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‘Cat in the Stax: Thankfulness in a Chaotic World

By Jenna Newman

 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Although it may look different this year, Thanksgiving is still a time to reflect on everything for which we are thankful. That might feel more difficult: what’s there to be thankful for in the middle of a global pandemic, right? But upon reflection, I discovered a cornucopia of things for which I am grateful. 

Extra Family Time
After I was sent home during my senior year of undergrad last semester, all I could think about was the time I missed with friends before we all moved on to what was next. I was also dreading being at home for the longest time since high school. But the last 10 months gave me an opportunity to spend extra time with my little brother before he went away to college, live with my future in-laws, play tons of games, and binge practically every movie on Netflix with my family. It’s easy to focus on what we missed out on this past year, but try to refocus on the time with loved ones that you may not have had otherwise. 

Flexibility with Courses
I wasn’t sure how courses were going to go this fall, especially with all the technical difficulties that marked last spring. But ultimately what last spring did was help provide professors and students more tools to connect virtually and allow the school to give more options with courses. Students are able to make the best decisions for them and their health and find a balance between in-person and online courses. Adjusting to a new semester’s worth of courses can be overwhelming even without additional problems, so added flexibility is definitely something to be grateful for this year. 

Health
My family has experienced
COVID first-hand and seen how quickly the virus can take a life, but through all of that, I’ve tried to remember that it could always be worse and focus on the positives. I’ve been able to stay healthy throughout this time, and I’m grateful for that. It’s easy to look at the negatives. In reality, feeling comfortable to come to campus is a privilege many people don’t have. I know some people reading this probably have it worse than me, while others have it better, but keeping your health in perspective is important.

Books
Ever since middle school, I’ve complained about not having enough time to read. And whenever I did have time, I would binge read as much as possible. With social activities slowing down and spending more evenings at home, that’s allowed for more time to read. Plus, with Falvey being open for contactless pick-up, I’ve been able to check out all the books that have been on my reading list for ages. With the news and social media becoming overwhelming, books offer a way to escape into the lives of other people, real or fiction, for a couple hours.

(Shameless plug! I am running a book club that is currently reading the past One Book Villanova selection The Other Wes Moore. Learn how to join in on the fun here.)

Villanova
The last thing that I am so grateful for this semester, is that Villanova’s campus has been open throughout the entirety of the fall semester. The fact that we have to wear masks is a small price to pay for the social interaction that comes with being able to go into work twice a week and not have to attempt to do virtual presentations. My study habits would be considerably worse off if it weren’t for Falvey’s research librarians and having Holy Grounds as a go-to study space. 

Hopefully this list inspires you to take some time, and a break from studying, to reflect on the things you have, even in this crazy, chaotic year that is 2020. Share with me below what you’re grateful for this year!


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Thankful for all the good food I’m going to eat next week.

 

 

 


 


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‘Cat in the Stax: Bakkhai Variations

cover for Bakkhai variations theatre program

“Dionysus is god of the beginning before the beginning.” 

– Anne Carson

The Villanova Theatre program has adapted over the last seven months to this constantly changing  world and emerged victorious with five short plays in response to the provocative Greek tragedy Bakkhai. All five of these plays were written by  alumni of Villanova’s MA in Theatre program. The plays were rolled out individually over the second half of October and a full-length film showcasing  all five plays is still available until Nov. 14.

As a precursor to the five new plays, the actors engaged in a Zoom reading of a new version of Bakkhai written by Anne Carson and directed by Heidi M. Rose, PhD, Chair, Department of Communication, Professor, Performance Studies. The play tells of Dionysus, god of theatre, ecstasy, and intoxication returns to Thebes. This new adaptation brings together Euripides’ original with a contemporary feel as it explores themes of violence, family relationships, and gender roles. The cast and production team did an incredible job with this reading, showcasing the actors skills in using their voices and seated body language through this Zoom reading. Ultimately, this reading introduces viewers new to the story of Dionysus to the themes that will continue to be explored in each of the five short films.

The first of the five plays She Makes Knives Now is written by Mark. J. Costello and directed by James Ijames. The play takes place after the  events of Anne Carson’s Bakkhai and looks at Agave’s journey after her sentence to exile. Through camera angles and street corner verses, She Makes Knives looks at the struggles of women dealing with poverty and homelessness, coupling that with coping with a tragedy. Christy Chory, as Agave, captures the desperation, but also the calculatedness, it takes to survive on the street corners of modern-day America. 

