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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
A new exhibit on the second floor of Bostock Library, next to the East Asian Magazine Reading Room, explores the truly global popularity of graphic novels.
Since ancient times, human beings all over the globe have been bringing text and images together to tell stories. The term “graphic novel” connotes a full-length graphic narrative that uses sophisticated artwork to address serious literary themes for mature audiences. Starting in the 1980s, it gained popularity as an alternative to comics in Britain and America. However, this distinction between “lowbrow” comics and “highbrow” graphic novels is not relevant to Europe, Latin America, and Asia, which have long histories of narrative art that appeals to a wide range of audiences in many genres.
In this selection of graphic novels and cartoons from Duke’s collection, you will see retellings of classics and tales of adventure that have gained massive popularity in Japan and China. You will see stories of revolution and bold political movements from Russia, India, South Africa, and Colombia. You will see tales of atrocities, survival, and redemption in Germany and Israel. You will see humor, both lighthearted and political, in Turkey, Portugal and Spain, and everyday life in Korea and Côte d’Ivoire. This variety demonstrates the power of graphic narratives to reflect and lend new visual interpretations to all aspects of the human experience. We welcome you to explore one of the world’s most popular modes of storytelling in the Duke collection.
The exhibit was curated by Katie Odhner, a graduate student in the UNC School of Information and Library Science who is interning this summer with our International and Area Studies department.
The post New Exhibit: Graphic Narratives from Around the World appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.
The Elizas by Sara Shepard (the author of Pretty Little Liars) is the her first adult novel. It’s an Hitchcockian double narrative composed of lies, false memories, and a protagonist who must uncover the truth for survival. When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness. Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it? You can read an excerpt here.
Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds by Lauren Slater. Although one in five Americans now takes at least one psychotropic drug, the fact remains that nearly seventy years after doctors first began prescribing them, not even their creators understand exactly how or why these drugs work–or don’t work–on what ails our brains. Blue Dreams offers the explosive story of the discovery and development of psychiatric medications, as well as the science and the people behind their invention, told by a riveting writer and psychologist who shares her own experience with the highs and lows of psychiatric drugs. Lauren Slater’s revelatory account charts psychiatry’s journey from its earliest drugs, Thorazine and lithium, up through Prozac and other major antidepressants of the present. In her thorough analysis of each treatment, Slater asks three fundamental questions: how was the drug born, how does it work (or fail to work), and what does it reveal about the ailments it is meant to treat? You can read reviews here and here. You might also find this NPR interview interesting.
The House of Broken Angels: A Novel by Luis Alberto Urrea. In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. Among the guests is Big Angel’s half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life. The story of the de La Cruzes is the quintessential American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. You can read reviews here and here. You might also like to read about the inspiration for the novel.
The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-breaking Power of Strength and Resilience by Jennifer Pharr Davis, National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2012 and a a record holder of the FKT (fastest known time) on the Appalachian Trail. She reveals the secrets and habits behind endurance as she chronicles her incredible accomplishments in the world of endurance hiking, backpacking, and trail running. With a storyteller’s ear for fascinating detail and description, Davis takes readers along as she trains and sets her record, analyzing and trail-testing the theories and methodologies espoused by her star-studded roster of mentors. She distills complex rituals and histories into easy-to-understand tips and action items that will help you take perseverance to the next level. You can read an excerpt here.
Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty. Caddyshack is one of the most beloved comedies of all time, a classic snobs vs. slobs story of working class kids and the white collar buffoons that make them haul their golf bags in the hot summer sun. It has sex, drugs and one very memorable candy bar, but the movie we all know and love didn’t start out that way, and everyone who made it certainly didn’t have the word “classic” in mind as the cameras were rolling. Chris Nashawaty, film critic for Entertainment Weekly, goes behind the scenes of the iconic film, chronicling the rise of comedy’s greatest deranged minds as they form The National Lampoon, turn the entertainment industry on its head, and ultimately blow up both a golf course and popular culture as we know it. It is at once an eye-opening narrative about one of the most interesting, surreal, and dramatic film productions there’s ever been, and a rich portrait of the biggest, and most revolutionary names in Hollywood. So, it’s got that going for it…which is nice.
