Best Music Reads of 2022

Amplify your appreciation of great music with these magnificent reads from the past year… (Note: All descriptions are taken from the publishers) Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius by Nick Hornby (also available as an ebook) Every so often, a pairing comes along that seems completely unlikely–until it’s not. Peanut butter and jelly, Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un, ducks and puppies, and now: Dickens and Prince. Equipped with a fan’s admiration and his trademark humor and wit, Nick Hornby invites us into his latest obsession: the cosmic link between two unlikely artists, geniuses in their own rights, spanning race, class, and centuries–each of whom electrified their different disciplines and whose legacy resounded far beyond their own time. Examining the two artists’ personal tragedies, social statuses, boundless productivity, and other parallels, both humorous and haunting, Hornby shows how these two unlikely men from different centuries “lit up the world.” In the process, he creates a lively, stimulating rumination on the creativity, flamboyance, discipline, and soul it takes to produce great art. The Number Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal the History of Pop Music by Tom Breihan Tom Breihan writes about twenty pivotal #1s throughout chart history, revealing a remarkably fluid and connected story of music that is as entertaining as it is enlightening.The Numbers Ones features the greatest pop artists of all time, from the Brill Building songwriters to the Beatles and the Beach Boys; from Motown to Michael Jackson, Prince, and Mariah Carey; and from the digital revolution to the K-pop system. Breihan also ponders great artists who have never hit the top spot, like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and James Brown. Breihan illuminates what makes indelible ear candy across the decades–including dance crazes, recording innovations, television phenomena, disco, AOR, MTV, rap, compact discs, mp3s, social media, memes, and much more–leaving readers to wonder what could possibly happen next. This is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You by Susan Rogers Legendary record producer-turned-brain scientist Susan Rogers explains why you fall in love with music. She explains that we each possess a unique “listener profile” based on our brain’s natural response to seven key dimensions of any song. Are you someone who prefers lyrics or melody? Do you like music “above the neck” (intellectually stimulating), or “below the neck” (instinctual and rhythmic)? Whether your taste is esoteric or mainstream, Rogers guides readers to recognize their musical personality, and offers language to describe one’s own unique taste. Rogers also takes us behind the scenes of record-making, using her insider’s ear to illuminate the music of Prince, Frank Sinatra, Kanye West, Lana Del Rey, and many others. This Is What It Sounds Like will refresh your playlists, deepen your connection to your favorite artists, and change the way you listen to music. This Woman’s Work: Essays on Music edited by Sinead Gleeson and Kim Gordon This powerful collection of award-winning female creators shares their writing about the female artists that matter most to them, including: Anne Enright on Laurie Anderson; Megan Jasper on her ground-breaking work with Sub Pop; Margo Jefferson on Bud Powell and Ella Fitzgerald; and Fatima Bhutto on music and dictatorship. This Woman’s Work also features writing on the experimentalists, women who blended music and activism, the genre-breakers, the vocal auteurs; stories of lost homelands and friends; of propaganda and dictatorships, the women of folk and country, the racialized tropes of jazz, the music of Trap and Carriacou; of mixtapes and violin lessons. Isn’t Her Grace Amazing! : The Women Who Changed Gospel Music by Cheryl Wills Nothing in the world soothes the soul better than Gospel music. From the foot-stomping, hand-clapping melodies of yesterday to the head-bobbing, bass-thumping hits of today, Gospel music ignites the spirit and delivers the inspiration that takes us from the rough side of the mountain to the peak of God’s love and grace. That feeling of joy, peace, love, and contentment is amplified when it’s ringing through the voice of a sister who can SANG, Cheryl Wills reminds us. The remedy for a tough day at work can be alleviated with Mary Mary’s uplifting jam “Shackles,” the answer to your heart’s desires can be found in the harmonies of The Clark Sisters’ “Name It, Claim It,” and if you need a reminder of God’s love, there is nothing more timeless that Aretha Franklin’s stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Conversations by Steve Reich Steve Reich is a living legend in the world of contemporary classical music. As a leader of the minimalist movement in the 1960s, his works have become central to the musical landscape worldwide, influencing generations of younger musicians, choreographers and visual artists. He has explored non-Western music and American vernacular music from jazz to rock, as well as groundbreaking music and video pieces. He toured the world with his own ensemble and his compositions are performed internationally by major orchestras and ensembles. Now Reich sits down with past collaborators, fellow composers and musicians as well as visual artists influenced by his work to reflect on his prolific career as a composer as well as the music that inspired him and that has been inspired by him. The Ink in the Grooves: Conversations on Literature and Rock N’ Roll edited by Florence Dore What is the relation between rock and literature? Compiled by ‘rock novel’ lit professor and indie musician Florence Dore, The Ink in the Grooves is a collection of essays and interviews about rock and literature from some of the most renowned novelists and musicians of our day-a backstage pass to musings on this topic from Richard Thompson, Colson Whitehead, Steve Earle, Michael Chabon, Rhiannon Giddens, Lucinda Williams, and others. Springsteen: Live in the Heartland photographs by Janet Macoska, text by Peter Chakerian Five decades of blue-jeans, down-to-earth rock ‘n’ roll. Five decades of poetic, authentic performances, political commentary, global tours and even a Broadway show. Bruce Springsteen hasn’t just left an impact on the surface of modern music, he helped shape its foundations. His truly timeless appeal is captured here by

