Upon a quick inspection I sided with my niece, she’s 4, on the debate over which of The Head and the Heart’s albums are better. My apologies to my sister, my niece’s mom, who is of the opposite opinion. Though THATH’s eponymous 2011 debut may be more “interesting” in it’s musically fractured flow of rhythms, I found the heightened elements of pop/rock in their 2013 album, Let’s Be Still, to be much more engaging. The interesting thing is, this is not the first time my niece’s tastes and my tastes have crossed. We have both previously been in agreement upon the exquisite quality of Radiohead’s “Let Down” from OK Computer and Band of Horses’ “Slow Cruel Hands of Time” from Mirage Rock.
Suggested Use: In a hurry to get to work? Running late? Stuck behind a driver who is sure the roads are still super-treacherous from the snow storm and sub-zero temperatures of a week ago? Pop this guy in the disc player. It’s soothing and sometimes-playful piano parts backed by lyrical descriptions of love gone wrong should help calm you down.
Posted in Music, Reviews | Tagged The Head and the Heart | Leave a Comment »
On Saturday, the Downtown Library hosted its final Downton Abbey Downtown Tea event. Thirty library patrons gathered to share their love of Downton Abbey, a PBS television show exploring the lives of a family of landed gentry and their servants during the early 20th century in Great Britain. Sweet Violet Tea & Antiques provided tea, scones, and cookies. Library patron Mary Anderson shared information and pictures from her recent trip to Highclere Castle in England, where Downton Abbey is filmed. Two lucky winners received door prizes, the book Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey and a season four promotional poster. All participants took home a teabag of Lord Grantham’s Breakfast Blend.
Posted in ACPL, Television | Tagged Downton Abbey, Television | Leave a Comment »
Here are some books coming to a library or store near you! The following books will be released between March 15, 2014 and April 14, 2014. And, once again the release date means when the book will go on sale — not necessarily be in your library.
Historical Romances take place before 1945. A heavy emphasis is placed on the development of a romantic relationship. Subgenres include Medieval, American West, and Regency.
A Shocking Delight
Rogues World series
What a Reckless Rogue Needs
Sinful Scoundrels series
Fool Me Twice
Rules for the Reckless series
The Winter Bride
The Chance Sisters series
Three Weeks With Lady X
Connected to the Duchesses Series
Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom
Renegade Royals series
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea
Pennyroyal Green Series
What a Hero Dares
Redgrave Family series
The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell
MacGregor’s Highland Heirs series
The Wicked Widow Meets Her Match
Wicked Rogue series
Historical Fiction normally takes place before 1945. Focus is on the lives, scandals and issues facing the characters, light emphasis on romance. A large Continue Reading »
Posted in Books, Fiction | 1 Comment »
hoosiernf via flckr.com
I remember a lively discussion during history class in high school. The topic revolved around how Indiana got the nickname, the Hoosier State. Our history teacher was a lively man who tried to keep the class interesting for the disinterested. I did not fall into that category, so everything he said stuck. That is probably why almost 20 years later I can still remember our discussion. In any case I recall him telling us one of the possibilities about the origins of our state’s nickname. In it there was a bar fight and somebody lost an ear. Somebody else picked it up and said, “Whose ears?” Get it?
We all laughed because of the absurdity of the story, but it got us thinking, “Why are we called Hoosiers?” The ultimate conclusion of our class conversation was no one really knows why we are called Hoosiers. Historians have different theories on the origin of the word, but no one can tell you for sure. So recently I conducted research of my own to see what I could find and it appears that my memory is in fine form, as everything I found backed up that history discussion held many years ago. One of the most plausible theories is found at indianahistory.org. They talk about Sarah Harvey, a Quaker from Richmond, Indiana and a letter she wrote to her relatives in 1835. She tells them that old settlers in Indiana are called Hooshers and the cabins they live in “Hooshers Nest….”
Some people believe the word was meant to be derogatory and was used to describe Indiana as a rough, backwoods place. Still others believe the term was used with pride to refer to a hearty, courageous group of people who settled our state. Whatever theory you support, the debate goes on. Have you heard any theories that are not mentioned? I would like to hear them if you have.
Also as an ode to the other great states in the union here is a complete list of their nicknames. A lot of them are self-evident, others not so much. For example Maryland is known as “The Old Line State.” I had to look that one up.
||The Last Frontier
||The Grand Canyon State
||The Natural State
||The Golden State
||The Centennial State
||The Constitution State
||The First State
||The Sunshine State
||The Peach State
||The Aloha State
||The Gem State
||The Hoosier State
||The Hawkeye State
||The Sunflower State
||The Bluegrass State
||The Pelican State
||The Pine Tree State
||The Old Line State
||The Bay State
||The Great Lakes State
||The North Star State
||The Magnolia State
||The Show Me State
||The Treasure State
||The Cornhusker State
||The Silver State
||The Granite State
||The Garden State
||The Land of Enchantment
||The Empire State
||The Tar Heel State
||The Peace Garden State
||The Buckeye State
||The Sooner State
||The Beaver State
||The Keystone State
||The Ocean State
||The Palmetto State
||Mount Rushmore State
||The Volunteer State
||The Lone Star State
||Salt Lake City
||The Beehive State
||The Green Mountain State
||The Old Dominion State
||The Evergreen State
||The Mountain State
||The Badger State
||The Equality or Cowboy State
Posted in History, Indiana | Tagged Hoosiers | Leave a Comment »
Missing the Olympic Winter Games already? Check this out. If you haven’t seen it yet, vertical dancing is amazing and breathtaking and thrilling and incredible and brave!
Posted in Saturday Smiles, Sports, Sunday Smiles | Tagged Bandaloop, Dance, Vertical Dance | Leave a Comment »
It’s Academy Awards season, and as those little golden homunculi peek at us from just around the corner, and full-page Variety ads lobby “for your consideration …,” it’s good to reflect back on the past year in film and see which Oscar nods are significant.
Let’s not beat around the bush. The category that everyone really wants to know about is the “Best Picture,” and this year’s roster reminds us that it has been a tremendous year for film.
The obvious pick here is 12 Years a Slave, and I have to imagine it will get the win, not only because it is a quality movie, but because it feels like the sort of “significant” movie that the Academy typically picks. Like Lincoln two years ago, it is an historical drama with excellent production design, several commendable performances, and it addresses some current social issues through it’s retelling of history. Yes, if I were a betting man, 12 Years a Slave would be the safe pick, but one thing I love about this list is that it honors some films that are trying to be different than your typical “important” film.
As Eileen Jones points out in this excellent article reprinted on Salon.com, Gravity turned out to be a compelling film by using the art of cinema to bring its audience very visceral thrills, reminding us that films can overwhelm us with emotion but they can also become Continue Reading »
Posted in Movies, News | Tagged Academy Awards | 3 Comments »
Let me first state that, for most of the book, I liked While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax. The characters were real, their problems were believable and the writing is good . . . until you get to the last paragraph. For some reason, at the very end of the book, the writer decides that she needs to tell her readers what message we should take away from the book. As if we couldn’t have figured it out for ourselves. As if we didn’t expect from the title (Spoiler Alert!) that friendships would develop from watching Downton Abbey together. Then I turned the page to see what came after the end of the book and found discussion questions for book groups. I think it takes a special kind of hubris to assume before a book has even been printed that book groups will want to discuss it. I find it a little offensive. Added to the fact that I was put off by the last paragraph, I had a sour taste in my mouth when I closed the book.
The four main characters are: Samantha Davis, Claire Walker, Brooke MacKenzie and Edward Parker.
Samantha married a rich man when her parents died because he was willing to support both Samantha and her two younger siblings. They live in the penthouse suite of the Alexander, a posh Atlanta condo building. She has spent the last 27 years making sure that her husband is happy. She has never told him she loves him because he might not return her feelings. Her younger brother is a schemer and always needs money to back his schemes.
Claire is a single mother whose daughter is entering college. She has sold her house and has enough savings to rent a studio apartment for a year. She has published two historical romances set in the Scottish highlands and is planning to write full time during this year. One small problem: writer’s block.
Brooke, a mother of two preschoolers is the former wife of a plastic surgeon. After she worked to put him through med school, he walked away from her and their two young daughters because she refused plastic surgery and didn’t fit his image. He and his “Barbie doll” new girlfriend move into another condo in the same building.
The concierge, Edward Parker, is trying to make the residents of the building feel like a community. He decides to show the first two seasons of Downton Abbey while they wait for the third season to air in the United States.
I felt like the wrapping up of everyone’s problems at the end of the book was much like watching an episode of Touched by an Angel, in which miracles are accomplished in less than an hour each week. While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is probably a good book for a book group to read, but I tend to steer away from best sellers and “book club reads.” Next time I decide to judge a book by it’s title and/or cover, I’ll read the comments on the back. “A great beach read” is not necessarily a recommendation. I give this book about 3.5 stars out of 5.
Posted in Books, Fiction, Reviews, Television | Tagged Chick Lit, Downton Abbey, Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey | 1 Comment »