Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Frank Zappa: A Biography, by Barry Miles. Atlantic
An engrossing portrait of the troubled musical genius who died in 1993 at age 52. Zappa endured a peripatetic youth and an early brush with the law that fueled his trademark anti-authoritarian strain; his musical brilliance eventually transformed him from class clown into one of rock's major icons. The book skillfully weaves together the major beats and minor notes of Zappa's remarkable life: he was a hard-rocking star, but also a meticulous, studious composer influenced by Varèse and Stravinsky. Well written and exceedingly well referenced, right down to the exhaustive discography.

The Poems of St. John of the Cross ; University of Chicago Press
St. John of the Cross, a 16th-century mystic, wrote a small body of poems, many of them while he was imprisoned. His poems often blur the line between romantic and religious love in the tradition of Song of Songs; it's often difficult not to interpret them as secular love poems. These are poems to read aloud to a lover, poems to read silently before God, poems that quiver before the world's beauty and thankfully seek to describe something beyond it--a God whose undeniable intimacy with humanity always edges toward the ineffable.

Nureyev: The Life, by Julie Kavanagh ; Pantheon
Rudolf Nureyev had it all: beauty, genius, charm, passion, and sex appeal. No other dancer of our time has generated the same excitement. This is a lovingly crafted biography of the dancer who leaped out of the Soviet Union in 1961 and settled into a spectacular if erratic orbit of the ballet world. Drawing on previously undisclosed letters, diaries, and interviews with Nureyev’s inner circle, Julie Kavanagh gives the most intimate, revealing, and dramatic picture we have ever had of this dazzling, complex figure. A brilliant work worthy of its mercurial subject.

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