2024 Reading Challenge Update: May Winner and What You Read This Month!

Happy summer! As May turns into June, it’s time to announce the winner of the May Reading Challenge prize drawing. Congratulations to Sreeja Vepa, whose name was drawn this month! Sreeja has won a $25 digital gift card to More Than Words, a Boston-based nonprofit bookstore run by youth ages 16-24 who are involved in the court and foster care systems.

And congratulations to everyone who read a book and told us about it this month. Remember, there are still many more chances to win, so if you haven’t won yet, keep reading!

What You Read This Month

The theme for May was “a comic book or graphic novel.” Here are some of the words-with-pictures that the Northeastern community enjoyed in May:

College of book covers

Rat Queens, Volume One: Sass and Sorcery, Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“It’s a fantasy graphic novel with female lead characters, which I like, and it is funny and adventurous, too.” — Charishma

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Alison Bechdel
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“I’d been wanting to check this out ever since I read Fun Home a few years ago. Really enjoyed it!” — Jodi

Heartstopper, Volume 1, Alice Oseman
Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book
“A super sweet romance between two British schoolboys. I loved the romantic artwork. I haven’t watched the show yet, but I can definitely recommend the books!” — Brooke

“This was really cute and I would have really enjoyed it when I was younger.” — Emma

Chivalry, Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran
Read the e-book
“The lady is very British, holding on to someone else’s cultural treasure because it looks nice on the mantle.” — Anaya

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book
“It’s clear why this is an award-winning book! The quote ‘or maybe I’m trying to render my senseless personal [experience] meaningful by linking it…to a more coherent narrative’ seems to speak to the genres of autobiography and memoir in general and to the relationship between the form and content in graphic novels in particular.” — Melissa

Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“Super deep and thoughtful look into very difficult feelings.” — Michal

And What to Read Next Month

June’s theme is “a book that inspired a film or television series,” so check out your Netflix queue or your local box office for inspiration! Here are some recommendations from the library:

Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book | Listen to the audiobook
A great read for Pride Month as well as the Reading Challenge! Red, White & Royal Blue was a bestseller on its release in 2019, and the 2023 screen adaptation only bolstered that popularity. Casey McQuiston presents a classic rivals-to-lovers story between the son of the President of the United States and a British prince who, after accidentally causing a scandal, realize that they might not hate each other as much as they thought.

The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Listen to the audiobook
The first in Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past series, The Three-Body Problem won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel and the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society. Now a Netflix series, the sci-fi epic has captured a new audience with its twisting, nonlinear storyline and complex characters.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, David Grann
Find it at the School of Law Library (Boston) | Find it at F. W. Olin | Listen to the audiobook
Before it was a three-hour Martin Scorsese epic, Killers of the Flower Moon was a book by David Grann. Grann worked with living members of the Osage tribe as well as historical records. The book presents a startling account of the brutal murders and subjugation of the Osage people, even as the tribe became one of the wealthiest communities in North America.

Dune, Frank Herbert
Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book
Frank Herbert’s landmark 1965 science fiction epic has been given new life by Denis Villeneuve’s two-part (so far) film adaptation, but the story of a flawed hero attempting to reclaim power over a hostile planet has resonated with generations of sci-fi readers. While the size of the book may be intimidating, it’s rich with detail that didn’t make it into the film.

Need more reading recommendations? Check out our suggested e-books and audiobooks for June! If you’re in Boston, you can stop by the Snell Library lobby in person on June 17 and 18 for Reading Challenge stickers, bookmarks, comics and graphic novels to check out, and friendly librarians who love talking about books!

And when you finish your next book, make sure to tell us about it for a chance to win the May prize drawing! (For more chances to win, make sure you submit your reading to the Massachusetts Center for the Book, as well as the Northeastern University Library.)

2024 Reading Challenge Update: January Winner and What You Read This Month!

In case you haven’t heard, the Northeastern University Library is an official partner for the 2024 Reading Challenge hosted by the Massachusetts Center for the Book (MCB). We launched the challenge in January with a table in the Snell Library lobby featuring stickers, bookmarks, books to browse, and even a surprise cameo from Cooper, Northeastern’s community resource dog and noted bookworm!

Cooper, a white retriever, lays on the floor of Snell Library. He is looking at the camera and his paw is resting on an open book
Cooper is ready for the 2024 Reading Challenge

Congratulations to Alex Kane, who won the January prize drawing and has been awarded a digital gift card to Bookshop.org! And a huge thank you to everyone who read a book and told us about it. You still have eleven more chances to win, so keep reading!

What You Read This Month

January’s theme was “a book you read years ago that you may feel differently about now,” and we had so much fun hearing from students, faculty, and staff about their re-reading adventures. Did that childhood fave live up to the memories? Is that classic still a classic? Was that high school snoozer better the second time around? Here are just a few of the books you read this month, and what you thought about them!

Cover of The Hunger Games

“I’m really enjoying re-reading all the Hunger Games books ever since I saw the new movie (The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) that came out. I’m about halfway through Mockingjay right now and all 3 books are truly so captivating and well written. There’s never a dull moment.” — Kylie

I read [The Hunger Games] in middle school, so reading the first book again in college, I was able to see it in a very different light. Suzanne Collins wrote a series that is a great commentary on today’s society towards human inequality and consumerism as well.”Amy

“I don’t read YA anymore, but I love reading sci-fi and speculative fiction, so The Hunger Games still fits in with somethingI would read/enjoy today. I can happily say I think it still holds up! I loved all the foreshadowing Suzanne Collins includes in this book, revisiting the story, and seeing how much I remembered.”Emily

Cover of The Sun Also Rises

“I hated [The Sun Also Rises] when I first read it in high school a few years ago. I hated the pace and didn’t find it to be stimulating or enjoyable to read at all. My second reading made me realize there was a beauty in the mundaneness this book is representing. I feel more connected to the novel knowing that many of the characters and plot points are inspired by Hemingway’s own experiences! I found much more value in my second reading than my initial one!”Meg

Cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is “still great! 👏” — Michal

Cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“I first read [The Perks of Being a Wallflower] when I was in grade 7. It is a coming-of-age young fiction novel which I really resonated with back then and still do. I found the protagonist’s lifestyle and mindset very similar to my own and have read this book more than 30 times. I feel that when I read it now, I can much better understand the motivations and behaviors of the protagonist rather than just feeling them. It all makes much more sense now. I feel the emotional parts of the book more heavily as well now.”Anish

Cover of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

“When i was reading [Percy Jackson and the Olympians] at the age of 12, all the things Percy did in the book were very cool. Now that I’m older than that, I think he’s way too young to do any of the things he did!”Ross

“When I was younger, I was obsessed with [the Percy Jackson and the Olympians] series, reading it now as an adult is a really weird experience. I still like the books very much but it feels harder to relate to the characters. It was a really nice experience to re-read this book as I felt like I haven’t read something so fun and full of myth in a while.”— Arianna

“It was great to re-read a book I haven’t read since I was in grade school. Getting to read [Percy Jackson and the Olympians] again as an adult meant I was able to pick up on new things, and it was nice to have a simple and easy read for after work. Reading books that I’ve read as a child gives me a new perspective, and also makes me proud of how far I’ve come in my reading journey from a young child to a young adult. While I didn’t think differently about the story itself, it was great to relive the memories of reading as a kid.”— Alex

Cover of Dune

“I read Dune a long time ago when the intricacies of politics and human interaction escaped my then-immature brain! But reading it again now, since the movie came out to pique my interest, I am absolutely absorbed by the story.”Sudhavna

And What to Read Next Month

February’s theme is “a book with a color in the title,” which offers so many possibilities:

Need more ideas? Check out our list of suggested e-books and audiobooks for February, or take a look at the MCB’s reading recommendations! If you’re in Boston, stop by the Snell Library lobby between 1 and 3 p.m. on February 13th and 14th for more recommendations, browsable books, and more.

Whatever you read, be sure to tell us about it for a chance to win the February prize drawing!

As always, happy reading!

Library Adds OverDrive to Digital Collections

The library is thrilled to announce that we are now providing access to OverDrive e-books and audiobooks courtesy of the Massachusetts SAILS network of libraries. OverDrive offers thousands of popular fiction and nonfiction titles that can be accessed on a variety of devices via web browser or app.

OverDrive offers many features that make it a welcome addition to our collection. With this service, we’re now able to offer a much wider range of popular and leisure titles, including magazines and children’s materials. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? OverDrive offers curated reading lists and intuitive searching by keyword, subject, or availability. And if we don’t have what you’re looking for, you can recommend a purchase within the OverDrive app.

Perhaps the best feature of OverDrive is that you can read books or listen to audiobooks on a variety of devices, including Nooks and iPads/iPhones. OverDrive also integrates seamlessly with Amazon for Kindle users. While you can access OverDrive via web browser, your experience is optimized when using either of the OverDrive apps. The Libby app makes it easy to switch between multiple library collections if you are also using e-books and audiobooks at your local public library, while the classic OverDrive app includes some features that are not yet available in the Libby app, such as streaming video and recommendations, as well as compatibility with Kindle Fire, mp3 players, and screen readers. Either app will allow you to read or listen to your loans, as well as manage your account.

OverDrive homepage

It’s important to note that we lease a limited number of copies of each digital title, which means that there may be a wait list for popular titles, just like with print books. Fortunately, OverDrive makes it easy to place holds and build wish lists with just a click of a button, and if a hold becomes available before you’re ready to read it, you can postpone your hold until a later time.

Because titles and availability are subject to change without notice and copies of individual titles are limited, OverDrive is not considered an appropriate resource for course materials. Materials available via OverDrive are also not listed in Scholar OneSearch, as titles are not permanent additions to our collection. Please contact your department’s subject librarian with questions about access to assigned course materials.

When you’re ready to explore our new OverDrive offerings, go to sails.overdrive.com, where you’ll be asked to select Northeastern University as your home library and then provide your MyNEU credentials. For more help, see our e-book reference guide or ask a librarian.

Happy reading!

Open Access Week event: Open Textbooks and Flat World Knowledge – Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

Join us on Thursday, October 27, at 10:30 a.m. in 90 Snell Library for a presentation on open textbooks. Michael Boezi, editorial director of Flat World Knowledge, the leading commercial publisher of open textbooks, will speak on “Keeping Education Accessible: The Textbook Affordability Crisis and Emerging Open Solutions.” High textbook prices increasingly challenge the mission of many institutions to provide affordable, quality education. The emerging trend of open content is reshaping the publishing landscape, allowing for the rise of new business models that:
  1. significantly reduce the cost of high-quality learning materials, and thereby the overall cost of education;
  2. meet the growing demand for alternate, flexible formats that keep pace with the different ways we consume information; and
  3. provide authors with a forward-looking compensation model.
Boezi will discuss the emerging trend of open content, examining the advantages (and challenges) of “open” as it relates to textbooks, as well as the economic, social, and technology drivers that are transforming education and propelling the growth of free, low-cost, and open alternatives to expensive, traditional college textbooks. Refreshments will be served. For a full schedule of our Open Access Week events, visit our News & Events page.

Lots More E-Books!

In my last post about the availability of the 2010 Springer E-Book collection, I outlined some of the advantages of e-books over the print — 24/7 multi-user access, support for distance users, powerful and granular searching, suitability for reserve, and more. To expand our e-book offerings, we’ve now leased access to a core collection of over 50,000 e-books from the past several years — a collection called Academic Complete and hosted on the ebrary e-book site. We’re providing this collection on a trial basis this year to see how well the titles are used and to gather feedback from you. The Academic Complete collection is multidisciplinary, covering a variety of subject areas in the humanities, social sciences, business, medicine, and science, and offers a large number of titles from leading academic publishers. Over half of the collection dates from 2004 and later. Special features include: * Powerful searching across all of the e-books or all e-books in specific discipline areas * Complete full-text searching, including indexes and tables of contents * Ability to navigate directly to your highlighted search results within a title * Ability to browse through a book, or to navigate via the table of contents or index * Ability to browse titles by discipline and drill down to specific subject areas * Automatic generation of citations and persistent links to titles, chapters, and individual pages * Ability to add highlighting and notes to text and save in your personal online bookshelf * Convenient printing and copying * Easy export of information to EndNote or RefWorks citation managers * Text-to-speech and other accessibility features You can go directly to the ebrary site to search or browse this collection. You’ll also find the individual titles listed in NuCat. By the way, on the main search or advanced search screens in NuCat, did you know that you can now limit searches to e-books only? Instead of “View Entire Collection,” simply select “Ebooks.” I hope you enjoy using our new e-book collection. Your comments are welcome and important to us; you can comment on this post, contact your subject librarian, or you can reach me any time at a.aaron@neu.edu.