Latest News: In the News

Literary Evening encourages book lovers to share their passion

Friday, April 09, 2010  
Share |
By Georgette Braun
Apr 09, 2010 @ 08:32 AM

Sandra Bullock reportedly had expressed interest in playing the lead role in the movie version of "Kabul Beauty School,” a book I’ll lead a discussion on May 1 at Literary Evening Downtown 2010.

But those stories surfaced three years ago. And the online Internet Movie Database merely lists the movie as "in development.” It makes no mention of who might play whom. So it seems things are a bit uncertain with regard to the film, kind of like Bullock’s marriage to Jesse James.

At my book talk, we’ll chat in a makeshift Afghan salon about very difficult marriages in Kabul. More importantly, we’ll discuss the escape women in the male-dominated, war-torn city find in a beauty school set up there by a Michigan woman.

My session is one of 16 featuring higher-profile Rockfordians talking about one of their favorite books with those who attend their discussions.

The Literary Evening Downtown isn’t the only book-based affair on tap soon in the Rock River Valley.

The Meet Local Authors Event showcases seven area writers discussing their books on Wednesday at the North Suburban Library in Loves Park.

Tell Geo your thoughts on her blog.

If you go
What: Ninth annual Literary Evening Downtown. Guests are invited to read a book from each session, but do not need the books to participate.
When: May 1, with first session at 7:30 p.m. and second session at 8:45 p.m.
Where: Rockford Woman’s Club, 323 Park Ave., Rockford
Cost: $45 and includes appetizers, coffee and desserts. Wine and beer available at a cash bar.
Beneficiary and promoter: Rockford Public Library Foundation
Information:, 815-987-6611; reservations requested, but tickets available at the door

First discussion session
Jack Becherer, president of Rock Valley College, "Soul of the Firm” by William Pollard; Total Quality Management meets Christian values.

David Byrnes, executive director of Midway Village Museum, "Stones into Schools,” by Greg Mortenson. Efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan.

Jerry Paulson, executive director of the Natural Land Institute, and Keith Blackmore, retired biology professor at Highland Community College, "Our Choice, A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” by Al Gore.

Alan Brown, executive director of the Burpee Museum of Natural History, "Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation,” by James John Carlin; a plan to use the national rugby team to engage a new South Africa.

Georgette Braun, Rockford Register Star columnist, "Kabul Beauty School,” by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson; salon as escape and skill-builder for Afghan women.

Rosemary Collins, circuit judge, "The Cancer Survivor’s Guide,” by Neal Barnyard and Jennifer K. Reilly; how foods can benefit those diagnosed with cancer.

Colleen Cyrus, assistant superintendent of student support for the Rockford School District, "Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable,” by Patrick Lencioni. Group behavior is the target.

Dr. Bill Gorski, president and chief executive officer of SwedishAmerican Health System, "Playing With the Enemy,” by Gary Moore. The relationship between prisoners and guards and a U.S. Navy baseball team.

Second discussion session
Dr. Martin Lipsky, dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, "Catch-22,” by Joseph Heller. A satirical, classic novel about the murderous insanity of war and a general critique of bureaucratic operation and reasoning.

Robert Head, Rockford College president, "The Good Soldiers,” by David Finkel; chronicles of a 15-month deployment in Iraq.

Karl Jacobs, retired president of Rock Valley College, "America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story,” by Bruce Feiler; Moses’ life as employed by leaders in shaping America’s identity.

Steve Larsen, music director of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, "This is Your Brain on Music:The Science of a Human Obsession,” by Daniel Levitin; why music affects us so deeply.

Paul Logli, United Way chief executive officer, "Churchill,” by Paul Johnson; the assertion that no man did more than Winston Churchill to preserve freedom and democracy.

Fay Muhammad, assistant director of the Rockford Public Library, "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere,” by ZZ Packer; short stories about black men and women, mostly young and urban.

Katie Nilsson, WREX-13 co-anchor, "The Blind Side,” by Michael Lewis; the workings of college and professional football, and the positive effects of love, family and education.

Laurie Preece, volunteer leader of the Rockford Charter Schools Initiative, "Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It,” by Eric Jensen.

Meet local authors
What: Meet the Local Authors Event
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: North Suburban Library, 6340 N. Second St., Loves Park
Cost: No admission fee. Authors will have books on hand to sell and sign. Bring cash or checks if purchasing books.
Information: 815-633-4247, ext. 27

The authors:
Marlena Bielefedlt, "Milestones and Hardships,” published under her pen name, Miss Nina Bell. She began writing in high school. Inspiration for her writing comes from her mother and three girls.

Charlotte Hackin, "Stay Young to 100,” which provides 10 life lessons and shows you how to overcome personal problems to be happy, wise, healthy, inspiring and prosperous. Hackin, 90, has taught school and has been a life coach and artist.

Ted Iverson, "Mission to the Stars: The Search for FTL,” science fiction about the Bindl boys and their quest to travel faster than light. Iverson took writing classes while working full time and raising his family.

Christina Goodrich, "From the Oak Tree,” published under her pen name, Tina Marie. The rhyming picture book about a squirrel who is afraid of heights evokes the themes of friendship, courage and persistence.

Christine Swanberg, poetry books that include "Tonight on This Late Road,” "Invisible String,” "Bread Upon the Waters” and "Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity.” Swanberg has been an active poet for nearly three decades.

Patrick Tracey, "Stalking Irish Madness,” which has won awards, including the PEN New England Award for best work of nonfiction. Formerly of Boston and now of Pecatonica, he has written for Ms. magazine and The Washington Post.

Todd Zoellick, "Daniel Harrington Fairbanks the Third and the Dog that Wouldn’t Bark,” is a rhyming tale of best friends who have summer adventures. He is founder and president of Zoellick Enterprises, an education consulting firm, and has been an attorney.

This story appeared at on April 9, 2010.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

Latest News