Posts Tagged ‘Rock and Roll’

Best ‘New to Us’ Books in 2014: Sarah K’s Picks

December 23, 2014

These five books were the ones that stuck in my mind during 2014. They reveal truths about our shared humanity while introducing readers to new places and new forms of style. Take a moment to try these out; they are well worth your time.

Claire of the Sea LightClaire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
On the night of Claire Limyè Lanmè’s seventh birthday, she disappears. Motherless, her fisherman father Nozias has decided to give Claire away to Madame Gaëlle, a shopkeeper who lost her daughter in an accident years earlier, to ensure Claire greater opportunities. As the members of the seaside Haitian town of Ville Rose, search for her, their interconnected stories, secrets, and losses emerge. Danticat creates vivid characters and her writing captures the beauty and sorrow of daily life.

The CommitmentsThe Commitments by Roddy Doyle
Put together a group of Dublin working class misfits with the soul sounds of the 1960s and you have Roddy Doyle’s punchy and charming novel about the joys of rock and roll. The book follows the escapades of the band as they combat over practice, get through their first gig, cut their first single and run into inevitable creative differences. Doyle’s free-flowing bawdy dialogue is exhilarating. So, if you are looking for some fun, introduce yourself to the Hardest Working Soul Band in Dublin: The Commitments.

My Struggle Book OneMy Struggle Book One by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Karl Ove Knausgaard blurs the lines between fiction and memoir in the first volume of his novelistic autobiography. The book begins with a meditation on death and then proceeds to explore Knausgaard’s childhood and fraught relationship with his troubled father. This expansion and contraction of universal ideas and the minute details of Knausgaard’s life creates a fascinating tension between the author and the reader. Knausgaard lays his life out on the table with unflinching directness for the reader to examine. My Struggle is probably not for every reader, but it is something strange and new.

AusterlitzAusterlitz by W. G. Sebald
Traveling across Europe, the unnamed narrator meets and befriends Jacques Austerlitz an architectural historian. As their relationship develops, he gradually learns of Austerlitz’s search for his lost history. As a small child, Austerlitz’s mother placed him a Kindertransport to Britain where an aged Welsh couple adopted him and gave him a new identity. After learning of his birth family after their deaths, Austerlitz begins to discover his past and how the Holocaust severed his past life from his present. Uncanny, hypnotic, and dreamlike, Austerlitz conveys the incompleteness of memories with their ragged and hazy qualities, while capturing the devastation of the Holocaust.

The Patrick Melrose NovelsThe Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
Edward St. Aubyn pillories the excesses and absurdities of the British upper class with elegant prose and vicious wit in this cycle of four novels. He begins with Patrick’s childhood relationships to his sadistic father and neglectful mother, and following him into a ravenous drug addiction, recovery, marriage and fatherhood. His character eventually reaches a form of uneasy redemption. Patrick and the world he inhabits aren’t likable, but there’s a level of truth to St. Aubyn’s storytelling, as Patrick struggles to place himself beyond his lifelong demons. Despite some of their grim subject matter, the novels are deeply, darkly funny.

Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

May 7, 2014

bookcover.phpdedicationFrom the author of The Nanny Diaries and other chick let bestsellers,  Dedication  is for chick lit readers who have dreamed about what it would be like to get public and social revenge on an ex-boyfriend for breaking your heart.

Jake Sharpe is a mega recording star – think: John Mayer. He was also Kate Hollis’s first boyfriend/lover who jilted her only hours before their senior prom in the 1980’s. Jake split from their small Vermont town and never looked back. His first hit single was “Losing,” about his romantic experiences with Kate. The single vaults Jake to stardom and for 10 years Kate has to listen to Jake’s hit parade of music everywhere she goes, all songs that are based on very personal aspects of their physical relationship. 10-years older and wiser, but none the less still smarting from his jilting, when Jake announces he is headed back to Vermont for a music TV special, Kate jumps on a plane with a plan to finally confront Jake with how he has plundered her past, her life, her love – for his career.

