January 4th – 10th

Happy new year! It’s still basically the same because of how time actually works, but hey let’s take each day this year as an opportunity to make things less shitty than they were in 2020.


Keep up the momentum into the Georgia Runoff! You can find out how to help via a Google Doc created by Fair Fight, an election integrity organization. You can also just donate at gasenate.com. It’s incredibly important that control of the Senate goes to the party that does actually want to give people the resources they need to stay alive after this awful year. This is the last week! Let’s bring it home!


Are you in need of help of any sort? Speak with Mass Support! They’re here to help, and they’re doing a lot of stuff virtually this year. You can also just get in touch via MASSSUPPORT@RIVERSIDECC.ORG or 888-215-4920.


Miss the movies? Watch Images Cinema online! Or watch Amherst Cinema online! We think Shadow in the Cloud looks neat, and it’s like half-price to rent it on these services instead of the bigger streaming services.


You can order Tony DiTerlizzi signed books here from Odyssey Bookshop!


Buy comics from amazing local retailers Comics N’ More! They’re great!


You can join up with the Westfield Athenaeum Monthly Reading Challenge:

Sign up at https://westath.beanstack.org/ to join our Monthly Reading Challenges, running from September 2020 to June 2021. Each month, read a book for a new challenge and then join one or more of our Reader’s Chats to discuss the book you’ve read with other readers on the fourth Tuesdays of every month. Not sure what to read? Check our Facebook page for a themed #shelfiesunday video and Beanstack for book lists for applicable challenges. The challenge and book clubs are for all ages. JANUARY’S CHALLENGE: Read a book you meant to read in 2020!


Monday from 12:30PM – 1:30PM you can talk about books with a Westfield Athenaeum Librarian!

Are you ready to talk about books? Athenaeum librarians will be live on our Facebook page for an hour to help you find your next great read live on air. Please drop reading requests into the comments. Already reading a good book? Put that in the comments, too! There are never too many books. The Westfield Athenaeum will be offering live chats every Monday at 12:30 PM. Please see our Facebook page and schedule of events for more.

Monday from 7PM – 8:30PM you can attend the Virtual Paradise City Readers meeting! This month they’re talking about “The Library of Lost and Found”. You can join here: http://https//zoom.us/j/94099293382?pwd=VXRCeFFpMjExZlBKbEg0eFNVZkdQQT09

Respectful, queer/LGBT-friendly, easy-going bunch who want an excuse to get out more and talk about books. And have some snacks. Meetings take place on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

Monday from 8PM – 10PM you can check out the Virtual Far Out Film Discussion via Zoom! This month they’re watching: The Sacrifice!

Far Out Film Discussion will have a zoom meeting to talk about the final film by Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky – 1986’s The Sacrifice. View the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODJb2-PLu7Y. It can be found online at kanopy: https://boston.kanopy.com/product/sacrifice. To virtually attend this discussion, click the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87523942049

Tuesday from 4PM – 5PM you can attend Book Snacks! It’s a Reader’s Advisory for children!

Reader’s Advisory is here for children! Grab a snack and munch as we share a variety of Juvenile Fiction and Graphic Novels. Don’t know what you want to read? Let us know in the comments and we will find a book for you. Or share your favorites with us. The Westfield Athenaeum will be offering Books Snacks at 4pm on the first Tuesday of the month on Facebook Live. 

Tuesday from 6PM – 9PM you can check out the Northampton Webdive! You… gotta assume that this is online now, right? Because no one would meet in a bar during the plague years. But! You can find out more by registering here! It’s just a time to chat with folks about web dev stuff or not web dev stuff! Kind of extremely chill networking.

Wednesday from 7:30PM – 8:30PM you can attend a discussion at Westfield Athenaeum “Librarians Discuss: What’s the Worst Cliche and the Best Trope?”

Join us on Facebook Live on the first and third Wednesdays of each month for a group of Westfield Athenaeum librarians to discuss a variety of book and life-related topics. You can either join live and be part of the discussion or watch the episode later on our Facebook page. It’s very easy to say that we don’t like a book because it involves a tired cliche. However, trope and cliche are often terms that are used interchangeably. What’s the difference between the two? How do they impact genres, which are built on tropes that become cliches? How does trope become cliche? What are the worst offenders? All genres, tropes, and cliches are on the menu. Come tell us what’s the one trope or cliche that makes you love or hate a book!

Wednesday from 7PM – 11PM you can hang with the lovely folks from Start Playing Online! They gather at the Discord channel: https://discord.gg/fAM8yJw. Most games are played on Board Game Arena if you want to check it out ahead of time. It’s fun and everyone’s nice!

