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Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Valentine’s Day: Fall in Love…At the Library!

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. Whether your heart beats fondly for this love-focused holiday or goes ice cold at the thought of it – I think there’s one thing that we can all agree on – that we do adore our Library!

Did you know that Americans were expected to spend $18.2 billion expressing their love on Valentine’s Day in 2017 (according to the National Retail Federation)?  But what if I told you that this year you could save a lot of that cash by spending Valentine’s Day with us.

From fun and free “date nights” to DIY gift making programs to romantic (and non-romantic) movies you can stream at home, we have everything you need to make this year’s Valentine’s Day something to remember. So get ready to fall in love…at the Library!

Ideas for Adults

Color Me Calm
Feb. 13, 2018 | 6 p.m. | Birmingham
Join us for an evening of adult coloring and make a masterpiece together as a couple, or create something to give to the person you love!

Fall in Love with Sugar Scrub
Feb. 13, 2018 | 6:30 p.m. | Washington
Looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift or a fun and unique evening? You’ll fall in love with our sugar scrub program! Learn how to make a natural sugar scrub with good for your skin ingredients. Registration required.

Poetry Speaks: African American Poetry Read-In
Feb. 14, 2018 | 6 p.m. | Main Library
Poetry is full of passion and therefore a perfect choice for Valentine’s Day! Join us for an evening of some of the most renowned African-American poets of our time. Pick a poem to read to your loved one as a surprise! Register here to read a poem.

Movie Night at Home
Pick up your (and your partner’s) favorite snacks or cook dinner at home and snuggle in for a warm and romantic movie night. Check out hoopla’s special Valentine’s Day movie collection. Hoopla is now available for streaming on Amazon Firestick, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku.

Ideas for Kids

Get Ready for Valentine’s Day
Feb. 7, 2018 | 4 p.m. | Lagrange
Make a few special cards for your favorite people.

Sweets for the Sweet
Feb. 12, 2018 | 3:30 p.m. | Locke
Get ready for Valentine’s Day! Today we’ll share lovely stories and make chocolate candies that you can keep for yourself or give to someone special.

The Great Candy Race
Feb. 13, 2018 | 6:30 p.m. | Oregon
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with us during the Great Candy Race. Use candy hearts to participate in races and games.

Valentine Science
Feb. 14, 2018 | 4 p.m. | Washington
You’ll fall in love with chemistry with our fun Valentine’s Day themed experiments. Grades 1-5.

Ideas for Teens

3D Printed Adventures
Feb. 9, 2018 | 4 p.m. | Oregon
Ready to show some love? Why not make your loved one something a little extra special this year? Design a custom valentine for printing on our 3D printer.

Valentine Zumba
Feb. 9, 2018 | 4 p.m. | Toledo Heights
Develop a “love” for Zumba with instructor Elaina Hernandez. She will get you moving and grooving to some great music, and maybe even play a game or two!

Finding Cupid (Escape Room)
Feb. 13, 2018 | 4 p.m. | Oregon
Where in the world is cupid? With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it is up to you to trap him so that he doesn’t strike everyone, causing them to fall in love. Watch out, he is a sly one!

Ideas for Anti-Valentine’s Day’ers

Rock Out with the Anti-Valentine’s Day Tribute
Rock Out with the Anti-Valentine’s Day Tribute

Borrow the Anti-Valentine’s Day Tribute album from hoopla and rock out to some amazing music by Lady Antebellum, Eminem, Beyonce, Def Leppard, Alanis Morissette, Kayne West and more!

Gone Girl
Movies that Say “I Don’t Love You”

I love macabre movies and could certainly offer a big list here, but for this purpose I’ll stick to five movies that serve up a healthy dose of romantic relationships which leave me saying “nooooo thank you!” and leave it at that:

American Beauty (Rated R, DVD), The Break-Up (Rated PG-13, DVD), Eyes Wide Shut (Rated R, DVD), Gone Girl (Rated R, DVD) and The Shining (Rated R, DVD).

Schemes, Scams and Ripoffs
Schemes, Scams and Ripoffs

Feb. 14, 2018 | 6 p.m. | West Toledo

Being scammed is decidedly unlovely if you ask me! What better way to spend an anti-Valentine’s Day than to join Dick Eppstein with the Better Business Bureau discussing scams – how to spot them and how to protect oneself from them.

2018 Drop-In Programs (held during library hours)

BASH! Valentine’s Day
Feb. 12 – 17 | Heatherdowns

Blind Date with a Book
Feb. 12 – 17 | Reynolds Corners

Captured Hearts, Guess How Many
Feb. 12 – 16 | Toledo Heights
Feb. 12 – 17 | Waterville

Count the Kisses
Feb. 5 – 10 | Holland

Create a Valentine
Feb. 12 – 14 | Waterville

Live, Love, Laugh on the Bookmobile
Feb. 5 – 14 | Bookmobile

Win Our Hearts, Take a Guess
Feb. 5 – 17 | Heatherdowns

For current events, check out our Events page at ToledoLibrary.org/events.