The Great American Read premiers on PBS tonight at 8:00 pm. It’s going to be an 8 part series hosted by Meredith Vieira. They have a list of the 100 titles selected (along with a checklist you can download) on their website, and voting opens after the first episode. You can see how they selected the titles on their about page.
As you can imagine, we have many of the titles here in our library. I’ve randomly selected a couple of titles from each of the nine categories to highlight some of what we own (these are no indication of how I will be voting).
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Read their brief description.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Read their brief description.
- The Stand by Stephen King. Read their brief description.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Read their brief description.
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Read their brief description.
- The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Read their brief description.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Read their brief description.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Read their brief description.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Read their brief description.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Read their brief description.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Read their brief description.
- Dune by Frank Herbert. Read their brief description.
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Read their brief description.
- The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. Read their brief description.
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Read their brief description.
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Read their brief description.
Coming of Age
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Read their brief description.
- Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya. Read their brief description.
- The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. Read their brief description.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Read their brief description.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry. Read their brief description.
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Read their brief description.
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Read their brief description.
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Read their brief description.
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Read their brief description.
- The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. Read their brief description.
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Read their brief description.
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans, VICE futures editor and lead singer of the band YACHT. She presents the first social history of women and the internet. These innovators, concentrating where computers have made our lives better, richer, and more connected, are the unsung heroes of network culture. The book features women who have pioneered technology, like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Stacy Horn, as well as database poets, desktop thespians, cyber-ingenues, glass ceiling-shattering entrepreneurs, and the self-proclaimed “biggest bitch in Silicon Alley.” You can read an interview with the author here, and a book recommendation from the editors of Scientific American.
Circe by Madeline Miller. In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world. Read reviews here, here, and here. You may also like this interview with the author.
How To Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price. Packed with tested strategies and practical tips, this book is the essential, life-changing guide for everyone who owns a smartphone. Is your phone the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed? Do you frequently pick it up “just to check,” only to look up forty-five minutes later wondering where the time has gone? Do you say you want to spend less time on your phone–but have no idea how to do so without giving it up completely? If so, this book is your solution. You can read some of her advice in this NYT article.
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell. Ann Patchett had this to say about this book: “I Am I Am I Am is a gripping and glorious investigation of death that leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful, and fully alive. Maggie O’Farrell is a miracle in every sense. I will never forget this book.” This astonishing memoir recounts the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.
Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala. In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences. It explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people. You can read reviews here, here, and here.
Our Lilly Collection Spotlight shines on talented Duke Alumni including authors, broadcasters, researchers, as well as many who are accomplished in popular entertainment – both on screen and behind the scenes. Their studies while at Duke are varied, and for many, their majors were not directly related to their career. The featured books encompass a range of genres and styles – from sociological research to critically acclaimed fiction to sports journalism. Duke alumni working in film and television produce and appear in a variety of films including comedies, drama and thoughtful documentaries. Actors, directors, writers – they experience success both in front of the camera and behind. What they all have in common is their “Duke experience”.
Check out the entire list of books in the Lilly Collection Spotlight and visit Lilly Library to view the exhibit Duke Alumni on the Screen and Behind the Scenes.Among the Duke Alumni Books in the Collection Spotlight: Vinegar Girl: The Taming of the Shrew Retold
Vinegar girl : The taming of the shrew retold
Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler’s inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. Tyler graduated from Duke in 1961.
The Legends Club : Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an epic college basketball rivalry
In the skillful hands of John Feinstein (Duke 1977), this extraordinary rivalry–and the men behind it–comes to life in a unique, intimate way. The Legends Club is a sports book that captures an era in American sport and culture, documenting the inside view of a decade of absolutely incredible competition.
Dollars and sense : how we misthink money and how to spend smarter
Bestselling author (Predictably Irrational) and behavioral economist Dan Ariely (PhD Business 1998) teams up with financial comedian and writer Jeff Kreisler to challenge many of our most basic assumptions about the precarious relationship between our brains and our money.
