A Bookmobile of the Future

Today while reading a blog put out by my new favorite magazine Mental Floss, we subscribe to it here at EPL if you would like to take a look, I learned about a book tank created by Argentinean artist, Raul Lemesoff , that he calls a “weapon of mass instruction.” Raul travels around the cities of Argentina and remote areas of the country, where books are not as readily available, giving out free books in a Ford Falcon once owned by the Argentinean armed forces but now covered by over 900 hardcover books. Raul says that his project is “a contribution to peace through literature,” and aims to “bring literature where it cannot be found.” Peace through literature, pretty cool Raul.

Rika G.

Writer Patrick Leigh Fermor Dead at 96

The great writer/traveler and WW II hero Patrick Leigh Fermor died on June 10 in England. Fermor’s best known books,  A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, recounted his travels by foot from England to the Balkans just before World War II. During World War II, he and a friend hatched a plot to kidnap a German commander on Crete, a feat that was made into the movie Ill Met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde. For more on Fermor, see The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian  newspapers.

Mary B., Reader’s Services

An Interview with Carolyn Armenta Davis

An international lecturer, historian, and writer, Carolyn Armenta Davis brings her illustrated presentation The Art of Architecture: 21st Century African/Black Diaspora to EPL’s 1st Floor Community Room tomorrow at 4 p.m.  Updating her landmark exhibition project Design Diaspora: Black Architects and International Architecture 1970-1990, the Art of Architecture showcases the work of over 20 Black architects from the US, Europe, and Africa while exploring the different cultural, economic, political, and sustainability issues that impact their architecture.  In anticipation of her visit, we recently spoke with Ms. Davis via email about her interest in Black architecture, her future projects, and how you can learn more about African, Afro-European, and African-American architects and their work. Continue reading

Bond With Your Kids, Better Their Lives Through Reading

A recent study is out examining the direct relationship between the literacy of young children and their future behavior and success. The authors at Purdue University stress the benefits of adults reading to young children between the ages of 3 to 5. As a parent, I’ve seen the positive impact in so many ways on my children, and it’s been an additional joy to see how they have embraced reading. Critical thinking, powers of observation, social cues, and a sense of humor are all nurtured by the process of being read to, not to mention the building of closer relationships.

Continue reading

Dante Still Sings… via John Ciardi

A terza rima review of a great translation of The Divine Comedy

Midway in life’s journey, wouldn’t you know it,
  I got ’round to Dante in fine translation
  by John Ciardi, a gifted U.S. poet.
Ciardi had a songsmith’s ear and keen appreciation
  for the lilting Italian that served Alighieri
  so well in narrating his trek of salvation —
a vernacular narration to more widely carry
  Dante’s Trinitarian faith, plus his fey
  socio-political commentary.
Many translations capture his content, and convey
  his visionary Catholic genius, unfurled
  so confidently; and some find the way
to paint the pictures that leave your toenails curled
  in Hell, then Purgatorio and Paradi-
  so, guided by Virgil through the otherworld.
                                                                  Continue reading

Internet Archivist Rediscovers Value of Books

This was an unexpectedly interesting discussion about the value and purpose of collecting physical books from a person who’s dedicated many years to preserving and tracking digital information. Brewster Kahle has begun to collect books in the process of building the Internet Archive. As heard on On the Media.

Shira S.

Chicago PL to Offer Books on Kindle by Year’s End

Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey announced that books that utilize the Kindle e-reader will be available at the end of the year. Currently, CPL users can employ the Sony e-reader, the Nook, and the iPad.

In addition she mentioned that 2 more branches will be opening this year, a very encouraging sign during these difficult economic times, when many cities are closing or consolidating library services.

Shira S.

Book Trailer of the Week

Our latest Book Trailer of the Week is for Dash Shaw’s darkly fantastical graphic novel BodyWorld.  The year is 2060 and America is reeling from a devastating civil war when Professor Paulie Panther rambles into the small town of Boney Borough.  An experimental botanist by trade, he soon stumbles upon a mysterious two-lobed plant of possible alien origin growing back behind the high school.  The strange flora’s telepathic powers are unwelcomed by the humorously quirky townsfolk, however, and the eccentric Panther  quickly finds himself chafing against Boney Borough’s rigid conformist attitude.  Funny and fearless, BodyWorld is a mind-blowing blend of sci-fi, offbeat romance, and futuristic what-if that will challenge your imagination with its visionary artwork.  Don’t miss it.

Stieg Larsson’s Companion Releases Audiobook

Eva Gabrielsson, Stieg’s longtime companion, is attempting to fill the knowledge gap about Larsson’s life. On June 21, her memoir, There Are Things I Want You to Know About Stieg Larsson and Me, will be available as an audiobook. The work will touch on his personal relationships and his efforts to expose Swedish neo-Nazis, among other topics. Click on the above link to access an audio excerpt. (It will also be out in hardcover and Kindle.)

Shira S.