Top 5 Fiction eBooks To Read At Home

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You’re at home, practicing social distancing, and you really need something new to read. Maybe you’ve read all of the books on your shelf, or maybe you just want to read something on a screen. Have no fear: the library has thousands of eBooks for Union students and employees to access while at home. Here are just a few of our fiction eBooks for you to start reading!

 

*book descriptions are from the publishers c/o the library website

 

Chronicles of Avolea by L.M. Montgomery

Twelve tales of some very special people living on Prince Edward Island in the early days of the 20th century.

 

Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

After climbing through a mirror, Alice enters a world similar to a chess board, where she experiences many curious adventures with its fantastic inhabitants.

 

Emma by Jane Austen

Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse seems blessed with every gift that kind fortune can bestow on a proper young Englishwoman. But at one-and-twenty, Emma still has lessons to learn about human nature and the mysteries of the heart. Jane Austen’s masterpiece paints a charming portrait of English village society and of a heroine as delightful as she is infuriating.

 

The Handsome Monk And Other Stories by Tsering Döndrup

Tsering Döndrup is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed authors writing in Tibetan today. The Handsome Monk and Other Stories brings together short stories from across Tsering Döndrup’s career to create a panorama of Tibetan society.

 

Freeman: A Novel by Leonard Pitts

A compelling, important, page-turning historical novel set at the end of the Civil War, in which an escaped slave first returns to his old plantation and then walks across the ravaged South in search of his lost wife.

 

Logos Links: March 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.

 

Resources For Libraries On Coronavirus

How can libraries be prepared for coronavirus? What can libraries do to help educate their patrons and prevent fake news from spreading? This article is a helpful resource for the current times.

 

Human Libraries: Turning The Page On Discrimination

The intent behind “human libraries” is more of a conversation than a presentation. The people who are telling their stories sit at different tables and other people can come up to them/sit with them and just have a conversation.

 

How To Source Your Academic Paper

This helpful post explores how to find online resources for students and serves as a guide to evaluating each source.

 

Tennessee Becomes Second State To Propose “Parental Review Boards” For Public Libraries

Why have parental review boards when public libraries already have measures and committees in place for challenges to their content? Sounds like a waste of taxpayer money and unnecessary censorship to me!

 

Tell Me Your Story: Narrative Inquiry In LIS Research

We cannot get to these sorts of things [the experience of being a person] with analytics and systems. We have to get to this kind of information by engaging in practices that bring us in contact with people. We have to talk to them, we have to observe them, we have to ask questions, we have to not just take their word for it when they say they do something, but we have to dig deeper and find out what they actually mean.

Everyone has a story to tell. And you have a response to every story you hear. How does your response impact your research? That is the basis behind narrative inquiry or story research.

 

Finding The Finals Fairy

A university in Maryland uses a Finals Fairy for de-stressing in the library for finals weeks. The librarians, library staff, and volunteers hide random dollar store items throughout the library for students to find. They post clues on social media and then ask students to post if they find the prize. They do it at different intervals during each day of finals. The last day they do a grand prize that could be something like an ereader or gift card to a restaurant. They hide a winning in a book and post a picture of the spines.

 

 

 

Spotlight On “Career Transitions”

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Career Transitions is a database that can help you make the most of your job searching and career exploration efforts. Whether looking for tips about resumes, cover letters or simulating job interviews, this tool is helpful.

Using the popular O*NET OnLine system, Career Transitions can assess your career interests and allow you to browse career paths. You can also search for available schools and programs and read tips on applying.

One of the most helpful parts of Career Transitions is the resume/cover letter section. Here you will find examples of resumes and cover letters, as well as articles about how to make good ones. There are also videos provided!

To access Career Transitions, or any other database, simply go to the library website. Click on the “Databases” quick link, then scroll down the list of databases until you find Career Transitions. Accessing databases through the library website works much better than trying to Google them.

 

Book Review: “Black Water” by Joyce Carol Oates

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There’s a Joyce Carol Oates short story called “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” that scared the daylights out of me when I was a teenager. There’s something about the story’s villain, Arnold Friend, that gave me the creeps; he’s meant to be a metaphor for death and loss of innocence, but he’s something more than that. He’s the terrifying sense that your life, your personal likes and dislikes, and everything that makes you you has all been done before, and what’s more, isn’t that special at all.

That sense of dread is present in a different way in Oates’s novella Black Water. The story’s protagonist, Kelly, is a young woman who is trying to sort through conflict with her parents, political ideals and disappointments, and confusing romantic entanglements. Her youth is a big part of who she is, and yet a car crash is threatening to take away everything from her (much like Arnold Friend wants to take Connie away from her family in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”).

I didn’t realize this until after reading the book, but Black Water is based on the real-life Chappaquiddick incident. If you’re familiar with this historical event, then this book will come as no surprise to you; if you’d rather go in without knowing anything about it, then don’t read the review part below.

Mild spoilers ahead.

 

What Black Water gets right:  Black Water focuses on Kelly, a young woman whose life is endangered by the Senator’s reckless, drunken driving. Historically, the focus was put on the Senator (Ted Kennedy), so Black Water‘s point-of-view is a welcome, if not very sad to read, change. This book also introduced me to a tragic event that had historic consequences, so it can be educational to those of us who were born after the Chappaquiddick incident or who don’t know much about the Kennedy family.

What Black Water does wrong: Sometimes the stream-of-consciousness style makes it difficult to read. Oates randomly leaves off commas and punctuation. For the most part it didn’t bother me too much, but it did take me out of the story a few times.

Who should read Black Water: Readers who enjoy hard-hitting, emotionally-wrenching books based on history.

Who shouldn’t read Black Water: Readers who love the Kennedy family. (Black Water makes the Senator, who is based on Ted Kennedy, look very bad; although to be fair, what Ted Kennedy did in real life was absolutely inexcusable, so it’s not hard at all to paint him as a bad guy when it comes to this particular event). Readers who want something light to read; this book is heavy and sad.

 

Black Water is available at the library. For more information about the Chappaquiddick incident, check out this DVD which is also available.

Content note: language, brief sexual scenes.

 

 

 

Top 5 Beach Reads For Spring Break

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With spring break comes much-needed time away from school and (hopefully) some beautiful weather! If you find yourself with some free time this spring break, you may want to pick back up the tried-and-true habit of “reading for fun.” We’ve compiled a list of the best “beach read” books in the library so that you can read by the water this break (or travel to fun places through the world of literacy, even if you’re still in your dorm)!

 

Out Of Africa by Isak Dineson

Author Isak Dinesen, whose real name is Karen Blixen, tells her story of the 17 years she ran a coffee farm in Kenya, Africa. This book is a well-written classic that will take you to new places.

 

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

From the author of the bestseller The Girl On The Train, Into The Water is a tale of suspense and mystery. When two people turn up dead in the local river, who will discover their stories?

 

The Paris Wife by Paul McLain

What would it be like to be married to a struggling author in a new city? Historical fiction fans may enjoy this novel’s fictionalized look at the life of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, with a focus on their time in Paris.

 

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin Craig

On a remote island estate, Annaleigh Thaumas, the sixth-born of twelve sisters, enlists the aid of an alluring stranger to unravel the family curse before it claims her life. This retelling of a Grimm Brothers tale is hauntingly interesting.

 

Collected Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Dive into the world of magical realism with Marquez’s unique storytelling. These short stories will keep you interested without taking up all of your vacation time.

Book Review: “I Wear The Black Hat” by Chuck Klosterman

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Have you ever thought about why we enjoy watching a good villain onscreen? Or why some people enjoy bands or public figures who go against social norms?

In I Wear The Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real or Imagined), journalist Chuck Klosterman examines the concept of villainy and what makes us so interested in villains. According to Klosterman:

The villain is the person who knows the most but cares the least.

