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What to Read this Month: November 2017

Wed, 2017-11-08 15:05

Happy November, readers! Do you find yourself looking at the calendar and wondering where the time has gone this semester? Don’t worry – our New & Noteworthy collection on the 1st floor of Perkins Library is here for your reading pleasure year-round. This month we’ve* picked out five (well, six) new books we hope you’ll enjoy.

Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum by James Delbourgo. Though the scope of its collection has drawn fire over the years,  the British Museum has formidable holdings of artifacts from around the world. Curious about how it came to be? James Delbourgo’s biography of Hans Sloane recounts the story behind its creation, told through the life of a figure with an insatiable ambition to pit universal knowledge against superstition and the means to realize his dream. You can read a review here.

 

The Black Tides of Heaven & The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang. An introductory pair of novellas from JY Yang’s new Tensorate Series, each follows one of twin main characters. Akeha (the protagonist of The Black Tides of Heaven) struggles with his belief in a rebel cause and his desire to remain close to his sister, Mokoya (a prophetess and the protagonist of The Red Threads of Fortune) who spends her days hunting monstrous beasts in the sky. You can read Tor’s introduction to/review of the series here.

 

Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony: The Story of a Gamble, Two Black Holes, and a New Age of Astronomy by Marcia Bartusiak. Einstein predicted gravitational waves years ago, but only recently were scientists able to prove their existence! Bartusiak traces the quest of astronomers to build the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, the most accurate measuring devices humans have created, and the discovery of gravitational waves, revealing the brilliance, personalities, and luck required to start a new age of astronomy. Still curious about LIGO and recent cosmic events? You can read all about news from the observatory here.

The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Peter Devereaux. From the Library of Congress comes an ode to all things written and to the fading world of card catalogs. Packed with bookish information and full-color photographs, this is a work that can delight the new library initiate as well as the library aficionado.

 

 

Cold Pastoral by Rebecca Dunham. A lyrical look at our world and our place in it…and our effect on it. Dunham covers natural and man-made disasters, everything from Deepwater Horizon to Hurricane Katrina. This collection finds the intersection between moral witness and shattering art in poetry. You can find a review here.

 

 

*Selections and descriptions by UNC Field Experience Student Ellen Cline.

Upcoming British music performances at Duke

Thu, 2017-11-02 15:46
Upcoming British music performances at DukeUpcoming British music performances at Duke

A weekend of British music begins this Friday, Nov. 3rd with a performance by The Villiers Quartet at 8pm in Baldwin Auditorium.

The Villiers Quartet is quickly establishing a reputation as champions of 20th-21st century British (and American) music. This concert in Duke’s Baldwin Auditorium, part of their 2017 North American tour, features a wonderful balance of the lushly romantic Delius (in its original 1916 version), the lyrical poise of American composer/violinist Andrew Waggoner’s recent score Every Sentient Being, and unusual British pieces from the 1920s (Bush’s Dialectic) and 1950s (Fricker’s Quartet No. 2).

The Villiers are currently Quartet-in-Residence at Oxford University. The Strad hailed them as among the most charismatic and “adventurous” players on the scene.  The Villiers Quartet has released several highly-acclaimed CDs on Naxos which are available from the Duke Music Library, most recently a recording of the Delius String Quartet (original and revised versions) and the Elgar String Quartet.

The public is invited to attend a pre-concert talk given by Daniel Grimley (Merton College, Oxford) at 7 pm in the Library Seminar Room, Biddle Music Building (adjacent to Baldwin Auditorium).

On Saturday, Nov. 4th at 5pm in the Nelson Music Room on Duke’s East Campus, British composer Frank Bridge’s Piano Trio No. 2 (1929), widely considered to be one of his greatest chamber works, will be featured in a concert by violinist Hsiao-mei Ku, Professor in the Duke Department of Music and member of the Ciompi Quartet; pianist R. Larry Todd, Arts and Sciences Professor of Music at Duke; and cellist David Meyer of the North Carolina Symphony.  Listen to a performance of this piece through the Duke Music Library subscription to the Naxos online streaming service.

These two concerts are part of the symposium, British Music & Europe in the Age of Brexit, presented by the Duke University Department of Music and Franklin Humanities Institute: Humanities Futures.

 

November 2017 Pop-up Collections Spotlight: International Literary Prize Winners

Wed, 2017-11-01 20:17

This month’s pop-up collections spotlight falls on international literary prize winners.  The following books were selected by the staff of Duke University Libraries’ International and Area Studies Department.  These selections represent diverse genres (novel, drama, short story, poetry, memoir, oral history) and regions of the globe (Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East).  Taken together, the list below not only provides suggestions for entertaining reads, but also sheds light on one of the many ways that the Libraries’ collections and services align with the University priorities of “internationalization” and “interdisciplinarity.”

(click on book photos for links to books in our collection)

Winners of the Noble Prize in Literature

Gabriela Mistral (Chile, 1945)
“for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.”

 

 

 

Miguel Angel Asturias (Guatemala, 1967)
“for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America.”

 

 

 

Wisława Szymborska (Poland, 1996)
“for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.”

 

 

 

Svetlana Alexievich (Belarus, 2015)
“for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

 

 

 

 

Gao Xingjian (China, 2000)

“for an æuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama.”

 

 

 

Mo Yan (China, 2012)
“who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.”

 

 

 

 

Wole Soyinka (Nigeria, 1986)
“who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.”

 

 

 

Dario Fo (Italy, 1997)
“who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.”

 

 

 

Patrick Modiano (France, 2014)
“for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”

 

 

 

Herta Müller (Germany, 2009)
“who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”

 

 

 

Shmuel Yosef Agnon (Israel, 1966)

for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people.”

 

 

 

Ōe Kenzaburō (Japan, 1994)
who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today.”

 

 

 

Kawabata Yasunari (Japan, 1968)
for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind.”

 

 

 

Orhan Pamuk (Turkey, 2006)
who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.”

 

 

 

Najīb Maḥfūẓ (Egypt, 1988)

who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.

 

 

Winners of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction

David Grossman (Israel, 2017)

whose “ambitious high-wire act of a novel…shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality.”

 

 

 

Salman Rushdie (UK, 1981)
whose novel about India’s political independence offers a “fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people – a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy.”

 

 

Arundhati Roy (India, 1997)

whose novel not only “paints a vivid picture about life in a small rural Indian town…in magical and poetic language,” but also offers “a poignant lesson in the destructive power of the caste system and moral and political bigotry in general.”

 

Han Kang (South Korea, 2016)
whose “fraught, disturbing, and beautiful” novel is not only about “modern day South Korea, but also…shame, desire, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.”

 

 

Winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

UK prize awarded for best full-length novel written in English by a woman of any nationality

Lisa McInerney (Ireland, 2016)

whose “searing debut novel about life on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society…presents an unforgettable vision of a city plagued by poverty and exploitation, where salvation still awaits in the most unexpected places.”

 

 

Winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award


South African literary prize awarded to writers who have never been published before. The word “dinaane” means “telling our stories together” in Setswana.

Kopano Matlwa (South Africa, 2006)

whose “audacious, lyrical and compassionate tale explores the grey, in-between, intimate experiences and dilemmas of a young girl who, like the society around her, is undergoing changes that call old boundaries, comforts and certitudes into question.”

 

 

Winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize for Asia

Literary prize awarded to writers who were Commonwealth citizens aged 18 or over and who have had their first novel published in the year of entry.

Nayomi Munaweera (Sri Lanka, 2013)

whose “sweeping saga” of the Sri Lankan civil war “offers an unparalleled portrait of a beautiful land during its most difficult moments.”

 

 

Blog post provided by Erik Zitser, Librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies

Happy Birthday, Dylan Thomas!

