“If you wish success you must master the American language . . . I can tell in your face that you will not learn it.”

accordioncrimes.jpgBooks on Tap read Accordion Crimes by E. Annie Proulx at Champion Brewery on October 4. Most known for her short stories and The Shipping News, here Proulx examines 20th century American immigration using the conceit of one accordion that passes through the hands of Americans from Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Mexico and African-Americans. Almost all meet a grim death, as does the accordion itself after 100 years. 

We did like the research and detail Proulx included and some of the personal stories. However, it was a very long book without much connective tissue and brutal existences for most of the sprawling cast. We struggled to articulate the overall theme (and identify the crimes), finally landing on the fragility of the hope expressed both in the crafting and playing of the accordion and the American experiment as a whole. 

The highlight of the evening was when Peter Kleeman played his melodeon. He explained the similarities and differences between the melodeon and accordion and how each work. He also told us how the different ethnicities in the book tuned and played the instruments differently. He convinced us that Proulx was clever to make the accordion the main character because it is used so widely. Each group can be familiar with it but use it in ways that would baffle others, just as their choices in America can seem both rational and terrible to the reader. 



More Information:

About the author 

About the book 

Other works 

Also Mentioned:

The Red Violin (film)


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Vegan cooking class for teens

person holding sliced vegetable

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Pexels.com

Teens are invited to attend a free vegan cooking class at the Central Library to learn how to make delicious plant-based meals.

On Tuesday, October 8 from 6-8pm, Cecelia Baum will demonstrate how to make vegan “sushi” rolls and spring rolls, with attendees tasting their creation at the end of class!

Cecelia, who grew up cooking with produce from her grandparent’s garden, even lived in India to learn how to cook using fresh flavors and ingredients.

“I love finding traditional recipes and figuring out how to make them work with plant-based ingredients, staying as close to unaltered ingredients as possible,” Cecelia said.

“I think a lot of people assume that vegans and vegetarians only eat lettuce-based salads, which is pretty far from reality! Vegan food can be spicy curries, fresh tacos, or sweet desserts,” Cecelia said.

In addition to being delicious, Cecelia said there are some great health advantages to eating plant-based meals.

“Plant-based diets have been shown to improve or reverse some of our most common diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure,” she said.

The Vegan Cooking for Teens class is open for ages 13-18 and registration is required at www.jmrl.org.

Check out the class

NBC29 attended the Vegan Cooking Class for Teens. You can watch their video segment online.

Digital Inclusion Week 2019


What is digital inclusion?

Digital inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Five elements of digital inclusion:

  1. Affordable, robust broadband internet service
  2. Internet-enabled devices that meet users’ needs
  3. Access to digital literacy training
  4. Quality technical support
  5. Apps and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration

What resources are available at JMRL?

  • Computers and WiFi for public use in every branch
  • WiFi hotspots to checkout
  • Equipment to scan or digitize personal materials
  • Downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines
  • Database resources
  • Chromebooks for use inside library branches
  • Free computer tutorials at every branch

Want to build your skills?

The Central Library is offering a series of three workshops through Grow With Google:

Grow With Google – Power Your Job Search with Google Tools
MONDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2019, 2 – 3PM
Discover new job opportunities using Google Search, and learn how to organize and enhance your job search experience using G Suite tools.

Grow With Google – Digital Skills for Everyday Tasks
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2019, 2 – 3PM
Learn how to manage work and life tasks more effectively using Google tools. Whether you want to build a budget, create a meeting agenda or organize your priorities, these best practices will boost your productivity.

Grow With Google – Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs
Discover how to create a collaborative environment where everyone is responsible for design. You will go through design challenges and sprints that can be incorporated into any workplace or startup, to unlock creativity and innovative thinking.

To build your skills on your own, try one of these websites: *digitallearn.org or gcflearnfree.org