Monday Evening Book Club October Selection

Us conductorsThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet on October 19th at 7:00 pm in Forsyth Hall to discuss the 2014 Giller Prize novel titled Us Conductors, in which I seek the heart of Clara Rockmore, my one true love, finest Theremin player the world will ever know, by Sean Michaels.

About this award-winning book:

A beautiful, haunting, brilliant novel inspired by the life and loves of the Russian scientist, inventor, and spy Lev Termen – the inventor of the theremin: an eerie, peculiar musical instrument played with the hands moving through the air but not touching the machine. In a finely woven series of flashbacks and correspondence, “Us conductors” takes readers from the glitz and glam of New York in the 1930s to the gulags and scientific camps of the Soviet Union. The novel builds to a crescendo as Termen is sent to Russia, where he is imprisoned in a Siberian gulag and later brought back to Moscow, where he is asked to eavesdrop on Stalin himself.

Website for Us Conductors

Author Biography

Author Interview

Youtube Interview

Book Review

Léon Theremin on Wikipedia

Youtube – Theremin playing his own instrument

Youtube – Clara Rockmore playing the Theremin

Weekend Picks

Autumn and jazz- is there a more inviting combination of season and song? This week we have a film that explores more than just the art of the liner note, in “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step”, the story of legendary journalist and jazz critic, Nat Hentoff.  Though it’s not on our shelves just yet, keep an eye out for “Amy”, and discover why Amy Winehouse truly belongs in the pantheon of jazz singers.

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step

Nat Hentoff is one of the enduring voices of the last 65 years, a writer who championed jazz as an art form and who also led the rise of ‘alternative’ journalism in America. This unique documentary wraps the themes of liberty, identity and free expression around a historical narrative that stretches from the Great Depression to the Patriot Act.

Trailer

Amy

The incredible story of six-time Grammy winner Amy Winehouse – in her own words. Featuring extensive unseen archival footage and previously unheard tracks, this strikingly modern, moving, and vital film shines a light on our culture and the world we live in today.

Trailer

Jazz Icons Series

You do you know that we have these, right? The Jazz Icons series captures only the rarest, most intimate performances from some of the most musically important artists of our time. The audio and video quality of this collection is simply gorgeous, making each disc a sensory delight.

Weekend Picks

Tuesday Afternoon Book Club October Selection

The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club will meet Tuesday, October 20th at 2 pm. This month we’re discussing Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand“a wise comedy about the unexpected miracle of later-life love”. Helen Simonson’s debut novel  became an international bestseller when it was published in 2010.

About the book

When Major Pettigrew, a retired British army major in a small English village, embarks on an unexpected friendship with the widowed Mrs. Ali, who runs the local shop, trouble erupts to disturb the bucolic serenity of the village and of the Major’s carefully regimented life.

As the Major and Mrs. Ali discover just how much they have in common, including an educated background and a shared love of books, they must struggle to understand what it means to belong and how far the obligations of family and tradition can be set aside for personal freedom. Meanwhile, the village itself, lost in its petty prejudices and traditions, may not see its own destruction coming.

“Thoroughly charming . . . With her crisp wit and gentle insight, Simonson . . . knows just what delicious disruption romance can introduce to a well-settled life.”—The Washington Post

Helen Simonson talks about Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (video)

About the author

Sussex, England: The setting of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Book review by Alexander McCall Smith (NY Times)

This Book Has Pictures! | Aama: The Smell of Warm Dust

Aama-1-5

Robbed of his memories, Verloc Nim is handed a journal. Inside the journal, in his own words, is the story of how Verloc ended up on a strange planet and what happened to his memories. Thus begins Frederik Peeters’ Aama: The Smell of Warm Dust. Looking through the pages, Verloc discovers the misery of his former life and that impossible things have been happening on this planet far from Earth.

“Effortlessly, Peeters’ creates a fully formed world. The art is beautiful, the background are packed with details of this strange world, and the panels are full of real, fully-formed, characters. Peeters balances themes of exploration, loss, regret and the belief that we can somehow wipe away our past sins.” -Drew

Frederik Peeters is a Swiss graphic novelist. He received his bachelor of arts degree in visual communication from the École Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués in 1995. In 2013, Aama was awarded for Best Series from the Angoulême International Comics Festival.