The Bakkhai; or, I’m trying so hard to be good, written by Alix Rosenfeld and directed by Tai Verley explores the acting industry and racial power dynamics in this captivating tale. Alison Scarmella Baker,  Ilana, and  Sharese Salters, Dee, explore what can happen when truth is revealed and many voices come together to demand action. 

Playwright Megan Schumacher and director Malika Oyetimein come together to put on Dionté and Khai, the third play in the set of variations. Megan Schumacher flips between the perspective of Dionysus and Pentheus to create a complete story looking at the misogyny and racism that exists today.

Beginning, written by Jessica Bedford and directed by James Ijames serves as a contemporary prequel to Euripides’ Bakkhai. The four daughters of King Cadmus talk in pairs about the pregnancies of Agave, mother of Pentheus, and Semele, mother of Dionysus. The relationships between sisters are explored as contemporary conversations take place that discuss two pregnancies that will ultimately change the family forever.

The final play in this series is exxx…stasis, exxx…hale… is  written by Alexandra Espinoza and directed by Cat Ramirez. Nadia and Cecily are faced with trying to make their relationship work in a socially distanced world. As they experiment with new ways to keep their relationship interesting, the current cultural climate and tensions continue to swirl around them, ideas that are not foreign to many couples  today. 

Each of the five Bakkhai Variations explore relevant themes in captivating ways, showing the creativity and ingenuity of the directors and actors on the projects. Visit Villanova Theatre’s website to engage with dramaturgical resources and purchase tickets for the full-length film showcase.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Finding my old Percy Jackson books to read more about Greek gods. 


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‘Cat in the Stax: Don’t Stress Meowt

We may have survived midterms, but it seems as though the deadlines just keep coming, especially with a shortened semester and no fall break. It’s a lot easier said than done to close the computer and really take time away from studying and assignments. This past Saturday, Oct. 10, was Mental Health Awareness Day, a day recognized internationally to emphasize the importance of taking time for yourself and showing that everyone deals with stress in some capacity.

This week, I’m back with some more tips, this time about ways to stay relaxed and take care of yourself during a crazy semester in the middle of an even crazier year. 

#1 Do something active. It can be so easy to end up stuck inside all day on Zoom classes and Netflix, but getting outside and getting active can give you new energy and change up your day. Even a 10-minute core or leg workout can do wonders for changing the trajectory of your day.

Although many of us aren’t walking from class to class as much as we used to, take some time to get outside and go for a walk with a friend or two. Take some time to get outside and clear your head, especially with this gorgeous fall foliage and cool weather. 

#2 Read a book. I don’t know about everyone else, but even with my blue-light glasses and computer filters, my eyes are still tired of looking at screens when the end of the day rolls around. Try something different and pull a book off the shelf (or get it off the shelves of Falvey!) or listen to an audio book. Forget all the stressors of the “real world” by immersing yourself into a different time period or a completely fictional world.

Check out my book club, Read with the (other) Jenna, where you can read Angela’s Ashes along with me.

#3 Listen to a podcast. Podcasts are a great way to learn something new and random, while also working on mundane tasks that need to be done. I personally always listen to podcasts when I’m putting away laundry, making food or driving in the car. It helps me take a step back from all the thoughts swirling around in my head and learn something interesting.

One of my current favorites is the NPR podcast called How I Built This, which talks about how successful business owners, like the founder of Patagonia, got to where he is today. If you have any podcast recommendations, definitely share them below. 

#4 Take a nap. Remember how before I said it can be helpful to be active? Taking a nap is also a completely valid and important way of taking care of your mental health. It’s hard to shut off your brain when you have so many to-dos and sometimes the only way to stop thinking about those is to go to sleep. If you’re a napper, make sure they’re productive and don’t leave you feeling even more drowsy than when you laid down in the first place.

In the same vein, getting a full goodnight’s sleep is also super important for your stress levels. Don’t be afraid to call it a day, go to sleep early and start fresh in the morning.

#5 Attend Mindfulness Mondays. Every Monday this fall, Campus Ministry and Falvey invite the Villanova community to join them on Zoom from 12:30-1 p.m to stop and focus on the “here and now.” Mindfulness is proven to reduce stress, and I’m sure we could all use a stress reduction at this point in the semester. You can find more information and the Zoom link here: https://library.villanova.edu/events/event_series/miscellaneous-co-sponsored-events/mindfulness-mondays-6

Ultimately, taking time for your mental health is going to look differently for everyone, so you need to find what works best for you. What’s your go-to way to relax in the midst of a busy schedule? Let us know in the comment box below!


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Sore from my last stress-reliever workout. 

 

 

 

 


 


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'Cat in the Stax: Curing the Midterm Blues

By Jenna Newman, Falvey Memorial Library’s Cat in the ‘Stax

 

Even writing this post, I’m still in denial that midterms are actually in full swing, which is probably a bad thing considering I have an exam in a couple of hours! It feels like we were just meeting professors for the first time and adjusting to taking some of, if not all, our classes online. But here we are—the leaves are changing color, the weather’s getting cooler, and—as much as we all just want to get outside and enjoy spooky season and all of the fun activities fall brings—midterms are upon us. 

Below I’ve shared my top three tips for staying sane during midterms, as well as some super helpful resources that will help you ace your exams, papers, and presentations.

#1 Balance is still important: It can be tempting to spend all of your time studying, but cramming is actually not the solution. You don’t need to cancel all of your plans and have no fun, but you do need to make a plan to study effectively. Spend a couple of hours each day studying for your exam and then take brain breaks doing things you enjoy—going for a walk, getting in some exercise, hanging out with friends, curling up under a blanket with a book, or binging your favorite show. Even short breaks to grab a snack or fill your coffee cup are good ways to rest your brain and reset before the next study session.

#2 You’re not going through this alone: As another famous Wildcat team once said, “We’re all in this together!” Right now everyone is dealing with midterms in some form or another, so don’t be afraid to reach out to other people because they get what you’re going through. There are lots of ways to band together amidst midterms, even with many of us being physically apart. Host a Zoom study session or study with your roommates in your dorm room or apartment. Even if you aren’t studying for the same exam or writing the same paper, being around other people being productive always helps me! A good phone call or vent session can also be beneficial, just make sure complaining isn’t taking up all your study time. 

#3 Eliminate distractions: Believe it or not, studying while watching Netflix is not the most effective way to get things done. As hard as it may be, it’s important to put aside all distractions in order to get focused study time. Thirty minutes of focused study time followed by a 15-minute break is just as, if not more, effective than half doing work while watching the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars for 45 minutes. Turn off notifications on your phone and laptop, and really focus. Personally, I’ll put my phone in a different room so that I’m not even tempted to grab it because “checking one text” can so easily turn into 30-minutes scrolling through content you’ve already seen on Instagram.

BONUS TIP: Take advantage of available resources! Below is a list of resources that Falvey has to offer, both during midterms and all semester long!


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Contemplating taking my own tips and studying for my midterm exams.

 

 

 


 


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‘Cat in the Stax: The Oxford Comma

In celebration of National Punctuation Day tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 24, I decided to bring up the age-old debate surrounding the Oxford comma. For those of you new to this dispute, the Oxford comma is the last comma in a list of three or more. In 2017, there was a $10 million lawsuit, essentially, over an Oxford comma. Let’s explore the lawsuit then break down the arguments a little further. 

The 2017 Oxford Comma Lawsuit

Back in 2017 in Maine, a class action lawsuit took place as drivers for Oakhurst Dairy sued the company for failing to grant them overtime pay. According to Maine law, workers should receive 1.5 times their normal pay for any hours worked over 40 per week. However, there are exemptions to this rule. The law says that companies don’t need to pay overtime for: “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storking, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) agriculture produce; (2) meat and fish project; and (3) perishable foods.” The Oxford comma, had it been included, would be before “or” in the bolded section of the quote.

The drivers believed they deserved overtime because they worked in distribution and the law specified “packing for shipment or distribution” as one thing. Oakhurst Dairy argued that “packing for shipment” and “distribution” were two separate activities, both exempt.

Ultimately, because the law was not clear, the judge ruled in favor of the drivers… and the Oxford comma!

To Comma…
Chicago style, which is commonly used by book publishers, academics, and trade publications, does require an Oxford comma in all scenarios. Proponents of the Oxford comma, including the creators of Chicago style, have a variety of arguments in favor of their position, two of which I’ll attempt to break down here.

(1) It takes two seconds to add a comma. Some of you are probably reading this post and thinking, “She’s seriously writing a full post about a comma? Just add the comma and move on with your life.” That goes along with the idea that it literally takes less than a second to add in the comma, so we might as well just add it and move on.

(2) It helps avoid ambiguity. This second argument has a little more meat to it than “just do it.” The Oxford comma is used to add clarity to lists. Had the Maine law included the Oxford comma they would have saved Oakhurst Dairy $10 million dollars.

Let’s look at another example. Take the following sentence, “I love my parents, Taylor Swift and J.R.R Tolkien.” By omitting the Oxford comma, it can be taken that I love my parents and my parents are Taylor Swift and J.R.R. Tolkien, which makes zero sense!

Maybe at this point you’re thinking of some counter-arguments as to why the Oxford comma is not, in fact, necessary.

Or Not to Comma?
AP Style, the preferred style for journalists and news, does not require the Oxford comma, although they do say to use it if doing so could avoid confusion or misinterpretation. We have broken down below two of the main arguments commonly brought up by people against the Oxford comma.

(1) Using common sense will help avoid ambiguity. Let’s go back to our example from earlier. One could argue that no one who knows who either Taylor Swift or J.R.R. Tolkien are would mistakenly read the sentence as saying that they are my parents. By applying common sense to the situation, there is no ambiguity. 

(2) If a sentence is unclear, re-write it in a way that makes more sense. Those who say that the Oxford comma is unnecessary would argue that you could rewrite the example sentence as, “I love Taylor Swift, J.R.R. Tolkien and my parents.” This would clear up any confusion and still avoid the use of an Oxford comma. Any sentence could be rearranged in such a way to avoid the use of the Oxford comma. 

The Verdict
My opinion is that it’s clearer and easier to just put in an Oxford comma. I would rather just throw in an extra comma than re-work an entire sentence that I’m writing. For consistency purposes, I would argue that people should just use an Oxford comma all the time. 

My advice would be to adhere to whatever side or style your employer or the person you are writing for adheres to, but in your own personal writing, make your own decisions based on what makes sense to you.

 

Which side of the debate do you fall on? Let us know in the comments!

 


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Sending back punctuation edits to my friend’s text messages.

 

 

 


 


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‘Cat in the Stax: Too Soon for Fall?

By Jenna Newman

 

Starbucks and Dunkin are releasing pumpkin spice, but it’s also 90 degrees outside – what’s going on!? When does fall actually start and why does it feel earlier and earlier every year?

If you Google, “what’s the first day of fall?” it tells you Sept. 22, which is the autumnal equinox. Each year the autumnal equinox marks the astronomical beginning of fall; however, there’s also a meteorological definition of seasons that is different. The meteorological definition of seasons says that for 2020 the first day of fall is September 1! This definition of seasons is based on temperature cycles and the Gregorian calendar instead.

Is this a valid justification for all things fall?

I’m not sure about you all, but my social media feed is all about fall and has been for about three weeks now. Mid-August the consensus was that everyone was ready for fall and there were a few people already posting about decorating or watching Halloween movies. Now that Sept. 1 hit, it’s pretty much everyone, everywhere. 

If I’m being honest, writing this post right now has me craving all things pumpkin and wanting to snuggle up in a sweater or an oversized flannel. Now that I know there’s scientific backing for fall starting 21 days sooner, I’m all about it. The beginning of September is the perfect time to celebrate a new season. I guess Starbucks and Dunkin aren’t as off base as I thought.

The best part is, no matter what the season, Falvey Memorial Library is the perfect place to wear your sweaters, grab a hot drink, and settle in for a study session.

 

What are your thoughts? When does fall start for you and how soon is too soon? Have you been following the meteorological definition of fall without even knowing it existed?

 


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Craving some pumpkin spice and apple cider donuts.


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‘Cat in the Stax: Study Spots without Coffee Shops

The thought of starting a new semester without the option to camp out at your favorite coffee shop can be daunting (it is for me!), but here are four ways to make any space feel like perfect study space.

