Board Games

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!

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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!

 

July 17th – July 23rd

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We want to take a moment to thank our readers for reading, because that’s what makes us get this thing out the proverbial door on days we really need to also cook a whole ton of food. Thanks readers!

Speaking of readers, if you like to READ comic books, you should make certain to go to Modern Myths in Northampton and Comics N’ More in Easthampton, our two excellent local places that sell comic books and other neat things! They’re not even paying for us to say this, we’re just pretty certain that selling comic books is a business that is at best “really difficult” and we want them to have an easy week once in a while because we like them.

If you don’t read comic books just slip a $20 under the door after business hours.

Also! We really would appreciate if you would let us know if you have any special wishes for what the Nerd Watch site could do for you. We edge ever closer to our now-mythical site redesign and we’d love to hear what our adoring fans like and do not like about the current format!

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, July 18th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Radioplasma Recording Studio Sessions
Meet in the Teen Room to walk as a group to the Radioplasma Recording Studio to get some hands on experience with journalism, storytelling, and sound mixing! SOUNDS cool! Get it? See that? Nice.
Wednesday, July 19th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Family Workshops at the Mead
Come to the Mead to experience the wonder of air conditioning and making good art! Visitors are invited to participate in a variety of fun activites, from film screenings to art-making!
Thursday, July 20th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Jones Library Stitchin’ Club
A club to stich in, we suppose.
Friday, July 21st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Book Sculptures with Cathy Thibodeau
Upcycle your old hardcover books by turning them in to really cool sculptures! There’s no experience necessary, and they’ll have some materials on hand. If you want to bring your own book it should be at least 140 pages and 21cm in height!
Sunday, July 23rd
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Sketch at the Mead
Draw at the Mead! Artists are welcome to sketch in the galleries or outside in the courtyard! Paper and pencils and drawing boards AND gallery stools provided!

Board Games:

Monday, July 17th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Game On!
Play some games! Indoor and outdoor! Everything from frisbee to Apples to Apples!
Tuesday, July 18th
Building Autistic Community, Inc [8 Washington St., Westfield, MA] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Gaming for Anxiety and Depression
Come down for a nice night of board games and card games with people on and off the spectrum! This is a meeting for people who love games and want to play in a supportive environment and meet other great people to hang out with.
Saturday, July 22nd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Saturday Board Games
We have this on our weekly events list but we just wanted to call it out because it’s very excellent! Play games with a great crowd! Meet new people! Try stuff before you buy stuff! It’s a very very good night moderated by the friendly staff at Modern Myths!

Books:

Tuesday, July 18th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bill Roorbach, The Girl of the Lake: Stories
Bill Roorbach will regale you with tales from his most recent collection, spanning time and space and character with abandon. Teens in love, couples at war, disaster, history, comedy, emotional heft, his stories have it all!
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 are invited to a critique group at the Greenfield Room! Nell Wright will facilitate, and wonderful people will attend! Discuss the art and business of writing books for children, and share tips with your fellow writers!
Wednesday, July 19th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Bikes and Books Club
Read and discuss a book, then get a free bike maintenance lesson, go for a ride, and play some games!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Writing Critique Group
Writers of picture books and middle grade and YA meet up to read and receive feedback about their works in progress from the group! It’s facilitated following the SCBWI guildlines but you don’t need to be a member to participate. Though being a member of a Society of any sort always sounds sort of neat. We should start a Society. Or just hand out memberships to the Nerd Watch!
Friday, July 21st
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Paperbacks and Snacks
Holyoke area teens are invited to participate in author Gene Luen Yang’s “Reading Without Walls” challenge. Which is “Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you, read a book about a topic you don’t know much about, read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun”. Discuss your reading and eat tasty snacks!

Comic Books:

Monday, July 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics and Games
Find new pals via friendly conversation moderated by store manager Melissa! Key topics include representation of LGBTQIA+ people in comics and gaming! Admission is a $5 Day Pass, and that’s immediately store credit. Basically a good excuse to justify an immediate purchase of something fun from that comic shop you love so much!

Community:

Tuesday, July 18th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Creating Community for Women with Chronic Illness
A monthly support group for women living with any sort of chronic illness, free and open to the public!
Wednesday, July 19th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Mindfullness seminar with Dr. Ruth Folchman, PsyD, CGP
Dr. Folchman will discuss mindfulness, being present and open to your direct experience rather than and we’re just pulling a totally random example from the ether here, seeing a house centipede in the bathroom and then spending a good two to three hours lying in bed thinking about how it COULDN’T be in the room… but what if it was? Dr. Folchman is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Group Psychotherapist in private practice in Northampton!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Moms of Color Western Mass
A weekly support group for moms of color, pregnant women and children welcome. This group is an intentional place for women of color, and is free and open to the public!

