Thursday, January 18, 2018

Maximum Volume: the Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, the Early Years 1926-1966 by Kenneth Womack


Title: Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, the Early Years 1926-1966.
    By: Kenneth Womack
    Published: 2017
    Call #: 782.42166 WOM

  This biography gives the reader a glimpse into the mind and the man who was behind the music of one of the greatest bands in history--The Beatles.  The life of George Martin and those of the Beatles came together in a fascinating and remarkable way to create the most exceptional music both artistically and commercially.  The early experiences of George Martin, his career and life choices alike make him THE man to produce the Beatles.  In this first book of two, the reader discovers how Martin made a name for himself as a producer while simultaneously saving Parlophone Records from ruin. The most riveting parts of the biography delve into Martin's discovery of and relationship with the Beatles.  It was Martin, with the Beatles, who created the job of “producer” that we know today; someone with artistic and technical background who could arrange music and bring musical suggestions to the group.  He was the first great music producer and his story is just as interesting as that of the Beatles themselves.  If you love the Beatles, George Martin,  pop music, or rock’n’roll or just biographies read this book!

Michaelle S.
Popular Materials Assistant

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My (Not-So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

My Not So Perfect Life

Katie is an English country girl is living out her dream--to live and work in London.  Sure, she's got a crazy commute, a teeny-tiny flat that she shares with roommates, a boss that doesn't seem to know who Katie is, and zero social life--but life isn't perfect, right?  Eager to impress, Katie begins to use social media to imply that the life she's living is way more glamorous than the truth. 

When Katie loses her job due to a series of unfortunate events, she is forced to head home to the family farm to lick her wounds.  Once home, she maintains the pretense of the "perfect" life she painted for herself on social media.  When her ex-boss shows up to the family B&B and threatens to expose the truth about Katie's picture perfect life, Katie learns that real life is messy and not quite as picture perfect as we portray on social media.

A fun, feel-good read, this novel is great for fans of Meg Cabot, Helen Fielding and Jane Green.

Annette B.
Popular Materials Assistant

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Title: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By: Jamie Ford
Published: 2009
Call #:  AF Ford

This WWII historical novel touches on a forgotten piece of American history - Japanese internment camps. In response to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans became the enemy on American soil.  The novel begins in 1986,  when an adult Henry learns of a basement in the Panama Hotel filled with the belongings left behind when Japanese families were sent to internment camps.  The discovery awakens Henry's memories of Keiko, the young Japanese girl who made attending an all-white prep school just a little bit easier.  Henry instantly connects with Keiko, but struggles because she’s Japanese, something his Chinese family will never accept. Still, Henry can’t deny their friendship and finds his world falling apart when the Japanese are all rounded up and sent off to internment camps.  He does his best to keep their relationship alive, but can this friendship between enemies survive a war?

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet unfolds a timeless tale of the innocence of youth that looks beyond the things that make a person the enemy. It is a story about fathers and sons and the things that can drive them apart or heal old wounds. This novel is about how music can bring people together and war can tear them apart. It touches on the importance of loyalties, honor, family, and what it costs to keep a promise. With so many layers, this novel is sure to speak to anyone who picks it up.

Mary-Megan K.
Popular Materials Assistant

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

Stolen Beauty

Title: Stolen Beauty
By: Laurie Lico Albanese
Published: 2017
Call #:  AF Lico Albanese

Artist Gustav Klimt is probably best known for The Kiss, although it is his Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer that is the root of this novel and an international legal drama decades later. Adele Bloch-Bauer is an independent and modern woman who desires knowledge, culture, and free-thinking, characteristics best kept suppressed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. When she meets Gustav Klimt, she discovers someone who speaks to her soul through body, mind, and art as the world around her crumbles with anti-Semitism. Interwoven through Adele’s story, is the tale of her beloved niece Maria Altman during the time when the Nazi took over Austria. As her family is pulled apart, Maria draws inspiration from her aunt’s memory to get through this trying time and find a way to escape. Maria’s story extends far beyond the time of the Nazi into the late 1990s as she tries to reclaim her aunt’s famous portrait that had been seized by the Nazi’s and became a symbol of Austria.

Stolen Beauty is a fascinating work of historical fiction. Both Adele and Maria are captivating characters that draw you in with their strength and perseverance through the unrest of the world around them. This is a must-read for art lovers and fans of historical fiction. 

Mary-Megan K.
Popular Materials Assistant

Thursday, December 28, 2017

House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

Title:  House of Shadows
By: Nicola Cornick
Published: 2017

Elizabeth, Lavinia and Holly, each a belonging to a different century, each yearning to change their lives while traveling towards a future that seems predestined. Cornick deftly weaves together the relationship between the three women.  What ties them together?  A precious jewel? A cursed mirror? Or Ashdown– a once great English country home that now lies in shadow and ruin?  Against a backdrop of rich historical detail, these women travel towards destiny, while the house itself waits for them in the shadows.

Jill B.
Popular Materials Manager

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Artemis by Andy Weir


Title: Artemis
By: Andy Weir
Published: 2017
Call #:  AF WEIR

Life in the moon colony Artemis isn’t easy, unless you’re rich.   Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara isn’t rich; she’s just trying to make a living and move out of her “coffin” apartment with it’s communal bathroom.   Jazz will do just about anything to make that happen, including smuggling Earth luxuries into Artemis for her wealthy clients.  When one of those clients offers her a vast amount of slugs (moon money) to take out a rival businessman, Jasmine jumps at the chance to change her life. What starts as a complicated, but doable, task quickly spirals out of control. Jazz soon finds herself being targeted by some powerful enemies and discovers Artemis’s dirty secrets.  Fast paced, packed with humor and intrigue, Artemis is a solid fun read.  Great for fans of sci-fi and regular fiction alike.

Jill B.
Popular Materials Manager