Music Matters Presents “The Kootz!”

The Livingston Public Library is excited to announce the return of it’s Music Matters Concert programming series! We invite music lovers of all ages to stop by the Livingston Public Library on Sunday, April 24th at 2pm and enjoy some “Rock n’ Roll with FIBER” courtesy of The Kootz! They’ll be bringing their ‘musical-menu’ of classic ’60s-thru-’90s pop, rock, r&b and blues for a live performance in our Program Room. This program is funded by the Friends of the Livingston Library. If you enjoy this event and other’s like it, please considering supporting the Friends through their Take a Chance raffle. We hope to see you on Sunday! –Jessica, Interim Head of Adult Services & Acquisitions

Improving Your Sleep: Music and Ebooks on Hoopla

Do you struggle to get enough sleep at night? Are you constantly tired and irritable as a result? In honor of March being National Sleep Month, why not find tips from books and listen to music at bedtime?  Studies have shown that listening to music can increase the amount of time spent in deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The ebooks and the music playlist below are from Hoopla, a Livingston Public Library digital subscription for Livingston Public Library holders. All you need is the Livingston library card to check out to read and listen.  Sleep Music: The Best Of Sleep Music Sleep Music Easy Listening Sleep Music And Meditation Sounds: Sleep Fruits Music Sleep Fruits Music Easy Listening Nature Sounds For Deep Sleep Various Artists Rain Sounds, Rain For Deep Sleep, Sleep Sounds Of Nature, Ocean Sounds, Forest Sounds New Age Sleep Music Sleep Music New Age Mindfulness Calm Sleep Aid: Delta Brain Waves Binaural Beats New Age Help Me Sleep, Vol. 7 Sleep Piano Music Systems Easy Listening Baby Sleep Calm Collective Children’s Music For Deep Sleep & Insomnia Andrew Brel Richard Niles, Hugh Burns Easy Listening Help Me Sleep, Vol. 6: Relaxing Piano Lullabies For A Good Night’s Sleep  Sleep Piano Music Systems Easy Listening Relax And Sleep Relaxing Asian Spa Music Easy Listening Calm: The Magic Of Sleep Audiobook  HarperAudio  English 3h 17m by Michael Acton Smith read by Robert Brinkmann As the most active time for our brains and the most important element to a calmer, happier life, sleep has become the topic of our times. Drawing on the success of Calm, the #1 app for sleep, meditation and relaxation, Michael Acton Smith writes the ultimate handbook for healthy sleeping. Better Sleep Hypnosis Audiobook  Author’s Republic  English 41m written by Mindfulness Training and read by Mindfulness Training Guided Meditation for Stress Relief, Relaxation, & Falling Asleep Fast. Learning how to calm your mind, relax, find stress relief, and drift into a deep sleep doesn’t have to be difficult. With this 1 hour deep sleep hypnosis accompanied by relaxing music, falling asleep quickly is as easy as pressing play.  Sleep Audiobook  W F Howes  English 2h 39m written by Lisa Varadi and read by Antonia Davies You’ll learn about why it’s so important to nourish the mind, what really goes on when you’re dreaming and how to tackle the perpetual problem of insomnia. Sleep: The Ultimate Guide to Get Better Rest and Cure Sleep Disorders and Insomnia Audiobook  Author’s Republic   English 24m written by Laura S. Proby and read by Jesse Gross Once you get your proper amount of sleep you will be ready to take on anything in work, your hobby or your private life. Your performances will get better, and you will feel better inside as well. If you haven’t been getting the right amount of sleep then get this audiobook and find the way to make sure you do! The Secrets Of Better Sleep Ebook English  74 Print Pages by 50Minutes Get a great night’s sleep, every night! Part of the Health & Wellbeing series Change is only 50 minutes away! Find out everything you need to know about improving your sleeping habits with this straightforward guide. The Sleep Deep Method Ebook  BookBaby  English  by Beatrix A. Schmidt If you are like the many people I meet every day who tell me that they want to be able to sleep better at night, to wake up full of energy and to live a balanced and fun life, then you have come to the right place! Sleep Soundly! Ebook  BookBaby  English  77 Print Pages by James A. Voketaitis, Dr. Mitchell G. Proffman Natural Solutions for a Good Night’s Sleep SLEEP SOUNDLY If you are one of millions of adults who suffer from insufficient or troubled sleep, worry no more. SLEEP SOUNDLY offers you a wealth of easy, practical, natural ways to help you get a better night’s sleep-without reliance on sleep drugs. The Ultimate Sleep Guide Ebook  Charisma House  English  256 Print Pages by Don Colbert, M. D. We live in a fast-paced society in which nobody seems to have enough time. More than half of all American adults suffer from insomnia. And an estimated fifty million to seventy million Americans live on the brink of mental and physical collapse due to a lack of sleep. -Hongmei, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Lives in Music: New Biographies of Music Legends

