Read, Listen, Watch

Staff Picks and Suggestions

Suggested Summer Reading from Snell Staff (Part 2)

With just weeks remaining in the summer, you're going to have to jump into your summer reading if you haven't yet gotten started! We collected a first round of staff picks in part one to give you some summer reading suggestions, but if nothing looked interesting to you, or you're still waiting for the right book... here are some more options. Let us know in the comments, below, what you're enjoying this summer, and if you've read any of these, what you thought of them.  

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire hunter

By Seth Grahame-Smith

Suggested by Ernesto Valencia Abe Lincoln Killing Vampires and abolishing slavery! What’s not to like!?        

Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel

(Apparently a big hit among Snell staff!) Highly recommended by Karen Merguerian, Ernesto Valencia, and Ethan Bren        

Little, Big

By John Crowley

Suggested by Tom Urell I read this early this summer, and can't get it out of my head. Like an arabesque or a mandala, the more you look into it, the further it goes. Ostensibly an epic family saga, Little, Big seems modest at first, but then grows into a rich universe of its own.      

A Song of Ice and Fire Series (Part 1: A Game of Thrones)

By George R.R Martin

Suggested by Ernesto Valencia Because court intrigue and epic fantasies are fun!        

The White Darkness

by Geraldine McCaughrean

Suggested by Hillary Corbett It’s a real page-turner! I picked it up because I love anything about Antarctica – and although I was a little skeptical of the far-fetched plot at first, I found it to be gripping, masterfully written, and totally believable. It’s classified as a young adult novel, although I think it could easily be shelved in adult literature.    

Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan after the Taliban

by Sarah Chayes

Suggested by Karen Merguerian            

 An Object of Beauty

by Steve Martin

Suggested by Jen Anderle This is a humorous yet elegantly written novel about the fine art world of Manhattan and the people that live in it. Steve Martin’s main character starts as an equal in complexity and allure to the pieces she works among and tragically wastes away like a passing fad. Yet another example of Steve Martin's talent!  
So there you go. And if you still aren't interested in one of our suggestions, the library has hundreds of thousands of print books in the stacks and almost as many e-books online.  One of them is bound to be your perfect end-of-summer read.
What's your summer pick?

Suggested Summer Stories from Snell Staff

There are 42 days until the first day of fall semester classes.  That’s six solid weeks; more than enough time to take advantage of the rest of the summer by reading some great books! Here are some suggestions from our library staff to get you started. Click on the book title to see the record for the book in our collection. -- Jen  

River of Smoke 

by Amitav Ghosh

Suggested by Will Wakeling I’m just finishing Amitav Ghosh's River of Smoke, the 2nd volume of the historical trilogy begun with the wonderful and exotic Sea of Poppies. Everything you ever wanted to know about the early 19th century opium trade into Canton and southern China. A great way to learn the basics of Chinese Pidgin English, too – worth a "look-see."  

Bring Up the Bodies

by Hilary Mantel

Suggested by Ethan Bren I read Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. It’s the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Both books are really terrific pieces of historical fiction that I enjoyed immensely.    


by Kristin Cashore

Suggested by Krishna Patel My vote would be for Graceling and its sequel, Bitterblue, and the companion as well, Fire – all of which we own!  Written by a local (squee!), it's a beautifully crafted fantasy tale about two delightfully strong and unorthodox ladies in a Tolkien-meets-King-Arthur sort of way. I’ve been suggesting them like a crazy person to anyone who asks, and I’ve not had bad feedback yet. Take that, Twilight!  

Canada by Richard Ford

Suggested by Jamie Dendy It carries one away through a riveting plot, yet drops one on the ground from time to time to ponder issues of crime and inheritance.      

Dogma by Lars Iyer

Suggested by Karen Merguerian Lars joined us for one of our Meet the Author Talks in Spring 2012! Watch the video here.      

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow

Suggested by Jen Ferguson What I'm loving about it: Who knew that a book about probability could be so engaging?       Now go forth and capture some quality summer days! Soak up the weather, drink something sweet and cold, and read your book way too fast.

Summer Books and Movies, Round One

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="summer reading. by Charley {like, the girl way} on flickr"]summer reading.[/caption] We hope you have a little more time to catch up on fun movies and books over the summer -- it's when us library folks have a little extra time to breathe and read, too.  We'll be releasing a series of book and movie picks from students and staff all over the library, but here's a few titles to get us started.  Do you have big summer book or movie plans?  Let us know in the comments, below!

Adapted from a Philip K. Dick story, a re-make with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston will be released in August 2012. Be sure to see the 1990 original with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, or read the Philip K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale": the re-make promises to be very different than the Verhoeven version.

