Summer Reading – Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty book cover

Truly Madly Guilty
by Liane Moriarty
PR9619.4.M67 T78 2016
Browsing Collection, Books, 2nd floor

Australian Liane Moriarty’s recently released latest novel is about a barbecue and is also near the pinnacle of the New York Times Best Sellers list this week. It seemed a timely book worth investigating this week.

Barbecuing is a perfect summer activity. It’s fun, doesn’t heat up the house, and results in eating yummy grilled food afterwards. Unfortunately, the backyard barbecue happening here takes a turn for the worse. Seemingly happy couples and their children get together one afternoon in Sydney only to have tragedy strike. This fast-moving, intricately plotted novel follows three very different couples Erica and Oliver, Tiffany and Vid, and Sam and Clementine, interspersing the events of that day and those months later when they’re looking back at what happened, slowly revealing the details to us. The theme of guilt flows through the complexities of marriage, friendship, and sex as the novel proceeds to its end. You can read an excerpt here.

If you want to read Moriarty’s other novels (The Husband’s Secret, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, The Last Anniversary, Little Big Lies, Three Wishes, What Alice Forgot), some are available through UW Request.

Intrigued? You can Browse Inside the book on the Simon and Schuster website.

You may want to check out the book reviews on YouTube, as well as this video of Liane Moriarty answering five questions about the book.

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New Stuff Tuesday – August 9, 2016

The Revenant DVD Cover

The Revenant
Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, performance by Leonardo DiCaprio & Tom Hardy
Browsing DVD Rev
New Arrivals Island, DVD, 2nd floor

Every year I like to watch all of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscar’s (because I’m pretentious and also like movies). One of the last nominees I watched was The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This film was beautifully shot and gives an incredible portrayal of the fortitude of the human spirit. If you haven’t watched it yet and would like the chance to see Leo wrestle a bear, I highly recommend you stop by Andersen Library and check it out.

You can get these other 2016 Best Picture nominees at the Library, too:

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Summer Reading – All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See book cover

All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr

PS3604.O34 A77 2014

Main Collection, 3rd floor

This wonderfully moving novel was 10 years in the making and was well worth the wait. Doerr has won many awards over time, including the Pulitzer Prize and Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for this historical novel. It was also a National Book Award for fiction finalist. The novel is set in World War II era Europe and follows the lives of two children, Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German boy with a talent for radios. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris. Blind since the age of six, her father builds her scale models their environs so she can learn how to navigate the streets. Eventually they have to flee and end up in Saint-Malo. Meanwhile, Werner’s technical abilities and expertise cause him to get involved with the Hitler Youth. Their paths cross and become intertwined when the Nazis come to Saint-Malo.

Intrigued? You can Browse Inside the book on the Simon and Schuster website.

There are also some great clips on YouTube, like this one where Anthony Doerr talks about his inspiration for the novel:

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New Stuff Tuesday – August 2, 2016

The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy

The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy
by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber
LB2331.7 .B47 2016
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

As August rolls in, the days shorten, and many of us would insist that the clock speeds along more quickly as well. Why do we always reach this point of the summer wondering why we haven’t accomplished all we “should”? Have we used our time as efficiently as possible? Have we met ever increasing goals set for us and by us? Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber challenge us to question this push towards a frantic pace, a symptom, they assert, that is a result of the corporatization and standardization of academia.

Forms of the Slow Movement philosophy have been explored in the context of Slow Money, Slow Medicine, have been researched in the context of information behavior and more. Berg and Seeber extend Slow principles to academia, emphasizing that professors and students need what they refer to as “timeless” time to above all think. Time for reflection and open-ended inquiry is not a luxury, but crucial to what academics are and do.

This encouraging 90-page volume speaks not only to professors, but all instructional staff, graduate students, and those in academia who balance precious student contact time with other institutional responsibilities and expectations.

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Summer Reading – Scott Westerfeld

Book covers of the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld: Leviathan, Goliath, Behemoth

by Scott Westerfeld
F Wes
Curriculum Collection, Juvenile Fiction, 2nd floor

Scott Westerfeld has written a lot of juvenile fiction, but his best, in my opinion is the steampunk Leviathan Trilogy: Leviathan, Behemoth, and Goliath. In case you’ve never heard of steampunk I’ll tell you a bit about it. Steampunk is essentially Victorian inspired science fiction, generally occurring either during the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria (1837-1901) or during a later time period that still has Victorian sensibilities and uses the technology of the time period (steam and mechanical as opposed to gas and computers). From there you will find a myriad of variations like dieselpunk. Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea would be steampunk if it had been written these days instead of in 1869.

Here’s what Scott has to say about the story:
“Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, 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 World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected ways, taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.”

Watch the trailer for Leviathan here.

Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld and how you can get them:

1. Leviathan (2009)
2. Behemoth (2010)
3. Goliath (2011) – available through UW Request

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Friday Fun – Visual Pu Pu Platter

Here’s a little Friday Fun! Check out the wallpapers on the website of the file transfer service WeTransfer, which also welcomes submissions of webadverts (see “The very best of our commercial advertisements“). Some of the wallpapers are just beautiful and inspiring…sometimes curious…and definitely more interesting than the ads on websites’ banners or down one side of the display that I regularly ignore. WeTransfer was even an honoree in 2010 for a Webby AWard in the Best Visual Design – Function” category.

For example, “Chip Clark: The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History” shows a very nonpublic side of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (which I love visiting). It’s a bit sad, actually, to see the collections of once-living birds just stored on trays. But it’s fascinating to see that there is such a collection. Of course there would be these collections behind the public exhibits, but who thinks about it?

