Thursday, April 29, 2010

Smile Politely's Stories & Beer

It's a big tease, the Stories & Beer events. At least to me, they are. They're on Tuesday evenings, catty-corner from the library at the Iron Post, while I'm working the reference desk at the library. I like to drink beer and hear stories, but instead I toil.

Lucky for me that they record the stories. Most recently, they video-recorded them. Now I can drink beer in front of my laptop while hearing stories and watching their readers. In all honesty, however, when I watched some of these last night, I was actually eating vegan pudding. Watch this space for my news about my competing, non-Tuesday night Stories & Pudding series.

I'm going to make special note of two of the storytellers, Arley McNeney and Joe Meno, because if you like their stories, you should check out their books.

I know McNeney from the University of Illinois English Department, and while I haven't read her novel, Post, my wife has and she gives it the thumbs up. It's a realistic story, human and humorous, about wheelchair basketball, relationships, and a hip replacement. No, you haven't read anything like this.

I do not know Chicago-area author Meno personally, but his The Boy Detective Fails was one of my favorite books of 2006 [see his other books in our collection]. It's about childhood prodigy, not living up to expectations, and loss, told in a unique, un-chronological way with plenty of humor. I haven't recommended it yet to someone who didn't like it. I'll also note his The Great Perhaps, as it's the one he reads from in the video.

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