May 4th – 10th

A new week! A new Nerd Watch! A new you? No, this is the same you as before you only get one you unless you preordered.

Far Out Film Discussion is going virtual again May 4th at 8PM. The topic will be the silent film “The Italian Straw Hat”, directed by Rene Clair circa 1927! You can get it on Kanopy or Youtube! To talk about it join the Zoooom!

There’s a conversation with local author Karen Skolfield discussing her new book, Battle Dress: Poems that will be livestreamed on the Jones Library Facebook page Wednesday May 6th at 3:30PM – 4PM and archived for later viewing!

Also on Wednesday there’s yet another fun boardgame time! Start Playing Online will meet up on the Discord this Wendesday at 7PM! It uses the Tabletopia program which is a little bit like Tabletop Simulator but it’s free, and a bit worse. But not much worse! And more important is that you get to play with your good pals or your new pals!

At Greenfield Public Library there will be a Virtual Brown Bag Book Discussion from 11AM – 12PM on Wednesday May 6th! Get cosy and talk about what you’ve been reading at home with fellow book-lovers! Contact for the link!

Also on Wednesday, May 6th there will be a Virtual Book & Movie club talk about Bel Canto, which you can join by joining their Facebook group!

Also at Virtual Forbes Library, the Teen Book Club will be happening Thursday May 7th from 3:30PM – 4:30PM! Email to RSVP and receive the meeting link. You’ll be discussing your favorite reads from the past month and discuss the June Book Club pick!

There’s also an Amherst Arts Night Plus Remote Reading on May 7th at 6:30PM. It’ll feature 10 members of the Florence Poets Society, which was founded in 2004 and publishes an annual review called “Silkworm”. It’ll be hosted on Zoom, join by clicking this link at the time of the program!

Then Thursday May 7th at the Yiddish Book Center there’s going to be a talk and reading about the Plays of Sholem Asch, with Caraid O’Brien.

Caraid O’Brien is a writer, Yiddish translator, and actor who first began learning Yiddish as a Yiddish Book Center intern in 1994 and, early in her career, received three new play commissions from the Foundation for Jewish Culture for her translations of classic Yiddish plays. Caraid studied Yiddish theater and performance with Luba Kadison Buloff, the last surviving member of the Vilna Troupe, and is a current Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow whose work focuses on Sholem Asch. In this program, Caraid will talk about Yiddish theater in America and will read from selections of her current work translating “Sholem Asch: Plays of My People,” a collection of four dramas that explore Jewish identity from the acclaimed playwright of “God of Vengeance” (the play that inspired Paula Vogel’s Tony Award–winning play “Indecent”).

This live event will be presented via Zoom and will stream live on the Yiddish Book Center’s Facebook page. Space is limited. If you’d like to reserve a virtual seat in the Zoom audience—which will allow you to submit questions—registration is required.

Also on Thursday May 7th at 10AM there’s going to be a live virtual story-time with Ms. Patti from Westfield Athenaeum! There will be singing, stories, fingerplays, and it’s geared toward 2-5 year-olds. To join in, send your email address to!

Another book chat for teens and not-teens will be happening Friday, May 8th at 1PM – 2PM. It’s a place to just hang out and chat about books you like! You can join by Zoom or by phone at +1.512.402.2718,,143892102#!

Are you interested in telling your pandemic story? Contribute to…

  1. Sunderland Public Library’s stories here.
  2. Forbes Library’s stories here.
  3. Westfield Athenaeum’s stories here.
  4. Historic Northampton’s stories here.

And don’t forget if you’re buying books, buy local!

  1. Book Moon in Easthampton has online ordering!
  2. So does Odyssey in South Hadley!
  3. And so does Comics N’ More in Easthampton!

XCOM: Chimera Squad was super fun! For $10 it was as steal, for $20 we’d still definitely recommend it! A whole new game with a bunch of neat ideas, but the same basic fun of steadily growing your little squad into superheroes by choosing the best possible action at a bunch of decision points.

The writing is a bit better as you get deeper into it, there are nice conversations between squad members, but it’s also not a huge highlight for me. It does show that as fun as it is to have Squaddie Your Friend’s Name bravely sacrifice themselves for the cause while wearing a hot-pink fright wig it’s not actually integral. Having pre-made characters works for this game. It might still be fun to have more options for customizing them, though. We get that generally you want characters to be really distinctive but we’d have loved having some fun weird kit to put them in.

Anyway! Also Animal Crossing is really fun! Everyone play a lot of videogames, it’s a good inside hobby. If you want recommendations just email us we’re happy to pick out your new favorite game.

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