"Its great magic is in making the worn-out story of Henry and his many wives seem fascinating and suspenseful again... [not] nostalgic, exactly, but it’s astringent and purifying, stripping away the cobwebs and varnish of history, the antique formulations and brocaded sentimentality of costume-­drama novels, so that the English past comes to seem like something vivid, strange and brand new. -- New York Times

"It is an extraordinary work, both realist and visionary, a historical-lyrical recreation of early encounters between black and white on the south coast of Western Australia... That Deadman Dance is a novel to read, recite, and reread, to linger over as Scott peels back layer after layer of meaning, as he slides unapologetically across time and between cultures and ways of being, seeing and understanding. -- Sydney Morning Herald

"Part of Morrison’s longstanding greatness resides in her ability to animate specific stories about the black experience and simultaneously speak to all experience. It’s precisely by committing unreservedly to the first that she’s able to transcend the circumscribed audience it might imply. This work’s accomplishment lies in its considerable capacity to make us feel that we are each not only resident but co-owner of, and collectively accountable for, this land we call home." -- New York Times

"Alison Bechdel is still not the household name she deserves to be... Well, rectify that without delay because her latest volume of ravishingly drawn, brilliantly written autobiography is her biggest crowd-pleaser to date.... [T]his deceptively light book is in fact a serious excursion into the meaning of identity and how our selves are created through early interactions with our mothers." -- The Telegraph

  •  2312 / Kim Stanley Robinson

"His boldest trip into all of the marvelous SF genres—ethnography, future shock, screed against capitalism, road to earth—and all of the ways to thrill and be thrilled. It's a future history that's so secure and comprehensive that it reads as an account of the past." -- Slate


Celebrate May Day!

Let's celebrate labor! Yesterday was May Day, internationally celebrated as a day of recognition for labor and the working class. To learn about labor and labor history, you probably know to search NUCat for books and other items in our collection, and use our library home page discovery search box to add journal articles to your search.  In addition, here are some other, perhaps lesser-known, collections and items related to labor that we have to offer in the NU Libraries. You may have heard references in the media to Northeastern's Center for Labor Market Studies, an applied research unit that focuses on employment and unemployment in New England and nationwide.  Center for Labor Market Studies reports are collected and published in IRis, Northeastern's digital archive of university scholarship. [caption id="attachment_4953" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Coop student files papers, circa 1940. Courtesy of NU Archives and Special Collections"][/caption] The Archives and Special Collections help you go back in time to learn about the history of labor and labor relations in Boston. Their unique documents include Gay and Lesbian Labor Activists Network records from 1987-2001, which illustrate that organization's campaigns against homophobia in the labor movement, and their support for benefits for domestic partners and nondiscrimination. Our Archives and Special Collections also help you learn about labor history and union advocacy in Boston's immigrant community organizations, such as the Chinese Progressive Association and El Colectivo Puertoriqueño de Boston. The Women's Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) is another advocacy organization, started in 1986 to promote women leaders in the Massachusetts labor movement; their records, including photographs, negatives and slides, are also available in our Archives and Special Collections. For the most up-to-date information about labor, try our research databases. Factiva (with Wall Street Journal articles) and Lexis-Nexis help you find up-to-date news, while Business Source Complete and EconLit have scholarship and research articles. For a country-by-country view of labor practices, try EIU Country Reports. Don't forget that the library has videos!  1-800-INDIA: Importing a White-Collar Economy, available streaming, is a great example--a fascinating look at how outsourced white-collar jobs have affected family relations, urban landscapes, women's lives, labor practices, and economic development in India. [caption id="attachment_4955" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Courtesy Smithsonian Global Sound"][/caption] Finally, celebrate May 1 by listening to some old-time labor songs. Here's labor organizer Florence Reese, followed by Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers, with the heartfelt "Which Side Are You On?" from the album Classic Labor Songs (Smithsonian Folkways).

JoVE: Science in Motion

[caption id="attachment_4847" align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Work by NU Professors Jing Xu and Mansoor Aniji on JoVE"]Work by NU Professor on JoVE[/caption] Have you ever slogged through an experimental protocol, trying to understand exactly what the authors did in the lab?  Have you ever tried to learn about research methods in other disciplines, just to get bogged down in terminology?  Now there’s a more visual alternative. The library is pleased to offer access to JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments.  JoVE publishes professionally produced and edited, peer-reviewed video demonstrations of experiments filmed in research laboratories. This revolutionary resource allows students and researchers to watch experts perform techniques before attempting experiments themselves.  Just getting started in the lab?  JoVE has a Basic Protocols section where you can learn everything from microscope care to Western blotting. JoVE also features video articles from NEU scientists in the departments of Bioengineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. We invite you to check out JoVE, and let us know what you think!