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Paying Tribute to bell hooks

By Jenna Renaud

bell hooks photo

Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

“The transformative power of love is the foundation of all meaningful social change. Without love our lives are without meaning. Love is the heart of the matter. When all else has fallen away, love sustains.” -bell hooks, Salvation: Black People and Love, 2001 

bell hooks died from end-stage renal failure at her home in Berea, Ky., on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. She was 69. hooks’ writings had an enormous impact thinking and scholarship about race and feminism, specifically amplifying Black and marginalized voices, changing what feminism meant both in the US and internationally.  

Born Gloria Jean Watkins, hooks penned the majority of her works under the name bell hooks both in tribute to her grandmother and to bring emphasis to her words, rather than herself. To hear her speak, view this video of her at the Othering & Belonging Conference in 2015 or this clip of her on the show Speaking Freely. Her works are assigned regularly in classes across many disciplines at Villanova. hooks’ legacy lives on in the people she influenced and thrives both on campus and in Falvey’s collection.  

bell hooks was a giant, and her loss will be felt in big and small ways by all that were touched by her work and all who have yet to discover it. To quote one of the innumerable posts of grief, gratitude, and love that flooded social media in the wake of her passing: If you’re just learning of bell hooks, there’s no shame. You can always read her words and meet her on the page.” 

Check out bell hooks’ books at Falvey by clicking on any of the links below: 

To view Falvey’s full collection of bell hooks books, click here. 

Explore additional resources:


jenna newman headshotJenna 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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Weekend Recs: Space

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. 

We earthlings have always been fascinated by space, whether it’s looking at what we can see through a telescope, watching movies and TV shows about space, or dreaming of one day traveling to space. This past September, a new Space Race concluded with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket being the first privately funded, non-government trip to orbit. This weekend, take some time to indulge your love of space by checking out these recs.  

If you have 4 minutes… read about the winners of the Space Race 2.0. 

If you have 11 minutes… read this article about the Discovery Channel’s new show, Who Wants to be an Astronaut, and make sure to watch the embedded video about the commercialization of space. 

If you have 33 minutes… listen to The Skimm’s pop culture podcast episode entitled “Why We’re Still Obsessed with Space.”  

If you have 7 hours… borrow Apollo to the Moon: A History in 50 Objects by Teasel E. Muir-Harmony through InterLibrary Loan. The book uses 50 key artifacts from the Smithsonian archives to tell the story of the space exploration program. 

If you have all weekend… Binge-watch this list of Star Wars content in order to prepare for Disney+’s newest Star Wars show The Book of Boba Fett. 


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Dig Deeper: Samuel Beckett

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.” 

– Samuel Beckett 

Beckett Bites: A Villanova Theatre Production 

Villanova Theatre’s newest production, Beckett Bites, is here. Beckett Bites is a collection of four short plays by Samuel Beckett, directed by Edward Sobel, and running Nov. 414 in the Court Theatre at the brand-new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. There are four plays comprising Beckett Bites: “Play,” “Footfalls,” “Rockaby,” and “Come and Go.”

The play is described by Villanova Theatre as follows: “As we reemerge from a world defined by screen interactions to rejoin each other in shared space, we return with Beckett Bites, four short plays by the modern theatre’s greatest existential clown. Samuel Beckett’s plays exquisitely capture the powerful longing for connection, the inexorable nature of time, and the sheer absurdity of being human. In this deftly curated collection of four short works, audiences will imaginatively progress from isolation to the communal experience of live performance, alternately laughing at the ridiculous and glimpsing the sublime. “

Dig Deeper into Beckett Bites

Theatre of the Absurd 

The theatre of the absurd describes the post-WW2 designation of plays that focus on absurdist fiction. Late 1950s European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, as well Harold Pinter, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Arthur Adamov, amongst others, alluded to the question of “why are we all here?” The four main features of the Theatre of the Absurd are anti-character, anti-language, anti-drama, and anti-plot. In addition, read below for more characteristics and themes of the Theatre of the Absurd.  

CHARACTERISTICS OF THEATRE OF THE ABSURD 

  • Situations and characters’ emotional states may be represented through poetic metaphor (dreamlike, fantastical, or nightmarish images). 
  • The notion of realism is rejected: situations and characters are not “realistic” and characters are often placed in unreal situations. 
  • Set and costumes may not reflect an outward reality. 
  • Dialogue is often nonsensical, clichéd, or gibberish. 
  • Communication is fractured. 
  • There is usually an emphasis on “theatricality” as opposed to realism. 
  • Absurdist playwrights often use dark comedy for satiric effect. 
  • Characters exist in a bubble without the possibility of communication. 
  • Characters may be one-dimensional, with no clear motivation or purpose. 
  • Characters may be symbolic of universal situations. 
  • Behavior and situations may not follow the rules of logic. 
  • Structure may be circular, without a precise resolution. 
  • Action may be minimal. 
  • Setting of the play may be in one locale. 
  • Often characters perceive a threat from the “outside,” leading to a sense of powerlessness. 