You may also like these blog posts:

Entertaining Rom-Coms

Amish Love

A Cornucopia of New Romance Novels

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Become a Part of Toledo’s History

We’re creating a photo collection to preserve the history of Toledo/Lucas County and we need your help! We are looking for pictures depicting scenes from Toledo and Lucas County or of residents out in the wider world. We would love to include your vacation photos in the Smoky Mountains from the 80s, snapshots from your 4th of July picnic, Instagram selfies from Jeepfest, or your hundred year old historical photographs; absolutely anything so long as it is about Toledo/Lucas County or its residents.

Community Photo Album Details

Up to five images can be contributed at a time, and we ask that you provide a little context for the image, as much of the “who, what, when, and where” as possible. For digital photographs there is a short online form to submit to the Community Photo Album. If you have physical photographs you would like to submit to the collection, there is a PDF form that can be filled out (be sure to download it to your computer before filling it out, your progress won’t be able to be saved if you fill it out in a web browser), and either mailed in to the library along with the photographs, or you can drop the form and the photos off to a TLCPL branch library who will take care of sending them along. Staff at the branch libraries can also help you fill these forms out if you have any questions. For physical photographs, we’ll be careful to take good care of them and then mail them back to you at no cost.

Rebecca Louise Law: Community display from The Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio

The image above shows the gorgeous flowers on display at the “Community” art installation at the Toledo Museum of Art and you’ll find more examples from the collection below. The first image is a tintype portrait of a young woman; the original photograph was quite tiny, less than an inch high. The second image is a snapshot from the 1960s showing flooding along a residential street in western Toledo. The third image was taken in late 2018 at the Momentum festival held at Promenade Park in downtown Toledo.

Full collection of images in the Community Photo Album

A Sampling from the Community Photo Album

 Louise Emma Bollman Rippel [approximately 1895]
Louise Emma Bollman Rippel, approximately 1895
 Flooding on Portsmouth Street, May 1966
Flooding on Portsmouth Street, May 1966
 A Giant Inflatable Sculpture at the Momentum festival at Promenade Park on September 15, 2018
Momentum festival, September 15, 2018

Form to Submit Digital Images

Form to Submit Physical Photographs

 

Originally posted by John D. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/become-a-part-of-toledos-history

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Weird But True: This Lesser Known Fiction Genre is Making A Comeback

When it comes to your leisure reading, are you looking for something a little different? Perhaps you enjoy elements of the supernatural and fantastical but are tired of the same old clichés of most genre fiction? Why not give Weird Fiction a try!

Weird fiction is characterized primarily by its blending of science fiction, fantasy, horror and just about every other fiction genre to create something entirely new. The name “weird fiction” was coined by H.P. Lovecraft in a 1927 essay titled “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” which sought a division between traditional horror at the time and Lovecraft’s own work. The genre has since grown further apart from its close connection with horror and has become an umbrella term for books that can’t easily be placed in any other category.

If you’re new to weird fiction, below you’ll find some great reads to get you started. Keep in mind that nearly all weird fiction still contains some elements of horror, so if you tend to be squeamish these may not be the books for you.

Weird Fiction Books

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman (book)
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories by Laird Barron
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington / Leonora Carrington ; introduction by Kathyrn Davis ; translations from the French by Kathrine Talbot ; translations from the Spanish by Anthony Kerrigan

 

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

“In these 11 stories, the occasion may be a walking tour of Northern England, a birthday present of a Victorian dollhouse or a stay at a Swedish sanatorium for insomniacs, but it simultaneously traps the characters with dread and opens them up to a new awareness of a greater, deeper and more dangerous world. A remarkable collection by an author who deserves to be better known.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.02

“Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including “Blackwood’s Baby,” “The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven,” and the World Fantasy Award–nominated “Hand of Glory,” The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.” ~ Amazon

 

Weaveworld by Clive Barker

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads| 4.13

“Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker’s trademark horror.” ~ Goodreads

 

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.9

“Fledgling, Octavia Butler’s new novel after a seven year break, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted – and still wants – to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Complete Stories of Lenora Carrington with an introduction by Kathyrn Davis

Amazon: 3.6 | Goodreads: 4.25

“Published to coincide with the centennial of her birth, The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington collects for the first time all of her stories, including several never before seen in print. With a startling range of styles, subjects, and even languages (several of the stories are translated from French or Spanish), The Complete Stories captures the genius and irrepressible spirit of an amazing artist’s life.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Windeye by Brian Evenson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Fisherman by John Langan

