Movie: Maria by Callas
This is not a detailed biography, but rather the story told by Maria herself. Feel the emotions, happy and sad, through her unique voice and listen to the excerpts of her brilliant performances.
CD: Norma by Vincenzo Bellini
Original sound recording from 1961. Enjoy magical voices of Maria Callas and Franco Corelli.
Audiobook: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Honestly one of the best books I have ever read. A contemplation on life, death, and grief, written in exquisite and compelling prose. Set in a Washington DC cemetary in the early days of the Civil War, the book follows President Lincoln, his deceased son Willie, and a colorful host of graveyard residents who must all navigate the complexities of life and the afterlife.
CD: A Night at the Opera by Queen
This 1975 album by the beloved British rock band was groundbreaking in its day, and it’s easy to see why. The experimental nature of the work and the sheer variety of musical styles sets it apart. From the melancholy folk ballad “39” to the charming music hall-style tunes “Seaside Rendezvous” and “Good Company” to the operatic rock sensibilities of the now-timeless “Bohemian Rhapsody,” no two songs on this album are alike, and there’s not a bad track among them.
TV Series: Longmire
Based on Craig Johnson’s mystery series, this modern western focuses on Sherriff Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming. The setting, character development, and story arcs set it apart from typical big city cop shows.
Audiobook: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
I flew through this inventive, captivating fantasy. Seraphina is a talented court musician with a terrible secret – she is half human, half dragon.
Movie: Nothing is Truer Than Truth
Esteemed actors Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius; The King’s Speech) and Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall; Bridge of Spies) plus other Elizabethan era authorities focus on the young Edward De Vere’s travels in Italy to explain how this 17th Earl of Oxford was inspired to write the plays and Sonnets attributed to the man from Stratford (William Shaksper)—who never left England and would in any case be forbidden from writing love sonnets to a nobleman, the 3rd Earl of Southampton. Sensible investigation into one aspect of the “authorship question.”
Audiobook: The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson
In this second installment of his World War II “Liberation Trilogy,” Atkinson analyzes the invasion of Sicily and the slog up the Italian peninsula, contested every inch of the way by dogged Germans under Albert Kesselring. He draws on first-hand accounts, documents and letters from the highest echelons (Generals George C. Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, George Patton, Mark Clark) to the lowest enlisted man and draftee, plus such war correspondents as Ernie Pyle and cartoonist Bill Mauldin to provide a balanced look at the successes and failures that plagued the brutal campaign in 1943 and 1944. In June of ’44 the invasion of Normandy made Italy a backwater, but there was some consolation in that the experience gained in Italy helped the Allies in northwestern Europe and that Americans, British, Canadians, New Zealanders, Sikhs, French, Gurkhas and others in the Allied camp had drawn German divisions away from other fronts.
“Joe Bowers is an average Joe. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He becomes part of a government experiment to go into hibernation. The experiment goes awry and Bowers awakens in the year 2505 to find a society so dumbed-down by mass commercialism and mindless TV programming that he’s become the smartest guy on the planet. Now it’s up to this average Joe to get human evolution back on the right track.”
CD: We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. by Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz’s third studio album, best known for featuring the hit “I’m Yours,” is fun, funky and light. Beachy guitars, R&B horns, and mellow, jazzy vocals combine to create a sweet and relaxing sound. A perfect listen for Spring!
TV Series: Game of Thrones
“The long winter is here. The penultimate Season 7 of this blockbuster hit series focuses on a convergence of armies and attitudes that have been brewing for years.”
Audiobook: Beastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz
“Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the debut album that became the first hip hop record ever to hit #1, Licensed to Ill–and the album’s messy fallout as the band broke with Def Jam; their move to Los Angeles and rebirth with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul’s Boutique; their evolution as musicians and social activists over the course of the classic albums Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty and the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits conceived by the late Adam “MCA” Yauch; and more. For more than thirty years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture. With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.”
All quoted summaries by catalog.ccls.org.