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I Spy

The recent film Argo  starring Ben Affleck tells the true but improbable story of a covert operation to save six Americans hiding in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. The history of espionage is filled with many such hard to believe tales and the Library's collection has many great titles to pick from.

Double cross: the true story of the D-day spies by Ben Macintyre — What did a Polish patriot, a Peruvian party girl, a Serbian playboy, an eccentric Spanish chicken farmer, and a volatile dog-loving Frenchwoman have in common?

2012 National Film Registry Inductees

The National Film Registry of The Library of Congress has just announced its list of inductees for 2012. Established in 1989, the films are selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. For a history of the Film Registry you can watch the fascinating documentary These amazing shadows: the movies that made America. Titles available in the Libary's collections can be found below. The entire list — complete with film history — can be found here.

3:10 to Yuma [videodisc] — Starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin (1957)

Anatomy of a murder [videodisc] by Columbia; Otto Preminger presents — Starring James Stwart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara (1959)

Born yesterday [videodisc] by Columbia Pictures Corporation — Starring Judy Holliday, William Holden (1950)

History at the Movies

This year has seen several new films based or inspired on historical figures and events. Lincoln, Hitchcock, On the Road, Argo, and Hyde Park on Hudson are all either in theatres now — or soon will be. If you want to be an educated viewer try one of the titles below:

Team of rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Rise to greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's most perilous year by David Von Drehle

Great Reads for History Buffs

Armchair historians can't go wrong with this diverse list of recently published biographies and histories:

Thomas Jefferson: the art of power by Jon Meacham

The man who saved the union: Ulysses Grant in war and peace by H.W. Brands

The passage of power by Robert A. Caro

2013 Grammy Nominations

Nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards were announced recently. The winners will be revealed February 10, 2013 at the 55th Grammy Award Show. In the meantime you can find the nominees for the major categories in the Library's collection:

Channel orange [sound recording] by Frank Ocean — Album of the Year

El Camino [sound recording] by the Black Keys — Album of the Year

Babel [sound recording] by Mumford & Sons — Album of the Year

Blunderbuss [sound recording] by Jack White — Album of the Year

Some nights [sound recording] by Fun — Album of the Year

Stronger [sound recording] by Kelly Clarkson — Record of the Year — "Stronger"

Red [sound recording] by Taylor Swift — Record of the Year — "Red"

Making mirrors [sound recording] by Gotye — Record of the Year — "Making Mirrors"

New Rock Biographies

Just in time for Christmas! Check out one of these new biographies of your favorite rock stars:

Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin

My cross to bear by Gregg Allman with Alan Light

A natural woman: a memoir by Carole King

Waging heavy peace: a hippie dream by Neil Young

Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix!

Considered by many to be one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1943 in Seattle, Washington. Hendrix's mastery of the guitar ran the gamut from blues, R&B to rock, and achieved a reputation has only grown since his untimely death in 1970.

Axis [sound recording]: bold as love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Band of Gypsys [sound recording] by Jimi Hendrix

Electric ladyland [sound recording] by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

Hendrix in the west [sound recording] by Jimi Hendrix

First rays of the new rising sun [sound recording] by Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock [sound recording] by Jimi Hendrix

Valleys of Neptune [sound recording] by Jimi Hendrix

From Book to Film

Several major films being released this fall and winter are based on novels you can find in the Library's collection. Get them while you can!

Les misérables by Victor Hugo — Starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe. Release date: December 25

On the road by Jack Kerouac — Starring Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley. Release date: December 21

Anna Karenina: a novel in eight parts by Leo Tolstoy — Starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Release date: November 16

Breaking dawn by Stephenie Meyer — Starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Release date: November 16

The hobbit, or, There and back again by J.R.R. Tolkien — Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and directed by Peter Jackson. Release date: December 14

Lincolnmania!

Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated new film Lincoln opens on November 9. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as our 16th president, and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, it is inspired by Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2005 book Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film focuses on Lincoln's final few months in office, specifically his tireless efforts to get the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (abolishing slavery) passed.

Navy Ships to Commemorate Detroit's Part in the War of 1812

Two hundred years after Detroit surrendered to the British during the War of 1812, the city's riverfront will host a weeklong gala (Sept. 5- 10) which will include a replica tall ship, and four military ships. It was on August 16, 1812 that Gen. William Hull, commander of Fort Detroit, surrendered after being led to believe that the British forces across the river in Windsor were much larger than they actually were. After the war, he was court-martialed for his actions and sentenced to death, but was pardoned by President James Monroe because of Hull's service in the Revolutionary War. Visitors to the riverfront can expect to see the US Brig Niagara, the USS De Wert, the USS Huricane, and the Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay. The original USS Niagara was Adm. Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship during the War of 1812. The current ship was rebuilt in 1913, 1933 and 1988. Other planned events include concerts and a Red WIng alumni versus Navy personnel softball game.

The British Army at Mackinac, 1812-1815 by Brian Leigh Dunnigan; illustrated by Eric Manders

Weather Behaving Badly

If you're wondering just what in the world is happening with our weather lately, the National Climatic Data Center at NOAA has the answer. According to their recently released report State of the Climate: National Overview for June 2012, the 12-month period from July 2011 to June 2012 was the warmest on record for the contiguous United States. (Their records go back to 1895.) The national average temperature was 3.2 degrees higher than the long-term average, with every single contiguous state except for Washington warmer than average temperatures. In addition, the period from Januray to June 2012 was the warmest first half of a year on record. For more reading on weather and what it has done — and can do — check out some of these titles:

The great warming: climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations by Brian Fagan

The winds of change: climate, weather, and the destruction of civilizations by Eugene Linden

Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture, Part 3

Look for these films based on popular books in your local theater in the coming months:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte — Starring Kaya Scodelario, James Howson. Release date: October 2012

Les misérables by Victor Hugo — Starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe. Release date: December 2012

Lay the favorite: a memoir of gambling by Beth Raymer — Starring Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Release date: October 2012

On the road by Jack Kerouac — Starring Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen. Release date: December 2012

Gore Vidal 1925-2012

Gore Vidal, the noted author, playwright and essayist has died at the age of 86 due to complications from pneumonia. Vidal was also known as an outspoken political commentator. During his long literary career he wrote some 25 novels, several screenplays, and more than 200 essays. He also appeared in several films, including the politcal satire Bob Roberts.

1876: a novel by Gore Vidal

Burr: a novel by Gore Vidal

Summer Olympians

The 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London beginning July 27 and concluding on August 12. Officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad, the games will comprise 32 sports and 302 events. Locally, you can catch all of the exciting coverage on NBC. In the mean time, however, you can catch up on the stories of past Summer Olympians at the Library:

Rome 1960: the Olympics that changed the world by David Maraniss

Something in the air: American passion and defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics by Richard Hoffer

Berlin Games: how the Nazis stole the Olympic dream by Guy Walters

Dream team: how Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the greatest team of all time conquered the world and changed the game of basketball forever by Jack McCallum

Ernest Borgnine 1917-2012

Movie and television actor Ernest Borgnine has passed away at the age of 95. His long career included many memorable roles in films such as Bad Day at Black Rock, From Here to Eternity, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, and The Poseidon Adventure. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1955 for his title role in the film Marty as a lovelorn butcher, and also appeared on numerous roles on television, including the lead on the comedy McHale's Navy from 1962 to 1966, and in the 1980s on the action drama Airwolf.