Computers:

Wednesday, July 19th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Learn Agile methods from the best and friendliest! The folks who attend are happy to explain Agile to complete newcomers or drill down into the specifics of a problem you’re having! There’s usually a few presenters with a specific topic, but they’re always open to a freewheeling discussion of Agile in general. Plus there’s pizza!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, July 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Gray Divas Residency Concert
Two voices, two Ukuleles, more than two songs! From Hawaii and beyond!
Thursday, July 20th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Con-Anon! PPL’s 4th Annual Fan Convention!
Join wonderful people at the fourth annual con at Palmer Public Library! There will be snacks, games, a cosplay contest, and a wonderful panel! Make new friends with whom to talk about anime!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch anime with friends! Any sort of anime will work well here, so long as you like having fun watching anime!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator
Eat some cookies and learn about the library! Anything with cookies is a good time from the word go.
Friday, July 21st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
TJ and the Peepers
Watch TJ and their friends the Peepers play country/pop, the best music!
Saturday, July 22nd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Draco and the Malfoys
SPECIAL TEEN CONCERT ALERT TEEN CONCERT BEARING DOWN AT SPEED watch this band that has really committed to being the second-most-well-known-Harry-Potter-themed-novelty-act. Though to be totally fair they’re the most popular and well known Harry-Potter-villain-themed-act so they’ve got that going for them.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
PITI Theatre Company Play in a Day
PITI Theatre Company will… well, we’re just going off the name but we think they’ll write and cast and perform an entire play in 2 hours. Impressive!
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Good Neighbors Paint Good Fences
Join volunteers at Historic Northampton to paint the fences! It’s really wonderful that their description says you’ll have the “privilege” of helping to paint the fence. We like that they’re being honest about how much it will be awful. But! It’ll also make you proud of all your good work!
Sunday, July 23rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
The Brush Shop – A film by Stan Sherer
Another screening of a nice film about local history! Learn about the folks who worked at the old toothbrush factory! There are interviews and archival photos and old commercials to help you understand what this formerly incredibly important part of the town!
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
TALK| Rabbi Akiva: Sage of the Talmud with Barry Holtz
Listen to professor Barry Holtz of the Jewish Theological Seminary talk about his new biography of the first century Rabbi Akivia, a brilliant and fascinating person! It is always a good idea to know more about the past, it keeps your life from getting repetitive.

Kids:

Monday, July 17th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Library Lego Lady
The Library Lego Lady was bitten by a radioactive block long ago, and has chosen to use her newfound powers for good! Kids 5+ welcome, kids 5 and under need a parent with them! Let your kids build something wonderful!
Tuesday, July 18th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Mr. Vinny’s Shadow Puppet Puppet Show
Kids ages 3-9 are invited to experience the magic of shadow puppetry! This is the perfect time to reveal to your young child that shadows are alive, and can be kept tame for only a time.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Simple Machines with David Hyde Costello
Learn how simple machines work with author/illustrator David Hyde Costello! With this knowledge, you could become a siege weapon designer in the 15th century OR just learn more about how the world works if you like!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Graphic Novel and Fan Fiction Club
People ages 12-17 come hang out and talk about comics and fanfiction, that which makes the world go round!
Wednesday, July 19th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Magic by Scott Jameson
Be dazzled! Be mystified! Consider whether the world functions as you have always imagined, or perhaps has hidden and terrifying recesses which allow Scott Jameson to bend reality to his will! Could his power could be yours if only you could find where the gem that powers it is hidden?
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Family Night
Bring your family and hang out at the library! Games, puzzles, all sorts of projects for families to do together!
Thursday, July 20th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Lyra Music Festival and Workshop: Young Artist Program Special Concert
Classical music performed by kids for kids! Hear young musicians bring their instruments to life, and afterward check out what it’s like to hold a violin or to play a cello! Cellos are very cool and we highly recommend taking the chance to experience as many cellos as possible.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Kids Art Market
Children ages 3-10 are invited to develope number and money sense at the library! They’ll start with 20 Library Bucks and by budgeting their spending, they’ll get to make cool art with supplies they buy! Bring an adult to help! You know, Money Sense is the most underrated super-power, it really comes in handy in a lot more situations than laser vision.
Friday, July 21st
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Building Lab (Ages 4-7)
A lab in which to build things!
Saturday, July 22nd
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Trevor “The Games Man”
That man is back again. That Games Man, who delights us but also makes us narrow our eyes in suspicion. Could it be that Trevor, known for his Games, is playing a Games with us? Do we all dance to Trevor’s wild tune? Either way he’ll make sure kids get to have fun and he’s on big stilts and that’s funny!
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: Deborah Freedman
Award-winning author/illustrator Deborah Freedman is gong to read her books “Shy” and “This House, Once”. Her meditative works ask readers to think about where things come from and what nature provides. Afterward, draw your own special house! Here’s an idea: what if a house had doors instead of windows?

