Monthly Archive for August, 2010

Work In Progress

Sep ’10
7:00 pm


Work In Progress is our monthly meet-up. Bring whatever you’re working on and share it for feedback, come to meet folks, or just to hang out and soak it up. See you there!

Jean-Christophe Valtat Reads From Aurorarama

Sep ’10
7:00 pm


Info about the book: Set in the glittering Arctic city of “New Venice,” Jean-Christoph Valtat’s Aurorarama imagines an intricate “steampunk” society populated with anarchists, hypnotists, rock stars, drug-addled bohemians, dapper secret police, and a secret society of subterranean garbage collectors. French author Jean-Christophe Valtat has drawn on a wealth of research about Arctic exploration, Victorian mysticism, and 19th-century technology to create a truly unforgettable literary adventure tale that calls to mind Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the graphic-novel classics of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, and such genre-bending literary sensations as Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell or Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series.  Smart, playful, sexy, and surreal, Aurorarama marks the first book in an enchanting new trilogy.

So whether you’re into science fiction/fantasy or just fiction, whether you’re into steampunk or neo-Victorian, or you just want to come out and support an independent bookstore, you should come. And! Wine will be served. At least one french accent will be there for your enchantment. And of course there will probably at least one person with brass goggles. Come wearing your steampunk gear, and the best costume gets a prize! Need some help with understanding what steampunk is? Here’s some helpful info:

[Valtat] has a magical sense of shape, and a gift for lyrical prose that are rare in modern writing.

La Croix

Jean-Christophe Valtat is a writer of “beautiful energy.”

Le Monde


Words Without Borders

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A Night With Continuum’s 33 1/3 Book Series

Sep ’10
7:00 pm

33.3 Series

33 1/3 is a series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the past 40 years. By turns obsessive, passionate, creative, and informed, the books in this series demonstrate many different ways of writing about music.  The series now spans over 70 titles, covering a wide range of albums, from Public Enemy and Slayer to ABBA and Celine Dion. Indeed, this event is probably the only time in history that AC/DC and Belle and Sebastian will share a bill. Three writers, three albums. One event.

Joe Bonomo – AC/DC’s Highway to Hell

Joe Bonomo strikes a three-chord essay on the power of adolescence, the durability of rock & roll fandom, and the transformative properties of memory. Why does Highway To Hell matter to anyone beyond non-ironic teenagers?  Blending interviews, analysis, and memoir with a fan’s perspective, Highway To Hell dramatizes and celebrates a timeless album that one critic said makes “disaster sound like the best fun in the world.”

Joe Bonomo teaches in the English Department of Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band (Continuum 2007), and Installations (Penguin), a collection of prose poems.  His personal essays and prose poems have appeared in numerous literary journals.

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Mark Richardson – Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka

“[A] wildly accessible, entertaining, and thoughtful book about the importance of an album that nobody talks about much anymore.” -The Stranger

The Flaming Lips’ 1997 album Zaireeka is one of the most peculiar albums ever recorded, consisting of four CDs meant to be played simultaneously on four CD players. Approaching this powerful and complex art-rock masterpiece from multiple angles, Mark Richardson’s prismatic study of Zaireeka mirrors the structure the work itself. Thoughts on communal listening and the “death of the album” are interspersed with the story of the Zaireeka’s creation (with assistance from Wayne Coyne) and an in-depth analysis of the music, leading to a complete picture of a record that proved to be a watershed for both the band and adventurous music fans alike.

Mark Richardson is the managing editor of Pitchfork. He was a contributing editor to The Pitchfork 500 and his writing on music has appeared in publications including the Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Metro Times Detroit.

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Scott Plagenhoef – Belle and Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister

If You’re Feeling Sinister shows how Belle & Sebastian transformed themselves over the space of a decade, from a slightly shambolic cult secret into a polished, highly entertaining, mainstream pop group. Along the way, the book shows how the internet has revolutionized how we discover new music—often at the cost of romance and mystery.

Scott Plagenhoef is Editor-in-Chief for Pitchfork Media.

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For more info:

Matthew Gavin Frank Reads From Barolo

Sep ’10
7:00 pm


After a childhood of microwaved meat and saturated fat, Matthew Gavin Frank got serious about food. His “research” ultimately led him to Barolo, Italy (pop. 646), where, living out of a tent in the garden of a local farmhouse, he resolved to learn about Italian food from the ground up. Barolo is Frank’s account of those six months.  At once an intimate travelogue and a memoir of a culinary education, the book details the adventures of a not-so-innocent abroad in Barolo, a region known for its food and wine (also called Barolo). Along the way we meet the region’s families and the many eccentric vintners, butchers, bakers, and restaurateurs who call Barolo home. Rich with details of real Italian small-town life, local foodstuffs, strange markets, and a circuslike atmosphere, Frank’s story also offers a wealth of historical and culinary information, and musings on foreign travel, all filtered through food and wine.

Matthew Gavin Frank worked for over fifteen years in the food and restaurant industry in positions ranging from dishwasher to sous-chef, server to sommelier, menu consultant to catering-business owner, farmhand to janitor. A visiting assistant professor of writing at Grand Valley State University, he has published essays in Gastronomica, Creative Nonfiction, and Best Food Writing 2006.

“Aaahhh . . . ! Here are all the joys of being young and exuberant and passionate and in love with women, and life, and better yet . . . in Barolo. This remarkable and enchanting tale makes me want to set the clock back many years and to book passage to Italy and to the sips of the world’s greatest wine, and to be inspired by all the things that make life such a wonderful journey! Kudos to Matthew Gavin Frank for reminding us what really makes life worth living!”—Charlie Trotter, chef, author, and host of PBS’s The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter

“Suddenly you are in Italy, suddenly you are in love, suddenly you are picking the delicate Nebbiolo grape under a burning sun—and in a moment Matthew Gavin Frank has captured your unwavering attention, with a firm grasp that continues for all three hundred pages of this delightful and incisive book.”—Lee Gutkind, editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine and author of Almost Human: Making Robots Think

For more info: http://

William Upski Wimsatt discusses PLEASE DON’T BOMB THE SUBURBS

Sep ’10
7:00 pm


In PLEASE DON’T BOMB THE SUBURBS, William Upski Wimsatt weaves a first-person tour of America’s cultural and political movements from 1985-2010. It-s a story about love, growing up, a generation coming of age, and a vision for the movement young people will create in the new decade. With humorous story-telling and historical insight, Wimsatt lays out a provocative vision for the next twenty-five years of personal and historical transformation.
Social entrepreneur, philanthropic consultant, journalist, and political organizer, Mr. Wimsatt published five books including Bomb the Suburbs, and No More Prisons. He has written for Vibe, Chicago Tribune and is also the winner of the 1999 Firecracker Book Award for Political Non-Fiction. He has spoken at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and was named by Utne Magazine as “Utne Visionary” and to The Source Magazine’s “Power 30”.

As a 2010 Fellow at Movement Strategy Center, Mr. Wimsatt runs The Field 3.0 Project, a community dialogue and documentation effort to envision the future and drive innovation in movement building. He also runs ALL HANDS ON DECK: WIN AGAIN 2010, a voter engagement program targeting likely drop-off voters, focused in key battleground states and coordinates a 12 Week Plan to organize volunteers in the lead up the mid-term elections. Previously, Wimsatt founded and ran the League of Young Voters (2003-2008) which organized 3000+ youth to create 300+ voter guides and impacted 29 state and local elections or pieces of legislation. In 2005, Wimsatt co-founded Generational Alliance. Over his career as a funder and fundraiser he has helped move more than eight million dollars to social change. In 2008, he created and ran the Ohio Youth Corps program for the Ohio Democratic Party/Obama For America, which trained and deployed 50 staff throughout Ohio. Wimsatt has worked for Green For All, consulted for Rock The Vote,, Hull Family Foundation, The DC Project, The Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, and completed Rockwood’s year-long course for executive leaders.

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