Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Learners

Author:Chip Kidd
Genre: Fiction/Tiny Tid-Bits of Design Theory

I reviewed Chip Kidd’s The Cheese Monkeys last Spring, and once again, Kidd masters the importance of design literally from cover to cover. Although I am always hesitant to read sequels this one is distant enough that it is not like you should have hopped off the book three chapters ago. I would call this sequel more of a companion—they are in the same species, but genetically engineered a little differently. Where The Cheese Monkeys has a strong narrative The Learners functions as a subtle dissection of design and its impact on the human condition.

S. Clark

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The History of the Snowman

The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein probably won't make it on the popular reading shelves, but I think it should. It is a light-hearted yet well-researched book on, what else, the history of the snowman.

From an illuminated manuscript dating around 1380 to the popular Frosty we see on television every year, the history of the snowman is traced, showing not only the happy well-rounded character that Burl Ives made famous, but also the darker side where he chases little kids and sells and drinks alcoholic beverages

Chapter titles include Snowman Deconstructionism and Italian Snowballs from the Fifteenth Century, as well as side bars on the Abominable Snowman entitled Yeti Nother Sidebar. Along with several pages of color illustrations this book is packed with illustrations. I would give it a 4 out of 5 rating, but only because it did not include a Calvin 'n' Hobbes strip in the chapter featuring snowman cartoons.

Beth, CFL staff

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Nimrod Flipout/The Girl on the Fridge

Fiction/Short Story Collections by Etgar Keret

I have grouped these two collections together because I devoured both of these and think that they work well as a pairing. Keret is a master of the short story. In addition, as I tend to judge books by their cover (Okay, so, aesthetics differ between humans and books, and my judgements are never intended toward the book’s character, so don’t make me feel bad to judge a book by its cover.) Keret’s design choices are spot on. The Girl on the Fridge is definitely most memorable for me and the short stories Girl on the Fridge and Nothing are the most precise and calculated bits of short fiction that I have read in some time. They are refreshing and crisp. I have been meaning to see the feature film he directed called Jellyfish, but need to find out how to obtain it…

S. Clark

Kristen's note: The Popular Reading Collection has The Nimrod Flipout and we can purchase The Girl of the Fridge. Steph, submit an Interlibrary Loan request for the Jellyfish--it's worth a shot.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Well worth the visit!

Dakota student reporter Sara Tezel encouraged making the trek to Fargo on Saturday to see Wally Lamb and yes, it's incredible to see a professional in action. I had scheduled a brief meeting with Wally thanks to publisher Harper Collins and the NDSU bookstore manager Carol Miller. When I asked Wally about his recreational reading in college I received a torrent of wonderful information that I frantically tried to memorize as I pulled out notebook and pen. I shouldn't have been surprised -- he must have given thousands of interviews because of his Oprah book club fame.

Later I listened to him reading an autobiographical essay and a section from his newest work, The Hour I First Believed. The audience was in turns laughing, uncomfortably quiet, close to tears, and energized. During the Q & A session he told us how at ease he felt with us and how he ran the risk of getting carried away and making a fool of himself. He said his father had been a great storyteller who liked to make people laugh--even if that meant telling a slightly dirty joke. Wally himself was quite animated retelling his "role as victim" to bossy older sisters and girl cousins while growing up.

I will share his message to UND students in the coming weeks as we promote Wally Lamb as "author of the month." An English/Creative writing teacher on the high school and college level, his caring nature is evident in his work. His support of female prison inmates who needed to tell their stories resulted in two books, Couldn’t Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters and I'll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison. His newest work grapples with the traumas to the collective American consciousness resulting from the Columbine school shooting, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the War in Iraq. His connection with people -- whether via an audience, one-on-one in the book signing line or through his written word -- comes from genuine concern for his fellow human beings.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heading South

This Saturday I'll be going to see Wally Lamb at NDSU. I'll get a chance to meet with him before his book reading and signing that afternoon. Janet and I plan to highlight Lamb as "author of the month" so you'll be hearing more about him. He's already generously donated a copy of his newest book, The Hour I First Believed, to the Popular Reading Collection. Please feel free to join me this Saturday -- send an email (before Friday quitting time) to and I'll give you the details.

Also, GREAT NEWS! The Student Senate has agreed to help fund the Popular Reading Collection for another year. Get your requests in/post to the blog -- this is your collection! Thanks so much to Seinquis and the other members of student government for their support.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Book Reviews via Stephanie C.

David Batchelor

Art Criticism/Theory/Philosophy

Chromophobia (and excellent title by the way) is an intriguing art essay on the ways which colors have been used, misused, and disregarded within art. David Batchelor is an engaging author—at one a storyteller and a critic of the art world today. For instance, as he muses about attending a party where the house is engulfed in white and rampant sterility he states:

“In particular it was a world that would remind you, there and then, in an instant, of everything you were not, everything you had failed to become, everything you might as well never bother to get around to doing because everything was made to seem somehow beyond reach.”

Color is akin to life and Batchelor reflects how its presence is intimidating fleeting and alive. Without it we simply are in doubt, unstable, and removed from the context of our own existence.

S. Clark

Kristen's Note: we don't have this title but we do have Batchelor's newest work, Colour and well as many other books on the subject of the psychological aspects of color.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wally Lamb in ND!

Wally Lamb, author of bestsellers and Oprah Book Club selections will be visiting this area at the end of the month. On November 22nd he'll be in Fargo for a reading and book signing from 1-3 pm at Century Theater, Memorial Union, NDSU. I urge you to take the road trip if you're a fan -- it's exciting to see an author you admire in person. If you want to take an extra long trip, he will be in Saint Paul on Nov 20th (Thurs Night) as part of Minnesota Public Radio's Talking Volumes book club.

Most famous for I Know This Much Is True and She's Come Undone, his new book is already on order for the popular reading collection, The First Hour I Believed. I've read a couple of his books and I encourage the student body to get familiar with his works. I'll even contact his publisher to see if we can feature him as an "author of the month" but I need you to read/review his work to make this successful.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 27, 2008

In Cold Blood

Hey Janet,
I have to tell you that after reading Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood, I've always locked my doors at night (and double-checked the locks before going upstairs). My husband likes to say, "We live in North Dakota, we can leave our doors unlocked" because we moved here from the East Coast. I know better -- that murder can happen anywhere -- even a farmstead in the heartland.

