A Look at 45 Years of Left Bank Books

Whenever we interview prospective booksellers, we always do the two-minute gallop through the “history of the bookstore.”  When I was interviewed for my job here, Barry did the honors.  He talked about the group of Washington University students who summoned their collective resources (their own book collections and $500) and opened a tiny place where you could find “controversial” literature – which, in St. Louis c.1969 included Rolling Stone Magazine. Kris and Rachel listened along with me, both having heard this story several million times.  I’m sure their minds wandered, but I was rapt.

The story wound its way to the present, stopping occasionally to visit the high points (visits by Jimmy Carter, William Burroughs and others) and low points (perpetual money troubles, the invasion of chain bookstores in the 90’s) and even though I was already a fan of the store, I found myself falling deeply, irrevocably in love with it.

The two minute summary of Left Bank Books’ history does as much justice to it as reciting each state in the US does to the complex history of how they got there.  Great triumphs like winning the lawsuit against the publishers for violating the Robinson Patman Act bump against controversies like turning down a book event with Henry Kissinger. Small miracles like rescuing a kitten from the pond at Forest Park blossom into Left Bank Books traditions like housing a two more black kittens after him.

It’s a story of optimism, literacy, advocacy, bravery and above all, kindness.  Those traits that I (and our customers) love about this store are what we aspire to be.  They are what we are when we are our best selves.

Our booksellers create much of the magic here.  They hand sell their favorite books.  They raise money for our 501c3 Foundation which provides books to kids in underprivileged schools. They travel around the area and sell books at our over 300 author events per year. One of our former employees once lamented that even though she is happy in her new job after having moved away, it “lacks the I have an idea so I’ll walk to the other side of the basement and we’ll make awesome happen stat vibe.”

In the twelve years since my interview, I’ve devoted my resources and my career to the stewardship of this place and have, in the company of my partner and co-workers, seen it through more triumphs (Harry Potter festivals, the opening of a second store) and more struggles (still perpetual money trouble, Amazon, the closing of the second store).  I have grown into an adult here, have transitioned from female to male here, have met and married my partner here and have had the most fun and the most stress here.

We all have yet to meet the next person to change our lives.  For some, that person will walk through our front door, and making that opportunity possible is the best reason to be hopeful for our future.

Kris Kleindienst at our front door 1983 and 2014

Kris Kleindienst at our front door 1983 and 2014

Leaving Downtown

Friends,

It says something special about a place when one can address a letter to its customers and use the term “friends” genuinely, without sarcasm and still feel like it’s an understatement. That’s why we want to tell you about some changes we’re making.

Some of you have browsed our shelves from our first incarnation on Delmar, some grew up with us on Euclid, and still more have discovered us in the past five years at our downtown store on the corner of 10th and Locust.  If you know us at all, you know that we face the same challenges that most independent businesses do, and that our strength is rooted in our ability to bend, shift, think, imagine and learn from our experiences.

Even though we’ve loved being part of the revival of Downtown St. Louis, we have decided to close the downtown location in the next month.  We were in negotiations for several months with our landlord, but ultimately could not reach an agreement. We remain open in our flagship location in the Central West End 7 days a week, and until 10pm on 6 of those days.

We depart our downtown location with respect for our landlord and his vision. He is a great advocate for a livable downtown, and while we will no longer be in this space, we wish him the best.

We will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of the community we serve.  We will continue to pursue our robust author event schedule.  Authors on our early summer calendar include: Laurell K Hamilton, Garrison Keillor, Elizabeth Gilbert, Colson Whitehead, Jeannette Walls, Jean Kwok and Mark Epstein.  We will continue to partner with schools and other nonprofits in joint fundraising efforts. We will continue to operate our online bookstore, and continue to sell ebooks and ereaders as well as print books.

We will continue to contribute to the tax base of our community and support the local economy.

A few of the new plans under consideration include: expanding the CWE location, opening a second store either downtown or in another St. Louis neighborhood, and adding a coffee or a wine and beer bar to the Central West End location. Recently, our friends at the Central West End’s Vino Gallery have begun providing a pop-up cash bar at our in-store author events.

