There’s Still Time to Enjoy More Summer Reading

Two sisters side-by-sideSisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. – Penguin Random House. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3027633

After You Book CoverAfter You by Jojo Moyes

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await. – Penguin Random House. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/jqfgzmv

The Circle Book CoverThe Circle by Dave Eggers

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge. – Knopf. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/h3gfnbu

Where'd You Go Bernadette Book CoverWhere’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world. – Hachette Book Group. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/j75xzfj

The Royal We book coverThe Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become. Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.  – Hachette Book Group. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/jga8ut3

Another Day book coverAnother Day by David Levithan

A girl falls in love with someone who wakes up in a different body each morning in this enthralling and poignant follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Every Day.

David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) turns his New York Times bestseller Every Day on its head by flipping perspectives in this exploration of love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.  – Penguin Random House. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/j6znhs4

Fates and Furies book coverFates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart. – Penguin Random House. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/z2m9rs9 

– All summer reading picks by Susanna Eng-Ziskin

EOP Students Visit the Oviatt

Matty in front of LibraryIncoming CSUN EOP Bridge freshmen have been visiting the Library during the last couple of weeks finding out about all of the resources and services available to them as new CSUN Matadors. The Oviatt Library and CSUN’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) work together each year to help prepare Bridge students for university-level academic expectations and experiences.

Many new Bridge students already have attended Library tours this summer and seen, firsthand, where they can receive help with their research, and where to locate a group study room that will be useful to them in the fall when the Library fills with students preparing for exams and midterms.

Services such as the Creative Media Studio were one of the many highlights of the Library tours. Specialized computers and software are made available to students in order to support them in developing multi-media projects. Students were also introduced to the Library’s Teacher Curriculum Center that offers them the opportunity to check-out instructional materials and young adult novels; and the Music & Media Department which provides students with materials associated with music, cinema and theater curricula.

Other services covered within the tours include information about borrowing iPads and laptops; Course Reserves; Interlibrary Loan; and the CSUN Learning Resource Center that is located on the third floor. Of course, one of the highlights of the Library tour includes a visit to the Library’s Automated Storage & Retrieval System. Students are impressed with the technology and how it is able to house and retrieve approximately 700,000 items within the Oviatt collection upon demand.

We are very pleased to have Bridge students in our Library this summer, and we look forward to working with them during the upcoming academic year!

Coleen Martin

Summer Reading Picks Are Here!

Eligible bookcoverEligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/h3679ur

Ready Player One bookcoverReady Player One by Ernest Cline

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.  But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Isis Leininger and Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2724685

Better Nate Than Ever bookcoverBetter Nate than Ever by Tim Federle

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom. Tim Federle’s “hilarious and heartwarming debut novel” (Publishers Weekly) is full of broken curfews, second chances, and the adventure of growing up—because sometimes you have to get four hundred miles from your backyard to finally feel at home. – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. – Recommended by Mara Houdyshell. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3299348

The Burgess Boys bookcoverThe Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever. With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Coleen Martin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2912869

me before you bookcoverMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . . Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?  – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/jrdemem

The Martian bookcoverThe Martian by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3228080

The Husband's Secret bookcoverThe Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read… My darling Cecilia, If you’re reading this, then I’ve died… Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive… Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3148011

Matadors Enjoyed the Oviatt’s Finals Week Activities

The Oviatt Library offered several de-stressing activities and events for students during finals week. Matadors enjoyed taking a break and creating works of art with arts & crafts sessions. For students who planned to be with us in the wee hours of the morning, during our 24/7 schedule, we provided Finals Survival Kits that included disposable pillows, pretzels, an Oviatt highlighter and a Hershey’s kiss hoping to make their study hours with us a little more enjoyable. Of course, the therapy dogs that came for a visit were a hit with many students who consistently streamed in and out of the Library to visit with the friendly pups. Finally, our graffiti board and board games rounded out the list of activities and events offered and provided students with another form of relaxation, if only for a short time. Below are a few photos of CSUN students who participated in the Library’s de-stressing finals week programming.

Students having fun with arts and crafts

students with therapy dog

student wtih therapy dog

student with therapy dog

student with therapy dog

student with therapy dog

student with therapy dog

student with therapy dog

student with therapy dog

students with therapy dog

students with therapy dog

students with therapy dog

Join Us for Doggies, Crafts, Survival Kits and More!

Girls taking their picture with a therapy dogHello Matadors! Everyone at the Library wishes you good luck on all of your finals. To help support a stress-free experience, we will be providing study break activities. Some wonderful        therapy dogs will be visiting the Library on Mon., May 16 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the ASRS Viewing Room on the main floor, east wing. Come pet a doggie and put a smile on your face!

There will be arts & crafts sessions on Tues., May 17 and Wed., May 18. Please join us for coloring, button making and the opportunity to create your very own sculpture with Play-Doh! Please see our events page for timing.

On Thurs., May 19, between 3 p.m.-6 p.m., join us for an afternoon of online, board and card games such as Cards Against Humanity, Dominion and others. In addition to Thursday’s gaming event, other board games will be available for check out at the Guest Services Desk in the lobby all week long.

We want you to express yourself too. There is a graffiti board in the Learning Commons if you wish to share your angst about finals.

Finally, don’t miss your chance to pick up a “Finals Survival Kit” at the Guest Services Desk in the Library lobby. The Kit is complimentary and comes with chocolate, pretzels, a pencil and pillow to rest your head on while studying and taking breaks. We expect these items may be useful during our extended Library hours.

Most of the activities will be taking place in the ASRS Viewing Room, main floor, east wing. We look forward to seeing you in the Library preparing for your exams and taking study breaks with us!

– Coleen Martin