Lilly Library blog posts
Hannah Hart, a YouTube star, has written an at times very funny and very heartbreaking memoir called Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded. She writes about her internet fame, her family, mental illness, love, friendship, sexuality, and more. John Green describes the memoir like this: “By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Hannah Hart’s new book is a roaring, beautiful, and profoundly human account of an extraordinary life.” To find out more about Hannah and her memoir, check out this NPR interview.
Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction by Mary Ellen Hannibal is a wide-ranging adventure in becoming a citizen scientist by an award-winning writer and environmental thought leader. As Mary Ellen Hannibal wades into tide pools, follows hawks, and scours mountains to collect data on threatened species, she discovers the power of a heroic cast of volunteers–and the makings of what may be our last, best hope in slowing an unprecedented mass extinction. Digging deeply, Hannibal traces today’s tech-enabled citizen science movement to its roots: the centuries-long tradition of amateur observation by writers and naturalists. Read an excerpt here.
In Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service, journalist Devin Leonard tackles the fascinating, centuries-long history of the USPS, from the first letter carriers through Franklin’s days, when postmasters worked out of their homes and post roads cut new paths through the wilderness. It is a rich, multifaceted history, full of remarkable characters, from the stamp-collecting FDR, to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS’s monopoly on mail, to the renegade union members who brought the system–and the country–to a halt in the 1970s. This book is the first major history of the USPS in over fifty years. Read a review here and here.
Refugee Tales, edited by David Herd & Anna Pincus, collects tales from poets and novelists who retell the stories of individuals who have direct experience of Britain’s policy of indefinite immigration detention. Presenting their accounts anonymously, as modern day counterparts to the pilgrims’ stories in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales , this book offers rare, intimate glimpses into otherwise untold suffering. You can learn more about this project here. Also check out this review in the Guardian.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, check out Love is Love: A Comic Book Anthology to Benefit the Survivors of the Orlando Pulse Shooting from IDW Publishing and DC Entertainment. This oversize comic contains moving and heartfelt material from some of the greatest talent in comics, mourning the victims, supporting the survivors, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and examining love in today’s world. Some of the talents include Cecil Castellucci, Damon Lindelof, Patton Oswalt, G. Willow Wilson, Steve Orlando, James Tynion IV, Gail Simone, and Dan Parent.
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for more things to read, check out our Blind Date with a Book. You may need to hurry before all the matches are made!
When: Friday, March 3, 2017
Time: 9:00 p.m. to Midnight
Where: Perkins and Bostock Libraries, 1st Floor
Dress: Semi-Formal Attire, or Dress as Your Favorite Mystery Character
The Library Party is a unique Duke tradition. For one night only, Perkins and Bostock Libraries throw open their doors for a night of music, food, and un-shushed entertainment. The event is free and open to the entire Duke community.
After a couple of years on hiatus, the Library Party is back! Once again, the Libraries are partnering with the Duke Marketing Club to organize this year’s event. The theme—“Mystery in the Stacks”—is inspired by classic works of mystery and detective fiction.
The event will feature live music, costumes, decorations, food and beverages, and plenty of mystery!
Advance Wristband Sales (New This Year!)
To cut down on lines at the event, drink wristbands will be available for purchase (credit card only) the week of February 27-March 3 at Saladelia locations in von der Heyden, West Union, and the Sanford School of Public Policy. Legal ID required. Get yours ahead of time and avoid the line.
On Facebook, and share!
Keep the Mystery Going
The Library Party will be followed by a Freewater Presentations screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in Griffith Theater at 12:15 a.m.
Many thanks to our not-so-mysterious co-sponsors: the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Markets & Management Studies, Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, and Duke Student Government.
The Sobbing School by Joshua Bennett is a “sharp and scintillating” (Publishers Weekly) debut collection of poetry, selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series, Joshua Bennett’s mesmerizing debut collection of poetry, presents songs for the living and the dead that destabilize and de-familiarize representations of black history and contemporary black experience. What animates these poems is a desire to assert life, and interiority , where there is said to be none. Figures as widely divergent as Bobby Brown, Martin Heidegger, and the 19th-century performance artist Henry Box Brown, as well as Bennett’s own family and childhood best friends, appear and are placed in conversation.
I think many of us are still feeling the pain of losing Carrie Fisher. One way to cope may be to check out her new The Princess Diarist. When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved–plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naivete, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, this is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time–and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. If you enjoy this read, I’d highly recommend reading the rest of her writings.
In Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair, Emma Tarlo travels the globe, tracking the movement of hair across India, Myanmar, China, Africa, the United States, Britain and Europe, where she meets people whose livelihoods depend on it. Viewed from inside Chinese wig factories, Hindu temples and the villages of Myanmar, or from Afro hair fairs, Jewish wig parlours, fashion salons and hair loss clinics in Britain and the United States, hair is oddly revealing of the lives of all it touches. You can read reviews here and here.
In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer?: The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis explores one of humankind’s oldest love-hate relationships–our ties with artificial intelligence, or AI. It traces AI’s origins in ancient myth, through literary classics like Frankenstein, to today’s sci-fi blockbusters, arguing that a fascination with AI is hardwired into the human psyche. Zarkadakis explains AI’s history, technology, and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as–perhaps most tellingly–what AI reveals about us as human beings.
Unspeakable Things by Kathleen Spivack is a strange, haunting novel about survival and love in all its forms; about sexual awakenings and dark secrets; about European refugee intellectuals who have fled Hitler’s armies with their dreams intact and who have come to an elusive new (American) “can do, will do” world they cannot seem to find. A novel steeped in surreal storytelling and beautiful music that transports its half-broken souls–and us–to another realm of the senses. To find out more read a Washington Times review, a Paste Magazine review, and a Jewish Book Council review.
