What We’re Reading – Dean Treadwell

  1.  What are you reading?  Over Thanksgiving, read “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick.  It won the Caldecott Medal in 2009
  2. How did you make your selection?  Browsing through Barnes & Noble’s children’s section looking for a book for our granddaughter, came across this book.  Had seen it the year it was published but didn’t read it then; was charmed by it once more.
  3. Describe the word in 20 words or less: Beautifully illustrated graphic novel in black and white about a boy who lives in the Paris train station ca. 1935
  4. What did you like?  The illustrations, of course, but also the story about a boy pursuing his dreams and an old man returning to his—with plenty of adventure along the way   What didn’t you like?  At points, the quality of the writing doesn’t match the quality of the illustrations, but this is a minor complaint
  5. Who would you recommend should read this book?   Any creative and precocious nine or ten year old that you know ; anyone interested in the history of cinema; anyone interested in children’s book illustration; anyone interested in a finely crafted book; anyone who wants to be charmed and transported on a cold winter’s night.

 

What We’re Reading – Max Stewart

“What We’re Reading” is a blog series giving the Brookens Library staff the opportunity to highlight a variety of books, audio books, or e-books you might find enjoyable. This series will post every week on the “What’s New at Brookens” Blog. The sixth installment features our student worker Max Stewart. Max’s selection is a fantasy read perfect for younger audiences and for those who enjoy young adult books. Learn more about what Max has been reading:

1.       What Are you reading?
I am currently reading The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
2.       How Did You make your selection?
It was recommended to me by a friend of mine, who said that the book was very good
3.       Describe the book in 20 words or less using your own words
A poor Orphan boy attempts to escape the slums by becoming apprenticed to an Assassin
4.       What did you Like?
I like how the author creates the world that the characters inhabit, I also enjoy how original the story is as a lot of Fantasy is very unoriginal.

What didn’t you like?

I do not like how some Characters will not be mentioned for chapters on end then turn up again suddenly, but this becomes less of a problem as the book goes on.
5.       Who would you recommend should read this?
Anyone who enjoys Fantasy, especially more serious Fantasy like George R. R. Martin should give this book a try.

What We’re Reading – Janelle Gurnsey

“What We’re Reading” is a blog series giving the Brookens Library staff the opportunity to highlight a variety of books, audio books, or e-books you might find enjoyable. This series will post every week on the “What’s New at Brookens” Blog. The fifth installment features Janelle Gurnsey, the Communications and Outreach Specialist at Brookens. Janelle’s selection is a novel that delves into the hot button issue of high school shootings. Brookens Library has this particular title on audio book, which is how Janelle engaged with the text. Learn more about what Janelle has been reading:

1.)   What are you reading?

19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult (2006)

2.)   How did you make your selection?

I may work in a library but I’m not a librarian so sometimes even I need a little help picking out my next read. I was talking with a co-worker about what we were reading and I had to admit I wasn’t reading anything because I wasn’t sure what was “good”. That co-worker, Nancy Weichert a Brookens librarian, gave me a consultation of my very own: she had a pretty good idea about what I liked based on previous conversations so she went to the audio book area and picked out two choices she thought I would like and then described each one so I could decide which to choose first. She did a great job, I loved the book.

3.)   Describe the book in 20 words or less using your own words.

A riveting story about a teenage boy who sought revenge on classmates after suffering years of abuse in high school.

4.) What did you like?

Jodi Picoult does a good job a weaving the story together. It jumps back and forth through different time periods, giving you glimpses of what has happened or what may happened. Those snippets unfold later in the story and really engage the reader, which is something I liked. I also liked that it was thought provoking. I have a young daughter and it made me think about bullying, child rearing, today’s youth and so many different issues that mold and form who we are as individuals. I really liked that this book was an audio book. It really brought the characters to life and allowed me to make a greater connection with each individual in the story. I’d definitely recommend checking out the audio book.

What didn’t I like?

It was sad, difficult at times to think about how someone can get to the point where they would kill their classmates. You could at times feel the pain that the child (the shooter) endured on a daily basis which was something that I struggled with when listening to the audio book. Overall, I like thought provoking books so this didn’t discourage me from continuing but there were scenes that were particularly difficult to read.

5.)   Who would you recommend this book to?

People that like books based on topics ripped from the headlines. Though this wasn’t a “true story” based on a single event, it is based on the hot button issues of school shootings. I would also recommend this to anyone that is a parent, anyone who is concerned about bullying or about the complex system of social inequity.

What We’re Reading – Matthew Rex

“What We’re Reading” is a blog series giving the Brookens Library staff the opportunity to highlight a variety of books, audio books, or e-books you might find enjoyable. This series will post every week on the “What’s New at Brookens” Blog. The fourth installment features our student worker Matthew Rex. Matt’s selection is a fantasy read perfect for younger audiences and for those who enjoy young adult books. Learn more about what Matt has been reading:

1.)   What are you reading?

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

2.)   How did you make your selection?

I found the book in the Browsing Collection in Brookens, and I thought it looked like a fun read.

3.)   Describe the book in 20 words or less using your own words.

In a world where magic is real and diminishing, a young girl accidentally becomes the last dragon-slayer.

4.)   What did you like?

I really enjoyed the humor. Fforde writes in a style that can be both serious and laugh-til-you-cry funny at the same time, which gives the book this magical, playful tone. There are many beautiful silly things, like the Transient Moose, that make you fall in love with the world Fforde has created.

What didn’t you like?

It was too short! It lacks some of the depth that other books have, but I don’t feel like I should knock it for that. Fforde has planned to make this book the first of a series, so he may be rectifying my only complaint!

5.)   Who would you recommend this book to?

 Fans of the fantasy genre, fans of silliness, fans of books! This is one of those rare books that can appeal to everyone, because of its lightheartedness and lovable characters.

What We’re Reading – Nancy Weichert

“What We’re Reading” is a blog series giving the Brookens Library staff the opportunity to highlight a variety of books, audio books, or e-books you might find enjoyable. This series will post every week on the “What’s New at Brookens” Blog. The third installment features one of our librarians Nancy Weichert. Nancy’s selection is a piece of contemporary American fiction and was selected as one of Amazon’s best books of the month in 2012. We hope you enjoy what Nancy has been reading.

1.)    What are you reading?

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

 2.)    How did you make your selection?

I’m in a book club and this is our current selection.

3.)     Describe the book in 20 words or less using your own words.

A book about climate change, educational disparity, poverty, religion, denial and butterflies set on a multigenerational family farm in Appalachia.

 4.)     What did you like? It is beautifully written and well researched. I enjoyed learning about Monarch Butterflies while “watching” a young family experience a metamorphosis all their own. The subject matter – climate change, infidelity, privilege, and poverty – was difficult, but I left the book feeling hopeful.

What didn’t you like? I wanted more – it ended a bit too abruptly for me.

 5.)     Who would you recommend this book to?

Anyone interested in family dynamics, ecology, politics, religion, economics, or butterflies.

 

What We’re Reading – Dean Treadwell

Brookens Library has started a new blog series “What We’re Reading”, a behind-the-scenes look into what our staff is actually reading on their own. We were inspired by the success of our “What We’re Wearing” Facebook series which documents the instances when staff members at the library dress alike without planning it. While “What We’re Wearing” is designed for entertainment purposes, “What We’re Reading” can serve a way for our staff to highlight a variety of books, audio books, or e-books you might find enjoyable. This series will post every Tuesday on the “What’s New at Brookens” Blog. The Dean of Brookens Library, Jane Treadwell, introduces the series with her pick for “What We’re Reading”. Enjoy!

1.)  What are you reading?  I’ve just finished re-reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.  I led a discussion of the book for my book group a couple of weeks ago and on October 3 I’ll be leading a discussion of  the book here at UIS as the last of three book discussions in connection with One Book One UIS.

2.) How did you make your selection?  Behind the Beautiful Forevers was selected by the committee that planned ONE BOOK, ONE UIS.  We wanted a book that UIS students, faculty andm staff would find accessible and relevant—one that faculty would want their students to read, one that fit the criteria for an ECCE lecture, and one that featured excellent writing, whether fiction or non-fiction.  Behind the Beautiful Forevers, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2012 and has since garnered many more prizes, fit our criteria on many levels.

3.) Describe the book in 20 words or less using your own words.  Engaging, eye-opening, empathetic yet unsentimental narrative of the real lives of some residents of a Mumbai slum; globalization at the personal level

4.) What did you like? I loved the writing—the book reads like a novel.  It caused me to reconsider some of my assumptions and gave me insight into how the effects of globalization reach each level of a society.  It also led me to consider the complexities of Indian society that work against change.

What didn’t you like? It is hard to read the book and not be upset about the injustice that the featured people in the book either encounter or are complicit in.

5.) Who would you recommend should read this?  I think anyone who wants to understand 21st century India should read this, but beyond that, anyone who cares about the plight of disadvantaged people anywhere in the world, including here in the United States.  And, for literary types—anyone who is interested in narrative non-fiction.  It is the best book I’ve ever read in that category.