Fall for the Arts

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Girl sitting on a stool and playing a guitar
Girl sitting on a stoll painting on a art easel
A man and woman dancing together

The arts are in the air this autumn! Explore music, dance and visual art through this sampling of digital materials.

Click on each section below to browse our recommendations. Each title is available through one (or more) of the Naperville Public Library's digital resources.


Let Me Hear A Rhyme

Tiffany Jackson

In this striking new novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he's still alive. Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn't mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph's music lie forgotten under his bed after he's murdered-not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party. With the help of Steph's younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph's music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph's talent from beyond the grave. As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph's fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they've worked so hard to hold on to-including each other.

Greatest Hits

Laura Barnett

The beloved singer-songwriter Cass Wheeler has abandoned retirement for one last chapter in her musical career. She assembles an album of greatest hits – the songs that mean the most to her, songs that she wrote during the brightest and darkest times in her life. Each chapter springs from one of these songs. Told in tandem with the lyrics, this irresistible novel moves skillfully across episodes of a fascinating and sometimes tragic life. Laura Barnett’s clear-eyed writing vividly depicts the UK and US music scene of the 70’s, with its mistakes and magic, and the lives that pass through it – is vividly painted, as is the artist behind the art. Greatest Hits is an enchanting novel that will capture and delight anyone who has discovered the rewards of music, or who has found strength and meaning in art.

Sight Reading

Daphne Kalotey

Lyrical and evocative, Sight Reading by Daphne Kalotay is an intense, literary love story. When Hazel and Remy happen upon each other on a warm Boston spring day, their worlds immediately begin to spin. Remy, a gifted violinist, is married to composer Nicholas Elko, who was once the love of Hazel's life. Over the decades, each buried secrets, disappointments, and betrayals that now threaten to undermine their happiness. We follow the notes of their complicated, intertwined lives from 1987 to 2007, from Europe to America, and from conservatory life to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Sight Reading, is an exploration of what makes a family, of the importance of art in daily life, and of the role of intuition in both the creative process and the evolution of the self.

There You Are

Mathea Morais

Octavian Munroe is haunted by the life and death of his older brother in one of the most racially segregated cities in the country. Mina Rose has never quite fit in and wishes she was anything but white. Once lovers, now estranged, they both left St. Louis for fresh starts in the wake of grief and heartbreak. Octavian and Mina travel homeward in the aftermath of Michael Brown's death and the awakening of the Black Lives Matter movement. In search of answers, they seek out the music that once gave their hearts a steady beat and their lives a sense of direction. The record shop where they fell in love as teenagers is closing for good, sparking a desire for closure. This raw, powerful story of love and loss reckons with how fear shapes even the most fleeting collisions between friends, neighbors, and strangers.

The Happy Hour Choir

Sally Kilpatrick

Life has dealt Beulah Land a tough hand to play, least of all being named after a hymn. A teenage pregnancy estranged her from her family, and a tragedy caused her to lose what little faith remained. The wayward daughter of a Baptist deacon, she spends her nights playing the piano at The Fountain, a honky-tonk located just across the road from County Line Methodist. But when she learns that a dear friend's dying wish is for her to take over as the church's piano player, she realizes it may be time to face the music.

Queen of the Night

Alexander Chee

The Queen of the Night tells the mesmerizing story of Lilliet Berne, an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept into the glamour and terror of Second Empire France. She became a sensation of the Paris Opera, with every accolade but an original role-her chance at immortality. When one is offered to her, she finds the libretto is based on her deepest secret, something only four people have ever known. But who betrayed her?

Country: Portraits of an American Sound

Steven Kochones (director)

Embark on a visual odyssey through the history of country music as told by legendary artists and captured by elite photographers over 90 years. From the Carter Family to Taylor Swift, the film chronicles country's rise from regional sound to international phenomenon as seen in the evolving image of the country singer—from rhinestone cowboy to pot-smoking outlaw to stadium-filling megastar. The film features never-before-seen photographs, footage and interviews with over 20 artists including Rosanne Cash, Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, LeAnn Rimes, The Band Perry, Tanya Tucker and Keith Urban.

Motown: The Complete No. 1's

various artists

A total of 208 #1 Motown hits sung by the original artists.

Echo in the Canyon

Andrew Slater (director)

A film that celebrates the explosion of popular music that came out of LA's Laurel Canyon in the mid-'60s as folk went electric and the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, and the Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound. It was a moment (1965 to 1967) when bands came to LA to emulate the Beatles, and Laurel Canyon emerged as a hotbed of creativity and collaboration for a new generation of artists who would soon put their stamp on the history of American popular music.

In Another Time

Jillian Cantor

1931, Germany. Bookshop owner Max Beissinger meets Hanna Ginsberg, a budding concert violinist, and immediately he feels a powerful chemistry between them. As their love affair unfolds over the next five years, the climate drastically changes in Germany as Hitler comes to power. Their love is tested with the new landscape and the realities of war, not the least of which is that Hanna is Jewish and Max is not. But unbeknownst to Hanna is the fact that Max has a secret, which causes him to leave for months at a time—a secret that Max is convinced will help him save Hanna if Germany becomes too dangerous for her because of her religion. In 1946, Hanna Ginsberg awakens in a field outside of Berlin. Disoriented and afraid, she has no memory of the past ten years and no idea what has happened to Max. With no information as to Max’s whereabouts—or if he is even still alive—she decides to move to London to live with her sister while she gets her bearings. Even without an orchestra to play in, she throws herself completely into her music to keep alive her lifelong dream of becoming a concert violinist. But the music also serves as a balm to heal her deeply wounded heart and she eventually gets the opening she long hoped for. Even so, as the days, months, and years pass, taking her from London to Paris to Vienna to America, she continues to be haunted by her forgotten past, and the fate of the only man she has ever loved and cannot forget.

Blue Note 101: A Jazz Introduction

various artists

Ten jazz tunes offering a basic jazz overview.

The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Fifty instrumental pieces that provide an excellent overview of the classical music genre.

Alive and Kicking

Magnolia Pictures

Alive and Kicking showcases the dynamic culture and cathartic power of swing dancing from its historic origins to its impact today. Boiled down to its core, swing dancing is the pursuit of happiness.

Behind the Burly Q

Leslie Zemeckis

From the director of the hit documentary Behind the Burly Q comes the first ever oral history of American Burlesque--as told by the performers who lived it, often speaking out here for the first time. By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance.

Born to Dance

Jordan Matter

Born to Dance features gorgeous photographs of well-known dancers as well as stars in the making. Author Jordan Matter is known to millions for his 10-Minute Photo Challenge YouTube videos. Now, in one dazzling photograph after another, he portrays dancers-ages 2 through 18-in ordinary and extraordinary pursuits, from hanging with friends to taking selfies, from leaping for joy to feeling left out. What they all share is the skill to elevate their hopes and dreams with beauty, humor, grace, and surprise. Paired with empowering words from the dancers themselves, the photographs convey each child's declaration that they were born to dance.

George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker

Robert Gottlieb

The foremost contemporary choreographer in the history of ballet, George Balanchine extended the art form into radical new paths that came to seem inevitable under his direction. He transformed movement and dance in classical and modern ballet, on the Broadway stage, and in the cinema. George Balanchine chronicles the life and achievements of this visionary artist from his early, almost accidental career in Russia, where his lifelong collaboration with Igor Stravinsky was forged, to his extraordinary accomplishments in America.

A Swan Lake

Alexander Ekman

"I wanted to do something big and wild and different. Something with water!" said choreographer Alexander Ekman and filled the Main Stage at the Oslo Opera House with 5,000 litres of water. In A Swan Lake, his new full-length work created for the Norwegian National Ballet, the dancers are joined on stage by actors, a soprano, musicians and 1,000 rubber ducks. Alexander Ekman is an award-winning choreographer, whose work is internationally acclaimed for its inventiveness, musicality and humour. A Swan Lake takes a fresh and witty look at Tchaikovsky's ballet of all ballets.

Tapdancin': An All-American Art Form

Michael Blackwood Productions

Where Europe brought the classics and the ballet to the world of dance, America brought tap to the table. In a highly entertaining overview of what is considered the first, genuinely all-American dance form, Christian Blackwood's TAPDANCIN' illuminates the New York driven renaissance of the once-flourishing art form.

The Walls Around Us

Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices--one still living and one dead. On the outside, there's Violet, an eighteen-year-old ballerina days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls' juvenile detention center, there's Amber, locked up for so long she can't imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls' darkest mysteries

Juba!

Walter Dean Myers

In New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers's last novel, he delivers a gripping story based on the life of a real dancer known as Master Juba, who lived in the nineteenth century. This engaging historical novel is based on the true story of the meteoric rise of an immensely talented young black dancer, William Henry Lane, who influenced today's tap, jazz, and step dancing. With meticulous and intensive research, Walter Dean Myers has brought to life Juba's story.

The Cat King of Havana

Tom Crosshill

Tom Crosshill's witty debut teen novel treads a colorful coming-of-age journey from New York City to Havana that will appeal to fans of books by Matthew Quick and Junot Díaz. When Rick Gutiérrez-known as 'That Cat Guy' at school-gets dumped on his sixteenth birthday for uploading cat videos from his bedroom instead of experiencing the real world, he realizes it's time for a change. So Rick joins a salsa class . . . because of a girl, of course. Ana Cabrera is smart, friendly, and smooth on the dance floor. He might be half Cuban, but Rick dances like a drunk hippo. Desperate to impress Ana, he invites her to spend the summer in Havana. The official reason: learning to dance. The hidden agenda: romance under the palm trees. Except Cuba isn't all sun, salsa, and music.

25 Tango Lessons

Andrew Shepherd

Andrea discovered Argentine tango in her 20s. Over the next decades it gradually changed, and in many ways became, her life. Just about everything in tango is, a microcosm of life at large, and just about everything learned on the dance floor is a life lesson as well. This book is a collection of some of the most interesting and valuable things this passionate and complex dance has taught Andrea over the years she has been practicing and teaching it.

Abidjan USA

Daniel B. Reed

Daniel B. Reed integrates individual stories with the study of performance to understand the forces of diaspora and mobility in the lives of musicians, dancers, and mask performers originally from Côte d'Ivoire who now live in the United States. Through the lives of four Ivorian performers, Reed finds that dance and music serve as effective ways to understand individual migrants in the world today. As members of an immigrant community who are geographically dispersed, these performers are unmoored from their place of origin and yet deeply engaged in presenting their symbolic roots to North American audiences. Abidjan USA provides a multifaceted view of community that is at once local, national, and international, and where identity is central, but transportable, fluid, and adaptable.

Snake Hips

Anne Thomas Soffee

This hilariously uplifting memoir follows an Arab American woman's merry life as she shimmies her way from being dumped by her tattoo-artist boyfriend to coming to grips with being single, ample, and 30. Feeling lost and heartbroken, Anne Thomas Soffee moves back home to Richmond, Virginia. Against the wishes of her extended family and friends, she enrolls in a belly dancing class hoping to heal her heart and reconnect with her Lebanese roots. Her life is never the same after she discovers the riotous world of American belly dancing, a warm, and welcoming subculture where younger and thinner are not necessarily better. Among the zils (finger cymbals) and thrills of attending classes and performing in moose lodges and county fairs, Soffee is surprised to find happiness and true love along the way.

Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery

Arne Birkenstock (director)

For nearly 40 years, Wolfgang Beltracchi fooled the international art world and was responsible for the biggest art forgery scandal of the postwar era. An expert in art history, theory and painting techniques, he tracked down the gaps in the oeuvres of great artists and filled them with his own works. He and his wife Helene would then introduce them to the art world as originals. What makes these forgeries truly one-of-a-kind is that they are never mere copies of once-existing paintings, but products of Beltracchi's imagination, works "in the style of" famous early 20th-century artists. With his forgeries, he fooled renowned experts, curators and art dealers. The auctioneers Sotheby's and Christie's were hoodwinked, just like Hollywood star Steve Martin and other collectors throughout the world.

The Muse

Jessie Burton

England, 1967. Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. When she starts working at the prestigious Skelton Institute of Art, she discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young artist of immense talent and vision whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. Spain, 1936. Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and an English heiress, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a poor, restless village on the southern coast. She grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and Teresa's half-brother, Isaac Robles, an idealistic and ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. A dilettante buoyed by the revolutionary fervor that will soon erupt into civil war, Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as his countryman Picasso. Insinuating themselves into the Schloss family's lives, Teresa and Isaac help Olive conceal her artistic talents with devastating consequences that will echo into the decades to come.

The Muralist

B. A. Shapiro

When Alizée Benoit vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her arts patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends and fellow WPA painters, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who, while working at Christie's auction house, uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?

Loving Vincent

Good Deed Entertainment

In the first fully painted feature film, 2018 Oscar-nominated Loving Vincent tells the story of the mysterious and tragic death of the world's most famous artist, Vincent van Gogh. Featuring the voices of Saoirse Ronan and Chris O'Dowd.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Susan Vreeland

This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer-but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work's inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner's hands, what was long hidden quietly surfaces, illuminating poignant moments in multiple lives. Susan Vreeland's characters remind us, through their love of this mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.

The Woman Who Stole Vermeer

Anthony M. Amore

The Woman Who Stole Vermeer is Rose Dugdale's story, from her idyllic upbringing in Devonshire and her presentation to Elizabeth II as a debutante to her university years and her eventual radical lifestyle. Her life of crime and activism is at turns unbelievable and awe-inspiring, and sure to engross readers.

Art Matters

Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

Art Matters bring together four of Gaiman's most beloved writings on creativity and artistry: "Credo," his remarkably concise and relevant manifesto on free expression, first delivered in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings "Make Good Art," his famous 2012 commencement address delivered at the Philadelphia University of the Arts "Making a Chair," a poem about the joys of creating something, even when words won't come "On Libraries," an impassioned argument for libraries that illuminates their importance to our future and celebrates how they foster readers and daydreamers. Featuring original illustrations by Gaiman's longtime illustrator, Chris Riddell, Art Matters is a stirring testament to the freedom of ideas that inspires us to make art in the face of adversity, and dares us to choose to be bold.

Becoming Andy Warhol

Nick Bertozzi & Pierce Hargan

This graphic novel biography offers insight into the turning point of Warhol's career and the creation of the Thirteen Most Wanted Men mural for the 1964 World's Fair, when Warhol clashed with urban planner Robert Moses, architect Philip Johnson, and Governor Nelson Rockefeller. In Becoming Andy Warhol, New York Times bestselling writer Nick Bertozzi and artist Pierce Hargan showcase the moment when, by stubborn force of personality and sheer burgeoning talent, Warhol went up against the creative establishment and emerged to become one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.

Inside the Met: An Unforgettable 150th Year

PBS

Experience the 150th birthday of the Metropolitan Museum of Art amid the COVID-19 pandemic and urgent demands for social justice, as the art institution makes history in ways no one could have predicted.

How To Look At and Understand Great Art: The Importance of First Impressions

Sharon Latchow Hirsh

First episode in a Great Courses series. In this episode, examine the contexts and environments in which we encounter art and their critical effect on our viewing experience. Consider ways of displaying and framing paintings, as well as key parameters for viewing sculpture. Then, learn the predominant genres of Western art, and the artist's media, tools, and techniques.