Fri, 2017-10-27 15:38

Today we remember Dylan Thomas for his beautiful poetic gift to the English language.  “Poem in October” was written in memory of his 30th  birthday in 1944; it is  a hymn to autumn and to nature and a meditation on mortality:

Celebrate his birthday with his reading of “Poem in October”

Take a look at some of the books in the library:

Ugly, lovely : Dylan Thomas’s Swansea and Carmarthenshire of the 1950s in pictures

Discovering Dylan Thomas : a companion to the collected poems and notebook poems

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

Whitman and Popular Culture

Thu, 2017-10-26 19:19

In honor of the “I Sing the Body Electric: Walt Whitman and the Body” exhibit (drawn from our extensive Whitman collection) on display until October 28th in the Biddle Rare Book Room, I have been writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.  This last one will focus on how Whitman continues to appear in popular culture.  You can find mentions of him in movies, television, fiction, and music.  See this article for more examples.

 

Here are several fun examples of advertisements:

And here’s the poem “O Me! O Life!”

And here’s the poem “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”

You can also find recordings of poets and actors reading Whitman’s work.

I really love this recent project called “Whitman, Alabama“:

You might enjoy some documentaries about Whitman, including Walt Whitman: An American Original and American Experience: Walt Whitman.

You can also find books about Whitman’s influence on culture:

Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity

A Companion to Walt Whitman (part two “The Cultural Context” has a chapter called “Twentieth-century Mass Media Appearances”

A Race of Singers: Whitman’s Working-Class Hero from Guthrie to Springsteen

In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America From Itself

Hip, the History (as the summary of the book says, “Hip: The History draws the connections between Walt Whitman and Richard Hell, or Raymond Chandler and Snoop Dogg.”)

To find out more about Whitman, check out the previous blog posts in this series: Reading Walt Whitman, Whitman and the Body, and Whitman and the Civil War.

Oct 30: Using online tools to build undergraduate research skills

Wed, 2017-10-25 15:20

Date: Monday, October 30, 2017
Time:
12:00-1:00 PM
Location:
Breedlove Conference Room, Rubenstein Library Room 349
Contact:
Liz Milewicz
Register:
 http://duke.libcal.com/event/3599500 (Encouraged for planning purposes)

Adela Deanova, Duke PhD candidate in Philosophy and 2016-2017 Bass Instructional Fellow, used online tools to teach archival research skills

How can online tools improve students’ research skills? Adela Deanova, Duke doctoral candidate in Philosophy, took on that question. As a 2016-2017 Bass Instructional Fellow apprenticing with the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT), she focused on how to build archival research skills while innovating a traditional course. (Read more about Adela and the Bass OA project here: https://cit.duke.edu/blog/2016/12/innovative-teaching-undergraduate-philosophy-bass-online-apprentice-project/).

Adela used the course management tool Sakai (https://sakai.duke.edu/) and the new portfolio tool Pebble Pad (https://portfolio.duke.edu/) to create modular archival research activities for students in Professor Andrew Janiak’s Gender and Philosophy course. Creating these smaller, scaffolded tasks and then providing students with a means to digitally publish their work (and instructors an easy way to evaluate that work) offers a novel approach for building students literacy in research methods as well as digital publishing.

Join us for a brown-bag conversation with Adela about this approach to building undergraduate students’ research skills. Light refreshments will be served. This talk, co-sponsored by CIT, is part of the Munch & Mull Digital Scholarship series.

Lilly Collection Spotlight on Photography

Tue, 2017-10-24 18:20

Post contributed by Ira King, Danette Pachtner and Carol Terry. October has been declared Photography Month in North Carolina—come to Lilly Library and borrow a book or movie from our collection spotlight on photography!   In addition to the books available on our Spotlight shelf , Lilly’s focus on photography can be seen with our exhibits The f-Stops Here: Photography in North Carolina in the foyer, Duke: a Perspective – photographs by William Hanley III, and Mario Sorrenti: Draw Blood for Proof,  the “medium” rare book selected by Visual Studies Librarian Lee Sorensen.

With the advent of the smartphone and social media platforms like Instagram, photography has suffused our daily lives. You may shoot a pic of the Duke Chapel on the way to an early morning class, take a photo of your lunch at West Union, and get a snapchat vista from your friend on vacation in the mountains. If you’re obsessed with images, we’ve got you covered with this month’s Collection Spotlight at Lilly Library! Check out the wide range of photography books and films on display.

Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs
Adams, whose work was recently featured in an exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art, was one of the most celebrated landscape photographers of the Twentieth Century, renowned for his black and white depictions of the stunning scenery of the American West. This book collects photographs from across his multi-decade career. Recommended if you’re craving a reminder of the sublime beauty of the outdoors.

Toy Stories by Gabriele Galimberti
In this unique collection, photographer Gabriele Galimberti traveled around the world photographing children and their toys, spending thirty months on the road and visiting fifty-eight different countries. These striking photographs are fun, but also illuminate the social, economic, and gender issues that surround what toys children grow up with. Recommended if you’re missing your childhood room.

The Beautiful Smile by Nan Goldin
This collection, released on the occasion of Goldin’s 2007 Hasselblad Award, features intimate, diaristic photographs and portraits. Rising to fame as a member and chronicler of the LGBTQ subculture in 1980s and 1990s New York City, Goldin includes both photos from that era and newer works in this book. Recommended if you’re looking for photography that captures both the beauty and fragility of life.

Chromes: 1969-1974 by William Eggleston
One of our personal favorite photographers, Eggleston photographed “ordinary” objects and people around the South and his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Eggleston’s work in color helped legitimize the form in a field that was previously dominated by black and white photography. Recommended if you’re a Big Star fan and/or enjoy photos of old gas stations.

And don’t forget that Lilly has a great collection of films you can borrow.

Here are a few titles from our Video Spotlight: Photography on Film

Lilly DVD 8892

La Jetee (1962)
Since its release in 1962, Chris Marker’s La Jetée has emerged as one of the foundational texts of postwar European cinema. With its rhythmic editing, nostalgic voiceover and parade of black-and-white images, La Jetée exercises a hypnotic effect on its viewers. This short, experimental ‘photo-roman’ stays with you long after its 29 minutes are over.

Lilly DVD 6054

Pecker (1999)
John Waters’ film about a budding Baltimore photographer. Pecker (he got the nickname for pecking at his food as a child) photographs the mundane sights of his Baltimore neighborhood: the hamburger joint where he works, rats making love in the alley behind the diner, the oddball characters in his family, and the dancers in the local lesbian strip club.

 

Lilly DVD 29861

City of God (2002)
This movie takes place in the favelas or slums of Rio de Janeiro created to isolate the poor people from the city center. They have grown into places teeming with life, color, music and excitement–and with danger. One of the characters, Rocket, obtains a stolen camera that he treasures and takes pictures from his privileged position as a kid on the streets.

Lilly DVD 20755

Our feelings took the pictures: Open Shutters Iraq (2008)
Iraq-born Maysoon Pachachi’s film documents a project in which a group of women refugees from five cities in Iraq living in Syria learn to take photographs and present their lives to each other. Accompanying book is in Perkins Library.

Lilly DVD 26643

Through a lens darkly: black photographers and the emergence of a people (2014)
Filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris offers what he calls a “family memoir” via historical images of African Americans initially through popular and disturbing stereotypes such as those portrayed in D.W. Griffith’s classic 1915 film Birth of a Nation to more realistic and poignant photographs. Using a series of narrative images by African American photographic artists including Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Lorna Simpson, and Gordon Parks, among others, Harris sheds light on a seldom-told aspect of our culture.

As you can see,  Lilly Library offers a wide range of books and film about the art, science and history of photography which we hope you will enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hats off to Our 2017 Writing and Research Award Winners!

Mon, 2017-10-23 17:14

This past Friday, October 20, Duke University Libraries was excited to host the reception of our 2017 writing and research award winners. With topics covering everything from the slums of Bangalore to medieval publishers to personal poetry and creative nonfiction, these student superstars ran the gamut of passions, questions, and creative impulses.

No matter how much their interests varied, though, all of the contestants were judged to have made major contributions to their fields. The response was warm, the students’ and advisors’ speeches were phenomenal, and we’re truly thankful to everyone who was in the audience for the pride and support you showed these winners.

Whitman and the Civil War

Tue, 2017-10-17 16:04

In honor of the “I Sing the Body Electric: Walt Whitman and the Body” exhibit (drawn from our extensive Whitman collection) on display until October 28th in the Biddle Rare Book Room, I will be writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.

One of the cases in the exhibit is about Whitman’s experiences during the Civil War because it greatly influenced how he thought about and wrote about the body.  You can see this in his writing, particularly in Drum TapsSpecimen Days, and Memoranda during the War (selections from his journal entries)

Here are several resources related to Whitman and the Civil War, if you want to learn more:

“Daybreak Gray and Dim”: How the Civil War Changed Walt Whitman’s Poetry

Traveling with the Wounded: Walt Whitman and Washington’s Civil War Hospitals

Walt Whitman In Washington, D.C. : The Civil War And America’s Great Poet by Garrett Peck

Walt Whitman and the Civil War: America’s Poet during the Lost Years of 1860-1862 by Ted Genoways

Now the Drum of War: Walt Whitman and his Brothers in the Civil War by Robert Roper

The Better Angel : Walt Whitman in the Civil War by Roy Morris, Jr.

Walt Whitman’s Civil War,  Compiled & edited from published & unpublished sources by Walter Lowenfels, with the assistance of Nan Braymer

Walt Whitman and the Civil War; a Collection of Original Articles and Manuscripts edited by Charles I. Glicksberg

To find out more about Whitman, check out the previous blog posts in this series: Reading Walt Whitman and Whitman and the Body.

Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Alyssa Wong

Wed, 2017-10-11 15:36

 

To help get us all in the mood for Halloween, The Low Maintenance Book Club will be reading stories by Alyssa Wong, a Chapel Hill, NC writer who writes fantasy and horror.  She has won several prizes, including a Nebula Award, a John W. Campbell Award, and a Locus Award!

We will be reading two short stories and a short comic: Hungry Daughters of Starving MothersThe Fisher Queen, and The Auntie.

 

Date: Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm (note it’s an earlier start than previous discussions)

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Register for this discussion.  Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at aah39@duke.edu.

 

 

What to Read this Month: October 2017

Tue, 2017-10-10 15:02

what to read this month

Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads* this month!

Universal HarvesterUniversal Harvester by John Darnielle. Just in time for Halloween, Universal Harvester tells the story of a video store clerk who discovers bizarre videos recorded over the store’s VHS tapes. Darnielle is also known for his work as a musician. You can read more about his local band The Mountain Goats here and find a review of this, his second novel, here.

 

 

Family LexiconFamily Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg. Newly translated from the original Italian by Jenny McPhee, Family Lexicon is an epic saga of family, language, storytelling, and war. First published in 1963, it is set against the backdrop of Mussolini’s rise to power and the tumultuous years of WWII. Ginzburg passed away in 1991, but her autobiographical masterpiece lives on. Check out the review in the New Yorker here.

 

MoonshineMoonshine: A Global History by Kevin R. Kosar is a part of the Edible series. From ancient times to the modern day, Kosar takes the reader on a voyage around the world of DIY distilleries. Stories ranging from amusing to dangerous complete this history of a unique beverage. Spanning the centuries and the globe, this entertaining book will appeal to any food and drink lover who enjoys a little mischief.

 

The ChangelingThe Changeling by Victor LaValle. A new take on a classic tale, this thriller/horror/fantasy novel follows a young father searching for his family. That simple-seeming quest takes him to a forgotten island, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest where immigrant legends still live, and dozens of other places in a wonderful and haunting vision of New York. You can read multiple reviews of The Changeling, from the New York Times, from NPR, or from Tor Books.

 

Affluence without AbundanceAffluence without Abundance by James Suzman. Ever been curious about southern Africa’s San people, also known as the Bushmen? Anthropologist James Suzman documents a proud and private people, introduces unforgettable members of their tribe, and tells the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on Earth. Read an interview with the author and review of the book here.

 

*Selections and descriptions by UNC Field Experience Student Ellen Cline.

 

Whitman and the Body

Tue, 2017-10-03 19:22

In honor of the “I Sing the Body Electric: Walt Whitman and the Body” exhibit (drawn from our extensive Whitman collection) on display until October 28th in the Biddle Rare Book Room, I will be writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.

Since the theme of the exhibit is the body, it might be useful to examine how scholars have discussed how Whitman wrote about the concept of the body.  Here are several scholarly works that are related to this theme:

Walt Whitman and the Body Beautiful by Harold Aspiz.

