Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New policy in place

With the new semester comes new policies. Starting now, you will be required to present your PVCC Student ID card when you check out books or other materials, where previously you were allowed to simply type in your student ID number or MyPVCC username.

Please try to keep this ID with you at all times. If you do not already have one, stop by the College's security office to get one. All you'll need is your student ID number and driver's license.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we implement this new policy. Have a great semester!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Great War: 100 years later

1917 headline. Source: Chicago Tribune.

They called it The Great War. One hundred years ago, World War I ravaged the world, pitting Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire against Great Britain, the United States, France, Russia, Italy, and Japan. Over 37 million people died.  This anniversary is not one of celebration, but of remembrance. Do you know anyone who fought in the war? Anyone who died in it? What do you think when you hear "World War I"? What meanings do these words hold for you?  If you want to know more about the war, or read some fiction inspired by it, see the list of books below.

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive. -- From publisher's description. 

This book traces the path to war, making clear why Germany and Austria-Hungary were primarily to blame, and describes the gripping first clashes in the West. The book includes frank assessments of generals and political leaders and masterly analyses of the political currents that led the continent to war. -- From publisher's description.

In a narrative account that runs from the beginning of a series of international crises in 1904 until the outbreak of the war, this book examines changes in the balance of military power to explain why the war began in 1914, instead of at some other time. Russia was incapable of waging a European war in the aftermath of its defeat at the hands of Japan in 1904-5, but in 1912, when Russia appeared to be regaining its capacity to fight, an unprecedented land-armaments race began. Consequently, when the July crisis of 1914 developed, the atmosphere of military competition made war a far more likely outcome than it would have been a decade earlier. -- From publisher's description. 

Deluge: British Society and the First World War.
Almost continuously in print for 40 years, The Deluge is widely recognized as one of the classics of post-1960 British historical writing, and as the book which initiated the systematic study of the social consequences of modern war. Arthur Marwick describes life on the home front during the first total war in history, analyzing the social changes that made Britain of the 1920s a vastly different place from the Britain that went to war in 1914. Comprehensive, precisely documented, full of colorful detail and apt quotations, The Deluge portrays a society in transition at every level. --From publisher's description.(Thanks to Professor Bryson.Clevenger for recommending this title!).

The best American novel to emerge from World War I, "A Farewell to Arms" is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto -- of lines of tired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized -- is one of the greatest moments in literary history. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, "A Farewell to Arms",  written when he was thirty years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway. -- From publisher's description.

How did Russia and France agree in 1894 that in the event of even partial mobilization by the Triple Alliance they would immediately take hostile action against it? The answer to this question is a masterful analysis of what was going wrong in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century and of what faults of vision had caused those wrongs. -- From publisher's description. 

By the time the First World War ended in 1918, eight million people had died in what had been perhaps the most apocalyptic episode the world had known.This Very Short Introduction provides a concise and insightful history of the Great War--from the state of Europe in 1914, to the role of the US, the collapse of Russia, and the eventual surrender of the Central Powers. Examining how and why the war was fought, as well as the historical controversies that still surround the war, Michael Howard also looks at how peace was ultimately made, and describes the potent legacy of resentment left to Germany.-- From publisher's description.

When Julio finally decided to fight, the world and his family knew him for a different man. In the end the man who was once a spoiled son of privilege became a man of honor and integrity, a noble soldier in the war to end all wars. -- From publisher's description. 

Set off the treacherous Outer Banks of North Carolina during the final days of the First World War, Hatteras  Light is the compelling story of the dedicated keepers of the Hatteras lighthouse and their tightly knit community. For generations these men have drawn their livelihood from the sea, served in the rescue of shipwreck victims, and guarded seagoers from the hazardous shoals. Their wives and daughters endure a difficult, solitary life, their fortitude constantly tested. Loyal to one another and to a traditional way of life, the islanders are suspicious of outsiders and censorious of those who leave. The insular world of these Hatterasmen disrupts when a German U-boat reveals itself offshore, indiscriminately sinking civilian and military vessels, challenging the courage of the lifesavers, and signaling the dawning of a darker, less honorable age. -- From publisher's description. 

