Read, Listen, Watch

Staff Picks and Suggestions

Reading Recommendations for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Bienvenidos a Northeastern, and happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Initially recognized as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, the celebration of Hispanic American history was expanded to a month-long event in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, and is observed from September 15-October 15 each year. Here at the Northeastern University Library, we’ve curated a selection of recreational reading that highlights Hispanic voices, stories, and culture.

Visit the Hub on the first floor of Snell Library to check out the print collection, which includes titles in both English and Spanish. If you’re not on the Boston campus, enjoy any of the e-books or audiobooks linked from our virtual bookshelf! Here are some recommended reads:

The cover of The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas (2022)

This Gothic fairytale begins in the years following the Mexican War of Independence. Beatriz, left orphaned and homeless by the war, marries a wealthy widower and moves to his secluded country estate. But as she settles into her new home, Beatriz begins to hear voices and see visions, and to wonder what really happened to her husband’s first wife.

The cover of Violeta by Isabel Allende

Violeta by Isabel Allende (2022)

The newest novel from the award-winning author of The House of the Spirits and Zorro (among many others!) follows the momentous hundred-year life of Violeta Del Valle, from her birth in 1920 until her death a century later.



The cover of Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through America's Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez

Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through America’s Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez (2020)

The son of Mexican immigrants living in Washington, Noé Álvarez left college to participate in the Peace and Dignity Journey: a months-long run organized every four years by Indigenous and First Nations communities, with the intention of fostering and reaffirming cultural connections among First Nations peoples.

Recreational Reads Available Through New OverDrive Subscription

Looking for your next great read? Northeastern University Library is proud to announce our new OverDrive platform, which offers a dynamic collection of e-books and audiobooks to all members of the Northeastern community. Enjoy curated selections of new fiction, popular nonfiction, classic works, and audiobooks.

You can explore the full OverDrive collection at northeasternuni.overdrive.com. We’re adding new materials all the time, so be sure to check back frequently! Northeastern’s OverDrive platform connects seamlessly to the free Libby app for iOS and Android, which allows you to place holds, check out books, and read or listen on your tablet or smartphone. If you’re a member of a public library that supports Libby, you can quickly switch between library accounts to maximize your reading experience.

E-books and audiobooks in the OverDrive collection are also linked directly from Scholar OneSearch, our library catalog, so you can do all your searching in one place!

Users are currently able to check out three titles at a time for up to two weeks, and can place a maximum of three simultaneous holds. When accessing materials on OverDrive, you’ll be prompted to log in with your Northeastern/Mills or NCH London credentials.

Northeastern’s OverDrive instance replaces our previous membership to the SAILS OverDrive platform, and allows Northeastern librarians greater control over the materials in the collection. This means that we’re able to respond to your requests! If there’s something you’d like to see in the library’s collection, just fill out the Recommend a Purchase form to let us know.

Here are some recommended reads to help you get started…

The cover of the book Persuasion by Jane Austen


Persuasion: The recent Netflix adaptation of this Jane Austen novel may have been a bit of a flop, but the original story is a classic for a reason. Austen’s final work is a romantic meditation on love and duty.




The cover of Book Lovers by Emily Henry



Book Lovers: This New York Times bestseller is a love letter to books and reading, and a romance between two very different—but maybe not so different?—readers.




The cover of Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad

Between Two Kingdoms: At twenty two, Suleika Jaouad has just graduated from college and has her whole life ahead of her. Then, without warning, she’s diagnosed with leukemia. But this is not a book about surviving cancer. It’s a book about what comes after: learning to live in the world again.

Library Adds New York Times, Financial Times to Growing Online Newspaper Collection

The Northeastern University Library is very pleased to announce that the New York Times and Financial Times are now available to the Northeastern community through their publishers’ websites.

The New York Times is America’s most influential newspaper. In addition to daily news from the city of New York, it is best known for its extensive political coverage of the United States, international news, and in-depth focus on books, arts, and culture.

Northeastern’s subscription includes all the newspaper’s journalism, from today’s breaking news to full archival coverage (with digital images of the newspaper) back to 1980. Users can read and participate in comments, view data visualizations, and access video journalism and podcasts. To read on your phone, use the New York Times app on Apple or Google Play. Up to 10 articles per month can be shared gratis with non-subscribers.

Individual registration with your Northeastern (or New College of the Humanities-London) email is required. Current Northeastern faculty, staff, and students are eligible for access. Learn more and register for the New York Times.

The Financial Times is London-based and is also international in scope. From its roots as a business newspaper, it has grown to include political, economic, and cultural news. Northeastern’s subscription includes both the International and UK editions. The Financial Times tracks global markets, offers extensive coverage of business management and marketing news and trends worldwide, and hosts subject-focused newsletters, podcasts, and live conferences.

For classroom use, instructors can easily create reading lists to share with students. In addition, up to 20 “gift articles” per month can be shared with non-subscribers. A Financial Times app is available on Apple and Google Play.

Individual registration with your Northeastern (or New College of the Humanities-London) email is required. Current Northeastern faculty, staff, and students are eligible for access. Learn more and register for the Financial Times.

These two news sites join the hundreds of daily newspapers from Access World News and PressReader, as well as the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, and more, in the library’s growing collection of news sources from around the world. These highly requested newspapers meet the information needs of an increasingly global Northeastern.

Learn more about accessing newspapers through the Northeastern University Library on our News and Newspapers Guide.

This post was written with Roxanne Palmatier, Christine Oka, and Brooke Williams.

Library and University Resources to Support Student Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At this time of year, it may be helpful to know about library webpages for two major stressors at the end of the academic year.

What will I do this summer—or after graduation?
Northeastern University has many services, resources, and opportunities for work before and after graduation. The Co-op to Career webpage includes a directory of offices to work with you on career and job options, listing them all in one place. Visit the University Services box on the guide.

Writing a resume and cover letter or CV for the first time? Career Design offers a number of support services for that. Plus, the Library provides access to books, ebooks, and media, such as AVON: Academic Video Online. This collection includes full-length films as well as short videos (some only a couple of minutes long) about job hunting, preparing an elevator pitch for an interview, or how to craft a cover letter.

I am stressed out—what can I do?
Visit the Coping webpage for a listing of university support resources. This page includes the many resources available to members of the Northeastern University community—faculty, staff, and students—as well as links to helpful services.

Reassured by reading? The webpage also shows books and ebooks recommended by the University Health and Counseling Service (UHCS) and the Office of Education & Prevention at Northeastern (OPEN) on coping with a variety of stressors.

The Staff Guide: Supporting Student Mental Health is available on the webpage in the Resources box. The guide provides helpful insights into student behavior and referral information.

Katz Tapes Provide Valuable Resource on History of Music Industry

This blog post was written by Sean Plaistowe and edited by Molly Brown and Giordana Mecagni for clarity.

Larry Katz is a music journalist who spent a long career working at Boston-area newspapers and magazines. While collecting information for upcoming articles, it became his practice to record the interviews with musicians and artists and put them aside in case they proved useful in the future. Over time, he amassed a collection of over 1,000 of these interviews, with artists as diverse as Eartha Kitt, Carly Simon, D.J. Fontana (the drummer for Elvis), Aerosmith, David Bowie, Ornette Coleman, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, James Brown, Miles Davis, and Elmore Leonard, as well as actors including Ted Danson, Mel Brooks, and Loretta Devine.

In 2020, Larry donated his collection to the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections (NUASC).

A collage of various musicians and artists. At the center is a cassette tape that is labeled "The Katz Tapes"

These interviews create a fascinating resource that provides insight into the music and arts industry across a wide variety of genres and eras. In them, you can catch some novel and intimate moments of music history. On one tape, you’ll hear Weird Al Yankovic discussing the difficulties of obtaining permission to parody Eminem’s music. Other tapes with artists like Nina Simone or Aimee Mann discuss musical influences or even the challenges and biases of navigating the recording industry. These interviews contain countless quiet moments as well, such as Prince discussing his preference for his home in Minneapolis over either coast, as well as his favorite movies of the year. The quiet clicking of teacups connecting with saucers while Eartha Kitt discusses her career provides a welcome feeling of connection and belonging that can feel rare and precious in researching these figures or music journalism more generally.

Black and white image of a man with curly dark hair and a collared shirt.
Larry Katz. Photo courtesy of The Katz Tapes website.

After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in 1975, Larry Katz worked as a bass player before starting his journalism career at Boston’s Real Paper in 1980. In 1981, Larry worked as a freelance music writer at the Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix before being hired at the Boston Herald as a features writer, where he covered a wide variety of arts and lifestyle beats before settling into a role as a music critic and columnist. In 2006, he became the Herald’s Arts Editor and in 2008, he took over the features department, a role he had until 2011.

In 2013, Larry revisited his tape collection. Re-listening to the interviews sparked memories of the circumstances and contexts that these recordings were made in, information he felt compelled to share. He started a blog, The Katz Tapes, where he began to write reflections on artists and their interviews, often taking into account events that had transpired since the original conversations. Along with these reflections, Larry provided a transcription of the recorded interviews which he often interspersed with links to notable performances or songs related to the artists. Larry also donated the contents of this blog to the NUASC.

Making this collection usable and accessible to the public has involved many hands and collaborations, both internal and external. First, the tapes were digitized by George Blood LP, with funding generously provided by the Library of the Commonwealth program run by the Boston Public Library. Once the digitized tapes were safely back in the hands of the NUASC collections staff, the files were then handed to the Digital Production Services department to do the painstaking work of processing and cataloging the collection. They split audio files that contained multiple interviews, combined interviews that were on multiple tapes edited out white space, and created catalog records.

Making the blog content available was another challenge. Despite already being digital, moving content from Larry’s independent site to Northeastern hosting proved difficult. Initially, I was hopeful that we could use a handy WordPress feature that would allow for the whole cloth export of his blog. No such luck. Instead, I found some scripts which allowed me to scrape the many unique images which Larry had included with each post. The blog also linked to a lot of songs and performances hosted on YouTube, but unfortunately, due to the vagaries of time and copyright law, many of these videos were removed. When possible, I attempted to restore links to sanctioned videos. As an added feature, I created a playlist that includes many of the songs referenced in these posts.

Now that the collection has been cataloged and the blog has been ingested, we welcome anyone to search for their favorite artist, listen to their interview, read some of the reminiscences and insights form Larry about the artist and the interview, and listen to a Spotify playlist of some of the artists Larry interviews at thekatztapes.library.northeastern.edu.

In addition to the Larry Katz collection, researchers and enthusiasts of the arts in Boston may be interested in the Real Paper records and the Boston Phoenix records, both available at the NUASC.