Last genre X meeting (sorta)

Hello Everyone!

After a successful 8-year run, genre X is moving on from the Oak Park Public Library. This month’s meeting on Tuesday February 24 at 8pm at Shanahan’s in Forest Park will be the last meeting run by library staff. The group will continue to meet on its own; the Facebook group page, and the page, will remain up as digital meeting and organizing tools. While the library will not be able to reserve a block amount of titles for the group, we can still of course put titles on hold for individual card-holder’s accounts. We’ve also put together a possible reading list for the remainder of 2015, which is at the bottom of this post.
Thank you so much for all the fun, support, and great discussions and events over the years! So while this is a bon voyage from facilitation through library staff, the group will continue to meet and discuss over drinks and food – see you there!

2015 Reading List
March: “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” by BJ Novak
April: “The Circle” by Dave Eggers
May: “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (a mostly true memoir)” by Jenny Lawson
June: “How To Tell Toledo From The Night Sky” by Lydia Netzler
July: “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty
August: “The Flamethrowers: A Novel” by Rachel Kushner
September: “Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness” by Susannah Cahalan
October: “Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus” by Mary Shelley
November: “Friendship” by Emily Gould

Foodie Bingo next Thursday!

Image courtesy of <a href=""></a>.
Image courtesy of


If you don’t like Bingo, booze, and winning awesome food-related things, then we don’t even know who you are or what you are about. Get away from us you unsavory character! But if you do like all of these things, then clearly you should come to Foodie Bingo at Main Library Thursday, November 20th. It starts at 6 pm and goes until the prizes run out.

There will be fancy cookbooks, fancy tea, fancy foodstuffs, and other varieties of fanciness from your favorite Oak Park businesses. We have been practicing our Bingo calls and learning how sausage is made, all for your education and entertainment. We’re excited to see you!

Your Favorite Gum Is Back In Style

I always check my coffee for fish, now. Thanks for the PSA, Pete.
I always check my coffee for fish, now. Thanks for the PSA, Pete.


This week, I hit the big 3-0, and I got the best birthday present I could have ever asked for from David Lynch. If you love cherry pie, cremated bacon, Michael J. Anderson dancing in a red suit, or use the interwebs from time to time, you know what it is: 9 new episodes of Twin Peaks, the seminal 90s TV show best known for…wait, what it is best known for? The beautiful 1990s sweater apparel? The Log Lady? The soundtrack, once described to me as “pianos with ladies screaming?”

For me, Twin Peaks is a series I’ve been watching all of my life. I first watched it with my parents in the original 1990-91 NBC run, because they had no understanding of what is appropriate television for a seven year old child. All of the humor was lost on me. I had nightmares about scary Bob and mistrusted white horses for most of my childhood. Then it came on Bravo when I was 15. I watched the whole series and finally got the humor. Then I watched it in college on rented VHS tapes, then on Netflix. Twin Peaks is my macaroni and cheese – its my comfort food. It’s the weird family that can be really frustrating sometimes, but also lovely and magical.

So I’m also a little worried about what the new series will be. The show left on a brutal cliffhanger that I thought was the only way it could end: deeply unsatisfying, few main characters left unscathed, and with a lot of loose ends. I hope the new series doesn’t tidy everything up. I like my ambiguity.

I have so many questions. Like, what happens to Diane? Does she get replaced with Siri? Its just not the same…Also, can David Bowie be in it?


How do you feel? Are you excited? Are you worried? Will you binge watch the old series while wearing Cosby sweaters with me?

Hard-Boiled Wrap Up


More Murakami please! For the first time in genre X history we returned to an author and most everyone in attendance agreed that Murakami was a worthy choice for this distinction. Way back in 2008 genre X discussed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but for this month’s selection we discussed Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World.

There’s so much to discuss with Murakami, and in particular this book – shadows, the INKlings, unicorn skulls that glow, sound-removal technology. We jumped right in to gather everyone’s thoughts on if or how the Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World were connected, re-describing the processes of shuffling and losing your mind to unicorns, and if anyone understood the diagrams of consciousness.

A number of people at the discussion were huge Murakami fans and were vocal in their admiration for the imaginative author. While not everyone was at a Murakami super-fan level, almost everyone agreed that they enjoyed the trippy journey Murakami took us on, unicorn skulls, paperclips, and all.

Trying to define a Murakami book seemed to be the most difficult task; not quite science fiction, not quite cyberpunk, but not a straight thriller or simple novel either. It was pointed out that most characters seemed two-dimensional, and it could not be characterized as character driven, but did not seem quite plot driven either. One member remarked that it was “concept driven”. However you define it, everyone agreed that it is a highly discussible book, and that Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World was more enjoyable as a read because we knew there would be a discussion at the end.

We will be looking forward to our next discussion too, of Zone One by Colson Whitehead at 8pm at Molly Malone’s on Tuesday, October 22.