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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 22 – “Approaching God,” “Eternal Encounter” and “Life Cycles”

ADVENT DAY 22

“Approaching God,” “Eternal Encounter,” and “Life Cycles” by William L. Greene, Jr.

Submitted by William L. Greene, Jr., , or Bill as we know him, was an Access Services Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library and he submitted several of his own poems for our Advent calendar.

 

Approaching God

Eternal Encounter

Life Cycles


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 21- “This Is Just to Say”

ADVENT DAY 21

This Is Just To Say, by William Carlos Williams

Submitted by Rebecca Whidden. Becky Whidden was an Access Services Specialist at Falvey. She shared this poem with me when she heard about the poetry Advent calendar. I love this little poem. The poem is lacking in punctuation or rhyme, which makes it fairly ambiguous and open to the reader’s interpretation, which makes it a favorite among high school English teachers who in my experience have used it as a springboard for discussing meaning and interpretation in poetry. In some ways it is a Rorschach test with words.

At face value the poem is extremely simple, evoking the banal domestic image of a note left out on a table. However upon reading it, I personally can’t help but feel the sensual nature of the poem. The intimacy of a private note meant only to be shared between two people; the word choices – “plums,” ‘icebox,” “forgive,” “delicious,” “sweet” – something about the way these words feel when when spoken carries a richness that arouses the senses in complex and beautiful ways.

 


This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 20 – “Library”

ADVENT DAY 20

“Library” by Scroobius Pip

Submitted by Sarah Wingo, Falvey’s subject librarian for English literature and theatre.

We couldn’t very well have a library advent calendar and not have a poem about libraries. I ran across this one just the other day and fell in love with it, I hope you enjoy it too.

“Library” by Scroobius Pip was originally commissioned by Chris Hawkins for BBC 6 Music’s celebration of libraries and performed live on his show in November 2014. We haven’t provided the words for this poem because it really is as much performance piece as it is poem, and even though the video is just words on a screen as they’re being spoken, it is worth a watch.


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 19 – “A Triptych in Verse in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

ADVENT DAY 19

“A Triptych in Verse in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary” by Darren Poley

Submitted by Darren Poley

Darren Poley is the Humanities/Theology librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and he is the second staff member to graciously share some of his personal poetry with us for our Advent calendar. Darren wrote this piece in August of 2014 with the dedication “to my friend Father K. Brewster Hastings, Pastor of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Abington, Penna.”

 


A Triptych in Verse in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary
By Darren Poley

Did It Rain In Galilee?

Holy Virgin do you delight in the rain?
Our heavenly Father sets the waters to move.
The waters are good and bring life from the earth.
They are there in the six days of Creation.
They are there when the earth was flooded.
Theotokos, do you delight in the rain?

Through your son, your only child, all things were made.
Jesus wept.
Daughter of the Father – Mother of the Son – chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit:
Did you weep with joy in Nazareth?
Did you weep with sadness in Jerusalem?
Rachel wept for her children.

Mother of God, mother of all;
Do you weep now for your children?
When you beheld the face of the glory of Israel;
That enlightens the benighted gentiles still:
Did you weep with joy in Bethlehem?
Did you weep with sadness in the cave made into a stable?

Queen of heaven and earth do you weep tears of myrrh?
Pure virgin who is the mother of the incarnate Logos:
Did you watch the Son of Man play in the rain as a child?
Were tears of sadness there because your spirit was pierced by a sword?
Were your tears at the foot of the cross mixed with the rain over Jerusalem?
Were they tears of myrrh?

All of Creation was reborn when your son rose from the dead.
Mary of holy Anne, descendent of kings, Mother of the Redeemer:
Turn your eyes of mercy towards us.
Ever-Virgin: show us the fruit of your womb;
It is a paradox to reason and a cause of delight.
It is the peace which passes all understanding.

It is raining today.
Parents weep with joy for they discover the blessings of children.
They weep with sorrow when they see their children eaten up by pride and hate.
The children fight over nothing.
Mix your tears with the rain.
Renew hope in us.
________________________________________
Weeping in Babylon

A fertile plain between two rivers
Of old, the Amorites built between the Tigris and Euphrates
A holy city for Mesopotamia
Sons of Judah did the new emperor take
Exile was their home

Virgin Mother of the Holy Child, descendant of Abraham
You’re the seal of the Covenant
When the son’s sons of Josiah the king were carried away
Like orphans
How could they know deliverance would come?

