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Mythic Lecture July 19, 2018

Posted by Luke in Uncategorized.
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It’s rare for an hour-long academic lecture to capture my attention and hold me mesmerized till the very end.  But such is the case repeatedly when watching Joseph Campbell’s Mythos lecture series, filmed between 1982 and 1985.  The series originally aired on PBS in the mid-90s under the title “Transformations of Myth Through Time” which was also published in book form.  Many Americans are familiar with the PBS series Campbell did with Bill Moyers in the late 1980s called The Power of Myth, but the Mythos series is longer and contains significantly more detail concerning world mythology.

In Mythos, Campbell delivers a primer for approaching all of the world’s major mythologies.  There are a total of 15 lectures, broken into 3 parts.  In part 1, Campbell begins with a definition of myth and its relationship to human psychology – especially dream – and society.  He delivers a very detailed interpretation of a Navajo story through its mythic symbolism as well as the familiar story of Isis and Osiris.  Part 1 ends with an explanation of the symbolism attached to the ancient Greek Mystery Schools.

Part II is dedicated entirely to the mythic systems of the Orient.  The lectures selected here focus primarily on Buddhist and Hindu mythic symbol including a detailed discussion of Kundalini yoga and the Tibetan Book of the Dead.  Campbell clarifies the timeline for the development of these two major traditions.  He also relates a metaphor passed on to him by Heinrich Zimmer from many years prior explaining the difference between Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism – a distinction commonly overlooked or misunderstood.

Part III moves into Medieval and contemporary mythology in the West.  Campbell discusses the Arthurian romance of Tristan and Isolde and presents an illuminating and fascinating interpretation of Parzival and the Grail, stemming from the work of Wolfram von Eschenbach.  Campbell stresses the significance of the grail stories as the synthesis of an authentic European worldview with its emphasis on individuality with the deeply legalistic and authoritarian Roman Christian overlay.  What was produced as a result of this mixture was the symbol of the Grail as the highest individual achievement – achieved by choosing to listen to the inner authentic voice rather than conforming to social propriety.  Part III ends with lectures on the bridging of eastern and western symbolism through the writings of men like Schopenhauer as well as discussions on the modern mythographers Thomas Mann and James Joyce.

Throughout the series, Campbell reiterates that the images being presented at one time and one location through the costumes of one culture’s unique art, architecture, and story are symbolic of that which all cultures at all times share.  This common reference is the mystery that can’t be fully explained by any set of symbols.  The symbols can only refer to a Reality that is beyond words and thoughts.

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Here’s What We’re Reading in July… July 16, 2018

Posted by SaraC in Beach Reads, Biographies, Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, Debut Author, Fiction, First Novel, Genre Book Discussion, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Uncategorized.
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Hide By Matthew Griffin

Cover image for Dealing with the failing health of a partner/spouse is an incredibly difficult and personal experience for anyone, one that can be only compounded by having to keep the true nature of your relationship secret to the world. This is the reality for Wendell and Frank who met right after WWII, fell in love, and made a private life for themselves over the next 60 odd years. This life is threatened when Wendell finds Frank collapsed in the yard. What follows is a novel that goes back and forth from the start of their relationship to the difficulties of the modern day as Frank recovers and Wendell fights to keep it all together. Taxidermy imagery is used throughout which may disturb some readers but it is used as a literary device for identity, superficiality, and the creation of the appearance of artificial life. Greg

 

Two Steps Forward by Graeme C. Simsion

Cover image for This is the story of Zoe Witt who travels to France after the apparent suicide of her husband to visit an old friend. Once there she decides to hike the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile spiritual walk route that winds through France and Spain. Martin Eden, a recently divorced British engineer, is hiking the Camino de Santiago testing out his one-wheeled cart design. The two cross paths multiple times along the way and become more than friends. This is a heartwarming tale of grief, forgiveness, healing, and determination. Emma

 

How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture Then and Now by James Kugel

