Currently browsing category

Just for Fun

Uncovering Reference Books: Art reference sources add color to your day

Are you getting an Arts degree from Wheelock? Doing the Art History program in conjunction with Emmanuel? Need some help on a paper, presentation, or assignment for Marjorie Hall’s class that has you stumped?

Or maybe you aren’t taking classes in art. But have you ever been walking through the MFA, enjoying your life near the arts center of Boston, and found yourself in the contemporary room? And realize you have no idea what you’re looking at? Or maybe you stumbled upon the Jasper Johns: Picture Puzzle exhibition at the MFA and want to know more about his work, such as Target (1974) seen below?

Jasper Johns, Target, 1974

If this sounds familiar, then we have just the reference book to alleviate your confusion and fulfill your curiosity! Contemporary Artists is a two-volume biographic index of contemporary artists that details many aspects of each artists’ life. Read through the biographies of the artists to get a sense of their lives and understand why they are important in the art world. Finding the artist you’re looking for is easy because the set offers an alphabetical index in the beginning of volume one and an index arranged by nationality in the back of volume two.

You can browse through the book to catch glimpses of works from the artists featured within. Although the images are not in color, you can still get an idea of the dynamic and breathtaking art created by these groundbreaking contemporary artists.

And there are even more features. Doing a paper on an artist for class? There are lists of sources about the artists for further research as well as a guide to the artists’ past exhibitions. Or maybe you just want to know what other museums have your new favorite artist’s work. Look at the guide to collections and find another treasure trove of art to explore.

Not into contemporary art? Or maybe you’re taking Women, Art, and Society with Marjorie Hall? Love gender studies or feminism? Interested in seeing the strides women in the United Stated made in art in the twentieth century? Or maybe during that same visit to the MFA, you find a great work by Georgia O’Keeffe, such as Deer Skull with Pedernal (1936) seen below, and want to know more about her and her work?

Georgia O'Keefe, Deer Skull with Pedernal, 1936

If so, you need to check out North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: a Biographical DictionaryThis volume contains biographic entries about influential women in the Untied States over the last century. Read through the text, gleaning information about the artists’ birth, life, and awards as you read about their importance and impact on the art world. See how women have empowered themselves through artistic expression and made strides in a male dominated field.

Like Contemporary Artiststhis book gives you reference for further reading, a resource that is essential when writing research papers! Flip through the book to see the styles and techniques of women artists throughout the 1900s. Maybe even pick up some artists to look for next time you go to a museum.

Whether you’re a scholar or a casual observer, you should browse Contemporary Artists and North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. You’ll never know what you might discover.

Contemporary Artistsed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Call number: R 709 C76 2002; North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Centuryed. Jules Heller and Nancy G. Heller. Call Number:   R 709.2 N81

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Where Do You Keep Your “Fun” Books?

Floor 1 by the whiteboard columns and they’re organized by the author’s last name.  It’s our new and exciting Popular Reading Collection!

diversion
Not that our children’s lit on Floor2M or our literature books on Floor 4M can’t be fun. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is absolutely filled with hijinx.

The Popular Reading Collection was created in response to our patrons who come to the Library looking for something to read outside of their academic lives. We selected books for this collection based on recommendations written on our whiteboard columns. The books were then purchased with part of the proceeds from Better World Books donations.  You can add further title suggestions to the whiteboard column labelled “Books Worth Reading”.

This Fall, we’ve started the collection out with about 30-something titles. Here are just a few of them:

 

bookthiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Death tells the story of Liesel, a young German girl, who loves books so much that she steals them. She shares their stories with her family, the Jewish man hiding in her house, and her neighbors, providing respite to the horrors of World War II.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future dystopian Chicago, members of society must dedicate their entire lives to one of five personality-based factions. After taking an aptitude test, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior finds out that she is “Divergent” and does not fall neatly into one group, making her a threat to the status quo.

eleanorparkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
New girl, Eleanor, is overweight, weirdly dressed, abused, and bullied.  Park has always been a bit of a loner. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, the two teenage misfits fall in love over comic books and mixed tapes. Fans of John Green’s Fault in Our Stars may want to check this book out.

