Each Wednesday Critical Mass puts together a rundown of book-centric events that'll keep you "lit" all week long.
When University of Pennsylvania senior Ned Eisenberg received a prestigious travel grant from the Kelly Writer's House, he made off to Tokyo for an 11-day internetless immersion in Tokyo's counterculture. Hear Eisenberg recount his experience, which he hopes will culminate in the publishing of his long-form travel log. Tonight, 6 p.m., free, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, 215-573-9748.
David Eisenhower, as in Camp David and the grandson of Dwight D. Eisenhower, almost snagged the Pulitzer in 1987 with Eisenhower at War: 1943-1945
. We have yet to see the impact of his latest book, Going Home To Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969
, which chronicles the time he spent with his grandfather in Gettysburg, Pa. Thu., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m., $7-$10, Free Library, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., 215-686-5322.
Or this other, freer event: Who knew that managing editor of Time magazine used to be the CEO of the National Constitution Center. Catch Richard Stengel in a discussion about the new coffee table-warmer, TIME: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Influential Magazine
. Thurs, Dec. 2, 6:30pm, free, National Constitution Center
, 525 Arch St., 215-409-6700.
Friday: Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change
is the first book by Nick Cooney, founder and director of Philly's animal rights organization, Humane League. In his book, Cooney answers the question: what is stopping the American people from living up to their convictions, especially when it comes to social responsibility? Fri., Dec. 3, 7-9 p.m., free, Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St., 215-413-0999.
Having already grossed nearly 40 million since it hit theaters last month, Tyler Perry's latest film For Colored Girls
is based on a 1975 Obie-winning play called For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
by black feminist author and playwright Ntozake Shange. This year, Shange and her playwright sister came out with Some Sing, Some Cry
, an African-American historical novel about black women overcoming adversity through music. A Laying on of Hands: An Afternoon with Ntozake Shange, Sat., Dec. 4, 11am-1pm, free, Church of the Advocate, 1801 W. Diamond St, 215-236-0568.
Bring your family to this one. The Whimsical Sage
by Mike Sage builds lighthearted interaction around wordplay. Joan Sage, who first published the book by her author-actor husband John Sage in 2001,
describes it as "a hardback collection of homonyms, similes, puns, definitions, expressions, words-inside-words, diverse verses, and short stories with playful illustrations." Joan Sage Presents The Whimsical Sage: Words at Play for All Ages, Sun., Dec. 5, 2pm, free, Moonstone Arts Center, 110A S. 13th St., 215-735-9598.
Happy 50th birthday to books published in 1960! The Kelly Writer's House celebrates 11 books of poetry published in that transition year. A scholar's critical commentary will accompany each one and afterwards, the commentaries will be published as a special feature on the poetry and poetics of 1960 in online poetry mag Jacket2. Mon., Dec. 6, 6 p.m., free, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, 215-573-9748.
In 1996, Philadelphia lawyer William T. Coleman won the Presidential Medal of freedom. In his new autobiography, Counsel for the Situation: Shaping the Law to Realize America's Promise
, Coleman reflects on his 70-year career pioneering for the black community. As the first black American clerk for the Supreme Court and a colleague of Thurgood Marshall in Brown V. Board of Education
, Coleman has a life's worth of revolutionary stories to tell. Tue., Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., free, Free Library, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., 215-686-5322.