Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Books for Balmy Days

As June winds down, summer thunderstorms pick up, and you find yourself in the mood for a good book, drop by the library to check out the new additions to our collection. Here are some recommendations for what to read while sunbathing:

Kate Bolick reclaims the term "spinster" and chronicles the ups and downs as life as a singleton in Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own. She examines the history of single women in America through the paradigm-shifting stories of five pioneering women, from poet Edna St. Vincent Millay to novelist Edith Wharton.

In Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan M. Acuff shows readers that, with the proper care and feeding, daydreams can become full-fledged careers. Creatives interested in turning their art into a living should check out Make Your Mark: The Creative's Guide to Building a Business with Impact by Jocelyn K. Glei. Interested in writing professionally? Jeff Goins shows readers how he overcame self-doubt and turned passion into a profession in You Are a Writer: (So Start Acting Like One), and offers insight into how aspiring writers can do the same. Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger digs into the details of writing freelance.

Just as the prohibition of alcohol faltered and gave way to legalization in the early 1930s, so the legalization of marijuana is changing the face of America. Christian Hageseth explores this dawn of a new industry from the perspective of an entrepreneur in Big Weed: An Entrepreneur's High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Business. Essayist Bruce Barcott journeys into this same strange, new world in Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America, interviewing everyone from botanists to scientists about this cultural change.

Math and lasagna have a lot more in common than you think. Eugenia Cheng uses insights from the kitchen to tackle questions like “what is math” and “how exactly does it work” in How to Bake [Pi]: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics.

Ian Tattersall explores the often overlooked complexities of paleoanthropology in The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack: And Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution. He challenges the tradition of “human exceptionalism” to reveal the wonder and random happenstance of how we evolved and why this matters.

Curious about the “physics, biology, chemistry, metallurgy, psychology, and neurobiology” behind that Happy Hour beverage? Adam Rogers digs into the details of alcohol production in Proof: The Science of Booze.

Mona Eltahawy’s passionate and hard-hitting first book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, calls for women in the Middle East and North Africa to wage a twofold revolution against oppressive regimes, continuing the work begun by the Arab Spring, and against the political and economic systems that oppress them. “A manifesto motivated by hope and fury in equal measure, Headscarves and Hymens is as illuminating as it is incendiary.” (From the publisher’s description.)

You can find all of these books and more in our catalog!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Your New Sunbathing Companion, aka New Books Are In

After a brief but chaotic winter, spring has (mostly) arrived, bringing with it daylight savings time and summer temperatures beloved of both human and insect populations. Kill some time in the sun (after you’ve slain a few stinkbug armies, or run screaming from the room) with a new book.

If you’ve been waiting for the final installment of Ransom Riggs’ wonderfully chilling trilogy, Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, wait no more: Library of Souls is now on the shelf. If you’re just now discovering the series and would like to see what all the fuss is about before the movie hits theaters in late September, here’s your chance. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children is full of secrets, hauntings, and creepy vintage photographs, and will linger beneath your skin for hours after you’ve finished reading. Begin your adventure with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City.

Looking for more books that have been recently adapted for the big screen? Check out The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey for alien invasions in a post-apocalyptic world and The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke for revenge on the American frontier.

We have plenty of other fantastic tales to satisfy a taste for other worlds and epic adventure. Pop over to the Nook to find Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet, beginning with the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle in Time, and continuing through A Swiftly Tilting Planet, A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. L’Engle’s classic tale of tesseracts and time travel has appealed to both children and adults for decades. Revisit this nostalgic favorite or dive in for the first time.

Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies can be summed up in three words: Redwall, grown up. Fire Bringer follows the fawn, Rannoch — prophesied to become a hero among deer and oppose the tyrannical Lord of the Herd — as he travels through the dark, brutal heart of the Great Land to fulfill his destiny.

Brandon Sanderson puts a throne and a comatose emperor in the hands of the soul forger Shai in The Emperor’s Soul, telling the story of a girl forced to perform an impossible task in fewer than one hundred days. And in Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie, a novel Ursula Le Guin called “a modern Arabian nights,” ordinary citizens in New York discover that they’re not quite so ordinary after all.

The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in WWII, and Jochen Hellbeck gives readers an on-the-ground look at the battle and the ordinary Soviet citizens who lived through it in Stalingrad: The City that Defeated the Third Reich, using testimonies that were taken during and after the battle but were suppressed by the Kremlin and forgotten until now.

Lillian Faderman traces the fight for gay, lesbian, and trans civil rights from the 1950s to the early 21st century in The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, using extensive research and more than 150 interviews to give readers a complete and authoritative history of the movement. And in Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA, litigator Roberta Kaplan recounts the battle to defeat the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), weaving her own personal story of self-acceptance with this harrowing, triumphant tale of a crucial civil rights victory.

Electronic violin virtuoso Lindsey Sterling — known for lively YouTube performances of both her original work and covers that range from popular songs to the Legend of Zelda — shares how she became a world-class entertainer in The Only Pirate At the Party.

Jennifer Jacquet explores the use of public shaming as a force of social change in Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool. As a companion read, consider So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, also available in the stacks.

Want to get meta about your reading? Award-winning book jacket designer Peter Mendelsund looks at the way readers envision fictional characters in What We See When We Read: A Phenomenology; with Illustrations, and reveals that knowing the concrete details of appearance has very little to do with how we come to know a character, no matter how vividly we picture them in our own minds.

