Books

Toledo author to discuss his supernatural fiction, Sept. 16

From PHIL FARINA Phil Farina, Toledo author, will be appearing at Gathering Volumes, to discuss his newest supernatural works of fiction, “Gravesend” and “The Enochian Dilemma” Saturday, Sept. 16, 2-4 p.m. “Gravesend” is loosely based on the author’s personal experiences with the supernatural. The main character is a young man named Robbie Mauro, who as a young boy often had experiences. Sometimes he heard things; sometimes he saw things; but most often he had premonitions. These experiences had a profound effect on his life. One day he and his friends came across a very old Ouija Board. Unable to resist, the boys played with the board to some death defying results. In the “Enochian Dilemma,” the author takes a page out of the book of Enoch. We are told by Enoch that God created first the angels, then man. He loved man most of all and sent the Angels to watch over man. These special Angels were called Watchers; for they were tasked to watch over man but not interfere.  The angels did not like this much, so they disobeyed Gods commands and mated with women whom they found beautiful. The results were the Nephilim, or the Giants of Old. This angered God and resulted in their destruction by the Great Flood of Noah. All the Watchers were destroyed save one, Azazel who swore vengeance against the Almighty. The Enochian Dilemma takes the reader on a fantastic journey of how to stop a renegade Angel who is hell bent on destroying God’s creations. Both books have been features at Wizard World Comic Cons and have been well received by both young and old. One reader commented “Robbie was my favorite character ever. He has so much power yet he is just like me. I can’t wait until the next installment.” Phil Farina was born in New York to immigrant parents. He grew up in Brooklyn among his very close-knit Italian family. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Grandmother were a major influence…


Lawrence Coates cultivates a sense of place in his fiction

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In his lecture “Temporary Landscape: Literature of Place,” novelist Lawrence Coates made an observation that to the young writers in the audience may have seemed like a challenge: no great novel of place has been written about Toledo or its environs. Ohioan Sherwood Anderson posited the metaphor that each place is a brick in the wall that is America. And each brick, whether it is William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County or Anderson’s own Winesburg, Ohio, modeled after Clyde, is needed to make that wall complete. This is according to Susan Straight’s map and essay “The American Experience in 737 Novels.” Coates, who teaches in Bowling Green State University’s Creative Writing program, has worked on adding his own brick to the wall. The native of northern California has focused on the Santa Clara Valley, now known as Silicon Valley. Before that it was known by other more fanciful names – The Glorious Garden Without Walls, The Valley of the Heart’s Delight, The Poor Man’s Paradise, and The Garden of the World. The last name Coates plucked for the title of his novel about winemaking in the 1920s. In his Spotlight in the Arts lecture, Coates focused on his first novel, “The Blossom Festival” and his most recent “The Goodbye House.” He opened his talk with a passage from “The Blossom Festival.” Boys are playing on the site of what was a railroad yard. All they know is that it’s a place to play, not that it was once an orchard, or a place the Spaniards grazed cattle, or friars raised grapes, or a seed meadow for the native Ohlone people. The Blossom Festival of the title was started by the preacher Sunshine Williams to celebrate the flowering of the valley’s million fruit trees. The event had parades, concerts, all you’d want for a civic celebration, including speeches. Coates said to research the novel set between the World Wars, he read, on microfilm, all the coverage of…


Fantasy tale makes Chelsea Bobulski’s literary dream a reality

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “The Wood” that gives the title to Chelsea Bobulski’s debut novel is located along Route 315 that travels along the Olentangy River as it winds along the route to Columbus. That’s a familiar stretch of road for Bobulski who grew up in the Columbus area and attended Ohio State University. She always enjoys the drive. Her imagination has conjured a darker, fantastic image of those woods. It’s a place where a teenage girl finds purpose, loss, and romance in a mysterious world. Sometimes people wander into The Wood from other time periods. The teenage Winter serves as a guardian, as her father was before and she is responsible for guiding them back to their own times lest the historic continuum collapse. But now something is seriously wrong and aided by a handsome young stranger from 18th century England, Winter must find out what’s happening. She also finds romance. In “The Wood,” Bobulski, 27, has taken the first steps to literary success. This gripping fantasy will be issued Aug. 1 by the major publisher Macmillan. The night before, Bobulski will celebrate the publication with a book release party in her Perrysburg hometown. Gathering Volumes, 196 E. Boundary St., will host the party Monday, July 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. Bobulski will be on hand to sign books, and talk with readers. She said she’d be happy to answer any questions people have about her “publishing journey.” Cupcakes from Cake in a Cup will be served. “I was telling stories since I was very little,” Bobulski said in a recent telephone interview. When she was in third grade, an author visited her school and she got her first sense that maybe writing could be a career. But while she dreamed, she never thought she could be a published writer. “I put other authors on pedestals.” She read the Harry Potter books “which was everything to me as a kid.” But, she added, “I mostly read what I could find at…


