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Archive for October, 2011

House Music

Let Them Talk CD coverWe’ve made no secret of our admiration for Hugh Laurie, and now we have shining new proof that he is one of the coolest guys around. Let Them Talk is a love letter to the blues, rousingly performed with both inventiveness and skill. Laurie concedes there will be skeptics (“I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s. You may as well know this now. I’ve never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar”), but his enthusiasm may just introduce a new audience to a surprising mix of New Orleans blues, spirituals, American classics, and traditional folk music. The interplay of instruments is by turns mournful and fun, and the end result is irresistible.

By MPPL on October 31, 2011 Categories: Music

LISTS: Games in Fiction and Film

Ready Player One book cover“Do you want to play a game?”  The fantastically entertaining Ready Player One is the newest addition to thrilling stories constructed around complex games.  Solve the riddles, beat your opponents, and save the world.

Click here to explore exciting adventures that invite you to play along.

By MPPL on October 28, 2011 Categories: Books, Lists, Movies and TV

Bad Omens in the Smoky Mountains

The Hum and Shiver book coverPrivate Bronwyn Hyatt is back from Iraq with a busted leg and a broken shoulder. Home is a small town in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. As she heals, Bronwyn has to confront everything that made her run away in the first place:  her family, her treacherous ex-boyfriend and her people – the Tufa – a private, secretive population. While struggling to heal, Bronwyn comes upon a haint haunting her family and must discover what it wants before it’s too late. The Hum and the Shiver, by Alex Bledsoe, will be best loved by those who enjoy deep characterization and fantasy in rural settings.

By MPPL on October 27, 2011 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Renee’s Pick: The Family Fang

Renee Staff Pick PictureThe Family Fang is definitely not about vampires. Caleb and Camille Fang are famous performance artists who involve their children in their art. So what happens to the kids of performance artists? It involves pictures on the internet, a potato gun and their parents’ greatest artistic creation ever…

By MPPL on October 25, 2011 Categories: Books, Staff Picks

Renee's Pick: The Family Fang

Renee Staff Pick PictureThe Family Fang is definitely not about vampires. Caleb and Camille Fang are famous performance artists who involve their children in their art. So what happens to the kids of performance artists? It involves pictures on the internet, a potato gun and their parents’ greatest artistic creation ever…

By MPPL on Categories: Books, Staff Picks

“Sleep Well, and Stay Where I Put You”

Graveminder book coverThe burial rites given to the dead in Claysville are a little different.  In this town, the designated “graveminder,” a woman who is both official mourner and cemetery caretaker, administers an elaborate ritual to ensure that the dead stay buried.  It has been this way for generations, but Rebekkah knew nothing of it until she inherited the role and was told she must track down an escaped dead girl who has begun feeding her hunger.  Emma Galvin’s careful and moody reading of Graveminder by Melissa Marr plays with your existing fears and skillfully plants a few new ones.

By MPPL on October 24, 2011 Categories: Audiobooks, Horror, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

"Sleep Well, and Stay Where I Put You"

Graveminder book coverThe burial rites given to the dead in Claysville are a little different.  In this town, the designated “graveminder,” a woman who is both official mourner and cemetery caretaker, administers an elaborate ritual to ensure that the dead stay buried.  It has been this way for generations, but Rebekkah knew nothing of it until she inherited the role and was told she must track down an escaped dead girl who has begun feeding her hunger.  Emma Galvin’s careful and moody reading of Graveminder by Melissa Marr plays with your existing fears and skillfully plants a few new ones.

LISTS: Grunge Music

Nevermind album coverThe Seattle Sound is marked by its hardcore, heavy metal and indie rock influences, often displaying distorted guitars and angst. Bands rebelled against the mass-consumed music and fashionable presentations that had become the norm in the big-hair-spandex ‘80s.

Once you’ve worn out your Nirvana albums, click here for more grunge music.

By MPPL on October 21, 2011 Categories: Lists, Music

Guts, Blood and Sociology

The Monster Show book coverGore, girls and gruesome stories have long been a part of horror films, but are scary movies something more than boiling kettles of lust and carnage? In The Monster Show, David Skal poses that horror is a response and coping mechanism to society’s collected concerns. For example, movies about demonic children, like Rosemary’s Baby, made it big during an era when women’s reproductive rights were an overwhelming, national concern. Skal has created a conversational study on (mostly American) horror. If you haven’t had enough horror history after finishing The Monster Show, try the documentary The American Nightmare. It features prominent directors, like George RomeroWes Craven and Tobe Hooper, talking about their films and the cultural climates that inspired them.

By MPPL on October 20, 2011 Categories: Books, Horror, Movies and TV, Nonfiction

Cathleen’s Pick: After the Golden Age

Cathleen staff picks pictureImagine if The Incredibles had a grown daughter without any superpowers, and you’ll have an idea of Celia West’s life. After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn is a fast-paced, sarcastic adventure of one woman with extraordinary family issues.  Great escapist fun that’s perfect for shaking up your usual reading.

By MPPL on October 18, 2011 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks