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Losing My Cool, by Thomas Chatterton Williams

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

What are the effects of hip-hop immersion on a young black mind? How can we navigate issues of identity and find who we really are, outside of our peer group? Can parents influence their children without employing overt means of controlling them?

I loved Losing My Cool. It’s a memoir by a young black man who evolves from a hip-hop loving and somewhat cloistered youth to one who studies philosophy and abandons ‘hood aspirations for the life of the mind. Along the way, new friendships are established as old ones atrophy, and the freedom of undergraduate life replaces the relative conformity required in high school. I found one of the sharpest insights towards the end of the book, when Williams begins to appreciate the difference between being “of” hip-hop culture, and being “into” hip-hop culture. He concludes that those blacks who are into hip-hop but not “of” it can see hip-hop ironically; see how distanced the concerns of the street are from the priorities within their own lives. Those who take hip-hop seriously and without irony (and to the exclusion of all else!) can become trapped by its hollow pursuits, and slaves to its materialistic ethic.

Not only is this memoir about Williams’s own evolution, but it’s a loving tribute to his father, whose stoic presence looms large in the narrative.

Emotional, probing, and very insightful! This was a great and unique read.

Suggest it to the philosopher, son, father, or gangsta in your life!

Headphones: Carol King

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

One word: Tapestry.

Stop everything you’re doing and listen to this album!

I grew up listening to it, although it didn’t make much of an impression on me while I was young. But, whenever I return to it, I appreciate the awesome power of the singer/songwriter.

Visit your local library branch for a ton of CDs. Jazz, Pop, Classical, International, and much more! We’re guaranteed to have something you’ve never heard of!


Headphones: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

One of the reasons I love working at a library is that I get exposure to musicians I may never otherwise have listened to. Here’s what’s on my iPod these days:

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings’ I Learned the Hard Way.

I love this album! You can hardly tell which decade it was produced in! Give it a listen if you love Motown, soul, or anything that sounds like Mark Ronson produced it.

Never heard of the Dap Kings? Well, you’ve probably already heard their music! They played on Amy Winehouse’s Rehab.

Check out the Dap Kings and tons of other artists at your local library branch!


Yee Haw!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Here at the Calgary Public Library, we’ve got everything you need to get into the Stampede spirit!

Music! Bluegrass, Country and Western, Folk and more!

History! Our Local History Room is a wonderful resource for all things related to Calgary’s history – including the Stampede!

Food! Tons of cookbooks to inspire your grilling and BBQ-ing!

Stories! Bring your little ones to a Stampede Storytime, or join an author reading for adults.

There’s always something going on at your local library branch. Check us out today!

Soyez Inspire!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Make your way to the Glenbow museum on the evening of May 15th for the opening of some very interesting new exhibits. How else will you get the chance to hang out with local musician Kris Demeanor, see gorgeous works by both impressionists and modernists, and drink on site?!

The jazz inspired event is pay-what-you-can, so take advantage!

For more information, visit the Glenbow Museum’s website.

If you’re interested in art and music, then be sure to check out our collection, too! Borrow 99 items at a time! That’s a whole lot of inspiration!


Karaoke Party!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

When a friend told me that she was considering Karaoke for her birthday party, I couldn’t help but get excited. Who doesn’t love the chance to sing in front of (usually half drunk) strangers? The thrill when your name is called; the exhilaration when you’re singing; the basking when it’s all over…

Karaoke is a drug!

If you’re a fan of Karaoke, then drop by your local library branch and check out our CDs. We’ve got a wide variety of Karaoke CDs, so you can brush up at home before you take your act on the road.

Now, should I be Aretha Franklin or Gladys Knight? Wish me luck on stage!

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