Library staff recommendation: City of Memory: New Orleans Before and After Katrina

City of Memory: New Orleans Before and After Katrina
By John Woodin
Greenfield Open Stacks 976.335064 W858c 2009

UArts photography professor John Woodin’s images of New Orleans are simultaneously architectural studies and memorials of social and economic loss. As a native of the city, Woodin had objectively photographed New Orleans’ homes in 2004, depicting the cultural history of the people as well as their poverty.

Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city in August of 2005. In October, when residents were allowed back into the city, Woodin was there, first to help his mother comb through the wreckage of his childhood home. He then returned to each home he’d photographed in 2004 and documented the change brought by the storm – and by the lack of government aid. In some photos, the destruction is obvious, but in others, it’s subtle, often just the search and rescue teams’ painted indicators that the home was searched and how many bodies, if any, were found.

City of Memory is at once a book of excellent photographs that show Woodin’s attention to detail and his formal, clean style. But it is also an important historical document that will remind viewers of the fragility of life.

Recommended by Shannon Robinson

Library staff recommendation: Rudolf Laban: An Extraordinary Life

Rudolf Laban: An Extraordinary Life by Valerie Preston-Dunlop.

Greenfield Open Stacks 793.30924 L11pr

Rudolf Laban (1879-1958) was a charismatic, womanizing, creative genius who was instrumental in the development of modern dance as we know it today, yet few have heard of him outside of Labanotation (if that). The author was a student of Laban’s and writes a sympathetic account of his life, a life devoted to dance in particular but involved in many art forms, including theater and visual arts. While some view him as a Nazi sympathizer, the author notes that Laban’s work was effectively censored by the Nazis and it was not until the 1980s that he began to be mentioned again in Germany. Laban makes for a fascinating and controversial story.

from Rudolf Laban: An Extraordinary Life

If you enjoy this, you’ll also enjoy The Makers of Modern Dance in Germany. To learn more about Laban, read his entry in the International Encyclopedia of Dance (UArts e-mail log-in required from off-campus locations).

From Rudolf Laban: An Extraordinary Life

Library staff recommendation: Custom Kicks: Personalized Footwear

Custom Kicks: Personalized Footwear
Text, selection and design by MAKI
Greenfield Open Stacks 391.413 C969m

Shoes as canvas! A fun book that shows a range of customized footwear designed by 150 artists and illustrators from around the world. Some are established and some are upcoming talents. Great color photos, graphics and designs. There’s a wide range of patterns, images, and media, from doodles to psychedelic, futuristic, folk art, graffiti and political designs. Humor and inventiveness definitely rule here. Enjoy!

Recommended by Barb Danin

New in the Music Library: The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh, and Wailer

The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh, and Wailer / Colin Grant. NY: W. W. Norton, c2011. Music Library ML 385 .G726 2011

“Over one dramatic decade, a trio of Trenchtown R&B crooners swapped their 1960s Brylcreem hairdos and two-tone suits for 1970s battle fatigues and dreadlocks to become the Wailers-one of the most influential groups in popular music. Colin Grant presents a lively history of this remarkable band from their upbringing in the brutal slums of Kingston to their first recordings and then international superstardom. With energetic prose and stunning, original research, Grant argues that these reggae stars offered three models for black men in the second half of the twentieth century: accommodate and succeed (Marley), fight and die (Tosh), or retreat and live (Livingston [Bunny Wailer]). Grant meets with Rastafarian elders, Obeah men (witch doctors), and other folk authorities as he attempts to unravel the mysteries of Jamaica’s famously impenetrable culture. Much more than a top-flight music biography, The Natural Mystics offers a sophisticated understanding of Jamaican politics, heritage, race, and religion-a portrait of a seminal group during a period of exuberant cultural evolution.” [product description]

Check out what else the UArts Libraries have on reggae music. Feelin’ irie? Go to Music Online and search by genre for reggae or ska.Please note that Music Online is a subscription resources for current UArts students, faculty and staff only. Off-campus access requires logging in.

Library staff recommendation: Have You Ever Seen a Smack of Jellyfish?

Have You Ever Seen a Smack of Jellyfish?
By Sarah Asper-Smith
Greenfield Open Stacks 741.641 As64h

Many people have heard of a pod of whales, a gaggle of geese, or a herd of yaks, but a parliament of owls? A knot of frogs?  “Have You Ever Seen a Smack of Jellyfish?” is a delightful and colorful way to learn a few word combinations that you didn’t know were possible. From a bale of turtles to a walk of snails, this book is guaranteed to bring joy and amazement to readers of any age.

If this interests you, take a peek at
An Exaltation of Larks by James Lipton
Greenfield Open Stacks 427 L66

Recommended by Casey Murphy