She reached out to the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority AMHA to ask about setting up a weekly story time at the site, home to nearly 95 low-income kids under five. Johnson spearheaded partnerships and gathered wide-ranging support. Many children were behind on vaccinations, so she arranged for Ohio Department of Health representatives to provide them for free at story time.
The local Women, Infants, and Children center opened a weekly onsite health-care clinic. A United Way grant funded lunch during story time, and Johnson arranged for a food bank to distribute fresh produce to residents. Twice a month, the moms meet separately from the youngsters to discuss their challenges. Currently, her team is seeking funding for a shuttle bus or to bring a pop-up preschool to the development. In the meantime,. Brandy McNeil knows all about libraries fulfilling a genuine community need for digital literacy and computer training. Last year, more than , NYPL patrons attended at least one TechConnect class, selecting from a schedule covering more than topics ranging from computer basics to 3-D modeling.
TechConnect has demonstrated a growing demand for more advanced courses as well. Almost all attendees finish the work, complete with a graduation ceremony, says nominator Luke Swarthout, NYPL director of adult education services. The only drawback? Thanks to the efforts of school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, students and their families at Cambridgeport School Library know that their voices matter. Through innovative programs, Phipps Soeiro builds strong and trusting relationships among students, families,.
Her teaching makes issues come alive for students,. Phipps Soeiro is also the founder of the Cambridge Book Bike, a grassroots project that distributes books at city parks during the summer, with a focus on locations that serve free lunch. Over the past three summers, the program has grown from three parks to five and has given out approximately 6, books. The group partners with local organizations like the Cambridge Public Library and Food for Free, which provides free farmers markets.
About once per month, she invites guest speakers such as city councilors, district administrators, and nonprofit representatives to engage with families in casual conversation. One meeting with a nonprofit led to families being matched with free tablets and math apps, while another prompted construction of a new playground.
The meetings let people feel they are heard on topics that make a difference in their lives, the lives of their children, and the broader community. Consider her response to finding out in summer that her school district was migrating that September to Google Apps for Education GAFE, now called G Suite for Education : she immediately studied for and passed the certification exams to become a Google educator.
After months of training teachers, she became a Google-certified trainer. Locally, at the BELS Bergen Electronic Library for Schools library consortium, she provides website-building workshops and runs the site design mentoring program. Recently, she launched the nonprofit Edcamp Urban, which hosts an unconference organized and facilitated by K—12 educators. You might say that genealogy runs in the family for D. Joshua Taylor. He got his start from his grandmother when he was only eight. This lifelong hobby, and the genealogists he met along the way, led Taylor to pursue library work.
With Roadshow on indefinite hiatus, Taylor now heads the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society as it prepares for its th anniversary. At her own library, she increased annual circulation in her first year, , by 97 percent. She also updated the s-era collection and upgraded the outdated PCs to new Chromebase computers. Her strategy worked: teacher collections circulation increased more than percent; students with MLNYC cards checked out 16 percent more juvenile and 30—40 percent more teen materials than did students with standard library cards;.
I believe that schools and libraries are stronger together. It sparked in him a passion for coding and STEM science, technology, engineering, mathematics. Now assistant head of youth services for the Indian Prairie Public Library, Works has been a force for change, writing proposals. Works also teaches pre-K—12 classes in technology, coding including Scratch , and robotics, filling an education hole. Just five years into her career, the business information specialist has won numerous awards for her dynamic teaching and transformed the information literacy.
Theresa Burress has found the perfect combination of jobs, she believes. The first science festival had 25 exhibits and about 6, visitors. The sixth, held in October , saw more than 25, attendees and exhibits, activities, and shows. At NCF, Burress is on her third round of sponsoring Wikipedia-related student independent study projects. In February , she joined several colleagues at the national Music Library Association conference to discuss faculty-librarian collaborations in promoting information literacy. Also, she is working to help her humanities colleagues expand their use of technology and to build a digital humanities community of practice in Florida.
Proposed projects have included community gardens, day-care centers, and public art in bus shelters. Her focus on crowdsourcing and on flipped courses online lectures before class time also encourages active participation, critical thinking, and civic-mindedness. The students benefit from partnerships Barrell has cultivated with the U. Forest Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, and local artists and farmers. Barrell is also part of a group of local professionals led by the University of Oregon that has developed a Child Abuse Prevention Plan dedicated to reducing child abuse by 90 percent by Throughout the year the library works on initiatives that raise awareness of child abuse—related problems and potential solutions.
The box reduces the risk of death from SIDs; each comes filled with essentials such as diapers, parenting resources, and books for the whole family. Together as OCLC, libraries connect people to the information they need to solve problems, push boundaries and make a difference. With donations and an incredible record for getting grants—more than 20—Tharp-Thee grew the library from a small room with books into a vibrant public service for the entire 2,resident community.
The library offers homework help, summer enrichment programs, a modest digital archive, tribal cultural activities, family outreach, health literacy, and a GED program that has. Affordable Access helped 81 people, aged 16 to 64, since However, Tharp-Thee quickly moved beyond that to dive into the unfamiliar. She then called the Oklahoma Department of Libraries to ask: How do you teach someone to read? A few years later, after realizing that homebound tribal elders needed access to health information, Tharp-Thee applied for a federal grant to provide digital access and instruction on technology, online health resources, and social media.
This allowed elders to make informed decisions about treatment. She and a handful of other Digital Inclusion Corps members will visit rural libraries, schools, and tribes across Oklahoma to develop a plan to help underserved communities that lack access to technology and the Internet. A few years later, in library school, she found a support network through the campus veterans office. At meetings with the student veterans group, she met people who understood what it was like to leave a war zone and attend college. Through partnerships with on-campus services for veterans, she tailors outreach, presentations, events, and panels to student vets.
Many veterans fresh from combat continue to scan the environment for risks, says LeMire. Reducing distractions makes it easier for them to concentrate. Army three months after the Sept. Because female veterans outnumber males on campuses but tend to be harder to reach through traditional outreach, says LeMire, she asked women to submit photographs for exhibits and to speak on panels to share their experiences in combat, as well as the challenges they faced in the military and the transition to civilian life. LeMire plans to continue to spread the word about student veterans and to research their specific needs on campuses.
Not everyone, though, has that opportunity. TeleStory provides live video links between libraries in Brooklyn and parents in prison, allowing parents to talk to, tell stories to, and even sing along with their children. Now, thanks to a nearly. It has also become an opportunity to reach out to families with incarcerated parents and introduce them to other library services, as well as resources provided by other agencies. On the heels of this success in Brooklyn, Higgins and his colleagues are taking TeleStory on the road.
