Afrofuturism: Looking to the Future Today

December 19, 2018

Afrofuturism (def): “a movement in literature, music, art, etc., featuring futuristic or science fiction themes which incorporate elements of black history and culture.”

Originating in the mid to late 1990s, Afrofuturism takes particular care to explore the intersection of African/African Diaspora culture with technology. And if you’re only learning about it now, you have one movie to thank for that: Black Panther. Since that movie came out the interest and attention to Afrofuturism has exploded. Naturally, that can mean only one thing – time to read!

For a lot of librarians, books with Afrofuturism elements in them have existed for a long time, but we often didn’t know what to call them. I’m a children’s librarian and back when I encountered Nancy Farmer’s 1994 novel The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm set in 2194 Zimbabwe, it was wholly new to me. Of course the biggest authors to make use of the genre are Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler, with newer writers joining them, like Nnedi Okorafor, N. K. Jemisin, and Rivers Solomon.

Interested in exploring these books? The time has never been better. Here’s a reading list to help you start. Remember, all of these titles are available at Evanston Public Library. Happy 4eading!

Novels

  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
  • Aye, and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany
  • Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
  • My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
  • Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
  • Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Everfair by Nisi Shawl
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
  • The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

Short Stories

  • Dark Matter: Reading the Bones

Children’s Novels

  • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

Dead Dead Dead Dead Dead

May 11, 2018

I have a toy. A fun toy. A toy that gives my little librarian heart a hop, skip, and a jump whenever I get to use it. The name of my toy? Collection HQ. It’s a program that allows me to see exactly how well the books in my library do or do not do in a given year. The best part is that the folks that created it (who are Scottish, oddly enough) keep updating it with cool new features. Here’s an example: I can see titles that are “Dead On Arrival”. What does that mean? It means that when a book comes in and doesn’t get checked out for 6 months (or is only checked out once) it is officially DOA. And now I can see the names of those very titles. This is a good indication of where I need to control my spending.

Which areas of the library circulate the least? Apparently I’ve been a bit too profligate with Religion, Sociology, and Biographies. Photography, Medicine, and Economics are also a bit on the chunky side too.

I can control my spending from here on in, but what to do with the books I already purchased? They’re good books, after all. They received stellar reviews, else I wouldn’t have bought them. The solution? Well, I can make displays of them, of course. And why don’t I highlight some right here today? Books that deserve a second chance at life, doggone it. *makes sad puppy dog eyes* Won’t you check out these lovely books from your library today?

Photography

Cindy Sherman, Imitation of Life by Cindy Sherman

This magnificent book encompasses the full scope of Cindy Sherman’s career, with a special focus on the cinematic quality of her oeuvre.

Music

Beatles Vs. Stones by John Campbell McMillian

A lively examination of the most legendary (and least understood) rivalry in the annals of rock ’n’ roll. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said, “If you thought you knew everything there was to know about these two groups, think again.”

Performing Arts

All About “All About Eve” by Sam Staggs

A gossipy, anecdotal look at the Oscar-winning film All About Eve offers a look at the background and filming of the 1950s backstage movie starring Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe, detailing the behind-the-scenes squabbles, romances, and drama that took place.

Political Science

Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions by Sekou Odinga

As Kirkus said of it, “This book demonstrates the scope of the Panthers’ intellectual gifts as well as the compassion and revolutionary spirit at the center of their radical grassroots activism.”

Psychology

Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World by Sam Sommers

A lighthearted exploration of the unconscious forces that influence a life reveals the unrecognized power of context in everyday situations while sharing recommendations for using contextual insights to reshape how one sees the world and improve personal productivity and relationships.

Biology

Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars and Beyond by T.C. Onstott

This unforgettable book takes you to the absolute limits of life—the biotic fringe—where today’s scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself.

Biography

My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt

In “one of the most sensitive, nuanced examinations of father and son relationships” (The Boston Globe), award-winning writer Chris Offutt struggles to understand his recently deceased father, based on his reading of the 400-plus novels his father—a well-known writer of pornography in the 1970s and 80s—left him in his will.

Economics

Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes by Kelsey Timmerman

Enlightening and thought-provoking at once, Where Am I Wearing? puts a human face on globalization.

Criminology

Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe Quinn

An up-close look inside the controversy, threats, and social and cultural battles that started in the far corners of the internet and have since permeated our online lives.

Comics

The Lost Work of Will Eisner: The Earliest Comics of the Legendary Cartoonist by Will Eisner

The comics collected within document the genesis of one of the most iconic and brilliant cartoonists of all time.


Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions from the Staff of EPL

December 6, 2017

If the people that work at Evanston Public Library know one thing, it’s how to recommend a book. Now I’m sure you’ve all already seen EPL’s magnificent 101 Great Books for Children list, produced just the other day. The list has been a great success (pick up a physical copy in the library today!), so much so that we’ve received many requests for a teen or adult version. And while it’s too late in the year to kick off such lists at this point in the game, I can at least provide you with the brilliance of our staff. Therefore, it is my supreme pleasure to introduce to you Evanston Public Library’s own Staff Picks for Holiday Shopping.  Here are the materials my staff think are definitely worth considering this year:

Adult Fiction

  • A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – Recommended by Jill
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin – Recommended by Allison
  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero – Recommended by Matthew
  • World Chase Me Down by Andrew Hilleman – Recommended by Matthew
  • Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova – Recommended by Renee
  • The Purple Swamp Hen: Stories by Penelope Lively – Recommended by Barb
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – Recommended by Jill
  • The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

For 2017 books, I’ve LOVED LOVED LOVED The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – Jaime

  • Hold Still by Lynn Steger Strong – Recommended by Jill
  • My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – Recommended by Jill
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Recommended by Barb
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jessmyn Ward – Recommended by Betsy
  • Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder – Recommended by Allison
  • Stoner by John Williams – Recommended by Brian
  • Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin – Recommended by Jill

 

 

Mysteries

  • The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffith’s Magic Men Mystery series just gets better and better. It’s a peek into post war Britain. Did you know they took sweets off rationing in honor of the Queen’s coronation? – Bridget

  • Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris – Recommended by Kassy
  • A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny – Recommended by Jaime

 

  • With Love From the Inside by Angela Pisel – Recommended by Matthew

 

Science Fiction

  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

An original fairytale, with an original heroine, who is not content to settle for an expected fairytale ending.  Strongly grounded in Russian folklore, with a wonderful and a sense of place and time (and a little bit of magic)! – Lorena

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Recommended by Jeff

NOT an original choice, I know, but I thoroughly enjoyed wallowing in the world of 1980s arcade games and pop culture, which this novel celebrates—in addition to presenting a convincing dystopian vision for the future (and NOT just of Columbus, Ohio). It may be a good YA book—it’s got naughty bits—but I had fun with it as a rip-roaring fantasy novel for adults, too. Soon to be a Stanley Kubrick movie near you, btw . . . – Jeff

  • Provenance by Ann Leckie
Set in a different corner of the Imperial Radch universe that Leckie explores in her award-winning “Ancillary” series, with a focus on how we define ourselves – individually, in relation to (or away from) our families, and as nations.  – Lorena
  • The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
This book features that trademark Scalzi humor, along with a compelling and fast-paced storyline that sets up what promises to be an interesting new space opera series. – Lorena
  • Annihilation, Book 1 of the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer – Recommended by Jill
  • Artemis by Andy Weir – Recommended by Kassy
  • All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

It may seem strange to say about a book in a series called “The Murderbot Diaries,” but this was just a whole lot of fun! It’s full of classic sci-fi elements like a stranded team on a hostile planet under attack from unknown sources, but tells the tale from the viewpoint of the team’s assigned security bot – a cloned human/robot hybrid (who has hacked its own controls and is now secretly a free agent, and refers to itself as “Murderbot”). The story behind the moniker, and the question of how Murderbot finds its place in the universe, add depth (and humor) to the action. – Lorena

 

Graphic Novels

  • Octavia Butler’s Kindred – a graphic novel adaptation, by Damian Duffy.  – Recommended by Lorena
  • My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

Absolutely terrific graphic novel from Japan – Martha

  • My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by local author Emil Ferris – Recommended by Heather

For graphic novel fans I cannot recommend  enough Emil Ferris’s book, My Favorite Thing is Monsters. I believe she lives in Evanston so there’s a local author connection as well. The art is inventive and amazing and the story, a mystery set in Uptown in Chicago referring back to WWII Germany coexists beautifully with the story of a girl’s coming of age. It would make a great gift for teens, or for anyone who’s a fan of graphic storytelling. – Julie

 

Nonfiction 

  • Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nuff – Recommended by Jess
  • Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur – Recommended by Jill
  • The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy In a New Gilded Age by David Callahan

Explores the “great power shift” in American and the world today, and explores who is really in charge. As we consider who manages our destiny, we must consider the role of powerful corporations, government…and also big philanthropy. I think this is a topic that a wide variety of Evanstonians will appreciate, and it might encourage some strategic thinking. – Wynn

  • How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker

Overview of cycling’s effects throughout the world and a great explanation of what Evanston means when it says “livable city” – Martha

  • Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson – Recommended by Ted
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – Recommended by Tyler
  • Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson

Apart from being scrupulously researched, it is a riveting story of how pain, injustice, and then often just blind luck brought many young German Jews to the United States in the 1930s—and a chance to fight back against their persecutors, which they did extraordinarily effectively as interrogators of captured Nazis. – Jeff

  • Fetch by Nicole Georges

A beautiful book about how she [Georges] learned a lot about herself by taking in a difficult rescue dog. The way she relates her own childhood and relationship problems to those of her dog is so insightful and the book is great for animal lovers or people who like stories of resilience.  – Louise

Biographies

  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui – Recommended by Jess
  • Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.  by Danielle Allen – Recommended by Jill
  • On Bowie by Rob Sheffield – Recommended by Brian
  • Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes – Recommended by Brian

 

Audiobooks

  • Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris

For getting in the holiday spirit, I downloaded from Hoopla David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice. I like the audio version because David reads the stories. I listened to it on a plane traveling over Thanksgiving and was laughing so hard I disturbed my seat mate. – Jess

  •  If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face? by Alan Alda – Recommended by Bridget

 

Young Adult Fiction

  • If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Recommended by Kassy
  • Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – Recommended by Louise
  • You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins – Recommended by Renee
  • Loving V. Virginia by Patricia Powell – Recommended by Renee
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Recommended by Taylor

Fun With Solar Eclipses: See What You Can Before the Lights Go Out

August 16, 2017

Library book displays are a struggle. A real hassle, honestly. You want to make them interesting, highlight books in your collection that don’t go out enough, while at the same time having enough books to replace those that are checked out. You also need to have topics of interest. One of the great shocks of my working life was discovering that a display of new biographies on the first floor was the least popular display I’d ever done (in fifteen days not a single title moved and I had to switch it out early). In contrast, a display I did on the history of words and the English language on the second floor is currently the MOST popular display I’ve ever done. I honestly cannot keep those titles on the shelves. Good thing we have a million titles on the topic.

The best displays happen when you can tie them into some great big national event. An election, say, or national holiday. Or how about an astronomical event? Those only come once in a blue moon (pardon the pun) and are certainly worth seeking out.

Today, we celebrate the upcoming eclipse on August 21st.  Put away those solar shades and exchange them for a pair of reading glasses. We’re gonna look at some recent titles you should really be seeing in conjunction with the upcoming event in the skies:

In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic, and Mystery of Solar Eclipses by Anthony Aveni

Astronomer and anthropologist Anthony Aveni explains the history and culture surrounding solar eclipses, from prehistoric Stonehenge, to Babylonian creation myths, to a confirmation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, to a spectacle that left New Yorkers in the moon’s shadow, to future eclipses that will capture human imaginations … Aveni explains the science behind the phenomenon, tracks eclipses across the ancient world, and examines the roles of solar eclipses in modern times to reveal the profound effects these cosmic events have had on human history

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron

On a scorching July afternoon in 1878, at the dawn of the Gilded Age, the moon’s shadow descended on the American West, darkening skies from Montana Territory to Texas. This rare celestial event–a total solar eclipse–offered a priceless opportunity to solve some of the solar system’s most enduring riddles, and it prompted a clutch of enterprising scientists to brave the wild frontier in a grueling race to the Rocky Mountains. Acclaimed science journalist David Baron, long fascinated by eclipses, re-creates this epic tale of ambition, failure, and glory in a narrative that reveals as much about the historical trajectory of a striving young nation as it does about those scant three minutes when the blue sky blackened and stars appeared in mid-afternoon.

Eclipse: Journeys to the Dark Side of the Moon by F.E. Close

Close explains why eclipses happen, reveals their role in history, literature, and myth, and focuses on eclipse chasers, who travel with ecstatic fervor to some of the most inaccessible places on the globe to be present at the moment of totality.

Mask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses by John Dvorak

What do Virginia Woolf, the rotation of hurricanes, Babylonian kings and Einstein’s General Theory Relativity all have in common? Eclipses. Always spectacular and, today, precisely predicable, eclipses have allowed us to know when the first Olympic games were played and, long before the first space probe, that the Moon was covered by dust.

