Monthly Archives: July 2015

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