BLAINESWORLD #795, Section 12C (PA/NJ)

(1) The History of Popular Music (in One Easy Lesson)

Friday, December 23, 2011
7:00pm until 10:00pm

Test Your Musical Knowledge with 3 of the Delaware Valley’s Most Popular Performers: Tom Orr, Meagan Hill and Joe Flanagan.

From “Yankee Doodle” to “Hound Dog”
From Irving Berlin to the Beatles

An Evening of Interactive Musical Dinner Theatre!
Dinner 7:00 – Show 8:00
Dinner, Dessert and Show for $40 (includes coffee, tea, etc). Bar is extra.

The historic Brick Hotel will be decorated for Christmas. Sit by a blazing fire and enjoy the music!

Brick Hotel
1 E Washington Ave, Newtown, PA

(2) Outstanding illustrator Joe DeVito (NYC Society of Illustrators exhibitor, Spectrum fantasy art award-winner, illustrator for DC Comics & Mad Magazine, and also fine artist & religious sculptor) will give a talk on his art for the Doylestown Art League on Thursday January 5 at 7:30 PM at the James-Lorah House, 132 N. Main St. All are welcome to hear this amazing artist!

(3) At Princeton Center for Yoga & Health
50 Vreeland Drive, Suite 506
Skillman, New Jersey
609-924-7294

New Year is just days away:

New Year’s Eve Celebration
December 31, 2011 – 6 p.m. to 12 ish
Princeton Yoga’s alternative New Year’s Eve celebration is back. Join us for a blissful, alcohol-free evening of body/mind/spirit treats from the sublime to the divine to release the past year and welcome in the new!
6:00 pm Yoga Fusion with Jeannine Dietz
9:00 pm Bliss Café
10:00 pm Kirtan with Suzin Green
At midnight we’ll toast with sparkling cider and sweet treats to the New Year!
 
New Year’s 108 Sun Salutations
with Jeannine Dietz
Sunday, January 1 at 11 am
Start your New Year off with a special workshop to set your intention for 2012. Devote yourself completely to 108 Sun Salutations, each salutation a prayer for your new year ahead.

(4) Dear Friends, here is the Book Group lineup for Spring 2012.

We meet in the Rollins Center Quiet Study Room, next to the Fireside Lounge at Bucks County Community College, Newtown, from 7:30 TO 9:00 P.M. All are welcome to join us on the second Thursday of each month to share your thoughts and questions about any or all of the selections. For snow or bad weather information, call 215-968‑8000. On the radio, the College code for snow closing is 2760. For more information, call 215-968-8164 or send email to: hennesse@bucks.edu

Jan 12: Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon 2010 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

From Amazon.com: At the rock-bottom end of the sport of kings sits the ruthless and often violent world of cheap horse racing, where trainers and jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers, loan sharks and touts all struggle to take an edge, or prove their luck, or just survive. Equal parts Nathanael West, Damon Runyon and Eudora Welty, Lord of Misrule follows five characters — scarred and lonely dreamers in the American grain — through a year and four races at Indian Mound Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia.
Horseman Tommy Hansel has a scheme to rescue his failing stable: He’ll ship four unknown but ready horses to Indian Mound Downs, run them in cheap claiming races at long odds, and then get out fast before anyone notices. The problem is, at this rundown riverfront half-mile racetrack in the Northern Panhandle, everyone notices–veteran groom Medicine Ed, Kidstuff the blacksmith, old lady “gyp” Deucey Gifford, stall superintendent Suitcase Smithers, eventually even the rulled-off “racetrack financier” Two-Twi and the ominous leading trainer, Joe Dale Bigg. But no one bothers to factor in Tommy Hansel’s go-fer girlfriend, Maggie Koderer. Like the beautiful, used-up, tragic horses she comes to love, Maggie has just enough heart to wire everyone’s flagging hopes back to the source of all luck.

Feb 9: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel by David Mitchell

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Mitchell’s rightly been hailed as a virtuoso genius for his genre-bending, fiercely intelligent novels Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas. Now he takes something of a busman’s holiday with this majestic historical romance set in turn-of-the-19th-century Japan, where young, naïve Jacob de Zoet arrives on the small manmade island of Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor as part of a contingent of Dutch East Indies officials charged with cleaning up the trading station’s entrenched culture of corruption. Though engaged to be married in the Netherlands, he quickly falls in hopeless love with Orito Aibagawa, a Dutch-trained Japanese midwife and promising student of Marinus, the station’s resident physician. Their courtship is strained, as foreigners are prohibited from setting foot on the Japanese mainland, and the only relationships permitted between Japanese women and foreign men on Dejima are of the paid variety. Jacob has larger trouble, though; when he refuses to sign off on a bogus shipping manifest, his stint on Dejima is extended and he’s demoted, stuck in the service of a vengeful fellow clerk. Meanwhile, Orito’s father dies deeply in debt, and her stepmother sells her into service at a mountaintop shrine where her midwife skills are in high demand, she soon learns, because of the extraordinarily sinister rituals going on in the secretive shrine. This is where the slow-to-start plot kicks in, and Mitchell pours on the heat with a rescue attempt by Orito’s first love, Uzaemon, who happens to be Jacob’s translator and confidant. Mitchell’s ventriloquism is as sharp as ever; he conjures men of Eastern and Western science as convincingly as he does the unscrubbed sailor rabble. Though there are more than a few spots of embarrassingly bad writing (How scandalized Nagasaki shall be, thinks Uzaemon, if the truth is ever known), Mitchell’s talent still shines through, particularly in the novel’s riveting final act, a pressure-cooker of tension, character work, and gorgeous set pieces. It’s certainly no Cloud Atlas, but it is a dense and satisfying historical with literary brawn and stylistic panache.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Mar 8: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy) by Stieg Larsson

From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. With its rich characterizations and intriguing plot, the first book of the late Stieg Larsson’s completed trilogy, involving disgraced Swedish journalist-publisher Mikael Blomkvist and the eponymous, pierced and tattooed, emotionally troubled young hacker-investigator Lisbeth Salander, clearly deserves the acclaim it’s received overseas. Martin Wenner’s almost indifferent, British-accented narration would seem an odd choice for a novel filled with passion, sex and violence, but as the oddly coupled Blomkvist and Salander probe the four-decade-old disappearance of Harriet Vanger, heiress to one of Sweden’s wealthiest clans, the objective approach actually accentuates the extreme behavior of both and the strange subjects of their investigation. Wenner’s calm, controlled manner aids the listener in keeping track of the numerous members of the Vanger family, a task that the printed book simplifies with a reference page. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, July 14). (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Apr 12: Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner

Amazon.com Book Description:
The most anticipated new American play of the decade, this brilliant work is an emotional, poetic, political epic in two parts: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika. Spanning the years of the Reagan administration, it weaves the lives of fictional and historical characters into a feverish web of social, political, and sexual revelations.

May 10: The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides

Amazon.com Review:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2011: Even among authors, Jeffrey Eugenides possesses a rare talent for being able to inhabit his characters. In The Marriage Plot, his third novel and first in ten years (following the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex), Eugenides describes a year or so in the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 80s. There is Madeleine, a self-described “incurable romantic” who is slightly embarrassed at being so normal. There is Leonard, a brilliant, temperamental student from the Pacific Northwest. And completing the triangle is Mitchell, a Religious Studies major from Eugenides’ own Detroit. What follows is a book delivered in sincere and genuine prose, tracing the end of the students’ college days and continuing into those first, tentative steps toward true adulthood. This is a thoughtful and at times disarming novel about life, love, and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seems filled with deep portent. –Chris Schluep

June 14: The Sense of an Ending (Borzoi Books) by Julian Barnes

Amazon Book Description:

Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize

By an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, The Sense of an Ending extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with the best-selling Arthur & George and continued with Nothing to Be Frightened Of and, most recently, Pulse.

This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he’d left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he’d understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.

A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single sitting, with stunning psychological and emotional depth and sophistication, The Sense of an Ending is a brilliant new chapter in Julian Barnes’s oeuvre.

(5) At Barnes & Noble Booksellers, MarketFair Mall, 3535 US Route 1 South, Princeton, NJ

Thursday, January 12 at 7:00 pm
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: Gideon’s Corpse
A top nuclear scientist goes mad — in ten days a major American city will be vaporized. Only Gideon Crew can prevent Armageddon in the latest thriller from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child! Join us for a discussion and signing. Preferred seating with book purchase. E-mail crm2646@bn.com for details.

Tuesday, January 17 at 7:00 pm
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler: The Future of Us
Booklist gave The Future of Us a starred review and said “Popular authors Asher and Mackler combine the mass appeal of Facebook with a thoughtful meditation on how current ideas and actions can change our futures.” Join us for an exciting evening with Jay Asher – bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why – and award winning author Carolyn Mackler – as they discuss and sign their newest book with a social media hook that appeals to all ages. Priority seating with book purchase. Seating begins at 6pm.

Saturday, January 21 at 3:00 pm
Gary Brackett: Winning: From Walk-On to Captain, In Football and Life
New Jersey Native and Indianapolis Colts middle linebacker Gary Brackett shares his story of starting as a walk-on player for the Rutgers University football team and signing with the Colts as an undrafted free agent and becoming the team’s Captain in two short years. In Winning Gary looks back while preparing for the Super Bowl – after facing many personal challenges and losses – to go on to be an award-winning, successful and philanthropic man. Priority seating with book purchase. Seating begins at 2 pm.

(6) Cathy in Pennsylvania (with a UNIQUE GIFT IDEA): CFPA member, Linda Manzo, is also a wonderful local artist. Linda has very graciously offered BuxMont CFPA 50% of the proceedings from the sale of her paintings that are on display at Bill Deckhart’s office in Langhorne.

You can contact Bill at billdeckhart@verizon.net, or 215-380-6804 if you would like to see the paintings. This is a win-win situation for everyone. You get a lovely peace of artwork and BuxMont CFPA gets a donation to sustain our peace work in 2012.

Peace,

Cathy Leary
BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action

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