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Cirque du Soleil and the Rijksmuseum

During the pandemic, in-person cultural activities are restricted for all of us, but there are an amazing array of experiences online. So, each week we're recommending a handful. Most are free (but, in some cases, welcome donations); and some are only available for a limited time, so it's worth checking regularly. If you'd like to receive a weekly reminder, enter your email in the "Subscribe to Blog" field to the right.

Here are this week's suggestions:

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Five Debut Novels to Discuss With Your Book Club

It's always exciting to encounter a debut novel that you really love. It's a great experience to be there from the beginning and then follow an author over the course of their career, watching their voice evolve and seeing how they might choose to experiment with different genres or themes in their writing. Reading a debut with your book club can be especially fun because you get to have this experience together. You might even talk about where you see the author going in the future, or what you'd like them to write next.

Here are five debut novels that that have recently been released in paperback, all of which received glowing reviews on BookBrowse. We have reading guides available for each and we're discussing two of them in our own online book club so you can compare and contrast your club's thoughts with ours.

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Culture Corner: Black Composers and National Ballet Classes

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week we suggest:

  • Gloria: A Life, a play about Gloria Steinem, one of the most inspiring women of the feminist movement, on PBS Great Performances (June 26 - July 24)
  • A virtual tour of The Sistine Chapel (with not a tourist in sight); and then listen to a clip from Allegri's Miserere, part of the first ever public recording made from the Sistine Chapel in 2015.
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Culture Corner: Fleabag, George Eliot and Handel

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week we suggest:

Culture Corner: Dali, Disney and a Dream

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week we suggest:

  • Salvador DalĂ­ & Walt Disney's Short Animated Film, Destino, set to "Time,"from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (available June 15-28).
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Anti-Racist Reading Lists for Book Clubs

Recent protests against race-based police violence have influenced many in the United States to begin educating themselves on how to be antiracist. These events may also inspire book clubs to hold valuable discussions about fighting systemic racism and to consciously read more books from Black authors.

But with all of the reading lists flooding the internet right now, it can be difficult to know where to begin. So we've put together some focused lists for different types of reading that you can use as a starting point for antiracism discussions and actions in your book club.

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