The Gaza Kitchen: a Palestinian culinary journey
This is a richly illustrated and researched cookbook that explores the distinctive cuisine of the area known prior to 1948 as the Gaza District–and that of the many refugees who came to Gaza in 1948 and have been forced to stay there ever since. In summer 2010, Laila El-Haddad (Duke 2000) and Maggie Schmitt traveled throughout the Gaza Strip to collect the recipes and shoot the stunning photographs presented in the book.Forever Duke: On the Screen and Behind the Scenes
Accompanying the books in the Collection Spotlight, the current exhibit in the Lilly Library foyer is Forever Duke: On the Screen and Behind the Scenes. The works of Duke alumni filmmakers, writers and actors featured include films and series found in the Lilly Library collections. A few of the more well known titles or personalities:We Were Soldiers – directed by Randall Wallace (’72)
We Were Soldiers
Directed by Randall Wallace (’72) Wallace wrote and directed We Were Soldiers. Nominated for an Oscar as screenwriter for Braveheart, he also worked on films such as Pearl Harbor and The Man in the Iron Mask.
Community and The HangoverCommunity featuring Ken Jeong
Ken Jeong (’90) was a premed student at Duke. A licensed physician, Jeong found fame in comic roles in both television and film.
Other Duke luminaries include actress and Baldwin Scholar Annabeth Gish (’93) who stars in the current X-Files, Martin Kratt (’89), the co-creator of the beloved children’s series Zoboomafoo and Wild Kratts, Oscar and BAFTA nominee cinematographer Robert Yeoman (’73) , film editor Alisa Lepselter who has worked on Woody Allen films such as Midnight in Paris and Match Point, and documentary filmmakers Ryan White (’04) and Rossana Lacayo (’79).
The Duke campus and Durham have also been featured in film and television; productions include Bull Durham, The Handmaid’s Tale (the film), The Program, Main Street, Iron Man 3, Kiss the Girls, Brainstorm and the late 1990’s coming-of-age television series Dawson’s Creek. Whether it’s American Pie 2, Mystic Pizza, The Squid and the Whale or Parks and Recreation, you will find a Blue Devil!
“Earning While They’re Learning” is an occasional series of stories celebrating our library student workers. The Duke University Libraries employ more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students every year, making us one of the largest student employers on campus.
Tucked inside the Mary Duke Biddle Building on East Campus, the Music Library is not like most other libraries at Duke. It’s small, quiet, and out of the way. Many students might not even know it exists. But for senior Rachel Thompson, the library has become something of a second home over the past three years.
Rachel is one of the first people you typically see at the front desk when you walk into the Music Library. As a student employee, she does a bit of everything—working with patrons, stacking and reshelving, sorting through books, scores, microfiche, and CDs. In all her time at Duke, she’s never considered applying for any other job.
“A lot of times people complain like, ‘Ugh, I’ve got to go to work,’ ” she says. “But I’m like, ‘I can’t relate!’ ”
As you descend the steps from the library’s main floor into the stacks and study rooms below, it’s not hard to see why. Perfectly peaceful and still, it’s a little oasis of sanity, tucked away from the chaos of academic life.
“I really like the aura of this place,” she says when asked about why she enjoys working here so much. “I typically only study in this library.”
For Rachel, a pre-dental philosophy major with a minor in chemistry, working in the library gives her a chance to get in touch with some parts of herself that can be hard to find other places. She played trombone in high school and has played piano for most of her life, and she’s currently part of Duke’s gospel choir. Working in the Music Library lets Rachel immerse herself in music—not just scores, she’s quick to point out, but also books on music theory, music history, and music’s evolution across different genres and cultures.
When asked about her future plans, in fact, Rachel says her work in music libraries may not necessarily end with graduation.
“I actually wouldn’t mind working in a library later in life,” she says. “I like books, I like music … and music libraries are fun because you get to see the scores, which is a little bit different than just your run-of-the-mill book.”
When asked about an especially good day on her job, Rachel has a hard time picking out just one.
