SCPL lists Jan./Feb. ‘Books Sandwiched In’ lineup


After a short hiatus in December, the Schenectady County Public Library Noon Programs return via Zoom on Jan. 4.

The winter “Books Sandwiched In” series, coordinated by Catherine Lewis, will be held at the usual time, Mondays from noon until 1 p.m. All programs are free and open to the public.

The series schedule, including the Zoom link, can be found on the Schenectady Library website, or the Friends of SCPL Facebook page.

‘Books Sandwiched In’ — Winter 2021

Jan. 4: “Financial Exclusion: How Competition Can Fix a Broken System,” by Robert E. Wright, presented by Brad Lewis.

Wright’s synopsis on page 1 reveals his well-supported but unorthodox view: “This book is about financial exclusion, discrimination, and predation . . . Its main goal is to persuade readers, via an historical narrative informed by economic theory, that the best way to combat financial discrimination is through the encouragement of new entrants, not top-down regulation.” After describing the evolution of the complex U.S. financial system, he focuses on four groups discriminated against: African-Americans, our “First Peoples,” “White Trash,” and women.

Jan. 11: “Piglet’s Process: Process Theology for All God’s Children,” by Bruce G. Epperly, presented by Bill Levering.

This critique by Dr. Levering will look at the content of this charming short book and the problems of the use of myth to explain things. This will be a good review for folks unfamiliar with Process Theology and a cautionary tale about the interplay of mythos and logos.

(Jan. 18 — no program, Martin Luther King holiday)

Jan. 25: “Colors of the Mountain,” by Da Chen, presented by Rosaline Horowitz.

In writing this memoir, Mr. Chen shares the intimate details of his struggles to succeed while growing up in China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. His words have inspired readers to continue on their own journeys, no matter how difficult the road might be. The review will be presented as a tribute to this beloved Chinese American author.

Feb. 1: “The Deficit Myth,” by Stephanie Kelton, presented by George Wise.

“The Deficit Myth” is a non-technical presentation of a version of economics called Modern Monetary Theory. That theory makes some very unconventional assertions: for example that “in almost all instances deficits are good for the economy,” that “the idea that taxes pay for what the government spends is pure fantasy,” and that, counter to what you may have heard, deficits do not crowd out private investment, do not put the U.S. at the mercy of China, and do not endanger the future of Social Security. The author, Stephanie Kelton, is one of the creators of Modern Monetary Theory, a professor of economics at SUNY-Stony Brook, and an economic advisor to the Biden campaign team.

Feb. 8: “The Reconstruction Presidents,” by Brooks D. Simpson, presented by Rob Dickson.

In this work, author Brooks Simpson, a very well-published author on the subject, looks at Reconstruction from the perspectives of Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, Grant and Hayes. It deals with the nearly intractable, hopelessly thorny national problem of just how should America become one country again after a terrible Civil War without carrying the scars forever. Simpson looks closely into the manner in which these four presidents handled the re-knitting of the political and social national fabric and finds that their own personal styles had a great deal to do with their successes and failures. Simpson shines light on a poorly understood, but critical era of American history whose echoes can be heard today.

(Feb. 15: no program, Presidents’ weekend)

Feb. 22: “The Searcher,” by Tana French, presented by Paul O’Brien.

In this novel, Cal Hooper, after serving 25 years on the Chicago police force, begins a new life in Ireland, one he hopes is marked by peace and ordinary routines. It is not long, however, before he is caught in a mystery that will test his best detective skills.


Categories: Entertainment

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