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J. Edgar Hoover

The highly anticipated new film J. Edgar opens this weekend. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench and Armie Hammer, it explores the public and private life of J. Edgar Hoover — one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. Hoover was considered the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years.

In Memoriam

Two notable figures from recent American history passed away this week. Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes for more than 30 years, died November 4 at the age of 92. Rooney died one month after he had signed off from "60 Minutes" in October after a 33-year run. A statement from CBS News stated that he died of complications following minor surgery. Rooney began his journalism career as a correspondent for the Stars and Stripes newspaper and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work during the Normandy invasion. He joined CBS News in 1949 and joined "60 Minutes" in 1968, first as a producer, then as a commentator ten years later.

New Celebrity Biographies

If you're looking for some great new reads about your favorite actors, sports stars or musicians, then you're in luck. There have been a plethora of celebrity biographies and autobiographies published this fall on everyone from Shaquille O"Neal to Spencer Tracy. More great titles can be found below:

The Garner Files: A Memoir by Garner, James/ Winokur, Jon/ Andrews, Julie (INT)

Happy accidents by Jane Lynch

Looking for Crazy, Stupid Love?

Unfortunately, fans of this popular new DVD will have to wait an extra 28 days to check out a copy from the Library due to a new policy recently instituted by Warner Home Video:

Warner Home Video will no longer distribute theatrical releases to libraries or home video rental stores until 28 days after they release the movies for sale at retailers. This Warner Home Video policy applies to all public libraries and video rental outlets such as Redbox, Netflix, and Blockbuster. In addition to being released 28 days after the retail version, Warner's rental version DVDs will not contain bonus features or extras. Please note that Warner’s new policy will only impact titles that have a theatrical release, perhaps amounting to about 12 titles per year. Non-theatrical Warner releases will not be affected by this policy.

The first three Warner theatrical titles affected by this new policy are Crazy, Stupid Love, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt.2, and The Hangover, pt.2. If you would like to express your opinions to Warner Home Video you can call toll-free at 1-866-373-4389 or by email.

Halloween Horror

After all the candy is given out, and all the trick or treaters are home eating their candy, what better way to spend Halloween night than to curl up and watch a scary movie? Check out of one the Library's many horror films and be prepared to scream!

Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus first made landfall in the Americas on October 12, 1492 somewhere in the Bahamas, on an island which the natives called Guanahani and which Columbus renamed San Salvador. This date is a observed as public holiday in the United States as well as in many countries in South America. It is known as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Day of the Americas in Uruguay and Day of the Cultures in Costa Rica. Many historians, however, are still asking the question "Who really discovered America?" Everyone knows that Native Americans were here long before Columbus arrived.

Go Get 'Em Tigers!

Our Detroit Tigers start their hunt for a World Championship tonight at Yankee Stadium! Those of us over a certain age will certainly remember the excitement of past World Series for the Tigers. The 1984 series was the most recent successful run, but I will always remember the 1968 series as a magical time. Kaline, Cash, Northrup, Stanley, Freehan, McAuliffe, Lolich and McLain were just some of the Tigers on that team that came from behind night after night to pull out a game in the late innings — much like this year! And after every win we would hear their very own fight song Go Get 'em Tigers! If you want to sing along you can find the words below. And to quote the late, great Sparky Anderson from 1984 "Bless You Boys!"

Follow the Money

Do you ever wonder where all of your tax dollars are being spent? Do you need to know what the country's national debt is — and who's holding it? Or do you just want to know what campaign donations are being received by your legislators — and from whom? The answers to all of these burning questions can be found by a few clicks of your browser. USASpending.gov is a searchable database of all federal contracts, including the amount of the award and who's receiving it. For complete up to the minute information on the national debt, the U.S. Treasury site has it all. And to follow your legislators' campaign funds there are several places to check.

The Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution consists of this single sentence that introduces the document and its purpose. The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and is the oldest written national constitution still in force. Completed on September 17, 1787, with its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was later ratified by special conventions in each of the thirteen United States.

100 Best Nonfiction Books

Time Magazine has just revealed their list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books. The list is comprised of their choices of the most influential nonfiction books written in English since 1923 (when Time Magazine first published), and are taken from all categories, including biorgraphy, history, politcs, health, business, sports and culture. While lists like these are always subject to debate, it is certainly a starting point for some great reading. Although the Library doesn't own every title, a majority can be found throughout our various collections:

Autobiography / Memoir

The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Black boy: (American hunger): a record of childhood and youth by Richard Wright; with a forward by Edward P. Jones

Dreams from my father: a story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama

Time Marches On

History is full of days and years which have special meaning. 1492? Columbus discovered America. 1776? America declared its independence. 1929? The stock market crashed. We all learned about these significant dates in school. However, these are just some of the years in history worth remembering - for better or for worse.

The National Jukebox

The Library of Congress recently unveiled a fantastic new site called the National Jukebox which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. Included are more than 10,000 recordings orginally made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925 that were originally issued on labels now owned by Sony Entertainment. Available selections come from several genres including classical, blues, ragtime, jazz, religious, spoken word and even yodeling and whistling! The database will be increased on a regular basis with contributions from other Sony-owned labels such as Columbia and Okeh.

Eating Green

Looking for tasty, fresh ingredients? A smaller grocery bill? A smaller carbon footprint? A smaller waistline?

25 Great Summer Songs

Now that summer is officially here it's time to groove to some of the season's best tunes from summers past. Check out our list and add your own!

Remembering Peter Falk

Actor Peter Falk, best known for his role as the rumpled cop on the television series Columbo, died Thursday in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 83. He was a five-time Emmy winner for the career-defining role as an absent-minded detective who always got his man. In addition to television, Falk appeared in numerous films and received successive Academy Award nominations for Murder, Inc. and Pocketful of Miracles. He also appeared in the critically acclaimed A Woman Under the Influence and the family favorite The Princess Bride.