Featured Author: Eoin Colfer

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Born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1965, Eoin Colfer first became interested in writing through stories about Vikings and adventure. He taught primary school before penning his first book, Benny And Omar. But it was the arrival of his second book, Artemis Fowl, that brought Colfer the recognition he now has as a talented author of children’s books. The Artemis Fowl series follows a preteen boy with criminal genius and the fairy world that he uncovers.

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Colfer has now written over 15 books for young adult audiences. He plans to keep writing as long as possible.

I will keep writing until people stop reading or I run out of ideas. Hopefully neither of these will happen anytime soon.

  • Eoin Colfer

 

For a list of Colfer books that the library has available, click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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From all of us at the library, have a wonderful holiday! Check out the graphic below for the library’s hours:

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The Scoop on Thanksgiving

When it comes to Thanksgiving, we’ve all heard the tale of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans having a meal together, but how well do you really know the story? We’ve put together seven facts about Thanksgiving that you probably didn’t know. Grab hold of your pumpkin pie and get ready to learn!

1:The food isn’t what you think

The meal eaten by our forefathers is not what you would see today. At the meal, we know they had wheat, corn, barley, waterfowl, turkey, cod, bass, and deer. It is also believed that they ate clams, eel, lobster, mussels, acorns, chestnuts, walnuts, ground nuts, squash, beans, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, gooseberries, onions, leeks, sorrel, yarrow, lettuce, carrots, radishes, currants, liverwort, watercress, and a small number of eggs. They would not have had the ingredients or means to make desserts, so no pecan pie for them! There were also no potatoes nor sweet potatoes as they had not yet been introduced to New England.

2: It was longer than a one day celebration

The festival was recorded as a three day long celebration during which the Native American and Pilgrims would have eaten and enjoyed time together. It was much different than the dinner and nap situation of which many households partake in today.

3: The popcorn story is a myth

You may have heard the myth that popcorn was discovered on the first Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this is false. The corn available to them was Indian corn, a variety that does not pop well. Popcorn was actually a product of the 1820’s discovered by using a breed of maize domesticated by pre-Columbian indigenous people.

4: It didn’t become an official holiday until much later

Something that many people don’t know is that the Pilgrims did not celebrate Thanksgiving as an annual event. The famed Thanksgiving feast was a one time celebration. There were later times of thanksgiving instituted on a case-by-case basis by later presidents, but the holiday we know of today is largely because of the lobbying of Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale. She lobbied with several presidents over the years from 1827 to 1863 until President Lincoln finally instituted the holiday.

5: The American story

The story of the first Thanksgiving feast is that of a rare cooperation between the white settlers and native populations. The passengers of the Mayflower suffered many trials during the early portion of their settlement. They endured a treacherous 66 day crossing and suffered from exposure, disease, and malnutrition after their arrival. Only half of the settlers lived to see their first Massachusetts spring. However, they received a visit from an Abenaki Indian that shockingly spoke English. They were later introduced to Squanto, who was a member of the Pawtuxet tribe and had been captured by an English captain who sold him into slavery. He taught the settlers how to survive with skills such as cultivating corn, extracting sap from trees, avoiding poisonous plants, and catching fish in the rivers. He also helped them form an alliance with the local Wampanoag Tribe. Governor William Bradford invited a group of their native allies over for a celebration after the first successful corn harvest. After that, the rest is history.

6: Ancient origins

Celebrations of thanksgiving didn’t magically appear during the 1620’s. Cultures around the world had performed similar celebrations throughout history. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all have recorded celebrations paying tribute to their gods after a harvest. The Jewish festival of Sukkot also bears a resemblance to Thanksgiving. Even the Native Americans had harvest feasts and celebrations before the settlers arrived.

7: A day of mourning

Many people take issue with how the Thanksgiving celebration is represented. They feel as if the way the first feast was portrayed shows a deceptively sunny version of the interactions between white settlers and Native Americans. Because of this, many people (native and non-native alike) use Thanksgiving as a time of mourning to remember the history of conflict between white immigrants and settlers that has haunted this country since settlers arrived.

