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Fiction |  Nonfiction | For Armchair Travelers
First-Year Reading | New from Faculty, Staff, and Alumni


Ex Libris welcomes back returning readers with recommendations from library and campus readers. Our goal is to showcase Raynor Memorial Libraries’ Browsing Collection and to identify a range of contemporary fiction and nonfiction for the general reader. In addition to staff choices, we offer a special summer reading selection for armchair travelers, plus new books by faculty, staff, and alumni. All readers in the Marquette community are invited to suggest books, or better, to write a brief review for Ex Libris. If you missed an alert, earlier issues of Ex Libris are available online.

Clicking on the title or cover image will take you to the book's MARQCAT record; please note locations carefully as items may be in the Browsing Collection or in the Memorial stacks. Books that are checked out may be reserved by clicking on the MARQCAT record's "Request" button.

Still looking for something to read? Check out a list of recent additions to the Browsing Collection.

Fiction

CalebsCrossingCaleb’s Crossing
Geraldine Brooks (New York: Viking, 2011)

Imagine. Imagine that you are a 12-year-old girl by the name of Bethia Mayfield living in 1660 on the island we now call Martha’s Vineyard. Imagine that in your wanderings on the island, while collecting shellfish for your family’s table, you meet an Indian boy your age. Imagine developing a deep, brotherly, but completely inappropriate friendship with this boy. Geraldine Brooks imagines all this and more. As in her previous novels, Brooks takes a small fact and imagines a story around it. She gives the story to a female narrator and we’re off into the early Colonial world of Massachusetts. Caleb’s Crossing centers on the story of Caleb Cheeshah-teaumuck, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard, and describes a world few of us would recognize and even fewer would care to live in, especially twenty-first century women. As in her earlier book, Year of Wonders, Brooks, through her young narrator, shows us a society from a woman’s point of view. In this case it is a society where it is believed that to educate a woman beyond reading her Bible and doing a bit of ciphering is a waste of time. Bethia’s father, an educated and open-minded man for the age, tells her, “Women are not made like men. You risk addling your brain by thinking on scholarly matters that need not concern you.” Despite his admonitions, she doesn’t stifle her desire for learning but merely hides it. Bethia’s quick and questioning mind allows the reader to observe the many dichotomies, contradictions, and injustices in her life as we follow Caleb’s and her progress to commencement day at Harvard College. Caleb’s Crossing is Brooks’ finest work of fiction to date.
Recommended by Nick Schroeder, Senior Graphic Designer, Office of Marketing and Communication

 

CarteBlancheCarte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel
Jeffery Deaver (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011)

When the Ian Fleming estate decided it was time for the eternal spy, James Bond (007), to get a literary reboot, following the same strategy as the movie franchise, they tapped thriller expert Jeffery Deaver. The result is Carte Blanche, the new "license to kill," a high-voltage, globe-trotting adventure worthy of the Fleming mantle. He's not the first American to take on the Bond franchise, and he's not the first to transpose Bond into the present day. While on a routine assignment in Serbia, Bond averts a highly toxic train disaster and stumbles onto a conspiracy that leads him to the ultra-creepy Severan Hydt, the CEO of a global trash-collection empire whose death and decay fetish amply fits the Fleming template for a worthy super-villain. Seconded by the brutal Niall Dunne ("the Irishman"), Hydt makes a perfect antagonist and foil. His nefarious doings unfold quickly under Bond's modern-day investigative chops—aided by such new devices as an iQPhone full of cool spy apps. Deaver's Bond resembles the original but is wholly of our time; an Afghanistan veteran awash in an alphabet soup of counter-intelligence agencies and departments within ministries, this Bond comes off as more real and grounded in the post-9/11 world we occupy. But this Bond still thrills to speed in his Bentley Continental coupe, to chase an intriguing woman or three, and to live well in the moment (minus the smoking, certainly a sensible adjustment). Locations include Serbia, South Africa, and Dubai and feel real because Deaver, who also enjoys fast cars, did his homework the old fashioned way. His 28 previous novels, many of them featuring quadriplegic sleuth Lincoln Rhyme, are notorious for unpredictable plot turns, sly misdirection, and red herrings, and all are in ample evidence here. Carte Blanche doesn't attempt to emulate the Ian Fleming voice, as Sebastian Faulks did in Devil May Care. Deaver admirably counters the purists with a plausible plot and a more realistic and effective Bond, but who is still recognizable as the iconic secret agent popular for almost six decades. Good summer reading for most Deaver and Fleming fans, though not all will accept this author's controversial, inevitable (and mandated) revisionism.
Recommended by Bill Gagliani, Stacks Supervisor

