These Books go to Eleven: Recommended Readings on Rock and Pop Music

Posted on Friday, June 8, 2018 by Eric

Stealing All the Transmissions book cover
“Stealing All Transmissions:  A Secret History of the Clash”

Music elicits a visceral reaction, especially music that falls under the broad umbrella of pop and rock. It’s loud and raucous, meant to get you out of your seat and to irritate your parents. Whether it’s the beat, the melody or some sick guitar shredding, something flips our normal mode of operation as our intellect and ego become subservient to our ID. So it’s understandable if the idea of quietly reading a book about this music seems too tame. But books about our pop and rock icons can be as thrilling as they are interesting. They provide a window into the craft of the music, but also the cultural moment it was created in. With decades of quality writing on pop music, a comprehensive list of the best this genre has to offer would be insurmountable. Instead, and in the creative spirit of music itself, I offer you a highly subjective list of recommendations of books that I’ve either read and loved or that linger tantalizingly on my “To Be Read” shelf.

Music fans can develop strong feelings about their favorite bands, and music collectors can get downright obsessive. “Do Not Sell at Any Price” explores the subculture of 78 rpm record collecting. Amanda Petrusich’s book evokes the thrill of the hunt for these collectors while also broadening the discussion to cultural appropriation and the romanticization of history. Continue reading “These Books go to Eleven: Recommended Readings on Rock and Pop Music”

Nonfiction Roundup: April 2018

Posted on Monday, April 2, 2018 by Kirk

Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in April. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.

TOP PICKS

Rocket Men book cover

The Apollo 8 mission is the subject of “Rocket Men” by Robert Kurson. Less well known than the later Apollos 11 and 13, this 1968 voyage into space marked the first time mankind orbited the moon. Set against the backdrop of a country in turmoil and a tense race against the USSR, Kurson tells the riveting story of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, three astronauts who dared to go where no one had gone before. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: April 2018”

Best Books Read in 2017, Part 1

Posted on Friday, December 22, 2017 by Kat

The year is almost over, and the staff here at the library want to share their favorite book of 2017 with you! These books might not have been published this year, but they all were enjoyed during it. Without further ado, here’s the first batch of the best books read in 2017 by your DBRL staff:

A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman

Man Called Ove book cover“Ove is a grumpy neighbor who still has a warm heart. ‘A Man called Ove’ will make you laugh and cry. It reminds us how caught up we can get in our daily routines, and how unwilling we are to change; but sometimes, someone comes along and change is okay.”
~Sheryl Bucklew

“At first I thought it was going to be depressing, but it quickly took a comedic and touching turn as Ove learns to keep on living without his wife.”
~Mitzi Continue reading “Best Books Read in 2017, Part 1”

Know Your Dystopias: Fahrenheit 451

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017 by Eric

Dystopias are everywhere (at least in the world of books). A spike in sales of classic dystopian literature and an increase in contemporary dystopian stories mirror how we turn to these stories at times of uncertainty. These visions of society reflect the fears and concerns of the times they were written (as well as the fears and concerns of their authors).

Literally, a dystopian society is the opposite of the ideal society, or, a utopia. So, we are discussing less than ideal societies here. Much less. Consider “Know Your Dystopias” your tour of places you would not want to visit in the real world.

In recognition of Banned Books Week we will start with Ray Bradbury’s book-burning dystopia in “Fahrenheit 451.” Named for the temperature at which paper burns, the novel is set in an upside-down world where the job of firemen is starting fires to destroy books. All books are illegal and the populace is entertained (not informed) by wall-sized television screens, preferably on each wall of the parlor, if one can afford it. A threat of war looms, but despite reminders in the form of jets periodically screaming overhead the population seems sanguine about it. Continue reading “Know Your Dystopias: Fahrenheit 451”