Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series

Twin Peaks: Season 3

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It is happening again

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Dreams and Daggers

Author or Artist

Cécile McLorin Salvant
Dreams and Daggers

Summary

Per the New York Times' Stephen Holden, "Can one astoundingly gifted singer revive a beloved but dormant jazz vocal tradition? They say it takes only one to start a movement. As Cécile McLorin Salvant spun songs into a brilliant silk tapestry at the Allen Room on Saturday evening, I thought, "Here she is." If anyone can extend the lineage of the Big Three - Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald - it is this 23-year-old virtuoso."

The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap

Author or Artist

Various
The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap

Summary

Smithsonian Folkways in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture present "nine CDs, more than 120 tracks and a 300-page book" which "captures the evolution of hip-hop from its earliest days in the late '70s up to contemporary artists of today." (All quotes from Smithsonian website). Exciting! Release date some undetermined point in 2018...

Strangers in Budapest

Author or Artist

Jessica Keener
Strangers in Budapest

Summary

Budapest: gorgeous city of secrets, with ties to a shadowy, bloody past. It is to this enigmatic European capital that a young American couple, Annie and Will, move from Boston with their infant son shortly after the fall of the Communist regime. For Annie, it is an effort to escape the ghosts that haunt her past, and Will wants simply to seize the chance to build a new future for his family. Eight months after their move, their efforts to assimilate are thrown into turmoil when they receive a message from friends in the US asking that they check up on an elderly man, a fiercely independent Jewish American WWII veteran who helped free Hungarian Jews from a Nazi prison camp. They soon learn that the man, Edward Weiss, has come to Hungary to exact revenge on someone he is convinced seduced, married, and then murdered his daughter. Annie, unable to resist anyone's call for help, recklessly joins in the old man's plan to track down his former son-in-law and confront him, while Will, pragmatic and cautious by nature, insists they have nothing to do with Weiss and his vendetta. What Annie does not anticipate is that in helping Edward she will become enmeshed in a dark and deadly conflict that will end in tragedy and a stunning loss of innocence.

Improv Nation

Author or Artist

Sam Wasson
Improv Nation

Summary

From the best-selling author of Fosse, a sweeping yet intimate--and often hilarious--history of a uniquely American art form that has never been more popular. At the height of the McCarthy era, an experimental theater troupe set up shop in a bar near the University of Chicago. Via word-of-mouth, astonished crowds packed the ad-hoc venue to see its unscripted, interactive, consciousness-raising style. From this unlikely seed grew the Second City, the massively influential comedy theater troupe, and its offshoots--the Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, SNL, and a slew of others. Sam Wasson charts the meteoric rise of improv in this richly reported, scene-driven narrative that, like its subject, moves fast and digs deep. He shows us the chance meeting at a train station between Mike Nichols and Elaine May. We hang out at the after-hours bar Dan Aykroyd opened so that friends like John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner would always have a home. We go behind the scenes of landmark entertainments from The Graduate to Caddyshack, The Forty-Year Old Virgin to The Colbert Report. Along the way, we commune with a host of pioneers--Mike Nichols and Harold Ramis, Dustin Hoffman, Chevy Chase, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Alan Arkin, Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, and many more. With signature verve and nuance, Wasson shows why improv deserves to be considered the great American art form of the last half-century--and the most influential one today.

Prairie Fires

Author or Artist

Caroline Fraser
Prairie Fires

Summary

The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie books.

Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls--the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser--the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series--masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography. Revealing the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life, she also chronicles Wilder's tumultuous relationship with her journalist daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books. The Little House books, for all the hardships they describe, are paeans to the pioneer spirit, portraying it as triumphant against all odds. But Wilder's real life was harder and grittier than that, a story of relentless struggle, rootlessness, and poverty. It was only in her sixties, after losing nearly everything in the Great Depression, that she turned to children's books, recasting her hardscrabble childhood as a celebratory vision of homesteading--and achieving fame and fortune in the process, in one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches episodes in American letters. Spanning nearly a century of epochal change, from the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl, Wilder's dramatic life provides a unique perspective on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. With fresh insights and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman whose classic stories grip us to this day.

Blackbird

Author or Artist

Michael Fiegel
Blackbird

Summary

Michael Fiegel's darkly compelling debut tells the story of an unusual bond between two killers--and the destruction left in their wake.

A cold-blooded killer-for-hire, Edison North drifts across America from city to city, crime scene to crime scene, leaving behind a world in flames. But during a seemingly random stop at a fast food restaurant, Edison meets Christian, a young girl who mirrors his own sense of isolation and stink of "other." Though it's been a long time since he felt anything resembling a human connection, something about this desperately lonely child calls to him like a fallen nestling. Edison feels certain she deserves better. And while he is not convinced that he can give her that, he can teach her to fly on her own. So he takes her. Thus begin the chronicles of Edison North--and his protege. Weaving together past and present, Edison begins Christian's strange apprenticeship as Christian looks back upon her fractured upbringing and the training that made her into the killer she's become. What emerges is a savage--and ultimately tender--exploration of the unlikely bond between two outsiders: a fledgling assassin and the man who took her under his wing.

1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder

Author or Artist

Arthur Herman
1917

Summary

This is the story of two men, and the two decisions, that transformed world history in a single tumultuous year, 1917.

In April 1917 Woodrow Wilson, champion of American democracy but also segregation; advocate for free trade and a new world order based on freedom and justice; thrust the United States into World War One in order to make the "world safe for democracy"--only to see his dreams for a liberal international system dissolve into chaos, bloodshed, and betrayal. That October Vladimir Lenin, communist revolutionary and advocate for class war and "dictatorship of the proletariat," would overthrow Russia's earlier democratic revolution that had toppled the all-power Czar, all in the name of liberating humanity--and instead would set up the most repressive totalitarian regime in history, the Soviet Union. In this incisive, fast-paced history, New York Times bestselling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics. Through the end of World War I, countries only marched into war to increase or protect their national interests. After World War I, countries began going to war over ideas. Together Lenin and Wilson unleashed the disruptive ideologies that would sweep the world, from nationalism and globalism to Communism and terrorism, and that continue to shape our world today. Our New World Disorder is the legacy left by Wilson and Lenin, and their visions of the perfectibility of man. One hundred years later, we still sit on the powder keg they first set the detonator to, through war and revolution.

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us

Author or Artist

Hanif Abdurraqib
They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us

Summary

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly. In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of black Americans, Willis-Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers: for attempting to enter his own car. In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others--along with original, previously unreleased essays--Willis-Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.