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GeorgeActor George Clooney has reason to celebrate this week!  The famous bachelor turned 53 on May 6th -- and also just announced that he is officially off the market.  Yes -- he's engaged!  Sorry, ladies!  So much for all those claims over the years that he would never get married!  The lucky woman is 35 year-old Amal Alamuddin, a lawyer specializing in international law and human rights issues.

 

Clooney spent many years working in television before finally hitting it big on the silver screen in the mid-1990's, co-starring in such popular TV series as ER and The Facts of Life.  These days, the talented actor is able to pick and choose his film projects, and often writes, directs, and produces them as well.  Clooney has been awarded two Oscars thus far in his career:  the first for his supporting performance in the intense thriller Syriana, and most recently for his role in producing the 2012 Best Picture winner Argo

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b2ap3_thumbnail_bellweatherrhapsody.jpgWhen I started reading the delightful Bellweather Rhapsody (publication date May 13), it was clear to me that Kate Racculia was a band geek growing up. Both my kids were band geeks, and attended music festivals like the one in Racculia’s second novel. The author’s attention to detail, from the black bottoms and white tops to the quirky guest conductors, rings with authenticity.

The stars of the show are Alice and Rabbit Hatmaker, two twins who are polar opposites. Alice loves being the center of attention and singing her heart out to anyone who will listen. Rabbit (a nickname for Bertram) is his sister’s quiet side kick, who feels most alive when he is playing his bassoon, Beatrice. When they both are chosen to go to an all-state music conference from their small town, Alice can’t wait to meet new friends and show off her talents. Rabbit hopes to just get through the long weekend.

But soon it becomes clear that this won’t be just an ordinary music festival. Alice
b2ap3_thumbnail_kateracculia.jpgis assigned to Room 712, where a murder/suicide took place 15 years before. When Alice finds her roommate Jill hanging from the ceiling in their room, she rushes to get help. A few minutes later, Jill’s body is gone, and a note is left saying, “Now she is mine.’’ The
horrified Alice is determined to find out what happened.

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 In January, Connie featured Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, recent winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. This was a book I loved as well, and after Connie raved about Adichie’s preceding novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2007, I knew I had to read it, too! Find it in print or eBook in our catalog.

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SinginintheRainCoverNeed cheering up on a gloomy day like today?  The exuberant performances of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face in the classic 1952 musical Singin' in the Rain -- a charming spoof of Hollywood's transition from Silent Films to the Talkies.  Singin' in the Rain has the distinction of being one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry, and is now available at our library in beautiful new DVD and Blu-ray editions.

The great Gene Kelly, one of Hollywood's premier song and dance men, choreographed and directed all of the musical numbers in the film, including his own iconic solo turn to the title song.  Kelly choreographed and/or directed many other films over the course of his long career, including such classic musicals as On the Town, An American in Paris, and Hello, Dolly!  

 

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Many novels have been written about World War II, but All the Light We Cannot See is one of the best I’ve read, thanks to Anthony Doerr’s exquisite writing and moving story.

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