RPGs:

Thursday, July 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Dungeons & Dragons
Ahh, good old Wizards & Wimbledon! Play the newest version of the venerable classic at Modern Myths! You’ll join heroes plundering the depths of the old Dwarven fortress Stone Tooth! Recommended for characters of at least level 3, but you can always bring a level 0 character with no skills and just say “And I stay a safe distance behind” every time anything happens. Entry is a $5 Day Pass that immediately becomes store credit!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play RPGs with friends! Any sort of RPG will work well here, so long as you like having fun with games!

July 10th – 16th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Spider-Man: Homecoming was a movie we really liked a lot, and we think we can recommend it pretty wholeheartedly. Dragged a bit in places, but overall our favorite take on Peter Parker as Spider-Man pretty much period in a long time.

We also had the absolutely positive addition of a young child who helpfully provided the sort of color commentary that enhances a viewing experience like “That’s bad guys?” when people were introduced robbing a bank and “Oh ha ha, ho ha ho!” when there was a plot twist!

This week we want to specifically call out Nerd Nite NoHo at the World War 2 Club Monday at 7pm because that’s the thing we do and you should go! Thank you for reading we appreciate you!

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, July 10th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Metal Work With Heather Beck
Heather has been metalworking for a few years now, specializing in jewelry and other accessories. Learn how to pound out metal and properly stamp words and designs into the metal! Teens will have a chance to develop their own unique metal bookmarks! Try out some blacksmithing! Sign up by calling 413-665-2642!
Tuesday, July 11th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Radioplasma Recording Studio Sessions
Meet in the Teen Room to walk as a group to the Radioplasma Recording Studio to get some hands on experience with journalism, storytelling, and sound mixing! SOUNDS cool! Get it? See that? Nice.
Wednesday, July 12th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Family Workshops at the Mead
Need a nice family fun time activity? Need some air conditioning? Visit the Mead for some art-making! There’s also story-telling, short film screenings, and a bunch of activities inspired by the art at the Mead! Fun for all!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
Zines! Zines are keen! Zines are little booklets you can print out about cool things you like, which is fun! Go make some fun zines!
Thursday, July 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
I Went Into the Woods: The Life and World of Henry David Thoreau
This program will look at the life and times of Thoreau, a mid-nineteenth century poet that we feel comfortable saying was “pretty good” and also changed American literature forever.
Friday, July 14th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Visit a world-class museum for free! Although if you want to put $5 in the donation tin they wouldn’t mind it. There will also be a few complimentary light refreshments and a guided conversation about a piece of art on display at 6pm as well as hands-on art making from 4pm – 7pm!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Make a Cat Happy Today!
Make some cat toys that will be donated to the Dakin Animal Shelter! Materials will be provided, so get to helping kitties feel nice!
Sunday, July 16th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday Sketch at the Mead
Sketch! Draw whatever you like in the beautiful confines and grounds of the Mead! We suggest you draw a really excellent robot.

Board Games:

Monday, July 10th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Game On!
Play some games! Indoor and outdoor! Everything from Frisbee to Apples to Apples!
Wednesday, July 12th
The Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat!
Play board games at the Brass Cat! This week the theme is Escape Room games! Which is funny because the whole point of escape room stuff is that you’re physically interacting with a space but because there are rules and concepts that can be communicated via a boardgame of COURSE there are a bunch of boardgames about them now! There’s probably a boardgame about running a small local newsletter.
Friday, July 14th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Take a moment to hang out with a great group of people playing board games! We recommend Clank! because we had fun with it recently and we are fickle.

