Books & Film

Who Is Mr. Plutin?

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Ready for a fun, interesting read, one that crosses cultures and makes you laugh? If so, jump into Who Is Mr. Plutin?, a new novel by author Rebecca Strong. I picked it up and couldn't put it down - for here is a heroine somewhat like the rest of us, who blunders around, tries her hardest, and is stunned at the way her life has turned out. It's a tale of Russia and New York, of memory and spying, of family and money.

Explore the sounds of a Celtic Cafe with Putumayo World Music

by Kerry Dexter / Jul 20, 2015 /
Kerry Dexter's picture

The mission of Putumayo World Music is defined in its tagline: music guaranteed to make you feel good. Putumayo founder Dan Storper and ethnomusicologist Jacob Edgar search the world for music from varied cultures to meet this idea.

The Magic of Possibility: Fling!

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

I recently read a novel that completely pulled me into the universe –and what a universe it is! Fling!, the new novel from writer and educator Lily Iona Mackenzie, is set in many countries. It’s at once a glimpse into new, interesting characters - and new, interesting worlds. It’s a saga that spans time, all at once. It’s color, and cold; light, and dark; memory, and forgetfulness; mothers, daughters, granddaughters; culture, and chaos. I love it.

Reading: Inside Out in Istanbul

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Jul 11, 2015 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Everyone in the whole world knows by now that I am in love with Turkey. Whilst I was there, my schedule was too hectic to meet a new friend, Lisa Morrow, who lives and teaches in Istanbul. My loss – and next time! Isn’t it crazy, how life goes like that?

Philadelphia Liberty Trail

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Jun 29, 2015 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

My grandfather was a history professor and Benjamin Franklin scholar. We grew up playing fun games with him - like giving him a random date and he'd tell us something cool that happened on that date, or he'd drop interesting tidbits about historical people, and we'd try to guess who they were - he built a love of history in us that has enriched our lives. Friends of mine recently penned a new book that I know he'd have loved: Philadelphia Liberty Trail: Trace the Path of America's Heritage.

Musical Youth

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

My favorite book genre is YA (young adult) - it perfectly captures that magical time of life when anything is possible, while also discussing the very real problems of life, growing up, and finding yourself. It's the ultimate genre of hope, possibility, and growth. 

Putumayo: Introducing the World Through Music

by Kerry Dexter / Jun 15, 2015 /
Kerry Dexter's picture

Music speaks in many ways: melody, tone, timbre resonance, rhythm, instrumentation, and word -- but what if you do not understand the words being sung? Dan Storper noticed that people were responding to, and asking about, the music from Latin America and other parts of the world which he played to enhance the atmosphere in his clothing and handcraft stores.

Freak Circus

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

FREAK Circus is a bold new concept in literary magazines from the successful team who brought you the immensely popular Poetry Circus performance poetry nights and slams at the Dalraida Bar, Portobello.

The Ladies of Managua

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

You know those books - the ones that grab you and don't let go? The ones that teach you about a place, culture, people? Such is the case with a new book written by Eleni Gage, entitled The Ladies of Managua. Eleni is a journalist who writes regularly for publications including Travel+Leisure, The New York Times, T: The New York Times Travel Magazine, Dwell, Elle, Elle Décor, Real Simple, Parade, and The American Scholar.

Around and Back: A Year and a Day on the Road

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

The sun was shining when I stopped my motorbike by an old tractor in rural Norway. 15 years earlier, I had worked on a machine just like it for my brother-in-law and I was looking forward to telling him about it at the kitchen table one evening in the future. At the same moment I remembered what I had seen and tried in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and England. My travelogue was getting too long for me to tell it over a single cup of tea.

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