Monday, March 28, 2011

The Old Grey Lady wants some green

If you haven't been keeping up with the goings on in newspaperland and are just happily reading your daily that's delivered to your doorstep, you might be surprised to find out that things aren't going so well for them--and for print products in general. Newspaper companies have been some of the hardest hit as its scores of readers dropped their print subscription in favor of obtaining their news online. Another nail in the coffin was the latest research by Pew which has demonstrated that shift as readers under the age of 40 now read news online in greater numbers than those who like to get ink on their fingers.

In order to stop the hemorrhaging of revenues, some papers like the Wall Street Journal, have been charging consumers for their online content. The New York Times has, until today, been the one major newspaper holdout--readers have enjoyed unlimited access and perhaps, like myself, have come to rely on it. As described in their letters to readers, you'll still have access to the Times online in the form of reading 20 articles per month. After that, you'll have to pony up some $$ until the next month rolls around.

The subscription plans--which start at $15 per month--may translate into some major dollars for those of you who like to read an article on your smartphone while waiting in line at the grocery, another on your iPad at home, and another yet on your computer at work. Some bloggers have noted that the NY Times plans are far pricier than other newspaper companies, but--in a wonderful bit of irony--those of you who have stuck with the print version of the New York Times get unlimited access to the online version.

For those of us in the Boston area, you'll want to keep an eye peeled for the fall as The Boston Globe's website will follow suit will roll out a subscription plan for its website. It's an intensely interesting moment for the computing world, as the producers of content we have so long enjoyed for free and considered essential are requesting us to reach into our pockets and help pay some salaries.


Friday, March 25, 2011

New Books for April

What's coming out in April?

Elizabeth Berg
A beautiful and moving novel about a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis.

Mary Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark’s new novel—the thirtieth and most spine-chilling of her long career as America’s most beloved author of suspense fiction— is about the newest and most up-to-date of crimes: identity theft.

David Foster Wallace
The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions--questions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society--through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's unique gifts.

Stuart Woods
In the newest addition to the New York Times-bestselling series, Stone Barrington comes face-to-face with a beautiful woman from his past. . . . and finds himself dragged into a surprisingly deadly web of intrigue.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New! Evening Open Computer Lab

Did you know?

Jackie's Computer Lab, on the first floor of the Main Library, will now be open to all between the hours of 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on most Wednesday evenings. The lab contains 12 PCs with flat screen monitors, Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2007. Self-paced training software for Windows XP is installed on each PC.

Open Lab is staffed by librarians and volunteers doing their best to provide assistance and answers. No registration is required.

Stop by & check it out!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Historians Speak

Leading Historians Explain Their Take On Historical Events.

To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian
by Stephen E. Ambrose

One of the most popular historians of our time looks back on his life--and on America's history--in a valediction that powerfully weaves together personal experience and historical insights. Ambrose touches on the founding fathers, the early encounters with the Plains Indians, World War II, Vietnam, Women's rights and other topics.

American Heritage: Great Minds of History

by Roger Mudd, American Heritage Publishing Staff

The great historians of our day take you on an exhilarating tour through the crucial mo
ments in American history. Stephen Ambrose discusses World War II and Nixon, David McCullough on the importance of History and the Industrial Era, James McPherson on civil rights and the Civil War, Richard White on pioneers and Westward Expansion, and Gordon Wood on the Colonial era and American Revolution.

What Ifs? of American History: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been

by Robert Cowley, Antony Beevor

Prominent historians speculate about some of America's more intriguing crossroads. Some irresistible highlights include: Caleb Carr (The Alienist) on America had there been no Revolution; Tom Wicker on the first time a vice president, John Tyler, succeeded a de
ceased president and its surprising ramifications; Jay Winik (April 1865) on the havoc that might have resulted if Booth had succeeded in his plan to assassinate Johnson and Seward as well as Lincoln; and Robert Dallek (An Unfinished Life about John F. Kennedy) on one of the most agonizing American "what if"s of all: what might have happened if JFK hadn't been assassinated.

What Might Have Been: Imaginary History from Twelve Leading Historians
by Andrew Roberts

Throughout history, great and terrible events have often hinged on chance. Here, historian Andrew Roberts has assembled a team of his prominent colleagues, asking them to consider what might have happened if major world events had gone differently. Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, ponders what might have happened if Lincoln’s Northern States of America and Queen Victoria’s Great Britain had gone to war, as they so nearly did in 1861. George W. Bush’s former White House adviser, David Frum, considers a President Al Gore’s response to 9/11, while Conrad Black wonders how the U.S. might have entered World War II if the Japanese had not bombed Pearl Harbor.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Your own personal New York Times

Perhaps you've heard of this newspaper...?
The New York Times has added a "My New York Times" type feature which will recommend news stories to you based on the stories you read while you are logged in. So if you go to the site and log in, the web site will keep track of what stories you're reading and provide a list of new stories you might like to read. Nothing will appear in your email--it's all based on your browsing the Times web site. (Coincidentally, the newspaper is also beginning their new fee-for-content scheme next month. Non-subscribers will be limited to 20 free articles per month.) As much as I try to avoid having a zillion "My_____" pages to add to my 10 zillion passwords I have to ferret out each time I touch my computer, I think I'll try this one. There's nothing quite like the Times covering world events and there certainly are some subjects I like to keep on top of.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2011 Los Angeles Times Book Finalists

On April 29, 2011, the Los Angeles Times will announce its book prizes for books published in 2010.

