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Take the Library Home with You

Wed, 2018-12-05 12:00

handout

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!

Streaming Videos

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.

Streaming Music

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

Overdrive Books

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®.

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What to Read this Month: December 2018

Tue, 2018-12-04 15:51

As we head into the end of the semester and the holidays, you may be looking for something new to read!  Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good titles.  And if you are traveling, don’t forget about our Overdrive collection for e-books you can easily download to your devices.

84K by Claire North.  The penalty for Dani Cumali’s murder: £84,000.  Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office.  He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.  These days, there’s no need to go to prison – provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you’ve committed.  If you’re rich enough, you can get away with murder.  But Dani’s murder is different.  When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can’t let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet.  Someone is responsible.  And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.  You can read reviews here and here.

The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester is an internationally bestselling World War II novel that spans generations, crosses oceans, and proves just how much two young women are willing to sacrifice for love and family.  1940: As the Germans advance upon Paris, young seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee everything she’s ever known.  She’s bound for New York City with her signature gold dress, a few francs, and a dream: to make her mark on the world of fashion.  Present day: Fabienne Bissette journeys to the Met’s annual gala for an exhibit featuring the work of her ailing grandmother – a legend of women’s fashion design.  But as Fabienne begins to learn more about her beloved grandmother’s past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and family secrets that will dramatically change her own life.  You can read an interview with the author here.

The Emperor of Shoes: A Novel by Spencer Wise. Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory.  Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line.  When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift.  She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers.  Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?  Deftly plotted and vibrantly drawn, The Emperor of Shoes is a timely meditation on idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution, set against a vivid backdrop of social and technological change.  You can read a review here, and read an interview here.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter: A Novel by Kate Morton.  In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames.  Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity.  But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.  Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.  Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie?  And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?  You can read reviews here, here, and here.

The invention of Ana by Mikkel Rosengaard (translated by Caroline Waight).  On a rooftop in Brooklyn on a spring night, a young intern and would-be writer, newly arrived from Copenhagen, meets the intriguing Ana Ivan. Clever and funny, with an air of mystery and melancholia, Ana is a performance artist, a mathematician, and a self-proclaimed time traveler.   Before long, the intern finds himself seduced by Ana’s enthralling stories, and Ana also introduces him to her latest artistic endeavor.  Following the astronomical rather than the Gregorian calendar, she is trying to alter her sense of time–an experiment that will lead her to live in complete darkness for one month.  The Invention of Ana blurs the lines between narrative and memory, perception and reality, identity and authenticity.  You can read reviews here and here.

The post What to Read this Month: December 2018 appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

What to Read this Month: November 2018

Fri, 2018-11-16 18:00

Looking for something new to read?   Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads to enjoy!

#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line by David Hogg.  From two survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting comes a declaration for our times, and an in-depth look at the making of the #NeverAgain movement.  On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like any normal Wednesday.  That day, of course, the world changed.  By the next morning, with seventeen classmates and faculty dead, they had joined the leadership of a movement to save their own lives, and the lives of all other young people in America.  The morning after the massacre, David Hogg told CNN: “We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Get over your politics and get something done.”  This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America–with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed.

The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump by Michiko Kakutani.  How did truth become an endangered species in contemporary America?  This decline began decades ago, and in The Death of Truth, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm.  In social media and literature, television, academia, and politics, Kakutani identifies the trends–originating on both the right and the left–that have combined to elevate subjectivity over factuality, science, and common values.  And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is newly and eerily relevant.  You can read reviews here and here.

The Witch Elm by Tana French.  Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead.  Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo.  Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.  You can read reviews here and here, and read an interview here.

Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes. Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes reveals the fascinating history behind energy transitions over time–wood to coal to oil to electricity and beyond.  People have lived and died, businesses have prospered and failed, and nations have risen to world power and declined, all over energy challenges. Ultimately, the history of these challenges tells the story of humanity itself.  Through an unforgettable cast of characters, he explains how wood gave way to coal and coal made room for oil, as we now turn to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. Rhodes looks back on five centuries of progress, through such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, Benjamin Franklin, Herman Melville, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford.  In Rhodes’s singular style, Energy details how this knowledge of our history can inform our way tomorrow.

The Red Word by Sarah Henstra.  A smart, dark, and take-no-prisoners look at rape culture and the extremes to which ideology can go, The Red Word is a campus novel like no other.  As her sophomore year begins, Karen enters into the back-to-school revelry–particularly at a fraternity called GBC.  When she wakes up one morning on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in the state of feminist activism on campus.  GBC is notorious, she learns, nicknamed “Gang Bang Central” and a prominent contributor to a list of date rapists compiled by female students.  Despite continuing to party there and dating one of the brothers, Karen is equally seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women, who surprise her by wanting her as a housemate and recruiting her into the upper-level class of a charismatic feminist mythology scholar they all adore.  As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, ringleader housemate Dyann believes she has hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture–but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.  This novel recently won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Awards.

