Bill's blog

The Most Frequently Read Novels of 2013

If you are looking for a good read, try one of the 25 novels below. According to the library's circulation statistics these are the most popular novels that our patrons read last year. Best of all you probably won't have to go on a long waiting list to read them. Many are probably just sitting on the shelf waiting for you to grab them. There's a pretty wide variety here, too. Something for most peoples' tastes. And, of course, the obligatory five titles by James Patterson. His frequency on the best-seller lists is why one of the squares on our adult Summer Reading bingo cards reads "Any Novel Not by James Patterson." Have you started filling out your bingo card yet? Fill out one raffle ticket for each square of the bingo cards you fill and you will be entered into weekly drawings and the final grand prize drawing on September 1st.

The top 25, in order of popularity:

  1. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.
  2. Inferno, by Dan Brown.
  3. The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout.
  4. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini.
  5. Second Honeymoon, by James Patterson.
  6. The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman.
  7. Collateral Damage, by Stuart Woods.
  8. Silken Prey, by John Sandford.
  9. The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult.
  10. Whiskey Beach, by Nora Roberts.
  11. 11th Hour, by James Patterson.
  12. Defending Jacob, by William Landay.
  13. The Art Forger, by Barbara Shapiro.
  14. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James.
  15. Unintended Consequences, by Stuart Woods.
  16. 12th of Never, by James Patterson.
  17. Breaking Point, by C.J. Box.
  18. Daddy's Gone a Hunting, by Mary Higgins Clark.
  19. Private London, by James Patterson.
  20. The Racketeer, by John Grisham.
  21. The Hit, by David Baldacci.
  22. Robert B. Parker's Wonderland, by Ace Atkins.
  23. The Innocent, by David Baldacci.
  24. The Boss of Hampton Beach, by Jed Power.
  25. Private Berlin, by James Patterson.

Build or Expand Your Business, or Find a Job, with Reference USA

Reference USA logoAre you planning to start a business? Are you already a business owner but are looking for new markets into which to expand? Do you want to find out what the competition is up to? Reference USA is a database of information about American businesses. It provides in-depth data about businesses, including business names, addresses, zip codes, the number of employees, annual revenue, the names of managers or owners, business expenditures, nearby businesses, and more. You can limit results to businesses in your zip code, by company size, or other criteria. You can search using a number of different criteria, and either print your results or save them to a flash drive to study later.

Some introductory video tutorials are available on the Reference USA website, and they also have a series of webinars that anyone can sign up and take.

The two sections of Reference USA that hold business information are:

U.S. Businesses

This database of over 24 million U.S. businesses contains verified, accurate data and is updated monthly and enhanced with more than 20 million phone calls per year. Selection criteria include: company name, executive title, business type, sales volume, employee size, year established, and more.

U.S. New Businesses

Updated with more than 50,000 new businesses added each week. Use to research hot areas of economic development. These new businesses need a wide variety of goods and services. Selection criteria include: company name, contact information, business location type, business filing type.

More than Business data


Reference USA also has two more features, one a site to help job-seekers and another a standard white pages phone directory.

U.S. Jobs and Internships

Combines the power of Reference USA's business listings with the job site indeed.com. Find your next job with a state-of-the-art mapping tool and view results with detailed business profiles. Selection criteria include: job title, company name, business type, multiple geography options, and more.

U.S. Standard White Pages

Use this database of over 89 million U.S. residents to conduct market research, and locate friends and relatives. These records are continuously updated and processed against the USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) and Delivery Sequence File (DSF). Selection criteria include: name, address, telephone, median home value, median home income, and more.

Begin using Reference USA by clicking here or the image above

A great idea for a New Year's Resolution

New Year's ResolutionsIt's that time of year - time to make that New Year's Resolution again. You know the one. It's the same one you've made - and broken - countless times before. But this year will be different, right? You're going to stick to that diet / quit those ciggies / keep going to the gym / [insert your Resolution here] this year unlike past years where you lasted about, what, a week or two? On a good year? Well I say forget putting yourself through that torture this year. I've got a much better idea. Resolve, in 2014, to use your public library more often! What's not to like about that? There is no deprivation involved. In fact, you'll enrich your life considerably. It won't cost you a lot of money. In fact, it could save you a bundle. For a lot of people their public library has never been a big part of their lives. Maybe you are one of them. So make 2014 the year you change that. Learn about all of the services we offer. Learn how you can save money by taking advantage of your tax dollars at work.

If you are a reader, are you the type who buys just about every book you ever read? Sure it's more convenient but is it really worth the cost? We have more books on our shelves than you can possibly ever read, even if you only count the ones likely to be of interest to you. Trust me, as someone whose reading list only grows longer, never shorter, all of your reading needs can easily be supplied by the library. And if we don't have a title you want, just request it from us and we'll do our best to get it for you. Do you read mostly best-sellers and purchase them because you hate waiting lists? Try being proactive and putting holds on upcoming bestsellers so you get them more quickly. You can logon to your account online to place holds, and you can find out what we have on order by checking this link to our catalog or subscribing to our weekly "Wowbrary" newsletter.

Have you given up on paper books and only read ebooks now? The library is part of a statewide consortium subscription to the Overdrive service which offers thousands of ebooks (and audiobooks) for free download. You have complete access. All you need is a library card. All of the ebook titles are in our online catalog. Just search for the term 'Overdrive' in our catalog and you'll find them all. Click the "Get it" link and you'll be brought straight to the Overdrive site where you can log in and get the title you want (or place a hold on it.) Did you just get an e-reader or tablet computer for Christmas and need help figuring out how to download Overdrive titles to it? We're here to answer your questions.

Are you more of a magazine and newspaper kind of reader? We have all the local papers, and some of the bigger national ones like USA Today, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily. You'll have to come into the library to read them of course, but we're a comfy spot that is warm in winter, cool in summer, and very friendly too! There's a great social benefit to reading in the library as well. You'll get to bump into friends, neighbors and strangers who aren't yet friends. As for magazines, the library subscribes to close to 200, and you can see a list here. You can also visit the online newsstand to read a selection of popular magazines online, or use our Ebscohost service to search several thousand magazine titles, many available in full text.

What? You're not much of a reader? Aside from suggesting that doing more reading would also be a good New Year's Resolution, I want to remind you that we have a lot more than books, magazines and newspapers here. We have a large collection of new and old DVD and Blu-ray movies, including most of the big new releases. Even more popular than the movies sometimes are the TV series sets we carry on DVD. Whether it's Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Homeland, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Duck Dynasty and many more, you'll find plenty to keep you busy. And as with books, if there is a movie or TV series we don't have that you'd like to see, just put in a request and we'll see what we can do.

Are you struggling at home with a cranky computer or printer, or perhaps having trouble affording your high-speed Internet access? We have 17 Internet stations here with high-speed access and good laser printers, both color and black and white. We'll charge you for the printouts, but use of the computers is free. We also have wireless access throughout the building (and even in the parking lot) that many people use with their own laptops because they don't have an Internet connection at home.

Let's not forget the children! Our Children's Room has thousands of books, magazines, movies, music, puzzles and puppets for you to choose from, as well as very popular programs and activities throughout the year. If you are a parent don't deny your child the wonder of regular visits to the library. And while you are in our Children's Room check out the Parent Shelf for some good parent-oriented reading.

There are a number of other services that many people are unaware of. We have passes and discounts to many local museums that can be checked out. You can take a wide varity of free online classes through Universal Class. You just need a library card to sign up. That same card will give you access to the Morningstar Investment Research Center, which offers comprehensive investment advice and tools to grow your portfolio. Transparent Language Online will help you learn to speak and read about 80 different languages. Genealogists will want to check out our subscription to HeritageQuest, Ancestry.com and the databases of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. (The latter two can only be accessed from library computers.)

In closing, I want to let those of you who do plan on pursuing a more 'traditional' New Year's Resolution, that we do have resources here at the library to help you lose weight or eat right or exercise more or write your will or whatever it is that you want to do. Start your new year off on the right foot by (re)visiting your public library to find out all that we have to offer.

See you in the library!

You've never read anything like "The October List"

The October List book jacketI'll bet you've never read a book like Jeffery Deaver's newest. The adjective "clever" comes to mind. "The October List" is a novel of suspense written in a most unusual style. Like the movie "Memento" (which we have on DVD and is worth a watch), this book starts at the end of the story and moves backward in time, leaping to earlier points in the main characters' lives. After reading the first chapter the story appears to end in a huge cliffhanger, but by the time you finish the book I guarantee you'll figure it all out. Although if you're like me, this won't happen without having to go back and reread some chapters a few times as further clues to the puzzle that is this story are revealed. This is one book I wouldn't want to listen to in its audio version. It would be too difficult to go back and re-listen to some sections!

To see if this book is available or to place a hold, find the record in our online catalog.

Thirty years ago today

September 26, 1983 - September 26, 2013

The date September 26th has been stuck in my brain for 30 years. It has now been that long since the construction of our current library building began. At that time the library was housed in a much smaller building that included our original 1910 structure (which still forms the front of the library) and a 1957 addition that needed to be torn down. That obviously meant that we had to move the library during the entire construction period, which lasted a year and a half. We moved to a very small space in the back of Stickney Terrace, past where the Post Office is now, and also had a rented trailer out in the parking lot. To accomplish the move I came up with the 'bright' idea of asking our library patrons to check out as many books as possible and return them to the new library. It worked like a charm, and over the course of a few weeks the people of Hampton, and even neighboring libraries, checked out half of our collection. The problem with this idea was that when they were returned they all had to be reshelved! And they were not in any kind of order, as they would have been had we just removed them in order from their shelves and moved them that way.

So what is the significance of September 26th? We used orange date due index cards in those days, and that date was stamped on the cards in every one of the books that we checked out for the move. So as you can probably imagine, September 26th was a busy day for the library staff! We not only had to deal with setting up in a new location, we now had literally thousands of books that had to be reshelved. Our book drop was overflowing. One fun fact - the first book put in our book drop in our new location was Charles Dickens' "Bleak House," which pretty aptly described our new quarters. When we moved into our wonderful new building in the Spring of 1985 we were excited to find out what would be the first book put into our new book drop. Well, as the only male on the library staff at the time, I was less-then-thrilled that it was a book titled "Superior women."

The library on moving day, 1983The inside of the old library on moving day, September 6, 1983. Here
Joan Kahl is standing behind our circulation desk after all the remaining books
had been packed into boxes. We made several trips to the liquor
store to get all these boxes, and library patrons brought us many more.

Groundbreaking ceremonies
Groundbreaking ceremonies, September 23, 1983. The tall gentleman with the
hat standing in back is Wheaton Lane, last surviving male member of
the branch of the Lane family after whom the library is named.

Demolition day
Demolition day for the old 1957 addition, October 3, 1983. For these photos and
many more showing the construction phase of the library, browse the photos here.

The library in temporary quarters
A view of the inside of our temporary quarters on Stickney Terrace in the winter of 1984.

A New Favorite Author

It's always nice to stumble upon a new author whose books really excite you. A few months ago I picked up a book by a man named Blake Crouch, about whom I had heard exactly nothing. It was titled "Pines", and sounded interesting. When I read it I was so hooked by the plot that I had a hard time putting it down, and finished it in a little over a day. Since that time I've read six other of his books (including "Wayward," the sequel to "Pines"), and they have all been unputdownable (yes, that word is in Webster's, I just checked!) If you are a lover of fast, suspense and action-filled plots, you will enjoy Crouch. His books won't be confused with great literature, but they are a lot of fun. They appear to be self-published, but don't have that amateurish feel you often get with such titles. He knows how to write a great story and to keep it from seeming unrealistic or foolish. So spend some time on your couch with Crouch. I'm guessing you won't be disappointed, and you might be like me and even find a new favorite author.

 

Pines jacketSecret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels ... off. As the days pass, Ethan's investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can't he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn't anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact - he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive

 

wayward jacketThe sequel to "Pines." Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden...except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture. None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise. Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining.

 

 

snowbound jacketFor Will Innis and his daughter, Devlin, the loss was catastrophic. Will’s wife, Devlin’s mother, vanished one night during an electrical storm on a lonely desert highway and, suspected of her death, Will took his daughter and fled. Then one night, a hardedged FBI agent appears on their doorstep and says, “I know you’re innocent, because Rachael wasn’t the first…or the last.” Desperate for answers Will and Devlin embark on a terrifying journey that spans 4000 miles, from the southwest desert to the wilds of Alaska, heading unaware into the heart of a nightmare, because the truth is infinitely worse than they ever imagined.

 

 

 

abandon jacketOn Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins; and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so that they can learn what happened. With them is a psychic, and a paranormal photographer--as the town is rumored to be haunted. A party that tried to explore the town years ago was never heard from again. What this crew is about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive.

 

 

desert places jacket"Greetings. There is a body buried on your property, covered in your blood. The unfortunate young lady's name is Rita Jones. In her jeans pocket you'll find a slip of paper with a phone number on it. Call that number. If I have not heard from you by 8:00 P.M., the police will receive an anonymous call. I'll tell them where Rita Jones is buried on your property, how you killed her, and where the murder weapon can be found in your house. (I do believe a paring knife is missing from your kitchen.) I strongly advise against going to the police, as I am always watching you." Andrew Z Thomas is a successful writer of suspense thrillers, living the dream at this lake house in the peidmont of North Carolina. One afternoon in late spring, he receives a bizarre letter that eventually threatens his career, his sanity, and the lives of everyone he loves. A murderer is designing his future, and for the life of him Andrew can't get away.

 

 

locked doors jacketSequel to Desert Places and prequel to Crouch's and Konrath's STIRRED... Seven years ago, suspense novelist Andrew Thomas's life was shattered when he was framed for a series of murders. The killer's victims were unearthed on Andrew's lakefront property, and since he was wanted by the FBI, Andrew had no choice but to flee and to create a new identity. Andrew does just that in a cabin tucked away in the remote wilderness near Haines Junction, Yukon. His only link to society is by e-mail, through which he learns that all the people he ever loved are being stalked and murdered. Culminating in the spooky and secluded Outer Banks of North Carolina, the paths of Andrew Thomas, a psychotic named Luther Kite, and a young female detective collide. LOCKED DOORS is a novel of blistering suspense that will scare you to death.

 

 

stirred coverThird book in the series, co-authored with J.A. Konrath. Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels has seen humanity at its most depraved and terrifying. She's lost loved ones. Come close to death countless times. But she always manages to triumph over evil. Luther Kite is humanity at its most depraved and terrifying. He's committed unthinkable acts. Taken human life for the sheer pleasure of it. He is a monster among monsters, and no one has ever caught him. Each is the best at what they do. Peerless. Unmatched. Until now... In Luther's experience, people are weak. Even the strong and fearless break too easily. He wants a challenge, and sets his depraved sights on Jack. But with a baby on the way, Jack is at her most vulnerable. She's always been a fighter, but she's never had so much to fight for. So he's built something especially for Jack. His own, private ninth circle of hell - a nightmare world in a forgotten place, from which no one has ever escaped. It's J.A. Konrath's greatest heroine versus Blake Crouch's greatest villain in Stirred, the stunning conclusion to both Konrath's Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels thriller series and Crouch's Andrew Z. Thomas series. Only one can survive. And it won't be whom you think.

run jacket5 D A Y S A G O: A rash of bizarre murders swept the country… Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected. A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike. A mass of school shootings. Prison riots of unprecedented brutality. Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state. 4 D A Y S A G O: The murders increased ten-fold… 3 D A Y S A G O: The President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace… 2 D A Y S A G O: The killers began to mobilize…  Y E S T E R D A Y: All the power went out… T O N I G H T: They’re reading the names of those to be killed on the Emergency Broadcast System. You are listening over the battery-powered radio on your kitchen table, and they’ve just read yours. Your name is Jack Colclough. You have a wife, a daughter, and a young son. You live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. People are coming to your house to kill you and your family. You don’t know why, but you don’t have time to think about that any more. You only have time to…. R U N

 

Titles in our collection of new DVDs and Bluray discs

The following movies can be found in the library's collection of newly received DVD and bluray movies as of August 21st. Hundreds more older movies are also available. All of these titles can be placed on hold if they are checked out.

