Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Books Are In!

The beginning of the fall semester is behind us, but its end lies even farther ahead. You’ve a few months to go before you can start catching up on all that sleep you’re missing. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself to a few new books in the meantime.

As the leaves turn and the weather chills, nature—and all of its creatures, whether it’s a herd of deer springing across the highway or an army of stinkbugs (happy fall!) clogging up the ceiling light—is making one last comeback before hibernation. Explore the intersection between us and (terrifying) Mother Nature in The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects by Jeffrey A. Lockwood, The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, and Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Journey through the Dark Side of the Natural World by Dan Riskin.

Wherever you are in the 2014-2015 choice for the PVCC One Book program—Breaking Night by Liz Murray—supplement your reading with books such as Homeless: Poverty and Place in Urban America by Ella Howard and Poverty in America: A Handbook by John Iceland.

Take a break from your studies with Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe by Tim Leong or a novel or two. Check out China Dolls by Lisa See, the story of a fraught friendship between three young women during World War II, as well as Ransom Riggs’s creepily atmospheric Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and its sequel, Hollow City. Be warned: the chilling photography in those last two books might set your brain on Halloween-mode ahead of schedule.

Check out all these new books and more in our catalog!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week! September 21-27

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

September 21-27, 2014 is Banned Books Week! During Banned Books Week the library is celebrating our freedom to read by showcasing books that have been censored or challenged over the years. 

The Banned Books Week tradition was started in 1982 by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom to combat censorship and protest the increasing number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and public libraries. Books that were frequently banned during this time included Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, which was censored from school libraries in 1982 because some people considered it “Anti-American” and “just plain filthy,” and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, a story accused in 1983 of “encouraging deviant behavior.” In 1984 Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Color Purple was challenged for its “troubling ideas about race relations and human sexuality.” Even the beloved children’s book In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak faced censorship when it was challenged in an elementary school library in 1985.

In fact, many of the books that we consider “classics” today were once removed from bookshelves because of the objections of parents and community members. The American classic, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, takes the number one spot on the American Library Association’s list of “Banned and Challenged Classics.” Other familiar titles on the list are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. 

In recent years popular young adult books like the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and The Giver by Lois Lowry have also been challenged. Graphic novels like Bone by Jeff Smith have made the ALA’s list of most challenged books as well.

Help us observe Banned Books Week this year by reading a banned book. Come by the library to see a display of previously banned and challenged books and celebrate your freedom to read!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Homeless to Harvard film at the library

"I was 15 when I went out in the world. What's a home anyway? A roof? A bed? A place where when you go there, they have to take you?" Liz Murray, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story.

As part of the 2014-2015 One Book program, the library will screen the film Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story on Monday, September 22, starting at noon in the library's periodicals room.  The film runs 104 minutes, and stars Thora Birch (American Beauty, Patriot Games) as Liz Murray. The film was directed by Peter Levin, who also directed the popular TV dramas Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia.  

Homeless to Harvard is based on Liz Murray's book Breaking Night, the 2014-2015 choice for the PVCC One Book program. 

Please join us! We will have popcorn (limited supplies) for attendees.