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.02

“From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.” ~ Amazon

 

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

House of Leaves is a multilayered intersection of wild ideas, ten years in the making, from Mark Danielewski. It is also the story of a seemingly normal house gone wild. The novel intertwines the narratives of two haunted individuals: Zampano, a blind man whose strange manuscript is found in his apartment when he dies, and Johnny Truant, the tome’s discoverer and narrator of House of Leaves.” ~ Fantastic Fiction

 

Windeye by Brian Evenson

Amazon: 4.3 | Goodreads: 4.03

“A woman falling out of sync with the world; a king’s servant hypnotized by his murderous horse; a transplanted ear with a mind of its own. The characters in these stories live as interlopers in a world shaped by mysterious disappearances and unfathomable discrepancies between the real and imagined. Brian Evenson, master of literary horror, presents his most far-ranging collection to date, exploring how humans can persist in an increasingly unreal world. Haunting, gripping, and psychologically fierce, these tales illuminate a dark and unsettling side of humanity.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.89

“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Fisherman by John Langan

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.01

“When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.91

“People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. . But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?” ~ Amazon

 

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.97

“A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader’s imagination.” ~ Amazon

 

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.55

“Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages.” ~ Goodreads

 

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 3.94

“From the author of the Southern Reach Trilogy (aka: Area X) comes a story about two humans, and two creatures. The humans are Rachel and Wick – a scavenger and a drug dealer – both with too many secrets and fears, ready with traps to be set and sprung. The creatures are Mord and Borne – animal, perhaps plant, maybe company discard, biotech, cruel experiment, dinner, deity, or source of spare parts.” ~ Provided by the publisher

 

Still not sure where to start?

Weird fiction anthologies will give you the opportunity to sample the work of various weird fiction authors and see what most interests you.

If you’re feeling brave, try the work of authors like Thomas Ligotti, Kathe Koja, Jon Padgett, Michael Cisco and so many others in the following collections.

 

The Year's Best Weird Fiction - Volume One edited by Laird Barron

The Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume One edited by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.92

“Welcome to the weird! Acclaimed author and editor Laird Barron, one of weird fiction’s brightest exponents, brings his expert eye and editorial sense to the inaugural volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction.” ~ Goodreads

Also available in eBook (hoopla).

 

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.25 | Goodreads: 4.13

The Weird features 110 stories by an all-star cast, from literary legends to international bestsellers to Booker Prize winners: including William Gibson, George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Angela Carter, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, China Miéville, Clive Barker, Haruki Murakami, M. R. James, Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, and Michael Chabon. “ ~ Goodreads

Jeff Vandermeer, author of the bestselling Area X Trilogy (which is being adapted to film in 2018) and editor of numerous Weird Fiction anthologies, describes what makes Weird Fiction a genre that is greater than the sum of its parts:

Here, in what is actually our infancy of understanding the world—this era in which we think we are older than we are—it is cathartic to seek out and tell stories that do not seek to reconcile the illogical, the contradictory, and often instinctual way in which human beings perceive the world, but instead accentuate these elements as a way of showing us as we truly are. Unruly. Unruled. Superstitious. Absurd. Subject to a thousand destabilizing fears and hopes.


Want to learn more about Weird Fiction?

The Weird: An Introduction – Weird Fiction Review

Weird Fiction – Goodreads

A Beginner’s Guide to the New Weird Genre – Book Riot

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Juliette H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/weird-but-true-this-lesser-known-fiction-genre-is-making-a-comeback.

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Plays by African-American Playwrights

Tarell McCraney’s having a pretty good couple of years. He’s the playwright who last year won an Oscar for writing the daring screenplay for the exquisite movie Moonlight, and next year he’ll see his play Choir Boy open on Broadway.

The Brother/Sister Plays by Tarell McCraney
Choir Boy by Tarell McCraney
Moonlight DVD

He’s also part of a long tradition of African-American playwrights who have long been at the forefront of pushing the art form of the American theater into new artistic, political, and popular territory.  Whether the plays are doggedly realistic, bitingly satirical, or wildly expressionistic, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has on its shelves a variety of examples from this tradition that are well worth reading. A selective compendium follows.

The first African-American playwright to reach Broadway with a non-musical play was Willis Richardson with The Chip Woman’s Fortune in 1923, a play you don’t hear about too much anymore. But Lorraine Hansberry was the first African-American woman to hit Broadway (collaborating with Lloyd Richards, a black director), and the play she took there in 1959 has been enormously influential. A searing family drama about class and race and community pride, A Raisin in the Sun is a cornerstone of American literature and continues to dialogue with successive plays and writers to this day.