Books:

Tuesday, July 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Roger Ekrich, American Sancturary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution
Roger Ekrich’s book begins with the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy, the British frigate HMS Hermione in 1797 and continues to cover rebellion in the US, France, and Ireland. He lays out the revolutionary fervor of the turn of the century in 1800 and how it affected the election campaign between Jefferson and Adams and how THAT led to the spectacular decision on the part of the US to grant politcal asylum to refugees.
Wednesday, July 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Madeleine Blais, To The New Owners: A Martha’s Vineyard Memoir
Madeleine Blais’s in-laws bought a vacation house on little-known but very pretty island Martha’s Vineyard for just $80k in the 70’s. It wasn’t much, but it was lovely. It was finally sold in 2014, after a wonderful several decades of beaches and meals and nights under the stars. She’ll share her memoir of a house that made some lives more lovely, in the form of a missive to the new owners!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Bikes and Books Club
Read and discuss a book, then get a free bike maintenance lesson, go for a ride, and play some games!

Card Games:

Sunday, July 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Star Wars Destiny
The first ever constructed Star Wars Destiny tournament! Bring constructed Star Wars Destiny decks, $10 entry, booster packs and promo cards will be offered as prizes! There are going to be three rounds in a Swiss format. Go find your Destiny! See what we did there? That’s the game’s name!

Computers:

Monday, July 10th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Datomic with Cognitech! – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Tim Ewald, the VP of Engineering at Cognitect, will talk about a distributed Clojure database that separates reads, writes, and storage called Datomic! Sounds like a great opportunity to learn about a useful new tool for database design. Hm, maybe we could use that instead of a giant google sheet.
Tuesday, July 11th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Speak to a bunch of friendly people about web development, it is generally a freewheeling discussion about whatever else is on the minds of attendees as well!
Thursday, July 13th
Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center [100 Bigelow St., Holyoke] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass
After some quick updates about ongoing projects there will be a discussion about upcoming projects and then it’s time to get hacking! Help make a difference in your community using the skills you’ve got!

Entertainment:

Tuesday, July 11th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Tanabata Evening
Tanabata, or Star Festival, is a celebration of the meeting of two lovers who are gods represented by the stars Vega and Altair. The Jones Library will celebrate Tanabata this year with East Asian-themed stories, crafts and snacks followed by a storytelling presentation by Motoko. A native of Osaka, Japan, Motoko first came to the U.S. as an exchange student at UMass Amherst. She has since performed at hundreds of schools, libraries, museums and festivals. The event is free and open to the public; children of all ages are welcome.
Wednesday, July 12th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Dog Days of Summer
Walk your dog to the Mead and then enjoy hot dogs, but be certain to explain to your cool dog that you would never eat a cool dog, only a hot dog! To clarify this is a cookout! There’s also going to be music and animal-themed exhibit tours!
Mount Sugarloaf at 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Community Hike Up Mount Sugarloaf
People of all ages! Join a big old hike up a hill to a nice pretty lookout. It’s also Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday, so why not use that as an excuse to commune with nature? There will be light refreshments at the top! Though we do feel like we need to make it clear that you can in fact get light refreshments in far simpler manners.
Thursday, July 13th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Yidstock Day 1
Legitimately too much going on to discuss! Music! Workshops! Talks! See Eleanor Reissa & Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars at night, learn about music during the day! Members $8, $10 general admission for the talks and workshops! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!
Friday, July 14th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Yidstock Day 2
Too much again to discuss! Workshops about Yiddish dance and a dramatic reading and discussion of The Last Survivor, followed by the Hankus Netsky and Eden MacAdam-Somer duo as well as the Nigunim Trio! Members $30, non-members $36! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!
Saturday, July 15th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM
Yidstock Day 3
So much! Folk Oratorio at night, “A Night in the Marketplace”, members $45, general admission $50, and talks during the day! Please purchase tickets in advance to the workshops and talks, space is not guaranteed! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!
Sunday, July 16th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Yidstock Day 4
The final day of the event! Learn about Yiddish songs, how a million Yiddish books are about to change the Jewish world, and see Klezmer, the Alicia Svigals and Lauren Brody Duo, and the Andy Statman Trio at night! What a time! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!