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November 2018 Collection Spotlight: Hidden Service

Mon, 2018-11-12 14:54

 

Today Duke commemorates Veteran’s Day.  You can see a list of events going on here.  Here at DUL we’re focusing on “Hidden Service” in our collection spotlight by showcasing fiction and non-fiction books that explore the contributions and experiences of soldiers from a variety of backgrounds, including women, LGBT, African-American, Native American, Asian-American, and Latino/a soldiers.  You can check out this display at the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins.  Here’s a brief selection of the titles you will find there:

Code Talker by Chester Nez

Be Safe I Love You by  Cara Hoffman

Going for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers in the War against Nazi Germany by James M. McCaffrey

I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen– My Journey Home by Shoshana Johnson

A Legacy Greater than Words: Stories of U.S. Latinos & Latinas of the WWII Generation by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Dien Cai Dau by Yusef Komunyakaa

The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers by  Elizabeth Cobbs

Our Time: Breaking the Silence of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by Josh Seefried.

This collection spotlight was partially inspired by the current World War One exhibit in Rubenstein Library and a recent talk in early November called ” ‘If We Must Die’: African Americans and the War for Democracy.”  Professor Adriane Lentz-Smith, author of Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I, gave the talk.

You might also be interested in this recent blog post about Trinity College during the Great War.

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Remembering Ntozake Shange

Mon, 2018-11-05 20:41
Ntozake Shange, Reid Lecture, Women Issues Luncheon, Women’s Center, November 1978

Ntozake Shange passed away last week at the age of 70.  If you would like to read more about her legacy, please read here and here.

She is most well known for For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is EnufYou may be familiar with the 2011 film featuring an all star cast (Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Hill Harper, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, and Macy Gray).  Still if you haven’t seen it, the 1982 production starring Ntozake Shange, Patti LaBelle, and Alfre Woodard (among others) is worth a watch!  We have access through Theatre in Video.

Many of her plays can be found in Black Drama.  She is also known for her poetry and wrote several novels.  Here’s a sample of some of her work:

Some Sing, Some Cry

A Daughter’s Geography

Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo: A Novel

Nappy Edges

I Live in Music

Betsey Brown: A Novel

You might also enjoy this New York Public Library interview in 2015.

This post has been written by Arianne Hartsell-Gundy and Heather Martin.

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Scare Yourself Silly at Lilly

Mon, 2018-11-05 14:51
Lilly Collection Spotlight on Frankenstein image

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your scare on!

Check out Lilly Library’s collection spotlight on books and movies that celebrate Frankenstein’s 200th birthday and comprise a ghoulish grouping of truly terrifying titles….

Lilly Spotlight on Frankenstein image

Lilly’s collections include books on philosophy and ethics, graphic novels, art and visual studies, and film. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s enduring tale, Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus, both Lilly and Perkins are highlighting their titles on the subject.

Lilly Collection Spotlight on Frankenstein image 2

 

 

“Hump? What hump?” – Igor, Young Frankenstein 

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New Exhibit! Duke Kunshan University: From the Ground Up

Thu, 2018-11-01 16:18

On exhibit through February 3, 2019
Chappell Family Gallery, Perkins Library, Duke West Campus

Public Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Please check our posted library hours for the most up-to-date information.

About the Exhibit

A new exhibit in Perkins Library celebrates Duke Kunshan University, a partnership between Duke University, Wuhan University, and the city of Kunshan with the mission to create a world-class institution embodying both Chinese and American traditions of higher education. The continued process of learning how to strike balance between differing cultures has made Duke Kunshan’s brief history quite complex.

Duke Kunshan  has integrated the study of kunqu, one of the oldest classical styles of Chinese opera, into its humanities curriculum and extracurricular activities. On display: a gown worn by DKU students in the Kun Opera Club.

This exhibition offers up the story of Duke Kunshan’s development – its accomplishments, opportunities, challenges, and risks – and brings an important perspective to our understanding of how international partnerships can address the changing needs and challenges of global higher education.

Walking through the exhibit, a visitor can explore a timeline of key events, read articles on the collaboration, and explore the rich curriculum that has come out of Duke Kunshan. The sounds of new and traditional Chinese music against the backdrop of a beautiful, architectural mural welcomes visitors to partake in their own peaceful, contemplative discovery of Duke Kunshan.

Reception Celebrating the Exhibit: Please Join Us!

Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Time: 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Location: Rubenstein Library Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room 153

The reception program will begin at 5:00 p.m. with welcome remarks by Provost Sally Kornbluth. Mary Brown Bullock, Executive Vice Chancellor Emerita of Duke Kunshan University, will speak about the internationalization of China’s higher education system and current China-US education relations. Peter Lange, Provost Emeritus of Duke University, will discuss the development of Duke Kunshan.

Light refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public.

