Mysterious Thelonious: Monk turns 100

Celebrate the 100th birthday of Thelonious Monk by listening, watching, reading, and playing.

Posted by Camille Peters

Thelonious Monk at the piano

Thelonious Sphere Monk is of those rare public figures who is recognizable by silhouette alone. Elements of his trademark style are captured on the 1964 cover of Time magazine featuring Monk: the hat, the beard curling to a point. That Monk is one of only a handful of jazz musicians to ever appear on the cover of Time is a measure of his importance in jazz history.

Today marks the centennial for Monk, a pianist and composer with a reputation for originality and eccentricity. Born on October 10, 1917, Monk got his start as a performer in the early 1940s. He was the house pianist at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem, where he played alongside

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James Baldwin and "The Price of the Ticket"

Writer James Baldwin's fiery prose and sharp critiques on American society resonate 30 years after his death

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

--James Baldwin from "As Much Truth As One Can Bear" in The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings 

James Baldwin was living comfortably and productively in France as a successful expatriate writer when the American Civil Rights Movement kicked into high gear in the early 1960s. Spurred by the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations, racial violence, and widespread job and housing discrimination in America, he returned home to witness for himself what was tearing America apart. He traveled throughout the country to engage student activists, religious and community leaders, and politicians to hear what they thought about the turbulent state of affairs. Most notably, Baldwin used his fame as a celebrated writer to speak out about racism and its corrosive effect on both its victims and perpetrators. It was during these years that he wrote one of his most famous works, "

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We Love Nerds

Have you always wanted to spend an evening in a bar with library staff, enjoying lectures by local experts?

Join us for Nerd Nite East Bay 57: Animal Maps, Industrial Zone Art, Nature Myths.

We’re happy to provide reading lists based on the topics of the night’s lectures. Here’s a taste of this month:

To accompany Oliver Uberti’s talk entitled, "Where the Wild Things Go, Using Modern Technology to Map Nature’s Elusive Animals", we suggest you read his book, Where the Animals Go.

Liam O’Donoghue and Joey Enos’ will discuss "Art of the Emeryville Mud Flats". If you'd like to learn more, we suggest

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What to do with those eclipse glasses?

Bring your eclipse glasses to the library and we'll send them to Astronomers Without Borders for use by school children in other countries

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Experience the Eclipse!

Experience the eclipse at Oakland Public Library! We will be hosting an eclipse viewing party August 21st at 9:30. Please join us! We have several new books on solar eclipse science, lore, and history to get you excited about this rare astronomical event.

 

Where will you be on August 21st?  Watching the eclipse of course!   

Oakland Public Library will be hosting a Viewing Party!! Please join us!

Certain states will experience a total eclipse this summer; those of us in California can expect to see a partial eclipse. A limited number of safe viewing glasses will be available. Come watch the partial eclipse with us! 

  • When: August 21, 2017 at 9:30am
  • Where: Main Library,  West Auditorium - Off of Madison St.

                    125 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 / Phone# 510-238-3134

For those who can't join us on August 21st, NASA will be

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Tune in to This!

The Oakland Radio Communication Association (ORCA) Field Day 2017 is happening this weekend.

Every year since 1933, on the fourth weekend of June, amateur radio operators in the United States and Canada gather for their annual Field Day. Amateur radio operators -- ham radio enthusiasts -- aren't just hobbyists. Their equipment and skills make up an important part of disaster planning in many communities, including ours. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) holds its annual field day to promote interest in amateur radio and, more importantly, to practice operating over a full 24 hours as its members would do during a real disaster. 

The AALR site lists 1607 Field Day events this weekend, including a bunch of them in the Bay Area. Oakland's event, put on by the Oakland Radio Communication Association will be at Sequoia Arena, 10013 Skyline Blvd, across from Chabot Space and

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That's a Great Question: 44 Girlie Picks

Movies based on books written by women

We get all kinds of excellent questions at the Reference Desk here at the Main library. Recently a caller asked,

I can think of three great movies based on books written by women. They are Giant (Edna Ferber), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), and Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell). Can you tell me some other ones?

We librarians love this kind of question and had a wonderful time coming up with answers. These will probably not all meet your definition of "great movies," but we thought of a pretty wide range of titles:  

  1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath | 1979 film directed by Larry Peerce, starring Marilyn Hassett and Julie Harris

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Exploring the Travel Collection at Main

profile of travel resources and programs at Oakland Main Library

This year the Main Library’s Travel Series marks its eleventh year. In that time we’ve helped people plan vacations, discover new countries and cultures, and travel more efficiently and safely. Photographers, travel guidebook writers, and experienced travelers have generously shared their knowledge and enthusiasm for travel with members of our community. Our virtual journeys have taken us to Greece, Kenya, Brazil, Cuba, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Paris, New York City, South Africa, Italy, Croatia, and many other locales.

This year’s roster of programs will be held, as always, in the Walters Auditorium and include:

California Deserts   Wednesday, May 10; 6 pm

Intrepid traveler Trevor Cralle returns to the Main Library to share tips on exploring Death Valley, Mojave National Preserve, Anza Borrego State Park, and more. 

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The First Anniversary of the Women Bike Book Club: Read and Talk with Us

A booklist and some club history

It’s Bike Month!  Are you riding? And are you reading?  

If you’re looking for literary inspiration, we’ve got a booklist for you!

Last spring Bike East Bay created The Women Bike Book Club as part of an initiative called Women Bike, which aims to “encourage and inspire more women, trans and femme folks to ride bikes.” In January, the library began co-sponsoring this club. Each month we meet at the intersection of bikes, books, and feminism. We discuss experiences and issues, and sometimes we do a little coloring too. While the focus of this group is women and biking, everyone is welcome to join.

We meet on the second Thursday of the month.  This month that day, May 11th, is

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A historic day: The first community puzzle at Main is finished!

Did you know that you can work on a jigsaw puzzle at the library? We just finished our first one!

Main's first community puzzle was completed just seconds ago today, thanks to the diligent efforts of our patrons. We will start a new puzzle tomorrow, but you can come see this completed 1000 piece puzzle of a library...at the library...through next Monday. We hope to eventually challenge the Rockridge Branch puzzlers for completion times. If you have any puzzles to donate, please let us know!

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