This week I want to share some biographies and items from our e-book collection that offer an intimate look at some of the most influential and beloved cultural figures in music, comedy, and literature. The ways these artists persevered to constantly reinvent themselves, revolutionize their industries, and influence generations continues to inspire and encourage, even decades later.
Barry Cooper's Beethoven documents the life and genius of one of the most fascinating and renowned composers of our time, Ludwig van Beethoven. This extensively researched biography covers details dating back to his early childhood, family musical background, various stages of his career, and the lasting impact of his legacy. Embellished with real musical sketches, letters, and illustrations, Cooper offers an inspiring glimpse of the world through Beethoven's perspective, his creative process, and his life's influence on his own work.
A recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in C Minor (1808):
So many elements of Edgar Allan Poe's personal life, material, and literary style have intrigued audiences for centuries. The morbid and tragic themes of violence and terror merged with macabre, casual settings allow his readers to normalize and accept death as part of life. Professor James M. Hutchisson seeks to understand the writer's true identity, imagination and passion in Poe. This biography gathers insight into Edgar Allan's technique, themes, inspirations, and achievements as one of the biggest influences of American literature. Hutchisson explores the various phases and mediums of Poe's work (far beyond poetry and short stories) alongside a chronology of his life's events, giving context as to how each affected the other. 'Poe' details the pivotal time that was the early 1800s, its impact on his writing, and how he shaped the future of creative writing and literary critique. This book is crucial for any fan of Edgar Allan Poe, this historical era, writers, and lovers of literature, regardless of familiarity with his catalog.
The Raven (1845) by Edgar Allan Poe as read by James Earl Jones:
In Beyond a Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of an Album, Tony Whyton delves into the musical and compositional technicalities behind what makes "A Love Supreme" a defining album of avant-garde jazz and Coltrane's life. In just one hundred and seventy six pages, this short yet dense biography challenges and observes the way we express, absorb, and define art and spirituality. Whyton questions and discusses the concept that recording improvisational music, intended to be experienced as a moment that can never be recreated, diminishes the artist's intention while disrupting the engagement of the listener. This biography analyzes the vision and intention behind Coltrane's legendary album and its role in birthing a new era for music and the recording industry.
John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (1965):
Richie Unterberger's The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film breaks down The Beatles' phenomenal recording career throughout each year from 1957 to 1970, witnessing the progression of the group's influence on the record industry and the world. With additional sections filled with chronological timelines of major events in each Beatles member's life, fun facts, references, indexes of Beatles films, bootlegs and tons of unreleased material, this biography is a fun and simple yet informative read for any fan of the most popular rock band in history. Updated with new information since its original publication date, no stone goes unturned in this ultimate guide to the Beatles' vast catalog.
The Beatles- Dehra Dun (1970):
Nick Marx, Matt Sienkiewicz, and Ron Becker explore the development and life behind the scenes of one of the most well-known shows of all time in Saturday Night Live & American T.V. This book takes a critical look at Saturday Night Live's history, its writers and actors, most iconic and controversial moments, spinoff characters and series, its relationship to political and current events, and how it has shaped comedy and entertainment, modern media. What makes an audience laugh? SNL & American T.V. assesses why this show spans generations, cultures, and how the show has adapted over the years.
Sarah Palin and Hillary Address the Nation - SNL (9/13/08):