Category Archives: Library Staff Recommendations

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

Staff Recommendation: The Box Man

The Box Man by Kobo Abe is a surreal journey through the mind of a man in 1970’s Japan who decides to disconnect from society by becoming a “box man.” He walks through life with a cardboard box (meticulously described by Abe) over his upper body. The box is filled with objects and the man’s scrawled thoughts and observances. The protagonist of The Box Man is a textbook example of an unreliable narrator and you as the reader will be often unable to tell what is real, imagined, or deceptive.

Recommended for fans of Kafka, Beckett, Haruki Murakami, David Lynch.

The Box Man

by Kobo Abe

Greenfield Vault Call # 895.635 Ab335b 1980

Recommended by Bill Rooney, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant
Recommended by Bill Rooney,
Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant

Staff Recommendation: Domestic Science: Idioms

In Domestic Science: Idioms, Nance O’Banion combines simple illustrations of familiar objects and a playful color palette to build a narrative which is informed by the readers’ experience with these objects. She explores the objects further through the text, in which she only provides the name of the object at hand, accompanied by an extensive catalog of phrases and synonyms for the subject, prompting the reader to consider their own experience of the object even further than the push of the image. Screen Shot 2016-10-07 at 10.22.24 AMThe structure of the book is both complex and playful. With its pop up elements and accordion Easter eggs, this artist’s book continues to give the reader rewards for exploring the book.

Recommended by Alyssa Winscom, Greenfield Library Work-Study Assistant

American Experience: New York, a Documentary Film

NYC a documentary film

This documentary series features 8 episodes which chronicle the history of one of America’s largest and most important cities – New York.  Beginning with the islands colonization by the Dutch, these episodes span several centuries of urban development fueled by conquest, immigration, ingenuity, innovation, greed, lust, sweat, and love.  You’ll take a tour through the desperate tenements of poor immigrants, the opulent streets of capitalist mansions, the stupendous feats of human engineering, the great works of art and literature, and the complex personalities of the cities political elites.

Curious about about this history of grit and gold? This series is available through Kanopy streaming database. Use your UArts credentials to log in!

NYC Rotator Image

Staff Recommendation: Close-Up


Abbas Kiarostami’s 1990 film Close-Up is an inventive and engrossing experience that challenges the delineations of documentary and film. The story it tells is a true one: Hossein Sabzian, a poor man in Tehran, convinces a well-to-do family that he is actually famous Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and that he wants to use their home for his next film. After Sabzian is found out and the story is reported in a local magazine, Kiarostami quickly begins filming.


What develops is a movie that blurs the lines of documentary and narrative so well they are often indistinguishable. Kiarostami receives permission to film the courtroom while the trial is underway and then proceeds to question Sabzian on his artistic motives alongside the mullah judge questioning his criminal ones.

Kiarostami then takes everything one step further and portrays reenactments of the events leading up to and following Sabzian’s imprisonment and trial; with everyone from Sabzian, to the family he fooled, to the director he impersonated playing themselves. What emerges is a beautiful musing on film and its ability to both blur and cross lines.

Recommended by Bill Rooney, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant
Recommended by Bill Rooney,
Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant

Staff Recommendation – Trimpin: Contraptions for Art and Sound

trimpin book cover

This book is a collection of the major works of Trimpin, a German artist now based in Seattle, WA. His work focuses on the relationship of sound to instrument design as well as various factors in the physical environment.  Many of the works featured in the book are installation pieces, which seem to the viewer to be mega-musical instruments. These massive Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions, after given the right spark, begin to emit a cacophony of sounds specific to the pieces’ design and environment.  As wonderful as the photos in this book are, the only disappointment one feels is not being in the specific place and time to experience the auditory sensations that Trimpin pursues.

This book is is located in the Greenfield Library Open Stacks. Its call number is — 709.2 T736f

Staff Recommendation: Little Red Riding Hood by Mary Louise Castaldi

How many different illustrations of Little Red Riding Hood can you find in the Greenfield Library? In 5 minutes I found 10, but I am sure there are many more.

Illustrators have been drawing Red Riding Hood since Charles Perrault put it in text in the late 17th century.

The following are books in the Greenfield Library that contain illustrations of Red Riding Hood. Dates of creation range from 1872 to 2013.


Opie, Iona; Opie, Peter.

The Classic Fairy Tales.

