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.
Or 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 email@example.com. We’re compiling them for our own nefarious purposes. And we’re going to share them. Eventually. So make it good.
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!
If only I could get the Bow Wow Wow song “Aphrodisiac” to stop running through my head as I plan this program. But seriously, Food of Love is going to be the JAM!
Aphrodisiacs can be both truth and legend. Some foods have psychoactive properties, others arouse because they are psychologically suggestive, and some can actually increase the, uh, necessary blood flow. We’ll be discussing foods and meals rumored to have aphrodisiac properties, even sampling a few.
And everyone knows the Shakespeare quote from Twelfth Night:
If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
While we aren’t looking to gorge ourselves to cure a broken heart, we do support the “music be the food of love” theory – bring a favorite song/artist/playlist to share, something that inspires you toward seduction. My weaknesses include Portishead (sex music!) and Sharon Jones (for making a first move).
Holidays leaving you feeling sort of, you know, head-explode-y? Us too. For instance, we completely forgot to plan another “Broke A$$ Holidays”, one of our favorite programs from years gone by. How to cope? I know MadDog Megan’s Holiday Temptation SMASH program for alt+fitness helped me; nothing like sweating out your bad choices. Also the endless stream of library materials I have on hold, showing up when I least expect and most need a good read. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is my most current rec: excellent mashup of classic methods vs modern technology. You can also escape to the library for some of our excellent winter programs. Movie night at Franklin or Carmichael? How to wrap gifts at Southgate? Lord of the Rings program at Central? General awesomeness at McKinley (gee, wonder how that got in there)? Share your great reads or sanity tips in the comments; we of alt+library could use the help.
The holiday season is nigh. So much enforced togetherness; how do you escape it? With a book, of course. Right now, I’m reading The Middlesteins – reviewed by Ron Charles in the following:
“The Middlesteins” is the story of a dangerously overweight woman and the relatives who are trying, in various ineffectual ways, to save her life when “everything about her was collapsing.” There are sweet sentimental temptations all over a plot like this, but Attenberg writes with restraint and just a dash of bitterness. The result is a story that repeatedly tosses off little bursts of wisdom that catch you off guard.
Reading about families worse than yours? http://ow.ly/fgHxX Done.
Haunted Stacks, Sacramento’s positively creepiest and most educational haunted library tour, is returning for a third year on Friday, October 26! The basics are the same as previous years: We will be screening a classic scary flick in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria from 7-9 p.m. and taking participants on “haunted” tours of the Sacramento Room in the old Carnegie library while the film is playing. While the basics are the same, visitors can expect a whole new show this year. In an effort to keep the tour surprising and scary even for return guests, we will take a different route through the Sacramento Room, and actors will be tackling new roles. Sacramento Room decorations and undead characters will transport participants back to 1900. Among the “ghosts” haunting the Sacramento Room will be Miss Alice Curtis, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, and Adelbert B. C. Devendorf, a Civil War veteran who was a victim of accidental poisoning by strychnine, taken legitimately for chills.
Haunted Stacks is free and recommended for ages 10 and up. No advance registration is required; however, tour space is limited, so participants are encouraged to arrive by 7 p.m. to sign up.
Join us next Tuesday, October 9th, 6:00 p.m. at the McKinley Library to make some truly dreadful art at our third annual Bad Art Night. We’ll provide all the art supplies, just be sure to leave your talent, eye for design, and good taste at home. Participants will vote on the most successfully dismal artistic endeavor and one lucky winner will receive this paint-by-numbers kit titled “Cat’s Garden”:
Beautiful, no? By the way, if you want to see some really bad art do a Google image search for “cats in baskets painting”–some of those make “Cat’s Garden” look like a Vermeer.