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Freedom To Read: Celebrate Banned Book Week with These “Most Challenged” Books From Falvey Memorial Library

American Library Association's poster announcing Banned Books Week 2020.


Banned Books Week commenced on Sept. 18! Beginning in the early 1980s, the annual event, celebrated the last week of September, spotlights “current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.” Show your support for “the freedom to read” and checkout these frequently challenged titles available at Falvey Memorial Library.

The titles listed below are featured in the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books” lists spanning from 2001-2021. “Lists are based on information from media stories and voluntary reports sent to the Office for Intellectual Freedom from communities across the U.S.

Books are accessible through Falvey’s collection and Interlibrary Loan.

For more information about Banned Books Week visit the American Library Association’s website. Looking for a specific title not available at Falvey Memorial Library? Villanova students, staff, and faculty can use the E-ZBorrow service to request print materials from regional libraries. Chat with a librarian during business hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. for inquires regarding Falvey Library’s collection.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. *Article originally published on Sept. 28, 2020.

 

 


 


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Flip or Flick: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Image is the cover of the novel, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

Image courtesy of Google books.

By Allie Reczek

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was written in 1996 by Rebecca Wells. This story shifts back and forth between telling stories from the youth of the Ya-Yas—Vivi, Teensy, Caro, and Necie—in 1930s Louisiana, and the current life of Siddalee Walker, Vivi’s daughter, in the 1990s.

After a slanderous review of her mother in a public journal, Vivi disowns Sidda, sending her in a tailspin that results in Sidda traveling across the country and breaking off her engagement with her fiancé, Connor. In an effort to rekindle the relationship between Sidda and Vivi, the Ya-Yas send Sidda a scrapbook, detailing their lives, so that Sidda could better understand why her mother is the way she is. This seemingly complex, yet rather simple story between mother and daughter forces readers to confront their own family relationship and realize that everyone has a past we cannot judge them for. 

The movie adaptation, directed by Callie Khouri in 2002, generally follows the meaning behind this story but fails to provide as much detail as the novel. Instead of isolating herself and traveling alone, in the movie, the Ya-Yas kidnap Sidda, played by Sandra Bullock, and bring her to their childhood cabin in Louisiana, telling stories about Vivi and her troubling childhood. Themes stay relatively the same, but significant details about Vivi’s life and Sidda’s relationship are missing. This movie lacks a certain emotional pull that the novel poetically conveys. This movie received a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes and is rated PG-13. 

So… Flip or Flick?

Flip! Every recount from the childhood of the Ya-Yas, every letter exchange between Sidda and Vivi, every interaction between the Ya-Yas, from youth to old age, provides readers with an understanding about the value of love and friendship over anything else.

This story teaches us that no matter what you have been through, family is forever and will always be by your side.


Allie Reczek headshotThis is the last Flip or Flick by Allie Reczek ’22 CLAS. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Villanova University. Congratulations, Allie! Falvey Library wishes you all the best in your future endeavors. Rebecca Wells’ novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was published 26 years ago on May 22, 1996.


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Weekend Recs: MLB

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The MLB season is finally upon us, despite delays that pushed opening day from Thursday, March 31, to Thursday, April 7. The 2021-22 MLB lockout was the first since 1994; however, negotiations have now been settled, and the season can begin!

So let’s root, root, root for the home team (Go, Phillies!) and learn a little more about what’s happening currently in baseball with this week’s weekend recs, whether you have two minutes or an entire afternoon. 

If you have 2 minutes… read about MLB Opening Day and the decline in ticket sales. 

If you have 7 minutes and 39 seconds… watch this video from December breaking down the MLB lockout, what both sides want, and what the consequences are. 

Bonus: Watch this 8-minute-and-37-second video updating people on the MLB lockout. 

If you have 1 hour and 48 minutes… watch “Bull Durham,” arguably the best baseball movie of all time. 

If you have 8 hours and 20 minutes… read Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the story about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. 

If you have the afternoon… buy tickets to support Philadelphia’s very own Phillies in their opening weekend games against the Oakland Athletics.  


Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Weekend Recs: 2022 Oscars

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Beyond the Wildcats clinching their spot in the Final Four, the weekend brought additional excitement with what was poised to be the first “normal” Oscars since pre-COVID. However, in actuality, the Oscars were anything but. From a big win for Deaf culture to the slap heard ‘round the world, we’re breaking down everything Oscars-related, whether you have 2 minutes or 14+ hours. 

