National Hispanic Heritage Month, or LatinX Heritage Month, is observed annually from September 15 to October 15 to recognize and celebrate the important cultural and societal contributions of Americans from or with ancestors from Mexico, Central and South America, Spain, and Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. To celebrate, we have compiled a list of our favorite books by LatinX and Hispanic authors for readers of all ages.
Adult Book List
This past week, our nation lost an icon, a powerhouse of intellectual strength and acuity. The notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s social and political influence will be felt for years to come.
The Supreme Court is one of the more enigmatic of our government branches, and is one whose careful deliberations and decisions are often on the front page. How do they do their work? Who are these people, and why do they wield so much quiet power?
For further reading on the Supreme Court, we recommend these reading lists from Five Books and Penguin Random House.
If you would like to know more about RBG and get to the “whys” of what was so special about her, may we suggest the following bibliography:
RBG (DVD & Blu-ray, 2018)
At the age of 85, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unepected pop culture icon. But the unique personal journey of her rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans—until now. Released in 2018, RBG is a documentary focusing on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life and career.
The return of Lenore Raphael to our Library is a cause for celebration! We are honored that the Lenore Raphael Quartet agreed to anchor the new, virtual Music from the Library series, curated as always by the indomitable Charlotte McLain.
Charlotte has reimagined the remaining concerts of the Library’s annual music series into virtual events through GrassRoots Community Television. Supporting local musicians is always of the utmost importance to Charlotte, with the usual diverse genres and excellent repertoire.
Lenore Raphael, jazz pianist, is a New York native and frequent performer at the Library with many friends in our community. Lenore convinced the other members of her quartet to pre-record a concert for us in lieu of their scheduled fall jazz night, which would have been the first-ever fundraiser for the Library’s Music, Arts and Culture programs.
Building on the success of our music series, the Basalt Regional Library seeks to secure funding to provide a wide range of arts programming. This fall, in a first for Colorado, the BRL will be a partner with the ArtistYear Americorps, bringing poet and performer Leila Milanfar to the Library for a series of youth workshops. In keeping with our mission to afford our community free and equitable access to information, tools and connections that nurture lifelong learning in a safe and welcoming space, we hope to continue to bring outstanding artists to our community.
For this week’s meeting of the Kanopy Movie Club we will discuss Captain Fantastic, a film about a family, their isolation, and growth that is both serious and sweet. Winner of the Directors prize at Cannes and starring Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic is a heartwarming and funny drama about a family in crisis that is an excellent reflection about the world around us.
In our extraordinary times, finding a place where you feel happy, healthy, and safe is of the utmost importance. While the story of the Cash family may be fantastic, the film’s core theme of looking for stability in uncertain times is one that resonates throughout the ages. All families have their quirks, and in times of crisis these idiosyncrasies often become very apparent. Like the families in other classic films like Little Miss Sunshine, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, or Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the Cash family is tasked with two difficult problems: how to fill the void left by the loss of a loved one and how to keep and strengthen family bonds during times of great change.
The Cash family lives in rural Washington in near complete isolation. While Ben and Leslie have raised their children to be self-reliant free thinkers, it is their separation from the outside world, extended family, and community which drives their story from beginning to end. When a family tragedy forces them to confront the customs and taboos of the outside world, the Cash family must adapt. While their values do not change, their relationship with the outside world must evolve so that they may survive.
Seventy years ago Elvis Presley was the king of rock and roll. While the title no longer has any meaning and rock and roll is no longer the most exciting and dangerous music on the airwaves, Elvis is still a cultural icon. His sideburns, swinging hips and quivering lip are still part of American iconography, as important as Coca-Cola or the moon landing in the history of the 20th century. In the 2017 film The King director Eugene Jarecki travels the country in Elvis’ Rolls Royce exploring fame and authenticity in a memorable and deeply interesting documentary. Beyond Elvis's music is a landscape of history and ideas that shines through the musician’s career.
Elvis is one of the first celebrities of the modern era, a larger than life icon of post war America that reflected the era in which he lived. A rhythm and blues singer who embraced television, Elvis became an emblem of his age and appeared everywhere on tv, music and in dozens of films. Elvis was featured on products and places from lunchboxes to Las Vegas. Elvis became an ambassador of a cultural shift that gave rise to teenagers, a generation of rebels without a cause who lived lives distinctly different from those of their parents. Although rock and roll has been supplanted by more high tech music, teenage rebellion and youth culture have become hallmarks of world civilization. In Elvis's shadow lives modern celebrity culture as well. The eccentricities of Kanye West or Justin Bieber may be more expensive, but Elvis would have fit right in with them.
As the back to school season gets going, the Kanopy Movie Club will discuss a whole series of films about life, love and music for September.
Our first film is the 2017 documentary Check It, a fascinating look at youth culture in Washington DC. Anthropological films about growing up and adapting to adult life are some of the most illuminating and instructive cultural documents that exist—they show us what our respective societies value and abhor. Against a backdrop of sex, violence, poverty and drug abuse Check It shows the resilience and perseverance of culture you may have never even considered.
Check It is a film that reminds me of textbook classics like Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age as well as gritty newer documentaries such as 1999 film N.Y.H.C. or the 2002 film Devil's Playground. While these 4 documentaries have wildly different subjects (an LGBT gang in DC, teens in Samoa, Punk rock musicians and the Amish) they are linked by a common thread: how do modern humans navigate and adapt to the cultural landscape of adult life.
Adult News & reviews
Library news, info about upcoming events, reviews of books and films, and a look at the topics that affect us as a library.