Last week, National Book Award finalist David Kertzer visited Library HQ to discuss his new book “The Pope and Mussolini.” The book tells the gripping story of Pope Pius XI’s secret relations with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. The book is a groundbreaking work, based on seven years of research in the Vatican and Fascist archives, including reports from Mussolini’s spies inside the highest levels of the Church.
The spring author series line-up features something for everyone. Get the full schedule here.
The Black Rep kicked off SLCL’s Black History Month festivities on Friday night with a performance called “Witnesses to Freedom.” The production is based on the book “Witnesses to Freedom: Young People Who Fought for Civil Rights” by Belinda Rochelle. During the event, kids in the audience were invited to participate in a reenactment of the historic 1963 Children’s Crusade.
SLCL has an amazing line-up of Black History Month programs, get the full schedule here.
Novelist Philipp Meyer discussed his epic, Western tale “The Son,” last night at Library HQ. The book is a multigenerational saga that follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th Century.
Who else is visiting SLCL this month? Get the full schedule here.
Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot spoke about his new biography of Mavis Staples last night at Library HQ. Mavis and her family fused gospel, soul, folk, and rock to transcend racism and oppression through song. They became a major influence on the music that shaped the civil rights era. Kot wanted to write the book, because to date there hadn’t been anything written about the Staples family and their contributions. Kot considers them a national treasure and said it was important to get their story told while Mavis is still alive (the singer is currently in her 70s). “People should get their due while they’re still with us,” Kot said. He also saw the book as an opportunity to tell a story about the African American community through the eyes of a family who lived through that important and tumultuous period.
Check out the other authors visiting SLCL this month right here.
Local author & UMSL professor Steven Watts spoke about his new biography of Dale Carnegie at Library HQ last night. Mr. Watts talked about the history of the American notion of success, and how writers like Horatio Alger and Benjamin Franklin had shaped the idea for years, but when the 20th Century rolled around, people wanted a new approach, which is what Dale Carnegie provided.
Carnegie started by offering courses in public speaking, and after attending one of them, a publisher at Simon & Schuster convinced him to write a book, which became “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” They had hoped to maybe sell 20,000 copies, but after a year in publication, it had sold nearly 1,000,00 copies (and to this day has sold nearly 35,000,000).
SLCL has an outstanding line-up of authors coming to the library in February. Get the full schedule here.
Kids at the Jamestown Bluffs Branch got some acting tips from the pros at DaySpring School for the Arts yesterday. The program was part of the Art @ Your Library series. Kids learned about pantomime and practiced acting out characters and concepts from a story. See more photos here. Get the full Art @ Your Library line-up here.
Hats off to SLCL’s Youth Services team! They’ve created a series of performances based on the hilarious kids books by Jan Thomas. The program, called “Rhyming Dust Bunnies,” is part of the library’s Art @ Your Library series. Not only did the YS staff write the script, they also made the puppets! Click here for the full performance schedule.
Novelist Ruth Ozeki stopped by Library HQ last night to read from and sign her latest book, “A Tale for the Time Being.” Aside from being an accomplished writer, Ms. Ozeki is also a filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. “A Tale for the Time Being” has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. One of the main characters in the book is a sort of metaphorical version of Ozeki (same name, husband, residence), which convinced the author she should read the audio version of the book. Publishers aren’t always keen on that, but she found a way around it, saying,”if you put enough Japanese in the text, they HAVE to let you do it.”
The 2014 author series features a diverse mix of writers from a variety of genres. See the full line-up here.
The 2014 author series started with a bang on Saturday night when over 750 people came out to hear broadcast journalist Jane Pauley discuss her new book, “Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life.” In the book, Ms. Pauley gives voice to the opportunities of her generation—and the next one too—offering humor and insight about the journey forward. She encouraged everyone at the event, not just those in her age bracket, to live life fully, using one’s skills and interests as a guide.
See more photos from the event here. See who else is visiting SLCL in 2014 here.
Our biggest year ever! Thanks St. Louis.