Thursday, April 19 2012
No other instrument has witnessed such a dramatic rise to popularity -- and precipitous decline -- as the accordion. Squeeze This! is the first history of the piano accordion and the first book-length study of the accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon.
Thursday, April 12 2012
A chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.
Thursday, April 5 2012
If Paul Kelly were an American, he'd be regarded as the States' premiere Americana songwriter. He'd be the king of Austin, or Nashville's ruling prince. But Kelly was born in Adelaide, and often places the aforementioned universal themes amidst Australian locales and history.
English language expert David Crystal takes readers on a tour of the winding byways of our language via the rude, the obscure and the downright surprising.
Thursday, March 29 2012
Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails.
Thursday, March 22 2012
Henry Mancini has sold 30 million albums and won four Oscars and 20 Grammy awards. Through Mancini, mere background music in movies became part of pop culture -- an expression of sophistication and wit with a modern sense of cool and a lasting lyricism that has not dated.
Thursday, March 15 2012
Black rock musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, and Arthur Lee (Love), as well as white soul musicians in the racially integrated bands playing on recordings of singers like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, existed during the '60s. So why is rock and soul so black and white?
This reprint of the cult classic memoir, based on Ellen Ullman’s early years as a computer programmer, reaffirms the reach and relevance of her thoughts on technology and creativity. Her insight is also foresight, and her story remains immediate, critical – and very entertaining.
Thursday, March 8 2012
Read this book, pass it on to those who deserve it, and be thankful that the world contains artists like...
Four jazz musicians from Brooklyn, Ghana, and South Africa demonstrate how modern Africa reshaped jazz, how modern jazz helped form a new African identity, and how such musical crossings altered the politics and culture of both continents.
Sunday, March 4 2012
Technophile, humanist and storyteller Ellen Ullman is touring for her latest, By Blood. The cult classic Close to the Machine and runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award, The Bug, are enjoying a resurgence, as well. From the sterile environs of an airport terminal, Ullman recalls a glorious range of artists and intellectuals (and the work they have produced) that have shaped her.
Thursday, March 1 2012
From gospel to soul, funk to freestyle, Kevin Young sifts through the shadows, the bootleg, the remix, the grey areas of our history, literature, and music.
Sunday, February 26 2012
What does society's fascination with vampire tales tell us about men, women and relationships? It's time to take one more look.
Thursday, February 23 2012
Books have a long shelf-life. A loved book may outlast its original owner by a generation – or more -- if well cared for. With that in mind, we recall our best loved books of 2011 here, well into 2012. Better late than never...
This posthumous memoir provides Scott-Heron’s keen insights into the music industry, the civil rights movement, modern America, governmental hypocrisy, and our wider place in the world.
Wednesday, February 22 2012
Where we are now, in 2012, is on a darker plain especially for the large "Underclass". Perhaps Dickens can light our way?
Sunday, February 19 2012
Eat. Write. Travel. Cook. Four little words, an amuse-bouche in the great feast that is food for thought, if you will, that would lead Gail Simmons to her prestigious roles with Food & Wine Magazine, Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts.
Thursday, February 16 2012
The usefulness of physical money -- to say nothing of its value -- is coming under fire as never before. Told with verve and wit, this book explores an aspect of our daily lives so fundamental that we rarely stop to think about it. You’ll never look at a dollar bill the same again.
Thursday, February 9 2012
Regardless how history comes to look Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Munro, in the context of Cave’s career, it stands alone as the purest distillation of his artistry -- a poetic novel with Cave’s inimitable brand of the grotesque, absurd and often comic nature of humanity.
Wednesday, February 1 2012
Hollow Earth isn’t just any book. It may be the Next Big Thing in young adult (YA) literature. It’s cover proclaims that “Imagination can be a dangerous thing,” but fans of John and Carole E. Barrowman are more than willing to take that risk.