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August 2017 Staff Picks

Becky’s Pick: Wild Robot by Peter Brown

the wild robotCan a robot learn to speak to animals? Can a robot experience the joy of new friends? Roz the robot, through her adventures with wild animals, explores what it is to be alive and what it means to love.

Brenda’s Picks:

Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight by Alexandra Fuller; Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller

don't lets goDon’t let’s go to the dogs tonight is an amazingly well-written memoir of a childhood spent in Africa. Alexandra Fuller moved with her parents from England when she was two to live in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). She has tapped into some very vivid memories.

leaving before the rains comeAfter reading about the adventures she and her sister experienced, I looked for her next book. I was able to download Leaving Before the Rains Come as an eBook and followed her into married life living in the USA. Her African identity proved not as easy to leave behind as the country…

David’s Pick: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (audio recording, 1981) by Brian Eno & David Byrne

my lifeThis album, assembled by producer Brian Eno and Talking Heads’ frontman David Byrne in between recording sessions and tours for Talking Heads’ third & fourth albums, is a landmark in combining samples with electronic textures and fairly simple instrumentation. The result is a dizzying mashup of beats, melodies, and messages that all feel slightly lost in translation. I remember how it sounded at the time it came out: like some kind of dispatch from a parallel planet where the radios picked up every station at once and warped them into something otherworldy & eerily beautiful. Even after 36 years, and even after the approach and techniques have become familiar, it still sounds like nothing else.

Mark’s Pick: : grammatica italiana per stranieri by Gabriella Iacovoni, Barbara Fiorentino and Nadia Persiani

gramm itIf you want to learn Italian, is an excellent resource. It is a contemporary and comprehensive grammar course book, which is designed to teach Italian as a second language using vocabulary and examples that you would likely encounter when spending time in Italy. With a solid grammar books like this one, interactive language learning software like Mango Languages and countless videos and documents available online, it has never been easier to learn Italian on your own.