We’re talking Banned Books Week, poetry, cooking and more in our Friday Faves. Check out the links below.
George Hanlin, director of grants:
- Something about the change of seasons inspires me to read poetry, and as the greens of summer fade into the golden hues of autumn, I find myself seeking out verse. One place I turn to is the Poetry Foundation’s mobile app. With thousands of selections and a robust search function, it’s easy to find just the right poem for the moment no matter where you are. Today, with the arrival of a new month upon us, the venerable Robert Frost comes forth to sing of fall’s charms: “Oh hushed October morning mild, / Begin the hours of this day slow. / Make the day seem to us less brief. / Hearts not averse to being beguiled, / Beguile us in the way you know.”
- If you’re having Downton Abbey withdrawal, check out Gran Hotel on Netflix. Like Downton, it’s a lush period piece set in the early 1900s with an “Upstairs Downstairs” element. Instead of the Crawleys of Britain, though, you get the Alarcóns of Spain (and yes, they speak Spanish—the lispy kind—so unless you know the language you have to rely on subtitles). They’re also a lot more intense, and the drama factor’s turned up several notches—which all means that it makes for excellent binge watching.
Kristen Fuhs Wells, director of communications and development:
- The Bicentennial Visioning Project recently released a large “report” on the future of Indiana. Don’t be turned off by its length—there are some big ideas here that are worth skimming.
- It’s “Banned Books Week.” How many of these frequently challenged titles have you read?
Bronwen Fetters, executive assistant and program associate:
- In honor of Banned Books Week, take this quiz from the NYPL to see how much you know about various contested titles throughout the years, and then check out all this sweet swag from Out of Print.
- From Ebenezer Scrooge to Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens had a special knack for giving his characters distinctive names packed with personality and a subtle touch of commentary. This article from Literary Hub gives an in-depth look at ten Dickensian character names.
Leah Nahmias, director of programs:
- I did not know and was gratified to learn that Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment was one of the top donors for the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. As the article points out, the donors to the museum are a snapshot of the American philanthropic community as a whole.
- A Polish Holocaust survivor donated his violin—which he traded a carton of cigarettes for in a post-war displaced person’s camp—and it ended up in the hands of a promising young student from the US’s poorest Congressional district. I loved this incredibly moving story of kindness and the power of music to lift the human soul.
- Apropos of nothing, one of my all-time favorite books is on Kindle sale for $1.99. The Orientalist introduces you to one of the most beguiling and surprising characters you’ll ever meet—a Russian Jew who fled the Communists, then posed as a Muslim to survive in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, where he wrote one of the 20th century’s most enduring love stories. This book proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
Jacqueline Cromleigh, communications and community relations manager:
- This 2,000-plus page cookbook is giving new life to century-old baking techniques with science.
- October is my favorite month of the year – and now we’re teaming up with one of my favorite Indy organizations, the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Join us for quirky conversations as we pair an artist with a humanist in our second annual event series, TILT: An Arts & Humanities Mixer. Can’t wait to see you there!
Keira Amstutz, president and CEO:
- So if you struggled (like me) to keep the Westeros geography clear when reading the Game of Thrones series, this cool interactive should help you sort it all out.
Do you have any humanities highlights from your week? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.