History:

Tuesday, July 11th
Connecticut River Greenway Park, Damon Road, Northampton at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
From Northampton to the Boundary Waters (or at least the boundary with Hatfield)
Take a 16-person boat down the beautiful Connecticut River! Learn about the natural and cultural history from rowing coach and generally informed person Betsy Powell as well as co-director of Historic Northampton and naturalist Laurie Sanders! No prior experience necessary, but unfortunately it’s full up! Email islanders@historicnorthampton.org to be placed on the waiting list!
Thursday, July 13th
Deerfield Community Center [16 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA 01342] at 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
2017 Summer Lecture Series: Neal Hurst “For the heat is beyond your conception: Dressing for the Heat in the Eighteenth Century”
Join Neal Hurst, the associate curator for costumes and textiles at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, to discuss how folks dealt with the summer in the eighteenth century! We’re not certain exactly what they wore, but we imagine it’s something that would cause us to actually de-cohere into a sweat puddle.
Saturday, July 15th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
The Other Battle of the Somme: The Smith College Relief Unit in World War 1
Smith College was always pretty awesome, and not just because they had amazing hats according to this historical photo. Learn about the group of young women from Smith, of the Smith College Relief Unit who went to Grecourt, a small village in the Somme Valley, to work with a traumatized local population. They went there to help rebuild a community that had just faced a war of apocalyptic proportion, using their skills to act as mechanics, farmers, well-diggers, and caregivers! Lecturer Jennifer Hall-Witt of Smith College will enlighten you as to the history of these brave women!

Kids:

Tuesday, July 11th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Makerspace Workshop
Cool technology, innovative ideas about building things, and a bunch of materials! Come to Palmer to invent, learn, play, and create a new thing using some really neat resources! See if you can invent a library with a makerspace and fractalize this whole thing.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Makerspace Workshop Session 2
Learn to create robots! Carve 3D objects! Print 3D objects! Make anything you can imagine! Every participant will get to 3D print and take home one of their designs! Open to all kids 10 and up, pre-register by calling 413-283-3330 ext. 102!
Wednesday, July 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM
Pumpernickel Puppets
Pumpernickel Puppt shows are presented with a cast of colorful puppet characters, audience participation, and entertaining imaginative fast paced scripts! There’s also a demo period about how things work behind the scenes after the show! And we can’t stress this enough, the puppets cannot bit hard enough to break skin.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Fun With Cartoons!
Kids ages 7-14 are invited to come find out how to make interesting cartoons! Learn some tricks and tips of the cartoon world, and design and draw your own cartoon characters! Paper and pencils are made available! Space is limited so call 413-665-2642 to register!
Thursday, July 13th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
The Curious Giraffe Show
We know nothing about this, but it sounds excellent. Kind of hoping that this is literally just a nice, curious Giraffe.
Saturday, July 15th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Nutshell Playhouse Presents: Mambo and Nemonee’s Worldwide Adventure
Mambo and Nemonee are working to save the endangered, spectacular, Floratius Serendipitus! Follow them on their adventures as they’re brought to life with puppetry, masks, and live music! Tickets can be purchased by calling 413-559-6336!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Esh’s World Folktales
Esh Bumpus captivates audiences with world, African-American, and African folktales full of humor, music, mystery, and just plain good storytelling. He’s a master at physical characterization, a renowned storyteller, and an accomplished jazz vocalist. Learn about the world via folktales!

RPGs:

Wednesday, July 12th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Indie Game Night
Playtest a new RPG by a local creator! Alex Tully’s new flexible story game “Cards on the Table” uses the mechanics of Texas Hold’em to help you tell stories! You can also try out a game run by store manager Melissa, “Tales From the Loop”, which is a sort of kid-sci-fi RPG based on work by Simon Stalenhag about an alternate 80’s where Weird Things are happening and only kids are noticing! It sounds nifty.

Science:

Monday, July 10th
World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo
Nerd Nite! The best Nite in the world, as you are aware! It’s lovely. This week we’ll talk Marijuana Policy in MA and Water Quality! It’ll be an informative and fun night for all! It’s $5 at the door, and half the proceeds will go to charity!

Video Games:

Saturday, July 15th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Nintendo Night
Play some of the best games ever put out by Nintendo! You will need to join up at the meetup page, though, since it’s hosted somewhere secret! Check out https://www.meetup.com/thepvg/ to join!

Rise Up: The Game of People & Power – Locals Create Board Game About Organizing for Change!