The post New Exhibit! Duke Kunshan University: From the Ground Up appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

Frankenstein Lives On!

Wed, 2018-10-24 21:13

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that there have been a lot of adaptations and works inspired by Frankenstein.  In today’s blog post I’m going to share some film and novel adaptations that you might be interested in taking a look at.

Let’s start with some of the film titles!  The titles that I am sharing with you can be found at our Lilly Library.  In fact most of them are currently on display in their collection spotlight!

Young Frankenstein:  A finely tuned parody of the old Frankenstein movies, in which Gene Wilder returns to the old country to clear his family name.  This classic comedy was directed by Mel Brooks and has a screenplay by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks.

Frankenstein: Still regarded as the definitive film version of Mary Shelley’s classic tale of tragedy and horror, Frankenstein made unknown character actor Boris Karloff a star and created a new icon of terror.  Along with the highly successful Dracula, released earlier the same year, it launched Universal Studio’s golden age of 1930s horror movies.  The film’s greatness stems less from its script than from the stark but moody atmosphere created by director James Whale.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: This 1994 version is a more faithful adaptation than some of the older versions, though it still takes some liberties with the plot.  It was directed by and starred Kenneth Branagh.  It also features Robert De Niro and Helena Bonham Carter.

I, Frankenstein: Set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein’s creation Adam finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality.

In addition to films, Frankenstein’s monster has inspired directly and indirectly many authors.

A Monster’s Notes by Laurie Sheck. What if Mary Shelley had not invented Frankenstein’s monster but had met him when she was a girl of eight, sitting by her mother’s grave, and he came to her unbidden?  What if their secret bond left her forever changed, obsessed with the strange being whom she had discovered at a time of need?  What if he were still alive in the twenty-first century?  This bold, genre-defying book brings us the “monster” in his own words.

Frankenstein Unbound by  Brian W. Aldiss.  Joe Bodenland, a 21st century American, passes through a timeslip and finds himself with Byron and Shelley in the famous villa on the shore of Lake Geneva. More fantastically, he finds himself face to face with a real Frankenstein, a doppelganger inhabiting a complex world.

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi.  From the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, Hadi–a scavenger and an oddball fixture at a local café–collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse.  His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial.  But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed.  This book was a Man Booker International Prize finalist!

Destroyer by Victor LaValle.  The legacy of Frankenstein’s monster collides with the sociopolitical tensions of the present-day United States.  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein beseeched his creator for love and companionship, but in 2017, the monster has long discarded any notions of peace or inclusion.  He has become the Destroyer, his only goal to eliminate the scourge of humanity from the planet.  In this goal, he initially finds a willing partner in Dr. Baker, a descendant of the Frankenstein family who has lost her teenage son after an encounter with the police.  While two scientists, Percy and Byron, initially believe they’re brought to protect Dr. Baker from the monster, they soon realize they may have to protect the world from the monster and Dr. Baker’s wrath.

The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White.  Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks.  Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.  Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works.  But her new life comes at a price.  As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved.  Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

If you want to find out more about adaptations of Frankenstein, try the website The Frankenstein MEME.

This post is part of a series.  You can find older posts here, here, and here.  Don’t forget to sign up for Frankenreads on Halloween!

 

The post Frankenstein Lives On! appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

Life of Mary Shelley

Fri, 2018-10-19 16:50

I’m continuing my series of blog posts about Frankenstein with some suggestions about how to learn more about Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.  She was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and Wiliam Godwin, the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and she wrote Frankenstein when she was 19 years old!  I think this recent article gives a good sense of why she is such an important literary figure.

If you are looking for a short bio of her, this page on the Romantic Circles Edition is a good place to start.  You might also be interested in this entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  You can also find several useful entries in the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

You might also be interested in these longer biographies:

Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl who Wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Sampson

Mary Shelley by Muriel Spark

Moon in Eclipse: A Life of Mary Shelley by Jane Dunn

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is also going to be the subject of National Geographic’s Genius Season Three!  Here’s an interesting recent article from their website.

You might also be interested in viewing a recent film about her starring Elle Fanning.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for Frankenreads!

The post Life of Mary Shelley appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

A Conversation with Legendary Editor Bob Loomis, Oct. 24

Tue, 2018-10-16 10:00
Many of the books Bob Loomis edited during his career at Random House continue to be read and discussed decades after their publication.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 24
TIME: 4:00-5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein Library 153)

Join the Duke University Libraries and Department of English for an informal conversation with Bob Loomis, the legendary Random House editor and Duke alumnus (T ’49), as he discusses the lively literary culture on campus during his post-war undergraduate years.

Loomis worked for Random House from 1957 to 2011, eventually rising to Vice President and Executive Editor. He holds a revered place in the publishing industry as an editor known for nurturing writers whose books went on to great success, including Maya Angelou, William Styron, Shelby Foote, Calvin Trillin, Edmund Morris, Daniel J. Boorstin, and many others.