There are two DVDs that portray the terrible emotional toll on Capote in creating this book--Infamous and Capote. I would recommend both because they tell the same story in a different way. Infamous also explores a concept still important today -- how Capote blurred the line between fiction and journalistic reporting. Can one really present a "true account" when relying on memory and trying to tell a story in a dramatic, interesting way?

This month I'm staying away from the blood curdling and reading Capote's short stories including Breakfast at Tiffany's. However, I've noticed that we can't keep Stephenie Meyer's books on the shelf, even after buying additional copies!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oooooh, scary!

It's the season to be scared--and I don' t mean by all those papers you have to write!

Halloween is lurking right around the corner, and while being a splendid excuse to buy candy (and taste-test it, of course), this holiday makes me think about all things scary.

Like books.

Kristen and I've been talking about scary books. Some books are frightening because the topic is dreadful (for example, I won't read any book in which children or animals are injured or killed). Others are supernaturally scary. Some simply get in the back of your mind and don't let go.

So let's talk about scary books.

The Shining by Stephen King scared the socks off me, especially the part about the wasps' nest. To this day, I will not touch a wasps' nest, even if it's old and unused. Convinced it's empty, dried out, vacant? Ha. You clearly haven't read this book.

This is why this book scares me. I was never fond of wasps to begin with (really!) so it was quite easy to make use of this natural fear. I've read interviews with King in which he talks about working off our primal fears.

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson--you do know it's fiction, right? It is. Keep telling yourself as you read it. It's just a story. It's just a story. It's just a story....

What is YOUR favorite scary book?


Monday, October 6, 2008

New books!

I love this time of year. The days are cooler, the trees are doing their autumn thing, and I get to order new books!

So here's what I've just ordered:

1. INDIGNATION by Philip Roth. I'm really anxious to read this.

2. A LION AMONG MEN by Gregory Maguire. Has anyone been reading Maguire's Wicked Years series? This is #3.

3. LIBERTY by Garrison Keillor. And back we go to Lake Wobegon.

4. DOWNTOWN OWL by Chuck Klosterman. Chuck (Hey, can I call you Chuck?) is a UND graduate! This book takes place in Owl, ND, and it's another one I'll put on the top of my towering TBR (To Be Read) pile.

Plus here's the really cool thing--Chuck Klosterman is coming here for the March Writers Conference!

I'll let you know when the books arrive.

Meanwhile, enjoy these lovely October days (although as I write this post, it's rainy so I'm enjoying the weather inside) and remember, always have your bookmark IN a book!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Fowler

Are you reading Jane Austen for your classes? Have you seen A&E or Masterpiece Theatre productions of these classics? If so, don't stop there -- try to remember to pick these books up several times throughout your life. You will enjoy them and be amazed at the staying power of these stories.

In the Jane Austen Book Club, a group of 5 women and 1 man decide to read every major Jane Austen novel over the course of a year. I have not accomplished that -- I just keep returning to Pride and Prejudice. I'm in a book club with fellow moms, many associated with UND, however I can't say I tremendously enjoyed reading a fictional account of a book club. I wasn't really hooked into the story and I had a hard time keeping the characters clear in my mind. Our book club had a good discussion though and we were glad to brainstorm which author we'd like to delve into if we had that luxury -- Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Charles Dickens, Graham Greene...

So --a recommended read? Jane Austen-a resounding yes, this book not so much.


P.S. Students, we need to hear from you to keep this blog going. Please send us a short review--any book is good. Details are on the blog. We'll all appreciate it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

I was going to put out a plea for student reviews but Steph came to the rescue! Here's her posting:

Hello to all of the awesome and knowledgeable librarians at library pop!!!!
Here is one review that I have been able to write up thus far into the fall semester! Stay cool!!!!

Now, I know that I have already written a review on Palahniuk’s work, however, I couldn’t resist Choke. Inevitably, I found myself reading it this summer---especially since the movie is due out this fall. I figured I would read it before the movie’s images were engrained in my mind, thus, automatically tainting my own interpretation of the characters and dialogue. Overall, I enjoyed the novel—heavy with Palahniuk’s ability to analyze and reveal a seedier side of the realities of our world, he once again portrays America as a society gone mad. However, it was not until the conclusion that I thought this novel was remarkable. The final chapter is one that marinates the mind and stays with you for days making you think about addiction, excess, and the delusions that we adhere to within each of our pasts and presents. In the end, Choke is about grasping onto the past. Palahniuk shows us how we evolve through learning to live with the past and attempting to escape it while needing it whether or not we want it to coincide with the present or the futures we create.

Steph C.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


We're glad you're here, whether you're a new student or a repeat offender returning student. Either way, you add energy to our lives!

We've got some great things in store for you this year. I went to the Romance Writers of America conference in July and nabbed some wonderful books for the collection--most of them signed--and I got meet my favorite writers, including Melissa Marr (who won a RITA for Wicked Lovely!) and Cathy Yardley.

We also say good-bye and thank-you-thank-you-thank-you to Jess Lourey, who was our Author of the Summer! Jess, you've been great! By the way, when we first talked to Jess about this, it was the fall of 2007, and she wrote a wonderful letter to the students at UND. Here's what it says:

To the Bright Students of the University of North Dakota:

Why read? You have hours of homework staring at you, and after reading a dictionary-sized textbook on Aerospace Engineering, why in the blue blazes would you want to crack open another book? On top of homework, you have to find time to make money, clean up your space, eat, socialize, and maybe, just maybe if you're lucky, to catch a movie or watch a little TV.

So I repeat, why read?

I can tell you why I read: I have no social life. But that's not why you should read. You should read recreationally because it introduces you to worlds you could never hope to visit in real life. A good book can make you understand yourself better, and become more aware of your community and your role in this big picture we call life. Literature connects us to other people, explains why the world moves the way it does, and stretches our minds so they are big and strong enough to get us through another day.

Books are comfort. They can distract and ease you in a complete way that television and movies could never hope to achieve. If you have a stack of books waiting for you at home, you'll never be alone--you'll have new cities to visit, characters to get to know, and insight to glean.

