Local nonfiction author POPE BROCK presents Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow’s Moon

Porter Square Books welcomes local nonfiction author POPE BROCK, who has published Indiana Gothic (about the murder of his great-grandfather), and now, Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow’s Moon—a work of what might be called speculative nonfiction.

Now that we’ve pretty much ruined planet Earth—no big secret—science tells us the human race could be doomed. Well, not all science, but some of it, enough to have sparked a lively interest in setting up someplace else.

But where?

The answer is the moon of course, and that’s what this book explores: the many ways in which today’s scientists, entrepreneurs, architects and, yes, a few loonies are working to get colonies established there ASAP. Filled with research, interviews and expert projections, these pages reveal how a web of fantastic new technologies could give mankind a brand new start off-world.

This event is free and open to the public.


Local author event with novelist MICHELLE HOOVER, memoirist PATRICIA HORVATH, and poet SAM WITT

Join Porter Square Books for a night with Grubstreet’s MICHELLE HOOVER (Bottomland), award-winning memoirist PATRICIA HORVATH (All the Difference), and English poet/journalist SAM WITT (Everlasting Quail).

At once intimate and sweeping, Bottomland follows the Hess family in the years after World War I, as they attempt to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that left a stain on their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains.

HORVATH’s transformation from a visibly disabled young woman to someone who, abruptly, “passes” for able-bodied, reveals cultural and personal tensions surrounding disability and creates an arc that connects imprisonment to freedom. What transpires is both suffocating and liberating. HORVATH’s confinement keeps her from being seen, but also cocoons a deeply personal sense of self-hood and relationship.

In Everlasting Quail, WITT combines diverse conventions such as the confession and the sexual love poem, with structures and language to invent a psycho-political landscape in which the physical world is transformed and the energy of human relationships celebrated. What holds these poems together is not the act of confession, description, or memory. Rather, they draw their vocabulary from a perpetually transformative relationship with the physical world, and with human beings, which, when merged, approaches transfiguration.

This event is free and open to the public.

 


Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: A fascinating journey through the craft chocolate revolution

If you like chocolate, consider yourself a “foodie”, have a sweet tooth, or want to impress your friends with how you pair your chocolates with drinks, you’ll enjoy this event.  Porter Square Books invites all of the chocoholics, foodies, sweet-toothed readers to join Brooklyn author MEGAN GILLER for a discussion of her nonfiction book Bean-To-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution: The Origins, the Makers, and the Mind-Blowing Flavors.

This comprehensive celebration of chocolate busts some popular myths (like “white chocolate isn’t chocolate”) and introduces you to more than a dozen of the hottest artisanal chocolate makers in the US today. You’ll get a taste for the chocolate-making process and how chocolate’s flavor depends on where the cocoa beans were grown — then turn your artisanal bars into unexpected treats with 22 recipes from master chefs.

This event is free and open to the public.


The Palatine Wreck: The Legend of the New England Ghost Ship

New England is the land of history, some of which is still mysterious from lack of recorded information.  For all history buffs out there, take note!  Porter Square Books welcomes author JILL FARINELLI for a reading of her historical nonfiction book, The Palatine Wreck: The Legend of the New England Ghost Ship.

Two days after Christmas in 1738, a British merchant ship traveling from Rotterdam to Philadelphia grounded in a blizzard on the northern tip of Block Island, twelve miles off the Rhode Island coast. The ship carried emigrants from the Palatinate and its neighboring territories in what is now southwest Germany. The 105 passengers and crew on board—sick, frozen, and starving—were all that remained of the 340 men, women, and children who had left their homeland the previous spring. They now found themselves castaways.

Shortly after the wreck, rumors began to circulate that the passengers had been mistreated by the ship’s crew and by some of the islanders. The stories persisted, transforming over time as stories do and, in less than a hundred years, two terrifying versions of the event had emerged.  In one account, the crew murdered the captain, extorted money from the passengers by prolonging the voyage and withholding food, then abandoned ship. In the other, the islanders lured the ship ashore with a false signal light, then murdered and robbed all on board. Some claimed the ship was set ablaze to hide evidence of these crimes, their stories fueled by reports of a fiery ghost ship first seen drifting in Block Island Sound on the one-year anniversary of the wreck. These tales became known as the legend of the Palatine, the name given to the ship in later years, when its original name had been long forgotten. The flaming apparition was nicknamed the Palatine Light.

This event is free and open to the public.

 


The Ways Women Age by Professor ABIGAIL BROOKS

Porter Square Books is pleased to host ABIGAIL BROOKS, director of the Women’s Studies Program and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Providence College, with her book exploring the identity, body image, beauty standards, and expectations of femininity.

Set against the backdrop of commercialized medicine in the United States, ABIGAIL BROOKS investigates the anti-aging craze from the perspective of women themselves, examining the rapidly changing cultural attitudes, pressures, and expectations of female aging. Drawn from in-depth interviews with women in the United States who choose, and refuse, to have cosmetic anti-aging procedures, The Ways Women Age provides a fresh understanding of how today’s women feel about aging.

This event is free and open to the public.

 


The Suffragents: the hidden history of the men behind the struggle for women’s suffrage

Porter Square Books is pleased to welcome NYU journalism professor BROOKE KROEGER for a reading and discussion of The Suffragents.

The Suffragents is the untold story of how some of New York’s most powerful men formed the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage, which grew between 1909 and 1917 from 150 founding members into a force of thousands across thirty-five states. KROEGER explores the formation of the League and the men who instigated it to involve themselves with the suffrage campaign, what they did at the behest of the movement’s female leadership, and why. Led by such luminaries as Oswald Garrison Villard, John Dewey, Max Eastman, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and George Foster Peabody, members of the League worked the streets, the stage, the press, and the legislative and executive branches of government. In the process, they helped convince waffling politicians, a dismissive public, and a largely hostile press to support the women’s demand. Together, they swayed the course of history.

This event is free and open to the public.

 


The Immigration Handbook, a poetry collection by UK poet CAROLINE SMITH

Porter Square Books is pleased to host UK poet/immigration caseworker,  CAROLINE SMITH for a discussion of her book of poems, The Immigration Handbook.

Inspired by her years as an immigration caseworker to one of the most diverse inner-city areas in the UK, Caroline Smith has written a collection of poems, The Immigration Handbook, that details the many troubling and moving incidents in the lives of those she tries to help. This is a book that reaches out of the headlines into our hearts.

This event is free and open to the public.


Poets and Pints with Porter Square Books

Porter Square Books invites you to Aeronaut Brewery for another celebration of local poetry with “Poets and Pints,” readings from three local poets:  MEIA GEDDES, JOJO LAZAR, and ZENAIDA PETERSON.

The event will feature a social hour from 6PM until 7PM in which you can grab a beer and converse with the poets, hosts, and other poetry fans. The formal reading will run from 7PM until 8PM.


Little Fires Everywhere, the latest from CELESTE NG

Porter Square Books is pleased to host local novelist, and best-selling author of Everything I Never Told You, CELESTE NG for a reading of her newest novel, Little Fires Everywhere.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead.

When old family friends of the strict Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts single-mother Mia Warren and Elena Richardson on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood—and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

This event is free and open to the public.


Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today

Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution.

Husband-and-wife team CYNTHIA and SANFORD LEVINSON join Porter Square Books with their nonfiction book Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today.

They take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced—then they offer possible solutions. Think Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications.

This event is free and open to the public.