Thursday, December 4, 2014

Connect with Your Family's History!

How much do you know about your family history?

Find out about your ancestors at the Wellesley Free Library!

Ancestry Library allows you to search family history databases, including vital records, census records, ship passenger lists, military records, and so much more!  

*This resource is available for use inside the library.*

Heritage Quest combines searchable images of U.S. federal genealogical census records with digitized books containing family and local histories from around the country.  

This online resource is available both in the library and at home with your library card.

For more information about Ancestry and Heritage Quest, stop by the Reference Desk!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

National Book Award Winners for 2014

On November 19th, the National Book Foundation presented the winners of the National Book Award for 2014Ursula Le Guin received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters for her impact on American literature. Check out her remarks regarding book publishing in America which everyone is talking about!

Other winners that you may request from the library include:


Redeployment by Phil Klay


Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos


Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck

 Start the New Year off with the winners and finalists of the National Book Award on your reading list!   SH

Friday, November 14, 2014

Amazon's Best Books of 2014

This week, released its list of the best 100 books of the year.  You can view the winners in a number of different categories, including Audiobooks, Cookbooks & Food Writing, and Gift Picks.

The list also features the best children's book by age, holiday books by theme, and a few celebrity favorites.

The number one pick of the year was Everything I Never Told You, a novel by Celeste Ng.

Everything I Never Told You
By Celeste Ng

Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.

Other books on Amazon's list include:
The Innovators By Walter Isaacson
The Slanted Door:
Modern Vietnamese Food
By Charles Phan

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace By Jeff Hobbs
All the Light We Cannot SeeBy Anthony Doerr

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Great news for those starting small businesses, looking for jobs, and investors--RefUSA!

We love it when an online resource meets many needs and RefUSA is one of them!

ReferenceUSA is the perfect resource for anyone doing research on:
• starting a small business
• looking for a job
• investing.

With its ability to make lists of companies from a 24 million business database or find information on a particular company—including sales volume, demographics, employee numbers, competitors’ reports, company tree—you are ahead of the crowd and on the road to success in pursuing answers.

You get the picture! So take a tour of what ReferenceUSA has to offer you with your library card or sign up for a class in Jackie’s Room on Tuesday, November 18th from 2-3 pm!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Popular Military History

Popular Selections from the Robert J. Hinchliffe Military History Collection.

The following list is based on recent library circulations.

1.The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

2. Nazi Science by Mark Walker

In this book, Mark Walker examines the impact of Hitler's regime on science and, ultimately, on the pursuit of the German atomic bomb. Why did German nuclear physicists like Heisenberg and Weizsacker collaborate with the Nazis?  How close were the Nazis to getting their own atomic bomb? What does this say about the role of science in the modern world?

3. Elephant Company by Vicki Croke

The remarkable story of James Howard "Billy" Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world's largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill. Elephant Bill's exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim. Part biography, part war epic, and part wildlife adventure, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism.

4. The Price of Glory by Alistair Horne
 The battle of Verdun lasted ten months. It was a battle in which at least 700,000 men fell, along a front of fifteen miles. Its aim was less to defeat the enemy than bleed him to death and a battleground whose once fertile terrain is even now a haunted wilderness. Alistair Horne's classic work, shows that Verdun is a key to understanding the First World War to the minds of those who waged it, the traditions that bound them and the world that gave them the opportunity.

5. A World Undone by G. J. Meyer

 The First World War is one of history's greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe's mightiest empires to rubble, killed twenty million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today. The First World War is one of history's greatest tragedies. Meyer brings to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe's mightiest empires to rubble, killed twenty million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today.

6. A Great and Glorious Adventure by Gordon Corrigan
In this captivating new history of a conflict that raged for over a century, Gordon Corrigan reveals the horrors of battle and the machinations of power that have shaped a millennium of Anglo-French relations.The Hundred Years War was fought between 1337 and 1453 over English claims to both the throne of France by right of inheritance and large parts of the country that had been at one time Norman or, later, English. Corrigan writes a gripping narrative of the great battles and personalities of the period - Edward III, The Black Prince, Henry V, and Joan of Arc among them.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Privacy and Adobe DIgital Edtions

We librarians take patron privacy seriously. We do not divulge borrowing history to anyone—including spouses or parents. Sometimes, people think we can go back and see everything that they’ve ever taken out. We can’t and don’t want to.
Unfortunately, we don’t exercise the same control over our ebook collection, which passes through intermediaries such as Amazon, Overdrive and Adobe. Several weeks ago, libraries became aware of a data “breach” by Adobe Digital Editions—a provider of our ebook software. Borrowing information was being sent to Adobe from individual computers unencrypted and easily hacked.
The breach (or potential breach) applies to a fairly narrow slice of ebook users—those using Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 on a computer. Overdrive apps for mobile devices are apparently not allowing this breach of privacy.
Since the issue became public, and the ensuing protest from librarians around the country, Adobe has updated Digital Editions to encrypt the data sent from your computer.
For the American Library Association’s statement on Adobe’s fix, click here.
To read about the larger issue of libraries and third-party digital vendors, see this article in Slate:

Monday, October 20, 2014

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Most Popular New History 2014

These are the most popular new history books so far of 2014, according to the library's circulation statistics.  Enjoy!

by Richard Brooks

In 1217 England was facing her darkest hour, with foreign troops pillaging the country and defeat close at hand. But, at the battle of Lincoln, the seventy-year-old William Marshal led his men to a victory that would secure the future of his nation. 


by Robert Hutchinson

After the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, Protestant England was beset by the hostile Catholic powers of Europe, including Spain. Popular history dictates that the defeat of the Spanish Armada was a David versus Goliath victory, snatched by plucky and outnumbered English forces. In this tightly written and fascinating new history, Robert Hutchinson explodes this myth recreating one of history's most famous episodes in an entirely new way. 

by Edward Klein

Edward Klein delves into the rocky relationship between the Obamas and the Clintons. An old-school reporter with incredible insider contacts, Klein reveals just how deep the rivalry between the Obamas and the Clintons runs, with details on closed-door meetings buttressed by hundreds of interviews. 

by Helen Rappaport

The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia. Helen Rappaport aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados.

by Janice MacLeod

A few days into her stop in Paris, Janice meets Christophe, the cute butcher down the street-who doesn't speak English. Through a combination of sign language and franglais, they embark on a whirlwind Paris romance. She soon realizes that she can never return to the world of twelve-hour workdays and greasy corporate lingo. But her dwindling savings force her to find a way to fund her dreams again. 

by Ken Adelman

A dramatic account of the historic 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Iceland by Ken Adelman who was Reagan's arms control director. The meeting led to negotiations and concessions that neither side had predicted and laid the groundwork for the most sweeping arms accord in history. From his position as a participant in these historic events, Ken Adelman is able to reveal the motivations, relationships, and conversations that led to the summit's breakthroughs.

by Gordon Corrigan

Military historian Gordon Corrigan's gripping narrative of Hundred Years War fought between 1337 and 1453.  Corrigan reveals the horrors of battle and the machinations of power bringing these events refreshingly alive, and giving the great battles and personalities of the period - Edward III, The Black Prince, Henry V, and Joan of Arc among them, the full attention and reassessment they deserve.

by Carlotta Gall

Carlotta Gall has reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan for almost the entire duration of the American invasion and occupation. Gall combines searing personal accounts of battles and betrayals with moving portraits of the ordinary Afghanis. Her firsthand accounts of Taliban warlords, Pakistani intelligence thugs, American generals, Afghani politicians, and the many innocents who were caught up in this long war are riveting. Her evidence that Pakistan fueled the Taliban and protected Osama bin Laden is revelatory.


by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Established in 1898 in the heart of Paris, the Hôtel Ritz instantly became an icon of the city frequented by film stars and celebrity writers. By the 1920s the bar became a favorite for F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Mazzeo chronicles life at the Ritz during the Nazi occupation, when the hotel served as headquarters to the highest-ranking German officers, including Göring, and home to wealthy patrons (and to the spies among them) who stayed on in Paris. A hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue is revealed, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery.

by Dan McMillan

The Holocaust has long seemed incomprehensible, a monumental crime that beggars our powers of description and explanation. Masterfully synthesizing the myriad causes that led Germany to disaster, McMillan shows why thousands of Germans carried out the genocide while millions watched, with cold indifference, as it enveloped their homeland. Persuasive and compelling, How Could This Happen explains how a perfect storm of bleak circumstances, malevolent ideas, and damaged personalities unleashed history's most terrifying atrocity.