Thursday from 3PM – 3:30PM you can check out “Open Eyes: An interactive look at a surprise work of art”

Come together in a “Zoom Gallery” to share and hear what others see while taking a close-look at one work of art. The informal conversation will be facilitated by museum educator Taiga Ermansons.  No prior art knowledge is necessary.  Registration limited to 15. Register Here

Thursday from 3:30PM – 4:30PM Teens can check out the Virtual Teen Book Club! They’re talking about Legendborn by Tracy Deonn!

Join us for a chat and pick next month’s read! This is a virtual program that will take place on Zoom. Please email mbishop@forbeslibrary.org for the meeting link.

OR Thursday from 3:30PM – 4:30PM Teens can show up for the Teen Writing Group at Westfield Athenaeum!

Do you like writing fantasy? Science fiction? Realistic fiction? All kinds are welcome at our Teen Writing Group. Each meeting tackles a new topic – suggested and voted on by group participants – with fun activities and writing prompts. In this class, you help pick what we learn and work on your creative writing skills! This group is for students in grades 5-12. Participents are not made to read their work unless they desire to do so. This class will take place on Zoom on the first and third Thursdays of every month.

Thursday from 4:30PM – 5:30PM you can see a Jones Library chat about “The Library’s Role in Economic and Social Justice”.

Join the Library Trustees as they talk with special guests Lev Ben-Ezra (Director of the Amherst Survival Center), Judith Roberts (Director of the Literacy Project), and Lynne Weintraub (Jones Library ESL & Citizenship Coordinator) about the Library’s role in economic and social justice. You will be able to utilize the ‘Q&A’ or ‘raise hand’ buttons built into Zoom to ask your questions or give your comments and concerns. We will try to address all questions and acknowledge all raised hands as time allows. You will also be able to phone in to hear the session. Join via Zoom

Thursday from 7PM – 8PM you can attend a talk with the folks at the Yiddish Book Center, “The Extraordinary Voyages of the Yiddish Jules Verne, with Sebastian Schulman.” Register for the event here!

Whether it was on the Lower East Side of New York or in the shtetlekh of Eastern Europe, Yiddish speakers were voracious readers of Jules Verne (1828-1905), the 19th century’s most celebrated author of science fiction. With stories of adventure that crossed borders and investigated new technologies, these books had a direct appeal for Yiddish readers that were daily faced by the challenges of industrialization and mass immigration. But does Jules Verne en français really resemble his counterpart af yidish? This presentation will explore how Verne’s Yiddish translators reshaped the writer, at once domesticating him to fit the norms of Jewish readership, while at the same time using Verne to advance a message of modernization, science, and empire to their supposedly backward and superstitious readers. Based on close readings across several languages, this lecture will show how these processes created a distinctly Yiddish “Zhul Vern,” a member of the Jewish literary pantheon that was related to, but somehow very different from his Parisian namesake.

Friday from 1PM – 1:30PM you can check out “Good Book Hunting: Books Like David Baldacci’s Daylight” on the Westfield Athenaeum facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/westath!

This month, we’re using the catalog, NoveList, FantasticFiction and plain ol’ Google to find you readalike titles. In this episode, Gretchen talks you through her rationale for what makes a good Google search and result!

Saturday from 7PM – 8PM you can attend a talk with the folks at the Yiddish Book Center, “Becoming Sholem Asch, with David Mazower.” Register for the event here!

An illustrated talk by his great-grandson, Yiddish Book Center bibliographer David Mazower. A yeshiva student who became a provocative dramatist, bestselling novelist, and embattled prophet, Sholem Asch was Yiddish literature’s first modern celebrity. One of the best-known Jewish public figures for over half a century, Asch’s writings included bestsellers in English translation, and smash hits on the Yiddish stages of Warsaw and New York. His 1907 play “God of Vengeance” resulted in a famed obscenity trial in New York and has inspired many adaptations and reworkings, including Paula Vogel’s recent hit “Indecent.” This lecture by Asch’s great-grandson will put his career as a playwright in the wider context of his life and work, charting his migrations from Poland to America, France, England, and finally Israel. Theater posters, stage stills, and a wide variety of other images will be combined with unseen photos from family albums, showing the private face of this most public figure.


Looking for a weird new game to play? Try Paradise Killer! It’s a bunch of fun. A super weird mystery in a super weird super awful world full of amazing tunes and stylish decay. It’s a great time where you mostly solve mysteries by hopping around a series of weird places collecting Blood Crystals which are money and then talking to your horrific friends who’ve allowed you back after 3 million days of exile. It’s as though a game was determined too strange in the PS2 era and condemned to be released in 2020.

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