Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Reads: Target Africa

Friday, Friday! For this week's Friday Reads, Serials Librarian Judith Koveleskie tells us about a new book in the library collection-- Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century.

Judith Koveleskie with Target Africa

"Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century is a new book by Obianuju Edeocha, a Nigerian woman who is the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the promotion and propagation of the Gospel of Life in Africa through the dissemination of good information, sensitization and education.  After following her on Twitter, @obianuju, I couldn’t wait to read her book.  

"Since the end of colonization, Africa has struggled with socio-economic and political problems.   This book reveals the Western influence over Africa that is rarely talked about.  It tells the story of foreign aid with strings attached; the story of Africa targeted and recolonized by wealthy donors.  Many wealthy individuals and NGO’s are promoting their own solutions to Africa’s problems, rather than listening to and valuing the opinions and culture of the people they seek to help.

"She says, 'Like many of the Africans in the 1950’s who longed for independence from their colonial masters, I long for independence from our twenty-first-century neocolonial masters so that Africans can rule themselves in a manner that befits their values and aspirations.'”

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Reads: The Tipping Point

It's Friday! You made it! This week, Library Director David Stanley tells us about a book he's currently reading, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

David Stanley is reading The Tipping Point. 

"The book to read if you want to think about why things happen. How do epidemics start? Why was Paul Revere’s ride so successful when William Dawes’s was not? How do some things become 'the in thing' for young people, or older people, to have to have? What causes rises and falls in crime rates? These and more are discussed. According to the author they all follow a similar developmental process which leads to a tipping point. It makes you look at just about all events with a new curiosity."

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday Reads: Dreamland

TGIF! Today our Cataloging & Acquisitions Librarian, Adam Pellman, shares about the book he's reading, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones.

Adam is reading Dreamland

"Our country is facing a public health emergency, as tens of thousands of Americans die every year of overdoses from opioids such as prescription painkillers and heroin, and millions more are addicted to these same substances.  Dreamland explains how this epidemic came to be.

"The author, an investigative journalist and author of two previous non-fiction books about Mexico and Mexican immigration, presents a clear-eyed history of the problem.  The book's focus is two-fold.  Part of the story follows the development, marketing, and unfettered prescription of pain medications like OxyContin in the 1990s and early 2000s, which led to extensive drug abuse and related crime.  The book's other main focus is the expansion of a black tar heroin trafficking network based in a small county in western Mexico, where the heroin trade became a cottage industry of sorts.  These two developments coalesced into a perfect storm, as heroin dealers found a ready client base in towns already devastated by painkiller abuse.

"The book is illuminating and heartbreaking in equal measure, and it's written in a compulsively readable style that gives it the feel of a true crime narrative.  It's timely, essential reading for anyone interested in this topic, or anyone who has been touched by tragedy as a result of this epidemic.  Much of the book focuses on my native Ohio, where addiction to painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl has been widespread, so this is a story that hits close to home for me."

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Lantern Chain

Today for Throwback Thursday, we're exploring another old SHC tradition. Once upon a time, the College had a "big sisters" and "little sisters" mentoring program, similar to many sororities today. Junior girls would be paired with first-year students to help them adjust to college life.

girls carrying lanterns

girls seated in the gym in circles, half of each circle wearing white and the other half wearing black

Though these photos in the old Sullivan Gym may look like a creepy cult's religious ritual, they are actually from what was called the Lantern Chain ceremony. The Senior "big sisters" would pass the lanterns to their Sophomore "little sisters." This symbolized that the little sisters were assuming the role of big sisterhood and would be becoming the mentors the following year.
girls form an X shape as part of ceremony

girls assume another formation

This set of photos originally appeared in the 1954 Chevron publication. Thanks, as always, to Bill Black in the SHU Archives for the pictures and the stories!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday Reads: The Immortalists

Finally Friday! What would you do if you knew-- exactly-- how much longer you had to live? Public Services Librarian Kelly Clever has been reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, which explores that question.

Kelly Clever with The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

"The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin was my book club's pick for April. Four siblings, ages seven to 13, go to see a fortune-teller in the summer of 1969. This woman has a specialty: She claims that she can tell you the exact date that you will die. The kids go in to see her one-by-one, and what they hear will impact the course-- and possibly the lengths-- of their lives.