Whitman’s Presence: Body, Voice, and Writing in Leaves of Grass by Tenney Nathanson.

Whitman’s Poetry of the Body: Sexuality, Politics, and the Text by M. Jimmie Killingsworth.

So Long! Walt Whitman’s Poetry of Death by Harold Aspiz.

Whitman between Impressionism and Expressionism: Language of the Body, Language of the Soul by Erik Ingvar Thurin.

If you’re looking for something more general, both Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia (has a chapter called “Human Body”) and The Cambridge Introduction to Walt Whitman (has a section called “The body” in chapter two: Historical and cultural contexts) are great resources.

To find out more about Whitman, check out the previous blog post in this series: Reading Walt Whitman.

 

2017 Banned Books Week

Mon, 2017-09-25 13:06

This week (September 24th-30th) is Banned Books Week.  To help you learn more about what kinds of books have been challenged or banned over the years (and why), we have a Collection Spotlight on the first floor of Perkins near the Circulation Desk devoted to these books.  Here is a just a selection of what you will find there:

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.  Reasons: language and sexual content

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Reasons: religious viewpoint, violence

Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Reason: Sexual content

Habibi by Craig Thompson. Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Reasons: degrading, profane and racist work. conflict with community values

For more information check out these websites here, here, and here.

If you use Twitter, you might also enjoy participating in the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament!

The Hobbit Turns 80!

Thu, 2017-09-21 18:45

 

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”

Happy birthday to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien!  Here are several articles commemorating the day:

The Hobbit at 80: Much More than a Childish Prequel to The Lord of the Rings

Picturing the Hobbit

The Hobbit at 80: What were JRR Tolkien’s Inspirations behind His First Fantasy Tale of Middle Earth?

The Hobbit Is Turning 80.  Here’s What Reviewers Said About It in 1937.

I’m also really fond of this article from the Oxford Dictionaries blog about the origins of the word “hobbit.

If you are interested in (re)reading The Hobbit, we have several copies in our circulating collection.

Here are some images from a lovely book called Art of the Hobbit.

Lilly Spotlight-Cuban-Americans, the Duke Common Experience and Beyond

Fri, 2017-09-15 18:09
Cuban-Americans, the Duke Common Experience and Beyond

Need some new reading material or just interested in seeing what’s in Lilly Library’s collection that you might not know about? Check out Lilly’s Collection Spotlight!

Lilly Spotlight on Duke Common Experience

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month and the Duke Common Experience Reading Program selection of Richard Blanco’s The Prince of Los Cocuyos, our spotlight shines on books and films relevant to his and the Cuban-American experience.  Blanco, the inaugural poet for Barack Obama in 2012, writes in his memoir of his childhood growing up in Miami as a son of Cuban immigrants. The memoir finds Blanco grappling with both his place in America and his sexuality, striving to discover his identity.

Our collections include books on Cuban Art, the Cuban-American immigrant experience in the United States, LGBTQ communities in Hispanic culture, and several books of Blanco’s poetry. Here are a few highlights from our Lilly Collection Spotlight:

Books:

Adios Utopia — Art in Cuba Since 1950
This exhibition catalog covers Cuban art from 1950 to the present viewed through the particular lenses of the Cuban Revolution, utopian ideals, and subsequent Cuban history. The collection covered in this book will be on display at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis starting in November.

Latinx Comic Book Storytelling:Latinx
An Odyssey by Interview by Frederick Luis Aldama

In this book, scholar Frederick Luis Aldama interviews 29 Latinx comic book creators, ranging from the legendary Jaime Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame to lesser known up and coming writers/illustrators.

Matters of the Sea / Cosas del mar by Richard Blanco

This bilingual chapbook contains a poem Blanco wrote and read for the reopening of the US Embassy in Havana in 2015. Blanco writes in the opening lines, “The sea doesn’t matter, what matters is this: we all belong to the sea between us, all of us.”