Cover image for I’ve been reading a great book about the Bible.  Kugel is an academic, but the book is written for the layperson, and so far it’s been a tour de force.  His approach is to look at stories and passages from the Bible from the perspective of both its ancient interpreters and from modern Biblical scholarship.  This means as a reader sometimes experiencing an intense cognitive dissonance, because the two perspectives seem so deeply divergent (i.e. the thesis that the Bible is divinely inspired, versus the thesis that it was written by four people, the documentary hypothesis).  Kugel himself is an Orthodox Jew, so I’m curious to learn more about how he balances his knowledge of modern scholarship with his faith.  Kugel is an excellent teacher and communicator, and the book is an amazing synthesis of theology, archaeology, history, sociology, psychology, and religious studies.  Andrew

 

Queenpin – Megan Abbott

Cover image for The unnamed narrator, a young woman with limited prospects, takes a job keeping books at a small nightclub.  Soon after she begins practicing some shady accounting, she comes under the scrutiny and then wing of the infamous and ruthless Gloria Denton.  Casinos, racetracks, heists – all the big money in the city runs through Gloria before it makes it’s way to the big bosses out of town.  Gloria will be her access to all the action and the lavish lifestyle to go with it if only she can keep from falling for the wrong guy.  Megan Abbott takes the bones of the same old, time-tested gangster story and gives it new life.  By the end symbols of traditional masculinity are kicked apart and lay shattered and bloody on the floor. Trent

 

The Very Worst Missionary by Jamie Wright

Cover image for In the evangelical church, there is a myth about missionaries: those who do “God’s work” can do no harm. After living in Costa Rica as a missionary for five years, Jamie Wright pulls back the curtain on missionary life, writing about her experiences and observations. She points the finger at the careless and nonsensical ways of “helping” that sending organizations permitted to happen, veiled by the vague language of “loving on people,” “just showing up,” and “hearing from God.” Her stories about mutually exploitative practices, wasted resources, and underequipped ministers were helpful in understanding the gravity of the harm Christian missionaries can do, if not prepared to serve in careful, sensible, and sustainable ways. Even though the content of the book is serious, Jamie’s voice is fun and entertaining, but also scathing – maybe a little like watching a Trevor Noah routine. While I appreciated the foundation that the beginning chapters laid about Jamie’s early years, the final two sections were ultimately the worthwhile ones. Lyndsey

 

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Cover image for I loved Ruth Ware’s In a Dark Dark Wood, a gripping psychological thriller that left me hanging every step of the way.  Then I read The Woman in Cabin 10 and was mostly just confused by too many characters.  The Lying Game is the best book from Ruth Ware so far.  Four  girls spent a year together at Salten, a second-rate boarding school  in the English countryside until they are forced to leave to avoid a scandal.  Truth be told, no one is sorry to see them go, as their favorite activity was The Lying Game, a game with complicated rules and scoring systems that involved lying to faculty and boarders alike. The number one rule however was, “Never lie to each other”.  Fifteen years after the girls go their separate ways, three of them receive a text from the fourth saying only, “I need you.”  As if time hasn’t passed, the girls run back to Salten and into a situation that is dark, dangerous and brings to light the fact that someone broke Rule #1.   Fabulous descriptions of the eerie  and dark marshlands  in the waterlogged area near the English Channel perfectly set the tone for the story which is an addicting page turner.  Sara

 

There There by Tommy Orange

Cover image for Tommy Orange’s debut novel There There is a window into the lives of urban Native Americans of Oakland, California. We hear from twelve different characters, young and old, embedded in their heritage and barely aware, as they wind their way through stories steeped in tragedy and despair, hope and family, culminating on the night of an Oakland powwow. Read the prologue if you do nothing else – it’s devastating. Dori

 

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Cover image for A debut psychological thriller and the perfect beach read. Erin, a documentary film maker and her investment banker husband Mark are honeymooning in Bora Bora. This tropical paradise turns into a nightmare when a scuba diving excursion uncovers something sinister in the water. Do Erin and Mark report their finding? Each decision they make after their discovery has dangerous consequences for the young couple. This taut and unsettling  novel is perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins. Megan

 

The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara

Cover image for This past month has consisted of doing extra research in order to teach film history to kids/teens in a filmmaking summer camp. As I continue to make an effort to include more diverse voices in my reading choices, I’m now reading The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara through Overdrive. It is a relatively short read, which is what I wanted. In quick chapters Che describes the adventures and misadventures that he and a friend from medical school have while travelling through South America. Next I’ll have to watch the movie adaptation with Gael Garcia Bernal. Byron

