America’s Genealogy Bank – an enticing new resource

America’s Genealogy BankGenealogy is the Internet’s second most popular past-time.  At Seattle Public Library we love to work with Genealogists and we’re excited to present a great new electronic resource for our patrons.  America’s Genealogy Bank is the perfect complement to our other fabulous genealogy services.  From one very easy to use search screen you can review millions of historical newspapers, books, pamphlets, government documents and genealogies as well as a seperate file of obituaries from 1977- the present.  AGB offers full-text of many small-town newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, 1886-1922,  Eastern Argus (one of the nations earliest newspapers – published in Maine) 1803 -1880 and Dallas Morning News, 1885-1977.  Read the ads, the social news, the business and sports pages!  Discover what was happening in their communities as your ancestors went about their daily lives.  Or search the Federal Government’s publications — Was your ancestor a mail carrier?  Did he work as a meat inspector for the FDA?  Maybe he’ll show up on the annual list of employees and their salaries published by various goverment agencies. My ancestor did — as a Meat Inspector in Kansas City, Missouri — he made $1,200 a year!  A pretty good salary for the times.  What can AGB help you discover about your family?

The War in fiction, part 1: Europe

beardless.jpgA War is not one story, but many.

Here is the first of three lists of fiction that views the war through many eyes, reflecting the diverse experiences of civilians and soldiers around the world whose lives were drawn into the Second World War.

  • Articles of War by Nick Arvin. Sent to Normandy in 1944, Iowa farm boy George ‘Heck’ Tilson’s all-too-human response to the war’s perilous chaos – to run away – will lead him through the fire towards an unforeseen and terrible duty.
  • Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. Now sixty and a widow, Framboise Dartigen returns to her childhood village in France, to uncover painful secrets in her family’s past, and her mother’s curious relationship with the town’s German occupiers.
  • The Stalin Front by Gert Ledig. Eastern front veteran Ledig fully conveys the nightmarish enormity of total war in this gut-wrenching novel of the hell unleashed on earth when Hitler Continue reading “The War in fiction, part 1: Europe”

Nonfiction book discussions

ellis.jpgBook groups may occasionally select a biography or a nonfiction title to discuss, but few — except the Nonfiction Book Group here at the Library — are devoted to exclusively reading and discussion nonfiction titles. New members are always welcome! The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month at noon on the 8th Level of the Central Library. We read and discuss non-fiction books with a strong focus on biography.  Check out our upcoming selections: 

March 18His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph Ellis
April 15: My Invented Country by Isabelle Allende
May 20: Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
June 17: Truth and Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
July 15:  Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
August 19:  Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy.

Looking for a good read?

Of course you are!  But the problem is, how to sort through the plethora of reading lists and suggestions?  Wouldn’t it be cool if someone — someone trustworthy — could poll award winning novelists, historians, poets, critics and biographers and then compile the top vote-getters into a tidy list?  Plus, it would be nice if you could get descriptions and reviews for each book, rather than just a list of titles that you have to take on faith.  

The good news is that Continue reading “Looking for a good read?”