What immediately struck me about Ayesha Harruna Attah’s The Hundred Wells of Salaga was the vivid, evocative prose; while her writing was concise, the few details she allowed were beautiful, especially when she described a man’s lecherous behavior towards her protagonist, Aminah, in a Ghana marketplace. The “pads of his fingers settled on her the way one’s feet steady themselves on new ground: on tiptoes at first, and then with all of one’s weight” (Attah 11). The deft, careful beaut...[read more]
As you know, there was almost total destruction of the town of Paradise this past November. Most schools were destroyed along with their library collections. The public library is still standing, but the library collection is a total loss due to smoke damage. Under-resourced public school libraries in the Bay Area also need books for their students. You can make a difference by donating new and gently used books for toddlers, children and young adults to...[read more]
The history of American cinema up to today has included the "Western" as a central genre. While inspired by popular literature, Westerns continue to tell stories about the perils settlers experienced during Western expansion. Mechanics' is home to an extensive collection of Western Americana, including many titles from the Western silver screen and television. 'Giddy-up' to the Western film display on the 2nd floor and take home DVD and Blu-ray from our diverse collection rangi...[read more]
The Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) was the last world’s fair hosted in the San Francisco Bay Area and a celebration of the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. The Mechanics’ Institute is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the GGIE by hosting a series of lectures about the fair on Thursday, April 4th and a...[read more]
This month our audiobook selection honors Black History Month. Listen to and explore works by African American writers of both fiction and nonfiction. From L.A. detectives (Cinnamon Kiss) to U.S. history (We Were Eight Years In Power) – there’s something for everyone!
How Are You Going to Save Yourself by JM Holmes, read by Damien Christopher CD Fic Holmes
Native Son by Richard...[read more]
I have always had an amateur's interest in fine art. I never took a course in art appreciation but I have learned as much as I can from books and from a friend with an M.F.A. who acts as my personal docent when we visit museums together. I always wondered about paintings, from medieval times to the present, that included numerous objects for no apparent reason or people making unusual (to me, anyway) gestures. What do they mean? Why did this artist include a broken wheel in this painting...[read more]