Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Introducing the Knowledge Graph

When you search in Google now, instead of just looking for a webpage, you will be getting answers to concepts and the relationships among them. The Knowledge Graph resembles a collection of people, places and things in the world and how they are related to one another.  As search words can often have more than one meaning,  the graph will try to understand the difference and help you find the exact answer you are looking for. You may be able to explore a topic more deeply and find answers which may surprise you.  To test out this new feature, try typing Eiffel Tower  or  Picasso .


Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Civil War Books

1862-2012, 150 Years ago the Civil War was well underway. Check out these new books.

     by Winston Groom

In the spring of 1862, many Americans still believed that the Civil War, "would be over by Christmas." The Battle of Shiloh would singlehandedly change the psyche of the military, politicians, and American people--North and South--about what they had unleashed by creating a Civil War. In this gripping telling of the first "great and terrible" battle of the Civil War, Groom describes the dramatic events of April 6 and 7, 1862, when a bold surprise attack on Ulysses S. Grant's encamped troops and the bloody battle that ensued would alter the timbre of the war.

Civil War Sketch Book: Drawings from the Battlefront
Harry L. Katz; Vincent Virga; Alan Brinkley
Illustrators such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Nast created for the American public some of the most important and lasting images of the Civil War. The 250 illustrations collected here span different battlefields and represent priceless artifacts from our nation's greatest conflict.

The Civil War: the Second Year Told by Those Who Lived It: Told by Those Who Lived It
Stephen Sears, (Editor)

This volume that traces events from January 1862 to January 1863, an unforgettable portrait of the crucial year that turned a secessionist rebellion into a war of emancipation. Including eleven never-before- published pieces by more than eighty participants and observers.

Decided on the Battlefield: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and the Election Of 1864
David Johnson

Due to the public's anger over the disastrous course of the Civil War, even Lincoln himself believed he would lose the election for his second term in office. His opposing candidate, George B. McClellan, planned to end the war by allowing the South to split off from the Union. This detailed narrative account for history buffs and general readers investigates the critical factors that influenced the election's outcome.

Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction
Allen C. Guelzo

Allen C. Guelzo offers a marvelous portrait of the Civil War and its era, covering not only the major figures and epic battles, but also politics, religion, gender, race, diplomacy, and technology. And unlike other surveys of the Civil War era, it extends the reader's vista to include the postwar Reconstruction period and discusses the modern-day legacy of the Civil War in American literature and popular culture. Guelzo also puts the conflict in a global perspective, underscoring Americans' acute sense of the vulnerability of their republic in a world of monarchies.


Monday, May 21, 2012

What's New in Mystery and Fiction

The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Gay
A museum curator restores a 19th century automaton after the death of her married lover.

Stolen Prey by John Sanford
Lucas Davenport investigates another murder, this time of an entire family in Wayzata, MN. 

Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell
Ancient Mayan prophecy is explored in this novel of art, history, and romance.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ten best Historical Novels!

What is it about us that we never tire of top ten lists? And why ten for that matter? The (London) Observer [the world's oldest Sunday newspaper, FYI] recently listed The 10 Best Historical Novels. The list is not overly British in focus (settings include Brooklyn,Germany, ancient Rome and Russia), but don't expect any representation of Asia, Africa or South America.  Included are Romola by George Eliot, Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. For the complete list with annotations, go to the Observer web site.

Monday, May 14, 2012

New Science Books May/June 2012

     by Sheldrick, Daphne

Daphne Sheldrick is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her years of observing Kenya's rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death. In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphaned animals.

Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History
     by Chaline, Eric

Humans are the most successful species of mammal to ever walk the earth, according to author Chaline. We have needed help to claim and shape the planet, and we may still be beaten by what we consider to be lower forms of life. In 49 informative essays, the author profiles mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and other species that have assisted or resisted the human takeover. Roche, Rick Copyright 2010 Booklist

The Story of Earth : The First 4. 5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet
     by Hazen, Robert M.

In this radical new approach to Earth's biography, senior Carnegie Institution researcher and national bestselling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere-of rocks and living matter-has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind in the Solar System,if not the entire cosmos.

 Dolphin Confidential : Confessions of a Field Biologist
     by Bearzi, Maddalena

Who hasn't fantasized about the unique thrill of working among charismatic and clever dolphins in the wild? We need not live this solely in our imaginations anymore. With Dolphin Confidential Maddalena Bearzi invites all of us shore-bound dreamers to join her and travel alongside the dolphins.

What the Robin Knows : How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World
     by Young, Jon

Birds are the sentries--and our key to understanding the world beyond our front door. The robin, junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest. Jon Young guides us through  their vocalizations and behavior in order to acquire much of this bird wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

JSTOR Finds a Home with our Online Resources

We are so excited to offer scholars, researchers, students, teachers, and those interested in continuing education and cultural pursuits an opportunity to freely search 1000+ academic journals and over a million primary resources including images and letters with our Online Resource of the Month for May--JSTOR.

JSTOR (Journal Storage) searches nearly 60 multidisciplinary fields whether they be within humanities, social science, science, or business.  Try it out today by having your library card number handy and clicking on this link.  SH

Friday, May 4, 2012

What's New for May

Looking for mystery and fiction coming out in May?  Here are a few titles:

In One Person by John Irving
A novel of desire, secrecy and sexual identity.  

11th Hour by James Patterson
Another installment in the Women's Murder Club series.

Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer
Part 2 of the Clifton Chronicles series.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

New on the Web: Data on political ads on TV

Last week the Federal Communications Commission ruled that TV stations must post detailed information about election ads they've run--including who paid and how much they paid for each ad. The information was already public, but one had to visit the TV station to see it. The rule will apply to larger stations in six months and to smaller stations by 2014. The data will be available on the FCC web site.