“I find your belief system fascinating.” Kruger, “The Strike” episode, Sienfeld


alt+library has been invited to participate in the Crocker Art Museum’s Festivus themed Art Mix. We’ll be presenting the On-Stage Airing of Grievances–it promises to be very cathartic and yet have very little blowback (our most theatrical librarians will read your grievances–so you can complain away and no one will be the wiser). Our very own alt+librarian, Jess, will be performing feats of strength as well–see if you can out plank her!

(You can buy the great card shown above from Letterpress Light on Etsy.com)

Art Mix/Festivus
It’s a Festivus Miracle! Art Mix celebrates holiday traditions for the rest of us ● On-stage Airing of Grievances, presented by the alt+library Friends ● Feats of Strength with the ladies of Sac City Rollers derby team ● Live music by Gentleman Surfer ● Special set by DJ Rated R ● Re-gift exchange ● Festivus pole-making with the Art Mix Featured Artist ● “Seinfeld” Festivus episode marathon ● Drink specials under $5 all night
Free for members and included with general admission ($10) for nonmembers.
Let us know you’re coming at Crocker’s Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/776267282399201/
Art Mix is designed with adults in mind.

Holidays in general breed unrealistic expectations. The minute you start wondering, ‘is it going to be wonderful enough?,’ it never will be. – Pepper Schwartz

ImageThe holidays are nigh. Beginning with Halloween season, moving into the eating holidays. But don’t fret, alt+library is here for you! Starting in October with our Slender Poe book club at New Helvetia brewery (drinking!), followed the incredible Mary Roach’s book Gulp in November (eating!), and culminating with our annual Broke A$$ Holidays event in December (crafting!). How can you get involved? Join the meetup! Join the alt+Friends! Show up to programs! Don’t let the advertisers eat your soul; spend your winter months with alt+library.


In a library, you could find miracles and truth and you might find something that would make you laugh so hard that you get shushed, in the friendliest way. – Anne Lamott

TrueLoveMiracles are not something I have ever believed in. I do, however, believe in surprise and delight. And I am delighted to announce that alt+library programs will be shifting to a new branch along with this branch supervisor. Starting in mid-September, the Arcade Library will be hosting our alt+programs like Zombie Survival Aerobics, Broke A$$ Holidays, and more. There are rumblings too, of something more. Something potentially miraculous. So stay connected, either here, on our meet-up or other social media.

Also, our book selection this month is The Age of Miracles, written about “the slowing” where the rotation of the earth is slightly altered and the resulting undoing of the daily routines. What would you do with an extra hour in your day? An extra couple?



First-Last Line Challenge

Sometimes it is really tough to decide what to write about, even for fun stuff like alt+library blog posts.  So, today–a challenge!

Use this random story title generator to create a title and then write the first and/or last line of the story and post it in the comments.  For instance:

The King of the Amazing Compendium

It held everything—backyard bird counts, a graph of the relative staying power of Duracell vs. Energizer batteries used in a Maglite flashlight from 1995-2006, a complete list of National Geographic map inserts (notations for all items missing from his collection), all the sushi restaurants within in a 12 mile radius of home (the best maximum distance for a to-from bike trip for lunch to leave plenty of time for an afternoon nap), the ingredients necessary for an authentic Sazerac, the names and addresses of all his grade school teachers (he held onto grudges and fond memories longer than the average man), a brittle four leaf clover, a string of numbers that must have meant something once, a sketch of a house with broken windows—the Compendium had everything the he needed except more pages.

The house was empty except for some dusty ice trays and a card in a bathroom drawer that read J. Wilson, curator.


We have art in order not to die of the truth. – Friedrich Nietzsche

No Pictures PleaseWe have another Bad Art Night coming up in September. The Museum of Bad Art, located in Boston, has nothing on our creators. We provide the supplies, you provide the “talent”. Don’t worry, my niece (seen pictured) won’t be a judge.

In other art news, we are currently reading Tales From Outer Suburbia by author and illustrator Shaun Tan. This collection of illustrated short stories is described as surreal and whimsical – something of a departure from our often grim and gory reading list. Crooked Little Vein, anyone? Just a pleasurably light and bizarre summer read. And stay tuned - we are planning grand adventures for the fall.

Then I read (Henry) Miller, and I didn’t want to sleep anymore, because he’s so inspiring and alive. – Henry Rollins

festive, adj.: I like it best when we celebrate holidays of our own invention, waking up on Sunday, say, and declaring it devoted to red.

- David Levithanlovers_dictionary

I have a raging author crush on David Levithan. I just finished an advance reader’s copy of his latest book, Two Boys Kissing. I particularly love the way his writing is both lyrical and prosaic, often in the same sentence. And I am considering signing up for Twitter, exclusively for his updates to The Lover’s Dictionary, as seen above. Just back from Chicago and our presentation at ALA Annual; we had a wonderful time AND a wonderful audience. Attended some great sessions, attended some less great sessions, explored the Windy City but mostly glad to be home. But, back to the author crush. Who’s yours and why? What book/chapter/phrase made the magic happen for you?

I don’t think any novelist should be concerned with literature. – Jacqueline Susann

ImageAnd therein lies the reasoning behind my selection for this month’s alt+library book club; I love Valley of the Dolls. I won’t read current “chick lit”. It is not to my taste. But vintage chick lit? Totally my jam. Jacqueline Susann, Anita Loos – I can eat those books up. Hence this month’s Guilty Pleasure book club.

‘What is your guilty  pleasure?’ I have no guilt. Whatever I do, I enjoy and it’s the point. I think  if you start to feel guilty about it, that’s a problem. So, no guilty pleasures.  I have pleasure and no guilt at all. - Eric  Ripert

ImageLori’s guilty pleasure? Harlequin romances. And sea-faring novels. A little brain shampoo never hurt, we can’t read Heidegger all the time. See you next week?


Also – Picnic in the RAW is happening 6/22. Check out meetup.com/altlibrary for more details.



There’s no map to human behaviour. Bjork

Circular-Walking-BookshelfOr is there? We at alt+library think there is and we want YOU to draw it. As you may know, tonight is our very first flâneur walk in conjunction with our regular book club meeting. We’ll be wandering midtown, sharing our happiest places along with our observations on The Geography of Bliss. But wait! There’s MORE!

Here we have the altLibrary map. Inspired by the upcoming release of Mapping Manhattan, we contacted the kind folks at Downtown Grid with a request: are they willing to make us a blank map to be distributed among the alt+library? Turns out the answer is a resounding “yes”! So, what to do with it?

We’d like you to draw YOUR Midtown Sacramento. You can make it themed: best places to steal a kiss, best desserts, best alleys to covertly urinate in when you’ve been drinking all night, skate-friendly businesses OR you can just make it personal, listing your favorite spots and why. Attached is the example for tonight: Geography of Bliss walk. So, print out your blank, draw it in, and either drop it at McKinley Library (601 Alhambra Blvd) or scan it and email to jzaker@saclibrary.org. We’re compiling them for our own nefarious purposes. And we’re going to share them. Eventually. So make it good.


“Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking


And we are decided. Our walking tour for this month’s alt+library book club will begin at R15 (unsurprisingly located at R and 15th St). Be there at 7p or a little earlier – we have much ground to cover! Originally our idea with alt+library was to take the library out into the community but never have we done it quite so literally as we plan to on Wednesday May 15th, walking the streets of midtown Sacramento while discussing this month’s book selection, The Geography of Bliss. Our entire route, start to finish, is just about 4 miles so plan accordingly. We’ll cover a variety of sites submitted by our members and this will kick off our next thrilling project – Mapping Your Sacramento. More to be revealed that night. We will end our walk very near to the start point so don’t worry about having to trek back to your car. Comfortable shoes, a water bottle, an attention to detail – bring these and we’ll see you there!

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. – Oscar Wilde


Last night we celebrated World Book Night! Lori and I had both signed up to be givers so the titles we got were The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (mine) and Looking for Alaska by John Green (hers). And we learned some important lessons about handing out free books in midtown to non-readers: 1) no one who signed up to attend will show up (exception: Nicole) BUT other people will. 2 very sweet young men came and gamely took a couple each to hand out. 2) people will take ANYTHING from a woman on roller skates. That is a lesson I will be sure to apply further. 3) There is no greater pleasure to be had than sharing a book you love with someone who has never read it and the ensuing conversation about past reads, future reads, and suggestions for new material. Thanks to everyone who took a book, to BodyTribe for letting me skate in and interrupt workouts to bring the joy of reading, and my very favorite partner-in-crime, Lori. Happy reading everyone!


P.S. Keep sending in the suggestions for our walk in May!