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry - book
A Raisin in the Sun with Sidney Poitier DVD
A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs - DVD

As disquieting as the economic realities exposed by Hansberry were, the naturalism and domestic setting of her play made her uncompromising vision of the world digestible to a broad audience. Just a few years later, the playwright LeRoi Jones (later Amiri Baraka) took a very different approach.  His 1964 play Dutchman is starkly allegorical and viscerally violent, following the tumultuous interaction between a white woman and a black man on a subway car.

James Baldwin, of course, is a colossal figure in American thought and literature, known primarily for his bracing prose. But he also wrote plays. Most notable is his 1964 play Blues for Mister Charlie, a history play inspired by the horrific murder of Emmett Till.

Vastly different in style is Funnyhouse of a Negro by Adrienne Kennedy, which shared the Obie award with Dutchman in 1964. Ambitious and exhilarating and occasionally exhausting, Kennedy’s play about racism and stereotypes is absurdist and dreamlike, featuring masks and hair loss and an enormous statue of Queen Victoria. Even though she emerged on the scene decades ago, Kennedy is still relevant; the University of Toledo produced Funnyhouse as recently as 2003, and her latest play He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box just opened in New York last month.

Meanwhile, Charles Gordone was the first African-American playwright to receive the Pulitzer Prize for drama, in 1970, for his play No Place to Be Somebody. Inspired by what he observed in his job as a bartender at a Greenwich Village watering hole, the play’s story of struggling urbanites chasing broken dreams seems descended from Hansberry and O’Neill, but with the sordid and flashy elements of gangsters and gunplay mixed in to goose the action.

Gordone’s play has a rough poetry to it, but for a play that takes lyricism to a whole other level check out Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf.  Shange calls this theatrical work, a collection of twenty poetic and idiosyncratically punctuated monologues, a choreopoem, because each character’s speech – some about very difficult subjects and upsetting experiences – is composed to be paired with music and choreography.

For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange - book
For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange - Audiobook on CD
For Colored Girls - play on DVD

Samm-Art Williams’s 1978 play Home was originally produced by the Negro Ensemble Company and transferred to Broadway where it was nominated for a Tony.  Like some of the other plays on this list, Home – a kind of staged bildungsroman – chronicles the experiences of a character who enters an urban milieu and is buffeted by crime and economic woes and poor choices. What differentiates the play from a lot of serious issue-oriented theater is its sense of humor and its ultimately sunny outlook; this protagonist, when things are going poorly, merely hypothesizes that God must be “on vacation in Miami.”

Charles Fuller’s 1982 Pulitzer-Prize-winning A Soldier’s Play, by contrast, doesn’t have much humor, but it does do interesting things with genre, appropriating the conventions of a murder mystery to explore violent bigotry and internalized racism. With its use of flashbacks and multiple locations, Fuller’s play is thoroughly cinematic, and it made an effortless leap to the screen in a film adaptation featuring Denzel Washington.

Before George C. Wolfe became one of the most celebrated and influential theatrical directors in the country, shepherding major works by other writers like Tony Kushner to the stage and running the Public Theatre, he wrote The Colored Museum, an exuberant and bitingly satirical series of sketches best remembered for “The Last Mama-On-The-Couch Play,” an irreverent parody of A Raisin in the Sun.

There are few more towering figures in American theater than the playwright August Wilson. His ten-play oeuvre, The Pittsburgh Cycle, chronicles the twentieth-century black American experience decade by decade in plays that range from rambling kitchen-sink naturalism to magic realism while always maintaining a remarkable tonal unity. Probably the most famous of these plays is Fences, which Denzel Washington turned into an award-winning film.

Jitney by August Wilson - book
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by August Wilson - book
Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson - book
The Piano Lesson by August Wilson - book
Two Trains Running by August Wilson - book
Seven Guitars by August Wilson - book
King Hedley II by August Wilson - book
Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson - book
Radio Golf by August Wilson - book

Encouraged in college to become a playwright by James Baldwin, Suzan-Lori Parks exploded onto the scene with early plays like The America Play, which established her as someone who writes for the stage with a grammar and orthography that are all her own. She explores about race and America and history by approximating a heightened version of Black English and telling unconventionally theatrical stories about characters with evocative names and symbolic resonance.

The Red Letter Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks - book
The Book of Grace by Suzan-Lori Parks - book
Father Comes Home From the Wars by Suzan-Lori Parks - book

With two actors playing multiple roles, Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith explores how being dark-skinned or light-skinned influences its characters’ experiences of the pressures exerted by race and class – and shapes their relationships with one another. Orlandersmith is currently in New York performing a new play of hers, Until the Flood, about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Lydia Diamond often writes about affluent African-Americans, in plays that typically open with congenial interactions among friends and colleagues until conflicts over issues like race and poverty boil to the surface.  Check out her play Stick Fly.

