“The Cocktail Chart of Film & Literature” print from Pop Chart Lab lists famous drinks from books and movies, complete with recipes.
Literary Lots is a program that ‘brings books to life’ in vacant lots in Cleveland. Working with the Cleveland Public Libraries and LAND Studio, Literary Lots will transform 2 to 4 vacant lots adjacent to libraries into six-week summer program spots for children in inner-city Cleveland. Between June and August 2013, local artists will use themes from specific children’s books to re-create places, concepts, or adventures from the book, creating a magical and educational space to engage local youth in art and culture. Working with other local non-profits and cultural institutions, the artists will bring engaging programming to youth right in their neighborhoods. The result: a transformative experience that combines creative land re-use, artist engagement, youth education and urban renewal. (via Literary Lots by Kauser Razvi — Kickstarter)
This sounds completely amazing and the video is adorable.
Erin Shea is Head of Adult Programming at Darien Library in Darien, CT. She tweets from @erintheshea and manages Darien Library’s tumblr, where she recently wrote about hosting author events in libraries and how to find audiences for them:
“Do not neglect niche groups! For example we recently hosted Becky Aikman, author of the memoir Saturday Night Widows. I reached out to local widow support groups. We had the CEO of Weight Watchers talk about his weight loss book and I reached out to local Weight Watchers centers. Sometimes I go undercover on MeetUp.com and join MeetUp groups and invite members. I have reached out to local magicians when we had a magician author visit. Get out into your community! Also invite a local blogger to be “in conversation” with an author. That way the blog’s readership finds out about the event and the blogger promotes the heck out of your program. Get your staff excited and interested so they promote it to patrons. How do you get them excited? Involve them in the planning of your event.”
We talked to Erin over email this week and learned more about the ins and outs of author events in libraries: how they are planned, what makes them successful, and why libraries and author events make a perfect match.
I am mildly obsessed with Erin Shea, read this.
On the night before Valentine’s Day, a crowd of people gathered in the cramped Housing Works Bookstore Café for a bookish speed-dating event to find their perfect match–with literature preferences as an icebreaker. Speed daters connecting over books. Photo by Tiffany Lew. Couples were paired up based on their favorite book–or the book they were currently reading. Each person wore a “Hello, my name is…” sticker labeled with a character from their favorite book, also known as their “literary pen name.” The 94 participants rotated through 14 dates, with guys moving to their left on long rows of tables reminiscent of the ones in the Hogwarts dining hall. Four minutes per person–no more and no less. Strewn along these wooden tables were Pabst Blue Ribbon cans and Brooklyn Lagers, along with white placards with titles such as “Middle Earth,” “Walden Pond,” and “Swamp-landia!” all referencing participants’ favorite books. Many of the attendees said they appreciated that an interest in reading was a helpful common denominator because conversation would be eased. (via Finding true love (or not) in literary speed dating | Starring NYC)
We’re still hoping to do another speed dating event in the future based on the success of this one. Don’t fear, lonely bookworms, your time will come!
Colbert: Why do you write short stories? America likes big. Go big or go home. We like big, huge, huge, huge novels.
Saunders: I’ll tell you why. If you imagine this, let’s say you were madly in love with somebody and your mission was to tell the person that you love them. So here’s two scenarios: one is you can take a weeklong train trip with the person, take your time, you’ll be in boring situations, beautiful scenery, everything. That’s a novel.
Colbert: Sounds good, sounds really good.
Saunders: The second scenario is she’s stepping on the train and you’ve got three minutes. So you have to make all that declaration in three minutes. That would be a short story.
Colbert: Can I get on the train with her?
Saunders: No, you’ve just got to shout it as she goes.
Colbert: Why can’t I get on the train?
Saunders: Because it’s a short story. You’re not allowed. You have to end it in eight pages and get out.
Colbert: But this is the short story I want to read — where is she going? Why can’t I go with her? We’re on to something here. Does she love me back? I’ve got to know!
Saunders: I don’t know yet! Sometimes a short story will just end with that question — does she love me back? So it’s a very special kind of beauty.
Saunders will be at the library with another legendary talk show host, Dick Cavett, next Tuesday, Feb. 26 to talk about his much-lauded latest story collection, “Tenth of December.”
LONG LIVE THE SHORT STORY.
“This is not exactly the fantastic made realistic or the realistic fantastic. It’s a story sure of itself in the frolic of its strangeness. Fiction is by definition unreal, and Russell takes this coldly awesome truth and enjoys fully the rebel freedom it confers. […] But Russell is no coy or mannered mistress of the freaky. Much of the pleasure in reading her comes from the wily freshness of her language and the breezy nastiness of her observations.” (via Joy Williams, ‘Vampires in the Lemon Grove,’ by Karen Russell - NYTimes.com)
I nabbed an ARC of this at the bookstore; I loved it. It has a surprising thread of horror (as in the genre) throughout, and seems more mature then her previous work. I think my favorite story in it is “Reeling for the Empire,” which provides the inspiration for the gorgeous illustration with this review.
Back in the day, people used to have to memorize texts for school, to keep a few lines of prose or poetry in their hearts at all times, easily accessible in any situation. This practice has mostly gone to the wayside—no longer do whole classrooms of miserable schoolchildren have to recite “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by heart—but it begs the question: what text would you choose to burn into your brain if you could choose anything at all?
The Recital is a new literary series where we want you to answer that question. Writers and performers will each recite a 1–3 minute piece of their choice. The only real rule is that the memorized text cannot be their own; otherwise, anything goes.
Hosted by Rachel Syme and Maris Kreizman. With:
- Ryan Chapman
- Caleb Crain
- A.N. Devers
- Jason Diamond
- Gaby Dunn
- Rachel Fershleiser
- Bobby Finger
- Jesse David Fox
- David Gutowski
- Gabriel Kahane
- Beth Edwards Kapsner
- Michelle Legro
- Lauren Leto
- Matthew Love
- Rita Meade
- Joanna Smith Rakoff
- Rachel Shukert
- Brendan Jay Sullivan
- Lindsey Weber
- Adam Wilson
Swoon! Now with an amazing Ben Tuttle GIF!
New issue of Storychord, who you might remember from such events as Around the Campfire and their Birthday Party here, guest curated by Michael Barron, featuring Kelsey Ford, Jocelyn Spaar, and Single Ben.
Check it out, I love this project. Every two weeks an issue features a short story, paired up with an image (photograph, painting, etc.) and a song. Discover the next big thing. (via Storychord.com: ISSUE #60: Kelsey Ford, Jocelyn Spaar, Single Ben)
In case you missed it Friday: Get your tickets to A Rehearsal of Awesome with John and Hank Green (morning show, 11:30AM) or afternoon show (3PM) at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe Monday, January 14! The vlogbrothers will be running through their performance for their sold-out Carnegie Hall show on Tuesday 1/15. Tickets are going fast and are limited, get yours now! 100 percent of ticket proceeds go toward Housing Works’ fight against homelessness and AIDS.
Stuff We like
“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”
This Week's Readings
MONDAY: Book launch for Lisa Hanawalt’s My Dirty Dumb Eyes, a...