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More Beatz and Bookz for Adults

June 11, 2015 by Reader's Connection

From Selector Emily Chandler: Despite the initially cold weather, the Summer Reading Program has officially begun! While the kiddos are busy reading and getting prizes, the grown-ups can participate in their own Summer Reading Program, with a list of titles they can read and discuss at many of the book discussion events the library will be offering throughout the summer at various locations around the city. (BTW, the book to be discussed at Bookmamas in August has changed. Check that schedule.)

All music-themed, the titles will be sure to bring a song to your lips and a boogie in your step. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for what is available in our collection. For those interested in reading beyond the list, here are some great titles that will supplement your reading list of books with a musical twist.


Hornby, Nick High Fidelity

High Fidelity



Follows the life, love affairs, and belated growth to maturity of Rob, a “Generation X” pop music fanatic and record store owner. Turned into a movie starring John Cusack, this is a must-read for music lovers!







Kalotay, Daphne Sight Reading

Sight Reading

When Hazel and Remy happen upon each other on a warm Boston spring day, their worlds immediately begin to spin. Remy, a gifted violinist, is married to composer Nicholas Elko, who was once the love of Hazel’s life. Over the decades, each buried secrets, disappointments, and betrayals that now threaten to undermine their happiness. We follow the notes of their complicated, intertwined lives from 1987 to 2007, from Europe to America, and from conservatory life to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Sight reading … is an exploration of what makes a family, of the importance of art in daily life, and of the role of intuition in both the creative process and the evolution of the self–Publisher’s web site.



Lee, Janice Y.K. The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher

In 1942, Will Trusdale, an Englishman newly arrived in Hong Kong, has fallen headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But when World War II strikes, Will is sent to an internment camp, while Trudy remains outside. Trudy is forced to form dangerous alliances with the head of the Japanese gendarmerie, whose desperate attempts to locate a priceless collection of Chinese art lead to a chain of terrible betrayals. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong and meets the enigmatic Will. As long-buried secrets start to emerge and she begins to understand the true nature of the world she has entered, Claire learns that sometimes the price of survival is love. A book club favorite!



Martinez, Jessica Virtuosity




Just before the most important violin competition of her career, seventeen-year-old prodigy Carmen faces critical decisions about her anti-anxiety drug addiction, her controlling mother, and a potential romance with her most talented rival Another teen novel, it is a recommended read for both teens and adults alike.






Richman, Alyson The Garden of Letters

The Garden of LettersPortofino, Italy, 1943. A young woman steps off a boat in a scenic coastal village. Although she knows how to disappear in a crowd, Elodie is too terrified to slip by the German officers while carrying her poorly forged identity papers. She is frozen until a man she’s never met before claims to know her. In desperate need of shelter, Elodie follows him back to his home on the cliffs of Portofino. Only months before, Elodie Bertolotti was a cello prodigy in Verona, unconcerned with world events. But when Mussolini’s Fascist regime strikes her family, Elodie is drawn into the burgeoning resistance movement by Luca, a young and impassioned bookseller. As the occupation looms, she discovers that her unique musical talents, and her courage, have the power to save lives. In Portofino, young doctor Angelo Rosselli gives the frightened and exhausted girl sanctuary. He is a man with painful secrets of his own, haunted by guilt and remorse. But Elodie’s arrival has the power to awaken a sense of hope and joy that Angelo thought was lost to him forever. Written in dazzling prose and set against the rich backdrop of World War II Italy, Garden of Letters captures the hope, suspense, and romance of an uncertain era, in an epic intertwining story of first love, great tragedy, and spectacular bravery.



Sales, Leila This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life


Nearly a year after a failed suicide attempt, sixteen-year-old Elise discovers that she has the passion, and the talent, to be a disc jockey. A teen title, this book is a powerful and compelling read with an uplifting message about the positive influence that music can provide to the battered human spirit looking for self-acceptance in the face of extremely cruel bullying. Just a fabulous read for teens and adults alike.





Sudhalter, Richard M Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael

Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael



A Hoosier native, this book chronicles the life of famous composer and songwriter Hoagy Carmichael. Known for timeless songs such as “Stardust”, and “Georgia on My Mind”, Indiana University students still hear his 1937 “Chimes of Indiana” composition, written specifically for the university, to this day.






Szpilman, Wladyslaw The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45

The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45


Turned into a movie in 2002 that earned three Oscar awards, this book is a true story of a Polish Jewish musician who struggles to survive the Holocaust. Another compelling narrative about the powerful influence of music and a must-read for World War II buffs.


Authors can now register for the Indy Author Fair.

June 10, 2015 by Reader's Connection

award_icon_wowAre you an author who would like a place at the October 10th Indy Author Fair at Central Library? Registrations will be accepted through July 19th.

<Click on the IAA icon for a registration form. As noted on that form, registration does not guarantee participation.


Rockin’ Reads

June 8, 2015 by Reader's Connection

From Selector Jessica Lawrence: Summer is the perfect time to celebrate music. Warm weather, long nights, and the spirit of the season are synonymous with summer music festivals. The Indianapolis Public Library even has a music-themed Summer Reading Program this year! The Beatz & Bookz Summer Reading Program kicked off June 1st and is open to readers of all ages.

