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