AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH – Biographies and Autobiographies


There’s still some time left in African American History Month to get some reading done! Check out some of the biographies and autobiographies we have in our collection. Click the links for more information, or to place a hold on these books:



March is a graphic novel series featuring the first person accounts of Congressman John Lewis on the history of the civil rights movement. In Book 1, he describes his childhood in segregated Alabama, how it shaped him to become a civil rights activist, and the experience of taking part in the Nashville sit-ins. The latest installment of this series, March Book 3, made The New York Times Bestseller list, and this year was the first graphic novel ever to win the National Book Award.

Bryant has the first two books in this series. Stop in and check them out so you have something to read over Thanksgiving break!

CHECK THIS OUT!–Harry Potter and the Cursed Child




We’ve got it! This book is the latest publication in the Harry Potter universe (until September anyway), but it’s not written by J.K. Rowling. It’s also not strictly a novel. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play on Broadway, and this book contains the scripts. The play focuses not Harry and Malfloy, but on their children, Albus and Scorpius.

The book has gotten mixed reviews–some love it, some hate it. Why not check it out and join the conversation?




CHECK THIS OUT!—New Non-fiction


It’s August, which means we’ve only got about a month of summer left! If you’re looking to fit in some non-fiction reading before the summer ends, check out some of these books from the New Books display on the second floor:


NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity—Written by WIRED reporter Steve Silberman, this work looks at the history of autism, specifically the suppression of information about autism and the ways we can make the world better place for those on the autism spectrum.

Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement—This book features pieces of writing by 16 current and former prisoners who have been kept in solitary confinement, and explores the legal, ethical, and psychological effects. The preface of this book was written by Sarah Shourd, who was kept in solitary confinement for more than a year.

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble—Written by the writer and co-producer of the tv show Silicon Valley, this work details the author’s past working in a start-up tech company. Some examples of chapter titles: “In which I make a very big mistake,” “A disturbance in the farce,” and “The Ron Burgundy of tech.”


The Economics of Race in the United States—This book explores race in the United States and how it effects things like as health care, quality of schooling, and housing opportunities. It also explores what kind of policies could ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to succeed in the U.S.

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person can Create Extraordinary Change—This is the story of Adam Braun, who left his job at Bain & Company to create Pencils of Promise, an organization that started with just $25 that has gone on to build more than 200 schools for children worldwide.

Civic Education and the Future of American Citizenship—This work features a collection of essays on the topic of citizenship, including the importance of citizenship and how civic education should be handled.


Security 2.0: Dealing with Global Wicked Problems—This book explores the concept of international security in modern political society, without being overly complex or confusing.

 Defeating ISIS: What They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe—This work explores the organization ISIS, including who they are, their activities across the world, social media presence, and offers some options for how to defeat them.

White World Order, Black Power Politics—This book examines how racism and imperialism affected the way we formed (and taught) international relations. It also focuses on a group of professors at Howard School of International Relations who fought against this tradition, including Merze Tate, the first black female political science professor.




Old games collecting dust? Donate them to the library!


Game Donation

Do you have a chess set you never use?  Are you tired of your reign as Monopoly board slum lord?  Finding yourself Uno-ed out?  No longer winning at the game of Life?  No longer feeling Sorry?  Haven’t got a Clue?  Settled Catan to the point of overpopulation?  Lost your Ticket to Ride?  Looking for a less Trivial Pursuit?

(Okay, I’ll stop.)

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, and you have a bunch of complete, gently-used board and/or card games collecting dust in a closet or under the bed, consider donating them to the library!  We’re looking to build a collection of games for people to use as a way to pass the time and relieve a little stress while they’re here in the library (especially as we approach mid-terms and finals).  People have asked us in the past about adding some games to our collections, and you can help us do that.

Contact the Borrower Services desk for more information.

Celebrate Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 – Oct. 3


It’s Banned Books Week, the American Library Association’s annual effort to bring awareness to the book challenges, censorships, and bannings in libraries and schools across the country.

banned books week 2015Books are challenged because they are challenging, and occasionally have a tendency to force people to confront ideas they disagree with, ideas they’d like to forget, and even ideas they’d just prefer to ignore.  But the open exchange of ideas – even and especially those we disagree with! – is important in any free society like our own, particularly as we start to kick off the next election cycle.

And yes, book challenges do occur on a regular basis, on every level of library, instigated by people from every political, social, and age range you can name, even college-age students: two recent challenges, both involving Allison Bechdel’s award-winning (and recently adapted into a Broadway play) graphic memoir Fun Home, were instigated by students at Duke University and at Crafton Hills College.

We know this is a busy time of year for everyone, but if you get the chance, please embrace and celebrate your freedom to read (and think) whatever you want.  Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that someone somewhere might be angry about you doing so, and that’s always fun.

For more information, please visit the official site for Banned Books Week, or the American Library Association’s site for the event.

CHECK THIS OUT!– The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling



If you’re like me, you saw the name J.K. Rowling and said “More Harry Potter?!” Nope, (we’ll both have to wait for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie in 2016), but it’s almost as good. The Casual Vacancy is written for an adult audience and focuses on people and personal connections rather than magic.

The Casual Vacancy follows the lives of the people in the small town of Pagford after Barry Fairbrother, member of the city council, dies. During the race to replace his seat, secrets start to appear online about the candidates from someone who claims to be the Barry’s ghost. Though the first secret is posted by one of the teenagers in town, the online persona quickly begins to take on a life of its own.

One of the things that’s interesting about this story and keeps it from slipping into soap opera-esq drama is that the story isn’t told from one person’s point of view—it’s told from everyone’s point of view. The point of view character switches at the beginning of each new chapter, which keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. Not all the characters are likable, but they are realistic, and the opportunity to see the motives behind the behaviors contrasted with how other characters see them is intriguing. The varied perspectives makes for an interesting story about how people relate to one another, and whether they can repair the town’s sense of community after everything that’s revealed during the race.

Check this book out from the leisure reading section of the library on the first floor!