Drawn entirely from a major gift to the McNay Art Museum by Drs. Harriett and Ricardo Romo, the new book, Estampas de la Raza, documents the development of printmaking in the Latino community post-1960. The Romos began acquiring art while teaching in Southern California at the height of the Chicano Movement.
In 2009, David Finkel, a Washington Post reporter, wrote The Good Soldiers, a book chronicling the combat experiences of an infantry fighting in East Baghdad. Now, four years later, Finkel chronicles what he calls the “after-war" in Thank You for Your Service, taking us along as soldiers from the same battalion struggle to find peace at home.
The journalist Amanda Ripley follows three American exchange students to high schools in three top-scoring PISA countries: Finland, South Korea, and Poland to show how other nations educate students more effectively than we do. In her new book, The Smartest Kids in the World, she concludes that what we apparently lack is rigor, teacher preparation, and parental involvement.
That's what Charlie Parker was called because of his ability to play the saxophone at such fast tempos, yet still create beautiful, emotional music. Stanley Crouch's Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker is a portrait of the artist as a young man. When this volume ends, Parker is only 20 years old and already a father, a heroin addict and the genius who caused his fellow Midwestern musicians to marvel at his sounds.
The manuscripts of Emily Dickinson have long been scattered across multiple archives, but today that will change. Dickinson was well known for her reluctance to publish her work. She left behind just 10 published poems and a vast paper trail, ranging from finished-seeming poems assembled into hand-sewn books to fragments inscribed on advertising fliers, backs of envelopes, paper bags, and candy wrappers. The online Emily Dickinson Archive, inaugurated today, will bring together on a single open-access website thousands of manuscripts.
Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel prize for her short stories, thus becoming its 13th female recipient. Munro has long been recognized in North America and the UK, but the Nobel will draw international attention to women's writing and to the short story. Anne Enright, an Irish author and a Man Booker Prize winner, wrote that Munro's "stories do not ask for our praise, but for our attention. We feel, when we read them, less lonely than we were before."
When we make a list in our catalog, the limit is 32 items, so we are forced to leave many deserving titles off of a "best" list. ( I have noticed that some catalog users will have a Part A and Part B when 32 is not enough.) A new list, the Best 2013 Albums at APL, has quite a few bands who are playing at ACL, such as Junip, Foxygen, Vampire Weekend, Red Baraat, and Phosphorescent.
Wilco is back at the ACL Festival. The Austin American Statesman reviewers said - "In the first year of ACL Fest, Wilco was a top-tier act. Which they are again 11 years later, without ever selling out. Who else can boast such a career?" And the library has cds, dvds, and books that cover that career.
In The Daughters of Mars, the world of two Australian nurses during WWI is opened drastically as they are loaded onto a hospital ship treating Australian soldiers who have been wounded in the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey. Thomas Keneally, who wrote Schindler’s List, is a master of character development and period detail.
Libraries promote the love of reading. But reading does not have to be a solitary activity. October is National Reading Group Month when an annual list of books is selected on the basis of their appeal to reading groups, covering timely and provocative topics and including under-represented gems from small publishers. The books are chosen by a panel of writers, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, publicists and committed readers, so you know they have got to be good.