Music has been a panacea to many of us in these anxious and uncertain times. Some of the most exciting releases for music lovers this past year however, weren’t just new albums by their favorite musicians or singers, but in-depth biographies and revealing memoirs from their favorite artists and bands.  Whether you are a worshipper of the blues, a die-hard fan of Bob Dylan and the Boss, curious about Zeppelin lore, or have a new love for the songs of the 20 year old Billie Eilish, these memoirs and biographies which were released in 2021 will give you the inside stories on your favorite music legends. Beast : John Bonham And The Rise Of Led Zeppelin by CM. Kushins An exploration of the short life of Led Zeppelin’s volatile self-taught drummer John Bonham (1948–80).  As Kushins shows, Bonham was also a complex man. He drowned his severe anxiety in booze, and he hated the time spent away from his family and farm while still enjoying his role in a band that gave him license to indulge his animal instincts. The author covers all of the bases in delineating the life of his subject and makes a convincing case for his iconic status. Beeswing : Losing My Way And Finding My Voice 1967-1975 by Richard Thompson A revealing look at the early years of Richard Thompson, one of the world’s most influential guitarists and songwriters, following the formation of his band Fairport Convention, his revival of British folk traditions, and his journey through Sufism-all before the age of 26. Bessie Smith : A Poet’s Biography by Jackie Kay Known for her prodigious musical talent, her timeless blues narratives about personal and socioeconomic problems, her tough persona, and her innate ability to enrapture audiences with her raw voice, Bessie Smith–the Empress of the Blues–receives a unique biographical treatment in this special life narrative captured by one of Scotland’s finest poets.  Billie Eilish by Billie Eilish Legendary singer and songwriter Billie Eilish shares an intimate inside look at her life – both on and off the stage – in this stunning, photo-filled book.  Changes : An Oral History Of Tupac Shakur by Sheldon Pearce The brief, remarkable life of Shakur is revisited here, 25 years after his death, in first-person accounts of many who knew him. With a special focus on “rarely heard perspectives,” Pearce’s riveting oral history compiles a chorus of recollections from various eras in Shakur’s life, ranging from his high-school years as a gifted theater student to his budding career as an indie film actor to the chaotic height of his fame as a hip hop artist, and culminates in his still unsolved murder. The Double Life Of Bob Dylan : A Restless, Hungry Feeling, 1941-1966 by Clinton Heylin Using material from Dylan’s personal archive, Heylin tells the story of the singer’s meteoric rise to fame. Readers will follow Dylan’s arrival in early 1961 in New York, where he is embraced by the folk scene; his elevation to spokesman of a generation whose protest songs provide the soundtrack for the burgeoning Civil Rights movement; his alleged betrayal when he ‘goes electric’ at Newport in 1965; and much more. The First 21 : How I Became Nikki Sixx by Frank Feranna & Nikki Sixx The rock-and-roll icon shares his inspirational journey from irrepressible Idaho farmboy to the man who formed Mötley Crüe., proving that you can overcome anything and achieve all of your goals, if only you put your mind to it. The History Of Bones : A Memoir by John Lurie The artist, director, musician, composer, and founder of the Lounge Lizards assesses his life and work.  Drawing on his unruly genius, persistent subversiveness, habitual courting of risk, and mordant humor, he recounts wild tales of his spiritual quests, drug-stoked New York City misadventures, bond with the saxophone, tormented relationships, and nightmarish tours with his band. King Of The Blues : The Rise And Reign of B B King by Daniel de Visé This biography presents the vibrant life and times of a trailblazing giant. Witness to dark prejudice and lynching in his youth, B.B. performed incessantly (some 15,000 concerts in ninety countries over nearly sixty years)-in some real way his means of escaping his past. His career roller-coasted between adulation and relegation, but he always rose back up.  Last Chance Texaco : Chronicles Of an American Troubadour by Rickie Lee Jones A tender and intimate memoir by one of the most remarkable, trailblazing, and tenacious women in music, the two-time Grammy Award-winning “premiere song-stylist and songwriter of her generation,. With candor and lyricism Rickie Lee Jones takes us on the journey of her exceptional life: from her nomadic childhood as the granddaughter of vaudevillian performers, to her father’s abandonment of the family and her years as a teenage runaway, her beginnings at LA’s Troubadour club, to her tumultuous relationship with Tom Waits, her battle with drugs, and longevity as a woman in rock and roll The Marathon Don’t Stop : The Life And Times Of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner The first in-depth biography of Nipsey Hussle, the hip hop mogul, artist, and activist whose transformative legacy inspired a generation with his motivational lyrics and visionary business savvy-before he was tragically shot down in the very neighborhood he was dedicated to building up. Mellencamp by Paul Rees The definitive biography of Mellencamp, the iconic American rock and roll original, featuring exclusive in-depth interviews and never-before-told details. Rememberings by Sinéad O’Connor From the acclaimed, controversial singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor comes a revelatory memoir of her fraught childhood, musical triumphs, struggles with illness, and of the enduring power of song. The Storyteller : Tales Of Life And Music by Dave Grohl The legendary American musician, singer, songwriter and documentary filmmaker offers a collection of stories, written by his own hand, that focus on the memories of his life, from his childhood to today. Unrequited Infatuations : Odyssey Of A Rock And Roll Consigliere : (A Cautionary Tale) by Stevie Van Zandt