“Well, towards the end of the semester, the person who’s over us typically will have an end-of-semester party, which is always nice—free food, you know… but, let’s see…” her voice trails off. “Most days are pretty good!”
About this Series: Students like Rachel are an indispensable part of our library workforce. Their employment provides Duke students with valuable financial aid to support their education, and they learn useful skills that enhance their academic studies and careers after college. This year, to encourage senior giving to the Libraries, George Grody (Associate Professor of Markets and Management Studies) has set up the Grody Senior Challenge. Every gift made by the Class of 2018 to the Libraries Annual Fund will be matched by Professor Grody. All funds will directly support library student workers who provide research and instructional help.
The post Earning While They’re Learning: Getting in Tune with the Music Library appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.
April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate by reading some great poetry. Of course we have a lot of poetry books in our circulating collection, including:
Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith, the current Poet Laureate
The Magic My Body Becomes by Jess Rizkallah
Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis
Bestiary by Donika Kelly
Lessons on Expulsion by Erika Sanchez
When My Brother Was An Aztec by Natalie Diaz
Whereas by Layli Long Soldier
Divinity School by Alicia Jo Rabins
The Academy of Hay by Julia Shipley
The January Children by Safia Elhillo
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Beast Meridian by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal
Breaking Poems by Suheir Hammad
Made in Detroit by Marge Piercy
Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patrica Lockwood
Finally please enjoy “The Universe is a House Party”!
Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates. The world building of Wakanda continues in a love story where tenderness is matched only by brutality! You know them now as the Midnight Angels, but in this story they are just Ayo and Aneka, young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. Their first assignment will be to protect Queen Shuri… but what happens when your nation needs your hearts and minds, but you already gave them to each other? Meanwhile, former king T’Challa lies with bedfellows so dark, disgrace is inevitable. Plus, explore the true origins of the People’s mysterious leader, Zenzi. Black Panther thinks he knows who Zenzi is and how she got her powers – but he only knows part of the story! COLLECTING: BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA 1-6.
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble. A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for “black girls”–what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. If you are interested in more information, here’s a review. You might also be interested in the author’s presentation at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society at Berkeley.
The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara. A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning. Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit. You can read reviews here and here. You might also like to read this interview with the author.
Peach by Emma Glass. Something has happened to Peach. Staggering around the town streets in the aftermath of an assault, Peach feels a trickle of blood down her legs, a lingering smell of her anonymous attacker on her skin. It hurts to walk, but she manages to make her way to her home, where she stumbles into another oddly nightmarish reality: Her parents can’t seem to comprehend that anything has happened to their daughter. The next morning, Peach tries to return to the routines of her ordinary life, going to classes, spending time with her boyfriend, Green, trying to find comfort in the thought of her upcoming departure for college. And yet, as Peach struggles through the next few days, she is stalked by the memories of her unacknowledged trauma. In this astonishing debut, Emma Glass articulates the unspeakable with breathtaking verve. Intensely physical, with rhythmic, visceral prose, Peach marks the arrival of a visionary new voice. You can read reviews here and here.
The Real Life of the Parthenon by Patricia Vigderman. Ownership battles over the marbles removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin have been rumbling into invective, pleading, and counterclaims for two centuries. The emotional temperature around them is high, and steering across the vast past to safe anchor in a brilliant heritage is tricky. The stories around antiquities become distorted by the pull of ownership, and it is these stories that urge Patricia Vigderman into her own exploration of their inspiring legacy in this compelling extended essay. You can read reviews here and here.
Jumbled letters (photo by Laineys Repetoire – CC-BY)What is the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award?
The Rosati Creative Writing Prize is awarded each spring in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing. All Duke undergraduate students are eligible to submit work for consideration. Projects may be any genre and take any form (audio/video, digital media, etc.), but must include a substantial creative writing component. The Rosati Prize was established in 1978 by Walter McGowan Upchurch in honor of Rudolph William Rosati “to encourage, advance and reward creative writing among students at the University and particularly among undergraduate students.”
Prize: $1500Is my paper eligible?
