Celebrate Banned Books Week at the Oviatt

Banned Books Display Hello Matadors! September 27 through October 3 is Banned Books week. Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to choose what we read. It also brings attention to the harms of censorship. The Oviatt Library is acknowledging the importance of Banned Books Week with several activities.

There is a Banned Books display in the Learning Commons, first floor of the Library. All of the books within the display have been banned in some manner. Each book has been wrapped, (for suspense!) and at least one description has been given as to why the book was banned. Come take a look at the various reasons these books have been censored in different places around the country. Some books were tossed in the trash, while others were hidden behind the circulation desks of their libraries. All of these banned books can be checked out at the Guest Services Desk in our Library lobby. But no peeking before they are checked out and taken home to read!

The Library is also collaborating with the CSUN Journalism Department to bring you a Banned Books Readout on Wednesday, September 30 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Oviatt Library Ferman Presentation Room. Cecil Castellucci, author of Boy Proof, and many other young adult novels, will be speaking, in addition to CSUN Professor Elizabeth Blakey Martinez, who is a First Amendment scholar. There will also be many journalism students reading passages from banned books. Pizza will be served and everyone is welcome. Please RSVP at http://library.csun.edu/banned-books-readout-2015. Happy Banned Books Week to all and enjoy your reading!

- Coleen Martin

Find Out About Magazines and Journals!

Magazine vs Journal

Magazines vs. Journals

 Popular Sources = magazines and newspaper articles

  • Purpose: Inform and entertain the general reader
  • Authors: journalist or professional writers (usually employees of the publication)
  • Audience: general public
  • Coverage: Broad variety of public interest topics, cross disciplinary.
  • Publisher: Commercial
  • Characteristics:
    • Few or no cited references
    • General summaries of background information
    • Contain advertisements
    • Length of articles are usually brief, 1-5 pages
  • Frequency: Published on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Examples: Time, Newsweek, Vogue, National Geographic, The New Yorker

 Scholarly Sources = journal articles

  • Purpose: To communicate research and scholarly ideas
  • Authors: researchers, scholars, or faculty (usually listed with their institution affiliation)
  • Audience: other scholars, students
  • Coverage: Very narrow and specific topics
  • Publisher: Professional associations, academic institutions, and many commercial publishers.
  • Characteristics:
    • Includes full citations for sources
    • Uses scholarly or technical language
    • Peer reviewed
    • Length of articles are longer, over 5 pages
  • Frequency: Published on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
  • Examples: Journal of Politics, Sociological Review, Journal of Marriage and Family

 Things to keep in mind:

  • You can find both types of sources using the Oviatt Library’s Databases.
  • Book reviews and editorials found in journals are not considered scholarly articles.
  • Both magazines and journal articles can be good sources for your work.
  • Often a combination of the two will be the most appropriate for undergraduate research.

- Jamie Johnson

The Creative Media Studio Celebrates One Year!

Creative Media StudioThis Wednesday, September 2, the Creative Media Studio (CMS) celebrates its one-year anniversary from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on the main floor, west wing of the Library. Everyone is welcome to attend the event which will showcase student work developed at the studio during the last year. Companies such as Apple, Canon and Hexlab Makerspace will be at the celebration to demonstrate cutting edge technology including a 3D printer. Refreshments will be served as well.

Since opening in fall 2014, the CMS, which was funded through the Campus Quality Fee, has become a popular spot for students to create videos, apps, art and to prepare a variety of classroom presentations. Students also are able to record music in the recording studio. CMS equipment and technology can be reserved in advance for up to several hours a day. Due to popular demand, the studio recently expanded its hours and is open Saturdays and Sundays.

CMS Coordinator Isis Leininger anticipates a fun-filled gathering. “I am excited for people to see what students have already created at the CMS in such a short period of time. We want to celebrate our first year and have a fun time, while sharing some of the vast creativity that is part of our campus community, and allowing guests to interact with new technologies.”

Please join us for the event. You may RSVP here. We look forward to seeing you there!

- Coleen Martin

Looking for your textbooks?

Hey Matadors, welcome to CSUN!

It’s the first week of classes and although all of your professors are expecting you to show up to the first day of classes with ALL of your textbooks, we know that’s not always the case. We also know how insanely expensive textbooks are. Don’t worry, stay calm, it will be OK, the Oviatt library can help!

This blog posts offers a list of resources that can help you find your textbooks. First, there is the library, all of our resources are free to you and there are several ways you can look for books. Second, there is the Matador bookstore, they will have all your required texts, including used books, electronic versions and even a rental program. There are also several online resources for comparing textbooks prices and renting your books. Check out the list below to learn more about how you can save money.

Library Resources

  • Course Reserves are course materials that have been set aside for your course to be checked out 2 or 4 hours at a time. Search course reserves from the library’s homepage. Check out the video below to learn more.
  • Search for current or older versions of your textbook for 2 week checkouts from the library catalog.

Purchase your textbooks

  • You can always check out the Matador Bookstore for all your textbooks.
  • DealOz compares prices against various booksellers, including Amazon, half.com, abe books, and more! This is not just for textbooks, you can search for any book.
  • ValoreBooks  is specifically for textbooks, including new, used, rentals, and alternative editions.
  • Did you know that you can buy international versions of textbooks at a discounted prices? As you search online you’ll noticed them labeled as “international” or “alternative” most of the time they are identical, sometimes paperback instead of hardcover and the ISBN might be different.

Rent your textbooks

  • Our own bookstore has a rental program, create an account & see what’s available at Follet Rentals.
  • CSU has partnered with various publishers to offer CSU students in digitial format at 60% or more off the hard copy version. Check out their Rent Digital resources.
  • College Book Renter

Good luck with your first day of classes and welcome to CSUN!

-Laurie Borchard

Campus Orientation Welcomes New Faculty at the Library

New Faculty Orientation attendeesCSUN New Student Orientations have been welcoming new students to campus over the past several weeks and the campus is gearing up to welcome many new faculty members as well. In fact, the New Faculty Orientation will be held August 19 and 20 in the Library’s Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room. Coordinated by Faculty Development, a program of the CIELO Center, the two-day orientation will provide faculty with campus information to help orient them in their new setting. There will also be a variety of diverse sessions to help support a smooth transition into the 2015-16 academic year. Those attending the event will have an opportunity to meet other new faculty members and CSUN campus leaders. Current technologies utilized on campus and within the classroom will be discussed and opportunities to connect with students and faculty will be explored. Student performances will entertain and engage attendees. Finally, those new faculty members attending the orientation will also participate in President Harrison’s Fall Welcome Address at the Valley Performing Arts Center.

We at the Library are especially excited about the orientation. Library Subject Specialists will be present on August 20 and take new faculty members on a tour of the Library. Of course, these are just highlights of the event since so much more will be shared. The campus orientation promises to provide two days filled with ideas and support for creating an amazing first year on campus and within the Library. We welcome all new CSUN faculty!

- Coleen Martin

CSUN Students Welcomed at Booths

Matty the Matador in front of LibraryHello Matadors! During the coming weeks the Oviatt Library will be participating in many campus events welcoming new freshmen to CSUN. You will find us at the New Student Orientation booths held at the Matador Bookstore Complex throughout the month of August. On most days, you will be able to speak with a librarian, from noon to 1:30 p.m., to find out about all of the resources and services available to you as CSUN students. We will be handing out information that can assist you in utilizing our resources during the upcoming academic year, and we will be distributing lots of giveaway items such as pens, notepads, highlighters and canvas bags to support your success. Please stop by our booth, say hello, and ask any questions you may have about the Library. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

– Coleen Martin

Check Out More Summer Reading Picks!

Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton-and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead.

Complete with 10 wonderfully graphic illustrations, this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen’s classic novel to new legions of fans. Jane Austen is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature. Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of How to Survive a Horror Movie and The Big Book of Porn. He lives in Los Angeles. – Quirk Books. – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2459164

The PostmortalThe Postmortal by Drew Magary

John Farrell is about to get “The Cure.”
Old age can never kill him now.
The only problem is, everything else still can . . .

Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3189303

HausfrauHausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Anna was a good wife, mostly. For readers of The Girl on the Train and The Woman Upstairs comes a striking debut novel of marriage, fidelity, sex, and morality, featuring a fascinating heroine who struggles to live a life with meaning.

Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno—a banker—and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her.

But Anna can’t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds it’s difficult. Tensions escalate, and her lies start to spin out of control. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back.

Intimate, intense, and written with the precision of a Swiss Army knife, Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self. Navigating the lines between lust and love, guilt and shame, excuses and reasons, Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose passions and choices readers will debate with recognition and fury. Her story reveals, with honesty and great beauty, how we create ourselves and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves. – Penguin Random House. – Recommendation by librarian Lindsay Hansen. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/npf5lcs

A Discovery of WitchesA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, and concludes with The Book of Life. – Penguin Random House. Recommendation by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2655104

Me Before YouMe 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, 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. – Recommendation by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2917342

My AntoniaMy Ántonia by Willa Cather

My Ántonia evokes the Nebraska prairie life of Willa Cather’s childhood, and commemorates the spirit and courage of immigrant pioneers in America. One of Cather’s earliest novels, written in 1918, it is the story of Ántonia Shimerda, who arrives on the Nebraska frontier as part of a family of Bohemian emigrants. Her story is told through the eyes of Jim Burden, a neighbor who will befriend Ántonia, teach her English, and follow the remarkable story of her life.Working in the fields of waving grass and tall corn that dot the Great Plains, Ántonia forges the durable spirit that will carry her through the challenges she faces when she moves to the city. But only when she returns to the prairie does she recover her strength and regain a sense of purpose in life. In the quiet, probing depth of Willa Cather’s art, Ántonia’s story becomes a mobbing elegy to those whose persistence and strength helped build the American frontier. – Dover Publications. Recommended by librarian Laurie Borchard. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2074300

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for AlaskaWinner of the Michael L. Printz Award

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same. – Speak. Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1945573

The Night CircusThe Night Circus: A Novel by Erin Morgenstern

Winner of the Alex Award

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. – Anchor Books. Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2708237

AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. – Anchor Books. Recommended by librarian Coleen Martin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3226848

Station ElevenStation Eleven; A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel

Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award

Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.

Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed. – Vintage Books. Recommended by librarian Lindsay Hansen. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3314509

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together, this dynamic pair began a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed, ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars! – Dey Rey Books. Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1377570

BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy. – Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown. Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2702591

The Time Traveler's WifeThe Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Exclusive Books Boeke Prize

This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. His disappearances are spontaneous and his experiences are alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s passionate love for each other with grace and humor. Their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control is intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. – Random House Books. Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2360979

CSUN Bridge Students Visit the Oviatt Library

Incoming Bridge freshmen are visiting the Library during the coming weeks to find out about all of the resources and services available to them as new CSUN Matadors. Many of these students will attend Library tours and learn, firsthand, where they can receive help with their research, and 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.

Bridge Students 2015

These Bridge students will visit many Library departments including the Creative Media Studio which provides all CSUN students with access to specialized computers and software in order to develop multi-media projects; the Teacher Curriculum Center which offers students 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 in addition to other instructional media for many departments campus wide.

Other services covered within the tours include information about borrowing iPads and laptops; Course Reserves; and Interlibrary Loan. 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!

