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Toledo Lucas County Public Library

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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10 Genuinely Funny Funny Fiction Books You’re Sure to Love

Welcome to our funny fiction series. We’re highlighting a variety of humorous fiction novels to help our readers find that next great read (and hopefully a few laughs along the way).

Humor is a funny thing (pun intended). Pinpointing what an individual will find funny isn’t an exact science. There are so many different types of humor, but what constitutes funny is a matter of opinion. David Sedaris is fairly popular, but his type of humor may not be everyone’s cup of tea (even though he is a comedic genius). After all, tastes, preferences, likes and dislikes develop over a lifetime based on a variety of life experiences.

Looking for reading recommendations? Below, you’ll find a small selection hand-picked, entertaining and utterly enjoyable books. Hopefully you’ll think they’re funny too! Stay tuned for more blog posts featuring funny fiction.

Funny Fiction Recommendations

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

1. Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

A crossover series by the best-selling author of the Stephanie Plum mysteries introduces pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, who is recruited by Diesel to track down a cache of priceless ancient relics while keeping them out of the hands of his criminal mastermind cousin.

Borrow it from the library: BookLarge Print, Audio, eBook or eAudio

Bridget Jones's diary : a novel / Helen Fielding

2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

A hilarious journal chronicles a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a single, thirty-something woman on a perpetual quest for self-improvement, as she struggles to cope with relationships, weight control, and the other baffling complexities of modern life.

Borrow it from the library: Book or eBook

Everything is illuminated : a novel / Jonathan Safran Foer

3. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Foer

Hilarious, energetic, and profoundly touching, a debut novel follows a young writer as he travels to the farmlands of eastern Europe, where he embarks on a quest to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis, and, guided by his young Ukrainian translator, he discovers an unexpected past that will resonate far into the future.

Borrow it from the library: Book, eBook or eAudio

The Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy / Douglas Adams

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Chronicles the journeys, notions, and acquaintances of reluctant galactic traveler Arthur Dent, accompanied by never-before-published material from the late author’s archives as well as commentary by famous fans.

Borrow it from the library: Book, eBook or eAudio

Insane City by Dave Barry

5. Insane City by Dave Barry

Astonished by his imminent marriage to a woman he believed out of his league, Seth flies to their destination wedding in Florida only to be swept up in a maelstrom of violence involving rioters, Russian gangsters, angry strippers, and a desperate python.

Borrow it from the library: Book, Audio, eBook or eAudio

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

6. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

The author presents a collection of three animal-themed essays. In The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck, a group of complete strangers bitterly discuss the order of things within the animal kingdom. In Hello Kitty, a miserable alcoholic cat attends AA. In The Squirrel and the Chipmunk, two lovers are torn apart by their quarreling families.

Borrow it from the library: BookAudioeBook or eAudio

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

7. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

The world is going to end next Saturday, just before dinner, but it turns out there are a few problems–the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the representatives from heaven and hell decide that they like the human race.

Borrow it from the library: Book, eBook or eAudio

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

8. The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Embarking on her freshman year at Harvard in the early tech days of the 1990s, a young artist and daughter of Turkish immigrants begins a correspondence with an older mathematics student from Hungary while struggling with her changing sense of self, first love and a daunting career prospect.

Borrow it from the library: Book or eBook

At Freddie's by Penelope Fitzgerald

9. At Freddie’s by Penelope Fitzgerald

“Freddie’s” is the familiar name of the Temple Stage School, which supplies London’s West End theaters with child actors for everything from Shakespeare to musicals to the Christmas pantomime. Its proprietress, Freddie Wentworth, is a formidable woman of unknown age and murky background who brings anyone she encounters under her spell — so common an occurrence that it is known as “being Freddied.” At her school, we meet dour Pierce, a teacher hopelessly smitten with enchanting Hannah; Jonathan, a child actor of great promise, and his slick rival Mattie; and Joey Blatt, who has wicked plans to rescue Freddie’s from insolvency. Up to its surprising conclusion, “At Freddie’s” is thoroughly beguiling.

Borrow it from the library: Book or eBook

One More Thing : Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

10. One More Thing : Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak’s “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction.

Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, “One More Thing” has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element just that might make a person complete. Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, the many pieces in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, sharp eye, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.

