Collection Highlight: YA Steampunk

Collection Highlight: YA Steampunk

What happens when the future’s technology meets the past? Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that seamlessly blends the past with the future, bringing robots, airships, and all types of gadgets and gizmos to Victorian England. With this genre you can enjoy the aesthetics of the past without the story being limited by the technological realities of the time!

“Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl.[…] When Emmerich Goss–handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild–needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for. But if her involvement on the project is discovered, Emmerich will be marked for treason, and a far more dire fate will await Petra. Working together in secret, they build the clockwork giant, but as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy from within the Guild council…and their automaton is just the beginning”–Page 4 of cover.

Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface. In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.
Want more steampunk? Take a look at these additional titles available in the RPL Teen Scene.

No More Carols!

Tired of Christmas carols? Can’t get those dogs barking Jingle Bells out of your head?  Maybe you want to try something different and don’t know where to begin.  Try the Jazz CD collection at the Rogers Public Library.  The Rogers Public Library CD collection cuts through all the clutter to supply the very best in music.

So if you want to expand your listening horizons and don’t know what Jazz to listen to, try Duke Ellington at The Cotton Club or Duke Ellington; Masterpieces 1926-1949  for a nostalgic trip back to the era of bathtub gin, gangsters, and Harlem speakeasies.  Or, maybe you’d prefer a more Chicago Dixieland style of Jazz.  Try Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens.  These are some of the most famous jazz recordings ever made.

For the best of Big Band Swing listen to Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing, Glen Miller’s Song of the Volga Boatmen, and the Andrews Sisters’ Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy  These are the very best songs of the Greatest Generation.

Cool Jazz and Bebop is the music of Film Noir.  If you like the music from those dark wet cityscapes, Kind of Blue with Miles Davis is sometimes considered the greatest jazz album of all time (but also listen to Birth of the Cool which might be better).  When Thelonious Monk played at the Five Spot, it was THE place to be for the Beat Movement writers and abstract impressionist painters, and Monk is a critically acclaimed album on every Jazz list but of course.  Mingus Ah Um is another great album of the Cool Jazz/Bebop period.

Dave Brubeck’s Time Out is the highest grossing Jazz album ever;  every rebellious college kid of the late 50s/early 60s owned a copy.  Also give a listen to the “Girl From Ipanema” from Getz/Gilberto which is Bossa Nova at its best.

Afro-Cuban Jazz is essential to the development of the Jazz genre but can be difficult to find. Tito Puente’s Oye Como Va Dance Collection is among the best known, and if it doesn’t have you dancing around the house check your pulse, you’re probably dead.

Finally, don’t forget the ladies: Sarah Vaughan; Lady Day the Best of Billie Holiday; and Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

This is a grossly incomplete list, but it’s a start at experiencing some of the best American music ever.  Happy listening! What do you recommend?