When a Serbian-backed assassin gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914, the world seemed unmoved. Certainly, there was nothing to suggest that the episode would lead to conflict -- much less a world war of such massive and horrific proportions that it would fundamentally reshape the course of human events. As acclaimed historian Sean McMeekin reveals in "July 1914", World War I might have been avoided entirely had it not been for a small group of statesmen who, in the month after the assassination, plotted to use Ferdinand's murder as the trigger for a long-awaited showdown in Europe. -- From publisher's description. 

 It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet. Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way... taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever. -- From publisher's description.

In the summer of 1914, forty of the greatest men of Europe, representing the interests of millions of people in seven different countries, were unable to prevent an anarchist's bullet from plunging the world into what would become known at the Great War. They were the leaders of the continent, and they all wanted peace. The result of their efforts, however, unleashed the most horrific war in history. -- From publisher's description.

In analyzing the causes of World War I without concern for the question of guilt, the author places emphasis on two central facts: first, that when statesmen and peoples took actions they knew might lead to war, they were not envisaging the catastrophe that the war became but rather a quick and limited war; and, second, that among the many conflicts that might have led to war, the one that did was the threat to the integrity of Austria-Hungary posed by Serbia and Serb nationalism. -- From publisher's description. 

One of the most violent conflicts in the history of civilization, World War I has been strangely forgotten in American culture. It has become a ghostly war fought in a haze of memory, often seen merely as a distant preamble to World War II. In "The Long Shadow" critically acclaimed historian David Reynolds seeks to broaden our vision by assessing the impact of the Great War across the twentieth century. He shows how events in that turbulent century -- particularly World War II, the Cold War, and the collapse of Communism -- shaped and reshaped attitudes to 1914-18. Forging connections between people, places, and ideas, "The Long Shadow" ventures across the traditional subcultures of historical scholarship to offer a rich and layered examination not only of politics, diplomacy, and security but also of economics, art, and literature. The result is a magisterial interpretation of the place of the Great War in modern history. -- From publisher's description.

This book analyzes the strategies of female physicians, nurses, and women-at-arms who linked military service with the opportunity to achieve professional and civic goals. Since women armed to defend the state during war could also protect themselves, Kimberly Jensen argues, Americans began to focus on women's relationship to violence--both its wielding against women and women's uses of it. Intense discussions of rape, methods of protecting women, and proper gender roles abound as Jensen draws from rich case studies to show how female thinkers and activists wove wartime choices into long-standing debates about woman suffrage, violence against women, gender-based discrimination, and economic parity. The war created new urgency in these debates, and Jensen forcefully presents the case of women participants and activists: women's involvement in the obligation of citizens to defend the state validated their right of full female citizenship. -- From publisher's description.

Providing a new interpretation of the origins of the First World War, this textbook synthesizes recent scholarship and introduces the major historiographical and political debates surrounding the outbreak of the war. William Mulligan argues that the war was a far from inevitable outcome of international politics in the early twentieth century and suggests instead that there were powerful forces operating in favor of the maintenance of peace. His fresh perspective on the pre-war international system takes account of new approaches to the study of international politics since the end of the Cold War and the acceleration of globalization. Thematic chapters examine key issues, including the military, public opinion, economics, diplomacy and geopolitics, and analyse relations between the great powers, the role of smaller states, the disintegrating empires and the July crisis. This account revises our understanding of diplomacy, political culture, and economic history from 1870 to 1914. -- From publisher's description.

Over Here uses the record of America's experience in the Great War as a prism through which to view early-twentieth-century American society. The ways in which America mobilized for the war, chose to fight it, and then went about the business of enshrining it in memory all indicate important aspects of an enduring American character. An American history classic, Over here reflects on a society's struggle with the pains of war and offers trenchant insights into the birth of modern America. -- From publisher's description.