Rise Up is a cooperative boardgame about organizing for change, and it sounds neat. We remember hearing about the Kickstarter a ways back, and probably pointing folks toward it. It looks like the result is a pretty delightful looking game!
Here’s their pitch in their own words:

At the start of each game, players come up with a movement they want to create. It can be serious or silly. (Such as “fighting for a living wage” or “free pizza for everyone.”) Then the game naturally teases out the story of your movement as you go. Players have to gain supporters in order to play Movement Cards like “We organize a massive march!”, “General strike,” “We take time to help out our neighbors and build our community,” and “Someone writes a protest song.” These cards allow players to build their movement, take on the System, and help their fellow players gain supporters and resources.

The goal is to grow your movement power in different places across the board. But watch out, because the System is fighting back. With cards like “Smear campaign against our movement” or “Arbitrary arrests”, the System will make you lose supporters and resources while it cements its own power.

Players lose if they run out of supporters or if the System gains too many victories. Players win if they score more victories than the System.

Rise Up also has unique cooperative game mechanics that keep players interested and engaged during the whole game, even when it’s not their turn.

Also! They’ve done a clever thing with managing the complexity for a variety of possible players:
And we’ve done something innovative: just flip the board over, and you’ll be able to play Rise Up Simplified, a version that’s quicker to learn and that has simpler rules. Rise Up Simplified is appropriate for younger kids and people who have less experience with games. It can be played with co-workers, in workshops, trainings, after hours at conferences or retreats, and in community organizing settings where time is of the essence.

January 30th – February 5th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We feel like it’s an important time to remind you that monthly sustaining contributions to charitable organizations go a long way toward helping them accomplish their goals. Several that do extremely useful work: the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Law Center, and the International Rescue Committee.

The most pertinent thing locally we can think of to remind you about is that this is one of your last possible days to submit a talk/workshop topic to the upcoming NERDSummit conference on web development and related technological stuff. It seems like it’ll be fun and full disclosure we’re involved with doing some marketing stuff with them but for real it’s the sort of thing you probably can tell whether or not you’re excited about so mostly that’s just been us informing you about it.

Anyway! Check out NERDSummit.org to submit a topic! Then go to the actual event March 18th – 19th!

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


Board Games:

Saturday, February 4th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
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!

Books:

Wednesday, February 1st
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
YA Book Club
A new book club! Look, we know the book clubs page is updating kind of infrequently, but you have to understand that these things pop up and disappear at a rate of about one a day. That said, here’s your chance to step in to say hi and see what the next book on the docket is going to be!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Wicked Wednesday Book Club
Which isn’t to say we DON’T update the book club listings, we just did! We super appreciate it when they have a list planned out like 6 months ahead of time, that’s so much easier to keep up with. Anyway, this is your chance to be wicked on Wednesday by doing the most sinister thing of all: reading a novel!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Mike Flynn, Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children
Mike Flynn wrote a book helping teachers in K-2 classrooms teach mathematical principles! He focuses on what it takes to get kids to really understand rather than just “do” math. Sounds helpful if you’re a teacher, parent, or otherwise responsible for making sure kids learn things!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Literature and Poetry of Brazil
Bigger than the continental US, the 9th largest economy in the world, Brazil remains pretty well unknown by a lot of the north. This event will explore poetry and writing from the country that houses a heck of a lot of diverse biomes and citizens.
Friday, February 3rd
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Adelia Saunders, Indelible
In her debut novel, Adelia Saunders paints a picture of a protagonist who can see information about all people written on their skin like ink. Some of it is banal, some of it is intense. When she meets someone with her name on their cheek, she’s intrigued. Then there’s a heck of a lot about other characters as well. Seems like a real web of a book, and we like that simple but magical premise.
Saturday, February 4th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Jeannine Atkins, Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis
Edmonia Lewis was a successful sculptor of historical figures who lived and worked for a long time in Italy in the 1800’s. She was also one of the first black women admitted to study at Oberlin, before she lost her place there after being accused of crimes for which she was acquitted. There’s not much known about her, so Jeannine Atkins has stiched facts and verse together to offer a picture of what might have been the life of an extremely interesting historical figure!

Card Games:

Sunday, February 5th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant St #B2, Amhersts, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Standard PPTQ – Pro Tour Kyoto – Hour of Devastation
Worlds Apart is hosting a PPTQ, and the winner will qualify for the Regional Pro Tour Qualifier and get a chance to play in Kyoto! It’s going to be Standard Constructed, with decklists required. It will cost you $30 to get in and there’s a cash pay-out based on attendance to the top competitors. It’s capped out at 32 players, so register soon!