If you have 2 minutes and 39 seconds… watch Megan Thee Stallion perform “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” 

If you have 5 minutes… read this article breaking down everything you need to know about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and why Chris Rock’s joke was problematic. Synopsis: You don’t joke about a Black woman’s hair. 

Bonus: On a lighter note, look up the memes that have resulted from the incident! 

If you have 1 hour and 14 minutes… Listen to Hans Zimmer’s score for Dune, winner of best original score category in last weekend’s awards. 

If you have 1 hour and 52 minutes… watch the 2022 Oscar’s best film CODA, a movie bringing Deaf culture and Deaf actors to the forefront. 

If you have 14 hours (and no work to do)… read the novel Dune. Because let’s be honest, the books are better than the movie nine times out of 10, and the movie had a pretty good showing Sunday night. 


Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.

 


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Dig Deeper: Villanova Theatre Presents The Revolutionists

By Jenna Renaud

“I write plays that I like to describe as having endings with hard hope…It makes the characters and hopefully the audience want to keep fighting, keep going, keep living, and keep learning at the end of the play.”
Lauren Gunderson 

The Revolutionists: A Villanova Theatre Production

Villanova Theatre is back for the spring semester with its newest comedy production, The Revolutionists. The show runs Feb. 1020 in the Court Theatre housed in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The show is written by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Valerie Joyce. 

The Cincinnati Inquirer describes The Revolutionists as follows: In the shadow of an overworked guillotine, four badass women collide and collude in Paris during the Reign of Terror: fugitive queen Marie Antoinette, idealist assassin Charlotte Corday, Caribbean spy Marianne Angelle, and beleaguered playwright Olympe de Gouges (who just wants to make the plot work out). Lauren Gunderson’s breakneck comedy of ideas is a fiercely funny fever dream as well as a timely rumination on the role of violence in the quest for change, a “sassy, hold-on-to-your-seats theatrical adventure.” 

Dig Deeper into The Revolutionists 

Women and the French Revolution 

Photo provided by Kimberly Reilly & Villanova Theatre

The French Revolution took place from May 1789 to November 1799 and is considered one of the largest and bloodiest upheavals in European history. French citizens eliminated the absolute monarchy and feudal system and created an entirely new political and social framework. Following the death of the King, a radical group called the Jacobins took over, ushering France into what would be later known as “The Reign of Terror.” During that time, they murdered over 17,000 people. In 1795, a new, relatively moderate constitution was adopted and opposition was stopped through the use of the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte. Political corruption and unrest continued until 1799 when Napoleon staged a coup to declare himself France’s “first consul.”

During the time of the French Revolution, women began to speak up and fought for their own rights. Following the storming of the Bastille in 1789, women began to join in riots, demonstrate for their rights, and attend the political clubs of men. Although there was no major change regarding the rights of women following the Revolution, they made their presence known and are depicted in the majority of revolutionary art for being symbols of revolutionary values. 

Dig Deeper into Women and the French Revolution 


Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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TBT: Miles Davis at Villanova

Miles Davis performance ad

Ad from The Villanovan in February 1974

miles davis playing the trumpet

Photo by William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

book cover about Miles Davis

Next Tuesday will mark the 47th anniversary of Miles Davis’s performance at Villanova! The ad above is from an edition of The Villanovan published in February of 1974. Check out his beloved music on Spotify or click here for a quick synopsis about “arguably the most influential jazz musician in the post-World War II period.” Be sure to look into more resources and information on this iconic performer in the Falvey Collection, or check out the books linked below.


Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a Junior Communication Major from just outside Baltimore who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey.


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Flip or Flick: Girl, Interrupted

By Allie Reczek

Image is the book cover for the autobiography Girl, Interrupted.

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.


***Content Warning: Please be advised that this post discusses aspects of Girl, Interrupted, a book and feature film that contain strong elements of suicide, self-harm, and other mental health concerns/disorders.***

Girl, Interrupted, a 1993 memoir written by Susanna Kaysen, depicts her life in the sixties as she is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and sent to a psychiatric hospital. For the next two years, Kaysen illustrates her time in this Massachusetts hospital, from the other patients she meets, to the treatment she receives, to the minute by minute surveillance by the staff, unable to even shave her legs without supervision. Kaysen describes this period of her life in intense detail, where readers cannot help but feel extreme sympathy and pain for her and the other patients. Lisa Rowe, Daisy Randone, Georgina Tuskin, and Polly Clark, who are admitted to McLean Hospital for all sorts of mental illnesses and personality disorders, play a large role in both Susanna’s suffering and growth over time. Girl, Interrupted, while should be read with caution due to the discussion of suicide, eating disorders, and self-harm acts, provides a glimpse into the reality of mental health treatment during the 1960s. Additionally, readers can understand the importance of getting help when you need it and pushing past the impossible to gain back your freedom. 

The movie adaptation, directed by James Mangold and released in 1999, follows a similar story to the one Kaysen depicts in her memoir. However, there are several relevant plot lines in the novel that are left out of this film. Winona Ryder, who plays Susanna, executes her role quite well, portraying a young girl left to be institutionalized by a society who believes that anyone with a mental illness should be locked away. Through this movie, viewers can understand the pain and suffering that these patients experience and share their frustration for how the hospital treats them. It should be noted that this film is rated R and includes scenes of suicide and violence that may be unsuitable for some audiences.

So… Flip or Flick?

Flip. Because this is a memoir, recounting real life experiences of Susanna Kaysen, I feel that the movie adaptation does not closely follow what Kaysen depicts in her novel. The ending of the book provides much more satisfaction and closure to the story, sharing details from years later after Kaysen is released from McLean. Additionally, I feel that some of the scenes in the movie are included merely for suspense and entertainment purposes, disregarding the true intent of what Kaysen experienced. If you are looking for a more autobiographical narrative written honestly and poetically, I would recommend giving the book a read. However, if you are more interested in a dramatic, provocative retelling, this movie remains an excellent option.  


Allie Reczek headshotAllie Reczek ’22 CLAS is a current senior at Villanova, majoring in Psychology with minors in Communications and Sociology. She works in Falvey Library as a Marketing and Communications Assistant.

 

 


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Weekend Recs: SCOTUS

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

If you’ve read any news the past three days, you may have seen the rumors that SCOTUS justice Stephen Breyer may be retiring, leading to the fourth new appointment in the last five years and Biden’s first. It can be difficult to keep up with everything in the political sphere, so this week I’ll be providing a range of podcasts, articles, videos, movies, and books to help you get a better understanding of the Supreme Court and what’s currently going on in the news, whether you have 4 minutes or 12 hours! 

If you have 4 minutes… read the latest on Justice Stephen Breyer’s alleged retirement and how Biden could make history with his new appointment, if it reaches that stage. 

If you have 4 minutes and 30 seconds… watch this video breaking down how U.S. Supreme Court justices get appointed to get a better understanding of the process the U.S. government may be going through real soon.

If you have 39 minutes… listen to the most recent episode of the SCOTUS 101 podcast, a podcast breaking down the latest news from the Supreme Court.  

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes… watch RBG on Netflix. The 2018 documentary on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and work on woman’s human rights. 

If you have 12 hours and 30 minutes… read The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. Although published in 2008, this book still offers an inside look at the inner workings of the Super Court and how justices make decisions.  


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Weekend Recs: The World of Technology

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Whether it’s because I finally invested in a new iMac after a decade or I’m still mourning the predictable, yet still upsetting death of BlackBerry phones, technology has been top of mind lately. It seems like every day there’s talk of the latest technology trend catching on and spreading like wildfire. For this weekend, I’ve compiled recs to help you keep up with the latest technology news, whether you have 3 minutes or 4 hours. 

If you have 3 minutes… watch this video about the Icelandverse. We’ve all heard about the Metaverse, but have you heard about the Icelandverse? This Icelandic tourism ad pokes fun at Zuckerburg’s Metaverse video and does a good job at making viewers want to book a trip to the real Iceland. 

If you have 5 minutes… get an overview of everything going on regarding the 5G upgrades taking place nationwide and why airports and the FAA aren’t too happy about it. 

If you have 8 minutes… read predictions about 2022 being the year of the smart house and what technological developments we can expect to see in the home. 

If you have 2 hours and 20 minutes… watch Ready Player One on Hulu. Ready Player One is based on the 2011 science fiction novel by Ernest Cline. The story takes place in 2045 where people escape the world by entering into the virtual reality entertainment universe, OASIS. If you haven’t yet seen this movie, it’s definitely worth a watch! 

If you have 4 hours and 30 minutes… read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Arguably one of the greatest dystopian novels of all time, Brave New World takes place in a world where technology has taken the place of some of humanity’s most important traditions and purposes. Despite being written in 1931, Huxley’s novel is still incredibly relevant and thought-provoking today.  


""Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Falvey Library Staff Shares Reading Recommendations for Winter Break

Happy Holidays, Wildcats! Looking for some reading recommendations for the semester recess? The Falvey Memorial Library staff shares a few suggestions below.

Roberta Pierce, Access & Collections Coordinator:

Image of the book cover of "The Invited."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Darren Poley, Associate Director of Research Services:

Image of the book cover of "The Tiger's Wife."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Image of the book cover "No One Is Talking About This."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Michael Foight, Director of  Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement:

Image of the book cover of "The Library."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Meg Schwoerer-Leister, Access and Collections Coordinator:

Image of the book cover of "Notes From A Young Black Chef."

Sarah Wingo, Librarian for English Literature, Theatre, & Romance Languages:

  • My recommendation is for Harry Potter fans, who love the world but maybe wish there was better more inclusive representation in the Harry Potter world. The Simon Snow book series (currently three books Wayward Son, Carry On, and Any Way the Wind Blows), by Rainbow Rowell are pretty literally Harry Potter fan fiction. Characters have different names and not everything is the same, but it’s not that these books are like Harry Potter, they are directly commenting on and engaging with Harry Potter. Rowell is herself a prolific award-winning author, and I’ve really enjoyed this series. The audiobooks are excellent if that is more your speed. Link to series: https://bit.ly/3pw3LPI
Image of the book cover of "Carry On."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Deborah Bishov, Social Sciences & Instructional Design Librarian:

  •  My reading recommendation is The Hidden Palace (2021), long awaited sequel to The Golem and the Jinni (2013), both by Helene Wecker. They’re magical realist fantasy that immerse you completely in a richly detailed world where mystical beings end up in turn of last century New York City and face otherworldly obstacles and human dilemmas.
Image of the book cover of "The Hidden Place."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Shawn Proctor, Communication & Marketing Program Manager:

  • Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This is a unique and memorable novel about friendship and self-discovery. A book that both reads quickly and lingers in your memory for a long time. Bonus: the sequel book just came out.
  • Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer. A tightly written mystery by a master puzzle maker and author. It feels a part of the time in which it is set and refreshingly modern, using Sherlock Holmes as inspiration and foil to Enola’s ingenuity and pluck. If you’ve been wanting to see what the Netflix movie’s buzz is about, this is the best place to start.
Image of the book cover of "Enola Holmes."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Ethan Shea, Communication & Marketing Graduate Assistant:

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I’ve heard endless praise about The Picture of Dorian Gray, so this winter, I’m finally taking the plunge and checking this novel off my to-read list. The story follows a young and beautiful Dorian Gray as he sells his soul to ensure he will never age or lose his beauty. Gray continues to live a worry-free but sinful life while the consequences of his actions become visible in his portrait.
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I hope to read Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles over winter break, a fresh take on the story of the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. A couple of my friends have recommended Miller’s books to me, and this particular text aligns with my interest in Greco-Roman mythology. 
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In anticipation of a class on the African novel I’ll be taking next semester, I’m excited to read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.  I’ve heard Achebe’s depiction of colonialism and masterful use of language is incredibly moving to say the least, so I can’t wait to read this classic novel.
Image of the book cover of "Things Fall Apart."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication & Marketing:

  • At Christmas time, not only do I like to eat cookies, I like to read about them, too. That’s why I’m excited to see several delicious looking new cookie cookbooks on the horizon, including one by legendary baker Rose Levy Beranbaum. When Rose titles a book with a food item and then the word Bible after it, you know The Cookie Bible will be a must-read. The pandemic has affected its delivery date, but you can pre-order it on Amazon.
  • Also on my cookie-cooking radar is Sweet Talk Cookies, by Hayley Callaway. This one teaches you all the tools to ice/stencil and uber-customize cookies to feature any art that you wish–including an amazing turkey from a peace sign cookie cutter–which of course, every Villanovan should own.
  • And finally, It’s Not Just Cookies, by Tiffany and John Chen tells the story of two college sweethearts and entrepreneurs who began a multi-million dollar cookie business, Tiff’s Treats, in an off-campus apartment at the University of Texas, Austin. Sound like they’re two smart cookies, for sure.
Image of the book cover of "Sweet Talk Cookies."

Image courtesy of Amazon.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. While you won’t be able to read it during the semester recess, Stahl recommends Dolly Parton and James Patterson’s book Run, Rose, Run (available March 7, 2022.) Parton is also releasing a new album of the same name in conjunction with the novel. Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is available to read over the holidays.



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Last Modified: December 16, 2021