Featured Events

Cookbook Discussion Series @ Nora!

Food and cookbook lovers are invited to discuss popular cookbooks, learn new recipes and sample favorites of others during the new "Nora Cookbook Discussion" series presented throughout the year at the Nora Branch, 8625 Guilford Avenue.

The 2015 series kicks off on Monday, January 26 at 6 p.m. with the topic, "Soup Basics." Cookbooks to be discussed include The Best Soups in the World by Clifford White; The Soup and Bread Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas; 500 Soups by Susannah Blake; and The New Book of Soups by the Culinary Institute of America. Special guest will be Chef Brad Nehrt, Culinary Arts Instructor at the J. Everett Light Career Center. Participants are encouraged to read one or more of the cookbooks, try a couple of the recipes, and bring samples of their favorite ones to share with group members. Members also can follow group activities on Facebook and Pinterest.

Other programs in the series are scheduled on March 16, May 18, September 21 and November 16 at 6 p.m.

Register to attend the discussion programs by calling 275-4470.


2015 McFadden Memorial Lecture: Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini 2015 McFadden LectureThe entire community is invited as best-selling author Khaled Hosseini presents the 38th annual Marian McFadden Memorial Lecture on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University.

This moderated discussion will feature the Afghan-American author discussing his popular works which include The Kite Runner (published in 2003), A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), and And the Mountains Echoed (2013).

The Kite Runner, which Hosseini considers a father and son story, is set in Afghanistan during that country's most tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarcy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the U.S., and the rise of the Taliban regime. The book became an international bestseller and spent more than a hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

A Thousand Splendid Suns debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remained at that spot for fifteen weeks. Together, Hosseini's first two books have sold more than 38 million copies worldwide.

Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965. His father was a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry which relocated the family to Paris in 1976. When they were ready to return in 1980, their homeland had witnessed a bloody communist coup and invasion of the Soviet army. The Hosseinis were granted political asylum in the U.S. in 1980 and moved to San Jose, California.

Khaled Hosseini graduated from Santa Clara University in 1988 with a degree in biology, earned a medical degree from the University of California - San Diego in 1993, completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles, and was a practicing internist between 1996 and 2004. In March, 2001, while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, which became a beloved classic.

In 2006, Hosseini was named a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency. He later established the Khaled Hosseini Foundation, which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

This event is made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. Free tickets are required and will be available at the Clowes Memorial Hall box office prior to the event and at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. Preferred seating is available for Friends of the Library until 6:45 p.m.

Book sales and signings will follow the Lecture.

Call 275-4700 for more information about this free Library program.


The Big Read in Indy! The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

DinawMengestu.jpgIndianapolis residents are invited to read and celebrate a selected work of literature through book discussions and cultural events at The Indianapolis Public Library and various community locations from March 11 - April 30 as part of the national campaign, "The Big Read," which is designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture.

As one of 77 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Indy Library will host programs relating to one of 36 book selections of U.S. or world literature. The chosen book for Indianapolis is The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, the debut novel of Ethiopian-American author Dinaw Mengestu. The title was selected as an opportunity to highlight another population in Indianapolis' international community. Among the many immigrant groups who are making the city their home, Indianapolis has a growing Ethiopian community. The book's theme highlights the differences between the expectations of American life and its reality and is one that resonates with new citizens' own experiences.

Dinaw Mengestu is a graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia University and was named a "20 Under 40" writer by The New Yorker. His book, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, received the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" award. The book focuses on the life of an Ethiopian immigrant who, after fleeing his country's revolution, faces an inner crisis of displacement and the challenges of living between worlds. Mengestu strongly identifies with his characters' sense of alienation and detachment because he lived in between different cultures and worlds as an Ethiopian immigrant in Illinois.

In addition to reading the book, local residents are invited to "The Big Read Opening Reception" on Wednesday, March 11 from 6 - 8 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street. The event will feature Ethiopian food, music and a presentation of a traditional coffee ceremony of Ethiopia. It will also serve as the opening of an exhibit showcasing historical maps and information about Ethiopia, Ethiopian traditional clothing, artworks and artifacts. The exhibit also will highlight Indianapolis families of Ethiopian adoption as well as current efforts to foster adoption of children within Ethiopia. The exhibit will continue through April 30 and can be viewed during regular Central Library hours.

Other activties as part of "The Big Read" will include book discussions at various Indy Libraries and community locations led by expert discussion guides from the Indiana Writers Center. Book discussion kits will be available for pick-up from Library locations for book groups who want to read and discuss The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.

The author himself will appear on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. at Central Library to share his experiences as an Ethiopian immigrant and give insight into the process of writing his novel. Book signings will follow.

Other April events will include the "Ethiopian Lunch and Learn Series" at select Indy Library locations, during which attendees can enjoy traditional food of Ethiopia and learn about its history and culture. Also, there will be a screening of the documentary, "Sincerely, Ethiopia," a film that highlights the positive community-building taking place to combat issues faced by Ethiopians to help create a brighter future.

"The Big Read" is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest and is made possible with additional support from The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund, The International Center, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation, and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Call 275-4099 for more information about these free Library events.