player-boards to figure out what to do. Well, and some explanation from the local editor extraordinaire Joshua Yearsley, who is in the process of working on making the game more intuitive for new players! We were playing a super pre-production in-development version of the game and we’re pretty sure we’ll see some of our suggestions for more intuitive symbols implemented because we’re geniuses and they were lucky to have us.

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Often the very first game of an Asymmetrical Strategy Boardgame is going to be mostly about learning because it’s hard for anyone to keep track of everyone else’s special rules. Root simplifies that as far as it can by having everyone share a victory track and by having everyone move pieces according to the same rules, but it’s still going to be something where the first try at each faction is a time for learning the game. But it’s fun learning, and it doesn’t seem like it would take more than a couple of games to get a solid handle on every faction thanks to the carefully shared rules.

We played the most unintuitive, least inviting possible version of this game with as little rule-book reading prep as possible for our first time and it was a riot and we’ve been eager to play again since. That bodes well for the final version!

If all this sounds great then should take this moment to back it on Kickstarter while you can and then look forward to it next August! Thanks to hitting all of the Stretch Goals there are now a bunch of extra unique Vagabonds, two totally new factions, and a special Winter board with rules for randomized placement of starting positions to make for even more varied replaying!

November 20th – 26th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We realized halfway into writing a thing about the boardgame Root that we probably shouldn’t put like a thousand words at the top of this thing so we’re going to write a bigger thing about it tomorrow!

In the meantime we’d like to propose that you check out the newest surefire Kickstarter success “Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff by Hussie, Dril, and KC Green”. It is produced by TopatoCo, a local outfit that generally seems to do a good job. It also involves KC Green, one of the most influential artists to come out of the Pioneer Valley since Emily Dickinson.

Also John Hodgman, who did his best work while summering in the Pioneer Valley, has written a good book about his decision to become a more Maine-centric person and how that has made his life both more noble and more bleak. Vacationland is so far a quite good collection of essays that are usually funny or tragic or both and we like it. Purchase it from a local book retailer like Broadside Bookshop in Northampton!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 20th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Write-In
Writer! Write with others! Tackle your novel at an event that encourages writers of all skill levels and experience to tackle the challenge of writing a novel! This is led by Forbes Writer in Residence Naila Moreira. Prizes will be awarded to NaNoWriMo writers who finish their novels!
Tuesday, November 21st
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Art Lab (Ages 4-8)
A lab where you can experiment with materials and methods of crafting art! If you are 4-8 years old, to be specific.
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Craft: Yarn Feathers (Ages 11-17) Registration Required
Yarn! Feathers! Put them together and what do you have? Oddly enough, a coffee pot. No idea why that happens, pretty sure it’s a bug. You’ve got to pre-register to make your yarn into feathers, at 413-259-3091 or contact teens@joneslibrary.org.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Children’s Book Writers Group
Adults who write for children, come hang out and critique each other! Like, constructively critique each other about books. Don’t just get together to be mean to each other in a group. Facilitated by Nell Wright! Help others and get help with your own writing!

Board Games:

Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 AM
Chess Club
Chess, the game of dukes as they say! Hone your skills at a board game that’s really been waiting on a sequel forever! Get some games under your belt so that you’ll be able to follow the plot in the upcoming Chess: The Movie!
Saturday, November 25th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Board Game Night
Play boardgames with friends and soon-to-be-friends as well as some of the friendly staff at Modern Myths! It’s a great night to try out something you may have been meaning to check out! We really recommend Istanbul or Photosynthesis if they’ve got those. Chill, entertaining games of friendly competition.
Sunday, November 26th
Comics N’ More [31 Union St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Sunday HeroClix
New players and experienced hands! Come battle! We recommend a team comprised entirely of heroes with PhDs! Not Dr. Doom, he never actually presented his dissertation.

Books:

Tuesday, November 21st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Book Discussion – All Quiet on the Western Front
Library staff member Barry McColgan will host a discussion of the classic novel All Quiet on the Western Front! Copies of the book are available at the library.
Saturday, November 25th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Indies First at the Odyssey!
You can either get 20% off your purchase or donate 20% of your purchase to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts! The Food Bank donates a ton of food to your friends and neighbors, and you should do what you can to help them out! There are free refreshments all day, a gift with any purchases totaling $50 or more, and there are going to be guests including Mira Bartok and Holly Black!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Special Storytime: Aaron Becker
Celebrate the release of the box set of The Journey Trilogy! It’s an epic wordless picture book series about a girl’s adventures into another realm! Another realms are always nice spots for adventuring. Book signing to follow program!

