High School by Sara and Tegan Quin

Staff Pick

High School (MCD, $27), perhaps unsurprisingly, is like one of Tegan and Sara’s songs in book form: intimate yet vivid, urgent and animated. Yet their memoir is not only about music, although it does culminate with the duo landing their first record deal, which would lead to nine full-length albums. The twins tell their stories of growing up in ‘90s Calgary in alternating chapters, narrating their teenage confl icts, coming out, fi nding allies, having unrequited crushes, and discovering music. The songwriters’ candid prose style perfectly evokes that time in life when everything was too much, when every moment seemed like a crisis, but also when one desperately needed to know that they were not alone. High School is a queer coming-out-of-age story, a messy journey of adolescence, and a book I wish my teenage self had read.

High School By Sara Quin, Tegan Quin Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374169947
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: MCD - September 24th, 2019

Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

Staff Pick

2016, the lunar Year of the Monkey (Knopf, $24.95), began for Patti Smith with a west coast concert tour, during which she saw her friend of forty years, Sandy Pearlman, succumb to a cerebral hemorrhage. She later watched the decline of another old friend, Sam Shepherd, and felt the acceleration of time as she turned seventy, couldn’t sleep, and took up walking at night. Smith survived all this and, exhibiting no symptoms of “dried-up poet syndrome,” recounts it with the same matter-of-fact yet slightly bemused tone that made her previous memoirs so engaging. Taking what comes, Smith turns it all into remarkable language; whether describing a deserted café that has “a J. G. Ballard kind of gone,” or a patch of blue wildflowers looking “as if it had been seeded by sky,” she is our great poet of ambience. Fittingly for a time permeated by “an atmosphere of artificial brightness with corrosive edges…[and] an avalanche of toxicity,” Smith moves frequently and without warning between daily life, memories, and dreams, intermittently receiving “transmissions” from a neon Dream Inn sign. Between dreams, she references a wide range of films, music, and books; makes the rounds of cafés; and snaps many of the Polaroids that complement this vivid, poignant, and deeply satisfying narrative.
 

Year of the Monkey By Patti Smith Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780525657682
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - September 24th, 2019

Ways of Hearing -- Damon Krukowski

Staff Pick

Turn off what you're listening to (whether it's an audiobook, the author's music with Galaxie 500 or Damon and Naomi, or even the podcast this book began as), take out your headphones, look around you for a second to really see wherever you are, and read this now. It's a beautifully designed reproduction on the page of what feels like the best conversation you've ever had about sound, mostly musical and environmental, in the age of the smart phone. Krukowski's voice on the page is, dare I say, a very centering voice to read: he understands why we shut out the noise of the world around us, why we like having seemingly all music at our fingertips, and also why we need a second just to breathe and reflect on what we really find valuable.

 

 

 

 

Ways of Hearing By Damon Krukowski, Emily Thompson (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Damon Krukowski, Emily Thompson (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780262039642
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: The MIT Press - April 9th, 2019

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