Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lexington Park Family Tree Project

For the purpose of history, I am going to be working on a project researching a Lexington Park Family Tree. Lexington Park was built back in 1981 and we will be covering 30 years of people who called Lexington Park home.

We will be researching certain crews that ran together at different time periods and seeing how certain individuals intertwine and connect with different eras.

What sports were popular during different time periods? Who dominated athletically? Fights, neighbors, and vivid charters will all be represented in this project.

Lexington Park was home to me for a good deal of my life, a place I could always go and be myself, and I know many of you feel the same way. There are no other memories and bonds like those which sprung from park life. I look forward to going on this journey with all of my brothers and sisters who have touched my life throughout the years at LP.

Please get @ me for further details and see how you can be involved in the project.

Friday, September 23, 2011

NAIBA: Watch the Transformation

The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, which hosted the 2011 New Atlantic Booksellers Association annual conference (Sept.19-22), could serve as a metaphor for bookselling as a whole. With an exterior wrapped in vinyl and an interior filled with hard-hatted workers, the former Trump Marina Hotel is in the midst of both a figurative and literal makeover to regain lost business. A sign in the casino proclaims: “Out with the old... in with the gold. Watch the transformation.” That a similar transition is taking place in the book business was evident throughout the show.

As NAIBA president Lucy Kogler of Talking Leaves...Books in Buffalo, N.Y., noted at the Awards Banquet, “the book business is under construction, re-construction. The changes [in bookselling] are myriad: some obvious, some occult. The outcome uncertain. But what is certain is that independent bookstores are an essential component of the plan.”

And it’s not just educational sessions like one on alternate business models that pointed up the change or the dialogue that evolved between YA authors and booksellers at a panel on how to host successful YA events. The show itself was de-constructed to make it more useful. For instance, the annual meeting was shortened and the region’s first Town Hall was held to find out what NAIBA could do better. “Bookselling is becoming increasingly difficult,” noted board member Pat Kutz, co-owner of Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport, N.Y. “So we want to do everything we can to help you so you’ll be here next year.”

The show days, too, were flopped to encourage booksellers to dive into the exhibits, lunch with reps and get a look at, or be re-reminded about, top books for fall and winter. The educational sessions were relegated to the second day, which also included a Moveable Feast of both adult and children’s author. In their keynote session, Arielle Ekstut and David Henry Sterry, authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Published (Workman), reminded booksellers that a well-curated bookstore is important, but it’s not enough, and encouraged booksellers to “embrace your inner entrepreneur.”

It’s not clear how much the changes contributed to the upbeat mood of the show, which drew 400 people, roughly the same number of stores as in years past. Or it could have been stand-out author events, ranging from the moving—Doron Weber speaking about his son who died far too young, Immortal Bird (Simon & Schuster, Feb. ‘12), or YA author Lauren Oliver on how grief fueled her first middle-grade novel, Liesel & Po (HarperCollins, Oct.)—to laugh-out-loud funny—Jack Gantz (Dead End in Norvelt, FSG) describing his childhood or Colson Whitehead (Zone One, Doubleday, Oct.) talking about his approach to becoming a writer.

By swapping the exhibit day with the day of education and tweaking rep picks and making them more personal by rotating reps from table to table at lunch, the emphasis of the show moved back to books. In fact the day was dubbed, Bookcentric, and included an editor’s buzz panel, modeled after one at BEA, with Carl Lennertz, the newly appointed head of World Book Night and this year’s Legacy Award winner, as well as speed-dating with children’s authors. Talk about the books. Children’s author Peter Brown, winner of a NAIBA Book of the Year Award for Children Make Terrible Pets (Little, Brown) had such a long line for signed copies of his new book, You Will Be My Friend (Little, Brown) after his breakfast talk that he was still signing 15 minutes into the next session.

The changes were welcomed by most reps despite a very long day. They had to set up their exhibit booths early in the morning, because the preceding evening the hotel needed the space for its weekly Bingo Bonanza. NAIBA executive director Eileen Dengler also rearranged the hall to make sure booksellers stopped at all the booths. “I like the way it flowed,” she said. “I was very pleased with the show. Everyone who was there had a great time.” Macmillan sales representative Mike Cutforth agreed. He also gave a thumbs up to sitting with booksellers to give the rep picks rather than at the front of the room from a podium. “I think you connect [with booksellers] a lot better. I’d probably bring more of the list books,” he added. “I gave them away in the first half hour the exhibit hall opened.”

The show drew lapsed NAIBA members like Judy and Jerry Heaton, owners of 25-year-old The Bookworm in East Aurora, N.Y., who had been energized by a NAIBAhood gathering earlier in the spring and decided to come, and long-time members like Rob Dougherty, manager of Clinton Book Shop in Clinton. “I think it was a great show,” said Dougherty. “I liked the bookseller interaction. I really come to hang out with people. I enjoy this more than BEA. We’ve scaled down our BEA visits.” He also uses it to get signed books and galleys to give to his best customers.

For many booksellers the chance to be with “their peeps,” as Susanna Hermann’s, co-owner and manager of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, N.Y., referred to it in a tweet, seemed to be the biggest draw. The book pitches did have their intended effect. Stephanie Anderson, manager of WORD Books in Brookline grabbed a galley for William Landry’s Defending Jacob (Delacorte, Jan.), which was presented by Kate Miciak of Random House at the Editor Buzz, and said that she should be able to sell a lot. On the children’s side, WORD owner Christine Onorati said that author Kenneth Oppel “really sold it” at a breakfast presentation; she’ll now be pushing his This Dark Endeavor (Simon & Schuster), which just pubbed. As for the biggest book for the holiday season, no one cared to venture a guess.

Monday, September 19, 2011

eNews from the Boston Public Library

Latino Life

Latino Life, a list of recent books concerning the Latino experience, is published each year as part of the Boston Public Library's observance of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). This year’s booklist features 53 titles, includes selections suitable for teens, and identifies books available in English and Spanish.

Latino Life is available at all Boston Public Library locations and via the Boston Public Library website and catalog. Librarians from Grove Hall, South Boston, Connolly, Lower Mills, and the Central Library in Copley Square created the 2011 list.

Authors Galore

Throughout the fall, authors will visit the Central Library in Copley Square and several Boston Public Library branches to talk about their writing. Book topics range from economics to environmentalism and from personal tales to local history. The complete schedule of upcoming author talks at the Boston Public Library is available on the library’s calendar and on Upcoming appearances include:

Johnny Diaz, author of Take the Lead
Frances Moore LappƩ , author of EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want
Steve Inskeep , author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi
Julie Klam, author of Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself

Riffs & Raps

Riffs & Raps: Jazzin' the Generations is a series of free concerts at Boston Public Library locations. Offered in partnership with JazzBoston, Riffs & Raps invites people of all ages to travel together on a live, musical tour through time. Many will recognize favorite songs as three musical guides – Arni Cheatham, Bill Lowe, and Kevin Harris – use jazz standards and originals to bridge the generations. This musical tour stops at eight neighborhood branches this fall. View the full schedule.

Weekend Hours

Saturday hours returned to the neighborhood branches of the Boston Public Library system earlier this month, and Sunday hours at the Central Library in Copley Square return on October 2. For detailed information, visit our hours page.

Did you know? Calendar of Events
You can pick up a free copy of the Boston Book Festival’s “One City One Story” selection from any Boston Public Library location. The Boston Book Festival will take place in Copley Square on October 15.

A draft of the library's strategic plan is posted for community review at

The Boston Public Library's Never Too Late Group is one of the country's oldest, continuously running groups for seniors.

The BPL calendar lets you search for events, download to your calendar, sign up for email or text reminders, and more.


The Homework Assistance Program is back in session. Free, drop-in homework help, academic support, and mentoring is available in all subject areas to students in grades K – 8.

Thursday, September 1, 2011



Contact: Tanya Whiton, Assistant Director

[Chestnut Hill, MA, September, 2011] Pine Manor College is pleased to announce that Solstice MFA Program graduate and Alumni Coordinator Faye Snider will be facilitating a reading featuring fellow alums, Wednesday, September 14 from 7:15–8:45 p.m. at the Luckart Gallery, 438 Lexington Street, Auburndale, MA. Readers include nonfiction writer and poet Faye Snider, fiction writer Ann McArdle, nonfiction and YA writer Jim Kennedy, and poet Melissa Varnavas; the gallery is currently showing works by event co-coordinator Marcia Cooper and the painter Maria Aguilar.

• Retired family therapist and inveterate gardener Faye Snider (January, 2009) recently published a short memoir, “Goldie’s Gold,” in Alimentum: The Literature of Food. She will read from an essay entitled “Mother’s Tears.”

• Interior design writer and teacher Ann McArdle (July, 2010) recently published a short story, “Tomorrow” in the journal Pear Noir! She will read from her interconnected short fiction collection, Works of Mercy.

• Accountant and distance walker Jim Kennedy (July, 2011) has published fiction and memoir in Prism International and Creative Nonfiction; he will be reading from his recently completed young adult novel, Salamander in the Weeds.

• Journalist and poet Melissa J. Varnavas (January, 2010) is a recipient of awards from the New England Press Association and Suburban Newspapers of America, and her poetry has recently appeared in the journals Oberon and Margie.

• Landscape/portrait artist Marcia Cooper has shown her work at the Danforth Museum, Arnold Arboretum, and the Newton Art Association.

• Maria Aguilar, an acclaimed artist in her native Guatemala, interprets the impact of and tensions surrounding Mayan ancestry in Latin American culture.

As an undergraduate institution consistently ranked among the most diverse in the country, Pine Manor College emphasizes an inclusive, community-building approach to liberal arts education. The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing reflects the College’s overall mission by creating a supportive, welcoming environment in which writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to take creative risks. We strive to instill in our students an appreciation for the value of community-building and community service, and see engagement with the literary arts not only as a means to personal fulfillment but also as an instrument for real cultural change.

Directions to Pine Manor College, complete bios of our authors, and more information about the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program can be found at

The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing
of Pine Manor College

400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 •