I’m Daniella Snyder, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University, and your newest ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics– from research to study habits and everything in between– and how the Falvey Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!
Hi, Villanova! My name is Daniella, I am a first-year graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University, and I am happy to announce that I will be serving as your newest ‘Cat in the Stax at the Falvey Library. I was encouraged to write an introductory blog post, and I cannot imagine a better way to introduce myself than through some of my favorite books!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My happiest memories as a child were the nights I would curl up in bed with my mom while she read the Harry Potter books to me. I wasn’t old enough to read when the series began publication, but I loved the way my mom would change voices to match the character; she used a gruff, rusty voice for Hagrid (complete with the accent) and a slow, seemingly wise voice for Dumbledore. I often fell asleep to the sound of her turning the pages of the most recent addition to the series. I loved how even she, as an adult, found herself up until the early hours of the morning, devouring a novel she was unable to put down. Her love for literature inspired me.
Coming from a small rural town in central PA, my mom showed me how books can transport us to different countries, cultures, and worlds beyond my own imagination. Even at an early age, mom showed me the magic that a good book has to offer. From then on, I was hooked.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I was assigned to read The Great Gatsby for my 10th grade Honors English class. For the first time ever, as soon as I finished the book, I opened it and read it again. I have read the novel every summer since.
I adored the story, the characters, and the aesthetic of the “Roaring 20’s”, but I completely fell in love with the way Fitzgerald wrote. Fitzgerald’s word choice is unparalleled; the words practically sparkled in my mouth when I read the novel out loud. The various themes of love, class, and The American Dream fascinated me.
I dominated discussion in class, carried a Gatsby tote as a backpack, and even made non-alcoholic mint juleps for my class on the last day of the Gatsby unit. I was certifiably obsessed.
Ultimately, Gatsby was the novel that inspired me to study literature in college. Once I started talking to my local public librarian, she told me I could find books about Gatsby, even articles, biographies, and interviews. Fitzgerald’s work showed me the way in which reading books can not only be a hobby, but an academic pursuit and passion.
Here by Richard McGuire
Once I began my undergraduate career at Gettysburg College, I found another passion: art history. I declared a double major, and desperately sought to find ways to combine the two disciplines.
Here was exactly what I was looking for.
McGuire’s graphic novel inspired my senior year research, which will hopefully carry into my graduate studies. The novel follows a corner of space though hundreds of thousands of years, and features very little text. Instead of moving chronologically, he seems to bend space and time, placing images from 3000 A.D. superimposed over a scene from 3 B.C.E.
I began to research the symbolism of the art on the walls, the movie playing on the television, and how it could possibly communicate with the other scenes on the page. I studied the dates and how they could fit into a larger historical context. I found it fascinating that I could finally engage with two disciplines at once! I felt riveted to be able to offer a unique perspective in my literature seminar. Ultimately, because of Here, I was inspired to devour more books with as much intensity as I did when I was a kid, so I decided to continue my education, and apply to Villanova University.
What books have been influential in your life? How have they shaped who you are today? Comment below!
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