Staff Choices

Posted by lsears on 07/12/15
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How far would you go to help a stranger? On his way to work one day author Steve Lopez stops to listen to a disheveled, homeless man playing a battered violin on a busy, noisy city street corner. After introducing himself as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times to Nathaniel Ayers, he recognizes that this man is also suffering from mental illness. Despite this, there is a rumpled elegance to the man and a refinement to his playing. Lopez discovers Ayers was once a student at Julliard School of Performing Arts.
Lopez struggles with how much he can or should do. Over time Lopez writes several articles about Ayers.  The publicity brings an outpouring of support from readers, donations of instruments, offers of music lessons and some accusations of exploitation.
This is a memorable story that began with a chance encounter and develops into a friendship between two very different men. It shines a spotlight on mental illness, on vulnerable members of society, our responsibility to them and is a tribute to the human spirit.
This title is our Book Club on the Green selection. Please join us on Thursday, August 6, 7:30pm at Arlington Lakes Golf Club to discuss this book in depth.
Posted by annetteb on 07/09/15
Are you an artist? Do you love to share your creative work with others? Fantastic! And even if you're not an artist, drawing, painting, and mixed media effects will all feel much easier with a pen in hand.
With our Wacom pen tablets, you'll be able to use a pen and tablet through a mixed media approach, rather than having to deal with the expenses, supplies, and clean-up of traditional media. When you work on paper (or use traditional media), you may use pencils, ink, paintbrushes, several paints, chalk, or even an airbrush. Working with the Wacom pen and tablet lets you use these tools digitally! Our pen tablet is fluid, natural, and intuitive. Best of all, it beautifully mimics the work of creative output through traditional media tools. 
Our Wacom package is available for in-house use, and is best utilized with one of our studio spaces. The Wacom package includes a tablet, pen, stand, and USB cable. 
Posted by Ultra Violet on 07/08/15
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Who was the Arab that Meursault killed?
A parallel novel to Albert CamusThe Stranger, The Meursault Investigation gives an alternate perspective to the classic story. The brother of the murder victim tells his story and his family’s story as Arab Algerians living under the shadow of the French before and during independence. It is a beautifully told novel even if you have never read The Stranger, but as a companion to Camus; this is genius. Daoud uses the framework of the original story but tells it in a photo-negative style. Where Camus is terse, cold and logical; Daoud is obtuse, poetic and impassioned.
Like Camus, Daoud is a journalist. He lives in Oran, Algeria where The Stranger was set. Throughout The Meursault Investigation, it is apparent that Daoud is in awe of Camus’ skill, while resenting the treatment of Arabs in the classic novel. The psychological remnants of colonialism are painfully defined by the feeling of loss and dehumanization of the Arabs juxtaposed with their envy of the French Algerians.
I would recommend reading The Stranger first, but The Meursault Investigation is a brilliant novel that stands on its own and tells a story that is, unfortunately, still very relevant.
Posted by Kelley M on 07/06/15
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Warning: Once you start reading this book, you might not be able to put it back down.  In just 177 pages, you will see the evolution of a family and a marriage.  However, you will never learn the main characters’ names.  The novel is written in short paragraphs, which drive you forward, as you think, “I could read a few more paragraphs…  My chores can wait.”
At first, as the reader, you will think the paragraphs are just short snippets of the life of the main character. However, you start reading these little philosophical blips that really get you thinking about your own life, in general.  This book came highly recommended by several people.  I originally saw the book on Your Summer Reading List: 70+ Book Picks From TED Speakers And Attendees.  After reading this book, it has become one of my top recommendations for summer reading.  It’s physically a small book, so it is also ideal for your summer travels, wherever they may take you.
This is the author, Jenny Offill’s, second adult fiction novel.  She also writes children’s books.
Posted by annetteb on 07/05/15
Would you like to capture your summer adventures in a fun, exciting way? Try out one of AHML's GoPro cameras! We have the GoPro Hero 3 Silver Camera, which is wearable and gear mountable, waterproof to 197' (60m), and capable of capturing ultra-wide, professional quality video plus photos at a rate of 10 photos per second. Your viewers will feel like they're right there with you, while you preserve your enthralling summer memories.
Check-out includes the camera, camera housing, alternate backdoor, 2 batteries, extended mount, SD card case, SD card adapter, 32 GB Micro SD card, USB cable, standard mount, and 3 mounting screws.
Posted by bpardue on 07/02/15
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Progressive rock legends Yes lost their only constant member with the passing of co-founder/bassist Chris Squire on June 27. This is probably as good a time as any to sit back and take a long listen to their music--and there's no better way to binge-listen than this box set that captures their work from their eponymous 1967 release, up to 1987's "Big Generator." There's clearly an evolution to their sound--the baroque intricacies of Fragile and Close to the Edge (not to mention the epic excess of Tales from Topographic Oceans) give way to the more straightforward 80s sounds of 90125 and Big Generator. Through each of their periods and stylistic incarnations, however, the group managed to create its own unique sound, creating plenty of musical gems along the way. Also check out the always-available albums by Yes on hoopla digital.
Posted by Uncle Will on 06/29/15
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Join us on Sunday, July 26, 2015 for the second discussion in "What's Better: The Book or the Movie." We will be discussing Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 classic short story "All You Zombies" and its 2015 film adaptation "Predestination."
Don't let the title throw you off. The story is not about zombies. It's about the temporal police and their ability to stop crime, before it happens, through time travel. I have always been fascinated by the concept of time travel mostly because there are no rules. The plot is simple--a temporal agent who is performing his very last assignment is trying to stop his nemesis through time...The Fizzle Bomber.
Posted by jfreier on 06/25/15
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The 9th John Wells novel is a timely novel of Irans' quest for a nuclear bomb and how the United States should respond.
The story starts with the downing of an American airliner leaving Mumbai by hand held missle launchers. The U.S. suspects Iran and after a tip reveals they have the enriched uranium for a bomb the President orders an attack in 12 days of Iran.
John Wells and his former boss Ellis Schafer have found out that Iran is bluffing and a privete  citizen and a team of former special ops are snedong a false flag operation to help start the war.
Alex Berenson has created a great character in John Wells, and this book delivers.
Spy Suspense
Posted by jdunc on 06/25/15
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Gretchen Rubin is back on her quest for self-improvement. In her most recent book she examines how habits can help us make major changes in our lives. By Rubin’s definition a habit is something that requires no decision, thus saving us time and energy. A habit is what we do without thought, like buckling a seat belt or brushing your teeth. As we all know some habits are harder to make and keep than others.  From Rubin’s research people generally seek to change one of seven essential behaviors: eat and drink healthy, exercise, budget wisely, relax, stop procrastinating, organize, and engage more deeply in relationships. Sound familiar?
The key to understanding our habits is the four tendencies. Most people fall into one of four categories: upholder, questioner, obliger, or a rebel. Throughout the book she also addresses several strategies which help us keep habits. More than anything it allows us to take a look at ourselves and the strategies we use that prevent us from establishing good habits. I especially liked the “loopholes” chapter which explains the “this doesn’t count loophole”: I’m on vacation, it’s the holidays, it’s the weekend, just this once….
As in her other books, Rubin does a nice job of testing the theories and providing real life examples of the outcomes. Better Than Before gave me insight into my habits and strategies that can help to make positive changes. It is quite of bit of information that almost requires a second reading to truly take in all of the tips and make consistent positive changes. 
self help
Posted by bpardue on 06/19/15
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Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick, on tour in the US, found an affinity with the upper Midwest--which reminded him of southern Norway (and was once the destination of many Norewgian immigrants). This inspired him to write the songs that make up Midwest, his latest offering on ECM records. The pieces are stately, even reflective, and reside in the area between jazz, folk and classical music. There's a quiet intensity to them, and the melodies are haunting and memorable. Eick's trumpet playing is clean and understated--and blends beautifully with the folk-inflected violin playing of Gjermund Larsen. There's clearly talent in the ensemble, but no one overplays. Standout pieces include "Hem" and "Dakota."  Also check out Eick's previous albums,Skala and The Door, via hoopla.
Want recommendations on what to read next? Email and we will be happy to assist you in finding a great book to read.
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