Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recent Staff Picks From Readers Services

Every month here in the Readers Services Department, we have a meeting, and hands-down, my favorite part of that meeting is "Book Talk." This is where we get to share and review our latest reads with our colleagues. If you've ever heard one of us at the desk say, "My co-worker really enjoyed this one," Book Talk is probably where we found that out. Since we all have different tastes and favorites, it's a great way to get to know books outside of what we usually read. So without further ado, here are a few of the more recent staff picks from Readers Services, in genres of all types-- bonus points if you can figure out who liked each book!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Come Make Something with Tested and Approved DIY

I LOVE this season's theme here at the library, DIY. As someone who absolutely believes in the old aphorism "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without," DIY is my bread and butter (which I've learned to bake myself). I patch, mend, darn clothes until they can't be used anymore. I unravel old sweaters and use the yarn to knit new hats and scarves for my kids. I cut old, gross, holey t-shirts into squares and make them into reusable paper towels and napkins. I fill old leggings with dry rice, sew the ends up, and they become microwavable hot packs for the winter (great if you want to keep the heating bills down, but don't want to freeze). And these are all just aside from the DIY skills I've learned, like embroidery, that are purely a relaxing hobby. I LOVE DIY. DIY around the house is green, it's fun, and it's often much, much cheaper than the alternative. DIY on the artsy/crafty end is relaxing and therapeutic. It's just all around great.

These are some books and magazines that I have personally used in my daily DIYness that I absolutely loved, and have checked out more than a few times. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our DIY materials here at the library. You can find out how to do literally almost anything, from cooking meals from scratch to building a shed. I am always on the lookout for one more thing to add to my DIY repertoire (next up: growing my own food), and our materials are usually my first stop. Come see what you can do for yourself!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Searching for Sugar Man and Great Movies about Musicians

My favorite movie of the past two years is Searching for Sugar Man, about a Mexican-American singer from Detroit that, to this viewer, was more suspenseful than any thriller. The recipient of an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the movie sets out to solve the mystery of Rodriguez, who released two critically acclaimed albums that went nowhere in the U.S. and who was rumored to have killed himself onstage in the 1970s. The music of Rodriguez, interspersed throughout the film, is frequently haunting and beautiful, as is this movie filled with jaw-dropping twists: it's an emotionally charged and deeply satisfying experience, as are many movies about musicians.

Some of my favorite movies about musicians include Amadeus, in which second-rate composer Salieri rails against the unfairness of Mozart's other-worldly gifts, and The Clash, Westway to the World, in which Joe Strummer says, apropos of  Mick Jones, who was kicked out of the group for chronic lateness and more, that some things, such as talent, are worth waiting for.

Do you have a favorite movie about a musician or musicians? Below is a list of just a few available through the library.