After expanding to the nearby New York Public and Queens libraries, Higgins recently headed upstate to help the Albany Public Library install a video unit and begin its own similar project. His ultimate goal is to build the service into a model that can spread to libraries nationwide. Cynthia Mari Orozco realizes asking a librarian for assistance can be intimidating.
Her first and only experience asking for guidance as an undergraduate resulted in her quickly leaving the building. These days, Orozco goes out of her way to make herself approachable to students who may be experiencing library anxiety. When she served as a student services librarian at California State University—Long Beach, she relocated herself to live in dorms with students as faculty-in-residence. As a nancy-evans; linkedin. Monroe Library Adult Services Award. When the initial program was over, the girls wanted to keep going.
Now, some from that first group are coleaders and mentors, and the group still meets weekly, with Evans as facilitator. For three hours on Saturdays, they volunteered, advising patrons on anything from screen-reading tools to using Facebook. Fleet joined the library staff in The core tech education program now. One of her most notable initiatives is involvement in the Blind Arduino Project. The fair featured adaptive video gaming, origami, a rock climbing group, museum reps, and more. Open educational resources…[n]ot only alleviate the financial burden on students but…provide flexibility and freedom for faculty.
Thompson kicked off the panels with librarians recommending books, positioning them as experts. The good news: the kits had been paid for by a sponsor. The bad news: they arrived so late that Baldwin had to convey them himself to participating sites. In , it saw 40, people at sites. The event, to be held March 24—25, has locations. As a result, he and his coworkers reached out to organizations in and outside the library world; soon they had events that offered hands-on Making of everything from textiles to robotics.
This collaboration has led to one-day start-up competitions in entrepreneurship and product design for high schoolers called Build It Better, which have taken place in Piscataway and Newark. Baldwin thinks NJ Makers Day, which recently became a nonprofit organization, is replicable. Cronk soon followed suit.
After years of database administration and grant writing, she was looking for a change. Her partnerships with the local Maker community, web developers, and tech companies have helped almost 1, people learn new skills through STEAM-related science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics classes or groups on Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Python, and more that she organized at Kenton County Public Library KCPL. Her annual idea exchange between school and public librarians has resulted in library staff teaching STEAM programs in schools and lending teachers Maker technology.
If we and the BHL had coloring content, I knew other collections would, too. Her favorite image? But they never met Rebecca Pou. Instagram ; nyamcenterforhistory. Participants developed BookUs, a stand-alone web application to give patrons online an easier way to contact librarians for events and recommendations. The code for BookUs is open source, so other libraries can adapt it for their own use.
Tech Cheerleader 4, site visitors, from its launch on September 30, , to the end of Everyone should have someone along the way who is cheering them on. Dombrowski also noticed that other public librarians were in need of training and a basic tech curriculum for their own patrons.
The classes can be adapted to any library with any staff size, no matter the technology on hand. Digital scholarship outreach librarian Jennifer Johnson has worked with more than 40 cultural heritage organizations to create 80 digital collections since she arrived at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis IUPUI in While working at the library, first as a GIS applications analyst and then as digital initiatives project coordinator, she also earned her library degree.
In her current role since , she and her small team scan historical documents, photographs, letters, scrapbooks, meeting minutes, and other artifacts and make the resulting collections freely available online to the public. DPLA , which brings together and makes freely available digitized and born-digital collections.
As chair of the outreach committee for the Indiana service hub, Johnson helps to disseminate guidelines on digitizing collections. The human element is key. If a person has trust and a connection with another technology explorer, then they are more likely to learn and embrace new technology. She has since cotaught a few classes with him as a volunteer instructor.
These are some of the 1, people Galeana has worked with in one-on-one technology learning sessions in the two years he has been regional technology coordinator at the Multnomah County Library. Galeana rotates among four branches and coordinates their library labs, which see about 35 patrons a month for guidance about laptops, smartphones, tablets, operating systems, and software. Many are Spanish speakers hailing from all over Latin America, but patrons from European and Asian countries also come for help. The one-on-one appointment model gives students the chance to explore technology on their own terms, he says.
She credits that experience with preparing her to become a key driver of Future Ready Librarians, an initiative aimed at raising awareness among district and school leaders about the importance of the role librarians can play. The focus of the institute was on strategies for using digital resources in the classroom. Soon after, she was selected for a one-year teacher in residence program at LC. One of the topics discussed there was how to introduce iPads. She began pursuing a library science degree. In February , Trettin pulled together library leaders at district and state levels, including public libraries, to look at how to highlight the role of librarians and how they can support learning with technology.
Then they presented on curation to fill holes teachers had rather than buying the same standard textbook. What would Trettin tell them? Place your work in the context of community needs. The lightbulb will eventually go on. She also designed and built an online platform that ended up hosting student-created items in 11 online exhibits with videos, archival documents, interactive maps, and more.
Clayton draws connections between the Presidential Dream Course and her previous work in archives and special collections, as well as an undergraduate degree in history, and grad school curricula in GIS and web development, which ties in with the tech and mapping portions of the course.
The library now receives multiple requests to integrate digital scholarship research projects into classes, says Clayton, and they come from all disciplines. Her outreach programs have served over 10, people annually, including incarcerated patrons and those living in housing projects. The result? Program attendance went up 46 percent at several community libraries, according to Watson. Hip-hop programming has been a central theme in QL programming for the past decade, focusing on five core elements: MCing, DJing, breaking, graffiti, and cultural understanding.
In , the library offered an entire year of hip-hop programming, with larger programs and venues, in about 30 branches, says McNeil-Capers. While a few U. Since then, through fieldwork and research, Thacker has established cooperative collecting arrangements to make it easier to acquire Indian comics, forged relationships with vendors in South Asia, and grown the UI collection to more than 1, volumes from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
She hopes to develop relationships with libraries and cultural institutions in India to serve scholars there. Captivated, she dove into South Asian literature, learned Hindi, and, ultimately, earned a degree in Indian literary and cultural studies. This gave her the tools to create a unique collection of South Asian comics and graphic novels at her library. Now a recognized leader among South Asian library specialists, according to Jo Ann Jacoby, assistant director at the University Library, University of Illinois UI at UrbanaChampaign, she brings new ideas and inspiration and finds opportunities for collaboration and outreach.
Thacker works with scholars internationally and in the United States to ensure that academic libraries nationwide have a comprehensive collection of resources about Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. She reaches out to students, faculty, staff, and the local South Asian community to familiarize them with the resources in her library and at other institutions.
Since Thacker created the template for the events in , she and her colleagues at the International and Area Studies Library have offered two or three sessions a semester, drawing 25— attendees to each. Topics include gender-based violence, immigration, and international censorship. The projects Vieau brings weekly to teens range widely, from 3-D printing and photography to making pillows with a fabric artist. Taking into account the needs of her students from marginalized communities, as well as those who are veterans, transfers, and scholars from diverse backgrounds, McElroy brings a range of creative and compassionate ideas to her work at Oregon State University OSU.
McElroy recognizes that engagement in these issues is crucial for library practitioners as well. She is one of the founding creators of the critical librarianship movement, an informal online community that brings together librarians dedicated to incorporating social justice principles into their practices and discussing critical perspectives on library practice. Using the hashtag critlib,. To that end, in Koep planned. The consultation included an interactive Technology Fair, so the public and other stakeholders could learn more about technology options and offer informed opinions.
Rather than hiring a consultant to examine local needs, Koep kept it in-house. This helped the library to create a road map for future technology projects, including infrastructure. Now in its second year, the event incorporates Twitter chats, podcasts, blog posts, and other resources to raise awareness about mental health issues for library and information science workers. Lean Venture series, a week course on the lean start-up method. Divor convinced one of the founders of Startup Storyslam to bring his unique perspective to the kickoff event.
We [libraries] create synergies. For more than 25 years, Robyn Saunders has worked with people seeking to change their lives. That number is about equal to the number of nominations she received—from colleagues, social workers, community board members, organizations, job seekers, and others. Her department has helped more than 15, people gain meaningful employment, return to school, or enhance their skill sets with training. Ann Plazek has long believed in going where non—library users are. So far, 48 inmates have participated in five months, and Plazek plans to expand the program further.
She herself serves as second vice chair on the executive committee of Bronx Community Board 7. Many of the award winners are patrons of BLC, where she and her team work with them to transition back into the community as civilians, refer them for employment, and advocate on their behalf for access to support services. Especially noteworthy are the job fairs. The first, held in at BLC, drew more than 1, attendees, 20 employers, and a host of vendors. The fairs offer on-site interviews, job readiness workshops, and other services.
All of the job fairs are managed with precision.
Facebook ; nlls. Poitras says she has been waiting for this news her entire career, since she began as a cataloging clerk at the Northern Lights Library System NLLS in after raising a family. Because the funding arrived with few guidelines, Poitras immediately gathered a focus group of frontline NLLS staff to create a plan of service and budget for the initiative. Since the fees were removed, more than tribal members have signed up for library cards. Eventually, Poitras wants to use some of the funds to introduce indigenous programs into local libraries and hopes to bring indigenous staff and board members to NLLS.
A high school dropout, she married young and was a full-time mother. Weekly meetings helped 30 young adults stay motivated and focus on their lives rather than on the streets. Already overloaded with family, job, and Team Jump Off, she resisted until Bruck sent her to a three-day Train the Trainer session. All three won statewide acclaim and grants to expand. Another new program, Community Connects, is a social work initiative for on-site support from 12 to 15 community agencies to help residents with health care, housing, and other necessary services.
According to Tumulty, Garcia is the first New Jersey library director to bring a social worker into the library, and her program is now a state model. At the summer Olympics in Tokyo, sprinter Marilyn White and her teammates won the silver medal in a relay event. She later became an elementary school teacher, genealogist, and motivational speaker. Clayton Library. Dating to , SHC has 20 million items in more than 5, collections. In San Antonio, Powell organized and led a daylong charrette with stakeholders to begin charting a course for the creation of an African American History Museum and Community Archive there.
Though Dease had been a librarian for nine years, she was new to youth services. In , she partnered with the antihunger organization Equal Heart to serve lunch at library branches through the U. That fall, the partnership brought after-school meals to nine branches and by the end of the school year had served 9, meals. In summer. In January , Dease and Equal Heart began another Americorps-funded partnership in which ten part-time Americorps members serve after-school. It also provides the library with a chance to engage with the music community.
Then, anyone with Internet access— library card or not—can check out acts. Darrow expects to continue to expand the BoomBox library to include more than albums. Knowing how to explain the value and impact of libraries to stakeholders is crucial, and Linda Hofschire is helping librarians nationwide sharpen those skills. In recent years, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst UMass , has committed to economic, environmental, and social sustainability.
The robust leadership skills and networking know-how of sustainability studies librarian Madeleine Charney have contributed immensely to that effort. It also financed the first three years of the Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship—a yearlong program that empowers select faculty members to integrate sustainability themes into their courses.
Above all, Charney believes that libraries, academic and otherwise, and sustainability go hand in hand. In addition to helping individual attendees gain knowledge and confidence with data and evaluation, Hofschire says that the regional format aims to build an ongoing network of librarians who can share their expertise. As an adult, Burnette has put his cycling know-how to work mentoring youth living in the toughest neighborhoods of East Oakland. Between 20 and 40 youths attend the clinics. More than bikes have been repaired and 1, flats fixed, Turbak says. Burnette, who is also president of the Original Scraper Bike Team, a community-oriented group that works with kids 12—18 to repair, decorate, and customize their bicycles, joined the 81st Avenue Branch in December Scraper team members.
In , when the Scraper Bike Team lost its rent-free space, Propernick and Burnette drew on their community connections to set up the Shed, a youth-run bike shop, in a foot-long shipping container behind the Martin Luther King Jr. Burnette recruits and manages a cadre of Scraper Bike volunteers at both sites.
Her rise at the library was swift: in January she started as a part-time programs assistant, and by February she was in her current position as teen services supervisor. Dantis was tasked with creating STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programming. Interested in the Maker movement, she was a natural fit. One of her first initiatives: Print Your Head, in which teens were 3-D scanned and walked away with a small 3-D-printed plastic bust of themselves. The program caught the attention of a teacher at a local middle school, who asked the library to collaborate on 3-D-RD, a nine-week course focused on 3-D printing, research, and design.
The class was so popular, enrollment shot up 40 percent the second year, so the library added another class section. Dantis is the first U. Here is your opportunity to get the recognition you deserve. As Library of the Year, your library would stand out as a model for others.
With this honor comes the prestige of being a national example, broad exposure for your library, and even more accolades. To submit your nomination, visit gale. All types and sizes of libraries are welcome to enter. Entries are due by April 4, By calling attention to the essential services libraries like yours can provide, we believe we can help to further the discovery of knowledge and insights by all people, for all purposes. Connecting libraries to learning and learners to libraries.
They also surface a handful of overlapping core values that make for a truly effective library manager and offer lessons for those who aspire to the role. No single career path leads to a position as a library man- Library managers cite a wide variety of experiences that ager. Many professionals find themselves taking on these inform effective managerial styles—far beyond traditional leadership roles unexpectedly, often thanks to organic professional development workshops or classroom work.
Frequent and open communication with team members is Others benefit from the support of colleagues who en- at the core of growth and success as a manager. Berman, courage them to take on greater responsibilities. Both Blake and Amaral. A career in libraries can take unexpected directions. It is much easier projects, prioritizing face-to-face contact with coworkers.
On a daily basis, she makes a point trenches also builds collegiality and trust. Failing to assess the plore, try new things, and take needs of individual personaliownership of their work. They, in turn, do the same for their own staff. Mentorship and professional networks can prove vital.
Whether or not a particular manager has direct budgetary trusted individuals outside of work, for a fresh perspective. For Berman, the key to delegating is gaining trust and why. Amaral, for tasks such as scheduling should fall to her. The Next Step: Director Mentors, networks, and learning from outside the library help new leaders take on the challenge. LJ asked directors from across the country to share insights for librarians who aspire to move up.
A good working relationship with the board is essential to an effective directorship. Working with a team means there are going to be tough spots as well as success stories. In the end, Davis was proud to see her library board and coworkers pull together to maintain service. Sometimes you have a colleague with untapped potential and you want to promote them For some directors, their current position is a culmination of experience gained both inside and outside the library field. David Leonard moved into the director role at Boston Public Library after a year as interim director.
Prior to that his experience was in the realm of academia, the nonprofit sector, and technology and consulting worlds. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in library and information science. Library System. It was a great investment. Semifero attended director-focused workshops ofOne additional piece of advice? I would never be where LJ. State library training also benefited Kong, who attended Rewards abound the Synergy Leadership Initiative in addition to attending Although being a director can be challenging, isolating, the Public Library Association PLA Leadership Acad- even frustrating, it can also be rewarding in a way that few emy.
It also helps to director in the world The results for those already in the job can be a challenge—and sometimes, the best course is to exit and regroup. How can librarians successfully navigate such a detour in their career trajectory? Because such topics are often little discussed, librarians in those situations may feel alone or lack examples from which to learn. To encourage frank discussion, several librarians interviewed for this article have been granted anonymity.
However, despite his advocacy, university administration kept pulling from the library to fund other projects. He planned his departure, securing budget allocations for existing projects and helping staff develop skills needed to move work forward between deans.https://poehalaversse.gq/3395.php
Sometimes, the issue is closer to the front lines. Despite the usual challenges— organizational politics, responsibility growth, budget uncertainty, staff resistance to change—Strange loved it. Eventually, the balance shifted. Being the first in a new position can be both an opportunity and a risk. The ers been consulted about it. I left the walked out the door within a few months. One director had held the posibrarian at a community college. She chose to leave when a week, and I figured I could use it as a she saw that her vision for the library learning experience. Asking questions helps [ensure] for five years.
She pursued her interests and participated in that the change has been fully fleshed out and you can be a local library consortium, leveraging her connections into more prepared for anything that may come your way. Another librarian whose noisy office makes focusversity and an adjunct lecturer on library technology.
Moving for a job is destabilizing enough—be project at a midsize academic library. Buoyed by her initial sure the job is worth the upheaval. She tions Just keep building your experienced. When Finally, know when and how to take that final stand. Just keep building your skills Books are selected for this list based on strong reviews, media buzz, overall industry interest, and personal reading.
Though a few date back to February, most are publishing from March onward, with some key July titles featured. American War. ISBN In a searingly relevant work, Egyptian-born, Canadian-based journalist El Akkad imagines a second American Civil War, in which six-year-old Sarat Chestnut is herded into a displaced persons camp with her family and eventually trained as a weapon of war. Chancellor, Bryn. May When old bones are discovered in a nearby ravine, folks in Sycamore, AZ, assume they belong to troubled teenage newcomer Jess Winters, who disappeared 18 years ago.
Estranged from her white parents, Helen is shattered by the suicide of her adoptive brother, Korean-born like herself, and f lies home to find out what happened. Instead, she compellingly finds herself. Fluidly written, with no sanctimony and plenty of dark humor; bound to provoke. Ko, Lisa. The Leavers. When Deming Guo is 11 years old, his Chinese immigrant mother vanishes, and he spends a rebellious adolescence wondering what happened. Hartnett, Annie. Rabbit Cake. Tin House. Minick, Jim. Fire Is Your Water. Swallow: Ohio Univ. After her mother drowns while sleepswimming, Elvis Babbitt gamely pulls herself through while shoring up her clueless father and troubled, sleep-eating sister Lizzie.
After fire claims the family barn in rural s Pennsylvania, Ada loses faith in God and hence her astonishing ability to heal. But a young man brings her love and, finally, renewal. Heiny, Katherine. Standard Deviation. Watts, Stephanie Powell. Ecco: HarperCollins. The Original Ginny Moon. Park Row: Harlequin. How To Be Human. Metropolitan: Holt. Out of love and on leave from work, Mary finds comfort in the presence of a gorgeous red fox that has taken to visiting the back garden of her home in the London suburbs. But the neighbors are.
Melville House. Conversations with Friends. Hogarth: Crown. Smart, persuasive, and never self-indulgent; a London Book Fair buzz book from a rising Irish star. Spufford, Francis. Golden Hill. Salt Houses. Houghton Harcourt. Palestinian American poet Alyan clarifies Middle East displacement by chronicling a family repeatedly uprooted after the Six-Day War of Nigerian musician Taduno returns to an unrecognizable homeland and learns that his girlfriend has been abducted by government agents. Thoughtful readers will be enthralled. Live from Cairo. Hamilton, Omar Robert.
The City Always Wins. Sean McDonald: Farrar. Himes, Julie Lekstrom. Mikhail and Margarita. In , Soviet writer Mikhail Bulgakov bangs up against intensifying censorship and is pursued by the secret police even as he falls for brashly beautiful Margarita, who inspires his celebrated The Master and Margarita.
Spaceman of Bohemia. Little, Brown. My Cat Yugoslavia. A pet boa constrictor and a talking cat? Clearly, this is a fabulist take on some very real issues, as the son of Muslims who fled Yugoslavia when it imploded faces life as an immigrant and a gay man in straitlaced Finland. This debut novel… has an intensity and power that demands a second reading. The Color of Our Sky. Coming of Age Assadi, Hannah Lillith. Universal prepublication praise. Buntin, Julie. One of the Boys. The Zero and the One. Twelve: Hachette. But Zach is on a collision course with death.
Poisoned Pen. Love, Melissa Scrivner. Ostensibly the dutiful girlfriend of gang leader Garcia, Lola is actually the knifesharp, tough-as-bullets brains behind the operation. Blue Light Yokohama. Minotaur: St. Newly reinstated Tokyo police inspector Iwata inherits a troublesome case: an entire family has been slaughtered and the symbol of a large black sun left behind.
The Wages of Sin. Pegasus Crime. A former debutante victimized by sexual assault and now one of the few brave women at a Victorian-era medical school, Sarah Gilchrist recognizes an anatomy class corpse as a working girl she met at a clinic and immediately investigates. In a wildly reimagined world where social conservatives are rising, a gay double agent working for resistant Amberlough City think the Weimar Republic gets himself and his burlesque-performing lover in trouble.
The Ship. Orbit: Hachette. James, Vic. Gilded Cage. Del Rey: Ballantine. Dark Gifts, Bk. In a darkly fantastical world where the lower classes must serve the magically gifted upper-class rulers for ten years, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his sister of a better life, and a nasty young aristocrat of using his dark gifts for his own ends. The Girl from Rawblood. Sourcebooks Landmark. At a gloomy early s English estate, young Iris is enjoined not to form any relationship lest she set into motion a terrible family curse.
Naturally, she rebels. Miss You. When two young people repeatedly cross paths after meeting in Florence, their love looks meant to be. The Reminders. ISBN ; lib. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Pamela Dorman: Viking. The Standard Grand. But a nasty multinational corporation wants the land. Almost Missed You. If Violet and Finn have the perfect marriage, why does he abandon her on holiday and take their son to her best friend, demanding that she hide them? The Shark Club. Winawer, Melodie. The Scribe of Siena. Studying research on the Black Death, neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato time travels to medieval Sienna and falls in love with a city under disastrous threat.
Cassandra Campbell does an excellent job reading this emotional and romantic novel. She articulates the Italian, Irish, German, and American accents perfectly, while emphasizing the dilemma of each character as she captures their personality. Bauer, Belinda. The Beautiful Dead. Dreamscape Media. Reporting a gruesome murder places television reporter Eve Singer directly in the crosshairs of a serial killer.
As the executioner continues to construct his highly stylized murders, Eve must handle not only her demanding, competitive job but also the endless demands of her demented father. The fast-paced action only lets up as Eve gets distracted by her declining parent and is forced to play catch-up on all fronts until the final minutes. Gethsemane Brown Mystery. Mix a bold African American musician, the Irish countryside, and the ghost of a murdered composer, and you have the makings of a captivating mystery. Gethsemane Brown reluctantly assumes the role of music teacher and conductor of the orchestra at a boys school in rural Ireland.
The position comes with the stipulation that she. As Gethsemane asks questions in the small town where everyone knows everyone and their business, there are more murders and her life is now in danger, which only compels her to work harder. London-based actress Jessica Carroll narrates with a soothing British accent, while her pitch-perfect Irish and American dialects bring the characters to life.
The plot, characters, and conclusion are complicated enough for adults and simple enough for older children. As children, they grow to love each other deeply. But as Angelo matures, he rejects Eva and their relationship to become a priest. When the Germans occupy Italy, Angelo risks his life to hide Eva, whom he. Hart, Josephine. For her entire life, Ruth has been consumed by the jealousy she feels toward her adopted sister, Elizabeth.
Ruth believes she has always taken second place to Elizabeth, whose good nature and kindness make her the object of adoration for their parents. In adulthood, Ruth has become obsessed with Elizabeth and with destroying her. During the process, Ruth manages to ruin her own life as well. Frederick gives a distinct voice to each of the many characters, making it easy to distinguish one from another and to follow the story. Verdict While this is not a story to lift the spirit, it will appeal to adults who are interested in the conflict and consequences of a complex narrator.
The Little Parachute. The son of her vanished lover is mute, and this trip to Paris was to see a physician. She is pulled into a terrifying and deteriorating situation, with her history unfolding in parallel with that of another Frenchwoman working for the Nazis. Janes has written a long-running mystery series set in Nazi-occupied France and describes Paris well, but this fractured story is confused, difficult to follow, and ends abruptly, with no resolution.
Narrator Philip Bond does little to differentiate the characters, exacerbating the disorder of unpredictable scenes and changes in point of view. The threadbare plot, sprinkled with contrived local kookiness and folksy Southernisms, is uncomfortable listening and a cuckoo in the cozy mystery nest. A more apt niche would be dozy mysteries—for people who read casually to kill time. An intriguing tale of the post—Civil War Southwest, the story concerns the travels of Capt.
Kidd earns meagre pay as an itinerant news reader to audiences in the small towns of Texas. Although the story is fiction, the author gives listeners some wonderful descriptions of the real Texas hill country and the dangers and rigors of frontier travel, including Indians, bandits, and would-be human traffickers. Kappes, Tonya. Kenni Lowry Mystery. When old Doc Walton is found murdered, small-town sheriff Kenni Lowry must solve her first homicide case. It is a coming-of-age tale of a young woman who is trying to find her place in the world. Rachel was 12 when her mother died and her father sent her to an English boarding school; she is now 18 and shocked to find how dramatically things have changed in the years she has been away.
Will the secrets Rachel carries—one rooted in the past, the other in her growing relationship with her former tutor—help her come to terms with the changes in her family and in her country? British actress Katherine McEwan provides a rich narration that fully renders both the individual characters and the descriptions of life in midth century Kenya.
Francis Coll. Once the highest paid female copywriter in the country, Lillian Lily to her friends, Lils to her faithless mate is intelligent, witty, and rather wonderful. She has written well and been well paid, fought for the rights of women in the workplace, has known too much drink and her share of despair. But she survives. While her frequent perambulations reveal a New York that has changed irrevocably, Lillian lives with the hope that her greatest love, the city, will rise again. Fish life is complex and interesting.
Jonathan Balcombe, an expert in ethology, reveals the surprising abilities among the thousands of varieties of fish. Their intelligence, diversity, and variety are astonishing; there are fish that have better vision than humans and see a wider range of light and more colors; there are fish that can hear at ranges above and below the human hearing range; there are fish that hunt in groups and use simple tools, revealing a social aspect to their underwater lives. Balcombe also discusses the ability of fish to feel emotion and urges reconsideration of human practices and policies related to fish.
Balcombe is informative and passionate but also provides an edge of whimsy to his fish story. It is unfortunate that a PDF of the illustrations is not included. Michael Page, an AudioFile Earphones winner, has a crisp tone that enhances the material. The narration is performed with the dexterity of a seasoned actor. Telling his life story from his beginnings as a natural drummer to early runins with major musical inf luences, Collins delivers personal stories about being an absentee father and a less-than-perfect husband and also talks about his music.
Avid music fans will appreciate the detailed discussions of certain recordings and who played what on which song. Anyone who can sing along to his songs should listen to this audiobook. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. HighBridge Audio. Everitt, a renowned scholar of British and European culture, has turned to those contentious ancient Athenians who gave us democracy for his ninth book The Rise of Rome; Augustus; Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome.
Everitt writes this popular history about the rise of Athens in a narrative style meant for the reader to experience the events as did the Athenians and Greeks who lived through them. The style is entertaining and informative. The book can be appreciated by those with little knowledge of ancient Athens and those who would like a refresher. Michael Page, AudioFile Earphones winner, gives a formal and precise delivery appropriate to the material.
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Feasel, Cyndy with Mike Yorkey. Grant never expected that the game he loved would destroy his marriage, rational thinking, and ultimately his life. The former NFL lineman was posthumously diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease caused by head trauma known as CTE chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In order to cope with the aches and pains plaguing him in retirement, Feasel turned to alcohol, exacerbating the damaged brain that was already working against him.
Narration by Michelle Lasley is clear and easy to listen to but at times is unconvincing, owing to the very personal nature of this audiobook. Noah, Trevor. Brilliance Audio. Born during apartheid to a Swiss-German father and black Xhosa mother, Noah shares stories from his formative years when he often felt more like an outsider than the shining star he is today. His stories give insight into not only his personal history but the culture and history of South Africa. The subject matter is difficult, with violence, racism, and poverty all being part of his complex narrative.
Despite his circumstances, Noah is able to find humor and love even in the worst of times, mostly owing to his strongwilled, independent, and devoutly Christian mother. Audio at its best. Joseph Cty. Pomfret, John. His interest in the ways in which the history of the two countries and cultures have intersected and sometimes collided is broad. He refers to interactions between Chinese and American officials to illustrate the ways in which the cultures work for and against the best interests of each country on the world stage.
He also offers insightful glimpses into the ways in which students, missionaries, and women have been treated in China and the ways in which Americans have interpreted its issues with civil rights. Tom Perkins offers a lively reading. Stone, Brad. Hachette Audio.
Stories by character, genre, author, and more | Public Library of Brookline
Stone The Everything Store presents a detailed account of two powerful players in the contemporary internet marketplace: Uber and Airbnb. Both firms started as one of many ideas that fledgling entrepreneurs launched in the mids. Although there were other ride- and space-sharing companies debuting about the same time, it was the hard work, vision, and contacts with venture capitalists that allowed Kalanick and Chesky to grow their companies, first nationally then internationally.
MEDIA strangers. Both companies now stand as mature, successful enterprises always searching for new opportunities in the digital world. Dean Temple does a wonderful job presenting the story, changing the tone of his voice to individualize the different players. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib. Although Taubes is unable to build an airtight case against sugar as a culprit that warrants government regulation, he presents a convincing argument that makes one think seriously about limiting the amount of sugar we consume.
Stubbs, John. Jonathan Swift: The Reluctant Rebel. A Dubliner by birth, Swift insisted that he was English and, thus, was able to write simultaneously as both an insider and an outsider about politics. An essayist, pamphleteer, poet, and cleric, he understood the vanities and egos of his own age and was sharply critical of the flaws that plagued society. His tone is somber, suggesting gravitas when appropriate, and temperate, suggesting irony and humor where needed. Taubes, Gary. The Case Against Sugar. Books on Tape.
If The Case Against Sugar were a criminal case, it would be a case for the prosecution, Taubes writes. Like a skilled attorney, he puts on the stand a litany of expert witnesses, including doctors and scientists and their centuries of research on the relationship between sugar consumption and chronic Western diseases, such as diabetes, insulin resistance, and even gout. Taubes also debunks the arguments that sugar is harmless, by carefully laying out the history behind sugar and how it evolved, thanks to technology, marketing, and bad science.
Encouragement consultant Giant Leap Consulting and author Right Risk; Courage Goes to Work Treasurer presents an enthusiastic summary of how leaders can survive and learn valuable lessons from the mistakes in their careers. He explains how the best of these leaders choose to learn from the situation and how to admit their error to others. The types of situations covered are not merely minor mistakes but significant blunders that challenge the fundamental operation and success of an organization or shatter the ego of the leader.
The author shares real case studies from his consulting experience that demonstrate how leaders in different types of organizations responded to their mistakes and failures, and he highlights the few who were transformed by them. This refreshing new information can help anyone in a leadership position learn how to kick-start themselves after a major failure. A House Full of. The narration by Susan Ericksen is steady, although there are a few mispronunciations of proper names.
VERDICT This volume tells the stories of a sisterhood that many readers might not be aware of, one that arguably initiated the cracks in that glass ceiling. Wiltz, Chris. Wiltz has set several novels, as well as a mystery series, in her hometown of New Orleans. Here she tells the true story of Norma Wallace — , a notorious and very successful madam who opened her first bordello in Taxi drivers, hotel staff, and bar owners recommended her businesses to tourists, while city fathers and the law turned a blind eye—thanks to her bribes. Law Lib. He was trying to understand why black folks lived the way they lived.
And the social problems he identified — poverty, crime, illiteracy, white discrimination — are the exact same things you talk about years later. That was my life coming up, so it was normal. You said you were on the honor roll? I used to be, until, like, third grade. There was another book I got in prison, about black kids — the fourth grade, things go wrong and grades start to decline. That was my life. Mine was because I moved to a different neighborhood, rougher than the one I came from.
Yeah, but I never believed that. I used to say I was going to be a normal story of the ghetto. Was school easy for you? Pretty easy. Even if I ran the hallways, I would still be fairly good. Later on, when I really stopped trying, I was put in disciplinary schools. It was like a jail. You get strip-searched before you go in, fingerprinted every day. One day I just climbed over the gate and left. It was a public school organized like a jail? In other words, it was early conditioning for what everybody assumed your future was going to be. When I finally went to jail, I already knew everybody.
Everybody I went to school with was in the jail. What were you put in that school for? Fighting and acting up. I said in one of my raps, I was acting up in school because I thought it was cool, but really I was hurt. What type of motivation do you get if your mom is on drugs? Your self-esteem is automatically just low. Some people have the determination to shoot to the top. I always say anger is an easier emotion to deal with than pain. They hurt, they torn, they scarred. Michelle Alexander.
I went to public school. The books were falling apart. They probably still got the same books from when I was in school. I read a lot as a child, mostly because I was grounded all the time. Then we had a black-studies course in high school, and I became obsessed with black history because it felt like, for the first time, the world made sense.
You would see your community and how people lived, and they would tell you we just did not want better. But I could see how hard people worked, and they still could not get ahead. Studying history calmed me. The most I ever read was in prison. Reading made me process the system. Because I am already a conspiracy theorist.
People locked in the basement for 23 hours a day, being beat by the officers. Yes, the 13th. So you were first arrested — for the original charge — at 19? My first arrest was actually going to school. In sixth or seventh grade. I got caught and went to jail for trespassing. My mom had to come get me. Selling crack. When I got back, I had to get back in the street and start really selling weed to get me a lawyer, because everyone who had a public defender got crucified. My mug shot has my face swollen, both sides of my face beat up. You know how his hand got fractured?
Yeah, punching you. He charged me for him punching my face. They said I pointed a gun at them. That always stuck with me.
Stories by character, genre, author, and more
But if you were on probation and began smoking weed? I barely sleep from so much trauma. Sometimes you just want to smoke and go to sleep. This is your dad right here. My mom was a probation officer. In a place with no public transit, they would drive to work and get violated. That makes no sense. If you gave me three months, that is not lenient. In prison, you were and-1, right? Isolated all but one hour a day? Nobody can. I kept blacking out in the middle of the day — not passing out, but like falling asleep.
Twenty-three and a half hours a day. Come out to take a shower, back to your cell. When did you realize that you had a platform, and that you should use it to advocate for more than yourself? When I saw the support people gave me. He keeps going to jail. I caught one case at the age of I am I have never been back to prison for a crime. Basically all billionaires except me. Robert Kraft saw me in prison, and he was like, How are you still smiling? He was like, If that was me, I would be depressed, mad, angry.
Yeah, but that comes from my environment. So how do you deal with the trauma? I just override it. Rapping is one of my therapies. The saddest thing I can think about is Lil Snupe, an artist I had signed, got killed at 18 by a grown man. That bothered me a lot for two years, but I suppressed it and never really addressed it.
Then one day, I started realizing that had damaged me, and I thought about it a lot. Do you actually think Reform Alliance can change the system? That will be a big win for a lot of kids who will enter the system and probably would have gotten 10 to Hell, yeah. I got a mean team with me. How many people does it take to write a No. Aubrey Graham, a.
Drake, is the first voice we hear, though his verse will be abruptly cut off. Just wait till it drops. In , the Swiss producer Ozan Yildirim, a. Oz, was given an email address that supposedly belonged to Travis Scott. Keep sending. Oz got help with a synthesizer sound from his friend Mirsad Dervic, a. M-Dee, an appliance salesman who makes music on his days off. Oz also used a sound from a pack of samples created by the German producing duo Tim and Kevin Gomringer, a. Things telescope from there …. Kid Hood.
Big Hawk, who was killed in The beat grinds to a halt with a series of distorted kick drums before moving to its final section. He was producing for local M. Music crew, of which Young is a member. Young helped Scott in crafting lyrics. Jonah Weiner is a contributing writer for the magazine.
His last feature for the magazine was about the director Adam McKay. Tay Keith: Zach Boisjoly. Mirsad Dervic by Ozan Yildirim. I was under pretty deep. I, at least, assumed that Ally would turn into somebody like Brandi Carlile, a songwriter whose singing regularly reaches the stratosphere but who we can tell is grounded and real because she holds a guitar the way, for some of us, a lawyer holds a degree from Yale — and because Thanks, craft-neutral manager!
But these women are grilling that cheese. Why did you do that — do that, do that, do that, do that — to ME? But I watched Ally perform it with my hand to my mouth. This song is confection and sex and feel-copping. Jackson thinks so. As much as I wanted to save this sexy, damaged, doomed man, on this, we disagree.
It is a staple of singalongs, the sort of song that gets belted out by groups gathered at marshmallow roasts and swimming pools. Its recent history is clearer. In November , Pinkfong, a South Korean educational brand, released a hopped-up rendition with an accompanying animated video. It was this clip that inspired the hashtag BabySharkChallenge, instigating a viral craze that has racked up more than two billion YouTube views and spawned unnumbered spinoffs starring everyone from Indonesian farmworkers to Filipino marines to Cardi B to, undoubtedly, your friends, your family, your baby trussed in a shark costume.
Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the magazine and the author of a forthcoming book about bicycles. The video opens with the Carters dressed in gorgeous suits hers a Peter Pilotto in pink and red; his, sea-foam green Dries Van Noten standing — alone — in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.
Whose history belongs in our museums? The video and song meditate on this question. The history of black people has too often been presented as little more than a curiosity. During the 16th century, Africans were exhibited in the Vatican, and in a young Congolese man called Ota Benga was forcibly kept at the Bronx Zoo. Even now, landmark museums like the Louvre tend to exhibit artwork that depicts Africans and their descendants as household servants and domestic workers. One great complexity regarding the couple is their overt embrace of capitalism.
Are they disrupting the status quo or reinforcing it? But just beneath all that spending seethes an abject rage. Love is hard, unflattering work that sometimes requires setting aside ego and reputation. What would a world created entirely by and for black people look like? They are asserting that they belong. Are we even sure that the genre ever happened? Pop punk married punk power chords with the singable hook of a radio hit.
The aesthetic was embarrassing, even in its time — circuses, graveyards, men in eyeliner. Want to fantasize about murdering your ex? For a brief, fun lapse in those dubious years, such thoughts were best expressed in a high, clear whine, interspersed with bouts of indiscriminate screaming. To me, at 14, it was more than visceral, a soundtrack for a time of hormonal disarray.
Like most rappers of this latest generation, these influences evolved in a post-streaming world, where albums existed as free-floating tracks, somewhat detached from imposed genre labels. Rap music turns on its habit-forming beats, and pop punk thrives on earwormish hooks. Accounting for the keen melodrama of both genres, it makes perfect sense that a hybridized form would triumph in this new streaming ecosystem.
Juice WRLD is not the first or only artist to work in the emo-rap subgenre. The troubles of this music scene have been well covered; in brief, they reflect the real perils of our time — gun violence, a crisis of masculinity, dual drug and mental-health epidemics. If the pop-punk songs of decades past were grandiose enough to be written off as camp, then the latest wave of emo-rap seems somehow right-sized for the terrors of our moment.
Jamie Lauren Keiles is a writer in Queens working on a novel about smoking. A couple of weeks before she would step onstage to accept the Grammy for Album of the Year, Kacey Musgraves was under the covers in the bedroom at the back of her tour bus, pondering the nature of the universe. She had a little unexpected time on her hands. A show in Chicago had been canceled, thanks to the polar freeze that had descended over the Midwest, leaving her stuck in the middle of a vast tundra with a buildup of tour adrenaline and nowhere to put it.
Later, she would stand in a diaphanous scarlet Valentino dress at the Grammys, giving a speech that could, given her tone and reputation, be read as subtly anti-authoritarian. Not so much. And very responsibly! Enough to be able to get outside of yourself and see a different perspective or point of view. What makes Musgraves such a resonant figure right now, in fact, is the way her response to a dark, anxious moment in human history is to move willfully closer to lightness, to stillness, toward the possibility of a world that comes in more colors than red or blue.
When she talks about art thriving in this climate, she means it — just not in the same sense as, say, angry punks railing against the Reagan administration. What she means is that right now, the best rebellion involves turning off the hate and making space for hope. I missed her in Chicago, where everyone was trapped inside, the streets vacant apart from the odd extreme-weather junkie taking photographs of ice floes.
