Scarcely a week goes by here at the library without an inquiry from someone who has self-published a book and wants us to buy it or accept it as a gift. Not surprising in this community, which includes many writers as well as Author Solutions, one of the world's largest self-publishing businesses, and we know that last year, 300,000 titles were published through traditional publishers and 3,000,000 -- 10 times as many -- were self-published in this country. As we struggle to find ways to evaluate and select books in this new environment with ten times more choices and without reviews, we want to support local writers in finding the best outlets for their creative endeavors.
On May 6 at 7 p.m. in the library auditorium, we'll be hosting Kevin Gray, media manager for Author Solutions, as he describes "More Options than Ever Before for Publishing Your Book." He'll suggest four paths now available for authors to get their books in the hands of readers and then answer questions from the audience. We hope you'll join us; no registration is necessary.
If you're considering self-publishing, you might also want to check out Jane Friedman's blog "Writing, Reading and Publishing in a Digital Age." Friedman has worked in publishing since the late 1990s and has in-depth knowledge of both the editorial and business sides of book and magazine publishing, as well as online media.
The Oxford English Dictionary is the premier dictionary of the English language. It is famous for its easy-to-understand definitions and word etymology, which strives to record the earliest known usage. The seemingly simple verbs set, make and put vie with each other for the longest entries - over 60,000 words each to describe all of the uses and senses!
The current editor of the OED, as it is commonly known, is set to retire later this year. John Simpson was briefly interviewed on Morning Edition on NPR yesterday. What makes his position newsworthy is that he is only the seventh editor of the dictionary since the project's beginning in 1879 and has been working in this high profile position of the world's most famous dictionary for more than 35 years.
We're in the closing days of National Poetry Month, and this Sunday if you'd like to compose a poem of your own, we're offering a program about writing ekphrastic poetry in partnership with The Writers Guild at Bloomington. It's at 2 p.m. this Sunday in Room 2B. Call 349-3228 to register. The word ekphrasis comes from the Greek and simply means description. The original Greek root phrazein meant to point out or explain. An added meaning was to name an inanimate thing.
Many of the Romantic poets celebrated art including John Keats in his "Ode to a Grecian Urn." The list of modern poets who have worked in the form include W.H. Auden, William Carlos Williams, Anne Sexton, Muriel Rukeyser, Greg Pape, and former poet laureate, Kay Ryan, among many others.
You can write about any art form in ekphrastic poety: sculpture, paintings, ceramics, prints, and photographs. Some poets describe the work in vivid detail; others just use the art piece for a jumping off point. This is especially true when an abstract painting is the subject of the poem as in the example I've included below. Read more about A Conversation about Art: Writing Ekphrastic Poems
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln currently has more hold requests than any other title in our collection! Whether you are waiting, have seen it already, or just want something else to watch, we have some other movies featuring our 16th President that might be of interest: He is featured briefly in D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation, Henry Fonda plays him as a younger man (without the beard) in John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln. Sam Waterston also portrayed him as President in an adaptation of Gore Vidal's Lincoln. If you are specifically interested in the aftermath of his assassination you could try Robert Redford's The Conspirator. And, for some time-travelling non-seriousness, there's always Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure!
Today is Shakespeare's birthday and to celebrate a Goodreads contributer created a great infographic to help you select your next read. A comedy? A tragedy? MCPL has works by Shakespeare, books to help you get through the plays and of course biographies. One of the best biographies is Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World. Shakespeare expert and Harvard historian, Greenblatt does an excellent job of integrating a basic biography with the sights, sounds and feel of Elizabethan England. This book is dense with detail, but also entirely readable is a great choice for both self professed Shakespeare know-it-alls and newcomers alike.
It's Earth Day. Senator Gaylord Nelson was the driving force behind the first one which occurred in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues. As I scanned the new releases in the environmental section, this book caught my eye. It was a sobering read but one that was very thought-provoking. World-renowned legal scholar, Andrew Guzman, wrote Overheated. In it, he examines the political and sociological changes from climate change that the author reports have already started to occur. Not just flooding and mega-storms, but also droughts, food scarcity, refugees forced from their land, lack of water for agriculture, etc. In his preface, the author states that "climate change will affect nearly everyone on this planet."
The chapter topics reveal his major concerns: one on flooding shows how some island nations will disappear, and that at least one very populated one - Bangladesh - will suffer massive flooding that will lead to migrations of millions of refugees. The chapter entitled "A Thirsty World" depicts how the melting of glaciers will affect the water supply of many people on earth, not only in India, Pakistan, Argentina, and Chile, but also in our American West. He predicts that this will impact both our food supply and the prices of commodities.
In "Climate Wars: A Shower of Sparks" he hypothesizes how the conflict in Darfur in the 1990s may have been the first war sparked by climate change. Guzman also says that more wars will be caused by a scarcity of resources. He is very concerned about the Middle East, already one of the most arid areas in the world. Read more about Our Changing Planet