Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Most Borrowed Books in Art, Music and Recreation - March 2015

 It's always interesting to learn what books in our subjects have the greatest current appeal to our readers. The most striking thing about this list of most borrowed books is the high percentage are the high number of memoirs by women - 12 out of 20 titles.  

The Boys in the Boat isn't a surprising title for the list -- it is presently ranked at number 2 on the San Francisco Chronicle's best-selling nonfiction titles.  Patti Smith's books, Just Kids and M Train, remain popular.  Interest in Tina Fey's Bossypants has never died down and her friend Amy Poehler's Yes Please tops the list.  Greil Marcus's Mystery Train, now in its 6th edition, and H.G. Bissinger's Friday Night Lights, reissued in a 25th anniversary edition, are a perennial favorites.

Perhaps the most unexpected title here is The Art of The Con, which brings the true crime genre to the fine art marketplace.  Bohemian Modern is new book on interior design, a genre that always circulates well.  The list is rounded out with Barbarian Days, a surfing memoir partially set in San Francisco.

1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler (Dey St., 2014).

2. Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann (Little, Brown and Company, 2015).

3. M Train by Patti Smith (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015).

4. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Crown Archetype, 2015).

5. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown (Viking, 2013).

6. Reckless: My Life as a Pretender by Chrissie Hynde (Doubleday, 2015).

7. Bossypants by Tina Fey (Little, Brown and Co., 2011).

8. The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World by Anthony M. Amore (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

9. Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco, 2010).

10. Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon (Dey St., 2015).

11.Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music by Greil Marcus, revised 6th edition (Plume, 2015).

12. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein (Riverhead Books, 2015).

13.Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger, 25th anniversary edition (Da Capo Press, 2015).

14. Always Pack a Party Dress: And Other Lessons Learned from a (Half) Life in Fashion by Amanda Brooks (Blue Rider Press, 2015).

15. Bohemian Modern by Emily Henson, photography by Katya de Grunwald (Ryland Peters & Small, 2015).

16. Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art by Nancy Princenthal (Thames & Hudson, 2015).

17. The Rainman's Third Cure: An Irregular Education by Peter Coyote (Counterpoint, 2015).

18. Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown (St. Martin's Press, 2015).

19. I'll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones as told to Paul Morley (Gallery Books, 2015).

20. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Penguin Press, 2015).

Barbarian Days

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sounds of the New Deal: The Federal Music Project in the West

Peter Gough is an assistant professor of history at California State University, Sacramento and author of Sounds of the New Deal: the federal music project in the westPlease join us for an author talk, Q&A, and book sales* and signing on Sunday, March 20th at 1pm.

—all people—
triumphed and reshaped America

At its peak, the Federal Music Project (FMP) employed nearly 16,000 people who reached millions of Americans through performances, composing, teaching, and folksong collection and transcription. In Sounds of the New Deal, Peter Gough explores how the FMP’s activities in the West shaped a new national appreciation for the diversity of American musical expression. From the onset, administrators and artists debated whether to represent highbrow, popular, or folk music in FMP activities. Though the administration privileged using “good” music to educate the public, in the West local preferences regularly trumped national priorities and allowed diverse vernacular musics to be heard. African American and Hispanic music found unprecedented popularity while the cultural mosaic illuminated by American folksong exemplified the spirit of the Popular Front movement. These new musical expressions combined the radical sensibilities of an invigorated Left with nationalistic impulses. At the same time, they blended traditional patriotic themes with an awareness of the country’s varied ethnic musical heritage and vast—but endangered—store of grassroots music.

Presentation will be held in the Latino/Hispanic Community Room, Lower Level of the Main San Francisco Public Library.

* book sales provided by Friends of the Library