Plus, books make you interesting. They hone your sense of humor, allow you to make clever allusions, and give you something to talk to your friends about.

I guess what I'm saying is, make time to read. You'll never be sorry that you picked up a good book.

I am flattered to be the UND Library's author of the month, and I hope my books bring a smile to your face.

Jess Lourey, Author
Murder by Month Mysteries

This is the Last Weekend of the Summer. You can't be in the boat all the time. Stop by and pick up something to read or listen to (we have audiobooks, too). I have my mystery all picked out. Kristen, what do you have to read this weekend?


Monday, August 11, 2008

Popular Magazines

As the summer winds down and students return to UND, we may need to postpone starting that big novel (no Crime and Punishment??) until another break. There’s no reason, though, that you can’t pick up a popular magazine such as Glamour or GQ at the Chester Fritz. Maybe you didn’t know we had recreational reading shelved among our academic journals but we do have a few.

To make them a bit easier to find, one of our co-workers made a handout with titles and location.
Click on this link then scroll down the list to Popular Magazines & Newspapers and click on that link. You’ll want to pay attention (for me that means write down) which floor of the library and the call number. You won’t be able to check them out if you’re an undergrad but that’s ok—you just wanted something to fill the time between classes, right?

Janet and staff member Patty spent the last of the student government funds for popular reading books and audiobooks this year.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selections and that you continue to suggest new items to us. Please make sure to thank your senators for supporting your recreational reading and tell them it’s a good use of your student fees if you believe that’s the case. While you're on line at the UND Bookstore, thank the terrific staff there too, we couldn't have done such a great job without them (plus their delicious food and drinks to keep our strength up!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Persepolis and Persepolis 2

Being a big fan of both comic books and graphic novels, I decided to read Persepolis and Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi. Both books are available in the Popular Reading Collection. I knew going in that these books were highly regarded by fans of graphic novels. I also wanted to read them before the Persepolis movie was released on DVD in June.

Persepolis is an autobiography set in Iran during the Iran/Iraq War of the 1980s. Marji is a rebellious child who struggles under the repressive Islamic government before leaving Iran to spend her high school years in Europe. Persepolis 2 continues the story, which includes her return to Iran for college. Personally, I preferred the first one, as I found it easier to view Marji as a young child suffering under a cruel regime, as opposed to a spoiled, self-absorbed teenager living in Vienna. The art is black and white and very straightforward. I appreciated this approach, as the art did not take away from the story itself. I heartily recommend both titles, even for those readers who dislike “comic books.”

Curt Hanson, Department of Special Collections

Kristen's note: Sandi's comment has a link to a news story, "Persepolis Creator won't return to Iran. Click here to jump to that article.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Something New

Janet and I have been furiously buying books and audiobooks so that the Popular Reading shelves will be stocked when school starts next month. The staff at Barnes and Noble are great about providing us bestseller lists, but how do we go beyond the top sellers?

One of the tools librarians use in Books in Print. UND subscribes to it so you have to be on campus or have a Umail account to use it off campus. We’re going to put a "customer friendly" version of this service on the blog so that you can use it for your own reading choices or to make suggestions for us to buy. You can get lists by subject or award winners, you can also put in any year from the past century to read about what happened that year, and to see which books were bestsellers. I won't tell you the year I was born but the #1 bestseller was Airport by Arthur Hailey. His previous novel was Hotel. Hmm I see a pattern here...

Click on Fiction Connection (we don’t subscribe to nonfiction connection) and look for stories with really specific topics like “Kidnapping” or ones set in an archaeological dig. I don’t think free sites such as Amazon get that specific. Books in Print will be upgrading soon and you’ll be able to see even more reviews and ratings on books too.

Check it out and let us know what you think!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Jess Lourey

Inscribed in the front of May Day Jess wrote, “To UND students, it’s a crime not to read. Hope this makes you smile.” I just finished May Day and I can't wait to read June Bug and Knee high by the Fourth of July. I'm really enjoying my summer reading but can't believe how quickly the summer is going! Sorry Jess, I'm only 2 months behind!

Jess Lourey’s May Day introduces us to the heroine/detective Mira who works in a library in Battle Lake, MN. Some days are pretty uneventful, some days she goes to work in prom shoes, some days she finds a dead body in Pl-Sca aisle while putting away books...Thankfully I don't have days like that! Right out of college can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. Mira's bravery is admirable and she freely admits when she comes up short, for example when she says "ten years in Minneapolis, and I had nothing but an English degree and a budding drinking problem to show for it.”

Mira is a young woman closer in age and experience to UND students; however, Jess the author is probably my age. Wouldn’t only someone who went to college in the 80s get the allusion, “I was Bananarama in the land of Husker Du" when Mira describes moving from Paynesville MN to Minneapolis? It's also fun to read a local author who talks about places with familiar names.

Anyway, as you may know I’m not a big mystery fan because usually the author pulls something out of mid-air when it comes time to close the case. With this book I was able to go along with it and I did have an inkling who the murderer could possibly be. I’m looking forward to June (the book, I know the month flew by) and then catch up on July. Good news, August Moon recently arrived in the library so those who want it let us know and we’ll get it on the shelves and ready to check out!

Last month Janet and I went to Fargo to hear Jess talk about being an author and getting your work published. She was encouraging and had very practical advice. It was also exciting to see how many people came to her talk at the Moorhead Public Library. Maybe we'll be posting about one of their books some day!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Who's Reading?

This is the first of a continuing series in which we'll highlight people from the UND population and get the scoop on what they're reading. We're starting this off with a UND professor of English--well, okay, he's officially retired but we still see his smiling face on campus, much to our delight. We hope he sticks around all summer, since we think Prof. David Marshall is pretty cool!

Here's what he said....

We asked him what his favorite book ever was and he told us it's Essays by Michel Eyquen de Montaigne. He explained, "This is the best of writing possible, for Emerson once wrote: 'Cut these words and they bleed!'"

Then we asked him who his favorite authors are. His response: "Here you have to excuse me, for I pick two--one for style and one for conciseness; for style, Thomas Babington Macaulay; for precision of thought, John Stuart Mill. Chaucer, of course, is supreme in both areas but hindered by the language change."

