Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reasons to Shovel Out After the Storm

This week's update is coming to you on a snowy Tuesday. It's so snowy that that the Free Library appearance of mensch of the month, Gary Shteyngart, has been cancelled, but they are promising to work on rescheduling.

I apologize for being a bit late with the events calendar this week -- I was zipping between Philly and Western, MA in my role as parental chauffeur. Now that our kids are away at school, we have traded in frequent local jaunts for periodic long hauls. The drive to the Pioneer Valley is a two day affair, but on the upside, eleven hours in the car affords a lot of audio book listening time. This trip was enlivened by Bill Bryson reading his own One Summer: America, 1927. I've still got a ways to go to be finished, so I may be concocting another road trip sometime soon.

On to this weeks literary event round-up. Tonight may be a bust, but there are some pretty amazing happenings on the schedule in the region for the remainder of this week. Seriously, check out who's coming to town next Sunday -- I am kicking myself for having a conflict. I will have to console myself by going to a number of the other amazing readings and signings that are on offer.

Wednesday, January 22

Kevin Powers | The Yellow Birds
Location: Free Library, Central Library
Cost: Free
7:30 pm

This is the kick-off event for One Book, One Philadelphia that runs from today until March 19. The free library web site already lists some 123 events affiliated with the program, including writing workshops, craft workshops, and two visits with the author. You should definitely look at the listings to see if there is an activity that interests you.

Giovanni's Room 40th Anniversary Program
William Way LGBTQ Community Center
1315 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7:30 pm
Find out how Giovanni's Room became the country's biggest, best and most beautiful LGBT Bookstore!  Participating are Tom Wilson Weinberg and Dan Sherbo, founders; Pat Hill, the second owner; and Arleen Olshan and Ed Hermance who jointly owned the store for many years before Arleen moved on to other projects.  Current owner Ed Hermance who recently announced his retirement will give a status report on the store's future.  The program, moderated by John Cunningham, will be video recorded by Bob Skiba for the Center's Wilcox Archives.

Thursday, January 23

Wendy Lesser | Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books with Richard Powers | Orfeo
Location: Free Library, Central Library
Cost: Free
7:30 pm

I'm planning on making it to this one. Both of these books are on my "To Read" list.

Friday, January 24

Ishmael Beah | The Radiance of Tomorrow
Location: Free Library, Central Library
Cost: $15 General Admission, $7 Students
7:30 pm

Saturday, January 25

Kadir Nelson | Baby Bear
Location: Children's Book World, 17 Haverford Station Rd. Haverford, PA
Cost: Free
2:00 pm
The Caldecott-Honor-winning illustrator of Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad and author/illustrator of We Are the Ship:The Story of Negro League Baseball will be in the store to talk about his timely and beautiful picture book, Nelson Mandela, and his newest picture book, a sweet story for little ones, Baby Bear.

Lyndsay Faye | Seven for a Secret
Location: Chester County Book Company, 967 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA
Cost: Free, but please purchase books to be signed in the store or online from Chester County Books
1:00 pm

(An oopsie here, I listed this as being last Saturday, but it's really this week)

Rachel Cantor | A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Cost: Free
7:00 pm

This book has a most intriguing premise and is getting fantastic reviews.

In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It's a boring job, but he likes it -- there's a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn't like it when you go off script.
A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can't save the world with pizza coupons.

This is on my calendar with the added bonus that people I know from various parts of my life know Rachel from her time living in the area.

Sunday, January 26 (A Truly Awesome Trio of YA Superstars)

Rainbow Rowell | Fangirl
David Levithan | Two Boys Kissing
Lucy Christopher | The Killing Woods
Location: Children's Book World, 17 Haverford Station Rd. Haverford, PA
Cost: Free
7:00 pm  (doors open at 6:30 pm)

Also, if you know of an upcoming event that I missed, or an upcoming event that you want to be sure gets listed here, just let me know via a comment or by connecting with me on Facebook or Goodreads.

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