Sunday, October 31, 2010

Odds and Book Ends (Nov. 1-7)

Odds and Book Ends features activities and events in the area related to libraries, books and authors. Submit your events at www.News-Herald.com/Calendar, and check back to The Book Club every week for upcoming events and activities at your local library.


Upcoming signings this month at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 24519 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst (216-691-7000):
  • Lisa Klein, “Cate of the Lost Colony,” 7 p.m. Nov. 2
  • Davod Herlihy, “The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance,” 7 p.m. Nov. 3
  • Dan Couglin, “Crazy, with the Papers to Prove It: Stories about the Most Unusual, Eccentric and Outlandish People I’ve Known in 45 Years as a Sports Journalist,” 7 p.m. Nov. 4
  • Apolo Ohno, “Zero Regrets,” 11 a.m. Nov. 7
  • Michael McMenamin, “The DeValera Deception,” 7 p.m. Nov. 9
  • Debra First, “Founded in Faith: Cleveland’s Lost Catholic Legacy,” 7 p.m. Nov. 11
  • James Toman, “A Euclid Beach Park Album,” 7 p.m. Nov. 11
  • Steven Kotler, “A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life,” 7 p.m. Nov. 15
  • Adam Richman, “America the Edible: From Sea to Dining Sea,” 7 p.m. Nov. 16
  • Harvey Sachs, “The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824,” 7 p.m. Nov. 17
  • Dr. Joan Brown Cambell, “Living Into Hope: A Call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This,” 2 p.m. Nov. 20
  • Regina Brett, “God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours,” 7 p.m. Nov. 22


Learn about e-books and e-readers at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at Perry Public Library, 3753 Main St., Perry. A team from Mentor's Best Buy will demonstrate all e-readers currently on the market -- Amazon Kindle, Sony E-Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook and Apple iPad. They will review and evaluate to help you choose the best one for you, whether you're just getting started or ready to upgrade to the next generation of e-readers. All e-readers will be available for sale at the library. In addition the library will offer a demonstration of e-book downloads on to a reader from the CLEVNET catalog. Refreshments complete a fun and informative evening. This free program is open to everyone, but registration is suggested. Call 440-259-3300 or log on to perrypubliclibrary.org.


The Lake County Council on Aging and the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program will offer several presentations throughout Lake County on the topic of “Understanding Medicare and Reviewing Your Options for Open Enrollment.”
Presentations will be
  • 9 a.m. Nov. 2 at the Wickliffe Senior Center
  • 12:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Madison Senior Center
  • noon Nov. 9 at the Mentor Senior Center
  • noon Nov. 12 at the Eastlake Senior Center
  • 11 a.m. Nov. 15 at the Painesville Senior Center
  • 4 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Madison Public Library
  • 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Council on Aging
  • 10 a.m. Nov. 18 at the Fairport Senior Center
  • 10 a.m. Nov. 30 at the Wickliffe Public Library
  • 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Mentor Public Library
  • 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Willoughby/Browning Center
Call the individual locations to register for this free presentation.


The Friends of the Chardon Library will host its annual Cuddle Up for Winter Book Sale on Nov. 6 and 7 in the library’s Bostwick Room. From 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday there will be a Members-Only Preview. It is possible to join the Friends or renew membership at the door. General book sale hours will be 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost of most hardbacks is 50 cent; paperbacks, 25 cents. Sunday is bag day: $3 per bag of books. 


Reel Talk-Book and Movie Discussion Group meets at 2:45 p.m. the second Monday of every month in Meeting Room B of Morley Library, 184 Phelps St., Painesville. Books and DVDs are available at the check-out desk on the main floor. Details: www.morleylibrary.org.


The Mentor-on-the-Lake and the Headlands branches of the Mentor Public Library will be drop-off points for holiday greetings to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Letters and packs of chewing gum will be collected at both branches from Nov. 2 through Nov. 30. The items will be sent and shared by the troops for the holiday season. For details call either branch, at 440-257-2512 or 440-257-2000.


--Cheryl Sadler
CSadler@News-Herald.com

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goosebumps and Halloween Costume Ideas

Neil Gaiman has suggested giving away scary books in addition to candy on Hallowe’en. (Yeah, I’m using the apostrophe.)

To clarify, I’m not proposing that you give books or comics instead of chocolate bars or razor-stuffed apples (if you’re in a country that hands out candies on Hallowe’en). (Although some some people do that, and with success -- I’ve already heard from people who have gone down to charity shops and walked out with boxes of vintage R.L. Stine books that they plan to hand to kids).

I’m proposing something slightly different.

That you give someone a scary book this Hallowe’en.

You certainly don’t have to give everyone you know a scary book. Just pick someone, or a few someones, you care about. Then give them a book this week that’ll scare their hair white.

I like the idea, but I’m confused by the notion of vintage R.L. Stine. I remember him wholly as the author behind the Goosebumps factory. Are hacky horror books for kids from the 1990s considered vintage now, or does Stine have some older, better work with which I am not familiar?

(I read Goosebumps as a kid and it seems like all of them ended with an it-was-a-dream cop out. Even as a fourth grader, I felt cheated when a monster-infested family vacation turned out to be a game show.)

You really want to scare kids? Read them the grislier parts of The Old Testament.

Also, for kicks, here are some book-based Halloween costumes:



Small child dressed as a monster, redundant and adorable



This is supposed to be Juliet. Because, y’know, I want my little girl to emulate a hormonal and suicidal adolescent.



They also make a Juliet costume for women. (They should make a Juliet costume for men, considering women only started playing the role in the last few centuries.)













Need a couple’s costume? How about Rhett and Scarlett? Just don’t wear heels with the dress; because, if you fall down the stairs, the jokes won’t be funny.


Arthur Dent = Easiest Costume Ever. Got a bathrobe? Got a towel? You're good to go. (Bonus points if you can fake a British accent. If you can't, that's all right, neither could Mos Def in the movie.)


Scariest costume of all. This is supposed to be The Man in the Yellow Hat, but it’ll most likely be The Face that Haunts my Nightmares.


Also, Curious George!

I couldn’t find a photo, but here’s a link on how to make a Coraline costume (since we did talk about Gaiman.)

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When can I buy Joan Holloway's memoirs?

1. If you watched Mad Men this season, then you know Roger Sterling wrote his memoirs.

It turns out these memoirs are real (even if the person who wrote them isn’t) and will be published by Grove/Atlantic.

How does one qualify this? Memoir? Novel? Cash in?

Regardless, Sterling’s Gold does not top the meta-memoir trilogy penned by Barney Stinson: The Playbook; Bro on the Go; and The Bro Code.

Those were legend — wait for it —

2. Professor Kathryn Sutherland of Oxford University said that some of Jane Austen’s trademark pristine prose may be from the hand of her editor. Sutherland studied more than 1,100 handwritten documents from Austen and concluded that she had “a powerful counter-grammatical way of writing” and “the polished punctuation and epigrammatic style we see in Emma and Persuasion is simply not there.”

Sutherland attributes the style difference to editor William Gifford, who worked with Austen’s publisher.

Then again, sometimes, things look different on the second or third draft. And I’m not sure it’s that big of a deal that Austen had an editor. Who doesn’t?

3. Speaking of Austen, Salon speculated on how classic literary characters would react to current technology. They concluded that Emma would love her some Facebook.

Can anyone doubt that if Holden Caulfield were around today he’d have a blog? He practically invented the blog, five decades before the things existed! As for James Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus: He’d have a Tumblr.

4. Danny Devito will voice the Lorax in a movie based on Dr. Seuss’s book.

It will also star Zac Efron, Betty White and Ed Helms as the Once-Ler. No word on who will play the Swany Swans.

5. dary.

-Jason Lea, JLea@News-Herald.com

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Monday, October 25, 2010

All the world's a stage, and we should be watching plays on it

Thanks, Jason, for sharing this quote from Rob Roberge in your last post:

"I know that books don’t save lives on the grand scale. They don’t end wars and such. They don’t cure cancer. But at the same time, books saved my life."

I couldn't agree more.

And speaking of sharing, thanks for the loan of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" by Tom Stoppard. I had mentioned that it was the only book on my daughter's required reading list for school this year that I hadn't previously read, and as always, you were quick with a copy.

I enjoyed the story and think the writing is top-notch. However, as I get older, I think plays should be experienced as plays to be truly appreciated. I love Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca and I think Alfred Hitchcock directed a terrific film adaptation of it. But I don't want to read the script.

Stoppard's work is full of comic touches, but they are meant to be seen, not read. The opening scene involving the coin flips, I'm sure, works much better on the stage.

That being said, there is still much to enjoy by reading the play. Not the least of which is the ability to go back and savor certain passages.

Passages like this one from Guildenstern:
"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day. ... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it. ... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses ... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere, by repute. Yesterday was blue, like smoke."

What a terrific description of the season itself and of the idea of the encroaching darkness where once there was light.

And now, I want to re-read "Hamlet!"

- Tricia Ambrose

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Texas sends Amazon the bill & Plumbers are worth more than writers

I haven’t been able to use my Everybody Hates Amazon tag since July.

Thank you, Texas.

1. The state of Texas says Amazon owes it $269 million in sales tax. Amazon disagrees.

Amazon avoids collecting sales tax in locations where it does not have a nexus. (It keeps prices cheaper.) This has led to spats in Kentucky, Germany, France and, now, Texas.

I’m not sure how the government defines where an online business has a nexus, so I’m not sure how strong Texas’s claims are.

But here’s a link from a writer who is better informed than me.

2. Speaking of Amazon, it is going to allow people to “loan” books to one another via Kindle.

According to Amazon, Kindle users will be able to give other users one of their books for 14 days. During that period, the person who bought the book will not have access to it. (See, it’s like when people share books for realz.)

Publishers can choose to not participate in the “lending” program. I expect most will not. They have little to gain by participating.

3. Anne Rice elaborates on her quitting Christianity. Or Catholicism. The two seem interchangeable to her.

From an interview with Guardian:
Attending mass became stressful. She had a terrible row with a priest friend. “He said Obama was just as bad as Joseph Stalin because of his allowing abortion. And I said, ‘Are you seriously saying that? Do you know who Joseph Stalin really was and what he did?’ And he wouldn’t back down and there was no more discussion.”

There’s something missing in Rice’s logic. Sure, I think her “priest friend” is dangerously wrong-minded, not in his distaste for abortion, but in comparing Obama to Stalin. But isn’t swearing off Christianity because of the idiots a lot like refusing to vote because of Glenn Beck? There are idiots in almost every philosophy, religion, vocation and avocation. But if we let the idiots deter us, then they win.

Of course, Rice is entitled to her beliefs.

(I have discussed religion and politics in the last two paragraphs. That’s two party fouls in two paragraphs. Moving on...)

4. Rob Roberge interviewed himself for The Nervous Breakdown. He said a few things worth quoting.

What’s the biggest myth about writers that you’d like to debunk?
There are a bunch of them. One is that we make money. When I meet people and they find I have a few books out, they think I’m rolling in piles of money like Scrooge McDuck or something. I don’t mind not making money at writing. It’s not why I got into it. Anyone who gets into writing to become rich or famous is, at best, deluded. The myth of the suffering artist is another that I think needs a good solid debunking. Writers don’t suffer any more than anyone else. Human beings suffer. Period. Take 100 writers and 100 plumbers and I’d guess the amount of suffering would be pretty even. And plumbers are probably more important in the long run. We need our toilets to flush more than we need another collection of short stories. If all the writers and all the plumbers went on strike tomorrow, I know who people’d be missing more quickly. So, I try not to deceive myself into thinking what I do is any more noble or important than what anyone else does.

So plumbers are more important than writers this world of yours?
I don’t know. I know that books don’t save lives on the grand scale. They don’t end wars and such. They don’t cure cancer. But at the same time, books saved my life. And I know they’ve done that for friends of mine. Writing and reading bond me to other people—at its best, literature makes me feel less alone in the world. Great people, great books, great music—these are things that remind me of what beauty people are capable of creating and spreading through the world. So, maybe books do save lives—just not in a dramatic way.

-Jason Lea, JLea@News-Herald.com

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Odds and Book Ends (Oct. 25-31)

Odds and Book Ends features activities and events in the area related to libraries, books and authors. Submit your events at www.News-Herald.com/Calendar, and check back to The Book Club every week for upcoming events and activities at your local library.


The local chapter of the John Birch Society will present a 23-minute video showing of "Obamacare - 101" at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Morley Public Library, 184 Phelps St. After the video showing, a presentation will be given by Dr. Nicholas Zakov of the Cleveland Retina Association. A question-and-answer period will follow.


Friends of Morley Library will host a Red Cross blood drive 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 26, in the lower level of Morley Library in Painesville. Donors will receive $5 in Morley Money to spend at any Friends Book Sale.


The Northeastern Ohio Rose Society will meet at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Madison Public Library, 6111 Middle Ridge Road, Madison. Come and learn from a master gardener the care of flowers. The program will be "Scented Geraniums-Fabulous Fragrance!" Discover plants that have leaves with fragrances of rose, lemon, mint, nutmeg, and more. Join Meghan Davis, from Ashtabula County Master Gardeners, as she explores the history and lore of scented geraniums and learn how to grow and propagate these alluring plants indoors during the winter.


Family Pumpkin Painting with Miss Amy will take place at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Mentor Public Library’s Mentor Headlands Branch, 4669 Corduroy Road. Miss Amy will provide the pumpkin and decorations. For details, call 440-257-2000.


The James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor will present “Poe in Person: An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe” Oct. 28 at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, 8095 Mentor Ave. in Mentor. Patrons may choose from actor David Keltz’s 6 p.m. performance of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven,” or an 8 p.m. performance of “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” Keltz has performed as Poe on stage, television and radio as well as at schools and museums.  He also is the voice of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Light refreshments and tours of the Garfield home will be available. The event is for patrons ages 16 and older. Cost of a ticket is $15. Advance tickets are available at the site. For more information, call 440-255-8722.


Mystery writers are visiting the South Euclid Lyndhurst Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (4645 Mayfield Road, South Euclid) at 7 p.m. Oct. 28. Books will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of the Friends of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library. Register online at www.cuyahogalibrary.org and go to the Events tab, or by calling the South Euclid Lyndhurst Library at 216-382-4880.
About the authors:
  • Mary Jane Maffini is a lapsed librarian, a former mystery bookstore owner and a lifelong lover of mysteries. She is a former President of Crime Writers of Canada. In addition to her to her four Charlotte Adams books, she is the author of the six-book Camilla MacPhee series and two Fiona Silk adventures. Maffini has won two Arthur Ellis awards for best mystery short story as well as the Crime Writers of Canada Derrick Murdock award and was nominated for a Barry Award in 2006. Her latest Charlotte Adams book is "Closet Confidential," published in July by Berkley Prime Crime.
  • Brenda Chapmanof Ottawa is the author of the Jennifer Bannon mystery series for young adults. She has also written several short stories that were published in an anthology, "When Boomer Go Bad," published by RendezVous Crime. "Winter’s Grip," Brenda’s first adult murder mystery, was released in September.



Friends of Morley Library will host a used book sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30 at the Book Cellar in the lower level, Morley Library in Painesville. A Friends Preview Night will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28. Memberships are available at the door.


The Friends of the Euclid Public Library October Book Sale will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 30 and 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 31. Friday evening will be a special members-only evening. Saturday the sale is open to the general public, and Sunday will be buy a bag for $2. The library is at 631 E. 222nd St., Euclid.


The Lake County Council on Aging and the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program will offer several presentations throughout Lake County on the topic of “Understanding Medicare and Reviewing Your Options for Open Enrollment.”
Presentations will be
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Willowick Senior Center
  • 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Kirtland Public Library
  • 9 a.m. Nov. 2 at the Wickliffe Senior Center
  • 12:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Madison Senior Center
  • noon Nov. 9 at the Mentor Senior Center
  • noon Nov. 12 at the Eastlake Senior Center
  • 11 a.m. Nov. 15 at the Painesville Senior Center
  • 4 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Madison Public Library
  • 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Council on Aging
  • 10 a.m. Nov. 18 at the Fairport Senior Center
  • 10 a.m. Nov. 30 at the Wickliffe Public Library
  • 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Mentor Public Library
  • 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Willoughby/Browning Center
Call the individual locations to register for this free presentation.


All Geauga County Public Libraries welcome voter information and campaign literature for issues and candidates appearing on local ballots. Each library has an election display to help voters become well-informed. Brochures and fliers are acceptable, while items such as bumper stickers are not. Geauga County Public Libraries include Bainbridge, Chardon, Geauga West, Middlefield, the Bookmobile, and the Newbury and Thompson library stations. For locations and phone numbers, visit www.geaugalibrary.net.


The Mentor-on-the-Lake and the Headlands branches of the Mentor Public Library will be drop-off points for holiday greetings to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Letters and packs of chewing gum will be collected at both branches from Nov. 2 through Nov. 30. The items will be sent and shared by the troops for the holiday season. For details call either branch, at 440-257-2512 or 440-257-2000.


Join in a lively discussion of bestsellers, classics and more with Monday Night Book Discussion at Mentor Public Library's Main Branch. This group meets the first Monday of each month from October through June from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For the month's selection, contact Barb Hauer at 440-255-8811, ext. 210. The library provides books, and refreshments are courtesy of the Friends of the Library.



--Cheryl Sadler
CSadler@News-Herald.com

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Lost Dr. Seuss Book & Author-Inspired Sandwiches

1. An incomplete and previously unknown Dr. Seuss manuscript is up for auction.

All Sorts of Sports would have followed the exploits of fickle athlete, Pete, had it not lost Seuss’s interest.

“What, in my opinion, is wrong with this story is that ... despite the greatness of Pete as a stellar athlete hero ... the negative image of him flubbing and unable to catch any ball at all will make him a schnook,” Geisel wrote in a note to his former employee who has put the unfinished manuscript up for bid. “This is not entirely apparent in the text, but when you picture these negative scenes in illustrations, you will find that negatives are always more memorable than positives. And I think the reader’s reaction will be, ‘What’s the matter with this dope?’”

The pages also include rudimentary Seussian scribbles, which are valuable in themselves.

What I find interesting about All Sorts of Sports is what it reveals about Seuss’s creative process. He seems to establish meter before writing his poetry, forcing his words to fit the rhythm. In Sports, he uses “blumf” as a placeholder for as-yet unwritten words.

2. The New Yorker had some Twitter fun with #literarysandwiches.

Some suggestions — The Dave Eggers: a broken, runny egg on staggeringly thick bread; served with a guide to its enjoyment.

The Animal Farm: supposed to include a variety of meats in equal parts; in practice, though, mostly ham.

The Nora Roberts: all cheese.

The Beckett: The sandwich you order and then wait for. And wait for. And wait for.
The Leopold Bloom: the inner organs of beasts and fowls, with relish.

The Catcher in the Rye: meatloaf and ketchup on rye bread.

The Mary Shelley: leftover bits from other sandwiches stitched together.

3. Finally, a judge has refused to dismiss a plagiarism suit against J.K. Rowling. (You remember this chestnut, right? The suit accuses Rowling of stealing from Willy the Wizard.)

However, this doesn’t mean the plaintiffs have a strong case. The judge said their chances of success were “improbable.” But it does mean there will be a proper hearing.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweet Valley Confidential cover!


I love the cover for "Sweet Valley Confidential," which was revealed this week. Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield pictured on the front and back, almost like they are looking away from one another. When the book is closed, their backs are to one another. And the red cover surely screams "DRAMA!"

Notice one of the twins is still wearing her lavaliere pendant, which each of the girls received on their 16th birthday. But is it Elizabeth or Jessica? After reading the first chapter of "Sweet Valley Confidential," I'm guessing Jessica is wearing the necklace and perhaps Elizabeth has removed hers. If you haven't read the first chapter, (a) that is probably puzzling to you and (b) what are you waiting for?!?!?!

Danielle and I are still only 10 books into the Sweet Valley High series. Might be time for us to hunt down the other 171 books we were hoping to read before the March 29 release of the story about the Sweet Valley twins 10 years later. I missed out on so many of the earlier books that I don't think I will be able to pick up on the happenings of their lives after missing out on so much drama. (And reading the list of books and descriptions on Wikipedia surely is proof that there was a whoooole lot of drama in Sweet Valley.)


