The Lehigh Valley Vanguard gives voice to art, politics, and identity issues during a poetry reading on Thursday, April 14 at the South Side Branch from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The group is a community of poets who are activist writers taking on issues that are relevant to today. Refreshments will be served. Register online or phone 610-867-7852.
We are celebrating National Poetry Month here at the library with a “prompt a week.” Library users are invited to post an original poem on the week’s topic. This week’s prompt is “food.” Food poems can be about how much you love a certain food of course, but oftentimes poets use food as a jumping off point to write about all aspects of life. Thoughts of food can spark thoughts of family, joy, sadness — all the stuff of life. The sample here is a good example of a food poem that says so much more.
Prepare yourselves for Week 5 of this year’s Where’s the Bookmobile? contest! For anyone just getting started, here’s the deal. Seven photos will be posted over seven weeks (see earlier blog posts for previous weeks) and whoever can guess the most correct pictured locations will win the bookmobile at a time and location of their choosing for up to 2 hours! Entry forms can be obtained and submitted at either the main library’s adult services desk or, of course, on the bookmobile itself. Feel free to submit your entries week-by-week or several at a time.
¿Dónde está el Bookie Monster?
Carmen Toro, owner of Beauty Alibi will be presenting a Women’s Business Workshop at the South Side Branch, at 6 pm on Thursday, April 7. She will share her own success story and offer tools and tips about starting a business including resources available in the Lehigh Valley.
BAPL is excited to host author David Lubar in our brand-new Frances L. Barnard Children’s Center on April 7 at 7pm. You may be thinking, “But the library is closed then.” Indeed we are! Good job memorizing our hours. But this event is happening after the library closes. We are in fact calling it Authors After Hours!
Library Director Josh Berk sat down with Mr. Lubar over the internet to talk about David’s life, impressive career, and exciting new book, the highly-acclaimed young adult novel CHARACTER, DRIVEN. Read on!
JB: Hi David! According to the Library of Congress, you have written 37 books, far more than any other Lubar. Steven Lubar has seven, but Melvin Lubar and Sheldon B. Lubar each only have a mere one apiece. What is the secret of your success, vis-a-vis other Lubars?
DL: Steven Lubar writes nonfiction, so he has to actually do research, while I get to make everything up. I think the other two Lubars you mentioned are busy running multi-million dollar companies. (None of the wealthy Lubars is related to me, as far as I can tell. Which is another reason I had to write so many books.)
There are at least two other people named David Lubar, one of whom is a dentist, who was kind enough to scan and forward a fan letter he received last year from a kid who’d read my chapter book, Punished. We have no idea how the young reader ended up sending it to that address. The other is on the Milwaukee Brewers advisory board. I’m pretty sure he’s doing a much better job of that than I would. And then, there’s David Lubars, creative director at BBDO. I sometimes get tweets from people in the advertising industry, congratulating me on his accomplishments. But I definitely hold the lead when it comes to total titles in print. Based on that, I believe I might be the most successful Lubar living in Nazareth. Or, at least, Lower Nazareth.
JB: We are proud to count you among the many successful authors of the Lehigh Valley! When did you move here and where did you live before you called Lower Nazareth home?
DL: I was born and raised in Morristown, NJ. It was a great place to grow up. (Character, Driven is set there, though I thoroughly disguised that by calling the town Rismore. Please keep this secret to yourself.) During and after college at Rutgers, I lived in New Brunswick, NJ and various towns in that area. In 1982, I was offered a job in Sacramento, designing video games. After our daughter was born, my wife and I decided we wanted to move back to NJ, to be close to the new grandparents. NJ real estate had gotten pretty expensive. Fortunately, a friend told us to check out the Lehigh Valley. We liked what we saw. We moved here about thirty years ago. It’s been a good place to raise a family.
JB: Sweet segue into the new book. Tell us a bit more about Character, Driven!
DL: My pleasure. Character, Driven is, on the surface, a coming-of-age novel about a young man approaching his 18th birthday and an uncertain future. But, on another level, as the title might imply, it is a novel about writing a novel. As Cliff Sparks tells his story, he also discusses the challenges of telling a story. Cliff is brutally honest with the reader, revealing the sort of thoughts most of us won’t even share with our closest friends. But he also has a sense of humor and a love of wordplay, so despite the dark parts of the journey, there are plenty of light moments…
As I look over these words, I feel I’ve totally failed to convey the heart of the book. Writers can be very bad at describing their own work. Fortunately, other writers often step up to handle the task. Maybe the best way to tell people about the book is to share the wonderful blurb I got from NY Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith: “The brainiest, funniest, most heartbreaking, romantic, mind-bending, violent, inappropriate, spot-on, sensitive, insensitive, diverse, offensive, compelling, baffling, irresistible, inspiring YA novel I’ve ever read. Lubar’s ‘loser’ hero Cliff breaks rules and wins big.” I have to admit I’m thrilled and a bit gobsmacked by the overwhelmingly positive response the book has received, including starred reviews from three major magazines and two inquiries, so far, about film/TV rights, and praise from many of my fellow writers. I feel it might be my best work, to date.
JB: Wow: That’s wonderful! Congratulations. I can’t wait to read it. Final question: Everplay the “Page 41 game?” It’s a thing where you grab a random book, open it to page 41, read the first line, and it will divine your future. Want to try it with Character, Driven?
DL: “He talkin’ ’bout your sweet booty, cutie.”
JB: No comment.
The Bethlehem Area Public Library, 11 W. Church Street, is hosting Author After Hours on Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. Meet author David Lubar as he celebrates the launch of his new book Character, Driven. The book has received starred reviews in the big three- Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist. The novel is a coming of age book for teens. Books will be available for purchase. No registration is required. Parking is available beneath the Library except in spaces reserved for police.
We are celebrating National Poetry Month here at the library with a “prompt a week.” Library users are invited to post an original poem on the week’s topic. We have some fun stuff in store for our favorites!
Despite the weather, we decided to make this first prompt be about spring. It can be hopeful or melancholic or whatever strikes you. Maybe you would like to read a Billy Collins poem about spring as inspiration:
Do you know why this young lady is smiling? She just visited the new Children’s Center on the 2nd floor of the Main Library. We are still waiting for some back-ordered furniture and the donor recognition board to be installed, but the room is now open. The room is inspiring and has surprises everywhere!
We are having a special program on Saturday, April 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm to celebrate our “soft opening.” Author Julie Saab and illustrator David Gothard of the Little Lola picture books will be visiting, as well as Curious George. The youth rock band, No Pressure, is performing and there will be art activities and a scavenger hunt.
It’s time for Week 4 of this year’s Where’s the Bookmobile? contest… Seven photos will be posted over seven weeks (see earlier blog posts for previous weeks) and whoever can guess the most correct locations will win the bookmobile at a time and location of their choosing for up to 2 hours! Entry forms can be obtained and submitted at either the main library’s adult services desk or, of course, on the bookmobile itself. Feel free to submit your entries week-by-week or several at a time.
Here’s the next photo, recalling snow-covered days of yore (err, several weeks ago)…