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.

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!

Reading List: Valentine’s Day

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This Valentine’s Day, pick up a book with a little romance! The 10 books listed below are either about relationships or feature them in a memorable way.

 

Persuasion by Jane Austen

What happens when two people with a history meet once again, years later? Jane Austen’s characters come to life in this brief tale of romance and personal growth.

 

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simpson

Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?

 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Two misfits. One extraordinary love. Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds: smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is not just about children and teenagers fighting for their lives. It’s also about learning how to love someone, even if you’ve been stuck in survival mode for a long time.

 

Where The River Ends by Charles Martin

He was a fishing guide and struggling artist from a south George trailer park. She was the beautiful only child of South Carolina’s most powerful senator. Yet once Doss Michaels and Abigail Grace Coleman met by accident, they each felt they’d found their true soul mate.

 

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Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance by Julianne Donaldson

When Marianne receives an invitation to spend the summer with her twin sister in Edenbrooke, she has no idea of the romance and adventure that await her once she meets the dashing Sir Philip.

 

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.

 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

This one’s a wild and tempestuous romance, but the classic Wuthering Heights has fascinated readers for years. At its center are Catherine and Heathcliff, and the self-contained world of Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange, and the wild Yorkshire moors that the characters inhabit.

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

The book in the famous series in which Harry, Hermione, and Ron are suddenly teenagers who are trying to figure out dating- as well as where Voldemort’s Horcruxes are.

 

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Henry

The love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife, Helen Joy Davidman Gresham, was improbable and seemingly impossible. Their Eros-story led to some of Lewis’s greatest works, yet Joy is most commonly known for how she died. Becoming Mrs. Lewis allows us to see how this brilliant and passionate woman lived.

Reading List: Fun Books For Light Reading

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We get asked a lot about “fun” and “light” books to read. Maybe they have a playful plot, a beautiful setting, or a funny protagonist. These are the kinds of books that are perfect for a study break! We’ve compiled a list below of some fun books that will put a smile on your face (and give your brain a break, too). Click the links to see where each book is located in the library.

 

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

It’s the story of Cinderella, but with a twist: Ella is actually under a curse that she’s trying to break. Ella Enchanted is funny, romantic, and smart.

 

Wildwood by Colin Melloy

When her baby brother is kidnapped by crows, seventh-grader Prue McKeel ventures into the forbidden Impassable Wilderness (a dangerous and magical forest at the edge of Portland, Oregon) and soon finds herself involved in a war among the various inhabitants.

 

Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes is an entertaining read about a boy who is sent to a correctional camp with a mysterious history. If you liked the movie, then you’ll love the book- it has the same sense of humor and mischief!

 

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

You can’t go wrong with the classic story of the practically-perfect-in-every-way Mary Poppins. Pair the short novel with the original movie and the reboot: we have them all here at the library!

 

Greater Than Gold by David Boudia

Learn all about the inspiring story of Olympic athlete David Boudia in his book Greater Than Gold. Boudia talks about how his faith in God changed his life.

 

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

If you enjoy romantic comedies, then you should pick up To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This Young Adult book details the mishaps of teenager Lara Jean, whose secret love letters somehow get mailed to all of her crushes from throughout the years.

 

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.

 

Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe

One of my all-time favorite middle-grade books, Bunnicula is the story of a rabbit that just might be a vampire and the other pets of the family who are trying to solve this mystery. Oh, and it’s absolutely hilarious.

 

Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

Author Jonah Lehrer believes that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few- it’s something that everyone can use and develop. There’s a lot to learn from this creative nonfiction book!

 

How To Be A Good Creature by Sy Montgomery

A naturalist and adventurer discusses the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals who have profoundly affected her, exploring themes of learning to become empathetic, creating families, coping with loss, and the otherness and sameness of people and animals.

 

Top 5 Booker Prize Winners At The Library

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The Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded annually to the best original novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom. The library has several Booker Prize winners that are available to you, which are listed below. For a full list of the Booker Prize winners (from 1969 to present), click here.

 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (2019)

The Testaments was just recently awarded the Booker Prize for this year. The long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale has been a bestselling favorite since it was published in September. The Testaments takes the reader back to the horrors of Gilead with three different narrators.

*If you’d like to read The Testaments, I’d suggest asking a librarian to put a hold on it for you, so that you will be the first person in line to get it once it is returned. It’s been constantly checked out since we first got it for the library!

 

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2002)

This is the unusual story of zookeeper’s son Pi Patel, a tiger, and their struggles for survival after a boat accident. Life of Pi was also turned into a popular movie in 2013, which is available here at the library.

 

Last Orders by Graham Swift (1996)

In England, three working-class veterans drive their friend’s ashes to the sea, learning about each other’s lives along the way. This book has been on my reading wish list for awhile- I’ll get to it some day!

 

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

After reading Never Let Me Go by the same author, I’ve been eager to read his famous book The Remains of The Day. Stevens, a quintessential English butler, narrates his life and career throughout WWII.

 

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)

From the publisher: “A classic novel, in which the man who calls himself the “bomb of Bombay” chronicles the story of a child and a nation that both came into existence in 1947-and examines a whole people’s capacity for carrying inherited myths and inventing new ones.” Rushdie is more well known for his book The Satanic Verses, but it was Midnight’s Children that won the Booker Prize in 1981.

 

 

 

 

 

A Reading List For The Newly Engaged

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Engagement is a wonderful and exciting time in a couple’s relationship.  Energy and hope about the future arise as this transition into a new phase of life begins.  Wedding planning gets off the ground running, bringing with it lots of decisions and preparations to be made for the big day.  But what about preparation for the actual marriage?  While there are wedding planning websites, countless wedding dress boutiques, invitation companies, and caterers aplenty, where does one look to get advice about the central reason why this big day is happening in the first place?

As a newly engaged individual myself, these have been my “wonderings” over the past few months.  Though I have picked a venue, bought my wedding dress, booked a photographer, and started looking at invitations, I still feel a little in the dark as far as preparing for the beginning of my marriage.  Because of this, I decided to search for some advice.  My goal was to find books that were based on Biblical truths and that would help me to better understand and apply these truths as I enter into married life.  As I conveniently work in a library, one day I decided to see if we might have some books in the Logos that I could take a look at right away.

I began searching for lists of the most popular books for engaged couples online.  I found several that seemed legitimate and intriguing, and so I began making a personalized list of the ones I was most interested in.  After making my list, I decided to jump right in and see if we had any available in the library.  While I do have almost 7 months until our wedding day, I wanted to get a head start on tackling my reading list! Furthermore, as I am a nursing major, time for extracurricular reading is limited, so creating my reading list was not a light matter, and I am still tweaking it as I go.

My list as it stands now has 8 books on it, but my realistic goal is to have read 5 of these by the time I graduate. Who knows, maybe I will be able to sneak a few more in in the last month before getting married? As of now I have included on my list:

Currently, I am on my second book. I started with The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller because I had not only read great reviews on it, but had also gotten great feedback and recommendations from friends and family.  As my dad is a pastor and often facilitates marriage counseling for engaged couples, I looked to him to help me confirm my list and give me advice on which books to prioritize.  I was excited that there were several books on my list that he highly recommended and has used often when leading discussions between couples.  The Meaning of Marriage was one of the books he most strongly recommended and as it seemed to be the most foundational, I chose it as my first book.

While looking for that book on the Union University Library’s website catalogue, I also searched for several other books that I had put on my list.  I went ahead and checked out The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman and A Handbook for Engaged Couples by Alice & Robert Fryling.  The 5 Love Languages especially struck my interest so I began to read this book before completing the first one on my list.  It was a short read so I finished it in a couple of days.  It reminded me of when I first starting learning about the Enneagram – learning more about myself and how I interact with others in light of my personality type, or in that case, number.

In The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman dives into the 5 different love languages: words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service.  I personally found this book to be enlightening on how we all desire love in different forms and how it is crucial to discover our significant other’s primary love language and learn how to speak that love language to them more fully and intentionally.  I would highly recommend this book to any engaged couple who wants to better understand their fiancé and learn how to love him/her more specifically to how they emotionally desire to be loved.

The Meaning of Marriage has proved to be a solid foundational read and I am looking forward to finishing it up.  Keller takes time to explain how we see marriage in this day and age and then compares that with what a Biblical marriage looks like. For me, I am glad I chose this book for my list, because I already see how the foundational truths that Keller delves into will be very beneficial in helping shape my view of how marriage should look like at its core, as that indeed was my main hope in embarking on this little engagement reading and research adventure!

After finishing up The Meaning of Marriage, I plan to read Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs. As some of these books are more designed to be discussed with one’s significant other, I am saving them for closer to the time that my fiancé and I begin marriage counseling. The two I am referring to include A Handbook for Engaged Couples by Alice Fryling & Robert Fryling and Our Bucket List Adventures: A Journal for Couples by Ashley Kusi and Marcus Kusi.

By no means do I claim to have all the right books for your premarital reading list, but I hope that this personalized account of my search for marital advice as a newly engaged individual will be helpful to someone along the way!

 

New: Staff Picks Display

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Ever wonder what the librarians are reading? Looking for something new and recommended at the library?

Presenting: Staff Picks! This first floor display will show you which books and movies we recommend. The display will be refreshed with new choices regularly. You can read a little about each item (and who picked it) with our handy signs.

Currently, the Staff Picks are as follows:

 

Each item is available for check out. Happy reading!

Top 5 Travel Books For Fall Break

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With fall break comes much-needed time away from school and (hopefully) some beautiful weather! If you find yourself with some free time this 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 travel books in the library, so that you can read on the go this break (or travel to fun places through the world of literacy, even if you’re still in your dorm)!

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On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

A cult classic, On The Road features two young friends and their experiences in a changing America.

 

To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins.

This brand new travel memoir describes the author’s journey from Oregon to Patagonia, via bike. Jenkins originally documented his story through Instagram.

 

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem.

From following campaign trails to roadtrips with her father, Gloria Steinem has traveled near and far. She tells her stories in this inspiring autobiography.

 

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Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Cheryl Strayed needed a change after several tumultuous life events- so she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. Edgy and honest, Wild shows Strayed’s journey through ups and downs.

 

Blue Highways: A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon.

Ever wanted to drive down America’s many backroads? William Least Heat-Moon not only traveled these paths, but he also wrote about how he did it and the people he met along the way.

 

Take off on your trip with one of these great travel books! Or stay at home and dream of faraway places- that’s what books are for.