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

 

Book Review: “The Giver Of Stars” by Jojo Moyes

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This spring, several members of the library team decided to read and discuss a book together. Our first pick was The Giver Of Stars, a recently released historical fiction book by Jojo Moyes. It’s about a group of women who become “packhorse librarians” in rural 1930s America.

Mild spoilers ahead.

What The Giver Of Stars gets right: Margery, one of the main characters and the leader of the packhorse librarians, is a delight to read about. She’s strong-willed, stubborn, and perfectly at ease even in dangerous situations. She’s also hard-set against marriage, even marrying the man she loves, which makes for an interesting battle of wills.

The Giver Of Stars doesn’t shy away from social issues such as racism, sexism, and anti-intellectualism. The women have to fight these issues almost daily to do their jobs. However, the story of the women who are willing to make a difference is an inspiring one. While the book acknowledges their struggles, they never succumb to them.

What The Giver Of Stars gets wrong: The pacing is a little slow. I wasn’t always sure where the book was going, since it seemed to be meandering around a lot. There are a few moments where you’ll need to suspend your disbelief as well (most people in the 1930s were not as progressive as these ladies by a long shot), but keep in mind that this a fictional account of history told through a modern lens.

There are a few scenes where I think the old art of “show, don’t tell” would have been helpful, too. Readers don’t need a narration to explain how a man feels if he’s violently chopping wood right after a hard conversation. We get it!

Also, did people really love coffee this much in the 1930s? Was it even readily available for rural communities? There’s enough history to determine that coffee was slowly becoming a commodity in the 30s, but I’m a little iffy on how much coffee is beloved in this book. People in the 30s were in the first wave of coffee timeline (Folgers and Maxwell House were founded in the mid-1800s), so I have to wonder at the quality they were getting. First wave coffee was meant to be a helpful, fueling substance, not an all-encompassing need like second wave coffee (Starbucks, Caribou Coffee) set out to develop and capitalize on.

Who should read The Giver Of Stars: Fans of historical fiction, women’s history, nature, libraries, and books.

Who shouldn’t read The Giver Of Stars: Readers looking for something more fast-paced and action-packed. This book is more about developing its setting and characters.

 

The Giver Of Stars is located in the library’s Recreational Reading section.

Content note: A few slightly suggestive scenes, mild violence. One married couple has some trouble with intimacy, and this issue is addressed several times.

Reading List: Children’s Books About Women In History

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Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? The library has many excellent books on this subject; in particular, we’d like to highlight some of our children’s books about women in history. Adults and kids alike will enjoy these beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written stories about women who changed the world.

 

Reading List:

Girls Think Of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions By Women by Catherine Thimmesh

Expanded and revised, this new edition of the best-selling book celebrates the ingenious inventions of women throughout time. As inspiring as they are fascinating, these stories empower readers to imagine, to question, to experiment, and then to go forth and invent!

 

Who Was Sacagawea? by Judith Bloom Fradin

Learn all about the life and times of Sacagawea, the Shoshoni woman who helped explorers Lewis and Clark find their way. This book begins with the story of how Sacagawea came to be depicted on the dollar coin and continues with Sacagawea’s life story.

 

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Follow both the physical and spiritual journey of Harriet Tubman as she escapes slavery and then helps others to find freedom, too. Moses is a great book for learning about antebellum life in the U.S and African American history.

 

I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women The Vote by Linda White

In 1869, a woman whose “can-do” attitude had shaped her life was instrumental in making Wyoming the first state to allow women to vote, then became the first woman to hold public office in the United States. The story of Esther Morris is inspiring and told in a fun way by I Could Do That!

 

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson

Sachiko is the story of a young girl who lived through the bombing of Nagasaki in World War II. While this book is geared more toward middle grade and early high school kids, it’s an emotional, moving look at a tragic event in history.

 

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This version of the bestselling Hidden Figures is perfect for children to understand. You’ll learn all about NASA, space, science, and the African American women mathematicians who greatly contributed to NASA’s programs in spite of Jim Crow laws.

 

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

This striking picture book depicts Rosa Parks’ famous stand for Civil Rights, as well as the events that followed. Illustrator Bryan Collier’s cut-paper images make the story leap off the page for young readers.

 

Amelia And Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan

Two famous women in history in one book? Sign us up! This fictionalized account of the night that Amelia Earhart flew Eleanor Roosevelt over Washington, D.C. is charming and fun.

 

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Meran’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Beautifully illustrated, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies tells the story of Maria Meran and how she figured out the process of metamorphosis. Some of Meran’s own artwork is featured in this book!

 

These books are available for check out in the library’s Family Room!

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “The Breakfast Club”

The 1980s were filled with a plethora of teen dramas and coming-of-age stories.  Those living through the 80s as teenagers or young adults were generally considered Gen X and are often associated with being cliquey, cynical slackers with a sense of rebellion and a lack of adult supervision. Acclaimed writer and director John Hughes would personify these social archetypes in his hit film The Breakfast Club.

The film takes place on a Saturday in a high school’s library, where five students have been sentenced to detention for the day. Each student represents a various clique in school. First we have Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) as a typical upper-class popular girl who comes off as stuck up and cold. Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez) is a star athlete with a short temper. Next comes Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) who, due to his scholastic successes and social awkwardness, has been labeled a nerd.  The next character is that of Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy); Allison is considered a social pariah due to her strange and nihilistic behavior. Lastly, we are introduced to the bad boy of the group, John Bender (Judd Nelson). John is angry at everyone and everything in the world. He lives a rash and anarchistic lifestyle and challenges every social taboo.

The antagonist to this group is the Vice Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason). Principal Vernon is a cruel authoritarian who cannot or refuses to understand or sympathize with the current generations of kids he oversees at the school. He is determined to prove to those unwilling to follow the rules that they will never amount to anything.

As the day progresses, the group goes from being at each other’s throats to slowly coming to realize that each of their problems at school or at home aren’t so different. They leave seeing each other as individuals and wish the world would see them that way too.

The Breakfast Club is easily one of the most identifiable films of the 1980s. It holds its place in the nostalgia of anyone who grew up during that time period and continues to inspire countless teen dramas today. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

The Breakfast Club is available at the Union University Library. Please note: it is Rated R for language.

 

Moments In History: The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

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The vast, snow-capped country of Canada brings many iconic cultural images to mind: the giant bull moose, the rough and rowdy sport of ice hockey.  However, there is no image as iconic as the maple leaf that is represented on the nation’s flag.  The maple tree and its chief produce, maple syrup, is how this strange true story begins.

The origins of this incident lay with the creation of the FPAQ, also known as the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. The FPAQ began to corner the market on maple syrup production in the 1960’s.  Using strict price control and quotas systems, they quickly became Canada’s largest maple syrup producer, generating 94% of Canada’s maple syrup and 77% of the world’s supply. Many have called it a government controlled “Cartel” akin to OPEC or Narco trafficking organizations. The corporation even set up a strategic maple syrup reserve in case of national crisis or shortage. Maple syrup exceeds the price of crude oil per barrel by about 10 times the value. Realizing the value of such a commodity, it was only a matter of time before some greedy thieves would get their hands sticky.

Over the course of several months between 2011 and 2012, Richard Vallieres along with several others broke into to the FPAQ storage facility and stole more the 122,000 barrels of maple syrup (roughly 3,000 tons worth nearly $C19 million dollars).  The gang would siphon out the syrup before refilling the barrel with water. Then they would truck the product to illegal syrup dispensers in the U.S. The gang was caught when they got so lazy as to not fill up the looted barrels with water and an on-site inspection crew started finding the barrels empty. In all, seventeen men were connected with stealing, transporting, and distributing the stolen syrup.  As the accused ringleader, Richard Vallieres was sentenced to nine years in prison and was ordered to pay back millions from his illicit gains. Adjusted for inflation, this heist still remains the largest in Canadian history.  So the next time you’ve got a plate full of flap jacks or a nice Belgian style waffle in front of you, think back to this strange and sweet historical event.
For more information about Canadian history, check out:

Canada: A Modern History

 

 

The Secret History Of Presidential Pets

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When one thinks of pets, the mental image is often that of a dog or cat, or even something like a gerbil. However, what most people don’t know is how many interesting and strange animals have wandered the halls of the White House throughout the years. From exotic animals to bizarre pet names, here are the most showstopping presidential pets.

We know and love George Washington as the first American president, but his affection for animals has largely flown under the radar. He had as many as 17 pets over his terms in office: 8 dogs, 7 horses, a donkey, and a parrot. The most interesting of these are his foxhounds: Sweetlips, Scentwell, and Vulcan; Snipe the parrot, who was owned by Martha Washington; and Royal Gift, the Andalusian donkey who was given as a gift from King Charles III of Spain.

John Adams did not have quite as many pets, but he did have a knack for names. He had three dogs named Satan, Mark, and Juno, as well as two horses named Cleopatra and Caesar.

Unlike many other presidents, John Quincy Adams had no normal pets. He instead kept silkworms, and first lady Louisa Adams spun their silk. There are also stories of an alligator owned by Marquis de Lafayette residing in the White House for two months, but many think that just to be a legend as there are no records to back it up.

While he had other pets, the most notable one of Andrew Jackson’s is his parrot named Polly. This is probably due to the fact that she had an affinity for swearing and had to be removed from his funeral due to this very habit.

Abraham Lincoln also amassed quite a number of pets including a turkey and a pair of goats. His most unfortunate pet, however, was his dog Fido who was “assassinated” by a knife wielding drunk a few months after Lincoln’s own death. This is why Fido is such a quintessential dog name.

The president with the most recorded pets was Theodore Roosevelt. He is known to have had 10 dogs, 2 cats, 5 guinea pigs, 2 ponies, 4 birds, a lizard, a bear, a rat, a badger, a pig, a rabbit, a snake, and a hyena.

In addition to more traditional pets, Woodrow Wilson kept a flock of sheep at the White House. Their job was to trim the lawn “in the most economical way” and their wool was to go to the Red Cross. At its largest, the flock had 48 sheep.

Calvin Coolidge had an affinity for very strange and exotic pets, many of whom had to be sent to zoos at some point. While he had many normal types of pets, he also had ducks, a goose, a bobcat, two raccoons (one was saved from becoming a Thanksgiving dish and the other escaped never to be seen again), 2 lions, a pygmy hippo, a wallaby, an antelope, and a black bear.

Here are the contenders for best/worst pet names, along with the type of animal it belonged to and the president who owned the pet:
  • Sweetlips- American Foxhound- Washington
  • Scentwell- American Foxhound- Washington
  • Vulcan- American Foxhound- Washington
  • Drunkard- coonhound- Washington
  • Royal Gift- donkey- Washington
  • Satan- dog- Adams
  • Grizzle- shepherd dog- Jefferson
  • Billy Button- pony-  Grant
  • Veto- dog- Garfield
  • Mr. Reciprocity- opossum- Harrison
  • Mr. Protection- opossum- Harrison
  • Washington Post- parrot- McKinley
  • Admiral Dewey- guinea pig- T. Roosevelt
  • Fighting Bob Evans- guinea pig- T. Roosevelt
  • Bill the Lizard- lizard- T. Roosevelt
  • Emily Spinach- garter snake- T. Roosevelt
  • Mooly Wooly- cow- Taft
  • Calamity Jane- Shetland sheepdog- Coolidge
  • Boston Beans- Boston bulldog- Coolidge
  • Nip and Tuck- canaries- Coolidge
  • Do-Funny- songbird- Coolidge
  • Tax Reduction- tiger- Coolidge
  • Budget Bureau- tiger- Coolidge
  • Eaglehurst Gillette- setter- Hoover
  • Billy Possum- opossum- Hoover
  • President- Great Dane- F. Roosevelt
  • Him and Her- beagles- Johnson
  • King Timahoe- Irish setter- Nixon
  • Grits- border collie- Carter
  • Misty Malarky Ying Yang- Siamese cat- Carter
  • Little Man- horse- Reagan

How To Contact The Library

Contact us!

 

If you have a question about finding books, articles, or DVDs, then you’ve come to the right place! We are happy to help you on your academic journey here at the library. But how can you ask us questions? There are several easy ways to contact us!

 

Face-to-face

Visit the Circulation Desk or the Research Desk on the first floor. Our library staff and student assistants will be happy to assist you!

 

Text

We have a new texting service! Text us at 731.201.4898 with your library-related questions.

 

Chat

There is a chatbox on the home page of our library website. You can use this service to ask us quick questions.

 

Call

The main library number is 731.661.5070.

 

Email

While each of the library staff have their own personal emails, you can also email the library in general at library@uu.edu.

 

Social Media

We are active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and this blog (WordPress). Follow us for library news and updates!

 

However you choose to contact us, we are glad to help you!