 

ImperiumImperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome
Robert Harris (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006)

It’s a maddening fact: ancient texts mention other texts that have not survived. Among history’s lost works is a biography of Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 BC), written by his slave, Tiro, who served as the statesman’s personal secretary and close companion during the volatile decades that saw the fall of the Roman Republic. Imperium begins novelist Robert Harris’s brilliant imagining of Tiro’s lost biography of Cicero—I say “begins” because Imperium is the first volume in a trilogy. Written in Tiro’s voice, the novel chronicles the early years of Cicero’s public career, from his entrance into the Roman Senate to his election as consul (chief magistrate) in 63 BC. The novel’s central event is “new man” Cicero’s famous struggle to bring the corrupt and powerful Governor Verres to justice. Part detective story, part courtroom drama, part political thriller, Imperium is a riveting read. It was followed in 2010 by Conspirataalso highly recommended—in which Cicero must deal with the Catiline Conspiracy and the growing menace of Julius Caesar. The final volume will be released later this year. Harris’s novels about Cicero are deeply researched, yet contain just enough anachronisms to keep them resonating with the sensibilities of modern readers. Their Mediterranean settings make the books ideal for beachside or poolside reading.
Recommended by Bill Fliss, Archivist, Special Collections and University Archives

 

SelectedWorksTSSpivetThe Selected Works of T. S. Spivet
Reif Larson (New York: Penguin Press, 2009)

A phone call from the Smithsonian for Tecumseh Sparrow Spivet comes while he is busy drawing a map of his sister shucking sweet corn. Thus begins this engaging story of 12-year-old T. S. Spivet—cartographer, scientist, historian, and philosopher. The son of a taciturn Montana rancher and a self-absorbed entomologist (whom he calls Dr. Claire), T. S. has been mapping, illustrating, and diagramming everything about life as he knows it since age 6. His annotated "maps" depict a wide range of scientific topics as well as myriad everyday things, including the actions of shucking corn, the flight of bats across a pasture, facial expressions, boredom, dinner table conversations, and the last moments of his younger brother’s life. All of which appears in the margins of this book. Obviously, T. S. is brighter than most kids his age; how many 12-year-olds travel with their own notebook of commentary on Isaac Newton’s laws as they relate to migratory behavior of birds? It is also obvious he comes from a troubled family. Desperate to get to the Smithsonian, T. S. hops a freight train heading east and ends up stowing away in a custom Winnebago called Cowboy Condo. That the Winnebago is facing west as the train is traveling east is ironically symbolic as T. S. spends the first few days reading an account of his family’s New England roots. Adventures abound for T. S. as he makes his way across the country arriving eventually at the Smithsonian with the reader in tow and experiencing it all through his uniquely scientific and imaginative mind. Along the way, T. S. gradually reveals the inner turmoil of a child trying to operate in an adult world, the confusion over his tentative relationship with his parents, the close relationship he had with his younger brother, and the pain and guilt his death caused. This book is not a quick read as nearly every page has illustrations and notes in the margins that need to be read to fully appreciate the plot and characters. While sometimes taking you off into unexpected territory, the marginalia are not a distraction but a delight to be savored, just like T. S.
Recommended by Pat Berge, Research and Instructional Services Librarian

 

SoMuchForThatSo Much for That
Lionel Shriver (New York: Harper Perennial, 2011)

Lionel Shriver, who was nominated for the National Book Award for this title and won Britain’s Orange Prize for an earlier book, has written a work of fiction about a serious matter, namely the effects of our health care industry on the lives of families. Shepherd Knacker has sold his business for a million dollars with the intention of retiring soon to a remote island off the coast of Africa. His plans are disrupted when his wife, an unemployed artist, announces that she has been diagnosed with a rare abdominal cancer and needs to start treatment immediately. Shep needs to continue working to keep his medical insurance, which has been greatly reduced under the new ownership. He gets bogged down trying to decipher voluminous hospital bills, confusing billing codes and dealing with minimal reimbursement for expensive medications and treatments, all the while taking care of a wife who needs constant attention and is deteriorating physically and emotionally. He is also paying for his elderly father’s nursing home care, causing his bank account to dwindle rapidly. Intertwined is the story of Shep’s best friend, whose daughter has a rare genetic condition, requiring his wife to stay in a dead-end job just to maintain health insurance for her daughter’s expensive treatments. The book is a realistic and absorbing medical morality tale about our current health care industry, which is portrayed by the author as being less about care and mostly about money, and the devastating consequences on human lives. Lawyers and insurance companies calculate the dollar value of human lives as the deciding factors in medical decisions, just as Shep’s father asks, “what is a life worth, in dollars.” Even though the subject matter is difficult, I found the book to be absorbing and thought-provoking, with interesting characters that I could identify with as they grappled with illness and its effects on their relationships. The book is a mix of tragedy and humor with a sharp dose of reality and an unexpected uplifting ending.
Recommended by Kristina Starkus, Ordering-Receiving Librarian, Technical Services

 

StateofWonderState of Wonder
Ann Patchett (New York: Harper, 2011)

MU readers will be familiar with Ann Patchett's 2007 Run, which was the First-Year reading selection in 2008. Patchett's new (sixth) novel returns to a South American setting as her award-winning 2001 Bel Canto, but she has ramped up the atmospheric effects of Amazonian jungles and rivers with snakes, spiders, and malaria-infested mosquitoes in soggy and primitive living conditions. The plot is set in motion when a Minnesota-based pharmaceutical company is notified that one of its team, Anders Eckman, has mysteriously died in the Brazilian jungle. Eckman was on a mission to check on the company's lead researcher in Brazil, Dr. Annick Swenson, who is developing a miracle fertility drug. The company sends medical researcher Marina Singh down to check on both Swenson and Eckman and her trip has ominous omens from the get-go, including the fact that Singh has long-simmering guilt about an event in medical school, in which Swenson was her teacher. The story focuses on the primitive tribe Lakashi and the women's ability to bear children until old age and, of course, the pharmaceutical company's financial interest in marketing such a potion. The novel takes a remarkable number of disparate medical researchers, a native guide, an orphaned deaf native boy, Marina's boss (and secret lover) Mr. Fox, Dr. Eckman's widow (who is a friend of Marina's), and somehow fleshes them out as real characters entwined with very real issues of Big Business medical ethics in a primitive region. Marina's journey in this terrifying region is dark indeed, and made more tangible because of nightmares induced by an anti-malarial drug she also had to take as a child in India. However, the trip turns out to be an opportunity for her to resolve some personal quandaries, including her relationship with Mr. Fox, her thoughts about her own potential to be a mother, her memories of her father, and her relationship with Dr. Swenson. This is altogether an enjoyable novel, even a page-turner, if the reader can get past some vivid surgical events and anaconda encounters.
Recommended by Susan Hopwood, Outreach Librarian

 

SumFortyTalesAfterlivesSum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
David Eagleman (New York: Pantheon Books, 2009)

What happens when we die? Where will we go and what will we experience? Does God really exist? If so, who is He and will we get to meet Him? In answer to these questions, author and neuroscientist Eagleman provides forty short, very entertaining fictional vignettes providing scenarios as to what might await us. Many of the stories are imaginative and thought-provoking, such as seeing ourselves in parallel universes where “better” and “worse” versions of ourselves exist; experiencing our “final” death when our names are never again spoken in life; having differently-aged versions of ourselves meet each other; and learning that our lives on earth are merely vacations where we take breaks from centuries of hard toil in another universe. Some stories involve meeting a higher being or creator—one such story involves God’s admiration of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and his ability to relate to her book, Frankenstein. Some of the stories are absurd, some humorous, some bizarre, but all are poignant, creative, and amusing. In some ways, this book is reminiscent of the 1960s television show “The Twilight Zone” where uncanny and unexpected events occur. Anyone who enjoys this type of genre will be sure to appreciate this book. Eagleman calls himself a “possibilian” and this book reflects his philosophy of being open to and exploring numerous ideas, which, at this time, have no way of being tested or proven.
Recommended by Rose Trupiano, Research and Instructional Services Librarian

 

Though Not DeadThough Not Dead: A Kate Shugak Novel
Dana Stabenow (New York: Minotaur Books, 2011)

This is Stabenow’s latest novel about Kate Shugak, an Aleutian detective who lives and works in “the Park,” one of the Native areas of Alaska. Of course there is murder (one old, one new), but it is almost incidental; the bulk of the book is about her beloved, recently deceased uncle, Old Sam Dementieff, and mysteries about his past. This is not a typical whodunit: Stabenow weaves in considerable dollops of 20th century Alaskan history to explain the breadth of the Old Sam’s long life and experience. She writes in two timelines and from two points of view, so sometimes you read about Kate as she discovers more about Old Sam, and sometimes you get Old Sam’s perspective (there are two different fonts which does help to distinguish the sections). It can be a bit confusing; the book is poorly edited and there are typos and a few discontinuities. Despite these flaws, I still found it to be a good read. In addition to the narrative about Old Sam, there’s a missing Russian religious icon, a Dashiell Hammett manuscript, and of course Kate has to thwart the thugs out to get them. Readers new to Stabenow and Kate Shugak should probably start with an earlier novel in the series.
Recommended by Valerie Beech, Research and Instructional Services Librarian

 

WingshootersWingshooters
Nina Revoyr (New York: Akashic Books, 2011)

This is a quick, easy read, but don’t think that means this is an easy book. The main character is nine-year-old Michelle who is called Mikey by Charlie, her grandfather. Mikey is the child of a white, American father and a Japanese mother who met in college. After their breakup she finds herself living with her father’s parents in the fictional central Wisconsin town of Deerhorn in 1974. Mikey is living in a world full of contradictions. For example, Charlie is a caring and loving grandfather who adores his biracial granddaughter but who is also a bigot and the definition of provincial. Mikey, the subject of bullying at school, is relieved when the new substitute teacher, Mr. Garrett, temporarily draws everyone’s attention. And of course he draws the town’s attention since he is half of the first black couple to move to town. They have come to Deerhorn when Mrs. Garrett, a nurse, accepts a position at the growing local medical clinic. The Garretts become the subject of much of the Deerhorn’s conversation and anxiety. Things go from bad to worse when Mr. Garrett makes a discovery at school that leads to an accusation of Charlie’s best friend. Wingshooters deals with the stories, both public and private, that small town residents tell each other and themselves. It looks at which stories they present to the public, which ones come out only at home and which facts people observe every day but choose not to see. Wingshooters shows the darker side of small town life and the inability of insular groups to accept change and others who are perceived to be different. Wingshooters is a book that can be read over a weekend and thought about for weeks.
Recommended by Nick Schroeder, Senior Graphic Designer, Office of Marketing and Communication

Nonfiction

BayouFarewellBayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast
Mike Tidwell (New York: Vintage Books, 2004)

Every year the state of Louisiana loses coastal land equivalent to the size of Manhattan—that’s right, every year the coast is literally sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. Disappearing with the terrain are migratory birds, marine life, and the fascinating cultures and lifestyles of the Cajun, Houma Indian, and Vietnamese. Tidwell paints a vividly intriguing portrait of the bayou landscape as well as its eclectic characters and juxtaposes it against the doom and gloom that is swallowing the milieu. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, which is when this book was published, Louisiana’s ecological catastrophe was largely ignored by the rest of the country. Post-storm, however, Americans have a better idea as to what is actually happening to our Southern neighbors. Bayou Farewell expertly lays out the causes of the land loss and what can be done to save this national treasure. Visit America's Wetland for more information on coastal land loss.
Recommended by Megan Robbins, Special Assistant to the Dean of Libraries

 

EngageEngage!: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web
Brian Solis (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011)

Brian Solis is recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in the social media realm and Engage is his tome on what social media is, why it is important, and how to best utilize it in your organization. The book is a great resource for neophytes, those who have jumped in to test the waters, and those who are looking for new ways to engage audiences and give structure to their organizations' social media initiatives. In the first half of the book, Solis gradually explains more complex new media tools and the concepts behind their development and successful implementation. The remainder of the text discusses social media in relation to advanced business aspects of branding, marketing, and customer service. Solis emphasizes the importance of establishing plans and goals before beginning and advises businesses to create rules of engagement for employees who communicate on behalf of the company, as well as employees who might have an indirect impact by their own personal actions online. His suggestions are backed up with real-world examples from companies he has worked with. Social media is a realm that is in constant flux and while Solis dedicates an entire chapter to Facebook, overall his advice is fundamental enough that it will be useful across any social media platform of today or tomorrow. Engage should be required reading for every business manager or executive who wants to learn how to properly incorporate social media into their organization. For as one CEO quoted in the book says, “Brands aren’t about messages anymore. Brands today are conversations.”
Recommended by Eric Kowalik, Instructional Designer

 

MobyDuckMoby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
Donovan Hohn (New York: Viking, 2011)

In a 1992 storm on the Pacific Ocean, a shipping container fell off the tanker carrying it, and dispersed thousands of plastic bath toys into the ocean. The bath toys then slowly made their way to many different beaches and became a curiosity item in the news media. Journalist Donovan Hohn first learned about the bath toys in a student paper for a high school journalism class he taught. He became obsessed with the story and began a series of trips to learn about the toys. For example, he went to Alaska to see what a real beach clean-up can be and to learn about the many issues that environmentalists grapple with; to the Pearl River Delta in China to learn about the manufacturing of the toys; and he traveled on a container ship to learn about both the shipping business and the perils of ocean-faring. This book is his version of the assignment he had given his students. To his descriptions of these travels, Hohn adds musings on science, history, literature, his own feelings and foibles, and portraits of the people he meets. Sometimes he goes on way too long; other times, I wished he hadn’t stopped. Not a perfect book, but certainly a fascinating one.
Recommended by Valerie Beech, Research and Instructional Services Librarian

 

SupremesThe Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal
Mark Ribowsky (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2009)

In 1959 several teenage girls from the Detroit housing projects formed a singing group called the Primettes. They sang at sock hops and social events; they even won a local talent contest. This seemingly small-time group would become the internationally famous Supremes, the American group with the most number one Billboard hits—12 in all, including “Stop in the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” and “Someday We’ll be Together.” This book details the early beginnings of the Supremes, their signing to Berry Gordy’s Motown label, Gordy’s management including his decision to replace lead singer Florence Ballard with the more commercial-sounding Diana Ross, their rise to stardom, and the issues that they faced personally and as a group, including personality clashes. Eventually, Ballard would leave for a solo career which, unfortunately, never materialized and due to ill health, Ballard died at the early age of 32. Diana Ross and Mary Wilson continued with Cindy Birdsong replacing Ballard, and they would then be known Diana Ross and the Supremes. Ross went solo in 1967, becoming an international pop music icon and actress. Wilson and Birdsong continued recording as the Supremes with new lead and back-up singers until disbanding in 1977. This book provides interviews with a number of family, friends, and colleagues of the Supremes and attempts to tell the story (albeit controversial) behind the music that has become part of American pop culture. Anyone interested in pop music history would find Ribowsky’s book worth reading.
Recommended by Rose Trupiano, Research and Instructional Services Librarian

 

WannabeUWannabe U: Inside the Corporate University
Gaye Tuchman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009)

In Wannabe U, Gaye Tuchman profiles an unnamed state research university and its quest to climb the rankings and become one of the top universities in the country. While explaining the plans and processes of this endeavor, Tuchman provides well-cited discussion of the broader issues in American higher education that is leading many universities to battle for the top spots in national rankings. Tuchman highlights how American universities’ goals are no longer to lead the minds of students to grasp truth; to grapple with intellectual possibilities; to appreciate the best in art, music, and other forms of culture; and to work toward both enlightened politics and public service. “We are a business…Our shareholders are the faculty, the students and the state,” says the provost of a wannabe university in a Newsweek article Tuchman references. Contemporary universities now define both knowledge and job preparation as commodities, whose transmission is purchased by student customers (and their parents) when they pay tuition. In addition to the commodification of education, the gradual shift of power from shared governance and decentralized control to a more centralized model has resulted in universities that are run more like corporations. This book provides a fascinating peek into life at a university trying to fight its way up the national rankings while also explaining the larger context of how American higher education is transforming from pursuit of knowledge to pursuit of profit. However, as Tuchman points out, not every university can be in the top 10 and perhaps it is better to focus on what one is good at and the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, rather than chasing a number on an often arbitrary and unscientific list.
Recommended by Eric Kowalik, Instructional Designer

 

WilderLifeThe Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
Wendy McClure (New York: Riverhead Books, 2011)

Part memoir, part travel journal, part biography, The Wilder Life explores what happens when we revisit a favorite book of our childhood. McClure, a childhood fan of the book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose, embarks on a journey through literature and across the Midwest, searching for the real experience, the real Laura Ingalls Wilder. For this nostalgic trip, McClure didn’t just reread a few of the books, she read them all. And then kept reading through critical texts, biographies, cookbooks, dissertations, and more. She seeks to experience the life that Laura Ingalls Wilder would have known. She learns to churn butter, spends a night in a covered wagon, and visits as many of the Ingalls Wilder tourist spots and authentic homesteads as she can. In the end, McClure learns more about herself than about the Ingalls Wilder family and Laura, the iconic prairie girl of her childhood daydreams. The Wilder Life is a great book for a summer read.
Recommended by Liz Wawrzyniak, Office Associate, Dean's Office

Spotlight on First-Year Reading

OtherWesMooreThe Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
Wes Moore (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2010)

For the ninth year, all incoming first-year students will be reading a common book for discussion during orientation. This year's selection, The Other Wes Moore, is a moving and thought-provoking story of two kids who grew up fatherless in the same decaying Baltimore neighborhood, but whose lives took remarkably different paths. The author is a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence in prison for homicide during a botched armed robbery. The author wrote to and eventually had a series of meetings with the prisoner Moore and wrestles with the questions of what saved his life and what can be done to save other at-risk kids. The first-year reading and discussion program is organized by the Office of Student Development to encourage reflection upon one’s vocation, or how each of us is called to use our gifts and talents in service to others.

Attention Armchair Travelers

The editors asked regular Ex Libris contributors for their favorite books about travel or description of exotic locales. Here are the results—just in time for summer reading.

IstanbulStorytellerMarrakeshFourSeasonsRomeManWhoWalkedInaSunburnedCountry

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town by Paul Theroux (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003)
“All news out of Africa is bad” is how Theroux begins this book and despite that, or because of it, the former Peace Corps volunteer returns for the trip of a lifetime. Part travelogue and part social commentary, this narrative grabs you in Cairo and doesn’t release you until Capetown. Recommended by Nick Schroeder

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr (New York: Scribner, 2007)
Doerr's book is a fascinating look into being both a tourist in and a resident of Rome. Doerr was awarded the Rome Prize from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004, which granted him housing, an office, and a stipend to live in Rome for one year. This book chronicles that trip he took with his wife and six-month-old twins, and through it you get a sense of the neighborhoods, the markets, and the people. He describes his adventure with wonder, appreciation, and humor, all the while being honest about the overwhelming nature of not knowing how to ask for bread or where to buy diapers. I highly recommend this book for taking an armchair trip to Italy. Recommended by Katy Leedy

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (New York: Broadway Books, 2000)
Think of Bryson as a James Michener descendant, ostensibly writing description and travel—in this case Australia, continent and country—but filled with history, anthropology, geography, politics, and history, all with a lively sense of irreverent humor. His travels took him to all cities and regions, and he clearly has a warm regard for the people and country. Bryson's book is must reading for prospective visitors, as well as armchair travelers. Recommended by Susan Hopwood

Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk; translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely (New York: Knopf, 2005)
This book is about the first two decades of the author’s life growing up in Istanbul. He narrates the history of neighborhoods, the wooden mansions along the Bosphorus Strait, the people he knew, and his family life. Throughout there is a theme of hüzün, a Turkish melancholy of days gone by when Istanbul was the seat of power in the Ottoman Empire. The many archival black and white photographs of the city enhance the text. After reading this book and having visited Istanbul last year, I yearn to return and view the city from a native’s point of view. Recommended by Kristina Starkus

The Man Who Walked Through Time: The Story of the First Trip Afoot through the Grand Canyon by Colin Fletcher (New York: Vintage Books, 1989)
During two months in 1963, Colin Fletcher walked the length of the Grand Canyon below the rim. Although there are descriptions of what he does and sees in the canyon, as much as anything this is about his attempt to lose himself in the canyon, to become a part of it. In addition to beautiful descriptions of the canyon and of the feeling of hiking, there is a lot of geological and natural history and philosophical rumination. Recommended by Valerie Beech

The Storyteller of Marrakesh by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011)
In Marrakesh, Morocco, a crowd gathers at the city square to listen to a mysterious tale spun by the storyteller, Hassan. For almost a thousand years, storytelling in this ancient square has been a revered tradition which continues today. Through the storyteller's tale, Bhattacharya paints a picture of contemporary Moroccan life and provides vivid descriptions of this beautiful, exotic land, including the Marrakesh medina, the surrounding Atlas Hills, and the Sahara desert. Recommended by Rose Trupiano

A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube
Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople: From The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates by Patrick Leigh Fermor (both NY: New York Review Books, 2005)
In 1933 a young man dropped out of school and walked from Holland to Constantinople (now Istanbul) as an adventure. Many years later, in his sixties, based on his recollections and a diary of the trip, he wrote these two books describing the first two-thirds of the trip (as far as the Danube in Serbia; a third book was planned, but so far not published). Fermor is an exceptional writer, and his descriptions of the places he visited and this time between the two world wars are exquisite. These books are for language and history lovers, as well as for lovers of travel. Recommended by Valerie Beech

Spotlight on Faculty: New Poetry

ManoleriaManoleria: Poems
Daniel Khalastchi (North Adams, Mass.: Tupelo Press, 2011)

Meet Daniel Khalastchi, visiting assistant professor of English, whose first book of poetry, Manoleria, has won the Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse First Book Prize. Manoleria contains a series of character-driven poems whose recurrent narrator is physically and mentally manipulated while the world around him takes little notice. Poet Srikanth Reddy praises Manoleria, saying a “music emerges that bears ultimate promise.” Khalastchi, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a 2007 fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, currently teaches poetry and composition in the Department of English. He is also the co-founder and co-editor of Rescue Press.

New From Alumni

KwakuAnanseHow Kwaku Ananse, Master Hairstylist, Saved the Animal Kingdom: An Ashanti Folktale
Megan Muthupandiyan and Brian A. Keepers (Wauwatosa, Wisc.: Songbird Books, 2010)

Muthupandiyan, alumna of Marquette (’08 Ph.D. in English), teaches writing and literature at Beloit College. Kwaku Ananse, at once a retelling of a traditional Ashanti myth and a timely story about how to address bullying, is written for preschool through intermediate student audiences. The book includes discussion questions and a concept review on bullying for parents and educators to help them create more compassionate and critically engaged communities in their homes and classrooms. Muthupandiyan founded Songbird Books in 2010 with the hope of creating books and other resources for parents and educators.

New From Library Staff

HigherEducationSocialMedia“Engaging Alumni and Prospective Students Through Social Media” by Eric Kowalik in Higher Education Administration with Social Media: Including Applications in Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, and Career Centers
Ed. Laura A. Wankel and Charles Wankel (Bingley, UK: Emerald, 2011)

Eric Kowalik joined the library staff in fall 2010 as instructional designer in the Research and Instructional Services Department. He is a Marquette alumnus (B.A. in journalism) with a Masters in instructional design and technology from California State University-Fullerton. His chapter in Higher Education Administration gives an overview of social media in higher education—who is using it and for what—and lists points to consider before venturing into it. The chapter also includes examples of ways social media is used to engage alumni and prospective students, including utilizing Twitter to provide updates to prospective students during their recruitment, creating an iPhone application for alumni weekend as both an information and engagement tool, and using live tweets from alumni during homecoming to provide an authentic look at the day’s events.

 

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  • Managing Editor: Susan Hopwood
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