Category Archives: Library Staff Recommendations

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

Staff recommendation- Why I Wake Early, by Mary Oliver


Mary Oliver’s poems have a soft natural glow to them. They deal with a wonder for nature and the world around us. Each poem gives an opportunity to refocus on the parts of our day that are often forgotten like the wind in the leaves and the ants beneath our feet. 

The effect of Mary Oliver’s poetry is quieting and eye-opening. In tough times, people often turn to poetry to find a sense of solace or understanding. Mary Oliver speaks to the broader troubles of the world by reminding us of the world we are in and often fail to be aware of or marvel at.

Greenfield Open Stacks 811.54 O143w

– Jo Dutilloy, Music Library Circulation Assistant

Staff Recommendation – The Blessings, by Elise Juska


In her most recent novel, The Blessings, Elise Juska explores the connections between members of a large family. From birth to death, divorce and strained marriages, leaving home for the first time and learning what it means to take on the traditions of the family, this work follows the lives of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family and gives the reader no shortage of personal triumphs and losses to explore and understand. Through her deft use of differing narrators spanning four generations of the Blessings’s family tree, Juska pushes us to ask ourselves how much of our identity is shaped by family, and what happens when we step outside those boundaries.

The UArts Libraries is proud is recognize Juska as an esteemed faculty member of our own institution.

Greenfield Open Stacks – 813 J98b 2014

Lauralee Martin, Work Study Library Assistant at the Greenfield Library 

Staff Recommendation: Mall Flower

These poems and stories are beautifully woven thoughts that almost jump off the page with fresh humor and poignant memories. They surprise and delight with their colorful details, sensitive observations and raw emotion. Tina Barry takes you on a journey full of deep losses but also clarity, defiance and acceptance.

Mall Flower

by Tina Barry

Call # 811.54 B279m

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

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