The many fun events going on in Topeka this summer are helping me to fill up my summer reading list. By reading these books I’ll have extra fun at these events and I’ll be on my way to making my summerfest reading goals!
On Friday June 5, The Kansas Historical Society starts their Sundown Film Festival by showing Little Women (the 1994 version with Winona Ryder). Participants may bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit outside and watch the film, which will be projected onto the side of the building after dark. The movie will be moved inside to the Kansas Museum of History if it rains.
This would be an excellent time to read or re-read Little Women by Lousia May Alcott or some of her other works. Families can enjoy many of her stories together, as they tell tales of children and young adults coming of age in the Civil War time period.
For more I might check out Marmee and Louisa by Eva LaPlante which tells the story of Louisa and her mother, Abigail May Alcott–who LaPlante presents as the inspiration for “Marmee” (the mother figure in Little Women) and the silent force behind Louisa’s success as a writer. Then there is March by Geraldine Brooks which takes the character of Mr. March, the largely absent father in Little Women, and imagines his life as an idealistic Civil War chaplain. Brooks loosely based her novel on the real Bronson Alcott and certainly offers a different perspective on the events of the times as seen through his eyes.
Food Truck Festival
The following weekend brings us the Capital City Food Truck Festival on June 11-12 at Gage Park. Is anyone else as excited as I am to try the various kinds of sandwiches, barbecue, sweets and other offerings from our area food truck vendors?
After I indulge, I may be inspired to try my hand at some cooking of my own–and Food Truck Road Trip by Kim Pham and Phillip Shen would be just the book to help me on my way. This collection of more than 100 recipes collected from street food vendors from coast to coast also features profiles of the food cart owners. The authors are food and travel bloggers who run the behindthefoodcarts.com blog and website.
James and the Giant Peach will be playing at the Helen Hocker Theater starting on June 19. This play is based on James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and this childhood classic about a boy’s adventures on a giant peach is always a lot of fun to read. Dahl is the author of many other favorites such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Matilda. For more family fun, there is even a book of revolting recipes inspired by his works.
Dahl also wrote some excellent books about his remarkable life. In Boy he relates tales of his childhood adventures–such as his involvement in the great mouse plot of 1924. He continues his biographical writing with Going Solo where he relates his experiences living in Africa and as a fighter pilot for the Royal Air Force during World War II–a time when he encountered the horrors of war, yet still kept his remarkable sense of humor.
Tap That: A Capital Brew Festival will be held on June 27. This food and drink festival will feature over 140 different American Craft Brew options from over 40 different breweries. There will also be educational opportunities about the beer brewing process. If this whets your appetite the library has books on beer brewing and tasting to help you prepare for the festival or start your own beer brewing hobby afterwards.
There will be more fun stuff coming in July and August so stay tuned. I couldn’t fit a whole summer’s worth of fun into just one blog post!
We can’t keep track of all the fun stuff happening around town, so please comment if you have events and related reading suggestions to share.