Admission [DVD]
Anna Karenina [Bluray]
Anna Karenina [DVD]
Argo [DVD]
The Avengers [Bluray]
Beautiful creatures [DVD]
The brass teapot [DVD]
The call [DVD]
Captain America, the first avenger [Bluray]
Cloud atlas [Bluray]
Cloud atlas [DVD]
Company of heroes [DVD]
The dark knight rises [Bluray]
The dilemma [DVD]
Eclipse: The twilight saga [Bluray]
11 flowers [DVD]
Father vs son [DVD]
Flight [Bluray]
Flight [DVD]
42 [Bluray] : the Jackie Robinson story
42 [DVD] : the Jackie Robinson story
Gangster squad [DVD]
G.I. Joe : the rise of Cobra [Bluray]
A good day to die hard [DVD]
The guilt trip [Bluray]
The guilt trip [DVD]
Hit & run [DVD]
Hitchcock [Bluray]
Hitchcock [DVD]
The hobbit [Bluray] : an unexpected journey
The hobbit [DVD] : an unexpected journey
The hunger games [Bluray]
Hyde Park on Hudson [DVD]
I am number four [DVD]
Identity thief [DVD]
The impossible [Bluray]
The impossible [DVD]
Jack Reacher [Bluray]
Jack Reacher [DVD]
Jack the giant slayer [Bluray]
Jack the giant slayer [DVD]
Jack the giant slayer 3D [Bluray]
Johnny Dangerously [DVD]
The karate kid [DVD]
Kicking & screaming [DVD]
Kill the Irishman [DVD]
Killing Lincoln [DVD]
The last stand [DVD]
A late quartet [DVD]
Lawless [DVD]
Leon the professional [Bluray]
Les miserables [Bluray]
Les miserables [DVD]
Life as we know it [DVD]
Life of Pi [Bluray]
Life of Pi [DVD]
Lincoln [Bluray]
Lincoln [DVD]
The lucky one [Bluray]
Magic Mike [Bluray]
The man from nowhere [DVD]
Midnight in Paris [Bluray]
Miss Minoes [DVD]
Mission: impossible. Ghost protocol [Bluray]
Mud [DVD]
The muppets [Bluray]
Oblivion [DVD]
O brother, where art thou? [DVD]
On the road [DVD]
Oz the great and powerful [Bluray]
Oz the great and powerful [DVD]
ParaNorman [Bluray]
Parental guidance [DVD]
Parker [DVD]
People like us [DVD]
The perks of being a wallflower [DVD]
Pirates of the caribbean. on stranger tides [Bluray]
Pitch perfect [Bluray]
Playing for keeps [DVD]
The place beyond the pines [DVD]
Premium rush [DVD]
Prometheus [Bluray]
Promised land [Bluray]
Promised land [DVD]
Quartet [DVD]
Red dawn [DVD]
Redline [DVD]
Rise of the Guardians [Bluray]
Robot & Frank [DVD]
Rock of ages [Bluray]
A royal affair [DVD]
Safe haven [DVD]
The Sapphires [DVD]
Seal team six [DVD] / the raid on Osama Bin Laden
The sessions [DVD]
Seven psychopaths [DVD]
Sherlock Holmes [Bluray]
Sherlock Holmes [Bluray] / a game of shadows
Side effects [DVD]
Silver linings playbook [DVD]
Sinister [DVD]
Skyfall [Bluray]
Skyfall [DVD]
Sparkle [Bluray]
Stoker [DVD]
This is 40 [DVD]
The town [Bluray]
Trading places [DVD]
The tree of life [Bluray]
The tree of life [DVD]
Trouble with the curve [DVD]
Twelve o'clock high [DVD]
The twilight saga : breaking dawn, part 2 [DVD]
Warm bodies [DVD]
The words [DVD]
Zero dark thirty [Bluray]
Zero dark thirty [DVD]

A Presidential Trip Through Hampton

 

George WashingtonOne would think, given New Hampshire’s status as the first in the nation Presidential Primary state, that there would be any number of sitting Presidents who had visited Hampton. But the reality is quite different. As far as I know, there have been only two sitting Presidents who have ever been in Hampton, and they were both just passing through on their way to Portsmouth. Any number of Presidential candidates have been to Hampton, and you can read about many of their visits on our website. But once in office they have not come back. I imagine you’ll be surprised to hear that one of the two who did make it to Hampton was none other than George Washington.

