The pleasures of reading are often introduced at a young age, and on this episode of Open Stacks, we revisit young adulthood and the child in the 21st century, in Kim Brooks’ Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear and Julissa Arce’s Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream. Plus Children’s Book Specialist Franny Billingsley and Colin sit down with 2019’s best picture books.
This episode was produced by Veronica Karlin and Jackson Roach, and features music by Andrei Pohorelsky.
Not all cities are created equal, and on this week’s Front Table we go behind the scenes and un-seens of cities near and far, from the depths of London to the extravagant annals of Pyongyang’s “model” utopias.
At 82, May Sarton “made a dialogue out of what had been a soliloquy,” in her journal. On this entry of Open Stacks, we take the measure of our days in diaries and diaristic units of shared sense in conversations with Kathryn Scanlan and Devin Johnston.
This episode was produced by Veronica Karlin and Jackson Roach, and features music by Kevin MacLeod, Daniel Birch, Gallery Six, and Andrei Pohorelsky. Special thanks to Co-op booksellers Adam Stern and Fred Tadrowski.
A planet, a republic, a meal, and a question: what is the future of food? Specifically that which comes from animals. This week’s Front Table is serving up thick cuts of scholarship on “The Meat Question” and history of our relationship to meat past, present, and beyond.
This episode features voices of the Co-op's Colin McDonald and Alena Jones, as well as music by Kevin MacLeod. It was produced by Jackson Roach.
From the depths of Moby Dick to the light of something like poetry in author Etgar Keret’s new collection, Fly Already, we follow a line (or is it a fuse?) running between the past and present of contemporary literature on this episode of Open Stacks, featuring Etgar Keret, Jessica Laser, and Daniel Poppick.
This episode was produced by Veronica Karlin and Jackson Roach, and featured music by Kevin MacLeod, Gallery Six, Cursor Miner, Daniel Birch, and Andrei Pohorelsky.
It’s a long and winding road on this week’s Front Table from idea to book, career, and other forms of written livelihood.
This episode of the Front Table features the voices of the Co-op's Colin McDonald and Alena Jones. It was produced by Jackson Roach, and includes music by Kevin MacLeod, and very brief excerpts of "The Long and Winding Road" as performed by Aretha Franklin and the Langley Schools Music Project.
Award winning poet Ocean Vuong and journalist Rebecca Clarren turn a romantic and empiric lens on the art of fiction in their acclaimed debut novels, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Kickdown, both of which plunge new emotional depths of American experience on this episode of Open Stacks.
Space is the place on this week’s Front Table with the Seminary Co-op's Colin and Alena looking up and down at a veritable galaxy of new books about our universe and multiverse.
A place like the Seminary Co-op is in some sense made of writing, but what can writing make? That question is at the center of conversations with Timothy Cresswell, Dani Shapiro and others on the first episode of the third season of Open Stacks.
As students return to campus in pursuit of degrees, the Co-op’s Colin and Alena come back to the Front Table in pursuit of knowledge in and beyond education, with a look at the higher costs and undervalues making college work... for some.
Feeling blue? You’re not alone. Join the Seminary Co-op’s Colin and Alena and for a spin around the Co-op’s colorful Front Table with recent and reissued works that help mythologize, reflect, and interact with the secret lives of color on this week’s Front Table podcast.
We may not be able to slow down our climate crisis, but we can take time to understand what’s happening and why with the help of new books about environmental peril in relation to philosophical anthropology, institutional racism, and a categorical lack of imagination; something you’ll never find on this week’s Front Table podcast.
What’s wrong with rudeness? The Seminary Co-op’s Colin and Alena turn to ancient ideas about etiquette and more for our ill-mannered age on this week’s Front Table. Tune in for “civilized” reading wherever you listen to podcasts.
Fresh off inventory, the Seminary Co-op’s Colin and Alena investigate the “impulse to accumulate” as qualitatively quantified in yet more new books on this week’s Front Table.
Since medieval times, if not before, writers like Francois Villon and St. Teresa of Avila have been showing us how writing about oneself is done. Or is it? The Co-op's Colin and Alena have a look at how far we’ve come on this week's Front Table, with a short stack of new memoirs long in the making.
Summer is here, which begs the question: What is a summer read, anyway? The Co-op's Alena and Colin find shade at the Front Table for a brief look and long view at what makes a quintessential (or potential) summer read.
Taking a line from Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths, we set out to read and re-imagine the Other on this week's episode of Open Stacks (our last before summer break), with Professor of Anthropology Robert Launay, who joins us in the stacks to help us think of others through the eyes of Savages, Romans, and Despots, and Palestinian American legal scholar and human rights attorney Noura Erakat on Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine. Plus, our booksellers share serendipitous discoveries while wandering (i.e., shelving) in the stacks.
We know that the most important things in the world are beyond measure,” writes Co-op Director Jeff Deutsch in his most recent annual letter to the Co-op community, “On Measure.” But in our over-quantified age, the urge to justify with numbers is all around us, literally. This week, we measure up to the Co-op’s Front Table for a look at new releases to help put us on the map.
How do you get to the end when there’s no where to get? Authors Evelyn Hampton and Amit Chaudhuri read and discuss fictions of anxiety, memory, autobiography, and impersonation, taking us there one sentence at a time. Booksellers Freddie and Joe chime in on Co-op staff favorites W.G. Sebald, Annie Dilliard, and more.
At times of uncertainty, books of anxiety abound, but the question of how to write the unknown is always in flux. Enter a state of incomprehension on this week’s Front Table, with books that can help us keep sight of our fears, from life after climate change to the Isle of Sky in Virgina Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.
What might 4th century BC philosopher Aristotle and 20th century celebrity chef Julia Child have to say to each other and to us? We’re in dialogue with renowned classicist Edith Hall, author of Aristotle's Way, and The New Yorker’s James Beard Award-winning roving food correspondent Helen Rosner on how ancient wisdom, practical advice, and a decided lack of elitism are key ingredients for eating and living well. Plus, a dash of good taste (and advice) in books our staff live by.
Spring is in the air and selections from the Co-op’s Moms, Dads, Grads & Kids 2019 Gift Guide (https://www.semcoop.com/category/moms-dads-grads) are on the Front Table for all of your spring season’s holidays and special occasions. Co-op Assistant Manager Alena Jones takes us in and beyond the guide for a reader’s look at MOTHERHOOD and other books expanding on our notions and misconceptions of mothering just in time for Mother’s Day.
Thanks for reading and listening with us on this week’s Front Table from the Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago. Browse each week’s Front Table and subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter at semcoop.com for more serious books for curious readers. "I greet you at the beginning of a great career." This, legend has it, was the first blurb, or brief book description, to appear in 1856 courtesy of Ralph Waldo Emerson in praise of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. This week, we cover the long and short of blurbs, calling out to us from the Co-op’s Front Table, with Seminary Co-op Assistant Manager Alena Jones.
Open Stacks returns with historian Pamela Toler on women for whom battle was not a metaphor, while positing the use of story in shaping shared history. Meanwhile, feminist-vegan advocate Carol J. Adams deconstructs the narrative surrounding hamburgers and other animal sourced foods and how eating, like reading, is always political. Plus, Co-op booksellers weigh in on the glut, guilt, and glory of biting off more than most readers can chew when it comes to ARCs (aka, advance reader copies).