Explore economics through the lens of pop culture and TV’s first family in Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics, edited by Joshua Hall.

Rachel Swaby profiles a panoply of revolutionary women whose contributions to science range from nuclear physics to astronomy in Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science — And the World. And Andreas Wagner ponders the fascinating question of how the fittest, in Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest, became that way in Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle.

You can find all these books and more in our catalog. Happy exploring, and happy reading!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

One Book 2016: We have a winner!

Announcing PVCC's Fall 2016 One Book:

The Circle, by Dave Eggers

Publisher's description:

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

The Circle received 225 votes, Now I See You received 153 votes, and The Omnivore's Dilemma received 71 votes.

Please watch this space and your email for more news about the fall 2016 One Book Program, including information about when you can claim your copy of the chosen book. 

Thank you for voting!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Databases Keep on Coming!

VIVA, our statewide library consortium, continues to purchase new databases that all PVCC students, faculty, and staff can now access both on and off-campus.  Check out these additions:
  1. Mergent Intellect - This brand-new database provides extensive information on private companies, both active and inactive. It also includes Whitepages Pro, which has residential contact information.  

  2. Mergent Investext Snapshot - This database, also known as the Thomson Reuters Embargoed Research Collection, includes authoritative analyses of companies, industries, products, and markets that are written by analysts at investment banks and independent research firms. It can be found as a new tab within the Mergent Online platform.

  3. Oxford Journals - We have added 16 new e-journals, which brings our collection to approximately 150 e-journals published by Oxford. Most are in the areas of political science, history, and medicine.

  4. Advanced Technologies & Aerospace Collection - This new full-text database brings together the most comprehensive coverage in the areas of aeronautics, computer and information technology, electronics, communications, solid state devices, and space sciences.

  5. Earth Science Collection - This new full-text database provides access to articles in the earth sciences. It includes GeoRef, the most comprehensive database available in the geosciences.

  6. Engineering Collection - This new database expands our access from abstract-only engineering databases to full-text access for a wide range of journals in many different engineering disciplines.
Recently deleted abstract-only databases from ProQuest include: Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA), Mechanical Engineering Abstracts, PILOTS: Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress, Social Services Abstracts, and Sociological Abstracts. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

What's that I hear? New books are here!

Welcome back to another season of the Spring Semester, episode 2016. All your favorite characters and plot twists are back, from waning post-holiday blues to the occasional blizzard. Best of all, there are new books here at the library, and we’ve got lots of recommendations for you.

Looking for the next book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles? We have all five: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, and Fairest: Levana’s Story. If you enjoy new takes on old tales — everything from cyborg Cinderella to computer hacker Rapunzel — The Lunar Chronicles will be right up your alley.

Neil Gaiman also explores fairy tales — and every other sort of wonder tale — in his latest collection of short fiction, Trigger Warning: Short Fiction and Disturbances. The anthology includes a “Nothing O'Clock,” written for the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013; “Black Dog,” a tale from the world of American Gods; and “The Case of Death and Honey,” a spin on Sherlock Holmes.

Still in the mood for short stories? Check out Stephen King’s latest collection of short fiction, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, his first collection since Night Shift came out thirty-five years ago.

If you've seen The Martian but haven't read the book, we have you covered. Andy Weir's bestselling novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars is sure to appeal to anyone interested in science, space westerns, and the classic tale of humans (armed with only ingenuity, engineering skills, gallows humor, and a roll of duct tape) versus nature.

Journeys through time and space don’t have to stop with The Martian. 500 years after escaping an uninhabitable earth, humans return to the alien planet they once called home in Neal Stephenson’s nearly 900-page door-stopper, Seveneves. And in Ready Player One, Ernest Cline fast forwards readers to the year 2044, when today’s pop culture has become tomorrow’s path to fame, fortune — and a brush with murder.

Isabelle Allende’s latest novel, The Japanese Lover, chronicles the romance of Alma and Ichimei, lovers torn apart by World War II and the forcible internment of Japanese Americans by the United States government. Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves is a nonfiction exploration of this tragedy.

Between You & Me:  Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris is a humorous romp through the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. In Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World, Steven Quartz and Anette Asp explore the science behind trends and why the things we consume — from the food we eat to the cars we drive — may say so much about our personal identities and beliefs. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-tested, Battle-hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki is a crash course for entrepreneurs in using 21st century tools to get their businesses off the ground. Don’t forget to check out Kawasaki's The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users for a more detailed look at harnessing the power of social media.

Discover all these books and more in our catalog!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Database Trial

The VCCS is currently trialing a new database called PrepSTEP™.

PrepSTEP™ is a dynamic online platform that can change the lives of students through academic success and preparation for today’s workplace. It is packed with powerful skill-building resources in English, math, and science—for use in self-directed study or as supplemental materials for developmental programs. Students can also build workplace skills, explore careers, prepare for occupational licensing exams, build basic computer skills, and more. On the website, each icon represents a separate center with valuable resources that include interactive tutorials, engaging practice tests, and downloadable eBooks.

The trial account is now active and provides access to all of the platform's features. To begin using the site, please follow these steps:

1. Go to the trial site
2. Sign in with
User Name:
Password: password

Email Crystal Newell at with any feedback.  The trial ends on Feb. 29.  Would this be useful for the library to have?