Community:

Friday, February 3rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Friends Basket Raffle
Get some friends! They’re trapped in a basket, but if you get the right raffle number you can pull them out! If you’re very lucky you’ll find a BFF!
Smith College at 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Can You Hear Us Now Day 1
So we don’t see a ton of information on their site but this is a presentation of Smith College’s Black Students Alliance, a conference focusing on the importance of music in black culture. This day’s registration, open mic, and an overview of the conference!
Saturday, February 4th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Friends Basket Raffle
Last day of the Friends Basket Raffle! Don’t let any friends stay in the basket or they’ll be trapped there until next year!
Smith College at 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM
Can You Hear Us Now Day 2
Jeez, packed day. Lots of panels, conferences, networking, a keynote, parties, and also food!
Sunday, February 5th
Smith College at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Can You Hear Us Now Day 3
This is the debrief! Talk about the conference with folks.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, February 1st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series
Hear someone speak! Who? We’re not sure. About what? We are also not sure. Look, what we could find is literally the title, so we can tell you that there’s a speaker, they’re going to be there the first Wednesday of the month, and there will be more in the future OR there were more in the past. From here, we’re relying on you!
Thursday, February 2nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch anime, the entertainment media that is the best according to several very persistent sources we have.

Kids:

Wednesday, February 1st
North Amherst Library [8 Montague Rd, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Story & Craft Time @ North Amherst Library
Listen to a story, make a cute little craft! Perfect for any kids that like both of those things which we’re pretty sure is a ton of kids!
Thursday, February 2nd
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Preschool Storytime
Listen to stories for a while, and then probably fall alseep or run around yelling? We can’t completely recall what our day planners looked like in preschool but we’re pretty sure that covers a lot of what we did.
Saturday, February 4th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Saturday Stories, Songs, and Crafts (Ages 0-5)
Listen to stories, then sing some songs, then make a craft! A full day’s worth of being a kid in just an hour, that’s efficiency.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Take Your Child to the Library Day
Drop in and make a hand-crafted book to celebrate doing the good thing that is going to the library! Kids should go to the library all the time, because it’s great!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 4:15 PM
First Book Friendiversary
A huge day of excitement, books, films, and general delight for children of all ages! The Carle and their friends from First Book are observing their annual celebration of friendship and reading alongside Elephant and Piggie as well as other museum friends. There’s also a free book in it for every child that attends, which is a hell of a grift.

Movies:

Monday, January 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Far-out Film Club
This is a sort of film book club! Watch the film at home, discuss it at the meeting. The first pick is Rene Laloux’s The Fantastic Planet! You can pick up a copy in the Reference Room. It’s a kind of really really weird old stop-motion sci-fi film that features gigantic blue people.

RPGs:

Thursday, February 2nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play a game where you pretend to be a different person for a while! That’s basically all it takes to be an RPG, the stats and cruft are all gravy so long as you’re pretending hard enough.

January 23rd – January 29th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We hope you had a delightful weekend, we had a good one.

Anyway! On to the new stuff this week: You should take a look at Direct Action Comics, a new gallery show at UMass that starts January 30th and goes until February 25th! There’s also a reception on February 2nd. From the mouth of the very horse:

The exhibition “Direct Action Comics: Politically Engaged Comics and Graphic Novels” will present over 50 of the most influential and provocative graphic novels dealing with political and social issues. The exhibition will include printed copies of each book plus original art for representative pages and a variety of associated materials, including preliminary sketches and drafts for outstanding an important works, examples of rare posters and promotional materials, and a selection of important precursors for contemporary graphic novels including underground comics and the work of the political artists collective who produce World War III comics.

Also we’d again like to draw your attention to the forum on combating climate change this weekend on the 28th!

On Saturday, January 28 at 3 pm we will be holding a forum “Climate Action in a Time of  Crisis”  in the sanctuary of First Churches, 129 Main Street in Northampton. Featured will be State Senate President Stan Rosenberg and other representatives from the Massachusetts legislature, climate scientists and activists to discuss the problem and an action plan that will protect our earth from climate destruction. The forum will be one step in forming our segment of the massive movement that will be necessary to protect our earth and the generations to come.

Have a great rest of the week, lovely readers!

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:

Wednesday, January 25th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Crafternoons in the Library
Unwind in the teen room and make some neat crafts! It’s a fun time and you should come up with some new craft ideas if you think that sounds fun!
Thursday, January 26th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Team Mead Presents: Create & Curate
Become a curator for the night as you cast your vote for the Mead’s next acquisition! Presentations will be done by students participating in the class Collecting 101: Acquiring Art for the Mead. You’ll get refreshments, crafts, and a musical guest! It’s pretty neat and you should support a lovely local museum with your voting and refreshment eating!

