An Interview with Timothy L. Campbell & Alice DuBois

Timothy L. Campbell and Alice DuBois are Evanston-based artists who made their solo Local Art @ EPL debuts back in 2010.  Now the pair have joined their creative forces for a stunning return exhibit currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Branch.  Mixing oils, acrylics, and collage, the show presents two dozen spirited and surreal works inspired by history, travel, alchemy, music, and even books from the shelves of EPL.  You can catch their show through July 7th, and after that you can view more of their work by visiting the following: Mr. Campbell’s Flickr site and Ms. DuBois’ Flickr site.  Recently, we spoke with Mr. Campbell and Ms. DuBois via email about drawing vs. painting, Egyptian imagery, Henryk Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, the circus, and what they’re working on next.

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Reading as Rehab in Brazil

This is another one of those stories that could wash over you unnoticed in the daily tidal wave of facts and news. However, I was struck by this concept and would like to know who thought of it, does it actually work, and if it can be implemented anywhere else? I’m referring to the judge who allowed Brazilian prisoners to slightly reduce their sentence in prison if they read a book and write a brief report about it. They are permitted to read a maximum of 12 books and must write a proper essay to qualify. Each book can reduce a sentence by four days.

While thinking about this topic I searched for other places offering the same option and haven’t found any yet, but here’s a story by a former prisoner who found reading helped him personally, if not to lessen his time served. Link to EPL books on prison life.

Shira S.

Nora Ephron made me laugh…

…and think, and often exclaim with gusto, “Yesss! I know exactly what she means.” The prolific writer-director-producer-screenwriter-journalist died Tuesday at the age of 71.

Her most recent books, I Feel Bad about My Neck (2007) and I Remember Nothing (2010) offered readers Ephron’s plaintive, thoughtful, and droll takes on memory, aging, marriage, and a diverse assortment of expositions on such topics as the joys (and pitfalls) of having a trendy New York restaurant name a meatloaf entrée after you. With films such as You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally to her credit, Ephron set a high bar for modern film romantic comedy ( the “rom-com”).

An extensive New York Times article reviews this talented woman’s life and work. I, for one, will miss her sage yet funny observations on modern life. Check the EPL catalog for a full list of Ephron’s work available through the library.

Barbara L.

The search for the perfect summer read not so easy for some

Chicago Tribune columnist Barbara Brotman shares her challenges in finding the perfect summer vacation book in this only slightly tongue-in-cheek article from yesterday’s paper. When one has limited packing space and a desire for balance between a gripping page-turner and a book that allows for interludes of oceanside daydreaming (or mountain vista gazing), the quest becomes all-important. Brotman’s techniques include pestering family members to find out what they’re reading and visiting the various book recommendations website like Goodreads and Novelist. I’ll add another–EPL’s Staff Recommendations page. Happy reading, everyone! (Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen.)

Barbara L.

Penguin to provide e-books to New York libraries for one year

Until last week, Penguin was one of four major publishers that would not allow libraries to lend their e-books. Soon, however, Penguin Group and e-book distributor 3M will participate in a one-year pilot program with the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries, two of the country’s largest library systems, to provide e-books to patrons. Penguin will make all (approximately 15,000) of their e-books available to library patrons six months after they go on sale. The library e-books will expire after one year.

You can learn more about the pilot program here.

– Olivia M.

Pew study on “Libraries, patrons, and e-books”

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, most Americans are unaware that e-books are available at their local library. An estimated 12% of e-book readers have borrowed a library e-book. Over half (56%) of patrons who attempted to borrow an e-book discovered it was not available at the library. To maximize profits, publishers have restricted the availability of titles by imposing prohibitive costs and limits to e-book circulation. Per Molly Raphael, President of the American Library Association:

“Clearly there is an opportunity here for us to step up our outreach and increase public awareness. Of course, awareness is not enough. Libraries cannot lend what they cannot obtain.”

You can read more about the study here and here.

To find out more about e-books at the Evanston Public Library, click here.

– Olivia M.

Poetry 365

Poet Albert Goldbarth

This month for Poetry 365 we’re featuring the latest collection from virtuoso poet Albert Goldbarth.  Author of over 25 volumes and the only two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the prolific Chicago native is best known for a singular, sprawling style that mixes dense philosophical ideas with wildly energetic word play.  In Everyday People, he presents 66 new poems that nimbly explore the wonders of everyone from Hercules and Jesus to overprotective parents, online gamblers, and newlyweds.  Fearless, funny, and tender, Everyday People argues that “our ordinary failures, heroics, joy, and grief are worth giving voice to and giving thanks for.”  So check out this extraordinary new book, sample a shorter poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

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New Technology Changes Old Habits on CTA

Another subtle way technology has affected society: it’s not as easy as it used to be to see what your neighbor on the train is reading. Is this aspect of people watching kaput? Thoughtful article in the Tribune complete with a map of who’s reading what throughout the CTA system.

Shira S.

Vive “le Bookstore”

According to this NYT article, The French are still going to bookstores. In fact, bookstores in Paris are thriving – and book sales are increasing!  Owner of a small publishing house in Paris said “There are two things you don’t throw out in France — bread and books.” Besides their centuries-old reverence for the printed page, there is also the “Lang law” which has fixed prices for French-language books since 1981. And a small organization called Circul’livre determined to preserve the printed book takes over a small street near Montmartre once a month so customers can take as many books as they want – as long as they agree never to sell or destroy them.  Yet another reason to love Paris!


Book Covers that “Have Legs”

A while back I noticed (you may have, as well) that many book covers  were featuring feet, legs, and even shoes! I recall specifically The Paris Wife as one of these. Sure enough, there are observers out there who have compiled collections of book art to document this trend. See this link for a brief treatment of the foot/leg theme, but you must check out the rest of the entry which touches on the “Tiny Men Walking into the Distance” theme- quite funny!

Then I found this link which offers quite a comprehensive list of foot/leg covers. I don’t know how this writer found all these covers, but she claims they are worth reading, regardless of the cover art!

Shira S.