Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Truly Global Jukebox

My jaw quite literally dropped when I read this New York Times article about the global jukebox, an idea of folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax which envisioned based on his substantial collection of folk music, pictures, videos, and more. Thankfully, the idea's time has come and thanks to the Association for Cultural Equity it will have a majority of Alan Lomax's collection live on the web by the end of February. You can see what they have already digitized at the "Research Center," where you can thrill to early recordings of Big Bill Broonzy, the 1966 Newport Folk Festival, and international recordings from countries like Ireland, the Caribbean, and Romania.

After you've satiated your musical cravings, you can listen to Alan recount Lead Belly's first public performance on the East Coast, see pictures he took at the infamous Parchman Farm, or learn yourself on how to eat a crawfish properly.

Below: the Kid Thomas Band performs "When The Saints Go Marching In" at Preservation Hall


Monday, January 30, 2012

Internet Privacy? You've Got to Be Kidding!

Okay, it may be to late to "celebrate"Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28), but it's not too late raise a little awareness about data privacy. You may have thought that the battle was lost. That "They" are going to know what ails you, what interests you, what actors you love and politicians you hate, your hobbies, your fantasies, your favorite foods, your bad habits, buying habits, work habits, best friends, travel plans, money problems, love problems, kid problems, your questions about God, about sex and how you feel about your mother, your shoe size, waist size and size of your intellect, every interaction with the law, and with your keyboard, every credit card transaction and phone call, every swipe of a bar code or zap of a QR code, and every book you read.** You may have thought the battle was lost, but lo! there's Frodo and Winston Smith and Sojourner Truth, swords in hands, convictions intact, and nothing left to lose. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, and the American Civil Liberties Union are several of the many organizations leading the fight to reclaim our personal information in the digital marketplace. Data Privacy Day has its own website concentrating mostly on internet security and safety (after all, Google[!!] is one of its corporate sponsors). They offer tips and resources for individuals, classes and companies.
**Libraries have long been stalwart defenders of book-borrowing privacy. Libraries do not retain the borrowing record of a book after it has been returned; nor do we keep a history of what books patrons have borrowed. The records of e-book borrowing, however, is in the hands of the companies (Amazon, Overdrive) that contract with the Minuteman Library Network to supply those e-books.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Science Books

In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality
By Gribbin, John
2010-08 - John Wiley & Sons
9780470613528 Check Our Catalog

Is our universe just one of many? As impossible as it seems-that other universes came before ours, float alongside ours, or even mirror ours-the evidence is surprisingly convincing.

How to Build a Time Machine: The Real Science of Time Travel
By Clegg, Brian
2011-12 - St. Martin's Press
9780312656881 Check Our Catalog

What is time and how can it be manipulated? Clegg explores the remarkable possibilities of real time travel that emerge from quantum entanglement, superluminal speeds, neutron star cylinders and wormholes in space.

Reactions: The Private Life of Atoms
Reactions: The Private Life of Atoms
By Atkins, Peter
2011-11 - Oxford University Press
9780199695126 Check Our Catalog

Atkins explains the processes involved in chemical reactions. He begins by introducing a "tool kit" of basic reactions, such as precipitation,corrosion, and catalysis, and concludes by showing how these building blocks are brought together in more complex processes such as photosynthesis.

The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World's Greatest Challenge
The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World's Greatest Challenge
By Dow, Kirstin
Author Downing, Thomas E.
2011-11 - University of California Press
9780520268234 Check Our Catalog

This highly acclaimed atlas distills the vast science of climate change, providing a reliable and insightful guide to this rapidly growing field. This new edition reflects the latest developments in research, the impact of climate change, and in current efforts to mitigate and adapt to changes in the world's weather.

Science in 100 Key Breakthroughs
Science in 100 Key Breakthroughs
By Parsons, Paul
2011-08 - Firefly Books
9781554078080 Check Our Catalog

An illustrated survey of the 100 key discoveries of science across several millennia. This book not only explains the discovery and history but looks at the impact of the breakthrough today.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Edgar Allen Poe Award Nominees

Mystery Writers have announced the 2012 Edgar Award Nominees. Start reading (or listening or watching) now so you can weigh in on your choice before the winners are announce on April 26. Perhaps you will find some new authors and even tv shows to follow.

Nominees include:

Adult Novel
The Ranger by Ace Atkins
Gone by Mo Hayder
The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Hegashino
1222 by Anne Holt
Field Gray by Philip Kerr

YA Novel

Shelter by Harlan Coben
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall
The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
Kill You Last by Todd Strasser

TV Episode

"Innocence" - Blue Bloods"The Life Inside" - Justified"Part 1" - Whitechapel"Pilot" - Homeland"Mask" - Law & Order: SVU

When you find one of the nominees you really enjoyed, share your thoughts here so others may be enticed as well. If you recommend one of the tv shows, let us know.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Books into Movies

The Hunger Games, the first book in Suzanne Collins' 2008 sci-fi trilogy, comes to the screen in March. Directed by Gary Ross, the thriller stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci.

