Check out this calendar of activity ideas for kids, centered around reading from Reading is Fundamental – February 2019. Click here for the same calendar in Spanish! And click here for the Black History calendar!
A couple of months ago, I posted a Recent Reads about “Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking”, by Bonnie Frumkin Morales with Deena Prichep. At the time, I’d only heard of the restaurant. I’ve now been! My sweetie won two tickets for a fancy tasting menu at Kachka, seven courses each paired with an alcoholic beverage. It was pretty amazing. While not a formal restaurant we decided to dress up a little bit anyway. I bought a copy of the book shortly before we went and took it with us.
First course – housemade pickles, including the green tomato pickles in the cookbook. The ones that the whole family makes, once a year. Served with a horseradish vodka. The best part of the whole dinner? The little story that went with each dish and with each drink – where it’s from, what inspired it, why it’s important enough to Chef Bonnie and her husband Israel to have included it in their menu.
We got to meet both Bonnie and Israel. AND! They both signed my cookbook! I suspect, based on their surprise at my request, that no one outside their friends-&-family circle has asked them to do this before. Some people get novels and non-fiction signed by authors. I get my cookbooks signed when I can!
Rebecca Elder, of one of the Little Free Library Stewards pages on Facebook, created this Reading Challenge. Some of the challenges are about choosing books, some are about giving away books, and some are about Little Free Libraries. Thanks, Rebecca!
Books I’ve recently read
Midwinter Blood, by Mons Kallentoft – this one was a slog for me. I love murder mysteries and detective novels. This was definitely not one of my favorites. I’ll try another Swedish novel or two, by a different author, before I give up on Nordic Noir. I do have Wallender on my list of Stuff To Read Someday. This book was just unsatisfying for me.
Harriet Gets Carried Away, by Jesse Sima – We found this in the gift shop at the end of our trip to see Zoolights. I’m totally loving it! I also discovered this is the same author who did Not Quite Narwhal, a household favorite!
Year of the Jungle, by Suzanne Collins – This is a recently published book about the author’s life in 1968, when she was a little girl and her father was deployed to Vietnam. It’s very much a young children’s book, and is beautifully done. And for a family in a similar situation, it would be easy enough to substitute the name of the appropriate country, substitute a few other key words and some photos. For some other resources for supporting children and their family’s participation in it, you might check out the Sesame Street/USO project for Military Families, Operation We Are Here, and Everyone Serves.
Would You Rather Be a Princess or a Dragon?, by Barney Saltzberg – This is a rather silly question. Who wouldn’t want to be both? While this book could have been a little more solid on this point, it does get there eventually. Very cute illustrations, good back and forth on how Princesses *can* be different from Dragons (though I’ve seen far more overlap!). Fortunately, this decision doesn’t stop when you grow up – I’m currently living my best Princess/Dragon life!
The beginning of the new year seems like a good time for this.
The beginning of the Little Free Library movement – a TED Talk by Todd Bol in 2013.
Everybody Reads 2019 celebrates the work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with the novel Americanah for adults and the essay We Should All Be Feminists for high school students.
A Nigerian-born artist whose influence spans continents and genres, Adichie has received acclaim as an author, poet, playwright and speaker. She was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and her work has been recognized with the O. Henry Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award (fiction), among many other distinctions.
Her other novels include Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. She also wrote the short story collection The Thing around Your Neck. We Should All Be Feminists was adapted from a widely viewed talk at TEDxEuston. Her most recent work is Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.
Ifemelu leaves her childhood sweetheart and a troubled Nigeria to attend university in the United States. Despite her success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black in America, and founds a blog born of her unique perspective. Navigating the tensions of culture and race, Ifemelu becomes homesick for Nigeria and her first love, Obinze. Americanah offers a frank assessment of how our societies both strengthen and fail us as we search for meaning.
We Should All Be Feminists
The author offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the 21st century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often-masked realities of sexual politics, she explores what it means to be a woman.
Through a shared reading experience, we will discuss issues that matter, learn from each other and promote greater understanding.
Extra copies of Americanah will be available in January 2019 at all neighborhood libraries, and e-books will be downloadable from the library catalog, thanks to the generous support of The Library Foundation. The library encourages readers to share extra copies with friends, coworkers and neighbors.
For the first time ever, unlimited copies of the downloadable audiobook are available. No holds or waiting! Get it through the RB Digital app until March 31, 2019.
Beginning in January 2019, share your thoughts at a book discussion at your neighborhood library or bookstore.
Enjoy one of the many free programs exploring the themes of Adichie’s work, from a talk on the neuroscience of bias to a musical celebration featuring Nigerian talking drum.
Adichie will speak on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Tickets are available from Literary Arts.
NOTE: The lecture is sold out. There are no tickets available.
Everybody Reads 2019, a community reading project of Multnomah County Library, is made possible in part by gifts to The Library Foundation with author appearance made possible by Literary Arts.
Another in an occasional series of Little Free Libraries in Southeast Portland.
Today’s LFL is one I’ve visited a handful of times now, but only just recently remembered to take pictures of. And of course, the sun was directly behind the LFL, so the photos aren’t great, but dadgumit, I remembered to take photos this time!
LFL #36705 is at 7814 SE Grant St, right behind Portland Community College’s Southeast Campus. I was signing up for a non-credit class and it occurred to me to walk over and snap a picture. I also left a couple of books and took a copy of Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth. I also spotted three large hardbacks from the Harry Potter series. I love that the folks who manage the LFL also have a small water bowl at the bottom of the post, for critters who come by. Though even at noon, there was a bit of ice on the surface. Woo, winter weather!