Comics:

Comics N’ More [31 Union St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Small Business Saturday at Comics N’ More
Check out excellent comics and N’ Mores at a wonderful local shop all day during Small Business Saturday! Supporting small businesses is good for your health we’re pretty sure!
Comics N’ More [31 Union St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Artist Signing with Jack Purcell
Excellent artist Jack Purcell will be available with original art and prints and comics that he worked on! Get a commissioned piece from him, even! It;ll be a delightful time and you’ll enjoy it.

Community:

Monday, November 20th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Emotional Self-Care and Well Being during the Holidays and Always
The holiday season is a time when a lot of people feel a ton of pressure to put themselves in really difficult situations! It’s hard for everyone and very few people are on board with our “Let’s silently play boardgames” method of dealing with difficult people during the holidays. Learn how to practice supporting your emotional well-being during a real tough time of the year!
Tuesday, November 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:15 PM to 2:15 PM
Workforce Information & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Information Session
Learn about job search assistance, career counseling, and possible training programs that you might qualify for!
Friday, November 24th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Community Sing
Get together with a big group of other people of all possible levels of singing ability and make some beautiful music! No singing experience required, just the ability to produce a noise!

Entertainment:

Monday, November 20th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
American Writers and the Great War
Local presenter Barry Dietz, who you know from his prior presentations, will be teaching you about how some of the greatest American authors were impacted by World War 1!
Wednesday, November 22nd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Teen/Tween Half-Day Lounge
Have a half-day and nothing much to do? GPL is offering free pizza, a great movie, board games, and your pals! Pending you bringing your pals. Still, a good deal!
Friday, November 24th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Day After Thanksgiving Community Sing
All ages and abilities are welcome! You only sing what you feel comfortable singing, lyrics provided! You’re also going to get to sing Thriller which everyone likes! Don’t shop on Black Friday because it’s an anti-holiday designed to punish retail workers!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Picture Book Theatre presents Jane Yolen’s Nocturne and Mouse’s Birthday
See Jane Yolen’s stories come to life with large string puppets! Director Therese Brady Donohue and musician Karen Tarlow bring to life adaptations of Nocturne, the Old MacDonald Sing-a-long, and Mouse’s Birthday!

Kids:

Tuesday, November 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Ages 5 and up can enjoy an afternoon playing with LEGOs!
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Storytime
Give your kids a chance to hear a nice story told by a friendly librarian! Also there are snacks and crafts!
Friday, November 24th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Movie: Cars 3
This is the one where they made that super downbeat ad where it looks like the main Car died which was an odd mood to set. We’ve heard nothing particularly good about this film but we can 100% guarantee your kid will find it entrancing.
Saturday, November 25th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Zoo on the Go at the Sunderland Public Library
We’re not certain what separates this from just pointing at a bunch of escaped animals but we assume they have some method to slow them down briefly so you can see them more clearly or something. Advance registration required, space is limited! Call 413-665-2642!

Movies:

Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Family Movie Matinee
A special showing of the 2017 live-action and definitely absolutely necessary Beauty and the Beast remake! See all of your favorite characters, only now all of the furniture-people are baroque and terrifying!

RPGs:

Wednesday, November 22nd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A D&D club for players 8-12! Play a god trapped in mortal form so whenever you need to retire the character you can explain to everyone that actually you were the toughest and best all along, notwithstanding that time you rolled three critical fails and tripped over your armor into a lava pit.

 

November 13th – November 19th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We got to see John Hodgman and Monte Belmonte at the Shea Theater this past Friday! It was very nice. There was a lot of very good audience interaction and Monte was a fun interviewer. It’s weird seeing a famous person make in-jokes about very local things. We’re sad that John Hodgman is moving toward more time in Maine but we’re glad he has a lot of good stories about the wonderful Pioneer Valley!

