DIY Film Fest: Horror
Posted October 27, 2011
Slant Magazine just put out a list of The 25 Best Horror Films of the Aughts. It's an interesting selection in that it pulls from a wide range of movies, including some that, while frightening in their way, might not be traditionally billed as horror films. For example: David Cronenberg's A History of Violence or David Lynch's Inland Empire. Still, there were plenty that fit the bill exactly, like: Guillermo del Toro's The Orphanage or Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. You can check out the full list at Slant Magazine. We've also compiled a list of hair-raising flicks from the last couple of years. Why not kick off your Halloween weekend with one of these bone-chilling picks?
Crazies (remake of George A. Romero's 1973 film of the same name)
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
I Saw the Devil
The Last Exorcism
Let Me In (remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In)
My Soul to Take
A Nightmare on Elm Street (remake of Wes Craven's 1984 film of the same name)
Red Riding Hood
Chicago Humanities Fest 2011
Posted October 25, 2011
Chicago hip-hop artist Common will be talking about his new book and the history of hip-hop with Adam Bradley on Saturday, November 5, 2011. Publishers Weekly called Common’s memoir, One Day It’ll All Make Sense, a “candid, no nonsense biography.” At the event, “Common will delve into his artistic influences and the technological milestones that have marked rap’s quick rise to prominence.” Also on Saturday, November 5, 2011, Sylvia Nasar, author of the bestselling A Beautiful Mind, will be discussing her new book, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. According to Publishers Weekly, the book offers a “broad sweep of modern economic history.”
On Sunday, November 6, 2011, check out Joshua Foer’s lecture, Feats of Memory, about his book Moonwalking with Einstein: “In conversation with WBEZ Re:sound host Gwen Macsai, Foer recounts ancient memorization techniques, elaborate memory palaces, and today’s reliance on electronic memory.” Also on Sunday, November 6, consider joining Jonathan Franzen (Freedom) and Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns) as they receive the Heartland Prize for their work.
Here are some other author events worth checking out:
Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel on November 5, 2011.
David Grossman, author of To the End of the Land on November 13, 2011.
Umberto Eco, author of The Prague Cemetery on November 13, 2011.
Daniel Sinker, author of The F****ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel on November 13, 2011.
Book Awards Update
Posted October 20, 2011
Julian Barnes won the Booker Prize Tuesday night, after having been nominated three times before for the award, which covers just about all of the English speaking world except the United States and hence often serves American readers as a great introduction to new voices. Barnes's novella, The Sense of an Ending, has been called "a sort of psychological detective story." Anita Brookner, reviewing the book for The Telegraph, said, "His reputation will surely be enhanced by this book. Do not be misled by its brevity. Its mystery is as deeply embedded as the most archaic of memories." (Originally slated to be published later, the novella has been rushed into print, and our first copies should arrive very soon.)
The National Book Award finalists were also recently announced. In the fiction category, The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht stands out as probably the most well-known of the crop so far. We're also pleased to note that they nominated Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, a novel we're promoting this month among other recommendations. We've listed fiction and nonfiction below, but also check out the full list, including the poetry and young people's literature categories online.
Meanwhile, both awards have stirred up a fair amount of controversy and discussion over the purpose of literary awards. The Guardian sums up the story for the Booker, and Salon wrote about the larger issues. Earlier, Salon's Laura Miller questioned whether the National Book Awards were becoming so loftily literary as to be irrelevant, and then yesterday one of the NBA critics fired back with a lively defense. It's good to see this kind of passion about books, and we're looking forward to reading the books and judging for ourselves.
National Book Award nominees - Fiction
The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
National Book Award nominees - Nonfiction
The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism by Deborah Baker
Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution by Mary Gabriel
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss
One Book, One Chicago Event: Martin Amis with John Barron
Posted October 18, 2011
Our celebration of ten years of the One Book, One Chicago program is still going strong. Tonight we welcome famed British novelist Martin Amis to the Harold Washington Library Center for a very special event.* Amis, who once said that the publication of Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March marked the end of the search for "the great American novel," will be in conversation with Sun-Times publisher John Barron discussing his great admiration for Bellow as well as their friendship. This is a one of a kind night. Don't miss out!
Seating is limited and registration is required. To register, go to chicagopubliclibrary1b1c.eventbrite.com. If you do not have computer access, please call (312) 747-8191.
Don't Miss This: 1991
Posted October 13, 2011
1991 was a watershed year for music. It was the year Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten were released, and grunge became a household word. Fans who want to remember the musical history should check out the recently published Everybody Loves Our Town: The Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm.
It was the year that Disney released Beauty and the Beast, the first animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. It was also a good year for thrillers. The Silence of the Lambs starring Jodie Foster as well as the remake of Cape Fear starring Robert DeNiro were both released that year.
South African author Nadine Gordimer was awarded that Nobel Prize for Literature, and famed children’s author Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991. Readers of popular fiction might be seen with a copy of The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy, Posession by A.S. Byatt or Needful Things by Stephen King, which were all bestsellers that year.
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Posted October 11, 2011
Fall is here, and Chicago's cultural season has kicked into high gear, which means there are more opportunities than any one person could squeeze into a single schedule. Just for example, the new season of the Lyric Opera has started. The Chicago Sun Times recently covered the opening night, and the Tribune previewed Lyric's 57th season. The company has a new general director, opera superstar Renee Fleming is the company's creative consultant, and the company has freshened up its marketing to be more inviting to younger audiences.
Want to brush up on these operas before you go? Not sure which to see? Too busy to make it? We've got recorded performances, including DVDs and music CDs, freely available for you to borrow and luxuriate at home with. Just click on a title below to start your search, then refine using the format buttons (such as "music" to find CDs).
Lyric Opera's 2011-2012 Season
The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach)
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)
Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky)
Ariadne Auf Naxos (Strauss)
The Magic Flute (Mozart)
Show Boat (Kern and Hammerstein)
Posted October 6, 2011
Are you brainstorming for a costume idea for the annual Halloween bash? Do you need to whip up a costume for your kid? Or are you the brave soul hosting a spooky soiree? Maybe you just want to deck out your house to welcome trick-or-treaters. Whatever you have in mind, we've got you covered.
Creative Costumes & Halloween Décor: 50 Projects to Sew & Craft
Extreme Halloween: The Ultimate Guide to Making Halloween Scary Again by Tom Nardone
Extreme Pumpkins II: Take Back Halloween and Freak Out a Few More Neighbors by Tom Nardone
FamilyFun Tricks and Treats ed. by Deanna F. Cook and the Experts at FamilyFun Magazine
Halloween: A Grown-up's Guide to Creative Costumes, Devilish Decor & Fabulous Festivities by Joanne O'Sullivan
Halloween Celebrations: Everything You Need for a Fabulous Halloween Party… ed. by Morgana De Ville
Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-round Celebrations ed. by editors at Martha Stewart Living
Paper Crafts for Halloween by Randel McGee
Caught Reading: Red Line Edition
Posted October 4, 2011
Recently, we’ve been noting what fellow commuters are immersed in on their way to work. We spied quite a few nonfiction titles, including Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned by John Farrell, which Booklist called a "completely engaging portrait" and The New York Times called "engrossing." We also caught you engaged in The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. Others were enjoying baseball books, including The Complete Game: Reflections of Baseball, Pitching and Life on the Mound by Ron Darling and Moneyball by Michael Lewis, which has been adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt.
What other great books did we catch you reading?
Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
End of the Affair by Graham Greene
Room by Emma Donoghue
Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden
Faith by Jennifer Haigh