"I was hooked by page seven. Are the prophecies true or was the woman a con artist? Why did she tell the children to keep what she told them to themselves? We know what the oldest girl's prediction is, but what about the younger three?

"If you've wrestled with the idea of fate versus free will, or wondered if you would live your life differently if you knew how much of it you had left, or been close with and paradoxically distant from your family, you'll enjoy the concepts explored in The Immortalists.

"As for me? I'm glad I don't know 'my date.' Who wants a countdown clock to THAT on their phone?"

Monday, April 2, 2018

April-May Reading Theme: Westerns

We’re partnering up with In the Spotlight this month to feature Westerns. Make sure to head over to the O’Hara room to check out the DVDs!

Image courtesy of

Little Big Man by Thomas Berger

Believe it or not, Jack Crabb is 111 years old. He is also the son of two fathers, one white, the other a Cheyenne Indian chief who gave him the name Little Big Man. As a Cheyenne, Crabb feasted on dog, loved four wives, and saw his people butchered by horse-soldiers commanded by Custer. As a white man, he helped hunt the buffalo into extinction, tangled with Wyatt Earp, cheated Wild Bill Hickok--and lived through the showdown that followed. He also survivied the Battle of Little Bighorn, where he fought side by side with Custer himself--even though he'd sworn to kill him. (Publisher’s summary)

Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig

Dancing at the Rascal Fair is an authentic saga of the American experience at the turn of this century and a passionate, portrayal of the immigrants who dared to try new lives in the imposing Rocky Mountains. Ivan Doig's supple tale of landseekers unfolds into a fateful contest of the heart between Anna Ramsay and Angus McCaskill, walled apart by their obligations as they and their stormy kith and kin vie to tame the brutal, beautiful Two Medicine country. (Publisher’s summary)

The Last True Cowboy by Kathleen Eagle

Julia Weslin turns to K.C. Houston, a gentle and skilled horseman, to help her fulfill her late brother's dream of saving a herd of wild mustangs from destruction. (Publisher’s summary)

The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton: A Novel by Kathleen Eagle

Lidie Harkness marries Thomas Newton and moves with him to Kansas in an effort to keep it a Free State in the years before the Civil War. She is an earnest convert to the abolitionist cause and events lead her to disguise herself as a boy in her search for justice. (Publisher’s summary)

Last of the Breed by Louis L’Amour

Here is the kind of authentically detailed epic novel that has become Louis L'Amour's hallmark. It is the compelling story of U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack, a man born out of time. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in Russia and he escapes a Soviet prison camp, he must call upon the ancient skills of his Indian forebears to survive the vast Siberian wilderness. Only one route lies open to Mack: the path of his ancestors, overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But in pursuit is a legendary tracker, the Yakut native Alekhin, who knows every square foot of the icy frontier--and who knows that to trap his quarry he must think like a Sioux. (Publisher’s summary)

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Cut off from the life of ranching he has come to love by his grandfather's death, John Grady Cole flees to Mexico, where he and his companion embark on a rugged and cruelly idyllic adventure. (Publisher’s summary)

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

A love story and an epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last, defiant wilderness of America. Richly authentic, beautifully written, Lonesome Dove is a book to make readers laugh, weep, dream and remember. (Publisher’s summary)

Shane by Jack Schaefer

In the summer of 1889, a mysterious and charismatic man rides into a small Wyoming valley, where he joins homesteaders who take a stand against a bullying cattle rancher, and where he changes the lives of a young boy and his parents. (Publisher’s summary)

Incident at Twenty Mile by Trevanian
A trio of convicts occupy a small community in Wyoming and terrorize its unarmed inhabitants. An opportunity for Matthew Dubchek, a young drifter with a gun, to live his fantasy of being Ringo Kid. Question is will he have the guts. (Publisher’s summary)

The Virginian by Owen Wister

Considered by many to be the best Western novel, Wister's work essentially defined the genre, both in print and on film, and also created the archetypal Western hero: the strong silent type who rides in from the range and saves the day by shooting the bad guys full of holes. Like many in the genre, this also features a romantic subplot. This 100th-anniversary edition was produced in tandem with the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and has color and black-and-white art by Western artist Thom Ross. A beauty. (Library Journal review)