Loomis’s fellow students at Duke included Styron, Guy Davenport, and New York Magazine founder Clay Felker. He was also a student of celebrated Duke English Professor William Blackburn.

Refreshments provided. Please register to help us estimate attendance.

Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English.

More about Bob Loomis:

Register to attend this talk.

The post A Conversation with Legendary Editor Bob Loomis, Oct. 24 appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

Finding Frankenstein Online

Fri, 2018-10-12 20:00

Since Frankenstein is 200 years old, it’s firmly in the public domain, which means you can find many editions and versions online.  Today I’m continuing my series of blog posts with a list of several resources that I think will be of interest!

First you can read the text at Project Gutenberg!

You can also trace the evolution of the novel with images and transcriptions of the notebooks at the Shelley-Godwin Archive.  This archive  provides the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft.

There’s the Stuart Curran’s digital edition in the Romantic Circles Editions.  It provides both the 1818 and 1831 publications of Frankenstein.  It also has a link to a comparative text tool through Juxta Commons for both these years.

The Pittsburgh Frankenstein Project is working on a new digital edition that builds on and expands the work done by Curran and others.

The Frankenstein Bicentennial Project has several fun projects worth looking at, including Frankenbook (a collective reading and collaborative annotation experience of the original 1818).

I also discovered what looks like the beginning of a mapping project involving the novel.  It looks incomplete, but an interesting experiment (pun intended) nonetheless. You can see both the Creature’s journey and Victor Frankenstein’s journey.

Let’s end on a fun note with the web series Frankenstein, MD, a collaboration between Pemberley Digital and PBS Digital Studios.  You can find links to all the videos here.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for Frankenreads!

The post Finding Frankenstein Online appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

What to Read this Month: October 2018

Thu, 2018-10-11 20:08

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is on my mind this week, so we’re highlighting books about climate change.  Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for more titles!

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken.  A team of over 200 scholars, scientists, policymakers, business leaders and activists share the hundred most substantive solutions to combat climate change that together will not only slow down the growth of carbon emissions, but reverse them altogether.  Put into action together, these solutions will mobilize society into taking the climate change conversation from problem definition to problem solving, from fear and apathy to collaboration and regeneration.  You can find out more about Project Drawdown at their website.  Also, see this interview.

We’re Doomed. Now What?: Essays on War and Climate Change by Roy Scranton.  The time we’ve been thrown into is one of alarming and bewildering change – the breakup of the post-1945 global order, a multispecies mass extinction, and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it.  Not one of us is innocent, not one of us is safe.  This book addresses the crisis that is our time through a series of brilliant, moving, and original essays on climate change, war, literature, and loss, from one of the most provocative and iconoclastic minds of his generation.  You can watch a forum with the author here.

South Pole Station: A Novel by Ashley Shelby.  South Pole Station is a place with an average temperature of -54°F and no sunlight for six months a year.  Unmoored by a recent family tragedy, Cooper Gosling is adrift at thirty and–despite her early promise as a painter–on the verge of sinking her career.  So she accepts her place in the National Science Foundation’s Artists & Writers Program and flees to Antarctica–where she encounters a group of misfits motivated by desires as ambiguous as her own.  The novel also centers on clashes between scientists and conservative politicians who rely on campaign contributions from oil companies over the causes of climate change.  You can see reviews here and here.

Coasts in Crisis: A Global Challenge by Gary Griggs.  Coastal regions around the world have become increasingly crowded, intensively developed, and severely exploited. Hundreds of millions of people living in these low-lying areas are subject to short-term coastal hazards such as cyclones, hurricanes, and destruction due to El Niño, and are also exposed to the long-term threat of global sea-level rise.  These massive concentrations of people expose often-fragile coastal environments to the runoff and pollution from municipal, industrial, and agricultural sources as well as the impacts of resource exploitation and a wide range of other human impacts.  Can environmental impacts be reduced or mitigated and can coastal regions adapt to natural hazards?  You can read a review in the journal Coastal Management: https://doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2018.1426378 (access available through our library).

Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson is an urgent call to arms by one of the most important voices in the international fight against climate change, sharing inspiring stories and offering vital lessons for the path forward.  Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into.  Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people–people battling for food, water, and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate.  The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal.  Mary Robinson’s mission would lead her all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself.  From Sharon Hanshaw, the Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her speaking at the United Nations, to Constance Okollet, a small farmer who transformed the fortunes of her ailing community in rural Uganda, Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change.

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel.  As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.  For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city. There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear – along with the lawyers, of course.   There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building’s manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail.  Then there are two boys who don’t live there, but have no other home – and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine.  Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all – and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests.  You can read reviews here and here.

