With both last month’s book (Helping Me Help Myself) and this month’s selection (The Art of Eating In), the story has the potential to inspire the reader to try some of the techniques discussed in their own life. I know I am VERY susceptible to in-text suggestion - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn always makes me long for peppermints. And a fire escape. And one of our previous selections, The Geography of Bliss, has inspired me to fly to Amsterdam in September. What book inspires YOU to do something out of your ordinary?
Re-reading the July selection for alt+library book club is cracking me up. Beth Lisick has the same approach to the “self-help” genre that I do. In fact the reason my psych degree remained a BA and I opted for a Masters in Information Science, instead of going further in the psychology field. (Though arguably public librarianship is strikingly similar to counseling so there’s that . . .) But reading a humorist’s take on a variety of “gurus” in different change-your-life fields is pretty darned entertaining. That said, I definitely get sucked into articles like Lessons from Punk Rock on BuzzFeed. And I have novels that I read regularly as a form of bibliotherapy – a way to hit the reset button or be tragically self-indulgent or whatever else I might need at the time. I also love to recommend books in the same way, the right title for the right mood/time.
Image from Esquire magazine
Comment below: what is YOUR self-help book? Is it embarrassing? Or do you have a go-to you like to share?
Happy Summer Reading! No, seriously, have you signed up in your local library? Summer Reading is the biggest programming push of the entire year. Every branch has tons of activities and displays and everything else you could hope for going on RIGHT NOW. For those of us who (happily) don’t own children, there is still plenty happening. So often adults dismiss summer reading programs as “for kids” but that is WRONG-O! Did you know that “adults who read build up a much larger “cognitive reserve” than those who don’t—meaning they can hold on to mental sharpness much later into old age”? You could also win an iPad mini by participating. Looking for some title suggestions? Check out the alt+library book club previous picks. Or the Great Reads on the SacLibrary.org website. Or just walk into a branch a look around! Judge a book by its’ cover. There is a book for every person, every subject, every interest. Supporting summer reading programs supports libraries. You know the places that let you take home thousands of dollars worth of merchandise for weeks at a time? Yeah, us. Stay cool this summer and treat yourself to a book. And a popsicle. Or ice cream!
” . . . the wisest phrase for this activity is the Latin solvitur ambulando (‘it is solved by walking’), attributed to St. Augustine.” – The Tao of Travelby Paul Theroux.
Tada! Courtesy of one of our own librarians, we have a starting place. We’ll start at the University Art Center on 26th and J (2601 J St) at 7p on Wednesday May 21st for our Midtown Ramble. If you are still missing a copy of our selection, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, email or comment to request one.
Today is our Maker event – Author and maker David Lang will be at Arcade Library to talk about his book, Zero to Maker, maker culture, and answer questions. While you’re here, tour the Library’s 3D printing lab–the Design Spot. See our rainbow elephant, bird mobile, the Hex Flex, and more!
But what do YOU want to make? Lunch? The world a better place? A 3D printed candy box? People smile? A crocheted doily? Come in to the library, we can help you make almost anything. My heart’s desire is to make people love the library as much as I do.
And vegan coconut lime rice pudding. It’s delicious.
We’re still accepting submissions for the Midtown ramble in May – email email@example.com to include your spot! Don’t forget to get a copy of A Field Guide to Getting Lost.
Lora Zombie has perfectly illustrated how I feel when I am on camera.
Grab some ocular Bubble Yum – Lori and I will be on cable access today. LiveWire with Ray Tatar at 5p. To talk about our beloved alt+library and all the delightful things we get to do in and out of libraries. Then you can join us LIVE at Coffee Garden tonight! to discuss Octavia Butler’s Fledgling. And in April (which is fast approaching) we’ll have our April Fool’s Sacramento History program, Punk Rock Aerobics, Book to Art for Hyperbole and a Half – all of the fun. Remember, we are always accepting program ideas, book suggestions, and compliments. Especially compliments.
I’ve seen the quote about Fred Astaire, “Sure he was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards…and in high heels!” (Bob Thaves) and it never fails to make me smile. During Women’s History month, nearly every library will have a strong/powerful/notable women display up in the branch and the variety is astonishing. A couple of years back, I did a women’s history month program at the North Sacramento Library where I played a song by a different female musician each day we were open. Oddly, no one seemed to notice the 3-4 minutes of rocking out but we enjoyed it! See photo:
But, as always, we of alt+library want to hear from you. What woman/women inspire you and why? (This is a little like a wishing well, I keep dropping in questions but there are rarely comment echos splashing back up; I remain optimistic). I just read Janet Mock’s biography, Redefining Realness, and DAMN if that isn’t inspiring! She overcame a LOT to be the woman she is today. Also inspired every day by the women I skate with on the Sac City Rollers.
The 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$$ Holidays event in December (crafting!). How can you get involved? Join the meetup! Join the alt+Friends! Show up to programs! Don’t let the advertisers eat your soul; spend your winter months with alt+library.
Miracles are not something I have ever believed in. I do, however, believe in surprise and delight. And I am delighted to announce that alt+library programs will be shifting to a new branch along with this branch supervisor. Starting in mid-September, the Arcade Library will be hosting our alt+programs like Zombie Survival Aerobics, Broke A$$ 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?
And 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
Lori’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.