Failure in Fiction: Take Heart, Readers

In my last blog entry, I noted that I would be attempting NaNoWriMo; that is, I would try to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  Succinctly put: I failed.  Utterly.  Miserably.  Horribly.  Failed.

Week one went well.  I wrote 10,000 words.  I don’t think that there was much plot, character development, or any setting of which to speak within the 10,000.  But oh there were words.  When week two rolled in, however, my little boy got sick.  Then I got what he had.  Then his sister got it.  And the thought of sitting down to write became so daunting I began actively avoiding nouns, verbs, a few adjectives, and most adverbs.  By week three I was so far in the hole that I wore my shame like a warm hug.  And week four?  Why do they even have National Novel Writing Month in November anyway?  It’s barren, freezing, dark, cold and flu season, and the gateway into winter holiday preparation!  Why would I have even wanted to finish?

The grapes of NaNoWriMo are very sour.

Nonetheless, I have 10,000 more words than I had at the beginning of November.  That’s something, as the good people of NaNoWriMo are quick to point out.  It is better to have written a few words than not to have written at all.  And for those like me who don’t always reach the goal on the first try, I give you a bibliography for reflection.  The books listed below demonstrate that if at first you don’t succeed (or even on the second, third, fourth, or fifth try), you still might be okay.

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1.    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

2.    Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Lloso

3.    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier ( J C815c)

4.    Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (J Sp4s)

5.    Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

6.    Taking Off by Jenny Moss

7.    Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

8.    Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis

9.    Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood

10.  I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak

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The Science of Food

While of course food is wonderful for eating, it is also a great way to enter the world of science and engage young learners. The Wheelock Library and the Earl Center for Learning and Innovation both have great resources to bring food in to the classroom or science in to the kitchen! Check out these two books available now!

booksThe Science Chef

This book is organized around food related questions like “How do sauces thicken?” or topics like “Make your own cheese.” Each topic is followed by an experiment that helps address the subject and answer science questions. Then a number of recipes follow using the food addressed in the experiment. The mix of science plus tasty recipes means you can go to this book for both food, fun, and education!

 

books (1)Foodworks:  over 100 science activities and fascinating facts that explore the magic of food

This book takes the science aspect of food to a new level by answering fun and interesting questions about food, and offering sciences experiments. For example: “Did you know you are being eaten right now by the 300,000 microbes on each dime-sized section of your skin? That you can make the soil in your yard suitable for growing anything? That a field mouse eats its own weight every day, while you eat about one ton of food each year- some one and a quarter million calories?” According to Barnes and Noble, all of the answers can be found in this book!

So bring learning to the kitchen. Have fun, learn, and eat deliciously!

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Uncovering Reference Books: World Slavery

worldslaveryOne of the most challenging parts of any research project can be narrowing down from a broad topic you’re interested in to a specific aspect that’s manageable for a paper or other assignment. Specialized reference sources can be a great way to get your feet wet with scholarly content that’s accessible, browsable and will give you background information while pointing you in the right direction for more in-depth research.

A Historical Guide to World Slavery looks at the many forms of enforced servitude throughout history and across the globe. If you’re looking into the new Political Science and Global Studies major, or just want to get outside a United States-centric perspective on race relations and enslavement, this book will help you explore slavery, abolition, and their legal and moral dimensions from ancient Korea to colonial Latin America to contemporary debt bondage and trafficking. The index at the back of the book lets you look up a specific person, location or topic of interest, or you can browse the entries, which are alphabetical and mainly delineate broad subjects.

Another neat characteristic of this print source is the inclusion of photographs and primary documents, including broadsides and magazine engravings. If you find something you’re particularly interested in, there are even cross-referenced “see also” sections at the end of each article and bibliographies for further reading. Or dive back into our databases and catalog – and don’t forget the library staff are here to help!

A Historical Guide to World Slavery, eds. Seymour Drescher and Stanley L. Engerman, Call number: R 306.3 H62.

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The Library is coming to Hawes!

Drop-in research help will be available outside the Hawes Study on Wednesday, November 19th from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.  Stop by to talk with a Librarian and get help with your projects and papers!

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Can’t make it to Hawes on Wednesday?  Don’t worry!  We’ve got you covered!  Drop-in research help is available 7 days a week, from noon to close at the Library Service Desk.  Nowhere near the Library?  We’ve still got you covered!  Email (reference@wheelock.edu), call (617-879-2222), or IM chat with us!

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