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Just for Fun

A Celebration of Reading: The Boston Book Festival and 1C1S

Boston Book Festival is an annual celebration that “promotes a culture of reading and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city”[1] and it is being held on Saturday, October 15 in Copley Square.   Most events are free and first-come, first-served.  However, some workshops do require advance registration.

The Boston Book Festival will feature dozens of exhibitors, along with over 200 speakers and presenters, including novelists, journalists, critics, essayists, poets, scholars, and artists.   The organizers have color-coded the events in the schedule to help identify the type of interests for which audiences the event would have the most appeal.

Each year, the Boston Book Festival also organizes the One City One Story (1C1S) program – providing one short story to the entire city free of charge to create a shared reading experience for Boston residents and to foster discussions and engagement in reading. cover image of the One City One Story short story. One City One Story is in caps and below it is the title of the story and its author. The selection this year is “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link.   Copies of the story are available for free at the Wheelock College Library on top of the Book Exchange Shelf by the Service Desk.  You can also download the story from the One City One Story website.  The digital copies are offered in English, Spanish, and Russian at the moment.  Additional translations should be coming soon.

On the day of the Boston Book Festival, there will be a 1C1S Town Hall in the forum space at Trinity Church, where you can discuss the story with fellow readers across the city.



Ice Cream with a side of history

Mint-Cookie-ConeIce cream is a perfect summer food, or if you are ice cream obsessed like I am, ice cream is a perfect food anytime of the year or day.

My obsession with ice cream is not limited to eating it. I am also obsessed with the process of making ice cream, the history of the food, the history of various ice cream companies, you name it. If it is ice cream related I am interested.

As July is National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July is National Ice Cream Day, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to share some of the fascinating ice cream facts and materials which combine my love of ice cream and history.

First how is it that July came to National Ice Cream Month?

Presidential Proclamation 5219 signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 after is was requested by The Congress via Senate Joint Resolution 298. The Presidential Proclamation designated July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984 as National Ice Cream Day. Although the Proclamation officially only referred to 1984 the tradition of July as National Ice Cream Month and the Third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day has stuck every since.

Read the proclamation here.

And get more information about Senate Joint Resolution here.

Ice cream before National Ice Cream Day:

"The Yukon Freezer" hand cranked ice cream machine

“The Yukon Freezer” hand cranked ice cream machine, c 1935. Click image for more information.


Thomas Jefferson's vanillla ice cream recipe handwritten on a long piece of paper

Thomas Jefferson’s own vanilla ice cream recipe. Click image for more information.

Looking to expand your own ice cream knowledge check out these e-books from our collection:

Cover of the book, Ice Cream, by H.Douglas Goff and Richard W. Hartel.  Features a closeup of chocolate ice cream being scooped and cell particles.

This is a little to technical to be considered light reading, but it has a wealth of information from history to how to. Click the image to view the catalog record and access the e-book.


Book cover of Edmonson's Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's.  In the image are two cows with neckties looking at the audience.

Interested in learning more about how Ben & Jerry’s became the company we know today? Click the image to view the catalog record and access the e-book.

Speaking of Ben & Jerry’s check out their blog post illustrating the evolution of the design of their pint containers over the years.

Cover of the book, Grow Your Own Ingredients Ice Cream!  A strawberry and a group of blueberries are propping up an ice cream cone with 3 scoops and a mint leaf.

Looking to make ice cream of your own? This gardening and cooking book will have you not only growing your own berries and mint but turning them into simple homemade ice cream. Click the image to view the catalog record and access the e-book.




Starring Asian Americans!


Fresh Off the Boat was renewed for a 3rd season.  The Mindy Project was renewed for a 5thMasterMaster of None tv series poster of None was renewed for a 2nd season.   So were Dr.Ken and Quantico.   This is all in the same year!  Why is this a big deal?  Almost all of them are shows created by and starring Asian characters (who do not look anywhere close to white) and they’re being renewed – meaning there are enough “mainstream” audience members tuning in.  Asians/Asian Americans represent 5.6% of the US population but representation is disproportionately low in TV and films.  And when you consider that their stories often take place in cities where there should be a large Asian/Asian American population, yet the few Asians depicted are in hospital settings and Chinatowns.  There is not just a dearth of Asian representation, but also a dearth in the variety of roles Asians can play.

Until these past few years, starring roles for Asians/Asian Americans have been mostly nonexistent, especially starring roles where they’re central characters who do not have to play second fiddle to the white co-lead.  The claim has always been that there just isn’t enough of an audience for Asian leads.  Family sitcoms are huge on broadcast network television, yet the last network sitcom to star an Asian American family was in 1994 until Fresh Off the Boat was created in 2015.  During that time, the number of Asians/Asian Americans in the US has doubled.

Asian roles have mainly been limited to stereotypes and roles and stories that everyone is comfortable with seeing Asians perform (so ix-nay on having an Asian in the role of male romantic lead in a heterosexual relationship).  Furthermore, due to whitewashing, leading Asian characters that should have gone to Asian/Asian-American actors are often reimagined as white characters (see 21) or are played by white actors (see Aloha).  While Asian countries have their own TV and movie industries and some Asians/Asian Americans consume their content, it does not feel right that we have to “go back to where we came from” and sometimes have to leap over a cultural divide to find Asians as nuanced, central characters.

Meet Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in the upcoming US adaptation of the Japanese manga/anime, Ghost in a Shell. I have so many questions...

Meet Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in the upcoming US adaptation of the Japanese manga/anime, Ghost in a Shell. I have so many questions…

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, here are some interesting blog articles and movie recommendations related to this topic:

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle:  A subversive, stoner comedy featuring two Asian male leads getting into shenanigans like getting high and taking a pointless road trip which ends up being a metaphor for self-discovery.  Here is a trailer.  You can borrow this from the Boston Public Library.

Indian Accents Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film  Borrow the book from the Wheelock College Library.

Master of None, episode 4 “Indians on TV”.    This episode tackles issues of diversity in Hollywood.  Here are two scenes from that episode. You can watch this episode if you have access to Netflix.

Of 800 main cast members on 100 network TV shows, just 52 (6%) are of Asian descent

Slaying the Dragon by Deborah Gee: a documentary about the portrayal of Asian American women in film. While the documentary is old, it lays out the history of Asian stereotypes in media. Borrow the DVD from the Wheelock College Library.

#StarringJohnCho:  Click on the hashtag to view popular movie posters photoshopped with John Cho as the male lead.  Those who feel John Cho is out of place in these posters will have glimpsed a little into how minorities feel about whitewashing and those who don’t feel he is out of place won’t be deterred from movies featuring an Asian male lead.

This is a Jar Full of Major Characters.  Beautiful, easy-to-understand explanation about whitewashing and the difference between racebending a character from POC to white and racebending a character from white to a POC.


Style By The Book: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

With only 9 days left in the semester, I bet most of you are spending every second dreaming of your fun upcoming summer adventures.

(For those of you who are in fact Demigods trying to pass yourselves off as normal college kids, this is the time of year that you are secretly packing up your things to return to Camp Half-Blood. Feel free to skim over this next paragraph, and check out the photos below for some fashion inspiration as you plan your first-day-of-camp outfits.)

For the rest of you, let me recommend that you add Percy Jackson and the Olympians to your summer reading lists! The five-book series follows a group of entirely fictional Heroes and Demigods who spend their summers training to fight completely made-up monsters at a definitely fabricated place called Camp Half-Blood. This “Style by the Book” is inspired by the story’s two main protagonists, Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase.


Do you have a favorite book that you want to see featured on Style by the Book? Share your suggestions in the comments!


Blind Date with a Book

Go on a Blind Date with a Book!

Tired of wasting your time with the wrong books?

Hate being led on by a fancy cover, just to find out there’s not much inside?

Maybe you’re still a little caught up on that book from your past? (*cough Harry Potter cough*)

If you’re ready to take a chance on literary love, then stop by the Wheelock College Library and go on a Blind Date with a Book! We guarantee that every book in this display has the potential to make it to the top of your Amazon wish list.


How it Works:

  • Each wrapped book has a catchy (ok, cheesy) pick-up line which also hints to the book’s contents.
  • Browse the pick-up lines on each library book and select your perfect reading match—NO PEEKING!
  • Take the book to the Library Service Desk to check it out
  • When you get home, unwrap your blind date to meet the book of your dreams

The best part is, if things don’t work out, just bring your failed fling back to the library and drop it off. No waterworks, no messy public breakups, and no getting dumped via text message at 4 am. These literomeos will only be around through Valentine’s Day, so come in soon so you’re not left wondering what could have been.