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    by Becky C | Feb 12, 2018
    #ReadingBlackout is trending on social media this month -- join the conversation! To celebrate Black History Month, many readers are looking for books by and about African Americans.  You can always start with some classics, of course -- there's a reason we're still talking about  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, and Black Boy by Richard Wright.  But maybe you've read those and are looking for something new?  Here's a quick look at a few recent-ish books in our collection that reviewers have loved.


    The MothersThe Mothers by Brit Bennett.  Nadia Turner is a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty.  Luke Sheppard is a twenty-one year-old former football star whose injury has left him waiting tables at a diner. The pregnancy that results from their brief romance--and the subsequent cover-up--will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including her best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are adults still living in debt to the choices they made that one summer.  All three are haunted by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently?


    Ghost SummerGhost Summer
    by Tananarive Due. 
    In her debut collection of short fiction, Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghosts.  She shows us future scenarios that seem all too real and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness. Ghost Summer features an award-winning novella and fifteen stories.




    PleasantvillePleasantville by Attica Locke.  If you're a fan of FOX's Empire, you're already familiar with the writing of Attica Locke.  She brings back her protagonist from Black Water Rising and plunges him into a shadowy world of ambitious enemies and treacherous allies armed with money, lies, and secrets.  This case will put him and his client, and an entire political process, on trial.



    EverfairEverfair by Nisi Shawl.  Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn a human rights disaster into an exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. An inspiring story that will give readers new insight into an often ignored period of history.



    Dear MartinDear Martin by Nic Stone.  Written as a mixture of dialogues, third-person narrative, and letters to Martin Luther King Jr., the novel explores an African American teen's confrontations with racism and his search for identity.  There's a lot of buzz about this recent debut.




    The South Side

    The South Side by Natalie Moore. Chicago native Natalie Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city's South Side; her reported essays showcase the lives of these communities through the stories of her family and the people who reside there. The South Side highlights the impact of Chicago's historic segregation - and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact. 




    If you like this list and would like some additional recommendations, send an email to us at ask@acpl.info -- we'd love to connect you with your next great read!  And please, share your must-read titles in the comments below.

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Angie N. | Feb 10, 2018

    cover image for I'm just no good at rhyming

    I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
    Written by Chris Harris
    Illustrated by Lane Smith
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 192 pages

     

    Let me start out by saying that I am someone who loves poetry. However, I’m sort of picky about what I enjoy, especially when it comes to humorous poetry. It often falls short for me, but I loved this collection of funny and I have to say, sometimes even fall out of your chair laughing poems written by Chris Harris. The illustrations by Lane Smith who’s an award winning machine for his illustrations in books like “Grandpa Green” and “The Stinky Cheese Man” are silly, hilarious and compliment Chris Harris’ poems extremely well. These guys make a good team, and I hope we see more work from the two of them together in the future.

    The author, the illustrator, and even the illustrator’s wife prove on the dedication page of “I’m Just No Good at Rhyming” just how funny and clever the rest of the book is going to be. The laughs continue through to the very end of the book where you see the “portraits” Lane Smith drew of himself and Chris Harris for their biographies. In the Acknowledgements by Chris Harris, he thanks Lane Smith, but insists, “I DO NOT LOOK LIKE THAT!” You’ll have to check out the portrait yourself and see why Mr. Harris is so emphatic. Also, included in the author’s biography is an explanation of what he does in his free time. He of course, “gets older”, which made me laugh out loud.

    This poetry book is filled with poems that will tickle your funny bone no matter how young or old you are, and I’m sure will continue to delight us all as we get older in our free time. One of my personal favorites is “The Race”. It’s about two rocks that decide to race from the mountaintop where they are perched down to the edge of the sea. It begins…

    Two rocks on a mountaintop, 90 BC,

    Gazed far below at the scenery.

    The first one said to the second, “Hey, Lee,

    I’ll race you on down to the edge of that sea.”

    Then they sat there and sat there and sat there and sat there

    And sat there and sat there and sat there.

    I know you’re going to want to find out who won the race, so I’ll say it again, check this book out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

    Some of the poems in the collection offer a bit more seriousness and thoughtfulness. They include “The Whydoo Inside of You”, “Let’s Meet Right Here in Twenty-Five Years” and another favorite of mine, “The Valleys Shape the Mountains”.

    The valleys shape the mountains.

    The shadow shapes the crescent moon.

    The chill of late December

    Shapes the warmth we feel in June.

    So next time that you’re crying

    Just remember this small rhyme;

    Your sadness shapes the happiness

    You’ll feel again in time.

