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Author Deborah J. Haynes: Beginning Again

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
What does it mean to become and work as an artist today? What unique challenges do artists face in the 21st century, and what skills are required to overcome them? Deborah  J.  Haynes is Professor Emerita of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her books include Art Lessons, Book of This Place, Spirituality and Growth on the Leadership Path, and Bakhtin ReframedFind out more »

Beginning Again: Reflections on Art as Spiritual Practice is a personal statement, born from the author's experience as an artist, writer, teacher, and Buddhist practitioner. Haynes writes for artists and for all exploring the relationship of their creativity to the inner life. For Haynes, making and looking at art can be a form of meditation and prayer, a space for solitude, and living in the present. 
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Sugar Beet Co-op Presents Author Event: Grocery Store: The Promise of Food Co-Ops in the Age of Grocery Giants by Jon Steinman

2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Through penetrating analysis and inspiring stories and examples of American and Canadian food co-ops, Grocery Story makes a compelling case for the transformation of the grocery store aisles as the emerging frontier in the local and good food movements. Author Jon Steinman:
  • Deconstructs the food retail sector and the shadows cast by corporate giants
  • Makes the case for food co-ops as an alternative
  • Shows how co-ops spur the creation of local food-based economies and enhance low-income food access
Grocery Story is for everyone who eats. Whether you strive to eat more local and sustainable food, or are in support of community economic development, Grocery Story will leave you hungry to join the food co-op movement in your own community.

2:30-3 pm: Meet the author (book available for purchase) 
3 pm: Book reading and talk
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Writers' Word Feast

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch
A writers' group for writers of all types and genres that meets the first Sunday of the month at Main and the third Sunday of the month at Maze. If you wish to bring something yummy to share, that's great but not required. We do HIGHLY recommend you bring your words, and words yet to be written. Each writer will get a chance to read their story, poem, or novel chapter & receive feedback from the group. 

Then we will WRITE! 
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Barbara Ballinger Lecture: 2019 Presenter Alex Kotlowitz

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
For 40 years, Alex Kotlowitz has been telling stories from the heart of America, deeply intimate tales of struggle and perseverance. Join Alex and your neighbors as we gather to celebrate and recognize former head librarian Barbara Ballinger and her many years of dedicated service to the library and to Oak Park. This annual event is sponsored by the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library. Books will be available for signing and sale from The Book Table. No registration required.

About the author

Alex is the author of four books, including his most recent, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago (available in print and on CD through the library catalog). His other books include the national bestseller There Are No Children Here (available in multiple formats through the library catalog) which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It received the Helen B. Bernstein Award and was adapted as a television movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. It was selected by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year along with his second book, The Other Side of the River which also received The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. His book on Chicago, Never a City So Real, will soon be released in paperback. Learn more »

More about An American Summer

An American Summer is an archive of the war—like finding a shocking but beautiful bundle of letters and photographs in the attic. Except that these dispatches reflect the daily violence that many Americans are experiencing, right now, in too many of our cities. Alex Kotlowitz dispenses with wooden categories of criminal and victim. With his uncommon warmth and sensitivity, he makes us understand that violence doesn’t happen in a moment; it’s a state of affairs.”—Sarah Koenig, creator and host of Serial
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RESCHEDULED FOR OCT. 22: Authors Dr. Tyra Manning and Karen Keilt: Personal Storytelling and Lives Transformed

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

THIS EVENT IS RESCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22.

Award-winning authors Dr. Tyra Manning and Karen Keilt discuss the art of storytelling, their compelling personal narratives and their latest books in this program. Dr. Manning, a former nationally recognized River Forest Schools District 90 Superintendent, will discuss her latest book, Your Turn: Ways to Celebrate Life Through Storytelling, that debuts October 1st. In Your Turn, Dr. Manning offers examples of stories from her own life, followed by an invitation for readers to delve into their own emotional histories, with plenty of room to explore on the page with writing prompts and tools.

