Logos Links: September 2020

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Library team members Amber Wessies and Olivia Chin have searched the Internet for the best book, movie, and library-related links. Learn more about library news around the world below.

Sprains, Strains, and Fractures: Understanding the Difference

Learn how to recognize and treat minor sprains and strains.

There Are Alternatives To Goodreads

Not a Goodreads fan? Check out one of these options instead!

The Inside Story of the $8 Million Heist From the Carnegie Library

“Precious maps, books and artworks vanished from the Pittsburgh archive over the course of 25 years.”

COVID-19 And Open Access Publishing

The pandemic has led to more articles being published online via open access.

What Is A Fractal?

This website will introduce you to the interesting world of fractals and mathematics.

Newsmaker: Laurie Halse Anderson

Learn more about famous YA author Laurie Halse Anderson with this interview.

Churches Open Doors to Largest School District in Texas to Help Students Continue Education

Texas churches provide safe spaces and internet access to students who need a place for remote learning.

Colleges Go Virtual to Address Growing Mental Health Needs

“Moreover, around 60% of students in a separate survey said the pandemic has made it harder to access mental healthcare.”

The Best Libraries to Visit for Design Inspiration

Flip through this gallery of beautiful libraries!

Book Review: “Columbine” by Dave Cullen

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The infamous Columbine tragedy happened in 1999. Since then (and even before Columbine), there have sadly been many other school and public shootings. Author and journalist Dave Cullen was one of the first on the scene of Columbine, and after years of research and investigation, he wrote the nonfiction account Columbine in 2009.

This book is about a real event that happened in 1999, so there are “spoilers” in talking about the book.

What Columbine gets right: Dave Cullen is an excellent writer and resource on this topic. He was there at the scene, he talked to many significant people, and his research since then has been in-depth and ongoing. Cullen debunks many of the myths and fears around the two perpetrators (for example, they were not members of the so-called “Trench Coat Mafia,” a group of Goth kids at the school).

Columbine also examines the impact that this event had on the news media, the state of Colorado, and the country. You’ll read firsthand accounts from parents, students, and local officials, and you’ll take a terrifying look into the journals of Harris and Klebold. Overall, this book provides a comprehensive account from all sides of the event.

What Columbine gets wrong: Some sources criticize Cullen’s ultimate conclusion that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were not bullying victims but in fact just mentally ill students. In my opinion, we may never know the full reasons on why they did what they did, but at least Columbine gives us some facts and figures to consider.

Readers who will enjoy Columbine: People who remember the event and want to learn more about what happened, and readers who enjoy nonfiction, true crime, and investigative journalism.

Readers who may not enjoy Columbine: People who do not want to read about sad and traumatic events.

 

Columbine is available here at the library. Dave Cullen’s book Parkland is also available.

Content note: Graphic descriptions of real-life violence, murder, language, and trauma. Reader discretion is advised.

Reviews written by Olivia Chin reflect her personal opinions and not necessarily those of the library or university.

Monday Movie: “Chicken Little”

Chicken Little (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

One of the worst feelings one can have is when something embarrassing is constantly brought up by friends. But even worse is when it’s constantly brought up by everyone in your entire town. This is Chicken Little (Zach Braff), who, a year ago, claimed the sky was falling. He caused a city-wide panic and is now the joke of the town in the film Chicken Little. The embarrassment affects more than the young courageous chicken, but also his father Buck Cluck (Garry Marshall), a former baseball star, who now must deal with the consequences of Little’s actions.


And so the movie follows Chicken Little and some of his close friends, a nervous and cowardly pig named Runt (Steve Zahn), a mute and always silly fish named Fish, and a would-be-relational-therapist duck named Abby (Joan Cusack), who try to support him through the constant jokes and laughs that are sent his way.


Everything seems to be going well when Chicken Little joins the baseball team and hits a game-winning swing. That is, until Chicken Little finds a piece of the sky, which turns out to be a piece of an alien spaceship. With his friends, he discovers evidence of an impending alien invasion. But now, can Chicken Little convince his father, his friends, and the entire community of Oakey Oats that the sky may really be falling?


Chicken Little has many cute, fun, and hilarious moments to go around. It’s stocked full of random pop-culture references that will keep parents giggling even when the kids completely miss it. Its story is simple, easy to follow, and viewers will find themselves inevitably rooting for the Little-guy. But beyond that, the movie lacks a focused message and is generally rough around the edges. 


First, coming out in the same year as animated classics Madagascar and Robots, the animation of Chicken Little seems incomplete, and unrendered at times. Instead of looking like the finished product, the movie can look one step away from animated completion. This won’t take away from a child’s enjoyment, but for those who enjoy the level of detail in some animated movies, this one will miss the mark.


Also, the message of the movie seems muddied. The movie unites Little and his father when his father realizes that Chicken Little isn’t lying but is telling the truth. The movie hopes that the audience will understand the importance of parents believing in their children. But Cluck only believes Little when there’s substantial evidence, or when he’s hitting home runs on the field. By the end of the movie Cluck turns around and joins his son, but only in the wake of the alien invasion. This constantly verbalized theme of “closure” will be lost on anyone under 10.


Chicken Little offers plenty of laughs and sweet moments, but no more than other animated classics that far surpass it in story and animated style. This one may be fun to watch with roommates at 10:45 at night to laugh at its more absurd features (which I did), but there are much better options when it comes to entertaining your kids.


Chicken Little is rated G and is available in the Logos.

*review by Brennan Kress

Reading List: Banned Books Week

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Banned Books Week is usually celebrated during the last week of September. Libraries and bookstores across the U.S. display books that were once banned or challenged for their content. Many of these books are ones that you may have read in school, or even at church (since the Bible has often been a challenged book throughout history).

If you’d like to read a book that was banned or challenged, take a look at the list below. Click the links to see where each book is located in the library!

*Book descriptions provided by the publishers via the library catalog.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Sixteen-year-old Miles’ first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. Read our review here.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

In depression-era California, two migrant workers dream of better days on a spread of their own until an act of unintentional violence leads to tragic consequences.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The lives of two sisters- Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a southern woman married to a man she hates- are revealed in a series of letters exchanged over thirty years.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl in an America whose love for blonde, blue-eyed children can devastate all others, prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be beautiful, people will notice her, and her world will be different.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Huxley’s classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Book Review: “The Last Mrs. Parrish” by Liv Constantine

the last mrs parrish

The Last Mrs. Parrish is a suspenseful drama written by two sisters using the name “Liv Constantine.” This book follows three major characters: the scheming Amber and the rich but troubled Jackson and Daphne Parrish. Amber wants to replace Daphne as Jackson’s wife and win all of the money and accolades that comes with the title “Mrs. Parrish,” but there’s more to the Parrish family than meets the eye.

Mild spoilers ahead.

What The Last Mrs. Parrish gets right: It’s hard to predict where this book is headed at first, so I enjoyed finding out new details about the characters and the plot as I read along. You’re immediately introduced to a villainous character, so already the perspective is different than what you might be used to. The plot was slow at first, but the last third of the book really picked up and added to the excitement.

What The Last Mrs. Parrish gets wrong: This is a book about very, very bad people. It’s hard to read at times because their perspectives are so malicious. Thankfully there is some justice in the story, but it takes a long time to get there.

While there certainly was some mystery at first, I predicted one of the major plot points early on in the book, so I had to be patient in waiting for this character to reveal their motives.

The writing also wasn’t my favorite. There were several instances where the authors should have followed the rule of “show, don’t tell.”

Readers who will enjoy The Last Mrs. Parrish: Fans of complicated relationships, villainous main characters, and pure drama will enjoy this book.

Readers who won’t enjoy The Last Mrs. Parrish: Readers who dislike reading about bad things happening to good(ish) people. Readers who avoid stories about abusive relationships.

 

The Last Mrs. Parrish is available in the Recreational Reading section of the library.

Content note: Language, violence, rape, emotional and physical abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

Book review written by Circulation Manager Olivia Chin; personal opinions are her own and not those of the library or university.

Top 5 Novels About Animals

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Many children spend time reading about their favorite animals while growing up. Books about animals, particularly fictional stories, can be both inspiring and heart-wrenching. This list compiles several tried-and-true classic novels about different kinds of animals. Both middle-grade children and adults may enjoy these books (although some children may need to grow up more before tackling Watership Down).

*Book descriptions provided by the publishers, c/o the library catalog

 

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family.

 

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Paul and his sister Maureen’s determination to own a pony from the herd on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, is greatly increased when the Phantom and her colt are among the ponies rounded up for the yearly auction.

 

Watership Down by Richard Wright

Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.

 

It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville

The story of a fourteen-year-old New York boy and his relationships with a stray tomcat, an eccentric old woman, a troubled older boy, the first girl with whom he has been friends, and his father.

 

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Rob, who passes the time in his rural Florida community by wood carving, is drawn by his spunky but angry friend Sistine into a plan to free a caged tiger.

 

 

Monday Movie: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

In an apocalyptic future, Earth has become a desert wasteland. All of the planet is seemingly unlivable except one area where an evil tyrant named the Immortan Joe rules by having full control of a large supply of water. Not only does he control the water, but he controls the people by his army of War Boys, and his massive cars and trucks called War Rigs.

Against Immortan Joe stands Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who rescues Joe’s “wives” and embarks on a dangerous escape across the wasteland. With her is Max (Tom Hardy) who also escaped Joe’s grasp after being captured by him and used for his blood. Together, they brave the harsh wild on an exhilarating high-speed chase as Joe seeks to reclaim what he thinks is his.

Mad Max: Fury Road epitomizes a great action movie. The movie is, start-to-finish, an edge of your seat heart-racing thriller. The costume design, along with the set pieces (which are vehicles rather than places) instantly immerse you in this post-apocalyptic world. Viewers watch enraptured as the action unfolds, creating moments of stunning madness, and there’s more than just explosions to love. Director George Miller choreographs Cirque du Soleil levels of acrobatics into the action scenes. 

But, though the movie shines most in the action, it is more than that. Each character grows tremendously over the course of the movie. And questions of human dignity shine in strange ways, particularly in the development of one of the War Boys named Nux (Nicholas Hoult), a crazed worshiper of Immortan Joe, who is captured by Max and Furiosa. Through his experience with them and the women Furiosa is rescuing, he learns more about himself and goes from being a maddened zealot to a man willing to sacrifice himself for others.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a dark and violent display, matched by incredible cinematography and expert writing. It stands almost alone as one of the best action movies of the decade, and perhaps one of the best action movies ever made.

Mad Max: Fury Road is rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images.

It is available on Amazon and Amazon Prime Video.

*review by Brennan Kress

How To Watch Movies On Reserve At The Library

Each semester, several professors add movies to their Reserve list at the library (you can learn more about how to check out Reserve items here). This means that we have their movies ready for you at the Circulation Desk. However, many of these movies can only be watched while in the library building. There are two main ways that you can watch a movie like this while in the library:

Use your laptop or a library desktop computer + a portable DVD drive.

DVD drives can be checked out from the Circulation Desk using your student ID just like movies and books. They will just need to stay within the library building. You can also check out headphones from the Circulation Desk if needed.

Check out the media room, #324.

The library’s media room, #324 on the third floor, is equipped with a TV and DVD player. You will need to come to the Circulation Desk with your student ID to check out the room’s key, as the media room remains locked to protect the media devices. You are also encouraged to reserve this room ahead of time, since it is often in use. You can reserve the media room and other study rooms on the library website- click this link to do that.

Reading List: Personal Finance

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How we budget, save, and invest our money is something that we all must examine in our lives. Thankfully, there are several resources available to help you get started on your journey with personal finance. This reading list includes both print books and eBooks that are all about saving for retirement, paying off student debt, calculating returns, and more!

 

*book descriptions provided by the publishers c/o the library catalog

 

You Can Do The Math: Overcome Your Math Phobia And Make Better Financial Decisions by Ronald Lipsman

In You Can Do the Math, Ron Lipsman draws from over 30 years of teaching mathematics to help you take control of your financial destiny by applying basic arithmetic techniques. Step by step, he walks you through the fundamental calculations that underlie virtually every financial decision.

 

The Personal Finance Calculator: How to Calculate the Most Important Financial Decisions in Your Life by Esme Faeber (eBook)

Is it better to buy or lease a car? How does one calculate an investment return? For that matter, what exactly is an investment return? The Personal Finance Calculator provides non-complex tools and calculations for assessing current personal wealth, determining how much debt is too much debt, understanding credit card interest rates, and more.

 

How To Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant Quinn

With How to Make Your Money Last, you will learn how to turn your retirement savings into a steady paycheck that will last for life. Today, people worry that they’re going to run out of money in their older age. That won’t happen if you use a few tricks for squeezing higher payments from your assets- from your Social Security account (find the hidden values there), pension (monthly income or lump sum?), home equity (sell and invest the proceeds or take a reverse mortgage?), savings (should you buy a lifetime annuity?), and retirement accounts (how to invest and- critically- how much to withdraw from your savings each year?). The right moves will not only raise the amount you have to spend, they’ll stretch out your money over many more years.

 

No-Nonsense Finance by Errold F. Moody (eBook)

A straight-talking, real-life guide to all the aspects of personal financial planning by acclaimed web author E.F. Moody.

 

Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing by Sandy Baum

This book analyzes reliable evidence to tell the true story of student debt in America. One of the nation’s foremost experts on college finance, Sandy Baum exposes how misleading the widely accepted narrative on student debt is. Baum combines data, research, and analysis to show how the current discourse obscures serious problems, risks misdirecting taxpayer dollars, and could deprive too many Americans of the educational opportunities they deserve. This book and its policy recommendations provide the basis for a new and more constructive national agenda to make paying for college more manageable.

 

Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know by Leonard Burman & Joel Slemrod

Most contemporary Americans know little about how their tax system works. But with heated debates over taxation now roiling Congress and the nation, an understanding of our tax system is of vital importance. In this book the authors, both tax scholars, offer explanations of how our tax system works, how it affects people and businesses, and how it might be improved. Organized in a question-and-answer format, the book describes the intricacies of the modern tax system.

 

501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College: Going Back to School Without Going Broke by Gen & Kelly Tanabe (eBook)

Adults can find the means to go back to school despite the pressures of work, family, and a mortgage with this guide to funding continued education. With expanded information on online and distance learning and part-time classes and new financial aid, loan, and scholarship opportunities, this updated resource teaches adult students how to find and win scholarships designed especially for them, obtain financial support from employers, get financial aid for distance learning, receive larger financial aid packages, take advantage of educational tax breaks, and trade tuition costs for volunteer service.

 

How to Have a Big Wedding on a Small Budget: Cut Your Wedding Costs in Half by Diane Warner

Provides advice on planning an economical wedding, including how to save money on wedding attire, flowers, food, and music, and offers sample budgets, current average costs, and histories of four weddings.

 

Budgeting Basics & Beyond by Jae K. Shim & Joel G. Siegel (eBook)

Financial and non-financial managers need to simplify their day-to-day work on important areas including budgeting, control, and planning, financial planning and modeling, project analysis, and capital budgeting. This updated desk reference gets to the core of every budgeting and planning issue fast.

 

The Theory of the Individual in Economics: Identity and Value by John Bryan Davis (eBook)

The concept of the individual and his/her motivations is a bedrock of philosophy. Economics, though, is guilty of taking this hugely important concept without questioning how we theorise it. This superb book remedies this oversight.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Movie: “Despicable Me”

In Despicable Me, the world is shocked when an unnamed villain steals an entire pyramid! And amongst those who are confused is Gru (Steve Carell), a villain down on his luck who is looking for one more big score to send him off into the sunset. But this new villain has upped the ante, which leads Gru to come up with one more master plan. He is going to steal the moon!


However, he first needs a shrink ray, which has been taken by the pyramid stealer, a new and young villain who goes by Vector (Jason Segel). And his fortress seems impenetrable, except for three orphan girls who sell Vector cookies. And so Gru has a plan: adopt the three orphans, use them to get the shrink ray, and then steal the moon.


On the other side of this story sits Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), who spend every day hoping that someone will adopt them. And so when Gru, pretending to be a dentist, adopts them, they are suspicious at first. Though Gru adopts them for nefarious purposes, he soon grows to love the girls and becomes torn between his goals as a villain and his new responsibilities as a father.


The movie is funny throughout, heartwarming, and contains an incredible message regarding the value of relationships. Gru’s Minions add a layer of hilarity and silliness to the movie that keep the viewers engaged through the main plot movements, though perhaps they don’t warrant their own movie like they got in 2015. The main characters are well thought out, though slightly one dimensional. The three girls each grasp on to one or two of their traits which is constantly brought up, and they don’t exactly change, except in their relationship to Gru. Gru, of course, changes the most, going from a jealous villain to a caring father.

This movie provides good family fun for all ages. It also contains an important message about caring for relationships over career. The only thing that might concern some parents is the fact that the main protagonist is a villain, though a villain that is silly and cartoonish, far from a violent monster or anything like that.


Despicable Me is available in the Logos.


Rated PG: rude humor and mild action.

*reviewed by Brennan Kress