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


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.

Reading List: Banned Books Week

pex banned books

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


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.



Reading List: Personal Finance

pex finance

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.






Book Review: “Where The Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

where the crawdads

Is there any book within the last 3 years that has spent as much time on the NY Times bestseller list as Where The Crawdads Sing? Every time I’ve checked the list recently, Where The Crawdads sing is high up on it, even though it was published 2 years ago in 2018. A book this popular and beloved definitely piques the interest, so now I have finally taken the time to read and review it.

Where The Crawdads Sing is the story of Kya, a woman who has survived alone for most of her life in the North Carolina marsh.

Before you read further: I did not like this book, but I am in the minority of readers here. All of my library coworkers who read this book loved it.

Mild spoilers ahead.


What Where The Crawdads Sing gets right: This is a book about a central character, Kya, and her growth and development as a lonely, intelligent, nature-loving woman. After years of abuse and neglect from her family, Kya learns how to survive alone in the marsh without much help or compassion from the nearby townspeople. She is a sympathetic character that just makes you wonder: what were all of the adults doing in this town, letting a child fend for herself in the wilderness? Why didn’t anyone try harder to help? She does have some help from Jumpin’ and his wife, but I understand that their help had to be limited as they faced discrimination and racism. So where were the other people, who had nothing to worry about by helping an impoverished, abandoned child?

What Where The Crawdads Sing gets wrong: I hated the grammar and writing style in this book. There are tons of sentences that are technically run-ons; most of them are like this:

Pa’s overalls were so heavy wet she couldn’t wring them out with her tiny hands, and couldn’t reach the line to hang them, so draped them sopping over the palmetto fronds at the edge of the woods.


By late afternoon she was very hungry, so went back to the shack.


It should be “so she draped them” and “so she went back to the shack.” Otherwise it’s a run-on that’s confusing to read. There’s also a sentence that refers to the Andrews family as the “Andrewses.” It made me physically cringe. Delia Owens continues with this kind of writing throughout the book, and honestly it drove me crazy. I understand that maybe she was trying to make her writing voice similar to that of Kya, but it just didn’t click.

Here is a great review that doesn’t address the grammar but does point out some contextual flaws with the book.

And one last thing: the romances, if you can call them that, fell very, very flat. The men that Kya gets involved with treat her terribly. I would have loved to see Kya developing other relationships- like friendships- instead of these toxic ones.

Who should read  Where The Crawdads Sing: Readers who enjoy historical fiction and nature writing, and who can overlook the inconsistent writing and dialogue.

Who shouldn’t Where The Crawdads Sing: Readers who want believable dialogue and character development. Readers who are also editors and will be itching to edit this book (that’s me).


Where The Crawdads Sing is available in the Recreational Reading section of the library.

Content note: language, brief suggestive scenes, racism and sexism that was typical of the sixties

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



Top 5 Books About Leadership

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Great leaders aren’t born ready to lead- they learn both from their own experiences and those of other leaders. These 5 leadership books can help you learn about your leadership style, how to manage a team at work, diversity in leadership, and finding motivation. We have several other leadership books available; just search for the term “leadership” in our catalog.

*book descriptions provided by the publisher, c/o the library website


Boundaries For Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud

In Boundaries for Leaders, clinical psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud leverages his expertise of human behavior, neuroscience, and business leadership to explain how the best leaders set boundaries within their organizations- with their teams and with themselves- to improve performance and increase employee and customer satisfaction. In a voice that is motivating and inspiring, Dr. Cloud offers practical advice on how to manage teams, coach direct reports, and instill an organization with strong values and culture.


Leadership is an Art by Max De Pree

Provides advice on the “art” of leadership by the CEO of one of Fortune magazine’s ten best managed companies. Read Olivia Chin’s review here.


Diversity and Leadership by Jean Lau Chin & Joseph E. Trimble

Although leadership theories have evolved to reflect changing social contexts, they remain silent on issues of equity, diversity, and social justice. Diversity and Leadership offers a new paradigm for examining leadership by bringing together two domains–research on leadership and research on diversity–to challenge existing notions of leadership and move toward a diverse and global view of society and its institutions. This compelling book delivers an approach to leadership that is inclusive, promotes access for diverse leaders, and addresses barriers that narrowly confine our perceptions and expectations of leaders. Redefining leadership as global and diverse, the authors impart new understanding of who our leaders are, the process of communication, exchange between leaders and their members, criteria for selecting, training, and evaluating leaders in the 21st century, and the organizational and societal contexts in which leadership is exercised.


How To Be A Positive Leader: Small Actions, Big Impact by Jane E. Dutton & Gretchen M. Spreitzer

This is a book about how to lead people and organizations in ways that unlock their greatness. It offers a potent assembly of ideas about how small actions leaders take can make a difference in changing the trajectory of individuals and organizations, moving them more rapidly and effectively toward being their best. The book is built on a foundation of cutting-edge research and transformational insights from the field of positive organizational scholarship.


HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Leadership by Harvard Business Review

Go from being a good manager to being an extraordinary leader. If you read nothing else on leadership, read these 10 articles. We’ve combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles on leadership and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your own and your organization’s performance. This book will inspire you to: motivate others to excel; build your team’s self-confidence; provoke positive change; set direction; encourage smart risk-taking; manage with tough empathy; credit others for your success; increase self-awareness; draw strength from adversity.




How To Check Out A Library Book

how to check out a book

So you’re ready to check out a library book- here’s how to do that:

1. Locate the book that you need. You can do this by looking up the book by using our online catalog and then finding the book by its call number on our shelves- click this link for more help with that, or go to the Circulation Desk for in-person help.

2. Take the book down to the first floor.

3. Option 1: use the self-check machine, located near the North doors, to check out the book. You will need your student ID for this option. Follow the prompts on the screen to check out the book.

Option 2: take the book to the Circulation Desk and ask the library employee for help checking it out. The library employee will then either scan your ID or ask for your name to look up your account, and then they will check it out to you.

4. Look for a due date receipt in your email- these receipts are automatically sent from our system and will remind you when your book is due back.

5. Eventually, you will need to return your book by its due date- check out this blog post for more information about how to return your library items!


*you can use this same process to check out DVDs and audiobooks as well!

Book Review: “Iliad” by Homer

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Confession: somehow I made it through high school and college without ever being taught the Iliad. Yet I had to read the Odyssey twice . . . and Odysseus is my least favorite protagonist in all of fiction. So when I finally picked up the Iliad, my first reaction was: I could have been reading about Achilles instead this whole time?!

Of course, the Iliad is about far more characters than the unmatched warrior Achilles. There’s Agamemnon, the de facto, arrogant leader of the Greeks (who are really more of a collection of tribes and people groups, each with their own leader). There’s also Hector, the family man and war hero of the Trojans. There’s Helen, the beautiful queen and unfortunate pawn in forces beyond her control. And, of course, there’s Odysseus and his devious plans, not to mention the countless gods and goddesses who are interfering throughout the story (Hera, Athena, Ares, Apollo, and Aphrodite, to name a few). The Iliad is about the war between the Greeks and Trojans, but each warrior and their history is explored, making the Iliad more like a loose collection of related stories, family lineages, battle tales, and poetry.

Prior to reading the Iliad, I had heard many of its famous stories before; I had read Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, which is a fantastic new take on the relationship and struggles of Achilles and Patroclus; and I had watched the not-so-great blockbuster Troy. Needless to say, the Iliad is very different than these newer sources, but I was excited to finally read the original story.

Note: the version of the Iliad I am reviewing is The Iliad of Homer, translated by Richard Lattimore. This translation has Achilles as “Achilleus” and Aeneas as “Aineias,” among other different spellings, but I am using the more popular spellings for this review to avoid confusion.

Mild spoilers ahead.


What the Iliad gets right: The Iliad is split into books, which are like chapters. This helps break up the narrative into sizable chunks as different characters take center stage.

Personally, my favorite theme in the Iliad isn’t the bloodshed, Zeus being random, or even how sympathetic Hector is. My favorite theme is simply how petty Achilles is. The instant Agamemnon does something rude, Achilles just stops fighting. He knows he’s the best fighter, so he confronts Agamemnon, tells him that he’s done, and then just chills in the camp until he gets his way. It is hilarious, dramatic, and actually kind of relatable? I could see something like this happening in the modern workplace.

I also loved watching Aeneas pop up in the Iliad. I read the Aeneid in college, so I was introduced to Aeneas as Virgil’s brave, war-torn epic hero. But Aeneas is a totally different kind of person in the Iliad. He’s still brave, but he’s constantly being defeated in battle and having to be saved by the gods. He’s younger in the Iliad and inexperienced. I would encourage readers to take on the Aeneid after reading the Iliad, to see the aftermath of the Trojan war from the Trojan perspective and the creation of Roman myths.

What the Iliad gets wrong: The Iliad is a product of its time, so most of the women characters are treated as objects, prizes, and/or slaves. There are not many women characters mentioned at all, so it’s especially disappointing when the ones who finally come into focus are mistreated.

Who should read the Iliad: Okay, I understand that the Odyssey is much easier to teach in school because it’s a more linear story. But the Iliad has all of these cool characters, cultures, and battles- I think it should be taught more, even if teachers just pick a book or two to teach on.

Readers who want to learn the classics, and readers who are interested in heroes and battles will enjoy the Iliad.

Who shouldn’t read the Iliad: Readers who aren’t interested in the classics or epic poetry.


The Iliad is available in several translations here at the library.

Content note: violence, sexism

Most book reviews on this blog are written by Olivia Chin and reflect her personal opinions of the books, not the library’s view as a whole.