With a cast of funny, well-drawn supporting characters, Kate sets out to embarrass Jake in a very public setting. Will she go through with it? Does she get sucked back into Jake’s charismatic (almost sociopathic) orbit? Fall in love all over again, either with the nostalgia or the man? Hmm, I’m not telling. Read “Dedication” to find out. Expect lots of 80’s references and double entendres related to romance and music. Readers who hail from New England will enjoy and relate to the setting.  This was enjoyable, funny chick lit.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles’ 1964 Tour that Changed the World by Larry Kane

August 28, 2013

In 1964 there were four visitors to the United States, and the music world would never be the same. Their names were Paul, John, George and Ringo, and they may well be the greatest rock group to ever inhabit this planet. Larry Kane, an American journalist out of Miami and station WFUN, was lucky enough to be part of the official press group, and this is his story of the Fab Four’s American adventure in 1964 and ’65.

Kane was a 21-year-old reporter when he was selected to become part of the official press group assigned to follow the Beatles as they performed across the country. Each stop became it’s own adventure, whether it was Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver,Detroit, Montreal,New York, Atlantic City, Philadelphia or Hollywood. Kane was the same age as the group, and maybe this enabled him to get close to them. The tour was unreal, exciting, pulsating, and dangerous! Fans, mostly young women, attempted to do anything to break through security to get close to the group. One young woman broke through the ceiling tiles at a hotel and crashed near Kane. Some women swore that they were destined to marry Paul or John. The world had never seen anything like this, and maybe never would again. Security became a real problem because local authorities had no concept of the effect that the Beatles were having on the world.

This book is the delightful tale of a ‘brave’ reporter, and his tour and rapport with John, Paul, George and Ringo. Besides the Beatles you will meet Elvis ,Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, the Beach Boys and other stars of that era. Fifty years later, I still love the Beatles! And so does Larry Kane. A bonus CD allows you to listen to some of the interviews. For a while you will be transferred to another era, a more innocent time.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

Greatest Hits: Exile on Main Street: a Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones by Robert Greenfield

July 4, 2012

*Note: All Wake County Public Libraries are closed today for the Independence Day holiday. In the mean time, enjoy this book review:

This week we’re featuring some of our “greatest hits” – the most popular Book-a-Day blog posts since we started this almost three years ago. Today’s is Exile on Main Street: a Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones by Robert Greenfield, reviewed by Erik S.

It was the summer of 1981. There was a little boy named Erik who played little league for a team called the “Green Yankees.” As an outfielder, Erik was more prone to birdwatching than catching pop-flies. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before both Erik, and his parents, decided it was time for him to end his baseball pursuits.

Fast forward 20 years. It is the summer of 2001, and Erik is visiting his parents and going through some of the old childhood artifacts they have saved. He comes across an old Green Yankees roster with little mini bios for each of the team’s young players.  Most of the kids’ bios had details about their playing positions and their power plays throughout the season.  For Erik, it simply said, “Erik likes rock and roll.  His favorite band is Kiss.”  Point of the story, this kid was not born to play sports.  He was born to rock, (and read ;) )  And with a book like Exile on Main Street : a Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones, you can certainly do both.  You will find yourselves intrigued and shocked with all of the carnal, cutthroat excess that occurs in this book; and more than likely, you’ll want to bust out of all of your Stones records and turn ‘em on up.

It was the summer of 1971 in the South of France; “a sunny place for shady people,” as described by the book’s author, Robert Greenfield.  The Rolling Stones had rented the lavish Villa Nellcote on the French Riviera to record their latest masterpiece, a double record called Exile on Main Street.  The Stones, surprisingly, were broke and had to leave England to avoid paying British income tax, (hence the “Exile” status for the record’s title).  What occurred during the time of this masterpiece’s making was a hodge-podge of sex, drugs, crime, and ultimately, untimely deaths for many of the party-goers during that very debauched summer.  Everyone wanted to party with the Rolling Stones.  They were kings; loved and worshiped by nearly everyone, impervious to the long arm of the law, and more or less untouchable.  If one could be remotely in the presence of these young British kings, it was truly a gift.  Therefore, the cast of characters at Nellcote that summer ranged from actors, rock stars, daughters and wives of royalty, and other grandiose hangers-on.  What this meant for the Rolling Stones was that they were granted the opportunity to live like emperors of ancient Rome.

The stories within this outstanding book range from orgiastic celebrating, to life-threatening drug habits, back-stabbing friends, affairs gone awry, close encounters with the law, and sadly, the inevitable deaths as a result of all the reckless abandon.  Some of the women, who at one time were high society debutantes who could simply snap their fingers and get anything they desired, ended up dead in back alley streets less than a year later; reduced to nothing more than anonymous, homeless junkies.  The book is a baffling one because it greatly romanticizes rock mythology, (which is hard not to do when discussing a group as decadent as the Rolling Stones), but as the title suggests, it does not shy away from the hell that surrounded this extravagant era.  Exile on Main Street is still considered one of the best rock and roll albums of all time.  Needless to say, you will never listen to it in the same manner ever again.  All of the love, death, and celebration that went into it’s creation are now a permanent testimony to one of the most mythical and dangerous times in the history of rock and roll.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

 

Exile on Main Street : a Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones by Robert Greenfield

February 12, 2010

It was the summer of 1981. There was a little boy named Erik who played little league for a team called the “Green Yankees.” As an outfielder, Erik was more prone to birdwatching than catching pop-flies. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before both Erik, and his parents, decided it was time for him to end his baseball pursuits.

Fast forward 20 years. It is the summer of 2001, and Erik is visiting his parents and going through some of the old childhood artifacts they have saved throughout the years. He comes across an old Green Yankees roster with little mini bios for each of the team’s young players.  Most of the kids’ bios had details about their playing positions and their power plays throughout the season.  For Erik, it simply said, “Erik likes rock and roll.  His favorite band is Kiss.”  Point of the story, this kid was not born to play sports.  He was born to rock, (and read ;))  And with a book like Exile on Main Street : a Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones, you can certainly do both.  You will find yourselves intrigued and shocked with all of the carnal, cutthroat excess that occurs in this book; and more than likely, you’ll want to bust out of all of your Stones records and turn ’em on up.

It was the summer of 1971 in the South of France; “a sunny place for shady people,” as described by the book’s author, Robert Greenfield.  The Rolling Stones had rented the lavish Villa Nellcote on the French Riviera to record their latest masterpiece, a double record called Exile on Main Street.  The Stones, surprisingly, were broke and had to leave England to avoid paying British income tax, (hence the “Exile” status for the record’s title).  What occurred during the time of this masterpiece’s making was a hodge-podge of sex, drugs, crime, and ultimately, untimely deaths for many of the party-goers during that very debauched summer.  Everyone wanted to party with the Rolling Stones.  They were kings; loved and worshiped by nearly everyone, impervious to the long arm of the law, and more or less untouchable by anyone.  If one could be remotely in the presence of these young British kings, it was truly a gift.  Therefore, the cast of characters at Nellcote that summer ranged from actors, rock stars, daughters and wives of royalty, and other grandiose hangers-on.  What this meant for the Rolling Stones was that they were granted the opportunity to live like emperors of ancient Rome, (well, two of them were granted this attention anyway; Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, naturally ;).

The stories within this outstanding book range from orgiastic celebrating, to life-threatening drug habits, back-stabbing friends, affairs gone awry, close encounters with the law, and sadly, the inevitable deaths as a result of all the reckless abandon.  Some of the women, who at one time were high society debutantes who could simply snap their fingers and get anything they desired, ended up dead in back alley streets less than a year later; reduced to nothing more than anonymous, homeless junkies.  The book is a baffling one because it greatly romanticizes rock mythology, (which is hard not to do when discussing a group as decadent as the Rolling Stones), but as the title suggests, it does not shy away from the hell that surrounded this extravagant era.  Exile on Mainstreet is still considered one of the best rock and roll albums of all time.  Needless to say, you will never listen to it in the same manner ever again.  All of the love, death, and celebration that went into it’s creation are now a permanent testimony to one of the most mythical and dangerous times in the history of rock and roll.

Click here to see this book in our catalog.


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