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Shelflife: Wild and edible plants of Missoula

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Wild and Edible Plants of Missoula: Late Summer Edition

Oceans of Possibilities Summer Learning Program

As part of our Summer Learning Program “Oceans of Possibilities,” join us for a two-hour native plant walk along Missoula’s Clark Fork River trail — while not an ocean, this body of water is the lifeblood of our community! To join, meet Missoula Public Library on Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. in the library parking lot. We’ll identify native plants in late summer to learn which ones are edible and even medicinal. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, water, and adequate clothing to be comfortable outside for two hours, rain or shine. Group size is limited, and registration is required. To register, please visit here:

Lego Club

Join Missoula Public Library for “Lego Club” and build to your heart’s content every Monday and Friday afternoon in the Imaginarium on Level Two. Drop in anytime on Mondays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to create fantastic Lego structures.

Big Sky High School Branch Drop-in D&D

Interested in Dungeons and Dragons but not sure how to play? Want to try a taste of the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying game before committing to a full campaign? This summer, on the third Wednesday of each month, join us at the Big Sky High School Branch to play short, “one-shot” adventures. No experience necessary, just bring your imagination. The next meeting is Aug. 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Big Sky High School Branch. Contact for more details.

You’re An Engineer

Join your friends at Missoula Public Library in the Imaginarium on Level Two to build and create with Legos, oversized Building Blocks and our Rig-a-ma-Jig. The Rig-a-ma-Jig is a set of wooden planks with pulleys, oversized nuts and bolts, and screws. Enjoy your own free building time or join in our building challenges. The next “You’re An Engineer” program takes place Aug. 18 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Tech Connect: eBooks, Audiobooks, and Your Library Catalog

Get the most out of your library card by learning how to use the many resources Missoula Public Library has to offer, including how to use the library catalog to find what you need, accessing your library account for renewals and requesting materials, downloading ebooks and audiobooks, movie streaming services and more. This class is Aug. 18 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Blackfoot Boardroom on Level Four of the library. Bring your own device, or use one of our library provided laptops. Capacity limited, please reserve a space by calling 406-721-2665.

Cheap Date Night

Enjoy a recently released feature film during Missoula Public Library’s Cheap Date Night the third Friday each month in the library’s Cooper Room. This month’s film will take place on Aug. 19. Doors are open from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. and the film starts at 6:30 p.m. Late entry is not allowed. Attendees must enter from the library’s parking garage, all other doors are locked. Please call the library or check our website for movie titles:

Western Montana Genealogical Society Work Day

The Western Montana Genealogical Society hosts a Work Day in the Blackfoot Board Room on the Fourth Floor of Missoula Public Library on the second Saturday of each month from 12 to 4 p.m. Bring your genealogical project to the gathering. Other genealogists will be working on their projects and can lend a hand if needed, and share websites and advice on research problems. The next Work Day is Aug. 20.

Summer Genealogy Series: Genealogy Source Citation Workshop

Without documentation, genealogy is just mythology. Join Missoula Public Library on Aug. 20 to learn the basics of citing family history sources in this hands-on workshop. Meet from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Cooper Room A on Level Four of the library. Registration is required. To register please visit:

Staff Review

“Siren Queen” by Nghi Vo

Tordotcom, May 10, 2022

Call Number: VO

If you want to make it in Hollywood, you will most likely have to sell your soul — or so they say. But what if that were true?

In the world Nghi Vo creates, those who want to shine big and bright on the silver screen (and in the starry sky above Los Angeles) must give themselves over to the (literally) demonic heads of the studios. Those who do not find fame wither away, becoming mute, gray specters that can never leave the studio lots.

Luli Wei will not suffer that fate — not if she can help it. Ever since she was little, growing up in the Golden Age of Hollywood, she has wanted to be an actress. When finally given the opportunity, she refuses to be forced into roles so many Chinese-American actresses are given (maids, dragon ladies, etc.). In her words, she would rather be a “monster than a maid.” As Luli starts to gain notoriety for just that, she meets friends, foes, and lovers, all of whom are trying to survive the studio system and gain immortality.

I was utterly enraptured by the mythology that Vo weaves in this novel. While not everything is explained, it all makes sense in the context of what we are given. What we think of as standard Hollywood fare gets flipped delightfully and disturbingly on its head as Vo creates a more sinister backdrop for what goes on behind the scenes. You may never watch a Bacall or Deitrich film the same way again after reading this novel.

Reviewed by Kayla Whitaker

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