A weekend of events celebrating the grand reopening of the Lucile H. Bluford Branch begins with a presentation at the Central Library by Guion Bluford, the nephew of civil rights pioneer Lucile Bluford, about his experiences as America's first black astronaut in space.
A veteran of four space missions, Bluford is an engineer and a colonel (retired) in the United States Air Force. His first mission in space was in 1983 as a member of the crew of the space shuttle Challenger.
Mark Lee Gardner discusses his new book about one of the most thrilling manhunts in Wild West history, lawman Pat Garrett’s pursuit of outlaw Billy the Kid on Tuesday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Walker Howe explains how President Abraham Lincoln’s youthful obsession with self-improvement made him one of the most successful presidents in American history on Thursday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Howe will discuss how Lincoln’s program of self-education through disciplined reading, and other experiences in his young adulthood, shaped his moral character and influenced his politics and his worldview.
Demetria Martinez will discuss her journey as a renowned author, lecturer, activist, and columnist.
Among Martinez’s most notable books is Mother Tongue, based in part upon her 1988 trial for conspiracy against the United States government in connection with smuggling Salvadoran refugees into the country. She was later found to be not guilty on First Amendment grounds. Martinez’s collection of autobiographical essays, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana, earned her the 2006 International Latino Book Award.
The At Ease with Opera series returns to the Kansas City Public Library on Monday, March 1, with Don Dagenais presenting The Galley Years: Verdi’s Path to Rigoletto at 7 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Dagenais will discuss how Verdi’s early career influenced his three great mid-career operas, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and La Traviata. The discussion will include audio and video excerpts.
Author and political activist Charles Hardy discusses his book Cowboy in Caracas: A North American Memoir of Venezuela’s Democratic Revolution on Thursday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
A former Catholic priest, Hardy has lived in Venezuela for more than 20 years. He spent eight of those years in a shack made of cardboard and tin in one of Caracas’ barrios.
Kansas City Star television critic Aaron Barnhart discusses his new book Tasteland, a look back at the best TV of the past 15 years, on Thursday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The event marks the release of the book, in which Barnhart chronicles the 100 best television programs to air during his 15 years as a critic. Each selection includes Barnhart's comments. His selections can all be rented, bought, or downloaded.
Longtime Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks and his wife, local blogger Roxie Hammill, discuss their new book Mike and Roxie's Vegetable Paradise on Wednesday, February 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.