Featured Book: “Getting From College To Career” by Lindsay Pollak

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There are 90 pieces of advice in the book Getting From College To Career by Lindsay Pollak. However, the author herself says to scan through her book for advice that relates the most to your specific situation- you don’t have to read the entire book, although that might help! Essentially, this book is for helping college students to launch their careers. Whether you’re a traditional or nontraditional student, a minority or majority ethnicity, etc., there is advice here for you.

My personal favorite lines of wisdom from Getting From College To Career are about taking action:

The worst mistake you can make is not to take any action at all . . . Once I started making some phone calls, meeting some people for lunch, and sending out my resume, I built momentum and began to find opportunities. The minute I took action- any action- things started happening.

Pollak encourages college students to get out there and try new things, since you never know what might lead to a job opportunity. During your time in college, you should take advantage of your professors’ knowledge and their connections to potential employers. The university staff and faculty want to help you succeed, so it doesn’t hurt to ask questions! For Union specifically, the Vocatio Center is a great place to go for resume help, on-campus jobs, and future career prep. As Pollak says, “Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, until you’ve visited your school’s career services office.”

For more advice on what you can be doing to prepare for your next job, check out Getting From College To Career. It’s available in the library in the LB section (click this link to see the call number).

 

Featured eBook: “Ethics In Health Administration”

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Identifying changes in the United States’ health care structures, Ethics In Health Administration by Eileen E. Morrison seeks to educate healthcare professionals on using ethics in the workplace. The library has access to the fourth edition of this manual, which has additional chapters that the previous editions did not.

Ethics In Health Administration talks about generational challenges, the emerging senior service market, insurance issues, and examples of ethical dilemmas. It’s a great resource for decision makers in the healthcare field as well as for new doctors and nurses as they prepare for their roles. Each chapter defines key terms to make the reading easier as well.

You can access Ethics In Health Administration by searching for it on the library website and clicking its eBook link. If you are off campus, you will need to sign in with your Union credentials to view the eBook.

 

Featured Book: “Unexpected Art”

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What would you do if, one day, you saw a giant rubber duck on top of the Bowld? Would you assume that it’s an art project?

The book Unexpected Art shows us beautiful photographs of art installations all over the world. These installations can be surprising and are often a part of the local landscape. The artists want their art to be seen and enjoyed by the people around them, and so they have brought their art to the public space.

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Unexpected Art showcases work by Adel Abdessemed, Amanda Browder, Nick Cave, Myoung Ho Lee, Cornelia Konrads, and many more. You’ll see all kinds of creative pieces, from wallpapered dumpsters to aluminum landscapes to giant rubber duckies. This book is fun to flip through, but you can also read about how each artist made their art and why they made it that way.

You can check out Unexpected Art from the library!

Featured Poetry: “Quiet Fire: A Historical Anthology of Asian American Poetry 1892-1970”

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This anthology is intended to serve as an archival counter-memory, illuminating the gaps in what has been presented as “American poetry” and “American culture.”

Juliana Chang, the editor of Quiet Fire, introduces this poetry anthology with a reminder. Chang wants the readers to know that Asian American poetry has a longer, older tradition than one might have been led to believe. Chang states that Asian American poetry dates back to the 1890s with poets like Sadakichi Hartmann (secretary to Walt Whitman) and Yone Noguchi. The tradition has carried on among Asian American writers- Chang includes poems that date up to 1970.

After the introduction, Quiet Fire includes poems by Moon Kwan, Jose Garcia Villa, Jun Fujita, and many more. Brief biographies of the authors can be found toward the back of the book, as well as the written memories of different Asian American literary movements and poetry scenes.

Not only can you enjoy various poems in Quiet Fire, but you can also learn about a vital part of poetry history in America that was once overlooked. Quiet Fire is available for check out here at the library.

 

Featured Book: “Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise” by Justin Wainscott

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Justin Wainscott, a member of Union’s Board of Trustees and pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson, recently released a new book. Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise is divided into 2 sections: hymns and poems. The hymns section draws heavily from Scripture; Wainscott adds recommendations of familiar tunes for each hymn to be sung to. The poems section focuses on different themes such as God’s grace, dealing with anxiety, and family.

One poem that particularly stands out is “Shared Wonder,” which is about our relationships to art:

The art we most enjoy-

whether stories or sketches,

paintings or poems,

music or movies,

sermons or songs-

is the fruit of private wonder

being made public.

Wainscott goes on to write about the joy of shared wonder, which he concludes is the end result of art.

Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise is a great resource for worship leaders, pastors, and laymen alike. Whether you’re looking for a new hymn to sing or a poem to resonate with, this book is here to help you worship God. You can check out Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise from the library.

Top 5 True Crime Novels

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My favorite book genre, beyond any doubt, is true crime. Don’t worry, I’m not encouraging criminals to keep committing terrible acts that make engrossing stories. The part of true crime I really enjoy is the detective work- how did the police and investigators find the criminals? What details were missed or discovered along the way? How did the family of the wronged person(s) rebuild their lives in the aftermath?

The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker (one of the best books I’ve ever read) talks about how if you have the ability to imagine a crime, it’s already been committed by someone else. It warns you that criminals are not inhuman monsters like we may want to imagine. No, criminals are people just like us, who move and work and breathe beside us. This isn’t meant to scare you (although it is certainly scary)- this just means that we need to figure out why some people commit acts of deviance. What’s the motive? Is this behavior something you are born with, or something you’ve picked up via your environment and upbringing? It’s the classic nature vs. nurture question.

All of these questions are examined and, in some specific cases, halfway answered in quality true crime novels. Reading them, you get to follow along as more evidence comes to light and one more piece of the puzzle is found. The best true crime novels make you a part of the story. The ones listed below are examples:

 

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Crime: Charles Manson & The Manson Family murders

Setting: Late 60s and early 70s California

Why It’s Worth A Read: This book was written by the main prosecutor of Charles Manson and his followers, Vincent Bugliosi. Bugliosi spent countless hours trying to figure out who committed the murders and why they followed Manson’s orders so devotedly; he himself did police work when the police were too busy to take it on. The Manson Family was a cult unlike any that had been seen before, and the motive of the crimes was difficult but entirely necessary for Bugliosi to prove before the judge. Helter Skelter is fast-paced, gruesome, and exciting, especially when Bugliosi goes head-to-head with Manson in the court room.

 

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Crime: Seemingly random murders of the Clutter family

Setting: Kansas, 1959

Why It’s Worth A Read: Some people believe that this book is where the true crime genre originally started. Truman Capote writes with dark precision as he recounts the crime, the history of the criminals involved, and how the small town in Kansas was changed forever. In Cold Blood is also a great example of creative nonfiction; Capote didn’t know every word spoken at the crime scene, but he improvises believable and factually accurate dialogue.

 

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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

Crime: Kidnapping and murders of World’s Fair visitors

Setting: Chicago, 1893

Why It’s Worth A Read: Erik Larson masterfully splits this book into two stories: one is that of Daniel H. Burnham, an architect who designed the 1893 World’s Fair; the other is about Dr. H.H. Holmes, a local pharmacist and serial killer. Both men would change Chicago and make history but in vastly different ways. This book is equal parts history and true crime, so you’ll learn a lot about America’s age of immigration, industrialization practices, and economic depression while following the stories.

 

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Crime: Around 50 serial rapes and murders

Setting: 70s and 80s California

Why It’s Worth A Read: Michelle McNamara wasn’t a police officer or detective: she was a writer who was obsessed with finding a serial killer. Over the years, McNamara gathered information online and on foot about the then unknown man. Unfortunately, McNamara died before her research could be published, so her husband (comedian Patton Oswalt) and friends gathered her extensive work and published it as I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. Spoiler alert: the police arrested the man who is believed to be the Golden State Killer in April 2018, only 2 years after McNamara’s death.

 

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

Crime: Double murder

Setting: Utah, 1984

Why It’s Worth A Read: The criminals in question were fundamentalist Mormons, an extreme religious sect of Mormonism, who believed that a divine order justified their crimes. Jon Krakauer not only describes the ups and downs of this case, but he also records the history of Mormonism in depth. Chances are you’ll learn something new from this excellently researched book.

 

 

Featured Book: “Surprised By Oxford”

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Christians should never underestimate the power of their priesthood among nonbelievers. I was hooked, and drawn deeper into the faith, by the character of various believers and how it spoke of their God: by their humility, humor, compassion, perspective, even priorities. – Carolyn Weber

Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber is a memoir that shares the author’s testimony. Weber arrives at Oxford ready to hit the books but is surprised when she instead begins wrestling with what she believes about the afterlife, the Bible, and theology in general. She also meets a fellow student who intrigues her, but she is wary of dating and Christian men in particular. What follows is a beautifully written tale of discovery, faith, friendship, and a little bit of romance.

If the title of the memoir sounds familiar, you may be thinking of Surprised By Joy, the autobiography of C.S. Lewis. Like Lewis, Weber also struggled with theology before coming to accept Christ as her Savior. And also like Lewis, Weber recorded her story so that others might have hope and believe.

To learn more about Carolyn Weber and her book, you can read her interview with The Gospel Coalition. Surprised By Oxford is available at the library in our main book stacks.

 

 

Featured Book: “Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles”

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If you’ve ever dealt with (or are currently dealing with) OCD, ADHD, depression, Alzheimer’s, and other mental health disorders, you are not alone. That is the overarching message of Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. This book includes essays from various writers about their experiences with personal conflicts. Each essay is from a different author, so the writing style varies, and one author even incorporates free verse to tell her story.

Some of the authors included are as follows:

  • Amber Benson (who portrayed the character Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  • Jessica Burkhart (author of Wild Hearts)
  • Scott Neumyer (a popular journalist)
  • Sara Zarr (author of Story of a Girl).

It can be comforting to read about others who have struggled, gotten help, and learned how to cope. However, some of the stories depicted could be hard to read about for someone who is currently experiencing a similar situation- so be aware of this book’s heavy nature.

Several of Life Inside My Mind‘s lessons can be summed up in this passage from Amber Benson:

As much as your friends love you and want to be there for you, it’s not their job to fix you. Ignoring the problem, or pretending “you’ve got it under control,” will only make things worse. A therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist knows that they’re doing (they went to school for a long time in order to do this), and they know how to help you get back on track . . .

Whether we like it or not, the stress of of being a human being can be overwhelming, and having a safe space to talk about our problems, assess whether our brains are working correctly, make sure there’s nothing chemically out of line . . . well, I think that’s super important. I know I need that safe space in my life if I’m going to be a productive member of society.

Getting help when you need it- whatever that looks like for you- is encouraged by all of the authors in this book. They’ve been there themselves, and many of them are still figuring it all out. Pick up Life Inside My Mind when you need to know that you’re not alone in your struggles.

 

 

Featured Book: “Should I Go To Grad School?”

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The purpose of this book is to provide a broad, unempirical look at how a variety of people in the arts, academia, social sciences, and humanities have personally engaged with the problem of grad school.

Should I Go to Grad School? contains 41 different essays about people’s experiences, grad school statistics, and advice. While the book does not address STEM majors, it does contain wisdom for students in the humanities. Whether you’ve always wanted to go to grad school or are just considering it as an option, there is probably a story in this book that you can relate to.

Many of the authors tell their stories, answering questions like, “How did they get the job they wanted?” and “Why did they choose the grad school option?” There are inspiring stories sprinkled among solely practical ones.

Eben Klemm, a fellow at MIT, gives this advice:

Would my life be more or less complete, would I be better or worse, richer or poorer, doing more or less good if I had gone to grad school? Yes to all of the above. Anything can become a serious, almost academic pursuit if you care to work at it deeply and honestly (or dishonestly) within a community of similar individuals who choose to care about it as much as you do. You just have to find them. The important thing is to be sure of the questions that you are willing to pursue forever, and to determine the best ways and institutions that will allow you to do so. Other people are waiting for you.

Art, English, History, and Sociology majors: pick up this book if you’re thinking about expanding your education. There’s no one right answer for everybody- but out of these 41 different experiences, at least one may be able to help you.

Featured Book: “Everybody Writes”

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Because the written word is so ubiquitous in the social media age, good writing is hard to find and yet more important than ever. It’s easy to lose someone’s attention in all of the noise- but you don’t want to do that when you’re writing for your job! In Everybody Writes, content creator and marketer Ann Handley advises readers on how to make their writing simpler and smarter. Generally, Handley focuses on shorter pieces- articles, Tweets, etc.- but her suggestions can also be applied to other kinds of writing. This book encourages you to approach writing as a work out, something you do each day to make you better at it overall.

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Handley starts out by defining what “content” means and how we can publish better content. She then goes on to provide general writing tips, ideas for better productivity, and how to make a great “lead” in to your story. While the book is divided into 6 parts, it’s short and direct with its message.

For Handley, “show, don’t tell” is a major part of good content:

Good content- and good writing- doesn’t preach or hard sell. Instead, it shows how your product or service lives in the world, explaining in human terms how it adds value to people’s lives, eases troubles, shoulders burdens, and meets needs.

By thinking about your audience and writing for their needs, you can create worthy content for your job, business, or blog.

Everybody Writes is available in the library. If you’d like to check out other books on writing, try these: