Library, Information, and Technology Services

Stimson Room Tea and Exhibit Talk

Oct 21, 2010 by Jennifer King

"Everything Is Wholesome and Abundant” Stimson Room Tea & Exhibit Talk  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 4:00 pm, Stimson Room, Williston Library 

 

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“Everything Is Wholesome and Abundant”: A Culinary Chronicle of Mount Holyoke College, 1837- today

Sep 30, 2010 by Jennifer King

Archives and Special Collections Exhibit
Williston Library Court
November 1 – December 15, 2010

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Sara C.'s Reading Recommends

Aug 24, 2009 by Sara Colglazier

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy reading children’s books,
picture books as well as young adult (YA) fiction? Well, I do, and I indulge
often.



To my great delight, MHC LITS has a fabulous children’s and
juvenile book collection—and what YA books MHC does not own, one of the other
Colleges does, frequently enough.



So, much to my surprise nobody offered to lend me an
age-appropriate child
to whom to read Elise Broach’s Masterpiece,
consequently I had to read it to myself. 
… What a delight! It was amusing, age-appropriate (8-12) without feeling
dumb-downed, entertaining while also educational … just all around
recommendable and good. (Abstract: “After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature
drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a
house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen
from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” )



But have you heard of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games?
If you have not or have not read it yet, HURRY … The second book in the
announced trilogy, Catching Fire, is due out on the first of September,
and let me tell you it is a big deal! I know an amazing number of adults who
can hardly wait. (Note: The violence of the Hunger Games may not be appropriate
for younger readers. Parents of readers younger than 14 may want to preview.)



Another
adventure book, also announced as a trilogy, which I only recently discovered
by browsing our catalog, is Sam Llewellyn’s The Well between the Worlds
(Lyonesse, Bk. 1). Maybe not as seat-of-your-pants gripping as Collins’ Hunger
Games
, but it nevertheless drew me right in, held my attention, and has me
anticipating Book 2. (Abstract: “Eleven-year-old Idris Limpet, living with his
family in the once noble but now evil and corrupt island country of Lyonesse, finds his life taking a dramatic turn when, after
a near-drowning incident, he is accused of being allied to the feared sea
monsters and is rescued from a death sentence by a mysterious and fearsome
stranger.”)  



Now
for two YA books that are more serious:



Did
you read Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
and like it? Then you may want to check out Anything but Typical by Nora
Raleigh Baskin. The book is about 12-year-old Jason who has been diagnosed as
autistic and who has aspirations to being a writer. It is not merely about him
but seemingly by him, since he is the narrator. In this way we experience what
he experiences, thereby coming closer to understanding his world as he tries to
negotiate ours, namely that of so-called neurotypicals.



Finally,
I would like to recommend Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia—although what
follows may not sound like much of a recommendation. You see, until the last
few pages, I did not much care for the book. It is smallish and short—less than
180 pages—and yet it took me days to read. I kept putting it aside, a bit
bored, having to force myself to take it up again. I kept finding myself bored
by the alternating, stream-of-consciousness narrative voices of Leticia, Trina,
and Dominique. The three teens seemed mentally to be treading the same waters,
on and on. Granted, one does that, but it does not necessarily make good
reading. … Still, I was curious to find out what would happen … and, as mentioned,
the last few pages then did make the book for me. For it is a thought-provoking
book; one that invites (and I think wishes to promote) discussion. And as such,
I would recommend it for book-discussion groups; teen book groups,
Mother-Daughter reading circles, and even adult book groups.



Tip:
The best way to browse for children’s and YA books in the catalog is to click
on the Advanced search tab, scroll down a bit until you see CCL in the
bottom left, click on it, then enter the CCL phrase lci=PZ7->PZ8 into the
“Type command language phrase” box and hit enter. Sadly, this does not give one
100% of the YA books in the Five Colleges’ collections (not all are classed as
PZs; instead, some are classed with the adult books), but it is the only way I have
come up with to be able to generally browse for them—and it is how I discovered
The Well between the Worlds.



Check
out them books!



And
wishing you Good Reads, Sara


Sara C.'s Reading Recommends

Jul 23, 2009 by Sara Colglazier

I cannot quite remember when (or why) I got on an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction reading trip in a programmatic way, but I know I’ve been reading many such novels and stories for more than a year now. And, I also know that the kick really took off after I discovered John Wyndham–a Brit who
had his heyday in the 1950s. Then one day, gushing about Wyndham to yet another
person, someone recommended E.M.
Forster
's tale "The Machine Stops" (yes! E.M. Forster as in Howards
End
, etc.). Wow! That’s when I was really hooked. … Most recently I picked
up Bernard Beckett's slim novel Genesis,
currently shelved in our New Books area. Not only does its shortness fit
nicely with my current habit of reading shorter stuff but its publisher’s
blurb caught my eye as well. According to the publisher it’s a "perfect
combination of thrilling page-turner and provocative novel of ideas;" ideas
such as, "What is consciousness? What makes us human? If artificial
intelligence were developed to a high enough capability, what special status
could humanity still claim?" Hmm, yes, indeed.



I suppose it’s just this combination of the thrilling and the thought-provoking
that attracts me to apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic/dystopian works of fiction.
Granted, some are more thrilling than others, some more thought-provoking, some
rather dark (e.g., The
Road
by Cormac McCarthy–talk about dark!), others also humorous, etc.,
but on a whole all of them entertain while also stimulating the gray matter—and
that is what I’m after.



Besides I find it fun and fascinating to read how the past imagined our
more-or-less now, as well as to read how some of our contemporaries imagine
what might be in store for us in the future.



So if the above sounds like good reading to you, too, you might try:



John Wyndham: The
Day of the Triffids
, The
Kraken Wakes
, and "Consider
her ways
" (short story)



Sarah Hall: Daughters
of the North



Kazuo Ishiguro: Never
Let Me Go



Stephenie Meyer: The
Host



Philip Kerr: The
Second Angel



Or search the catalog using “Subject keyword” for ‘dystopias’ (note the
plural ‘s’).



Check out them books!



And wishing you Good Reads, Sara





Sara C.'s Reading Recommends

Jul 08, 2009 by Sara Colglazier

In the last months I have started reading more and more short fiction; something I previously did very little of—unless it was assigned reading back at University. Now I find the form suits my needs and desire for reading. That is, of late I just do not have as much time to read; yet I continue to have the strong need and desire to read (and for a pile of books to be taking over my nightstand). Voilà short fiction to the rescue! For there is a certain sense of satisfaction, I am finding, to be gotten from fiction that can be read in one sitting (think Poe's "Philosophy of Composition").

Also I have found that I prefer either to read collections of stories in which the stories connect to create a greater whole (see below) or to read collections of non-connecting stories by various authors at the same time. The latter takes care of the problem I sometimes have with stories of a given collection all beginning to sound or seem alike. By reading across collections each author's voice and themes seem different and fresh again with each new story.

So below a few recommends that are either currently on my nightstand or that I have already read and find recommendable:

Recent releases:

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower (On my nightstand: just started)

The New Valley: Novellas by Josh Weil (On my nightstand: not yet started. These novellas supposedly are connected, so I plan to read them as a unit.)

 Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories by Kevin Wilson (These I actually read back to back without reading other authors' stories in between. No fear of Wilson's stories all seeming or sounding alike. Wow, I sure hope he writes more.)

Other, older examples of story collections, in which the stories connect, overlap, and intersect, creating a sort of kaleidoscopic, novelistic whole:

 Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Not for anyone already down in the dumps. I cried a lot! Although I am a weepy one.)

 Men Giving Money, Women Yelling : Intersecting Stories by Alice Mattison (Hands down this must be my favorite book title!)

BTW: I'd also recommend the two above titles for book groups.

Check out them books!

And wishing you Good Reads, Sara

 

 



Sara C.'s Reading Recommends

Jun 24, 2009 by Sara Colglazier

We may no longer have a separate, official Leisure Books section (and some may even say selection) BUT we still have plenty of Good Reads. Where you ask? Well, recent arrivals are displayed and shelved in the New Book area off the Reading Room (check out the newly re-upholstered, comfy furniture).

What you ask? Well, we have picture books, fiction for tweens and teens, graphic novels, and a wide assortment of fiction and literature (primarily in English, but also in other languages). Let me give you some examples:

A Book by Mordicai Gerstein--A fabulous picture book I had to read to my niece a number of times: Again! Again!, she would demand.

The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faría, trans. by Elisa Amado--A truly different type of picture book. A real experience.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach, illustrated by Kelly Murphy--I think this would be a great read-aloud book for a 8-10 year old. Fun for both parent and child. I know it is one I want to read. (Anyone want to lend me an age-appropriate child?)

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson--A 2008 National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction (2009)

Tourist by Olen Steinhauer--I am hoping to read this while on vacation (very soon!), unless someone checks it out before I do.

The Best American Comics, editors Jessica Abel, Lynda Barry, Matt Madden--Speaks for itself, I think.

Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka--An adult Manga series from Japan, chronicling "the travails of an enigmatic surgeon-for-hire who is more good than he pretends to be" (from cover). Have you been meaning to see what Mangas are all about: here's your chance.

Turning Japanese by Cathy Yardley--Described by the publisher as The Devil Wears Prada meets Lost in Translation. Sounds like a fun read to me.

Life without Summer by Lynne Griffin--Ok, maybe not a fun read. (I may need a box of tissues for this one). But a not-fun read can still be a good read.

The Glister by John Burnside--Horror anyone? Not generally my thing (nightmares) but cold shivers on a hot summer day (or night) may just be the thing (if it ever gets hot and stops raining!).

Wonderful World by Javier Calvo, trans. from the Spanish by Mara Faye Lethem--Wonder what my father would think if I tried to make him proud by becoming an international criminal? Calvo's first book to be translated into English sounds whackily fun.

La fascinación de la víctima by Ana Teresa Torres--Wish I could read Spanish.

Finally I would like to mention a non-fiction book:

The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Emmanuel Guibert, et al--An intriguing mixture of narrative, photographic, and graphic story-telling on a topic that could not be more current.

Check out them books!

Wishing you Good Reads, Sara

Note: Books displayed in the New Book section can only be checked out for 4 weeks. After a few months their New Book status is removed, and they are then shelved in the Stacks by call number. Remember you can always check on a book's location and availability via our online catalog--and if our copy is out, request it from one of the other 5 College Libraries that may have it.