What’s red and blue and *hella* white in Cleveland (which has also seen an influx of Craigslist hook-up ads)? It could only be one thing: the Republican National Convention.
I usually don’t follow the RNC but it’s pretty hard to ignore when you’re bombarded by clips, photos, headlines and punditry by both traditional and new media.
What I enjoyed finding out about though is this librarian braving the streets of Cleveland:
Harris, a branch manager for Portage County District Library, has been handing out books to protestors and RNC attendees alike since Monday. He is doing so not to support any candidate, but to promote the importance of public funding for libraries (and literacy, of course).
He could’ve given a book or two to Melania Trump while he was at it, following Mrs. Trump’s plagiarism controversy. Her speechwriter Meredith McIver has come out and apologized for the blunder, but what’s really interesting is that McIver nearly co-wrote all of Donald Trump’s books. I think the only appropriate response to this is one of #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes: “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”
There’s a book on that too: Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist, of which I featured on a “Creating as a Must” post along with other great titles that spur creativity. And speaking of titles, The Millions has a piece on the most anticipated nonfiction books coming out for the second-half of 2016.
I’m looking at Jesmyn Ward’s The Fire This Time, Robert Gottlieb’s Avid Reader: A Life, David Hadju’s Love for Sale and of course, Teju Cole’s Known and Strange Things: Essays. I’m a big fan of Teju’s work — his photography, his writing, his projects, his perspective of the world really — so much so that I pre-ordered his new book back in March.
Something to add to this wonderful list: the Great Thinkers book from The School of Life which is “a collection of some of the most important ideas of Eastern and Western culture – drawn from the works of those philosophers, political theorists, sociologists, artists and novelists whom we believe have the most to offer to us today.”
If none of these titles excited you at all and you’d rather go Pokémon-hunting, fear not: the Internet has made it easier for you with #PokémonABook.
Now go out and make America read again!
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.