Perkins School Releases New Website

Tue., Aug. 2
The Perkins School for the Blind has created a new website for users to learn more about and gain better understanding of the blind experience with the online project Blind New World. The website provides examples and stories from members of the blind community concerning topics such as employment, education, guide dogs, and social inclusion. Users can view a variety of stories and videos highlighting…

Beginning Creative Nonfiction Writers

Fri., Jul. 29
Pittsburgh has been home to some of the greatest creative nonfiction voices of the past century, from those born here like Annie Dillard to writers who made their journeys through the University of Pittsburgh as students like Rebecca Skloot and as educators like Jeanne Marie Laskas. The ‘Burgh is also home to the highly respected Creative Nonfiction literary journal. Pitt grad Dinty W. Moore is…

A Stamp of Approval: In Praise of the USPS

Tue., Jul. 26
In my ranking of favorite things, receiving mail places just above eating pizza and directly after chihuahuas in tiny sombreros. Which is to say, it’s up there. I’d been not so patiently awaiting the arrival of a few choice parcels, and when they arrived last week (on schedule, lovingly cradled in my mailbox), I was struck by how much happiness came from a few slips…

Two Fantasy Favorites

Fri., Jul. 22
In case you haven’t heard, one of my favorite genres is Fantasy & Adventure.  I haven’t been able to read anything fantastical or adventurous lately, but it just so happens that two of my favorite fantasy adventure novels have also been made into movies.  I’ve been watching and reading these two since high school, and I expect I’ll continue to enjoy them in the decades…

All A Dream We Dreamed

Tue., Jul. 19
Earlier in the year I wrote about a few other titles in our collection that are about the Grateful Dead.  Since then, another book on the band has been added to the collection – this time an oral history by Blair Jackson and David Gans. The title of this book (“This is all a dream we dreamed”) comes from one of Robert Hunter’s lyrics in…

Best of BARD: June 2016

Fri., Jul. 15
Baking out in the bright summer sun must lead us to dark thoughts, because this month's Best of BARD is nothing but the grittiest of the grit. Every one of these books features murder, abductions, chaos and mayhem, and I'm loving every minute of it. Patterson leads the pack, as he will do, but sniffing at his heels are some wonderful new names - welcome…

Elie Wiesel: An Author Remembered

Tue., Jul. 12
Last week we lost author, activist, and humanist, Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel (1928-2016). In addition to his prolific career as a writer, Wiesel was a professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. Remember Elie Wiesel with the titles below. DB 42074 The Night Trilogy Night is the story of a Jewish boy who is deported with his family and community from Hungary to the horrors…

Simpler Times

Fri., Jul. 8
I found it fascinating to learn while watching a documentary that discussed the trends of television programming in the 1970s that a surge of shows found success in covering themes and settings of simpler times in American history. Such shows included Little House on the Prairie and The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams that featured the appeal and folksiness of American country life. Other…

Life Doesn't Come in Chapters: TBI, Guilt, and Gratitude

Tue., Jul. 5
Abigail Thomas's books are glimpses of a well-lived life, each one containing scenes of wise, vivid prose that replicate the inconsistency of memory: "Life doesn’t arrange itself conveniently into chapters, not mine anyway," writes Thomas about her writing process."You can’t just slice it neatly into segments. My truth doesn’t travel in a straight line, it zigzags, detours, doubles back. Most truths I have to learn…

On the Road Again

Fri., Jul. 1
Summer is upon us, and with it, the unmistakable urge for going. I’ve got a trip lined up in a few weeks to visit my family on the west coast, and it’s great that I can get on a plane in Pittsburgh and land in San Francisco five hours later, but (and I may be in the minority when I say this), I’d rather drive. The Great…