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Music & Performing Arts from the 2011 Winter Newsletter

<img src=" align=right hspace=5 />These recommendations from our staff were published in our <a href="">2011 Winter Newsletter</a>.

George Harrison by Olivia Harrison

George has always been my favorite Beatle (not that you have to choose, but still. I choose him). This beautiful book pays homage to a great artist, songwriter, and human being, and features a collection of photographs (many taken by George himself), as well as stories told by some of his closest companions. It’s a must-have for any Beatles fan, no matter who your favorite happens to be.

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Look, I Made a Hat by Stephen Sondheim

If you read last year’s Finishing the Hat, the first volume of Sondheim’s work, I’m pretty sure I won’t have to talk you into this one. This time around, Sondheim talks about how he composed the lyrics for more recent musicals like Sundays in the Park with George and Into the Woods. Even those who aren’t Sondheim fans, or fans of musicals in general, will find a lot to reflect on in Sondheim’s analysis and sometimes outright criticism of his own work. A good song is one thing—but how it furthers the work as a whole is Sondheim’s chief criterion.

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Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany By Stephen Sondheim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307593412
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Knopf - November 22nd, 2011

Apollo’s Angels by Jennifer Homans

It’s been said that ballet is the art of making the most unnatural movements look not only natural but also beautiful. Apollo’s Angels, by dance critic and former ballerina Jennifer Homans, is a love letter to this enigmatic and ethereal form, from its seeds as court entertainment to the apotheosis of classical ballet in New York City with the incomparable Balanchine. A lovely history for the devoted fan, and a powerful persuasion for anyone to become one.

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Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet By Jennifer Homans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812968743
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - November 29th, 2011

Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean

“With this stirring biographical history, Orlean follows up her bestselling The Orchid Thief with another tale of passion and dedication overcoming adversity and even common sense—this one centering on Rin Tin Tin, the German shepherd who founded a film and TV dynasty. After spending a lonely childhood in an orphanage, the young soldier Lee Duncan discovers on the battlefield of WWI France the puppy that will make a name for him as one of Hollywood’s top dog trainers, and become his life’s guiding purpose. The book follows Rin Tin Tin’s trajectory from early Hollywood’s ‘Poverty Row,’ where Duncan sought the dog’s first film deal, to international celebrity in silent films, radio shows, and TV programs.” —Publishers Weekly

Life Itself by Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert, the best-known film critic of our time, has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. In his poignant memoir, Ebert recounts his encounters with film legends, his stormy relationship with TV partner Gene Siskel, and his personal struggles, including his battle with thyroid cancer. Life Itself has received starred reviews from both Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, who says, “Ebert illuminates and assesses his life with the same insight and clarity that marks his acclaimed movie reviews.”

Guitars Illustrated by Terry Burrows

Okay, I admit it: I don’t actually play the guitar, but I do own one—a decent Yamaha acoustic that I bought at a garage sale from some guy who obviously didn’t play it either. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love guitars! In fact, I do. And if you or someone you know does too, then check out this beautiful book. Filled with images and specs of hundreds of amazing guitars (both acoustic and electric) it’s a wonderful collection for anyone—professional, amateur, or wannabe—who has an appreciation for one of the world’s most popular musical instruments.

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Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher

Bringing the same wit and hilarity that she did to her previous book, Wishful Drinking, Shockaholic is actress Carrie Fisher’s juicy account of her life, focusing more on the Star Wars years. It’s also about the phenomenal relationship she has with her mom, Debbie Reynolds, and the various Hollywood friendships she’s formed since she was chosen to play Princess Leia at only 19 years old. Oh, and it covers her electro-convulsive shock therapy. Which it turns out she loves.

The Nation's Stage by Michael Dolan

My very favorite television show is not a weekly sitcom or drama; in fact, it’s only shown once a year. It is The Kennedy Center Honors, a vibrant and moving celebration of the performing arts. But the show highlights only one night at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a stage that has been an incubator and springboard for some of the most memorable and important theater, dance, opera, and musical productions of the past four decades. This terrific new book celebrates many of the notable plays, ballets, and concerts—including those by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Agnes DeMille, Jerome Robbins, Aaron Copland, John Cage, and Tony Bennett—that have made the Center a national treasure.

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