Category Archives: Library Staff Recommendations

Staff from the University of the Arts University Libraries recommend their favorite library materials.

Staff Recommendation: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

 

Philip K. Dick can be regarded as one of the prominent science fiction authors of the 20th century, with many of his works posthumously inspiring film and television adaptations, such as Total Recall, Terminator, The Man in the High Castle, and Minority Report. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is one of these works, establishing the world of Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking film Blade Runner and its recent sequel, Blade Runner 2049. Like the 1982 movie, Do Androids focuses on Rick Deckhard’s search for rogue Nexus-6 androids in a futuristic, yet very bleak, California. If you are familiar with the classic Harrison Ford feature, this novel might not be what you are expecting, but it delights nonetheless. Characters like Pris, Rachael, and Roy will be recognizable to those who have seen the 1982 movie, as well as other entities that parallel elements in both films. While the films touch on themes of empathy and “What does it mean to be human?” Dick expands upon these in more detail, taking a very philosophical approach with his writing, almost along the lines of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. If you are looking for a challenging read that will make you puzzle and ponder the meanings of life, yet in the setting of a post-nuclear war America, this is for you.

Available now in the Greenfield Library open stacks at call #: PS3554 .I3 D6 2017 In addition to this great read, the director’s cut of the Blade Runner film can be found behind the Greenfield Library circulation desk, just ask for call #: GD9 !

~ Recommended by Lillian Kinney, Cataloger/Archivist at the Greenfield Library

Staff Recommendation: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is heart-wrenching, thoughtful, and compelling. Starr, a high school student, is the lone witness to the shooting of one of her childhood friends, Kahlil. While dealing with the trauma of this experience, the incident gets national attention, flooding hashtags and news stations. She is caught between two worlds: her predominantly black neighborhood and her predominantly white private school. Tension from bothsides ignites, with Starr under pressure as the only one able to get Kahlil justice. This book is an absolute must read for it’s empathic perspective and political relevance.

This book is available in the Greenfield Library open stacks at call #PZ7.1 .T448 H3 2017  

Recommended by Alyssa Winscom, Greenfield Library Work Study Assistant

Staff Recommendation: Asterios Polyp

Asterios Polyp, a graphic novel by David Mazzucchelli is a dynamic story that holds the reader’s interest from page one. It follows the titular Asterios, a middle aged architect who has his fair share of bad character traits, as he reinvents himself from nothing after his New York apartment goes up in flames. Weaving in and out of present, past, and introspection, this witty and engaging story shows it’s never too late to change. Mazzucchelli, who is also known for his work on multiple marvel titles such as Batman: Year One and Daredevil: Love’s Labors Lost turns every page into a masterpiece of engaging and exciting illustration. Even if you’re not acquainted with graphic novels, Asterios Polyp is a powerful and unique experience that is sure to make you think.

This book is available in the Greenfield Library open stacks at call #741.50924 M459a 2009

Recommended by Angela Smith, Greenfield Library Work Study Assistant

Staff Recommendation: Blankets

From the author of Good-bye, Chunky Rice, winner of the 1999 Harvey Award for Best New Talent, comes a touching graphic novel aptly titled Blankets. In 2004 Blankets won three Harvey Awards for Best Artist, Best Graphic Album of Original Work, and Best Cartoonist, cementing Craig Thompson’s place in the graphic storytelling community.

In this novel, Thompson shares an autobiographical recollection of growing up and experiencing first love. We travel with Craig from childhood into adulthood, watching as our narrator learns about the world, about himself, and about what it means to actually grow up. Craig’s delivery of the story and wonderful illustrations help us to see the way that the world around us shapes who we grow to become: whether it’s discovering our talents, questioning the religions we grew up with, or finally coming to terms with the inner workings of our own selves. At times funny, heartbreaking, and incredibly joyful, Blankets is a great read for anyone interested in literature or graphic novels.

This book is available in the Greenfield Library open stacks at call #741.50924 T372b

Recommended by Lauralee Martin, Greenfield Library Work Study Assistant

Staff Recommendation: David Bowie: The Last Interview and Other Conversations

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David Bowie: The Last Interview and Other Conversations consists of ten interviews collected over a timeline of four decades. Each of the selected conversations focus on a variety of topics outside of the realm of the musician’s technical process. The conversations also provide readers with the ability to explore the personal identity of the man behind the music. The collection begins with Bowie’s first interview at age sixteen on BBC Tonight in 1964, touching on everything from the performer’s childhood experiences on the calloused streets of South London, to his battles with substance abuse. The series concludes with his final interview in 2006, just a decade before his final album release and imminent death.