Greenfield Open Stacks 398.21 Op3c 1980

Illustrator: Gustave Doré

Year Illustrated: 1872

Found on page 122



Opie, Iona; Opie, Peter.

The Classic Fairy Tales.

Greenfield Open Stacks 398.21 Op3c 1980

Illustrator: Walter Crane

Year Illustrated: 1875

Found on cover


Ponsot, Marie, translator

The Golden Book of Fairy Tales.

Greenfield Open Stacks 741.641 Se396g

Illustrator: Adrienne Segur

Year Illustrated: 1951

Found on page 84



Ehrlich, Amy

The Random House Book of Fairy Tales.

Greenfield Open Stacks 398.21 E46

Illustrator: Diane Goode

Year Illustrated: 1985

Found on page 123


Montresor, Beni

Little Red Riding Hood.

Greenfield Open Stacks 741.641 M768l 1991

Illustrator: Beni Montresor

Year Illustrated: 1991

Found on cover


Steig, Jeanne

A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales.

Greenfield Open Stacks 741.641 St33h 1998

Illustrator: William Steig

Year Illustrated: 1998

Found on page 93


Pinkney, Jerry

Little Red Riding Hood.

Greenfield Open Stacks 741.641 P656li 2007

Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney

Year Illustrated: 2007




Cousins, Lucy

Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales.

Greenfield Open Stacks 741.641 C836y 2009

Illustrator: Lucy Cousins

Year Illustrated: 2009

Found on page 11



Duffy, Chris, editor

Fairy Tale Comics.

Greenfield Open Stacks 741.5973 F172d

Illustrator: Gigi D. G.

Year Illustrated: 2013

Found on page 31

For more information, contact Mary Louise Castaldi

Staff Recommendation: Pierrot Le Fou

One of the most important French New Wave filmmakers, Godard’s tenth feature is an intricate and puzzling tale of a couple’s cross-country escape from the Organisation de l’Armée Secrète, a French paramilitary organization. In typical Godard fashion, this film features fourth wall breaks and shots that will make anyone pay attention to the characters more than the plot. Godard’s first film in color has a somewhat different feel than his previous black-and-white efforts, but is sure to keep viewers hooked if they have love for French New Wave cinema.

Pierrot Le Fou

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Greenfield DVD GD1724

Recommended by Isabella Braun, Work Study Assistant, Music Library

Staff Recommendation: Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet

A beautiful group of works of 38 outsider artists from the collection of Jean Dubuffet including drawings, manuscripts, letters, paintings, assemblages, embroideries and sculptures.

The book explores the influence of these works in the US and on abstract expressionism. It highlights Dubuffet’s interest in art that was non-Western and celebrated creators who are mainly outside of artistic culture.

“We witness here the artistic process in all it’s purity, raw, reinvented on all its levels by the maker, starting solely from his own impulses…” Jean Dubuffet as translated by Alfonso Ossorio


Recommended by Barbara Danin, Greenfield Library Acquisitions and Administrative Coordinator
Recommended by Barbara Danin, Greenfield Library Acquisitions and Administrative Coordinator

Staff Recommendation: A Visit from the Goon Squad

Simply put, I flat out loved this book. Centered around a music industry executive and his assistant, Egan tells a rich and layered story about time, age, love, and failure, with music acting as a connective thread through it all. Each chapter is dedicated to a different character and perspective, and while this could be a gimmick in lesser hands, Egan is able to weave these storytelling threads together into a narrative that crackles and pulsates, with a fresh and insightful discovery on every page. Highest recommendation!

A Visit from the Goon Squad

by Jennifer Egan

Call # 813.54 Eg13v

Recommended by Mike Sgier Visual Resources Assistant Visual Resources and Special Collections







Staff Recommendation: Blood Meridian

Set in Mexico and the American Southwest in the 1850s, Blood Meridian is loosely based on the infamous Glanton Gang, a troop of mercenaries who were hired to hunt down Apaches but later had a bounty placed on them for their brutality. At the center of the novel are two figures, The Kid, a nameless drifter who joins and defects from the gang, and Judge Holden, one of the leaders of the gang who turns out to be a malevolent force of nature. McCarthy’s incredible writing is lush and rich, especially in his depictions of the natural landscape, but he contrasts this with brutal, violent imagery, in the process stripping down the mythic notions of the American West.

Blood Meridian

by Cormac McCarthy

813 M4595b 2010

Recommended by Mike Sgier, Visual Resources Assistant
Recommended by Mike Sgier,
Visual Resources Assistant