Thursday, May 21, 2015


The Spy's Son: How CIA Officer Jim Nicholson Twice Betrayed Country and Kin for Russia

by Bryan Denson 


Investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize finalist Bryan Denson tells the

riveting story of the Nicholsons, father and son co-conspirators who deceived their country by selling national secrets to Russia. 

Jim Nicholson was one of the CIA's top veteran case officers. By day, he taught spycraft at the CIA's clandestine training center, The Farm. By night, he was a minivan-driving single father racing home to have dinner with his kids. 

But Nicholson led a double life. For more than two years, he had met covertly with agents of Russia's foreign intelligence service and turned over troves of classified documents. In 1997, Nicholson became the highest ranking CIA officer ever convicted of espionage. 

But his duplicity didn't stop there. While behind the bars of a federal prison, the former mole systematically groomed the one person he trusted most to serve as his stand-in: his youngest son, Nathan. 

When asked to smuggle messages out of prison to Russian contacts, Nathan saw an opportunity to be heroic and to make his father proud. 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

WFL Staff Reads moves to the WFL Reference Blog

Please continue to check the book, audio, and film suggestions on the Wellesley Free Library Reference Blog.  You will find the same fabulous librarians pointing you to the best titles available as well as other helpful information regarding award winners, author information, and useful tips on using technology! 

Book mark it or sign up today  to be a follower so you do not miss any postings on the Wellesley Free Library Reference Blog!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Deb enjoyed The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (the audiobook)

Jefferson Mays narration of Simon Mawer's family epic begins in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia. As the Landauer's build their dream house, political events unfold which threaten their home and their lives.  Mays' voice reflects the tension of people whose homeland is about to be torn apart, whose fears include impending pogroms, work camps and Nazi occupation.  The house, built as a "modern house adapted to the future rather than the past, to the openness of modern living" remains standing in stark contrast to unfolding world events.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Gifts of the Crow

The Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
     by John Marzluff, Tony Angell (Illustrator)


 Suddenly a crow turns his head, caws softly, and glides away, landing on a lamppost directly above a blonde woman. The woman, Lijana Holmes, smiles and calls him "Bela" as she offers him a breakfast of eggs and meat, which she prepares daily. Five-and-a-half years ago we captured Bela and affixed light plastic rings to his legs for identification. So whenever he sees us, the old crow cocks his head, stares, takes flight and swoops low--right at us--screaming a harsh call that we immediately recognize as a bird scold. His family and neighbors hear the cry and join in, flying toward Bela to support his attack, and soon they, too, share his rage. The mobbing crows circle and scream above our heads just as they would do to a predator. Bela's discriminating actions give us remarkable and invaluable information, proving that crows can recognize and remember human faces. We wonder when, or if, he will ever forget (or forgive) us. The gifts of the crow are physical, metaphorical, and far-reaching.

 Although packed with the latest research this is far from a dry academic tome.  Instead the authors use plenty of anecdotes which will keep you fascinated.  You will be amazed at just how smart these social birds are. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rob Recommends "The King's Speech" (the movie)

It’s not often that I agree with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I, for one, would trust me a lot sooner than I would trust the Academy to pick anything but Best Make-up. I can’t be lobbied and my vote can’t be bought. I never have any friends or relatives up for nomination and I have never taken a film course. So you can believe me when I say that The King’s Speech is a really good film. As you no doubt know, the movie is about King George VI, his terrible stutter, his non-fawning speech coach and yes, his big speech on the eve of World War II. Not an obviously attractive subject. (What, no chase scenes?)  See it for the acting, a satisfying story and especially the interplay between King (Colin Firth) and “doctor” (Geoffrey Rush).  
A note: While the main storyline is apparently pretty close to “true,” some history has been mangled in the filmmaking process. 
Another note: Check out Debra's post on the recorded book version.

Recent Photography Books

Whether you are hoping to take some nice family photos at the beach this summer with your new digital camera, are interested in learning advanced lighting details for your photographic subjects, or enjoy reading essays on photography, you may enjoy some of our newest books in this genre.

Rethinking digital photography : making & using  contemporary & traditional photo tools by John Neel.

The life and death of buildings : on photography and time by Joel Smith

Light essentials : a subject-centric approach to lighting for digital photography by Don Giannatti

Believing is seeing : observations on the mysteries of photography by Errol Morris

Why photographs work : 52 great images - who made them, what makes them special and why by George Barr

Composition : from snapshots to great shots by Laurie Excell

500 Cameras : 170 years of phtographic innovation by Todd Gustavson

Simply beautiful photographs by Annie Griffiths


Friday, June 22, 2012

Megan recommends: The Kissing List

The Kissing List by Stephanie Reents

Don't let the title of the book or its cover fool you.  This book doesn't qualify as chick-lit.  Rather, you're getting linked short stories by an author who is a former Rhodes Scholar.  Yes, there's a single girl in the city theme, but it's more along the lines of HBO's Girls than Sex and the City.  Reents is a talented writer.