October 2012 Archives

Books on Music and Musicians

From backstage tell-alls to touching memoirs, this new batch of music books surely has something for all music fans. Plus, there's much more in our new book section.

Click for availability and more information Abbey Road : the Best Studio in the World, by Alistair Lawrence, forward by Sir George Martin
An oversized photographic celebration and cultural history of the celebrated recording studio. The book provides a full history and timeline, a discography of famous album covers and previously unseen images from the studio's archives that document recordings by such artists as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and John Williams. 

Click for availability and more information Cyndi Lauper : a Memoir, byCyndi Lauper with Jancee Dunn
Iconic singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper offers a poignant account of the journey that led her to become an international superstar--from her years growing up in Queens, New York, to the making of enduring hits like "Time After Time," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," and "True Colors," to becoming an actress, a mother, an outspoken activist, and maintaining a music career that has lasted more than thirty years. 

Click for availability and more information Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl without Sight, by Laurie Rubin
The internationally acclaimed blind mezzo-soprano traces the story of her childhood in Southern California through the rise of her career as an opera singer, describing how she has overcome everyday and more challenging obstacles while remembering the experiences that inspired her achievements. Ms. Rubin performed at the Greenwich Library as part of the first Greenwich Reads Together Program in 2011.

Click for availability and more information The Gershwins and Me : a Personal History in Twelve Songs, by Michael Feinstein with Ian Jackman
A five-time Grammy nominee presents an illustrated tribute to the lives and legacies of the Gershwins that is presented through the stories of 12 of their most enduring songs including "Strike Up the Band" and "Love Is Here to Stay," in a volume that is complemented by a CD of original recordings.

Click for availability and more information I'm Your Man : the Life of Leonard Cohen, by Sylvie Simmons
Exploring the many facets of Cohen's life, this intimate portrait of one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time draws upon his private archives and a wealth of interviews with many of his closest associates, colleagues and other artists whose work he has inspired.

Click for availability and more information The John Lennon Letters,edited by and with an introduction by Hunter Davies
Published together for the first time, this collection of letters to family, friends, lovers and complete strangers from the beloved Beatle offers an intimate look into the true personality and mind of one of popular music's most prolific and revered artists.

Click for availability and more information Led Zeppelin : the Oral History of the World's Greatest Rock Band, by Barney Hoskyns
Think you know everything there is to know about Led Zeppelin? Think again. This new book, based on more than 200 interviews with everyone from Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to others central to the Zeppelin story, chronicles the group's dramatic rise, fall and legacy. It takes a fresh look at the band's music, cultural significance, and legend, as well as the highs and lows of the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle on the road. It also discusses, in depth, the way the band wrote, arranged, and recorded, from how they created the stupendous sound and dynamics on "Dazed and Confused" and "Whole Lotta Love" to the group's folk-suffused acoustic side embodied in songs like "Friends" and "That's the Way." This is a nice accompaniment to the classic Zeppelin tell-all, "Hammer of the Gods: the Led Zeppelin Saga."

Click for availability and more information Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page , by Bard Tolinski
If you still crave more Zeppelin this book, based on extensive interviews conducted with the guitarist/producer over the past 20 years, encompasses Page's entire career, beginning with his early years as England's top session guitarist when he worked with artists ranging from Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, and Burt Bacharach to the Kinks, The Who, and Eric Clapton. Page speaks frankly about his decadent yet immensely creative years in Led Zeppelin, his synergistic relationships with band members Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones, and his notable post-Zeppelin pursuits. While examining every major track recorded by Zeppelin, including "Stairway to Heaven," "Whole Lotta Love," and "Kashmir," Page reflects on the band's sensational tours, the filming of the concert movie The Song Remains the Same, his fascination with the occult, meeting Elvis Presley, and the making of the rock masterpiece Led Zeppelin IV, about which he offers a complete behind-the-scenes account.

Click for availability and more information Rolling Stones 50 x 20 , edited by Chris Murray
Celebrates the remarkable fifty-year career of the Stones with images captured by twenty of the world's greatest music photographers. Featured are more than eighty exceptional photographs that document the longevity of one of the most influential, enduring, and controversial bands in rock history.

New Books on History

There's something for everyone in our most recent batch of selected new history books; U.S. Presidents, World War II, Mesopotamia and much more. Take a little trip back.

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An American Phoenix: the remarkable story of William Skinner, a man who turned disaster into destiny, by Sarah S. Kilborne
This new book traces the rise, fall and improbable comeback of a leading founder of the American silk industry, offering insight into how William Skinner's considerable knowledge and business acumen rendered him a millionaire and helped him to rebuild after losing everything in a devastating flood.

Click for availability and more information Citizen Soldier: a life of Harry S. Truman, by Adia DePace Donald
Depicts the life of America's 33rd president, from his impoverished start with his farming family, through enlisting in the army in 1917 and numerous failed business ventures to beginning a political career in Missouri that ultimately led to the presidency.

Click for availability and more information Double Entry: how the merchants of Venice created modern finance, by Jane Gleeson-White
Double Entry takes the reader from the ancient origins of accounting in Mesopotamia to the frontiers of modern finance. At the heart of the story is double-entry bookkeeping: the first system that allowed merchants to actually measure the worth of their businesses. It fueled the Renaissance, enabled capitalism to flourish, and created the global economy. John Maynard Keynes would use it to calculate GDP, the measure of a nation's wealth. Yet double-entry accounting has had its failures. With the costs of sudden corporate collapses such as Enron and Lehman Brothers, and its disregard of environmental and human costs, the time may have come to re-create it for the future.

Click for availability and more information The Fourteenth Day: JFK and the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, by David G. Coleman
On October 28, 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove nuclear missiles from Cuba. History has marked that day as the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a seminal moment in American history. As President Kennedy's secretly recorded White House tapes now reveal, the reality was not so simple. Nuclear missiles were still in Cuba, as were nuclear bombers, short-range missiles, and thousands of Soviet troops. From October 29, Kennedy had to walk a very fine line--push hard enough to get as much nuclear weaponry out of Cuba as possible, yet avoid forcing the volatile Khrushchev into a combative stance. Using new material from the tapes, this book puts readers in the Oval Office during one of the most highly charged, and in the end most highly regarded, moments in American history.

Click for availability and more information Foundation: the history of England from its earliest beginnings to the Tudors, by Peter Ackroyd
In the first entry of a planned a six-volume epic, noted historian Peter Ackroyd takes the reader from the primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death, in 1509, of the first Tudor king, Henry VII. With extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and an acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, of civil strife, and foreign wars. He also gives a vivid sense of how England's early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought vividly to life through the narrative mastery of one of Britain's most respected writers.

Click for availability and more information Ike's Bluff : President Eisenhower's secret battle to save the world , by Evan Thomas
Upon assuming the presidency in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower came to be seen by many as a doddering lightweight. Yet behind the bland smile and apparent simple mindedness was a brilliant, intellectual tactician. As Evan Thomas reveals in his provocative examination of Ike's White House years, Eisenhower was a master of calculated duplicity.Facing the Soviet Union, China, and his own generals, some of whom believed a first strike was the only means of survival, Eisenhower would make his boldest and riskiest bet yet, one of such enormity that there could be but two outcomes: the survival of the world, or its end.

Click for availability and more information Master of the Mountain : Thomas Jefferson and his slaves , by Henry Wiencek
In this controversial reassessment of Thomas Jefferson, prominent historian Henry Wiencek states that Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the "silent profits" gained from his slaves--and thanks to a skewed moral universe that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. We see Jefferson taking out a slave-equity line of credit with a Dutch bank to finance the building of Monticello and deftly creating smoke screens when visitors are dismayed by his apparent endorsement of a system they thought he'd vowed to overturn. It is not a pretty story.

Inflammatory or groundbreaking?

Click for availability and more information The Pope's Jews: the Vatican's secret plan to save Jews from the Nazis , by Gordon Thomas
This account of how the Vatican saved thousands of Jews during WWII shows why history must exonerate "Hitler's Pope." Accused of being "silent" during the Holocaust, Pope Pius XII and the Vatican of World War II are now exonerated in Gordon Thomas's newest investigative work, The Pope's Jews. Thomas's careful research into new, first-hand accounts reveal an underground network of priests, nuns and citizens that risked their lives daily to protect Roman Jews. 

Click for availability and more information Rome's Last Citizen : the life and legacy of Cato, mortal enemy of Caesar, by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni
An in-depth portrait of statesman and aristocratic soldier Marcus Porcius Cato traces his life against a backdrop of period terrorism, a debt crisis and a fractious and drama-prone ruling class, describing his defense of sacred Roman traditions and his contributions to early christianity.

Click for availability and more information Soldaten: on fighting, killing, and dying: The Secret World War II transcipts of German POWs, by Sönke Neitzel
A compendium of previously unpublished, transcribed conversations among German POWs, secretly recorded by the Allies and recently declassified, offers insight into the mindset of World War II German soldiers and is complemented by analyses by a renowned social psychologist.

Click for availability and more information Some girls, some hats and Hitler : a true love story, by Trudi Kanter
In 1938 Trudi Kanter, stunningly beautiful, chic and charismatic, was a hat designer for the best-dressed women in Vienna. She frequented the most elegant cafés. She had suitors. She flew to Paris to see the latest fashions. And she fell deeply in love with Walter Ehrlich, a charming and romantic businessman. But as Hitler's tanks rolled into Austria, the world this young Jewish couple knew collapsed, leaving them desperate to escape. In prose that cuts straight to the bone, Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler tells the true story of Trudi's astonishing journey from Vienna to Prague to blitzed London seeking safety for her and Walter amid the horror engulfing Europe. It was her courage, resourcefulness and perseverance that kept both her and her beloved safe during the Nazi invasion and that make this an indelible memoir of love and survival. Sifting through a secondhand bookshop in London, an English editor stumbled upon this extraordinary book, which has now been re-issued.

New Documentary Films

Sometimes being entertained just isn't enough. Check out one of these new documentaries and enlighten yourself as well.

Click for availability and more information Ballplayer: Pelotero, produced & directed by Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, Jonathan Paley & Isaac Solotaroff
This compelling documentary narrated by John Leguizamo is a gritty and rare look inside Major League Baseball's recruitment of top talent in the Dominican Republic. Miguel Angel Sano and Jean Carlos Batista are among 100,000 teenagers vying for a handful of coveted contracts with MLB teams. As they turn 16 years old and become eligible to sign, each must navigate the fiercely competitive and frequently corrupt system if they are to lift their families out of poverty and achieve their dream: to one day play in the Major Leagues.

Click for availability and more information The Code, directed and produced by Stephen Cooter, Michael Lachmann, and Dan Child
What makes the world operate the way it does? Are there patterns to what happens or do we live in a universe of random events that cannot be predicted or explained? Author and Oxford University professor Marcus du Sautoy sets out to answer these and other questions in this engaging and entertaining three-part documentary series about the power of numbers. Convinced there is a mathematical formula that can identify patterns and connect everything we see around us, Du Sautoy goes in search of a mysterious hidden code that can unlock the very laws of the universe. 

Click for availability and more information The Flaw: markets, money, mortgages and the great American meltdown, directed by David Sington
The Flaw tells the story of the credit bubble that caused the financial crash through interviews with some of the world's leading economists as well as Wall Street insiders and victims of the crash. The film presents an original and compelling account of the toxic combination of forces that nearly destroyed the world economy, demonstrating how excessive income inequality leads to economic instability.

Click for availability and more information Foreign Parts, directed by Verena Paravel
Foreign Parts is an exemplary social record of Willets Point, an industrial graveyard of scrap heaps and auto shops in Queens, New York, that is scheduled to be demolished and redeveloped. Filled with scrapyards and auto salvage shops, lacking sidewalks or sewage lines, the area seems ripe for urban development. But Foreign Parts discovers a strange community where wrecks, refuse and recycling form a thriving commerce. Meet the folks who are about to be displaced. They are an interesting bunch. The film observes and captures the struggle of a contested eminent domain neighborhood before its disappearance under the capitalization of New York s urban ecology. 

Click for availability and more information Garbo the Spy, directed by Edmon Roch
The story of Juan Pujol Garcia, World War II double agent. He was known by the allies simply as "Garbo." He fed false information to the Nazis and fabricated a network of phantom agents across Europe. Although he never fired a single shot, Garbo helped to save thousands of lives, most notably by misinforming the Germans about the timing and location of D-Day. This documentary thriller, interweaves propaganda footage, interviews with intelligence experts and key players in Garbo's life (as well as with Garbo himself), and clips from Hollywood films to conjure forgotten and living memories, heroes and spies, secrets and lies.

Click for availability and more information LennoNYC, directed by Michael Epstein
On the the 30th anniversary of his death, a new film takes an intimate look at the time Lennon, Yoko Ono, and their son, Sean, spent living in New York City during the 1970s. Featuring never-before-heard studio recordings and never-before-seen outtakes from Lennon in concert and home movies.

Click for availability and more information Marina Abramovic: the artist is present, directed by Matthew Akers
A journey into the world of radical performance and an intimate portrait of an astonishingly magnetic, endlessly intriguing woman who draws no distinction between life and art. Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic has been redefining art for nearly forty years. Using her body as a vehicle, she creates performances that challenges, shocks and moves us.

Click for availability and more information Semper Fi: always faithful, produced and directed by Rachel Libert & Tony Hardmon
Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger was a devoted Marine for nearly twenty-five years... As a drill instructor he lived and breathed the 'Corps' and was responsible for indoctrinating thousands of new recruits with its motto Semper Fidelis or "Always Faithful." When Jerry's nine-year old daughter Janey died of a rare type of leukemia, his world collapsed. As a grief-stricken father, he struggled for years to make sense of what happened. His search for answers led to a shocking discovery of Marine Corps cover-up of one of the largest water contamination incidents in U.S. history. Semper Fi: Always Faithful follows Jerry's mission to expose the Marine Corps and force them to live up to their motto to the thousands of soldiers and their families exposed to toxic chemicals. His fight reveals a grave injustice at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune and a looming environmental crisis at military sites across the country.

Click for availability and more information Something Ventured, directed by Dan Geller & Dayna Goldfine
Something Ventured maps the creation of an industry that went on to become the single greatest engine of innovation and economic growth in the 20th century. The story is told through the visionary risk-takers who dared to make it happen: Tom Perkins, Don Valentine, Arthur Rock, Dick Kramlich and others. The film also features some of the country s finest entrepreneurs and their stories with the venture capitalists to grow world-class companies like Intel, Apple, Cisco, Atari, Genentech, Tandem and others. 

Click for availability and more information Surviving Progress, directed by Mathieu Roy & Harold Crooks
Technological advancement, economic development, population increase - are they signs of a thriving society? Or too much of a good thing? This documentary explores the concept of progress in our modern world, guiding us through the major progress traps facing our civilization in the arenas of technology, economics, consumption, and the environment. Featuring arguments from, among others, Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood and Stephen Hawking, this film invites the viewer to contemplate the progress traps that destroyed past civilizations and that lie treacherously embedded in our own.

Click for availability and more information 'Tis Autumn: the search for Jackie Paris, directed by Raymond De Felitta
In 1991 filmmaker Raymond De Felitta heard a singer named Jackie Paris on a Los Angeles radio station and began a search that first yielded the fact that Paris had died in 1977. In 2004 De Felitta discovered Paris was alive and making a comeback in a New York City nightclub. This film explores the life of the jazz singer along with an exploration into what it is to live the life of an artist in its least glamorous aspects.

New Science Books

Entertain and enlightening yourself with some new science books. Below is a sampling of some titles just received by the Greenwich Library that run from the heady and intellectual to the touching and terrifying.

Click for availability and more information Fever season : the story of a terrifying epidemic and the people who saved a city, by Jeanette Keith
An account of the 1878 yellow fever epidemic documents how it killed more than 18,000 people in the American South, tracing its particularly catastrophic impact in Memphis, Tennessee, as recorded in diaries and official records while noting the heroic efforts of people who remained behind to help.

Click for availability and more information Future perfect : the case for progress in a networked age, by Steven Johnson
Future Perfect makes the case that a new model of political change is on the rise, transforming everything from local governments to classrooms, from protest movements to health care. Johnson paints a compelling portrait of this new political worldview -- influenced by the success and interconnectedness of the Internet, but not dependent on high-tech solutions -- that breaks with the conventional categories of liberal or conservative thinking.

Click for availability and more information Higgs: the invention and discovery of the God Particle, by Jim Boggott
The hunt for the Higgs particle has involved the biggest, most expensive experiment ever. There was much at stake our basic model for the building blocks of the Universe, the Standard Model, would have been in tatters if there was no Higgs particle. Here, Jim Baggott explains the science behind the discovery, and its implications.

Click for availability and more information Ignorance: how it drives science, by Stuart Firestein
Contrary to the popular view of science as a mountainous accumulation of facts and data, Firestein takes the novel perspective that Ignorance is the main product and driving force of science, and that this is the best way to understand the process of scientific discovery.

Click for availability and more information Lost Antarctica: adventures in a disappearing land , by James B. McClintock
The bitter cold and three months a year without sunlight make Antarctica virtually uninhabitable for humans. Yet a world of extraordinary wildlife persists in these harsh conditions, including leopard seals, giant squid, 50-foot algae, sea spiders, coral, multicolored sea stars, and giant predatory worms. Now, as temperatures rise, this fragile ecosystem is under attack. One of the world's foremost experts on Antarctica gives a highly original and distinctive look at a world that is disappearing.

Click for availability and more information On a Farther Shore: the life and legacy of Rachel Carson, by William Souder
Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, an in-depth portrait of the biologist and reformer examines how she helped to raise awareness of the natural world, the importance of conservation and the dangers of synthetic pesticides. Published in 1962, Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. The book awakened the world to the heedless contamination of the environment and eventually led to the establishment of the EPA and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides. By drawing frightening parallels between dangerous chemicals and the then-pervasive fallout from nuclear testing, Carson opened a fault line between the gentle ideal of conservation and the more urgent new concept of environmentalism.

Click for availability and more information The Scientists: a family romance., by Marco Roth
With the precociousness expected of the only child of a doctor and a classical musician--from the time he could get his toddler tongue to a pronounce a word like "De-oxy ribonucleic acid," or recite a French poem--Marco Roth was able to share his parents' New York, a world centered around house concerts, a private library of literary classics, and dinner discussions of the latest advances in medicine. That world ended when his father started to suffer the worst effects of the AIDS virus that had infected him in the early 1980s. What this family could not talk about for years came to dominate the lives of its surviving members, often in unexpected ways. The Scientists is a story of how we first learn from our parents and how we then learn to see them as separate individuals; it's a story of how precociousness can slow us down when it comes to knowing about our desires and other people's. A memoir of parents and children that grapples with a troubled intellectual and emotional inheritance, in a style that is both elegiac and defiant.

Click for availability and more information Spark of life: electricity in the human body, by Frances Ashcroft
What happens during a heart attack? Can someone really die of fright? What is death, anyway? How does electroshock treatment affect the brain? What is consciousness? The answers to these questions lie in the electrical signals constantly traveling through our bodies, driving our thoughts, our movements, and even the beating of our hearts. The history of how scientists discovered the role of electricity in the human body is a colorful one, filled with extraordinary personalities, fierce debates, and brilliant experiments. Moreover, present-day research on electricity and ion channels has created one of the most exciting fields in science, shedding light on conditions ranging from diabetes and allergies to cystic fibrosis, migraines, and male infertility.

Click for availability and more information Spillover: animal infections and the next human pandemic, by David Quammen
Examines the emergence and causes of new diseases all over the world, describing a process called "spillover" where illness originates in wild animals before being passed to humans and discusses the potential for the next huge pandemic. You may nott want to read this before you go to bed.

New Fiction

Here is just a small sampling of newly released fiction titles acquired by Greenwich Library this month.

Click for availability and more information Big Ray, by Michael Kimball
Years after the death of his abusive father, an adult son whose relief overshadowed his other emotions confronts the enduring presence of his father's memory, in a story imparted through hundreds of brief entries that explore their complicated relationship.

Click for availability and more information Black Fridays, by Michael Sears
Struggling to rebuild his life after a two-year prison term for unscrupulous choices, former Wall Street hotshot Jason Stafford is tapped by an investment firm to investigate the suspicious death of a junior trader, a dangerous assignment that is complicated by his efforts to reclaim his young autistic son from his unstable ex-wife. The hold queue is already building on this one.

Click for availability and more information The Forgiven, by Lawrence Osborne
A couple in a deteriorating relationship are involved in a fatal car accident on their way to an annual wild party at a friend's house deep in the Moroccan desert and must deal with the repercussions.

Click for availability and more information The Life of Objects, by Susanna Moore
Drawn by a mysterious countess into the Berlin household of an aristocratic couple, Beatrice, a young Irish Protestant lace maker, is introduced to the highly rarified world of affluence and art collecting on the eve of a World War II that threatens their lives.

Click for availability and more information The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared., by Jonas Jonasson
Confined to a nursing home and about to turn 100, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.

Click for availability and more information Persecution: the friendly fire of memories., by Alessandro Piperno
After being accused of a vile crime, Leo Pontecorvo's life is put under an examination that reveals all of his mistakes, regrets, and contradictions, while his family grapples with the aftermath and he tries to prove his innocence.

Click for availability and more information Skagboys, by Irvine Welsh
Chronicles the misadventures of Mark Renton and his friends as they cope with economic uncertainties, family problems, drug use and the opposite sex in 1980s Edinburgh. A prequel, of sorts, to the hugely entertaining Trainspotting

Click for availability and more information Trojan Horse, by Mark Russinovich
When a new form of the CIA's computer virus is countered by a Trojan horse virus developed in the East, cybersecurity analysts Jeff Aiken and Daryl Haugen are caught in the middle of a political uprising that threatens their lives.

Click for availability and more information White Forest, by Adam McOmber
Jane Silverlake, a young woman from the wild heath regions of Victorian England, uses her paranormal ability to see the souls of handcrafted objects to infiltrate a mysterious dream-manipulation cult into which the man she loves has gone missing.

Click for availability and more information Your House is on Fire, Your Children all gone , by Stefan Kiesbye
A village on the Devil's Moor: a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition. There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age--in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village's darkest secrets in this novel, which is evocative of Stephen King's classics short story "Children of the Corn" and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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