In 2012, blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy was honored by the Kennedy Center for outstanding contributions to American culture. Buddy Guy was a member of Muddy Waters’ band, house guitarist at Chess Records, and a pioneer of Chicago blues. Check out the album Living Proof to hear his signature sound.
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Enticed by a friend’s recommendation, I discovered the operatic group Il Divo. Wow! What powerful voices and what a full orchestral sound supports this talented quartet of male singers. If you like dramatic, deep music like Andrea Bocelli, but also enjoy pop music, try Il Divo, their first, self-titled album.
Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, wrote American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America. This colorful book discusses the successes and failures of starting a garden. Community gardens are praised for bringing neighborhoods together and nutrition and exercise are touched on.
Donna S. of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family by Ezekiel J. Emanuel:
You may know the name, Rahm Emanuel. He worked on the campaign to elect President Bill Clinton, was Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, and is currently the mayor of Chicago – but he is not the only talented Emanuel. Ari is the Hollywood super-agent who inspired the character Ari Gold on Entourage and Ezekiel is one of the world’s leading bioethicists and oncologists. Brothers Emanuel tells the stories of three rambunctious, overachieving brothers growing up Jewish in Chicago during the ‘60s and ‘70s with a civil rights activist mother and an immigrant physician father. It is also an examination of how three such extraordinary go-getters could develop out of a family of modest beginnings.
Kati Marton is an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent for NPR and ABC. She was married to news anchor Peter Jennings and then to the diplomat Richard Holbrooke. After Holbrooke’s sudden death Marton decided to return to Paris. New and old fond memories are recounted in Paris: A Love Story.
In Home Front, Kristin Hannah explores military females serving in war zones. Joleen, a U.S. Army reservist, has been called to active duty. She leaves behind her family, including her shaky marriage, to fly Black Hawk helicopters in Iraq, and nothing is the same when she gets home.
The Orchard by Theresa Weir tells the story of a street-wise girl who marries into an old and well-respected farm family. Insight is given on farm traditions, the standard use of pesticides, its effect on the land, and dealing with the iron will of a family matriarch.
Poorer Richard’s America: What Would Ben Say?, by Tom Blair, touches on current hot topics like the national deficit, prejudice, Wall Street, the auto industry, religion, and foreign affairs. Blair uses Benjamin Franklin quotes to frame the current political climate for enlightening results.
Neil Diamond’s forty years in music have given us many memorable tunes. The legendary singer-songwriter was one of the Kennedy’s Center’s 2012 honorees, and in 2011 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Any of his CDs will get you humming all day long.
In City Island, Vince has plenty of secrets. His whole family does. His son has a fetish, his daughter moonlights as an exotic dancer, his wife thinks he’s having an affair and all Vince wants is to be an actor. The comedy of ill-communication is magnified in City Island.