In addition, we plan to do more literacy work through the Left Bank Books Foundation, a 501c3 corporation. The Foundation’s primary program is River City Readers, a project to bring books and authors to St. Louis Public School students. We intend to expand these efforts and expand the definition of literacy itself.

Our bookstore has created a world class author event series featuring everyone from local poets to world leaders.  We partner with our local libraries, churches, restaurants and others and have kept many of those events free and open to you.  With the Foundation’s help, we plan to grow that programming and bring our community’s stories to life on and off the page through readings, theater, music and more.

No longer will we be bound by the notion that literacy is limited to the act of reading and writing.  It is the spirit of literacy to think, imagine and learn from and question those words – to create a better world by remembering  celebrating  its stories.

Please continue to support us by buying your books at our store in the Central West End or online at http://www.left-bank.com.  To make a tax deductible contribution to the Left Bank Books Foundation, please contact Shane Mullen at 314-367-6731 or shane.m@left-bank.com.

We think we’ve served the city well these past 45 years, and we intend to do an even better job in the years to come.

Your friends,

Kris Kleindienst and Jarek Steele, Co-Owners of Left Bank Books

David Bear, Bill Burkhardt, Jenni Byrne-Mosley, Jessi Duncan, Wintaye Gebru, Erin Goss, Cliff Helm, Sarah Holt, Jonesey, Evan Kleekamp, Shane Mullen, Mariah Nadler, Randy Schiller, Mark Tiedemann, Kea Wilson and Lauren Wiser, and Spike the cat – The Staff of Left Bank Books

A Small Business Response to Obamacare

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Left Bank Books pays 100% of our full-time employees’ health insurance premium.

I’d like you to let that sink in for a moment, because this fact is one of the reasons I decided to become an owner of this St. Louis institution.  

I’ll also let you in on another secret – by the end of this year, my bookstore will have paid $270,550 over the past five years for health insurance.  Our group is (obviously) small; an average of 12 people are enrolled.  Each bookseller’s premium averages out to about $415 per month.  We each have a $5000 deductible.

To put that into perspective, the average paperback retails at about $15.  We pay about $8.25 to the publisher, leaving us $6.75 to pay all other expenses (rent, payroll, electricity and, yes, health insurance).  That means that we have had to sell 40,082 paperbacks at full cost…

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Reading Group Roundup – August 2013

Left Bank Books hosts reading groups that are always welcoming to new members! If you have any questions or think you’d like to register your book group with Left Bank Books, please drop Jonesey a line at jonesey@left-bank.com. Here’s what our groups are reading this month. Pick up a copy for 20% off at either store, and join in the fun!

The Sex Lives of CannibalsSunday, August 11th, at 2pm in the Downtown store, join Jonesey and Reading the World as they discuss The Sex Lives of Cannibals by Maarten Troost: At the age of twenty-six, Maarten decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better. This is his hilarious story.

Vermont PlaysMonday, August 12th, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), Shane and his group, Read This Play, will be discussing The Vermont Plays by Annie Baker: “Circle Mirror Transformation,” which takes place in a summer acting class and alternates between theater exercises and moments between classmates, shares the 2010 OBIE Award for Best Play with “The Aliens,” which explores weighty topics of love and death through the easy banter of the slackers behind the local coffee shop. Also included is “Body Awareness,” set during Body Awareness Week at the local college, and “Nocturama,” in which a twenty-six-year-old Brooklynite returns to live with his mom and video game obsessed stepfather.

ValenciaThursday, August 15th, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), the Lesbian Reading Group will be reading Valencia, Michelle Tea’s fast-paced account of her search for love and high times in the drama-filled dyke world of San Francisco’s Mission District. There’s the knife-wielding Marta, who introduces Michelle to a new world of radical sex; Willa, Michelle’s tormented poet-girlfriend; Iris, the beautiful boy-dyke who ran away from the South in a dust cloud of drama; and Iris’s ex, to whom Michelle turns when Iris breaks her heart.

