Black History Month 2017

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history” and he designated the month of February officially as “Black History Month.” 50 years earlier, it had been conceived by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and was originally called “Negro History Week.” It was only celebrated for one week in the month of February, but it was the week that spanned the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and eminent abolitionist, Frederick Douglass.

The University of Illinois’s Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, in collaboration with other organizations on campus, has put together over 20 events during the month of February to celebrate Black History Month and to bring cultural awareness and amazingly diverse programming to the community. Below are some events you should check out, and a link to their Facebook Page, where you can find more information about the events happening on campus. Plus, we’ve got the UGL’s pick for Black History Month reading: the graphic novel series entitled “March” by Congressman John Lewis.

 

Food for the Soul: Black History Month Kick-Off Celebration:

At 12pm on February 1st, the BNAACC is having a kick-off celebration! There will be a tasty Caribbean Grill meal, a performance by Soul Premiere, and a preview of their Black History Month events! Come join in the celebration, get some great food, and get ready for a great month of new experiences!

Black Composer Speaks: A Conversation with Jeffrey Mumford

Jeffrey Mumford- Composer

Image Courtesy of NewMusicBox.com

Thursday, February 9th from 12-1pm, visit the BNAACC to listen to Award-Winning Black Composer Jeffrey Mumford give an invigorating music talk. Recently, he has been a part of the “The Black Composer Speaks” series, which is a series of programs showcasing a range of new music by African American composers, where the World Premiere of his new piece “ …becoming” took place. Later that evening, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at Illinois will be hosting a performance titled, “Sonic Illinois: The Black Composer Speaks,” which will include a piece by Mr. Mumford.

Information for that event can be found here: https://krannertcenter.com/events/sonic-illinois-black-composer-speaks

School Daze: Movies that Matter

School Daze by Spike Lee

School Daze by Spike Lee

Attend the first of 3 Spike Lee Films Showing at the Virginia Theater on February 13th at 7pm. School Daze is a film that is loosely based on Lee’s experiences as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Actor Laurence Fishburne plays “Dap” in the musical comedy drama, a student who hopes to unify the study body to actively fight social inequity and addresses divisions within the African American community itself. It costs $5 to see School Daze, but for just $10 you can also attend 2 more Spike Lee films “Clockers” and “Malcom X” which will be shown on the 15th/16th and 17th/18th all at 7pm. For more information check out the Virginia Theater’s website: http://thevirginia.org/event/school-daze-1988/2017-02-13/

BlackTransMagick

BlackTransMagick

Image courtesy of awqwardtalent.com

BlackTransMagick is the duo of J Mase III, a Black/Trans/Queer Poet and Vita E a percussionist and poet. On Monday, February 20th at 7pm, they will be at the Illini Union Courtyard Cafe to will take you on a journey through poetry, movement and drums in a show inspired by their lives and the world around them. A video preview of their work can be found here: https://youtu.be/iwHswadl4Sc
For more Black History Month events check out the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center’s Facebook, which has event pages for all of the events in February, or check out this poster which includes all of the events.

Black History Month Reading Pick:

March Trilogy

March Trilogy

Images courtesy of Amazon.com

The “March Trilogy” is a black and white graphic novel series written by Congressman John Lewis that tells the story of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement through his perspective.  These three beautiful graphic novels were published between August 2013 and August 2016 with beautiful writing assistance from Andrew Aydin and illustration and lettering by Nate Powell. The graphic accounts show the atrocities committed against African Americans in the United States, and the heroic actions of Lewis and his fellow Civil Rights Leaders. The books have won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Eisner Award, the Michael L. Printz for excellence in literature for young adults, and the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, among many others. The moving accounts from the 1960’s are beautifully juxtaposed against modern events, like the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

To find them in the catalog, follow each title’s link: March: Book OneMarch: Book Two,  March: Book Three

 

Did we miss something extremely important? Let us know on our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (And the Space Race and Time Travel)

When you’re on an airplane, the Amtrak, or even in a giant peach this winter break, the best way to recover from the end of the semester might be a good book. Check out these books from the UGL today! No matter what their mode of travel, all of these books are going somewhere.

Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin

changing-planes-ursula-k-le-guin-pa15-lge

Were you ever waiting for a delayed flight in an airport and wished you could hop on a different plane to somewhere you have never been? Changing Planes is sort of like that except the different planes are actually fifteen societies not found on Earth. This is a short story collection that features the same main character who passes her long delay in an airport by visiting societies where the sole purpose is holiday shopping and another where adults are silent. Ursula K. Le Guin is known for her futuristic and imaginary worlds, and Changing Planes is no different.

Get it from the library

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

strangers

Two men meet in a twist of fate on a train: one a successful architect, Guy, who wants to divorce his wife and marry someone else, and the other a psychopath, Bruno, who wants his father dead. When the psychopath convinces the architect to “swap murders” with him so that neither has a motive for killing their victim and therefore avoid suspicion from police, Guy doesn’t take Bruno seriously. But when his wife ends up dead, Guy doesn’t know what to do. Bruno wants Guy to hold up his end of the bargain, and he’ll stop at nothing. This classic inspired the Hitchcock movie of the same name, so if you can’t read on trains, try the film, also at the UGL!

Get the book!

Get the film!

Ghostland: an American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

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Okay, so this isn’t quite a roadtrip, but it does take you to some creepy spots around America! This book explores all those places you’ve heard of as “the most haunted mansion in America” or “the most haunted prison” and other, perhaps lesser known places. This book takes the reader through a different kind of history of America. This isn’t a book of ghost stories, but of tales of omitted history lessons and how we can learn from a ghost story.

Get it at the library

Kindred by Octavia Butler

octaviaebutler_kindred

Fans of science fiction and historical fiction can unite with this time-travel slave narrative by the award-winning science fiction author Octavia Butler. Dana, an African-American writer in 1976, is launched into pre-Civil War Maryland plantation. She travels back and forth from the plantation and meets her ancestors, a spoiled and selfish slave-owner and a free woman forced into slavery. This novel explores power, gender, interracial relationships, race, violence and egalitarianism. If you like your fantasy or science fiction with a social justice bent, check out this title and others by Octavia Butler.

Get it at the library

Hidden Figures: the American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

51kugs0rril-_sy344_bo1204203200_

We’ve all heard about Neil Armstrong. Where are the women? Margot Lee Shetterly’s book answers that question! This book, soon to be a movie, tells the story of four exceptional black women called from their jobs teaching high school math to join the WWII effort and the space race. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden worked through segregation and discrimination for three decades to help Americans reach space. Read a different space story this time!

Get it at the library

The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang

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After a financial crisis in which he loses everything, a Chinese immigrant businessman and his family embark on a cross-country road trip from Bel-Air to upstate New York where they will stay with their “art world it-girl” eldest daughter. Along the way, his wife is about to leave the family for 1000-threadcount sheets they can no longer afford, his son is losing it for a temptress in New Orleans, and many other laughs are to be had in this comical look at the American family. The UGL has the audiobook and the print version, perfect for your own cross-country trip this break, however you’ll be getting there.

Get the book

Get the audiobook

Have some favorite travel reads of your own? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

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December Events

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December is a very busy month, which means lots of fun activities around campus and Champaign-Urbana. Take a break from studying and enjoy the holiday season around town as fall semester comes to a close.

Urbana First Fridays

ff

https://www.facebook.com/UrbanaFirstFridays/?fref=ts

Kick off the month with the Urbana December First Friday. From 4:30 to 11pm on December 2nd, stop by participating businesses in downtown Urbana for a night of delicious food and various cultures with over 30 events.  Mistletoe Market will also be taking place during this time. With 25 local artisans selling handmade items, this is a good chance to shop for holiday gifts (or #treatyoself) and support the local community.