-- Cheryl Sadler
CSadler@News-Herald.com

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sharp-Dressed Writers and Unfinished Work

I have a lot of ground to cover, which is exactly the sort of thing that happens when you disappear for a week.

1. Flavorwire ranks the 10 best-dressed authors.

Yes, Tom Wolfe is on the list. I’m not going to insult his Kentucky-Fried wardrobe. It is, after all, dapper. But how is it stylish to always wear the exact same thing? If I play the same note over and over can I claim to be a good songwriter?

But I can’t knock the list too much because it includes Oscar Wilde, whose fashion sense influenced figures as disparate as Batman and Scooby’s friend, Fred Jones.

2. Meanwhile, TresSugar lists 10 famous unfinished novels.

Some big names — Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Jane Austen — appear but all of them are trounced by The Canterbury Tales.

Canterbury Tales might be the only book written in the English language that could not be more popular or influential if it were finished. Chaucer’s entire reputation is based on this book (and his willingness to write in English when French was the chic language) and he didn’t even finish it.

3. Editor & Publisher has fired its editorial staff.

According to a memo from its owner:
Editor & Publisher magazine will be utilizing more individuals for the print edition who are experts in their individual fields as opposed to reporters who track down experts and put the expert’s story into the writer’s words.

Communications are also expected to improve over a department that previously was spread over four states and three time zones.

Perhaps I’m being cynical, but I read that as “Get ready for a lot of recapitulated press releases.”

4. Finally, The Plain Dealer is reporting that local legend Harvey Pekar died of an accidental overdose from antidepressant medication.

-Jason Lea, JLea@News-Herald.com

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Odds and Book Ends (Oct. 18-24)

Odds and Book Ends features activities and events in the area related to libraries, books and authors. Submit your events at www.News-Herald.com/Calendar, and check back to The Book Club every week for upcoming events and activities at your local library.


“Library Resources for the Job Search” program will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 18 at Chardon Library on Chardon Square. Sarah Prueter, Nick Fagin and Carol Tuttle will be the featured speakers.
The event is sponsored by the Geauga County Department of Job and Family Services and is part of a Coffee Talk series, an opportunity for job seekers to interact with employment professionals. To RSVP, call Geauga Workplace at 440-285-1223.


The program "Dream Hikes Coast to Coast" will be presented by author Jack Bennett at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Chardon Library, 110 E. Park St. Bennett will feature an audio-visual presentation of his new book "Dream Hikes Coast to Coast: Your Guide to America’s Most Memorable Trails." He will share an armchair travelogue and photos from 30 of America’s best hikes. His books will be available for purchase and autograph at the program. This free program is sponsored by the Chardon Friends of the Library and open to the public. Seating is limited. To register, call 440-285-7601.


Experience Reiki at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Perry Public Library, 3753 Main St., Perry. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administrated by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The presenter is Reiki Master Gisa Ticconi of the Earthwinds Wellness Center serving the Cleveland-Akron area. To register or for details, call the library at 440-259-3300.


Anybody who prays is invited to an evening with Page Zyromski, author of "How to Pray with the Bible," at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Morley Library. Zyromski received a master's degree in classical languages from St. Louis University and has designed and taught Scripture classes at every level from Summer Bible School through college. She is the author of seven books and a regular contributor to Catechist.


Rabbi Kushner wrestled with the question of why bad things happen to good people when his son became ill with progeria (rapid aging disease). Join Rev. Dick Dunn in a six-week discussion of Rabbi Kushner’s book “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People” beginning at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Fairport Congregational Church, 308 Third St., Fairport Harbor. Copies of the book will be available.


The Lake County Council on Aging and the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program will offer several presentations throughout Lake County on the topic of “Understanding Medicare and Reviewing Your Options for Open Enrollment.”
Presentations will be
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Kirtland Senior Center
  • 1 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Perry Senior Center
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Willowick Senior Center
  • 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Kirtland Public Library
  • 9 a.m. Nov. 2 at the Wickliffe Senior Center
  • 12:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Madison Senior Center
  • noon Nov. 9 at the Mentor Senior Center
  • noon Nov. 12 at the Eastlake Senior Center
  • 11 a.m. Nov. 15 at the Painesville Senior Center
  • 4 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Madison Public Library
  • 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Council on Aging
  • 10 a.m. Nov. 18 at the Fairport Senior Center
  • 10 a.m. Nov. 30 at the Wickliffe Public Library
  • 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Mentor Public Library
  • 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Willoughby/Browning Center
Call the individual locations to register for this free presentation.


Paws to Read will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 20 at Mentor Public Library’s Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch. The event is for children ages 6 to 12 years old. Children who are able to read independently are invited to sign up for a 30-minute session. A gentle, licensed dog who is trained to be a good listener will be paired up with the child. For details and to register, call the library at 440-255-8811, ext. 220.


The Bake Shop Ghost for children in kindergarten through sixth grade will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Mentor Public Main Library. Not too scary stories, songs and a ghoulish edible craft will be part of the event. For details and to register, call the library at 440-255-8811, ext. 220.


Lake Erie in a Bottle program will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Mentor Headlands Branch of Mentor Public Library. The event is for children in grades three through nine. This is a take-home craft program. To register, call 440-257-2000.


Mentor Public Library will host Heidi Callendar, author/editor of "Wind Energy in Ohio," to discuss this innovative technology. Callender will lead a discussion on that topic and more from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 21 during a “Meet the Author” event at Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave. Callender’s book is a compilation of articles from experts on the topic of wind energy in the state that examines major wind energy events since 1888. Wind Energy in Ohio will provide insight into Ohio's key past, present, and future wind industry. To register for the program, call 440-255-8811 or visit www.mentorpl.org.


Friends of the Mentor Public Library will hosts the October book sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 22 at the library, 8215 Mentor Ave. The sale features a great assortment of gift and regular books for the entire family. There are two rooms full of great books in the basement, and the store on the main floor will be open. A huge assortment of books from children's picture story, junior and young adult to adult fiction in hardback and paper is available. The non-fiction selection includes a bit of everything, from animals to history to great literature.


Madison Public Library, 6111 Middle Ridge Road, Madison, will host “Plants that Survive in Deer Country” Oct. 23. With deer eating an ever increasing variety of plants, hear about some types that they do not like. Better understand what plants they seek and which they will avoid.
For details, call 440-428-2189.


All young chemists are invited to join the National Chemistry Week program at the Beachwood Public Library (25501 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood) at 10 a.m. Oct. 23. Children in grades two through five will have fun exploring the chemistry behind the scenes. Parents must sign a release for children to participate. Forms will be available at the Children's Desk. Registration is required by phone at 216-831-6868 or online at cuyahogalibrary.org.


Scholastic Media presents a local stop on the “Get Goosebumps!” mall tour designed to thrill and chill the entire family from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at Great Lakes Mall in the Macy's Court. Mall visitors will enjoy a complete Goosebumps experience -- starring in and sharing their own custom “Get Goosebumps” video, playing the “Goosebumps HorrorLand” Wii game, taking pictures as a Goosebumps Horror, entering for a chance to win a Goosebumps Prize Pack and more.


All Geauga County Public Libraries welcome voter information and campaign literature for issues and candidates appearing on local ballots. Each library has an election display to help voters become well-informed. Brochures and fliers are acceptable, while items such as bumper stickers are not. Geauga County Public Libraries include Bainbridge, Chardon, Geauga West, Middlefield, the Bookmobile, and the Newbury and Thompson library stations. For locations and phone numbers, visit www.geaugalibrary.net.


--Cheryl Sadler
CSadler@News-Herald.com

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

I love used book sales

My OSU sweatshirt attracted plenty
of butterflies in the Glasshouse at the
Cleveland Botanical Garden.
The warm weather and used book sale going on at the Cleveland Botanical Garden (plus a free admission pass I had sitting around) made it the perfect weekend to explore the beautiful grounds in University Circle. I thought the books would be primarily about gardening, botany, flowers, trees and other nature-based subjects that would have been of little or no interest to me beyond the pretty pictures. Instead, I discovered thousands of children's books, chick lit, novels, biographies, self-help titles and more filled the tables next to the nature books.

I have trouble passing up used book sales because you find such great deals on titles you might otherwise never come across, or reasonable prices for books you never would have paid full price for. I left the sale with $1 book of Roald Dahl stories for myself and a $1 book for my boyfriend.

If you're not up to watching the Browns at the Steelers on Sunday afternoon, consider heading to University Circle to check out the gardens (weather expected to be sunny with temperatures in the low 60s), and stop by the library to see what's for sale -- you never know what you'll find.
(Admission is $8.50 for adults, and garage parking is $5 in Garden visitors.)

-- Cheryl Sadler
CSadler@News-Herald.com

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Booker winner announced, National Book Award nominees too.

We on an award tour...

Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question won the Man Booker Prize. (Think of it as the British National Book Award, except people pay attention to it.)

However, the commentary surrounding the award is more interesting than the winner.

Salon says that Booker is the best of all literary awards because of its selection process, which includes more than professional writers:

There’s a lot to be said for including the civilian perspective, which is just what the Booker does by routinely bringing in nonwriters as judges -- not as the only judges, but as an essential part of the mix. The book world is perpetually in danger of becoming too insular, of speaking only to itself. A literary culture in which the only people who read novels are other novelists is neither healthy nor, ultimately, sustainable. Any literary prize that wants to be valued by a wide variety of readers must, like the Booker, be willing to return the favor.

Meanwhile, former Booker jurors told The Guardian about the occasionally iffy judging that happens behind the scenes. Samples:

1992 Victoria Glendinning
Every book on our shortlist had one passionate supporter and one furious antagonist. When at the final meeting we locked horns over the frontrunners, it was suggested that we should reach our decision by taking into account second choices - proportional representation.
1995 Ruth Rendell
I used to lie and say I read every word of every book. The truth is that I did my best, but I am a judicious skipper.
1997 Jason Cowley
I believed then as I do now that the Booker is essentially a jamboree, little more than a kind of sport, with its own roster of winners and losers. It shouldn’t be dignified or taken too seriously.

Meanwhile, MobyLives talks about problems behind the selection of the “Not the Booker” prize.

The “Not the Booker” prize was awarded in a purely democratic fashion and like most democracies it was far from amicable–indeed, it often turned downright nasty. Sam Jordison, the event’s moderator, lone literary critic, and sole authority figure was so displeased with the initial Not The Booker” shortlist that he called for a recount in hopes that another, more conventional, list of titles be considered. When the original shortlist was again selected, Jordison proceeded to write scathing reviews of each title, his critical tone wavering between vague dismissal (”I was less than convinced by this story of family dysfunction and feline fantasy.”) and snide condescension ( “Written for teenagers – one hopes – this novel reminded me why I avoided such books even as an adolescent.”).

Finally, National Book Award nominees have been named. Naturally, I haven’t heard of any of them except for Mockingbird.

(No, in case you were wondering, there’s no Franzen in sight.)

-Jason Lea, JLea@News-Herald.com

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boombox Tattoos, All-Men Book Clubs and Family Circus Movies

I’ve been busy — attended a lot of weddings in the last month, including photos as evidence. As a result I have a lot of ground to cover in this post.


1. Two Dollar Radio — a small, family-owned, Columbus-based book publisher — is offering free lifetime subscriptions, all the work they’ve ever released or ever will release. All you have to do is tattoo their logo on your body.

Eric Obenauf, its publisher, explained the idea on their blog.

“It will hopefully grant the brandisher some credibility in literary circles as well as a hipness factor in social settings. Plus,” he adds, “it’s a conversation-starter: I don’t know how many times I’ve had to answer the question, ‘Is that a boombox on your wrist?’”

I have two tattoos (you’ll never see them unless I’m wearing a white textured tank top, commonly called a wifebeater) and I swore to never add a third. Now, I’m seriously reconsidering. (It helps that the publisher’s books and the logo are pretty sweet.)




2. Two e-books now cost more than their hardcover versions.

While it’s too soon (and an enormous exaggeration) to call this a “sign of things to come.” It may eventually become a fallacy to call e-books the cheap option.

3. Did you know that Cleveland has an old-money, no-girls-allowed book club that meets near the intersection of Euclid and Prospect that meets every Wednesday? Me neither.

They are called the Rowfant Club.

Here’s what one woman who was invited to speak to them had to say about it.




4. McSweeney’s has a new crop of columnists. (I will miss Bitchslap: A Column About Women and Fighting.)

The most promising of the new class is The Cosby Codex, which hopes to give “a definitive theoretical reading of The Cosby Show.”

A sample:

The question viewers are left with, logically, is what event(s) transpired within the Huxtable’s universe between “Pilot” and “Goodbye Mr. Fish” that placed the first world under erasure and brought about the second world? That question is never firmly resolved (I, for one, suspect that Rudy Huxtable, who is always figured as a sort of Faustian figure within the larger Huxtable narrative, had something to do with it, a point which I will explore shortly).




5. Who thought a Family Circus movie would be a good idea?

-Jason Lea, JLea@News-Herald.com

P.S. No the arm with the boombox tattoo is not me. The rest of the photos are.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Odds and Book Ends (Oct. 11-17)

Odds and Book Ends features activities and events in the area related to libraries, books and authors. Submit your events at www.News-Herald.com/Calendar, and check back to The Book Club every week for upcoming events and activities at your local library.


“Careers in Biotechnology” program will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 11 at Burton Public Library, 14588 West Park St. Joseph Deak of Lakeland Community College will be the featured speaker. The event is sponsored by the Geauga County Department of Job and Family Services and is part of a Coffee Talk series, an opportunity for job seekers to interact with employment professionals. To RSVP, call Geauga Workplace at 440-285-1223.


If you are considering downsizing your home or Grandma’s, you might want to attend the “downsizing” seminar at the Geauga West Library at 7 p.m. Oct. 11. Trina Miller, of Spaces Showroom and Liquidators in Bainbridge, will offer tips on how to recognize valuables and how to turn your trash into cash. If you have a particular item you feel may be valuable, mention it when you call 440-729-4250 to register for this program. Several items will be selected in advance for appraisal and discussion during this seminar.  The presentation of this program is a collaboration of the Friends of the Bainbridge Library and the West Geauga Friends of the Library. The Geauga West Library is located just south of West Geauga High School at 13455 Chillicothe Road, Chester Township.


Alyea Barajas from the Lake County Council on Aging will present a program to those already enrolled in Medicare on Oct. 12. Topics include an overview of Medicare options and the Annual Coordinated Election Period. This event is free and open to the public and will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the main branch of the Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave., in the lower level Garfield Room. Call 440-255-8811 to register, or contact Grace Sims for more details at grace.sims@mentorpl.org.


A representative of the Ohio AARP will explain the new health care laws at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Perry Public Library, 3753 Main St., Perry. For the past several years, AARP volunteers and staff have worked to help pass a health care law that benefit members and society as a whole. Now, AARP is focusing efforts on educating its members and the public on the contents of the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The legislation is more than 2,000 pages and is crammed with new benefits, rules, penalties and projects, spread out over many years. The goal is to educate consumers by answering the three most frequently asked questions: What does this mean to me? What do I get? What, if anything, do I need to do? This program will focus on those 50 years and older, with all adults welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. For details, call 440-259-3300.


Mentor Public Library’s main library at 8215 Mentor Ave. will be closed Oct. 12-14 for paving of the main parking lot. The Mentor-on-the-Lake and Headlands locations will be open from 9 to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 and 14 and from 1 to 9 p.m. Oct. 13. No fines will be accrued on items already checked out during this time, although returns will be taken at the branch locations. The book drops at the main library will be unavailable. Patrons with items “on hold” may pick them up on Oct. 18. Staff at the main library will conduct an inventory of main’s collections while the library is closed.


The Mentor Multiple Sclerosis Support Group will celebrate its fifth anniversary from 10:30 to noon Oct. 13 at Borders Books, Music, Movies and Cafe, 9565 Mentor Ave., Mentor. The group is open to anyone with MS or affected by the disease. Details: 440-254-4050 or KathySoke@aol.com.


Lunch and a movie will take place at noon Oct. 15 at Mentor Public Main Library, 8215 Mentor Ave. The family event is for all ages. Bring a lunch and drink for a picnic style meal in the Garfield Room. Popcorn will be provided. Registration is not necessary. Children ages 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. For details, call 440-255-8811, ext. 220.


Children and their families are invited to discover the wonder of magic with nationally renowned magician and illusionist Rick Smith Jr. at the Beachwood Public Library (25501 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood) at 2 p.m. Oct. 16. All ages are welcome, and registration is required by phone at 216-831-6868 or online at cuyahogalibrary.org.


Experience Reiki at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Perry Public Library, 3753 Main St., Perry. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administrated by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The presenter is Reiki Master Gisa Ticconi of the Earthwinds Wellness Center serving the Cleveland-Akron area. To register or for details, call the library at 440-259-3300.


Paws to Read will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 20 at Mentor Public Library’s Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch. The event is for children ages 6 to 12 years old. Children who are able to read independently are invited to sign up for a 30-minute session. A gentle, licensed dog who is trained to be a good listener will be paired up with the child. For details and to register, call the library at 440-255-8811, ext. 220. 


The Bake Shop Ghost for children in kindergarten through sixth grade will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Mentor Public Main Library. Not too scary stories, songs and a ghoulish edible craft will be part of the event. For details and to register, call the library at 440-255-8811, ext. 220.


Friends of the Wickliffe Public Library will again host Silhouette Productions under the direction of Angela Velotta when they present “Polter-Heist” Oct. 22. The audience-participation murder mystery-comedy will be open to the public, and tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the library. You must be 18 or older to attend the play. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7 p.m. Details: 440-944-6010.


All young chemists are invited to join the National Chemistry Week program at the Beachwood Public Library (25501 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood) at 10 a.m. Oct. 23. Children in grades two through five will have fun exploring the chemistry behind the scenes. Parents must sign a release for children to participate. Forms will be available at the Children's Desk. Registration is required by phone at 216-831-6868 or online at cuyahogalibrary.org. 


All Geauga County Public Libraries welcome voter information and campaign literature for issues and candidates appearing on local ballots. Each library has an election display to help voters become well-informed. Brochures and fliers are acceptable, while items such as bumper stickers are not. Geauga County Public Libraries include Bainbridge, Chardon, Geauga West, Middlefield, the Bookmobile, and the Newbury and Thompson library stations. For locations and phone numbers, visit www.geaugalibrary.net.


The Mentor Public Library will be loaning Kill-A-Watt EZ meter devices to their patrons for a two-week period. The service is an expansion of the library’s Go Green initiative along with the ongoing recycling programs already in place at the library. The devices were donated by the Friends of the Library. The patrons will be able to take the device home and plug it into any household appliance to find out exactly how much energy the appliance uses and how much it costs the homeowner. According to the Kill-A-Watt EZ meter manufacturer P3 International website, the meters will empower consumers on their electric bills. The meters are accurate to within 0.2 percent.


--Cheryl Sadler
CSadler@News-Herald.com

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Meet skating legend


Doesn't seem like that long since I was glued to my TV watching Apolo Anton Ohno wow the world at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (and remember him on "Dancin'g with the Stars." . And now I could see him up close and in person!
The short track speedskater will be at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lyndhurst at 11 a.m. Nov. 7 to sign  "Zero Regrets." 
I'm looking forward to reading this book. I can't wait to learn more about how he achieved the kind of focus necessary for such athletic success. Who couldn't use a little more focus and success these days.
Line tickets are a must to enter the signing line and you have to purchase his book at Joseph-Beth to get one.
- Tricia Ambrose

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Poet says lyrics aren't poetry (w/ Venn diagram)

Once upon a time, a former poet laureate said something either very stupid or very brave.

Billy Collins said, via The Wall Street Journal:
“Lyrics just don’t hold up without the music,” Collins said, adding that when his students argue for the literary merit of song lyrics, “I assure them that Jim Morrison is not a poet in any sense of the word.”

If we’re being literal, this is balderdash. Lyrics fit the definition of a poem — an arrangement of words, written or spoken, traditionally a rhythmical compositions, sometimes rhymed, expressing experiences, ideas or emotions in a style more concentrated, imaginative and powerful than that of ordinary speech or prose. (Definition comes from Webster’s. A secondary definition says a poem is “anything suggesting a poem in its effect.” Which means, we know it when we see it.)

If Collins is saying that modern poets are trying to do something different than modern lyricists, then he may be correct. (But I think he’s being arrogant and making lazy generalizations.)

I’ve already said where I stand on the poetry-lyrics grouping. Let’s link to some smarter people.

Jenny Hendrix of The New Yorker says:
Poetry and music have a long history together, from Greek rhapsodes  to medieval troubadours. The first poems may well have been lyrics themselves. And yes, to some extent, the more we define what is poetry and what it isn’t, the more of an uncommon, niche experience it becomes.

Kristen Hoggatt of The Smart Set says:
Many song writers would argue that they are writing poetry when they write a song, while many poets are equally adamant that they are doing no such thing. Perhaps this is because songs are so popular. Lyricists simply make too much money, and attain too much validation by hearing their life’s work as someone’s mobile ringtone. Poets have to write for years, getting published by small presses that year after year become slightly less small, teach as an adjunct, teach as a faculty member, teach as a faculty member with tenure, and once they’re finally published by Poetry Magazine or The New Yorker, they’re ready to retire. Lauren Hill (sic) considers herself a poet. Eminem considers himself a poet. Both these figures have a large fan base that would confirm their poet status, but to many people who consider themselves “real” poets, these figures are just too cool, too popular to exist in the world as a bestselling musical artist and a struggling lover of words.

Slight tangent, Collins’s comment also indirectly lead me to this Venn diagram.



While I don’t agree with all of the author’s categorizations — read “We Real Cool” and tell me Gwendolyn Brooks ain’t hip-hop — I think presenting anything as a Venn diagram makes it better.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

SVH Update: We need books!

It has been a long time since Cheryl or I have updated on the Countdown to Sweet Valley Confidential. Almost a month, in fact.

And what a long, boring month it has been.

Unfortunately, we have been unable so far to track down any more Sweet Valley books.

Of course, it has been a while since we seriously looked for any more editions. Cheryl, in her infinite library wisdom, was checking into borrowing them from area libraries, or having them sent from other libraries to closer locations. I tip-toed through Amazon's used book listings, and considered purchasing a few of them at what I thought were pretty cheap prices. Of course, once shipping is included, those prices aren't quite as enticing.

Although we have asked before, it would be so super-duper-extra-special wonderful if anybody either has some Sweet Valley books on a bookshelf (or even packed away in hiding) that you would be willing to donate to our cause. I know we have asked before, but as I said, we're getting a little desperate. I can't speak for Cheryl, but I'm going through some serious Sweet Valley withdrawal.

I'm sure Jason Lea is starting to miss our updates, too.
(Don't deny it, Jason. We all know it's true.)

So we are pleading again for your help in tracking down Sweet Valley High books 11-143. We only have 175 days (as of 11:23 p.m. on October 4) to read these 132 books. Eek

--Danielle Capriato
DCapriato@News-Herald.com

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Odds and Book Ends (Oct. 4-10)

Odds and Book Ends features activities and events in the area related to libraries, books and authors. Submit your events at www.News-Herald.com/Calendar, and check back to The Book Club every week for upcoming events and activities at your local library.

Upcoming events this month at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 24519 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst (216-691-7000)
  • Tucker Max, “A**holes Finish First,” 7 p.m. Oct. 5
  • Dr. Condoleezza Rice, “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family,” 7 p.m. Oct. 21

Upcoming events this month at PlayhouseSquare:
  • David Sedaris, Oct. 12, new book ”Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.” Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.org.


“Enhancing your Skills During the Job Search” program will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 4 at Geauga West Library, 13455 Chillicothe Road, Chester Township.Gail Reese, human resources professional, will be the featured speaker. The event is sponsored by the Geauga County Department of Job and Family Services and is part of a Coffee Talk series, an opportunity for job seekers to interact with employments professionals. To RSVP, call Geauga Workplace at 440-285-1223.


Moms of school-age children (kindergarten through college) are asked to join other moms to pray for the children and the schools that they attend. To find out about this life-changing group, attend Moms In Touch for an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Perry Public Library, 3753 Main St., Perry. For details about the group, call 440-259-2959 or 440-428-5987.


Friends of the Burton Public Library will host an art show Oct. 5 through 10 at Burton Public Library, 14588 W. Park St. The show will feature the work of artists from Geauga and Lake counties. Details: 440-834-4466.


An evening with award-winning author Shelley Pearsall will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Center, 400 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls. Pearsall will present an evening program for all ages featuring her new novel, “All Shook Up,” the story of a 13-year-old boy and his Elvis impersonator father. Books will be for sale and autographing at the end of the program. All titles are $6 the night of the program. Pearsall will autograph any books students bring to the event.


Children ages 2 through 7 and their families are invited to attend a "Jim and Company Family Entertainment" program at the Beachwood Public Library, 25501 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood, at 4 p.m. Oct. 7. Visit with Jim and his talking sheepdog, Ozzy, for sing-along songs and other fun. Register by phone at 216-831-6868 or online at cuyahogalibrary.org.


How to Read a Pet Food Label will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at Mentor Public Library. Robi Kublin, CPDT-KA, returns to Mentor Public Library to educate pet owners about what their pet is eating and why it is good or bad for them. Attendees will also learn about what to look for when selecting food for their pet. Bring your current dog/cat food label with you. People only, please. Program is free and open to the public although registration is requested. Please call 440-255-8811 or visit www.mentorpl.org to register.


Friends of the Burton Public Library will host a book sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 9 in the library basement. A "bag day" book sale will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 10. Burton Public Library is located opposite the Burton Park. There are items for everyone including books (fiction and non-fiction), magazines, vintage materials, maps, records, CDs, tapes, videos and puzzles. Enter the sale through the white door located at the back of the building.


Beachwood Public Library (25501 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood) will host author Carolina Martin and illustrator Julia Garmon of the newly published children's book "Red, Yellow, and Blue" at 11 a.m. Oct. 9. The event will include a creative art activity designed to be shared between a child and a special adult in their life. Books, art kits, and unique gifts based on "Red, Yellow, and Blue" will be available for purchase at this event. Register by phone at 216-831-6868 or online at cuyahogalibrary.org. 


If you are considering downsizing your home or Grandma’s, you might want to attend the “downsizing” seminar at the Geauga West Library at 7 p.m. Oct. 11. Trina Miller, of Spaces Showroom and Liquidators in Bainbridge, will offer tips on how to recognize valuables and how to turn your trash into cash. If you have a particular item you feel may be valuable, mention it when you call 440-729-4250 to register for this program. Several items will be selected in advance for appraisal and discussion during this seminar.  The presentation of this program is a collaboration of the Friends of the Bainbridge Library and the West Geauga Friends of the Library. The Geauga West Library is located just south of West Geauga High School at 13455 Chillicothe Road, Chester Township.


Mentor Public Library’s main library at 8215 Mentor Ave. will be closed Oct. 12-14 for paving of the main parking lot. The Mentor-on-the-Lake and Headlands locations will be open from 9 to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 and 14 and from 1 to 9 p.m. Oct. 13. No fines will be accrued on items already checked out during this time, although returns will be taken at the branch locations. The book drops at the main library will be unavailable. Patrons with items “on hold” may pick them up on Oct. 18. Staff at the main library will conduct an inventory of main’s collections while the library is closed.


Friends of the Wickliffe Public Library will again host Silhouette Productions under the direction of Angela Velotta when they present “Polter-Heist” Oct. 22. The audience-participation murder mystery-comedy will be open to the public, and tickets are $10 each. Tickets can be purchased at the library. You must be 18 or older to attend the play. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7 p.m. Details: 440-944-6010.


Reel Talk-Book and Movie Discussion Group meets at 2:45 p.m. the second Monday of every month in Meeting Room B of Morley Library, 184 Phelps St., Painesville. Books and DVDs are available at the check-out desk on the main floor. Details: www.morleylibrary.org.


The Madison Public Library has a new story time designed for toddlers who might have a difficult time staying quiet at the library. Rock-N-Roll story time is just for children 18 months to 3 years old and their caregivers. A half-hour program of music, rhymes and participatory stories seeks to introduce children to the library without worrying over their inability to sit still and be quiet. Programs are at 6:30 p.m. Mondays or at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Advanced registration is required. Those with questions or who would like to sign up should call 440-428-2189 or visit www.madison-library.info.


All Geauga County Public Libraries welcome voter information and campaign literature for issues and candidates appearing on local ballots. Each library has an election display to help voters become well-informed. Brochures and fliers are acceptable, while items such as bumper stickers are not. Geauga County Public Libraries include Bainbridge, Chardon, Geauga West, Middlefield, the Bookmobile, and the Newbury and Thompson library stations. For locations and phone numbers, visit www.geaugalibrary.net.


Morley Library, 184 Phelps St. in Painesville, has resumed winter hours.
  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
  • 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
For details, call the library at 440-352-3383.


--Cheryl Sadler
CSadler@News-Herald.com

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Newsroom Reaction to Banned Books Week

Banned books week ends today. The newsroom uses this opportunity to talk about books that have been banned and the concept of censorship.

Dave Jones
It was good to see the loooong list of banned or challenged books, almost all of which I don’t have anymore in my bookcases but, no kidding, almost all of which I  read in my late teens and most of my twenties.

Hmm. Not having them anymore must mean that I DID NOT buy them, but borrowed them from  the public library , which I did visit often. I especially read most of the Beat books, Kerouac’s and others,  the early Lolita book,  too many to name from the list.

All this must be partly why, as a news reporter who exists on freedom of speech, I’ve always respected the library as a protector of freedom of speech.

Jason Lea
I wrote two pages about Brideshead Revisited, The Color Purple and how homosexuality is perceived. Then, I scrapped it.

It was long-winded and told you stuff you already know. Censoring books is bad, ignorance is dangerous, knowledge is power etc...

So let’s cut to the quick. Life is awful, sometimes. Fathers rape their children; a toddler dies from cancer; a man drowns homeless and unloved, and people make jokes about it on the Internet.

This is life. (Yes, life is also the mundane things. It’s trying to decide what sort of jam you’ll put on your toast or hiding a coffee stain with your tie. It’s eight hours of sleep and trips to the bathroom, lots of trip to the bathroom.) But the ends of the spectrum — the horrible and the transcendent — are where life matters the most.

We ban books because they are “too sexual,” “too violent” or because they contain a shade of humanity we would rather ignore. But life is “too sexual” and “too violent.”

If you read The Lovely Bones or The Color Purple and your innards twist and you want to stop reading, then the book is working! You’re supposed to be upset. Life (at least, half of the part that matters) is upsetting.

If you ban the books that force you to feel, force you to think, then you cordon yourself in a black-and-white Pleasantville.

You don’t have to accept the ugly. You don’t have to like it. But you do need to know it’s important.

And don’t tell me that your kids aren’t ready for it. I knew everything by seventh grade. I learned it in middle-school bathrooms and recess. Your kids probably do, also. (They got the Discovery Channel, don’t they?)

Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t talk to them with them about the ugly.

Jacob Lammers
If I had to choose one book that really opened my eyes, it is To Kill a Mockingbird – a classic in my mind. If this book was banned, I think future generations would be cheated of a glimpse into the racial tension and bigotry that existed in our country. Although it’s fiction, sometimes a book can give us a better take on our country’s past than a history lesson.

Danielle Capriato
OK, Douglas Adams is by far one of my favorite authors. Not only have I read all five books in the Hitchhiker trilogy (and no, that is not a typo), but I am also a proud owner of his Dirk Gently books and So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, a compilation of stories, essays and other things taken off of Adams’ fleet of macintosh computers after his passing. The man is by far one of my most admired authors for many reasons, primarily because he has the ability to put a humorous spin on intellectual topics that, I believe, allow readers of all ages, interests, socio-political-history-pop culture-etc awareness, and, let’s face it, intelligence levels, to actually be entertained and amused by his stories.

Kind of like how The Simpsons have canny ways of addressing important topical situations and “dumbing it down” so people laugh at the issues without realizing some of the nuances of humor. Only Douglas Adams is way better than some writers at The Simpsons could ever be.

Which, I guess, could be why Hitchhiker ended up on a list of contested literature. The book touches on religion and politics and dives into important issues regarding the human psyche in such a cavalier way that you don’t even realize that you’re reading the views of a self-professed radical atheist.

And maybe that one little thing is why this book was considered controversial: Adams had no qualms with admitting his atheism.

To me, that is an absurd reason to consider banning a book. To speculate that the author may be trying to force others to agree with his spiritual beliefs is rather ridiculous in my opinion. For those unfamiliar with the book, H2G2 (as it is called among some of the more serious fans) is really a silly sci-fi romp that, yes, calls into question important and topical issues. The characters are actually faced with trying to uncover the Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe and Everything (a computer already gave them the answer, which I’m sure is one of the issues that led to the book being challenged).

Really, it is unfortunate that some people are so scared of what would happen if we allow people to present different beliefs and opinions through literature.  And, quite honestly, in the case of H2G2, nobody should be kept from reading the book simply for it’s surface-level entertainment value.

Although, it’s a lot more fun if you read deeper. But hey, I’m not going to knock anybody for reading it simply to get to know the silly characters and laugh at the out-of-this-world scenarios throughout. If you haven’t read this book, get on it!

Oh, and P.S. Harry Potter is not teaching kids about witchcraft; it is a classic story about good and evil, and Harry is clearly a Jesus figure. But I could write a thesis on that—and I will blog about Harry Potter very soon, I promise

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