And Passing Strange, an acclaimed musical by a playwright and performer who calls himself Stew, combines autobiography, allegorical drama and rock & roll into a highly entertaining mélange.

Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith - book
Book / eBook
Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond - book
Passing Strange by Stew - book

One of the most significant writers in the American theater today is Lynn Nottage, a prolific and eclectic playwright who’s also the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama twice: in 2009 for Ruined, a riff on Brecht’s Mother Courage that interrogates the human capacity for resilience and compromise amidst the unrelenting brutality of wartime in Congo; and in 2017 for Sweat, a portrait of working-class malaise in the 21st-century American heartland.

Crumbs From the Table of joy by Lynn Nottage - book
Ruined by Lynn Nottage - book
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage - book
Sweat by Lynn Nottage - book

The playwright Katori Hall has written a number of plays and won several awards, but thus far has attracted the most attention for her slyly metaphysical two-hander The Mountaintop, which imagines an interaction between Martin Luther King and a hotel housekeeper on the night before his assassination. Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett played the roles on Broadway, and the play helped initiate a conversation about theatrical representation of race when another theater produced the play with a white actor in the King role.

Thomas Bradshaw, meanwhile, is a provocateur, writing plays about violence, sexual aberrations, and racism that are designed to make the audience uncomfortable. His (possibly ironically titled) play Intimacy, about pornography, is no exception.

Katori Hall - book
Intimacy by Thomas Bradshaw - book

And then there’s one of the most striking success stories of the recent American theater, the self-made writer/director/actor Tyler Perry. He went from writing, self-producing, and starring in his own plays at community theaters to making feature films and being named the highest paid person in entertainment by Forbes magazine. But his plays are where it all began, and several are available in their theatrical form on DVD from the library, including Diary of a Mad Black Woman, The Marriage Counselor, Madea’s Big Happy Family, The Haves and the Have Nots, Neighbors From Hell, and Madea On the Run.

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Eric P. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/plays-by-african-american-playwrights.

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Make Your Own Natural Homemade Gifts

Make your own beauty products, cleansers, soaps, candles and more at home year-round. These natural products are better for you, the environment and they make great gifts to boot!

Homemade Beauty Products and Natural Cleansers

Fresh & Pure: Organically Crafted Beauty Balms and Cleansers by Jules Aron
Natural Soap at Home : How to Make Felted Soap, Wine Soap, Fruit Soap, Goat's Milk Soap, and Much More by Liz McQuerry
The handmade mama: simple crafts, healthy recipes, and natural bath + body products for mama and baby / Mary Helen Leonard ; photography by Kimberly Davis
Beehive Alchemy : Projects And Recipes Using Honey, Beeswax, Propolis, And Pollen To Make Your Own Soap and Candles by Petra Ahnert

Fresh & Pure : Organically Crafted Beauty Balms & Cleansers by Jules Aron

Tired of wondering exactly what went into her beauty products, holistic health and wellness coach Jules Aron decided to make her own. Whipping up a luxurious face mask using little more than honey, apricots, and coconut oil, and an acne-fighting toner with cooling cucumber and antioxidant-rich green tea, she knew without a doubt that no preservatives or toxic chemicals were used. In Fresh & Pure, Aron explains how to use fruit, flowers, herbs, and minerals to craft healthy beauty products that promote radiant skin, strong nails, and shiny hair. With this helpful guide, readers will be able to pamper themselves from head to toe with aromatic, forward-thinking potions like charcoal soap, strawberry rose facial mist, pineapple sunflower body scrub, and aloe and avocado hair conditioner.

Natural Soap At Home : How to Make Felted Soap, Wine Soap, Fruit Soap, Goat’s Milk Soap and Much More by Liz McQuerry

The creator of the natural skin care line Moon Magic, Liz McQuerry offers here a step-by-step guide for natural cold-process soap crafting. Mostly utilizing kitchen ingredients to create a variety of innovative soap blends-including felted soap, beer soap, and seasonal soaps – McQuerry will put you in touch with your inner alchemist. From body bars to hair care bars, with wonderful tidbits and advice on herbs and essential oil blends, you and your family will enjoy a clean like never before. Here are instructions for: Mermaid Kisses Salty Sea Soap. Golden Coconut Milk Soap. Wine and Rose Soap. Felted Soap Stones. Refreshing Lemon Solid Shampoo Bars. Beard Wash Solid Soap Bars. And more! After you learn to make your own soap, you’ll also discover how to scent, color, design, troubleshoot, and even sell your soap. McQuerry’s soaps make for attractive and personal bathroom and kitchen décor at home, as well as nifty gifts for just about any occasion.