THEMES OF THEATRE OF THE ABSURD 

  • Isolation of human existence in a world without God 
  • Lack of communication between individuals 
  • Dehumanization in a commercial world 
  • Social disparity 
  • Life without purpose or examination 
  • Class difference/the haves and have nots 
  • Loneliness 
  • Fear of the disenfranchised 

(Beckett Bites Education Guide, 2021) 

Dig Deeper into the Theatre of the Absurd 

Still want to learn more about the Theatre of the Absurd? Check out the following Falvey offerings: 

About Samuel Beckett 

Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator. Beckett wrote in both English and French, being born in Ireland, but spending the majority of his adult life in France. He is a playwright known outside of the field of theatre, primarily for his most famous work Waiting for Godot. As a member of the Theatre of the Absurd, Beckett often explored themes such as the passage of time and utilized repetition and silence to emphasize key ideas. 

Dig Deeper into Samuel Beckett 

Still want to learn more about Samuel Beckett or read some of his works? Check out the following Falvey offerings: 


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Cat in the Stax: Classics To Read for Christmas in July

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By Jenna Newman

We’re celebrating Christmas in July, so the feeling of cheer never needs to disappear. Light a candle, snuggle up with one of these books, which are great all year round! 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This novel is the epitome of a Christmas classic, which is why it’s taken the coveted spot of first on my book list this week. Dickens’ classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge has been adapted for every audience and medium. My personal favorite adaptation is the Mickey Mouse Disney take starring Mickey and Scrooge McDuck. However, if you haven’t read the classic in a while (or ever!) it’s definitely worth the read this holiday season. 

The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford

If you’ve read, and loved, A Christmas Carol then the next book for you to read is The Man Who Invented Christmas. Standiford tells the story behind the story, including how Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in a last attempt to save his career. If you like to see stories on a big screen, The Man Who Invented Christmas became a film in 2017, although it hasn’t picked up as much momentum as one may have expected. 

The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien

Whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan or not, The Father Christmas Letters is worth pulling off the shelf this holiday season. The novel is a compilation of letters that Tolkien wrote to his children each year at Christmastime. Each letter was written either from Father Christmas or a polar bear. Tolkien creates a world for his children, aiding in their belief of Santa Claus and all things having to do with the North Pole, which creates for a magical read for all.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Once again, I’ve found a way to throw my favorite book Little Women onto a book list. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, Christmas is a perfect time to read it for the first time. Little Women was originally two separate stories, Little Women and Good Wives. The first original novel and first half of what we know today as Little Women is book-ended by the March girl’s Christmas day celebrations. Greta Gerwig’s movie adaptation was also released Christmas Day 2019!

 


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

 

 

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: Books & Board Games – Seven Perfect Pairings

Some people pair peanut butter and jelly, others pair wine and cheese, but in my opinion the perfect pairing is books and board games. Taking some time curled up with a good book and then meeting up with close friends and family in the evening to play a tabletop game constitutes a perfectly relaxing day. Below, I paired books and games together for a variety of different interests!

If you like pirates… you should read Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates by Eric Jay Dolin and you should play Pirate’s Cove.

If you like zombies… you should read Zone One by Colson Whitehead and you should play Dead of Winter.

If you like spies and espionage… you should read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré and you should play Code Names.

If you like vampires… you should read My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due and play Fury of Dracula.

If you like the woods… you should read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and you should play Parks.

If you like classic adventure… you should read On The Road by Jack Kerouac and you should play Ticket to Ride.

If you like horror… you should read The Shining by Stephen King and you should play Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

Can you think of any other book and board game pairings I missed?


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


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The Falvey FAQ: Everything You Need to Know to School Spring Semester

Click above for Falvey’s Frequently Asked Question page.

By Shawn Proctor

  • Where can I study in the Library?
  • When are my books due back?
  • How do I request a book from the collection?
  • How do I set up a meeting with a librarian?

Happy first day of the new semester, Wildcats! When you visit the Library, you will notice that we’ve updated our look for the spring, adding new study spaces on the first floor. We also made tweaks to services, based on your needs.

So be sure to stop by Falvey’s fabulous FAQ page early and often so you can take full advantage of all the Library has to offer, including online events, digital resources, and, of course, books!

 


Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor, MFA, Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library, is super excited the students are back!

