National Archives Publications Available Online

NARA Publications Available Online

Due to budget restraints the National Archives has discontinued the printing of free publications. However, many of them are available in PDF versions online. The following is a list of the most popular.

– posted by Jan

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — August 24, 2014

Here are the best seller lists for the week of August 24, 2014.

Adult’s Perspective on Summer Reading Lists from Days Gone By…

Summer Reading is not like it use to be.. When I saw the book, Tess of the D’Urbervilles / by Thomas Hardy, returned at rear circ, I was transported back in time to St Mary’s High School, here in Waltham, where we had a required summer reading list. This was one of the books I HAD to read one summer…and I HATED it. The book returned was in “Book on CD format.”

So in the spirit of WPL’s summer reading for adults campaign that we tried out this summer, I decided to give it another try.
I was surprised, once I started listening, the book wasn’t that bad, the reader did a great job, it was almost like listening to poetry. So many words you just don’t hear or see in print these days, made me think. As a teen I didn’t appreciate this and found it tedious.

The subject was a bit risque as Tess was “taken advantage of”, I wondered why the nuns chose this book as back in the 60’s at Parochial Schools the thinking was a little strict when it came to boys and girls. I felt bad for Tess, in that she was ignorant to “life” and how young country maids could be abused. The attitude towards male and female relationships was different back then, women could never escape their past mistakes and they were judged harshly for it. Then again I guess it’s still a little like that now too!

Maybe I’ll try a few more of the books had difficulty enjoying when I HAD to read them. Too bad I didn’t save the lists!

posted by Jeanette

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — August 17, 2014

Here are best seller lists for the week of August 17, 2014.

Robin Williams 1951-2014

What can be said about someone who makes you so happy…even though their life isn’t always very happy. Robin Williams had so much to give and he gave as much as he could. So sorry to hear of his death! I saw Robin’s first appearance on Happy Days with the Fonz and I’ve been a fan ever since. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the couch. Thank you Robin Williams for years of entertainment, you will be remembered for eternity.
I hope you are at peace now! Nano Nano! One of your biggest fans! Jeanette

Here is a small sampling of what the library has to offer featuring Robin Williams:

What Are We Reading? August 12, 2014

Check out what we read recently.

  • Paula: “I just finished Chasing Mona Lisa by Trisha Goyer. The story takes during the last days of the German occupation of France and involves a plan to keep the Mona Lisa out of the hands of the Germans. This would be a good choice for anyone who enjoyed The Monuments Men.
  • Nancy D. “I just finished reading Euphoria by Lily King. Fantastic fiction book loosely based on the early life of anthropologist Margaret Mead.”
  • Laura:
    • Her Last Death: A Memoir by Susanna Sonnenberg. “Upon hearing that her mother is in the hospital in Barbados and is possibly dying, the author decides against visiting her, a decision that potentially permanently harms her relationship with her sister. Sonnenberg then reflects on growing up with her mother, a woman who introduced her to drugs and Penthouse at a young age, and who was a big liar. Sonnenberg admits up front that she changed various events and combined characters which admittedly made this reader a little skeptical. Those that enjoy the dysfunctional family memoir will most likely not be bothered and find the book entertaining.”
    • Friendship by Emily Gould. “Best friends Amy and Bev are at the dawn of 30, are struggling writers (who never seem to write anything) and are frustrated with their job prospects. When Bev becomes pregnant after a one night stand, their friendship becomes severely tested. This book has been met with a bit of chatter, due to Gould’s history as a columnist for the gossip site, Gawker. I personally was not familiar with Gould or her past until after I finished reading, which I think made for a better experience. (It seemed that some online commentators were not giving the book an entirely fair chance based on the past credentials of the author, rather than on the book itself). What I later did find fascinating is that Amy, the less sympathetic character, is Gould’s fictional version of herself. Usually, the author portrays him or herself as the “hero” of a semi-autobiographical tale (see Little Women), and I give Gould a lot of credit for turning a critical and, at times, harsh, eye on herself.”
    • “I just started Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, the author of my recent read, Landline”.
  • Jan: “I just finished Front Page Fatality by Lyn Dee Walker. This is a cute, new mystery about a cop beat reporter who gets in deeper than she bargains for. A great easy read for your lawn or beach chair with a tall lemonade!”
  • Maureen:
  • Mary V.: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd: “This is a story about 2 sisters who lived in a slave holding family in South Carolina. They became leaders in the abolition movement and later they were involved in the campaign for women’s rights. A side story involves a slave girl who was given to the older sister on her eleventh birthday. This is a novel but the sisters actually lived and worked for abolition.”
  • Virginia:“Having read & enjoyed Karin Slaughter’s stand-alone police thriller Cop Town I decided to read her series books. So I settled down to read the Grant County (Georgia) books : Blindsighted, Kisscut, A Faint Cold Fear, Indelible, Faithless and Beyond Reach. All of the books concern Sara Linton, a part-time medical examiner, her ex-husband Jeffrey Tolliver who is the rural county’s chief of police, and Lena Adams the self-destructive first female detective on his force. It is fascinating to watch the characters change and grow over the six years of the entire series. Each book involves at least one mysterious death and there are plenty of twists and turns. Each book can stand on its own but it is more fun to read them in order. I have about 200 pages left to read in the last book and I am hoping that the three main characters all manage to survive. (I’m trying very hard not to turn to the last page to see if anyone dies in the series’ conclusion.)”
  • Nancy W.: Nancy is reading Tempting Fate by Jane Green.
  • Louise:
    • “I am currently reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. This novel is a really good read. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys reading about the lives of the rich and famous, and who likes good character development and excellent descriptive writing. Supermodel Lula Landry is dead of an apparent suicide. Could she have been murdered? Private Investigator Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin, will find out.”
    • “I recently read the book: The Reason I Jump:The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy With Autism by Naoki Higashida. I love this book. Naoki Higashida, along with his teachers and his mother, developed a system of communicating through an alphabet grid The book is beautifully written and really helps one understand from the inside what it is like to be a highly intelligent boy struggling with autism. This book will touch your heart.”
    • “Fans of that book may also enjoy: Love Anthony by Lisa Genova. This is a fictional work about a boy with autism and his impact on the people around him. Lisa Genova grew up right here in Waltham, Massachusetts. This is her third novel.”
    • “I would also recommend a gem of a book: Son Rise by Barry Neil Kaufman. This is an older book, written in the 1970’s by the father of a boy suffering with autism. The Kaufmans worked tirelessly with their son, Raun, who had a severe form of autism as a child. Raun blossomed under their tutelage.”
    • “These books all make me curious about the well known Thinking In Pictures: And Other Reports From My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin. Grandin, like Raun Kaufman, fictional Anthony, and Naoki Higashida, is someone who can really teach us about autism and what it is like. In all of these books, one is left with a greater understanding of and respect for the experience of an autistic person. There is also a great deal of hope and possibility for those diagnosed with autism and those who love and care about them.”
    • “One can not stop there: The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time by Mark Haddon is a fabulous novel about a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who solves a murder mystery (the neighbor’s dog) in his own unique way. This book will appeal to anyone who likes a well written novel as well as those who are curious about Asperger’s Syndrome, a more high functioning form of autism.”

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — August 10, 2014

Here are best seller lists for the week of August 10, 2014

Digitized Waltham Books

Image from Harvard Business School Baker Library Waltham Watch Collection

Attention Waltham Researchers!
Looking for some historical information on Waltham? Many of our most popular books on this city’s history and residents now reside online at the Internet Archive, many of which have been digitized thanks to the efforts of the Boston Public Library Digital Services Team. Enjoy the convenience of accessing these items from almost anywhere. Click here for more explanation and links, or visit the “Local History” under “Library Departments” section of our web page.
Posted by Jan Zwicker, Archivist/Local History Librarian

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — August 4, 2014

Here are links to the best seller lists for the week of August 4, 2014.