Borrow it from the library: BookAudioeBook or eAudio

You May Also Enjoy These Great Library Blog Posts

How to Find a Good Book to Read
Includes tips on how to find books you’ll truly enjoy.

Clever With A Side of Sarcasm
Books for fans of clever, absurd and sarcastic humor.

10 Entertaining Novels That Will Put a Smile on Your Face
Novels with light humor and likable characters.


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!
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Podcasts: What are They and Why Should I Care?

I have a confession to make; I can’t stop listening to podcasts. For years now, people have asked me what book I’m reading/listening to and most of the time I shamefully mumble something about not having much time, or finding it difficult to discover new books I like. This, however, is a bold-faced lie. The truth is that podcasts have taken over my life. I listen to them when I’m cleaning, driving, getting ready, falling asleep, waking up, cooking (ok, that’s a stretch – more like microwaving). Just ask my husband who so graciously hid his eye rolls for almost an entire year when every other sentence out of my mouth was “I was listening to This American Life…”

To all of you who are reading this asking, “What’s a podcast?” – my response is: only the greatest invention to be popularized by the smartphone. Imagine being able to listen to your favorite radio broadcast at any time, in any place. Or consuming bite-sized documentaries that are delivered to your phone automatically and captivate from the first minute. And the best part is that anyone (even you!) can make and distribute a podcast, making the range of content available absolutely remarkable. I know what you’re thinking, “But Allison, how do we know what is worth listening to and what’s not if anyone can make anything?” Never fear. That’s what I’m here for.

Below you will find a list of some of the best freely-available podcasts around. They cover a breadth of topics to suit anyone’s interests as well as provide an easy route to discover something new. Most smartphones have a podcast app preloaded on the device at purchase where these titles can be found. They can also be found on the respective websites for each cast.

And once you’ve listened through this list and decided to become a podcaster yourself, come on down to the King Road or West Toledo branch libraries where our recording studios are waiting to turn your podcast idea into my next obsession.

General Interest

This American Life

No list of podcasts would be complete without This American Life. One of the longest running NPR offerings, Ira Glass’s iconic radio show looks at different aspects of life in America (and sometimes beyond) and offers new perspectives on ideas of all kinds. So many people you’ve probably heard of have contributed to TAL including David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Sarah Vowell, John Hodgeman, and many (many, many more). Personal favorites of mine are episodes 107: Trail of Tears and 199: House on Loon Lake.

Listen Alikes:

Invisibilia

Strangers


True Crime

Serial

If you’ve heard of any of these, chances are it’s Serial, the smash-hit from 2014 that dove deep into a murder that took place back in 1999. Because it’s unsolved? No. A man named Adnan Syed is currently serving time for the crime. But should he be? Sarah Koenig investigates and tells the story episode by episode, sometimes only hours after she has learned new developments herself. If you want a story that is all but guaranteed to hook you, this is where you should start. (Seriously, before this no one would have guessed that cell phone records could be so enthralling.) This one requires serial listening (Get it? 😉 ) so you’ll want to start with Ep. 1: The Alibi.

Listen Alikes:

In the Dark

Criminal


Science and Technology

Radiolab

Polar opposites and conversational wizards Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich explore all things science in a way that feels a little closer to performance art than information sharing. From the beautifully haunting contributions of the late Oliver Sacks in episodes such as “Oliver Sacks’ Table of Elements” to episodes like “The Ceremony” that are just plain creepy, Radiolab is a show for those people who are fascinated by the intricacies of the world we live in.

Listen Alikes:

99% Invisible

Every Little Thing


Myth and Folklore

Lore

I like to call this “Are You Afraid of the Dark: Adult Edition.” Lore takes true stories that frighten and disturb and turns them into campfire-style tales. Recently made into a TV show as well, it is best if listened to on a long night drive or with the lights dimmed. Fans of The Twilight Zone will appreciate its anthology-style storytelling and the added bonus is that these stories actually happened. Where to start? Ep. 2: The Bloody Pit


History

Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell is very likely a familiar name to you from his best-selling books Blink, The Tipping Point, and What the Dog Saw. In Revisionist History, Gladwell takes all the energy and enthusiasm he has for storytelling and applies it to ideas that we think we already understand. His brand of thinking deeply on topics that seem obvious on their surface works especially well in the podcast format. Check out “Hallelujah,” in which Gladwell examines the idea of genius and how it emerges in individuals.

