Reading List: Summer

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There’s something special about reading in the summer. Maybe it’s because you finally have more time to read because of summer break, or because the evening weather invites you to read outside. Either way, summer reading lists are popular among schools and libraries across the country.

After looking over reading lists for the Jackson Madison County school system and several local private schools, I’ve compiled a list of classic library books that are often used for summer reading. Whether you need to read for school or not, you can read these books along with students in our area this summer.

*Book descriptions are provided by the publishers, c/o the library catalog. Click the link to see where each book is located in the library and to check availability. If you are not a Union student or employee, your Union library access may be limited; please refer to our guest policies or visit your local public library if needed. The Union library does not provide a summer reading program for children or current summer reading lists for local schools; these are merely a compilation of books that have often been used for “summer reading” in general for those interested in reading along or catching up on classics that they missed.

 

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

The co-author relates how he was held under plantation-style slavery until he fled in the 1960s and suffered homelessness for an additional eighteen years before the wife of the other co-author, an art dealer accustomed to privilege, intervened.

 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

On Long Island in the early 1920s the mysterious Jay Gatsby tries to rekindle his romance with Daisy, a young woman who has married another man, the wealthy and cruel Tom Buchanan.

 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school.

 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In a future totalitarian state where books are banned and destroyed by the government, Guy Montag, a fireman in charge of burning books, meets a revolutionary schoolteacher who dares to read and a girl who tells him of a past when people did not live in fear.

 

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

The Darling children begin the adventure of a lifetime when Peter Pan flies into their window one night.

 

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.

 

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard. Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent. When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Read our review here.

 

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parent’s death and their quest for identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society.

 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

3 Places Where You Can View Local Art

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While people may assume that you have to live in a big city to have access to good art, that simply isn’t true. There are plenty of places here in West Tennessee alone that have fantastic work to offer. Here are three places in the West Tennessee area where you can get your art fix (and maybe take home some of your own).

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Companion Gallery
Based in Humboldt, the Companion Gallery is a high quality ceramic gallery, store, and studio. With a variety of works from many different creators nationwide, it’s an incredible view into the world of ceramic art. There’s no fee to enter the gallery space, and most, if not all, of the works are for sale. Throughout the year, they will host special showings and gallery openings spotlighting a specific artist, technique or theme. In addition, you can get in on the action as well. They offer pottery lessons at a variety of levels, so even if you haven’t touched clay once in your life, you’ll be in good hands.
Mon-Sat 11am-6pm
3600 East Mitchell Street (Hwy 152), Humboldt, TN 38343

Belz Museum
In the heart of Memphis within the Peabody Place there is a museum with absolutely jaw-dropping contents. The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, founded in 1998, is unofficially dubbed the “jade museum” for good reason. Giant, intricately-carved statues made of jade and ivory are displayed alongside Qing dynasty vases and gigantic tapestries. In the Judaic art section, Holocaust memorials and Jewish contemporary artwork reside.
Tues-Fri 10am-5:30pm
Sat-Sun  12pm-5pm
119 South Main Street, Concourse Level
Memphis, TN 38103

West Tennessee Regional Art Center
Residing on Humboldt’s Main Street in the refurbished city hall building, the West Tennessee Regional Art Center boasts an impressive variety of work. The center contains everything from colonial American portraits, Southern folk art, traditional African sculpture, and everything in between.  They pride themselves on being the only fine arts museum between Memphis and Nashville, and they host a number of exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
1200 Main Street, Humboldt, TN 38343

Spotlight On “Volunteer Voices”

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Are you interested in learning about Tennessee history? The Volunteer Voices project is a collection of documents, artifacts, photos, and other facets of local culture. The library provides access to Volunteer Voices as a database in our Databases, E-Books, and Media tab. You can also access Volunteer Voices via the Tennessee Secretary of State website.

