Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Reads: In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead

Happy Friday! Our cataloging & acquisitions librarian, Adam Pellman, is reading In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke. If you're intrigued by the title, read on for Adam's thoughts on the book.

Adam Pellman is reading In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead

"This is the sixth book in a detective series that I started reading a few years ago, and that I've really enjoyed for its superb character development, plotting, and sense of place.  The series is set in small-town Louisiana, where its main character, a former New Orleans police detective and recovering alcoholic named Dave Robicheaux, has made a new life for himself working for the local Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department.

"In this installment, Dave must grapple with the South's legacy of racist violence as he becomes involved in an investigation into the still-unsolved murder of a black man from 1957, as well as a series of serial rapes and murders of prostitutes.  Oh, and as the title suggests, Dave also communes with the ghost(?) of Confederate general John Bell Hood.

"The author, James Lee Burke, is immensely talented.  He writes in lush descriptive prose, has a great ear for dialogue, and creates these wonderfully complex crime narratives that rank far above the enjoyable whodunits that often make up this genre.  I'm looking forward to the many remaining books in this series."

Monday, March 5, 2018

March Reading Theme: Irish Fiction

In honor of the wearin’ o’ the green, this month’s Reading Theme is Irish fiction.

Image courtesy of

The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy

The novel tells the story of Kathleen de Burca, an Irish travel writer living in London, who throws over her life there to return to Ireland and write a book. What she is chasing down is an old scandal - an affair in mid-nineteenth-century Ireland between the wife of an English landlord and her Irish servant. But what she is really after is an understanding of passion itself... (Publisher’s summary)

A World of Love by Elizabeth Bowen

...An uneasy group of relations are living under one roof at Montefort, a decaying manor in the Irish countryside. When twenty-year-old Jane finds in the attic a packet of love letters written years ago by Guy, her mother’s one-time fiance who died in World War I, the discovery has explosive repercussions. It is not clear to whom the letters are addressed, and their appearance begins to lay bare the strange and unspoken connections between the adults now living in the house. Soon, a girl on the brink of womanhood, a mother haunted by love lost, and a ruined matchmaker with her own claim on the dead wage a battle that makes the ghostly Guy as real a presence in Montefort as any of the living. (Publisher’s summary)

In the Woods by Tana French

Detective Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, investigate the murder of a 12-year-old girl near a Dublin suburb. The case resonates with similarities to a murder committed twenty years before that involved two children and the young Ryan. (Publisher’s summary)

Loving / Living / Party Going by Henry Green

Henry Green explored class distinctions through the medium of love. This volume brings together three of his novels contrasting the lives of servants and masters (Loving); workers and owners, set in a Birmingham iron foundry (Living); and the different lives of the wealthy and the ordinary, (Party Going). (Publisher’s summary)

Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas by Morgan Llywelyn

An authentic re-creation of sixteenth-century Ireland provides the backdrop for the saga of real-life Irish chieftain Grace O'Malley, who took part in a lifelong struggle against England's Queen Elizabeth I. (Publisher’s summary)

Bard by Morgan Llywelyn

This is the tale of the coming of the Irish to Ireland, and of the men and women who made that emerald isle their own. (Publisher’s summary)

Catholics by Brian Moore

In the not-too-distant future, the Fourth Vatican Council has abolished private confession, clerical dress, and the Latin Mass, and opened discussions about a merger with Buddhism. Authorities in Rome are embarrassed by publicity surrounding a group of monks who stubbornly celebrate the old Mass in their island abbey off the coast of Ireland. The clever, assured Father James Kinsella is dispatched to set things right. At Muck Abbey he meets Abbot Tom├ís, a man plagued by doubt who nevertheless leads his monks in the old ways. In the hands of the masterly Brian Moore, their confrontation becomes a subtle, provocative parable of doubt and faith. (Publisher’s summary)

My Dream of You by Nuala O’Faolain

The novel tells the story of Kathleen de Burca, an Irish travel writer living in London, who throws over her life there to return to Ireland and write a book. What she is chasing down is an old scandal - an affair in mid-nineteenth-century Ireland between the wife of an English landlord and her Irish servant. But what she is really after is an understanding of passion itself... (Publisher’s summary)

Ashworth Hall by Anne Perry

In 19th-century England a meeting of Irish Protestants and Catholics to discuss home rule for Ireland is disrupted by murder. Scotland Yard's Thomas Pitt and his wife try to find the killer before he strikes again and scuttles the talks, the purpose of which is to bring peace to Ireland. (Publisher’s summary)

A Shower of Summer Days by May Sarton

The Irish estate home Dene’s Court has been empty for years—its icy visage, shuttered windows, and overgrown tennis court are a burden for its caretakers and a curiosity for the nearby townspeople. And so the announcement that Violet Dene Gordon and her husband, Charles, are on their way back from British Burma to settle in the long-dormant estate sends a ripple of excitement through the sleepy village… Anxiety, tempers, and long-buried emotions flare as the estate’s new residents search for a sense of belonging and peace between its hallowed and serene walls. (Publisher’s summary)

An Excess of Love by Cathy Cash Spellman

The story of two sisters, daughters of an Irish Protestant lord, whose lives go separate ways when one marries an aspiring poet and revolutionary and the other marries an aristocrat but falls in love with an Irish freedom fighter. (Publisher’s summary)

Trinity by Leon Uris

The "terrible beauty" that is Ireland comes alive in this mighty epic that re-creates that Emerald's Isle's fierce struggle for independence. Trinity is a saga of glories and defeats, triumphs and tragedies, lived by a young Catholic rebel and the beautiful and valiant Protestant girl who defied her heritage to join him. Leon Uris has painted a masterful portrait of a beleaguered people divided by religion and wealth--impoverished Catholic peasants pitted against a Protestant aristocracy wielding power over life and death. (Publisher’s summary)