- You must be a Duke undergraduate student
- You may submit multiple, different projects in a given year but each project should be submitted individually with an accompanying application cover sheet
- Submitted projects must have been written during the current academic year
- At this time submissions must be written in English
- No minimum or maximum length required
To be eligible for the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award, email the following to Arianne Hartsell-Gundy by May 15, 2018:
- application cover sheet (see form)
- The creative work (send written projects as either a Word document or pdf. If it’s a multimedia project, please send URL of the project or email Arianne Hartsell-Gundy for alternative means of delivery)
- A faculty letter of support (see form)
- The faculty member should e-mail the letter of support in a separate file to Arianne Hartsell-Gundy
- The selection committee, consisting of two Libraries staff members and two faculty members, judges the papers
- Projects are judged based on quality and originality of writing
- The committee reserves the right to split the award among more than one author, or to award no prize
Contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Librarian for Literature and Theater Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information.
Duke is celebrating Disability Pride Week. If you would like to do research on disability studies, we have a database called Disability in the Modern World. This database features both primary and secondary sources, including videos, diaries, brochures, advertisements, and more. It also has the archive of the publication The Disability Rag and its successor The Ragged Edge. You can browse by title, discipline, general subject, archival collection, place, people, organization, and publisher. Key areas include:
- Independence, education, and accessibility
- Advocacy and rights
- Legislation and politics
- The media
- Arts, sports, and culture
- Race, class, sexuality, and gender
- War, industry, and technology
For more readings about disability, check out this recent blog post: Disability Pride Week at Duke: A Reading List.
Brass: A Novel by Xhenet Aliu. Celeste Ng described this novel as “”a fierce, big-hearted, unflinching debut.” A waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner, Elsie hopes her nickel-and-dime tips will add up to a new life. Then she meets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naive, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams–and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut. Elsie, herself the granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants, falls in love quickly, but when she learns that she’s pregnant, Elsie can’t help wondering where Bashkim’s heart really lies, and what he’ll do about the wife he left behind. Seventeen years later, headstrong and independent Luljeta receives a rejection letter from NYU and her first-ever suspension from school on the same day. Instead of striking out on her own in Manhattan, she’s stuck in Connecticut with her mother, Elsie–a fate she refuses to accept.
Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake is the first comprehensive account of the growing dominance of the intangible economy. For the first time, the major developed economies began to invest more in intangible assets, like design, branding, R&D, and software, than in tangible assets, like machinery, buildings, and computers. Haskel and Westlake bring together a decade of research on how to measure intangible investment and its impact on national accounts, showing the amount different countries invest in intangibles, how this has changed over time, and the latest thinking on how to assess this.
Gnomon: A Novel by Nick Harkaway is a virtuosic new novel set in a near-future, high-tech surveillance state, that is equal parts dark comedy, gripping detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle. In the world of Gnomon, citizens are constantly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of ‘transparency.’ Every action is seen, every word is recorded, and the System has access to its citizens’ thoughts and memories–all in the name of providing the safest society in history. You can read reviews here, here, and here.
The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes offers a passionate and informative celebration of birds and their ability to help us understand the world we live in. As well as exploring how birds achieve the miracle of flight; why birds sing; what they tell us about the seasons of the year and what their presence tells us about the places they inhabit, The Meaning of Birds muses on the uses of feathers, the drama of raptors, the slaughter of pheasants, the infidelities of geese, and the strangeness of feeling sentimental about blue tits while enjoying a chicken sandwich. From the mocking-birds of the Galapagos who guided Charles Darwin toward his evolutionary theory, to the changing patterns of migration that alert us to the reality of contemporary climate change, Simon Barnes explores both the intrinsic wonder of what it is to be a bird–and the myriad ways in which birds can help us understand the meaning of life.
The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures by Antonio Damasio. The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only the survival but also the flourishing of life. Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically, and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular life and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life. Read reviews here and here.
To celebrate Women’s History Month 2018, Lilly Library is shining a spotlight on Women in Sport. Books and movies that feature women athletes are “teeming” in our collections. Come to East Campus and check out this month’s Lilly Collection Spotlight. Click here for the complete line-up.
While you’re at Lilly, visit the exhibit in the foyer, On the Field, the Courts and Beyond: Women in Sports – TITLE IX, that complements our Lilly Collection Spotlight.2018 | Molly Schiott
Based on the Instagram account @TheUnsungHeroines, a celebration of the pioneering, forgotten female athletes of the twentieth century that features rarely seen photos and new interviews with past and present game changers including Abby Wambach and Cari Champion.2016 | Sarah Shephard
There’s a battle being fought. It’s raging on the sports fields, in the newsrooms and behind the scenes at every major broadcaster. Women in sport are fighting for equality with more vigour than ever, but are they breaking down the barriers that stand in their way? Sarah Shephard looks behind the headlines to see whether progress is really being made and tells the stories that can no longer be ignored. It’s time for women to switch their focus from the battlefield to the sports field, once and for all.2007 | Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose
Beginning with the Williams sisters, the authors examine the foundation of their development as tennis phenoms during the 1990s and the prophetic yet unabashed approach of their coach, father, and sports psychologist, Richard Williams, in crafting a world within which they would be groomed to be successful. a compelling examination of the impact of African Americans on the world of professional tennis and the various challenges and outcomes of that involvement.2015 | Nicholas ChareFILMS
An overview of films about women in sport and a timely critical analysis of their role in shaping perceptions of female athletic ability. It examines themes of aggression, beauty, class, ethnicity, physical feminism, sexuality, synaesthesia and technology in relation to mainstream and arthouse cinematic depictions of sportswomen from Pumping Iron 2 to Bend it Like Beckham.
2004 | Bruce Schoenfeld
50 years ago when Gibson and Buxton were two of the top women’s tennis players in the world. Coming from widely divergent backgrounds (Gibson from a poor black family in Harlem, Buxton from a well-to-do Jewish family in London), the two hooked up in the mid-1950s and became tennis partners and lifelong friends.2015 | ed. Alex Channon
Offers a wide-reaching overview of current academic research on women’s participation in combat sports within a wide range of different national and trans-national contexts, detailing many of the struggles and opportunities experienced by women at various levels of engagement within sports such as boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts.DVD 14381
During the 2006 Iran-Bahrain match, the Tehran soccer stadium roars with 100,000 cheering men and, officially, no women. According to Islamic custom, women are not permitted to watch or participate in men’s sports. Many of the ambitious young female fans who manage to sneak into the arena are caught and sent to a holding pen, guarded by male soldiers their own age. Duty makes these young men and women adversaries, but duty can’t overcome their shared dreams, their mutual attraction, and ultimately their overriding sense of national pride and humanity.DVD 21482 and Streaming Video
Examines the post Title IX media environment in terms of the representation of female athletes. It demonstrates that while men’s identities in sports are equated with deeply held values of courage, strength and endurance, the accomplishments of female athletes are framed very differently and in much more stereotypical ways.DVD 11362
A promising hurdler, played by Mariel Hemingway, finds needed emotional and athletic seasoning with a caring mentor. After the two fall in love, their relationship is threatened as both vie for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
DVD 25223 and streaming video
Members of the Cuban National Women’s Baseball Team discuss their passion for the sport and hardships they faced in Cuba’s society filled with machismo, prejudice and daily hardships.DVD 6270
The story of the surviving members of the Viennese Hakoah sports club women’s swim team, a world-dominating competitor in the 1930s. The club was eventually shut down during Hitler’s reign, though all the women managed to escape capture. Combines historical footage and contemporary interviews to reconnect the women’s lives and memories.DVD 5579
The new man in town has just accepted a position as an English professor on a reservation in Utah. Finding it hard to fit in with the Native American community, he decides to take on the challenge of coaching the girls’ basketball team.DVD 18946
Bliss Cavender is a small-town teenager looking for her own path. Tired of following in her family’s footsteps, she discovers a way to put her life on the fast track–literally. She lands a spot on a roller derby team and becomes “Babe Ruthless.” Co-starring Drew Barrymore in her feature film directorial debut.
