Read Between the Ravines

Read with Lake Forest Library

Why We Read

We are happy you have decided to read with your family, friends, neighbors, and us! Lake Forest Library Reading Programs are designed to encourage shared reading experiences, thoughtful discussions, and meaningful community connections. For students, reading outside of school also helps enhance their academic abilities and reduce loss of skills over school breaks.

In addition to reading, our reading programs often invite you to attend Library programs, complete fun activities, or tackle other challenges to enhance your reading journey. Not to mention prizes!

On this page you'll find details about a specific reading program. All programs can be completed using paper logs -OR- online using the Beanstack app. If you have any questions about the program or using Beanstack, please contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing reference@lakeforestlibrary.org.

Using the Beanstack App

Absolutely! The Library continues to provide paper logs for all reading programs. They are available to download and print below, or you can pick them up at the Children's Circulation Desk or Adult Reference Desk.

  1. Download the free Beanstack app from your device's app store.
  2. Open the app and select "At my library, school, or bookstore."
  3. Select "Find a site."
  4. Search for "Lake Forest Library" and select it from the search results.
  5. Create your Beanstack app account using your email address and making up a password.
  6. *Tip* You can add multiple readers to the same account (such as your partner or children), and every reader can join different challenges.
  7. Select "Challenges" and join the current challenge.

If you prefer, you can create a Beanstack account and access open challenges in your browser by visiting the Library's Beanstack page at lakeforestlibrary.org/beanstack.

If you don’t remember if you have an account, contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing reference@lakeforestlibrary.org.

  1. Open the Beanstack app or visit lakeforestlibrary.org/beanstack in your browser.
  2. Select "Sign In" and enter your email address and password.
  3. Select "Challenges" and enroll in the current reading program.
  4. Begin reading, completing activities, and logging your progress!

If you forgot what email address you used when creating your Beanstack account, contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing reference@lakeforestlibrary.org.

  1. Open the Beanstack app or visit lakeforestlibrary.org/beanstack in your browser.
  2. Sign in.
  3. If you have multiple readers on the same account (such as you and your children), you can switch between readers by tapping or selecting your name, initials, or profile image.
  4. In the app, tap the big plus sign ➕. If you're using the browser, select "Log reading and activities."
  5. Follow the prompts to enter your achievements.

You can always ask your Lake Forest Librarians for help. Contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing reference@lakeforestlibrary.org.

In the app:

  1. Tap the gear icon ⚙
  2. Tap help

In your browser: Info coming soon.

 

Read Between the Ravines

Stay tuned for next time

This recurring program will return! Stay tuned for details.

Two Communities, One Nonfiction Book

Lake Forest Library and Lake Bluff Public Library are proud to present our joint nonfiction reading program called Read Between the Ravines. This Two Communities, One Nonfiction Book program brings together Lake Forest and Lake Bluff with the purpose of enhancing nonfiction literacy and inspiring discussion around real-world issues. This year, join us in reading "Unraveled: The Life and Death of a Garment" by Maxine Bédat and attending events across our two communities.

(Past program) Read Between the Ravines 2022

Thank you for your interest in this past event, service, survey, or contest. The event or information has expired and is no longer active.

 

"A sharp angle on the hot topics of globalisation and sustainability, seen through the 'biography' of a pair of jeans. Bédat illustrates the environmental, economic and social pressures building up in the global fashion and garment industry and uncovers the unseen consequences of our thoughtless shopping choices." —Financial Times Best Business Books of 2021

"'Unraveled' is a book for our times. Impeccably researched, with vivid storytelling, it eloquently uses the fashion industry as a metaphor for a new system of moral capitalism that puts people and planet first." —Paul Polman, Former CEO of UNILEVER, Vice-Chair of UN Global Compact

"Bédat provides the framework for us to balance a personal reckoning with the systemic shifts that must occur to save the fashion industry from the worst parts of itself. Whether you are an avid shopper or a critic of consumerism, this book holds truth for you." —Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, Women's March organizer

About the Book

In "Unraveled," entrepreneur, researcher, and advocate Maxine Bédat follows the life of an American icon—a pair of jeans—to reveal what really happens to give us our clothes.