So far he sounds very, well, professorial, doesn't he? But I happen to know that Dave is a bit of an omnivore when it comes to reading, and sure enough, when I asked him what he liked for leisure reading, de Montaigne and Macaulay and Mill (alliteration, as I live and breathe!) were left for "Historical fiction and fantasy, particularly those 'sword smoke and dragon sweat' forgettables.'"

Dragon sweat? LOL!

What's he reading now? Dragon Mage by Andre Norton and Jean Rabe. I wonder if the Dragon Mage sweats....

Thanks, Dave, for being the first in our "Who's Reading" posts!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber

From Patty:
I should inform you first that I am a little biased as far as Debbie Macomber is concerned. I love her books and wait breathlessly for the next one to come out. I am especially partial to her Cedar Cove series, the Blossom street series and her angel series. But this book, Twenty Wishes, probably hit home a little more than her others. It centers on a group of widowers who patronize the shops on Blossom Street, be it the bookstore or the kntting store. One Valentine's Day, this group of women get together and they are inspired to create lists of wishes, ultimately twenty, of things they have always wanted to do but have not done. Some of the wishes end up being very broad in translation and some are very specific. But once they start to make their wishes come true, they change. Their thinking and attitudes. Some even find romance and love. But mostly hope. I read the book in one sitting as I was drawn into the characters and what wishes they listed. I was interested in what they felt was important to put on their lists. And of course fascinated as to how they achieved their goals.
So I was motivated by this book to create my own list of Twenty wishes. Now, I will tell you it isn't easy. You start to question the reasons for things on your list. Whether they are conceivable financially or logically. Like putting "World Peace" on there is probably a waste of a wish. Nice but really unrealistic. I haven't completed my list yet, but I have ideas. At the least the list is opening up possibilities for things that were missing in my life and things that I quit enjoying for one reason or another. And experiences that I would really like to have before I am too old to enjoy them.
This was a very worthy and fun read , as most of her books are. And I highly recommend all her books to everyone. I just wish since she writes a lot of Dakota books, oh yeah, I liked that series too, she would come for book signings here.
Patricia Reed
Acquisitions Specialist
Chester Fritz Library
University of North Dakota
3051 University Ave Stop 9000
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9000

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don Quixote's Delusions: Travels in Castilian Spain

From Reanne:
Confession: even though I am an avid hispanophile, I have never read Cervantes's Don Quixote. I came across Miranda France's Don Quixote's Delusions: Travels in Castilian Spain by accident the other day in the library and it had me hooked from the first page. In her excellent narrative spanning two sojourns to Spain (the first in the late 1980s, the second a decade later) France effortlessly guides her readers through 400 years of Spanish history, plus Cervantes massive 1,000 page tome, all while relating both to real and fictive characters past and present. Don Quixote's Delusions: Travels in Castilian Spain is a masterfully crafted travelogue, book review, treatise on the Spanish character, and historical narrative all rolled into a one neat, highly readable and enjoyable book. From the description, one might be wary of the intense subject matter and density of both Cervantes's Don Quixote and Spanish history (hey, it is summer after all!) but France is a natural story-teller. This book is ideal for arm-chair historians, undergrads, and everyday people who appreciate fast-moving, informative books. A+ and highly recommended.

Reanne Eichele
Unaffiliated member of the library

Thursday, June 12, 2008


In February I'd mentioned Junot Diaz and his incredible book The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao. I said our book club chose to read it because he's a "hot" writer. He's gotten even hotter as the recent Pulitzer Prize Winner.

Funny thing is that I never finished the book, then I went to writer's conference and was blown away by him, and I said to my bookclub friends "Wow I have to finish reading that book. He's awesome!" Why didn't I finish the book in the first place? Partly because I didn't want to tie up the library's copy right before the conference but also because the characters and setting didn't quite "click" with me.

As an undergrad I studied in English Lit in a small private college. I was steeped in tales written by (white) men who lived in England hundreds of years ago. Even though I'd never circled London's stately parks in a horse and carriage, hiding my glances at eligible bachelors beneath a parasol, etc etc, I could certainly imagine it.

Thanks to my book club I've gotten a taste vastly different cultures -- India, China, Turkey, Afghanistan for example, but they've been portrayed by voices similar to my English Literature heroes. Not so with Diaz. Bam! Right from the start I'm steeped in the history and superstition of the Dominican Republic conveyed in a language and manner I don't quite recognize. He uses slang and Spanish words throughout--sometimes offering a translation in the footnotes and sometimes not.

Now my desire to finish the book is renewed because of the recent publicity. Check out the transcript of an interview with him on the CBS Sunday Morning Show and you'll get a taste for the book and why Diaz wrote it.

And please, make sure to venture out of your "comfort zone" from time to time -- you'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June Bug

Last night I was sitting in my living room, engrossed in a mystery, when something kept running into the screen behind me, buzzing madly. I had to smile, since it was quite appropriate--yes, it was a June bug, and what was I reading? That's right--Jess Lourey's June Bug.

There's lots of regional interest in this book. When I think of summer, I think of fishing, for example. Not that I fish, mind you. It's something I like in theory but not in practice. But I'm happy to sit in the boat, getting sunburned and eating Nut Goodies. And since I'm a librarian, I'm partial to Mira, the main character.

Here's the really cool thing: Jess is going to be in Fargo at the B&N there on June 11 from 5-7, and in Moorhead at the public library on June 12 at 6:30. Kristen and I are planning to head down to Fargo on the 11th or to Moorhead on the 12th to say hi to Jess.

So if you're planning a road trip in the next couple of weeks either to Fargo or points east, you might want to check out Jess's website with her Appearances list. And maybe we'll see you in Fargo or Moorhead!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Summer Reading List

It's summer, and you know what that means. Lolling in the sun. Baking at the lake. Swigging lemonade from frosty glasses.

And summer reading lists.

Kristen, did you have those when you were in school? They were usually classic novels--not that there's anything wrong with classic novels!--but the perfect summer reading list will have more than that.

I always wanted a teacher to say, Janet, go out and read every mystery you can get ahold of. They'll sharpen your logic skills, make you an involved reader, and teach characterization. Plus, nothing beats a good mystery when you're out in the sun with a lemonade, or stuck inside while a good North Dakota storm thunders its way across the plains.

