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Then & Now

04/27/2010 11:14AM ● Published by Style

ALBUMS

THEN:

Very Best of the Staples SingersThe Staples Singers

Goosebumps. That’s what The Staples Singers give you. What’s now known as a classic soul group of the ‘60s started out as a family gospel group. And whether Mavis Staples is singing to the Lord above, or to us common folk, Earth moves. “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There,” and a terrific cover of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay” makes this an essential part of your soul education.

NOW:

I Learned The Hard WaySharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Give your Mom some great music this Mother’s Day. Fifty-three-year-old Georgia native Sharon Jones will help any Mom get her groove on, aided by the Stax-infused soul of the incredible Dap Kings on this, their third album since 1996. Appearing on the Up In The Air soundtrack and recently backing Amy Winehouse might explain why they sound familiar. The other explanation is: the best music always sounds familiar to new ears.

BOOKS

THEN:

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

With the movie adaptation of The Blind Side proving to be a huge box office success, and Sandra Bullock taking her first best actress Oscar this year – it’s the perfect time to return to the book that started it all. This is a story about family – forged out of love rather than biology – and about the perseverance of the human spirit. Even if you hate football, this is a story that will move any mother to tears.

NOW:

Oprah: A Biography by Kitty Kelley

One of the most widely read biographers in the field, Kitty Kelley turns her laser beam onto Oprah Winfrey. This unauthorized biography examines Oprah’s incredible rise to fame, and allows her fans, admirers and casual onlookers an insider’s peek at what makes Oprah tick. Kelley’s previous biographies of Jaqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Nancy Reagan drew attention for her “poison pen” style...expect nothing less this time around!

FILMS

THEN:

West Side Story

A sweeping love story, beautiful actors (Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno) and some truly beloved songs...this is a movie for moms. Okay, maybe not every mom, but this movie version of the timeless Broadway musical is classic Hollywood escapism at its best. Laugh, cry, sing and swoon...you might even get a family sing-along for “I Feel Pretty.”

NOW:

Avatar

Avatar? Mother’s Day? Nothing short of the Super Bowl or Rock Band will be more effective than bazillion-dollar blockbuster Avatar at getting the family (whatever form they take) happily gathered in one room for an extended period of time. Whether it’s out of curiosity, love of the movie, or a sibling bet on how to say “I See You” in Na’vi...the gift here is getting everyone together. Prove us wrong.

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