The Urbana Free Library controversy rages on. Without decisive action on the part of the board, I predict that the conflicts will escalate until we're back in national media in a much bigger way. I think this has potential to become the poster-child case for discrediting a particular outside consultant's methods as well as for what it looks like when leaders attempt to quietly implement visions not supported by their community. And refuse to compromise.
Meanwhile, I'm returning some books, including Alberto Manguel's The Library at Night. Initially, I was captivated by the poetry of this book, and excited to see a chapter on "Library as Space" (p. 65-104). But the content of that chapter ends with Carnegie, and he'd make a better starting point than ending point. It's a soothing read, but not one I'll be finishing all the way through. Also returning City Reading: Written Words and Public Spaces in Antebellum New York, which goes into depth about the emergence of signage and the ubiquitous written word in public spaces.
Slowly reading my way through Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke, and I just started a fantasy novel, Throne of Glass, that is gripping so far. I'm midway through What is the What by David Eggers, though it's a bit traumatizing, and just started Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeannette Winterson, which I started but then stopped to go back and read...
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson--beautifully written poetic memoir-novel about growing up adopted into a fringe Pentecostal group in England.
And other summer reading so far:
Happens Every Day and the follow-up memoir A Year and Six Seconds by Isabel Gillies, about her move from NYC to Ohio for her husband's professor job and then her loss when he is cheating on her and divorces her. The second one is about her return to NYC and year-long recovery.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post--a novel about Cameron losing her parents, gaining a born-again aunt, and then being sent to a Christian camp to "cure" her of lesbianism. This was the first growing-up-hyper-Christian novel, that led me to Jeannette Winterson, below.
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou--great memoir about her mother's abandonment and support, steadiness, wildness, and inspiring non-conformity and power.
What is the What by David Eggers--haven't finished, tough to read memoir/novel about a man's survival as a boy in worn-torn Sudan and his subsequent trauma in the U.S.
Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton--a blog-turned-book with more god-talk than I prefer, mostly about the emotional sides of raising three kids. Parenting: a hard job.
Are You My Mother? by Allison Bechdel (author of the Dykes to Watch Out For series)--follows Fun House, but this time about her mother. Although this is really a psychological-theory-applied book, as Bechdel reaches broadly to try to connect Freud, Virginia Woolfe, Donald Winnicott, that Drama of the Gifted Child book, and much more to understand her own personal life and path. In pictures. I forgot to say this was a graphic novel...