My family and I lived for five years in the North American rainforest of Southeast Alaska. In those days, it rained over three hundred days a year. To this day my children prefer a rainy day to one filled with sun. That’s one reason why this book called out to me.
It’s a compendium of archaeological, historical, and scientific facts about our most common precipitation. Also, included in it are a series of mini-biographies of people who are renowned for some connection to rain.
One of these includes Princess Anne of Denmark who tried vainly several time to sail to Scotland to marry her fiancé, King James VI. Violent storms blew her back to the Nordic regions twice. This was in August, 1589 during the time known as The Little Ice Age. King James VI eventually enlisted his navy to take him north to marry her. Read more about Rain: a natural and cultural history
I like jokes that are somewhat dry in their delivery—jokes delivered so straight they take just a couple of seconds to register. Though Support Your Local Sheriff has its share of comedy pratfalls, it’s also filled with James Garner’s brand of straight, matter-of-fact delivery. Read more about Support Your Local Sheriff
You might recall Elizabeth Alexander—she read the poem at President Obama’s first inauguration. This memoir by the prize-winning poet covers a much more private, interior space. It tells the story of her love, marriage and family, and especially the jagged rent in her life caused by her husband’s death.
The first chapter queries where the actual story begins. Is it the beautiful April morning in Hamden, Connecticut when Ficre Ghebreyesus returns to his younger son Simon’s trundle bed, saying, “This is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.”? Is it when Ficre ran out of the house to buy three dozen lottery tickets on a hunch, wanting the win the lottery for Elizabeth? Or is it way back in ’61 when two women on opposite sides of the earth become pregnant, one carrying a first-born girl, another carrying a later-born son?
The couple met in a New Haven coffee shop; Ficre came over and introduced himself. He was a chef who had escaped from war-torn Eritrea, Africa at age sixteen. He became a refugee in Sudan, Germany, Italy and finally, the States. Torn from his family for many years, he ended up in New Haven and in the 90s began painting.
The story of Frankenstein's monster has long been one of the staples of horror. The book Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelly, wife of poet Percy Shelly is one of the modern horror stories and is also considered one of the earliest science fiction stories. The 1931 movie Frankenstein is very loosely based on Mary Shelly’s book. One of the most striking differences being that of the appearance of the monster. In the book the monster begins as an almost handsome and well-spoken man and only turns ugly as his skin begins to rot away due to poor blood circulation. For most of us however Frankenstein’s monster is best remembered as the large, groaning brute with a flat head and bolt shaped electrodes sticking out of his neck. Frankenstein stars Boris Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as inventor Henry Frankenstein. Read more about Frankenstein – 1931
In a radio broadcast this year, President Obama said this about racism in America. “We are not cured… Societies don't overnight completely erase everything that happened 200-300 years prior.” That’s the premise of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ new nonfiction book, a moving personal letter to his son.
Coates begins by sharing his own difficult childhood on the streets of Baltimore where his only goal was to survive. He describes learning another language “of head nods and handshakes.” He learned “a list of prohibited blocks” and even learned the “smell and feel of fighting weather.”
Monroe County Public Library is holding a food drive for Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Friday, October 16–Sunday, October 25, at both the Main Library in downtown Bloomington and the Ellettsville Branch. Everyone is invited to help their neighbors in need by bringing in non-perishable food items during Library hours to help restock the shelves at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, a United Way Agency that provides food support to over 100 nonprofit agencies.
It’s win-win for patrons who have overdue fines. For each item of food donated, the Library takes $1.00 off their fines. No fine? The Library welcomes all donations of non-perishable food items in good condition.
The Food Bank is especially in need of canned protein, such as tuna, beans, meat, soup with meat or beans, and peanut butter—brain food for kids. Other healthy food items include low-sugar cereals, bags of rice or beans, powdered milk, and fruit canned in its own juice. Donated food must be unopened and not expired.
Year after year, the generosity of library patrons and community members have collected thousands of pounds of food for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
The Main Library in Bloomington is open 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday–Saturday; and Noon–6 p.m. on Sunday. The Ellettsville Branch is open 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday–Saturday; and 1–5 p.m. on Sunday.