Many of the finalists have been on other 2011 best books lists (such as Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand) but the LA Times Prize is of interest to many readers.

Perhaps you would be interested in other titles on the Finalist List such as Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin or The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers. Take a look at the titles and place your requests today.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Ready for your audition?

Are you scratching your head about what to sing for that much anticipated musical audition? Check out some of our newest scores for ideas. The 16-bar theatre audition : 100 songs excerpted for successful auditions / compiled and edited by Michael Dansicker is a compilation of song excerpts from musicals and motion pictures for most voice ranges. Scores include chord symbols.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Google Does Art

Can't make it to the Rijksmuseum but you just have to see Vermeer's Milkmaid? Or did you want to take a stroll through the Tate but don't want to deal with the jet lag? Well, Google's at it again--because of their partnership with international museums you can now tour their collections via the Google Art Project. What's more, the images they have taken of the artwork is at such a high quality that you can zoom in to study the masters' brushwork with amazing detail. As an added bonus, you can put together a collection of your own, borrowing works from some of the world's most famous art museums--think of it as fantasy baseball for art lovers.


Friday, March 4, 2011

New Books for March and April

What's new in fiction and mystery for March and April? Here are a few titles:

Tracy Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life as a retired police detective-a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Both appear miserable and better off without each other-or so decides Tracy, in a snap decision that surprises herself as much as Kelly. Suddenly burdened with a small child, Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge.Meanwhile, Jackson Brodie, the beloved detective of novels such as Case Histories, is embarking on a different sort of rescue-that of an abused dog. Dog in tow, Jackson is about to learn, along with Tracy, that no good deed goes unpunished.

Red on Red by Edward Conlon

From the author of the celebrated and bestselling memoir Blue Blood comes this highly anticipated fiction debut. In Red on Red, Edward Conlon tells the story of two NYPD detectives, Meehan and Esposito: one damaged and introspective, the other ambitious and unscrupulous. Meehan is compelled by haunting and elusive stories that defy easy resolution, while Esposito is drawn to cases of rough and ordinary combat. A fierce and unlikely friendship develops between them and plays out against a tangle of mysteries: a lonely immigrant who hangs herself in Inwood Hill Park, a serial rapist preying on upper Manhattan, a troubled Catholic schoolgirl who appears in the wrong place with uncanny regularity, and a savage gang war that erupts over a case of mistaken identity.Red on Red captures the vibrant dynamic of a successful police partnership-the tests of loyalty, the necessary betrayals, the wedding of life and work-and tells an unrelenting and exciting story that captures the grittiness, complexity, ironies, and compromises of life on the job.

Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson

Caterer and sleuth extraordinaire Goldy Schulz returns in another tasty and suspenseful adventure from New York Times bestselling author Diane Mott Davidson
Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz cooks up big trouble as she tries to help her longtime friend and fellow chef Yolanda Garcia. When the rental house shared by Yolanda and her irrepressible aunt Ferdinanda is destroyed by arson, the pair move in with cop-turned-PI Ernest McLeod. But then Ernest is shot dead and his house is set on fire, nearly killing Goldy, Yolanda, Ferdinanda, and nine beagle puppies that Ernest had recently rescued from a puppy mill.
Concerned for her friends, Goldy invites them to stay with her while the sheriff's department investigates. Yet even Goldy's house isn't safe, and after a failed break-in by an unknown intruder a cop is sent to keep an eye on things. Then a second body is found.
Swapping her chef's hat for a sleuthing cap, the intrepid Goldy steps up the investigation. But she's got to move fast. It's crunch time to close in on a killer, before he can close in on her.

Complaints by Ian Rankin

Nobody likes The Complaints--they're the cops who investigate other cops. It's a department known within the force as "The Dark Side," and it's where Malcolm Fox works. He's a serious man with a father in a nursing home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship, frustrating problems about which he cannot seem to do anything.Then the reluctant Fox is given a new case. There's a cop named Jamie Breck, and he's dirty. The problem is, no one can prove it. As Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks--dangerous knowledge, especially when a vicious murder takes place far too close to home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Featured Online Resource for March--Grzimek's Animal Life Online

Whether you have a serious research project or just enjoy looking at animal pictures and videos, Grzimek’s Animal Life will not disappoint. Filled with credible information from the authoritative animal print encyclopedia, the resource is enhanced with updated facts and features on 4000+ species, endangered species, prehistoric animals, biomes, and more. Have your library card handy and take a look. SH