January 14, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Hey, that’s a question I ask myself every day, but it’s also the title of a Kurt Vonnegut story from Welcome to the Monkey House.
Playwright Aaron Posner has taken three stories from that collection–”Long Walk to Forever”, “Who am I This Time?” and “Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son”–and woven them together into a play, Kurt Vonnegut’s Who am I This Time? (and Other Conundrums of Love).
The Indiana Repertory Theatre will be presenting the play from January 28 through February 23.
In anticipation of the opening, IRT staff members will appear at Central Library’s Clowes Auditorium on Wednesday, January 22, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
The performers will encourage audience members to participate in short readings from Posner’s play. Following the readings, a panel with individuals from the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, the IRT, and the Indianapolis Public Library will reflect on their favorite characters from Vonnegut’s works.
Come and join us on the 22nd for this free program, and click on either the Vonnegut picture or the IRT logo for tickets to the play that begins on the 28th.
January 10, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Are you interested in sitting down and reading a story with a copacetic group of fellow-readers? The Shared Reading Group at the Spades Park Library has been reading novels, and on Friday, January 10th, they’ll read the last chapter of Moby Dick.
For at few weeks after that, they’ll be reading shorts stories, rather than a novel. If you’d like to give shared reading a try, without making a long-term commitment, here’s your chance.
On Friday, January 17th, led by their fearless facilitator Anja Petrakopoulos Saak, the group will read a George Saunders story from his collection Tenth of December
In the following weeks, Anja plans to read, not necessarily in this order:
Alice Munro: “Post and Beam”
Bernard Malamud: “The Jewbird”
Samuel Beckett: “First Love”
Frank 0′Connor: “First Confession”
Nathaniel Hawthorne: “The Gray Champion”
After the stories are read, the group plans to move on to The Scarlet Letter.
January 8, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Oh my! Eaarth has to be the most important book I have digested in all of my 71 years. I shy away from books that put before me a plethora of statistics that I don’t understand but do understand can be made to prove one point over another.
But Bill McKibben has MUCH to say that WE NEED to hear, painful as it is, about our Eaarth.
I have learned how biggering our economy and agriculture and making it dependent upon the decreasing supplies of the oil industry (that is “too big to fail”, remember that term in 2008?) creating a picture of our future that is downright scary.
And after the first two chapters in this 4 chapter book, I wondered what he could tell me to make a difference. And it was this: small, local, durable, stable. I was heartened and am determined to “spread the word”. We need to know this stuff, talk about it, and raise out understanding.
Thank you for listening! Please read this book.
Eaarth is also available as an audiobook on CD.
Remember that you, too, can review a book on this blog. Click on Share a Review at the top of this page.
January 6, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Of course I can, and I’m already on it. As soon as I finish with this blogpost about my first book of the year, I’m going to link to it on Twitter, and I’m going to include the hashtag #Read26Indy.
#Read26Indy is a Twitter site created by Indianapolis Star reporter Michael Anthony Adams. He wants Hoosiers to use this site to report on the books they’re reading, with the thought that others might get ideas about books to read.
Here’s his article about the idea. He is also getting a Goodreads site started.
My first book for 2014? Eva Menasse’s novel Vienna. You might be thinking, Wait a minute, you were reading that book in 2013, and did a blog post about the One Book, Two Cities shared reading that we are doing with our sister city Cologne, Germany.
But I had stalled out, less than halfway through the book, and when some of the noble citizens of Cologne sang us some carols on the Sister City Blog, I was moved to make an honest response:
Thanks so much for the holiday greeting! Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr! I hope Google did all right with that translation.
You have inspired me to begin reading Vienna again. I had read about half the novel, and then had to read other things for my blog. To be honest, the narrator’s apparent dispassion toward her family gave me problems.
This could be a midwestern American’s desire to have his emotional triggers pulled (I don’t think that’s it), or it could have something to do with our English translation, or perhaps I need to finish the book and experience its full sweep.
In any case, I’m going to get my paperback off the shelf and begin again as we head into 2014, Happy Holidays, and thanks again for the caroling!