Also! Check out Nerd Nite this week! We are 100% positive that the presentations will be excellent this month. It’s 7:00pm – 9:00pm at the World War 2 Club, 50 Conz St., Northampton!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 13th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Warrior Writers
Local writer and veteran Eric Wasileski will lead a writing workshop! Military veterans and their families are very welcome, though the event is also open to the public. Warrior Writers works to build a community that allows for artistic expression and helps people witness the full range of military experiences.
Tuesday, November 14th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Screening of Emily Dickinson: My Letter to the World
From the producers of A Quiet Passion, a 2016 film about Emily Dickinson, comes a documentary narrated by Cynthia Nixon! Spend some time getting to know a spectacular local talent better!
Wednesday, November 15th
Amherst College [Bassett Planetarium] at 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Poetry in the Planetarium: A Reading with Dara Wier and Bianca Stone
Listen to the first reading of Dara Wier’s new book ‘In the Still of the Night’ by both Dara and poet and artist Bianca Stone. As they read, the planetarium will display the starscapes of the nights of Emily Dickinson’s birth and death! Which like, we didn’t realize we wanted to happen for us after we die but now we really want it to happen for us because it sounds really cool. We’ll need to get way better at poetry before that happens though we suppose.
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Artist-Poets Performance and Panel Discussion
The poet-artists in ‘Of Soil and Tongues’ will discuss and perform their work! And they will also make you think of a really weird mental image whenever you read or hear their name!
Thursday, November 16th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon
For about 14 hours, all of Emily Dickinson’s 1,789 poems will be read out loud in the home and landscape where she wrote them! Everyone can help out too, no need to sign up if you’re an individual but larger groups should email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Nature Poetry Writing with New England National Scenic Trail poet-in-residence David Leff
Poet, essayist, and person forced to live in the scenic trails of New England David K Leff will teach some nature poetry! Lively readings, discussion, observation of nature, sharpening of the senses, the ability to speak to the Ents and learn their secrets, all the necessary parts of becoming a good nature poet!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | The Poet, The Artist, The Printer: Book Arts and the Small Press with Slate Roof Press
How do you go about figuring out how to make a real physical book look and feel nice to read? Readers like books that are cool, how do you use artwork and the physical aspects of a book make the end product more than just a printout of the text? Poets, writers, book lovers, art lovers, bookmakers, and generally nice people from Slate Roof Press will discuss and showcase the work of local artists and bookmakers!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Jennifer Firestone and Marisa Crawford
Jennifer Firestone has written a bunch of books and poems and so has Marisa Cawford and they’re both from Brooklyn, the Cool Place, and they’re going to read poems and we’re going to assume the poems will be really excellent.
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Kaveh Akbar with Sahar Muradi
Kaveh Akbar writes poetry that appears in a ton of places and is the recipient of a lot of prizes. He was born in Tehran, Iran, and begins teaching at Purdue University in the fall! Sahar Muradi is a performer, writer, and educator who was born in Afghanistan and raised in the US and has written a ton! Also we want to make this clear: dearly believes in the bottom of the rice pot. Deeply!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Poetry Festival Party!
It’s a party! Celebrate the literary legacy of Amherst with a bunch of friends and the featured readers! Music! Foods! Fun! It’s a party! Delightful!
Emily Dickinson Museum Garden [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Amherst Poetry Festival | Calling All Poets! A family writing workshop with Burleigh Muten
Write poetry in a nice garden with your pals! All prompts will be related to Dickinson’s poetry or life, and led by children’s author and museum tour guide Burleigh Muten. Children need to be accompanied by an adult!
Friday, November 17th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Amherst Poetry Festival | jubilat/Jones: Caryl Pagel, Kevin Gonzalez, and Emily Pettit
The jubliat/Jones series involves six readings at the Jones Library! They’re followed by a Q&A with the poets, and all readings are free and open to the public!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Emily Dickinson Poetry Discussion Group: Emily Dickinson as a Second Language Part 2
The second part of an exploration of the more personal and specifically local language of Dickinson! Learn to better appreciate your most famous local poet!
Saturday, November 18th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Jewelry Making Workshop: Wrap Bracelets and Charm Bracelets
Learn how to make a wonderful wrap bracelet or charm bracelet! This is geared toward adults but you can bring a kid if you’re going to help them out with the creation process!

Board Games:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Board Game Night
Play board-games with friends and soon-to-be-friends as well as some of the friendly staff at Modern Myths! It’s a great night to try out something you may have been meaning to check out! We really recommend Istanbul or Photosynthesis if they’ve got those. Chill, entertaining games of friendly competition.
Off The Wall Game Store [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] at 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Dark Age March to Immortality Tournament
We suppose this is some sort of competition to see who can age the slowest? The Pioneer Valley is a fascinating place. Rules are: 750 pts. + 150 reinforcements, 3 rounds, 75 minute rounds, break for pizza lunch between rounds 1 and 2. The $15 entry fee includes pizza! The event is open to all skill levels and experience, new players are always welcome!

