adults

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

Cover image of the book The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life with four teens stand next to a car with the sun setting behind them“I knew guys got erections. I was perfectly prepared to deal with it. When the right guy and the right erection came along.”

Mary has spent four years of high school as a nerdy good girl. Mary's last hope to do something memorable in high school is to win the Oyster Point High Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. After a fiasco at prom and losing her spot at Georgetown to a football jock, she is determined to take first place. She cobbles together a squadron of her best friends in a race against the clock to chase down clues and strange objects sent via text. All throughout the race, Mary must confront her best friend Patrick’s raging crush and the feelings that she can’t quite return along with her own unrequited love for bad boy Carson. With the finish line in sight, Mary has to decide what's more important—her friends or winning.

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life is an angsty humor laden rollercoaster that will have readers laughing at every turn. With each emotional turn and setback, Mary dishes out quick-witted commentary tinged with sarcasm. At times it is difficult to sympathize with Mary, but ultimately this keeps her human – and you’ll like her in spite of her flaws. Many flashbacks explain the events leading to the night in the book, while the issues the characters deal with fill in gaps.

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Kathleen, Reference Services

The Invisible War

The Invisible War cover. Photograph of female soldier's face.I first heard about this film after it was nominated for an Academy Award. I decided to see it after Henry Rollins wrote about it. I'm going to repeat what he wrote, I encourage everyone to see this movie, but I can't recommend it. That may seem like a strange thing to say, especially on a page of recommendations, but the stories that are told in this film are devastating and will likely haunt you.

The Invisible War refers to the the epidemic of sexual assault within the U.S. Military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. Statistics like this are peppered throughout the film, most of them coming directly from official Department of Defense reports. Academy Award nominated director Kirby Dick could have spun this as an anti-military film, but he didn't. Instead, through the emotional accounts of the men and women interviewed, the viewer gets a sense that change is possible.

This is a hard film to watch, but works of this nature are often the best way to facilitate change. Though The Invisible War did not win an Oscar, the nomination has brought national attention to the epidemic of intra-military sexual assault. Since its release, in late 2012, the Pentagon has developed policies aimed at increasing accountablity and victim care.

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The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Dust jacket is of Yellow flowered Wallpaper.The last two book books I’ve read (I Capture the Castle & Divining Women) mentioned the “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  Deciding to fix this gap in my education, I picked up a copy of the 24 page/6,000 word short story. Published in 1892, it is written as the secret journal of a woman living in a rented country house while undergoing a rest cure for depression. Although she has been forbidden to do so, the unnamed narrator writes down her feelings. Her frightening descent into madness manifests itself in a chilling rendering of the creature she believes resides beneath the bedroom’s yellow wallpaper.

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Inspiration Information/Wings of Love by Shuggie Otis

Shuggie Otis, Insipration Information. Older Shuggie facing left, younger Shuggie facing right with a butterfly in the middle. It's hard to pin this album down to any one genre. Shuggie's own label, Shugiterius Enterprises, admits that he would only be a household name to "those that are knowledgeable about popular R & B-Blues-Rock-Funk music that was released during the mid-sixties, and early seventies."

Shuggie Otis has been in the music business for a long time. In fact, he started performing with his father, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Johnny Otis, at the tender age of 12 in night clubs throughout southern California. After his father brought him into the recording studio he became an in-demand session guitarist and appears on albums by everyone from Above the Law to Frank Zappa. Eventually Shuggie started recording his own tracks and released his first album in 1969. Inspiration Information  was originally released in 1974 as Shuggie's third studio record. Shuggie has absolute control over this album. He played every instrument and sang every part.  The album was reissued in 2001 on David Byrne's label, Luaka Bop. That edition had four tracks from Shuggie's 1971 album Freedom Flight. This release doesn't, but it does have four brand new bonus tracks. It also comes with a second disc of previously unreleased recordings from 1975-2000 entitled Wings of Love.

This album is, in a word, smooth.

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The Heist by Macklemore, featuring Ryan Lewis

cover for The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, text and lizard or snake skin patterning in gold outlines on black background"We came here to live life like nobody was watching"

With danceable beats, social-consciousness, and an excellent sense of humor, Macklemore's first studio album features the Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit "Thrift Shop", as well as "Can't Hold Us" and "Same Love".

I first heard "Thrift Shop" on the radio and I did a double-take. A song about resale shops? That's not only funny but catchy and promotes bargain-conscious shopping.. from a rapper? Different, to say the least. Give the rest of the album a listen, too!

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