Julie Tymorek, administrative assistant in the Wellness Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, read:
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Sure, everyone has seen the movie The Godfather, and yeah, it’s great—but seriously, read the book. Mario Puzo’s writing moves beyond the cliches of the typical mafia drama and offers a rare look into the intimacies of a crime family and those close to them. Both gritty and tender, the book delves further into the personal struggles and triumphs of the family and their inner circle—including characters who were minor in the movie, like Sonny’s lover, Lucy Mancini, and the singer Johnny Fontane, a character inspired by Frank Sinatra. First published in 1969, the book explores prejudices that Italian-Americans faced, and the community they found in “the family.”
Henry Henderson, director of the midwest program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, saw:
Pierre Assouline at the Arts Club of Chicago
I went to a talk by Assouline, a writer and journalist who has a regular column in Le Monde, and a blog, and who has written extensively about Hergé, the creator of The Adventures of Tintin. He talked about the Musee Nissim de Camondo in Paris, which was created by a Jewish family and remains a wonderful civic monument to French civilization. It was a fascinating talk that touched upon communal infighting and the problems of people misconstruing the nature of those they live among. Just incredibly well thought-out, and an interestingly calm analysis of the tides of history and what remains (in terms of people’s commitment) and what gets wiped out.
Shawn Smith, creative director and president of Shawnimals, is reading:
Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
The folks behind 37signals are business and life geniuses, so do yourself—and your business—a favor and immerse yourself in Rework. “Wait a sec . . . a book about business over the carefree days of summer?” you ask. Yes, even over the summer. It’s a fast, relatively light read, yet deals with important small business issues and interesting solutions, especially for creative folk. I find the real world examples and anecdotes as insightful as they are empowering. No fluff, no meaningless corporate jargon. Just the good stuff. In other words: Jack Donaghy would love to hate it.
Steve Zalusky, manager of communications at the American Library Association, will see:
Charlie Chaplin at the Gene Siskel Film Center
I will always owe Chaplin a huge debt for helping to instill my love of silent film. As a boy, I would buy eight-millimeter movie prints of such films as The Adventurer and The Immigrant. It is always a treat to revisit these masterpieces, because there is always something new to discover. I’ve seen practically all the movies featured in the series, though not Monsieur Verdoux—a dark comedy about an old man who’s a serial killer—in its entirety. I’ll probably be seeing Shoulder Arms . . . and Limelight—because even more than I like Chaplin, I like Buster Keaton, and it has the only appearance of them together, as far as I know.
Brandy Agerbeck, artist and graphic facilitator at Loosetooth.com, enjoyed:
Segway Experience of Chicago
Despite chilly spring weather, my fella and I had a ton of fun on Segways this week. Getting past any yellow safety vest and bike helmet embarrassment, it’s a superslick ride. Touring on a weekday afternoon, we were part of a group of six; Josiah, our tour guide, gave us individual attention, and the tour was really intuitive—safe and brilliantly easy. Josiah took us all around the museum campus and down to Northerly Island. All of us were Chicagoans, but we still all learned new things about our city as we rolled along. You can cover a ton of highlights in a much shorter time than by foot. You won’t want to give back your Segways at the end.