The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1950

Let’s spring into late March with a look back at 1950 – a time of poodle skirts, drag racing, and bouffant hair styles for men and women (or, maybe I’m just remembering Grease…). Anyway, here are a few notable happenings that year that might spark a memory or two:

Now, how about some literature – or at least a fun read for Spring Break? Below are the books gracing the New York Times Best Sellers list for the week of March 19, 1950.



1. The Parasites by Daphne Du Maurier

2. The Egyptian by Mika Waltari

3. The King’s Cavalier by Samuel Shellabarger

4. The Wall by John Hersey

5. The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary

6. Gentian Hill by Elizabeth Goudge

7. Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow

8. Mary by Sholem Asch

9. A Rage to Live by John O’Hara

10. One on the House by Mary Lasswell

11. The Pink House by Nelia Gardner White

12. The Diplomat by James Aldridge

13. I, My Ancestor by Nancy Wilson Ross

14. The Strange Land by Ned Calmer

15. A Long Day’s Dying by Frederick Buechner

16. Mingo Dabney by James H. Street



1. The Mature Mind by Harry Allen Overstreet

2. This I Remember by Eleanor Roosevelt

3. The Baby by Simon & Schuster

4. Home Sweet Zoo by Clare Barnes

5. White Collar Zoo by Clare Barnes

6. The Peabody Sisters of Salem by Louise Hall Tharp

7. I Leap Over the Wall by Monica Baldwin

8. Decision in Germany by Lucius Du Bignon Clay

9. Mr. Jones, Meet the Master by Peter Marshall

10. The Road Ahead by John T. Flynn

11. My Three Years in Moscow by Walter Bedell Smith

12. American Freedom and Catholic Power by Paul Blanshard

13. Chicago Confidential by Jack Lait And Lee Mortimer

14. Modern Arms and Free Men by Vannevar Bush

15. A Guide to Confident Living by Norman Vincent Peale

16. The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler

Extreme Sports

Our Reader’s Dozen Challenge this month is to read a book about sports. And while many of us can probably say we still get some type of physical exercise (right?), most of us would probably rather read about extreme athletes than be one. If you’re wanting to live vicariously through the challenges of tackling an extreme sport, pick up one of these titles – you might still get an adrenaline boost!

Let’s Play!

Next Tuesday (Feb 28) at 7 PM is Adult Game Night, so you’re all invited to drop in with a favorite game to share – or you can play one of ours. Many of our Librarians are board game fanatics and are always happy to sit down for some fun and friendly competition.

To get you in the mood, check out one of these titles on board and card games – whether you learn a new strategy or a bit of history, maybe you’ll be better prepared for world domination (which is the actual objective of Risk).



The Book of Games: Strategy, Tactics, and History – Jack Botermans

Card Games Properly Explained – Arnold Marks



The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit – Philip E. Orbanes

The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, or How 32 Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain – David Shenk



The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game – Mary Pilon

Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun – Joshua Glenn & Elizabeth Foy Larsen


For extra fun, watch a board game…


The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1970

Feelin’ groovy? Step into those clogs and let’s pay 1970 a visit. Here’s the happenings…

  • Biggest film of the year? Love Story (and the reason there are so many GenX Jennifers)
  • Diana Ross and the Supremes performed for the last time together as a group in January
  • The AMC Gremlin – gotta love that car name – premiered in April.

Get back into the mood (without your mood ring) with one of these books, all on the New York Times Best Sellers List for the week of February 15, 1970. Can you dig?



1. The Godfather by Mario Puzo

2. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

3. The House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier

4. The Inheritors by Harold Robbins

5. Puppet on a Chain by Alistair Maclean

6. The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight by Jimmy Breslin

7. Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault

8. Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene

9. In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

10. The Seven Minutes by Irving Wallace



1. The Selling of the President 1968 by Joe McGinniss

2. The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull

3. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex by Dr. David Reuben

4. Present at the Creation by Dean Acheson

5. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

6. The Graham Kerr Cookbook by The Galloping Gourmet and Hubert Sieben

7. The Collapse of the Third Republic by William L. Shirer

8. Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser

9. Ruffles and Flourishes by Liz Carpenter

10. Love and Will by Rollo May

Take Ten: Floods!

With a warm-up on the way after our epic January snow, we’re probably going to be dealing with lakes popping up everywhere for a little while (which is possibly better than potholes?). Anyway, we thought we’d list a few books – fiction and nonfiction – that deal with flooding, in an attempt to convince you it could be worse. But be safe out there anyway!



Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City – Jed Horne

  • A view into the private worlds and inner thoughts of the victims of Hurricane Katrina to examine the aftermath of the storm and its impact on New Orleans.

