Blog

November 19th, 2017

What Now? Meditation For Your Twenties and Beyond shares mindfulness practices to help twenty-somethings learn to identify and accept powerful feelings and respond - not react - to stimuli without pushing them away or getting lost in them. Yael Shy offers expert guidance on beginning a meditation practice and explores how to bring that practice to love, sex, social media, justice, and the ups and downs of everyday life. Yael Shy will discuss What Now? Meditation For Your Twenties and Beyond Thursday...

Bibliographies
November 19th, 2017

This week, we explore the political side of hunger. Anti-hunger activist Andrew Fisher tells the story of his book Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups. Then, Modern Hungers author and historian Alice Weinreb explores the political uses of hunger in 20th century Germany.

 

 

Open Stacks Podcast
November 15th, 2017

 

In The Storm Before The Storm, podcaster extraordinaire Mike Duncan reveals that by the year 133 BCE, the republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome then ruled. Bankrolled by mountains of imperial wealth and without a foreign enemy to keep them united, ambitious Roman leaders began to stray from the republican austerity of their ancestors. Soon, Rome became engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later. Born out of Duncan’s podcast, The Storm Before The Storm does not simply fill a critical hole in our knowledge of Roman history—it answers his listeners’ most popular question: “If America is a modern day Rome, where does the U.S. fall on the historical timeline?” The answer lies in the...

Bibliographies
November 12th, 2017

This week we explore the power of grassroots activism in our Chicago and beyond. Featuring labor organizer Steve Early, activist and historian L.A. Kauffman, and three women who founded organizations in Chicago: Saadia Shah, Suzanne Akhras Sahloul and Page May.

Open Stacks Podcast
November 11th, 2017

Ted Anton is professor of English at DePaul University. He is the author of several books and has written for Chicago magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and Publishers Weekly. He'll discuss his latest book, Planet of Microbes, with Erin Lane on Wednesday 11/15, 6pm at 57th Street Books.


Lucky Boy, by Shanthi Sekaran

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichi

A Man Called Ove, by Frederik Bakman

Young Men and Fire,...

Off-Topic
November 10th, 2017

 

Afterglow (a dog memoir), Myles’ first foray into memoir, paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer's life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog’s wellbeing, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie’s death, Afterglow launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet-owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles’s experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, gender, romance, memory, as well as the fantastical myths we invent to get to the heart of grief. ...

Bibliographies
November 8th, 2017

Calder: The Conquest of Time is the first biography of America's greatest twentieth-century sculptor, Alexander Calder: an authoritative and revelatory achievement, based on a wealth of letters and papers never before available, and written by one of our most renowned art critics. Alexander Calder is one of the most beloved and widely admired artists of the twentieth century. Anybody who has ever set foot in a museum knows him as the inventor of the mobile, America's unique contribution to modern art. But only now, forty years after the artist's death, is the full story of his life being told in this biography, which is based on...

Bibliographies
November 7th, 2017

Michelle D. Commander is an associate professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee. She earned a PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. Commander spent the 2012-2013 school year in Accra, Ghana, as a Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher, where she taught at the University of Ghana-Legon and completed follow-up research for Afro-Atlantic Flight. She is currently working on three projects: a book manuscript on the function of speculative ideologies and science in contemporary African American cultural production; a book-length project on Black counter-narratives of the U.S. South; and a creative nonfiction volume on African American mobility. Commander has also engaged in essay writing for public audiences, which has been cathartic and challenging. You can find her...

Reading Is Critical
November 7th, 2017

Amy and Dave Freeman are the authors of A Year in the Wilderness, a rousing cry of witness activism and a beautifully illustrated account of their year living in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to raise awareness about the threats of sulfide-ore copper mining. They have traveled over thirty thousand miles by canoe, kayak, and dogsled through some of the world’s wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. National Geographic named them Adventurers of the Year in 2014, and their images, videos, and articles have been published by a wide range of media sources from the CBC, NBC, and FOX to the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, Outside, Backpacker, Canoe and Kayak, and Minnesota Public Radio. They also run the ...

Reading Is Critical
November 7th, 2017

Ethno-erotic Economies explores a fascinating case of tourism focused on sex and culture in coastal Kenya, where young men deploy stereotypes of African warriors to help them establish transactional sexual relationships with European women. In bars and on beaches, young men deliberately cultivate images as sexually potent African men to attract these women, sometimes for a night, in other cases for long-term relationships. 

George Paul Meiu uses his deep familiarity with the communities these men come from to explore the long-term effects of markets of ethnic culture and sexuality on a wide range of aspects of life in rural Kenya, including kinship, ritual, gender, intimate affection, and conceptions of aging. What happens to these communities when young men return with such surprising wealth? And how do they use it to improve their...

Bibliographies