Daughter of TimeTuesday, August 20th, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), Shakespeare Festival Reads will discuss The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey: Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to one of history’s most heinous villains – a king who killed his brother’s children to secure his crown? Grant determines to find out once and for all what kind of man Richard was and who, in fact, killed the princes in the tower.

Unreal LifeThursday, August 22nd, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), the Gay Men’s Reading Group will be discussing The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov by Paul Russell, his novel based on the extraordinary life of the gay brother of Vladimir Nabokov: his stuttering childhood in the shadow of his brilliant brother, his opium-fueled evenings with his sometimes lover Cocteau, his troubled love life on the margins of the Ballets Russes and its legendary cast, and his isolation in war torn Berlin where he will ultimately be arrested, sent to a camp and die in 1945.

Bel CantoWednesday, August 28th, 12pm, in our Downtown store, Kris and the Novel Ideas reading group will discuss Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of a powerful businessman. It is a perfect evening – until a band of gunwielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.

Elizabeth CostellSaturday, August 31st, 4pm, in our Downtown store, the Writers Read group will be discussing Elizabeth Costello by JM Coetzee: After eight novels that have won, among other awards, two Booker Prizes, and most recently, the Nobel Prize, JM Coetzee has once again crafted an unusual and deeply affecting tale. Told through an ingenious series of formal addresses, Elizabeth Costello is, on the surface, the story of a woman’s life as mother, sister, lover, and writer. Yet it is also a profound and haunting meditation on the nature of storytelling.

This Week @ LBB: Summer Reads, School Shopping, Star Wars, and Sparks

Sisterland

Own a signed copy yet? We still have some available!

Happy August! No doubt you feel like summer’s winding down already, but it’s never too late to book that last minute vacation. You’ll need something to read, of course, while you soak in those rays, and you’re in luck: Publishers Weekly just released their Best Summer Books of 2013, with St. Louis’s own Curtis Sittenfeld making an appearance on the fiction list for her novel, Sisterland. A personal favorite of mine, the third volume of Russ Kick’s Graphic Canon series, was touted as the “most beautiful” book of 2013, and I couldn’t agree more. The series gorgeously and creatively illustrates classics from The Faerie Queen to Great Expectations all the way up to Infinite Jest, and can give you a fresh perspective on the familiar stories you “suffered” through in your high school English classes.

Summer Reading

See something on your list? Give us a call and we’ll put it on hold for you.

Speaking of English class, does your child or teenager have a summer reading list? Did they just tell you about it now? They haven’t even started yet? Never fear! Many customers have come in with just this dilemma, so we’ve devoted space in our YA and children’s sections to books on local summer reading lists. Give your kid a nudge about their own list, and don’t panic if they’ve conveniently “forgotten” about it until now. We’ve got you covered.

Jabba the Puppett

May the Force be with you, and the kids of McQuarrie Middle School.

We have some awesome kids’ events lined up for August. For your little Star Wars fans, Tom Angleberger will be at our Downtown store next Thursday (the 8th) at 2pm for the newest book in his Origami Yoda series, Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. The Origami Yoda series is a staff favorite, and Tom’s presentations are always fun and interactive, with crafts, doodling, and (you guessed it) origami. Plus, Tom covers a lot of great issues in his books, from children with different learning styles to the importance of an art curriculum in schools, and the The Strange Case of Origami Yoda was one of our picks for reluctant readers. Read a review of the series from our own children’s buyer, Sarah, here.

Nicholas SparksTickets for our event with Nicholas Sparks on October 9th went on sale yesterday, and his fans showed up in full force. We sold over 200 tickets in less than eleven hours, beating the record previously held by David Sedaris for fastest tickets sales at Left Bank. Tickets for the main auditorium at the Central Library are sold out, but you still have a chance to hear about The Longest Ride by buying tickets for the Creative Experience area, which will have audio and video of Nicholas Sparks’s presentation, and you will still get a pre-signed book, a meet & greet opportunity, and a chance to participate in the Q&A!