Special guest Karen Keilt will discuss her memoir, The Parrot’s Perch, that made a list of Parade Magazine’s “10 Memoirs We Should All Be Reading in 2019.” Keilt grew up living through the darkest days of Brazil’s military dictatorship. In her courageous and compelling memoir, Keilt narrates an emotionally honest reckoning of her desire to find true happiness.

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Authors Dr. Tyra Manning and Karen Keilt: Personal Storytelling and Lives Transformed

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Award-winning authors Dr. Tyra Manning and Karen Keilt discuss the art of storytelling, their compelling personal narratives and their latest books in this program. Dr. Manning, a former nationally recognized River Forest Schools District 90 Superintendent, will discuss her latest book, Your Turn: Ways to Celebrate Life Through Storytelling, that debuts October 1st. In Your Turn, Dr. Manning offers examples of stories from her own life, followed by an invitation for readers to delve into their own emotional histories, with plenty of room to explore on the page with writing prompts and tools.

Special guest Karen Keilt will discuss her memoir, The Parrot’s Perch, that made a list of Parade Magazine’s “10 Memoirs We Should All Be Reading in 2019.” Keilt grew up living through the darkest days of Brazil’s military dictatorship. In her courageous and compelling memoir, Keilt narrates an emotionally honest reckoning of her desire to find true happiness.

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Author Julie Justicz with Alex Kotlowitz: Degrees of Difficulty

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Oak Park author Julie Justicz will be interviewed about her new book, "Degrees of Difficulty," by Oak Park author Alex Kotlowitz who recently published "An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago." Julie Justicz's remarkable first novel, "Degrees of Difficulty,"  follows the lives of he Novotny family as they struggle with caring for Ben, a severely disabled son and brother whom no facility will accept for very long and who suffers from frequent, lifei-threatening seizure. They all love  Ben, but over time, the challenges of caring for him threaten to unravel the family.

Born and raised in England, Julie Justicz moved to the Bahamas when she was ten, and then to the United States as a teenager. She earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. As an attorney and advocate, Julie currently works on civil rights issues in Chicago. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her spouse, Mary, and their two children.
 
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Forest Park Public Library's Reading Awake

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Main Library
Third Floor - Conference Room
Reading Awake! discusses fiction and nonfiction that speak to issues surrounding the complex and challenging topics of our time. We meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 pm. For more information, contact Skye Lavin at slavin@fppl.org or 708.689.6120.

These discussions are being held at the Oak Park Public Library during construction at the Forest Park Public Library. Learn more »
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Toni Morrison Discussion: The Bluest Eye

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
Join us and Reesheda Graham Washington, owner of L!VE Cafe & Creative Space, in the facilitation of a three-part reading circle series featuring the works of Toni Morrison. 

Each gathering will feature a different Morrison book. Having read each text prior to our gathering, participants will experience a small contextual presentation at the start of each gathering. From there, participants will share in a Socratic discussion on the Morrison text of the evening.

In October, we will discuss The Bluest Eye in which 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl in an America whose love for blonde, blue-eyed children can devastate all others, prays for her eyes to turn blue, so that she will be beautiful, people will notice her, and her world will be different.


Upcoming dates
  • On November 13, we will discuss Beloved
  • On January 16, we will discuss Sula.
Physical books will be made available at the library before the discussion. 


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The No Shush Salon Presents: Spookiversary!

6:30 PM - 8:45 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch
This will be our 6 year anniversary and the SECOND time our event falls on Halloween! Since our first meeting, back when we were at the Clarendon Hills Library, was on Halloween, let's do it up spooky style! Wear costumes and bring your favorite scary story or music or dance or whatever you can come up with.

Each person will have 15 minutes to present their creative endeavor. Treats to share are awesome, but we will provide munchies. Spectators are welcome and appreciated!

The No Shush Salon is a monthly Open Mic for all creative types who want to share their works-in-progress or newly finished endeavors. We often begin with a featured performer/reader, or we have a theme. No registration required; just drop in and share your talents!