*Post written by Ruth Duncan

Thanksgiving Hours

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Reading List: Young Readers Day

Don’t you get a hint of nostalgia whenever you think about your childhood and the books you used to love?

If you still love children’s books, or you want an idea of new titles to read to the children in your life, take a look at the list we’ve made!

Click on the images to see the listing in the library!

Olivia Chin, Circulation Manager, wanted a dog of her own as a child. She really enjoyed Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day, in which a faithful Rottweiler watches over a little girl:

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Susan Kriaski, Cataloging Associate, thinks these two books deserve a read:

Llama Llama and Friends by Anna Dewdney

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Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

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Melissa Moore, Director for Library Services, likes these children’s books:

Are You My Mother? By P. D. Eastman

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Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

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Stephen Mount, Library Systems Manager, enjoys these selections:

See the Ocean by Estelle Condra

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If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead

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Anna Poore, Technical Services Librarian, recommends this book:

Brave Irene by William Steig

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Rachel Powers, Library Associate, enjoyed these books as a child:

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

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Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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Jordan Sellers, Library Associate, enjoyed these books when she was young:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

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Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

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Sarah Zornes, Evening Circulation Supervisor, loved this book when she was young:

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

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November is Native American Heritage Month

The history and heritage of Native Americans is something that many people don’t know much about. However, whether it is common knowledge or not, Native American life and achievement has been a major factor in getting us where we are today. That’s why we have put together a list of notable Native Americans. Happy Native American Heritage Month!

1: Maria Tallchief

Born on January 24, 1925, Maria Tallchief was the first Native American to break into the ballet scene. She performed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as well as being the first American to dance with the Paris Opera ballet. She was the first prima ballerina on the New York City Ballet. She performed in productions such as Orpheus, Scotch Symphony, Miss Julie, Firebird, and The Nutcracker. After her retirement in 1965 she taught ballet to younger dancers. She was inducted into the women’s hall of fame, was one of five artist to receive Kennedy Center Honors for their contributions in the U.S., and received the National Medal of Arts. 

2: William Rogers

Will Rogers (William Penn Adair Rogers) was born on November 4 1879. He was an actor, humorist, cowboy, and newspaper commentator among other things. He was a very popular social figure who championed air travel and told audiences of his global adventures. After a very strong career in film, he had a career as a newspaper columnist known for wisecracks and humorous social commentary. He died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, but is still a well known figure in Oklahoma and Native American history.

3: John Herrington

Born September 14, 1958 in Wetumka, Oklahoma, John Herrington became the first Native American to become an astronaut. Starting with a career in the Navy, he was an aviator that made three operational deployments. During his military service, he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Ribbons, and various other service awards. Eventually he earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. During his time at NASA he spent a total of 19 hours and 55 minutes in space over three space walks when he served on the sixteenth space shuttle mission to the international space station.

4: Winona LaDuke

Winona (meaning “first daughter” in Dakota language) LaDuke was born in 1959 in Los Angeles, California. While working as a high school principal, she became active in social issues and helped start the Indigenous Women’s Network. She also became involved in the struggle to recover lands for the Anishinaabe,  founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project, and is also Executive Director of Honor the Earth. She has run as a vice president candidate on the green party ticket twice, and was the first woman to receive an Electoral College vote for vice president.

5: Naomi Lang

Naomi Lang (born December 18, 1978) is an American ice dancer. She is a two-time Four Continents champion, a five-time U.S. national champion, and has competed at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. She is the first Native American female athlete to participate in the Winter Olympics,and has earned 14 medals, seven of which were gold. She has extensively toured across Europe with her ice dancing parter, Peter Tchernyshev.

*Post by Ruth Duncan

Featured Book: “Vincent And Theo”

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Theo’s brother Vincent has been living with him for just over a year, and Theo cannot take it anymore.

So begins Deborah Heiligman’s creative biography of  famous painter Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, art gallery manager Theo Van Gogh. Entitled Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, this book is written in such a way for both younger audiences to understand and older audiences to enjoy.

Instead of just recounting the basic facts of the brothers’ lives, or listing all of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting accomplishments, Heiligman focuses on the brothers’ relationships with each other. Using Theo as a natural character foil to Vincent, Heiligman writes about the brothers:

Vincent and Theo Van Gogh look a lot alike: They both have red hair, though Vincent’s is redder, Theo’s more reddish blond. Vincent has freckles, Theo does not. They are both medium height- around five feet seven- but Vincent is broader, bigger; Theo slighter, thinner. They have pale blue eyes that sometimes darken to greenish blue. They are definitely brothers.

 

But they couldn’t give more different impressions.

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The book continues to add details from the two brothers’ lives, describing their other family members, their personalities, and their aspirations. Vincent and Theo is for anyone who has enjoyed Van Gogh’s artwork and wondered at the man (and his brother) behind the paintbrush.

A groundbreaking artistic film about Vincent Van Gogh has recently been released: Loving Vincent.

Watch the trailer here:

 

We’re Celebrating Our Student Assistants Today!

Today is Student Assistant Appreciation Day at the library. We’re so glad to have a great group of students working with us. We’re proud of them and all of their accomplishments.

Do you know a student who works in the library? Show them some love today!

Book Lovers Day

It’s an important day here at the Union University library! Most of the staff work here because of one united commonality, and that is our mutual love of books.

Here are some book recommendations from your friendly, neighborhood library staff:

Danielle Chalker, Circulation Student Assistant, enjoys historical fiction and the classics. She recommends this book:

Peace Like a River by Lief Enger

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Ruth Duncan, Circulation Student Assistant, is a fan of fairy tales and science fiction and recommends this book:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Cole Le Mahieu, Circulation Student Assistant, is a science fiction fan. He recommends this mind-blowing book:

Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

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Hannah Shea, Circulation Student Assistant, likes most genres (but not horror). She recommends these two books:

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

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Enna Burning by Shannon Hale

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Grant Wise, Circulation Student Assistant, enjoys classics, and recommends this book:

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

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Susan Kriaski, Cataloging Associate, recommends witty and fun reads like this book:

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

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Beth Lynn, Collection Development Coordinator, recommends these two books:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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Melissa Moore, Director of the Library, loves high fantasy and recommends this book:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Stephen Mount, Library Systems Manager, enjoys true crime and classics and recommends these books:

The Man from the Train by Bill James

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Savannah Patterson, Public Services Librarian, is a fan of many genres. Her recommended books are:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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Anna Poore, Technical Services Librarian, recommends this book:

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

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Jordan Sellers, Library Associate, likes fantasy and mythology and recommends this book:

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

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Sarah Zornes, Evening Circulation Supervisor, is a fan of the science fiction and fantasy genres and recommends this book:

Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson

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What are your favorite books? Do you recommend any in particular? Let us know in the comments!

Book Review: “What Color is Your Parachute?”

Are you job searching? Breaking into the professional world? Do you think you might be in over your head at your current place of work?

The “What Color is Your Parachute?” Series by Richard N. Bolles releases annually, and advertises itself as “A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers”. If you’re in a spot of professional transition, this book is a handy tool to have at your side.

Things are changing in the job hunting game – it’s not your parents’ game anymore. Your online presence is a part of your new résumé, and many employers would rather do the majority of the application and screening process online. Bolles gives us some insight into what sells (or hires).

For those who struggle with the interview process, there are bullet points that illustrate the most important questions to ask and answer, the benefits of researching a place of employment, and tips for not only impressing the company, but for judging whether or not you would like to work for them.

If you’re not looking for a job at the moment, but just want to sharpen your interviewing skills and knowledge, this book is a very good resource for professional development. The second half of the book involves a self-inventory that will not only help a job-seeker understand him or herself better, but can also help the professional that desires to take an objective look at his or her own strengths and weaknesses.

More Info

Author Bio