The Handmade Mama : Simple Crafts, Healthy Recipes, and Natural Bath + Body Products for Mama and Baby by Mary Helen Leonard

Many of the everyday products we rely on through pregnancy and baby’s first year are actually quite simple to make at home with safe and natural ingredients. Making your own food, homemade skin care products, and everyday objects allows you to choose exactly what you put on and into your body. With help from Mary Helen Leonard, natural lifestyle writer of the blog Mary Makes Good, you’ll create handmade items for mama and baby using sustainable materials. You pick the color. You choose the ingredients. You make adjustments to suit your own tastes and needs. There’s nothing better than custom-made, and when you do it yourself it can actually be affordable! The techniques you’ll discover in “The Handmade Mama” will make cooking, sewing, and planning your own healthy baby projects a breeze. From ginger syrup for upset stomachs to baby powder, changing mats, food purees, teethers, and simple toys, this book is stuffed with useful projects, tips, and sidebars for a natural pregnancy and baby’s first year that you’ll cherish.

Beehive Alchemy : Projects and Recipes Using Honey, Beeswax, Propolis, and Pollen to Make your Own Soap, Candles, Creams, Salves and More by Petra Ahnert

From crayons to cough drops, cookies to candles, “Beehive Alchemy” offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life. “Beehive Alchemy” is a continuation of Petra Ahnert’s best-selling “Beeswax Alchemy.” With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees. Whether you keep bees or just love them, “Beehive Alchemy” will become your go-to comprehensive guide for hive-to-home creations.


More ways to inspire your creative spirit …

 

Cool stuff for bath & beauty by Pam Scheunemann
Nature's essential oils aromatic alchemy for well-being by Cher Kaufmann.
Vintage beauty your guide to classic Hollywood make-at-home beauty treatments by Daniela Turudich
Beeswax alchemy how to make your own candles, soap, balms, salves, and home decor from the hive by Petra Ahnert
Botanical beauty 80 essential recipes for natural spa products by Aubre Andrus

This is part of a series of blog posts dedicated to creating handmade gifts.

Crafty Library Blog Posts

Feeling Crafty?

DIY Holiday Gifts

What’s Really In Your Beauty Products (and How to Make Your Own)?


Give 3 Get 3

Personalized Recommendations Just for You!

Looking for your next great read?Let us help you!Tell us what you’ve enjoyed reading, watching or listening to, and our librarians will give you personalized recommendations.No algorithms, cookies or data mining – just real experts in your community sharing their love of great books, music and movies with you. We call it Give 3 Get 3.Get started today at ToledoLibrary.org/Give3Get!

 

Originally posted by Amy H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/make-your-own-natural-homemade-gifts

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Raising Awareness: The Silent Witness Project at the Toledo Library

Domestic violence is an International epidemic

Defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another;  there is no corner of the world where domestic violence does not reach. Domestic violence affects individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality.The devastating physical, emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. For women, the threat of death due to domestic violence is very real – especially when they begin to take steps to leave.

Please join the Steinem Sisters Collection at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) as we honor those lost to domestic violence in the Toledo area and raise awareness of the continued fight to end domestic violence.

The Silent Witness Project

19 Year Old Victim
In 1990, the Silent Witness Initiative began with a goal to promote education through community-based exhibits in an effort to end domestic violence. It started with a small group of volunteers in one state and grew into an international movement, with projects in all 50 states and 23 countries.

The Northwest Ohio Silent Witness Project, which is housed and maintained at the Bethany House of Toledo, currently consists of over 55 Silent Witnesses whose lives were abruptly and violently ended at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, partner or stalker.

For the month of October, TLCPL’s Reynolds Corners Branch Library will be exhibiting 10 Witnesses in an effort to remember the stories and names of these women.

Library Events in 2018

The Silent Witness Project Exhibit

Oct. 1 – Nov. 2 | During Library Hours | Reynolds Corners Branch Library

Domestic Violence Information Sessions

TLCPL is also partnering with the Bethany House to offer several information sessions about domestic violence. These sessions will focus on 1 of 2 topics and will be held at several branches throughout the library system.

Recognizing Domestic Violence

Oct. 4 | 1:00 p.m. | Waterville Branch Library
Oct. 25 | 6:30 p.m. | Oregon Branch Library

Children and Domestic Violence

Oct. 10 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library
Oct. 24 | 7:00 p.m. | Maumee Branch Library

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Knowledge Wins: Highlighting TLCPL’s World War I Poster Collection

One hundred years ago at 11 am on the 11th of November 1918 a ceasefire was declared ending what is now known as World War I. The peace treaty that officially ended the war, The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. The war began in 1914 after an assassination and alliances pitted the major European players against each other. The United States formally entered the conflict on April 6, 1917 but American soldiers were not part of any significant combat until the spring of 1918. All aspects of life in the United States was geared to the war effort. The poster was the single most important means of mass communication and was a major tool used to garner support and boost morale. It was used by all sides of the conflict. The Toledo Lucas County Public Library is lucky to have a collection of these posters most of which have been in its collection since they were created.

The style and format of the posters vary, some were created by well-known artists of the time while others were strictly informative. Many were designed to stir emotions to get the viewer to supply money for the effort, conserve resources or to volunteer to fight. The process used to create the poster, three stone color lithography allowed the printing of large numbers at a relatively low cost.

Knowledge Wins, Public Library Books are Free - World War I poster - American Library Association

The first poster illustrated here is titled “Knowledge Wins” showing a soldier leaving the trenches of Europe and his weapons behind. He’s looking across the Atlantic towards an American city and the bridge that will take him there. The bridge is paved with library books, which is symbolic of the knowledge found there that often leads to success! This poster was created for the American Library Association’s War Service Committee in 1918 after designs by Dan Smith (1865-1934) a noted illustrator of the time.

Look forward to future posts highlighting other World War I posters in our collection.

Originally posted by Edward H. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/knowledge-wins-highlighting-tlcpls-world-war-i-poster-collection

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Haunted Midwest Travel for Those Who Dare!

I don’t know about you, but I come from a long line of non-scaredy cats! You just can’t spook my family and friends, much as you may try. And yet, they all love scary movies, books, and places!     

My mom’s probably not going to be super happy about my sharing this – but my love affair with all things spooky started in elementary school, when she and my dad made the mistake of letting me watch The Exorcist. They had guests over and I heard the voice of my beloved babysitter Missy – so I crept out to see her, and they let me stay up and watch it with them. I was PETRIFIED, but have been feeding the need to be scared ever since.      

Like my family and friends, I too have a passion for all things scary – Halloween, haunted houses (real and fake), horror movies, and the like. My best friend and I even toured one of America’s most haunted places – The Waverly Hills Sanatorium. It was really cool to walk through the place, but I was (and always am) disappointed that I neither felt nor viewed anything of the paranormal sense. Others in our group said they did…which leads me on my continued search.      

So, do ghosts really exist? I don’t know, but I will never stop trying to discover the answer!     

If you’re like me, and you love to be scared, here are a few regional locations you can visit to get your spooky fix, along with some companion books and movies! 

Ohio State (Mansfield) Reformatory, Mansfield OH   

Have you seen the movies The Green Mile, Tango & Cash, or Air Force One? All three films feature footage of the Ohio State Reformatory!      

This sprawling and legendary prison has been featured in countless TV shows, documentaries, and books, including on Season 3 (episode 4) of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and Season 1 (episode 5) of the National Geographic Channel’s Inside Secret America: Ghosts.      

The reformatory was opened in the early 1900’s and closed officially per a United States Federal Court ruling (the Boyd Consent Decree) in the 1990’s. During its time in operation, more than 150,000 prisoners passed through its doors. Many died due to violence, influenza, tuberculosis, or other diseases. One of the most tragic incidents associated with the Ohio State Reformatory occurred in July 1948, when the farm boss, his wife, and daughter were kidnapped and shot by two parolees known as the “mad-dog killers.”     

I’ve not yet had the chance to take one of the reformatory’s public ghost hunts, but I did attend one of their Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters. It was a blast and the food was surprisingly delicious! I highly recommend it.

Related BooksThe Haunted History of the Ohio State Reformatory by Sherri Brake  The Ohio State Reformatoryby Nancy K. Darbey

Loveland Castle, Loveland OH   

Did you know there’s a castle in Ohio? Well there is, and it’s really cool…and apparently haunted. It also has an interesting story as far as how it came to be!      

The castle was built by Harry Delos, who constructed it (mostly by hand) “as an expression and reminder of the simple strength and rugged grandeur of the mighty men who lived when Knighthood was in flower.” Loveland Castle has a sense of humor about its ghostly grounds too – the “Activities” section of its website reads:      

Ghosts.  If you believe in ghosts…the Castle has them! If you don’t…fine, be that way! Either way, you will find pictures of the Castle’s ghosts and ghost stories galore at the Castle! 

Related BookOhio Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State by James Willis  

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville KY  

Waverly Hills Sanatorium has a rather sad history. In the early 1900s, the Board of Tuberculosis Hospital constructed a sanatorium that could accommodate up to 50 tuberculosis patients. Eventually, tuberculosis reached epidemic levels in the surrounding communities, and the sanatorium was expanded to accommodated over 400 patients.      

