Category Archives: Books and Reading

Long evenings leave time to learn- Some on-site and armchair options

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall —  
F. Scott Fitzgerald 

As the nation commemorates October as National Archives Month the many faces of archival work come into focus, including on the federal government scene.  In the headlines this month is the issue of preservation of White House archives. The White House, including the temporary resident, is required by law to preserve all presidential documents, including emails and other electronic records.  Because this is not happening it has been necessary for National Archives officials to express serious concerns.  A recent [10/17] POLITICO report by Josh Dawsey and Bryan Bender describes the archival challenge in detail. (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/17/national-archives-trump-documents-preserve-243888)

October 19 – 5:00-7:30 pm In Their Own Words: The Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project. Elmer L. Andersen Library, U of M.    Vignettes from the “In Their Own Words” project, artifacts, books and documents from the Tretter Collection.  Reservations https://www.continuum.umn.edu/reg/reservation-transgender-oral-history-project-exhibit-reception/

October 28 -UPDATE:  The Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum reports a special program appropriate to the bicentennial celebration of Henry David Thoreau.   Photographer and author Dale Schwie will be speaking at the organization’s monthly meeting. Dale will discuss his recent book, Taking Sides with the Sun, a biography of Herbert W. Gleason whose work includes a major collection of “Thoreau Country” photographs, now housed in the Special Collections of the Concord MA Free Public Library.  (https://www.thoreausociety.org/thoreau-country)   MISF and guests will meet at the North Regional Library, Lowry and Fremont Avenues North.  The library opens at 9:00; meeting at 10:00.  Ample parking.  Free and open.

The U of M Archivists continue to take a lead in the digital age.  New online from the Kerlan Collection is an amazing online exhibit, Children’s Book Art: Techniques and Media. (Z.umn.edu/techniques)   The digitized exhibit explores the ways in which artists explore today’s media to express ideas and delight young readers.  As with most children’s literature there’s no limit on age or enjoyment of the visual treats.

Bookish.com is launching BookishFirst, an early preview and review platform featuring new books and authors, pre-pub excerpts, blurbs, reviews and more.   (https://www.bookish.com)

Everybody needs a break! — There’s a new Nancy Drew TV series in the works!  http://deadline.com/2017/10/nancy-drew-tv-series-nbc-tony-phelan-joan-rater-dan-jinks-1202189328/

If Halloween freaks you out, the good people at Poets.org (https://www.poets.org) offer a National Archives Month celebration of poetry appropriate to the season.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/halloween-poems   Do not miss John Berryman’s Halloween, read by the poet – archived by the archivists we honor this month. (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/stanza/archive-john-berrymans-halloween-reading)

Thoughts of the Children’s Book Art exhibit, combined with the spookiness of Halloween,  focus the mind on reading and children, especially children and young people for whom books and reading offer both a challenge and a treasured opportunity.  Reading and books will help these young readers to  live the life envisioned by Charlemagne who told us that “to have another language is to possess a second soul.”

October is Bilingual Child Month

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P.S. from the Roseville Library (Ramsey County)

Fake News: a History
October 25 – Roseville: 12:30 p.m. Roseville Library – What explains the recent rise of fake news and wily accusations of “fake news”? Join University of Minnesota scholar Harshit Rathi for a different look at the news media and how we got here. Cost: Free. For more information contact them at 651-724-6022.

American Politics in the Age of Trump: A First Look at History
October 31November 7 and 14
 – Roseville: 12:30 p.m. Roseville Library – Whatever your political point-of-view, it’s time to take a first look at what will certainly be one of the major historical events of the 21st century. This series features speakers from a variety of political positions, in which will consider the first draft of a history of the Trump Presidency. For more information contact them at 651-724-6022.

 

 

 

 

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Twin Cities Book Festival – Where the “right words” rule

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ~~ Mark Twain

The Great Minnesota Get-Together 2017 is history, and yet the Fairgrounds will come alive October 13-14 as bibliophiles gather from far and wide to celebrate “the right word.”  It’s the annual Twin Cities Book Festival.   (http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival/

Sponsored by Rain Taxi, the free and open tribute to the book is the call for “word people” to meet and learn from bibliophiles who write, publish, read, edit, sell, and otherwise shape and share the “right words.”  It’s a time to refresh the mind and soothe the soul of the faithful who cling to the idea that the right words not only read well but speak truth.

The agenda for TC’s Book Festival is robust, overflowing with exhibits, speakers, opportunities to meet and greet – the Festival calls for serious preparation!  If, perchance, you can’t attend, the website itself offers a great read and reminder of the many faces of the state’s book world!  The online guide to the Festival includes authors of every genre, publishers, booksellers (new and used) along with myriad options, including but not limited to food vendors — Be sure to save time to experience the Poetry Bus! (http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival-poetry-bus/)

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” *

A recent issue of Access Press overflows with both information and reminders.  Front page information is that Stuart Holland who has managed the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network since 1986 is retiring.  His retirement prompted the newspaper to published a great review of the RTB history written by Jan Willms.  It’s a good read and a good reminder.  http://www.accesspress.org/blog/2017/09/08/retirement-awaits-new-chapter-for-radio-talking-books-holland/

But don’t stop there, subscribe to Access Press online or pick up a free copy at a convenient newspaper rack.  AP is a timely and indispensable source of information about what’s happening in the disabilities community – a tool for anyone who has a disability or who is in a position to share the news with friends, family, patrons, the faith, academic or other community.  So many resources, so many opportunities to share the word!  Much more about the mission, content and programs of Access Press here: (http://www.accesspress.org)

“Feast” is the theme of Interact Visual Artists’  exhibit (https://interactcenter.org/artists/visual-arts/) open through October 8 at Birchwood Café in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. (http://birchwoodcafe.com)  The exhibit explores the subject of food and the relations and perceptions of food and art.  Individual artists assume varying relationships with food by exploring different ethnic foods and approaching the issue in a variety of media and styles.

October 5 – Talk of the Stacks features journalist and food industry authority Larry Olmsted, 7:00 PM at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall.  Olmsted’s book, is entitled Real Food Fake Food: Why you don’t know what you’re eating and what you can do about it…. The event is free, doors open at 6:15; programs begins at 7:00 PM

October 12 – The City of Minneapolis is offering a class for group that are interested in creating a cooperative.  Sessions run October 12-December 7.    Details here:  http://webbercamden.org/2017/09/27/city-of-minneapolis-free-class-on-creating-a-cooperative/   To learn more about the history and present state of coops check this recent talk given by Tom Pierson at the Seward Coop –https://seward.coop/posts/1048

October 18 – The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) announces the Autumn Open House, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the historic Crosby Mansion, 2105 First Avenue South.  RSVP by Friday, October 14 at iatp.org/open-house.  Speakers include IATP ED Juliette Major and Tara Ritter, Senior Program Association for Climate and Rural Communities.  Free and open RSVP by 9/14. (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15ed34ccdaf2ec36 .  IATP is also developing a robust distance learning component, including an informative podcast series on NAFTA(https://www.iatp.org/blog/201709/trade-ag-your-ears-our-new-podcast-uprooted)  Take time to explore the many facets of IATP, a robust and timely resource essential in this world of global/corporate economic flux. (https://www.iatp.org/nafta-portal)

October 20 – Insurgent knowledges: Book talk with Damien Sojoyner and Sabrina Vaught.  Sojoyner is the author of First Strike: Educational enclosures in Black Los Angeles (U of M 2017) and Vaught is the author of Compulsory: Education and the dispassion of youth in a prison school, U of M Press 2017,7:00 PM at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street in St. Paul.  Details online.

October 21 – A Resister’s Handbook: A benefit performance for East Side Freedom Library.  Xavier Morilla, described as “a labor leader, activist, podcaster, writer and storyteller” – not to mention President of SEIU Local 26.  Working with Levi Weinhagen, Morilla has created the presentation in which Morilla will share his “wit and optimism” with ESFL supporters at a fundraiser event, 5:30-7:00 PM.  A minimum tax-deductible gift of $25 is requested at the door.

November 2-  ESFL will also co-sponsor a timely presentation, The Origins of the Radical Right and the Crisis of Our Democracy, a talk by Nancy MacLean, Professor History and Public Policy at Duke University.  The event is sponsored by ESFL, ISAIAH-Minnesota and the U of MN History Department.7:00 PM at ESFL 1105 Greenbrier Street in St. Paul, 651 230 3294. http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org

A recent study by the Pew Research Center reports on details of the digital divide.  Data re the Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington area are above average, with plenty of room for improvement.  Broadband access in households with income under $20K was 55.5% while 86.6% of 20K+ households enjoy broadband access.

The latest greatest fad at Eat My Words bookstore is Squibs. Squibs are short one-to-ten-page writing pieces – with or sans visuals – described by Squibs hosts as “mini-stories with a beginning, middle and end.”  They can be about any topic that helps get the writer writing.  To follow the EMW muse to a new life of squibbing, join a Squib writing session, Saturdays Noon-1:00 PM at EMW Bookstore, 214 13th Avenue NE (new location) 651 243 1756 or more at www.eatmywordsbooks.com.

Note to out-of-control bibliophiles: Help is at the ready:  https://www.bustle.com/articles/183327-9-things-book-lovers-do-in-the-fall-because-autumn-is-the-perfect-season-for-reading

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As we plunge into the season’s political melee, it might be a good time to catch up on some basics of the democracy.  Following are some tools to help us review and put in contemporary context some of the basics:

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  * Quote from  L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

Awesome Autumn Options III

In case you haven’t noticed, the days of Summer are indeed dwindling down……https://www.cute-calendar.com/event/autumnal-equinox/26446.html)  And yet, autumn – and our national political angst, unleash the creative energies of many for whom the season and the challenge peak in times such as these.   In truth, there is so much happening that no one would have time to read a length post anyway.  What follows  is a quick smattering of ways in which creative people help to inform and inspire an engaged community.

September 29 – Dr. Betty Bright will deliver the 54th James Ford Bell Lecture, “Past in Present: The Book’s Evolving Persona, 7:30 PM at the Open Book, Target Performance Hall. Free and open. Reservations online.  https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/54thjames-ford-bell-lecture/

September 29-30 – Twin Cities Zine Fest:

And be sure to read Jon Jeffryes’ essay on “Zines: Inspiring assignments and art” – it’s a great overview of zines history and the U of M collection as well as background information on a U of M Libraries exhibit entitled “Protest Publishing and Art.” curated by U of M Arts & Architecture Librarian, Deborah Utan https://www/continuum.umn.edu/2017/09/zine-collection-inspiring-assignments 

More about the collection and the exhibit here: https://gormanartspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/159231439651/protest-publishing-and-art-from-the-copy-machine

October 14, 7:00 PM. Opening Reception of Collectively We Support Your Autonomy, Soap Factory,  http://www.soapfactory.org/exhibition/monica-sheets-collectively-we-support-your-autonomy

October 14. Water Bar and Public Studio storefront will celebrate their grand reopening https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/In case you missed them at the Fair, you can still learn the latest plans from this unique community resource. https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/ or earlier post here https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/drinking-and-thinking-water-in-northeast-minneapolis/

November 18-10 – Minneapolis Craftzahttps://craftza.com or https://www.facebook.com/Craftstravaganza

And a few more items of note……

To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.

Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you haven’t noticed, the days of Summer are  dwindling down https://www.cute-calendar.com/event/autumnal-equinox/26446.html)  And yet, autumn – coupled with  our national political angst – unleashes the creative energies of many for whom the season and the challenge peak in times such as these.   In truth, there is so much happening that no one would have time to read a lengthy post anyway.  Thus, what follows  is a quick smattering of ways in which creative people help to inform and inspire an engaged community.

September 29 – Dr. Betty Bright will deliver the 54th James Ford Bell Lecture, “Past in Present: The Book’s Evolving Persona, 7:30 PM at the Open Book, Target Performance Hall. Free and open. Reservations online.  https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/54thjames-ford-bell-lecture/

September 29-30 – Twin Cities Zine Fest:

October 14, 7:00 PM. Opening Reception of Collectively We Support Your Autonomy, Soap Factory,  http://www.soapfactory.org/exhibition/monica-sheets-collectively-we-support-your-autonomy

October 14. Water Bar and Public Studio storefront will celebrate their grand reopening https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/  If you missed the Water Bar at the State Fair, you can still learn the latest plans from this unique community resource. https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/ earlier post here https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/drinking-and-thinking-water-in-northeast-minneapolis/

November 18-10 – Minneapolis Craftzahttps://craftza.com or https://www.facebook.com/Craftstravaganza

And a few more items of note……

 

Young poet envisions “a world worth building!”

These days my head has been teeming with images of the many faces of Resistance – mostly the ways in which people of good will have gathered to blend their skills and societal commitment to share truth, experiences and opinions — eventually, to take arms (or voice, or knitting needles, laptop, paint brush, cello, chisel or camera) to oppose – and end – the “sea of troubles” in which the nation is floundering.

The splash this weekend has been news of Amanda Gorman, a young woman whose powerful presence and poetry have taken the nation by storm.  As the first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda was omnipresent in the media as she spoke out at last weekend’s Social Good Summit.

Learn more about this powerful young woman of words — and listen to her message — here: http://mashable.com/2017/09/17/amanda-gorman-us-youth-poet-laureate-social-good/#ydD41XQL_iqg.  Or read this piece about Amanda and the National Youth Poet Laureate title here: https://www.pw.org/content/amanda_gorman_named_national_youth_poet_laureate

Because Amanda is the first to wear the laurel wreath as National Youth Poet Laureate it’s important to know more about the backstory of the initiative.  The project itself reflects the vision of Urban Word, a “youth literary arts and youth development organization” whose mission is “to elevate the voices of teens while promoting civic engagement and social justice.”  (http://urbanwordnyc.org) The project places youth in “spaces of power” where they can “creatively respond to the litany of social and political factors that impact their cities and their lives.”  https://www.pw.org/content/amanda_gorman_named_national_youth_poet_laureate

Last month, the youthful Poet Laureate met with the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and staff of the Poetry and Literature Staff of the Library of Congress. The description of that informal gathering, prepared by LC staffer Anne Holmes, offers a thoughtful overview of the Youth Poet Laureate initiative and insights about Amanda’s experience. You’ll feel the flicker of hope springing eternal: https://blogs.loc.gov/catbird/2017/07/amanda-gorman-inaugural-national-youth-poet-laureate/

Reflecting on her experience as a participant in the Social Good Summit, Amanda shared these elegant words with Summit attendees:

With one microphone, we streak/ across the globe like an eclipse. We strike our plans into stone/ and from this we build a summit worth climbing, / a goal worth reaching, / a world worth building.”

 

Banned Books Week honors a fundamental right

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light. Plato

Given the free flow of and ready access to misinformation and disinformation it would seem that there should be a special category for “lies in print.”  And yet, the defenders of free speech who sponsor Banned Books Week,  (September 24-30, 2017)  would shun the concept – with great justification.  They are more concerned to respect the right to read and their focus is on the reader who decides the quality of a book, aware that some books don’t deserve to be read.

Banned Books Week began in 1982 “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries.” BBW continues to be sponsored by the Banned Books Week Coalition. (http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about))  It’s interesting to note that some titles on the list of banned books are perennials, while others reflect the times or the expressed outrage of a few committed censors.  The BBW Coalition website is a great starting point.  Among other tools the site provides free and reproducible graphics, available in multiple formats for digital or print distribution.

Another essential starting point is the American Library Association, an indispensable source for background information, including legislation related to access. The ALA  tabulates and posts each year the “top ten” challenged titles: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10

The site is also the source of eye-catching graphics, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned  The press kit posted on the ALA site is the key to jumpstarting a BBW campaign.

BBW on Twitter offers another approach to a complex and volatile topic https://twitter.com/BannedBooksWeek?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bannedbooksweek.org%2Fcensorship%2Fbannedbooksthatshapedamerica

The Library of Congress has mounted a wonderful exhibit entitled “Books that Shaped America”,  described as books that “have had a profound effect on American life.” They also created a companion list of books from that exhibit have been banned or challenged….

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica  LC also sponsors Banned Books online site – which is blessedly sparse just now:  https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=13848727

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/ offers an abundance of promotional tools, videos, a section on Mapping Censorship and excellent graphics.  A unique feature of this site is a guide to planning a Virtual Read-Out. http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us ~   William O. Douglas

Fun update from Shelf Awareness 9/20

Banned Books Week Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Bookstores, libraries and other organizations across the country are preparing for Banned Books Week 2017, which runs next week, September 24-30Shelf Awareness takes a look at what some stores are planning:

In celebration of Banned Books Week, Ingram is running a special promotion for independent bookstores. Through October 5, indies can receive additional discounts on orders of 25 or more books from a list of over 450 banned and challenged titles. Ingram has also teamed up with American Booksellers for Free Expression to create promotional kits for ABA members. So far, this year’s kit has been sent to more than 500 stores.

Digital audiobook platform Libro.fm, meanwhile, has created a Banned Books Week playlist featuring many of the most-challenged books in the United States, so “readers can choose to listen freely.” Included on the playlist are the audiobook versions of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and many, many more.

Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., got a head start on Banned Books Week earlier this month with a store display featuring banned and challenged books from years past, and is once again supporting a D.C.-wide scavenger hunt organized by the D.C. Public Library called #UncensoredDC. For the scavenger hunt, copies of banned books have been hidden around the capital in libraries, museums, cafes and bookstores and will be there until the end of the month. The books feature a special black cover and are “free to those who find them.” Next Monday, September 25, P&P is co-sponsoring an offsite event with Salman Rushdie, who lived under police protection for close to a decade after Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for his death in response to Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie will discuss his new novel, The Golden House, in downtown D.C.

In Omaha, Neb., indie bookstores Solid Jackson Books and Dundee Book Company are hosting a Banned Books Week party at Brothers Lounge on Thursday, September 28. Readers are invited to “come grab a pint or two, join the conversation about why it’s important to keep free speech free, and stick it to the book-burners by perusing important books that some want to label as obscene. And some that are obscene!” A selection of banned books will be available for purchase.

City Books in Pittsburgh, Pa., is hosting a day-long Read-Out this Sunday, September 24. “In direct response to the recent events in Charlottesville and across the nation,” the store has decided to “shine a spotlight on books that feature equity, diversity, and inclusion as a primary function of character and plot” by choosing Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl and Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry as the Read-Out selections. The event will run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m, and readers can sign up for 20-minute reading slots. Food and beverages will be provided by City Books.

In New York City, the Strand Book Store is hosting a Banned Books Week discussion panel on Monday, September 25, in partnership with PEN America. Authors David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy), Coe Booth (Kinda Like Brothers) and Ariel Schrag (Adam) will discuss their experiences of having their books banned or challenged, and how to get skeptical readers to give their books a chance. Jason Low, publisher and co-owner of multicultural children’s book publisher Lee & Low Books, will moderate the discussion.

The Clinton Book Shop in Clinton, N.J., is taking part in the official Banned Books Virtual Read-Out, now in its seventh year. On Sunday, September 24, the bookstore will dedicate space for customers to record brief videos of themselves reading aloud from banned or challenged books or discussing a favorite banned book and what it means to them. The Book Shop will then upload the videos to the store’s Facebook page and submit them to be shared on a dedicated YouTube channel. Anyone who participates in the Virtual Read-Out will receive a 25% off coupon for any book on the banned books list.

And last but not least, Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Calif., is partnering with a local high school for Banned Books Week. Skylight will put up a behind-the-counter display of banned and challenged books with each title featuring a small sign explaining why it was banned or challenged. Customers can then purchase those books at a 20% discount to be donated to the high school’s library. —Alex Mutter

And more….

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/17-of-americas-most-surprising-banned-books/ar-AAslJl6?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP

https://twitter.com/BannedBooksWeek?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bannedbooksweek.org%2F

http://www.bookglow.net/30-quotes-from-banned-books-to-celebrate-banned-books-week/

http://mentalfloss.com/article/18750/10-classic-books-have-been-banned?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=mf&utm_medium=09_27_17-article_2-18750

http://hclib.tumblr.com/specialcollections

The ironic enduring legacy of banning T Kill a Mockingbird.  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-ironic-enduring-legacy-of-banning-%E2%80%98to-kill-a-mockingbird%E2%80%99-for-racist-language/ar-AAtuyKC?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP

Things to do during this “odd uneven time”

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.   Sylvia Plath

 Sylvia Plath didn’t know about the Minnesota State Fair – had she known she would have realized that the best of summer is definitely not gone….Nor did she know about the amazing array of options that lure us during this “odd uneven time.”  Just a few of the possibilities, including some that escape the headlines….

Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Steve Sack is guest speaker at Talk of the Stacks at Minneapolis Central Library on Thursday, August 17.  Doors open at 6:15, program at 7:00 PM.  Free and Open to the public.  Sponsored by Friends of the Library.  https://www.supporthclib.org/steve-sack

To Really See, is a unique art exhibit on display through September 27 at the Minneapolis Central Library.  Subtitled “art exploring the medication-taking experience” the exhibit is presented by Spectrum ArtWorks, a program of RESOURCE.  Learn more about RESOURCE and Spectrum ArtWorks here:  https://www.resource-mn.org/about-resource/

Though the days are indeed getting shorter, the East Side Freedom Library is determined to fill them with a robust series of late summer programs.  All are free and open to the public.

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Looking ahead – Details to follow about these forthcoming activities