Rites of Spring probes the origins, impact, and aftermath of World War I, from the premiere of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring in 1913 to the death of Hitler in 1945. Recognizing that “The Great War was the psychological turning point . . . for modernism as a whole,” author Modris Eksteins examines the lives of ordinary people, works of modern literature, and pivotal historical events to redefine the way we look at our past and toward our future. -- From publisher's description. 

Rosie's Mom: Forgotten Women Workers of the First World War.
Although the World War II posters of Rosie the Riveter and Wendy the Welder remind us of the women who contributed to the nation's war effort in the 1940s, the women workers of World War I are nearly forgotten. In Rosie's mom, Carrie Brown recovers these women of an earlier generation through lively words and images. She takes us back to the time when American women abandoned their jobs dipping chocolates, sewing corsets, or canning pork and beans, to contribute to the war effort. Trading their ankle-length skirts and crisp white shirtwaists for coarse bloomers or overalls, they went into the munition plants to face explosives, toxic chemicals, powerful metal-cutting machines, and the sullen hostility of the men in the shops. -- From publisher's description.

Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919.
Written with the sweep of an epic novel and grounded in extensive research into contemporary documents, Savage Peace is a striking portrait of American democracy under stress. It is the surprising story of America in the year 1919. --From publisher's description.

The century since the end of the Napoleonic wars had been the most peaceful era Europe had known since the fall of the Roman Empire. In the first years of the twentieth century, Europe believed it was marching to a golden, happy, and prosperous future. But instead, complex personalities and rivalries, colonialism and ethnic nationalisms, and shifting alliances helped to bring about the failure of the long peace and the outbreak of a war that transformed Europe and the world. "The War That Ended Peace" brings vividly to life the military leaders, politicians, diplomats, bankers, and the extended, interrelated family of crowned heads across Europe who failed to stop the descent into war. -- From publisher's description. 

Almost 100 years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, World War I continues to be badly understood and greatly oversimplified. Its enormous impact on the world in terms of international diplomacy and politics, and the ways in which future military engagements would evolve, be fought, and ultimately get resolved have been ignored. This book presents primary and secondary documents, from government papers to personal diaries, which provide an understanding of the conflict. -- From publisher's description.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Books Are the Answer!

There is a pressing question in your mind. It has nothing to do with the heat wave that has gripped Charlottesville, or with the summer storms that have occasionally wiped out the power. It has nothing to do with summer classes or that beach vacation you took last week, the one you wish hadn't ended.
This question is far more significant.

What, you ask yourself, is a "velvet worm?" And is it as velvety soft as its name suggests?

The answer to this question lies among the new books at Jessup Library. Check out Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants that Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey to find out more.

In other news:

Facebook has actually been around since 14 CE. Discover how social media is hardly a new phenomenon in Writing on the Wall: Social Media, the First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage.

If you're spending your summer learning about constructed languages or performing the Tolkien-esque feat of creating your own, check out In the Land of Invented Languages: A Celebration of Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius by Arika Okrent and From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages by Michael Adams.

There's a well-known adage that says that, "Well-behaved women seldom make history." But sometimes the feats of daring women get lost. Read a few of those thrilling, rediscovered tales in Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History -- Without the Fairy-tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford.

Check out other books about or by women with powerful stories to tell. In her memoir, Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie: Being Muslim in America, Ranya Idliby explores what it means to raise an American Muslim family in a post-9/11 world. The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown tells the story of a woman whose voyages took her beyond the edge of the known world and into Icelandic legend. Jennifer Finney Boylan discusses her journey to change genders in her best-selling memoir, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders. And a brilliant young chemist works to launch America into the space age in Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America's First Female Rocket Scientist by George D. Morgan.

Read about physics and astronomy, as reported in the New York Times, in The New York Times Book of Physics and Astronomy: More Than 100 Years of Covering the Expanding Universe, edited by Cornelia Dean.

Just because it's hot outside doesn't mean your mind has to melt into a puddle of superheated glue. Help it stay whole by browsing our catalog for all these new books and more!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Library Showcase: Out of Ireland

The savage loves his native shore,
Though rude the soil and chill the air;
Well then may Erin's sons adore
Their isle, which nature formed so fair!
What flood reflects a shore so sweet,
As Shannon great, or past'ral Bann?
Or who a friend or foe can meet,
As generous as an Irishman?

~James Orr, Irish poet (1770-1816)

Ireland is a very small country that has produced a very rich and dense body of writing. This month the Jessup library showcases Irish fiction. Come and take a bit o' the Isle home. (All descriptions are the publishers'). 

At Swim-Two-Birds
A wildly comic send-up of Irish literature and culture, At Swim-Two-Birds is the story of a young, lazy, and frequently drunk Irish college student who lives with his curmudgeonly uncle in Dublin. When not in bed (where he seems to spend most of his time) or reading he is composing a mischief-filled novel about Dermot Trellis, a second-rate author whose characters ultimately rebel against him and seek vengeance. From drugging him as he sleeps to dropping the ceiling on his head, these figures of Irish myth make Trellis pay dearly for his bad writing. Hilariously funny and inventive, At Swim-Two-Birds has influenced generations of writers, opening up new possibilities for what can be done in fiction. It is a true masterpiece of Irish literature.

When painter Roderic Kennedy meets Julia Fitzpatrick, twenty years younger and also an artist, it seems as though a long spell of turbulence and misfortune--including alcoholism and a broken marriage--has finally come to an end. But when Julia has a chance meeting with a desperately unhappy stranger, this brief yet powerful encounter sets in motion a chain of events that has dramatic consequences for all three.

Brooklyn: a Novel
Ellis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Ellis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Ellis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Ellis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

Civil & Strange 
Eager to escape her failed marriage, Ellen hopes to recapture the magic of her childhood summers when she decides to leave Dublin for the small village of Ballindoon. She is surprised when her uncle Matt, a nearby farmer, welcomes her with the rather mystifying advice to play it "civil and strange," a local expression meaning "be polite on the surface but keep your distance" - and even more surprised to find herself attracting the attentions of a younger man. To Ellen's great wonder, as the events of this transformative, tumultuous year play out in all three of their lives, it becomes clear that even tradition-bound Ballindoon can allow for new beginnings. Anchored by the cadences of its Irish setting and the love story at its heart, "Civil & Strange" offers a moving exploration of the possibilities open to us, at any age, in any place, if only we are brave enough to embrace them.  

Down by the River
Fourteen-year-old Mary MacNamara does not know the words for what her father did to her down by the river, but she knows nothing will ever be the same again. She lives in a small town in the rural West of Ireland where superstition and petty jealousies fester; where poverty and ignorance make people hard, bitter, and unforgiving. Mary will find scant justice or mercy among those in her community--even less among those called to adjudicate upon her case in a city far away as her private tragedy is dragged into the public arena, making her doubly a victim, prey to militant factions on all sides. Recalling the controversial 1992 "Miss X" case which drew international attention and provoked a nationwide crisis of conscience within Ireland, Down by the River combines passionately held principle and rich, evocative language and imagery to transform a dark drama of violence and suppressed emotions into a work of art that is universal, cathartic, and sublime.
 An apparently routine business venture becomes a battle for a young man’s very soul. Almost too late, Jonathan Harker realizes that the charismatic and seductive Count Dracula of Transylvania has come to England with a purpose much more sinister than merely to purchase an English estate. Will the Count succeed in his quest to create a race of blood-lusting creatures of the night? Which will prove the stronger—superstition or science?

Declared by their author to be a chapter in the moral history of Ireland, this collection of 15 tales offers vivid, tightly focused observations of the lives of Dublin's poorer classes. A fine and accessible introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's most influential writers, it includes a masterpiece of the short-story genre, "The Dead."

Felicia's Journey
Felicia is unmarried, pregnant, and penniless. She steals away from a small Irish town and drifts through the industrial English Midlands, searching for the boyfriend who left her. Instead she meets up with the fat, fiftyish, unfailingly reasonable Mr. Hilditch, who is looking for a new friend to join the five other girls in his Memory Lane. But the strange, sad, terrifying tricks of chance soon unravel both his and Felicia's delusions.

 The Gathering
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him--something that happened in their grandmother's house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations, she shows how memories warp and secrets fester. The Gathering is a family epic, clarified through Anne Enright's unblinking eye. This is a novel about love and disappointment, about how fate is written in the body, not in the stars. The Gathering sends fresh blood through the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new. As in all of Anne Enright's work, this is a book of daring, wit, and insight, her distinctive intelligence twisting the world a fraction and giving it back to us in a new and unforgettable light.

Gulliver's Travels 
Gulliver sees life from many different perspectives during the course of his exciting voyages around the world. In Lilliput he is a giant among a race of little people only six inches high; in Brobdingnag he himself seems tiny compared to the giant inhabitants; and in the country of the Houyhnhnms, horses rule and the human creatures there have the status of animals. Life back in England seems very ordinary after all that he has seen.

Human Chain
Seamus Heaney's collection of poems elicits continuities and solidarities -- between husband and wife, child and parent, then and now -- inside an intently remembered present: the stepping stones of the day, the weight and heft of what is passed from hand to hand, lifted and lowered. "Human Chain" also broaches larger questions of transmission, of lifelines to the inherited past. There are newly minted versions of anonymous early Irish lyrics. "Human Chain" also includes a poetic "herbal" adapted from the Breton poet Eugène Guillevic -- lyrics as delicate as ferns, which puzzle briefly over the world of things, and landscapes that exclude human speech while affirming the interconnectedness of phenomena, as of a self-sufficiency in which we too are included.

The Importance of Being Earnest 
Oscar Wilde's most brilliant tour de force, a witty and buoyant comedy of manners that has delighted millions in countless productions since its first performance in London's St. James' Theatre on February 14, 1895. The Importance of Being Earnest is celebrated not only for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot, but for its inspired dialogue, rich with scintillating epigrams still savored by all who enjoy artful conversation.

Ireland: a Novel  
One wintry evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller--a Seanchai, the very last practitioner of a fabled tradition extending back hundreds of years--arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a bed and a warm meal, he invites his hosts and some of their neighbors to join him by the fireside, and begins to tell formative stories of Ireland’s history. One of his listeners, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the story-telling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again. Ronan’s search for the Storyteller becomes both a journey of self-discovery and an immersion into the sometimes-conflicting histories of his native land.
The Master: a Novel 
Like Michael Cunningham in The Hours, Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer. Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of a man born into one of America's first intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers. In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness and the hope of a master of psychological subtlety whose forays into intimacy inevitably failed those he tried to love. The emotional intensity of this portrait is riveting. 

Mothers and Sons: Stories
 Each of the nine stories in this beautifully written, intensely intimate collection centers on a transformative moment that alters the delicate balance of power between mother and son, or changes the way they perceive one another. With exquisite grace and eloquence, Tóibín writes of men and women bound by convention, by unspoken emotions, by the stronghold of the past. Many are trapped in lives they would not choose again, if they ever chose at all. A man buries his mother and converts his grief to desire in one night. A famous singer captivates an audience, yet cannot beguile her own estranged son. And in "A Long Winter," Colm Tóibín's finest piece of cction to date, a young man searches for his mother in the snow-covered mountains where she has sought escape from the husband who controls and confines her. Haunting and profoundly moving.

My Dream of You 
Kathleen de Burca is a travel writer based in London. The office is the nearest thing she has to a home, and her colleagues to friends and a family. And then a quick series of blows strips away the props of her life, revealing the painful cost of her refugee existence, and she is faced with the frightening imperative of change. 

Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha 
It is 1968. Patrick Clarke is ten. He loves Geronimo, the Three Stooges, and the smell of his hot water bottle. He can't stand his little brother Sinbad. His best friend is Kevin, and their names are all over Barrytown, written with sticks in wet cement. They play football, lepers, and jumping to the bottom of the sea. But why didn't anyone help him when Charles Leavy had been going to kill him? Why do his ma and da argue so much, but act like everything is fine? Paddy sees everything, but he understands less and less. Hilarious and poignant, "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" charts the triumphs, indignities, and bewilderment of a young boy and his world, a place full of warmth, cruelty, confusion, and love.