Films:


CubAmerican (2012)  DVD 28418
Exploring the causes leading to the exile of millions of Cubans from communist Cuba by depicting the journey of illustrious Cuban-Americans to their new life in the United States

 

Finally the sea (2007) DVD 12185
“The wreckage of an empty Cuban raft is the catalyst for Tony, a successful Cuban-American businessman, who files from Wall Street to Cuba to discover his roots. His journey develops into a striking love story where politics and romance collide

Mambo Kings (1992) DVD 27116
Musician brothers, Cesar and Nestor, leave Cuba for America (NYC) in the 1950s, with the hopes of making it to the top of the Latin music scene. Cesar is the older brother who serves as the business manager and is a consummate ladies’ man. Nestor is the brooding songwriter, who cannot forget the woman in Cuba who broke his heart. This is an unrated version of the film, with one restored scene.

Visit our Collection Spotlight shelf, in the lobby to the left of the Lilly desk. 
There are many more titles available to you, and if you want more suggestions – just ask us. Stay tuned – We will highlight our diverse and varied holdings at Lilly with a different theme each month.

Submitted by Ira King
Evening Reference Librarian & Supervisor
Lilly Library

 

 

 

Reading Walt Whitman

Thu, 2017-09-14 21:01

Young Walt WhitmanIn honor of the “I Sing the Body Electric: Walt Whitman and the Body” exhibit (drawn from our extensive Whitman collection) on display until October 28th in the Biddle Rare Book Room, I will be writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.  For this post I want to share where to look to find the works he has written. Reading Whitman for yourself will help you to see why he’s still such a large figure in American Literature.

First you can find a lot of Whitman’s poetry online, if you just want to get a taste of his poetry.   Here are two of of my favorite places to look: Poets.org and Poetry Foundation

Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive, a project spearheaded by several important Whitman scholars, has a wealth of resources about and by Whitman.  It is well worth investigating all the resources in that archive, but of special interest is the Published Works Section.  It provides access to the six American editions of Leaves of Grass published in Whitman’s lifetime and the so-called deathbed edition of 1891–92.  If you want to really investigate the major changes and expansions that Whitman added to Leaves of Grass, this is the perfect place to look.

Books by Whitman

You can find many different editions for Whitman’s works.  Here are a couple of especially good versions in our general collection.

Leaves of Grass: The Complete 1855 and 1891-92 Editions

Complete Poetry and Collected Prose

Leaves of Grass and Other Writings: Authoritative Texts, Other Poetry and Prose, Criticism

Song of Myself: With a Complete Commentary

Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself

Drum-taps: The Complete 1865 Edition

Specimen Days, Democratic Vistas, and Other Prose

If that’s just not enough Whitman for you, you should also know that there will be talk and exhibit tour on September 21st from 11:45-1:30 in Rubenstein Library 153.  A light lunch will be served.

What to Read this Month: September 2017

Wed, 2017-09-13 20:25

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It’s September and fall weather is settling in – why not settle in with a good read from our New & Noteworthy or Current Literature collections? We’ve* picked out a variety of titles for this month, from Ugandan novels to books about data visualization, and these few are reflective of a greater diversity within both New & Noteworthy and Current Literature.

The Book of CirclesThe Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge by Manuel Lima. Curious about information visualization? Love spending hours pouring over intricately detailed infographics? Manuel Lima explores historic and present-day uses of the circle as sign, symbol, graph, and more in his Book of Circles. It features nearly 300 accompanying illustrations covering a large array of topics: architecture, urban planning, fine art, design, fashion, technology, religion, cartography, biology, astronomy, physics, and more, all of which are based on the circle. You can also read a little bit about the author’s account of writing the book here.

EverythingBelongsToUsEverything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz. Yoojin Grace Wuertz spins a lively tale of two friends – one from a privileged background, the other from a lifetime of difficulties – as they enter South Korea’s top university in the 1970s. Mixing personal aspirations (to join the ranks of the rich or the ranks of an underground movement) with charming university students and a secret society, this novel is set against the backdrop of South Korea’s struggle for prosperity in the 70s. Everything Belongs to Us is well lauded in the NY Times and featured in Kirkus.

Alana MasseyAll the Lives I Want by Alana Massey. This collection examines the intersection of the personal with pop culture by looking at different female figures (Sylvia Plath, Britney Spears, Lana Del Ray, and others) in a series of essays that range in tone from humor to academic, but always remain honest. Massey is known for her columns and criticism, and you can read a review of this, her first book, here and check out an interview with the author here.

Eye of the SandpiperThe Eye of the Sandpiper by Brandon Keim. Curious about the natural world? Brandon Keim’s Eye of the Sandpiper looks at nature in four parts: the evolutionary and ecological quirks of our world, animals and their emotions, man’s interactions with nature, and finally ethics and ecology in an age of human ingenuity. Infused with a love of the wild, Keim’s work is scientific but written in delightful prose. You can read more about him here.

KintuKintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s doctoral novel Kintu won the Kwani Manuscript Prize and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature. It follows the descendants of a man named Kintu in multilayered narrative that reimagines the history of Uganda through the Kintu clan’s cursed bloodline. Find an interview with the author here and here, and read more about Kintu, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, and Uganda here.

*Selections and descriptions by UNC Field Experience Student Ellen Cline.

Remembering John Ashbery

Tue, 2017-09-05 15:48

John Ashbery

John Ashbery, an award-winning poet, died over the weekend.  In 1976 he became the only writer to win the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the same year for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.  You can see the opening of an early draft of this important work here.

If you’ve never read any of his poetry, now would be a great time.  We own many of his collections. 

To understand his place in American poetry, you might also want to look at some of the biographies and literary criticism that we have about him.

We also have several interesting items in the Rubenstein Library that you might want to explore.

For a nice biography and overview of Ashbery, check out this Poetry Foundation page.  You might also appreciate this recent write-up in the New Yorker.

Come Read March: Book One with the Low Maintenance Book Club

Thu, 2017-08-31 19:33

The next meetings of the Duke University Libraries’ Low Maintenance Book Club will feature March: Book One by Congressman John Lewis (GA-5), an American icon and key figure of the civil rights movement.

We will be reading the entire graphic novel. Since it’s a bit longer than some past selections (and in the spirit of low maintenance), if you don’t have a chance to finish the entire book, we still welcome you to join us!

You can find a copy at our libraries.  Durham County Library also has copies available.

Please register for this event.  The first ten people to register will receive a free copy of the book.

Date:
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Time:
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location:
Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at aah39@duke.edu.

What to Read this Month: August 2017

Tue, 2017-08-22 17:16

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Welcome back to a new semester!  While you’re exploring all that Duke has to offer, why not explore our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections?  One of the great things about the books in these collections is the variety of subject areas and genres represented—everything  from popular novels, political histories, and books about animals (and many things in between).

monkeytalkMonkeytalk: Inside the Worlds and Minds of Primates by Julia Fischer. Monkey see, monkey do–or does she? Can the behavior of non-human primates–their sociality, their intelligence, their communication–really be chalked up to simple mimicry? Emphatically, absolutely: no. And as famed primatologist Julia Fischer reveals, the human bias inherent in this oft-uttered adage is our loss, for it is only through the study of our primate brethren that we may begin to understand ourselves.  An eye-opening blend of storytelling, memoir, and science, Monkeytalk takes us into the field and the world’s primate labs to investigate the intricacies of primate social mores through the lens of communication.

mothstorytellingThe Moth Presents All these Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown, edited by Catherine Burns. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages. Alongside Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer, readers will encounter: an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, an Afghan refugee learning how much her father sacrificed to save their family, a hip-hop star coming to terms with being a “one-hit wonder,” a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s “secret army” during World War II, and more.

walkawayWalkaway: A Novel by Cory Doctorow.  From New York Times bestselling author Cory Doctorow, an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death.  Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation SF thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years…and the very human people who will live their consequences.  You can read reviews here and here.

 

 

TheEvangelicalsThe Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald.  This groundbreaking book from a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America–from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.  Evangelicals have in many ways defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances FitGerald’s narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time.  You can read reviews here and here.  You may also appreciate this interview with the author.

fortunateonesThe Fortunate Ones: A Novel by Ellen Umansky. One very special work of art–a Chaim Soutine painting–will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.  This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, this book is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.