New York Times Bestsellers: Fiction

Top Ten Hardcover Bestsellers from the New York Times for the week of  May 29th.



New York Times Bestsellers: Non-Fiction

Top Ten Hardcover Bestsellers from the New York Times for the week of May 29th.


NPR Bestsellers: Fiction

NPR Fiction Bestsellers for the week of March 24th. 

NPR Bestsellers: Non-Fiction

NPR Nonfiction Bestsellers for the week of March 24th.

Endless Bummer

Love & Mercy, on DVD Sept. 15
Love & Mercy, on DVD Sept. 15

If you Google "Brian Wilson" and "tortured genius," you'll get over 300,000 hits. The man behind one of America's most beloved pop groups, the Beach Boys, is the very definition of a tormented soul, even as he wrote some of the happiest, sun-drenched songs in music history: "California Girls," "Good Vibrations," "Fun Fun Fun," "I Get Around," "Don't Worry Baby," and more.

There's a disturbing story behind the hits, though. The Beach Boys' manager also happened to be the Wilson brothers' father, and he pushed Brian to the limit and beyond. Brian's artistic vision often clashed with the other band members' ambitions, and he struggled to put the sounds in his head onto vinyl.

After the Beach Boys' heyday, Brian fell under the manipulative "therapeutic" care of a psychologist, who alienated him from his family and he managed to extract himself from the depths of mental illness and abusive co-dependency is the story told by Love & Mercy. It's a tour de force performance, with two actors portraying Brian (Paul Dano covers the early era and John Cusack plays Brian in the later years). The DVD was released today -- place a hold here to catch this excellent new bio-pic of an American legend.





The Inside Man

I Am Big Bird
I Am Big Bird

For almost 50 years, Carroll Spinney has brought a roller-skating, alphabet-singing, beloved eight-foot bird to life on "Sesame Street" -- he's the man inside the costume. Spinney is also the talent behind Oscar the Grouch, known for his wisecracks and garbage-can home. You could hardly imagine two characters with less in common, but Spinney brings both to life. Now, we get to peek beneath the yellow feathers and garbage can lid to meet the man himself in the new documentary, I Am Big Bird.

How does Spinney control Big Bird's face and arms? What color was Oscar originally? What does Big Bird have to do with a presidential election, and the opening of Red China? How did a little boy, bullied at school and raised in a violent household, grow up to create such universally-adored characters?

Spinney's stories range from devastating (Big Bird sing "Bein' Green" at Jim Henson's memorial service) to laugh-out-loud funny (how he met his current wife). He's a shy man who never sought the spotlight, but spending an hour and a half getting to know Carrol Spinney is time well spent.

The Wrecking...Who?

The Wrecking Crew
The Wrecking Crew

"California Dreaming." "Good Vibrations." "La Bamba." "These Boots Are Made For Walking." "Mr. Tambourine Man." "Bridge Over Troubled Water." "Strangers in the Night." What do all of these iconic songs from rock's classic era have in common? 

They -- and many, many others -- were performed by a group of California studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew. Finally, a DVD of a 2008 documentary about the group is available, and it's a must-see for music fans. The Monkees and the Partridge Family weren't the only ones who didn't play the instruments on all of their records -- you'll be amazed at how many timeless songs were actually played by this talented group, which included musicians Carol Kaye and Glen Campbell.

If you enjoyed 20 Feet from Stardom, you'll love the story behind the Wrecking Crew..."You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." "Never My Love," "Last Train to Clarksville." "The Beat Goes On," and on...





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Museum Passes

NYC and Connecticut are home to some of the greatest museums in the country. Renaissance masterpieces, visionary modern art, and celebrations of great historical figures are an easy train or car ride away. As part of our continuing dedication to enriching the lives of our patrons, Darien Library is pleased to provide a variety of museum passes that will engage, excite, and inform you in a cultural learning experience.

Spotlight On

The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection is currently hosting Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture. Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), one of the most celebrated and influential portraitists of all time, enjoyed an international career that took him from his native Flanders to Italy, France, and, ultimately, the court of Charles I in London. Van Dyck’s supremely elegant manner and convincing evocation of a sitter’s inner life — whether real or imagined — made him the favorite portraitist of many of the most powerful and interesting figures of the seventeenth century. The show runs from March 2, 2016 through June 5, 2016.

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