Author Event: “Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, & Survival”

July 12, 2017

author eventEvanston native Jeffrey Gettleman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has served as the NY Times’ East Africa bureau chief for the past decade, and on Tuesday, July 25 he’ll visit EPL to discuss his excellent new book Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival. Passionate, eye-opening, and sometimes horrifying, Gettleman’s debut details how he found both love and a calling while reporting from Uganda, Sudan, Congo, and Kenya. Recounting the dangers of documenting Somali pirates, war in Iraq and Western-backed rebels along with the twists of a long-distance courtship with his future wife, Love, Africa has been lauded by Booklist as “an absolute must-read.” Make sure to register to guarantee your seat at this special author event, and in the meantime, don’t miss this great clip of Gettleman discussing his motivation for writing Love, Africa. See you July 25!




Actress and Activist Ruby Dee, 1922-2014

June 12, 2014

deeobitActress Ruby Dee died Wednesday at her home in New Rochell, NY at the age of 91. A passionate and versatile performer, she received accolades for her role in the 1970 Athol Fugard drama Boesman and Lena, and her role as Ruth Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark drama A Raisin in the Sun. She went on to reprise that role in the 1961 film version with one reviewer noting: “Is there a better young actress in America, or one who can make everything she does so effortless?” Her film career included roles in the films of Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever) as well as for a supporting role in the 2007 film American Gangster, for which she won an Oscar nomination. A lifelong civil rights activist, along with her husband Ossie Davis, Ms. Dee “lent her voice and presence to the cause of racial equality outside show business.” In With Ossie and Ruby, she wrote” The largest piece of unfinished business before humankind is, in our opinion, poverty, spiritual as well as material, racism, yes, and sexism, too; Struggle is all there is, and we are still committed.” Read more about this legendary actress in today’s NYTimes and NPR tributes.  And check the EPL catalog for more of her works.


George Orwell's Diaries Published

August 22, 2012

This article in the NY Times discusses the         recent publication of Orwell’s diaries, which are not totally as profound as one may have expected. The writing takes place over two decades and reflects Orwell’s activities, such as gardening (although he was a serious gardener). There is also much writing on the topics he cared deeply about: language, poverty, politics, and class. He hardly speaks of his wife or son, but the reviewer claims a sense of the man emerges. Perhaps prior to a big election is a good time to think about Orwell’s contributions to political thought. EPL holdings of George Orwell‘s work.

Shira S.

Debussy's 150th Birthday

The anniversary of Claude Debussy’s 150th birthday seems to have been somewhat overlooked by such notable institutions as Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center. Considered by some as music’s great impressionist, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians defines him as a symbolist. But whatever movement one places him in, Debussy was known as one of the most radical composers in music history. See the full article from today’s New York Times. Check the EPL catalog for some of his works, including La Mer, Clair de lune, and Pelleas et Melisande.


Gore Vidal, 1925-2012

August 1, 2012

Prolific author, playwright, actor, and raconteur died Tuesday from complications of pneumonia at the age of 86. A versatile writer, he published 25 novels (The Golden Age, Lincoln, Myra Breckinridge to name a few), two memoirs and several volumes of essays. He also wrote plays, television dramas, and screenplays, including the the movie adaptation of his friend Tennessee Williams’s play Suddenly, Last SummerHis best known and most successful play was The Best Man which ran for 520 performances on Broadway and then became a successful film in 1964 starring Henry Fonda. He also ran for Congress in 1960, encouraged by his friend Eleanor Roosevelt. And although he lost, “he received more votes in running for the seat than any Democrat in 50 years”. The New York Times has an in-depth obituary in today’s paper, including his famous run-ins with William F. Buckley and Norman Mailer. Fascinating article.


Critic's Review of Novel Leads to a Fictional Friendship

July 24, 2012

When NY Times critic Janet Maslin reviewed Patrick Somerville’s novel “This Bright River” her assessment was less than enthusiastic. However, she made a mistake. The error of confusing two characters added to her unflattering critique and may have proven disastrous for Somerville.

An editor at the NY Times, Ed Marks, decided to begin a fictional correspondence with the character to compensate for the error. NPR’s Neil Conan interviews Somerville about his piece in “Thank You for Killing My Novel” and speaks about the effect people we don’t know can have on our lives.

Shira S.

Remedies for Downton Abbey Withdrawal

February 21, 2012

Worried about how to cope now that the second season of Downton Abbey is over? You can always play with dolls. There’s actually a set of printable paper dolls based on the show, posted by New York Magazine’s Vulture blog.  Dolls include Maggie Smith’s character dowager countess Violet Crawley with a bustled dress and multiple facial expressions, youngest daughter Sybil Crawley wearing a NOW t-shirt,  footman Thomas Barrow with an “evil” mask and cape, and of course Matthew and Mary. Along with books (check out the reading list here), YouTube parodies, even needlepoint pillows, you’ll be able to make it through until season three begins. Read more about the paper dolls in this NYT article.


Bookstores May Start Charging to See Authors

July 1, 2011

In response to changing market conditions (more online sales) bookstores are considering bringing in revenue by charging admission to an author event or requiring a book purchase. In the past this would have been unthinkable.

This NY Times article discusses different opinions of store owners on this practice and buyers’ behavior in their stores.

Shira S.

Book +Video = Vook? More New Technology

February 1, 2011

Welcome to yet another innovation of e-book  technology- the Vook, or a digital video book. This allows the reader/viewer to watch a video in the middle of a book. One writer raves about the way the Vook has improved her exercise routine. (You can skip to the fifth paragraph to hear about the Vook.)  Or visit and see if you like their products.

Shira S.

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