Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Reading Theme: Summer!

Our August reading theme is… Summer! Yes, classes may be starting, but we have weeks of long, hot summer days between now and September 22nd. These summery books are just the thing to help you savor the golden afternoons before assignments begin in earnest.

Image courtesy of

Firefly Summer by Maeve Binchy
In a sleepy Irish town in the 1960s, the Ryan family thrives on hard work and simple pleasure until American millionaire Patrick O'Neill converts an estate into a luxury hotel, bringing about unforeseen changes. (Publisher’s summary)

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
The enthralling debut from bestselling novelist Michael Chabon is a penetrating narrative of complex friendships, father-son conflicts, and the awakening of a young man’s sexual identity. Chabon masterfully renders the funny, tender, and captivating first-person narrative of Art Bechstein, whose confusion and heartache echo the tones of literary forebears like The Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield and The Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway. ( summary)

Tell Me How the Wind Sounds by Leslie Davis Guccione
Fifteen-year-old Amanda Alden's summer vacation in New England turns out to be a summer of learning and love when she meets deaf, 17-year-old Jake. In spite of his brusqueness, Amanda learns to communicate with Jake through sign language, and soon realizes that her feelings for him are more than friendship. ( book summary)

The Shrimp and the Anemone by L. P. Hartley
An evocative account of a childhood summer spent beside the sea in Norfolk by brother and sister, Eustace and Hilda. (Publisher’s summary)

Last Summer by Evan Hunter
'Last Summer' is a remarkably simple novel with a powerful punch. Three teenagers, two guys and a girl, meet and become friends on a summer island community. These kids are at the cusp of adulthood, and social morals are in flux (..the story is set in the late 1960s). Lots of mischief ensues, mostly harmless stuff. But then they meet a nerdy girl who joins their threesome. At first it seems she will blend in but then it all goes so badly. No spoilers here but let's just say the social interactions of the threesome combined with the studipity of youth and exploding hormones yield a disturbing outcome. (Review by Amazon user lazza)

The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett
Set in a small, coastal town in Maine, this enduring sequence of intimate stories has assumed its rightful place in the pantheon of American classics. A series of small, beautifully rendered sketches as a sustained narrative, perfectly evoking the inexorable decline of coastal New England after the Civil War. ( book summary)

Prodigal Summer: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
Wildlife biologist Deanna is caught off guard by an intrusive young hunter, while bookish city wife Lusa finds herself facing a difficult identity choice, and elderly neighbors find attraction at the height of a long-standing feud. (Publisher’s summary)

A Separate Peace: A Novel by John Knowles
The Devon school in the summer of '42 is a lot like the fantasy kingdom of Camelot, and Phineas is its King Arthur, giving off a warm exuberance that attracts loyal followers and beguiles normally suspicious adults. No one loves him more than Gene, but this is Gene's "sarcastic" summer. (Publisher’s summary)

The Summer Before the Dark by Doris Lessing
A middle-aged woman's search for freedom, this is classic Lessing, here given a stunning new image. Her four children have flown, her husband is otherwise occupied, and after twenty years of being a good wife and mother, Kate Brown is free for a summer of adventure. She plunges into an affair with a younger man, travelling abroad with him, and on her return to England, meets an extraordinary young woman whose charm and freedom of spirit encourages Kate in her own liberation. Kate's new life has brought her a strange unhappiness, but as the summer months unfold, a darker, disquieting journey begins, devastating in its consequences. ( book summary)

The Summer of the Danes by Ellis Peters
In the summer of 1144, a strange calm has settled over England. The armies of King Stephen and Empress Maud, the two royal cousins contending for the throne, have temporarily exhausted each other. On the whole, Brother Cadfael considers peace a blessing and agrees to accompany a friend to Wales. When Cadfael is captured by an army of Danish mercenaries, he finds himself in the midst of a brotherly quarrel that could plunge an entire kingdom into deadly chaos. (Publisher’s summary)

The Yellow Room by Mary Roberts Rinehart
When a charred corpse is discovered in the linen closet of her family's Maine retreat, a woman must do some fast sleuthing of her own--before a dangerous killer burns, her, too! ( book summary)

Farewell, Summer by Helen Hooven Santmyer
This slim novel tells, in the leisurely, old-fashioned style that has endeared Santmyer to many readers, about an ill-fated love affair that occurred in the town of Sunbury, Ohio, one summer, long ago. Damaris, a high-spirited beauty, returns home from a convent school and announces she wants to become a nun, an unthinkable idea to her Dutch Presbyterian family. Her cousin Steve, a dreamy young man who yearns to be a poet, comes to Sunbury after his father's death to seek his fortune. The inevitable happens. The two young people, with some encouragement from Damaris's grandfather, begin a flirtation… The author shines in her loving recollections of turn-of-the-century Ohio and her exploration of the ties that bind and break families. (Publishers Weekly)

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women. ( book summary)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Adult Degree Programs

Our social media presence is pretty quiet in the summer, and campus life certainly has a more relaxed pace during June and July. But that doesn't mean that our beautiful Hill is deserted! The graduate and evening/weekend classes take place all year around.