I’m happy to say that we have many of these books in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections, though I’ll warn you now that you may have to get on the waiting list for some titles! Here are a selection.
The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (appears on almost every list). A magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey–hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.
Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte. This book is number three on Vulture’s list: “It’s a rare and bracing thing to see a debut novelist confident enough to pour acid on an entire system (in this case, the one we call meritocracy). The millennials have teeth.” The novel’s four whip-smart narrators–idealistic Cory, Internet-lurking Will, awkward Henrik, and vicious Linda–are torn between fixing the world and cannibalizing it. In boisterous prose that ricochets between humor and pain, the four estranged friends stagger through the Bay Area’s maze of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and cultish self-help seminars, washing up in each other’s lives once again.
As described on the NPR list, “The Wonder: A Novel by Emma Donoghue is just that: ‘a wonder’ of a story about religious delusion and self-denial set in 19th-century Ireland.” Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.
In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi is featured on NYT’s list: “When Faludi learned that her estranged and elderly father had undergone gender reassignment surgery, in 2004, it marked the resumption of a difficult relationship. Her father was violent and full of contradictions: a Hungarian Holocaust survivor and Leni Riefenstahl fanatic, he stabbed a man her mother was seeing and used the incident to avoid paying alimony. In this rich, arresting and ultimately generous memoir, Faludi — long known for her feminist journalism — tries to reconcile Steven, the overbearing patriarch her father once was, with Stefánie, the old woman she became.”
The Washington Post includes Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets: by Svetlana Alexievich: “Alexievich turns on a tape recorder and listens to average Russians describing their lives amid the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Alexievich, who was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature, has produced one of the most vivid and incandescent accounts yet attempted of this society caught in the throes of change. It is the story of what one character aptly describes as ‘our lost generation — a communist upbringing and capitalist life.'”
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan appears on both the lists of Vulture and NYT. It is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy, dazzling in its acuity, and ambitious in scope. When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family’s television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb–one of the many “small” bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the world–detonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys, to the devastation of their parents. Mansoor survives, bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb.
Since it’s the season of giving, here are two other things you might find useful when selecting a good read. The Guardian does a slightly different kind of end of year roundup. They have various writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Julian Barnes select their favorite reads of the year. Also, NPR has a really fun Book Concierge that lets you use filters to explore titles recommended by their staff and critics.
Who hasn’t heard or read that coloring reduces stress? There is evidence that even a short coloring or craft session helps to improve focus and spur creativity.1 In fact, at Lilly Library we are aware of this effect, so for the past several years we’ve offered Duke students the Lilly Relaxation Station. Located in our first floor training room, the Relaxation Station provides games, crafts, puzzles, coloring, and markers for whiteboards so that students may take a moment (or two) to relax and recharge their gray matter!Students created and shared origami
- What: Lilly Relaxation Station
- When: Tuesday, December 13th through Sunday December 18th
Duke Students are invited to drop in, “take a moment” (or however much time they wish – no pressure!) and enjoy themselves during Finals Week.
Check out the Lilly Facebook page for event details. Additionally, Lilly partners with Devils After Dark to offer snacks on the evenings of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at 8 p.m. in the Lilly foyer.
On a “final” note, sure to check out Duke Libraries’ helpful End of Semester Survival Guide for lots of tips and information to get you through exams.Good Luck on Finals!
As you are preparing for your much needed break, I hope you remember that the library will still be here for you! Maybe you already know that you can access many of our online resources from home or that you can check out books to take home with you. We also have movies and music that you can stream and some e-books that you can download to your devices. Here are some of the resources we have to do this!
Alexander Street Video Collection: Find and watch streaming video across multiple Alexander Street Press video collections on diverse topics that include newsreels, documentaries, field recordings, interviews and lectures.
Docuseek2 Collection: Find and watch streaming video of documentary and social issues films.
Films on Demand: Find and watch streaming video with academic, vocational, and life-skills content.
Kanopy: Watch thousands of award-winning documentaries and feature films including titles from the Criterion Collection.
Go to bit.ly/dukevideos to access these video collections.
Naxos Music Library: Huge selection of classical music recordings—over 1,925,000 tracks!
Jazz Music Library: Access a wide range of recordings from jazz classics to contemporary jazz.
Contemporary World Music and Smithsonian Global Sound: Listen to music from around the world, including reggae, Bollywood, fado, American folk music, and more.
Metropolitan Opera on Demand: For opera fans, a large selection of opera videos from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
All of these streaming music sources can be accessed at library.duke.edu/music/resources/listening-online
Go to duke.overdrive.com to access downloadable eBooks and audiobooks that can be enjoyed on all major computers and devices, including iPhones®, iPads®, Nooks®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindles®.
The Friends of the Duke University Libraries are proud to present the 2017 Andrew T. Nadell Prize for Book Collecting. The contest is open to all students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate/professional degree program at Duke and the winners will receive cash prizes!
Winners of the contest will also be eligible to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, where they will compete for a $2,500 prize and an invitation to the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress.
Students do not have to be “book collectors” to enter the contest. Past collections have varied in interest areas and included a number of different types of materials. The collections will be judged based on adherence to a clearly defined unifying theme, and rarity and monetary value will not be considered during judging.
Students who are interested in entering can visit the Prize for Book Collecting homepage for more information and read winning entries from past years. Students may also contact Megan Crain at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Entries must be received by February 14, 2017.