The post What to Read this Month: October 2018 appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

Duke Celebrates Frankenstein’s 200th Anniversary

Thu, 2018-10-04 19:44

Did you know that Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein turns 200 this year?  Duke University is celebrating in several ways.  First, the English department is partnering with our neighbors at UNC to participate in Frankenreads, a marathon reading of the text.  It will take place on Halloween in Allen 314, and you can register to read here.  You can also just come and enjoy the reading!

Here in the libraries our Collection Spotlight  on the first floor of Perkins Library near the Service Desk is devoted to all things Frankenstein.  See the bottom of this post for pictures of this display!  We are highlighting books about Frankenstein, works inspired by it, and books about some of the science around it (think anatomy and grave robbing).  And the spiders are free!  Here is a sample of some of the titles you will find:

Making the Monster: The Science behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Mary Shelley, Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters

Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Science Fiction

Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film

Finally I will be writing a series of blog posts about Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and its legacy!  Follow along, if you dare!

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Low Maintenance Book Club Gets Spooky!

Thu, 2018-10-04 14:15

Get in the Halloween spirit with the Duke University Libraries Low-Maintenance Book Club! On Tuesday, October 30th, 5:30-7pm, we’ll meet to discuss three scary short stories by Shirley Jackson: “The Lottery,” “The Possibility of Evil,” and “The Summer People.”

The stories can be found in Novels and stories : The lottery, The haunting of Hill House, We have always lived in the castle, other stories and sketches, available in Perkins Library. One copy of this book will be placed on reserve for overnight loan.

Low-Maintenance Book Club: Halloween Edition
Tuesday, October 30th, 5:30-7pm
Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Please RSVP if you plan to attend . We’ll be serving light snacks!

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

 

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2018 Banned Books Week

Mon, 2018-09-24 15:17

Happy Banned Books Week! Banned Books Week is a celebration of the freedom to read books that are frequently challenged and targeted for removal from libraries, and runs this year from September 23-29. This year’s theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that censorship not only infringes on our intellectual freedom–it harms our ability to create, tell, and share stories. Banned Books Week celebrates free and open access to information; though the books reported by the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom are frequently challenged, they remain accessible to readers in libraries throughout the country.

Duke Libraries owns many of these challenged books. If you’re interested in reading a title that has been challenged historically or in recent years, here are some selected titles:

You can check out a list of the most frequently challenged books of 2017 here.

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What to Read this Month: September 2018

Fri, 2018-09-14 20:45

Looking for something new to read? Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections!

Burger by Carol J Adams. The burger, long the All-American meal, is undergoing an identity crisis. From its shifting place in popular culture to efforts by investors such as Bill Gates to create the non-animal burger that can feed the world, the burger’s identity has become as malleable as that patty of protein itself, before it is thrown on a grill. Carol Adams’s Burger is a fast-paced and eclectic exploration of the history, business, cultural dynamics, and gender politics of the ordinary hamburger. You can read an excerpt of Burger here, and the author’s defense of the veggie burger here.

 

Buttermilk Graffiti : a Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New melting-pot cuisine by Edward Lee. American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavours. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories? A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. Listen to chef Edward Lee talk about his journey across America here.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer. Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is the groundbreaking moral examination of vegetarianism, farming, and the food we eat every day that inspired the documentary of the same name. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. You can read more about the book here.

Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating by Charles Spence. Why do we consume 35 percent more food when eating with one other person, and 75 percent more when dining with three? How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work? The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he’s stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience — how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations. You can read a review of the book here.

The Potlikker Papers : a Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge. Like great provincial dishes around the world, potlikker is a salvage food. During the antebellum era, slave owners ate the greens from the pot and set aside the leftover potlikker broth for the enslaved, unaware that the broth, not the greens, was nutrient rich. After slavery, potlikker sustained the working poor, both black and white. In the South of today, potlikker has taken on new meanings as chefs have reclaimed it. Potlikker is a quintessential Southern dish, and The Potlikker Papers is a people’s history of the modern South, told through its food. Beginning with the pivotal role cooks and waiters played in the civil rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South’s fitful journey from a hive of racism to a hotbed of American immigration. He shows why working-class Southern food has become a vital driver of contemporary American cuisine. You can read more about the book–and the complexities to telling history through food– here.

 A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine 1650-1800 by Susan Pinkard. Modern French habits of cooking, eating, and drinking were born in the ancien regime, radically breaking with culinary traditions that originated in antiquity and creating a new aesthetic. This new culinary culture saw food and wine as important links between human beings and nature. Authentic foodstuffs and simple preparations became the hallmarks of the modern style. Susan Pinkard traces the roots and development of this culinary revolution to many different historical trends, including changes in material culture, social transformations, medical theory and practice, and the Enlightenment. You can read more about Pinkard’s exploration of french culinary history here.

The post What to Read this Month: September 2018 appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

The Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Roxane Gay!

Thu, 2018-09-06 19:37

Kick off the new school year with us at the Low Maintenance Book Club‘s upcoming meeting on Wednesday, September 26th, from 5:30-7pm. We’ll be reading selections from award-winning novelist and essayist Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women, her debut collection of short fiction.

Although we’ll plan to discuss “I Will Follow You,” “Difficult Women” and “North Country,” you should feel free to read as much or as little (we are low-maintenance, after all) of the work as you’d like.  We are featuring a giveaway–the first ten people to RSVP will receive a free copy of the book! You can also check out copies from Duke Libraries and the Durham County Library.  Light refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

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

The post The Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Roxane Gay! appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

What to Read this Month: August 2018

Thu, 2018-08-23 15:10

Welcome back to campus!  If you are looking for something to read, you have several options!  First we have our New and Noteworthy collection at Perkins Library and the Current Literature collection at Lilly Library.  You might also be interested in using Overdrive!  And now check out some of these suggestions on what to read this month!

Ambiguity Machines & Other Stories by Vandana Singh, who Ursula K. Le Guin described as “A most promising and original young writer.”  In her first North American collection, Singh’s deep humanism interplays with her scientific background in stories that explore and celebrate this world and others and characters who are trying to make sense of the people they meet, what they see, and the challenges they face.  An eleventh century poet wakes to find he is as an artificially intelligent companion on a starship.  A woman of no account has the ability to look into the past. In “Requiem,” a major new novella, a woman goes to Alaska to try and make sense of her aunt’s disappearance.

Daphne: A Novel by Will Boast.  Elegantly written and profoundly moving, this spellbinding debut affirms Boast’s reputation as a “new young American voice for the ages” (Tom Franklin).  Born with a rare (and real) condition in which she suffers degrees of paralysis when faced with intense emotion, Daphne has few close friends and even fewer lovers.  Like her mythic namesake, even one touch can freeze her.  But when Daphne meets shy, charming Ollie, her well-honed defenses falter, and she’s faced with an impossible choice: cling to her pristine, manicured isolation or risk the recklessness of real intimacy.  Set against the vivid backdrop of a San Francisco flush with money and pulsing with protest, Daphne is a gripping and tender modern fable that explores both self-determination and the perpetual fight between love and safety.  Read reviews here and here.

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs.  A literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down–and protect–before others can get their hands on it.  Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail.  In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague.  But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.  You can read a review here, and an interview here.

Gun Love: A Novel by Jennifer Clement.  Pearl’s mother took her away from her family just weeks after she was born, and drove off to central Florida determined to begin a new life for herself and her daughter–in the parking lot next to a trailer park. Pearl grew up in the front seat of their ’94 Mercury, while her mother lived in the back.  Despite their hardships, mother and daughter both adjusted to life, making friends with the residents of the trailers and creating a deep connection to each other.  All around them, Florida is populated with gun owners–those hunting alligators for sport, those who want to protect their families, and those who create a sense of danger.  Written in a gorgeous lyric all its own, Gun Love is the story of a tough but optimistic young woman growing up in contemporary America, in the midst of its harrowing love affair with firearms.  You can read reviews here and here.

Song of a Captive Bird: A Novel by Jasmin Darznik.  All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest.  She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel–gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glacé.  During the summer of 1950, Forugh’s passion for poetry takes flight–and tradition seeks to clip her wings.  Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad’s verse, letters, films, and interviews–and including original translations of her poems–this haunting novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran–and who continues to inspire generations of women around the world.  You can read about the author’s inspiration for this novel here.

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Launching Digital Projects from Scratch – Some Advice

Tue, 2018-08-21 15:44

Guest post by Adrian Linden-High, PhD student in Classical Studies, Humanities Writ Large research assistant with Digital Scholarship Services at Duke University Libraries in the spring of 2017.

Image tiles of Polygonal Wall: Zach Heater (CC-BY).

Getting a digital project off the ground by yourself can be challenging. With rare exceptions, digital projects rely on collaboration – for the simple reason that it is impossible to unite in one person all the skills needed to deliver a digital product of which fellow scholars will take any note. Still, if you come up with an idea for a digital project, you will almost certainly first have to build prototypes and mock-ups on your own to communicate your vision to potential collaborators. Even this preliminary work in the digital arena represents a challenge for most of us. In this post, I summarize what I have learned from going through the process of starting a digital project from scratch and offer some general advice that will take you to the next, more collaborative, stage of your digital project.

Set realistic goals

Especially if you are new to digital humanities (DH), your project will most likely take much longer to complete than you expect. There are always unforeseen hurdles along the way. Even simple tasks, such as transferring data from one hard drive to another, can be plagued by snags: the data volume in digital projects is often much larger than you encounter in day-to-day computing tasks; if you are working across operating systems (in my case, Mac and PC), you have to make sure you are using a compatible file system for your external hard drives. You get the point. For your project to be a success later, it is shrewd to set realistic goals at the outset. Be ready to scale back your expectations for the initial phase of your project. Just get something up and running. To be sure, this won’t be your final product!

An image stitching project I am working on easily fills 75% of a 1TB external hard drive. I formatted it using the exFAT file system, which is read/write compatible between Windows and OS X and also supports unlimited file size. Click on image for more info on file systems. Seek out help

Tenaciously seeking out help is vital in the early stages of a digital project. Don’t be satisfied with one answer; get multiple opinions and choose the one that seems the best fit for your abilities, your project goals, and the current phase of your project. It’s worth exploring several tool kits and workflows. There are at least three pools you can dip into for opinions:

  • At your own institution you will most easily have access to students and faculty at your department who are working on digital projects. There may also be a DH unit embedded in your institution’s library (for example, the Digital Scholarship Services department at Duke University Libraries). Beyond this, most colleges and universities have IT professionals who can be extraordinarily helpful, though they may have less time for individual consulting or training (for example, Trinity Technology Services at Duke University).
  • Digital humanities training institutes and conferences are a phenomenal way to connect with people who can help you think critically about your project and connect you with other projects that have a similar vision. Don’t expect to be proficient at any digital technology after only a week or two of training. Most of these skills are acquired and honed over the course of years, not weeks. Premiere digital humanities summer institutes include the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria, Canada, and Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching (US). The best outcome you can expect from attending one of these institutes is to have your eyes opened to what is possible and to return home with a welter of new contacts in your address book.
  • Industry is another sphere worth exploring for solutions to your problems. When I was looking for a way to publish and annotate ultra-high resolution visualizations online, I reached out to a company called GIGAmacro that has created such a platform as part of an imaging solution it markets to entomologists, geologists, and manufacturing. I described my project to them and they agreed to let me use their platform free of charge (see GIF demo at the end of this post).
Generate prototypes

It is hard to overstate the value of generating prototypes, especially if you are starting your project as a one-person show and need to drum up interest and funding. Prototyping helps you get a more realistic sense of what is possible and on what time scale. In addition, you will quickly discover how much help you need for a full-scale product and in which areas collaborators are indispensable. Perhaps most importantly, a prototype gives you something to show and share. There is no better way to communicate your idea.

In an initial phase of my digital project focusing on a wall of inscriptions in Delphi, I built an admittedly somewhat clunky mock-up using Lucidchart. Despite many shortcomings, it allowed me to demonstrate what I had in mind and get key advice on how to move forward.

Keep a log

Yes, I know, this one sounds like drudgery, especially for folks from the humanities who aren’t familiar with lab notebooks. But keeping a log for a digital project will save you much time and frustration, believe me. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Tool comparison: When testing tooling options for your project, you will benefit from recording the positives and negatives of each potential digital tool, perhaps even in a table or spreadsheet. It is easy to get confused as to which tool offers which feature. A log also helps you keep track of which ones you have already tried.
  • Reproducibility: Once you have made tooling decisions and are working with the software solution of your choice, you might want to record all the settings you are adjusting in the program. This is especially advisable for things like image processing or stitching where it might take many iterations of fine-tuning settings and rendering to get the desired result. You need an exact record of what you did not only for the sake of convenience and reproducibility, but also methodological transparency. Some programs can generate logs. Take advantage of them!

    If specialized software does not allow you to save a log, consider making screenshots of your tweaked settings for later reference. In this case, I was experimenting with the sliders at the bottom and needed a record of which combinations I had already tried.

  • Project management: A more prosaic reason for keeping a log is that for many of us digital projects are not the main thing we do. They are often side projects and not our bread and butter, at least not yet. And when you haven’t worked on something in a long time, you naturally forget where you left off. A log entry can serve as a great springboard to get back into a slumbering project.
An excerpt from a log I kept while working a visualization of Delphic inscriptions. This entry reflects my struggles with file systems (I had to reformat to exFAT because I was working cross-platform) and preserves some code (a terminal command) I later referred to multiple times. Start with a small sample of your data

As with any research project, digital or analog, test your idea with a small sample of your data. This is particularly relevant in the digital sphere where you most likely will not have all the necessary skills to tackle all the components of your projects. In the early stages, you can often bridge these gaps temporarily with mock-ups made with less than suitable tools. With a small sample, processing times will be shorter, and data will be more manageable. You are less likely, overall, to get overwhelmed right at the outset. Remember as well that you are testing whether a process will work or not. If you try to be as comprehensive as possible with the first iteration, you run the risk of wasting time and resources on a flawed approach. You can always scale up your project once something small works well. Starting with a small sample, finally, is a great reality check in terms of your hardware capabilities. If your current hardware configuration struggles to process a small sample, you know you will need to find more powerful computers to tackle the next stage.

