Television is chewing gum for the eyes. – Frank Lloyd Wright

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.


You know, there’s nothing damnable about being a strong woman. The world needs strong women. – Ginger Rogers

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:Image

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.


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?



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 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 We’re compiling them for our own nefarious purposes. And we’re going to share them. Eventually. So make it good.


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!


Most virtue is a demand for greater seduction. – Natalie Clifford Barney


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).

I wouldn’t say that holidays are manufactured by corporations, but they’re certainly exploited and mined by them. – Dan Savage

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.


Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. – George Burns

ImageThe 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? Done.

- Jess