The Nutcracker

nutcracker

https://krannertcenter.com/events/nutcracker

Starting Thursday, December 1st and running through Sunday, December 4th, watch the Champaign-Urbana Ballet perform the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, accompanied by the Champaign-Urbana Orchestra. The ballet will be performed at the Tyron Festival Theatre. Tickets range in price from $21 to $45, and they are going quickly!

Annual Krannert Carol Concert

krannert

https://krannertcenter.com/events/annual-carol-concert-2016

Come to the Foellinger Great Hall this Sunday, December 4th, at 3pm to join in with the choruses, instrumentalists, and fellow audience members to “celebrate the winter season!” With tickets starting at $4, this would be a fun and inexpensive way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Season of Light

planetarium

http://www.chambanamoms.com/events/season-of-light-3-2016-12-02/

On December 17th, head to the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College to learn about the history of many of the world’s holiday customs which all involve lighting up the winter season. Find out more information about historical religious and cultural rituals that take place during the winter solstice.  Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the door.

Public Ice Skating

ice

https://campusrec.illinois.edu/programs/ice-skating/public-skating/

Really embrace the winter season by going ice skating! University of Illinois students receive free admission and $2 skate rentals. Check out the website for a complete list of times when the arena is open to the public.

Free Yoga

yoga

http://kam.illinois.edu/events/experiences.html

Did this semester stress you out? Find some relaxation at a free yoga class, offered every Tuesday from noon-1pm, at the Krannert Art Museum.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

 

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Therapy Dogs Returning to the Library!

Winter has come, and with it, finals week and all the associated tension. Thankfully, the library has your bark — I mean back.

Take a break from studying for finals and stressing about deadlines to hang and take selfies with therapy dogs at the library (#UGLPawParty). This year’s pack is all geared up to play away your anxiety on the following dates:

Thursday 12/8/16 (2-4 PM): Nala, Henri, Star, and Raven will be sitting and waiting for you at Grainger Library.

Monday 12/12/16 (2-4 PM): Atlas, Maisey, and Zeus are already rolling over in excitement at Funk ACES Library.

Tuesday 12/13/16 (2-4 PM): Atlas, Star, and Widgeon are itching for you to scratch behind their ears at the Undergraduate Library.

Now, let’s meet a few of our canine pals:

Atlas

atlas

Atlas is a Rottweiler that was adopted from South Suburban Humane Society when he was a year old. He especially loves hanging out with kids at libraries and schools, helping them read. His favorite toy is his Kong and his favorite spot to be scratched is his “bow tie” on his chest.

Henri

 henri

Henri is a 2 year old Field Spaniel who comes to us all the way from France (yes, he is bilingual)! He enjoys long walks on the beach, cuddles, and ear scratches. Don’t think he’s too serious, though! This guy is a goof with some serious heart melting eyes and a huge heart. When not doing therapy work, Henri enjoys showing, lure coursing, tracking, and living life on a farm.

Maisey

maisey

Maisey is an Australian Shepherd-Retriever Mix that was adopted back in 2011 from a local shelter in Muncie, Indiana. Maisey participates in various therapy dog events, including visits to the Carle Foundation Hospital, kids read to dogs programs at local libraries, and a number of school visits. When not doing therapy dog work, Maisey enjoys taking long walks, chasing squirrels, and squeaking her plush hedgehog toy.

Raven

raven

Raven is a Standard Poodle. She does most of her therapy work at libraries and loves people of all ages. In her downtime, Raven likes to play fetch with Frisbees and tennis balls.

Widgeon

widgeon

Widgeon is a Yellow Labrador born in Ireland more than a decade ago. He spent his younger days traveling, training, and hunting in Oxford, Mississippi before taking on his current position as a therapy dog operating out of Champaign, Illinois. Though he still loves trekking all over America, Widgeon is happy to take on his new, more suburban role.

Have any questions about therapy dogs? Want to express how excited you are to meet these animals? Tweet at us (@askundergrad), check our Instagram (@askundergrad), or contact us on Facebook (Undergraduate Library at Illinois), and don’t forget to come see all of these dogs and more furry friends in person!

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Alternative Thanksgiving Recipes

With Thanksgiving Break right around the corner, you may be looking forward to an abundance of football, family, and FOOD! This Thanksgiving, instead of the usual turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, try changing it up a bit with one of these fun alternatives. All of these recipes are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or kosher, and taste just as great as the traditional! All these recipes are from the UGL’s cookbook collection, so get creative and explore what fall food has to offer!

 

Thanksgiving - Flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving – Flickr Creative Commons

Butternut Squash Latkes (vegetarian, kosher)

1 3- to 4-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeds and pith removed

1 medium onion, grated

1 cup matzo meal

½ cup chopped fresh sage

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil

Makes 25 to 30 small latkes

Cut the squash into chunks and pass them through the grating disk of a food processor. Then combine the squash and grated onion in a large bowl and mix them together with your hands. Add the matzo meal and mix together, then add the sage. Finally, add the eggs and massage them into the squash mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Add the salt and pepper and mix it in with your hands.

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Work in batches so that the latkes are not crowded in the skillet, take a golf ball-size portion of the squash mixture, flatten it between the palms of your hands, and add it to the skillet. Repeat. Cook the latkes until they’re crisp and brown around the edges, about 4 minutes; then flip and cook for another 3 minutes, until crisp and deep golden brown all over and still tender inside. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining squash mixture, adding a tablespoon or so of oil between batches.

You can reheat the latkes in a 450 degree oven in 3 to 4 minutes.

Source: Bernamoff, Noah and Rae. “Butternut Squash Latkes.” The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food, from Hash to Hamantaschen. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2012. 168-169. Print. Call Number: TX724.B4646 2012

 

Onion Gravy (vegetarian, vegan)

4 tablespoons light sesame oil

A pinch of sea salt

¾ cup onion, sliced into thin half-moons

4 garlic cloves (optional)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon rice or agave syrup

2 tablespoons unbleached plain/all-purpose flour

1 cup water

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Crushed black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped herbs

Makes two cups

Slice the onions in thin half-moons lengthways. Add the sesame oil and salt to a large frying pan/skillet over a low heat and sauté the onions until they’re translucent and soft. You can also add a few chopped fresh mushrooms or 2 tablespoons soaked, drained and chopped dried mushrooms to the onions while sautéing, for extra flavor. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves if desired, and cook until fragrant. Slightly bring up the heat, add the soy sauce, vinegar, and syrup and stir well until it sizzles.

Slowly add the flour and whisk vigorously for a minute, then, still whisking, add the water little-by-little until a gravy consistency is reached. There should be no flour lumps! (If you want to avoid flour you can use a diluted thickener of choice, such as cornflour/cornstarch, kuzu or arrowroot powder). Add mustard and pepper, taste and add more soy sauce if needed. Finally, sprinkle with chopped herbs to garnish, just before serving.

Source: Gulin, Dunja. “Onion Gravy.” The Vegan Pantry: 60 Naturally Delicious Recipes for Modern Vegan Food. London: Ryland Peters & Small, 2014. 160. Print. Call Number: TX837.G85 2014.

Lemon-Garlic Crusted Leeks (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free)

6 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only

1 large lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

cup Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the leeks: Trim the leeks, discarding the dark green leaves. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse well in cold water, being careful to keep the halves intact. Set aside.

To prepare the lemon and steam the leeks: Zest the lemon into a small bowl and set aside. Cut the zested lemon in half and keep squeeze 1 teaspoon of juice into the zest. Squeeze the remaining lemon juice into a large pot equipped with a steaming basket. Add the 2 lemon halves to the pot, along with enough water to steam the leeks. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Arrange the leeks, cut-sides up, in the basket. Fit the basket in the pot, cover, and steam the leeks until slightly tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well. Arrange the leeks, cut-sides up, on a lightly oiled baking sheet and set aside. The leeks can be prepared 1 day ahead. If preparing them ahead, cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the topping: In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the bread crumbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Stir until blended.

To cook the leeks: Preheat the broiler. Position the oven rack 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Using a teaspoon, spoon the breadcrumb mixture onto the cut side of the leeks and gently pat the mixture down with the back of the spoon. Broil until the leeks are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn. Serve hot or warm.

Source: Jardin, Denise. “Lemon-Garlic Crusted Leeks.” Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2012. 115. Print. Call Number: RM234.5.J373 2011

 

Lentil Loaf (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free)

1 ½ tablespoons avocado oil

6 mushrooms

3 celery stalks

½ white onion

¼ cup fresh parsley

3 cloves garlic

1 cup firm tofu

1 16-oz. can lentils

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

3 tablespoons tomato sauce

3 tablespoons tamari

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup pumpkin seeds

Makes two loaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your loaf pan with ½ tablespoon of oil. Finely chop mushrooms, celery, onion, and parsley. Mince garlic. Place remaining oil in frying pan and add veggies and minced garlic. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Place in large mixing bowl.

Next, crumble tofu and add to bowl with sautéed vegetables. Add lentils, oats, parsley, tomato sauce, tamari, chia seeds, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Once the mixture is the right texture (you should be able to form into balls if desired), place in greased loaf pan. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeks and bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust is browned.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing to serve. Enjoy!

Source: Browne, Jennifer. “Lentil Loaf.” Vegetarian Comfort Foods. New York: Skyhorse, 2015. 155. Print. Call Number: TX837.B876 2015.

 

Rosemary Drop Biscuits (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 cup Dairy Milk Alternative

1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar

2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Mix

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon xantham gum

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons coconut oil or dairy-free margarine

Makes 10 biscuits

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line an insulated baking sheet with parchment paper.

To prepare the dough: Combine the milk and vinegar in a measuring cup, stir to blend, and set aside. Combine the flour, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Add the coconut oil and crumble the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles coarse pebbles. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated and the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

To form and bake the biscuits: Using a greased ¼-cup measuring cup, scoop a level amount of batter and drop it onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, placing the biscuits about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Serve warm.

Source: Citation: Jardin, Denise. “Lemon-Garlic Crusted Leeks.” Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2012. 144. Print. Call Number: RM234.5.J373 2011

Looking for more non-traditional Thanksgiving ideas? Have some ideas of your own? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

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If You Like Netflix, You’ll Like These Board Games

We love Netflix as much as the next person, but there are only so many hours you can binge before even TV gets boring. Don’t be afraid to mix it up this week! We’ve got a list of favorite TV shows—and board games to match.

Join us on Wednesday, October 12th for the UGL’S Board Game Night from 7-9pm! We’ll have our games out for you to play, along with staff to teach anyone who wants to try something they’ve never played before.

If you like The Walking Dead, try Pandemic.

Pandemic, from Z-Man games

Pandemic by Z-Man Games

It’s the game that’s trying to kill you. After selecting a card assigning you a job, it’s up to your team of players to use those skills to defeat four infectious diseases. While you fly from city to city to create cures, the cards you draw bring the world closer to destruction. You’ll have to work together if you want to survive.

If you like The Americans, try Codenames.

Codenames, from Czech Games

Codenames by Czech Games

You can’t trust anyone at your table. Codenames is a game of spies—teams compete to see who can locate all their agents first. The players chosen as spymasters can only use one-word clues to try and get their teams on their side—but if the spies guess wrong they could end up in enemy hands, or killed by the assassin.

If you like House of Cards, try Diplomacy.

Diplomacy by Avalon Hill

Diplomacy by Avalon Hill

This strategy board game is fraught with tension–in order to win, you have to betray the other players before they can betray you. Taking place during World War I, you’ll have to create alliances if you want to win, but with none of the players able to trust each other, you’ll need to break out your inner Frank Underwood to succeed in negotiations.

If you like Firefly, try Race for the Galaxy.

Race for the Galaxy by Rio Grande Games

Race for the Galaxy by Rio Grande Games

Would you be a browncoat, or join the Alliance? Players draw cards to determine the fate of their worlds. What planets will your people settle on? Will you have technology? Resources? This fast-paced card game is a race to find who can build the strongest galactic empire before you run out of cards. Will you have a few, strong planets or a large empire to colonize?

Try out these games or some of the other games in the UGL’s board game collection at the UGL Game Night on October 12, or check them out any time! Got a favorite board game you’d like to play? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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October Events Blog

Fall is finally here, and with the month of October comes sweaters, pumpkins, apple cider, spooky ghost stories, and crisp falling leaves. Read up on the events around campus and Champaign-Urbana to fill the spookiest month of the year!

 

C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest, October 1 3-Midnight — $5 Entry

Kick off the month at the fourth annual C-U Oktoberfest in Downtown Champaign! Indulge in German beer, pretzels, dancing, and face painting and a bounce house for the kids. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Developmental Services Center.

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival — October 7-9, Prices Varied

Hosted at the Krannert Center by the C-U West African Drum and Dance Collective, this weekend of drumming, dancing, shopping, and community building celebrates the West African drumming tradition. Attendees can watch or participate in drum and dance classes.

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch —Throughout October, free entry, activity prices varied.

Just a fifteen minute drive from campus, Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch features U-Pick apples, a petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and live music. Throughout the month of October, Curtis Orchard is offering a Groupon deal for discounted rates for U-Pick apples and corn maze entry, so snap up this deal before it’s gone!

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016 at the Art Theater Co-Op — Throughout October beginning October 6, prices varied.

Beginning with a free kick off event on October 6, the Champaign Art Theater Co-Op is hosting a month-long Halloween movie event. With the return of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, live trivia, music, and horror movies, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser for Halloween lovers. The event’s finale is an all-night movie marathon featuring the classic George Romero horror flick Dawn of the Dead, don’t miss out!

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum Ghost Story Events — October 29, $6 for students

This pair of events at the Spurlock Museum features storytellers from the C-C Storyteller’s Guild. At 2:00 pm, the storytellers will regale kid-friendly multicultural ghost stories, and kids will leave with candy to kick-off their trick or treating. At 7:30, the storytellers will shift to adult-themed horror stories with heightened fear factors. The later event is restricted to adults only (16 and up). Get in the mood for Halloweekend with these bone-chilling tales!

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert — October 30, $4 for students

For more of a low-key event, check out the Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert, just $4 for current U of I students. Hosted at the Foellinger Auditorium, the Illinois Wind Symphony will play six Halloween-themed works, including Night on Bald Mountain, which students may recognize from Disney’s Fantasia, led by director Stephen Peterson.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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September Events

It’s almost sweater weather, but there are still plenty of outdoors things to do before the winter descends upon us. Read on for the latest scoop on September events.

 

Parade in Downtown Champaign

Photo by Daniel Schwen

Urbana Labor Day Parade- September 5th, 10am — Free

Celebrate workers and historic labor movements in America at the annual Labor Day Parade! The parade starts at 10am at Lincoln Square, so get a good seat! After the parade there will be a picnic in Prairie Park, featuring food, games, and a local union softball game.

Champaign Urbana Pride Festival

Champaign-Urbana Pride

Champaign Urbana Pride Festival — Free

Yet another historic & “sick’ning” celebration is happening in CU this month. Pride Festivals began in 1969 after the Stonewall Riot, which served as a catalyst for LGBTQ movements in America. Join the CU Pride Festival for events including a parade, drag shows (featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race Alumnus- Jade Sotomayor), comedy, dancing, and workshops. Check their website for updates and more events!

The Pygmalion Festival

The Pygmalion Festival

The Pygmalion Festival- Weekends, September 16-24 — Prices Vary

You can come for the music, Made Fest, or the literary and technology lectures, but whatever you do, don’t miss Pygmalion. Pygmalion is known for its line-up of music artists, but it also features many free events: a market of handmade items from local and regional artists and an impressive group of authors, scientists, and others who will present their work. Buy tickets for the music events, but Made Fest and lectures are free! And as always, there will be food.

Celebrating Labor History

Celebrating Labor History Event

Celebrating Labor History with Rep. Carol Ammons September 15th 5-7pm — Free

If you’re not a fan of the outdoors or loud parades, we do have one indoor event on the calendar for September: a lecture with Representative Carol Ammons on the history of local unions and labor in Champaign County and Illinois. Dinner is provided.

Flannel Fest

Flannel Fest

Flannel Fest — Free

It’s almost plaid season! Break out that flannel you haven’t worn in months and join the Flannel Fest. Flannel Fest features music, art demos, games, crafts, food trucks, a mustache contest, and a Lumberjack show. When was the last time you saw axe throwing? To round out this event, regional mattress company Bemco is sponsoring the Human Mattress Domino event, which allows community members to purchase mattresses to be donated to homeless shelters in central Illinois. Those who cannot afford to purchase a mattress may also donate in smaller increments.

Ghostbusters Outdoor Screening

Ghostbusters (2016) Outdoor Screening

Ghostbusters Outdoor Movie Sept. 22nd Starts at Dusk (Approx 8:15pm) – Free

If you’re bored on September 22nd, who you gonna call? The Women’s Resource Center is hosting a screening of the recent Ghostbusters remake later this month on the Quad. What’s better than a group of women kicking ghost butt? If you ain’t afraid of no ghost, you better come.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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Reader’s Advisory: I, Spy, a Fantastic Reading Time

It’s the beginning of the summer, and things are heating up, both in Champaign and in these spy thrillers! Cool off with one of these novels that we have selected from our collection.

 

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

You’ll enjoy this classic spy novel by John le Carré, as it follows an aging Spymaster named George Smiley who is working to uncover a Soviet mole in the British Secret Intelligence Service. This complex novel is gritty, uses “spy language” that Le Carre himself created, and is loosely based on the author’s experiences during the 50’s and 60’s when multiple KGB moles were found in the British Intelligence Services. The novel has 2 sequels, and has also been turned into a television miniseries, a radio series, and a 2011 movie that can checked out at our library on DVD here.

 

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Image from Amazon)

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Jason Bourne is a man with amazing survival abilities, but suffers from amnesia, and is on a journey to discover his identity. Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller is considered one of the best spy books of all time, and is the beginning of a trilogy that has all been turned into the movie series starring Matt Damon. A new film entitled, “Jason Bourne,” is coming out this July, not based on any of the original Ludlum novels, but will pick up where the third book of the original series, “The Bourne Ultimatum” left off. The DVD of the “Bourne Identity is available at the UGL, and the catalog entry can be found here.

 

The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Expats by Chris Pavone

Can we ever escape our secrets? Kate and Dexter Moore keep many secrets, especially from each other. After a move to Luxembourg, Kate is no longer struggling to make ends meet, but she is struggling to keep up her double life. When Kate meets another expat couple, she has a strange feeling that leads to an investigation into shell corporations, fake offices, and deception. The Expats, by Chris Pavone, is an exceptional spy novel that the New York Times says, “is full of sharp insights into the parallels between political espionage and marital duplicity” so pick it up quickly before it disappears.

 

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

Winner of Best Novel Edgar Allan Poe Award, this thriller novel by Frederick Forsyth follows a professional assassin known as, “The Jackal,” after he is hired by the OAS, “Organisation de l’armée secrète” (a real, short-lived French paramilitary dissident group) to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France. This book helped to define the spy thriller genre, and it stands the test of time, as it was voted one of the top 200 books in the UK in 2003, over 30 years after it was originally released. There are two feature films based on the book, both of which the UGL has! The first film was released shortly after the book’s release, and is called “The Day of the Jackal,” and is a strict adaptation of the novel. The second film, “The Jackal,” a Bruce Willis fronted movie, is a very loose adaptation, so distant in fact, that Forsyth tried to have the name changed to disassociate it from the novel.

 

A Gentleman’s Game: A Queen and Country Novel

A Gentleman’s Game: A Queen and Country Novel

A Gentleman’s Game: A Queen and Country Novel

The international community is about to find out that spying is not just “A Gentleman’s Game.” This electrifying novel by Greg Rucka, a fearless writer, weaves into the American comic book series “Queen and Country” also by Rucka. The series centers on Tara Chace, head of Special Operations for the British Intelligence, a lethal heroine, who is hunting down terrorists who have wreaked havoc on London. Tara is going to be used as bait by her country in order to lure in the terrorists, and she begins to question who is the bad guy in this situation. “In this new kind of war, betrayal can take any form…including one’s duty to queen and country”

 

Did we miss anything? What are some of your favorite podcasts right now? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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Reader’s & Watcher’s Advisory: So, You’re Graduating Soon?

Whether you’re sappy or psyched for commencement this year, we believe in you! No matter how you feel about graduating, we know you’ve got some feelings. We’ve got some materials for you to read and watch to deal with those feelings.

 

Commencement Advisory

What commencement story should you read or watch next? Check the flowchart to find out!

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Book: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

In this commencement story by Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides, nothing is easy: Madeleine is unsure of her life goals except for that she loves Leonard, who experiences emotional rollercoasters she is unable to fully grasp. Mitchell, Madeleine’s college friend, pines for her while examining philosophical life questions during his travels abroad. But even for graduates of Brown University in the 1980s, the best laid plots may fail. This novel examines love in an unexpected (and not always happy) way and is not for a reader who loves a perfect ending.

 

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

Book: Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

If you ever feel like you’re awkwardly fumbling through life, you are not alone. Lena Dunham’s smash hit Not That Kind of Girl, similar to her tv show Girls, is a silly, but simultaneously gravely serious, memoir of what it feels like to not always know what you are doing. Although Dunham details her life from childhood to a few years after her college graduation, she captures the spirit of many young graduates embarking on their own self-discoveries.

 

Gilmore Girls Season 7

Gilmore Girls Season 7

Television Show: Gilmore Girls Season 7

Re-watching all of Gilmore Girls with your roommate during your final semester of college?!? Well, hurry up and get to the last season (even though it suffers because the creator was gone). Rory is starting (and finishing) her last year at Yale, all the while still in a long distance with Logan (obviously the greatest boyfriend she’s ever had), and Lorelai is doing what Lorelai does best…making questionable decisions. Will Lorelai and Luke end up together? Will Rory have the job of her dreams? What were the four words Amy Sherman-Palladino (the show’s creator) wanted to use for the ending of Gilmore Girls? What happens next? Luckily, you will find out! Sherman-Palladino and the rest of the Stars Hollow family are coming back for a series of four 90 minute Netflix episodes, due to be released in the near future.

 

The Graduate

The Graduate – Image from Amazon

Movie: The Graduate

In what is regarded as one of the best movies of all time by the American Film Institute, Dustin Hoffman stars as Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate, in this 1967 comedy-drama. Braddock has decided to spend the summer after he graduates lounging by the pool, ignoring any suggestion from the adults in his life about what to do after graduation. After engaging in an affair with one of his parent’s friends, Benjamin’s life takes a wild turn. This movie is based off the 1963 novel of the same name, that has also been adapted into a Broadway play. Will Benjamin figure out what he wants to do with his life? Will he get the girl of his dreams? Spend some time and find out, by watching the movie that Champaign native and University of Illinois favorite, Roger Ebert, called “funniest American comedy of [its] year.”

Did we miss anything? What are some of your favorite podcasts right now? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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