The animated gif above illustrates how I progressively added more tiles to an image stitching task, going from three to ca. fifty. My laptop crashed when I attempted to stitch 100 tiles, whereupon I had to migrate to a lab with beefier machines. There I finally succeeded in stitching my entire batch of 600 image tiles. Prioritize project components

Once you have determined the building blocks your project falls into, it is time to decide what to tackle first. Many variables enter this equation and they will be weighted differently from project to project, so it is hard to give general advice. One thing worth thinking about is what potential collaborators and funders are interested in. More likely than not, they will not be looking for a flashy demo, but solid ground in terms of planning and project feasibility. Some Digital Humanities grant programs focus on social infrastructure, planning, and collaboration as much as (or more than) technology per se. Having said that, a prototype of your project can be a phenomenally effective way to communicate your idea. If it is visually appealing, all the better. Above all, as I stated at the outset, remember to be realistic: you have time and resource constraints, and everything will take longer than you expect. Projects can get derailed by focusing too much on creating something flashy to the exclusion of more essential project components, like content creation, target audience assessment, data structuring, or rights/fair use assessment, to name a few.

A more advanced prototype of the visualization of the wall of inscriptions in Delphi using the GIGAmacro Viewer which includes features such as support for extreme resolution images, polygon annotations, and many more. Click on the image to have a look yourself!

 

Good luck!

 

Adrian Linden-High is a fifth-year Classical Studies PhD student at Duke University whose research centers on inscriptions and papyri that capture what everyday life was like in the ancient world. Currently, he is working on a rich archive of inscriptions from Delphi recording more than 1,000 slave manumissions (see digital visualization prototype). In the spring of 2017, he served as a Humanities Writ Large research assistant with Digital Scholarship Services at Duke University Libraries.

The post Launching Digital Projects from Scratch – Some Advice appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.

What to Read this Month: July 2018

Tue, 2018-07-17 18:00

Looking for something new to read?   Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads to enjoy!

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch.   You’re British.   Your parents are British.  You were raised in Britain.  Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British.  So why do people keep asking you where you are from?  Brit(ish),  which is part memoir, part reportage, and part commentary, is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history.  You can read reviews here and here.

The Parking Lot Attendant: A Novel by Nafkote Tamirat is a haunting story of fatherhood, national identity, and what it means to be an immigrant in America today.  It explores how who we love, the choices we make, and the places we’re from combine to make us who we are.  The story begins on an undisclosed island where the unnamed narrator and her father are the two newest and least liked members of a commune that has taken up residence there.  Though the commune was built on utopian principles, it quickly becomes clear that life here is not as harmonious as the founders intended.  After immersing us in life on the island, our young heroine takes us back to Boston to recount the events that brought her here.  You can read reviews here and here.  You might also be interested in this interview with the author.

Creative Quest by Questlove.  A unique new guide to creativity from Questlove–inspirations, stories, and lessons on how to live your best creative life.  Questlove–musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and all-around cultural omnivore–shares his wisdom on the topics of inspiration and originality in a one-of-a-kind guide to living your best creative life.  In Creative Quest, Questlove synthesizes all the creative philosophies, lessons, and stories he’s heard from the many creators and collaborators in his life, and reflects on his own experience, to advise readers and fans on how to consider creativity and where to find it.  He addresses many topics–what it means to be creative, how to find a mentor and serve as an apprentice, the wisdom of maintaining a creative network, coping with critics and the foibles of success, and the specific pitfalls of contemporary culture–all in the service of guiding admirers who have followed his career and newcomers not yet acquainted with his story.

The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past by Shaun Walker provides a deeply reported, bottom-up explanation of Russia’s resurgence under Putin.  By cleverly exploiting the memory of the Soviet victory over fascism in World War II, Putin’s regime has made ordinary Russians feel that their country is great again.  Walker provides new insight into contemporary Russia and its search for a new identity, telling the story through the country’s troubled relationship with its Soviet past.  He not only explains Vladimir Putin’s goals and the government’s official manipulations of history, but also focuses on ordinary Russians and their motivations.  He charts how Putin raised victory in World War II to the status of a national founding myth in the search for a unifying force to heal a divided country, and shows how dangerous the ramifications of this have been.  If you want to learn more, you might find this video of a talk he gave at the NYU’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.

Odd Girl Out: My Extraordinary Autistic Life by Laura James is a sensory portrait of an autistic mind.  From childhood, Laura James knew she was different.  She struggled to cope in a world that often made no sense to her, as though her brain had its own operating system.  It wasn’t until she reached her forties that she found out why: suddenly and surprisingly, she was diagnosed with autism.  With a touching and searing honesty, Laura challenges everything we think we know about what it means to be autistic. Married with four children and a successful journalist, Laura examines the ways in which autism has shaped her career, her approach to motherhood, and her closest relationships. Laura’s upbeat, witty writing offers new insight into the day-to-day struggles of living with autism, as her extreme attention to sensory detail–a common aspect of her autism–is fascinating to observe through her eyes.  You can read a review here, and learn more about the author’s experience here.

The post What to Read this Month: July 2018 appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.