Now is the perfect time to enjoy some truly rockin’ reads! Check out the following fifteen exceptional musical memoirs which reflect the inspiration, fame, and tribulations of a life spent in the musical spotlight.


Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King


Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King – B.B. King




Bound for Glory


Bound for Glory – Woody Guthrie






Cash: The Autobiography – Johnny Cash






Chronicles – Bob Dylan






Decoded – Jay-Z




Just Kids


Just Kids – Patti Smith






Life – Keith Richards




Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter


Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn





Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove


Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson




My Cross to Bear


My Cross to Bear – Gregg Allman




Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now


Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now – Paul McCartney




Sammy: An Autobiography


Sammy: An Autobiography – Sammy Davis Jr.







Slash – Slash





Waylon: An Autobiography


Waylon: An Autobiography – Waylon Jennings





When I Left Home: My Story


When I Left Home: My Story – Buddy Guy




Check out all of these titles and more at the Indianapolis Public Library!


Gates Notes – Looking at Bill Gates’ summer reading list

June 4, 2015 by Reader's Connection

From Selector Chris Murray: While he’s still fond of the always-challenging Vaclav Smil, I think Bill’s list this year is an interesting mix of titles. More important, what do YOU think?


Hyperbole and a Half


Hyperbole and a Half  by Allie Brosh

Also available as a downloadable e-book



The Magic of Reality

The Magic of Reality: How we Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins

Also available as a downloadable e-book, a downloadable audiobook, and an audiobook on CD.



On Immunity

On Immunity by Eula Biss

Also available as a downloadable e-book, a downloadable audiobook, and an audiobook on CD.



What if? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypotheticals

What if? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypotheticals by Randall Munroe

Also available on a downloadable e-book, a downloadable audiobook, and an audiobook on CD.




XKCD by Randall Munroe



How to Lie With Statistics


How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff

This is a 1993 reissue. The original 1954 edition is also available.



Should We Eat Meat?


Should We Eat Meat? by Vaclav Smil

Also available as a downloadable e-book.


How can my wife hate this book so much, when I love it so much? Is our marriage in trouble?

June 2, 2015 by Reader's Connection

Bel Canto

The discussion of Ann Patchett’s novel Bel Canto has been moved to Tuesday, July 7th at 6:00 p.m. It will still take place in Central Library‘s East Garden.

I had read the book some years ago, and hadn’t planned on rereading it, but it was sitting on a Half Price Books clearance cart on Friday evening. I stood there, leaning over the cart, and couldn’t stop reading.

A birthday party for Mr. Hosokawa, a fabulously successful Japanese businessman, is thrown in an unnamed South American country, whose leaders are hoping that he will build a factory there. Hosokawa attends only because opera star Roxanne Coss is going to sing; and Coss is there only there because those leaders have seen fit to pay her, in an effort to snare Hosokawa. Neither the soprano nor the businessman care about this country at all.

But–and this action begins during the novel’s first sentence, so this hardly qualifies as a spoiler–the party is invaded by terrorists, intent on kidnapping the president and triggering a revolution. Nothing goes as planned.


Doesn’t this book look splendid, set off against last Saturday evening’s rainstorm? We are at the Aristocrat, at 52nd & College. I have set the book aside so as to avoid getting any of my black bean taco salad on it, and am suddenly captivated by its grandeur. (The price tag is mistaken. The book only cost three bucks.) How can my wife not love this thing?

Out in front of our house on Saturday morning, waiting for my wife in our CRV, I was reading Bel Canto, and was visibly moved. My wife saw me as she approached, and was flabbergasted. “Were you weeping over Bel Canto? You know I hate that book, don’t you?”


Nothing in the novel rings true to her, and I love every word.


Another obsessive photograph: Later that same evening, on my front porch. The rainstorm is back, though it’s hard to see that. The stock photo on the paperback is well chosen. I wouldn’t have envied these party-goers, anyway, but their upper-class gaiety is charged with irony for anyone who has read the book.

There are probably other readers who feel as my wife does. Some readers may feel that Ann Patchett’s elegance and wit are laid over the poverty of this South American country like a lovely quilt that has been spread over something unseemly.

I, on the other hand, have a talent for allowing an author’s voice to carry me along (this may be a way of saying that I have a weak mind), and I was carried along by the relationships that form among the hostages and the terrorists.

Perhaps I should confess to an instant crush that I developed on a contestant in the first International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. I remember how lovely she was when she came onstage to play at the semifinals, how the woman sitting next to me said Oh my God in an unfriendly way, how I had to resist stalking my beauty at the closing gala.

These things do happen, which may lend some credibility to what goes on in Bel Canto; but such talk cheapens the way the relationships develop in the novel. Yes, there are some crushes, but the love of music and the depth of experience among these characters puts their narrative in a class where my dweeby, short-lived intoxication doesn’t belong.

If you love the book, or don’t, or have mixed feelings about it, you can come to the book discussion and talk it over. Someone from the Indiana Writers Center will be on hand to lead the discussion.

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Poster: N/C – International Violin Competition 3/25/82, Box 047, Hudnut Collection. University of Indianapolis Digital Mayoral Archives.