Archive for October, 2011
One of my goals is to read & watch more of the classics. Recently I read Bridge to Terabithia and A Lesson Before Dying (both were excellent), and am currently reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. What I like about these titles is that they are all extremely readable, and, I admit — not long-winded!
As far as movies, I’m trying to watch the titles on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies (they’ve determined Citizen Kane to be the #1 movie of all-time – one I haven’t even seen yet!). Visit http://www.afi.com/100years/movies10.aspx to see the entire list. Another interesting list on the website is “America’s 10 Greatest Films in 10 Classic Genres” (Animation, Western, Fantasy, etc.) http://www.afi.com/10top10/. Each Friday until the end of the year I’m posting the different genres on the library’s Facebook page and asking people to vote on the ones they’ve seen, and let us know if there are ones they feel should be on the list that didn’t make the AFI’s cut. Visit our Henderson-Wilder Facebook page to participate in the questions, and to keep up-to-date with the library!
I recently watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s (how have I never seen some of these movies before???), and am halfway through The Apartment. By today’s standards some of the acting would be considered “cheesy”, but these are such enjoyable films nonetheless. And I can see why they have stood the test of time, unlike some of the completely forgettable movies Hollywood puts out these days!
And by the way, did you know the library has classic movies, both on VHS and DVD? If you’re on campus, you can see the list on the G: Drive under Campus.inf — Library.inf — or better yet, visit us at the library!
What are some of your favorite classic movies?
If you’ve previously accessed UIU Library’s electronic book collection (NetLibrary), you may have noticed it has been replaced by eBook Collection (EBSCO). This summer the EBSCO Publishing Company bought out NetLibrary, hence the name change. If you would like to browse the collection or search for a certain book, there are several ways to access: (please note — only those with a myUIU log-in can access this online resource):
- Click the eBook Collection (EBSCO) link on the library homepage ( http://www.uiu.edu/academics/library/index.html). Enter your myUIU username & password, and click “Login”. This will take you to the main eBooks page within EBSCO, where you will see the latest added and featured titles. You can also do a search from this page.
- Access EBSCOhost under the “Indexes, Abstracts, Databases” drop-down menu. After logging in with your myUIU, choose “EBSCOhost Web”. Scroll down the list of databases and put a check in front of “eBook Collection”. If you ONLY want to search ebooks, make sure there aren’t checkmarks in front of any of the other databases.
- EBooks can also be found by using the library’s online card catalog (the catalog is used to see which books–print and electronic–the library owns). For example, by clicking on UIU Online Card Catalog (on the library homepage), and searching for credit repair, the books that appear in the list that indicate Library Location: Netlibrary E-book Collection are actually electronic books. By clicking on a title, then on “Linked Resources”, you will be taken directly to that book in EBSCO.
When I was browsing the collection, one interesting title I came upon was the Book Club Cookbook: Recipes and Food from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors. Under The DaVinci Code they have recipes for Rosemary Spaghetti — which I tried and really liked — and a cake called Death by Chocolate.
To find the Book Club Cookbook, and thousands more ebooks, check out the library’s collection!
Today as I came to the end of this book – even though I was in a cafeteria surrounded by talking, laughing people – the only thing that I was aware of were the images of a small Louisiana community, the electric chair behing unloaded from a truck, an anguished teacher sitting in the dusty shade of a plantation tree, and a black man walking with dignity to his death. I think it’s an indication of a great book if I can block everything else out, and even shed a tear or two as I finish reading it.
This spare, moving novel is a modern classic of two African American men struggling to attain manhood in a prejudiced society. It’s the story of two men imprisoned — one by the ”justice” system, and one by his own discontent. Jefferson, a barely literate young man and unwitting bystander to the murder of a white store owner, awaits execution by electric chair. Grant Wiggins, the one chosen to help Jefferson go to his death a man, instead of the animal the lawyer has described him as, the local plantation teacher seems just as imprisoned as the young man he is meant to be counseling. Having earned a university degree, he is still beholden to a class system that looks down upon him because of his color. Having limited opportunities by remaining in the community he was raised in and both loves & hates, grappling with accepting a God whom he doesn’t believe in, and being in love with a woman who is still married, Grant is just as trapped as the young man imprisoned in the jail cell.
One of my favorite passages from the book: “I stood back from the table and looked at the both of them. I clamped my jaws so tight the veins in my neck felt as if they would burst. I wanted to scream at my aunt; I was screaming inside. I had told her many, many times how much I hated this place and all I wanted to do was get away. I had told her I was no teacher. I hated teaching, and I was just running in place here. But she had not heard me before, and I knew that no matter how loud I screamed, she would not hear me now“.
And another passage that describe’s Grant’s anguish & his desire to get away: “I need to go someplace where I can feel I’m living,” I said. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life teaching school in a plantation church. I want to be with you, someplace where we could have a choice of things to do. I don’t feel alive here. I’m not living here. I know we can do better someplace else“. As his girlfriend reminds him, he has gone away in the past, but he had to come back. “Why?” she asks, but he has no answer for her. Or for himself.
There are no easy answers in this book, but it is definitely one to be read and shared. 5 stars
Some tidbits about my reading style:
- I’m not a fast reader.
- I usually lose the book I’m reading halfway through.
- I have a short attention span.
These 3 facts mean that I don’t finish nearly as many books as I’d like to. And meanwhile my to-read list grows & grows & grows! I have been reading lately, it’s just that, once again, nothing is really “grabbing” me. And I guess I find it hard to blog about mediocre books. But mediocrity aside, here are the books that I’ve finished recently. The first 3 I actually read for the “Iowa Teen Award”. The 4th one I read because it’s by the author of Something Borrowed, a movie I really enjoyed.
- Ruined by Paula Morris — Rebecca couldn’t feel more out of place in New Orleans. Then one night, among the oak trees in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to show Rebecca the nooks and crannies of New Orleans. There’s just one catch: Lisette is a ghost. A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle. As Rebecca is drawn deeper into a web of old curses and cryptic customs, she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair? My rating: 2 1/2 stars
- Incareron by Catherine Fisher — Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells and corridors, but metal forests, dilapidated cities, and wilderness. It has been sealed for centuries, and only one man has ever escaped. Finn has always been a prisoner here. Although he has no memory of his childhood, he is sure he came from Outside. His link to the Outside, his chance to break free, is Claudia, the warden’s daughter, herself determined to escape an arranged marriage. They are up against impossible odds, but one thing looms above all: Incarceron itself is alive . . . My rating: 4 1/2 stars
- Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee — It’s not so easy being Rosemary Goode and tipping the scales at almost two hundred pounds – especially when your mother runs the most successful (and gossipiest!) beauty shop in town. After a spectacularly disastrous Christmas break when the scale reaches an all-time high – Rosemary realizes that things need to change. (A certain basketball player, Kyle Cox, might have something to do with it.) So begins a powerful year of transformation and a journey toward self-discovery that surprisingly has little to do with the physical, and more to do with an honest look at how Rosemary feels about herself. My rating: 4 stars
- Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin — Ellen and Andy Graham have the perfect marriage. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo. The one who brought out the worst in her. The one who left her heartbroken nearly a decade ago. The one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she’s living is the one she’s meant to live. A novel for anyone who has ever wondered: how can I truly love the one I’m with, when I can’t forget the one who got away? My rating: 2 1/2 stars