This 1968 billboard advertised the "Evening Degree Programs," later the "Adult Degree Programs" or "Accelerated Degree Programs."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Independence Day hours

Image courtesy of

The library will close at noon on Friday, June 30th, and will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5th.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June Reading Theme: Fathers

For June, our Reaching Theme is fathers in fiction. The good, the bad, and the complicated.

Image courtesy of

Ride With Me, Mariah Montana by Ivan Doig
To explore the meaning of Montana's century of statehood, 65-year-old Jick McCaskill, his photographer daughter Mariah, and her newspaper columnist ex-husband Riley Wright tour the Treasure State in Jick's Winnebago. While Riley writes on-the-scene dispatches and Mariah takes photos of the places they visit, Jick, the narrator, recounts the state's--and his family's--good and bad times. A lengthy picaresque with innumerable well-crafted vignettes, this leisurely novel could easily serve as a tour guide of Montana's historic places. (Library Journal review)

Independence Day by Richard Ford (Pulitzer Prize, 1996)
Former sportswriter Frank Bascombe, divorced and now a realtor, ... sees himself in the "existence period" of his life. He lacks direction and carries on an ambivalent relationship with his current girlfriend, Sally. Over the 1988 July 4th weekend, with the upcoming Bush-Dukakis presidential contest in the background, Frank takes his troubled son Paul on a trip to the basketball and baseball halls of fame, leading to a serious accident that forces Frank from the "existence period" and into changing his life. (Library Journal review)

Branigan’s Break by Leslie Davis Guccione
Sean Branigan was a struggling single father, trying to understand the minds, and hearts, of his own two teenage daughters. So when sexy school counselor Julia Hollins called him to give him some 'friendly advice' he was more than a little offended! Worse still, he was more than just a little attracted to her. But Sean was not about to let her start rearranging his family's life, or soften his hardened heart. (Publisher’s summary)

Plainsong by Kent Haruf
In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl -- her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the house -- is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they've ever known. (Publisher’s summary)

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson (Coretta Scott King Award, Prinz Award)
Bobby is your classic urban teenaged boy -- impulsive, eager, restless. On his sixteenth birthday he gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever. She's pregnant. Bobby's going to be a father… With powerful language and keen insight, Johnson looks at the male side of teen pregnancy as she delves into one young man's struggle to figure out what "the right thing" is and then to do it. No matter what the cost. (Publisher’s summary)

The Assassins by Elia Kazan
Master Sergeant Cesario Flores is a troubled man. A career non-com, he feels safe in his well-ordered life. So when his precious daughter Juana joins the tuned-in, dropped-out generation, Flores breaks into little pieces...with murder the result.
THE ASSASSINS is set in the United States during the '70s, a violent time at home and abroad. It's about two specific murders, but more than that it focused on a murderous way of life. ( book summary)

Independent People by Halldór Laxness (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1955)
Having spent eighteen years in humiliating servitude, Bjartur wants nothing more than to raise his flocks unbeholden to any man. But Bjartur's spirited daughter wants to live unbeholden to him. What ensues is a battle of wills that is by turns harsh and touching, elemental in its emotional intensity and intimate in its homely detail. Vast in scope and deeply rewarding, Independent People is a masterpiece. ( book summary)

A River Runs Through It, and Other Stories by Norman Maclean
On the surface, it's a story about Maclean, his gifted but fundamentally flawed brother, their father, the land that they loved and the religion of fly fishing that bound them together. But it's also a book that has a great deal to say about the bonds that tie family members together and about the heartache that can result when one of those family members desperately needs help that none of the others is able to give. (James Thane, review)

The Chosen by Chaim Potok
In 1940s Brooklyn, New York, an accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together… Together they negotiate adolescence, family conflicts, the crisis of faith engendered when Holocaust stories begin to emerge in the U.S., loss, love, and the journey to adulthood. The intellectual and spiritual clashes between fathers, between each son and his own father, and between the two young men, provide a unique backdrop for this exploration of fathers, sons, faith, loyalty, and, ultimately, the power of love. ( editorial review)

Empire Falls by Richard Russo (Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction, 2002)
Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it's Janine, Miles' soon-to-be ex-wife, who's taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it's the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town-and seems to believe that "everything" includes Miles himself. In Empire Falls Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America. (Publisher’s summary)

