Erasure, Unplugged?!?!

If you're like me and you spent your awkward high school years listening to music from the likes of Erasure, Depeche Mode, and New Order, you'll be surprised to hear that Union Street, Erasure's most recent album, is entirely acoustic. Vince Clarke, one-half of the British duo, describes the making of the album on the official Erasure website by saying, "We just felt there were songs on our albums that had been missed as songs.... It was great going back through those songs, some of which I hadn't listened to properly since we made them - suddenly you heard some of the naivety that was in there in the first place."

Other Erasure albums in the library's collection include Cowboy andNightbird. If you're new to Erasure, start with Pop! The First 20 Hits.

So, Erasure fans (surely you're out there somewhere), what do you think of Erasure unplugged?

Cool Mystery Series for the Grade School Set

You may know all about Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but have you ever heard of The Stink Files? Here is a list of some great mystery books for grade school readers.

For the kids who like Magic Tree House:
Cam Jansen Mysteries: Cam Jansen is a 10 year old girl with a photographic memory.
A to Z Mysteries: Help Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose solve crimes and misdemeaners.
Jigsaw Jones Mystery: Jigsaws puzzles are like mysteries: you've got to look at all the peices to solve the case!

So Funny it Hurts

When coming under a vicious, stinging fairy attack Clemency remembers her Peter Pan and firmly, quickly, and repeatedly asserts her disbelief in fairies... but her aim is a little off. Now she has to go on a quest to save all the fairies she killed.

Read Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer, by J.T. Petty. So funny...so,so funny...tears...down the face...side-hurts-must-top-funny...

*This has become a recent favorite of mine so I had to mention it. Just curious though if anyone has listened to the audio version. I'm wondering if the clever wordplay translates well into the audio realm.

Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate in 2000, dies

Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate in 2000, dies

Stanley Kunitz, the United States Poet Laureate in 2000, died in his home in Manhattan on May 14, 2006.

Mr. Kunitz, who graduated from Harvard in 1926 with a BA and in 1927 with an MA, enjoyed a prolific career that spanned more than eight decades. His brilliance was recognized with one prestigious award after another. He won a Guggenheim in 1945-46; the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1959 for Selected Poems, 1928-1958; the National Book Award in 1995 for Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected; the National Medal of the Arts at age 88 in 1993; and the highly coveted Bollingen Prize in poetry in 1987.

They call me COMMANDER Tibbs!

Sidney Poitier was recently named a Commander in France's Order of Arts and Letters during a ceremony at this year's Cannes Film Festival. In presenting Poitier with the title, French culture minister Renaud Donnedieu De Vabres proclaimed, "You are the champion of equality between men."

The library has the following films starring Poitier:
Blackboard Jungle, The Bedford Incident, The Defiant Ones, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Lilies of the Field, A Raisin in the Sun, To Sir, With Love, and my personal favorite, In the Heat of the Night.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #22

I frankly cannot remember the last time a debut thriller generated such buzz. Library Journal, Booklist, as well as Publishers Weekly all gave John Hart’s The King of Lies starred reviews.

Critics are calling it ”stunning…, an exceptionally deep and complex mystery thriller”; “The writing is beautiful and the story is gripping, but it is the character study… that puts this debut novel on the must-read list.”

At the center of the mystery is Work(man) Pickens, a struggling North Carolina attorney with some serious baggage – one of them is being accused of his father’s murder. You won’t want to miss this one.

Read about Geeks Behind Video Games

For those who didn't make it to the Electronic Entertainment Expo here's a book that might provide some perspective on the videogame industry: Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution, by Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby. From the jacket: "Meet the geeks, geniuses, and mavericks behind this burgeoning culture." The book is showing available, shelved with new non-fiction books on the second floor of the Downtown Library.

New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed

New York New York The Big Apple from A to Z takes you on an alphabetical tour of some of the major tourist spots in New York City. Each page has a poem dedicated to a particular sight and facts, history and information in small captions. Watercolor illustrations add a colorful backdrop. This book is fun for native New Yorker's like myself or anyone interested in this great city.

Fred Eaglesmith at the Ark!

Fred Eaglesmith

For all you country-folk fans, here's a concert that you won't want to miss... Fred Eaglesmith will perform Thursday night (5/18), 8pm at The Ark. So log on to Ticketmaster and get your tickets will-call; then call your emergency babysitter and plan to leave work early on Thursday so you can catch dinner on Main Street and even stop by the AADL and pick up his CD.

If you love Eaglesmith, you'll also enjoy these artists:

Quirkiness abounds when Leo Kottke and Phish bassist Mike Gordon join forces

Acoustic guitar legend Leo Kottke is well known for his masterful fingerpicking on traditional and folk tunes, such as Bach's "Bourree" or his own hauntingly beautiful "Crow River Waltz." But his fans also know him for his quirky original music and odd sense of humor, as demonstrated in his in experimental album That's What (1990). It seems strangely appropriate, then, that Kottke should team up with Phish bass player Mike Gordon on his latest album, Sixty Six Steps.

Sixty Six Steps follows on Kottke and Gordon's well-received first collaboration, Clone (2002). Like Clone, Sixty Six Steps features amazing fingerwork, clever lyrics, and a catchy sound, resulting in an album strangely familiar to fans of both artists while still breaking new ground. Listeners may notice a bit more of a tropical flair in the new album, however, as Kottke and Gordon experiment with island music. The album may seem familiar for other reasons, too: it features a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" and a very deadpan rendition of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion."

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