All the Light We Cannot See Book CoverAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. It rests, historically, during the occupation of France during WWII, but brief chapters told in alternating voices give the overall—and long—­narrative a swift movement through time and events. We have two main characters, each one on opposite sides in the conflagration that is destroying Europe. Marie-Louise is a sightless girl who lived with her father in Paris before the occupation; he was a master locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. When German forces necessitate abandonment of the city, Marie-Louise’s father, taking with him the museum’s greatest treasure, removes himself and his daughter and eventually arrives at his uncle’s house in the coastal city of Saint-Malo. Young German soldier Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity there, and eventually, and inevitably, Marie-Louise’s and Werner’s paths cross. It is through their individual and intertwined tales that Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably re-creates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.High-Demand Backstory: A multipronged marketing campaign will make the author’s many fans aware of his newest book, and extensive review coverage is bound to enlist many new fans. – Brad Hooper, Booklist *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Lindsay Hansen. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3312820

Brutal Youth Book CoverBrutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

The adage says it takes a village to raise a child, but what if the village is a dangerous place? Such is the case at St. Michael the Archangel High School, where even the best-intentioned adults wreak havoc in the lives of their students. It’s the fall of 1991, and bullying is a deeply ingrained tradition at the school. In-crowd students haze newcomers with fevered zeal, the parish priest delights in belittling the principal, and the teachers turn on one another and their students. Into this mix tumble Peter Davidek, Lorelei Paskal, and Noah Stein, each carrying wounds and seeking a place to belong. What they find instead is a maze of traps and betrayals. Like mythic heroes, they must journey through their own fears and leave in their wake broken bodies and exposed truths.
Verdict Debut author (and senior staff writer at Entertainment Weekly) Breznican captures a perfect balance of horror, heartbreak, and resilience and takes the high school novel into deeper places. Great for the beach but not just a summer read. Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll. Lib., NC - Library Journal. - Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3256740

World War Z Book CoverWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

“The Crisis” nearly wiped out humanity. Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and author of The Zombie Survival Guide, 2003) has taken it upon himself to document the “first hand” experiences and testimonies of those lucky to survive 10 years after the fictitious zombie war. Like a horror fan’s version of Studs Terkel’s The Good War (1984), the “historical account” format gives Brooks room to explore the zombie plague from numerous different views and characters. In a deadpan voice, Brooks exhaustively details zombie incidents from isolated attacks to full-scale military combat: “what if the enemy can’t be shocked and awed? Not just won’t, but biologically can’t!” With the exception of a weak BAT-21 story in the second act, the “interviews” and personal accounts capture the universal fear of the collapse of society–a living nightmare in which anyone can become a mindless, insatiable predator at a moment’s notice. Alas, Brad Pitt’s production company has purchased the film rights to the book–while it does have a chronological element, it’s more similar to a collection of short stories: it would make for an excellent 24-style TV series or an animated serial. Regardless, horror fans won’t be disappointed: like George Romero’s Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos. – Carlos Orellana, Booklist – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2648763

Frog Music Book CoverFrog Music by Emma Donoghue

Donoghue flawlessly combines literary eloquence and vigorous plotting in her first full-fledged mystery, a work as original and multifaceted as its young murder victim. During the scorching summer of 1876, Jenny Bonnet, an enigmatic cross-dressing bicyclist who traps frogs for San Francisco’s restaurants, meets her death in a railroad saloon on the city’s outskirts. Exotic dancer Blanche Beunon, a French immigrant living in Chinatown, thinks she knows who shot her friend and why, but has no leverage to prove it and doesn’t know if she herself was the intended target. A compulsive pleasure-seeker estranged from her “fancy man,” Blanche searches desperately for her missing son while pursuing justice for Jenny, but finds her two goals sit in conflict. In language spiced with musical interludes and raunchy French slang, Donoghue brings to teeming life the nasty, naughty side of this ethnically diverse metropolis, with its brothels, gaming halls, smallpox-infested boardinghouses, and rampant child abuse. Most of her seedy, damaged characters really lived, and she not only posits a clever solution to a historical crime that was never adequately solved but also crafts around Blanche and Jenny an engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship, and breaking free from the past. – Sarah Johnson, Booklist, *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Laurie Borchard. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/phbc8f6