 

Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

Cover image for This is my first read by the popular author Fredrick Backman, and oddly enough, I did NOT read Beartown.  However, the review of the book caught my interest, and I much enjoyed it.  The reader does not have to read Beartown to understand this book.  The beginning does a very good job of concisely wrapping up Beartown, and swiftly picking up where it has left off.  Beartown is populated with a diverse group inhabitants. Some old , some young, some cranky, some hardworking, some who hardly work, and some dreamers.  Something bad has happened in Beartown, and now its residents are divided.  Much talk about the beloved local hockey team and its future is where this book begins. Changes ensue for the hockey team and the town.  However, this book isn’t just about hockey. This book is about life. It has sadness, tension, fierce competition, politics, kindness (sometimes in the most unlikely of places), love & compassion. You don’t have to love hockey to love this book, you just need to love life. Mary

 

Get ’em while they’re hot! July 9, 2018

Posted by SaraC in Beach Reads, Biographies, Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, Uncategorized.
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Here are some titles that will be coming to the library in July.  Place a hold on them now so you can be one of the first people to check them out!



ghosted orchid and the wasphalf moon bay

 

double lifeclock dance

 

 

chariotwhistle in the darkdear mrs bird

 

 



 

Celebrating Pride Month with Local Resources- Plexus: the Chamber of Commerce for the LGBT community June 25, 2018

Posted by gregoryhatch in Uncategorized.
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In celebration of LGBT Pride Month we will be highlighting some local resources available here in Northeast Ohio. This time we are featuring Plexus: the Chamber of Commerce for the LGBT community. A financial organization for small business, Plexus “was founded to promote networking and business development within Northeast Ohio’s LGBT business community and its allies.”

They offer many staples of any Chamber of Commerce Including:

Celebrating Pride Month with Local Resources-Health and Medical Resources June 19, 2018

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This month we continue our celebration of Pride Month with highlighting local LGBTQA resources in the Northeast Ohio region. This time we are showcasing Health and Medical Resources.

Finding a healthcare provider that you are comfortable is always a challenge. Two of the largest healthcare providers in the area offer centers that have locations with staff and services for the LGBT community.

logo-ccf

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Care offers healthcare services at the Lakewood Family Health Center.

Examples of Care Provided:

Services

To help address these disparities, Cleveland Clinic offers the following services to gay men and MSM:

Gay and Bisexual Men Health

  • Primary Care. General preventive health, screening for disease including cancer and infectious disease, immunizations, and counseling related to healthy behaviors. While all health care providers have a basic knowledge to care for many types of patients, the Cleveland Clinic has identified a group of providers who have a specialty interest in the care of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients.
  • Behavioral Health. Behavioral health services offer providers with special interest in LGBT psychological health needs.
  • Specialty Care. Cleveland Clinic has worked to identify providers within the majority of sub-specialty disciplines who have an interest in the care of LGBT patients.

Lesbian and Bisexual Women Health

  • Primary Care. Routine health care maintenance, surveillance of chronic medical conditions, access to providers for acute medical visits, smoking cessation, management of and referral for psychiatric conditions such as mood disorders and substance abuse problems.
  • Gynecologic Care. Routine gynecologic care including cancer screening, pelvic examinations, management of chronic or acute gynecologic conditions, contraceptive counseling and management, fertility consultation and treatment, evaluation and treatment of sexual pain.
  • Endocrinology and Metabolism Care. Specialty help for metabolic disease and obesity through consultation with nutritionists, endocrinologists, and bariatric surgery.
  • Specialty Care. Cleveland Clinic has worked to identify providers within the majority of subspecialty disciplines who have an interest in the care of LGBT patients.
  • Behavioral Health. Cleveland Clinic’s behavioral health services offer providers with special interest in LGBT psychological health needs.

