Month: September 2011

Check It Out Blog

Diane’s Pick: Steely Dan

Diane D.Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steely Dan’s jazz-influenced sound, memorable pop hooks, cryptic lyrics and ironic humor have made the band, comprised of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, enduringly popular for the past forty-five years. Their website has the band’s history, song lyrics and tour dates.

Zen and the Art of Murder Detection

Zen DVD coverAh, Italia.  Behind a façade of gorgeous architecture and cool sophisticates hides a culture steeped in political corruption.  Venetian inspector Aurelio Zen has earned a reputation for integrity, but he suspects that makes him a target for manipulation.  He’s repeatedly called into clandestine meetings for new orders about high-profile murders, but the information he receives doesn’t always add up.  Based on the books Vendetta, Cabal, and Ratking by Michael Dibdin, the BBC production Zen stars Rufus Sewell as the suave yet self-deprecating detective.  Can he balance the initial sparks of an office romance, the search for truth, and the shadows of power dogging his steps?  Enlightenment awaits with Zen.

LISTS: Films Set in Italy

Vincere DVD coverThe Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi once said, “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan – who wouldn’t want to visit them? They are famed cities in a country renowned for romance, architectural wonders and thousands of years of human history.

Can’t afford the plane ticket, but still want a Roman holiday? Click here for movies set in Italy.


Yarn Bombing

Yarn Bombing book coverGraffiti has long since been a controversial issue. Is it art or a nuisance? You might have to reconsider your thoughts on the subject after reading Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain. Yarn bombing is crochet and knit graffiti. Put simply, it is a guerilla crafting movement that seeks to create yarn art installments, like tree sweaters, street pole cozies and knitted flowers, in urban and natural environments. In Yarn Bombing, you’ll find interviews with originators, patterns and how-to tips that will help you join this covert, D.I.Y. trend.

97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families…

97 Orchard Street book coverDonna S. of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman:

97 Orchard was a tenement on the lower east side of Manhattan where German, Irish, Southern Italian and Eastern European immigrant families lived. This is the story of five of the families who lived there from 1863 to 1935. Each family introduced their culture and food to their neighbors. It is through early nineteenth century sharing such as this that we now enjoy foods such as pasta, sauerkraut, challah (egg twist bread), knishes (potato pastry), dandelion and other wild salad greens, olives, beer, sausages, gnocchi (potato pasta), corned beef, pizzarelli and delicatessen. 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman is a compelling culinary history about the ethnic origins of many “American” foods.


LISTS: Soothing Sounds

Peaceful Moods CD coverRoadwork. Rambunctious children. Loud coworkers. Clacking computer keys. Wolves in the walls? What noise do you need to cancel out?

Click here to breathe free and easy with some calming CDs.


Involuntary Military Service

Stop Loss DVD coverStaff Sergeant Brandon King leads his men into an ambush twenty-eight days before their tour in Iraq is over. Four died, one is missing limbs, and the rest get back to the States and self-medicate their unacknowledged post-traumatic stress by hitting the bottle. King doesn’t want to re-enlist, but he gets “stop-lossed.” The U.S. government legally extended his military contract without his consent. When King finds out, he panics, goes AWOL, and has to decide if he will permanently live on the lam or if he’ll go back to Iraq. Stop-Loss, directed by Kimberly Peirce, highlights a controversial military procedure that has affected over 80,000 soldiers who have served in the Iraq War.