Daughter of Zion
You carried and suckled the Deliverer of the children of Eve
You, O’ Lily of Jerusalem
You did become the destroyer of idols
Who is it that is weeping in Babylon?

With holy Joseph to protect you
You went into exile in Egypt with the Christ child
From banishment you brought Him back to His people
A fertile Virgin, pure and graceful
The Father in Heaven chose to bless

In your body God became incarnate
The Incarnation brought us home out of bondage
The wars of men make the widow and the fatherless too soon
The sons of Judah lamented on the Fertile Crescent
Banishment was the punishment for their crimes

Destroyer of paganism, lily of Jerusalem
In concert with the will of the one God
You conquered pride and apathy with humility and love
Love for the one who rules the Universe
Love for the unbegotten Son of God whom you bore
From your life did one nature unite with another?
From you did the one true Messiah come
Out of your life the King of kings took the riches of humanity
To set free the children of Zion
From you arose the New Jerusalem

Holy Virgin Mary, your only son establishes the new heaven and the new earth
You are the tabernacle of the Most High, the holy of holies
You made a place for the Name of God to be praised forever
You direct the renewed people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
To the presence of the Almighty

There is weeping in Babylon
The idols of ancient times are falsely blessed anew
Many drunk on wantonness and blood
The children already delivered wander in a wilderness
Too full and noisy to be recognized as a wasteland

We shall be delivered by the mighty hand of the Lord
His right arm shall be our strength
Mother of Virtue you show us the way to conquer
We are engraved in the hand of God
No one can pluck us from the hollow of it

Blessed Mother, the fruit of your womb
The Son of God, a son of David
He makes for us a new home
With many blessed dwelling places
We shall rest beside quiet waters

“Fallen is Babylon,” He says
“Depart from her my people”
In the midst of the sanctified
There is only one worthy to receive the scroll
And to break open its seals

Mother of God
You are at the right hand of your son
Pray for us
Beckon us to the new inheritance
Of the People of God

It is now that we are exiled by our falleness
It is with you that we shall see God
Where the light never fades
And no tears of sorrow are shed
There will only be joy and peace
________________________________________
Icon of Redemption

Before He laid down the foundations of the Cosmos;
The Lord knew each one of us.
The one, true, and living God foresaw the one full of grace.
God the Father did know a new Eve would come into the world.

A child of good people, Joachim and Anne;
You are the fruit of a marriage both unitive and procreative.
You are the Immaculate Conception.
Because, while altogether human, sanctifying grace did you regain.

You did not die and rise with Christ crucified;
But the merit of your son’s agony and triumph was granted you when you were created.
Immaculate Mary, the Holy Spirit is in every fiber of your being.
You were and are forever without sin.

Where the favor of God reigns;
No disobedience can ever exist.
Free obedience, born from charity, is the blessing of life in Christ.
He did not think even divinity a thing to be grasped.
Like the bush burning, but not consumed;
You are there on holy ground.
There where wanderer, shepherd, and murderer comes face to face with He who is.
To the consubstantial trinity of divine persons, who with one voice say “I AM,” you guide us.

Queen of prophets and of martyrs;
True witnesses reflect you.
You are the beacon from which heavenly light from the Image of the Father shines.
The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is the everlasting light.

Holy Virgin Mother of God;
You are the ark of the new and everlasting Covenant.
Your son is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
It is through you that the Alpha and Omega chose to assume humanity unto Himself.

They who are one in being;
He is the source of all that is.
When we follow in your train, we see the blessed Vision of the deity, face-to-face.
Written humbly, you forever point us back to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Our Mother of Good Counsel, mosaic, in Old Falvey lobby

Our Mother of Good Counsel, mosaic, in Old Falvey lobby


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 18 – “The Lady of Shalott”

ADVENT DAY 18

“The Lady of Shalott” by  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Submitted by: Sarah Wingo, subject librarian for English literature and theatre.

“The Lady of Shalott” was written by  Alfred, Lord Tennyson around 1832 and then published in slightly varying forms in 1833 and 1842, and is loosely based on the Arthurian legend.

I chose to share this poem because it is one of those pieces of literary cultural currency that, at least for me, crept into my general awareness at a very early age.

My first encounter with“The Lady of Shalott” was through another piece of literature altogether in Anne of Green Gables, both the book and then again in the 1980’s television mini-series starring Megan Fellows. I also have vivid memories of my father playing Loreena McKennitt’s hauntingly beautiful adaptation, which is on her 1991 album The Visit.