I started re-reading the book, from page one, with the start of the new year, and I can honestly say I’m enjoying the thing. I have come to love the narrator who is (1) sitting at a table, drinking coffee, telling us about her half-Jewish family and its fracturing during World War II, but who is also (2) psychic, or an omniscient third-person narrator, however you want to say this.
She is able to read the minds–or feels free to speculate about what’s going on in the minds–of her family members, and of people she’s never met, like the “woman official” who turns away the narrator’s grandfather at the Victims’ Welfare office.
On my first attempt, I encountered some passages and thought, That really should have been moving. But now that I have come to love this narrator’s voice, these passages have come to life. The uncle’s end of World War II, on the rubber plantation in Burma, for example, and this description of how the narrator’s father, a great soccer player, has problems with his non-athletic children.
He was stunned when he realised that his son had no talent for football, but just stumbled short-sightedly about on his big feet. He shook his head in despair when my tiny sister, aged four and delivered up to a terrifying, clattering ball machine armed with nothing more than her cut-down tennis racket, mis-hit many of the balls mercilessly racing toward her. But each of us had a year’s luxury on reaching eight; at the age when my father had once been obliged to leave his parents, we were all lovingly permitted not to be instantly perfect at something.
So here we go. Even if I had to approach the book twice, I can honestly recommend it, and I’m sending the news to #Read26Indy. Have a good year.
In a paragraph above, I had goofed and written, The grandfather’s end of World War II, on the rubber plantation in Burma. Of course it was the uncle who spent time in Burma, not the grandfather. Don’t know what got into me. I’ve corrected the error.
Ordinarily, I would tiptoe away, hoping that no one had noticed, but the grandfather is especially on my mind, today, because Ute Küsgen, of our sister city Cologne, has written a fascinating comment about the grandfather on the Sister Cities Blog.
She writes as though she were the narrator of the novel, explaining the troubles she had, getting to the truth about her grandfather and his experiences as a Jew in Vienna during the war. Even with some Google Translator switches in word order, Ute’s article is fascinating.
January 3, 2014 by Reader's Connection
Is losing weight at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list this year? Holiday binging often triggers a desire to shed those extra pounds, but these days, it may be less about losing weight, and more about the desire to effect healthy dietary changes. Some of the hottest trends in recent years include a focus on nutrition, and addressing the problem of diabetes and pre-diabetes.
There’s been an explosion of books on eating vegan, and, at the opposite end, eating Paleo. Detoxing, especially through juicing and fasting, is still going strong. And many of the most popular diet books have also had cookbooks published to help make it easier to stay on track.
Glycemic index and anti-inflammation diet books are also of continuing interest. There is less emphasis on ‘diet’ as a restriction of food consumed, and a much greater emphasis on healthy eating as a permanent lifestyle change; losing weight is only part of improving our overall health.
Here’s a sampling of some of the newer diet books you can get at the library – live healthy in 2014!
Eat to Live Cookbook by Joel Fuhrman
Also available as a downloadable e-book
The End of Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman
|The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet by Mark Hyman|
Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie Mayfield
Also available as a downloadable e-book
Also on order as a downloadable e-book
The Anti-Inflammation Diet by Heidi Reichenberger McIndoo & Christopher Cannon. New edition.
Becoming Vegan: The Everyday Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Brenda Davis
The Everything Low-Glycemic Cookbook : Includes Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, Parmesan Artichoke Dip, Creamy Cauliflower Soup, Mushroom Pork Medallions, Almond Cranberry Biscotti and Hundreds More! by Carrie S. Forbes
And if you don’t know about the Gale Virtual Reference Library, you can also find health-related searchable e-reference books in that database.
Let’s go into the database and find an example. Click on Gale link, or on the cover art to the left, and log in to the database using your library barcode & PIN.
Enter gale encyclopedia diets in the search field, or if you’re as lazy as I am, just enter gale encyclopedia, let the menu of choices open up, and select the Gale Encyclopedia of Diets.
When the encyclopedia opens, you can choose one of the many subjects listed (such as Nutrition Literacy) or click on the title of the encyclopedia and open the whole resource . . .
. . . search for the diet-related topic of your choice, and see what you find.
Remember the cabbage soup diet? This encyclopedia has an entry on it, including the recipe and risks.
Again, have a happy & healthy 2014.
–Selector Kathy Barnard