At its height, Waverly Hills was known as one of the most advanced tuberculosis sanatoriums in the country. Despite this, most of the patients succumbed to the disease and (as was common practice) were often subjected to painful and bizarre “treatments” such as having balloons surgically implanted into their lungs.  

Waverly Hills has been featured on Season 3 (episode 18) of the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters, and Season 2 (episode 5) of TLC’s Paranormal Lockdown. As far as hauntings, the most prolific sightings surround a boy (dubbed “Timmy”) who plays with a ball along the 3rd floor as well as sightings in room 502, which is believed (and was told during our tour) to have been the location where a nurse hung herself as a result of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy in 1928.

Today, Waverly Hills is owned by “historical and paranormal enthusiasts,” Charles and Tina Mattingly who operate the sanatorium as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, offering ghost tours, a haunted house, and laser light shows.

Related BooksHaunted Hospitals: Eerie Tales About Hospitals, Sanatoriums, & Other Institutions by Mark LeslieHaunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums : Inside the Abandoned Institutions for the Crazy, Criminal & Quarantined by Jamie Davis  

The Masonic Temple, Detroit MI     

If you haven’t ever attended an event inside of the Masonic Temple, I implore you to do so! It is the world’s largest Masonic Temple – an absolutely beautiful and magnificent Gothic revival building with 14 floors and 1,000 rooms full of winding stairways, secret passages, and ornate sculptures and lighting.      

In fact, the Masonic Temple is so grand that its construction is said to have left architect George D. Mason bankrupt. Unfounded gossip also says that as a result, his wife left him and he committed suicide by jumping from the top of the building – however, in reality Mason died in 1948 at the age of 92.      

That hasn’t stopped it from being included in most “haunted Michigan” lists, nor has it detracted interest from numerous paranormal investigative teams, including 313 Paranormal, the Marter Paranormal Research Team, and the Erie Shores Paranormal.      

Other notable paranormal activity that’s been widely experienced are slamming doors, knocking, and other random bumps in the night. If you’re interested in taking a tour, the Temple offers building tours or if you really want to ramp up the spooky factor, why not attend one of the most beloved Halloween parties in the world there – Theatre Bizarre – which is held each year inside of the Masonic Temple!

Related BooksDetroit Ghosts by Mimi Staver  Ghosts of Southeast Michigan by Kristy Robinett  

Disclaimer: The information included in this blog post is for educational purpose only. The Toledo Lucas County Public Library does not endorse any businesses featured in this blog post.

Originally posted at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/haunted-midwest-travel-for-those-who-dare by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Heather H.

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Writers on Writing: Tips for Aspiring Writers

If you’re looking for inspiration or simply tips on writing, why not learn from experienced and successful writers like Stephen King and Walter Dean Myers, after all they know their stuff! How did they become bestselling authors? What’s their secret to success?

Writers on Writing – Books

How to be a writer: conversations with writers about writing by David Quantick
On Writing: a memoir of the craft by Stephen King
Zen in the art of writing by Ray Bradbury
On Writing by Charles Bukowski
Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann
Just Write: Here's How by Walter Dean Myers
The Accidental Life - An Editor's Notes on Writing and Writers by Terry McDonell
Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living edited by Manjula Martin
The New York Times Footsteps : from Ferrante's Naples to Hammett's San Francisco, literary pilgrimages around the world
The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art of Storytelling by Charles Johnson
The writer who stayed / William Zinsser ; foreword by Robert Wilson
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing
Reading like a writer : a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them / Francine Prose
Pep Talks for Writers - 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo by Grant Faulkner
Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals by Dinty W. Moore

Writers on Writing – Videos

How To Become A Published Author: Advice From Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Lee Child on Starting Writing After 40

Neil Gaiman on Writing

Alexander McCall-Smith

Isabel Wilkerson

Writing Tips from the Web

So, You Want to be a Writer? Essential Tips for Aspiring Novelists – The Guardian

33 Authors Gave Us Their Best Advice on Writing – Buzzfeed

World’s Best-Selling Author James Patterson On How To Write An Unputdownable Story – Fast Company

10 Powerful Secrets of Bestselling Authors – Write to Done

Practical Writing Tips from 65 Bestselling Authors – CreativINDIE

The 90 Top Secrets of Bestselling Authors – Writer’s Digest

Timeless Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers – Brain Pickings

Writers on Writing – NPR Playlist

Toledo Library Blog Posts on Writing

Writers on Writing: Tips for Aspiring Writers

5 Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

Top 5 Reasons to Join a Writing Group

Memoir Writing Resources

The Art of Storytelling: 5 Tips on Crafting Compelling Storylines

How to Write a Novel in a Month

Learn How to Publish a Book

Writer’s Block


Originally posted at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/writers-on-writing-tips-for-aspiring-authors by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S.

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