Feed by M.T. Anderson
The story takes place in a hyper-computerized future where most people are connected with a computer network through a feed, or transmitter, implanted in their brains. The narrator is a teenage boy, Titus, who has lived his entire life communicating using the feed. He meets a girl, Violet, who has decided that she wants to resist the feed.

knifeofneverlettinggoThe Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Todd lives in a small dystopian colony where a germ has killed off all the women and as a side effect of the germ, everyone can hear each other’s thoughts, described as “Noise”. One day, Todd discovers a spot of silence.  Once everyone hears about it, they set out to capture him. It turns out that the colony’s past is not what it seems.

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
This book contains seven stories that are mysteriously linked and all take place on a Scandinavian island inhabited by Vikings, vampires, ghosts, and a curiously powerful plant.

peculiarchildrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
After his grandfather’s unexpected death, Jacob is given a letter that leads him to a Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. He finds an abandoned orphanage where he meets a girl who uses time travel to take him back to 1940. He discovers disturbing facts about the children who were kept there. The author’s incorporation of vintage photos of children really drives the eerie atmosphere.

Paper Towns by John Green
Quentin “Q” Jacobsen has a crush on his neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, since they were kids.  Margo shows up one night at Quentin’s bedroom window dressed like a ninja and takes him on an adventure to get revenge on people who have hurt her. She then mysteriously disappears. Q searches for her using clues he believes she has left behind.

Proxy by Alex Londonproxy
The story takes place in a world of wealthy Patrons and poorer Proxies.    When a Patron breaks a law, the Proxy takes the punishment in his place.  When Knox, a Patron, kills someone in a car crash, his Proxy, Syd, is sentenced to death. Syd flees and Knox, realizing how unfair the system is, joins him. Together, they try to beat the system.

Reality Boy by A.S. King
Seventeen-year-old, Gerald Faust, has been struggling to control his anger, a result of suffering from a dysfunctional family. When he was 5, his family signed up to take part in a reality show where a nanny would come teach the family how to behave healthily and properly. The entire world watched as Gerald defecated in anger and he was given the nickname, Crapper. He meets a no-nonsense girl, Hannah, also from dysfunctional family, and she helps him put his anger to rest.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Happy Halloween!

Trick or treat! It’s the time of year when we indulge in all things scary and consume copious amounts of candy. Need a little help getting into the Halloween spirit? The Library’s got you covered! Check out these films and books and get yourself ready for all things creepy and spooky. We’ve also included some kid-friendly suggestions for those of you who, like me, can’t sleep for a week after being forced to watch a scary movie.

Ghost Train
Streaming video in Academic Video Online
This documentary, produced by Edward Mirzoeff, features people who have witnessed ghosts and other supernatural phenomena talk about their experiences.

Secret Lives Of Ghosts and Werewolves
Streaming video in Academic Video Online
This documentary explores the facts behind myths, including the Monkey Man of Delhi and a ghost who inhabits the crypts of Edinburgh Castle.

scary_stories_cover_largeScary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
J 398.25 Sch9s
Technically, this is a children’s book but to this day, the eerie illustrations in the Scary stories series still freak me out. Growing up, I had a hard time getting the stringy, distorted images out of my head but I’m pretty sure I still read every book in the series.

Tales of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
813 P75ta
A true classic. My favorites are Masque of the Red Death and The Cask of the Amontillado.

Haunted Halls Ghostlore of American College Campuses by Elizabeth Tucker
e-book
Why do so many American college students tell stories about encounters with ghosts? In Haunted Halls, the first book-length interpretive study of college ghostlore, Elizabeth Tucker takes the reader back to school to get acquainted with a wide range of college spirits. Some of the best-known ghosts that she discusses are Emory University’s Dooley, who can disband classes by shooting professors with his water pistol; Mansfield University’s Sara, who threw herself down a flight of stairs after being rejected by her boyfriend; and Huntingdon College’s Red Lady, who slit her wrists while dressed in a red robe.

Victorian Ghost Stories by Mike Stocks
e-book
Six spine-tingling stories dug up and dusted down for today’s readers. Enter the terrifying world of Victorian ghouls and ghostly apparitions – if you dare.

halloween treatsHalloween Treats Simply Spooky Recipes for Ghoulish Sweet Treats by Annie Rigg
e-book
In this spooky new book, queen of cakes, Annie Rigg, turns her hand to simple, cute and creepy cakes, cookies and other edible sweet treats to delight any Halloween-loving child. You’ll find chapters on Cookies; Cupcakes; Big Cakes; and Other Treats. Kooky recipes include cookie ghouls, gingerbread witches’ hats, spidery cupcakes, and jack-o-lantern cookies.

Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi
J-P C4542b
Kimin, a young Korean-American boy, has trouble deciding on a Halloween costume, but as he looks through an old trunk of his grandfather’s things, he suddenly unlocks a childhood mystery.

The Story of Halloween by Carol Greene
J 394.2646 G83s
Explores the history of Halloween from the holiday’s Celtic origins over 2000 years ago to present-day celebrations, and provides spooky riddles and ideas for pumpkin art.

Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann
J-P R635b
Although devastated when his pet dog dies, a young boy goes trick-or-treating and receives a timely visit from an old friend during a scary encounter with graveyard skeletons.

bone dog

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Nanowriwhatnow?

Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

 

The month of November begins in seventeen days, with it bringing shorter daylight hours, colder temperatures, the promise of turkey and pumpkin pie, and of course, football. More important and potentially life-changing than all of these things, however, is National Novel Writing Month. Nanowrimo, as it is affectionately known, pits an author against the ultimate deadline; write 50,000 words in thirty days and call yourself an author.

afterworlds The protagonist of Scott Westerfeld’s new book Afterworlds is a Nanowrimo “winner.” Though the advance she receives for her book is enough to pay for college, she instead travels to New York City to complete her second novel and take the literary world by storm. One part contemporary realistic fiction, one part fantasy horror, and two parts meta-aware young adult novel, Afterworlds is a fun romp through the possibilities inherent in being an aspiring writer. Though I wouldn’t suggest dropping out of college to write YA, I do think you should read Afterworlds and use it to fuel your creative longings.

If you needed still more proof to sign up (which you shouldn’t), here is a list of my favorite novels produced during one (or more) Nanowrimo.  Read, and be inspired.

Nanowrimo

  1.        The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This caramel confection of a novel spent seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and won an Alex Award from the American Library Association in 2012.
  2.        Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. If you loved Eleanor and Park (or Harry Potter!) this book should be next on your list. Similar to Afterworlds, Rowell melds clever meta-aware fan fiction into her story that straddles the line into the emerging New Adult genre.
  3.        Losing Faith by Denise Jaden. At times a meditation on grief, at times a harrowing story of suspense, Jaden’s novel tells the story of protagonist Brie’s search for answers when her sister, Faith, falls to her death.
  4.        Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen by Donna Gephart. Olivia Bean heads to Hollywood to be on Jeopardy!  Never trivial, readers will cheer for Olivia as she navigates not just her obsession with facts, but with growing up as well. You might also want to check out Gephart’s Death by Toilet Paper.
  5.        Wool by Hugh Howey. For those who need their apocalyptic dystopian fix, Howey gives you humanity forced underground, away from the dangerously toxic land above. One person dares break the most important rule; he asks to go outside.

Nanowrimo2

I understand if you want to read these books in December.  November is for writing.  Join me and sign up now!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Book, Movie, Food

n346955I’m writing today about a book I haven’t read and a movie I haven’t seen. But thing is, I’m excited for both. The Hundred-Foot Journey first caught my attention as a movie trailer filled with feuding restaurants in France, Michelin stars, and Indian cooking. Obviously, I was immediately intrigued. The basic plot, as described by IMBD: “The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory’s Michelin-starred eatery.” Sounds good to me! And when I discovered that this was a movie based on a book, I was even more excited. After hearing great reviews on both the film and the book, I knew I was going to be diving in to both.

See, I love reading about food. The descriptions of foods and their preparations–the smells and textures described in vivid detail–have always inspired me to get in to the kitchen to create the reality of the described experience. Reading about the origins of a dish, or the technique of a chef always makes me more reflective of my own food choices and preparation processes. So, I am excited to read this book. But I’m also excited to see this film.

See, I love watching people cook. I love seeing deft hands chopping, kneading, and grinding to manipulate ingredients. The vivid colors of foods, the distinct textures of ingredients, and the chef’s responses to smells and tastes make me want to recreate those experiences in my own kitchen. I love cooking shows (even Julia Child’s old black-and-white episodes!) because they remind me of why I love to cook. Films surrounding food offer both the excitement of a plot and the opportunity to gawk and drool over dishes that contribute to the story in meaningful and delicious ways.

The_Hundred_Foot_Journey_(film)_posterThe Hundred-Foot Journey gives me the chance to indulge in great food writing and great food on film. I can’t wait to dig in to both!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather