Saturday, July 14, 2018

    from The New York Times:

The Cleveland Public Library houses an installation by Yinka Shonibare of books bound in batik-print textiles.                                                                                                                
                                                            photo credit: Andrew Spear for The New York Times

Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist, is widely recognized for his sculptures and installations that incorporate kaleidoscopic batik-print textiles — copies of traditional Indonesian fabrics produced by the Dutch and marketed in West Africa. He called the material “a metaphor for my own hyphenated identity.” For his installation “The American Library,” a 48-foot-long bookshelf cutting across the former reading room at the public library, the artist has used his signature textiles to wrap more than 6,000 books. Each is stamped in gold leaf on the spine with the name of a first-, second- or third-generation immigrant to the United States who has been culturally significant to American society, like Steve Jobs whose father came from Syria. “America was built on the contributions of immigrants,” said Mr. Shonibare, who has mixed in names of those opposed to immigration including Donald Trump, whose mother came from Scotland and whose paternal grandparents were German.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The middle-aged African American man with the close-cropped salt-and-pepper hair in the tan blazer yesteday in great morning sunlight pointed at the sign, may have even touched it he got so close, and said knowingly, cynically (as in, they'll never do what the sign says), 'That would destroy the myth.'

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Kids Events at Greenlight Bookstore 

Greenlight is an excellent independent bookstore with two Brooklyn locations. Get on their emailing list. Go to Check out other bookstores. There's a list of links to them in the right-hand margin of this page. Get on their emailing list. Find out when readings are. Tonight I ran into the big Barnes and Noble on Union Square to look for a certain magazine. There was kind of a crowd on the escalator for a Wednesday night. Turns out Alan Dershowitz was reading on the fourth floor. There are readings all over town. And story hours for kids. Check the local library too for those. 

Greenlight Staff Story Time for Kids:

11:30 AM Every Saturday at Fort Greene

1:30 PM Every Saturday at Prospect Lefferts Gardens

During the month of July, Greenlight booksellers will read a range of picture book favorites at Story Time each Saturday, with a drawing activity to accompany the story time. From contemporary classics to undiscovered gems, you'll want to bring these picks on your next summer vacation! Ages 3 to 8.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

'When you learn to read you will be born again...and you will never be quite so alone again.' 
                                                                              -Rumer Godden, late British writer

When you read that quote you realize it's sinful not to make sure every school kid learns to read well. If parents aren't confident or competent enough to see to it, then of course school is where it all has to happen. There's no other place. The Governor and the Mayor and the Schools Chancellor and the teachers have to be focused on reading above all else. Even the kids who don't show up every day have to learn to read well. Ten years the law says kids have to be in school. That should be enough time. Ten years. But it's not working for so many city kids. Something's not being done. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Another week. Another summer. The sign still says it. To people who stop to talk to me about it I say it would change the world. They nod in agreement. After they move on they sometimes turn back and nod again.

'Everyone probably thinks that I'm a raving nymphomaniac, that I have an insatiable sexual appetite, when the truth is I'd rather read a book.'     

Sunday, July 8, 2018

New York ranks as fourth-most segregated city in America.

This was on 'The Real Deal' a New York City real estate site where you'd think they'd be saying nothing but good stuff about the city. You see various lists of such rankings. They all differ. But New York is certainly segregated. Therefore, so are its schools. That always indicates quality disparities. And literacy doesn't happen like it should in such a system. Not just because the races don't go to school with each other, but because a city so accepting of segregated schools can't be trying as hard as it can to make the best school system for all the kids. It doesn't even keep the public libraries open in the evening or on Sunday.