Monday, March 13, 2017

Books, soon to be movies

In 2017, Hollywood will continue the trend of producing movies based on books.  Check out these books, both fiction and nonfiction, to expect on the big screen in the next year.  Is the book better?  Find out for yourself!

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman - When Germany invaded Poland, Warsaw was destroyed, including the city’s zoo.  Zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages and their villa. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, hid ammunition and explosives. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its remaining animal inhabitants while living with the overwhelming fear of discovery.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – Middle Grade students will be thrilled to see this popular novel play out on the big screen.  Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school.  Auggie tells the story of the taunting from and fear of his classmates as he just tries to live as another student.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann - After discovering a hidden trove of diaries, Grann set out to solve "the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century": what happened to British explorer Percy Fawcett. In 1925 Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization.  Thousands had died looking for the concealed El Dorado, leaving many convinced that the Amazon was too great a feat for humankind. Fawcett embarked with his son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization--which he dubbed "Z"--existed. Then he and his expedition vanished. Fawcett's fate became an obsession for those who followed him.

The Circle by Dave Eggers When Mae Holland is hired to work for the most powerful internet company in the world, she feels she's landed her dream job. The Circle links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.   Mae is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. Mae can't believe her luck to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant and a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken.

The Dinner by Herman Koch - It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. The conversation remains a polite discourse.  But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said.  Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by a single horrific act that destroyed the comfortable worlds of their families.

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier – Beautiful Rachel descends on the great Cornwall estate of Philip Ashley. Despite his suspicions, she soon charms him. In this tale of good and evil, Philip must uncover the motivations of the mysterious widow of his cousin. 

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin - On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport.  When the last outgoing flight is cancelled, Ben finds a charter plane that can drop him in Denver to catch a connection.  Ben offers the extra seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently.  The unthinkable happens leaving them stranded on one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - When sober, Jeannette's father captured his children's imagination, teaching them how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo - After the first snowfall of the year, a boy wakes up to discover that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day. Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he's received.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer - Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. Previous expeditions all ended in tragedy with the exception of the first.  This is the twelfth expedition. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimen, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another.  Above all, they must to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

--Heather Steltenpohl, Development Director

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Genealogy Resources

The library has an abundance of genealogy resources for anyone interested in tracing their family history.  You’ll find yearbooks, city directories, obituaries, cemetery records, and several new books about how to organize and archive your research materials.  We also have two new books of historical maps in the Genealogy Reference section.  Genealogy resources can be found on the upper level of the library.

Family Photo Detective by Maureen Taylor (2013)- 929.1072 TA –is an update of two previous books about dating photographs: Uncovering your History Through Family Photographs  – 929.1 TA and More Dating Old Photographs – 929.1 MO, also written by Taylor a.k.a. The Photo Detective.  Photo identification relies on period dress and hairstyles going back to 1840, as well as furniture props used in studio portraits and other investigative tips.  These books include worksheet templates for listing who is pictured in a photo and when it was taken. 

How to Archive Family Photos (2015) by Denise May Levenick – 771.46 MA - consists of step-by-step instructions for organizing photos and storing them digitally.  Levenick, a.k.a. The Family Curator, lists easy methods to organize and back up your digital photos, using up-to-date photo software to safely store your materials. She also shares 25 creative project ideas to preserve and display family photos. 

Organize your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher by Drew Smith (2016) – 929.1 SM – is very comprehensive, including setting up physical and online workspaces, using the best tools for organizing your ancestry materials, and easy-to-use checklists to enhance research.  Smith encourages genealogists to be organized and efficient by using online tools such as calendars, bookmarks, and blogs, while also promoting field trips to collect documents from local facilities.  His previous publication, Social Networking for Genealogists  (2009) – 929.1028 - highlighted the use of blogs, RSS feeds, and wikis to collaborate with other genealogy researchers.

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book by Allison Dolan (2014) – R912.73 DO – is a state by state atlas of U.S. history from 1790 to 1900 with full-color historical maps of all 50 states in alphabetical order.  It also includes panoramic maps of key cities from the nineteenth century.  These maps will put your research into geographical context by identifying the changing names and shifting borders of each state over a period of time.  Many of the maps are from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection and the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, which can both be referenced online.

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book Europe by Allison Dolan (2015) – R912.4 DO -  traces the borders of European countries through wars that change borders from the 1700’s to the 1900’s.  The countries are grouped by region, and rotate from Great Britain to mainland Europe to Scandinavia and back again.  These maps should help genealogists find ancestors in a particular country at a particular time.  There’s also a listing of states, regions, provinces, and municipalities of each country in the back of the book.

--Lynette Suckow, Reference Desk