I had indeed seen her Instagramming this kind of mysterious, late-night Discovery Channel-type stuff — the sort of thing teenagers once saw at the IMAX theater on a field trip after getting stoned. How did she get into it? And yet even in her early years, when Musgraves looked more the part of your average Nashville aspirant, in cowboy boots and blond highlights, there was always a kind of poise, an innate regality that set her apart.
This, perhaps, is the other side of her East Texas grit — the one that manifests less as yee-haw joy and more as D. Musgraves grew up in Golden, Tex. She would make it happen on her own terms. And not in a baller way — like very small-business, check-to-check kind of a thing. But they made all their own decisions. Growing up, she had a Spice Girls poster in her room — Ginger, with her wild tattoo, made a strong impression — and listened to emo rock bands like the Used and Dashboard Confessional.
There was, of course, the requisite period in which a teenage Musgraves turned her back on the whole cowgirl thing. But this rebellion turned out to be short-lived. I want to mix that in with something modern. This is a big-deal event in the business; its attendees are queen-makers in an industry in which success is still determined by access to radio airwaves.
A young woman takes the stage at the legendary Ryman Auditorium, the so-called Mother Church of country, about to play the song that could make or break her career. A star is born. For Musgraves, performing alongside Dolly Parton at the Grammys, winning Album of the Year, presenting an award at the Oscars — all of this is unequivocally her dream.
Wait, I can use my brain, sit on my ass and make a living? By the time Musgraves eventually located her particular voice, it was already honed to a sharp edge. Back on her bus, in Wisconsin, after playing to a couple thousand freezing fans who arrived lit and ready to party, Musgraves decompressed again.
I enjoy it! She puttered around her kitchen, making mugs of ginger tea. She might have scrolled through the looks her stylist had just sent through for the Grammys; she was still searching for something just right to match Dolly Parton. If I ever have a girl, it could be cute to give her P. Sparkles, or Makeup Beauty, or whatever, you know? Lots to do. She carries her Bluetooth speaker from room to room with the tender devotion of a mother cat ferrying kittens across a flooded stream.
Over the last year, an increasingly dominant voice in this mix has been Post Malone, a year-old sort-of-rapper from suburban Dallas. Like most other post-Drake stars, he is an amphibious rap-singer who likes to brag about his vast wealth and sexual conquests — except when he is spending long soulful interludes lamenting exactly those things. But Post Malone, my daughter helped me understand, is popular as much for his persona as for his music. He is a superhero of silly, sloppy, irresponsible ease — a hard-living, cheerful goofball whose happiness makes everyone else happy.
He seems to smile with extra teeth. Everything he does seems half-accidental. He first learned to play guitar because he was extremely good at the video game Guitar Hero. He chose his stage name using an online rap-name generator. His real name is Austin Post. This sort of giddy misidentification is, in fact, the key to Post Malone.
He is not exactly a rapper but is also not not a rapper. His musical roots reach down to country, metal, folk and rock — online, you can watch him play loving covers of Bob Dylan and Nirvana. And yet his megasuccess has mainly come under the umbrella of hip-hop. He says he prefers to think of himself as beyond genre, which is convenient, because he has sometimes been head-slappingly inarticulate on the subject.
Post Malone, in other words, is a big roiling mess of contradictions. No wonder he is so popular with teenagers. This also makes Post Malone a perfect fit for Spider-Man, the canonical story of awkward adolescent empowerment. We meet the teenage Miles Morales in his bedroom, alone, doodling and bobbing his head to the bouncy hit about a dysfunctional relationship. The awkward teenager is called, awkwardly, out into the world. Amid all the cringiness, his unexpected superpowers will bloom. Adolescence, despite its obvious flaws, can still save the world. It is both a brazen bid for the big time and a disquietingly intimate glimpse inside a wildly idiosyncratic mind — in tantalizing, and occasionally maddening, chunks of tightly rationed time.
Each track ends after no more than one minute: some segue seamlessly into the next musical idea, some cut off in what feels like midverse. Whack — as opposed to, say, Frank Ocean — is by no means a piner. Past romance is referenced from time to time, but largely in passing, as if the interesting stuff lay elsewhere. In spite of its undeniable of-the-moment-ness, this is not a collection of music best served by Spotify or any other randomized and algorithm-driven playlist.
And what a short, strange trip it was. Music has mourned the death of our planet for decades. How do we prepare for devastation, and can we reckon with how useless our efforts to stop it have been? Such questions have largely gone unasked in the indie sphere, especially as the genre signifier has transitioned over the last decade from ethos to marketing term. We asked Grimes to elaborate. The lyrics are so worshipful. There's a subtext that they're kind of scared. But A. They made me. Just at random. And it will know everything about everybody.
So it will be angry and punish people who try to inhibit it. I'm not necessarily positive that A. Like with corruption in government, it's potentially worth taking the chance of having an A. Because at least it's objective and probably doesn't care about money. It can just get whatever it wants. Maybe the A. But the main people who are going to be saved are the people working to bring it to fruition. Sigh, stare up at the ceiling fan and ponder the song as if it were a text? Or do what you do when some other tune catches you — flail your limbs, move your hips in weird little circles, bob your head rhythmically up and down?
The world was built for pop songs: Public spaces pump the voices of stars through speakers the way air flows through ventilation ducts, and that sweet, consistent flavor — like Diet Coke or pamplemousse LaCroix — pairs easily enough with any modern pastime. But if the territory of pop music is everywhere, how and where does a piece of art pop — something equal parts challenging and engaging — make its home?
Julia Holter, a Los Angeles-based artist with a background in composition, answers this question by creating otherworldly spaces in her own work. From its opening — a cacophony of cymbals and anxiously pacing strings — the album is a study in creating a private dwelling place amid the chaos and uncertainty of the world. The worlds glimpsed here are varied, sometimes wildly so, but what they share is the sense that they are not so much depicting reality as taking inspiration from it, channeling familiar features into new forms. Holter, in other words, takes the garden path to catharsis, allowing something uplifting to emerge from the tumult, making chaos resolve itself into something humane and beautiful and full of intention.
And she has found, even at music festivals and rock clubs, hushed and attentive audiences for this. Her performances are absorbing: They highlight the organic beauty and authority of her voice, the way the meanings of words can be a sort of veneer over their untamed musicality. The music rewards more than just hearing it. It rewards some other kind of listening, asking you to let yourself become porous. And lately it can fill an appetite that seems both modern and primal at once: to make whole a fractured attention span, to find a ritual that works.
Our days are full of tiny slivers of time that we offhandedly cram with music, filling the gaps between tasks and places like someone idly coloring in a picture. Though the song began as a demo by the L. Neither does Adam Levine who gets a writing credit or his happy-to-be-here sidemen who constitute the Maroon 5 touring entity. As the camera circles, Levine stands in the center of a soundstage, arms by his side, his voice skipping nimbly over the melody.
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