As you sample other wallpapers you may find, as I did, that you’re getting lost just following each entry’s tags or the offers of “Something Else?” at the bottom of each one. Some of my favorites are “Yoni Alter” showing samples of his animal animations and “World Press Photo – Daniel Ochoa de Olza: The Maya Tradition.”

screenshot from WeTransfer website


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New Stuff Tuesday – July 26, 2016

Visiting Tom: A Man, A Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace

Visiting Tom: A Man, A Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace
by Michael Perry
CT275 .H388 P47 2016
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

Michael Perry is one of Wisconsin’s favorite contemporary writers as well as a radio host and songwriter. His folksy books about Wisconsin rural life regularly appear on the New York Times Bestseller lists. Perry’s books are populated by hard-bitten farmers and other earthy souls who inhabit the fertile fields, taverns, and homesteads of northern Wisconsin.

This book features a wiry cannon-wielding octogenarian farmer named Tom. Perry’s work offers social anthropology and quirky humor in equal measures – and this book looks to follow suit.

In 2008, Michael Perry won the UWW Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award for his work. So you’re not likely to go wrong with any of his books – they are quick and enriching reads.

Here are some of the author’s earlier books (and we have more on the way):

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Summer Reading – Erin Celello

Learning to Stay book cover

Learning to Stay
by Erin Celello
PS3603.E4 L43 2013
Main Collection, 3rd floor

Miracle Beach book cover

Miracle Beach
by Erin Celello
PS3603.E4 M57 2011
Main Collection, 3rd floor

Professor Erin Celello has written some deeply thoughtful books that get you pondering, which might be great for late summer reading.

Learning to Stay, Celello’s most recent heart wrenching novel, is about lawyer Elise Sabato, her husband Brad, and a dog named Jones. As the book opens, Brad is stationed in Iraq and Elise is at home in the States. Soon enough though he returns home a changed man, suffering from both a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Things could not be more different than when he left and Elisa finds herself facing the schism between her ideal life and her new reality. When Jones comes along he helps her realize that life is full of twists and turns and sometimes you end up right where you were meant to be. Click here to read a Learning to Stay excerpt.

Miracle Beach is Celello’s moving debut novel, about equestrienne Macy Allen and her husband Nash, who’s already died in a tragic accident by the time the first chapter has begun. He is not forgotten though as his secrets are soon revealed and influence what is to come. Similar to her latter novel, here the main character questions the tenets of her marriage and, instead of a dog, a child changes expectations. Click here to read a Miracle Beach excerpt.

On Celello’s website you will find conversation guides with questions to ask yourself or your book group as you think through her novels.

In this “Conversations from St. Norbert College” video, Erin Celello talks about how her personal experiences influenced the writing of Miracle Beach.

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New stuff Tuesday – July 18

An illustrated book of bad arguments book cover

An illustrated book of bad arguments
by Ali Almossawi
BC177 .A46 2014
New Arrivals, 2nd floor

The explanation of logical fallacies often involves a critical reading of philosophy to reach an understanding. Ali Almossawi takes a different approach by using illustrated animals to represent the different types of logical fallacies. A stuffy walrus represents ad hominem attacks and a toucan represents straw man fallacy. The accompanying text explains each logical fallacy. The illustrations by Alejandro Giraldo are both fun and provide a proper visual representation of each fallacy’s short coming.This book is effective in its simple explanation. And it is great for both those new to this topic and anyone in need of a refresher on the topic. Read this book if you would like to gain a better understanding of how to have a reasoned and rational argument.

You can read more about Ali Almossawi on his website.

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Cool off – Fans available to Walworth County residents

image of sunAndersen Library is one of Walworth County’s cooling centers,* and in partnership with the county Division of Public Health, has free box fans to distribute to individuals who do not have other means to remain cool. Fans are available from the Circulation Desk during regular Library hours while supplies last, limit one per household. Call (262) 472-5511 to assure that a fan is available.

* The University Center on campus will be open to members of the UWW and community until 9 p.m. on Thursday July 21 and Friday July 22 for keeping cool also.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for later this week. Be prepared, and don’t underestimate the risk of heat-related injury associated with high temperatures and humidity!

Find a place or means of cooling down if you experience dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, weakness, nausea or vomiting.
Call 9-1-1 for these symptoms: hot, dry skin; confusion; unconsciousness; chest pains; shortness of breath.

For more information, see “Heat Related Health and Safety Tips” from the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services, which gives these tips:

In Wisconsin, generally when temperatures approach or go above 90° F, the following actions are recommended:

  • Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day. If such activity is unavoidable, drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks in air-conditioned or shaded areas. Consider monitoring body weight and oral temperature. A weight loss of more than 2 lbs. or an oral temperature above 99° F is cause for concern.
  • Do not leave anyone – children, disabled individuals, pets – in cars for even brief periods. Temperatures can rise to life-threatening levels in a matter of minutes.
  • Make frequent checks on the status of elderly or ill relatives or neighbors. If necessary, move them to an air-conditioned environment during the hottest part of the day.
  • To avoid dehydration, a conscious effort should be made to drink more fluids during hot weather. Rapid weight loss may be a sign of dehydration. Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Use fans to increase ventilation. If the temperatures exceed 90° F, instead of having a fan blow hot air in from a window, have the fan blow the hot air to the outside. At extreme high temperatures, a fan loses its ability to effectively reduce heat-related illness.
  • Cool showers, baths, and sponge baths can be used to reduce body temperatures. In addition, wet clothing has a cooling effect.

Andersen Library is a federal and Wisconsin depository library with federal and state government documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in various formats (print, DVD/CD-ROM, online). Check out your government at Andersen Library!

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