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

CSUN Student Wins $50 Gift Card in Honor of National Library Week

Kathy Nguyen National Library Week Raffle winner

CSUN Student Kathy Nguyen

Congratulations go to CSUN student Kathy Nguyen who is a Computer Information Technology major for winning the Oviatt Library National Library Week raffle! The Oviatt Library celebrated National Library Week, April 10-16, 2016. Our programming honored library staff and encouraged students to read. More than 200 students entered the raffle which asked students to name their favorite book. Kathy’s favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The raffle was offered in conjunction with the Oviatt Library’s Favorite Books Display which featured our staff’s favorite “picks.” Students were able to browse our staff picks and check them out. Congratulations again to Kathy!      – Coleen Martin

Money Smart: The top 5 tips for Winning Scholarships

falling $100 bills

  1. Scholarships are available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week, and 365 days a year

a. There is no such thing as a “scholarship season.”  You are encouraged to continuously search for scholarships all the time.  All you have to remember – Apply, Apply, Apply!

b. Resources: Scholarship Books listing available scholarships by state, calendar deadlines

2. You can win scholarships regardless of your grades

a. Merit scholarships come in two forms.  There is academic merit scholarships that look primarily at grades, GPA, academic transcripts, and courses taken. However, merit scholarships may refer to sports, art, volunteer, and require essays, or a video highlighting unique ability.

b. Resources: Scholarship Books listing available scholarships by state, calendar deadlines

3. Use the “cookie-cutter approach” when applying for scholarships

a. Since most scholarship applications ask the same questions, apply for one scholarship then stamp out the others by making minor tweaks (don’t reinvent the wheel). In most cases, you can reuse 70% of your materials to apply for future scholarships.

b. Resources: Books on how to write scholarship essays

4. Avoid careless mistakes on your scholarship applications

a. Take the time to proofread your work, or ask someone to look over your application.  Avoiding to proofread your work can be the small difference in winning a scholarship.

b. Resource: CSUN Learning Resource Center

5. Search for scholarships in less conventional places

a. In addition to the CSUN Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, consider areas such as the radio, local community organizations, your local public library, the Oviatt, bulletin boards, and local businesses.

b. Resources: The Oviatt Library, the Los Angeles Public Library System, parents’ place of work, professional organizations in the major you are in and local newspaper.

Gregorio Alcantar and Veronica Poplovic, Financial Aid and Scholarship Counselors