The Weird Sisters Book CoverThe Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

You don’t have to have a sister or be a fan of the Bard to love Brown’s bright, literate debut, but it wouldn’t hurt. Sisters Rose (Rosalind; As You Like It), Bean (Bianca; The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia; King Lear)–the book-loving, Shakespeare-quoting, and wonderfully screwed-up spawn of Bard scholar Dr. James Andreas–end up under one roof again in Barnwell, Ohio, the college town where they were raised, to help their breast cancer–stricken mom. The real reasons they’ve trudged home, however, are far less straightforward: vagabond and youngest sib Cordy is pregnant with nowhere to go; man-eater Bean ran into big trouble in New York for embezzlement, and eldest sister Rose can’t venture beyond the “mental circle with Barnwell at the center of it.” For these pains-in-the-soul, the sisters have to learn to trust love–of themselves, of each other–to find their way home again. The supporting cast–removed, erudite dad; ailing mom; a crew of locals; Rose’s long-suffering fiancé–is a punchy delight, but the stage clearly belongs to the sisters; Macbeth’s witches would be proud of the toil and trouble they stir up. – Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2777032

El Deafo Book CoverEl Deafo by Cece Bell

Gr 2–6—Cece loses her hearing from spinal meningitis, and takes readers through the arduous journey of learning to lip read and decipher the noise of her hearing aid, with the goal of finding a true friend. This warmly and humorously illustrated full-color graphic novel set in the suburban ’70s has all the gripping characters and inflated melodrama of late childhood: a crush on a neighborhood boy, the bossy friend, the too-sensitive-to-her-Deafness friend, and the perfect friend, scared away. The characters are all rabbits. The antics of her hearing aid connected to a FM unit (an amplifier the teacher wears) are spectacularly funny. When Cece’s teacher leaves the FM unit on, Cece hears everything: bathroom visits, even teacher lounge improprieties It is her superpower. She deems herself El Deafo! inspired in part by a bullied Deaf child featured in an Afterschool Special. Cece fearlessly fantasizes retaliations. Nevertheless, she rejects ASL because it makes visible what she is trying to hide. She ventures, “Who cares what everyone thinks!” But she does care. She loathes the designation “special,” and wants to pass for hearing. Bell tells it all: the joy of removing her hearing aid in summer, the troubles watching the TV when the actor turns his back, and the agony of slumber party chats in the dark. Included is an honest and revealing afterword, which addresses the author’s early decision not to learn ASL, her more mature appreciation for the language, and her adage that, “Our differences are our superpowers.”—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City – Recommended by librarian Mara Houdyshell. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3299159

The Circle Book CoverThe Circle by Dave Eggers

Most of us imagine totalitarianism as something imposed upon us—but what if we’re complicit in our own oppression? That’s the scenario in Eggers’ ambitious, terrifying, and eerily plausible new novel. When Mae gets a job at the Circle, a Bay Area tech company that’s cornered the world market on social media and e-commerce, she’s elated, and not just because of the platinum health-care package. The gleaming campus is a wonder, and it seems as though there isn’t anything the company can’t do (and won’t try). But she soon learns that participation in social media is mandatory, not voluntary, and that could soon apply to the general population as well. For a monopoly, it’s a short step from sharing to surveillance, to a world without privacy. This isn’t a perfect book—the good guys lecture true-believer Mae, and a key metaphor is laboriously explained—but it’s brave and important and will draw comparisons to Brave New World and 1984. Eggers brilliantly depicts the Internet binges, torrents of information, and endless loops of feedback that increasingly characterize modern life. But perhaps most chilling of all is his notion that our ultimate undoing could be something so petty as our desperate desire for affirmation. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Eggers’ reputation as a novelist continues to grow. Expect this title to be talked about, as it has an announced first printing of 200,000 and the New York Times Magazine has first serial rights. – Keir Graff, Booklist, *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/plg7g63

