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Award-winning author Shauna Singh Baldwin will be the featured speaker at the Spring Literary Luncheon, hosted by Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library. Baldwin will discuss her latest novel, The Selector of Souls, and visit with guests as she signs books. Judy Bridges, founder of Redbird Studio, will introduce Baldwin at the luncheon.

Baldwin's writing explores universal themes through elegantly realized characters. The Selector of Souls, set in India in the 1990s, draws on a mélange of cultures and religions. It chronicles the histories of scores of characters, reaching back to the conflicts of the 1947 Partition and post-colonial era and forward to the precarious lives of girls and women in modern-day India. Last year the novel received the Anne Powers Fiction Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers.

Baldwin's second novel, The Tiger Claw, was a finalist for the prestigious Giller Prize of Canada. Set in Occupied Paris during the Second World War, it is inspired by the true story of Noor Inayat Khan, a Sufi Muslim who worked as a secret agent for the Allies. It has been optioned for film.

Literary luncheon guests will receive their choice of The Selector of Souls or The Tiger Claw, provided by Boswell Book Company. Boswell will bring additional titles for purchase. The gala event will be held on Thursday, May 8, at the beautiful Wisconsin Club, 900 West Wisconsin Avenue. Book sales and signing will be from 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM. The lunch and program will be from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM.

For reservations to the Spring Literary Luncheon, please see the enclosed invitation in a copy of the April Milwaukee Reader, email friends@mpl.org, or call (414) 286-8720. The deadline for reservation is May 2nd.

Contributed by Marsha Huff, President, Friends Board of Directors

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Photograph from "Remember When...E.T. Mix helped design Milwaukee?"


Have you ever wondered about the history of the house you live in? When it was built? Who lived there before you did? How it has changed over the years? Join MPL librarians from the Humanities and Art, Music and Recreation Departments and local architectural historian Traci Schnell for a two-hour tour of house history resources at Central Library.

House History at Central
9:30 AM on Saturday, May 3, 2014
The class will begin in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room on the second floor of Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue.

Learn how to use library resources such as Fire Insurance Atlases, City Directories, Census Records, and City of Milwaukee Tax Rolls to research the history of a house. With librarians from Humanities and from Art, Music and Recreation, and with local architectural historian Traci Schnell.

Please call 414.286.3011 to register. Space is limited.

Skeins of Milwaukee at Central

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knit bunny.jpgBring your needles and/or hooks, your yarn and your enthusiasm to share and learn with others who knit and crochet. Central Library's fantastic collection of books and DVDs on the fine art of how to knit and crochet await you. Join us the last Saturday of each month (with the exception of holidays). There is free 2-hr. street parking on Saturdays.

Date: Saturday, April 25, 2014

Time: 1:30 P.M.

Location: Mozart's Grove, near the Media Room on the first floor of Central Library

John Muir

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Today is the birthday of John Muir, the world-renowned naturalist and author with ties to Wisconsin. Born on April 21, 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland, he moved to Wisconsin with his family at age 11. He grew up on his family's farm near Portage and later attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His keen interest in botany, piqued at the UW, led him to begin hiking throughout the upper Midwest and Canada. He collected plants and seeds for further study. He even walked from Indiana to Florida, a 1000-mile hike. Later, he ventured out to California where his study and exploration of the natural surroundings were instrumental in the creation of Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. In 1892 he would found the Sierra Club, one of the most revered environmental protection organizations in the world. He passed away in 1914 at the age of 76.

MPL has a number of great resources on John Muir, including his own writings, books about him, and articles from dozens of publications. And now that the weather's getting nicer, be sure to plan a hike along the John Muir Trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest!

Job Man : My 25 Years in Professional Wrestling

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Chris Multerer, aka Chris Curtis, wrestled The Crusher, Hulk Hogan, Mad Dog Vachon, Jesse Ventura, Andre the Giant, Greg Gagne and many other main event wrestlers. Now he wrangles pen to paper in a book about his life in the ring. Meet Chris Multerer and Larry Widen, co-author and local historian, for this behind-the-scenes look at pro wrestling. A question-and-answer period and book signing follows the event. Books will be available for purchase from Boswell Book Company.

Seating is limited; call 286-3011 or go online to register. There is no fee to attend this event.

WHERE: Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room at Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave
WHEN: Saturday, April 26th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

To Be! Shakespeare Here And Now

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shakespeare character.pngThe words of William Shakespeare will be brought to life by an actor from the Optimist Theatre in Milwaukee in a one-hour, interactive program. Audience participation is encouraged. Choose from three dates and locations for this fabulous program.

Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: Central Library's Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room

Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: Villard Square Branch

Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Bay View Library

Welcome to the NEW MPL.org!

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Today is the official unveiling of the new MPL.org website! Designed by the local web design firm Byte Studios, our new site offers the same resources and amenities you've always enjoyed with a sleek, up-to-date look and feel.

You'll find the latest news of goings-on at Central Library and all of the branches, important phone numbers, and our social media feeds right on the front page. Links along the top of the page make finding frequently-used information a snap. Spend some time exploring the new page and be surprised at what you might find!

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