Thursday, April 30, 2009

World War II

he Wellesley Free Library has a large selection of books about World War
II. Some of the most recent are listed below.


Dwork, Deborah. Flight from the Reich: refugee Jews, 1933-1946

Korda, Michael. With wings like eagles: a history of the Battle of Britain

Evans, Richard J. The Third Reich at war

Ryan, Mark. Hornet's sting: the amazing untold story of World War II spy Thomas Sneum

Nelson, Anne, Red Orchestra : the story of the Berlin underground and the circle of friends who resisted Hitler

Alexander, Larry, Shadows in the jungle: the Alamo Scouts behind Japanese lines in World War II

Weller, George, 1907-2002. Weller's war

DeFelice, James. Rangers at Dieppe: the first combat action of U.S. Army Rangers in World War II

Holland, James, Italy's sorrow: a year of war, 1944-1945

Porter, Anna. Kasztner's train: the true story of an unknown hero of the Holocaust

Swift, Will, The Kennedys amidst the gathering storm : a thousand days in London, 1938-1940


Amick, Steve. Nothing but a smile

Lehrer, James. Oh, Johnny : a novel

Littell, Jonathan. The kindly ones : a novel

Houghteling, Sara. Pictures at an exhibition

Shaara, Jeff. The steel wave: a novel of World War II

Pressfield, Steven. Killing Rommel: a novel


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Newsy - News Compilation & Comparison

Newsy is a new website (begun in October 2008, it's still in beta testing) that provides a unique solution to the wide range of news resources available on the Internet--both on video and in print. The editors choose a story, compiles broadcasts and articles, and then compares them through a video. Selections of the stories covered aren't limited to the editor's purview, however, as users can suggest a story.

On their "About Newsy," they describe the importance of their service:
What are the key differences in reporting? Who has a unique insight?
By monitoring the world's new coverage, we provide immediate analysis of news perspectives so you can form your own opinion. You'll find it an informative and a convenient resource that you will want to check daily. We will not change the news, but we will change your view of it. Global access to multiple perspectives helps provide the real story,


Friday, April 24, 2009


Posters and bookmarks announcing new databases available for you to use 24/7 from our catalog page are "Spring"ing up all over Wellesley Free Library. We have already announced Mango and Global Road Warrior and are excited to tell you about the Literature Resource Center, Science Resource Center, and AtoZ Maps Online.

Literature Resource Center
  • For researchers, students, and book club members
  • up-to-date author biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism, and reviews
  • covers more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines
  • includes poetry and short stories
  • from all time periods and from around the world.
  • information comes from highly regarded books such as the Gale Literary Criticism Series and Twayne Series, Web sites, periodical articles, compare and contrast pages, full-text author's works, and reading lists.
Check out this database for all your literary needs!

Science Resource Center
Science is a discipline that can always use specialized information for understanding concepts, finding facts and definitions, and locating that special experiment. Students and science buffs will find all of these through information from
  • Reference books
  • periodicals (including peer reviewed journals)
  • authoritative web sites
  • multimedia (pictures, audio, and video).
Pick your topic from any science area--astronomy, medicine, genetics, energy, machines, biology--and give it a try. Let the learning begin!

AtoZ Maps Online
Ever wonder how many types of maps are available? Try 60,000 available for you
right now in this database!

  • outline
  • physical
  • political
  • thematic
  • 211 World Maps
  • 168 Continent Maps
  • 2850 Country Maps
  • 1846 State Maps.
  • Volcano
  • Weather
  • NASA
  • geologic
  • climate
  • earthquake
  • current events
  • Bible
  • map games and puzzles

Yes, this is Map Heaven! You do not need a school assignment to have a blast with this unique database.--SH

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Great Courses on DVD

Would you like to enhance your knowledge of genetics, Greek thought, the World of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle, anatomy and physiology, opera, art, world history, and chemistry from the comfort of your own home? Now you can listen to world renowned professors from major universities lecture on fascinating subjects from cutting edge scientific issues to historical perspectives and theories. Visit the Media Room here at the library or go online from home to borrow or request from our collection of The Teaching Company lectures on DVD.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Are We Having Fun Yet?