Following this definition of a villain, the book continues to look at examples from both real life and pop culture of villains and how the general public reacts to them. It’s written in the format of loosely connected essays.

Mild spoilers ahead.

What I Wear The Black Hat gets right: The quest to understand and analyze human nature is enjoyable to read about. Klosterman obviously did a lot of research (and watched a lot of movies and read a lot of books) to put together these ideas. His tone is often funny, but sometimes he dives into more serious musings that will quickly make you somber.

My favorite essay by far was about Batman and Bernhard Goetz. I would love to see an updated version that includes the movie Joker, as it deals with the same themes of controversial vigilantism.

What I Wear The Black Hat does wrong: There are moments where Klosterman goes off on rabbit trails. He has hilarious examples to prove his points, but sometimes he goes a little too far and forgets what he was originally writing about.

A personal (and completely arbitrary) reason that I disliked parts of the book: Klosterman admits to hating R.E.M. in 1988. As someone who literally still runs an R.E.M. lyrics Twitter account that I started years ago for no particular reason, hating R.E.M. is just unacceptable to me. At least he admits to learning to love R.E.M. and even claiming them as one of his favorite bands now, but still. How could you start off hating them?

Who should read I Wear The Black Hat: People who love a good, complex villain in fiction (and people who don’t understand why anyone would love a villain). Readers who enjoy philosophy, pop culture, history, music, and current events.

Who shouldn’t read I Wear The Black Hat: If you’re not interested in nonfiction essays, don’t pick this one up.

 

I Wear The Black Hat is currently available at the library.

Content note: Acts of villainy are described (including real-life, violent crimes).

Reading List: Science Fiction

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Space, experiments, artificial intelligence, aliens, genetics: science fiction is a fascinating genre where almost anything can happen. We have both science fiction classics (like Jurassic Park) and new science fiction (like The Martian) available at the library. Skim through this list to find your next sci-fi read!

*book descriptions are from the library website and/or the publishers

 

2001, A Space Odyssey by Arthur Clarke

This allegory about humanity’s exploration of the universe and the universe’s reaction to humanity was the basis for director Stanley Kubrick’s immortal film, and lives on as a landmark achievement in storytelling.

 

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Through journal entries, sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

 

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

For twelve thousand years, the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years.

 

Contact by Carl Sagan

Astrophysicist Rebecca Blake deciphers long-awaited signals from space, persuades world leaders to construct a machine that many consider a Trojan Horse, and journeys into space for an epochal encounter.

 

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Timeline by Michael Crichton

A Yale history professor travels back in time to 15th century France and gets stuck, unable to return to the present. His colleagues organize a rescue and upon landing in France become involved in the Hundred Years War.

 

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South.

 

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin

Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.

 

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Charlie, realizing his intelligence is not what it should be, ponders over the possibility of an operation, similar to one making a mouse into a genius.

 

Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien

In a future world baked dry by the sun and divided into those who live inside the wall and those who live outside it, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone is forced into a difficult choice when her parents are arrested and taken into the city.

 

To find more science fiction books and movies, explore the “science fiction” subject through our library catalog.

Top 5 Books To Read On A Rainy Day

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In 2018, Jackson had the wettest year on record with a whopping 77 inches of rainfall. With all of the rain that we so often experience here, it’s nice to curl up inside with a good book and look out at the weather from a dry distance. Here are 5 cozy books that you can get lost in on a rainy day.

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

 

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

 

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

Like the blues- sweet, sad, and full of truth- this masterful work of fiction rocks us with powerful emotions. In it are anger and pain, but above all, love: the affirmative love of a woman for her man, the sustaining love of the black family.

 

Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

Caught up in the danger at an inn of evil repute, Mary must survive murder, mystery, storms, and smugglers before she can build a life with Jem.

 

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

In the first book of C.S. Lewis’s legendary science fiction trilogy, Dr. Ransom is kidnapped and spirited by spaceship to the mysterious red planet of Malandra. He escapes and goes on the run, jeopardizing both his chances of ever returning to Earth and his very life.

 

 

 

How To Book The Online Interview Studio

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We are excited to host the Vocatio Center’s Online Interview Studio here in the Logos building. This studio provides students with video-conference software and an aesthetic backdrop for their online interviews.

 

There are two ways that a Union student can book the Online Interview Studio:

Book online.

  1. Go to interview.vocatiocenter.com.
  2. Select the date and time for your interview. Bookings need to be made at least 24 hours in advance of your interview time.
  3. Click “Submit Times.”
  4. Fill out the online form with your student information.
  5. Click “Submit Booking.”
  6. When it’s time for your interview, arrive early at the library. Go to the Circulation Desk and check out the studio’s key and remotes using your student ID.
  7. Head to room 112 and get set up! There are instructions inside the studio.
  8. When the interview is over, please return the keys and remotes to the Circulation Desk.

 

Book at the Circulation Desk.

  1. Walk up to the Circulation Desk and ask to book the Online Interview Studio.
  2. Provide your name and email to the library employees so that they can make your booking.
  3. When it’s time for your interview, arrive early at the library. Go to the Circulation Desk and check out the studio’s key and remotes using your student ID.
  4. Head to room 112 and get set up! There are instructions inside the studio.
  5. When the interview is over, please return the keys and remotes to the Circulation Desk.

 

 

5 Tips For Proofreading

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A majority of our time in college is spent writing. We write essays, responses, critiques, and many other forms of writing throughout a given semester. With all of this writing, sometimes an important step can be left out: proofreading. So in the spirit of National Proofreading Day (March 8th), here are some tips for proofreading.

 

  1. Take A Break: After you have finished writing a draft of a paper, take a break. Leave the assignment, and if possible, give yourself around 24 hours to think about the topic you’re writing about. This method is most helpful for longer papers but requires you to get started early. If you have spent hours writing, you will lose some objectivity while looking over the paper. You will be too familiar with it and this will make finding mistakes more difficult. So get started early and allow yourself time to think about the paper before returning to proofread it.

  2. Read It Out Loud: Another great way of finding mistakes in your writing is to read it out loud. Sometimes when typing, we think something sounds correct in our heads. However, many times when we read our writing out loud we can see where an argument or sentence doesn’t make sense. This is a great way to see if your sentences are run-ons, if you repeat yourself too much, and if the paragraph or page flows well.

  3. Pay Attention To Wordiness: We all have word counts we need to meet with every paper, but many times better writing is concise writing. Sentences with too many words can be difficult to read, and you can lose your audience’s attention. Instead of adding extra words to try to finish the paper, take the time and energy to carefully choose your words. This will make your paper stronger and can lead to a better grade.

  4. Write Actively: Verbs drive language. When proofreading, look for how many times you use a “to be” verb, such as “is,” “are,” and “were.” These passive verbs make sentences weaker and can bring down an entire paper. Try to reorder the sentence so that you can remove the linking passive verbs and insert stronger, more powerful ones. To check, press “ctrl” and “f” on your keyboard and then search for those words. It may shock you to see how many times you use passive voice.

  5. Ask Someone Else To Read Your Paper: One of the best ways to proofread is to allow someone else to do it for you! Finding other students in a specific class and exchanging papers can be a great way to find mistakes in each other’s writing and make new friends! Have you ever lost something, spent minutes looking for it, and then someone else comes in the room and finds it almost immediately? As frustrating as that can be, writing is the same way. Sometimes one glance from someone who is not familiar with the writing can be all you need to improve your paper.

 

Writing is a challenge and after completing a difficult assignment, proofreading may seem like a useless check. However, if you dedicate yourself to editing and rereading your paper, you will see an improvement in your writing, and perhaps also in your grades.

*written by Brennan Kress