Can't make it? Follow us through our blog: noshushsalon.blogspot.com and like us on Facebook: No Shush Salon

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Writers' Word Feast: NaNoWriMo

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
During November, we will be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers' Month) and meeting every Sunday. Feel free to bring food & drinks. Snacks will be shared.

We won't be giving feedback, but we will have prompts and writing! 

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Erin Morgenstern's A Starless Sea Celebration

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Event Space
Celebrate the release of the latest book from Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus. More info coming soon!

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Forest Park Public Library's Gammy Birds

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
Gammy Birds discusses an assortment of fiction and non-fiction titles. It meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. For more information, contact Skye Lavin at slavin@fppl.org or 708.689.6120.

These discussions are being held at the Oak Park Public Library during construction at the Forest Park Public Library. Learn more »
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New Moms Book Group: This Is How It Always Is

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Offsite
Join our New Moms Book Club! A wonderful opportunity to meet other new moms in the area and a great reason for some adult discussion! Welcome to all moms with children under 5.

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them. This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated. This is how children change…and then change the world. This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

Copies are available at all library locations one month before the discussion. This meeting will be held at Exit Strategy Brewing Co., 7700 Madison St., Forest Park. Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions »
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Val Perry Rendel: "Sears in Chicago -- A Century of Memories"

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
In 1887, Richard W. Sears started a Chicago mail-order house that quickly outpaced its competitors, including Montgomery Ward. For millions of rural Americans over the next hundred years, Chicago was the place where dreams came from. Here, the "World's Largest Store" opened its first retail buildings, debuted its WLS radio station and transformed the global marketplace from the it's headquarters complex at Homan and Arthington on the West Side. 

Today, Sears has faded from the city of its birth, but many marks of the once-great business remain, from repurposed iconic department store buildings to the Sears kit homes still scattered across the suburbs. The 110-story skyscraper that dominates the skyline will forever be known to locals as the Sears Tower. Sears' greatest legacy, however, was the role it played in shaping the lives of generations of Chicagoans. From watch catalog to international retail empire, revisit the company's Windy City history with author Val Rendel and remember how good the "Good Life" once was.
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Writers' Word Feast: NaNoWriMo

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
During November, we will be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers' Month) and meeting every Sunday. Feel free to bring food & drinks. Snacks will be shared.

We won't be giving feedback, but we will have prompts and writing! 

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Publish! Children's Book Fair with Six Local Women Authors

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
This Chidren's Book Fair offers readings and signings by 6 Chicagoland authors of diverse stories for children, age 8 to 18. The authors will share stories from their own recently published books. 

Authors include Carolyn Armstrong, Because of Khalid (Ages 10+), Malayna Evans, Jagger Jones and the Mummy's Ankh (Ages 8-12), Kimberly Gabriel, Every Stolen Breath (Ages 12-18), Rosaria Munda, Fireborne (Fantasy, Ages 12+), Shirin Shamsi, Laila and the Sands of Time (Ages 8-12), and Melanie Weiss, Spoken (Ages 12+).
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Books & Brews: The Power

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Offsite
Oak Park Brewing
In Naomi Alderman's The Power, when a new force takes hold of the world, people from different areas of life are forced to cross paths in an alternate reality that gives women and teenage girls immense physical power that can cause pain and death.

At Books and Brews expect stimulating conversation about fiction and nonfiction titles in a social atmosphere, and don't worry if you don't have time to finish the book, we're pretty chill! Meet new friends, discuss new books, and enjoy some drinks with us.

Copies are available at the Main Library one month before the discussion. This event will be held at the Oak Park Brewing, 155 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions »
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Detection by Daylight: The Bat

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch
The Bat by Jo Nesbø

Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case. First in the Harry Hole series.