This book is a perfect quick summer read, recommended for any individual interested in David Bowie’s personal identity outside of his role as a musical performer. It is available in the Music Library new books display area at call # ML420.B754 B694 2016.

-Nichole Seedes, Circulation Assistant

Staff Recommendation – Frank Furness: Architecture and the Violent Mind

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Looking around Philadelphia, the observant admirer of architecture cannot help but notice a plethora of highly decorated, Victorian Gothic buildings, located here and there in important places. Many of these were designed by none other than the master architect Frank Furness. This biographical work, Frank Furness: Architecture and the Violent Mind, covers the storied life of this 19th century architect. The book begins with his abolitionist upbringing in Philly, and then on to his life-changing experiences in fighting the American Civil War, and then finally embarks into his remarkable career in translating the struggles and hopes of his age into a flamboyant and staggering architectural form. Recommended for anyone with an interest in American and Philadelphia history, particularly those interested in architecture and aesthetics.

This book is located in the Greenfield Library open stacks, at call # 720.92 F98lew.

— Mike Romano, Circulation Assistant

Staff Recommendation – A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World

“Institutional thinking tells us to look very, very carefully before leaping—and such thinking virtually guarantees that we’ll never leap at all. As an antidote to this, my motto has been “Act first, think later – that way you might have something to think about.” (174)

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In 1969, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City hired Marcia Tucker, as their first ever woman curator. Shortly after organizing an exhibition for the post-minimalist artist Richard Tuttle, the Whitney decided to terminate her after receiving dissatisfied reviews regarding the show’s conceptually perplexing style. A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York City Art World, edited by Liza Lou, focuses on Marcia Tucker’s persistent desire to challenge the traditional norms and role of the institution through her radical approach to exhibition-making. Her memoir is adorned with personal details of the curator’s private life while simultaneously providing an insightful perspective behind Marcia Tucker’s decision to open the New Museum of Contemporary Art shortly after being fired from the Whitney.

Recommended for any individual interested in curatorial practices, museum and institutional policies, or to simply learn more about the founder of the New Museum, and her relentless desire to push the boundaries of the New York City art world.

Nichole Seedes, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant 

This book is accessible through our Ebsco database as an E-book, simply follow the link below, and log-in with your UArts credentials.

Academic EBook Collection Complete

Staff Recommendation: Jakob Von Gunten

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Jakob Von Gunten is a novel by the mostly forgotten Swiss writer Robert Walser. Published in 1909, the novel tells the story of a boy named Jakob Von Gunten and his time at the Benjementa Institute — a school for servants. The novel is based off of Walser’s own experiences at servant school and as a butler. The title character is also the narrator of the story. He tells his surreal accounts of going to the school, living in a city away from his parents and interacting with the principal and teacher of the school. Even though Jakob is somewhat of an unreliable narrator and all-around snot-nosed brat, his story makes for a fascinating read.

Recommended by Isabella Braun, Music Library Work Study Assistant

Staff Recommendation – Women Warriors by David E. Jones

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All throughout the first thirteen years of our educations we’ve been swamped and regaled with tales of the men who shaped our society into what it is today. We learn about the founding fathers and various kings and popes, but what about the women working both in the spotlight and behind the scenes? Jones presents us with another history, a history filled with women ready to lead armies and topple government expectations, all the while owning their sexuality and the power that comes with it. Here are women who have transcended history and marched into the realm of legend.

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Jones takes us to the legendary Amazons and their incredible feats of power and military tactics that placed them squarely in the realm of fearsome myth, and whose legacies helped shape the DC heroine Wonder Woman. After this we visit the Battle Queens of Arabia, Kali’s Daughters of India, the British Isles, Africa, and Asia. We meet women such as Bat Zabbai, who conquered the eastern half of the Roman Empire, and the female pirate Hsi Kai Ching, who terrorized the Chinese government for years and retired as one of the most successful pirates in history. To anyone looking for strong, self-empowered women, this book delivers.

Women Warriors can be found in the Greenfield Library open stacks, call # 355.0082 J713w 1997

– Lauralee Martin, Greenfield Library Work Study Student Assistant

Staff Recommendation – My Best Fiend

My Best Fiend is a documentary by the famous German director Werner Herzog about his tumultuous relationship with actor Klaus Kinski. Herzog and Kinski worked together on five films. The documentary details all sides of Kinski’s personality, including examples with massive arguments between Kinski and Herzog, some even involving the film crews.  There are also many parts of the documentary that humanized Kinski. You do not have to watch any of Herzog’s or Kinski’s films to enjoy this story about a crazy relationship between two hardworking men of cinema.
Recommended by Isabella Braun – Music Library Work Study Assistant