The post Lilly Collection Spotlight: They Came to Play | Women in Sport appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.
At the next meeting of the Duke University Libraries’ Low Maintenance Book Club we will be heading west to Absaroka County, Wyoming with the reading of “Messenger,” a short story from Craig Johnson’s popular Longmire series (which has been adapted into a TV series on Netflix). The story can be found in Wait for Signs: Twelves Longmire Stories, which is available at the Durham County Library and UNC Chapel Hill. We also have a copy that will soon be arriving here at Duke.
Please register for this event. Light refreshments will be served.
Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 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 email@example.com.
Celebrate International Women’s Day with a good book! I really enjoyed the New York Time‘s recent article “The New Vanguard,” which selected 15 important books by women. We have most of the books in our collection:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
Outline by Rachel Cusk
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
American Innovations by Rivka Galchen
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
NW by Zadie Smith
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Mislaid by Nell Zink
Also, today the Women’s Prize for Fiction announced their Longlist!
Here are some other reading list suggestions:
Search our book catalog to see if we have these titles. Happy reading!
If you’re looking for even more things to read, I have two other suggestions for you! First the Low Maintenance Book Club this month is doing a special discussion called “Love between the Covers.” It’s a chance for people to recommend a book they’ve recently read and loved and for other people to connect with new titles. We’ll have snacks and some games. Please join us!
Also, we now have access to NoveList Plus, which is a resource that can help you find lists of recommendations for fiction and non-fiction books based on genres, award winners, etc. My favorite feature is the “appeal mixer,” which allows you to select several categories and then get recommendations based on it. For example, if you select fast-paced brooding character with a mystical tone, you get suggestions like Alice Hoffman’s The Story Sisters.
In the meantime here are several selections from our collections!
In Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia, Michael Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans’ belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality along with utopian attempts to create heaven on earth. For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven and the afterlife, and though no one has ever returned from such a place to report what it is really like–or that it even exists–today science and technology are being used to try to make it happen in our lifetime. From radical life extension to cryonic suspension to mind uploading, Shermer considers how realistic these attempts are from a proper skeptical perspective. Heavens on Earth concludes with an uplifting paean to purpose and progress and how we can live well in the here-and-now, whether or not there is a hereafter. You can read an NYT review here and the Washington Post review here.
Heartland by Ana Simo. In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, pre-apocalyptic United States, Ana Simo’s fiction debut is the uproarious story of a thwarted writer’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, pulp noir, and dystopian satire. It’s a hilarious, genre-defying debut that confronts taboos of race, assimilation, and sex through a high-voltage tale of love, language, and revenge. You can read a review here. You might also enjoy this podcast.
Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard ( with illustrations by Vanessa Baird and translated from the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey). Autumn, first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons, begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter, showing her what to expect of the world. He writes one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. He describes with acute sensitivity daily life with his wife and children in rural Sweden, drawing upon memories of his own childhood to give an inimitably tender perspective on the precious and unique bond between parent and child. The sun, wasps, jellyfish, eyes, lice–the stuff of everyday life is the fodder for his art. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention. This beautifully illustrated book is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars.
Elements of Taste: Understanding What We Like and Why by Benjamin Errett. Celine Dion. Kanye West. Hamilton. Stranger Things. Wes Anderson. The Bachelor. Doctor Who. House Hunters. The Girl on the Train. We all have our most and least favorite things. But why? This smart, funny and well-researched book brings together the latest findings from the worlds of psychology, neuroscience, market research, and more to examine what taste really means–and what it can teach us about ourselves. Covering kitsch, nostalgia, “comfort food,” snobbery, bad taste, and what it means to be “basic,” this is the ultimate read for anyone who devours popular and not-so-popular culture.
The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe is a powerful and moving account of how refugee teenagers at a public high school learn English and become Americans, in the care of a compassionate teacher. It follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado. These newcomers, from fourteen to nineteen years old, come from nations convulsed by drought or famine or war. You can read reviews here, here, and here.