Tip #1: Set the mood with good music. I have a wide variety of music I listen to when I study depending on my mood – anything from The Little Women movie soundtrack to some throwback Fall Out Boy. But laid back folk music is what really gives me those small business, coffee shop vibes. Some go-to artists are Lord Huron and Mumford and Sons, but sometimes I need to listen to more obscure artists to ensure I’m studying and not just singing along. Accidentally writing your favorite lyrics into a research paper is not the move. If you’re looking for a good playlist you can check out my Coffee Shop Spotify playlist here.

Tip #2: Bring your coffee or drink of choice with you wherever you go. Make it at home in a travel mug or pick something up on campus before you settle in for the day. Refills can sometimes be tricky, but if you’re studying at Falvey, just swing by Holy Grounds. 

Tip #3 Sit at the right angle. So this one may seem a little odd, but trust me on this. Sometimes I work better when I can see other people around me also working. If I think they’re being productive then that’s more motivation for me to be productive as well. On the other hand, other times, I get completely distracted by everything and facing a wall or away from people is the only thing that will actually keep me focused. Don’t be afraid to change it up mid study-session – do what works best for you!

Tip #4 Scope out your spot ahead of time and have some back-ups. It can be hard to find a spot that fits all of your study needs, but with a little research ahead of time you can know exactly where to go. I also always recommend having a back-up spot, especially during busier points in the semester when everyone’s trying to get out of their dorm to study. Here’s a list of some places open for studying in Falvey that have the potential to be your new favorite spot:

  • Speakers’ Corner (1st Floor)
  • Old Falvey Classrooms
  • The Reading Room
  • Viewing Room 3 (Ground Floor)

The best part is that all of these Falvey locations are just a short walk away from Holy Grounds, so your coffee fix is just around the corner.

Do you have any COVID-friendly study spots we missed? Let us know in the comments!


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Craving a hazelnut, oat milk latte from Holy Grounds.

 

 


 


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This Cat is Signing Off!

By Daniella Snyder

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

Hello, Wildcats!

For the last two years, it has been a pleasure to serve as Falvey Memorial Library’s ‘Cat in the Stacks. I’ve shared stories, books, and studying tips. I’ve discussed finals stress, the fantastic productions put on in Vasey Theatre, and I’ve researched important holidays, such as Women’s History Month and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I’ve certainly learned a lot, and I hope you have, too!

For my last blog post, I thought I’d take some time to share my gratitude for some of the many people who have made my time at Falvey Memorial Library so special.

To the Holy Grounds employees: Thank you for always serving me the midday black coffee and sugary donut! My productivity during my usual 1-2 p.m. slump can be attributed to you!

To the subject librarians: Thank you for being available to talk, give advice, or listen. I will miss our regular conversations about Matt LeBlanc and The Golden Compass, and I will definitely miss your warm and helpful emails.

To the IT department: It was a delight to sit near you all. Thank you for your patience while I talked about The Bachelor all Tuesday morning, and thank you for not laughing at me every time I had a minor computer problem.

To Kayla at the front desk: Catching your infectious positivity at the front desk was a great way to start my work shift. I know we’ll both be leaving the library, but I hope to see you again soon!

To Allie, Annabelle, Kelly, and the rest of the student staff: You ladies are superstars, and I will miss you immensely. I know you only spent a small portion of your Villanova experience with me, but you all made 100% of my Villanova experience what it was. Never hesitate to call or text me. Promise you won’t like the next grad assistant more than you like me?

To Nate: You’re the Dwight to my Jim. I know you wouldn’t like it if I wrote anything emotional or corny, so I’ll just say you’ve been a great co-worker, and I’m sure we’ll see each other soon.

To Shawn: You’ve been a great writing mentor for my last year in the office, and I’m sure you’ll be the same for the next set of GAs. Your big ideas are great, and I can’t wait to see a Tiny Front Desk Concert soon.

To Kallie: I will miss you, your spunk, and your Monday morning affirmations. You’ve been a fantastic mentor, and I’ve always appreciated your advice, whether it was about school, work, or life.

To Gina: You are a superhero, and I don’t know where any of us would be without you. You inspire me to always see the glass half full and to see the good in everything. I will miss you!

To Joanne: Thank you for your guidance throughout these last two years, and thank you for allowing our big ideas to come to life, like creating a podcast or recording the GlobalSmackDown. You were a great mentor, and I can only hope that my next supervisor will be as great as you!

