The Great Dennis Read

Which books will be the favorites in Dennis? Only you can help us find out!


Inspired by the PBS program The Great American Read, the Dennis Libraries would like you to have your chance to choose your favorite reads! At the end of the summer we will all discover our local favorites. Select five titles from The Great American Read list found here, or choose your own five. List your choices by September 1, 2018. We will tally the results.

Enter your top 5 novels online! Paper ballots are also available at all five Dennis Libraries.

Life Aboard a Whaling Ship

drawing of ship with photo of a woman

Thursday, August 30th at 6:30


Join us for a fascinating presentation about the life of Mary Lawrence. The morning of November 25th, 1856, Mary Chipman Lawrence set sail aboard the whaling ship Addison bound for the Pacific on a voyage that would last three and a half years.  In this performance, Mary will bring forth from her meticulously kept journal, the joys and tribulations of life at sea with her husband, Captain Samuel Lawrence, and their daughter Minnie. 


The sights and sounds of foreign ports and their inhabitants, the sailors' sea shanties, the surprisingly robust social life amongst whaling ships, and the challenging everyday details, all will come to life as Mary takes you on a journey so real, you'll feel the pitch of the ship and the spray over the rails.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of Dennis Public Library.

Out in Blue Fields: A Year at Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm

Thursday, August 23rd at 6:30


Join Stephen Spear and Janice Riley of Hokum Rock Blueberry farm for a talk about their book, Out in Blue Fields: A Year at Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm. In a series of beautifully written essays, conservationist Spear and journalist Riley chronicle a year of cultivating blueberries on Dennis' Hokum Rock Farm. Spear's family has owned the farm since 1973 and began cultivating blueberries exclusively in 1986, selling thousands of pints each season. 


The stories, a blend of mediation, autobiography, and practical knowledge, inspire thoughts on the reasons farming is important and the ways we find meaning in the natural world. Learn about the history of blueberry cultivation, the biodiverse flora and fauna on the farm, and facts about blueberries. The book also includes some mouth-watering recipes such as lemon pound Bundt cake with blueberries, easy graham crust blueberry pie, and blueberry-cranberry cobbler. 

Fans of farm tales and agricultural musings, or simply Cape Cod, will appreciate this celebration of blueberries and a life lived close to nature.

Author Talk: Gary Gemme

Tuesday, August 21st at 6:30


Stop by the library for an author talk with local author Gary Gemme as he discusses his debut novel "Margaret's Dove."

In the spring of 1970, Margaret Gabriel is a carefree young woman destined for college and new adventures. But her father’s sudden illness alters her life, and she’s propelled into a marriage full of duplicity, violence, and despair. As her world collapses, Margaret is forced to abandon all of her hopes and dreams. Nicholas Avellino, a college freshman, carries a deep sadness over the death of his mom when he was a young boy. His only memory of her is watching the sunset together on the beach at Rock Harbor. When a sign from a dove unites Margaret and Nicholas, they begin an odyssey through the idyllic towns of Cape Cod. Their quest to recover lost memories becomes a journey of love and a search for a way to remain together. Can Margaret and Nicholas find a path to happiness or does tragedy loom?

Author Gary Gemme is a veteran of the US Navy and a recently retired police chief for the City of Worcester. He divides his time between Worcester and  Dennis, MA, Nashville, TN and Fort Myers, FL. 


Rum Runners of Cape Cod

Thursday, August 9th at 6:30


The library is hosting a talk with Don Wilding about the rum runners of Cape Cod. During the era of Prohibition (1920-1933), rum running was big business on Cape Cod. Farmers and fishermen of the Cape took to the seas, heading offshore to "Rum Row" to bring the criminal yet coveted alcohol to the mainland under cover of darkness, while the possibility of being caught by the Coast Guard was always present. Busy harbors and remote estuaries, many of which are now popular tourist destinations, were all game for bringing the contraband ashore, while local law enforcement officials often turned a blind eye. Join us for this comprehensive look at how "the Noble Experiment" turned into a profitable and potentially dangerous undertaking for many of the Cape's residents.

Join Don Wilding for an informational and entertaining talk on this scandalous time in Cape Cod history. An award-winning writer and editor for Massachusetts newspapers for 30 years, Don pens the popular “Shore Lore” history column for the Cape Codder newspaper of Orleans, and is the author of two books, “Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: How ‘The Outermost House’ Inspired a National Seashore,” and "A Brief History of Eastham: On the Outer Beach of Cape Cod." 

This program is funded by the Friends of Dennis Public Library.

Rubber Duck Regatta

Thanks to the Friends of Dennis Public Library!


The Friends of Dennis Public Library have sponsored a duck in the Dennis Conservation Trust's Annual Rubber Duck Regatta! Keep an eye out in September for this fun event at Corporation Beach where you can vote for best "decked-out duck" and purchase your own small duck(s) to participate in the regatta for a chance at cash prizes. 


The Friends of Dennis Public Library do so much to support our library, raising funds for museum passes, large print books, special programs, and so much more! We are excited that they are again participating in this fun town event. 

Our duck is all decked-out to celebrate the Great Dennis Read and is on display in the library! There is still time to participate in the Great Dennis Read by voting for your favorite books this summer. Fill out an online ballot, or stop by any Dennis library to pick up a paper copy. 


Gunpowder and Greasepaint

Thursday, July 26th at 6:30


Join Joe Yukna from the Cape Cod Military Museum for a fun and educational talk on how the Anti-Aircraft Training Command, the First Composite Anti-Aircraft Demonstration Battalion First Artillery, and Gertrude Lawrence, the world’s first superstar, all came together on Cape Cod in 1943. Learn more about local history during WWII as well as a Broadway star, Gertrude Lawrence, with local ties to Dennis, MA.

This program is funded thanks to the Friends of Dennis Public Library.

YA Author Talk

Tuesday, July 24th from 4:00-5:30


Local young adult authors Katie O'Sullivan, K.R. Conway and Kristy Acevedo will be at the library on Tuesday, July 24th for an author talk and book signing. Come hear about their books and their writing processes! 

Katie O'Sullivan is the author of the Son of a Mermaid series, prefect for young readers 9 and up. K.R. Conway pens the Undertow series, currently on the Monomoy High School summer reading list, and geared towards teens. Kristy Acevedo is a YA science fiction writer and author of the Holo series. 


This program is intended for a wide audience from tweens to adults. Books will be available for purchase.