Category Archives: Book Group

Food for Thought: Bringing Nature Home

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The last selection in our series on humankind and the nature world is Bringing Nature Home by Douglas H. Tallamy. This is a fantastic guide for anyone with a lawn or garden, to restore the lost biodiversity from many decades of popular landscaping choices. The book is well organized and readable, with plenty of anecdotes and examples.

This month’s book talk falls in the midst of our stay-at-home order, so if you’ve read the book, let’s talk it up, and if you would like to bring 3 other books to recommend for summer reading, please do.

Food for Thought book discussion Wednesday, May 13 from 6:00-7:00 via Zoom. To make a reservation, please send a note to info@LitYoungstown.org.

Next year’s series will be books written by Black authors. For your pandemic reading pleasure!

September (fiction) The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
October (fiction) The Water Dancer by Ta Nehisi Coates
November (poetry) Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
December Any children’s book
January (short stories) The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
February (fiction) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
March (fiction) We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
April (speculative fiction) Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
May (fiction) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Food for Thought: The Hidden Half of Nature

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We picked this book out half a year ago for our series on humankind in the natural world; who knew it would be so relevant?

The Hidden Half of Nature is described as an “ambitious and prodigiously researched book” that presents a “romantic view of the microbial world” by Sonia Shah, a science journalist writing for The New York Times.
“At the heart of this delightful book lies the simple belief that microbes have ‘shaped our past and how we treat them will shape our future in ways we are only beginning to understand.’” Publishers Weekly Review
“A must-read for avid gardeners, those interested in bolstering our precarious food supply, or anyone remotely concerned about their health and the soil under their feet.” Kirkus Reviews Review
“Eye opening … A must for all fascinated by the workings of the body and for those concerned with health care and the environment.” Booklist Continue reading

Third Thursday Writers Circle

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Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written? Bring 12 copies (one poem or excerpt of prose, 2000 words max.). to the Third Thursday Writers Circle. Guest facilitator Allison Pitinii Davis.

We will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, March 19. Come to the door on the right, under the stone archway, and ring the buzzer.

Food for Thought: Unsheltered

67765923_1413678405437202_8801664256215875584_oAuthor Meg Wolitzer writes for the New York Times of Unsheltered, “A dual narrative needs to be not only well choreographed, but also, more important, necessary. Kingsolver’s dual narrative works beautifully here.”

You can find copies of the book at the Mahoning and Trumbull County libraries, YSU Maag Library via OhioLink and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, March 11 from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

Food for Thought: The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future

This round, our book discussion is immersed in a theme of humankind and the natural world. Our next Food for Thought selection is a heavy lift, but after the fiction and poetry we have read, set so intensely in the natural world, this book will lend us the accuracy and language to understand contemporary interconnections between humans and the natural world. The book opens with the words, “It is worse, much worse than you think.” Read an NPR review here.

You can find copies at the Mahoning and Trumbull County libraries, YSU Maag Library via OhioLink and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought is hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, February 12, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

Upcoming Food for Thought Titles:

March 11 (Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

2019 Annual Report

We published our 2019 Annual Report! Thanks to all–you put the light in Lit Youngstown. There were so many to thank, our hearts are full. We hope we haven’t forgotten anyone, but if we did, please let us know.

Food for Thought: For a Little While

67776435_1413485245456518_8050088538974191616_oNew Year’s Day bumps our book discussion to the 15th! Join us for a conversation about the short story collection For a Little While by acclaimed writer Rick Bass.

New York Times reviewer Dwight Garner writes of Bass’s collection, “He is a keen and relentless observer of woods and prairies and beasts of every variety, so much so that many of these stories could be dropped intact into The Best American Science and Nature Writing and no one would blink.” Continue reading

Food for Thought: Oceanic

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Author Tamiko Beyer writes in the Georgia Review of Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic, “The poet reminds her readers that as human beings of all races and genders, we must stay open to the world. We must forge connections with other humans and the nonhuman—and remain vulnerable.”

You can find copies of the book through YSU Maag Library via OhioLink, the Copper Canyon Press website, and the YSU Barnes & Noble. Continue reading

Lit Youngstown Turns 5!!!!!

Five years! It’s gone by in a flash. Let’s take a moment to celebrate all we’ve done together. And then let’s have a party!

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Jeffrey Murphy, Laura Grace Weldon, Jeanne Bryner & David Lee Garrison at the dedication of the Words Made Visible poetry-in-sidewalk squares

Since January of 2015 we have hosted nearly 400 writers, celebrating local talent and  visiting writers who have won prestigious awards. Local writers from age 6 to their 80s have shared poems and stories at open mics. (Photos: Mary Biddinger & Mary Quade, Lena Carson, Yahia Tahat, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jimmy Sutman, Marjorie Maddox) Continue reading

Food for Thought: The Overstory

This round of titles, we’ll be immersed in a theme of humankind and the natural world. The Overstory 67646395_1412675748870801_5716195961638748160_nearned Richard Powers a Pulitzer Prize in fiction, the committee describing the novel as “an ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.”

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, November 13, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. All books are available through the YSU Maag or public library systems, and at the YSU Barnes & Noble. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us. Continue reading