Later in school I would encounter Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott,” and his other poems in a far more academic contexts, but as is often the case it is my earliest experiences with “The Lady of Shalott” that secured its place in my heart.

 

 “The Lady of Shalott”
By  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part I

On either side the river lie

Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the wold and meet the sky;

And thro’ the field the road runs by

   To many-tower’d Camelot;

The yellow-leaved waterlily

The green-sheathed daffodilly

Tremble in the water chilly

   Round about Shalott.

 

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.

The sunbeam showers break and quiver

In the stream that runneth ever

By the island in the river

   Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls, and four gray towers

Overlook a space of flowers,

And the silent isle imbowers

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Underneath the bearded barley,

The reaper, reaping late and early,

Hears her ever chanting cheerly,

Like an angel, singing clearly,

   O’er the stream of Camelot.

Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,

Beneath the moon, the reaper weary

Listening whispers, ‘ ‘Tis the fairy,

   Lady of Shalott.’

 

The little isle is all inrail’d

With a rose-fence, and overtrail’d

With roses: by the marge unhail’d

The shallop flitteth silken sail’d,

   Skimming down to Camelot.

A pearl garland winds her head:

She leaneth on a velvet bed,

Full royally apparelled,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part II

No time hath she to sport and play:

A charmed web she weaves alway.

A curse is on her, if she stay

Her weaving, either night or day,

   To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be;

Therefore she weaveth steadily,

Therefore no other care hath she,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

She lives with little joy or fear.

Over the water, running near,

The sheepbell tinkles in her ear.

Before her hangs a mirror clear,

   Reflecting tower’d Camelot.

And as the mazy web she whirls,

She sees the surly village churls,

And the red cloaks of market girls

   Pass onward from Shalott.

 

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,

An abbot on an ambling pad,

Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,

Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,

   Goes by to tower’d Camelot:

And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two:

She hath no loyal knight and true,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror’s magic sights,

For often thro’ the silent nights

A funeral, with plumes and lights

   And music, came from Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead

Came two young lovers lately wed;

I am half sick of shadows,’ said

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,

He rode between the barley-sheaves,

The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,

And flam’d upon the brazen greaves

   Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d

To a lady in his shield,

That sparkled on the yellow field,

   Beside remote Shalott.

 

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,

Like to some branch of stars we see

Hung in the golden Galaxy.

The bridle bells rang merrily

   As he rode down from Camelot:

And from his blazon’d baldric slung

A mighty silver bugle hung,

And as he rode his armour rung,

   Beside remote Shalott.

 

All in the blue unclouded weather

Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,

The helmet and the helmet-feather

Burn’d like one burning flame together,

   As he rode down from Camelot.

As often thro’ the purple night,

Below the starry clusters bright,

Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

   Moves over green Shalott.

 

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;

On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;

From underneath his helmet flow’d

His coal-black curls as on he rode,

   As he rode down from Camelot.

From the bank and from the river

He flash’d into the crystal mirror,

‘Tirra lirra, tirra lirra:’

   Sang Sir Lancelot.

 

She left the web, she left the loom

She made three paces thro’ the room

She saw the water-flower bloom,

She saw the helmet and the plume,

   She look’d down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide;

The mirror crack’d from side to side;

‘The curse is come upon me,’ cried

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,

The pale yellow woods were waning,

The broad stream in his banks complaining,

Heavily the low sky raining

   Over tower’d Camelot;

Outside the isle a shallow boat

Beneath a willow lay afloat,

Below the carven stern she wrote,

      The Lady of Shalott.

 

A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight,

All raimented in snowy white

That loosely flew (her zone in sight

Clasp’d with one blinding diamond bright)

   Her wide eyes fix’d on Camelot,

Though the squally east-wind keenly

Blew, with folded arms serenely

By the water stood the queenly

   Lady of Shalott.

 

With a steady stony glance—

Like some bold seer in a trance,

Beholding all his own mischance,

Mute, with a glassy countenance—

   She look’d down to Camelot.

It was the closing of the day:

She loos’d the chain, and down she lay;

The broad stream bore her far away,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

As when to sailors while they roam,

By creeks and outfalls far from home,

Rising and dropping with the foam,

From dying swans wild warblings come,

   Blown shoreward; so to Camelot

Still as the boathead wound along

The willowy hills and fields among,

They heard her chanting her deathsong,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,

She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her eyes were darken’d wholly,

And her smooth face sharpen’d slowly,

   Turn’d to tower’d Camelot:

For ere she reach’d upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she died,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Under tower and balcony,

By garden wall and gallery,

A pale, pale corpse she floated by,

Deadcold, between the houses high,

   Dead into tower’d Camelot.

Knight and burgher, lord and dame,

To the planked wharfage came:

Below the stern they read her name,

      The Lady of Shalott.

 

They cross’d themselves, their stars they blest,

Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.

There lay a parchment on her breast,

That puzzled more than all the rest,

   The wellfed wits at Camelot.

‘The web was woven curiously,

The charm is broken utterly,

Draw near and fear not,—this is I,

   The Lady of Shalott.’

 


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 16 – “Mad Girl’s Love Song”

ADVENT DAY 16

“Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath

Submitted by Kallie Stahl

Kallie Stahl is a second-year communication graduate student who joined the Falvey Scholarly Outreach team as a Graduate Assistant at the start of the fall 2014 semester. She now works for the Communications and Marketing Dept.  Kallie is a big Sylvia Plath fan and explained that she has always liked the way that this particular poem addresses the struggle between the fantasy and the reality of love.

Plath wrote “Mad Girl’s Love Song” in 1951, while she was a student at Smith College. It was first published in the August 1953 edition of Mademoiselle, where Plath was working as a Guest Editor.

 


“Mad Girl’s Love Song”
By Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)


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Dig Deeper: Christians in the Contemporary Middle East Conference

Nova Conference: Middle East

Villanova University will host a conference on Dec. 5-6 titled Christians in the Contemporary Middle East: Religious Minorities and the Struggle for Secular Nationalism and Citizenship. With such wonderful speakers attending as Retired General Anthony Charles Zinni (USMC) and Ussama Makdisi of Rice University, the conference promises some elucidating conversation.

For a conference on such a particular subject, the presentations will cover a diverse range of topics. Attendees will hear such intriguing talks as “Christian Contributions to Art, Culture and Literature in the Arab-Islamic World” and “The Impact of the Shia-Sunni Political Struggle and Future Strategies for Christians and Other Minorities in the Middle East.”

Specialized lectures such as these sometimes require a little bit of background information, and some students may be wondering the relevance of these topics to their lives or academic development. I had similar questions and concerns and brought them up with Assistant Director of Academic Integration and Theology Librarian Darren Poley.

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 2.20.58 PM

(Cover of illustrated edition of Universal Declaration of Human Rights from website below)

 

“Religious liberty is not just an American or even an exclusively Western concept,” he began. “Freedom to practice one’s faith or belief system is an intrinsically human desire.”

Poley recommends taking a look at the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights if you’re interested in why the Villanova University should be concerned about the Middle East. It’s available here, and Poley reminds you, “especially since we live in an increasingly interconnected and globalized society: no one can afford to ignore any lack of respect for people, property, social justice or the integrity of creation anywhere in the world.”

Dig Deeper by investing these associations, centers and initiatives for social justice:

“It surprises most students to learn that the Middle East and North African were predominantly Christian lands for the centuries between the official toleration of Christianity in the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the rise of Islam in the 7th century,” Poley continued.

Cartouche

(Villanova University’s Arabic Cartouche)

It’s important for Villanova students to think about the decline of pluralistic spaces in the Middle East because so many of these early Christian societies remain today, albeit under different leadership and sometimes different names.

“Nestorian Christians in the Middle East established themselves in the 5th century and continue as the Assyrian Church of the East.” Poley highlighted, and “there are many different Eastern Orthodox churches often along ethnic or national lines that are affiliated with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, a Turkish citizen who resides in Istanbul.”

Patriarchate Banner

(Banner for the Ecumenical Patriarchate – website below)

In addition, there are Catholics outside of the Latin Rite tradition. The Maronites of Lebanon, the Chaldeans of Iraq, and the Melkites from Syria, Jordan and Israel represent the largest groups of such.

Poley said, “There are also small groups of Christians in the Middle East with doctrinal differences from either the Catholic of the Eastern Orthodox churches, which are collectively called the Oriental Orthodox churches; the three major ones being the Syrian, Armenian, and Coptic (Egyptian).”

Despite the complexity of their histories, you may find statistics and information on the individuals and groups of Christians who continue to “live, work, worship, and coexist alongside Muslims and Jews in Middle Eastern countries,” according to Poley, at these websites:

An encyclopedia of knowledge on the topic, Poley provided me with an exhaustive list of thinkers, theologians and writers who have promoted religious diversity in the Middle East. I’ve included just a few of those thinkers below so that you may familiarize yourself with them before the conference:

  • Saint Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
  • Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
  • Catholic Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah
  • Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine William Shomali
  • Melkite Archbishop George Wadih Bakouni
  • Antiochian Orthodox Bishop George Khodr
  • Coptic Orthodox Bishop Barnibas El Soryany
  • Armenian Bishop of Damascus Armash Nalbandian
  • Father Kail C. Ellis, OSA, Villanova University.

Yes, that’s the abridged list. In case you were wondering if you should visit a subject librarian before collecting research for your next term paper: yes, you should. Poley, and indeed all of our subject librarians, work tirelessly to keep up-to-date on current events, research, and research methodologies.

Darren Poley resize

(This is what Darren Poley looks like, in case you go looking for him.)

They also keep tabs on the library collection and can direct you to books and journals available either here at the Falvey or through the library’s databases. I asked Poley: what library resources are available for students to learn about the prospects of and strategies for promoting piece in the Middle East?

He suggested looking at the Theology & Religious Studies and Cultural Studies subject guides and reading one, some, or all of the following:

For some students, including me, starting to read up on Middle Eastern Christianity would be difficult without some background on Middle Eastern geopolitics. I submitted the same question to Poley about library resources for looking at the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East. He suggested starting with the Political Science Subject Guide and the History Subject Guide, but also directed me to these books:

Mary Queen of Peace

(Mary Queen of Peace)

Speaking of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Poley said, “So in the middle of the 20th century, perhaps the bloodiest in history so far in terms of wars and other violence, people of good will came together to publically declare among other tenets that freedom of conscience and religion is a basic human right.” Described as “timely and riveting” by the university’s poster, this conference may be an excellent opportunity for the Villanova community to validate these tenets.


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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10 Books to Read While Waiting for Trick or Treaters

Happy Halloween! As a part of today’s festivities, our staff has offered 10 books to read while waiting for trick or treaters to show up at your door. Read these novels by the fire, by the lamp, or by the jack-o-lantern, but, be careful; these horror stories may leave you too scared to answer the door:

1. “The Face in the Frost” by John Bellairs

Face in the Frost

“A creepy sort of ghost story,” says Humanities Librarian Robert LeBlanc, this novel follows the story of two wizards seeking to discover a source of evil magic. Recommended reading for Advanced Dungeon and Dragons Dungeon Masters, this book (at 174 pages) may be perfect for reading in between groups of trick or treaters showing up at your door/dorm room.

2. “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft

Mountains of Madness

Attempting to dissuade an expedition into the Antarctic, the protagonist of this novella speaks of the horrors he witnessed when he explored the frozen continent. With mountains higher than the Himalayas, ancient ruins and hidden civilizations, this one will surely chill you to the bones. This recommendation – part of H.P. Lovecraft’s collected works – comes from Resource Management Team Leader David Burke.

3. “Anything by Michael Crichton” – Luisa Cywinski 

Anything Crichton

I cannot agree more with this recommendation! Crichton writes excellent stories that toe a fine line between science-fiction and horror. His novels include tales of artificial intelligence gone awry, thrillers of micro-organisms from outer space, and, of course, the famous Jurassic Park. This picture includes some of those Crichton books in our collection, but there are certainly many more.

4. “Carrie” by Stephen King

Carrie

King’s debut novel is my own recommendation. King appears once more on this list, but “Carrie” helps us understand the early workings of the mind of the best horror writer of our time. The fragmented composition of the novel, including clippings from newspapers, and the shifting points of view add to the suspense of this marvelously crafted thriller.

5. “Grendel” by John Gardner

Grendel

Also recommended by Luisa Cywinski, this pomo myth retells Beowulf from the perspective of the monster Grendel. Besides being a true fright, this is one of the few novels of the genre that can claim it explores the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. Get a good scare, and give an intellectual lecture to your visitors, as you explore Grendel’s psyche and the swamp with this piece.

6. “Through the Woods” by Emily Carroll 

Through the Woods

A short collection of stories by comic artist Emily Carroll, “Through the Woods” won two Eisner Awards in 2015. English and Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo says this piece has “a creepy and spooky feel without feeling derivative of anything you already read.” If you’re into comics/graphic novels, this may be the Halloween piece for you.