So, what can you read about in Volunteer Voices? The project has many broad topics to choose from, including the following [click the links to access Volunteer Voices]:

Broad Topics
African-Americans
Architecture
Arts and Literature
Children and Childhood
Civil and Human Rights
Education
Family Life and Gender Relations
Farming and Agriculture
Frontier Settlement and Migration
Government and Politics
Health and Medicine
Immigrants and Immigration
Law and Legal Documents
Music and Performing Arts
Native Americans
Nature and the Environment
Popular Culture and Folklife
Religion
Science and Technology
Social Reform
Sports and Recreation
Trade, Business and Industry
Transportation and Internal Improvements
Wars and Military
Women

You can also choose to search the collection for specific terms, or you can simply browse the collection and see what the project has to offer. You’ll find documents like personal letters, campaign advertisements, pamphlets, photographs, and more. The collection allows you to narrow your search down by choosing subjects, genres, and the historical era of your topic.

The next time you’re searching for Tennessee history, head to Volunteer Voices and get started. You can also tour our library’s online archives, search our catalog here, visit the Tennesee Room at the Jackson Madison County Library, or visit the Madison County Archives.

 

 

How To Find Books By Union Authors

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Did you know that many Union faculty and staff members are also published authors? The library has a sizeable collection of books that were written or edited by Union authors. There are 4 major ways that you can see these books:

  1. We have a “Union Authors” list online! Just click the link to view the list. You can also find this list by using the drop down menu that says “Find Materials” on the library’s home page.
  2. If you know the author or the title of the book by name, you can search for them via our library website. The website will tell you the book’s location in the library and its availability status.
  3. If you just want to browse the collection, you can walk around the book stacks and find Union Authors by noticing books with “Union Authors” stickers. These stickers are red and attached to the spine of the books. Hint: a large amount of books by Union Authors are in our theology section.
  4. One final way to see books by Union Authors is by viewing the “Union Book Project” via www.uu.edu. You can search for specific authors or by year to see the books that were released in a particular time period. It’s a great resource!

 

Pick up a book by your favorite professor today! Chances are it’s on our shelves.

How to Celebrate International Frugal Fun Day in Jackson

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Did you know that the first Saturday in October has been declared International Frugal Fun Day? Well, what are you waiting for? Take a study break and go have some fun on a college student’s budget! Of course, we all have different ideas of what “fun” is. Here are a variety of suggestions from across the spectrum:

  • Goodwill shopping trip. This holiday must have been designed with the Jackson Goodwill in mind, because the store offers 50% off of everything every first Saturday. It’s the perfect day to grab some cozy sweaters for this, um, autumnal weather we’ve been having.
  • UT Gardens Jackson at the West Tennessee Ag Research Center. For fans of plants or fun recycled sculpture art, the Ag Research Center (on the way to downtown Jackson) has a botanical garden with a wide array of specimens (including carnivorous plants!), a gazebo, and, last time I checked, a huge sculpture made of flattened glass bottles. Learn about gardening and local plant life, or just bring a picnic! Visitors are welcome during the daytime.
  • Cookout. This one’s self-explanatory. In the world of fast food, Cookout is the college student’s friend. They make this abundantly clear by having pictures of Union’s campus on their wall. Seriously. Go get a lot of food for $5. Split it with a friend if you’re feeling especially frugal.
  • Spend time at an art gallery. For this one, you don’t even need to leave campus. If you’ve never stopped in to the gallery next to the wellness center in the PAC, give it a try. There’s a new exhibit by a talented illustrator. Go in, stroll around in silence. Give yourself time to be present and attentive. It might not be your idea of “fun,” but how do you know if you’ve never done it? Besides, it’s absolutely free.
  • Take a hike in the Union Woods. All you have to do is cross the street. Bring some friends, an eno, and a good book. Wait, that’s not a hike, that’s a nap. Well, we all have our own way of enjoying nature.
  • Visit Third Eye Curiosities. Go downtown to Jackson’s only record store for discount vinyl and other fun thrift finds.
  • Walk through the Farmer’s Market. Amish donuts are only $3 at the Farmer’s Market, and other homegrown foods are also pretty inexpensive. If you don’t want to buy anything, you can just walk around and enjoy seeing everyone!
  • Play frisbee at Liberty Gardens. It’s close to campus and completely free to visit. You can walk on the freshly repaved walking track or play frisbee in the large grassy area.

 

Whatever you find to do this weekend, have fun- and save some money!

 

*written by Danielle Chalker & Olivia Chin

Recap of Anniversary Week

We had a great week of celebrating the Logos building’s first anniversary! Enjoy the photos of our activities below.

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