Books:

Tuesday, November 14th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Andrea Lawlor, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
From the site: “It’s 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a fleur with a rich dating life. But Paul’s also got a secret: he’s a shapeshifter.”
Wednesday, November 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Not in Our Town Event: Gretchen Gerzina, Author of Mr. and Mrs. Prince
Dr. Gretchen Gerzina, the author of ‘Mr. and Mrs. Prince’ will speak about the research she did in writing her historical narrative about two slaves who met and married in Deerfield, MA before eventually freeing themselves.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Writing Critique Group
Writers of picture books, middle grade, and YA books meet to read and get some feedback! The group is facilitated by following SCBWI guidelines but you don’t have to be a member to participate.
Thursday, November 16th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Elif Babül, Bureaucratic Intimacies: Translating Human Rights in Turkey
From the site: “Human rights are politically fraught in Turkey, provoking suspicion and scrutiny among government workers for their anti-establishment left-wing connotations. Nevertheless, with eyes worldwide trained in Turkish politics, and with accession to the European Union underway, Turkey’s human rights record remains a key indicator of its governmental legitimacy. Bureaucratic Intimacies shows how government workers encounter human rights rhetoric through training programs and articulates the perils and promises of these encounters for the subjects and objects of Turkish governance.”
Friday, November 17th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Archer Mayor, Trace
From the site: “In cases that lead the team all over Vermont and nearby, Archer Mayor once again shows why his novels featuring Joe Gunther and the VBI team are among the finest crime fiction today.” Is… there really a Vermont Bureau of Investigation? Is that a thing?
Saturday, November 18th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Ruth Lehrer, Being Fishkill Book Launch
From the site: “Fishkill Carmel fends for herself, with her fists if need be — until a thwarted lunch theft introduces her to strange, sunny Duck-Duck and a chance for a new start. Born in the backseat of a moving car, Carmel Fishkill was unceremoniously pushed into a world that refuses to offer her security, stability, love. At age thirteen, she begins to fight back. Carmel Fishkill becomes Fishkill Carmel, who deflects her tormenters with a strong left hook and conceals her secrets from teachers and social workers.”
Sunday, November 19th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Gerald A. Cohen, Beyond the Images: The Insightful Memoir of a Life in Medicine
You get to eat some recipes from the memoir at this event! … all of these recipes sound extremely odd to eat at the same time but we are not going to judge you. Two-Fork Tuna on a Triscuit really doesn’t seem like it goes well with Jujyfruits and whatever Shmoo Sauce is. But, anyway, learn about Dr. Cohen’s life as a radiologist and also eat some food!

Card Games:

Friday, November 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic: Iconic Masters Release Draft
A limited booster draft featuring the newest set: Iconic Masters! Use some of the most potent cards from Magic’s history to deliver a real high-powered draft! It’s a tournament with Swiss-style pairings and a hard cap of 16 players, so sign up early to get a seat! There’s a $50 entry fee, and every player gets at least one booster pack of Iconic Masters and you can win a lot more, as well as promo cards! Maybe you’ll get a … Black Lotus?!

Community:

Monday, November 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Emotional Self-Care and Well Being during the Holidays and Always
The holiday season is a time when a lot of people feel a ton of pressure to put themselves in really difficult situations! It’s hard for everyone and very few people are on board with our “Just stay inside and play video-games” method of dealing with the holidays. Learn how to practice supporting your emotional well-being during a real tough time of the year!
Saturday, November 18th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Adulting 101 – Present the Best YOU to the World!
Teens and young adults ages 14-22, get some tips on how to make good first impressions! Diane Massey of the Berkshire School of Etiquette will have a fun interactive session to help you get past the handshake. Here’s our hot etiquette tip: everyone’s impressed if you trade glasses with them, and never trade back. Just give people your glasses, and buy another pair later! They’ll remember that.

Computers:

Thursday, November 16th
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
Talk about your current projects, get some insight into your problems and help others, and then there’s a round-table discussion! This time it’s going to be about SEO, discuss your best and worst experiences making sure that our all-powerful compu-controllers at Google allow people to find you!
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Western Mass Drupal Users Group Meeting
Learn about how to use Drupal more effectively! Tips, talks, modules! Meet fellow users and talk about your experiences! Eat pizza!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, November 15th
Springfield Symphony Hall [34 Court St, Springfield, MA 01103] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Michael Steele: The New Political Scene
We assume this speech will just be him staring at the audience in mute horror as screens behind him play the 24-hour news channels.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Apple Palooza
Ben of Clarkdale Fruit Farms will talk about everything apples! There’s also an apple tasting! It says it only goes until 7:30 but we assume this event will extend into the infinite future, as who can say they have truly finished explaining EVERYTHING apples?
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Gray Divas Residency Concert
Join the Gray Divas for some music from Hawaii in these cold times! There’s also going to be oldies and jazz and some new stuff!
Saturday, November 18th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Game of Thrones S2E1 & Potluck & Fire Pit
One episode is scheduled, but you can stick around to watch more if you like! Bring food and drink to share, and if the weather allows you’ll get to use the fire pit! Check out the site for more info: https://www.meetup.com/4scifi/events/244955144/
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Doctor Who Club
Wait what’s this doctor they’re discussing? Why are people so interested in this doctor. Which doctor? Wait, doctor… whom? Anyway go hang out and watch Doctor Who and eat snacks, it’s a good time with cool folks!

Kids:

Tuesday, November 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Ages 5 and up can enjoy an afternoon playing with LEGOs!
Thursday, November 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Rainbow Makers LGBTQ+ Group
A creative bi-weekly discussion group for people ages 13-17! The goal is to publish an annual magazine featuring a wide variety of artwork, writing, opinion pieces, reviews, and much more! If you have interests you want to share, they want to help you share them!
Friday, November 17th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM
The Oxbow Quartet Presents: A Children’s String Concert
A half-hour of music that bounces from Shostakovich to Joplin, as all children demand! Dance, enjoy some beautiful music, and have a good time!

Movies:

Wednesday, November 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Baby Driver Screening
A movie about a getaway driver who uses music to be the best in the game!
Sunday, November 19th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Film: Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana
A documentary exploring the importance of connections, as the Sefwi Jews reach out to others worldwide. The film bears witness to their ongoing struggle for acceptance and their growth. Find out more and purchase tickets here: http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/visit-shop/calendar-events/film-doing-jewish-story-ghana-sunday-november-19-2-pm

RPGs:

Wednesday, November 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A D&D club for players 8-12! You can become a member of this club by paying $50/mo. That gets you help with creating a character, a mini, a custom D&D session, and a set of dice! It’s the perfect way to play a fun game with friends! We recommend you play a bard. Actually everyone should play as a bard and you should be adventurers by day and a traveling band by night!
Thursday, November 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A D&D club for players 8-12! Play a god trapped in mortal form so whenever you need to retire the character you can explain to everyone that actually you were the toughest and best all along, notwithstanding that time you rolled three critical fails and tripped over your armor into a lava pit.
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Play one of the classic RPGs at Modern Myths! New players are always welcome, and there’s a friendly crowd there every week! We recommend playing fast and loose, since it’s a drop-in drop-out game, so worst case you can come back in a few months with your bard’s ‘long-lost twin sister who’s also a dragonborn and much cooler’.

Science:

Monday, November 13th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Skeletons and Socialism
Nerd Nite! Nerd Nite! The Best Nite! You’ll see Constance Hildreth present “My Skeleton is Full of Bugs!” about rigging errors in video-game animation, as well as Sanjiv Gupta giving a talk about “Socialism, the Radical Future of Capitalism”!

 


 

Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat Special Announcement!

Hello folks! We forgot to put this week’s Wednesday Games in the danged newsletter on Sunday so we’re making a special announcement and giving a little intro to the event!

Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat takes place from 7:00pm – 11:00pm at the Brass Cat bar in Easthampton [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027].

This Wednesday is especially special because you’ll get to experience the currently in-development runaway Kickstarter success Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right! It looks like basically an adorable storybook asymmetric strategy game? And one player can be a dashing rogue raccoon! We would highly recommend arriving early if you want to check that out!

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What is Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat?

A few dozen people head to a bar in Easthampton named The Brass Cat and they play board games at the tables. Outside if it’s warm, inside if it’s cold. Usually there’s a featured game, but there are always a bunch of other options ranging from games that take minutes to games that take hours!

