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December 2007

Librarians’ Choice 2007 · Audiobooks, Music, and Movies

Audiobooks

cover of Digging for the Truth: One Man’s Epic Adventure Exploring the World’s Greatest Archaeological Mysteries
Joshn Bernstein
The behind-the-scenes story of the filming of the History Channel’s show Digging for the Truth. Bernstein’s account of his quests for the answers to historical mysteries will please listeners who are fans of extreme archaeology, parasitic infections, and food poisoning!

cover of Sharp objects Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn
Reporter Camille Preaker faces both a serial killer and her own dysfunctional past in this psychological thriller. Sharp Objects won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller as well as the New Blood Dagger Award (Best First Crime Novel).

cover of Way Off the Road: Discovering the Peculiar Charms of Small-Town America Way Off the Road: Discovering the Peculiar Charms of Small-Town America
William (Bill) Geist
Bill Geist, the Emmy award-winning correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, is a favorite of fans of his newspaper columns, books, and weekly TV excursions. In this collection of hilarious stories, Bill visits the land of lost luggage in Alabama, as well as a professional photographer of cows in Wisconsin, and the mule train mailman in Arizona, who delivers the post to the Havasupai Tribe at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This CD is unabridged and read by Patrick Lawlor.

cover of The Killing Moon The Killing Moon
Chuck Hogan
After 15 years, prodigal son Donnie Maddox returns to his dying hometown of Black Falls, Massachusetts, and unexpectedly joins the corrupt police force as an auxiliary officer. A series of murders linked to a criminal enterprise unnerves the community. Aspects of Maddox’s past slowly emerge that explain why he’s returned to face the deadly corruption choking Black Falls. Killing Moon won the 2005 Hammit Prize and is read unabridged by Henry Strozier.

cover of The Spanish Bow The Spanish Bow
Andromeda Romano-Lax
In a Catalan village, young Feliu Delargo catches a break when he is given a prized cello bow. After studying in Barcelona, he earns a cello position at the royal court in Madrid. When Feliu joins Justo Al-Cerraz, a former piano prodigy, he finds fame and fortune, as the friends make glorious music for the next 25 years. Romano-Lax’s inspiring debut is based on the life of cellist Pablo Casals. This CD is unabridged and read by Paul Michael

cover of I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny
Bob Newhart
This is a great listen for any aficionado of comedy. Newhart’s stories about his early days on the comedy circuit and the eclectic people he’s come across are priceless gems. The best part is that Newhart reads his book, delivering the material with his inimitable timing and wit.

cover of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
Jeffrey Toobin
Toobin offers a fascinating examination of the recent history of the Supreme Court, with a focus on the personalities and interactions of the justices.

cover of Luncheon of the Boating Party Luncheon of the Boating Party
Susan Vreeland
This novel from the author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue explores human relationships and the world of art history; in this case, the artist Renoir’s difficulties in work and love. Set in nineteenth-century Paris and rich in historical detail.

Music

cover of The Journey and the Labyrinth The Journey and the Labyrinth
John Dowland
Sting extends his fascination with John Dowland (1563-1626), following the immensely popular Songs From the Labyrinth (2006), with a deeper examination of the composer and the historical impact of his music. Sting and lutanist Edin Karamazov perform 400-year-old compositions in a live recording at St. Luke’s Cathedral in London. Also included is a DVD with performances and discussions. Robert Johnson’s blues classic, “Hellhound On My Trail,” and Sting’s own “Message In A Bottle” are added highlights.

cover of Last of the Breed Last of the Breed
Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price
Nelson partners with two other legends of maverick country to make a fun honky-tonk album. The trio revisits country classics such as Hank Williams’s classic “Lost Highway” and “Heartaches By The Number.” The tight-knit chemistry allows each artist enough space to shine individually, as well as to collaborate freely as egoless peers.

cover of River: The Joni Letters River: The Joni Letters

Jazz icon Herbie Hancock continues his long, adventurous career of blending genres and styles. This album features many of Joni Mitchell’s finest songs beautifully reinterpreted by Hancock. It includes a stellar group of musicians and guest vocalists including Nora Jones, Tina Turner, Corinne Bailey Rae, Leonard Cohen, and—on one track—Mitchell herself. Mitchell and classic jazz fans won’t want to miss this.

cover of Washington Square Serenade Washington Square Serenade
Steve Earle
On his new album, singer-songwriter Steve Earle documents major life changes such as his recent marriage to singer-songwriter Allison Moorer and a move to New York’s Greenwich Village. The album marks a turning point on the sonic level as well, with Earle enlisting the Dust Brothers of Beastie Boys and Beck fame to help update his sound. Layering acoustic and electric guitars over subtle electronica, these songs about love, devotion, and messing up are invigorating.

cover of Grass Geysers Carbon Clouds Grass Geysers Carbon Clouds
Enon
On its first full-length studio outing since 2003,( Hocus Pocus) NYC based art-rockers Enon run through a set of frenetic indie rock. Fronted by vocalist/guitarist John Schmersal (originally from Dayton’s sadly missed Brainiac) and vocalist/bassist Toko Yasuda, this group attacks with new-wave energy on songs like “Mirror on You” and “Those Who Don’t Blink.”