Here's my reading list--Jess Lourey's Murder by Month series. We'll go through the summer, reading the appropriate month's novel. Obviously, we'll start with May Day and go from there.

I'm off to get some lemonade....


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reading the Covers?


On our trips to Barnes & Noble I notice that you have strong opinions about book cover designs. I hear a lot of eewww from you. I stay away from the Mystery section so I am not as bothered by it ;-) This Spring I learned in my Visual Persuasion class about the controversy surrounding the cover of Reading Lolita in Tehran. A stock AP photo was cropped to make two Arab women look as though they were reading racy novel Lolita rather than the political newspaper actually held in their hands.

Why am I talking about covers? Because currently we have a display of sheet music covers right outside the Reading Room (where the popular reading collection is kept). These covers are just some of the recipients of the Music Publisher Association’s Revere Award – examples of “outstanding examples of graphic design.” Art, Music, or Graphic Design students may be especially interested in the display—come to the library soon though because we’ll pack them up at the end of the month. The images of this year and previous years’ winner are available online.

Looking forward to our lunch date and Barnes and Noble this week when we nail down our exciting plans for the summer! Kristen

Monday, May 5, 2008

Review: A Clockwork Orange

Book: A Clockwork Orange
Author: Anthony Burgess

Fiction/Dystopian Fiction

This novel is a must read and exposes the fragility of the human condition within the strict dichotomy of good and evil. Burgess’ linguistic exploration is beautiful in his utilization of cadence and rhythm. Through this specified rhythm he dissects and creates a fantastic and jarring portrait of violence. In the end, Burgess leaves me to wonder how far we each have placated ourselves in order for any one of us to transform into a clockwork orange. The Chester Fritz Library has a few publications of A Clockwork Orange and each one offers a glimpse into the alterations that occur when an author’s work is published. I would suggest reading the most recent publication because it is fully restored whereas the early versions have a missing chapter and may include a glossary of terms; both of which I believe reduces the integrity of the novel in its entirety.

Stephanie Clark

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Review: Stop Forgetting to Remember

Author: Peter Kuper
Graphic Novel/ Autobiography/Fiction

Recently attending UND’s Writer’s Conference, Peter Kuper is a successful underground/ mainstream cartoonist and graphic artist. Within Stop Forgetting to Remember, Kuper explores his alter ego, Walter Kurtz. The aesthetics of this graphic novel are stunning and high contrast. The dialogue and narrative of the novel are fresh and sophisticated. Indeed, Walter Kurtz has led an adventurous life and Kuper leads us along throughout varied hilarious and absurd situations exposing that sometimes living in alternate realities can be an outlet from our assumed realities. For those interested in graphic novels, Kuper is most definitely an artist and author to follow in his redefinition of the comic and the graphic novel.

Stephanie Clark

Monday, April 28, 2008

Writing to Read

Janet and I went to a talk on campus on Friday called “The Status of Writing.” I was interested in this topic because writing implies reading and reading implies libraries (in my mind). The speaker, Professor Deborah Brandt did link writing and reading historically. Simply put, writing many times is driven by economics (e.g. writing contracts) and reading by moral improvement (e.g. reading the bible). So, writing has more material value than reading. She noted that you can get a job as a writer much easier than a job as a reader. In your profession, you’re probably expected to write much more than you are to read (this is true for me, even as a librarian).

I started thinking about this blog. Having the popular reading collection is great for student’s recreational needs, but having students post to the blog gives them a chance to benefit economically (the contest we’re currently running). We presented our idea for the blog this fall when we went to student government for funding – we said it would be a way to measure the value of this collection to students. So, as we evaluate the future of this program I wonder—do blog posts written by students determine whether or not the popular reading collection is succeeding? (I had initially thought so) Are there many people reading the blog and the popular reading books without posting?

I can’t help but think about the Writer’s Conference panel where I heard Junot Diaz (who’s just won a Pulitzer prize) say that colleges are educating writers but wondered if we’re educating readers. Is writing leading you to reading—whether it be books, blogs or diaries? I sincerely hope so.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Review: Mistaken Identity

One of the things I love about my job is getting to see the new popular reading books.

Mistaken Identity by Don and Susie Van Ryn and Newell, Colleen and Whitney Cerak with Mark Tabb, tells the story of two girls involved in an auto accident. One survives, the other dies, however there is a mix up on the identity of the survivor. This true story is told from the perspective of both families, one who thought they buried their daughter and the other praying while their daughter struggled with severe brain injuries and the blog that was posted as the young woman recovered. What is impressive about these two families and their mixed up tragedy is that their faith allows them to accept what has happened and still offer encouragement and thanks for the recovery of the surviving daughter.

Beth--CF library staff

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review: Graffiti Women

Book: Graffiti Women: Street Art from the Five Continents
Author: Nicholas Ganz-Editor
Art Survey/Art Catalog
Although not a work of fiction, Graffiti Women is an important art exposé pertaining strictly to works by female graffiti artists. My best friend sent this to me, and as an art student I feel it is a valid and fascinating collection of urban and contemporary artists in a field that is riddled with misunderstandings within much of mainstream society. In addition, the Chester Fritz Library houses the book’s counterpart: Graffiti World—also edited by Nicholas Ganz. Both are aesthetically beautiful.
Stephanie Clark

Monday, April 21, 2008

Review: Book: The Cheese Monkeys

Book: The Cheese Monkeys
Author: Chip Kidd

“Do you see? Good is Dead.” These words permeate Chip Kidd’s first novel, The Cheese Monkeys. A mash-up of non-fiction autobiography and fictional narrative, the novel is a dark comedy of sorts exposing the reasons why a person becomes an artist and how one survives it throughout college. Read this for a good laugh and the next time you say a piece of art is “good”, you might reconsider your choice of adjective. For those interested, The Learners follows this novel as Kidd’s second novel.

Stephanie Clark

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Review: The Media & Body Image

I checked out the book The Media & Body Image by Maggie Wykes and Barrie Gunter. Initially I checked out this book to help me with my research paper for English Composition 120. My paper is about the effects media has on body image and eating disorders. I prove that media is one of the reasons that eating disorders are on the rise in young women.