Board Games:

Tuesday, January 24th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Game On
Play board games at the Holyoke Public Library! It’s a good time for young and old and we really have to again recommend you check out Cosmic Encounter it’s just amazing.
Thursday, January 26th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Family Game Night
Play board games with your family and also your family at the Holyoke Public Library, which is to say the friendly staff!

Books:

Monday, January 23rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
World Literature Book Club
There’s 100% not time for you to read the book, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, but you can attend to say hi and find out about the NEXT book they’re going to talk about!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain: 70 Years of Theatre on Mt. Tom
Join author Jacqueline Lynch as she talks about her soon to be released book about the history of theater on Mt Tom, from vaudeville to the final acts in the 1960s at the Mt. Tom Playhouse!
Wednesday, January 25th
Morrison Room, Willits-Hallowell Center, Mount Holyoke College at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
OFF-SITE: Kate Hennessy, Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty
Saturday, January 28th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Sunderland Short Story Series
Court Dorsey will be reading “Assembly Line” by B. Traven, and Alice Grendon will be reading “Pricing Green Beans” by local author Juanita Nelson, plus there’s going to be one bonus story! Everyone loves a good story, and we are assuming that these are some great stories, hence these folks feel like they should share them. This is a perfectly logical line of thinking! Good job, us.

Community:

Wednesday, January 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Henshaw Society
Meet for a friendly debate about current topics in culture and politics. It’s a structured debating society where two speakers each debate the Pro and Con sides of an argument and then people talk about it afterward! It sounds fun, we did debate in high school and it was pretty fun! Good way to hone the argumentation skills.
Saturday, January 28th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Forbes Library Tour
Learn about the wide ranging services available at our spectacular local library! It’s a useful, beautiful, friendly place.

Entertainment:

Tuesday, January 24th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Adventures Travelling in India
A slide show will be presented about a trip to India including Kerela, Rajasthan, and other places in what we can only describe as a pretty great use of the library.

Kids:

Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Kids’ Craft Club
Read a story, make a craft, enjoy being a kid! It’s nice, give it a shot.
Thursday, January 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Build LEGO structures in the company of friends, an activity that all can agree is fun for kids from ages 9-90. Also, 1-8 and 91-…. … 120? What’s the oldest anyone has ever been? Apparently 122 years, 164 days according to Wikipedia. Dang. Anyway, after 123 we can’t guarantee LEGO is fun anymore!
Saturday, January 28th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Make Your Own Friendship Bracelet, Saturday Morning Kids
Get your best friend and head to the Odyssey! Make some friendship bracelets using the materials and support they provide, or bring your own! Seal your friendship in the most solid of manners possible: via bracelet!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Valentine Card-Making Party
Get a friend and make some creative Valentines! The museum will provide all the materials you need to make some fun stuff for your friends and family and classmates! Ages 3 and up with an adult!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Saturday Stories, Songs, and Crafts (Ages 0-5)
A great time for kids where you will hear stories, sing songs, and make little craft things!
Sunday, January 29th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Special Sundays in the Studio: Our Feathered Friends
There’s no description for this so we’re assuming it has something to do with EITHER meeting some really cool birds OR just human beings who grew feathers!

Movies:

Wednesday, January 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
In Pursuit of Peace
A feature length documentary film that makes the case for unarmed civilian peacemaking and mediation as a response to violent conflicts. It was made about two Canadian men who work for the Non-Violent Peace Force and it follows them through their work. It’s going to be introduced by Annie Scariff, an advocate for the organization who’ll speak about their current activities. It’s presented by the Northampton Committee to Stop War!
Friday, January 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Matilda
Popcorn and children’s Carrie but with a happy ending movie Matilda! Matilda is a pretty wonderful film that’s fun for all kids who secretly think they’re the most intelligent person in the world and also maybe have psychic powers! It is based on the classic book by Roald Dahl

Science:

Monday, January 23rd
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
“Where am I?” and Other Fundamental Questions Robots Think Long and Hard to Answer
What is a robot? What can they do for us? How do they work? Why do they find it hard to do things that we find trivial? What will they look like a decade from today? Joydeep Biswas, assistant professor of informtion and computer science at UMass, will talk to you about these questions and more! Since it’s a SciTech Cafe, expect adorable children to ask questions!