Summer Fun for Adults Week 4: Art & Expression, Part II

OPL's Arts & Culture Team takes another look at some recent books and other materials that can inspire us and help us express ourselves and understand each other through art.

The Summer Fun for Adults program continues with this week’s theme: Art & Expression. You can earn raffle tickets for reading and reviewing books, and by participating in other fun activities.  Prizes include a Chromebook, a free Annual BayWheels membership, boating on Lake Merritt and gift cards for groceries, gardening supplies, sporting goods, books, coffee and more.

To find out more visit this page, and to sign up go here.

OPL introduced its new Sidewalk Pickup service last week. Place any of the items below on hold, and click here to get more information about how to pick it up using our new service.

This week's Summer Fun theme is Art & Expression. Not only is art and self-expression good for us on a personal level, but our creative endeavors can bring us a greater understanding of each other and the world we live in. With that in mind, OPL's Arts & Culture Team has put together a compilation of books and other resources that can help you start that creative project that's been percolating inside you, whether it's a novel, a poem, photography, music, or just drawing that coffee mug you've been looking at for the past three months. We have also included books that can inspire us with stories of artists who who have defied personal and societal odds to leave their mark on society. One of the ways we can build a more just and equitable society is by making and understanding art that shows us both where we are and where we want to go. We hope that these selections will inspire and motivate you to, in the immortal words of Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Rhythm Band, "Express Yourself."

First, a couple of Arts & Culture notes from around town.

The Oakland Art Association is having its first ever online show, from June through August, 2020. From the website: OAA is a non-profit group of artists, photographers, and art supporters in California's Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.  We encourage artistic endeavor in our community, support public-school art education, and arrange show venues for our members' artworks.

Click here to view this online exhibition of some of the Bay Area's finest artists.

The Oakland Symphony's Virtual "Lean on Me" Performance

If you haven't seen it, this virtual performance of the Bill Withers classic is well worth your time.

From the website: The Oakland Symphony is pleased to share a 130-member virtual performance of the timeless classic “Lean on Me”, by Bill Withers. The performance captures the Oakland Symphony family of ensembles – the Orchestra, Chorus, and Youth Orchestra along with 30 participants of the Symphony’s MUSE education program. The performers ranged in age from 8 to 86. 

Click here to watch and listen to this stirring performance.

Biblioboard (sign-in required)

Check out one of OPL's newest eBook lending and self-publishing platforms, Biblioboard. There you can

  • Discover local works from self-published authors, top indie eBooks, and much more. No hold, checkout, or lending limits.
  • Create and professionally format books, poetry, novels, and any other written content into digital, ready to print formats with Pressbooks
  • Submit your eBook to the Indie Author Project to have it showcased in the Indie California Statewide Collection while retaining all rights to your work. Readers across the state can discover your work with the potential for national exposure if selected for Library Journal’s IAP Select Collection.



Murder your darlings : and other gentle writing advice from Aristotle to Zinsser
By Roy Peter Clark
In Murder Your Darlings, Roy Peter Clark, a revered writing teacher to children and Pulitzer Prize winners alike for more than thirty years, has compiled a remarkable collection of more than 100 of the best writing tips from fifty of the best writing books of all time. With a chapter devoted to each key strategy, Clark expands and contextualizes the original author’s suggestions and offers anecdotes about how each one helped him or other writers sharpen their skills. An invaluable resource for writers of all kinds, Murder Your Darlings is an inspiring and edifying ode to the craft of writing. (from the publisher)

The writer's practice : building confidence in your nonfiction writing
By John warner
Drawing on his classroom experience and the most persuasive research in contemporary composition studies, John Warner shares an innovative new framework: a step-by-step method that moves you through a series of writing problems, an organic, bottom-up writing process that exposes and acculturates you to the ways writers work in the world. (from the publisher)

New daughters of Africa
By Margaret Busby
This magnificent follow-up to the original landmark anthology brings together fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the United States. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood.  New Daughters of Africa spans a range of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humor, politics, journalism, essays, and speeches—demonstrating the diversity and extraordinary literary achievements of Black women who remain underrepresented, and whose contributions continue to be underrated in world culture today. [from the publisher]

