Archive for January, 2014

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1984

Other than being the title of Orwell’s famous (or infamous) novel, 1984 is also exactly 30 years ago. It was also the year that:

  • Apple debuted the Macintosh for home use (even its commercial was a bit 1984).
  • The Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles, with the Russians boycotting (though we’ll compete against them in Sochi in a few weeks).
  • Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the fist American women to walk in space (glad her experience wasn’t like Gravity).


Let’s take a look back at the New York Times Best Sellers for the week of January 29.



1. Who Killed the Robins Family? By Thomas Chastain

2. Pet Sematary by Stephen King

3. Poland by James A. Michener

4. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

5. Berlin Game by Len Deighton

6. The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart

 7. Changes by Danielle Steel

 8. Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

 9. The Auerbach Will by Stephen Birmingham

 10. The Story of Henri Tod by William F. Buckley Jr

 11. The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov

 12. Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins

 13. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

 14. The Saga of Baby Divine by Bette Midler

 15. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin



1. In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr

 2. Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession by Erma Bombeck

3. On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett

4. Megatrends by John Naisbitt

5. The Best of James Herriot by James Herriot

6. Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do! by Robert H. Schuller

7. The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin

8. Approaching Hoofbeats: Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Billy Graham

9. While Reagan Slept by Art Buchwald

10. Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow

11. The Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux

12. Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony by Lewis Thomas

13. Coroner by Thomas T. Noguchi with Joseph DiMona

14. The Peter Pan Syndrome by Dan Kiley

 15. Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon


New Book Club Kit Titles!

Looking for a few good books? If you’ve got a book club group that needs something new to discuss, check out one of our Book Club Kits. Each Kit comes with 5-7 copies of an interesting book and all the resources you need to run the discussion: author information, questions, and even additional reading suggestions. Kits check out for 6 weeks, so you’re guaranteed time to read and discuss without worrying over due dates. Contact the Reference Desk for more information at 733-2964 or at


There are over 60 different kits! New ones include:

Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton

The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

Maphead by Ken Jennings

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale


K is for Kleptomania

By definition, a kleptomaniac is someone with a compulsion to steal, usually regardless of an item’s value. People suffering from this mental state generally do not profit from their actions; some hide or secretly return the item they’ve stolen. But this does not always make for great drama (though I can remember an old Natalie Wood comedy that depicted the title character, Penelope, with such a compulsion), so we’re going to widen the net and take a look at a few books that highlight some more intriguing thefts.



Burglars Can’t Be Choosers – Lawrence Block

  • Hired to perform a seemingly simple break-in, Bernie Rhodenbarr is horrified when he takes the fall for a murder rap and is forced to flee, and stationed in an out-of-town apartment, he tries to discover why he was set up. (First in series.)

The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam – Chris Ewan

  • A novelist who moonlights as a thief for hire, Charlie Howard is suspicious when an enigmatic American offers to pay him to steal two small monkey figurines, a suspicion that becomes all-too-real when his employer is nearly beaten to death. (First in series.)

Something Missing – Matthew Dicks

  • A career criminal with OCD tendencies and a savant-like genius for bringing order to his crime scenes, Martin considers himself one of the best in the business. Of course, he only takes items that will go unnoticed by the homeowners. Even though he hasnever met these homewoners, he’s spent hours in their houses, looking through their photo albums and reading their journals. He’s developed a friendship of sorts with them, and accordingly he decides to intervene though it means breaking many of his twitchy, neurotic rules.

The Thieves of Heaven – Richard Doetsch

  • When master thief Michael St. Pierre steals two priceless antique keys–which supposedly protect the secret of salvation–from Vatican vaults, he unwittingly sets in motion a deadly plot that brings him face to face with an insidious enemy and sends him running for his life. (First in series.)



The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw – Bob Friel

  • Relates the story of professional thief Colton Harris-Moore, a neglected child who eluded authorities, gained a cult following, and used self-taught knowledge and skills to pilot stolen planes.

The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A True Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York – Stephen Duncombe

  • Describes the 1924 crime spree of female armed robber Celia Cooney, a poor, Brooklyn waitress who held up a series of local grocery stores armed with a small gun and wearing a fashionable bobbed hairdo and stylish fur coat, and reveals how politicians and journalists used her story as a cultural, social, and political statement of the times.

Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art – Joshua Knelman

  • Tells the story of the five years he spent investigating the world of stolen art and the people and agencies who try to recover it.

The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime – Miles Harvey

  • Explores the unusual odyssey of Gilbert Joseph Bland, Jr., an antiques dealer from South Florida, who stole dozens of centuries-old maps from some of the most important research libraries in Canada and the U.S.

King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 that Shocked America – J. North Conway

  • Examines how criminal mastermind George Leonidas Leslie planned and executed a bank robbery at the Manhattan Savings Institution in 1878 and stole nearly three million dollars in cash and securities.

The Man Who Loved Books too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession – Allison Hoover Bartlett

  • In telling the true story of book thief John Charles Gilkey and the man who was driven to capture him, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett explores the larger history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heros, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History – Robert M. Edsel

  • The previously untold story of a little-known WWII Allied division whose mission was to track down European art and treasures that had been looted by the Nazis at Hitler’s command.

Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures – Robert K. Wittman

  • The creator of the FBI’s Art Crime Team recounts his dramatic career, describing high-stakes undercover missions involving valuable stolen antiquities, in an account that covers his role in a famous unsolved crime.

The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece – Edward Dolnick

  • Traces the theft of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from Oslo’s National Gallery in 1994, recounting the efforts of art detective Charley Hill to recover the painting in an investigation ranging from the estates of aristocrats to the art underworld.

Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History – Ben Mezrich

  • Draws on court records, FBI transcripts, NASA documents, and first-person interviews to reconstruct NASA fellow Thad Roberts’ theft of invaluable moon rocks, offering insight into Roberts’ personality and the nature of his accomplices.

The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios – Eric Rasmussen

  • In his efforts to catalog all these precious First Folios, renowned Shakespeare scholar Eric Rasmussen embarked on a riveting journey around the globe, involving run-ins with heavilytattooed criminal street gangs in Tokyo, bizarre visits with eccentric, reclusive billionaires, and intense battles of wills with secretive librarians.

Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists – Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg

  • Through thefts around the world–from Stockholm to Boston, Worcester to Ohio–the authors track daring entries into and escapes from the world’s most renowned museums, and robbers who coolly walk offwith multimillion dollar paintings.

Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine’s Passion for Ancient Civilizations and the Journey to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures –  Matthew Bogdanos

  • Relates the events that led up to the investigation and recovery of stolen artifacts in Baghdad, offering a look at the underbelly of the international art and antiquities market.

Thieves of Book Row: New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It – Travis McDade

  • Provides information on a Depression era theft ring that targeted rare books and the detective that eventually brought them down.

Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa – R.A. Scotti

  • Reopens the case of one of the most perplexing art thefts ever committed–the still unsolved mystery of the disappearance of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” from the Louvre on August 21, 1911.


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Take Ten: Elizabeth I

Coronation Portrait of Elizabeth I

On January 15, 1559, the youngest daughter of Henry VII, Elizabeth, was crowned Queen of England, beginning a reign that would last for 44 years. The Elizabethan Era was considered the Golden Age of the English Renaissance, inspiring creative thinkers and explorers like Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, and Francis Drake. And, this Era still inspires us today. Several works of fiction have re-imagined Elizabeth’s life and reign, looking at how she, and those around her, evolved into legend. Try one of these titles for a glimpse into “Gloriana.”


Elizabeth I by Margaret George

  • Growing up at the side of her cousin, Elizabeth I, Lettice Knollys struggles to regain power and position for her family while competing against the queen for the love of Robert Dudley, a rivalry that is set against a backdrop of the flourishing Elizabethan age.

Her Highness’ First Murder: A Simon and Elizabeth Mystery by Peg Herring

  • When young women–first prostitutes and then one of Princess Elizabeth’s ladies–are beheaded and dressed as nuns, Henry VIII assigns Captain Hugh Bellows to investigate, and the princess and Simon Maldon, a physician’s son, secretly help him. (First in the Simon and Elizabeth Mystery series.)

Heresy by S.J. Parris

  • Condemned for his heretical belief that the Earth orbits the sun, scientist and occult researcher Giordano Bruno runs away from the Holy Roman Inquisition and is unexpectedly recruited by Elizabeth I, who dispatches him to Oxford to investigate a Catholic rebellion and foreign plots to assassinate her. (First in the Giordano Bruno series.)

I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles

  • Elizabeth writes a diary near the end of her life in which she records court intrigues and the burdens of political power.

The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

  • A vivid fictional portrait of the tumultuous early life of Queen Elizabeth I describes her perilous path to the throne of England and the scandal, political intrigues, and religious turmoil she confronted along the way, from the deaths of her parents, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, to the fanaticism of her sister, Mary I.

The Poyson Garden by Karen Harper

  • Released from the Tower of London by an insurrection against Queen Mary, her half sister, the twenty-five-year-old Princess Elizabeth immediately puts herself back into harm’s way by investigating a multiple poisoning. (First in the Elizabeth I mystery series.)

Rival to the Queen by Carolly Erickson

  • A novel about the bitter rivalry between Queen Elizabeth I and her fascinating cousin, Lettice Knollys, for the love of one extraordinary man–Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston

  • With powerful enemies watching her every move, young Queen Elizabeth is informed of an even more pressing concern: Mordred, a thousand-year-old vampire–who happens to be the bastard son of King Arthur–wants to turn Elizabeth into one of the undead and rule England by her side.

The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner

  • In Summer 1553, Brendan Prescott is sent to court on a secret mission to spy on the king’s sister, Elizabeth Tudor. Suddenly, Brendan becomes a double-agent for Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who claims to have information regarding Brendan’s mysterious past. Now, Brendan must discover the truth behind King Edward’s sudden disappearance as Elizabeth, her half sister Mary, and their cousin, Lady Jane Grey vie for the future of the Crown. (First in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles series.)

The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

  • In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One woman hears the tidings with utter dread. Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, knows that the peal of bells she hears will summon her husband once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen. Elizabeth’s excited triumph is short-lived. She has inherited a bankrupt country where treason is normal and foreign war a certainty. Her faithful advisor William Cecil warns her that she will survive only if she marries a strong prince to govern the rebellious country, but the one man Elizabeth desires is her childhood friend, the irressistible, ambitious Robert Dudley. (Fifth in the Tudor Novels series.)

Great Online Resource: Supertracker

With everyone making their New Year’s Resolutions this month, we thought we’d see if we could help make things easier (unless, of course, you’ve already made and broken your resolutions). You can stop into the Library for some great print resources – we’ve got a book for almost every resolution you could think of. But if you’re like a majority of the population, one of your goals is to lose all that extra weight. Beyond the hundreds of diet and fitness books we carry, we thought we’d present a great online resource. So, while we can’t do your exercising for you, we have found a tool that might prove to be useful.

The USDA has put together what they call the “SuperTracker,” which is a resource to help you track your intake of food, your weight and your exercise. You can create a personalized profile or use a general plan, each of which give you calorie guides, nutritional information, and support links. And if you create a profile, you can even save your favorite foods and add recipes. It’s easy enough for most adults, with helpful hints about how to improve your family’s health along with your own. Best of all it’s free, which helps you out with another resolution (right?).

Give it a shot and challenge yourself not not only keep your resolution this year, but get healthier in the process. Get tracking!