The Children’s Hospital – Chris Adrian

  • Surviving in a floating hospital after the earth is flooded beneath seven miles of water, medical student Jemma Claflin finds herself possessed of strange powers that lead to an understanding of her frightening destiny.


Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 – Stephen Puleo

  • Describes the 1919 collapse of a steel tank containing more than two million gallons of molasses in Boston–a disaster that claimed the lives of twenty-one people, injured 150, and caused widespread destruction–the causes of the tragedy, its aftermath, and the sweeping social changes that transformed the era.

Flood – Stephen Baxter

  • Four hostages are finally released, but they face a world suddenly inundated as vast amounts of water is released from the earth’s mantle. As the world’s cities and countries disappear under the rising seas, humanity faces unimaginable global disaster.


In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden – Kathleen Cambor

  • A bittersweet romance set against the backdrop of the greatest industrial disaster in American history: the construction and subsequent collapse in 1889 of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania dam.

The Johnstown Flood – David McCullough

  • In the spring of 1889, Johnstown, Pennsylvania was a booming coal-and-steel town. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for a summer resort patronized by the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Warnings of possible danger were ignored, and on May 31, the dam burst, sending a wall of water through the town and killing more than 2,000 people. David McCullough examines the tragedy and the scandal that followed.


Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 – Jeffrey H. Jackson

  • Captures the drama and ultimate victory of man over nature during Paris’s Great Flood of 1910.

The Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America – John M. Barry

  • Provides an account of one of the greatest national disasters the United States has ever experienced and its consequences.


Stillwater – William F. Weld

  • In 1938, as the inhabitants of a small valley prepare for the forthcoming flooding of their homes to create a giant reservoir, three young people stumble upon the deceitful machinations of the local lawyer and preacher, and uncover dark secrets.

The Tilted World – Tom Franklin

  • Bootleggers, revenuers, an orphaned child, extreme weather, a disintegrating marriage and romance. There are no dull characters or moments in this beautifully-written story.


Annotations courtesy of NoveList Plus. Log into NoveList Plus (with your Library card) for more great book and author information.

A is for Amsterdam

Want to travel to some of the world’s most interesting places, but don’t want to deal with the hassles, costs, and craziness of arranging a trip? Let’s armchair travel instead!

We’ll start out with one of Europe’s most culturally significant cities – Amsterdam. It’s also significant to the U.S.; New York, after all, was once called New Amsterdam when it was settled by the Dutch. Amsterdam is probably best known as the city where Anne Frank lived (and was hidden), as a northern Venice because of its canal system, and for its history as a financial center.

Learn more about this fascinating city:



Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City – Russell Shorto

  • A historical portrait of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique explores the ongoing efforts of its citizens to navigate its seaside challenges and democratic philosophies, revealing the influence of the liberal ideals that evolved there.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

  • A timeless story that stands without peer, this definitive edition brings to life the world of a brilliant young girl who, for a time, survived the worst horrors the modern world has ever seen–and who remained triumphantly and heartbreakingly human throughout her ordeal.

The Coffee Trader – David Liss

  • In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese-Jewish trader desperate to recover his lost fortune, enters into a partnership with seductive Geertruid Damhuis to introduce coffee to the city, and confronts a ruthless adversary. (Fiction)

The Golden Age of Dutch Art – Judikje Kiers and Fieke Tissink

  • Published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘The Glory of the Golden Age: Dutch Art of the 17th century’ at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.*

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.

The Miniaturist – Jesse Butron

  • A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’

The Netherlands in a Nutshell: Highlights from Dutch History and Culture

  • Compiled by the Committee for the Development of the Dutch Canon in 2005, when the Minister of Education, Culture and Science asked it to design a canon of the Netherlands. Fifty themes detailed with a list of places to visit and websites.

Rick Steves Amsterdam and the Netherlands



The Fault in Our Stars

Ocean’s Twelve



Aerial Panorama

Audio Tour

Rijksmuseum Gallery (and Mix Your Own Studio)

Secret Annex at the Anne Frank House


Annotations are provided by NoveList Plus unless indicated. Log in to NoveList Plus with your Library card to get more great info about books, series, and authors for readers of all ages.

Indieflix Improvements

Last year, we announced our new service for streaming videos, Indieflix, which offers independent films, documentaries, and some classic movies. At that time, Indieflix could only be streamed online through a browser. Now, however, they’ve added an app to Roku, AppleTV, and XBox, so you can watch via your television. Awesome-sauce!

Make sure you have an Indieflix account through the Library, and then add the app to your device. You will have to go online to get a verification code through your account, but once that’s done, you’ll be able to stream on your TV. Now, get out there and watch some movies!