Thanksgiving Music and Songs For Your Playlist

Thanksgiving is the time we get together around the dinner table and share food and stories with our family and friends we love. There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with a good soundtrack of Thanksgiving music and songs. This playlist will help you to have a cozy, relaxed and happy Thanksgiving.  This is Thanksgiving  The essential tracks, all in one playlist.  Spotify 31 songs, 1 hr 32 min Thanksgiving Top Tracks Classic tracks that work for the whole family. Spotify 56 songs, 3 hr 19 min  Top 30 Thanksgiving Music  Classical instrumental music and traditional Thanksgiving songs. Instrumental Music Academy 30 songs, 1 hr 29 min  Thanksgiving Dinner Music  Songs for sharing stories and warmth around the Thanksgiving table. Sweethomeplaning 44 songs, 2 hr 21 min Thanksgiving Songs 2021 Oyster Sauce 56 songs, 3 hr 7 min Thanksgiving Playlist  Perfect for a day of celebrating with family and friends, Natbreit 359 songs, 22 hr The Great Thanksgiving – Hymns and Songs of Thanks and Brotherhood Mormon Tabernacle Choir 21 songs, 1 hr 12 min Hymns of Thanksgiving – Volume 1 Hymns of Piano 15 songs, 39 min 25 sec Thanksgiving Gratitude Reverie Meditation: Inner Contemplation  Serenity Music Relaxation 15 songs, 54 min 8 sec Luxurious Background Music For Thanksgiving Comfortable Thanksgiving Jazz 10 songs, 21 min 59 sec Give Thanks: Classical Music for Thanksgiving Various Artists 24 songs, 11 hr 55 min Thanksgiving Dinner Party Music Susie Pierce Best 67 songs, 4 hr 1 min Looking for more?  Check out the Library’s Spotify channel for library and library program themed playlists and our Ltown Radio podcast!  -Hongmei, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Beethoven: Music & Revolution

Did you know that 2020 was the  250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), German pianist and composer widely considered to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time? His music continues to uplift and enrich the lives of people all over the globe. The story of how he fought off despair as he lost his hearing and composed masterpiece after masterpiece, still inspires.  A child prodigy, famed at the time for his improvisation skills at the keyboard, Beethoven would grow up to become one of the leading European composers in many genres, including piano sonatas, string quartets, symphonies, and more. The story of how he fought off despair as he lost his hearing and composed masterpiece after masterpiece, still inspires.  Here is the website to Beethoven-Haus, his birthplace in Bonn, now a museum. It displays the console of an organ that he played as a child at early mass at a nearby church; the viola he played in the court orchestra; and his last grand piano. Beethoven’s house in Vienna is also a museum. A special exhibition by The Austrian National Library in the State Hall entitled “Beethoven. World of the Man and Spark of the Gods”  NPR’s artist page on Beethoven features interviews, features and performances. Despite the name recognition attached to his legacy, many mysteries continue to spark the curiosity of neophytes and devotees alike. How can a deaf man compose music? What makes his music so “special”? What sort of person was the real historical Beethoven? On the evening of September 13 at 7pm, the Library presents a virtual program entitled “Beethoven: Music and Revolution” led by musicologist and music theorist, Dr. Gil Harel.  