 

 

 


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Cat in the Stax: Book Gift Guide

I always love getting presents for all the important people in my life, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out exactly what to get for each person. You want the gift to be meaningful, but also easy to get and not something that’s going to break the bank. My go-to for gifts is always books. I can find a perfect book, whether long or short, for about practically any interest! Plus, it gives me an excuse to visit my local bookstore.

Below is my Holiday Book Gift Guide for all of the important people in your life.

Books for Cooks If you have any cooks in your life, they probably don’t need a step-by-step cook book, but they could always use some inspiration! Below are two books that could provide good inspiration for the foodies in your life:

 

Books for Sports-Lovers Maybe the sports-lovers are interested in the biography of their favorite coach or player or just the history of their favorite sport. Here are a couple of books for all those Wildcat basketball fans out there:

 

Books for Outdoorsy People With the cold weather ever-approaching, all outdoor lovers and preparing for another winter of going stir-crazy. Here are two book gift ideas that can help them explore outside while staying in or plan their next adventure:


Books for People ALWAYS Buying Decor
You know? Those people that are always going to Target or Hobby Lobby to buy new decor? The ones that rearrange their house every couple months? Below are two books for those people in your life:

 

Coffee Table Books A couple years ago for Christmas, I got “coffee table books” for all of my future in-laws. These are essentially books that you rarely sit down and read through, but they sit on a coffee table or an end table in the living room for people to casually flip through. These are great gifts because they really can speak to any interest. Honestly, a lot of the ideas listed above can fall under the category of “coffee table books.” Usually, around the Holidays, Barnes and Noble has a whole table or section online dedicated to these kinds of books…go there to get inspired!

If you’re like me and trying to shop small this Christmas, but don’t have a local bookstore in the area that you love, check out Bookshop. They are an online bookstore that supports local, independent book stores through your sales going to an earnings pool that’s then distributed to bookstores nation-wide!

Share with us below any Holiday book shopping tips you have and happy shopping!

 


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If you have books on loan and are worried about returning them, don’t stress.

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We recognize the University closure and travel restrictions will prevent many students and faculty from returning loaned books by their due dates.

Here is what you need to know:

  • The Library has stopped assessing overdue fines on Falvey materials.
  • Students who are moving out of the residence halls should leave their Library materials in their rooms for future collection by University staff.
  • Students who graduated in spring 2020 should request pre-paid return shipping labels for the books that need to be returned.
  • Otherwise, books checked out from the Falvey collection, Interlibrary Loan, or E-ZBorrow should be held by Library patrons until such time as the University returns to normal operations.
  • Physical materials from the Falvey collections, E-ZBorrow, Inter-library loan, as well as scanning from the Falvey collections, are not available.

Other questions?

Contact the Falvey Service Desk at circ@villanova.edu


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What I’m Watching from Home: Little Fires Everywhere

By Daniella Snyder

Cat in the Stacks Header Image

I’m Daniella Snyder, a graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics–from research to study habits and everything in between–and how the Library can play a large role in your success at Villanova (and while you’re away from campus!)

Hey, Wildcats,

This is a chaotic and uncertain moment right now. Firstly, I want to wish you all the best, and I hope that you’re all staying safe and healthy, wherever you might be as you read this blog.

This week, I thought about writing a blog post about how to manage anxiety surrounding COVID-19, how to work from home productively, and other tips and tricks about how to manage online classes.

However, I thought I should be more honest and candid about what it’s been like for the last few days working remotely. Probably like you, I’m trying to take each day at a time. I’m trying to keep my spirits up while I get adjusted to this new lifestyle. For me, that means I’m reading for fun, catching up on TV and movies, and calling friends in my downtime.

So, I thought I’d share the top item on my watch list this week: the new TV adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere.

Little Fires Everywhere book cover

One of my all-time favorite reads of 2019 was the instant New York Times bestseller Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. In 2017, it was named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Esquire, and The Washington Post.

Ng tells the story of two families in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1997, exploring the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the power of motherhood. For a full summary, visit Ng’s website.

Today, an eight-episode miniseries of the novel will be released on Hulu, with the two main characters played by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. The show tackles issues of abortion, LGBTQA rights, immigration, and police brutality circa 1997, but still feels intensely relevant to our current moment.

I hope you’ll tune in tonight and watch with me. Regardless, try to make the best of the uncertainty right now by doing things that make you happy, healthy, and hopeful.

What are you reading and watching from home? Let us know! DM us @villanovalibrary on Instagram or tweet us @FalveyLibrary.

 


Daniella Snyder Headshot

Daniella Snyder is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the English department. This week, she’s reading Followers by Villanova alumna Megan Angelo and trying out new recipes.

 

 


 


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Last Modified: March 18, 2020