Transgender Health

  • Primary Care. Routine health care maintenance, surveillance of chronic medical conditions, access to providers for acute medical visits, smoking cessation.
  • Gynecologic Care. Routine gynecologic care including cancer screening, pelvic examinations, management of chronic or acute gynecologic conditions, contraceptive counseling and management, fertility consultation and treatment, evaluation and treatment of sexual pain.
  • Hormone Therapy & Surveillance.Initiation, maintenance, and surveillance of cross-sex hormones.
  • Behavioral Health. Diagnosis of gender dysphoria, treatment and management of other comorbid conditions (depression, anxiety, PTSD), management of substance abuse problems.
  • Obesity Services.Multidisciplinary approaches to weight loss and maintenance, referral to bariatric surgery.
  • Surgical Services.Referral within Cleveland Clinic to providers who perform gender confirmation procedures.

and

LGBT – Pride Clinic at MetroHealth

Examples of Care Provided:

  • Adult, adolescent and pediatric care
  • OB-GYN care
  • Family planning
  • Smoking cessation
  • Controlling your cholesterol numbers
  • Lowering your high blood pressure
  • Immunizations
  • Physical exams
  • HIV prevention (PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
  • HIV testing
  • Care for HIV-positive patients
  • STI screening and treatment
  • Medical and behavioral health services for LGBT and questioning youth

Libraries Rock! June 14, 2018

Posted by gregoryhatch in Uncategorized.
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On Monday we launched our Adult Summer Reading Program here at Rocky River Public Library.

Stop by the Adult Reference Desk to participate in summer reading for adults. Read a book or magazine, attend a program or show us a receipt with at least five items checked out and earn a qualifying entry. Entries will be entered into a raffle for a weekly gift basket and for the grand prize: a gift certificate to the Cleveland Orchestra.

Register below or stop in the Library to register at the Adult Reference Desk.

Grey ArrowREGISTER—   Register for the Adult Summer Reading Program

Grey ArrowSUBMIT–    Enter one submission per book that is read during the summer reading months. Each title or program that is submitted will qualify you for an entry in that week’s gift basket drawing.

 

Check out our blog (www.readitorweep.org) or the Library’s Facebook page to view weekly prizes

This week prize:

Celebrating Pride Month with Local Resources- PFLAG June 11, 2018

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This month we continue our celebration of Pride Month with highlighting local LGBTQA resources in the Northeast Ohio region. This time we are showcasing PFLAG Cleveland. PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian and Gays) is a national support organization founded in 1981. The Cleveland chapter goes back almost just as far being started a few years later in 1985. They offer many different services including a monthly support group, a newsletter, and scholarship opportunities. A great resource for parents who are looking for ways to support their children.

Image result for pflag cleveland

Celebrating Pride Month with Local Resources June 5, 2018

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In celebration of LGBT Pride Month we will be highlighting some local resources available here in Northeast Ohio. First up with have the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Founded in 1975, the LGBT Community Center is a non-profit that offers a wide range of services including:

Construction has been started on their new facility and updates are posted on their website.

10 Great Quotes To Keep you Reading May 28, 2018

Posted by Mary in Uncategorized.
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“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” —Rene Descartes

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” —Dr. Seuss

“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” —Malorie Blackman

“A book is a dream you hold in your hands.” —Neil Gaiman

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” J.D Salinger

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” — Nora Ephron

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” — James Baldwin

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” — Maya Angelou

“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” – Roald Dahl

What we’ve been reading in May… May 23, 2018

Posted by SaraC in Beach Reads, Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, Fantasy, Fiction, Genre Book Discussion, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, New Books, Non-Fiction, Summer Reading, Suspense, Thrillers, Uncategorized.
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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

Cover image for This is the story of Christopher Knight known as “The North Pond Hermit”, a man who walked into the woods of Maine at age 20 and did not leave until arrested 27 years later. He was arrested for burglarizing nearby cabins to obtain food and various essentials for his survival.  Once arrested, he immediately confessed to what added up to nearly 1000 burglaries and showed remorse for his crimes. He never hurt anyone, nor did he ever damage anything. Mr. Knight simply wanted to live alone in the woods. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, the author, Michael Finkel, is able to give a detailed account of Knight’s secluded life.  In addition to Knight’s story, Finkel discusses famous hermits in the past, and mental illness topics which help the reader to better understand Mr. Knight, however, the author leaves the reader feeling that one will never have a complete understanding of Knight’s mindset & choices. I found the story of Christopher Knight to be fascinating. He survived by his high level wits, common sense and courage. He could “MacGyver” anything, and bring himself to a peaceful mental state of embracing the quiet and solitude of the forest.  He clearly wrestled with fundamental communication & social skills (a common thread in his family), and believed his escape to the woods was his only choice for survival. This is an excellent choice for book clubs, having so many different discussion points to pursue.  You will also find that readers will have very different viewpoints about Mr. Knight, as did the residents of North Pond, which will add to the talking points about this book. I personally see all sides to this story, and have a weak spot for Christopher Knight.  The big question I ask myself is can we unconditionally accept each other for who we truly are? Mary

 

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

Cover image for Boy Erased has been on my radar since it was released in 2016, and recently came to my attention again since it is being made into a movie. In this memoir, Conley recounts his experience growing up as the only child of a Baptist pastor in Arkansas. After being outed as gay to his parents, he agreed to enroll in conversion therapy. The memoir moves between his experience in the program and memories from his childhood and teenage years. As expected, the trauma Conley experienced in the conversion therapy program is upsetting and heartbreaking, but it is also beautifully observed and eloquently written, on par with Dani Shapiro or Mary Karr in terms his ability to powerfully self-excavate. This is a must-read for members of the LGBTQ community who grew up in religious households, all clergy, and for those looking to increase their capacity for empathy.  Lyndsey

 

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt

Cover image for I’ve been reading The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt, who is a social psychologist and professor at New York University.  I really enjoyed his more recent book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, so I thought I’d give this a try.  I’m not finding it as challenging as The Righteous Mind, but there are interesting chapters about the difference between romantic love  (passionate, fleeing) and companionate love (longer lasting, deeper attachment), as well as a great chapter about whether or not modern psychological studies can back up the idea that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Haidt thinks that we can learn from adversity under the right circumstances, especially if we can construct a life-narrative that makes sense out of our suffering.  He argues that positive relationships, meaningful work, and a connection to something larger can work together to make us happier.  Andrew

 

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Cover image for In Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, attorney Avery Stafford leaves her job in South Carolina to assist in the care of her cancer-stricken father. At a meet and greet event at a local nursing home Avery meets May Crandal. Seeing an old photo in May’s room makes Avery think there might be a link between May and her Grandma Judy. May’s real name was Rill Foss until she and her siblings became part of black-market adoptions practiced by the Tennessee Children’s Home. The mystery begins. This is a difficult tale to imagine. The novel was inspired by firsthand accounts of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society that existed into the 1950’s. Emma

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Cover image for I’ve just finished listening to Ready Player One during my commutes, which was a great adventure. I’m still gradually working on the ebook A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930-1960. Following Free Comic Book Day I read a handful of various comics. Next I’m looking forward to a book on CD of Amy Bloom’s White Houses. It is not often that I pick up a brand new best seller, but I’ve read many good things about this work of historical fiction. Since recently watching a Ken Burns documentary series about the Roosevelt family (with extra attention paid to Teddy, FD, and Eleanor) I’m primed for this intimate story about perhaps the most intriguing first lady in history.  Byron

 

The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg

Cover image for This past month I had the great pleasure of reading The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg. A retelling and mash-up of stories (fairy tales, biblical, and folklore), this collection of stories feels familiar and yet very alien.  Though there is a sinister tone that seems to saturate the book that is often reinforced by the ambiguous endings of each tale. Ortberg plays with gender and archetypes and it’s often this play on the structure and tradition of these stories that brought me the most  joy as a reader. It is a quick read but never feels rushed. Recommended for readers who love sinister tales that jump from magical realism to all out fantasy. Greg

 

The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent

Cover image for When Beth, a small time bar maid, disappears, everyone thinks she has just moved on to a new adventure.  But her best friend Natalie does not believe it for a minute.  She is sure something sinister has happened.  Nat tries to piece together Beth’s past and her relationships, realizing her friend kept a lot of secrets.  And as strange things begin to happen in Natalie’s house and to an elderly bar patron with a foggy memory, it becomes obvious that someone wants these secrets to remain hidden.  Another fantastic suspense story from Christobel Kent, beautifully written, with characters you would want to meet and images of an English countryside you would love to visit.  Sara