Shelfish: The Blog of Answers

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

Juan Felipe Herrera Named Poet Laureate

The Library of Congress has appointed Juan Felipe Herrera as the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States. Herrera is the son of migrant farm workers from Mexico, and has a wide range of poetry from his reflections on his Mexican-American background to experimental works. The new Poet Laureate is the author of 28 books of poetry, novels for young adults, and collections for children, according to the Library of Congress. Previously, Herrera was the Poet Laureate of California, and he is the first Hispanic poet to serve in the position, the New York Times reports. 

Find some of Herrera's work here

27 Seriously Underrated Books

Recently, the online magazine, BuzzFeed asked its readers to offer suggestion of great, underrated books. The list contains many international best sellers, a couple of books adapted into movies, and even a Nobel Prize winner or two, so I'm not sure what qualifies as "underrated." Still, there are a lot of great suggestions such as The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott, Little, Big by John Crowley, The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek. And they're all available at Eisenhower!

Famous Authors' Favorite Books

Flynn sitting among booksMental_Floss magazine recently published a list of Famous Authors' Favorite Books. Ray Bradbury (one of my favorites) placed Moby Dick and the collected essays of George Bernard Shaw among his favorites. George R.R. Martin recommended Station Eleven as one he "won't soon forget." Gillian Flynn said that her "comfort food" books - the ones she turned to when she's cranky were Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and Norman Mailer's Executioner's Song.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

“Did anyone really know their child? Your child was a little stranger, constantly changing, disappearing and reintroducing himself to you. New personality traits could appear overnight.”

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty takes place on the Pirriwee Peninsula in Australia and centers on the children and their parents from the Pirriwee Public School. This is a small beach town which at first may seem rather quiet and uneventful. It is not.  The story follows three women, each at a crossroads. There is Madeline who tells it like it is in both humorous and biting ways. Celeste appears to have it all, beauty, wealth, and twin boys.  But beneath the surface things are not as they appear. Jane is a young single mother with a kindergarten son Ziggy, and their arrival in the beach community really stirs things up!

This book is funny, serious, and thought-provoking. There are some dark moments hidden through little lies and silence. We are privy to the thoughts and comments of numerous people in the novel. At the end of each chapter Moriarty offers us bits and pieces of comments, gossip and observations. It is fascinating to see how the rumor mill keeps churning through innuendo, the misreading of a situation and pure conjecture. There is a trivia night at the school where the women dress like Audrey Hepburn and the men dress like Elvis. The caterer is late, someone put too much alcohol in the delicious pink cocktails and the grapevine is running wild! Then something unexpected happens and all their lives will be changed forever. I have also read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and she can certainly put a new spin on an ordinary situation and surprise the reader in the most interesting ways. I recommend both Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret.

Find Big Little Lies in the library

- Dawn, Reference Intern