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Books, CDs, VHS, DVDs   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9


 LG VX7000 Phone (Verizon Wireless)

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Good all around phone. Now you can capture those special and spontaneous moments in your life anytime, anywhere.


Top CDs 

         cd935.gif (1106 bytes) Carly Simon - The Best of Carly Simon carly.gif (16972 bytes)

                   Best of Shocking Blue

Prog rock (classics)

            Sun Ra - Mayan Temples   Sun Ra

                      Alan Sorrenti - Radici

           Shocking Blue - Scorpio's Dance

Funky psychedelia fron the Dutch band Shocking Blue. Scorpio's Dance is one of the great, unsung hard rock albums of the 70's.

Today's rock

              The Sebadoh - Sebadoh  

                     Stone Temple Pilots - No. 4


         Arnold Schoenberg

During the opening decade of the century, Schoenberg (1874-1951) evolved a freely atonal style that overturned the tonal system which had dominated Western music since the time of Bach. But the final victory over tonality only occurred after World War I, with his discovery, or invention, of serialism. The first completely serial work was the Suite for Piano (1921-3), where  unity of the work and equality between all 12 tones is achieved by ordering them in a "series". This determines their appearance throughout the work -- E always followed by B flat for instance, and so on. Although this appears mechanical, Schoenberg rightly insisted that he wrote "12-note compositions, not 12-note compositions".

          A. Schoenberg- Pierrot Lunaire, etc. (Boulez, Schäfer, et al.)

                       It is a song cycle, in that it sets 21 poems in the proto-expressionist style; it is a theatrical work from the cabaret tradition intended for some sort of staged presentation by a soprano singing in Sprechstimme, a method of declamation somewhere between song and speech; it is rooted in the comedy cult of the time; it is a chamber work for vocalist and five instrumentalists; and it is a mature exploration of the possibilities of the atonal style that often looks forward to serialism. Pierrot Lunaire, featuring a grotesque harlequin figure,   introduced the world to a hitherto unthought -- of musical landscape; to call it innovative would be an absurd understatement.

          A. Schoenberg- Piano Concertos, Symphonies (Brendel, Gielen)

                         In Schoenberg's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1942) a 12-tone row is established early on--but so is a precise logic of form and evolution of theme... Schoenberg's rejection of tonality  does not mean the rejection of structure or the possibility of other ways music can be pleasing. He practically invented 20th century music, or at least freed it from the spell of Romanticism, and his famous Chamber Symphony 1 fairly started the revolution. Almost all subsequent Western classical music was influenced by Schoenberg, especially in the immediate vicinity of Vienna, where his two pupils Weber and Berg hastily mastered his innovations and passed them on to the post-war generation.

          A. Schoenberg- The Piano Music (Maurizio Pollini)

                         The first great pianist to record all of Schoenberg's piano music was Glenn Gould, and if you grew up with Gould's interpretations, then you're in for a shock. In the first place, Pollini actually plays what Schoenberg wrote -- Gould freely altered the text in ways that would have driven the composer insane. And then there's the humming -- yes, believe it or not, Gould did manage to sing along as he played. Pollini's quieter, less vocal approach conveys much more of what Schoenberg actually wrote...

          A. Schoenberg- Transfigured Night, etc.  (Salonen, Stockholm CO)

                           Transfigured Night was originally composed for string sextet, but it has since become popular in the composer's arrangement for full string orchestra. Since the Second String Quartet (1908) was also arranged by the composer in a similar fashion, it's amazing that no one has had the idea to couple the two works together before now. The first three movements of the Second Quartet are, in theory at least, still tonal, but in the concluding fourth movement Schoenberg definitively slips the time-honoured moorings of musical history, breathing freely what his soprano soloist (another innovation) refers to as "the air of another planet". Salonen is, along with Pierre Boulez, the most persuasive advocate of contemporary music on the podium today.

Science books

Scientific American How Things Work Today

In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life by Henry Gee

The Secret Life of Dust: From the Cosmos to the Kitchen Counter, the Big Consequences of Little Things by Hannah Holmes

Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space by Timothy Ferris

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry by Bryan Sykes

On the Shoulders of Giants by Stephen Hawking (Editor)

Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics by George Johnson



         Software by Rudy Rucker

Rucker's Software Trilogy (Wetware, Software, Freeware) presents his ideas about using artificial evolution to create artificial intelligence. Philip K. Dick meets Arthur C. Clarke.

      Tim F. Lahaye, Jerry B. Jenkins - Soul Harvest: The Word Takes Sides (Left Behind)

Having survived the wrath of the Lamb--a global earthquake in the 21st month of the Tribulation--pilot Rayford Steele and reporter Buck Williams now embark on a journey of absorbing adventure and Christian triumph. Carpathia and the devastated globe hurtle toward the midway point of the Tribulation, and already the small band of believers finds itself struggling merely to survive.

Soul Harvest is book four in the enormously popular Left Behind series (seven books are planned in all), based on those who are left behind in the Rapture.

         John Shirley Silicon Embrace by John Shirley

Concerned about aliens, secret societies, and goverment conspiracies? In Silicon Embrace, Shirley weaves together these themes along with up-to the-minute pop culture references and older myths. A great book with a lot going on.

Film books

The Cinema of MARTIN SCORSESE by Lawrence S. Friedman, Lawrence S. Friedman

Essays, Biographies
  Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom
                       Shakespeare by Anthony Burgess
Caroline Alexander - Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
                           Frank Sinatra: An American Legend (Introduction by Nancy Sinatra)

Best books of the 20th Century
J.D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
          Jane Smiley - Ordinary Love and Good Will: Two Novellas
At a reunion with her grown children, a woman recalls the long-ago affair that ended her relationship with their father--and changed all their lives irrevocably.
"Smiley's stories lucidly explore the complexities of contemporary sexual and dometic life...the emotional and moral complexity that she uncovers in the characters of these resonant novellas confirms Jane Smiley's singular talent. Ordinary Love and Good Will is an extraordinary achievement." (The Washington Post Book World)


11-9: 11-9 September 11, 2001

Thom Jones - Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine: Stories jones

Strong collection of short fiction. Thom Jones is the new powerful voice from America.


        Snow Crash (Cyberpunk) Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash A cyberpunk thriller

Scandalmonger William Safire - Scandalmonger
Through this historic novel set in 1790s New England, Safire demonstrates that a scandal seeking function is not unique to the modern press, but was alive and well in the era immediately following the Revolutionary War. Almost everyone knows the historical legacy of Hamilton, Jefferson, Monroe, Adams and Madison, but this book reminds us that even our founding fathers were susceptible to the weaknesses for which we condemn our current leaders.
Duels, stolen letters, written admissions of guilt, peculation, and pecadillos, these bits are all true. The Alien and Sedition act, one of the most notorious pieces of legislation in our Country's History plays a prominent role. Add then murder, wrongful imprisonment, treason, and trials with "The Hanging Judge" Samuel Chase.
The Simple Truth by David Baldacci


               Donald E. Westlake - Smoke

Due to a foiled burglary in a high-tech lab doing research for cigarette manufacturers, Freddie Noon, the thief, is now invisible. He uses his invisibility to escape the doctors and to make big scores in diamond and fur heists, but he soon discovers that being invisible is straining his relationship with Peg, his charming significant other. Meanwhile, a hilariously malevolent tobacco tycoon hatches a plan to subvert the Human Genome Project for the good of the tobacco industry...

  The Spanish Prisoner Spanish Prisoner  DVD

            Starring: Ben Gazzara, Steve Martin, Campbell Scott, Rebecca Pidgeon, et al.
David Mamet           

                          Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)

Taut thriller directed by David Mamet (also script).

                        Sex and the City Sex and the City  VHS

The complete second season.
A smart and savvy (albeit highly stylized) look at the single lives of four thirtysomething Manhattan women, Sex and the City: The Complete Second Season builds on the foundation of its first season with plot arcs that are both hilarious and heartfelt.


                        Saboteur Saboteur (1942)  VHS - Black & White

Starring: Robert Cummings, Priscilla Lane, et al.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

               Stir Crazy Stir Crazy  VHS

Starring: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder
Sidney Poitier

                NTSC format
                Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC

A lot of goos laughs! Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor are two New York yoyos who try their luck in California and are accused of robbing a bank. Most of the laughs concern their survival strategies in prison (at one point, Wilder decides to "reach out and talk" to some hulking murderer) and their plans to escape. Both performers are so brilliant in any situation that they give this film plenty of funny moments (one or two of which became instantly classic).
Other formats: DVD

See No Evil, Hear No Evil See No Evil, Hear No Evil VHS

          Starring: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Kevin Spacey
          Director: Arthur Hiller

                NTSC format
                Closed-captioned, HiFi Sound, CX Encoding, NTSC

Very, very funny comedy about a deaf man and a blind man who inadvertently become murder suspects and take it on the lam, hoping to catch the real killers.Great performances by Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, and Kevin Spacey is a hoot with that mustache and accent.

franc'O'brain & Transputer Qasar. 2005.