Four Letters of Love: A Novel by Niall Williams

William Coughlan abandons his wife and his son to paint the pictures he believes God has commanded. He disappears into the west of Ireland on a mission, following a prompting that may or may not have been real to daub the canvas and stare at the Atlantic light. On an island off the west coast, a boy gifted in music falls mute and lame while playing with his sister. It is a moment that scars the heart of Isabel Gore, as she helps her brother Sean home across the island to meet the disbelief and sorrow of her parents. Two moments, two stories, each apparently as random and uncertain as the other. Four Letters of Love brings them together in a lyrical effusion of bracing freshness and power. This is a novel about destiny, acceptance, the tragedies and miracles of everyday life, and about how all our stories meet in the end.. (Publisher’s summary)

Featured books do not reflect the views of Reeves Memorial Library or Seton Hill University.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Spring Break Hours


March 4                                 CLOSED
March 5 - 9                            8:00 a.m.  –   4:50 p.m.
March 11                                CLOSED

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March DVD Spotlight: Selections from the National Film Registry

The National Film Preservation Board was established in 1988 to "ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America's film heritage" (NFPB website).  One of the program's most important roles includes advising the Library of Congress in its annual selection of 25 films to be added to the National Film Registry.  With hundreds of films dating back to 1891 in the Registry, it's no surprise that Reeves Memorial Library's extensive DVD collection includes well over 100 of these landmark works of American cinema.  From silent classics like Broken Blossoms (1919) and The General (1926), to modern masterpieces like Fargo (1996) and The Terminator (1984), our March DVD display includes only a portion of Registry titles in our collection, but there's something for everyone.

Featured titles include:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Stanley Kubrick's monumental science fiction epic is a challenging, beautiful work of cinematic art that still inspires awe 50 years after its release.

The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Coen brothers' goofy cult classic, a noir-tinged comic caper about a lazy, Southern California stoner who gets sucked into a kidnapping plot after being mistaken for a millionaire with the same name, has inspired hordes of devotees over the past two decades.

Citizen Kane (1941)
Still possibly the best film ever made, Orson Welles's groundbreaking and hugely influential portrait of a newspaper tycoon's rise and fall is a dazzlingly complex American masterpiece.

The Godfather (1972)
Far more than just a simple gangster film, Francis Ford Coppola's great mafia epic is both a sweeping family saga and an incisive examination of the corrupting influence of power.

Malcolm X (1992)
Spike Lee's stylish, sprawling biopic about the influential civil rights leader gives the great Denzel Washington the lead role of a lifetime.

Shadows (1959)
Maverick filmmaker John Cassavetes's exploration of interracial romance and sibling relationships is a landmark work of American independent film.

Singin' in the Rain (1952)
This glorious ode to Hollywood moviemaking, set during the transition from silent to sound film, remains the high-water mark of the American musical.

Stop by the library today and check one out!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Reads: Phasma

It's Friday! Public Services Librarian Kelly Clever is listening to the audiobook of Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson and narrated by January LaVoy. Her thoughts:

Kelly Clever is listening to Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson

"Even though I consider myself a pretty big Star Wars fan, I never read any of the books until relatively recently. My knowledge of the old EU (Expanded Universe for you muggles) came exclusively from spending way too much time on back in high school. With the reboot of the canon, however, I feel like I have a chance to get in on the ground floor… not that I’ll be able to keep up.

Phasma had only brief appearances in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but like Boba Fett before her, she managed to capture popular imagination with her cool armor. Phasma gives us her back story, told in a frame-narrative format. I wasn’t sure that I’d really want to listen to a long (over 12 hours!) character exploration of one of the baddies, but the frame story involves a Resistance spy and a First Order officer who has some redeeming qualities. I’m enjoying their interaction and I want to know how Phasma’s past is going to impact their choices.

Like all of the Star Wars titles I’ve listened to as audiobooks, this one is 'enhanced' with sound effects and music from the films. I’d been skeptical about that concept, but they are well-done and, for me, the extras really do add to the experience."

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Reads: Travels with My Aunt

Happy Friday! Serials Librarian Judith Koveleskie is reading Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene. Here's what she has to say:

Judith Koveleskie is reading Travels with My Aunt

Although I think of Graham Greene as a more serious novelist, I am enjoying this book filled with unexpected surprises and delightful humor.  I have just started reading it, but am captivated by the characters and thoroughly enjoying it.  Here is the summary from Goodreads.

Described by Graham Greene as "the only book I have written just for the fun of it," Travels with My Aunt is the story of Hanry Pulling, a retired and complacent bank manager who meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time at what he supposes to be his mother's funeral. She soon persuades Henry to abandon his dull suburban existence to travel her way—winding through Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, and Paraguay. Through Aunt Augusta, one of Greene's greatest comic creations, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society; mixes with hippies, war criminals, and CIA men; smokes pot; and breaks all currency regulations.

Originally published in 1970, Travels with My Aunt offers intoxicating entertainment, yet also confronts some of the most perplexing human dilemmas.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Reads: Last Night in Twisted River

This Friday our cataloging & acquisitions librarian, Adam Pellman, shares a little about his current read:

Adam Pellman is reading Last Night in Twisted River

"I'm doing a reading challenge this year that requires me to read one book published each year between my birth and now.  I'm just young enough to pull it off.  I've been meaning for years to read one of John Irving's novels, so Last Night in Twisted River seemed like a good choice for a book from 2009.  It's about a father and son who spend decades as fugitives after an accidental killing in a New Hampshire logging camp.  We have several of Irving's earlier novels in our fiction collection here at Seton Hill, so if I enjoy this book, I'll check out one of his other novels, maybe The World According to Garp."