One For the Money (Jan 27) is adapted from Janet Evanovich's 1994 first novel featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson, the film stars Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, John Leguizamo and Debbie Reynolds.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Investment Classes for the New Year


Have you made a resolution that this will be the year you take charge of your investments? Interested in getting a jump start on retirement? Then join us in February and March for a series of four talks that will help you become a more confident investor. Our February classes will be:


Ryland Hanstad, Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in Wellesley, will outline the Six Steps to a Secure Retirement:
Challenges and Perils
Where You Stand Today
Getting to where you want to be
Picturing your retirement
Your dreams and goals
Bringing it all together


Come to our investment resource class featuring Morningstar®Investment Research Center, Valueline® Guides, and more! The Wellesley Free Library has a wealth of information to help you be a better investor. Whether it's for mutual funds or stock investing, the Library has rating guides, newsletters and magazines—both online and in print. Learn all about them at this informative class.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What's new for January and February?

How It All Began by Penelope Lively

A retired teacher is mugged in London and breaks her hip. Characters are introduced and their lived intertwine around Charlotte the schoolteacher as she recuperates.

Kill Shot by Vince Flynn

Mitch Rapp is back. This is the second story chronologically in the Rapp saga and another nail-biting political thriller.

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Chicklit by the Shopaholic series author. Poppy Wyatt loses her engagement ring. While looking for it, she finds a cell phone in the trash. The cell phone's owner doesn't like her reading his text messages and wants his phone back.


Monday, January 9, 2012

one times ten to the sixth apps

600,000 apps for the i-whatevers and 400,000 for the Android clan (these numbers according to my web guru Phil Bradley). To help you meet your perfect app, there's now Quixey. This search engine will filter by type of mobile device, free or pay, and availability at specific web sites. (Did you know that there are 67 Red Sox apps for the i-phone?)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January Featured Online Resource--Morningstar Investment Research Center

Morningstar Investment Research Center provides fast and easy access to the latest mutual fund, stock, and ETF ratings and information.
  • Search by name or ticker symbol
  • Use the screeners to search for investments that meet your specifications
  • Updated throughout the day
  • Online and in a downloadable PDF format
  • Upload your financial portfolio for Morningstar to analyze for you
Want to know more? Sign up for the class in the library on January 24 from 10-11 a.m. SH

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top 10 History Books of 2011

Rankings are based on popularity determined by circulation statistics.

1. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
By Larson, Erik
2011-05 - Crown Publishing Group (NY)

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

2. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
By McCullough, David
2011-05 - Simon & Schuster

McCullough tells the story of the American artists and scientists who studied in Paris, and changed America through what they learned there.

3. Zeitoun
By Eggers, Dave
2009-07 - McSweeney's Books

"This is a beautiful book. "Zeitoun" is a poignant, haunting, ethereal story about New Orleans in peril. Eggers has bottled up the feeling of post- Katrina despair better than anyone else.

4. The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering My Grandfather's Secret Past
By Davidson, Martin
2011-03 - Putnam Adult

Using the skills he honed as a documentary producer for the BBC, Davidson explores the truth behind his family's dark secret--his grandfather was a Nazi SS officer.

5. The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss
By de Waal, Edmund
2010-08 - Farrar Straus Giroux

In the 1870s, Charles Ephrussi assembled a collection of 360 Japanese ivory carvings known as "netsuke." In this grand story, a renowned ceramicist and the fifth generation to inherit the collection traces the story of a remarkable family and a tumultuous century.

6. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
By Hillenbrand, Laura
2010-11 - Random House
Telling an unforgettable story of a young lieutenant's journey into extremity, "Unbroken" is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

7. Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization
By Miles, Richard
2011-07 - Viking Books

The first full-scale history of Carthage in decades, "Carthage Must Be Destroyed" reintroduces modern readers to the larger-than-life historical players and the ancient glory of this almost forgotten civilization.

8. Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
By Puleo, Stephen
2003-09 - Beacon Press
The Boston molasses flood lives dimly in popular memory, but no historian has explored it fully until now. Puleo brings this disaster to life with vivid prose, using the dreadful catastrophe as a lens through which to view the panorama of a changing Boston, as well as to survey the major events that would shape the future of 20th-century America.

9. The Whites of Their Eyes: Bunker Hill, the First American Army, and the Emergence of George Washington
By Lockhart, Paul Douglas
2011-06 – Harper

One hot June afternoon in 1775, on the gentle slopes of a hill near Boston, Massachusetts, a small band of ordinary Americans--frightened but fiercely determined--dared to stand up to a superior British force. Paul Lockhart combines military and political history to offer a major reassessment of one of the most famous battles in American history.

10. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
By Mann, Charles C.
2005-08 - Knopf Publishing Group

In this groundbreaking study, Mann shows how a new generation of anthropologists and archaeologists, using new research techniques, have come to the persuasive conclusion that more people lived in the Americas in 1491 than in Europe.