Billy Lynn

“Wild, emotional, semi-political, and amazingly well written,” says Shane.

If you’re a fan of contemporary fiction, Shane has a new staff pick: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. An extra incentive: Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter and Queen of America, recommended this book to Shane when he visited the CWE store this past winter. That’s a bookseller recommendation and an author recommendation! Doesn’t hurt that it was nominated for the National Book Award, either.

Gatsby Shirt

Aisha Tyler’s new book gives it a thumbs up!

And, new in Sidelines That Lauren Has To Own (And Probably Already Does): Out of Print T-shirts! I’m sure you’ve looked at your favorite book cover and thought, “I’d really like to wear that.” (Just me?) Well, now you can. I bought the Pride and Prejudice one, but there’s also The Great GatsbyA Clockwork Orange, as well as The Very Hungry Caterpillar in children’s sizes, to name only a few. Now, if they just made a Les Miserables one…

A sneak peak at next week’s events: Apart from Tom Angleberger, we have Victoria Christopher Murray on Monday, the 5th, at the Carpenter Library, and Julie Garwood on Wednesday, the 7th, at the Central Library. Can’t wait to see you there!

First Look: What’s New on Our Shelves This Week

New releases arrive at Left Bank every Tuesday! Here are a few of particular interest to us this week, that we encourage you to check out.

Real TalkReal Talk For Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith

The only classroom teacher to have won the National Medal of the Arts, Rafe Esquith is famous for transforming a group of fifth-graders into what Publishers Weekly calls “classical music playing, Shakespeare-performing superachievers.” He’s been recognized by Johns Hopkins, Parents Magazine, and Oprah Winfrey. And he’s back with his new book, Real Talk For Real Teachers, a book of advice for those who struggle day to day in the world’s hardest profession. Plus, we’re bringing him to MICDS on Friday, July 19th (you can purchase tickets here). If you’re an educator at any stage in your career, this is going to be an inspirational night you absolutely don’t want to miss.

Countdown CityCountdown City by Ben Winters

Second in his Last Policeman trilogy, Washington University alumnus Ben Winters tells the story of Detective Hank Palace who, 77 days before an asteroid collides with earth, takes on the case of a woman from his past and her missing husband. A sci-fi mystery that asks the big questions:  What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you? And you can meet Ben on Wednesday, July 24th, at our CWE store. Come on out and give him a warm welcome back to St. Louis!

BelladonnaBelladonna by Fiona Paul

Staff and customer favorite Fiona Paul returns with the sequel to Venom, her YA mystery set in Renaissance Venice. In Belladonna, the second chapter in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, while searching for the Book of the Eternal Rose, the only evidence that will save her fiance, Luca. Left Bank is the official home store for signed copies of Fiona’s books, so you can order an autographed copy of Belladona today!

Also new in-store this week: The English Girl by Daniel SilvaThe Secret Keeper (in paperback) by Kate MortonThe Light in the Ruins by Chris BohjalianThis Town by Mark LeibovichThe Never List by Koethi ZanThe Poisoned Pilgrim (in paperback) by Oliver PötzschWitch Wraith by Terry Brooks; and The Violet Hour by Katherine Hill.

Pups, Pancakes, and Press Here: Adventures in Storytime

Storytime has gone social!

Not only is there a page on the Left Bank Books website, and the occasional Storytime blogpost from Miss Jonesey (me!), but we’ve entered the social network arena with – you guessed it – a Facebook page.

If you have any pictures from Storytime, the Easter Egg Hunts or Trick-or-Treat that you would like to share, please feel free to email them to me at jonesey@left-bank.com. (You may notice that there are many pictures of my hair falling into my face as I read books upside down. (Reading out loud and upside down was not listed on the job description, PS.)(Booksellers have a strange range of skillz.))

maddie-2

Theron Humphrey is going to be in our Downtown store on Wednesday, July 10th at 7:00pm for his book Maddie on Things. Brilliantly, Maddie the coonhound will be here with him! My co-workers and I have been giggling our way into and out of this book of beautiful, lighthearted and creative photographs for days. I decided that my Storytime crowd was down with the picture book of a dog standing on a bunch of things, and I was not wrong. These photos are more than documentation of a really long trip, both in miles and in days. They are the picture of a friendship and an awareness of space and circumstance. The favorite photo was of Maddie wearing a donkey head mask, but mostly that may have had to do with how completely otherworldly she looked. I mean, really.

PressHere4aThe power of Press Here was proved yet again this morning as our newest Storytime attendee came over to help press the yellow dots and make them turn red, or blue. It is such a simple and creative idea and I’ve loved sharing it with children and families for the last year and a half. This is a fantastic gift from a hapless aunt or uncle for any child between the ages of birth and about 4 years.

Next weekend Stefano’s restaurant will host a Neighbors’ Morning Out pancake breakfast to support Friends of Lucas Park. 20% of all proceeds during the Pancake Breakfast from 8am – 1pm will go to support Friends of Lucas Park, a group of Downtown Residents who are committed to providing safe and active space at Lucas Park. Pancakes before Storytime? What could be more fun? (Not much, says this Storytime Lady.)

In Case You Missed It…

This week at LBB:

Spike!!!  7-1-13

Maybe just one treat? Because I’m cute?

No doubt you’re preparing for a long weekend full of fireworks and barbecue and lake visits and long naps. Rest assured that Left Bank store cat, Spike, is way ahead of you there. In fact, he’s already staked out two of his own favorite napping spots for the holiday: best friend Jay’s inbox, and right in the middle of the floor, probably where you’re about to walk, next to that book you really want to look at, so that it wouldn’t be so hard to reach out and give him a nice rub on the tummy, would it? He doesn’t think so.

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Booksellers rock the race.

Let’s not forget about last weekend, though, which was Pride weekend in StL! The staff was out in full force to celebrate, of course, with David and Kris participating in the Pride 5K downtown. David ended up winning first place in his age group and second overall, and Kris won second place in her category.  A big congrats to both of them, and here’ s hoping everyone had their own fun Pride adventures this weekend!

Priya

Farewell, Priya!

We also said bon voyage to a good friend and wonderful bookseller, Priya, who’s leaving Left Bank to attend grad school in the fall – but first, to take a cross-country road trip, of which we’re all enormously jealous. We will miss her dearly, and wish her the best of luck!

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I’ll take five.

Just in! These beautiful new Left Bank mugs arrived on our shelves today. How much have you always wanted to drink coffee out of a mug with your favorite shop cat on it? So much. I know I’ve already staked my claim on one (the big secret to purchasing sidelines at Left Bank: will Lauren buy it?)

And a brand new staff pick to check out, next time you drop in: Jonesey just finished The Art of Joy by Goliarda Sapienza, which was released to critical acclaim in France in 2005 and has just arrived in America, and she calls it an “entirely worthwhile” endeavor with an “unforgettable and influential” main character.

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Come see Maddie downtown on July 10!

Took a little breather from events this week, but there’s a lot to look forward to next week. At the CWE, Shane and his reading group, Read this Play, will be reading Sons of the Prophet on Monday, Linda Hull will be in to read from her “Mrs. Frugalicious” mystery, Eternally 21, on Tuesday, and Victoria Wilcox will discuss the first book in her Doc Holliday trilogy, Inheritance, on Friday. Downtown, photographer Theron Humphrey and his best friend, Maddie the Coonhound, will stop in to autograph and “pawtograph” the book companion to the internet sensation, Maddie on Things on Wednesday. And on Saturday at the Central Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, YA author Laura Nowlin will read from her debut novel, If He Had Been With Me. You don’t want to miss any of these!

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We’ll leave A Song of Ice and Fire for a few years down the road.