WGTE-FM personality Haley Taylor summer library guest

Submitted by WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Wood County District Public Library (251 N. Main, Bowling Green) offers adults a double-helping of appealing events on Saturday, July 15. First up, author Gwendolyn Hiles and her collaborator, Dick Rogers, talk about Hiles’ book, Jersey Gold, a true story of the Gold Rush of 1849. Hiles and Rogers share stories of fortune, lawlessness, and scandal, and reveal the roles played by unique family heirlooms in creating this exciting story. Catch the Jersey Gold book talk starting at 11 am in the 2nd floor meeting room. Free and open to all. Then, at 2 p.m., members of book groups and readers of all stripes will want to join us in the first floor meeting room for our “Summer Scoop Ice Cream Social.” You’ll get the inside scoop on summer’s coolest reads, enjoy refreshments from our ice cream bar, and hear keynote speaker, Haley Taylor, host of WGTE’s “The Rough Draft Diaries.” Space is limited and registration is required for this program. To register call,419-352-5050. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5050


Local artists promote awareness through book “Migraine365”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel doesn’t take her migraines lying down. Migraine disease may immobilize her at times, but she’s resolved to be a voice for others who suffer. It means being active on social media as Lady Migraine at ladymigraine.com. It means writing for migraine.com, and appearing in videos being the face for the many tormented by the silent demon. It means teaming with her husband John Roberts-Zibbel to write a graphic journal, “Migraine 365,” that looks at daily life for someone with migraine disease and their loved ones. In their case that includes two daughters Isobel, 8, and Alexandra 12. The book was self-published and can be purchased at blurb.com. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have them,” she said of the severe headaches and array of symptoms that accompany them. She was diagnosed when she was a child and remembers always having at least one per week, but the headaches didn’t become chronic, fifteen or more per month, until she was 30. “It was always a big problem,” Roberts-Zibbel said. “It took me a lot longer to get through college.” She persisted, but so did the migraine disease. Her first pregnancy was debilitating, and her second even worse. “Sometimes the pain gets so bad you want to shoot yourself in the head.” The disease forced her out of jobs. Now as a partner in Zibbel Media, she is a key player on the BG Independent News team, handling advertising, posting obituaries, and occasionally contributing articles. John Roberts-Zibbel got the idea for “Migraine 365” in 2014 while the family was on vacation in Cape May, New Jersey. Everything was going wrong, including no air conditioning in the middle of summer. And weather, Elizabeth said, “is one of my worst triggers.” John has been involved in the world of fantasy and comics for years, both as an illustrator and with his live rapping character The Mechanical Cat, who makes regular appearances at local clubs. Drawing during…


Gathering Volumes hosting Harry Potter House Party, June 26

In celebration of their one year anniversary Gathering Volumes invites you to a Harry Potter House Party on June 26 at 7 p.m. Gathering Volumes bookstore in Perrysburg will be hosting events throughout the day on Monday, June 26 to celebrate their first anniversary. The day will include special discounts throughout the day, children’s activities including an introductory class on coding, a special story time, and book giveaways. They will end the day with a special house-themed Harry Potter party at 7 p.m. During the party guests will be sorted into their house based on the color of their clothes, so if you know your preferred house, dress appropriately. “Many fans know what house they belong to based on personal preference or the quiz on the Pottermore site,” says Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes. “So we have encouraged them to attend the party dressed in the color of their house. For example, anyone wearing predominantly green apparel will be sorted into Slytherin. E ach house will compete in four competitions and one house will be deemed the winner of the house cup. Members of the winning house will receive prizes at the end of the night.” Additionally, the party will involve Hogwarts appropriate snacks, and The Glass City Mashers will be offering samples of beer brewed locally, possibly even a Butterbeer. The Glass City Mashers are a beer, mead, and cider homebrewing club of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, formed in 2011. The non-profit organization looks to find ways to raise awareness for homebrewed and craft beer along with helping other charities in Northwest Ohio. “Internationally the first book of the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released this month in special house versions to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter,” says Denise. “We are working with a Canadian company to bring those to our customers and thought it would be appropriate to host an anniversary party with that theme. We are currently taking orders…


Library nurtures community in many ways

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green students will be able to borrow digital material without even going to the library, and folks in Walbridge will be able to go to the library to get water. These were among the matters before the Wood County District Public Library Board when it met Monday. (See http://bgindependentmedia.org/community-tree-has-seen-its-last-christmas-new-tree-will-be-planted-in-place/ for story on board’s decision to replace community tree.) Children’s Librarian Maria Simon explained the new E-cards that were distributed to students in grades 3 through 11 this week. The cards will give students access to such online libraries as Hoopla Digital, TumbleBooks and The Ohio Digital Library. Because the materials borrowed using the cards are automatically returned, no fines are charged on the cards. Information is available both through the library and the schools on how to use them. Students cannot borrow physical material from the library using the cards. The E-cards are another way of encouraging students to read during the summer, Simon said. The library board approved an agreement with the Northwestern Water and Sewer District for the district to install one of its watershed units at the newly expanded Walbridge branch. The unit will be installed in a closet-size space with outdoor access. The district will pay for installation. In exchange for locating the unit at the library it will not charge the library for water or sewer service and will pay $$200 in rent. Library Director Michael Penrod said this will provide another service to the community. Also at the meeting, the board discussed the prospects for state funding. State library funding is provided based on a percentage of the state’s general revenues. In the past biennium budget that percentage was 1.7 percent of the state’s revenues, higher than the previous rate of 1.66 percent. Penrod said he expects that percentage will be bumped back down to 1.66 percent. The Ohio Library Council is advocating for the number to stay at 1.7percent. How much that will generate is uncertain…


“Build a Better World” is theme for library’s summer reading program

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY “Build a Better World” this summer with the Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program.  Registration begins from the “Observation Deck” of the Children’s Place all day Wednesday, May 24th along with a “Touch a Truck” visit in the library parking lot between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration continues all summer and is also available online http://wcdpl.readsquared.com . Monthly calendars of programs and events can be found in the WCDPL Family Connect Magazine widely distributed to schools, organizations, and businesses as well as picked up from the library.  Calendars are also available from the library website http://www.wcdpl.org/CPCalendar. Youth registrants receive a one use pass to the BG Pool and Water Park as well a coupon for a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  Later in the summer, one day passes to the Wood County Fair will be distributed to participants. The Children’s Place is encouraging everyone to set their own summer reading goals.  As readers report their reading progress, they earn incentive prizes to be picked up at the library.  All participants qualify for a final end of summer raffle, but the more stories climbed, the more chances to win!  Levels are set at the tallest building in Wood County, the tallest in Ohio, in the United States, and the tallest building in the world.  Readers will identify and learn about these buildings and other skyscrapers and engineering feats from the “Observation Deck” and the world map display in the “Observation Deck.”  All summer, a “Bridge to Literacy and Better Understanding” will be constructed by a growing community of readers. Everyone is invited to explore many languages and images of beautiful libraries around the world from the Children’s Place castle. Counting stories this summer is determined by the reader:  picturebooks, chapters, beginning readers, audio books, ebooks, comic books, scripts, book trailer videos and suggested podcasts all count.  A wide variety of book lists and suggested resources can be found on the library website http://www.wcdpl.org/greatbookskids   Books…


BGSU arts events through April 28

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 13 – The International Film Series continues with the Swedish film “Force Majeure,” directed by Ruben Östlund. An award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and other internationally recognized venues, the film deftly explores the emotional dimensions of the legal term “force majeure,” an unexpected event (such as a hurricane) that releases both parties from the obligations of a contract. In this story, the ski vacation of a seemingly ideal family takes a sudden turn when an avalanche approaches them as they are having a pleasant lunch at the lodge. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free April 13 – Prout Readings conclude with B.F.A. student readings at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 13 – Bowling Green Opera Theater presents a variety of opera scenes. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 14 – The University Choral Society and Early Music Ensemble present Bach’s “St. John Passion.” The moving and sacred oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach is a dramatic representation of the Passion as told in the Gospel of John for the Good Friday Vespers of 1724. Revel in the extravagant, expressive music of the season. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, East Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free April 14 – The Toledo Museum of Art and BGSU’s College of Musical Arts present EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art. The performance and discussion series will feature BGSU doctoral candidates in music performing in response to the work in the Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic exhibit. It begins at 7 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St, Toledo. Free April 18 – Music at the Manor House features the Graduate String Quartet. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the…


Michigan author Patricia Polacco Literacy in the Park guest

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s annual Literacy in the Park event will feature popular children’s author Patricia Polacco. The Lansing native has written and illustrated more than 115 books for children in addition to being a playwright and penning for adults. She is a much-sought-after lecturer and keynote speaker. Some of her most popular books include “The Keeping Quilt,” “Thunder Cake” and “Thank you, Mr. Falker.” Presented by BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development, Literacy in the Park will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29, at Perry Field House. The event is free and open to the public. Last year, more than 2,000 people attended the event. Literacy in the Park, which has taken place for more than a decade, promotes the importance of literacy in the lives of children and features more than 40 interactive exhibitor booths and displays. The focus of the event has been expanded to address all of the different ways literacy is important in our lives. In addition to reading and writing activities, families will have opportunities to engage in activities about digital literacy, science and environmental literacy, financial literacy, nutritional literacy, physical education literacy and many other forms of literacy that can be found in their lives and communities. In addition to these literacy-related activities going on throughout the day, there will also be entertainment on the main stage and two presentations from Polacco. Born in Michigan, Polacco’s family on her mother’s side were Jewish immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine, and her father’s people were from the County of Limerick in Ireland. Both cultures valued and kept their history alive by storytelling. Her heritage and the themes of family traditions and storytelling feature prominently in her books, which touch on a wide variety of topics including bullying and understanding differences, learning disabilities, tradition and heritage, family relationships and more. While there is no cost to attend, guests are encouraged to preregister to…


“Smoke Signals screening, food in the trenches on tap at library

Thursday, April 13 Community Reads presents the award-winning film, “Smoke Signals,” based on Sherman Alexie’s short story collection, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven.” The PG-13 film, with screenplay by Alexie and featuring Adam Beach, Evan Adams, and Irene Bedard, will be shown in the second Floor Meeting Room at 10 a.m., with an encore presentation at 6:45 p.m. Ever wonder what American dough boys ate in the trenches of World War I? Saturday, April 15, come hear author and food historian Nathan Crook (“A Culinary History of the Great Black Swamp”) talk about the good, the bad, and the unusual food that fueled the front for U. S. soldiers during the Great War. The library will be closed Sunday, April 16, and will resume regular hours on Monday, April 17. All programs are free and open to all. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5104,


Library board gets down to the nuts & bolts of strategic planning

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When the Wood County District Public Library approves Director Michael Penrod’s next three-year “to-do” list, going to the hardware store probably won’t be one of the chores included. But the board may embrace a notion that Penrod shared from a recent library conference: “If our city is the best in the world then the library is its hardware store.” Penrod offered assurances though that he didn’t want to compete with Floyd Craft owner of ACE Hardware. The library will have plenty else on its agenda, which will be set by a new Strategic Plan for the years 2018-2020. Penrod and the board will have that plan ready by the beginning of next year. The plan is important because it brings the library through November, 2020, when it will have to be on the ballot to renew its levy. That levy generated almost $1 million in 2016, about 40 percent of the library’s revenue. When the strategic plan is done, Penrod said, its message should be simple enough to explain to an 11-year-old. Little will be simple about the process of getting to that point. The library is planning for an uncertain future, operating within an environment of constantly changing technology. Board Chairman Brian Paskavan posed the question: “Is the organization flexible enough to move when we need to move?” He admitted that “that’s a tall order.” Penrod presented the board with demographic data and library statistics that will guide the process. Those statistics show a shift toward greater use of digital materials, and less circulation for physical books, except from the bookmobile and at the correctional center library. The shift to eBooks is so great, libraries are typically reducing the space devoted for shelving books by 40 percent when they do construction projects, he said. That was not the case, he noted, for the renovation of the Walbridge branch. Those eBooks, Penrod said, are expensive. A book that costs $17 for a hard cover…