Signing off,

Daniella


Daniella Snyder HeadshotDaniella is a graduate student in the English department and a (former) graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 

 


 


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What’s on my summer reading list?

By Daniella Snyder

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 here on campus!

Wildcats, this will sound nerdy, but one of my favorite parts of the summer is crafting a list of the books I plan to read over the next few months. Like a good playlist, my summer reading list must have a combination of different genres. It needs something academic, something funny, and I always add something that I should’ve read by now, but haven’t. I think you can tell a lot about a person by what books they read, so I thought I’d share this summer’s reading list.

Slaughterhouse-Five book cover

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Even though I know that Vonnegut’s a famous author, and Slaughterhouse-Five is a classic novel, I’ve never actually read it, and I’m pretty late to the Vonnegut game. I started reading his novels in college, but have only read two or three of his works. Slaughterhouse-Five is like, the Shawshank Redemption of books. Everyone’s read it, so I should too.

 

I Might Regret this book cover

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawing, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

Abbi Jacobson is a comedic genius. If you’ve seen Broad City, you know what I mean. With this book, I think I’ll be LQTM (laughing quietly to myself) at the beach, at the park, and on the train.

 

Wow, no thank you book cover

Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby

I was supposed to hear Samantha Irby read at the Free Library of Philadelphia in April, but reading her newest collection of essays will make up for the missed experience. Irby’s writing is biting and hysterical. I’d recommend this one to any of your funny friends.

 

How to Do Nothing book cover

How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

//I don’t really like self-help books, but I think this is different. Odell writes a book that helps us think about efficiency and attention in a new way.

 

Life of the party book cover

Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood

I had to have at least one poetry collection on the list, and Olivia Gatwood is so cool. Seriously, though. I stalk her on Instagram, and think she’s so rad. So, I have to imagine that her poetry will be relatable, interesting, and bold.

 

Such a Fun Age book cover

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This has been a highly-anticipated book of 2020, and I don’t know much about it, other than my friends have read it and liked it, so I should read it, too.

 

The Beautiful and Damned book cover

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I took a Fitzgerald course in college, and I still never managed to read this novel. Since Gatsby is still one of my favorite books of all time (basic, I know) I think it’s only right that I read the rest of the Fitzgerald canon.

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing book cover

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Honestly, how haven’t I read this book yet? It was named a top book of the last decade. Decade! Enough said.

 

Playing to the Gallery book cover

Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to Be Understood by Grayson Perry

If you’ve known me for 15+ minutes, you would know that I studied art history in college, because I somehow incorporate that fact into every conversation I’ve ever had. This book has been on my list for a while.

 


Daniella Snyder HeadshotDaniella Snyder is a former graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library. This week, she’s reading The Upside of Being Down by Jen Gotch.

 

 

 

 


 


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Celebrate: Read a poem!

By Daniella Snyder

I’m Daniella Snyder, a graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s (remote) 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 at Villanova!

Hey, Wildcats! Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? NPM was first launched in 1966 by the Academy of American Poets. It began as a way to remind us that poets and poetry matters and that they play a vital role in society. Since 1966, NPM has attracted tens of millions of readers, students, librarians, publishers, and poets.

Now, in the midst of COVID-19, we face unprecedented circumstances. This particular NPM has taken on new meaning and importance, as more and more of us are turning to poetry to find solace and strength.

National Poetry Month poster 2020

While I certainly recommend that everyone pick up the work of their favorite poet this month, I hope you’ll find some new poems that give you comfort during this uncertain time. If you’re looking for even more ways to participate in NPM during COVID-19, the Academy of American Poets has come up with some ways you can celebrate, both online and at home:

  • Sign up for “Poem a Day” and get free daily poems delivered to your inbox each morning.
  • Read last year’s most-read poem, “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye.
  • Listen to the “Poem a Day” podcast.
  • Buy a poetry book from a local, independent bookstore.
  • Host a virtual poetry reading on Zoom.

As NPM progresses, tell Falvey if you’ve found a poem that has been a source of comfort, solace, or strength for you. Share that poem with us: DM us on Instagram (@villanovalibrary), tweet us (@FalveyLibrary), or message us on Facebook.


Daniella Snyder HeadshotDaniella Snyder is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the English department. Since she’s back in her childhood home, she’s picking up her favorite poem from when she was a kid: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

 

 


 


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Last Modified: April 8, 2020