Radiolab Presents: More Perfect

A podcast about the Supreme Court of the United States? Really? Yup. And it’s even better than you could ever imagine. From tales of its inception to the cases being argued today, More Perfect delves deep into the backstories of the people behind the cases and offers an in-depth view on how the court arrives at its decisions. Personal favorites of mine include “Kittens Kick the Giggly Blue Robot All Summer,” which looks at the very early years of the court while it was still finding its place in our system of law and “The Political Thicket,” in which we see just a glimpse of the pressure that serving on the court entails.

Listen Alike:

Stuff You Missed in History Class


Current Issues

Embedded

Embedded reporting is a long-standing tradition within the journalism field, but with Embedded (the podcast), Kelly McEvers takes this to the next level. By focusing in on a story currently in the news and placing herself in the center of the action, McEvers provides a unique type of insight into issues that can seem too big to be ever fully understood. In the gripping episode “The Capital,” McEvers ventures to the murder capital of the world, El Salvador, and spends 24 hours in the capital city, San Salvador, where she witnesses first-hand the gang violence that grips the nation. It’s edge-of-your-seat listening and just one example of an overall stellar body of work. Intrigued? – Check out the entire list of casts.

Listen Alikes:

The Daily

Reveal


Sports

30 for 30

What? Think I forgot about you, sports fans? Never. 30 for 30 will be familiar to you as a fan of sports/watcher of ESPN. The TV show has established itself as the most excellent avenue to the behind-the-scenes (off-the-field?) stories of the athletes we love. The jump to podcast was only natural and has only improved the long-form sports story. Whether it’s the tale of Madden and his videogame domination or the fight to open Wrigleyville up to night games, 30 for 30 is a must-listen for any die-hard fans who seek to know more about their favorite teams/players/sports than what you can get from just watching the main event.

Listen Alike:

The Bill Simmons Podcast


If you like the podcasts featured above, you may also like these great radio programs available at your local library …
NPR driveway moments [spoken CD] : radio stories that won't let you go. Moms
NPR driveway moments for dads [spoken CD]
NPR funniest driveway moments [spoken CD]
NPR driveway moments. Love stories. [spoken CD]

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Allison F. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/podcasts-what-are-they-and-why-should-i-care.

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Join us for Poetry Speaks! African American Read-In, Feb. 14

Poetry Speaks! African American Poetry Read-in

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. | Main Library – McMaster Center

African Americans have profoundly influenced American poetry, from Phillis Wheatley to Paul Lawrence Dunbar, through the poets of the Harlem Renaissance, and into this twenty-first century explosion of brilliant new poets.

In celebration, we’re asking people in our community to choose one favorite poem or excerpt by an African American poet to read in a staged reading emceed by Rhonda Sewell, Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s External and Governmental Affairs Manager, and to tell us a bit about what it means to them.

Register to read a favorite poem (not your own, but published), family friendly, and no longer than a 5 minute time slot.  Registration is required only to read.

Online Registration for Readers opens January 15, 2018 and closes February 7, 2018.

Everyone is invited to attend.


Looking for a poem to read at the event? Check out these notable selections.

The Complete poetry by Maya Angelou
Selected poems by Gwendolyn Brooks
Complete poems / James Weldon Johnson ; edited with an introduction by Sondra Kathryn Wilson
Olio by Tyehimba Jess
Heaven / Rowan Ricardo Phillips
SOS: Poems 1961-2013 by Amiri Baraka
Don't Call Us Dead : Poems by Danez Smith
Collected poems : 1974--2004 / Rita Dove
Use trouble : poems / by Michael S. Harper
The collected poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 / edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser ; foreword by Toni Morrison ; afterword by Kevin Young
The Collected poems of Langston Hughes / Arnold Rampersad, editor, David Roessel, associate editor
Wild beauty = Belleza salvaje : new and selected poems / Ntozake Shange ; translated by Alejandro Álvarez Nieves
Looking for online sources? Check these out:

Black History Month – Academy of American Poets
To celebrate Black History Month in February—and the rich tradition of African American poetry all year long—browse essays on literary milestones and movements, find important books on black history and poetics, look for lesson plans for Black History Month, read archival letters from classic African American poets, and search poems about the African American experience by both classic and contemporary poets.