This book was very helpful for my research paper, but I also was very interested in the book itself. This book was amazing and bringing about different aspects of the media. It then shows how these aspects impact society for example, by the negative connotations of feelings people get from the media even though the media is trying to give off a positive message.

Chapter Four was by far my favorite chapter with lots of interesting information that I was able to use in my paper and also just my general knowledge. This chapter was titled Print: Selling Sex and Slenderness. This chapter was intriguing because it focused on magazines, which are very popular among teenagers today, such as Cosmo, Self, People, etc. It discusses all the crazy articles that arise from these magazines that influence having a perfect body and how to get it. These articles influence girls that they need to have the perfect body to be happy in life and attract the opposite sex physically. Two of my favorite sections in this chapter were: 'Skinny models send unhealthy message' and 'What boys love about you; sexy hair and beauty tips'. These articles just give off an image that isn't reality. Then girls use this and in worse case scenario, go to the extreme of eating disorders in order to gain satisfaction.

This book was more then just a book for my research paper. It turned out to be a very interesting book with great information that everybody should know about the media and the images they give off in today's world. I would recommend this book to anyway interested in this topic or need it for a paper! I am very glad I came across this book and glad the library had it! I would rank it four stars out of five for good information and also interesting facts!!

~Megan Marie~

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Review: Fight Club

Book: Fight Club

Author Chuck Palahniuk writes stark and often times gruesome portrayals of American society. Within Fight Club, Palahniuk references male socialization and the human condition within urban and cosmopolitan cultures. Since its 1996 publishing date, Fight Club has most definitely morphed into a pop-culture icon, even-more-so, the piece exposes the flaws and detriments of American society’s confines and stipulations of the human psyche.

Stephanie Clark

Friday, April 11, 2008

Review: Water for Elephants

Reanne Eichele
Unaffiliated member of the library
Adult Fiction

The premise behind Water for Elephants is simple: using flashbacks, an elderly man narrates his glory days as a member of a traveling circus. The reader will easily be enthralled by the young man's daring adventures, including quitting college right before graduation, falling in love with a mercurial man's wife, and becoming a veterinarian for the circus. The other story is just as riveting; although his memories are clear, the narrator struggles with his failing mind and body thereby creating a poignant juxtaposition between reality and fantasy. The book tends to drag along in parts but the ending far makes up for the lull.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Review: Beloved

I don't believe that Beloved by Toni Morrison is in the popular reading collection, but I just finished reading it and really enjoyed it.

Beloved is the story of an African American family's struggles after escaping from slavery in rural Kentucky all before the civil war. The novel is based mainly around the life and trials of (Sethe) the mother within the slave family. Occasionally, the novel takes the reader back to the protagonist's (Sethe) younger years of enslavement--which, in my opinion are the most compelling parts of the book. Morrison wrote the novel in a style similar to poetry, with expression and description that I found to be both captivating and brilliant. The novel is similar to other slavery-themed stories, but considers issues that go deeper such as sexual abuse and violence. Despite the complex ideas within the text, the novel was very easy to understand. I would say it is one of the most memorable reads of my college career so far.

--Stephanie Liden
UND Sophomore

Thursday, April 3, 2008

We Need More Book Reviews!

Thanks, Joan, for the review on Impulse. Now that the Writer's Conference is over I can read some other books, but I have to read Three Cups of Tea for my bookclub too. I hope people took advantage of that terrific program--I can't wait until next year!

Anyway, we NEED more reviews and we are willing to BRIBE people for them. Actually we'll put your name in for a drawing for a Barnes and Noble $25 gift card. The more reviews you write, the better odds of winning, and remember these aren't "book reports"-- it's just sharing a piece of advice to your fellow reading fans. You do have to be a UND student to be eligible to win and we'll have a drawing at the end of April -- we'll have details on this blog.

Not too long ago I listened to a story on NPR about the power of reviews on (there are University folks studying the effects of online reviews). AMAZON has millions of reviewers and their top reviewers have written thousands of reviews (for free!). So I don't think it's too much to ask a few hundred people to write ONE review each for our blog. But BE CAREFUL, one study showed that one bad rating does a lot more harm than the positive effect of one good review.

So, everyone, think about the last book you read and write a review--the book doesn't have to be from the popular reading collection. Who knows, maybe your review will motivate us to purchase the book.

Take care, Kristen

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Guest Reviewer!!! TODAY!!!

We have a review we want to share with you. This is from Joan:

Since this isn't in the popular reading collection, I don't know how appropriate it is to post about it here. I'll let you decide! :)

Impulse, by Ellen Hopkins, is a young adult book about teens in a facility because of their suicide attempts. There is one word that describes this book: WOW! It's a very powerful book and you really get a feel for the characters and how they came to be suicidal. You end up rooting for each and everyone of them! Don't let the size of the book scare's actually a pretty fast read, since it's written in verse form, which takes up lots of space. It's not exactly rhyming verse so it's easy to read just like a regular novel.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jon Hassler

Kristen, I just found out that Jon Hassler has died. He has always been a favorite writer of mine, and when I taught a course in midwestern lit, my students all thought the novel we studied (Grand Opening) was tremendous. I've never had such a strong response to an author from students. His writing touched people of all ages because he had the ability to make his characters come so alive that you care, you really care, about the people who populate his novels.

He graduated from UND in 1961 and received a doctorate of letters here in 1994. In 1996, the Chester Fritz Library celebrated its millionth volume--and what did we select to be that millionth volume? "Christmas in Omaha," by Jon Hassler. Mr. Hassler came to the library and we had a formal presentation as he donated a signed copy.

I've met a lot of writers in my life, but I have never been as excited as I was that day, seeing a writer I admired so much.

And now he's gone.

You'll have to excuse me if I'm a little sad today....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hey Janet,

A couple things come to mind as I read your post:

About the fake memoir-I read another good article that might be of interest to our students. Bob Thompson, Washington Post Staff Writer, says:

To: The publishing industry.
From: Your friends in the news biz.
Re: Fake memoirs.

Two words: Fact check!

It was interesting to find out publishing houses do not fact check, saying they have to trust their authors and they don’t have the money to fact check. That’s the perfect kind of low-paid job that gets your foot in the door of a magazine or newspaper! Can you believe, Janet, that in my New Jersey hometown I started off my career as a features reporter by proofreading ads? ME! The one YOU’RE always correcting for spelling?

Anyway, Tim Madigan has had quite a successful career in the newspaper industry. That’s how he met Mr. Rogers. They instantly had a connection and kept up correspondence throughout the years. Tim would take opportunities to visit Mr. Rogers in Pittsburgh from time to time. Tim still likes to visit our area too. He was here in December supporting youth hockey, and he came here during the flood and wrote a really moving story, talking with many people from his past, including his long-time friend Ryan Bakken from the GF Herald. When I contacted Tim about the popular reading collection, not only did he write a letter to the students and donate autographed copies for us but he gave us a paperback edition of I’m Proud of You that we’ll include as a prize for our upcoming contest (to entice students to contribute to this blog).

Also, let’s hold off on our next “Author of the Month” until next week’s writer’s conference is over. In the meantime, wear on sweater on March 20th. Our coworker alerted us that Thursday is 'Wear a Sweater Day' in honor of Mr. Rogers.

It's a beautiful day in the library-

Monday, March 10, 2008

I believe you...and I'm proud of you

Kristen, thanks for posting about the controversies surrounding recent "memoirs" that turn out to be either fictionalized, or totally made up to begin with.

This allows me to focus on a memoir that is NOT fictionalized. Tim Madigan is a UND graduate, and he's written a wonderful remembrance of his friendship with Mr. Rogers. Yes, that Mr. Rogers--"It's-a-wonderful-day-in-the-neighborhood" Mr. Rogers. Publishers Weekly gave Tim Madigan's book, I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers a rare starred review.

It deserves that star.

When we began this blog, we determined right away that Tim would be our first Author of the Month. We were still learning how to make things work techie-wise, and we didn't get him featured as much as we'd have liked. But he's in the forefront of our minds now as we consider the art of the memoir, and how well he's done it.

To Tim Madigan, we have to say this: Thank you. And you know something else? We're really proud of you.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Do you believe me?

Janet, do your ever tell stories about yourself? Do you ever exaggerate a bit or combine some aspects to make the story easier to tell? I bet you did--I know I have. I think most people are smart enough to know that about people. What about authors of autobiographies? How much slack should we give them? Oprah didn’t give much to James Frey, author of the book A Million Little Pieces in 2006. Apparently his “true-life” story about drug and alcohol addiction recovery had some events that were not entirely accurate. Publisher Random House stood behind the author in a lawsuit and new copies of the book have a disclaimer. Our copy of the book has the letter from the publisher right in the front of the book and the genre “Biographical Fiction” is used to describe this book in our catalog.

There are recent controversies about the “memoirs” of a holocaust survivor and a totally fabricated story about a South-Central LA foster child who succeeds despite overwhelming odds. The author of the second book “Margaret B. Jones” is really Margaret Seltzer who made up her life, ethnicity and background --portrayed as a true account in this book. The story received rave reviews in the New York Times, and interviews all over the country including NPR were lined up for the publicity launch. Instead, after the author’s sister recognized her in an article and called the publisher to say they’d been duped—the publisher pulled all copies of the books of the shelves.

Why did the author have to say it was a true story about themselves rather than a novel? The vastly successful Memoirs of a Geisha was written by an American white male. Some insight may come from psychologists rather than literary critics. I listened to several stories on NPR and there’s a long history of this according to Laura Browder author of Slippery Characters: Ethnic Impersonators and American Identities. Of course, our job as librarians is to stay on top of these issues to help spread the word—but Ms. Browder noted in her NPR interview that it’s unusual for books to be pulled off the shelves for deception—there’s usually a firestorm of publicity and then things return to normal. So Janet, you can’t always believe what you read—even if it’s on the Chester Fritz Library shelves.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Hey Janet,

Raspberries—geez—the stores I shop don’t offer raspberries on a string with a tassel on them! Did you finish Eat Pray Love yet? I have to tell you that I didn’t actually read this book, I listened to it on CD. It’s available at the Grand Forks Public Library and it’s narrated by the author—she does a great job. Do you remember when she goes to Italy to eat and learn Italian? Do you remember when she goes to the soccer game and hears what she thinks are beautiful Italian phrases until she realizes it’s all cursewords? I laughed out loud as she narrated the yelling of Italian fans then followed it with the English translation. This book is such a journey of self-discovery that it’s like having coffee with your best friend when you turn on the CD. Maybe UND should buy the CD?

Anyway, last night I missed the presentation at the Empire on Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses because of my bookclub meeting. We were discussing his Ground Beneath Her Feet (though very few of us got through the whole book—there’s so much to it!). Our book club decided to read Russell Banks Affliction (I praise that in a previous post) and Junot Diaz’s The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao before the Writer’s Conference too. Diaz is supposed to be a “hot” writer and he must be—a lot of the copies in Grand Forks are currently checked out.

This Sunday: “Writer’s Conference 101” book talk at Barnes and Noble 2-3:30. They will do poetry readings of Alice Fulton (I won’t be able to make it but if you’re thinking about it go -- you don’t HAVE to read ahead of time).

Take care!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love...and read!

Kristen, it's your fault I'm a bit sleep-deprived today. You told me I'd love Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, so I dutifully checked it out and put it on my desk at home...where it sat. I couldn't get past the cover. I'm a mystery reader, and I like mystery covers, which draw you in, tell you something about the book. The last one I read had a cloud of steam coming from a cup of coffee--a cloud of steam shaped like a skull! No brainer to figure out that it was a mystery.

Anyway, on to East, Pray, Love. The cover was, I thought, bland, and it made the book totally pass-uppable. (I think I just made a new word!!) The word PRAY looks like it's made of raspberries with a cord, which made NO sense at all.

But last night I needed something to read, so I picked it up and began. WOW! At 3:30 this morning, I had to force myself to lay it aside. I want to ignore all the chores I have ahead of me today, and settle on the couch with a HUGE cup of coffee and a blanket and a cat and finish reading this book.

Kristen, you wondered if college students would like this book. I think so--assuming they can get past that cover.

So here's my question to our UND students: What do you think? Has anyone read it? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

[By the way, they're not raspberries at all. The word is made from a prayer cord of beads.]


Monday, February 18, 2008

The Dutchman

Hey Janet, thanks for the Valentine's wishes. I was working at the libary today, President's Day, and was impressed with how many students came in right as we opened to start their work. I'm getting the sense that they want to be in good shape with their research before the Spring Break.

Writers Conference will be here soon too. I want to another book discussion on Sunday where I heard a reading of a play by Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones) called the Dutchman. It was an intense and shocking story that takes place in the mid-1960s on a New York Subway. The entire play takes place in the subway car where the issues of Race and Gender are unflinchingly examined. Mr. Baraka's works are in the popular reading collection, including a post 9/11 poem written when he served as poet laureate of Newark, NJ. The controversy surrounding that poem caused the mayor to dissolve the position of poet laureate. As someone in the book group said, he is truly fitting for this year's Writer's Conference theme of revolution.

Also this week are talks about Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children on Tuesday, Feb. 19, noon to 1:30 p.m. at the International Centre and Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble Coffee Shop. I'm currently reading another of his books, The Ground Beneath Her Feet. It takes place in Bombay, India and is a tapestry of historic, mythologic and cultural images. I wish I knew more about all those areas so that I could understand all the allusions he makes. Speaking of which, I should get back to reading.

Take care,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Listen to this!

Kristen, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Yes, I came back to work just for the cookies and chocolate hearts we had--what a yummy holiday!

I've been out with a really bad cold. I felt especially bad because I'd told a student I'd get a certain book for her on Monday and then I couldn't. But we're getting it for her, and she'll soon be happily reading away.

Did you notice the title of this post? It's because, yes, we're going shopping for AUDIO BOOKS tomorrow! Soon students will be able to check out books on CD. Ought to make those long drives home for spring break much more bearable. Students: If you're interested in audio books, let us know what you'd like to see--oops! I mean, what you'd like to hear!

And if you've read something in the collection you especially liked, let's hear from you. Just comment back and we'll take it from there.

Time to investigate a box of chocolates a friend gave me. Interesting flavors--pear praline and sea salt caramel! I'll let you know what I think of them.

Tomorrow--audio books and lattes. And here I thought today was yummy!

Friday, February 8, 2008

It's a good day


Can you feel the energy? I'm so excited because the author of Wicked Lovely COMMENTED ON THIS BLOG! That's it, I promise I'll read that book and I'm sure I will love this mystery story. Thank you Melissa!

Also, we had a terrific write-up by Dakota Student Reporter Megan Ewert. I could tell that she gets the value of this project. I hope she visits soon and even writes a review or a comment.
I was talking to a friend (who also works at the library) about Affliction over lunch at the ND Museum of Art cafe. We don't want to give away any of the suspense but we both really felt sorry for Wade (unlike a lot of others who didn't have a lot of patience for the guy). We also agreed on some other plot points but we'd give away too much if we told. The amazing thing is that this author, Russell Banks, will be in Grand Forks next month so we could ask him questions about this book.

Take care Janet. I know you'll be going shopping at the Bookstore on Monday and you already have some student requests. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Confession Time


We’re going to learn a lot about each other on this blog. I hate to say this but...I don’t like to read mysteries! I get a headache trying to keep track of everything and trying not to let the author trick me AND I NEVER GUESS WHO THE MURDERER IS! I know, I’m too gullible, I can’t think “outside the box” to come up with a solution from out of nowhere. Pleaase don’t be offended – I know you have lots of mystery writer friends, and that you go to conferences for mystery writers, and sometime you look like you’ve been up all night typing...Wait a minute, Janet, are YOU a mystery writer? Well, my imagination must be getting away from me. Can someone else make some good mystery suggestions for Janet in the Comments so that I'm off the hook?

Yes I LOVED Eat, Pray, Love and I’m sure it will be on the shelves just in time for Spring Break. Right now I’m reading books for the Writer’s Conference. I couldn’t believe how I got sucked into Affliction by Russell Banks. There’s a movie version with Nick Nolte in it and bet it’s terrific too. Did you know there will be a Graphic Artist at the Writer’s Conference too? I learned about him last Sunday at the UND Bookstore. There’s a Writer’s Conference 101 Book Club and an art professor, Joel Jonientz, led a great talk. Do you remember Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy? Peter Kuper created that and lots more. We discussed Stop Forgetting to Remember : The Autobiography of Walter Kurtz. His pictures really are worth a thousand words, but I'm sure we don't have to tell this group about graphic novels.

Good night Janet, I'm tired from staying up so late finishing Affliction. It was so good and the ending made sense to me, unlike the mysteries I've read...


Monday, February 4, 2008

Yummy books!

I can't wait for the new books to hit the shelves in Popular Reading. I'm especially excited about EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's been creating a lot of buzz all over the internet and in the media. You've read it, haven't you, Kristen?

I read a terrific book this past week. WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr. It'll be on the shelves soon, too. It's soooooo incredible. It's what's called an "urban fairytale"--no charming Tinkerbell type fairies in this book. Instead they're human-sized faeries...with an agenda. I'm such a here-and-now person that I didn't think I'd like it but I loved it! It's brilliantly plotted and written with a glittering beauty.

While I'm waiting for EAT, PRAY, LOVE, I'll think I'll cozy up with a mystery. I do love a good mystery, don't you? Especially when it's snowy! Now the problem is: Which one do I chose????


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Janet, don’t spill the gingerbread latte!

OK we need a plan: meet at cafe, read the Best Seller lists while sipping coffee, see which ones the library doesn’t already own, avoid bumping into students buying textbooks, and start shopping for the Spring Semester!

Our heroine, Molly Maurer
Undeclared Senator

I don’t know where the winter break went! It seems like yesterday when we went to the student senate to ask for a boost to our small collection of recreational reading. Weren’t you impressed with their questions and comments? Weren’t you grateful to all the supportive words for the library and see the funding resolution passed? Let’s see if we can get bestseller books on CD like they asked. Oh, and did you feel WAY underdressed at that meeting? What happened to putting a sweatshirt on to disguise the fact you’re wearing your pajamas outside?

Anyway, we promised those students results, like this blog, and communication with professional authors. So, are you going to call David Sedaris or should I?