Stephen Colbert once introduced David Brooks as a “moderate Republican and columnist for the New York Times.” Then he asked, “What’s it like to be part of two dying institutions?”
Even if thoughtful punditry and print journalism are indeed in their final days, you can still catch Brooks: the columnist (New York Times); opinionator (NPR, PBS); and author (The Social Animal; Bobos in Paradise) will be in town October 24 for the Mercantile Library’s annual Niehoff Lecture. My guess is it’s going to sell out fast; prepare for some elbow-throwing when tickets go on sale.
The announcement came Jan 20 with the unveiling of the Merc’s 2015 season at the library’s annual meeting. Here’s a quick take on the slate of programs: Pulitzer Prize winner Gilbert King (Devil in the Grove) is on tap in April; Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) will deliver the Harriet Beecher Stowe Lecture in June; August brings Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek Foods (the vegan Just Mayo folks who caused such a food fight last year); and novelist Nancy Horan (Loving Frank; Under the Wide and Starry Sky) will deliver the goods on the modern novel in September.
Plus there’s the library’s annual Hearth and Home series. This year, panelists will be talking about the trials and tribulations of opening a new restaurant. Initially I was not quite sure what has to do with the literary life or the library’s mission. Then I thought about the library members immortalized by the organization’s original name (The Young Men’s Mercantile Library Association). If these enterprising fellows were alive today—given their entrepreneurial tendencies—they’d probably be thinking about selling fancy hot dogs and waffles in Over-the-Rhine, too.
More info: mercantilelibrary.com