How do I take part?

Head to the Brass Cat at 7:00pm, and look for a table that’s overflowing with board games. Then talk to the folks who are around that table! We suggest you introduce yourself with “Hello, I’m here for the board game night. What are we playing?”

Who hosts Wednesday Games?

Justin! Don’t hesitate to ask Justin literally anything because we’re pretty certain most of the entertainment he gets from this event is that he’s able to put his encyclopedic knowledge of his board game collection to a positive social use. He’s the person nervously darting about near the table full of games.

Who attends Wednesday Games?

A variety of folk from all over the Valley! The common thread is that these are folks who want to play something new or introduce someone to a game they love. If you are over 21 and you derive enjoyment out of spending time with a boardgame you’ll have a nice time.

What games get played?

The featured game will always be on offer, but other than that it’s up to you! Pick a game from the big pile that you know you like, ask Justin if there’s anything that takes X minutes or that needs Y players, or walk around and check with folks to see if they can take an extra person at the table!

 

November 6th – November 12th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We just saw Thor: Ragnarok! It was pretty neat.

Good bits:

  • Jokes
  • Goldblum
  • Set design that looks like someone spilled nail polish on a LEGO city and we love it
  • Kirby helmets
  • Pretty nice fight bits
  • Big chunky spaceships
  • Some great minor characters

Bad bits:

  • A bit long
  • The parts in Asgard aren’t super motivating because Asgard has never really been a place full of characters we love, just sort of a generic Fantasy Heaven
  • So jokey that the fight-fights are tough to really buy because come on they’re obviously gonna be fine what is this not a movie with a joke every 2 minutes
  • You know, a Marvel movie. Probably everyone’s capable of reconstructing a Marvel film on their own in their head given a premise at this point

But yeah, overall a nice time at the filmery.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Tuesday, November 7th
Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Panel Discussion: Recovered Histories: Shaping the Legacy of Honore Sharrer
Adam Zagorin, son of the artist Honore Sharrer, will lead a conversation with M. Melissa Wolfe moderated by Anna Lee of Smith College about the life, work, and legacy of Honore Sharrer!
Wednesday, November 8th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Zackary Drucker and Tarrah von Lintel in Conversation
As part of Trans Empowerment Month, join the Mead in welcoming transgender multimedia artist, LGBT activist, actress, a television producer Zackary Drucker in conversation with gallery director Tarrah von Lintel.
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Gallery Conversation: Japanese Lacquer in the Collection of Dr. Elizabeth Force
Yao Wu will introduce the types of Japanese lacquerware featured in the exhibition and work to contextualize the objects! Which is useful, because uncontextualized lacquerware is confounding. Joannah Peterson will discuss aspects of the Heian Period literary tradition! So much knowledge, for just $5? Nice.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
Zine! Zine zine zine. Ziiiiine. Zine? Zine.
Thursday, November 9th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Homework Hang
“Need somewhere to do homework or help with an assignment? Stop by the Teen Room afterschool on Thursdays for homework assistance, supplies, or just a quiet spot to work!”
Friday, November 10th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
YA Craft Series: Make a Macrame Braceley
Fashion (get it?) a fun and colorful accessory! Or two! Can never have enough macrame.
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Vanished: the Hospital on the Hill – Photographs by Stan Sherer, Text by J. Michael Moore
From the site: “This exhibition tells the story of the Northampton State Hospital through the words of the employees, Stan Sherer’s photographs, commentary by J. Michael Moore, and historical photographs from the collection of Historic Northampton.”
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Free art! At a great museum! But still donate if you can! It’s important to support the museum.
Saturday, November 11th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Origami: Animal Paper Folding Class
Evangeline Heath will share her origami skills with you! Learn how to make your own origami! Or just learn how to make a crane and then make 1,000 cranes!

Board Games:

Tuesday, November 7th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 AM
Chess Club
Chess, the game of dukes as they say! Hone your skills at a board game that’s really been waiting on a sequel forever! Get some games under your belt so that you’ll be able to follow the plot in the upcoming Chess: The Movie!
Wednesday, November 8th
The Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat
A great game night with a cool featured game! This time it’s Root: The Woodland Game of Might and Right, which looks neat and sounds fun!

 

Thursday, November 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Teen Time: Board Game Edition
Teens! Hang out in the board game section! Play some board games, it’s a good hobby to pick up, because board games are fun!
Saturday, November 11th
Off The Wall Game Store [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] at 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Deadzone Tournament
It’s a tourney! Two hundred points, registration at 11 and dice rolling starts at noon. Find out more here: http://www.the131.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=7155. Weird that they picked The Dead Zone, we feel like The Mist would be a much easier Stephen King story to turn into a minatures game.

Books:

Tuesday, November 7th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Sunderland Short Story Series
Jeannine Haas will be reading ‘The Night the Ghost Got In’ and ‘The Story of Sailing’ by James Thurber, and Court Dorsey will be reading ‘At the Anarchists’ Convention’ by John Sayles! Hear some good stories! It’s like an audiobook but in person!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Olivia Hoblitzelle, Aging with Wisdom: Reflections, Stories and Teachings
From the site: “How do we find beauty and meaning in old age? How do we overturn the paradigm of ageism? How do we age consciously and cultivate an inner life resilient enough to withstand the vicissitudes of old age? An extended meditation on how to age consciously and embrace life in all its fullness and wonder, Aging with Wisdom answers these questions.”
Wednesday, November 8th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Reception and Book Salon with Gail Hornstein
Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College Gail Hornstein will discuss with Marty Hadge of the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community and Karen Remmler also of Mount Holyoke the book Agnes’s Jacket – A Psychologists Search for the Meanings of Madness (Revised and Updated)!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Aspergers, Autism, and Neurodiversity (The Modern Real and Surreal)
From the site: “Three authors will read from their books exploring the challenges and gifts of Asperger’s and autism. We’ll hear from two memoirists – one whose son was born with autism, and one describing his search to overcome his own Asperger’s syndrome – and a young adult/children’s novelist who writes about young people with disabilities and neurodiverse minds.”
Thursday, November 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Finn Murphy, The Long Haul
A trucker’s-eye view of America on the move! See America in all its glory from the very veins of the nation: gigantic highways!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Author Night with Michael Posnor
Michael Ponsor, local author, former criminal defense attorney and current senior US district Judge fro Western Massachusetts returns to his character Judge Norcross for another novel following a dramatic court case! Sidney Cranmer faces a horrendous accusation from the FBI and U.S. District Judge David Norcross is hearing the case while caring for his young nieces!
Friday, November 10th
Shea Theater, Turner’s Falls at 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM
John Hodgman, Vacationland
For a mere $35 you can get a copy of this semi-local but still very definitively New Englander comedian’s first novel that isn’t just a big list of joke facts as well as see a performance of some sort! Probably reading from the book? Maybe juggling.

Card Games:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic (Casual/101)
Learn to play Magic in a casual setting with the friendly staff of Modern Myths! Test out a cool new deck, play with constructed decks if other folks are into it, get special door prizes! It’s the perfect night for new Magic players or people who just want to take it easy! It’s $5 to attend, which is immediately converted to store credit.
Saturday, November 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic: Booster Draft
Draft cards, play magic, win prizes! A $16 entry fee includes tax, and gets you 3 booster packs to draft with, and adds a pack to the prize pool! Everyone gets at least 1 prize pack, and extra packs and foil cards will be awarded for exceptional play!

Comics:

Monday, November 6th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Comics Workshop
A comic workshop! Not 100% certain what form this takes but it’s probably going to be a lot of fun!
Friday, November 10th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM
Comics Club
From the site: “Join Ralph in the Children’s & YA Department for Comics Club, a monthly meeting to discuss, share, and create comics and graphic novels! There will artist’s supplies, materials to put your own books together, and time to receive and give recommendations! Intended for elementary, tween, and teen readers and artists!”

Computers:

