Posts Tagged ‘We Recommend’

We Recommend: Cajun and zydeco CDs and LPs

Cajun music, and its cousin, zydeco, are musical forms that originated in south Louisiana.  Cajun music ranges from small to large ensembles, from folk to pop, country and rock styles, and is available to hear in the Monroe Library, on CD and LP.  Cajun is usually sung in a local form of French and played on violin, small accordion, guitar, bass, and drums.  Zydeco can be in French or English and features large accordions, electric guitar and bass, rubboard, and sometimes saxophone and trumpet.  There’s a large original group of songs, like the Valse de Bayou Teche and the Eunice two step, with some English pop, rock and country tunes.  We have recordings by giants like Clifton Chenier, BeauSoleil, the Balfa Brothers, and Amedé Ardoin.  We have CD and vinyl recordings; click here to do a catalog search.

We Recommend: Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep coverThere is no shortage of coming-of-age stories (especially coming-of-age stories set in boarding schools), but rarely is there one as realistic and relatable as Prep: a novel by Curtis Sittenfeld. As the story begins, the lovably awkward Lee Fiora is a freshman at Ault, a prestigious boarding school near Boston. Lee is a witty and intelligent teen, but as a scholarship student from the Midwest, she sometimes feels as though she does not fit in with her wealthy, privileged classmates. She spends a lot of time observing her classmates instead of interacting with them and soon gives herself the role of “the outsider.”

Occasionally, Lee can be a frustrating character, because she would probably be accepted if she gave people more of a chance. She eventually makes friends and finds her place at the school, but it’s a little bit of a struggle. Along the way, she works through her feelings of isolation and she handles difficult social situations; sometimes with hilarious results. She also deals with issues of sexuality and the loss of a first love (and Prep deals with these issues in a very frank and honest way, there are a couple sexually explicit scenes and there is explicit dialogue throughout the novel).

Overall, Prep is a fun, nostalgic read. There is some “teenage angst” and heartbreak, but also a lot of laughs. Many people will find something that they can relate to; I think there’s a little bit of Lee Fiora in all of us.

Kayla Whitehead, Technical Services Assistant/Serials Specialist