In Mask of the Sun, acclaimed writer John Dvorak the importance of the number 177 and why the ancient Romans thought it was bad to have sexual intercourse during an eclipse (whereas other cultures thought it would be good luck). Even today, pregnant women in Mexico wear safety pins on their underwear during an eclipse. Eclipses are an amazing phenomena–unique to Earth–that have provided the key to much of what we now know and understand about the sun, our moon, gravity, and the workings of the universe.

He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly

In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share. But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his. The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder–did she trust the wrong person? 15 years later, Kit and Laura are living under new names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.

The Return by Joseph Helmreich

During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye…Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows…Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.


MOMMY!!

May 10, 2017

Sunday is Mother’s Day and that can mean only one thing: Time to grab every irreverent book about moms off our shelf pronto. Sure, I could write up a list right now that’s comprised entirely of sweet goo, but my mom likes her literature with a little bite to it.  I bet yours does too.

An alternative paean to the women who done birthed us all:

Miss Fortune : Fresh Perspectives On Having It All From Someone Who Is Not Okay by Laura Weedman

Lauren Weedman is not okay. She’s living what should be the good life in sunny Los Angeles. After a gig as a correspondent with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, she scored parts in blockbuster movies, which led to memorable recurring roles on HBO’s Hung and Looking. She had a loving husband and an adorable baby boy. In these comedic memoirs, she turns a piercingly observant, darkly funny lens on the ways her life is actually Not Okay. She tells the story of her husband’s affair with their babysitter, her first and only threesome, a tattoo gone horribly awry, and how the birth of her son caused mama drama with her own mother and birth mother with laugh-out-loud wit and a powerful undercurrent of vulnerability that pulls off a stunning balance between comedy and tragedy.

 

Funny Little Pregnant Things (the Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Gross Things About Pregnancy That Other Books Aren’t Going to Tell You) by Emily Doherty

Today’s pregnancy books may no longer recommend martinis and cigarettes to help pregnant women relax, but most offer moms-to-be a ton of worthless information–like what kind of fruit your baby is the size of at Week 16. Is there any practical value in knowing that your child resembles produce? And where’s the good stuff–the useful details, like beware of the baby registry and all the crap you will never use, or be prepared to get breast milk all over everything you own?

 

Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself by Ylonda Gault Caviness

“We are different–white moms and me. Very different. More or less kindred as women, but as mothers we are disparate souls. Snaps and cusses of Twitter-trending ‘Stuff black moms say’ don’t even scratch the surface.”

In this wise and funny memoir, Ylonda Gault Caviness describes her journey to the realization that all the parenting advice she was obsessively devouring as a new parent (and sharing with the world as a parenting expert on NPR, Today, in The Huffington Post, and elsewhere) didn’t mean scratch compared to her mama’s old school wisdom as a strong black woman and mother. With child number one, Caviness set her course: to give her children everything she had. Child number two came along and she patiently persisted. But when her third kid arrived, she was finally so exhausted that she decided to listen to what her mother had been saying to her for years: Give them everything they want, and there’ll be nothing left of you. In Child, Please, Caviness describes the road back to embracing a more sane–not to mention loving–way of raising children. Her mother had it right all along

 

How to Party With an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants—a hilarious and charming story about a quirky single mom in San Francisco who tiptoes through the minefields of the “Mommy Wars” and manages to find friendship and love.When Mele Bart told her boyfriend Bobby she was pregnant with his child, he stunned her with an announcement of his own: he was engaged to someone else. Fast forward two years, Mele’s daughter is a toddler, and Bobby and his fiancée want Ellie to be the flower girl at their wedding. Mele, who also has agreed to attend the nuptials, knows she can’t continue obsessing about Bobby and his cheese making, Napa-residing, fiancée. She needs something to do. So she answers a questionnaire provided by the San Francisco Mommy Club in elaborate and shocking detail and decides to enter their cookbook writing contest. Even though she joined the group out of desperation, Mele has found her people: Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry (a stay-at-home dad). As the wedding date approaches, Mele uses her friends’ stories to inspire recipes and find comfort, both. How to Party with an Infant is a hilarious and poignant novel from Kaui Hart Hemmings, who has an uncanny ability to make disastrous romances and tragic circumstances not only relatable and funny, but unforgettable.