Tuesday, November 7th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of people who do web dev work! It’s a great place to meet and chat about your work and also fun stuff you do!
Wednesday, November 8th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Learn how to use the Agile method to manage things! The topic this week is “Making it work with Jira”! Learn how to use a useful tool to make developing with Agile easier!
Thursday, November 9th
Common Media [84 Russell Street, Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass
After an update about ongoing projects, you’ll be able to get hacking! Make a difference in your community using the computer skills that have previously mostly used to provide relatives with free tech support!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, November 8th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger
Explore haunted spaces with Jeff Belanger! Jeff Belanger is a writer for Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, which will become the greatest show on television in retrospect if at some point the hosts are devoured by terrifying spirits.
Thursday, November 9th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime! The sport of kings. We’ve heard a ton of good things about the anime Fullmetal Alchemist! The recent Brotherhood re-make of it is a lot shorter and well-regarded we think. The little kid in the suit of armor is so neat is mostly what we gathered from the series! UPDATE: It’s not shorter, just more closely adheres to the manga story, and gets through a lot of the early events faster! The more you know!
Saturday, November 11th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Northampton Community Music Center Family Concert Series: Golden Bird
Ticket sales begin at 10:30, arrive early to guarantee a seat!
Sunday, November 12th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Star Trek Discovery Episodes 6-7 & Potluck & FIre Pit
Check out the site to join up and find the location! https://www.meetup.com/4scifi/. Also look, Star Trek series generally get three-letter names, right? But they’re not “Star Trek: Whatever” = STW! Like TNG, VOY, ENT, DS9, none of those are S, then T, then a thing. So Discovery is DIS, got it? The joke about it being STD doesn’t work! Dangit!

History:

Friday, November 10th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Explore Northampton Series: The Northampton State Hospital
Co-director Elizabeth Sharpe will lead a walking tour of the former Northampton State Hospital grounds, which is now the Village Hill complex! She’ll describe the history of the hospital, where buildings were located, and how treatments changed over time!

Kids:

Tuesday, November 7th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Graphic Novel Book Club and Teen Craft
A discussion of Sarah Andersen’s graphic novel Big Mushy Happy Lump. Stay for the illustration demo and learn how to draw some characters! Register by emailing teens@joneslibrary.org!
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Storytime
Give your kids a chance to hear a nice story told by a friendly librarian! Also there are snacks and crafts!
Thursday, November 9th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Lunatunes!
A sign-a-long for babies and toddlers! We imagine the babies are quite a bit less capable of the whole “along” part of the singalong but they have fun. There’s also always a snack, so your kids will not turn into the scary kind of Gremlin.
Saturday, November 11th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Special Storytime: Renee Kurilla
Join a reading of The Pickwick’s Picnic: A Counting Adventure! You can get a book signed after the program, too!

Movies:

Monday, November 6th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
GPL Teen Pizza and Movie Night
Pizza and a movie: the ultimate chance to have pizza and also watch a movie. Teens, don’t let this slip by! This is your chance to have pizza and watch a film! It’s a hoot to do so with pals!
Wednesday, November 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Film: The Coming War on China
See a film by John Pilger about why he thinks the US is gearing up for war with China. Awesome. Great. Yeah, terrifying. Afterward, confirm your fears with Professor of History at UMass Amherst Sigrid Schmalzer.

RPGs:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A monthly D&D club for players 8-12! You can become a member of this club by prepaying $50. That gets you help with creating a character, a mini, a custom D&D session, and a set of dice! It’s the perfect way to play a fun game with friends! We recommend you play a bard. Actually everyone should play as a bard and you should be adventurers by day and a traveling band by night!
Thursday, November 9th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A monthly D&D club for players 8-12!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Step inside another life! RPGs are fun time games for folks who like to play pretend around a table. You can basically play whatever, though Fake Medieval Place Roleplaying is pretty much the most common.
Friday, November 10th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 11:59 PM
Magestry LARP Season Finale!
Thinking of LARPing? Join Magestry for the final event of the Autumn season! It’s the perfect opportunity to have a great time at the Festival of Souls! NPC volunteers can have some fun playing spooky ghosts! It’s $40 for first-time players, and free to join as an NPC for as long as you like! You’ll even get a costume and weapons!
Saturday, November 11th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA] at 9:00 AM to 11:59 PM
Magestry LARP Season Finale!
The second day of the LARP!
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Dungeons & Dragons
Play the old familiar, the classic, the one with dungeons and also dragons! It has more stuff too, like gnomes. Mostly just gnomes actually, the game is mostly about gnome management.
Sunday, November 12th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA] at 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Magestry LARP Season Finale!
The nine hundreth day of the LARP! Time passes differently in the Chesterfield Scout Reservation.

Science:

Thursday, November 9th
Nacul Center [592 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
OEB Science Cafe: We Want You To Learn About Citizen Science
A special one and a half hour event! Three researchers with experience conducting citizen science will let you know how to get involved in scientific research! Contibute to our knowledge of the world!