James Joyce's Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904.The title alludes to Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey, and establishes a series of parallels between characters and events in Homer's poem and Joyce's novel.

Waiting for Godot: a Tragicomedy in Two Acts 
Waiting for Godot has become of the most important and enigmatic plays of the past fifty years and a cornerstone of twentieth-century drama. The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree, inhabiting a drama spun of their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existential post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors 
Paula Spencer is a thirty-nine-year-old working-class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Roddy Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.

Yesterday's Weather 
In "Yesterday's Weather," Anne Enright presents a series of deeply moving glimpses into the lives of ordinary men and women struggling with the bonds of love, family, and community in an increasingly disconnected and transient world. The stories in "Yesterday's Weather" shows us a rapidly changing Ireland, a land of family and tradition, but also, increasingly, of organic radicchio, cruise-ship vacations, and casual betrayals. Sharp, tender, never predictable, their sum is a rich tapestry of people struggling to find contentment with one another -- and with themselves. The unsettling, carefully drawn reality, the subversive wit, and the awkward tenderness of these stories mark Anne Enright as one of the most thrillingly gifted writers of our time. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cool Down with New Books

Though summer has not yet officially arrived, it certainly feels as if it has. Wait out the heat wave by browsing our new books! You can always go back to checking items off your summer bucket list when C'ville stops pretending it's a sauna.

It's been 100 years since World War I began, so commemorate the upcoming anniversary with The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan. Don't forget to check out two other books haunted by the shadow of the conflict: The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey, which takes place before WWI, and Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell, about the year 1922.

Spice up your summer staycation with Cool Japan: A Guide to Tokyo, Kyoto, Tohoku, and Japanese Culture Past and Present by Sumiko Kajiyama.

Or spend it immersed in the lives and memories of folk with intriguing stories: A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley by Neal Thompson tells the tale of a man who shared his fascination with phenomenon with the world; Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood by Leah Vincent explores the ways in which exile frees a young woman. A child comes of age on a perilous road to safety in A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story by Qais Akbar Omar, and the vanished world of Downton Abbey comes to life in Minding the Manor: The Memoir of a 1930s English Kitchen Maid by Mollie Moran.

If you're taking a summer public speaking course or would like advice on creating masterful presentations, check out Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo. Read it in tandem with Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, which offers some surprising insights. That little thing known as low-self esteem? It may not be such a bad thing, after all.

And don't underestimate the salutary effects of laughter. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling will provide plenty of it.

Discover the science behind a "Chickenosaurus" in How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution by Jack Horner and James Gorman.

Great news, gamers: soon, video games will be central to everyday life. How to Do Things with Videogames by Ian Bogost is the proof.

This is only a sample of the new books available at Jessup Library. Check out the catalog to discover more!

Friday, June 13, 2014

And the winners are...

The winners of the June Mathville puzzle are:

Seth McElroy, winner of a $30 gift card to the PVCC bookstore.

Jackie Meurer, winner of a $15 gift card to the Mermaid coffee cart.

Michael Do, winner of a BIG Hershey's milk chocolate bar.

Congratulations, winners! Please pick up your prizes at the library by June 19th, 2014, at 8 p.m.

Thank you to all who played!

And now the solution:

If you open the box labeled SCARVES or the box labeled GLOVES first, you cannot be sure of what is inside. For example, if you open the box labeled SCARVES and take out a glove, you could have the GLOVES box or the GLOVES & SCARVES box.

To be positive, you should open the box labeled GLOVES & SCARVES first. Because all the boxes are mislabeled, you know that this box does not have the two objects, but has either gloves OR scarves. So whatever object you remove from the box is what the box contains.

So you stick your hand in and remove one object. 

If the object is a glove, then you know the box has only gloves. This leaves you with two mislabeled boxes: one labeled gloves, the other labeled scarves. You know both are mislabeled, so all you have to do is switch the labels. 

If the object is a scarf, then you know the box has only scarves. This leaves you with two mislabeled boxes, so you switch the labels.