Black ink : literary legends on the peril, power, and pleasure of reading and writing
By Stephanie Stokes Oliver
Spanning over 250 years of history, Black Ink traces Black literature in America from Frederick Douglass to Zora Neal Hurston to Ta-Nehisi Coates. This masterful collection of twenty-five illustrious and moving essays on the power of the written word presents reading as an act of resistance. This unique volume seeks to shed light on the injustice of once being denied the right to read, as well as the hard-won literary progress made since then, putting some of America's most cherished voices in a conversation in one magnificent book. (from the publisher)

The Poets & Writers complete guide to being a writer
By Kevin Larimer and Mary Gannon
For half a century, writers at every stage of their careers have turned to the literary nonprofit organization Poets & Writers and its award-winning magazine for resources to foster their professional development, from writing prompts and tips on technique to informative interviews with published authors, literary agents, and editors. But never before has Poets & Writers marshaled its fifty years' worth of knowledge to create an authoritative guide for writers that answers every imaginable question about craft and career— until now [from the book]

The music of time : poetry in the twentieth century
By john Burnside
A major new account of poetry in the twentieth century. Bringing together poets from times and places as diverse as Tsarist Russia, 1960's America and Ireland at the height of the Troubles, The Music of Time reveals how poets engaged with and shaped the most important issues of their times - and were in their turn affected by their context and dialogue with each other. [publisher's description]




Music business handbook and career guide
By David Baskerville, Tim Baskerville
"The Twelfth Edition of this powerhouse best-selling text maintains its tradition as the most comprehensive, up-to-date guide to the music industry in all of its diversity. Readers new to the music business and seasoned professionals alike will find David and Tim Baskerville's handbook the go-to source, regardless of their specialty within the music field. This edition offers more vignettes than ever, illustrating how individuals in different industry roles advanced their careers, as well as how they've adjusted to the intertwining influences of technology, law, and culture."--Publisher's description.

The singer's audition and career handbook
By Claudia Friedlander
The Singer's Audition & Career Handbook is a comprehensive guide to the training, audition technique, and professional development essential for launching and sustaining a rewarding career in classical singing. Expanding on author Claudia Friedlander's online collaboration with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, the book brings together insights from nearly seventy prominent performers, educators, and opera industry professionals. Whether you are a young singer preparing for conservatory auditions, a professional opera singer, or an avocational singer seeking to improve your technique and pursue local performance opportunities, this book will help you take inventory of your skills and achieve the next stages of your musical journey. (from the publisher)

Sweat the technique : revelations on creativity from the lyrical genius
By Rakim with Bakari Kitwana

Also available as an eBook on Overdrive
Sweat the technique [electronic resource] : Revelations on Creativity from the Lyrical Genius
On the heels of Kendrick Lamar's Pulitzer Prize, as the world begins to recognize the creative side of Hip-Hop, comes a writing guide from a musician and "The greatest MC of all time," Rakim. The musician and Hip-Hop legend—hailed as "the greatest MC of all time" and compared to Thelonious Monk—reimagines the writing handbook in this memoir and guide that incorporates the soulful genius, confidence, and creativity of a master artist. Part memoir, part writing guide, Sweat the Technique offers insight into how Rakim thinks about words, music, writing, and rhyming as it teaches writers of all levels how to hone their craft. Filled with valuable lessons for every writer, Sweat the Technique reveals the heart and mind of an artist and his love for great storytelling, and always, the words.

Creative quest
By Questlove
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is perhaps best known as the drummer and bandleader of The Roots - and he is also a DJ, music & television producer, and one-time NYU professor. Creative Quest offers a guide to creativity composed of creative philosophies, stories, inspiration, and advice from the author's own life and the numerous creative mentors and collaborators that he has encountered throughout his career.

How To Become A True Independent Artist (Available on Hoopla)
by Robin Layton
This book wasn't written to show musicians, performing artists, visual artists, authors, and filmmakers how to survive -It was written to show them how to live. Any artist can begin their journey toward independence today. By following the detailed step-by-step action plan in this book, you will learn how to work with the time and resources you currently have to build a public and online revenue strategy that will support you as an independent artist.

