The Book Cellar
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Author and Illustrator Carson Ellis comes to The Book Cellar to talk about her new picture book Home!
Home, Carson’s debut picture book as an author-illustrator, is a whimsical, elegant meditation on the various meanings of home, ranging from a house in the country to a tour bus to an underwater grotto (and everything in between). Some homes are ones we know. Some homes are new. Some homes are even a bit fantastical – the stuff of imaginations. Carson infuses vitality and her signature style in each rendering of home from the everyday to the spectacular, resulting in a work of art that raises the question, What does home mean to you? Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio.
Carson Ellis is the illustrator of a number of books for kids, including New York Times bestsellers The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Composer Is Dead by Lemony Snicket, and The Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy (who happens to be my husband). She recently finished work on Home, a picture book she wrote and illustrated, due out in February of 2015. Caron is also an occasional maker of editorial illustration (She's worked for The New York Times and The New Yorker, among many others) and an even more occasional fine artist represented by Nationale in Portland. Carson is also the illustrator-in-residence for the band The Decemberists. Carson has been a babysitter in New York, a hot dog vendor in California, a chairlift operator in Vermont, an artist's model in Montana, and a cocktail waitress in Minnesota. She lives on a farm in Oregon with Colin, our two sons, one cat, one stray cat, two llamas, eight chickens, a family of barn owls and an unfathomable multitude of tree frogs. You can see her illustrations at www.carsonellis.com.
Join The Book Cellar and PAWS Chicago on April 1 as they team up to host the Tuna Melts my Heart book signing tour! All tickets include admission to the event, a donation to PAWS, and a copy of Tuna Melts My Heart: The Underdog with the Overbite.
FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CASTAWAY TO HOLLYWOOD HEARTBREAKER, TUNA THE CHIWEENIE HAS WON THE ADORATION OF MILLIONS. Now, this charming and unconventional pooch has his own book, filled with more than a hundred all-new photographs and witty commentary to give fans an intimate and hilarious look at the Internet’s most prized pup. Tuna’s cartoonish looks—with an exaggerated overbite, a recessed jawline, and a wrinkly neck—are truly one of a kind. And yet his quirky appearance is no match for his unique perspective on life, overcoming his proclivity for staying in bed all day to keep his eye on the (bacon-flavored) prize. Teaming up with his owner, Courtney Dasher, Tuna shares a behind-the-scenes look at his daily exploits, which include sleeping, sunbathing, wearing bow ties, playing with toys, and melting hearts.
Tuna is a 4 year-old Chiweenie with an exaggerated overbite, recessed jawline and a magnificent wrinkly neck (a.k.a shrivelneck). He was rescued by Courtney Dasher in December of 2010 at a Farmers Market in LA when he was a four-month old puppy. A year into their friendship, Courtney created an Instagram account dedicated to Tuna’s photos. At the end of 2012, Tuna’s notoriety grew on Instagram when they featured a picture of him on their personal page, unbeknownst to her. He now has over a million followers on Instagram.
Courtney never anticipated the kind of response that she has received from people’s adoration for Tuna. In fact, when she created his account, she had no agenda to garner a large following, but she did recognize that Instagram could be a catalyst to bring people joy through Tuna’s pictures that showcased his cartoonish looks and his charming personality. That has proven to be true because Courtney receives countless comments and emails daily about the impact that Tuna is making on their lives. Since Tuna is the epitome of the underdog, most people advocate for him and adore him for his endearing qualities. His loyal followers embrace his physical differences, have fallen in love with his charm and connect to his message; that true beauty comes in all forms and radiates from within. Furthermore, he is an ambassador for animal rescue, since he too was once rescued, and it has become a part of Courtney’s mission to raise awareness for rescue groups through this platform.
The Book Cellar Book Group meets to discuss Little Book by Selden Edwards.
A night of songs and poetry with Patti Smith, Jesse Smith, Jackson Smith, and Tony Shanahan at Old Town School of Of Folk Music!
Born in Chicago, Patti Smith has been considered one of the 50 greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stones Magazine.. Her contributions to music, poetry, and the punk movement have been monumental, as recognized by her Polar Music Prize. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2007 and since then has continued her work as a fierce activist as well as artist. A truly remarkable icon in spanning many mediums, Smith has been noted as an influence for groups such as R.E.M., U2, KT Tunstall, and Madonna.
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Dina Elenbogen visits The Book Cellar to share her new memoir Drawn From Water: An American Poet, An Ethiopian Family, An Israeli Story.
In Drawn From Water, Dina explores her thirty-year friendship with Ethiopian Jewish immigrants in Israel as they struggle in a new country while dealing with her own desire to join them there. Thirty years ago, Operation Moses airlifted thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, where today they, immigrants from other years, and descendants form a community over 100,000 strong. Through the stories of the children Osnat, Elad, and their siblings Dina raises questions about religion, assimilation, and cultural identity. The author's poetic voice examines immigration in all its forms, success and failure, adaptation and resistance. Black Ethiopians suffer discrimination, and are hindered by cultural and language difficulties, yet the children eventually attend college, marry, and have families of their own. Dina's personal journey parallels theirs, but poetry and the arts give her a bridge between her life in America and her desire for Israel.
Dina is an award-winning poet and author of the collection Apples of the Earth. Her essays have appeared in magazines including Tikkun, Chicago Reader, New City, Midstream, Chicago Jewish News and the anthology Word by Word: The Iowa Writer's Workshop 75 Years. Dina received a MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and a BA with honors in English and a certificate in Jewish studies from Indiana University. She teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago Graham School where she received the 2012 excellence in teaching award and gives poetry and prose readings, leads workshops and lectures at numerous venues including universities, libraries, and cultural centers.