After Visiting Friends

"After Visiting Friends" by Michael Hainey

Michael Hainey was six years old when his father died suddenly. This loss cast a shadow over his childhood and haunted him well into adulthood. Hainey felt unsettled about the event, often doubting that his father was really dead. When he was eighteen, he looked up his father's obituaries and found reports that his father had died after visiting friends. This brief phrase prompts Hainey to undertake a search for answers about his father's death and becomes the title of his memoir.

What’s Lingering on Your Reading List?

Perhaps this happens to everyone. You hear about a book and think "I need to read that." But you are busy, there is a long waiting list, and you put it off. That was my experience with Maggie Shipstead's debut novel "Seating Arrangements." When I learned that Shipstead has a new novel coming out in April, I finally read her first book.

"Seating Arrangements" appears to be a typical family drama centered on a wedding. The Van Meters are hosting the wedding of daughter Daphne at their summer home on an island. The family faces challenges beyond normal wedding chaos.

It was 20 Years Ago Today – Make that 50

The Four Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles

It was February 9, 1964 when the Beatles played their U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. If you weren't even born when the Beatles played Ed Sullivan, you're in luck. SLCL carries "The Four Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles" whose title says it all.

One proof of the Beatles' creative genius is how their songs still resonate today. Whether it is the pure pop of "Help" and "I Saw Her Standing There" or the more intricate works of "Norwegian Wood" and "Something" they never go out of style. 

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Considered by many to be the "quiet" Beatle, George Harrison was both an excellent guitarist and songwriter penning "Somewhere," "Here Comes the Sun," "Taxman" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." In many ways he came into his own with his solo albums like "Dark Horse" and "All Things Must Pass." George got the video biography treatment by none other than Martin Scorsese with "Living in the Material World." While it contains background on Harrison's time in the Beatles, it also gives insight on his

New Titles from Bestselling Authors

Many of your favorite authors are releasing new books next month. Whatever your preferences, February will be good month for readers.

Alexander McCall Smith's stand-alone novel "The Forever Girl" tells the story of a young girl who falls in love with her childhood friend and carries her unrequited devotion through adulthood. In a departure from his amusing mystery series, the author presents a moving and melancholy novel about love.

Kicking It

Kicking It by aith Hunter and Kalayna Price
I'm not a big fan of short story anthologies as a rule. They usually leave little room for character or plot development. I picked up "Kicking It" because it reminded me of the Nancy Sinatra song from the mid 1960s "These Boots Were Made for Walkin." I must say the editors Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price surprised me with this collection.

Wild Feathers

The Wild Feathers

If you miss the guitar driven rock n roll of Tom Petty and the Black Crowes, the Wild Feathers' new self-titled release will make you nostalgic. In addition to having multiple vocalists, this is not a band limited by three chord capabilities. Instead of each song following a formula and sounding the same, these guys have a wide array of musical styles. Reminiscent of the Eagles, they start out with a fast riff on "Backwoods Company"  and progress to country rock on "Ceiling" and "Left My Woman" but throw a curve when they go into "I'm Alive" that's reminiscent of Soul Asylum at the height of their career. The harmonies are finely tuned, but best is the mix of songs which according to All Music Guide they prefer to call American instead of Americana. There are definitely Mellencamp and Springsteen themes with smokestacks and the lack of cash set in the bleak world of the working class.

Holiday

"Holiday"

"Holiday" featuring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn takes place during both Christmas and New Years, but what makes it worth watching year round is the biting dialog and terrific acting. Grant plays Johnny Case, a wage slave who takes his first holiday since he started working at age 10. While at Lake Placid he falls for gorgeous blond, Julia Seton, not realizing until he goes to her house on 5th Avenue, she's one of the wealthy Setons who made their fortune during the robber baron era. While Julia plans for Johnny to take a job in her father's bank, Johnny has plans of his own which he shares with Julia's sister Linda, played by Katherine Hepburn. Linda is a better listener, but the outcast eccentric in the family. Hepburn's acting is outstanding, being both strong-willed and lacking confidence, Linda Seton is one of those dichotomies who exist in real life but few actors can pull off.

Christmas in Tinseltown

"The Dead Celebrity Cookbook" by Frank Decaro

If you love Christmas movies and Hollywood trivia, check out Frank Decaro's "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook presents Christmas in Tinseltown: Celebrity Recipes and Hollywood Memories from Six Feet under the Mistletoe."

The tone of the book can be deduced from the title. It is irreverent, jokey, and chock-full of silly puns. He writes about the Christmas TV special "The Homecoming" that introduced the Walton family to America, "As squeaky-clean families go, they made the Bradys look like the Bundys." The only serious theme throughout is the author's sincere fascination with anyone connected to Hollywood and the entertainment world.

The author writes briefly about classic Christmas movies, music, and television, giving background information and what he calls "Christmas Tidbits." He then highlights specific actors and singers and provides recipes attributed to them.

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