My name is Kendra Robinson. My family moved to Evanston five years ago from Chicago because our daughter attends Baker Demonstration School. My husband and I work in the private aviation industry and spend much of our time working on our fixer-upper house.
1) The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (2014)
This is a wonderful twist on a time travel story, with shocking twists and a wonderful main character. Beautifully written and structured.
Continue reading “Kendra Robinson’s Best Reads of 2016”
My name is John Bayldon, and I have lived in Evanston for 10 years. I am part of a start-up company developing a 3D printer for carbon fiber reinforced materials. I sail and hang out with my kids (at the library….. not the sailing bit….)
1) Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (2013)
I always love Kate Atkinson’s clean style, and the intuiting things she does with her books. This one was fascinating from the very start; I just wanted to know what she changed in each life to move the story forward.
Continue reading “John Bayldon's Best Reads of 2014”
The Reading Agency, a British charity with a mission “to inspire more people to read more,” asked author Neil Gaiman to give their second annual lecture on the future of reading and libraries. Mr. Gaiman strongly believes that library closures are “like stopping the vaccination programmes,” and that
“libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.
I worry that here in the 21st century people misunderstand what libraries are and the purpose of them. If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. But that is to miss the point fundamentally.”
You can read an edited version of Mr. Gaiman’s impassioned lecture here. Also, you can find many of his books at EPL.
Better Late Than Never
An F. Scott Fitzgerald story rejected 75 years ago is finally published in The New Yorker. Recently discovered by Fitzgerald’s grandchildren, “Thank You for the Light” is a short, fable-like vignette turned down in 1936 for being too unlike his other work. See what you think.
Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated
The predicted demise of the book is tracked through the ages by the NY Times. Beginning with Theophile Gautier’s 1835 declaration that “the newspaper is killing the book,” the essay traces how every generation has rewritten the book’s epitaph for nearly 200 years.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Scientologist
A 7-year-old Neil Gaiman talks to BBC Radio about Scientology in this transcript published by the Village Voice. Discovered in a 1969 church pamphlet, the future sci-fi writer – whose dad was Scientology’s PR chief in the UK – is interviewed to refute Parliament’s objections to the church.
Cross-Pollinating the Arts
Lovers of books and music shouldn’t miss the Literary Jukebox. Matching a daily book quote with a thematically-related song, this new website shares such unique pairings as Ernest Hemmingway with Mazzy Star, Susan Sontag with Andrew Bird, and many others.
This sound like a dream job for young (or old) booklovers: Robin Young offered her summer intern, Alyssa Greenberg, the chance to interview her favorite author, Neil Gaiman. They were discussing his book American Gods, which is 10 years old. I would say both the author and the student gained from the exchange.
This story reminded me of all the summer students and interns we have who add so much to Evanston Public Library, not to mention the teens who are active in programming. Here’s a nod to all the young people!
PS- Gaiman’s book Neverwhere is the selection for One Book, One Chicago.(Check out his blog.)