    This is one of those children’s poetry books that needs to find a permanent place on your bookshelf next to Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, so you can pull it off the shelf when you want to share a good laugh with a child in your life or just with yourself.

    by Kay S | Feb 09, 2018
    Yes, the months are just rolling by and it's time for another list of some upcoming books. These are books which I'm hearing good things about. Anyway, they are something to look forward to. And, remember - these dates are the publishing dates, not the dates they will be on your library shelves or electronic gizmos.

    Historical Romance
    Kelly Bowen   Kelly Bowen
    http://www.kellybowen.net/home.html
    A Duke in the Night
    Devils of Dover series
    February 20 
    Meredith Duran Meredith Duran
    http://meredithduran.com/index.html
    The Sins of Lord Lockwood
    Rules for the Reckless series
    February 27

    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction/Women's Fiction/New Adult

    Alyssa Cole   Alyssa Cole
    http://alyssacole.com
    A Princess in Theory
    Reluctant Royals series
    Contemporary Romance
    February 27 
    Maria de la Santos Marisa de los Santos
    http://www.marisadelossantos.com
    I’ll be Your Blue Sky
    Love Walked In series
    Mainstream Fiction
    March 6
     Jude Deveraux Jude Deveraux
    http://jude-deveraux.com
    As You Wish
    A Summerhouse Novel series
    Mainstream Fiction
    March 6
    Jennifer Gracen Jennifer Gracen
    http://www.jennifergracen.com
    It Might Be You
    The Harrisons series
    Contemporary Romance
    February 27
     Joan Johnston Joan Johnston
    http://www.joanjohnston.com/index.html
    Surrender
    Bitter Creek series
    Contemporary Romance
    February 27
     Stephanie London Stefanie London
    http://stefanie-london.com
    Bad Bachelor
    Bad Bachelors series
    Contemporary Romance
    March 6

    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense

    Linda Howard   Linda Howard
    https://www.lindahowardbooks.com
    The Woman Left Behind
    Romanctic Suspense
    March 6 
     emma Kavanaugh Emma Kavanagh
    https://emmakavanagh.com/
    The Missing Hours
    Mystery
    February 26
    TE Woods T.E. Woods
    http://tewoodswrites.com
    The Wrong Sister
    Suspense
    February 27

    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy

    Rachel Aaron   Rachel Aaron
    http://www.rachelaaron.net/
    Last Dragon Standing
    Heartstrikers series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 1 
     Anne Bishop Anne Bishop
    http://www.annebishop.com/
    Lake Silence
    The World of the Others series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 6
     Pamela Briggs Patricia Briggs
    http://www.patriciabriggs.com
    Burn Bright
    Alpha and Omega series
    Paranormal Romance
    March 6
    Marshall Maresca Marshall Ryan Maresca
    http://www.mrmaresca.com
    Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe
    Streets of Maradaine series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 6
    Seanan McGuire Seanan McGuire
    http://www.seananmcguire.com
    Tricks for Free
    InCryptid seroes
    Urban Fantasy
    March 6

    Young Adult

    Elizabeth Acevedo   Elizabeth Acevedo
    http://www.acevedowrites.com/
    The Poet X
    March 6 
    Toni Adeyemi Tomi Adeyemi
    http://www.tomiadeyemi.com/
    Children of Blood and Bone, debut
    March 6
    Tanaz Bhathena Tanaz Bhathena
    http://tanazbhathena.com/
    A Girl Like That
    February 27
    Kristen Simmons Kristen Simmons
    http://www.kristensimmonsbooks.com
    Pacifica
    March 6

    Inspirational
    Terri Blackstock   Terri Blackstock
    http://www.terriblackstock.com/
    If I Live
    March 6
    Lindsay Harrel Lindsay Harrel
    http://www.lindsayharrel.com
    The Heart Between Us, debut
    March 13
     Mary Webber Mary Weber
    http://www.maryweber.com
    Reclaiming Shilo Snow
    Evaporation of Sofi Snow series
    March 6




    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by SM | Feb 06, 2018

    The books listed here are new teen romance novels to read during cold February nights...

    FK.cvr.1FK.cvr.2T.cvr.3W.cvr.4LI.cvr.5WIT.cvr.6FF.cvr.7DOIT.cvr.8RTE.cvr.9

    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

     

    by Angie N. | Feb 06, 2018

    Our first Design It! program, Cardboard Construction, was so much fun! We filled the Globe Room at the Main Library with lots of cardboard and masking tape and challenged our young guests to create whatever they could imagine. The results were fantastic! Helmets and shields were created, as well as a theater for dolls, a car, a robot, a fancy hat and a birdhouse. One small group worked together to make a campsite complete with a roaring “fire” and played in their campsite for the remaining program time.

    CC1CC3

    CC2CC4

    Please join us for the next program in our Design It! series where kids will have the opportunity to design and create their own board games. The program will be held on Wednesday, February 14 from 3:30pm - 4:30pm in the Globe Room at the Main Library, and we'll have all sorts of materials to use for this creative project including dice, game pieces, foam board, and plastic cars. Don’t forget, all projects designed and created during any of our Design It! programs can be taken home.      

    by Dawn S | Feb 05, 2018
    Saturday morning, twenty seven amazing librarians, teachers, and friends discussed children's picture books at our annual Allen County Public Library Mock Caldecott Program. We were debating and voting on the one we think should win the 2018 Caldecott Award.

    And the winner was...


    cover image for after the fall

    After the Fall
    written and illustrated by Dan Santat



    We also named two mock honor books
    cover image for grand canyon

    Grand Canyon
    written and illustrated by Jason Chin


    cover image for muddy the story of blues legend muddy waters

    Muddy: the story of blues legend Muddy Waters
    written by Michael Mahin
    illustrated by Evan Turk


    Now we're just eagerly awaiting the official results next Monday.

    Here are the details from the American Library Association's website:
    The 2018 Youth Media Award announcements will take place on Monday, Feb. 12, at 8 a.m. MT from the Colorado Convention Center. Fans can follow 2018 results in real-time via live webcast at http://ala.unikron.com/2018 , or follow hashtag #alayma.
    by Becky C | Feb 05, 2018
    Looking for a unique Valentine's Day card?  We've got you covered.  Check out these cool creations from ACPL's very own print shop.  We have a variety of valentines available at each of our locations but they are going fast -- stop by and pick up yours today!  And don't forget to stop by any of our reference desks to ask for Valentine's Day music, movie, and reading recommendations as well.  

    You're Just Write For Me
    Im Checking You Out
     
     ISBN Thinkin About You
     My Heart Is Booked For You
     


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Craig B | Jan 31, 2018

    Book Review: John Cheever's winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Stories of John Cheever

    cover for John Cheevers short story collection, The Stories of John CheeverI don’t think any of us are old enough to have been around when Anton Chekov was, but many of us were around for John Cheever, and though at first it may seem that two gentlemen nearly a century apart could have little in common (Cheever won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1979 for the book under examination, The Stories of John Cheever, and Chekov wrote the Cherry Orchard in 1903), I would argue that the lives depicted in Cheever’s stories are often falling apart over … cocktails …, much as in Chekov, and that the amount of detail I learned about suburban commuting life and train schedules in upper-middle America from John in many ways smacks of the same strange isolation of a fading Russian aristocracy, etc. as depicted by Anton. Thus, Cheever, the Chekov of the Suburbs.  The alliteration is just a bonus.

    But now, perhaps, to get down to brass tacks.  Ok, nothing that serious.  I’ll just say there were some really great stories in Cheever’s collection.  Looking over the titles that Wikipedia lists as notable I recognized “The Swimmer” as one that had stood out to me, it may have even been my favorite, and that story seems to hold the key to what I liked most about Cheever’s book.  When John upped the “atmosphere” of his work, when flights of fancy took his characters (or was it just Cheever himself) and he incorporated a dream sequence as in “The Death of Justina” or an eroding fantasy as in “The Swimmer,” I was most taken in.  The more straightforward stories were always insightful but the irony they incorporated, especially the earlier ones, often came off a grade gimmicky even as it brought the ghost of a gleeful grin for the glibness of youth.  The alliteration is still just a bonus.

    That said, when talking about John Cheever I’d like to quote what he was able to say about one of his editors, Harold Ross, that “he seems to have done more good than anything else,” and to those of the Cheever following among a certain young, ambitious, literary crowd (a crowd no doubt growing older as we speak and feeling startled at my comparisons and criticisms (just wait till the 21st century folks come up with their own Cheever/Chekov corollary, that could really capsize their conceptions, I calculate)) that might take offense at such a sideways compliment, I would say that I do think Cheever’s place in American literary history is seemly and above all secure, so please don’t scare (here’s to no century ever getting too old for alliteration!), it’s just that for me Cheever’s stories seem to be waiting for something.  But I’m willing to keep looking.  Maybe I’ll find it in one of his novels.

    Craig B author Craig B is a thirty-something lover of books, movies, and rock and roll whose grandmother still worries that he might not be eating enough. (Love you, Grandma!) He lives with his charming wife in the small town of Berne, IN (in sight of the clock tower) where he busies himself keeping the Roses of Sharon in check and training his chinchilla in the ancient arts of the Ninja. Craig’s current favorite book is Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
    by Cindy H | Jan 30, 2018
    MUSICAL_CONEXION_1D47FDDC
    Join us at the Aboite Branch of the Allen County Public Library each Tuesday morning in February for Musical Conexion, a bilingual music and movement program! Musical Conexion grew out of a need for quality early music education that cultivates not only motor skills and cognition, but also empathy, creativity, and appreciation for cultural diversity. Creative Directors, José Manuel (Chile) and Kelsie Murray (Fort Wayne, Indiana), are musicians and educators combining a variety of experience with distinct pedagogical approaches on both continents.

    This is a 30-minute program designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers. The toddler program will be from 10:30-11:00 am and preschoolers from 11:00-11:30 am February 6, 13, 20, and 27.

    For more information about Musical Conexion, please check out their website, https://www.musicalconexion.com/. We hope to see you and your children there!
    by Community Engagement | Jan 29, 2018
    Photo Jan 29, 12 57 25 PM

    AARP Foundation Tax-Aide for the 2017 tax year is available for free at the ACPL locations listed below from January 29, 2018 through April 17, 2018. For a list of what to bring with you, click here.

    Mondays
     
    Aboite
    12:30 - 4:00 pm
     
    Little Turtle
    12:00 - 4:00 pm
     
    Pontiac
    10:30 am - 2:00 pm
     
     
    Tuesdays
     
    Dupont
    11:00 am - 3:00 pm (2/6 thru 4/10)
     
    Georgetown
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm (2/6 thru 4/10)
     
    Hessen Cassel
    10:30 am - 2:30 pm
     
    Shawnee
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm
     
    Main Library
    4:00 - 7:00 pm
     
     
    Wednesdays
     
    Waynedale
    10:30 am - 2:30 pm
     
    Tecumseh
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm
     
     
    Thursdays
     
    Grabill
    10:00 am - 3:00 pm
     
    New Haven
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm
     
    Tecumseh
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm


    by Lincoln Collection | Jan 29, 2018
    Photo Jan 29, 10 57 14 AM

    Saturday, February 17
    9:00 am to 12:00 pm

    Main Library - Great Hall

    Abraham Lincoln’s 209th birthday is February 12, 2018.  Come celebrate with us by Learning Lincoln’s Legacy at our Main Library on Saturday, February 17, 9:00 am to Noon.  There will be activities for ages 9 to 14, including a behind-the-scenes look into the vault where the Lincoln Collection is kept, a Lincoln historical scavenger hunt through the library, time to watch Lincoln in the movies, and a hands-on recreation of a real 19th-century photograph.There will also be an exclusive collection of books about Lincoln available for you to check out.


    The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection at the Allen County Public Library is an incomparable repository and resource for information on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

     

    by Evan | Jan 29, 2018
    The Telomere EffectBook Review:  The Telomere Effect by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel

    Exercise, meditate, eat right. Avoid sugar, tobacco, depression and constant stress. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    OK, we know how to raise the odds of a long, healthful life, and we know how to wreck our bodies before we are 60. But what's at the core of all this? Why does this advice help you avoid such seemingly diverse diseases as diabetes, cancer and heart attacks? 

    In The Telomere Effect, Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel have an answer for you. Remember the old line warning you not to burn the candle at both ends? Substitute chromosome for candle and you're close to current scientific understanding of aging and body decline.

    Chromosomes are the long chemical strands that contain your DNA -- the code that built and maintains your body. As your body cells die off, their chromosomes copy themselves to make new cells. The chromosomes have end caps called telomeres. When chromosomes duplicate, the telomeres erode a bit. Over decades, the telomeres get so short that they don't protect the chromosomes well enough and new cells have copying mistakes that can lead to disease.

    If you protect your telomeres with healthy living -- and the authors even tell ways you can lengthen them a little -- you are much more likely to enjoy an active life into your 80s than if you burn those chromosome end caps with a self-destructive lifestyle. The Telomere Effect is not about how to live a super-long life, but if you can spend your 50s, 60s and 70s doing what you want to do instead of being disabled or dead, that qualifies as a good deal. 

    As someone who started a surgeries hobby after I entered my 50s, I was chagrined reading this book. My daughter and many others have been giving me good health advice for a long time, and I've resisted some of it. One rationalization was that I didn't see any over-arching scientific basis for different diets, exercise routines and, worst of all, hours of meditation. 

    Now Blackburn and Epel are denying me that excuse. How about you? 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Cindy H | Jan 26, 2018

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    When Starr Carter was just a young child she saw one of her best friends get murdered before her eyes in a drive-by shooting. Soon after, her parents enrolled her and her siblings in a private school an hour away to help them escape some of the violence of their neglected neighborhood. Now, Starr is sixteen years old and will witness another friend get murdered, this time by a police officer. Can Starr possibly overcome the feelings of grief and guilt of watching the lives of two friends end? Will she be able to face her fears to speak the truth and seek justice for her friend?

    This powerful story by first-time author Angie Thomas speaks to the current issues of police brutality and violence against minorities, particularly the black community. I think sometimes it can be hard to relate to what people of different backgrounds experience; this book does an excellent job of helping you understand the feelings of confusion, fear, and ultimately powerlessness that those affected by gun violence and discrimination face. Thomas makes Starr and the other characters in the book come alive through Starr’s first-person narrative. She seamlessly weaves tragedy with humor to create an engaging story that anyone, regardless of their race or upbringing, can relate to. I feel this is an important book that not only every teen, but adult, should read.

    This book has won or been nominated for many awards, including being nominated for the prestigious 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Please be aware that this book contains some profanity, racial slurs, and graphic descriptions of violence; it may be too mature for some younger teens. It is available at the library in print and audiobook, and as an ebook and electronic audiobook on Overdrive.

    by Becky C | Jan 26, 2018
    Ursula Le Guin

    Perhaps known best for her literary science fiction, Le Guin is one of few authors whose works can be found in libraries' collections for children, teens, and adults.  A prolific writer, she wrote across genres (and truthfully wasn't all that concerned with labels anyway).  In addition to her novels, she wrote poetry and short stories.  The one description I think holds true for all of her work?  Thought provoking.

    If you haven't read anything by this groundbreaking author yet, but would like to, Mindy and I have a few recommendations for getting started.  Mindy is one of our readers advisory rock stars at ACPL -- she reads A LOT and has a good sense of what books to recommend at any given time.  She's also a huge fun of Ursula Le Guin so she was the perfect person to team up with for this post. 

    If you like Science Fiction, the Hainish stories are a solid choice.  This is a series that comes with the question -- do I read them in publication order or chronological order?  There's no wrong or right answer to that question as Le Guin herself indicates in this introduction -- and rather than summarize this "universe", I'll recommend that you click on the link, as Le Guin addresses the individual titles AND her writing process in a wonderfully conversational way.  Titles in this series include:  Planet of Exile, Rocannon's World, City of Illusions, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, The Word for World is Forest, Four Ways to Forgiveness, and The Telling.

    If you like Fantasy, particularly if you like the Harry Potter series, The Earthsea Cycle is highly recommended.  The world building is exquisite (and its wizard school was around long before Hogwarts).  As this is a continuation of a story, so you'll want to read them in this order:  A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, The Other Wind, Tales From Earthsea, and The Daughter of Odren.

    If you're looking for something light and fun, try the Catwings series.  It's a kids series but don't let that stop you -- it's about cats with wings.  What could be better?  The books you are looking for are Catwings, Catwings Return, Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, Jane on Her Own, Tales of the Catwings, and More Tales of the Catwings

    One final recommendation for this post is the memorial written by Margaret Atwood.  While there are many lovely memorials being written for Ursula Le Guin this week, Atwood's is a heartfelt testimony from one literary great to another. 



    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 24, 2018
    Have a favorite movie hero or television character?
    We've got plenty of books to keep you reading and enjoying their adventures.
    Here are just a few new titles from this month.

    cover image for tiana's best surprise
    cover image for dragon pox
     cover image for the leia chronicles
    cover image for justice league the official guide cover image for garfield grumpy cat
    cover image for the great egg race
    cover image for the villainous venus flytrap  big baking bonanza
    cover image for fast as the flash
    by Kayla W | Jan 24, 2018

    “You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold.” – The Alchemist

    The Holy Mountain

    While all films are meant to be viewed, there are some very few that seem to exist as a means of reflecting not just the true values of a culture, but the viewer’s own soul.   Not many succeed in that, with the goalposts of cultural zeitgeist (what can be seen as the individual "spirit" of a time or era) shifting and morphing, so that what was once a thing that spoke to a whole generation of people is now clichéd and therefore next to worthless, in terms of an ideal of reflecting a peoples' values back to them.

    This movie seems to be one that has something to say about the nature of anything and everything, running the gamut of transformation, capitalism, militarization, commodification, mysticism (especially Tarot), cult of personalities, religion, and irreligion. I don't see the key points being made in this movie becoming outdated for as long as Western society continues.  And there’s likely so much more that I haven’t even thought of yet, topics and themes that will become apparent to me through a second, third, fourth viewing.  Such is the power of surrealism and almost purely symbolic characterization.  

    What we’re confronted with in the movie are characters at once almost entirely individualized from one another (albeit, almost purely symbolic of the planets of the solar system), only to be made into mirror images of the Alchemist.  The enigmatic Alchemist is played by the movie's auteur director - and writer, producer - Alejandro Jodorowsky, a choice of self-referential and potentially third-wall breaking casting that says a lot about what we're meant to draw from the role.  The Alchemist is a master who seeks to change his disciples from the materialistic and bizarre, fixated people they once were to those capable of achieving immortality. 

    However, this path to immortality appears to be a veiled ascendance towards a metaphysical enlightenment - a fact that the selfish followers are either oblivious of or are willfully ignorant to.  Most of them exhibit traits belonging to the most abhorrent of what humanity has to offer – opportunistic in a foul way, cruel, possessing strange desires and traits more in line with what we typically see in almost cartoonishly evil characters.  The one we're meant to most follow – and the most likeable - is the one known as the Thief, who is a clear stand in for a confused and near-helpless version of Jesus Christ.   

    All of the members of the Alchemist’s group have been assembled with the goal of losing their ties to the material world that gave all but the Thief riches and fame, with the express goal of finding - and taking the place of - the immortal Gods on Lotus Island who live atop the Holy Mountain.   The movie goes from the lost wanderings of a clear stand-in for Jesus Christ to a description of a group of strange and hedonistic, monstrous people to a mystic heist movie without missing a beat. And it is glorious, unapologetic.

    Throughout the movie, we find that perhaps the most interesting thing touched on (from a first time viewer’s perspective) is this idea of how foolish it is to use spiritual enlightenment as a tool to gain something as selfish as godhood for the "mere" sake of immortality.

    The story is an archetypal journey that seems to go through the Tarot deck, from the Fool to the World, a dream that nevertheless has a line of logic that you can (thankfully) latch on to in order to weather the emotional and mental storm that this movie puts you through. 

    The film itself is a feast for the eyes, contrasting bright colors and bizarre, truly novel concepts (such as a factory, where “art” is made via assembly line… from the nude parts of paint-slathered people).  Most importantly for something so surreal, the movie never seems to stray far into taking itself so seriously that it loses touch with a sense of humor, which ranges from almost infantile to this sort of deep satire on the nature of human existence.

    As deeply enlightening and beautiful as it is silly and grotesque, this movie may be my favorite movie ever.  It was a wonderful surprise to me when the ACPL acquired a DVD of the beautifully restored film.  I found that the special feature in which Alejandro Jodorowsky explains his personal interpretation of the major Arcana of Tarot to be one of the most enlightening pieces I've ever experienced on the topic.  To me, it is a feature not to be missed.

    Kayla loves all things weird, wonderful, and macabre. Her soul’s in writing, and her hobbies include gaming, watching movies and television shows, and reading anything and everything. Her black cat’s TOTALLY, 100%, not evil.

    by Alayne Johnson, Gallery Coordinator | Jan 23, 2018

    The Art of Fort Wayne is a collaborate exhibit featuring 40+ artists from the area. From graphic design to photography, oil paint to acrylics, you’ll find a wide variety of mediums used to create works of art celebrating the city of Fort Wayne!

    This exhibit will be on display in the Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery at the Main Library until February 25, 2018.

    The awards given for this exhibit are as follows:

    1st place – Jerry Etnier – Photography – “Fort Wayne’s Famous”

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    2nd place – Coleman Geiger – Adobe Illustrator – “City of Fort Wayne”

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    3rd place – Joel Fremion – Fabric Collage – “City Utilities Park”

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    Judge's Choice (3 total)

     

    Katherine Rohrbacher – Oil on Wood – “Johnny”

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    Brian Sirois – Photography – “Embassy through the Eyes of Grand Wayne”

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    Sharmalene Gunawardena – Photography – “Wells Street Bridge”

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    Below is a list of a few featured artists as well as some additional images of the exhibit!

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    Bryan Ballinger:

    Bryan is an Indiana photographer and illustrator, as well as a professor of Digital Media Arts at Huntington University in Indiana. He enjoys shooting local architecture, Indiana landscapes, and dogs. Bryan also does illustration for children’s books, websites, games, videos, ads, etc.

    Website: http://www.breadwig.com

    Email: bryan@breadwig.com

     

    Jerry Etnier:

    I'm the owner of Images by Jerry photography. I enjoy all types of photography: wedding, portrait, action, and special events. I prefer to do very little Photoshop modifications to my photos. I visualize the photograph and capture it in the camera.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imagesbyjerry

    Contact:  260-704-8018


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    Joel Fremion:

    Joel is trained in Architectural/Interior Design but with a strong Fine Arts background including: painting, printmaking, ceramics, stained glass, metal-smithing, furniture design and art history. His self-taught technique evolved out of his frustration with finishing paintings and his family's long history in the fabric industry. He describes his collages as small building projects.

    Email: joelfremion@yahoo.com   

    Website: fremionart.com

     

    Coleman Geiger:

     

    I am a junior at the University of Saint Francis, majoring in Graphic Design with concentrations in illustration and web design. This piece was part of the "city poster" series I've been working on. This is a project where I sum up a city’s historical importance based on culture, monuments, and buildings with an illustration. Fort Wayne was the first one in the series because it's the most dearest to me. 

    Social media: @geigerdesign

    Contact: (260)-797-3171

    Email: cmgeiger96@gmail.com

     

    Diane Allen Groenert:

    My favorite thing to paint is Historic Buildings Housing Local Owner Owned Businesses.  I've been doing a series of painting about Fort Wayne since 1999.  I attempt to infuse them with the personality of the owner by using color, line and perspective.  Some are more animated than others.

    Website: DAGROENERT.COM

    West Central Studio:  260-420-4717

     

    Sharmalene Gunawardena:

    I am a creative story- teller. I believe that photographing the beauty that surrounds us is a meaningful way to express myself. Come follow my journey!

    Website: www.sharmalene.weebly.com

    Email: sharmalene.photo@gmail.com

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    Lynn Harlow:

    My piece was inspired by Anthony Cross' poem about a cat he saw one night while walking along the historic belt line. The illustration is rather whimsical for my work. The structures are warped to represent a strong imagination that Anthony still has even in his adult age. The focus is on a small cat, which he projects his wants onto.

    As for myself, generally my art is entirely self-focused. In this case the piece is not at all about me and instead my perception about Anthony and this light hearted work of his. Website: http://thoughtparadigm.tumblr.com/

    Email: s.l.e.harlow@gmail.com

    Anthony’s contact: 260-310-7123

    Anthony’s email: dravenr2190@hotmail.com

     

    Karen Harvey:

    I was born and grew up in a small city in upstate New York. With a move to the mid-west (Fort Wayne) and becoming empty nesters I renewed my interest in art. I have come to enjoy oil painting, sketching and a bit of watercolor.  I love God’s ever-changing landscapes and find myself often out viewing those for new ideas. Life is good, one day at a time, for as long as He gives. The Art Guild has been a source of growth as an artist and with it came the ability to meet many wonderful people both in and out of the field of art.

    Email: karen@theharveys.org

     

    John C. Kelty:

    John is a local artist working exclusively in watercolor. In the studio, as well as plein air, he brings his vision of small town and urban landscape to the viewer. Street scenes that we all consider every day and mundane are transformed into images that convey the beauty and atmosphere that exists all around us.

    Website: Johnckelty.com

    Email: jckwatercolors@gmail.com

    Contact: 260-415-9251

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    Nicholas J. Klein:

    Nicholas Klein is a local Fort Wayne artist specializing in photography, but he also works in video, graphic design, and web design. A graduate of IPFW with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Concentration Photography as well as an Associates Degree in Business. His business, Nicholas J Photography, was founded in 2013 and specializes in local small business marketing productions, from websites and corporate videos to product photography and design. His personal photography works are focused on landscape, travel, and aerial photography.

    Website: www.nicholasjphotography.com

    Email: nick@nicholasjphotography.com

    Contact: 260-348-4729

     

    Bonnie Manning:

    My mission is to capture the tranquility in everyday life with an eye toward the whimsical.  It is my hope that the viewer takes a moment to stop and refresh the mind and spirit with this sense of tranquility.  It is then that we gather ourselves up to do the daily tasks we know we must do with renewed energy. I am a lifelong resident of Fort Wayne, graduate of The University of Saint Francis with a B.S. Art/Education, and owner of B.T. Manning Photography.


    Darlene Selzer-Miller:

    I have enjoyed painting and sketching as far back as I can remember and spent most of my artistic career in the graphic design industry. I was born, raised and educated in the area, enjoying oil, graphite and ink as a medium and landscapes and portraits as a subject. You will see a number of my landscape paintings and drawings of the farms and countryside surrounding Fort Wayne.

    Email: dsmiller7123@hotmail.com


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    Alison Resac:

    Alison is a conceptual photographer who captures photos in a youthful and gritty way. The French Saucisse explains that she "dusts off” her taboo subjects to make them beautiful, attractive and interesting."

    Website: http://www.alisonresac.com

    Instagram: @alisonresacphoto (http://instagram.com/alisonresacphoto)

    Facebook: @alisonresacphoto (https://www.facebook.com/alisonresacphoto/)

    Email: alisonresac@gmail.com

     

    Brian Michael Sirois: 

    I capture moments of time and parts of an adventure, each portraying a point of interest along life’s travels. Instead of merely focusing on the "destination," I look at all three parts of a journey: Embark, Travel, and Arrive. This ETA tells us that every part of life is equally worthy of our observation.

    Website: www.studiosirois.com

    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/BrianMichaelSiroisPhotography

    E-mail: studiosirois@gmail.com

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    Charles Sizemore:

    My name is Charles Sizemore –Simmers. I was born in London, raised in Boston, and after my parents passed when I was very young, moved to New Haven, Indiana. I started painting when I was 32, 16 years ago, when I was recuperating from a fall that left me disable. I live with my best friend in the world and 3 cats. Painting is my therapy.

     

    Samantha Smith:

    I am an educator by day and a photographer always, specifically an outdoor nature photographer. Not everyone in our great city gets the opportunity to travel; it is my goal as an artist to capture both the beautiful, mysterious, and sometimes scary parts of our earth. My overall goal is to work for National Geographic and travel the world to preserve even more of our earth's beauty and wonder. 

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSSPhotography
    Instagram: Samantha.S.Smith.Photography

     

    Eunice Sully:

    The art quilt brings together my love of fabric, color and art.  The tactile feel of the fabric along with movement that can be made with a cut and a seam excite my creative spirit. The stitches become the added brush strokes that give additional movement and depth. My hope is that the viewer will see fabric as a wonderful art form.

     

    Anita Trick:

    My artistic goal is to capture the excitement that I feel when I look at a fresh snowfall, a brilliant fall leaf, an unusual structure, or a spectacular sunset.  I am an avid photographer and use my photos as references for most of my paintings; however, I do paint en plein aire occasionally. I enjoy painting in oils, pastels, watercolors and acrylics.  My paintings are an attempt to celebrate the beauty of what I see around me, both in what man and in what God has created.

    Contact: tricksunflower@frontier.com

    Website: www.angelhavenstudio.com

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    by Community Engagement | Jan 23, 2018
    Celebrate our great city of Fort Wayne by viewing a collaborative exhibit featuring work inspired by Fort Wayne.
    The Art of Fort Wayne
    by Angie N. | Jan 20, 2018

    cover image for beyond the bright sea
    Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
    Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2017
    283 pages

    Crow has spent every day of her twelve years living in an isolated area of the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts, where she washed ashore in an old boat and was rescued by Osh when she was just hours old. Osh took her in and has raised her with the help of their strong willed neighbor, Miss Maggie. Crow is happy and enjoys her life with Osh and Miss Maggie, even though the other people on the island have always kept their distance from her. Crow never questioned the islanders’ treatment of her much, but as she is getting older, she begins to wonder why they act like they are afraid to be near her. She also begins to ask questions about who she really is, where she came from, and who set her adrift on the sea when she was just a newborn. Her curiosity leads her down a path where she seeks the answers to her questions, but the path proves to be a dangerous one, and Crow risks losing the only home she’s known and the people she loves.

    Lauren Wolk has crafted a beautiful story about belonging, understanding who you are and what it means to be a family. As someone who has spent a great deal of time on Cape Cod, her descriptions of the islands and the sea brought the scenery to life. One I particularly enjoyed describes the beginning of a storm, “We listened for a while to the rain having its own conversation with the sea, the wind chiming in when it had something to say.” There are so many amazing passages like this in the book, but will it rise above the others in our discussion and voting on mock election day?

    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.
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     Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

    by Becky C | Jan 19, 2018
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

     Wishtree  Red Rising Jhereg 
     Yendi  What Happened  The Lost Plot
     Midnight Confessions  Freud  Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts
     The Legends Club  The Woman in the Window  The Ocean at the End of the Lane
     Judges Brief  The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes  The Generals
     PrairyErth  Les Miserables  The End We Start From
     Its All Relative  Lappart  Communicating Better
     Devotions  What Unites Us  On Tyranny
     Golden Hill  Why Bob Dylan Matters  Maisie Dobbs
       Beyond the Bright Sea  

    Want more recommendations?  Click here for previous What We're Reading posts. 

    Please let us know what books you've been reading that you've really enjoyed.  We're always looking for our next great read!

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..