The Revolution Will Be Well-Read

Friend of the library Samwise tweeted out a call for #ActivistNovels this morning.  We think we can help.

Below is a list of fiction either dealing with a revolution or with themes of social injustice, war, and repression.  It’s not definitive by any means – leave us your comments with any additions you have.

List is organized alphabetically by author’s last name.  Because we’re book snobs.

Baum, L. Frank – The Wizard of Oz

Bradbury, Ray – Fahrenheit 451

Card, Orson Scott – Ender’s Game

Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities

Doctorow, Cory – Little Brother

Doctorow, E. L. – Ragtime

Eliot, George – Felix Holt, the Radical

Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man

Finney, Jack – Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Hansberry, Lorraine – A Raisin in the Sun

Heinlein, Robert A. – The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Heinlein, Robert A. – Stranger in a Strange Land

Hugo, Victor – Les Miserables

Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World

Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird

Le Guin, Ursula K. – The Left Hand of Darkness

Levin, Ira – The Stepford Wives

O’Brien, Tim – The Things They Carried

Orwell, George – 1984

Orwell, George – Animal Farm

Remarque, Erich Maria – All Quiet on the Western Front

Sinclair, Upton – The Jungle

Steinbeck, John – Grapes of Wrath

Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Vonnegut, Kurt – Cat’s Cradle

Vonnegut, Kurt – Sirens of Titan

Wolfe, Tom – Bonfire of the Vanities

Advertisements

Tell us why you love bookstores!

We’ve posted a lot this week.  Today we want to hear from you.  Tell us… Why are local bookstores important to you?

Leave your response in the comments, on our Facebook page, or if it’s concise, tweet at us.

We’d like to share this response from Kelly Hayes of Occupy Rogers Park:

Armadillo’s Pillow, a used bookstore in RP, brings something special to our neighborhood. It has character, and personally, I find the place downright enchanting. I did a photo shoot there, a couple years ago. I asked about bringing in a model and snapping some shots, and the owner didn’t even have to think about it. She was immediately down with her place being used for an art project. A corporate store wouldn’t have allowed such a thing, and they wouldn’t have had an ambiance that would have made the idea appealing in the first place.

Since the Pillow’s books are used, it’s easy to wander in on any given day and find some treasure that you can afford to take home with you. It’s cozy, and it feels like the kind of place where you can go to dream, or learn, or just get lost in possibility. If it ever closed, a beautiful piece of my neighborhood would disappear. How many chain stores can you say that about?

P.S. Don’t forget to attend our first event next week for Occupy Your Local Bookstore!

First Occupy Your Local Bookstore event announced!

Thanks for the overwhelming enthusiasm and positive feedback on our launch of Occupy Your Local Bookstore last night!  It’s exciting to see so many people on board with this idea.

We have just created a Facebook event to announce our first of many such events/actions.  Please RSVP on Facebook or in the comments section below to let us know if you will be able to make it.

Details:

When: Monday, April 16th at noon

Where: Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore

7419 Madison St, Forest Park, Illinois

What:

Our first event will be to visit Atria’s Great Mystery Bus Tour when it stops at Centuries & Sleuths in Forest Park next week. This event features not one but FOUR top-notch mystery authors (John Connolly, William Kent Krueger, Liza Marklund, and M. J. Rose) signing books and meeting readers.

To learn more about Atria’s Great Mystery Bus Tour, visit their Tumblr: http://mysterybustour.tumblr.com/

Centuries & Sleuths is easily accessible from the Forest Park stop on the blue line. Learn more at their website: http://centuriesandsleuths.com/

Please stop by, meet some authors, and buy a book from one of our favorite local indie booksellers!

Occupy Your Local Bookstore

Today we are proud to announce an ongoing initiative we call Occupy Your Local Bookstore.

Eat Sleep Read LocalBookstores do more than sell a product.  They are community centers where people meet, ideas are exchanged, and knowledge is gained.  But they are threatened by businesses who sell books at a deep discount, hoping you will buy other products to make up for the money they lose on book sales.  These businesses do not cultivate community experiences or host events where you can meet authors and fellow readers; they just sell you cheap books – and often only the most popular titles.  Plus, according to IndieBound: “Spend $100 at a local [bookstore] and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.”

We at The People’s Library of Occupy Chicago have a great fondness for local bookstores, and many of us have worked as booksellers in the past.  As such we would like to encourage the 99% to occupy local bookstores and show them how important they are to our city and all its communities.  As an added bonus, we hope to highlight what physical bookstores have to offer and the value of interacting with knowledgeable booksellers, authors,  and other readers.

Occupy Your Local Bookstore

Here’s how it works:

  • Once a month or so, we will choose an event at a bookstore in the Chicago area.
  • We will put out a call on this blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter account to “occupy” the event.
  • All you have to do is show up for the event – it might be a poetry slam, an author signing, or some other community gathering.  (Extra points if you bring your friends!)
  • Relax! Learn something! Enjoy!
  • Before you leave, please consider purchasing at least one book – even just a paperback – to help support a local business that promotes literacy.  If you need a recommendation, ask a bookseller!

That’s all there is to it.

A few notes:

  • We will choose events that seem interesting, not necessarily thematically connected to the Occupy movement.
  • The goal of this action is simply to highlight existing community resources and put our money into businesses that serve the 99%.
  • If you are an author or bookstore planning an event in the Chicago area that you’d like us to consider as part of this action, please email OChiLibrary [at] gmail [dot] com.

Hope to see you out occupying local bookstore events!  Our first action will be announced tomorrow, April 11th.  See you back here then!

Reading Recommendation Roundup, part 1

Reading Recommendation RoundupIf you follow us on Twitter and/or like us on Facebook, you might have seen our tweets/posts last week asking for your Occupy reading recommendations.  We got some great responses, which we’re sharing below.  We’ll do this again periodically, so stay tuned!

 

Hey Occupy Chicago, let’s talk books!  If you had to choose one book to recommend to Occupiers, what book would it be and why?

@exileinflyville: Tough Q. Probably The Shock Doctrine.

@immnamna: The Wisdom of Forgiveness, about the Dalai Lama. Some very surprising anecdotes by a man close to him.

@greasy0vagabond: “The Way of the Peacful Warrior” by Dan Millman … Its the perfect read.

@ThinkmoreNow: The Shock Doctrine Tells it like it is

@danacutts: Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism

@sigfreyd: A Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, b/c it’s a precautionary tale of theocratic/corporate tyranny.

@nickLbrothers: Second on Shock Doctrine.

@SamwiseOccupies: 1 book for Occupiers? The Lorax (fuck the movie, though)

@OC_EDU: One recommendation: @davidgraeber’s Debt.

@chiiillin: Get Up Stand Up by Bruce Levine, because it’s both encouraging/emotional and strategic/logical.

@Mojostarz: Boomerang by Michael Lewis

@thezitoeffect: Death in the Haymarket; a saga about the 1886 general strike for the 8 hr. workday

@The_book_girl: Why We Can’t Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Great philosophy behind Civil Rights movement. Relevant today

Colleen Haithcock: I don’t think it has been written yet but google Will Allen Food Revolution and see what he is up to! (Note: The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen will be published on May 10th.)

Justin Gallant: three-Last Days of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann (Because it lays out our environmental and psychological problems)
Work- CrimeThinc (Because it shows how everyday employees are committing the heinous crimes that we fight against, how the whole system of work is a mockery of our gifts)
Critical Path by Buckminster Fuller (Beecause he lays out what we must do about the problems we face today)

Randal Haithcock: Christopher Alexander et al, A Pattern Language. It is an architectural handbook based on a study of humane traditional building (The Timeless Way of Building). Useful for planning rehabbing of buildings.

M.g. Mary Grace: The Assassination of Fred Hampton by Jeffrey Hass is a riveting page-turner as well as profound lesson in taking on Chicago police and corrupt cronies when they use murder and violence to get their way. It also shows how amazing the People’s Law Office is, with civil rights attorneys such as the great Flint Taylor, who still practices in Chicago today. Knowledge = Power; we must arm ourselves with the lessons of the past. And Fred Hampton is a crucial leader for Occupy to look up to and remember.

M.g. Mary Grace: Red Star Sister by Leslie Brody, To Teach: the Journey in Comics by Bill Ayers, The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci

Randal Haithcock: John Vonhof, Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatment for Athletes, for folks who have to walk a lot.

Thanks for all the great suggestions!  Happy reading.

Progress report

  • We have retrieved the books we had in storage, and are busy cataloging, stamping, and shelving them.
  • Our library now has a desk, computer, and Internet access!
  • Occupy librarians from around the world have formed an Occupy Library Consortium to facilitate sharing ideas, knowledge, and resources.
  • We have already heard from some Occupy librarians who are planning to be in Chicago for the NATO/G8 summit protests in May.  We’re excited to meet our counterparts from other cities and hope to plan some actions together!  Contact us if you would like to get involved.

Apologies for the short blog in list form, but it’s better than nothing. More details and information will, of course, be forthcoming!

Library tour

We got a great response from the first few pictures we posted last week – thanks for sharing the link!  Here’s a bit more of a tour.  We’re still gathering momentum, but considering our library was just a twinkle in our eyes two weeks ago, we’re happy with how its progressing.

Library Tour pic 1

Our world-famous dinosaur couch. We also have end tables and lamps! So fancy.

Library Tour pic 2

In the front room of 501, we have a table for Occupy newspapers, flyers, and more.

Library Tour pic 3

Our non-fiction section doubled in 3 days. At this rate, we're going to need more shelving built ASAP!

Library Tour pic 4

We have a communication board with information about the library, a whiteboard to leave us messages, and a Community Journal for collecting thoughts and ideas.

Library Tour pic 5

Bulk and oversize titles. Hopefully this case will soon include our Reference materials - dictionaries and more!

Library Tour pic 6

We now have fancy bins for donations. And they are always full. Let's get cataloging!