Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
How El Chopo was made possible:
Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture
Friday, June 24, 2011
Gay and Lesbian Pride Month is celebrated each year the month of June. The last Sunday in June is celebrated as Gay Pride Day and here in Austin there will be a fundraiser for Austin Pride at Esther’s Follies June 26.
A few days ago, the county’s largest bankruptcy court declared the law banning federal recognition of gay marriages unconstitutional. The decision issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Donovan was prompted by a joint bankruptcy protection filing by a Los Angeles gay couple legally married in 2008. US Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Donovan ruled that the law violated the Constitution's equal protection guarantee. The U.S. Trustee’s Office, an arm of Department of Justice that oversees bankruptcy cases, asked Donovan to dismiss the case on the grounds that DOMA (Defense of Marraige Act) barred the court from recognizing the couple’s marriage. Donovan declined to dismiss the case, saying the couple demonstrated that there is no valid governmental basis for DOMA. The ruling Monday was also signed by 19 other judges on the 24-member court in an unusually emphatic display of consensus.
The Library has some new books on the legal history of gay rights that will bring you up to date.
From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Lawsuits That Have Changed Our Nation
From Disgust to Humanity
Queer (in) Justice: the Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States
Making it Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnership & Civil Unions
See last year's posting for gay fiction titles.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Eric Newby's A Small Place in Italy
details the renovation of his home and integration into his local village in 1960s Italy.
Anthony Doerr's Four Seasons in Rome
an insightful account of life in Rome with infant twins.
Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence
Mayle left advertising for a slower life in Provence
Chris Yates' How to Fish
Yates is the consummate idler: fishing, gardening, drinking tea, and enjoying life
Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast
Wondering Paris' avenues and side streets poor and content
Monday, June 20, 2011
The results of the second bi-annual weeding contest, in which we award a prize for finding the most outdated library book, are in. The winning entry is The Official Guide to Outdoor Skating by Frank Simcoe, and yes, that is Mr. Simcoe on the cover.
As silly as he looks doing air splits in his polyester pants and sneaker skates, the book did not win for the photo. No, it won because Frank is not wearing a helmet. Since those carefree disco days, helmets have become standard equipment for wheeled sports, and we at APL endorse the advance of safety.
Second place went to Parenting in the '90s: A Comprehensive Guide for Greater Austin, which is full of helpful information... from 20 years ago. This is as close as we can get you to a ride in Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine. (See also this post on time travel.)
Here are more entries from the June 2011 contest.
Click the pictures to enlarge, and take another look at the 2010 contest. Our next contest wraps in December. Keep an eye on the blog!
Friday, June 17, 2011
As Des Barres and others would argue, though, the GTOs weren't just a bunch of groupies looking for fame. They truly loved the music and wanted to be a part of the lives of the (mostly) men that created it. Des Barres was some of the inspiration for the character Penny Lane from "Almost Famous" and, while they never referred to themselves as "Band-Aides", her and her friends definitely believed that they contributed to the music and were venerated and treated with a level of respect that I don't think you really find among the super fans and artists of today.
When I was in high school I was totally obsessed with the rock bands of the British invasion, Led Zeppelin in particular, and I always felt it a shame I wasn't born in a different era. This may be the full explanation of why I enjoyed this book despite some complaints regarding the writing style (it does read a bit like a 16 year-old's diary), but I feel pretty confident that if you enjoyed "Almost Famous", have an interest in this time period musically or otherwise, and/or just love celebrity gossip, you'll really dig this one.
Here are some additional books written by Des Barres and others that you may enjoy, if I'm With the Band piques your interest:
Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit
Here's a memoir by Catherine James, another very famous groupie that appears in Des Barres' memoir and partied with all the big name musicians of the time
"Former Stones, Dylan Superfan Pamela Des Barres on 'Greatest Groupies'"
This is a link to an interview with Pamela Des Barres regarding her VH1 documentary that aired in December 2010 and includes a bit of info on the upcoming movie based on I'm With the Band
Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll's Legendary Neighborhood
Laurel Canyon is the famed LA neighborhood where a number of legendary musicians hung out and resided, including Pamela Des Barres at Frank Zappa's house
Let's Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies
In this title by Des Barres, she interviews famous groupies, so they can tell their stories
Rebel Heart: An American Rock 'n' Roll Journey
This is a memoir from another very famous groupie, Bebe Buell, mother of Liv Tyler, whose famous conquests include Steven Tyler, Elvis Costello, and Rod Stewart.
Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up
This is Des Barres' follow-up to I'm With the Band that picks up where the other left off
Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me
Not exactly a groupie, Pattie Boyd, the author of this memoir, was married to George Harrison and, later, Eric Clapton. The infamous songs "Something", "Layla", and "Wonderful Tonight" were all written for her.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
For the most part, it’s easy to ignore the passage of time in movies and novels. Some take place over the course of months, years, decades or generations. But tomorrow we celebrate Bloomsday, a day set aside to honor James Joyce’s novel Ulysses and the novel's hero Leopold Bloom. Joyce's quintessential text journeys all over Dublin on June 16th as Bloom experiences a Homer-like odyssey. Ulysses doesn't make for the greatest beach read ever but here are other one-day novels which might interest you:
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
- A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? By Philip K. Dick
- Also available as a graphic novel
- The Hours by Michael Cunningham
- Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo
- After Dark by Haruki Murakami
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Monday, June 13, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
I Am Number 4
Iron Man 2
The Next Three Days
Just Go With It
Knight and Day
The Company Men
For Colored Girls
The Ghost Writer
I Love You Philip Morris
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Jack Goes Boating
Never Let Me Go
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Then an image dilates my pupils and I stand corrected, awestruck by the indescribable emotion of an image. One particular image that trumps any mountain of words, is the 1972 Pulitzer winning photograph of nine-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc. That photograph was taken June 8, 1972 shortly after Kim’s village was bombed and napalm burned her clothing from her body. This photograph made Kim a vivid victim of war to the international community and a propaganda symbol for the Vietnamese government. She now resides in Ontario and leads a remarkable life. Denise Chong’s The Girl in the Picture: the Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War tells Kim’s story.
Other books that discuss children and war:
The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam
And Still Peace Did Not Come: a Memoir of Reconciliation
Clara’s War: One Girl’s Story of Survival
Hidden Children of the Holocaust
Courageous Journey: Walking the Lost Boys’ Path from Sudan to America
Monday, June 06, 2011
Druxman chased his dreams to Hollywood and made most of them come true. Starting out with no show-business contacts, he created a successful career as a publicist, playwright, screenwriter, director, and Hollywood historian. His memoir is filled with stories of his encounters with Jimmy Durante and Elvis Presley, Jack Lemmon and Cary Grant, the cast of the hit television series Dallas, legendary producer Roger Corman, and with lessons learned from Hollywood's rich and famous.
Druxman retired to Austin a couple of years ago, but still works on screenplays and other writing projects occasionally. His screenwriting credits include such notable films as Cheyenne Warrior with Kelly Preston, Dillinger and Capone starring Martin Sheen and F. Murray Abraham, and The Doorway with Roy Scheider, which he also directed. Druxman has published 13 books since 1974, including
This event is free and open to the public. For more information please call 512-974-7400 or visit http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/.
Friday, June 03, 2011
You can view and donwload a Pissarro landscape; a 1704 still life of wild strawberries by the Dutch painter Adriaen Coorte; and gold earrings from the fifth to the seventh century. But the current selection is only a start, and the digital collection will grow. The fact that users could potentially take the images and make t-shirts or potholders adorned with a work does not bother the director. "It's negligible in the long run," Mr. Govan said. "My view is that it's better to get the images out there so people will want to come and see the real thing." Each work in the library comes with identifying information and a link to its listing on the museum's online collections, where further information can be found.
You can find this resource for free images along with others using APL's Image Locator Information Guide.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Chances are you had the opportunity (or misfortune) to compete in a spelling bee at some point in your life. You may or may not want to relive those potentially painful memories. For me, I just could not get the “i before e” rule down when I was asked to spell ‘field.’ Luckily, my spelling has improved slightly since second grade.
As NPR's Morning Edition pointed out this morning, English, coming as it does from so many different language sources, keeps you guessing when it comes to spelling. The good news is that the library is here to help!
Tools to help improve your spelling
- Vocabulary & spelling success in 20 minutes a day from Learning Express
- Spell it right dictionary by Christine Maxwell
Interesting reads on the spelling challenges presented by the English language.
- The great typo hunt : two friends changing the world one correction at a time by Jeff Deck
- Righting the mother tongue : from Olde English to email, the tangled story of English spelling by David Wolman
- Spellbound : the surprising origins and astonishing secrets of English spelling by James Essinger
Or, sit back and let other people do the spelling for you in these movies.