Watha T. Daniel/Shaw
Neighborhood Library

Published on Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kia DupreeAuthor Talk: Kia DuPree
Wednesday, February 24, 6 p.m.

Calling all urban fiction fans! Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Interim Library will host award-winning author Kia DuPree, who will talk about her new book, Damaged.

Published on Saturday, January 30, 2010

cover of DanteI have to admit, that when I read in today's New York Times that Electronic Arts is releasing a video game loosely based on Dante's Inferno, I had to both laugh out loud and then consider whether or not I would actually buy this game for myself.

Published on Friday, January 29, 2010

A lot of my friends are half-nerds. What I mean is they've seen and read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and agree the books are better. They love Blade Runner, but they've probably never actually read a book by Philip K. Dick.

Published on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

books and coffee togetherStarting in February the Watha T. Daniel Library will be partnering with the Starbucks Coffee shop in Logan Circle to bring you an all new book club program outside of our library walls. Join us for Great Coffee, Great Books, a monthly book discussion group held at 7:00 p.m. on the final Wednesday of the month at Starbucks Coffee, 1429 P St NW.

Our book for February 24 will be The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Published on Monday, December 21, 2009
Construction is moving swiftly at the new Watha T. site.  Check out this little video I made using the pictures I've taken from my phone over the last few months.

Published on Monday, December 14, 2009

Kung Fu Jazz

 

In Bruce Lee movies the fighting is so perfectly choreographed it almost looks real. Well, not REAL real, of course, but the way we'd imagine real might look in Hollywood. It would only make sense on screen. Imagine the scene in Fist of Fury where Lee takes on an entire school of assassins-in-training if it were real and not painstakingly planned out. It wouldn't make for a very interesting (or long) film. But we accept that such blatant posturing is the nature of the High Arts when they become commercialized.

Imagine if, at a concert at Carnegie Hall of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, all the highly-trained instrumentalists walked onto the stage and started improvising on Bach themes. Unacceptable! Surgically-orchestrated art, free improvisation, structured improvisation—all these forms are valid and have found homes in the music world. I'd like to examine a piece from that second category, an expressionist jazz record made in 1977: Streams of Consciousness by Max Roach and Abdullah Ibrahim. We’ll get to that, but first a little background.

Published on Saturday, December 12, 2009

cover art for A Thousand Hills by Stephen KinzerIt seems to me that people cannot look such terrible events as genocide in the face. They have to approach traumatic events from a more humanitarian angle that makes the harsh reality more palatable. The recent popular film Hotel Rwanda focused on the inspirational story of the rescue of a Tutsi population and foreigners residing in a Luxury Hotel from the marauding gangs of killers during the genocide. In this particular Rwanda is fortunate for having an inspirational story in the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.

Published on Saturday, November 28, 2009
Under the Dome cover image

Under the Dome

by Stephen King
New York : Scribner, 2009

Stephen King's newest novel, Under the Dome, is probably the best thing he's written this decade. In the very near future, the town of Chester's Mill is suddenly and inexplicably cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome. There is

Makers, by Cory Doctorow

Published on Saturday, November 7, 2009
Book Cover, Makers, by Cory DoctorowMakers
by Cory Doctorow
New York : Tor, 2009.

I have been hearing Cory Doctorow's name in various contexts for a few years, now. As a fan of cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk, how could I not have? Yet I never read his work until now. With no clue what to look for, I was happily surprised by Makers.

Published on Thursday, November 5, 2009

do androids dream of electric sheep cover art I just finished reading the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It seems like half the staff were reading it all at the same time, and a couple of us watched Blade Runner, the film inspired by the book. It's been sitting on my bookshelf at home for years now, and I've been wanting to read it for a while.

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