An entire book has been written about Washington’s visit to New Hampshire in 1789. He crossed into New Hampshire from Salisbury and traveled up what is now Route One to Portsmouth, passing through Hampton along the way. After staying a few days in Portsmouth he returned south through Greenland and Stratham to a stop in Exeter, and finally out of the state through Kingston and Plaistow.

It was just twelve days after his inauguration as our nation’s first President that Washington, in writing to James Madison, questioned “Whether, during the recess of Congress, it would not be advantageous to the interests of the Union for the President to make the tour of the United States, in order to become better acquainted with their principal characters and internal circumstances, as well as to be more accessible to numbers of well-informed persons, who might give him useful information and advice on political subjects?”

Washington left New York, which was then the seat of government, and headed northeast into New England on October 15, 1789. After a stay in Newburyport his party passed into New Hampshire on the last day of October. As you can probably imagine his visit to our area caused a great deal of pomp and circumstance. Four hundred Massachusetts cavalry had escorted Washington to the border where he was met by New Hampshire General John Sullivan of Durham, several state dignitaries, and another seven hundred mounted horsemen. After the President had greeted the dignitaries and passed all the troops in review, he dismounted from his horse and climbed into a chariot. And as he himself later wrote in his journal, “With this cavalcade, we proceeded and arrived before three o’clock at Portsmouth.”

Unfortunately the President did not make record in his diary of his ensuing journey through the Seacoast to Portsmouth, so we are left to wonder what he made of our small town, which at the time hosted a population of less than 900 souls. Joseph Dow, in his history of Hampton, states that the people “gathered at Toppan’s Corner [the intersection of Winnacunnet Road and Route One] to see him pass, and that he bowed pleasantly to right and left.” But we can imagine that the crowd likely stretched all the way up and down the road, perhaps not in the same numbers as we have recently seen in a very different procession through our town, but a cavalry of over 700 mounted soldiers and dignitaries would likely bring out everyone in the vicinity. Hampton was just a sleepy little country town in those days, and this was probably one of the biggest events in its history to date.

The other President to visit Hampton was James Monroe in 1817, but Dow in his History makes no mention of the visit. Other sources do mention stops in Newburyport, Hampton Falls, Greenland and Portsmouth, so we can assume that he had to pass through Hampton along the way. John Adams was said to have visited Portsmouth because he had relatives who lived in Newington, but there is no mention of whether he passed through Hampton on his way there. Later Presidents who visited the area usually went to Portsmouth, and arrived by sea or train, bypassing Hampton.

So it has been a long time since a sitting President has been in our little town. Are you reading this President Obama?

The Most Popular Books of the Past Five Years

Looking for some good summer reads? If you aren't yet on the list for this year's top titles and want something right away, why not try the best from the past? Here is a list of the top ten books in each of the past five calendar years, as judged by how many times they were checked out of the library. Do you see any that you wanted to read but missed? With one exception all of these are novels written primarily for adults. Who can figure out what the one exception is?

2012

  1. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.
  2. "Guilty Wives" by James Patterson.
  3. "Kill Alex Cross" by James Patterson.
  4. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James.
  5. "Explosive Eighteen" by Janet Evanovich.
  6. "The Litigators" by John Grisham.
  7. "Unnatural Acts" by Stuart Woods.
  8. "Defending Jacob" by William Landay.
  9. "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins.
  10. "D.C. Dead" by Stuart Woods.

2011

  1. "Live Wire" by Harlan Coben.
  2. "Toys" by James Patterson.
  3. "Rescue" by Anita Shreve.
  4. "Tick Tock" by James Patterson.
  5. "10th Anniversary" by James Patterson.
  6. "Sing You Home" by Jodi Picoult.
  7. "Worth Dying For" by Lee Child.
  8. "Hell's Corner" by David Baldacci.
  9. "Strategic Moves" by Stuart Woods.
  10. "I'll Walk Alone" by Mary Higgins Clark.

2010

  1. "The 9th Judgment" by James Patterson.
  2. "Deliver Us From Evil" by David Baldacci.
  3. "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton.
  4. "Kisser" by Stuart Woods.
  5. "Lucid Intervals" by Stuart Woods.
  6. "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks.
  7. "Caught" by Harlan Coben.
  8. "Worst Case" by James Patterson.
  9. "Split Image" by Robert B. Parker.
  10. "Alex Cross's Trial" by James Patterson.

2009

  1. "Cross Country" by James Patterson.
  2. "Run for Your Life" by James Patterson.
  3. "Loitering With Intent" by Stuart Woods.
  4. "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult.
  5. "The Associate" by John Grisham.
  6. "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" by Janet Evanovich.
  7. "Hot Mahogany" by Stuart Woods.
  8. "Plum Spooky" by Janet Evanovich.
  9. "Night and Day" by Robert B. Parker.
  10. "Rough Weather" by Robert B. Parker.

2008

  1. "Double Cross" by James Patterson.
  2. "Playing For Pizza" by John Grisham.
  3. "Stranger in Paradise" by Robert B. Parker.
  4. "Change of Heart" by Jodi Picoult.
  5. "Fearless Fourteen" by Janet Evanovich.
  6. "Honor Thyself" by Danielle Steel.
  7. "Twilight" by Brendan DuBois.
  8. "The Appeal" by John Grisham.
  9. "Body Surfing" by Anita Shreve.
  10. "Beverly Hills Dead" by Stuart Woods.

Tech Help Central

Why is Technology Confusing?Walk into just about any library today and one of the first things you'll notice is books - and usually LOTS of them. This is the way it has been for the lifetime of everyone who is alive today, and is likely to continue for some time yet. Some say the day will come when that isn't the case, but exactly when and if that will happen is anyone's guess. But look around a little more closely and you will see that amongst and around the books are growing collections of movies, documentaries and audiobooks, as well as large groups of public access computers where library patrons spend their time on activities from games to filling out job applications.

It is this latter service that is commanding more and more of a librarian's attention. But beyond merely helping our users navigate the Web or use their email or use word processing software, we are helping more and more people navigate the confusing waters of today's endlessly changing technology. Even those of us who spend most of our day glued to a computer screen find ourselves in a constant battle to keep up with the change.

For those who rarely if ever use computers, this can be very daunting. It used to be that one could ignore computers and the Internet and get along just fine, but that is no longer the case. In one afternoon the other day I had three perfect examples of how true this is, and how the library can be the go-to place for people who need help with technology.

One woman had been in the process of purchasing real estate, and the mortgage company had emailed her a document that they wanted her to sign and email back. She had no idea how this could be done. I printed out the document for her, then she signed it and we used our public scanning station to scan the document back into digital form so it could be saved on the computer and sent back via email.

Another was interested in advertising her home nursing services and had been told she should do it on craigslist, but barely knew what that was let alone how to use it. So we helped her get an account on craigslist and showed her how to create a simple classified ad. Hopefully she'll get some good responses!

And finally, if you want to take a photo today you are likely going to be using a digital camera or your smart phone. I've run into lots of people who really have no idea how to get them off the camera and end up storing large numbers of them on the little memory cards that come with the camera. This isn't the safest place to store irreplaceable photos, and our third patron needed some help connecting her camera to our computer and copying the photos on it to a flash drive.

I could go on and on with examples of how libraries sometimes feel like Tech Help Central. Want to apply for a job? Many if not most will require you to fill out an application online, which assumes a level of sophistication with technology that not everyone has. We help people with this task regularly. Do you have a photo or document you need scanned but don't own a scanner. We do, and can help you use it. Did a friend or relative generously give you an ebook read you have no idea how to use? Come on in and ask for help.

So remember. The library isn't only a place where you can find a good book, ready today's newspaper, check out the latest movie, or bring your children to story time. It might also be the place to go when your grandchildren in California have finally convinced you that the best way to stay in touch with them is on Facebook. Only you have no computer and haven't the slightest idea how to get on Facebook!

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