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Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.
- Saturday, February 9, 1-2 pm: Kindred by Octavia Butler
- Saturday, March 9, 1-2 pm: The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
- Saturday, April 13, 1-2 pm: The Between by Tananarive Due
Author Kathleen Frantz has a strong passion for spreading love and kindness within community. During her nearly 30 years in the culinary field, she studied under the first certified master chef in the USA, Milos Cihelka, and at Ecole L’Notre in France. At the same time, she raised two children as a single parent. Her main objective was to send them into the world with good heads on their shoulders, contributing to society in a positive way. She sought to integrate into their lives the foundational values of family within community and being a person for others.
Frantz’ book, “Heart to Hands: Making Your Community Stronger through Heartfelt Intention and Powerful Actions” was created to start a movement of goodness, no matter where you call home. Her goal is to light a fire in everyone who reads it, and provide a place not only for sharing ideas, but for encouraging and welcoming new ones. She invites you to join our movement, and show that even the smallest kind action can grow into something bigger than anyone could imagine.
Against the backdrop of the wave of demonstrations known as the Arab Spring, in 2011 hundreds of thousands of Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom, democracy and human rights. The government’s ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times.
Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard, while the stories told about them have been distorted by broad brush dread and political expediency. This fierce and poignant collection by author Wendy Pearlman changes that.
Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines. Some of the testimonies are several pages long, eloquent narratives that could stand alone as short stories; others are only a few sentences, but powerful. Together, they form an unforgettable chronicle that is not only a testament to the power of storytelling, but to the strength of those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction.
The Pants Project by Cat Clarke.
Eleven-year-old Liv fights to change the middle school dress code requiring girls to wear a skirt and, along the way, finds the courage to tell his moms he’s a boy.
Caregivers and middle schoolers (with or without an adult) are invited to attend together for a special intergenerational edition of our book club. Snacks provided.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.
Join Leading Edge partner with A Greater Good Foundation, and TRIUMPH facilitate a book Circle around Culture Vultures.
Historically, the barber has played an important role in American culture. Besides being the person who gives a fresh cut, he is often the confidant, listening ear, and even sounding board for his clients. Just imagine being a fly on the wall as one of America's most talented barbers interviews one of the most charismatic, controversial, and successful CEO's.
Culture Vultures is an inside look at the creative genius behind some of America's greatest talents and fashion lines. Through a series of candid interviews, Kenyatta Griggs asks compelling and insightful questions that help to shed light on the music mogul, the father, and the man better known as Damon Dash.
Cynthia Gallagher will be presenting from "Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs and Spices" and "Drenched." Valerie Wallace will read from "House of McQueen." And Jennifer Steele will read from "A House In Its Hunger."
In "Epicurean Ecstacy," Cynthia Gallaher celebrates not only historical and modern pleasures of the kitchen and table, but also the seasonal evolutions that take place in the cultivated fields and wild terrains, and of those who harvest these foods and bring nourishment to our homes.
Chicago-based poet and playwright Cynthia Gallaher is author of four poetry collections, three chapbooks, and a nonfiction reference book. The Chicago Public Library lists her among its “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets.”
Valerie Wallace’s debut poetry collection "House of McQueen" received the Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry. In their starred review Publishers Weekly called it “…a literary seance…serving as a scholar of and medium for the late iconic fashion designer Alexander McQueen….” Her work was also chosen by iconic author Margaret Atwood for the Atty Award.
Valerie Wallace lives in Chicago, where she teaches with the City Colleges of Chicago, gives private workshops, and works in communications, most recently as Assistant Director, Communications, for the project Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life at the University of Chicago and with Resilience.
"A House In Its Hunger" is a collection that grapples with the intimacy of relationships behind closed doors. In this stunning debut, Jennifer Steele cleverly explores the complexities of the body as a dwelling and the compilation of emotional experiences it consumes and harbors over time.
Jennifer Steele, a native of Middletown, CT and current Chicagoan, received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2008. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Revolving Door Arts and a 2015 fellow of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop.