Beat the Heat with a Bestseller

Let the narrator do the work for you in these dog days of summer. We have five NYT bestsellers on book on cd that are sure to keep your mind off the heat and on the story. Sitting at #2 is Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich. This time out Stephanie is rescuing a kidnapped kid. James Patterson comes in at #6 with Beach Road, the story of a high profile court case. Closing in on Patterson are Dean Koontz with The Husband and Douglas Preston with The Book of the Dead. Patricia Cornwell rounds out our list with At Risk, a cold case story (insert appropriate blog puns here.)

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Rod Steiger's Jud Fry farmhand character from the 1955 movie Oklahoma still haunts The Play Ground. But Curly and Laurey and Aunt Eller sing classic Rogers and Hammerstein as they tell the story of the territory on the verge of statehood. Agnes de Mille, original choreographer, revolutionized musical theatre by creating dance that actually enhanced the plot. Now you can see it all in person. The Dexter Community Players are at the Dexter Center for the Performing Arts on July 27-29. 2200 Parker Rd., Dexter. 426-5060. For those who cannot make it to Dexter, check out a DVD or listen to a CD.
"I ....can't say no."

Ode to Hank

Hank Williams, the greatest singer and songwriter in country music, has been the subject of numerous biographies as much for the tragedy of his life as his musical genius. Now comes a very personal story, Lovesick Blues, that intertwines the life of Williams and his biographer and fan, Paul Hemphill. The connection begins with Hemphill’s description of listening to Williams sing “like a hurt animal” and the prose only gets better. Listen to this slim, beautifully written ode to Hank and then give a listen to Hank’s music.

Play! A Video Game Symphony - July 12, Orchestra Hall, Detroit

Video game... symphony? To many people, especially those who remember well the blips and bloops of the 8-bit era chiptune, video game music has come a long way. Coming a year after the popular Dear Friends: Music From Final Fantasy concert, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and conductor Arnie Roth, Play! showcases symphonic arrangements and pieces from games such as Super Mario Brothers, Halo, The Legend of Zelda, and Kingdom Hearts.

This concert is for people who get nostalgic over old consoles, cutting-edge gamers who know the soundtracks to their favorite games by heart, and for people who wonder just how video game music could manage to rise to symphony status.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Gotta "Love Me Tender" or at least, love that Michigan Elvisfest on Saturday, July 7th and 8th at Riverside Park located in Ypsilanti's Historic Depot Town. This is the largest Elvis tribute concert in North America! So, shake, rattle and roll with award-winning Elvis tribute artists and Las Vegas impersonators. Events for kids also. "Don't Be Cruel" and wear your "Blue Suede Shoes" to Ypsi this weekend. Friday, July 7, 5 PM - Midnight and Saturday, July 8, Noon to Midnight.

Did He or Didn’t He?

That’s usually a question for the detective in the book to answer, not the reader of the book. But Vince Lardo’s follow-ups to the very dead mystery writer Lawrence Sanders Archie McNally books have readers debating whether Vince ghostwrote them all.

Listen to all our McNally mysteries on book on cd and decide for yourself. Start with a few Sanders wrote (or didn’t) like McNally’s Secret, McNally’s Risk or McNally’s Caper. Then try a few of the Lardo titles beginning with McNally’s Dilemma and our latest addition to the series, McNally’s Bluff.

Lena Horne


Lena Horne, great lady of song, was born 89 years ago on June 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. Horne broke the color barrier in film by being the first African American woman to sign a long-term contract with MGM. In 1943, she became famous for her song, Stormy Weather, which she sang in the movie of the same name. Because of discrimination, Horne was never given a major role in any of her films except Cabin in the Sky.

Horne also

Celebrate July 4 with a bang!

July 4 is one week from today, and that usually means fireworks and impressive visual shows. But with those shows are often pretty impressive classical music pieces themselves.

One of the staples of brass is the 1812 Overture, by Peter Tchaikovsky, a piece that celebrates the Russian victory over Napoleon's army. Done properly, the piece calls for cannons, and is one of the loudest pieces in classical music, but most orchestra halls are a little leery of firing grapeshot into the audience.

A Splash of Pops or Mr. Holland's Guide to Classical Music have the piece in their collection, but if you're interested in more of Tchaikovsy's work, you can check out his symphonies, as well.

Road Trip

Why not spend the hours traveling to your vacation spot listening to someone else's travelogue? Start with a masterpiece, Blue Highways by William Least-Heat-Moon, a journey across the backroads of America. Visit Whynot, Mississippi and Remote, Oregon with one of the best storytellers out there. The Ride of Our Lives brings together three generations of NBC correspondent Mike Leonard's family on a road trip across the states to meet the first member of the family's 4th generation. If you're still in the car (our sympathies) here's a quick list of recommended listening: Feet on the Street, A Year in the World and City of Falling Angels.

A Horse by a Different Author

Dick Francis has probably written his last mystery, a loss for all of us who loved his books set in the world of horse racing. Fear not! Top-notch mystery writer John Dunning has taken up the race track theme and combined it with another great mystery subject, bibliomania, to create The Bookwoman’s Last Fling, starring rare-book dealer and former cop Cliff Janeway. Cliff is brought in to appraise a horse training family's book collection but bodies keep getting in the way of his research. So it’s

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