7. “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King

Salems Lot

Set in Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine, “‘Salem’s Lot” contains the generic conventions of vampires and abandoned houses. It received wide acclaim when it was released in the mid-’70s. Enjoy this one, but try not too read too much into your own small town; there’s many places for vampires to be hiding. This recommendation comes from Humanities Librarian Robert LeBlanc.

8. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven

This one is “not really scary but has a spooky vibe,” says English and Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo. With on-stage heart attacks and pandemic Swine Flu, “Station Eleven” promises those frights that derive their horror from the plausibility of such events. Enjoy this winner of the 2015 Toronto Book Award with a Snickers, and a Reese’s, and a Hershey’s bar or two, or three…

9. “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman

CoralineGaiman’s “Coraline” “transforms such ordinary objects as buttons and cats into objects of horror,” according to graduate assistant Hunter Houtzer. Also the subject of 2009 film, this story explores secret worlds that may, in fact, just be the figments of our diseased imaginations. Get a peek at this story on Houtzer’s PATW blog.

10. “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

This one is “Gothic without being scary,” according to Nursing and Life Sciences Librarian Robin Bowles, and “Not specific to Halloween but has an atmospheric, Tim Burton-esque vibe,” continued English and Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo. Set near a re-imagined Victorian London, this novel follows a circus that seemingly appears and disappears without warning.

Do you agree/disagree with any of our staff recommendations? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @FalveyLibrary. (All images courtesy of Amazon and Wikipedia, except the one of our shelves; I took that.)

 


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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Five eBooks for Read an eBook Day

Read an eBook

Photo by Marcin Milewski, courtesy of StockSnap.io

The library staff is unusually abuzz today. Usually exchanging the most scholarly journals and pointing each other to different parts of the stacks, our staff members are exchanging tablets and eReaders and pointing each other to various websites today. Why? You might ask. Well, of course, today is INTERNATIONAL READ AN eBOOK DAY! Because so many of us have had this date circled for months now, I asked the staff members which books they would recommend to our readers, while they’re waiting on the next ‘Cat in the Stacks and Peek at the Week; here’s the top five picks, for readers of all interests:

1. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Brooklyn

This recommendation comes from the Communications and Marketing Team’s (fearless) leader, Joanne Quinn. Brooklyn recently became an Academy Award nominated film. Concerning the story, Amazon.com tells us, “Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.” This one sounds like a good eBook to read with some comfort food and a nice throw blanket.

2. Loeb Classical Library, accessible through the Falvey Memorial Library

Theology & Humanities Librarian Darren Poley recommends this “very famous set of books” for those interested in pondering philosophical questions or looking for a clear understanding of the Classic world. The database’s introduction states, “Over a century ago, James Loeb announced the founding of the Loeb Classical Library and his intention to bring the written treasures of the ancient Greek and Roman world ‘within the reach of all who care for the finer things in life.’ Now it gives us great pleasure to welcome you – old friends and newcomers, scholars, students, and general readers alike – to the digital Loeb Classical Library, and to invite you to enjoy its Greek and Latin texts alongside English translations, in the familiar ways and in surprisingly new ones.” I’ve been on the site myself, and this database’s layout is perfect for your iPad or Kindle.

3. Lost Lake: A Novel by Sarah Addison Allen

Lost Lake

My fellow graduate assistant Hunter Houtzer recommends this book, which she calls, “a kind of uplifting and well written” piece. Amazon.com confirms, saying, “In this atmospheric and enchanting novel, Sarah Addison Allen illuminates the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.” If the early semester blues have got you down, this eBook might be worthwhile.

4. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Sixth Extinction

Library Events and Program Coordinator Regina Duffy recommends this year’s One Book Villanova eBook for today’s festivities. I couldn’t agree with her more! With several events celebrating this Pulitzer Prize winner on the horizon here at Falvey Memorial Library, there’s no reason to miss out.

5. Me Before You After You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You

Ann Stango, Resource Sharing Specialist for Access Services, recommends this series for your eReader. Make some popcorn, cozy up and enjoy a story described as, “A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

(Photos courtesy of amazon.com)


Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Dig Deeper: Ana Flores

Today, Sep. 8, Ana Flores, Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Center of Philadelphia, will visit the Falvey Memorial Library to give a presentation titled “Building Bridges: Cultural Activities that Bring Communities Together.” Flores (photo below) will be discussing Mexico and the Mexican Community in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Hispanic Heritage 3

You can see her profile on the Latino Film Festival website. