April 2013 Archives

Atkinson Reads


The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden by Mark Bowden is the story behind the completion of the largest manhunt in American history. Bin Laden, who was listed as "wanted dead or alive" since the attacks on 9/11, had escaped detection for a decade, even with a $25 million dollar bounty on his head. The book is the account of the final months of this search. From the discovery of where Bin Laden was hiding, to the debate in the White House on whether to use Navy Seals or a drone strike, Bowden gives the reader a gripping narrative that ends with the death of the most notorious terrorist in the world.

Anthony @ Atkinson

agentgates.jpgHey Downton Abbey fans! Looking for something to tide you over until Season 4 starts? Check out this fun graphic novel based on the show. Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey is a hilarious parody that reimagines some of the characters as members of the British Secret Service. Working undercover as servants in the Devonton Abbey household (the house and all character names are changed slightly for parody's sake), they maintain double lives keeping an eye on suspicious activity while going on with their normal household responsibilities. Another servant, who is engaged in the nefarious Black Hand (bet you can't guess who that might be...cough cough...), is trying to orchestrate the assassination of a foreign dignitary visiting Devonton to kick-start World War I. Will Gates and his fellow agents thwart these plans in time? Will poor Lady Ethel (Edith) ever find a suitable husband? And what does the Dowager Countess have to say about all of this? Find out in Agent Gates!

Brett @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays

zendegi.jpgZendegi starts slow and simply, detailing the preparations of Martin Seymour, an Australian reporter, who is about to fly to Iran to cover a parliamentary election. Yet instead of simply covering an election, a scandal befalls an Iranian politician and world-changing events begin to unfold all around Martin. Simultaneously, Iranian expat Nasim Golestani finds herself torn from her work mapping the brains of birds to watch the uprising in her home country. After a jump forward of some fifteen years, the two characters find themselves intertwined in a story involving a virtual reality video game, artificial intelligence, and the realities of mortality.

Greg Egan's book isn't very action-packed, even in the sequences covering the political upheaval. Instead, Egan concentrates on the ideas of mortality and immortality, legacy, tradition, and fear of the new. Ultimately the book succeeds in telling the very moving story of Martin Seymour, the crux being on one man's efforts to make sure he can raise his son even when his life is threatened. We see reflections of this same desire in many of the characters, while Nasim's part of the story tells us much about the implications of trying for a sort of electronic immortality. While not a book for those more in favor of Egan's previous books that are based more on hard science fiction, Zendegi is an excellent little mental exercise with strong characterization of its leads and their all too relatable fears and desires in a near future that seems quite plausible.

Tim @ Central

Atkinson Reads


Organized crime is a part of American culture, mythologized by classic movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas. The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia by Sal Polisi and Steve Dougherty adds to that history with its many stories about the New York mafia from the 1950's through the 1970's. Sal Polisi aka "Sally Ubatz" was affiliated with the Mafia and ran the Sinatra Club, where members of all mob families came to have fun. The names involved will be familiar to those who know the history of organized crime. Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke from Goodfellas, along with John Gotti are involved in many of the stories. Polisi gives an insightful look at life in the American mafia and how it was destroyed not so much from the FBI, but from within because of guys just like him.

Anthony @ Atkinson

It's Money Smart Week!

It's Money Smart Week at the Milwaukee Public Library and libraries across the country! Financial literacy is more important than ever in this challenging economy. Getting a grip on your financial situation, paying down debt and saving for retirement are essential, of course. If you have a family, though, modeling good financial habits for your children is crucial. Did you know that only 32% of American parents talk to their children regularly about personal finance? If it's a challenge for you to talk to your kids about this stuff, here are some books available at MPL that can help you!


In All The Money In The World, Laura Vanderkam explores the relationship between money and happiness. How much will ever be enough? Vanderkam shows how questioning our assumptions about money and some creative thinking can transform our lives, and those of our families, at any income level.


There are going to be times where we all have to have straightforward talks with our families about money matters. Lori R. Sackler's The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have about Wealth and their Financial Future offers practical advice for those times, offering clear advice for handling those conversations and the questions that arise from them. It will help reduce anxiety and maintain proper perspective when delivering both good and bad news.


Do I Look Like an ATM? by Sabrina Lamb offers practical suggestions to African-American families for raising children with solid financial principles. It includes exercises and conversational methods to use when discussing these matters with your kids and ideas for improving the fiscal future for generations to come.

Be sure to stop by any MPL library to pick up your FREE Money Smart Week Resource Guide!

Brett @ Central

fivefists.jpegThe Five Fists of Science is historical science fiction at its most pulpy. Nikola Tesla, fighting crime vigilante-style with electricity guns of his own making, falls into a partnership with Mark Twain and Bertha Von Suttner to bring about world peace through an elaborate scheme. Through Twain's showmanship and theatrical flair, Tesla's engineering genius, and Suttner's conviction and funding, they make a valiant effort to trick the world into lasting peace through mutually assured destruction. Little do they know that their efforts attract the attention of JP Morgan and his compatriots Marconi, Edison, and Carnegie. Morgan and his cronies are dabbling in dark magic, and soon the two groups clash in a battle of science against the supernatural, with the fate of America in the balance!

Matt Fraction's tale is as fun as it is ridiculous, while also being about as historically accurate as Shakespeare in Love. The fun, however, is in the fiction and the adventure. Twain is brilliant and witty, Tesla an eccentric beyond compare, and Suttner is a force of nature. It takes a good hand to take these famous figures and create an exciting fictionalized version, and Fraction does so amiably. For fans of any of the people in the story, I definitely recommend giving this one volume story a try.

Tim @ Central

Banished & Beyond Belief

Religious belief has the power to bring joy, purpose, and dimension to life. When its power is used to intimidate and control the lives of believers, however, it can be spiritually and emotionally destructive. Two recent books, co-written by Lisa Pulitzer, tell stories of people who escaped such environments and how they've reshaped their lives since breaking away from their respective religious groups. The courage displayed by the two following women in leaving behind everything and everyone they know and love is incredible.

banished.jpgLauren Drain, author of Banished, was a normal teenage girl living in Florida when her father suddenly decided to move the family across the country to Topeka, Kansas. Why? He became enamored with the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, led by Pastor Fred Phelps. The church, famous for its pointedly offensive protests at major political and social events, dominates the lives of its followers in ways that go beyond normal church involvement. As Drain grew older, she began to see through the contradictions of the church, but knew that rejecting it would mean being ostracized by her family and having to live completely on her own. Her harrowing split from her family, friends and community is riveting, even shocking, reading.

beyondbelief.jpgJenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, current head of the Church of Scientology. Known mainly for its association with celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology promotes itself as a method for achieving spiritual growth and personal power. Jenna Hill grew up in the church and never knew life outside of it until her late teens. In Beyond Belief, she describes a childhood filled with hard labor and intensive study but little personal time, and a far different experience than espoused by the religion's more famous members. Her escape from Scientology's grip on her life is filled with intrigue and treachery, and her whole story is fascinating.

Brett @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays


Guy Gavriel Kay's River of Stars takes place in a fantasy version of the medieval China's Song Dynasty. The two main characters, Lin Shan and Lu Chen are based on poets, Li Quingzhao and Su Shi. As a result, poetry from the period is beautifully interspersed throughout the narrative. Art, politics and the escaping of fate is all part of the adventure and Kay pulls in readers with the way he describes the obsessions of his characters--their romantic pursuits, alliances and everyday affairs that can make or devastate a life.

Jacki @ Central

Atkinson Reads


Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley is the fifth installment of the Flavia de Luce series. If you haven't yet met the precocious eleven year old Flavia, she's brilliant, with expert knowledge of chemistry--especially poisons. As Easter approaches, the English Hamlet of Bishop's Lacey prepares to celebrate the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred's death by opening his crypt.

Flavia is there when they find the dead body of the church organist. She investigates in another wickedly funny mystery by a master storyteller!

Amy @ Atkinson

Pultizer Prizes Announced


There is a Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year. The winner is The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson, described as "an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart."

Other finalists are:

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander -- "A diverse yet consistently masterful collection of stories that explore Jewish identity and questions of modern life in ways that can both delight and unsettle the reader."

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - "An enchanting novel about an older homesteading couple who long for a child amid the hard wilderness of Alaska and a feral girl who emerges from the woods to bring them hope."

The prizes in the other book awards went to (finalists listed here):

History: Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall -- "a balanced, deeply researched history of how, as French colonial rule faltered, a succession of American leaders moved step by step down a road toward full-blown war."

Biography: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss -- "a compelling story of a forgotten swashbuckling hero of mixed race whose bold exploits were captured by his son, Alexander Dumas, in famous 19th century novels."

Non-fiction: Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King -- "a richly detailed chronicle of racial injustice in the Florida town of Groveland in 1949, involving four black men falsely accused of rape and drawing a civil rights crusader, and eventual Supreme Court justice, into the legal battle."

Poetry: Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds -- "a book of unflinching poems on the author's divorce that examine love, sorrow and the limits of self-knowledge."

Detective Fiction: Part Two

The clip-clop, clip-clopping of boot heels scraping the old cobblestone road approach nearer and nearer as you diligently wait for your bus. The fog swirls and dances around your eyes conjuring specters and phantoms from the gloomy yellow of the street light above. The clip-clop is right behind you! You twirl while raising your arms to defend yourself--from what? There is only fog and shadow. As your heart rate slows and your fear makes you feel foolish, you wonder why your side is leaking sticky syrup? As you lose focus and realize you're dying, a pair of shiny eyes appears over your slumping body, bright with murder and revenge. You wonder why...

During late 1920's and into the 1930's, a shift came about in the fictional world of detective stories. With the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression, the exploits of rich, dapper detectives from merry old England were less in vogue. Paperback novels and pulp magazines had recently been introduced and they offered a great format for the sleazy detective writings to come.
romanhat.jpgOne of the first great detectives from this changing landscape in America was Ellery Queen. First appearing in the 1929 novel The Roman Hat Mystery, Ellery Queen was the brainchild and pseudonym of two American cousins, Manfred B. Lee and Frederick Dannay. They went on to write 33 novels together that spawned movies, television shows and radio broadcasts.

"The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy." - Ellery Queen
moonstonedrew.jpgSpeaking of literary collaborations, I think this is a great time to mention the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mystery stories. The Hardy Boys first appeared in 1927 with The Tower Treasure. Nancy Drew's first story appeared 3 years later in 1930 with The Secret of the Old Clock. Both series were created by Edward Stratemeyer, a publisher of children's books. They were hugely successful upon release and continue to be popular today. The Hardy Boys were written by various ghostwriters over the years under the pseudonym of Franklin W. Dixon. Nancy Drew got the same ghostwriter treatment under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene. Though often cheesy and unbelievable, these stories brought detective fiction to children hungry for excitement and adventure.

"The sooner, the better!' - Franklin W. Dixon (The Hardy Boys)
housewithoutakey.jpegIn 1925, Earl Derr Biggers introduced Asian sleuth Charlie Chan in the novel House Without a Key. Chan would only be featured in five more novels through 1932, but would have huge success as a film, radio and television icon for decades to follow.

"Every man must wear out at least one pair of fool's shoes." - Earl Derr Biggers
velvetclaws.jpegA decidedly more literary alternative to Charlie Chan would be Erle Stanley Gardner's famous crime solving lawyer Perry Mason. After publishing a few pulp short stories in pulpy Black Mask magazine, Gardner featured Mason in the novel The Case of the Velvet Claws in 1933. Perry Mason went on to be featured in over 80 novels and numerous radio, film and television shows.

"I like what I like and not what I'm supposed to like because of mass rating. And I very much dislike the things I don't like." - Erle Stanley Gardner
thinman.jpegThe pulp magazines of the 1920's and 30's featured brutal, soulless detectives and femme fatales who slapped, kicked and murdered their way through the sleazy stories in which they appeared. Perhaps the best and most popular of the pulp detective writers was Dashiell Hammett. He basically mastered what was deemed "hard-boiled" fiction. His use of language was vivid, yet sparse, and his characters were often cynical and corrupt. An actual Pinkerton Detective before becoming a full time writer, Hammett created some of the most memorable characters in detective fiction, including Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), and the famous "nameless detective", The Continental Op. Hammett worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter and carried on a long affair with playwright Lillian Hellman until his death in 1961. Hammett is still a personal favorite of mine because of his lurid tales featuring gumshoes and private eyes that live and die by their own vague moral codes. Recommended!

"You got to look on the bright side, even if there ain't one" - Dashiell Hammett
farewellmylovely.jpegRaymond Chandler, a true heavyweight in the detective fiction genre, had his first story published in Black Mask in 1933 after losing his job as an oil company worker because of the Great Depression. Along with Dashiell Hammett, Chandler is often considered to be a founding father of hardboiled crime fiction. When Chandler introduced detective Phillip Marlowe in his debut novel The Big Sleep (1939), he left his stamp on all crime fiction to follow. Humphrey Bogart went on to film stardom playing Phillip Marlowe in the excellent but convoluted film version of The Big Sleep. Chandler also wrote the stunning novel Farewell, My Lovely and equally moving The Long Goodbye. Chandler also enjoyed success in Hollywood after penning the screenplay with Billy Wilder to the famous Noir classic Double Indemnity (from the excellent James M. Cain novel of the same name) Chandler also wrote the screenplays to The Blue Dahlia and co-wrote Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train.

"The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on." - Raymond Chandler

"Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence." - Ross Macdonald

So put on your slippers, fluff up your favorite pillow and settle in for a night of murderous mayhem while enjoying some classic detective stories. They'll chill your bones and warm your mind!

Dan @ Central

Add some poetry to your life this April in celebration of National Poetry Month. Many people don't read poetry simply because they don't know where to start. We are here to help! For each of the popular fiction titles below there is a matching poetry collection with a similar theme, tone, or writing style. Find the collection that fits your interest. Happy reading!

If you like George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice Series, try:


Finding My Elegy by Ursula K. Le Guin

You may be familiar with fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin's novels, but did you know she began her career as a poet? Finding My Elegy is a collection of her best poems spanning over 50 years. With the compelling and richly detailed language similar to Martin's series, Finding My Elegy is sure to transport you to another world.

Excerpt from A Lament for Rheged:
In the cold days/ of the end of December/ in dead Rheged/ I stand alone.
Winter wind/binds hand/binds tongue./The songs are sung./No fires burn.

Flying At Night.jpgIf you like Marissa Silver's Mary Coin, try:

Flying at Night by Ted Kooser

Mary Coin is a fictional account of the life of the unknown woman featured in Migrant Mother, a famous Depression-era photograph. The novel's moving and reflective tone immediately reminded me of Great Plains poet Ted Kooser's work, particularly Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985. Kooser writes about everyday life and his subjects are often from the rural Midwest. He has a wonderful ability to write about the past with a keen eye towards understanding the hardships of the time.

Kristina @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays

shardsofhonor.jpgWhile we here at the Read@MPL try to keep our recommendations to mostly more recent works to keep you all abreast of the latest and greatest additions to the library collection, sometimes we find an older title that's just so good you have to recommend it. In this case, this humble reader recently took the plunge into reading Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, the first novel in the author's Vorkosigan Saga. The series is epic, spanning novels and short stories, nominated for tons of awards and even winning four separate Hugos. While jumping in at the beginning of such a long series is daunting, let's just describe the set-up of this wonderful book.

Shards of Honor starts with a survey team from Beta Colony, a science-minded democratic and socialistic society. They are quickly put under attack by a ship from Barrayar, a militaristic planet that relies heavily on order and tradition. This leaves our protagonist, Captain Cordelia Naismith, stranded on a strange planet with a wounded crewmate, and worst of all captured by a Barrayaran who was also left behind by his crew: Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan. These two people from different cultures are thrust together in a struggle to survive, forming a bond that will be tested repeatedly through intergalactic intrigue, war, and more. Bujold creates Space Opera at its very finest, its quality and brilliance holding up spectacularly over the almost thirty years since its original publication. Shards of Honor is definitely worth a read or even two, and then there's the rest of the series to get to. This book comes with a very enthusiastic recommendation from this humble librarian.

Tim @ Central

Gulp by Mary Roach


Mary Roach has taught me a lot about cadavers, sex, and the afterlife, and returns with Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. So now I can learn everything I ever wanted to know (and some things I'd rather not know) about the human digestive tract.

Even if you're not really a science person, she explains things with such wit that you don't realize she's craftily jamming facts into your head. This journey starts with the mouth, winds through the stomach, intestines, colon and so on. And it's gross. But you'll like it, because it's also interesting.

She talks about Elvis Presley's colon (death caused not by drugs, but by constipation?), stomach acid (acid reflux; a stomach can digest itself?) and taste. Ever wondered why it's so difficult to describe a smell? Roach explains how we learn to talk by naming what we see and having that name reinforced by adults. When we smell something, however, there is nothing to see and therefore no reinforcement. Taste, however, is a different story. Anyone who has ever been to a wine tasting will appreciate Roach's dismay as she fails to detect the subtleties of almond, artichoke or Band-Aid at a tryout for an olive oil tasting panel. The tongue can be trained and taste preferences begin even before birth. Roach even explains why dunking one's doughnuts is a physiologically sound practice.

And on the facts go, making clear, how resilient the human digestive tract is. When asked if she found writing this book to be more or less challenging than her other work, she answered, "The challenge for me, with this book was not in the writing. It's this: I don't want people to think it's a book about digestive health or some such drear. That's not me! It's a very unusual take on the subject, and, as with all my books, a little hard to sum up."

Jacki @ Central

Atkinson Reads


Gray by Pete Wentz with James Montgomery

Pete is in his early twenties with the world at his feet; as the guitarist in a fast-rising rock band, surrounded by groupies and managers he's learning how to handle fame, fortune and everything that comes with it. In Gray, Pete Wentz (founder and bassist of punk sensation Fall Out Boy) writes about a musician and how success comes at a cost. He struggles with both his relationship with his girlfriend and the world around him, all of which might come crashing down, when he finally gets a taste of life on the road. Readers are taken inside the music industry, where reality and fiction come together to create a hauntingly beautiful disaster of life, love and rock n' roll.

Jessica @ Atkinson

Tonight! Which Book Next?

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Urban Fiction


The California Saga by Chunichi

Michael Burroughs leaves L.A. and heads to Virginia Beach where his high grade product is quickly picked up all over the East Coast. He becomes known as the California Connection, or Calico, for short. Of course, he's also suave with the ladies and knows how to get what he wants from them, so when he meets Jewel, it doesn't take long for things to heat up and get out of control. Eventually his true nature is revealed and Jewel knows exactly how to get revenge.

She takes over the streets and starts making money hand over fist. Problem is, she's not interested in sharing this empire with anyone else. When Operation California Connection, an investigation run by the feds, starts closing in on her, she realizes things may be over all too soon.

When all is said and done, Jewel is left with a man on the run and a pending federal case to deal with. But she's only concerned about one thing--giving her unborn child the best possible life, one without drugs and lies. She puts her street savvy to work and attempts to gain back all that she's lost.

Revenge. Retaliation. Snitching. Money. Power. That's the California Saga.

Jacki @ Central

Celebrate National Poetry Month

While year-round, life-long reading of poetry is encouraged, National Poetry Month is a great way to celebrate the reading, the sharing, and the writing of poetry. You can even subscribe to receive daily poems by email for free, all year long.

Red Doc> by Anne Carson

Continuing the adventures of Geryon in Autobiography of Red, who is called only "G" in this volume, the modern world is observed through prose poems, marrying myth with contemporary culture. G is stunned and appalled by humanity, travelling with a lover named Sad and an artist named Ida, he faces death and love with maturity.


Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton by John Borling

The pen is indeed mightier than the sword--or, in this case, the mind and scarred knuckles. This collection was composed while the author was held in military prison by the Viet Cong for eight years. By rapping on the cell walls with his knuckles, Borling communicated pain and despair as well as humor and hope to his fellow prisoners.


The Oldest Word for Dawn: New and Selected Poems by Brad Leithauser

This collection explores the varied subjects of prehistory, travel and love through quirky patterns and inventive designs taken from traditional forms. Readers come upon a sonnet in one-syllable lines, a clanging rhyme-mad tribute to the music of Tin Pan Alley, and autobiography through parodies of Frost and Keats and Omar Khayyám.

Jacki @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays

bestofallpossible.jpegWhen the home planet of the proud and aloof Sadiri is destroyed, the scattered survivors take to founding a new home on a planet where splinter groups of their race had gone many years ago. A group forms to investigate these former Sadiri groups, led by the cool and collected Dllenakh. Accompanying this group is a few human scientists, including Grace Delarua, the narrator for much of the book. Through Grace, we see not only the wildly different societies of all these formerly Sadiri civilizations, but also the ongoing changes amongst the Sadiri as they adapt to their new roles (Dllenakh especially), and eventually her own changes brought on by such close contact with the Sadiri.

This is the story at the heart of The Best of All Possible Worlds, the second novel of Carribean author Karen Lord. Through this framework, she explores themes of self-discovery, love, race, and identity. Though some themes are handled more subtly than others, Lord creates a very compelling story of social science fiction amidst the rather straightforward and episodic plot. The characters and the varied cultures are fully realized, making the book quite the enjoyable page turner. For those who like their science fiction more focused on character and societal exploration than matters of technology or other hard science, this is a must-read.

Tim @ Central


March Madness still has a week to go, and yet...Opening Day is here. As Don DeLillo wrote, it is "the deep eros of memory that separates baseball from other sports."

Terry Francona with Dan Shaughnessy, Francona: The Red Sox Years

Terry Francona is the new manager of the Cleveland Indians, but he will always be remembered for helming the Boston Red Sox the year they broke "The Curse of the Bambino." The end of the team's 86-year World Series drought introduced a whole new era for the Carmine Hose, with dramatically increased popularity, seasons-long sellouts, and countless "Sweet Caroline" sing-alongs. At the center of all of this was Francona, the public face of an organization learning to adjust from being a group of lovable losers to a true baseball dynasty. In this book, you'll get the inside story on the joys, frustrations and sorrows of running this history-making team, along with insights into the personalities of some of the team's biggest names, from Big Papi to Pedro to "Manny being Manny". A great read to start the new season.

Brett @ Central

Atkinson Reads


Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air edited by Philip Jodidio; illustrations by Patrick Hruby

Tree Houses is the newest contribution to an already extensive collection of books on the subject of tree-based architecture for grown-ups. Like all books by Taschen, this title is the largest of the genre by size and weight and makes for an imposing coffee table tome. It features 50 tree houses from around the world, including vernacular ethnic structures and modern architectural follies for the wealthy. Each house receives a treatment with a project brief and a half-dozen images. The most noteworthy tree house architects and designers are all here in colorful illustration and three languages.

Brian @ Atkinson

Which Book Next? April 9th, 5 - 7 pm

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Treasures of the Rare Books Room: Kiowa Indian Art

Treasures of the Rare Books Room: Kiowa Indian Art

Sometimes the library finds that its treasures are resting in the collection, waiting to be discovered. These Kiowa Indian Art prints were shelved in the Art, Music & Recreation Department for many years. During a routine check of a rare book catalog, I read the story of the prints and was amazed by their beauty and colors. The portfolio of prints was moved to the Rare Books Room to preserve them for the future.

indian1.jpg indian2.jpg

In 1928 Oscar Brousse Jacobson, the director of the School of Art at the University of Oklahoma, met five young Indian artists of the Kiowa tribe. Their names were Spencer Asah, Jack Hokeah, Steve Mopope, Monroe Tsa-to-ke and Miss Bou-ge-tah Smoky.

indian3.jpg indian4.jpg

To preserve their work for others, an edition of their prints was published in France in 1929 using the pochoir process. Pochoir means stencil and this process employs multiple stencils and hand applied layers of paint to create prints of great beauty and vibrant colors. These beautiful images show us the life of an Oklahoma Indian tribe.

If you are interested in viewing this set, call the Art, Music and Recreation Department at 414-286-3071 to arrange a visit.

Patricia DeFrain, Rare Books Librarian




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