Bookseller Story of the Week: a young boy of around eight years old approached Robert and asked for fantasy recommendations. After covering all the familiar bases (the boy had already finished the Harry Potter series, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, the Ranger’s Apprentice series, and was currently in the middle of Tolkien’s Return of the King, with hopes to read The Silmarillion), Robert knew he was going to have to aim a little higher. A few recommendations later, boy and mother left the store happy with a copy of the nearly 700 page Theft of Swords in hand, and a promise that they would return for more personal recommendations from Robert. Need some fantasy recommendations for your precocious young reader? Robert might be your guy!

And the Bookseller Find of the Week: a customer came into the CWE store searching for “a book written by a psychiatrist, about the statute of limitations on how much you can blame your parents for things, and it had a really clever title.” FOUND! One copy of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston to a good home.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend, and hope to see you next week in the bookstore!

Reading Group Roundup – July 2013

Looking for a good book this July? Left Bank Books hosts reading groups that are always welcoming to new members! If you have any questions or think you’d like to register your book group with Left Bank Books, please drop Jonesey a line at jonesey@left-bank.com. Enjoy!

Sons of the Prophet: A PlayMonday July 8th, 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs) join Shane Read This Play on a brand new day! This month they will discuss Sons of the Prophet by Stephen Karam: A deeply humorous, unflinching portrait of grief and loss, Sons of the Prophet depicts a Lebanese-American family in rural Pennsylvania beset by an absurd string of tragedies. At the play’s center is Joseph Douaihy, a once-promising world-class runner now sidelined by injury. As Joseph confronts his deteriorating health, he is also forced to face the death of his father, an ailing Uncle, and a desperate boss beset by her own tragedies.

Two Towns in ProvenceSunday July 14th at 2:00pm at the Downtown Store, join Jonesey and Reading The World as they discuss MFK Fisher’s Two Towns in Provence: This memoir of the French provincial capital of Aix-en-Provence is, as the author tells us, “my picture, my map, of a place and therefore of myself…just as much of its reality is based on my own shadows, my inventions.” A vibrant and perceptive profile of the kinship between a person and a place.

Richard IIITuesday, July 16th at 7:00pm in the CWE store (downstairs) join Shakespeare Festival Reads in a discussion about Richard III: The final play in Shakespeare’s masterly dramatization of the struggle for power between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Treacherous, power-hungry, untempered by moral restraint, and embittered by physical deformity, Richard, the younger brother of King Edward IV, is ablaze with ambition to take England’s throne.

Written on the BodyThursday, July 18th at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs) join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body: The most beguilingly seductive novel to date from the author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married woman. “At once a love story and a philosophical meditation”.–New York Times Book Review.

The Man in the Wooden HatWednesday, July 24th at 12:00pm in the Downtown store join Kris and Novel Ideas for a discussion of Jane Gardam’s The Man in the Wooden Hat: A portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the 50-year union of two remarkable people, The Man in the Wooden Hat is fiction of a very high order from the author of Old Filth.

Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito RussoThursday, July 25th at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), the Gay Men’s Reading Group will discuss Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo by Michael Schiavi: The first critical biography of gay-rights activist Vito Russo. Celluloid Activist illuminates, through the life of this fascinating individual, some of the most explosive cultural revolutions in American history and significantly expands the fields of gay film studies, biography, and history.

Interested in something a little different? The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is hosting a different kind of book club. Exhibition Bookshelf explores the power of color during the run of Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works. Discover how authors use color while you are surrounded by Donald Judd’s multicolored works within the contemplative spaces of the Pulitzer galleries.

Fun Home: A Family TragicomicThursday July 18th from 7:00pm to 8:30pm join Anton DiSclafani in an exploration of Alison Bechdel’s use of color in her memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, in which Bechdel lets us in on her complicated relationship to her father. Anton DiSclafani is the author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, which was released on June 4, was named a most anticipated book of 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly and The Wall Street Journal. Visit pulitzerarts.org for the full schedule. Contact Philip Matthews, programs coordinator, at pmatthews@pulitzerarts.org or 314-446-2057, to join the book club.