Detection by Daylight is devoted to reading and discussing detective mysteries in series and non-series form. Bring your lunch (if you like), enjoy cookies and coffee on us, and engage in great discussions. Titles are available at Maze Branch one month before the discussion. Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions »
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Toni Morrison Discussion: Beloved

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Small Meeting Room
Join us and Reesheda Graham Washington, owner of L!VE Cafe & Creative Space, in the facilitation of a three-part reading circle series featuring the works of Toni Morrison. 

Each gathering will feature a different Morrison book. Having read each text prior to our gathering, participants will experience a small contextual presentation at the start of each gathering. From there, participants will share in a Socratic discussion on the Morrison text of the evening.

In November, we will discuss Beloved in which Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is persistently haunted by the ghost of her dead baby girl.


Upcoming date
On January 16, we will discuss Sula.

Physical books will be made available at the library before the discussion. 


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Discussion Series: Hemingway in the 21st Century

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch

A Moveable Read: Hemingway in the 21st Century is a six-part discussion series based on Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories.


Each discussion will feature guest speakers discussing specific short stories and interrelated topics of today. A writers craft talk will take place at the end of each discussion. In partnership with the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park. Learn more at hemingwaybirthplace.com.


  • 6:30-7 pm: Wine and beverage service

  • 7-8 pm: Story discussion with guest speakers

  • 8-8:30 pm: Writers craft talk

  • Locations vary by date; see below

  • RSVPs are welcomed, not required »


October 17, Maze Branch: “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”: Loneliness, War & Mental Health
Karolis Gintaras Zukauskas, Writer, Professor of Language Arts, Morton College and Laura Young, Oak Park and River Forest High School English Department and Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park Writer in Residence


November 14, Maze Branch: “A Moveable Feast”: The Ex-Pat Life in the 1920s
Paris Karolis Gintaras Zukauskas, Writer, Professor of Language Arts, Morton College and David W. Berner, Author, Journalist, Associate Professor Columbia College

February 20, 2020, Main Library Veterans Room: “Fathers & Sons”: Family Relations, Inheritance & Hyper/Toxic Masculinity in Hemingway’s America

James Bell, Oak Park and River Forest High School English Department and Theatre Director and Cameron Gearen, Author and Former Writer in Residence


March 19, 2020, Maze Branch: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”: Gender Roles, Art & Patronage, Truth, Lies & Hemingway’s Fiction

Michelle E. Moore, Ph.D. Professor, English, The College of Dupage and Mary Claire Childers, Adjunct Professor, English, College of DuPage


April 23, 2020, Main Library Veterans Room: “The Killers”: Violence, Racism & Boyhood Innocence

Michelle E. Moore, PhD, Professor, English, The College of DuPage and Steve Gevinson, Oak Park and River Forest High School, Former English Division Head


May 14, 2020, Main Library Veterans Room: “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”: F. Scott Fitzgerald: Ernie and Scott’s Fraught Relationship

Vincent Francone, Professor of English, Roosevelt University and Paul Noble, Oak Park and River Forest High School English Department


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Forest Park Public Library's Speculative Fiction

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
Speculative Fiction is a community led group that reads and discusses a wide variety of fantasy and science fiction titles. It meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7 pm. For more information, contact Matt Cline at mcline@fppl.org or 708.689.6125.

These discussions are being held at the Oak Park Public Library during construction at the Forest Park Public Library. Learn more »
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Read & Reflect: The Happiness Advantage

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Dole Branch
Meeting Room - Dole Branch
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be successful, and then we’ll be happy.  If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, we will be happy.  What recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology show is that happiness precedes success, not the other way around.  Achor tells us how and why we need to reap the benefits of a happier and more positive mind set to achieve happiness in our lives.

In Read & Reflect, we read and discuss a thoughtful selection of nonfiction titles ripe for meaningful discussion. Books are available at Dole Branch one month before the discussion.

Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.
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Oak Park Writers Read 2019

12:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
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Writers' Word Feast: NaNoWriMo

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
During November, we will be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers' Month) and meeting every Sunday. Feel free to bring food & drinks. Snacks will be shared.

We won't be giving feedback, but we will have prompts and writing! 

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