Rough ideas : reflections on music and more
By Stephen Hough
Stephen Hough is indisputably one of the world's leading pianists, winning global acclaim and numerous awards, both for his concerts and recordings. He is also a writer, composer and painter. He writes about music and the life of a musician, from exploring the broader aspects of what it is to walk out on to a stage or to make a recording, to specialist tips from deep inside the practice room: how to trill, how to pedal, how to practice. He also writes vividly about people he's known, places he's travelled to, books he's read, paintings he's seen; and touches on more controversial subjects, such as assisted suicide and abortion. Even religion is there, the possibility of the existence of God, problems with some biblical texts and the challenge involved in being a gay Catholic. An illuminating and absorbing introduction into the life and mind of one of our great cultural figures. (from the publisher)

Odetta : a life in music and protest
By Ian Zack
Journalist Ian Zack follows Odetta from her beginnings in deeply segregated Birmingham, Alabama, to stardom in San Francisco and New York. Odetta used her fame to bring attention to the civil rights movement, working alongside Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and other artists. Her opera-trained voice echoed at the 1963 March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery march, and she arranged a tour throughout the deeply segregated South. Her “Freedom Trilogy” songs became rallying cries for protesters everywhere. Through interviews with Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, and many others, Zack brings Odetta back into the spotlight, reminding the world of the folk music that powered the civil rights movement and continues to influence generations of musicians today.  

Tchaikovsky : the man revealed
By John Suchet
A tortured genius, a sensitive soul, and a great composer burdened by the weight of his private desires, Tchaikovsky’s life is explored in full by the incomparable John Suchet. From Tchaikovsky’s disastrous marriage to his extraordinary relationship with his female patron, his many amorous liaisons, and his devotion to friends and family, Suchet shows us how the complexity of Tchaikovsky’s emotional life plays out in his music. A man who was by turns quick to laugh and to despair, his mercurial temperament found its outlet in some of the most emotionally intense music ever written. (from the publisher)

Me : Elton John official autobiography
By Elton John

Also available as an eBook on Overdrive
Me [electronic resource] : Elton john official autobiography
In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble, and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you by a living legend. (from the publisher)



Find your artistic voice : the essential guide to working your creative magic 
By Lisa Congdon
This book is a guide to the process of artistic self-discovery. An artist's voice is their calling card. It allows viewers looking at a work - whether in a museum or on social media - to recognize the creator. And, as most creatives quickly realize, developing a one-of-a-kind aesthetic takes work. But you don't have to do it alone. Dive into this book and let artist and bestselling author Lisa Congdon lead you on a journey of self-discovery. (from the publisher)

You are an artist : Assignments to spark creation
By Sarah Urist Green
More than 50 assignments, ideas, and prompts to expand your world and help you make outstanding new things to put into it. Curator Sarah Urist Green left her office in the basement of an art museum to travel and visit a diverse range of artists, asking them to share prompts that relate to their own ways of working. Your challenge is to filter these assignments through the lens of your own experience and make art that reflects the world as you see it. (from the publisher)

The Art of Basic Drawing (Available on Hoopla)
by William F. Powell, Michael Butkus, Walter Foster, Mia Tavonatti
Simple step-by-step techniques for drawing a variety of subjects in graphite pencil. Filled with easy step-by-step instruction from a variety of artists and a wealth of inspiring images to study and admire, The Art of Basic Drawing shows beginning artists how to draw everything from flowers and still lifes to landscapes, animals, and people. (from the publisher)

The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners (Available on Hoopla)
by Yoshiko Ogura
An easy-to-follow, yet comprehensive beginner's guide to drawing. In The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners, experienced art instructor Yoshiko Ogura explains the basics of pencil drawing through a series of lessons that provide insights on artistic composition, simulating highlights and shadows, depicting realistic forms, rendering texture and creating a sense of depth in your artwork. At the beginning of the book, she provides you with all the information you need to get started-what materials to buy, how to prepare your work surface, pencils and erasers-even how to sit correctly when drawing. (from the publisher)

How to draw without talent
By Danny Gregory
"Talent, schmalent! Drawing is a skill that you can learn, just like trying your shoe or riding a bike. And this is just the book to show you how. Gain an inside-out understanding of the fundamental building blocks of drawing: perspective, values, negative space, and more. Yep, you can draw that! That cat on the window, a bustling cityscape, a portrait of a loved one...with the simple concepts in this book, you can draw anything. With inspirational quotes from various artists throughout, this is a book like no other. It will change the way you see, kickstart your drawing habit, and put you on the path to drawing like a natural. Even without talent!"—Provided by Publisher.




