Wednesday, October 30, 2013

75 years ago Aliens Invaded Earth...

... or at least that is what 1 million listeners of Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast believed.

Believing a reading of the H.G. Well's story would be too boring, the 23 year-old Orson Welles found a creative way to engage the radio listeners. The show began like an ordinary newscast, then was interrupted with a panicked "breaking news" report of invading tripods. Fake interviewees and updates of military actions filled the hour-long broadcast, the end of which had Welles break character to announce that the broadcast was a Halloween prank. However, many listeners of the broadcast stopped listening before the end, and were sent into a panic. Newspapers from across the country contained conflicted reports over the event, resulting in "the most famous media event in history" (PBS American Experience - "War of the Worlds") 

You can listen to the entire radio broadcast here:

Interested in seeing some of the newspapers from the day after like this one?

Check out our Historical Newspapers Online Resource


Friday, October 18, 2013

What's New in Mystery and Fiction for November

What's coming out  in Mystery and Fiction for November?  Here are a few titles:

Dust by Patricia Cornwell
Kay Scarpetta is on the case once again.  This time the body of a female graduate student is found on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology rugby field.

We Are Water by Wally Lamb
Artist Anna Oh divorces her husband of 27 years to marry her female art dealer.

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
An American woman is found in London suffering from shell-shock and amnesia. Surgeon August Bridge agrees to take her in and develops a clinical interest in her.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013 Massachusetts Book Award Winners

The Award Winners in the 2013 Massachusetts Book Awards

Fiction: The Technologists by Matthew Pearl -
The first graduating class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is thrown into turmoil by bizarre phenomena that cause instruments to inexplicably spin out of control, challenging enterprising students to protect lives while combating Harvard rivals.

Nonfiction: Brothers 
by George Howe Colt -

The brotherly counterpoint between fierce rivalry and stalwart affection is teased out in this absorbing meditation on family dynamics. New York Times notable author Colt (The Big House) presents vivid accounts of famous fraternal sagas, including the tragic path of Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, the mutual martyrdoms of the tormented Vincent Van Gogh and his tenderly supportive brother Theo, and the endless, anarchic scrimmage among the Marx Brothers

Poetry: Place by Jorie Graham -
In Place, Graham explores the ways in which our imagination, intuition, and experience-increasingly devalued by a culture that regards them as "mere" subjectivity-aid us in navigating a world moving blindly towards its own annihilation and a political reality where the human person and its dignity are increasingly disposable.

Children's/YA Lit: Ocean Sunlight by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm -
On land or in the deep blue sea, we are all connected--and we are all a part of a grand living landscape. Packed with clear, simple science, this informative, joyous book will help children understand and celebrate the astonishing role our oceans play in human life.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Popular True Crime

The following are 5 of the most popular True Crime reads at the Wellesley Free Library.


A Murder in Wellesley takes the reader far beyond the headlines and national news coverage and tells the untold story of the meticulous investigation led by Marty Foley, the lead State Police detective on the case, from the morning of the murder through Dirk Greineder's ultimate conviction. 

This true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking.  The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. 

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the
Fair That Changed America
     by Erik Larson

Devil in the White City is the story of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both. This rich narrative draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. 

 In this book, Foley, a cop s cop, honestly recounts how his wide-eyed admiration for the nation s top law enforcement agency was gradually transformed by dark realities he didn’t’ want to believe. His investigative efforts resulted in criminal convictions of a half-dozen of Boston s most notorious thugs and also led to the conviction of John Connolly, one of the FBI agents who abetted Bulger; Connolly is now serving a forty-year prison sentence.

One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert went missing. No one who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the twenty-four-year-old, a Craigslist prostitute. Until seven months later, when an unexpected discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. Like Shannan, all four women were petite and in their twenties, they all came from out of town to work as escorts, and they all advertised on Craigslist and its competitor, Backpage. Lost Girls is a portrait not just of five women, but of unsolved murder in an idyllic part of America, of the underside of the Internet, and of the secrets we keep without admitting to ourselves that we keep them.