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

It’s NATO time!

Resist NATOWe want to welcome all who are in town in solidarity with Occupy Chicago protesting against the NATO summit! Stop by room 501 at our 500 West Cermak location to check out the library.

Our lending policy is: please use the books as you see fit. Read them here, take them home, lend them forward.

We have a community journal where you can leave thoughts, poetry, artwork, etc. Leave us a note!

We also have printed copies of the documents sent in response to the Truthout DHS FOIA request (1st set) and the full text of the “sit down and shut up” ordinances.

You can also subscribe to podcasts by our friends at Political Discontent Radio by scanning the QR code found on any wall in the library. Do it!

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!

Baby library pictures!

Our library is just starting out, but we are proud parents and wanted to share some pictures.

Room 501

When you walk into Room 501, you are greeted by couches, lamps, a coffee table, and this lovely stencil on the wall.  (Yes, we do have dinosaur sheets covering one of our couches.  Be jealous.)

Baby library

These bookcases were handmade by a member of Occupy Chicago.  We are starting to fill them with books, newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, zines, and more!

Corner cases

On the other side of the room we have some bulk titles, text books, reference, and DVD documentaries.

We’ll have more pictures soon, hopefully featuring many more books!  But for now, we hope you enjoyed a quick glimpse at The People’s Library of Occupy Chicago.  Come visit us!

Slowly but surely, a library is born

Progress update:

We formed a Library Committee consisting of about 8 librarians, teachers, booksellers, and other “book people.”  (If you would like to join us, send an email to ochilibrary at gmail and we’ll be happy to add you to our ranks.)  A room has been set aside at Occupy Chicago’s indoor HQ for the library, and shelving is being built to line the walls.  We have about 30 boxes of book donations to process and more in storage, which we will begin cataloging this week.

Exciting!

This blog is still very much under construction, but here are other places you can find us on the web:

Twitter

Facebook

And our catalog, so far, can be viewed here: LibraryThing

Thanks for sticking with us and we hope you stop by again soon!  We promise to post pictures of our beautiful shelves, books, and more.

(As always, donations can be dropped off at 500 W Cermak during GA.  If you can’t make it to our indoor HQ, email ochilibrary at gmail and we can try to arrange a pickup.)