Several years ago the New York Times published the article “Plan your Digital Legacy, and Update Often” about a little-emphasized pitfall of our digital age: without ongoing curation of digital videos, photos, passwords and other items on computer hard-drives and devices, those items may be lost forever when the owner passes away. Indeed, without a digital legacy plan most personal archives will be in shambles. Several organizations have come together to help people with their personal archives, which is among a myriad of issues surrounding preservation in general. The culmination of this effort is National Preservation Week every year in late April.
Occurring between April 21-28, Preservation Week is sponsored by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association. It was established to assist non-specialists and laypeople with preservation, and offers many free webinars, online tutorials and tip-sheets for best practices in preservation and conservation techniques. In celebration, the library is offering seminars at both its Callaway and Columbia branches. These seminars, Preserving Your Memorabilia, offer the opportunity to come learn about the proper care and storage of old family books, photographs and documents for future generations to enjoy. Continue reading “National Preservation Week”
Practicing meditation probably won’t make you have superpowers, but it can help with anxiety, depression or just feeling constantly rushed. If you’ve considered meditating but need to be convinced about the benefits, pick up Richard Wright’s recent book “Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment.” Wright writes with the depth and clarity one would expect from a Princeton professor and Pulitzer finalist, but also is a practitioner of meditation and brings levity to this examination.
Once you’ve decided that you want to give meditation a go, there are a range of options to help you along your path. “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, is a classic handbook. First published in 1994, it has remained an important book for mindfulness practice. Continue reading “Meditate on This”
As a gentleman more concerned with sufficiently starched top hats, photographs of cats, and the total dearth of responsibility for young humans and the constant bowel movements that accompany them than I am with propagating my lineage, one might presume the full impact of Samanta Schweblin’s
” (translated from Spanish to English by Megan McDowell
) would be lost on me. This would be an erroneous presumption, as I, like all true gentlefolk, am not only capable of empathy, but indeed often overwhelmed by it. So, when the ceaseless dread generated by Schweblin’s powerful and brief jolt
of a novel occasionally crescendos and a child is in peril (or a mother imagines her child to be in peril), my heart pounds and my worry kerchief is vigorously applied to my creased and dread-sweat blighted brow. I paused in the consumption of this terrifying story only to swap one sopping worry kerchief for the next temporarily dry portion of silk.
Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Samanta Schweblin”
Hey, everyone! We’re back once again for another installment of Quintessential Comics. In honor of the overwhelming success of Marvel’s Black Panther film, we are going to take a look at five of T’Challa’s best appearances in his own graphic novel. Let’s get right into it, as we don’t want to keep the King of Wakanda waiting.
“Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet”
Starting us off is a story by Ta-Nehisi Coates in which T’Challa must deal with a terrorist organization called “The People.” As Wakanda finds itself under attack, Black Panther must discover who is truly behind the suicide bombings that are throwing his home into chaos. Struggling to maintain order and unity, T’Challa’s mettle is truly tested in this installment. How can a King be respected if he can’t protect his people? Be sure to check this one out for your fill of familiar foes, difficult choices, and epic altercations. Continue reading “Quintessential Comics: Top Five Black Panther Graphic Novels”
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
Website / Reviews
This Oscar-nominated documentary showed earlier this year at Ragtag Cinema and focuses on two unique French artists. 89-year old Agnes Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and 33-year-old French photographer and muralist JR team up to co-direct this enchanting road movie. Together the artists travel and meet locals in French villages, learning their stories and produce epic-size portraits of them. Continue reading “New DVD List: Faces Places, Handmaid’s Tale & More”
The ability to manage debt and make good financial decisions can have a lasting impact on our lives, and yet many Americans struggle with financial literacy. Each stage of life, from starting a new career, to beginning life with a new baby or contemplating retirement can take a different financial toll. For that reason, financial literacy is something we have to work on throughout our lives. April is designated as Financial Literacy Month in this country and would be a good time to visit the library for a wide variety of books on the topic that can help no matter what stage you’re at financially.
Author John Bryant acknowledges that building financial stability when you start in an impoverished state can seem impossible. He shares the lessons he learned on his own journey out of poverty in “The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation.” Bryant explores how a person’s inner capital works in combination with their life’s outer situation to bring them to financial success or failure. Inner capital includes your own knowledge, personal relationships and drive, and it can ultimately shape how you handle situations. Bryant advises readers on how to build inner capital to work through roadblocks that life and society can place in our way.
Continue reading “Literary Links: Financial Literacy”
I may be a little weird (aren’t we all?), but I tend to read a lot of nonfiction, and I actually love reading essays. I don’t usually make the time to sit down with a magazine to read the articles, but it seems different to me if they are collected in a book format. I also find essay anthologies to be appealing because I can just skim (or skip) the ones I’m not particularly interested in and linger over the ones I like. And if I need to put it down and walk away for a while, it’s easy to come back to later.
If you are participating in the Read Harder 2018 Challenge, task #22 read an essay anthology, and here are some of my favorites:
“The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin is a classic and is just as relevant today as it was when he wrote it in 1963. I love reading and listening to James Baldwin. I have seen interviews with him that just floored me. It’s a small book of a letters to Baldwin’s nephew and an essay on America’s “racial nightmare.” Continue reading “Read Harder Essay Anthologies”
Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2017 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.
“H is for Hawk” is a book about the inner world of the author. Helen Macdonald opens herself up deeply and honestly. She talks about many different things (including the process of taming her hawk, Mabel), but everything she talks about is deeply processed by her soul, as if she is constantly searching for meaning in things — even when she talks about landscapes and trees. This way of approaching life was probably intensified by the death of her very much loved father. The loss felt so intense that things lost meaning and “nothing made sense.” Everything had to be reprocessed, the world brought from ashes, a new world, where her father physically doesn’t exist. Even though Helen’s speculations about death look to me as “Death 101” level, it was very interesting to listen. Nothing is shallow or artificial in this book. And, of course, the main thing of this book is just a detailed description of falconry, which was a kind of “outside the box” reading for me and very interesting.
Also, in the course of the book, the writer is connecting to another writer of the past, who wrote about his story of goshawk training. This kind of connection feels to me as time bending, connecting past to the future to a point of melting. A similar kind of thing was described in the book “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt and is a very unique way to experience life.
Three words that describe this book: Honest, deep, interesting
You might want to pick this book up if: You are tired of dystopias.
There are so many exciting debuts that came out in March that it was difficult to decide which ones to highlight. If you’re interested in the longer list please visit our catalog.
“Tangerine” by Christine Mangan
After the death of her first husband, Alice escapes her past by marrying again and accompanying her new husband to Tangier, Morocco in the early 1950s. But her past finds her again when her former best friend and college roommate Lucy shows up in Tangier.
Upon learning that Alice is unhappy in her new marriage, Lucy is determined to reestablish her relationship — and her control — over fragile Alice, who she had obsessively loved in college. As Lucy begins to manipulate Alice, more about their tragic past is revealed and it’s hinted that an equally tragic future may be in store for them.
Movie rights have already been sold with George Clooney set to produce and Scarlett Johansson to star as Alice. Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: March 2018”
Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in April. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.
The Apollo 8 mission is the subject of “Rocket Men” by Robert Kurson. Less well known than the later Apollos 11 and 13, this 1968 voyage into space marked the first time mankind orbited the moon. Set against the backdrop of a country in turmoil and a tense race against the USSR, Kurson tells the riveting story of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, three astronauts who dared to go where no one had gone before. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: April 2018”