Celebrating Black History Month – Poetry Foundation
Poems, articles, and podcasts that explore African American history and culture.

University of Pittsburg Center for African American Poets and Poetics
The mission of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) at the University of Pittsburgh is to highlight, promote, and share the poetry and poetic work of African American and African diasporic writers.

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Lights, Camera, Action! GoPro Camera Kits at Toledo Library

The GoPro action camera has become very popular because it’s fun and easy to use; it produces high quality photos and movies; and it’s versatile. It’s known as an action camera because it’s often used to film action scenes outdoors, it’s waterproof, and it’s sturdy. It can be used to create short films, to develop stop motion animation, make underwater videos, or take high quality vacation photos. The possibilities are endless, and getting started is as simple as going to the library.

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library has two types of GoPro kits that can be checked out for one week and renewed twice. The GoPro basic kit is available for customers of all ages at the Oregon Branch Library, and contains a GoPro Hero entry level action camera, case, straps, camera housing, microcard, cables, and adapters. The GoPro deluxe kit is available for adult customers only at the King Road Branch Library, and contains a GoPro Hero4 action camera, case, straps, camera housing, microcard, cables, and adapters.

GoPro kits must be checked out and returned to the same library location (inside the building during library hours – do not place this material in the drop box). Talk to a staff member today at Oregon or King Road Branch to reserve the GoPro kit of your choice.

Want to learn more about the GoPro Camera?

Check out these great GoPro Books

GoPro for Dummies by John Carucci (c.2017)
How To Use The GoPro HERO 4 Black: The Book For Your Camera by Jordon Hetrick
My GoPro Hero5 Camera by Jason R. Rich
GoPro : professional guide to filmmaking / Bradford Schmidt, Brandon Thompson

Cinematography / Filmmaking Books

Cinematography by Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson
The Lego Animation Book: make your own LEGO movies! by David Pagano and David Pickett
How To Make Movies: Low-Budget/No-Budget Indie Experts Tell All by Kevin J. Lindenmuth
The Digital filmmaking handbook: the definitive guide to digital filmmaking by Mark Brindle
Or check out these websites for fun ideas on how to get creative with the GoPro camera:

What is GoPro? – My Gadgets

Put Your GoPro Camera to the Test with These Creative Ideas – MUO (Make Use Of)

8 Creative Things To Do With a GoPro At Home – Amateur Photographer

13 GoPro Tips for Families – ClickLikeThis

How-To: 3 Most Popular DIY GoPro Projects – Make Magazine

11 Coolest Places to Take Your GoPro – Mashable

GoPro Session: Everything You Need to Know – Outside Magazine

How to Edit GoPro Videos – Udemy

GoPro 3D Prints You’ll Love: 11 Best GoPro Accessories to 3D Print – All3DP

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amber B. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/lights-camera-action–gopro-video-camera-kits-from-your-local-library.

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Beyond the Best Sellers: Mysteries and Thrillers

Like mysteries and thrillers, but find yourself stuck in a never-ending loop of Patterson’s and Baldacci’s? Check out our list of the best mysteries and thrillers of 2017 that have flown under the “best seller” radar. Whether you like historical mysteries, psychological thrillers, or detective procedural- there is something for everyone!

Under the Radar: Mysteries and Thrillers

The Final Girls by Riley Sager
The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin
Say Nothing by Brad Parks
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach
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National Day of Listening

Everyone has a story to tell and everyone deserves to be heard. People feel appreciated, understood, and even loved when someone takes the time to really listen to them.

Lately, I’ve been reading articles and watching videos about how we’re all so connected yet less happy. I know just thinking about it is a bit of a downer, but really it’s an interesting topic and one that deserves more attention. In the age of social media we’re sharing more, but connecting less. What’s wrong with this picture? After all, how can you share more and yet still feel disconnected? So, ask yourself this: when was the last time you had a real conversation with someone and truly listened to the other person? By truly listening, I mean you weren’t just waiting for your turn to speak.

What is the National Day of Listening?

Launched in 2008 by StoryCorps, the National Day of Listening takes place every year the day after Thanksgiving. The project encourages people to sit down with a loved one and record a meaningful conversation.

An Intro to StoryCorps from our Founder Dave Isay


Let the library help you celebrate the National Day of Listening

Record Your Story

Storycorps launched the National Day of Listening as a way to encourage families to set aside the day after Thanksgiving as a time to share and record the history of their family, friends, and community.

Visit StoryCorps.org for a DIY guide and to upload your recording to Storycorps’ Wall of Listening. #NationalDayofListening

Use the Library’s recording studio to capture your interview on our equipment or use your phone in our acoustically ready space. Call the West Toledo Branch at 419-259-5290 or the King Road Branch at 419-259-5380 to learn more about our studio spaces.

Check out the Adrene Cole Collection

The African American Oral History Collection of Lucas County connects people and generations by preserving and sharing local voices and perspectives for future generations.

Claude Black | Adrene Cole Collection – Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Check out Sight and Sound

Join host Tom Walton as he interviews Toledo’s top public figures; celebrating their unique impact on Toledo history.

Sam Szor | Sight & Sound – Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Videos by StoryCorps

Two very curious brothers ask their dad some outlandish questions
Two nurse practitioners talk about treating infants exposed to opioids
Brian talks to Matt, who has been living on the streets, about the day they met
Ronald Clark remembers living inside a branch of the New York Public Library
The Bookmobile

Books by StoryCorps

Listening is an act of love : a celebration of American life from the StoryCorps Project / edited and with an introduction by Dave Isay
Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay
Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps - edited by Dave Isay
StoryCorps OutLoud: Stories from the LGBTQ community, gathered by StoryCorps and heard on NPR - hosted by Ari Shapiro, featuring Dave Isay
All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps edited by Dave Isay

Ted Talks about technology, listening, and conversation

Connected, but alone? | Sherry Turkle – Ted Talks
 

The Power of deliberate listening | Ronnie Polaneczky – TEDxPhiladelphia

 

10 Ways to have a better conversation | Celeste Headlee – Ted Talks

Books about conversation and listening

The lost art of good conversation : a mindful way to connect with others and enrich everyday life / Sakyong Mipham
The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols, PhD
Reclaiming conversation : the power of talk in a digital age / Sherry Turkle
We need to talk : how to have conversations that matter / Celeste Headlee

Articles about conversation and listening

The Lost Art of ConversationUSA Today

Is Conversation a Lost Art? – Wonderopolis

Saving the Lost Art of ConversationThe Atlantic

10 Tips to Talk About Anything with AnyonePsychology Today

The Art and Value of Good ListeningPsychology Today

Active Listening: Hear What People are Actually Saying – Mind Tools


Featured Image Credit: Conversation at the ‘IJ’ lake, Amsterdam by Thijs Paanakker (flickr)

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/national-day-of-listening.

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November Thankful Reads

Whether or not one chooses to gorge on Thanksgiving, fall is a fantastic time to reflect upon the importance of gratitude in our lives. We so often get bogged down in what is “wrong” and needs fixing – take a moment to balance that load and consider the many (many, MANY) good things we have, big and small, to help us through each day. Here are a few ideas to get us started ….

Holiday Cookbooks We Are Thankful to Have

The superfun times vegan holiday cookbook : entertaining for absolutely every occasion / Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Cook's Illustrated All Time Best Holiday Entertaining
How to celebrate everything : recipes and rituals for birthdays, holidays, family dinners, and every day in between / Jenny Rosenstrach
Danielle Walker's against all grain celebrations : a year of gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo recipes for every occasion / by Danielle Walker
Sweet treats for the holidays : edible creations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more / Norene Cox
Festive holiday recipes : 103 must-make dishes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's eve everyone will love / Addie Gundry

Thanksgiving-themed Reads

Spirituality of gratitude : the unexpected blessings of thankfulness / Joshua Choonmin Kang
Want Not by Jonathan Miles
Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay
365 Gratefuls: Celebrating Treasures, Big and Small by Hailey and Andrew Bartholomew
Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking On the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amy H. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/november-thankful-reads.

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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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