Shelfish: The Blog of Answers

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari probably isn’t the first person you’d go to for dating advice, unless you’ve read this book. Unlike the usual books written by comedians, Modern Romance tells the statistical tale of mostly heterosexual relationships, specifically those of middle-class, university-educated people in their 20s and 30s, dating in the modern world. Inspired by his stand-up work, Ansari teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klineberg and created a research project including interviews and focus groups from Wichita to Tokyo.  It analyzes how people begin and end relationships in the modern world, and compares it to the experiences of older generations.

“Oddly, 73 percent of those young adults—the very same ones who said they had broken up with other people via text or social media—said they would be upset if someone broke up with them that way,” is one of many statistics and facts that may shine a light on people and their actions and behavior toward each other in relationships big and small.

I think any single people in the world today could stand to read this book and learn a little about what they might be doing wrong, and any person in a relationship can read this fascinating book and appreciate that they aren’t single right now.  He writes that the possibilities of finding a mate in this day and age are endless, but it’s not necessarily any easier.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in sociology with a splash of comedy. It’s done very well, and is very entertaining and fun. Find Modern Romance in the library.

-Rebecca, Answers

Story that promises to send your kids to sleep

The author of the self-published picture bookThe Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep promises that it will put your children to sleep, and many tired parents are willing to try anything. Swedish psychologist Carol-Johan Frossen Ehrlin wrote The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep using psychological techniques to help children focus and relax. The reviews have been positive from critics and overwhelmingly positive from parents trying to get their kids to sleep.

Parents desperate to cut the bedtime ritual down from two hours to 26 pages should check this out. It's beat out The Girl on the Train and Go Set a Watchman as the number one bestseller on Amazon. Find it in the library.

- Dan, Answers

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

You're never weird on the internetFelicia Day has made a name for herself within "geek" culture as an actress on favorite TV shows like Buffy and Supernatural​, as well as lesser known cult favorites like The Guild and Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog. ​This week she debuts a memoir that is sure to be entertaining for fans of her irreverent humor. You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) is out August 11th and you can place a hold via the library catalog now.

-Hadley, Answers 

Music and the Movies

Music and the Movies Logo featuring Chuck BerryCool off every Friday afternoon this August with rock, jazz, funk, and soul music projected on our big screen.

Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll
Friday, August 7th, 1:00 pm

For his 60th birthday, musicians including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Linda Rondstadt, Etta James, and more celebrate the life of Chuck Berry with a once-in-a-lifetime concert.

Straight, No Chaser
Friday, August 14th, 1:00 pm

The life of seminal pianist and jazz composer Thelonious Monk is profiled through live performances by Monk and his band, interviews with friends and family, and vintage footage documenting Monk in the studio, on tour, and
off stage.

Friday, August 21st, 1:00 pm

In 1972, Stax Records staged a concert in Los Angeles with Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, the Staple Singers, and other greats of soul and R&B to commemorate the anniversary of the Watts Riots and to celebrate a renewed hope in the future.

Thunder Soul
Friday, August 28th, 1:00 pm

Alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Band return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the beloved band teacher who turned their struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s.

Refused: The Shape of Punk to Come

Refused's The Shape of Punk to ComeLike last week's recommended band, Veruca Salt, this week's band released a new record after nearly 20 years apart. The members of the Swedish hard-core quartet Refused put aside their differences for a reunion concerts, ultimately leading to the release of Freedom, a record that unfortunately fails to capture the excitement of the 1998 classic, The Shape of Punk to Come.

It isn't that Freedom is a bad record, it just doesn't feel groundbreaking in the way the band's earlier work did. The Shape of Punk to Come may have been a self congratulatory title but it really seemed like the future of music. It pulled influences not just from the band's hardcore and punk roots but also from bebop and free jazz, electronic dance music, and maybe even eastern-European folk music.

While the record certainly isn't for all listeners, (there's a lot of screaming, harsh guitars, and anti-capitalist lyrics about anarchy), Refused's The Shape of Punk to Come is a seminal record in the history of heavy music.

Both Freedom andThe Shape of Punk to Come are available to stream right now using Eisenhower's digital music/movies/comics/audiobook service Hoopla Digital.

Chris, Marketing

Arms and the Dudes by Guy Lawson

Arms and the Dudes Book CoverCheck out Arms and the Dudes and learn about a stoner trio's unlikely success with foreign arms dealing before it comes to the big screen next spring. Arms and the Dudes is based on Rolling Stone reporter Guy Lawson's research into the lives of David Packouz, Alex Podrizki, and their leader, Efraim Diveroli, as they became involved in arms deals with the Afghanistan military. In March 2016, Warner Brothers will release an adaptation of the book starring Jonah Hill and directed by Todd Phillips, of The Hangover series fame. 

Find it at Eisenhower in the new book section under 364.1336 LAW, or place a hold via the SWAN catalog.
-Hadley, Answers 

Veruca Salt - Ghost Notes

Veruca Salt's Ghost NotesAfter about 17 years of changing line-ups, the original members of mid-90's, Chicago rockers, Veruca Salt have come together with "hatchets buried, axes exhumed" to release a new album. Called "unabashedly decade-specific" by NPR's Katie Presley, Ghost Notes sound like the Veruca Salt of 1993 with the heavy riffs and pop harmonies of Louise Post and Nina Gordon that you remember. 40 year olds pining for the god old days of their twenties should love this album.

Veruca Salt's Ghost Notes is available as a CD in the library's catalog or to stream right now using Eisenhower's digital music/movies/comics/audiobook service Hoopla Digital.

Chris, Marketing

When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning

When Hitler launched his war he didn’t merely launch one of tanks and planes, he also launched one of ideas. With Mein Kampf he began a campaign called total war, designed to take over not just the city and the body, but the mind as well.  By the time the United States entered the war, the Nazis had banned and burned over 100 million books.

To combat the messages coming from Germany, the United States launched a nationwide book drive. For two years, the American Library Association and people from all over the country combined forces to deliver books to servicemen wherever their training posts might be. By 1943, large, heavy hardbacks no longer made the cut. They were too big to carry into battle, too heavy for already overloaded packs.

Enter the war department and the publishing industry. In an unprecedented move, these two disparate partners joined forces and created 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks that were sent around the globe. The ASEs (American Service Editions) of history, poetry, fiction, short stories, biographies, mysteries, and westerns were designed to provide a means of escape to people who were stuck where they were in more ways than one. Titles were picked to appeal to a wide range of tastes, to expand ideas, to make men laugh, to give stressed soldiers a little breathing room, and they may have been one of the most significant factors in winning the war.

Servicemen said that you weren’t in complete uniform without an ASE in your pocket. Soldiers read them in foxholes, in the hospital, while waiting for orders.  Sailors read them on voyages through U-boat infested waters. Pilots read them while flying milk run flights. Books passed through ranks, with some trying to make bribes to get to a copy sooner. Authors became as popular as movie stars, getting and responding to fan mail. Men who had never read before became life-long readers, and credited the ASEs with helping them maintain sanity.

When Books Went to War is the fascinating story of the ASEs and how they were created. The book includes a complete list of all titles that were distributed.

Find When Books Went to War in the library.

-Penny Blubaugh, YA and Outreach Librarian