Using video clips and listening excerpts, Dr  Harel will discuss some of Beethoven’s most celebrated works, including piano sonatas and symphonies. Using a balance of biographical investigation, score analysis, and reasonable conjecture, he will attempt to illuminate what it is about Beethoven that has cemented his status as a quasi-deity in the western world. You can register here for the program. Below are some books, ebooks and DVDs available with your Library card that will further enlighten you about this musical genius. Beethoven : The Man Revealed by John Suchet This book lluminates Beethoven’s difficult childhood, his struggle to find a wife, his ungovernable temper, his emotional volatility, his tendency to push away those trying to help him, and in middle age his obsessive compulsion to control his nephew’s life. Beethoven : The Relentless Revolutionary by John Clubbe A fascinating and in-depth exploration of how the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and Napoleon shaped Beethoven’s political ideals and inspired his groundbreaking compositions. Clubbe illuminates Beethoven as a lifelong revolutionary through his compositions, portraits, and writings, and by setting him alongside major cultural figures of the time―among them Schiller, Goethe, Byron, Chateaubriand, and Goya. Beethoven Variations : Poems On A Life by Ruth Padel A fascinating poetic journey into the mind and heart of a musical genius.  Padel’s new sequence of poems, in four movements, is a personal voyage through the life and legend of one of the world’s greatest composers. She uncovers the man behind the music, charting his private thoughts and feelings through letters, diaries, sketchbooks, and the conversation books he used as his hearing declined. She gives us Beethoven as a battered four-year-old, weeping at the clavier; the young virtuoso pianist agonized by his encroaching deafness; the passionate, heartbroken lover; the clumsy eccentric making coffee with exactly sixty beans. Beethoven : Anguish And Triumph : A Biography by Jan Swafford This magnificent biography of Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get to the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world’s most iconic music. Also available as an ebook on OverDrive Copying Beethoven (DVD) This movie gives a fictional take on the triumphs and heartaches of Ludwig van Beethoven’s last years. When young Anna Holz, a Viennese music student is asked to transcribe scoring notes for the great Ludwig van Beethoven, she eagerly accepts. She does so despite the warnings about Beethoven’s volatile behavior. Beethoven is part maestro, part mentor and part madman. He reluctantly relies on Anna to help him realize the culmination of his art.  Great Masters: Beethoven – His Life and Music by Robert Greenberg Audiobook In this perceptive series of eight lectures on the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, you will likely find that you hear his work in an entirely different way, with your insight informed by new knowledge of how Beethoven was able to create masterpieces from the crises of his life. Immortal Beloved (DVD) A mesmerizing mystery based on the tumultuous real life of Ludwig van Beethoven. Whether seducing regal followers or criticizing the ruling class, Beethoven made many enemies. But he also had one true love, the unnamed “Immortal Beloved” mentioned in an enigmatic letter discovered upon his death. The thrilling search for the identity of this mystery woman leads us into Beethoven’s dark past, his hidden passions, and, ultimately, into the unparalleled genius of his music. For more reading suggestions, here are 5 books inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Hoopla’s collection includes  musical scores of Beethoven symphonies and sonatas, some Beethoven themed fiction, and biographies. and of course, a wide selection of Beethoven’s music  Kanopy features documentaries on Beethoven’s life and music And here is a Beethoven themed playlist put together by Library staff from Spotify for your enjoyment! Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Message from the Director: Enjoy the Music of Lionel Richie at This Month’s Virtual Senior Happening

“Well, my friends, the time has come To raise the roof and have some fun” — Lionel Richie Livingston Library Community,  Are you ready to dance and sing the afternoon away? This month’s Virtual Senior Happening will have you tapping your toes and maybe even “raising the roof,” to the music of Lionel Richie.  On Friday, April 16th at 1pm, vocalist Stephen Fuller will take us on a journey through the music of American musical icon, Lionel Richie.  We’ll enjoy Richie’s dance music and love songs in this special concert filmed specifically for the Livingston community.  Interested in learning a bit more about this month’s performer? Stephen Fuller, a Newark native,  became interested in singing at age 12, when a teacher recognized his musical gift. He attended the Newark Arts High School and Colgate University, where he studied Sociology and Music, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. We are very pleased to welcome him as this month’s entertainment.  This performance will take place as a pre-recorded YouTube video.  Registration is required and can be done so on the Library’s event calendar, here. The link to the pre-recorded YouTube video will be emailed to registrants at 1pm on Friday, April 16th.  Senior Happening is made possible in part by funds from the Essex County Division of Cultural Affairs, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and through the support from the Friends of the Livingston Library. Best,  Amy Babcock, Director   

Holiday Music on Hoopla

Are you looking for some tunes to get you into the holiday spirit? Did you know that the Livingston Public Library’s subscription to Hoopla Digital has a music library of albums that you can borrow and enjoy instantly from your device?  Hoopla has a plethora of music of a variety of genres from rock to pop- including the latest albums by popular musicians such as Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, and more.   Here are some holiday albums that you might enjoy having on your playlist this season:  A Holly Dolly Christmas by Dolly Patron  My Gift by Carrie Underwood  Holiday Dinner Music by Santa Ana Players Holiday Relaxation Music by EverStar  The NOW That’s What I Call Christmas by Various Artists  You Make it Feel Like Christmas by Gwen Steffani  Hanukkah Songs by The Latkes  8 Days of Hanukkah by Various Artists  New Years Eve Party Music by Midnight Players Countdown to the New Year by Poison  Visit Hoopla Digital to browse all different music you can enjoy with your Livingston Public Library card! Happy Listening! -Jessica, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian 

Spooky Music

With the leaves turning red and gold and night falling earlier each night, spooky music is a perfect way to embrace the season. Check out the different music selections below (all via Hoopla Digital) to get you in the festive fall spirit.  50 Classic Horror Film Themes  Featuring music from famous horror movies and tv shows such as Vertigo, Pan’s Labyrinth and Dexter. Halloween Howls: Fun & Scary Music A collection of fun songs by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and David Cassidy. Horror Movie Madness – Halloween Edition  A compilation of music from landmark horror films like Halloween, The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. Music of the Vampires on Halloween Songs such as Soul Stalker and Tears of Blood will have you feeling a little bitey.  Sleepy Hollow Danny Elfman’s sinister score that accompanies the film makes this a perfect Autumn listen. The New Rocky Horror Show – 25 Years Young This album revisits songs like The Time Warp, Damn It Janet and Science Fiction Double Feature. Spookiness awaits! -Katie , Head of Adult Services & Acquisitions 

“Harmonious” Reads: Music Themed Fiction

Reading and listening to music can offer immense joy and solace anytime, but especially so during these stress filled times. Music and books are major cultural touchstones, and if the two are well combined, the results can make for harmonious reading! Some works of fiction are influenced by the lives of famous musicians and in others, a great musical composition or score may play an important role in the plot; and, musical instruments can play a starring role in some stories. Novelist Rebeccal Kauffman writes: “ Music can reach us, surprise us, and offer a story of its own in the most unexpected places. The ways in which writers employ music vary immensely, from an entire work chronicling the life of a virtuoso to a single song serving as strategic backdrop to a scene. They may use works that already exist, reimagine or recontextualise them, or create them anew.” Here are some music themed works of fiction available in ebook or audiobook form that can add some melody to your reads: And After the Fire by Lauren Belfer A powerful and passionate novel—inspired by historical events—about two women, one European and one American, and the mysterious choral masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach that changes both their lives. In the ruins of Germany in 1945, at the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him. In America in 2010, Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history—and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the past. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett A bestselling novel that balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language.  Terrorists raid a party held in honour of a wealthy and powerful Japanese businessman, where a renowned soprano has been hired to perform. The story, with Stockholm syndrome at its core, accelerates at a surprising clip while offering wonderful insights and lines about music: “Never had he thought, never once, that such a woman existed, one who stood so close to God that God’s own voice poured from her.” The Ensemble by Aja Gabel The addictive novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of classical music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives. Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; on the viola is Henry, a prodigy who’s always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest and an angry skeptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness Quartet. After the group’s youthful, rocky start, they experience devastating failure and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty. The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman & Michael David Axtell- Audiobook Music appears in various contexts in this novel. Classical music enthusiast Mikey Callahan is losing his vision and has begun to assign specific pieces of music to cherished images he wants to remember with as much clarity as possible – such as the faces of his childhood friends, a group called “The Gunners”, around whom the novel is based. Another character, a pianist, attended a conservatory in Manhattan on a full scholarship until her career was devastated by a mysterious injury. Various pieces of music performed by characters in scenes throughout the book are intended to evoke a particular atmosphere and inspire the characters along a certain line of thinking or towards a sense of togetherness. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce & Steven Hartley-Audiobook It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Terrified of real closeness, Frank feels compelled to turn and run, yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems, and Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen, as well as a past it seems he will never leave behind. The journey that these two quirky, wonderful characters make in order to overcome their emotional baggage speaks to the healing power of music—and love—in this poignant, ultimately joyful work of fiction. Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro With the clarity and precision that have become his trademarks, Ishiguro interlocks five short pieces of fiction to create a world that resonates with emotion, heartbreak, and humor. Here is a fragile, once famous singer, turning his back on the one thing he loves; a music junky with little else to offer his friends but opinion; a songwriter who inadvertently breaks up a marriage; a jazz musician who thinks the answer to his career lies in changing his physical appearance; and a young cellist whose tutor has devised a remarkable way to foster his talent. For each, music is a central part of their lives and, in one way or another, delivers them to an epiphany. The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich: In 1936, Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken