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Thursday, October 20, 2016

20s & 30s Book Club meets next Thursday

Join fellow 20 & 30-somethings once a month for good food, good fun, and a great discussion on the books you want to read!

At the October meeting, we'll discuss this year's "On the Same Page" book, The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek.

As always we'll meet at a local restaurant. Come join us on Thursday, October 27, 6:30 pm - ??? For more info (and the name of the local restaurant) contact Matt Wieck, or call 630.529.1641 ext.*211.

 Whether or not you can attend our next meeting (especially if you cannot attend), join our Goodreads Group and share your comments in the online discussion.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

On the Same Page Book Discussions next week

The public libraries in Roselle, Bloomingdale, and Itasca are hosting a series of book discussions, movies, programs and events throughout October related to Stuart Dybek's book The Coast of Chicago
The Coast of Chicago
Next week at Roselle Library:
- Monday, 10/17 Mens Book Discussion 7:00-8:00 p.m. The October selection is The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek. For information on the Men’s Book Discussion Group, contact John Rimer at the Library’s Reference Desk, (630) 529-1641 x *211.
- Tuesday, 10/18 Adult Book Discussion 7:00-8:00 p.m. The October selection is The coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek. For more information about the Adult Book Discussion contact Marcia Bose at the Library’s Reference Desk, (630) 529-1641 x *211.  

Just For kids: 
The Sixty-Eight Rooms
Monday, 10/17 Books 'n' Popcorn: The Sixty-Eight Rooms 6:30-7:30 p.m. Book discussion group just for kids, grades 2-5, to discuss specific titles while munching on POPCORN! Kids must register ahead to provide time to read the book. October’s title is the children’s “On the Same Page” selection, The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone. Participants will receive their own copy of the book to keep. Space is limited to 10 participants. Register online, by phone, or at the Library beginning Monday, Oct. 3rd.

Download the "On the Same Page" brochure to see programs and events at all three libraries. Roselle Public Library is located at 40 S. Park St., Roselle, Illinois. For more information, call 630-529-1641, press 2. "On the Same Page" is sponsored by Itasca Bank & Trust, Friends of the Bloomingdale Public Library, Rotary Club of Bloomingdale-Roselle, and Salerno Rosedale Funeral Chapels.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Mike's Picks #8

Angel Olsen | My Woman
Sara Watkins | Young In All The Wrong Ways

Hey, I'm back.  It's been a while since I've done a review, double the amount of time I would have liked, so to make up for lost time I'm doing a double review, a compare and contrast between two really solid albums that we got at the library at the same time. 

And how could I not?  Two of the best albums of the year drop at the library on the same day, both by female singer-songwriters.  To get it out of the way, just look at the album covers.  Both are shots of the artist, one looking right and one left, black background for one, white for the other.  One wearing white, one in black (with white polka dots, close enough.)  They even have similar hair cuts.  These aspects mean little to nothing for the artists on their own, but as companion pieces they represent the differences and similarities to what does matter, the music.

Sara Watkins started out as the fiddle player for neo-bluegrass band Nickel Creek when she was a teenager and netted her first Grammy nomination not long after.  She was always seen as a child prodigy of sort, though now, over fifteen years later, she's come into her own as a seasoned vet.  Despite her years of experience, Young In All The Wrong Ways is only Watkins' third solo effort.  Same goes for My Woman by Angel Olsen, except that Olsen was only twelve years old when Nickel Creek's first album came out, and released her first proper full length all the way back in 2012.  I've always found artist's third albums to be crucial.  Gone are the growing pains, it's make or break time.  As the less seasoned of the two, there's no surprise that Olsen shows more growth on My Woman from her previous output.  It's the sound of a talented young artist having that "ah ha" light bulb above the head moment where it all starts clicking.  Watkins has been doing this for so long, she simply added some polish to the car.

Stylistically, they're both a little country and a little rock & roll, although Watkins is more the former and Olsen leans towards the latter.  Much like her other solo output, Watkins trades most of the bluegrass influence for alt-country and pop.  The production on Young is absolutely pristine, the type of quality and attention to detail you would expect from an artist of her caliber.  It's the sound of a million dollar studio and you hear every penny.  On the other hand, My Woman retains much of the lo-fi fuzz and grit of Olsen's previous records, just a bit more refined.  I see the comparison to Liz Phair's Exile In Guyville, but with less overt sexuality.  There are also elements of 50s and 60s balladeers, like Roy Orbison, without gaining the dreaded "retro" label.

The standout tracks come in the form of ballads placed in the second halves of the albums.  Watkins' song "Invisible" is simple yet haunting, with solid vocal harmonies that crescendo towards the end, though never pushing the song past it's dream-like quality.  Likewise, the over seven and a half minute "Sister" off My Woman takes it's time with the buildup, eventually exploding in a similar fashion to "Sway" by The Rolling Stones.  Both songs are placed towards the end of the albums, no doubt placed there to be a last kick in the teeth for listeners, and to avoid any thought that they are "side-A" albums.

So which album is better, you ask?  Neither, this is art, not football.  One sounds more polished, but this is music, heart and feeling matter a good amount more than technique.  These albums feel like two moons circling the same planet; both millions of miles away from each other while serving the same purpose.  Yin is in no way "better" than yang.  Pick up both, next time you have the chance.

Key Lyrics
From the sleeping life I lead
All the colors I have seen
The brighter one in front of me
Oh, the truth I thought I learned
And then it finally came along
Turned around and then it's there
All the love I thought was gone

When we were young and truth was absolute
We stood side by side defending what we knew
Today we walk together, but one's ahead and one's behind
And if there's an answer here then I am blind
Even you and I can't see a right side this time
Faith in us will help me up
When I had all I could take
Now all that I held onto is at stake

Saturday, October 8, 2016

On the East Wall: As I See It! by Kenneth Carlson

If you've used the computers or the study carrels along the East Wall recently, you've probably noticed a few new photos, from familiar landmarks like the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel to a mosaic of ice on the Chicago River.

They're the work of local photographer Kenneth Carlson, whose exhibition As I See It! ducks and weaves through the streets, alleys, and architecture of Chicago across about two dozen photos.

Carlson, an educator for 49 years, has had "a lifelong interest in the arts and photography."

"As I went on, I became serious about photography and that has led me to an interest in digital art," he said. "I photograph a variety of topics, but my favorites are architectural studies, particularly in Chicago, because Chicago presents a myriad of possibilities with fascinating views tucked away from casual observation."

Some of those views incorporate recognizable buildings from fresh perspectives. One particularly thought-provoking piece is a building refracted through a circular lens so it appears upside-down. Several photos also document the aquatic drama of the coast of Chicago, capturing stormy waves in shades of blue, green, and gray.

"I like to look at things a little differently and that is why I call my work As I See It!," Carlson said.

His work even has a component of preservation.

"I hope to expand my views of Chicago and explore the architecture of the different neighborhoods, as well as looking at foreign architecture," he said. "I am interested in preserving images of those things that may not be around much longer."

To learn more about Kenneth Carlson's photography, visit

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October at the Roselle Public Library District

As temperatures and leaves fall, October is a time to get used to the indoors again. But with our help, there's no reason to suffer cabin fever; October at the Roselle Public Library District is also a time to enjoy the indoors!

If you're reading this on October 1 or 2, it's not too late to catch the Friends of the Library Book Sale, our first event of the month. A fundraiser for the Friends of the Library, the sale is open 9:30A-3P on October 1 and 1-4P on October 2 in the meeting rooms.

Hardcovers, DVDs, and CDs are $1 each, paperbacks are $0.50 each, and VHS tapes and children's materials are just $0.25 each. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library's mission of supporting library programs like Summer Reading, Musical Sunday, and Grandparents Got Game!

Once you're done browsing the sale October 2, migrate to the atrium for this month's Musical Sunday, 1:30-3P. Professional pianist Kimberly Davis performs Chopin and Friends: The Piano in the Romantic Era, featuring some of Frederic Chopin's most cherished works, along with the pieces of other period composers. No registration required.

Ms. Davis' performance is the first in a series of programs celebrating this year's On the Same Page selection: The Coast of Chicago by renowned local author Stuart Dybek, a collection of short stories probing different aspects of the city through the style of magical realism.

From the mysterious death of a right fielder to a coming-of-age tale in one of Chicago's Official Blight Areas and a creative guess at the lives of the people in Edward Hopper's famous painting Nighthawks, Dybek explores Chicago from the West Loop to the Gold Coast, from the stories of immigrants to the stories of growing up.

In case you're unfamiliar, On the Same Page is our annual partnership with Bloomingdale Public Library and Itasca Community Library, encouraging all three communities to read, discuss, and analyze the same title through book discussions, lectures, crafts, films, music, and programs.

On the Same Page is sponsored by Itasca Bank & Trust Co., Friends of the Bloomingdale Public Library, Rotary Club of Bloomingdale-Roselle, and Salerno's Rosedale Chapels.

Our second On the Same Page program recognizes the prominent role Chicago has played as a backdrop for Hollywood's comedies and dramas. See them and enjoy light refreshments October 8, 9:30A-5P as Chicago-based films are screened in the atrium all day long with our Chi-Town Movie Marathon. No registration required.

Two days later, we welcome the educator, poet, and award-winning author behind The Coast of Chicago: Stuart Dybek! Mr. Dybek visits October 10, 7P for a reading of his work and a question-and-answer session with the audience. Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *222.

Our next event, STEAM Sunday: Monsters Under the Bridge on October 16, 1:30-2:15P and 2:45-3:30P, is a departure from On the Same Page, but just as The Coast of Chicago exercises your brain, this program exercises your child's!

There's a monster under the bridge, and it's up to you to build one strong enough to cross it! Use and improve your engineering skills to design and test your bridge. Will you make it across? Or will you visit the monster? Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *351.

But the best engineering requires creativity and artistry, two skills you can hone with Thrift Store Painting Hack on October 20, 4-5P! Add your own monsters and other characters to thrift store paintings of landscapes and other scenes. Paintings and painting supplies provided. Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *222.

Our third and final On the Same Page event explores the place where Nighthawks hangs: the Art Institute of Chicago. In Highlights of the Art Institute on October 20, 7P, art historian Jeff Mishur of Art Excursions discusses the works of Hopper, Picasso, Monet, Seurat, and other highlights of the institution's 300,000-strong collection. Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *222.

While October is about getting used to the indoors again, its biggest holiday is one more romp outdoors: Halloween! With Halloween Fun on October 26, 10-10:30A, children 18 months through five years old can attend in costume and listen to the stories, verse, and songs of Halloween. Parent or caregiver must accompany child. Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *351.

October may be the end of summer, but it's the start of other things, too. Art. Science. Music. Engineering. Creativity. Celebration. And more chances to Read, Play, Learn, and Discover.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Random Reviews: The Hare with Amber Eyes

Book Title: The Hare With Amber Eyes

Author: Edmund De Waal

Reviewed By: Samantha M.

The writer, an artist first and writer second, tells the tale of the Ephrussi family, his ancestors, who were at one time one of the most prominent Jewish banking families in Europe, as well as the journey of a collection of rare Japanese sculptures as it is passed from family member to family member, eventually making its way to the author. I was expecting the focus on antisemitism, but was still surprised at the depth of it: particularly in Paris, long before Hitler's rise. I was not expecting to be as drawn in by the story of the nestuke, the tiny carvings, as I was the stories of the Ephrussi family members. Many reviews on Goodreads point out that it starts slowly, which is true, but once the story picked up I found myself glad for any traffic I wound up in while listening to it in the car. The novel does not overly dramatize the events of the family and every bit of it was heavily researched by the author - from long trips to archives and libraries and stints in the settings themselves (Paris, Vienna, Tokyo).

Why I picked it up: I had finished reading "Tokyo Vice" by Jake Adelstein and was searching for similar titles on Goodreads. Eventually I came to this book. I wasn't sure at first, but the audiobook was available, so I jumped in.

Why I finished it: The reader of the audiobook has a wonderful voice. The story, the historical settings (Vienna, especially), and the figures portrayed are all written with care. There is great focus on various paintings - particularly paintings made by the Impressionists, as well as the painters themselves. When I reached the point of the story where WWII started winding up and Hitler's reach began spreading fast I could not stop listening.

Who would you recommend it to:: Anyone interested in a long, detailed, well-written book and anyone who is interested in late 19C and early 20C Europe, la Belle Epoque, the two World Wars, Japanese arts and culture, Impressionism, and family histories.

Find The Hare with Amber eyes in our catalog.

Did you just read a great book that you can't wait to share? Write a #Random Review! We may publish it in the blog; people may respond; it might start a conversation.
All you have to do is fill out our online form or email a short review (at least 5 thoughtful sentences - without giving away the ending!) to

What are you reading?

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

20s & 30s Book Club meets next Thursday

Join fellow 20 & 30-somethings once a month for good food, good fun, and a great discussion on the books you want to read! At the September meeting, we'll discuss The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. As always we'll meet at a local restaurant. Come join us on Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm - ??? For more info (and the name of the local restaurant) contact Matt Wieck, or call 630.529.1641 ext.*211. Whether or not you can attend our next meeting (especially if you cannot attend), join our Goodreads Group and share your comments in the online discussion.

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