Girl at War Book CoverGirl at War by Sara Novic

Nović’s important debut brings painfully home the jarring fact that what happens in today’s headlines on a daily basis—the atrocities of wars in Africa and the Mideast—is neither new nor even particularly the worst that humankind can commit. Take it from ten-year-old Ana Jurić, conscripted into the Yugoslav civil war in the early 1990s by the bad luck of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. . . . . As Nović gradually reveals, you can take the girl out of the war zone, but you can’t take the war zone out of the girl. By the time Ana becomes a student at a New York university, all that violence has been bottled up inside her head for a decade. Thanks to Nović’s considerable skill, Ana’s return visit to her homeland and her past is nearly as cathartic for the reader as it is for Ana. – Booklist, *Starred Review* – Recommended by Interim Associate Dean, Lynn Lampert. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/nam6rt9

Ready Player One Book CoverReady Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future–the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday’s fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world. Stuffed to the gills with action, puzzles, nerdy romance, and 80s nostalgia, this high energy cyber-quest will make geeks everywhere feel like they were separated at birth from author Ernest Cline. - Chris Schluep, Amazon.com review – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2724685

Point of Direction Book CoverPoint of Direction: A Novel by Rachel Weaver

Hitchhiking her way through Alaska, a young woman named Anna is picked up by Kyle, a fisherman. Anna and Kyle quickly fall for each other, as they are both adventurous, fiercely independent, and in love with the raw beauty and solitude of Alaska. To cement their relationship, they agree to become caretakers of a remote lighthouse perched on a small rock in the middle of a deep channel—a place that has been uninhabited since the last caretaker mysteriously disappeared two decades ago. What seems the perfect adventure for these two quickly unravels, as closely-held secrets pull them apart, and the surrounding waters threaten uncertain danger. A psychological thriller set against the rugged landscape of coastal Alaska, Point of Direction is an exquisite literary debut. – ig Publishing – Recommended by librarian Marcia Henry. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3313725

Geek Love Book CoverGeek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same. – Penguin Random House – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b1591191

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. – Little, Brown and Company – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/p8etrmy

Still Alice Book CoverStill Alice: A Novel by Lisa Genova

In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished woman slowly loses her thoughts and memories to Alzheimer’s disease—only to discover that each day brings a new way of living and loving. Now a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart!

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring, and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what it’s like to literally lose your mind…

Reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind, Ordinary People, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Still Alice packs a powerful emotional punch and marks the arrival of a strong new voice in fiction. – Gallery Books – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2701969

Students De-Stress at the Library During Finals Week

Therapy DogFinals week is historically a stressful time in the semester, and our most recent finals week was no exception. Many CSUN students found themselves at the Library, not only with the need to study, but also with the need to take study breaks. The Library provided several offerings to help students de-stress. These activities diverted students’ attention for a brief period of time and supported them to recharge and refocus. One of the most popular activities offered at the Library during the week was the visit of licensed therapy dogs. Students were able to spent time and pet a variety of good-natured dogs including a Goldendoodle, Sheltie, Golden Retriever, Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Boxer Mix and a Labrador Retriever. Students also participated in arts & crafts sessions that enabled them to relax and spend time coloring, in addition to, making play-doh creations and buttons. Board games were available for check out at the Guest Services desk in the lobby, and a graffiti board in the Learning Commons allowed students the opportunity to express how finals week was going for them. Finally, disposable pillows were distributed during the Library’s 24/7 hours of service for those students who nodded off at times, or for those who simply needed a soft place to rest their head while studying.

With the conclusion of another finals week, we congratulate all graduating seniors on their accomplishments and all CSUN students for completing another semester!

- Coleen Martin

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