 

20th Century Women

Annette Bening was robbed ROBBED of an Oscar nomination for this film. It’s not a showy performance or anything but a deeply funny, touching, sometimes sad, and thoroughly three-dimensional rendering of a single mom just trying to do right by her son.  The cast is fantastic. The movie? Unforgettable. This is the kind of motherhood I like to see put on film.


Happy National Grammar Day!

March 4, 2016

You’ve had your decorations up for weeks, and now the big day is finally here.  That’s right, it’s National Grammar Day, and tonight spell checkers and proofreaders from coast to coast will be celebrating into the wee hours.  In honor of this momentous day, we asked a few EPL regulars the following:

What is your biggest grammar pet peeve?

Linda“In our house, we’re constantly hearing ‘me and so-and-so’ instead of ‘so-and-so and I.’  We’re always correcting each other.”

— Kathy Henke, a 13-year Evanston resident and mother of 3

 

 

Marney“When someone uses mixed verb tenses in a sentence.”

— Marley Haller, an NU grad living in Evanston since 2003

 

 

Volunteer“Prepositions at the end of a sentence!  Also, saying ‘me and him went to…’  Eek!  That’s like nails on a blackboard for me.”

— Sheila McGuire, an EPL volunteer and 15-year Evanston resident

 

 

If you’re making National Grammar Day resolutions, try the following books to help you reach your goals, but for now… let the festivities begin!

Continue reading “Happy National Grammar Day!”


Football Season Starts So Pick Up Some Pigskin Related Reading

September 10, 2015

That smell in the air?  It’s the scent of footballs whizzing through the air at a rapid rate.  It may still be warm outside but football season is fast upon us.  And what better way to celebrate than reading the latest gridiron-related publications out this year?  Here are the latest books on our shelves, ready for you to punt over the circulation desk and into your home:

Continue reading “Football Season Starts So Pick Up Some Pigskin Related Reading”


The More the Scarier

October 27, 2012

Boo!

Okay, okay, we get the picture.  Vampires and zombies… they’re pretty scary.  What with their blood sucking and flesh feasting, glamoring and lurching, death defying and multiplying it’s really no wonder they’ve cornered the market in creepy.  But if variety is truly the spice of the afterlife, at this point you’re likely dying for something new on your Halloween reading list.  So to help you diversify your diet of literary horror, we’re featuring all those terrifying ghosts and ghouls left lurking in the shadows while the vampires and zombies hog the limelight.  We’ve got witches, and we’ve got ghosts.  We’ve got killer clowns, shape-shifting crows, and even… could it be…  Satan!  So lock your doors, turn on the lights, and try to be brave.  These bloodcurdling books are chomping for a chance to scare you sideways: Continue reading “The More the Scarier”


There’s More Than Crime in Scandinavia

December 15, 2011

If you’re a connoisseur of fine Scandinavian crime fiction, 2011 has given you plenty more to enjoy.  Back in March, for instance, genre forefather Henning Mankell wrapped up his wildly-popular Kurt Wallander series with The Troubled Man, and a mere two months later rising star Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman finally hit U.S. shores.  Now with Hollywood’s take on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hitting theaters in just a few short days, crime fiction lovers are likely giddy with their good fortune.  But what if you’re not a fan?  What if you’ve yet to acquire that particular taste for dark Nordic mysteries?  Well worry not, gentle reader, for there’s more than one dish cooking in Scandinavia’s literary kitchen.  Truth be told, the Scandinavian lit scene is a veritable smorgasbord of top-notch sci-fi, satire, historical and literary fiction, horror, and more.  So don’t delay in sampling Scandinavia’s full fiction menu.  The following list will get you started, but there is still plenty more to discover.

Continue reading “There’s More Than Crime in Scandinavia”


Happy National Coffee Day!

September 29, 2011

If you’re looking to justify your second or sixth cup of coffee this morning, then my friend, you’re in luck.  Today from Philly to Phoenix and St. Paul to San Antone java junkies are hoisting their ceramic mugs high in celebration of National Coffee Day.  For the next twenty-four glorious hours, you can feel free to throw caution to the wind and make that extra coffee run, upsize to the venti, and drink in all the holiday cheer.  Chances are good, however, that after sipping Americanos all afternoon you’ll need some way to occupy your time as you lie awake into the wee hours humming with caffeine.  So as our holiday gift to you, allow us to present the following coffee-related books and movies in honor of today and your future sleepless night.  Without question, these histories, mysteries, travelogues, and thrillers are sure to become part of your Coffee Day traditions for years to come.

Continue reading “Happy National Coffee Day!”