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Books

Page Turners: Essential reading for steps toward being anti-racist

It’s a popular social media trend, lists of book recommendations dealing with anti-racism. You’re probably familiar with their contents, The Color of Law, White Fragility, Audre Lorde, Ta Neesi-Coates, with some fiction by Zora Neale Huston or Toni Morrison for good measure. I’m male and pale, so I can’t speak to whether a list of […]

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Pandemic Non-fiction: What you don’t know can kill you

There is no shortage of books about diseases through human history, but a few have become definitive classics. I’ve curated an admittedly highly opinionated selection of the best. Some books that arguably would have qualified have been left off simply because they are too old, and medicine changes so rapidly that it could be misleading […]

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18 Tiny Deaths: The untold story of Frances Glessner Lee and the invention of modern forensics

I discovered the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, while wandering through Atlas Obscura one evening. Vintage dioramas on a 1:12 scale? Of mysterious death scenes? By the first female police captain? I was on my way to Baltimore.   Witnessing these tiny, unique worlds in all of their macabre glory, I met the curator and guardian […]

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Reading Together While Apart: Continuing to connect PVD’s literary community

After coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns caused What Cheer Writers Club (whatcheerclub.org) to close its co-working space and podcasting studio in downtown PVD and to cancel in-person events beginning on Monday, March 16, program manager Jodie Noel Vinson contacted members to encourage the community of writers to support each other and continue to share their work through […]

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Watch It!: 20 films, shows, and novels to keep you paranoid while quarantined

Either by choice or not, we all will be spending a lot of time indoors. Even after lying in bed contemplating our mortality, raiding the fridge and fighting over toilet paper, our schedules will still be open enough for us to take a look at our infinitely expanding watchlist. Art imitates life and a lot […]

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From In-Line to Online with Twenty Stories: PVD bookseller drives into an escalating pandemic

After converting a 30-year-old Chevy G20 van into the Twenty Stories bookmobile in 2017, Alexa Trembly and Emory Harkins drove around Los Angeles sweltering through summer highs, some days struggling to sell as many as three books. While relocating in 2018 to Rhode Island, where Harkins grew up, their van broke down in the desert […]

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Closed Libraries, Open Resources: Films, e-books, and audiobooks within reach for free during social distancing

During October 1918, the Providence Public Library closed for three weeks on account of the influenza pandemic, known as the Spanish flu. That year, the outbreak claimed the lives of 941 Providence residents, and another 1,365 people across Rhode Island. In The Providence Journal, the city’s health superintendent suggested: “Keep at arm’s length from everybody,” […]

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Elizabeth Rush’s Rising: When the storm is on top of us

When Elizabeth Rush arrived in Yangon, Myanmar, in 2008, she dwelled on the former capital’s colonial buildings. For nearly a century, the British Empire claimed and governed the city as Rangoon and its greater territory as British Burma. The independent union, federating more than 100 distinct ethnic groups and languages into seven states, fell with […]

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