We visit a Texas cotton farm figuring out how to thrive without relying on fertilizers that poison the earth. Inside dyeing and weaving factories in China, where chemicals that are banned in the West slosh on factory floors and drain into waterways used to irrigate local family farms. Sewing floors in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are crammed with women working for illegally low wages to produce garments as efficiently as machines. Back in America, our jeans get stowed, picked, and shipped out by Amazon warehouse workers pressed to be as quick as the robots primed to replace them. Finally, those jeans we had to have get sent to landfills—or, if they've been donated, shipped back around the world to Africa, where they're sold for pennies in secondhand markets or buried and burned in mountains of garbage.

"Unraveled" is not just the story of a pair of pants, but also the story of our global economy and our role in it. "Unraveled" challenges us to use our relationship with our jeans—and all that we wear—to reclaim our central role as citizens to refashion a society in which all people can thrive and preserve the planet for generations to come.

Borrow the book

About the Author

Maxine Bédat is the founder and director of New Standard Institute (NSI), a think-and-do tank using data to drive accountability in industry. She is also the author of the book "Unraveled: The Life and Death of a Garment," which has been longlisted for the Financial Times/ McKinsey Business Book of the Year.

Prior to NSI, Maxine co-founded and was the CEO of Zady, a fashion brand and lifestyle destination creating a transparent and sustainable future for the apparel industry. For its work in sustainability, Zady was named one of the world’s "Most Innovative Companies" in retail by Fast Company.

Bédat has been recognized by Oprah in her Super Soul 100 for leaders elevating humanity. She has been regularly featured as an expert by Bloomberg, the Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue, Forbes, Business of Fashion, and CNN.

Bédat began her career in international law working at the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal and Allen & Overy, and received a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.

Events & Discussion

Jump to: This Year's SelectionResourcesPartnersPrevious Selections

Thank you for attending these 2022 events with us

  • "Unraveled" book discussions
  • Sustainable Fashion presented by Amanda Lee McCarty
  • No-sew T-shirt Tote Bag
  • "Deep Water Horizon" movie viewing
  • "Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America's Cheap Good" by Amelia Pang book discussion
  • "Sweatshop: Deadly Fashion" documentary viewing
  • "Girl in Translation" by Jean Kwok book discussion
  • How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe presented by Jamie Novak
  • Sashiko Mending
  • "The September Issue" movie viewing
  • The Environmental Impacts of Fast Fashion panel discussion by Lake Forest High School students
  • An Evening with Maxine Bédat

RBR on Beanstack

Join us in the 2022 Read Between the Ravines Beanstack Challenge! Challenge finishers are entered in a drawing for a chance to meet Maxine Bédat and receive a free copy of "Unraveled" to be signed after the April 4 event at Gorton Community Center.

To complete the challenge:

  • Read or listen to "Unraveled" by Maxine Bédat.  
  • Attend a Read Between the Ravines event in either Lake Forest or Lake Bluff.
  • Re-purpose a garment to give it new life and extend its use.  
  • Take a photo of your re-purposed item and share it with Lake Forest Library via email at reference@lakeforestlibrary.org or post your photo and tag Lake Forest Library on social media.

Copies of "Unraveled" are available for checkout at Lake Forest Library. Call us at 847.234.0636 or browse the catalog to find and reserve a copy.

Get started with the Beanstack app:

  1. Download the free Beanstack app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play App Store.  
  2. Then select "At my library, school, or bookstore."
  3. At the bottom, tap on "Find a site."
  4. Search for "Lake Forest Library" and choose it from the search results.
  5. Sign up for a Beanstack app account with your email and create a password.
  6. Under "Discover" select the "Read Between the Ravines 2022 Challenge."

If you prefer, you can create a Beanstack account and access the RBR Challenge by visiting the Library's Beanstack page.

 

Resources: Reconsidering Fast Fashion

Jump to: This Year's SelectionEvents & DiscussionPartnersPrevious Selections

The High Cost of Our Cheap Fashion by Maxine Bédat

The High Cost of Cheap Clothing by Trisha Striker

Why We Should All Feel Uncomfortable in Our Clothes by Patrick Grant

Sustainability Organizations and Nonprofits

SWALCO – Lake County, IL – https://www.swalco.org/187/Clothing-Textiles

Lake Forest Open Lands – https://www.lfola.org/

Good On You – https://directory.goodonyou.eco/

Natural Resource Defense Council – https://www.nrdc.org/

New Standard Institute – https://www.newstandardinstitute.org/

Articles

Atlantic - Ultra-fast Fashion Is Eating the World by Rachel Monroe March 2021 – https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/03/ultra-fast-fashion-is-eating-the-world/617794/

Geneva Environmental Network – Environmental Sustainability in the Fashion Industry – https://www.genevaenvironmentnetwork.org/resources/updates/sustainable-fashion/

Forbes – Fashion Industry Reacts to New York Sustainability Legislation That Could Upend Transparency Practices – https://www.forbes.com/sites/roxannerobinson/2022/01/11/fashion-industry-reacts-to-new-york-sustainability-legislation-that-could-upend-transparency-practices/?sh=6c5bacf739b3

CNBC - Explained: Sense and Sustainability; how fashion is trying to become greener – https://www.cnbctv18.com/environment/explained-sense-and-sustainability-how-fashion-is-trying-to-become-greener-12077582.htm

Vogue - Three Sustainability Experts Weigh in on How to Be a Better Shopper – https://www.vogue.com/article/sustainable-shopping-tips-experts

New York Times - Do You Know Where Your Sweater Came From? – https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/style/loro-piana-baby-cashmere-traceability.html

Wall Street Journal – “How to Revamp Your Wardrobe Without Buying Anything 'New' – https://www.wsj.com/articles/update-wardrobe-vintage-resale-renting-clothes-11645127070

 

Thank You to Our Partners

Jump to: This Year's SelectionEvents & DiscussionResourcesPrevious Selections

Previous Selections

Jump to: This Year's SelectionEvents & ResourcesRBR Partners

In "Unraveled," entrepreneur, researcher, and advocate Maxine Bédat follows the life of an American icon—a pair of jeans—to reveal what really happens to give us our clothes.

We visit a Texas cotton farm figuring out how to thrive without relying on fertilizers that poison the earth. Inside dyeing and weaving factories in China, where chemicals that are banned in the West slosh on factory floors and drain into waterways used to irrigate local family farms. Sewing floors in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are crammed with women working for illegally low wages to produce garments as efficiently as machines. Back in America, our jeans get stowed, picked, and shipped out by Amazon warehouse workers pressed to be as quick as the robots primed to replace them. Finally, those jeans we had to have get sent to landfills—or, if they've been donated, shipped back around the world to Africa, where they're sold for pennies in secondhand markets or buried and burned in mountains of garbage.

"Unraveled" is not just the story of a pair of pants, but also the story of our global economy and our role in it. "Unraveled" challenges us to use our relationship with our jeans—and all that we wear—to reclaim our central role as citizens to refashion a society in which all people can thrive and preserve the planet for generations to come.

Go to 2022 title in the catalog to borrow

Explore details from the 2022 program

Michelle Kuo, at age twenty-two, arrives in the Mississippi Delta town of Helena, Arkansas in 2004. Kuo quickly realizes that her new home, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, is still poor, still segregated, and still in need of dramatic change.

Helena is where she meets Patrick, inquisitive and quiet, with a poor attendance record. With Kuo's attention, Patrick’s reading and writing flourish and he wins a school-wide award for “Most Improved.” When Kuo leaves Helena to pursue a law degree, she suspects herself of having taken the easier route.

Three years later, Kuo receives the news that Patrick is in prison for murder. Kuo puts her life on hold and moves back to the Delta.

In the visiting room of the Phillips County Jail, she and Patrick spend seven months poring over classic novels, poems, and historical narratives by Frederick Douglass, C.S. Lewis, Marilynne Robinson, James Baldwin, W.S. Merwin, and more. Patrick learns how to be a serious reader and a fluent writer, and in doing so, discovers new worlds both inside and outside of himself.

In her time reading with Patrick, Kuo is herself transformed as she contends with the questions of what it is we owe each other and how starkly economic and racial inequality determine our life outcomes. What social transformation is necessary to change a life? And what kind of connection can two people make when there exists such dramatic inequality between them?

At its heart Reading with Patrick is a meditation on how education changes the experience of incarceration and the limits of that change. It tells a history of the American South, from the legacy of slavery to the effects of prison. And it is a story of the miraculous effect of the written word and the consolation it provides.

As James Wood writes in The New Yorker, “Anyone interested in questions of pedagogy, racism, and incarceration in America, not to mention literary criticism, will be enthralled by this book ... It is hard to read this challenging book ... and not think, You must change your life."

Go to the 2021 title in the catalog to borrow

Explore details from the 2021 program

A devastating portrait of the opioid epidemic, a uniquely American and catastrophically lethal tragedy born of Congressional neglect, amplified by corporate greed, and brutally exploited by illegal drug cartels.

The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history; it results in ninety American deaths a day and has eviscerated communities across the country. It is a consequence of a healthcare system run as a business, one that prescribed drugs with unprecedented amounts of oxycodone to patients experiencing everything from toothaches to severe chronic pain. The practice created a culture of addiction in towns and cities from Florida to Maine and throughout Appalachia and the American West.

In American Fix, Chris McGreal outlines the three main stories of the opioid epidemic: first, the negligent policies that allowed the greed and corruption of big pharma to profit off the suffering of their patients and new evidence on the FDA's complicity in the matter; second, the widespread addiction that ravaged American towns and cities; and finally, the even more devastating arrival of the drug cartels who deliberately and catastrophically exploited the market for addiction that has been created.

Through the lives of doctors, addicts, policy-makers, pharmaceutical reps, and family members, McGreal tells two parallel stories: that of the rise of opioids in the healthcare system and the personal stories of those affected on the ground joined in what a former member of the FDA has called "one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine."

Go to the 2020 title in the catalog to borrow

 

New York Times Bestseller, Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Award

"Nimbly splices together history, science, reporting and personal experiences into a taut and cautiously hopeful narrative.… Egan’s book is bursting with life (and yes, death)." —Robert Moor, New York Times Book Review

The Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Superior—hold 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work, and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.

For thousands of years the pristine Great Lakes were separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the roaring Niagara Falls and from the Mississippi River basin by a “sub-continental divide.” Beginning in the late 1800s, these barriers were circumvented to attract oceangoing freighters from the Atlantic and to allow Chicago’s sewage to float out to the Mississippi. These were engineering marvels in their time―and the changes in Chicago arrested a deadly cycle of waterborne illnesses―but they have had horrendous unforeseen consequences. Egan provides a chilling account of how sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels, and other invaders have made their way into the lakes, decimating native species and largely destroying the age-old ecosystem. And because the lakes are no longer isolated, the invaders now threaten water intake pipes, hydroelectric dams, and other infrastructure across the country.

Egan also explores why outbreaks of toxic algae stemming from the overapplication of farm fertilizer have left massive biological “dead zones” that threaten the supply of freshwater. He examines fluctuations in the levels of the lakes caused by manmade climate change and the overzealous dredging of shipping channels. And he reports on the chronic threats to siphon off Great Lakes water to slake drier regions of America or to be sold abroad.

In an age when dire problems like the Flint water crisis or the California drought bring ever more attention to the indispensability of safe, clean, easily available water, The Death and the Life of the Great Lakes is a powerful paean to what is arguably our most precious resource, an urgent examination of what threatens it and a convincing call to arms about the relatively simple things we need to do to protect it.

Go to the 2019 title in the catalog to borrow