cover of Testify Testify
Simpsons
Testify contains the best songs from season 10 through 18 of the unstoppable Simpsons show. It showcases the talents of award-winning composer Alf Clausen, the voices of America’s most beloved TV family, and such special guest stars as Ricky Gervais, Jackson Browne, The B-52s and David Byrne. Testify is a must for any Simpsons fan.

cover of Boxer Boxer
The National
Originally from Anderson Township, the band is now based in NYC. With its fourth album, the band has earned a national reputation, including an opening slot with Arcade Fire—one of the most anticipated tours of 2007. The quintet’s sound is indie rock and British pop/rock with lush arrangements featuring lovelorn vocals that mesh with unobtrusive guitars, and occasional appearances of piano, horns, and strings.

cover of Rokku Mi Rokka Rokku Mi Rokka
Youssou N’Dour
With a title that means “give and take” in Youssou N’Dour’s native language, Senegalese, this album presents a vibrant set of traditionally rooted North African songs. The follow-up to the world music superstar’s Grammy-winning album features light, frenetic percussion and lilting melodies that allow N’Dour’ to emote like an African Otis Redding.

cover of The Rough Guide to Salsa - Volume Two The Rough Guide to Salsa - Volume Two
Various artists
This second edition of the guide pulls songs from various Latin styles. New artists such as Congo-based Kekele, Ricardo Lemvo, and Alex Wilson bring salsa up to date and show how influences have moved back and forth between continents. Old-school salsa from Wayne Gorbea, Jimmy Bosch, Fruko y Sus Tesos and Sonora Carrusles shows the power and energy of salsa music, and why it has remained so popular.

cover of La Cucaracha La Cucaracha
Ween
On its first studio album since 2003, the always-mischievous Ween delivers another set of skewed tunes. The duo’s signature vocals and quirky arrangements are featured on cheesy “Fiesta,” the twangy “Learnin’ to Love” and the punk-pop “Shamemaker.” La Cucarachais a fun listen, and a fine addition to Ween’s gleefully bizarre catalogue.

cover of Friday Night Lights Friday Night Lights
Various artists
This soundtrack to the highly acclaimed TV series features an eclectic mix of indie/alt-rock songs. Highlights include Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On,” Jose Gonzalez’s pensive “Storm,” and “First Breath After a Coma,” a beautiful instrumental piece by Explosions in the Sky, the Texan instrumental post-rock band.

Feature Films and TV Shows

cover of Bobby Bobby
Despite nominations for Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards, the ambitious historical drama Bobby was panned by David Denby as a “vague gesture at a large, metaphoric structure.” Yet the film’s all-star and wildly-diverse ensemble of actors, including Laurence Fishburne, Sharon Stone, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Harry Belafonte, and Elijah Wood is irresistible. Director Emilio Estevez delves into a surprisingly subjective, gritty, Altman-like interpretation of the volatile lives and times of the people surrounding Kennedy and his last hours at the Ambassador Hotel.

cover of Phantom Museums: Short Films of the Quay Brothers Phantom Museums: Short Films of the Quay Brothers
This new edition of collected films of the Quay Brothers encapsulates the artistic prowess of the intriguing, ambitious masters of puppetry and animation. Quay films take the viewer into dreamlike sequences, where enigmatic, doll-like characters work feverishly in each film to achieve a strange yet ambitious purpose, amidst apocalyptic environments. Phantom Museums includes classic films, commentaries, interviews, and a peek at unrealized projects, and enhances the Library’s existing collection of Quay films, which includes The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, The Brothers Quay, and Institute Benjamenta.

cover of Knocked Up Knocked Up
From the writer-director of The 40 Year Old Virgin comes another screwball comedy, artfully splashed with emotional depth and sincerity. The film follows a couple after a one-night stand that results in life-changing repercussions. With the help of their friends and family, the couple comes to understand the significance of the situation and learns to navigate their new circumstances. Touching, riotously vulgar, utterly entertaining.

cover of Digging For The Truth. Season 2 Digging For The Truth. Season 2
The History Channel’s Josh Bernstein, the real-life Indiana Jones, is once more on the trail of adventure and mystery, beginning with a show entitled, “The Real Temple of Doom.” Other episodes in volume one explore the American pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Viking’s voyage to America. Using ancient clues and the latest technology, Bernstein always contributes something new and interesting to stories about the mysteries of antiquity.

cover of Melrose Place (Season 3) Melrose Place (Season 3)
Melrose Place may be the guiltiest of all guilty pleasures, but fans will savor every second of this seven-disc set. In the most over-the-top season of Melrose Place, you’ll find amnesia, abuse, adultery, explosions and, of course, the fiendish Dr. Kimberley Shaw. This season also introduces Kristin Davis (Sex and the City) as the conniving Brooke Armstrong.