National Geographic photo basics : the ultimate beginner's guide to great photography 
By Joel Sartore with Heather Perry      
For digital camera and smartphone users, this easy how-to guide, written by an experienced National Geographic photographer, imparts the essentials of taking great pictures. (from the publisher)

How to photograph absolutely everything
By Tom Ang
This practical guide teaches you how to take the best possible photo in any situation imaginable with clear, step-by-step guidance from expert photographer Tom Ang. Full of essential advice, hints, and tips, this guide gives you straightforward instructions on what equipment you will need, the best approach for each subject, how to compose your shot and find the right light, and how to frame your shot effectively. From still-life to sports photography, cityscapes and landscapes, and tackling children's parties to capturing the magic of seasonal celebrations, How to Photograph Absolutely Everything is the essential guide to improving your digital photography skills and getting the most out of your camera. (from the publisher)

The advanced photography guide : expert techniques to take your digital photography to the next level
By David Taylor
"Featuring a comprehensive range of topics from experimenting with lenses, exposure, and aperture to useful post-production techniques, easy step-by-step tutorials help you master the functions on your camera and develop exciting new techniques. As well as refreshing existing knowledge, you will learn more advanced skills, such as how to freeze movement, use filters, and create brilliant images from multiple exposures. You'll discover how to compose shots better, use simple framing and cropping techniques effectively, and explore light and shadow to create maximum impact. Inspiring suggestions for projects show how to explore themes ranging from close-ups and portraits to street scenes, landscapes, and the night sky, while useful tips and hints help you think creatively, tackle "difficult" subjects, and troubleshoot problems." (from the publisher).

How to Rule at Photography (Available on Hoopla)
By Chronicle Books
How to Rule at Photography features 50 bite-size tips and tricks to help you improve your photo skills with your phone's camera. Creating brilliant photos with your phone isn't as hard as you might think, and the easy-to-follow advice in this book goes way beyond selfie help. Let these deceptively simple tips help you unleash your inner creativity and upgrade your social media feed as you start snapping great shots using only your phone. You'll not only learn actionable tips to make your photos better-you'll learn how to develop your own personal style along the way. (from the publisher)

Digital Photography for Beginners (AUDIOBOOK) (Available on Hoopla) 
By Stefan Johnston
Learning the tricks professionals use to craft a great image design and discovering how they incorporate these into compositions will lay the foundation for you to create amazing photographs. In fact, once you master the art of composition, you'll know exactly what elements it takes to compose a great shot before you even touch the shutter button! As a result, it will free you up to concentrate on the other ingredients that go into making a beautiful photograph. (from the publisher)

Revolution in black and white : photographs of the Civil Rights Era by Ernest C. Withers
By Richard Cahan and Michael Williams
"Ernest C. Withers was one of the most prominent African-American photographers during the civil rights years. During the course of his work, he took thousands photographs that document the Movement--from the Emmett Till trial in 1955 to the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. This book combines all of his work for the first time and uses first-hand accounts from men and women who lived in the South to explain these transformative years. The photographs, taken as bare-bones journalism, rise to the level of fine art decades later. This book goes beyond the headlines to show how Withers created an essential record for all of us to better understand life in the South during this crucial era."--Publisher's website.

Berenice Abbott : a life in photography
By Julia Van Haaften
Berenice Abbott is to American photography what Georgia O'Keeffe is to painting, or Willa Cather to letters. Abbott's sixty-year career established her not only as a master of American photography but also as a teacher, writer, archivist, and inventor. This biography secures Abbott's place in the histories of photography and modern art while framing her accomplishments as a female artist and entrepreneur. (from the publisher)

To survive on this shore : photographs and interviews with transgender and gender nonconforming older adults
[photography], Jess T. Dugan ; [text], Vanessa Fabbre
Representations of older transgender people are nearly absent from our culture and those that do exist are often one-dimensional. For over five years, photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre traveled throughout the United States creating 'To Survive on this Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Older Adults'. The resulting monograph provides a nuanced view into the struggles and joys of growing older as a transgender person and offers a poignant reflection on what it means to live authentically despite seemingly insurmountable odds. (from the publisher)

Need Help?

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