Poet Cheryl Lachowski’ “Ditches” cuts to the heart of the Black Swamp

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The ditches of the Black Swamp collect a lot of material – water, cattails, the occasional vehicle. Poet Cheryl Lachowski’s expansive project “Ditches” takes in even more. Lachowski, who teaches General Studies Writing at Bowling Green State University, gave a presentation earlier this week on the work in progress. She’s nearing the end of a semester-long leave, a welcomed respite from grading student compositions. The time to focus on poetry was made possible through a grant from the university’s Institute for the Study of Culture and Society. She said it was “unbelievable” that she, as a non-tenure track faculty, could avail herself of such a leave. One requirement is to give a presentation on the work accomplished during the leave. Ditches are a defining feature of the Great Black Swamp. They transformed the swamp from wildlands into farmlands, and they form the divide between the two sections of Lachowski’s books. The first section, which she is finishing up thanks to the leave, is “Watershed.” The second will be “Homestead.” The devoted to the time before ditches transformed the region, and the other afterward. The first before white settlers took hold, and the second when the native populations were evicted from the swamp. The Battle of Fallen Timbers will serve as a dividing line. The divide between the sections is not so neat. The Black Swamp is not so neat. Lachowski’s sprawling work seeks to encompass all its aspects. She described “Ditches” as a literary montage with ditches serving as an overriding symbol. Lachowski, who has frequently worked with musicians including a collaboration with composer Tim Story, read her work under the starry dome of the BGSU planetarium to the ambient sounds created by a number of musician. That montage includes verse, entries from a gardening journal, news reports, a story for children, and bits of the diaries of long-gone inhabitants. Lachowski even stops to record the bumper stickers on the vehicles outside the visitor…


BGSU arts events through April 18

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 7 – The Collegiate Chorale and University Women’s Chorus will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by phone at 419-372-8171, or online at http://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. April 7 – The elsewhere theater season concludes with “Dying City,” written by Christopher Shin and directed by Tanner Lias. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. on April 8 and 9. Free April 8 – The Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition will take place in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Preliminaries will begin at noon, with finals following at 8 p.m. Free April 8 – An opening reception for the MFA I Thesis Exhibition will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Free Through April 18 – The MFA I Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free April 9 – The Sunday Matinee Series continues with the 1925 film “The Lost World,” directed by Harry G. Hoyt. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not only the creator of Sherlock Holmes, he happened to write imaginative first-rate adventures, including this tale which involves one Professor Challenge who discovers a jungle plateau where prehistoric beasts thrive — all masterfully animated by Willis O’Brien, who would bring to thrilling life King Kong. The screening will begin at 3 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free April 9 –…


Sherman Alexie shows pure power of storytelling

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Readers familiar with Sherman Alexie probably weren’t expecting him to sit back in a leather chair and stoically read from his novels. But they may not have been expecting him to slaughter so many sacred cows. “You have billboards of me,” Alexie said to the sold out crowd at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center, Thursday evening. “I saw it and I wanted to put a Bible verse up.” Not a real verse, but something like “Jason 99:12” just to mess with people. He warned that he wasn’t a typical Native American. If the audience was waiting for him to thank them for welcoming him here, they could just keep waiting. “You f—— stole everything in Ohio,” he said. He poked fun at pompous professors, conservative Christians, white Americans who are anti-immigrant, and ultra protective parents who won’t get their children immunized. “This is from a person whose entire race was almost wiped out by smallpox,” he said. “F— you.” He also warned the audience wanting autographs after the program to avoid one particular topic of conversation. “Later a lot of you are going to come up and tell me you’re part Indian,” he said. “There’s no such thing as being a part-time Indian.” But the author also poked fun at himself. This was Alexie’s second visit to Bowling Green, the first being 17 years ago when he spoke at BGSU.  On Thursday when the woman who hosted his previous visit raised her hand in the crowd, the author asked, “Did we make out? I used to be a pretty literary wonder boy … Now I’m 50.” Alexie, who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, writes poetry, short stories and novels, many of them based on his own experiences. One of his best known books is “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a collection of short-stories which was made into the film “Smoke Signals.” His first novel was “Reservation…