Read, Listen, Watch

Staff Picks and Suggestions

Summer Staff Picks

Looking for a good book to read or movie to watch over the summer?  Visit the exhibit showcases on the first floor of Snell Library—in the front of the Library and also in the display case by the first floor elevator.  Northeastern University Libraries staff members share their recommendations.  Browse their selections and settle on a first-rate title to enjoy this summer!  

Barbara Walters censors her own audio book

Book Jacket Time Magazine reports that, despite the Knopf promotional material (“Here, too, are her relationships with men — in and out of her marriages…”), the audio verson of the memoirs of prominent journalist and apparent roundheel Barbara Walters completely omits the two chapters from the printed book in which she discusses her extramarital affairs. Apparently the decision to omit was made by Walters herself. But was there any other reason anyone wanted to read–or listen–to this book? Caveat emptor, audio-book-buyers!

The Dower House

Book Jacket of Dower House I finished reading The Dower House by Annabel Davis-Goff, part of my TBR 2008 challenge.  Even though I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read as part of it, I’m starting to get a little irked by it-it feels a bit like I’ve turned reading into a to-do list.  (I’ve finished several more of the books, and I still need to review them). The Dower House is a beautifully descriptive book that focuses on Molly Hassard’s coming of age in the unique, privileged and fading world of the Anglo-Irish.  (In terms of this book, these are Protestant gentry of English heritage, but they live in Ireland, not Northern Ireland.)  It’s primarily set in the 1950’s and it’s Molly’s elegy for an unsustainable lifestyle.  It’s a world she loves, and is willing to devote her life to, even as it crumbles.  The Dower House is also a love story, and a record of eccentric, aristocratic family life, like the Mitfords. I actually found a good number of parallels between The Dower House and Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love.  Molly is a sympathetic protagonist, and that kept me interested in this novel.  Davis-Goff is also a talented descriptive writer who creates a lush and glamorous setting.  It’s not a very long novel, and I’d recommend picking it up over summer vacation.

Library Liberty

The library, with a partially respectful nod to the SC’s recent partial protection of Habeas Corpus, might be the last functional democratic institution around. Serves the demos, check. Equality, check. Transparency, check. Meritocratic, check. You get the point. But, check this. Librarians subvert, like founding fathers but different imperials and less with the slavery and Caucasian patriarchy. They actually care about information and an informed, civil society, that is, news. I mean real news: the stuff that “they” don’t want you to know, and not the standard gossip columns, celeb reviews, and adverts that are sold between commercials at 6, 10 and now at 11 as well. News about the restriction of news just doesn’t seem to make it on the telly so much. Back to the librarians. The American Library Association has a commando called the Intellectual Freedom Committee. Unlike most committees, this one doesn’t suck. Instead, it puts out a Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom–a real news source. You just probably never heard of it because it is a real news source and thus non-profitable and sometimes embarrassing to the point of being anti-profitable and thus democratic. This library has this title in current periodicals @ Z1.N7400 or for you Law folks out there, click here to get started. This is just one little tidbit of the system busting stuff that lives in the Library. Don’t tell anyone, because if the word gets out, the rules might change and information might not flow anymore…say in something called the Patriot Act

In the Woods and other fun stuff

I just recently finished the fairly new book, In the Woods by Tana French.  I had seen this book displayed in a Barnes and Noble, read the synopses, and immediately felt the need to read it.  It had a very promising plot line: In 1984, three 12-year-old friends go missing in the woods of Knocknaree, Ireland.  One boy is found clinging to a tree with blood in his shoes and no memory of what happened to himself and his friends.  His two friends were never found.  The book takes place over 20 years later where this boy is now a 30-something detective who gets assigned to a murder case in Knocknaree.  There are pieces of evidence found that connect back to his 1984 case.  The detective struggles throughout the book with trying to remember the events that happened in the woods, as well as struggling with his current difficult case. This book had suspense, an intricate plot, poetic language, and… the worst ending I have ever read.  Without giving away too much detail, the worst thing you can do to a character as a writer-worst than killing them off- is set them up to be a very real, human, compassionate character that is very identifiable to the reader.  Then, make their life completely miserable and end the book without any hope or resolution for the reader to hold onto, “Sorry, but that’s the way life goes sometimes.  You can’t always get what you want!”  This is exactly what French did with this book and I was left feeling extremely empty at the end. If you (for some reason) feel a desire to read this book, we unfortunately do not have this book at Snell Library.  I didn’t want to pay the $14 at Barnes and Noble, so I ordered it through the Virtual Catalog. As I promised in a previous post on library school, I will post my websites for all to see with the same warning: I am not a very good website-maker! Tricia’s Writing And as a bonus, my final site for the same Web Design class!: All About Fred!