Fine Things by Danielle Steel
Smart, likable, Bernie Fine was the wonder boy of Wolff’s, New York’s most glamorous department store. A senior VP moving up, he arrives in San Fransisco to open a West Coast store. His career is skyrocketing, but his life is lacking a center. When he looks into the wide, innocent eyes of five-year-old Jane O’Reilly, and then into the equally enchanting eyes of her mother, Liz, Bernie knows he has found what he has been looking for. Bernie thought he had found love to last a lifetime, but when Liz is stricken with cancer shortly after the birth of their first child, time becomes painfully short. Alone with two children, Bernie must face the loss and learn how to move on. New people, new experiences, a new life alone with two kids. He meets it with courage and humor, and learns some of life’s hard but precious lessons as he does. (Publisher’s summary)

Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter
Stanley Banks is just your ordinary suburban dad. He's the kind of guy who believes that weddings are simple affairs in which two people get married. But when daddy's little girl announces her engagement to Buckley, Mr. Banks feels like his life has been turned upside down. ( summary)

The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
This story of a young woman's confrontation with death and her past is a poetic study of human relations. "The Optimist's Daughter" is the story of Laurel McKelva Hand, a young woman who has left the South and returns, years later, to New Orleans, where her father is dying. After his death, she and her silly young stepmother go back still farther, to the small Mississippi town where she grew up. Alone in the old house, Laurel finally comes to an understanding of the past, herself, and her parents. (Publisher’s summary)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend library hours

Library Hours (children's room, downstairs, & office):

May 26 (Friday)                                            8:00 a.m. -    4:50 p.m.
May 27 – May 29                                          CLOSED

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summer hours


Monday—Friday                                                    8:00 a.m.  -  4:50 p.m.
Saturday                                                                  CLOSED
Sunday                                                                    CLOSED


May 29                       Monday                              CLOSED
July 4                          Tuesday                              CLOSED

                        August 14                   Monday                              CLOSED

Friday, May 5, 2017

Finals hours

Finals Hours 
Learning Commons (upstairs space & study rooms)

May 9 – 11                                                     8:00 a.m. -  12:50 a.m.
May 13 – May 14                                          CLOSED

Library (children's room, downstairs, & office)

May 9 – 11                                                     8:00 a.m. -    9:50 p.m.
May 13 – May 14                                          CLOSED

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Reading Theme: Foster care

May is National Foster Care Month, so we are looking at books in our collection that feature foster families. For more information about foster care, visit

FB Banner 2017.png

White Oleander by Janet Fitch: “When beautiful, egotistical poet Ingrid murders the lover who dumped her, 12-year-old daughter Astrid descends into the hells of foster care, where she is sustained only by a fierce intelligence and great artistic talent…. Heartbreaking, but without a trace of sentimentality, this novel provokes amazement that children like Astrid can emerge whole and capable after what we know are even worse childhoods than hers.” --Library Journal review

Michel, Michel by Robert Lewis: “An explosive, emotional novel about a young Jewish boy whose parents die at the hands of the Nazis but he is saved by a Catholic Frenchwoman and raised in her faith. When the war ends Michel's aunt in Israel claims him but ‘Madam Rose’ Michel's foster French mother refuses to give him up and the battle is soon joined. What begins as a personal quarrel in a small provinical [sic] town slowly and inexorably grows into a cause involving the hierarchy of the Church and the leaders of French Jewry as the boy goes in hiding passed from one secret refuge to another by Madam Rose and by the priests and nuns. The conflict not only divides France reviving old passions and stirring up anti-Semitism and anticlericalism it becomes a national scandal. But in the end it is up to young Michel torn and devastated by opposing loyalties and loves who must decide his own fate. A sweeping narrative, brillantly [sic] written and plotted.” --Publisher’s summary

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner: “Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades ... beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden--one that will test her convictions and her heart. 1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London's civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy's burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia's profound need for her sister's presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…” --Publisher’s summary

Georgie and the Lambs by Barbara Miller: “Ten-year old Georgie is a foster child who still feels the pain of her mother's abandonment. When she gets sent to a farm to live with Twila and Frank Sutter, she thinks it will be even more work than she usually has to do in a foster home. A pair of abandoned new-born lambs need to be fed every two hours and need the love of a devoted mom. Georgie names them Blanche and Camille, and loves them and everything about the farm. But when it's time to send the lambs back to live with the flock, will Georgie be able to figure out a way to keep them safe, especially with a pair of foxes on the prowl? More importantly, can she learn to trust and love the two people who now care about her as much as she loves Blanche and Camille?” --Publisher’s summary

Georgie and the Coyotes by Barbara Miller: “Twelve-year-old Georgie thinks she has found the perfect foster home with Frank and Twila on their sheep farm. But just when her new family needs her the most, with a coyote pack on the prowl, her birth mother comes to take her away in the second tale of George and her flock.” --Publisher’s summary

Standing in the Shadows by Michelle Spring: “British private eye Laura Principal investigates the bludgeoning of a 60-year-old woman by her 11-year-old foster son. Although the boy confessed to the crime, it is not clear what made him do it. Did the woman contribute to her death?” --Publisher’s summary