An article with the title “Why Is It A Sin To Read For Fun?” appeared in last week’s edition of Newsweek.

The piece focuses on author Jodi Picoult, who acknowledges that "her popularity, as well as her accessible writing style, means she'll never win a Pulitzer Prize."

The article also includes this quotation from author Zadie Smith: "'...readers fail when they allow themselves to believe that fiction is the thing you relate to and writers the amenable people you seek out when you want to have your own version of the world confirmed and reinforced.”

What do you think? Is writing in an accessible manner really a Pulitzer deterrent? Is Smith's quotation an accurate assessment of why readers choose fiction? And if yes, is there anything wrong in that?


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Microsoft Word without the Microsoft

There have been a lot of challengers recently taking on Microsoft Word and its Office Suite of products, but a big difference in their product is that it's free, as opposed to the $100 + that Microsoft charges for theirs. Another big difference is that you don't install the software on your computer; rather, it's a web-based program that is a part of "cloud computing." To learn more about what cloud computing is, see this helpful description from

So now that you've read a little bit about how cloud computing works, and having paid attention to the possible concerns about using these services, you might want to try some of them out. Below are a few options you might consider:

Google Docs is one of the most popular, and also one of the earliest, cloud computing answers to Microsoft Office. It includes the ability to make spreadsheets, word processing documents, forms, and presentations, which can be created in a collaborative environment by sharing them with friends. You do need to create a Google account in order to access these features.

Zoho is providing a service very similar to Google's, even including web-based email, and expands on them by offering business-related services such as invoicing and web conferencing. See this article in the New York Times about how Zoho is taking on Microsoft's Office products and how it stacks up to other web-based software solutions such as Google Docs.

Adobe also offers its own web-based word processing, called Buzzword. As with the other two services, you must sign up for a free account in order to access it.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


To be honest, I wouldn't know No Wave from Space-Rock and I would be hard pressed to distinguish between Musique Concrete and Drone. These are but a few of the subgenres available at the Free Music Archive brought to you by WFMU in New Jersey. There are over 5000 songs available now and the archive is growing daily. This resource is not for everyone; you will not find Taylor Swift, All-American Rejects, Leonard Cohen or the London Philharmonic here. In other words there aren't a lot of well-known artists in the Archives. But if you're into new music and like the thrill of discovering a new band before MTV, Amazon and iTunes, it's worth a try. You can register and they welcome participation in the project, but you can also listen and/or download anything for free without registering.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wellesley Info on the Internet

How do you find the latest Town of Wellesley information on the internet?  There are a couple of places to go to besides the library's esteemed (or not so esteemed) website.  

The Town has a great website:  

The School Department has its on site at:

We also frequently use the online version of the Wellesley Townsman:  We're not sure the people at the Townsman wanted to be known as "wicked local," but it is what it is.  

Our favorite website for the local gossip -- and not just because they mentioned the library's blog once -- is the always fabulous Swellesley Report.  Check them out at  


Missing Michael Crichton? Pirate Latitudes is on the Horizon

Font sizeWith the passing of Michael Crichton in November, you may have been feeling a void in your book selection, tv programs, or upcoming movies. He was quite active in all areas.

Alas, good news for his fans! Before his death he finished a well-researched 17th century Jamaican pirate adventure entitled Pirate Latitudes. It features a character named Hunter who attacks Spanish galleons at the behest of the Jamaican governor. HarperCollins has set its publication date for November 24. With Pirate Latitudes, Crichton returns to the historical fiction genre with a story that triggers memories of his The Great Train Robbery (1975). The movie version starred big name stars Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, and Leslie-Anne Downes.

Techno fans may be disappointed with this title but will have a pseudo- Crichton thriller to look forward to in 2010. This tale was only 1/3 complete when he died but he left notes on the direction he wanted it to take. Let's hope the publisher picks someone who will be true to Crichton's style and obsession with technology. Stay tuned for more information. SH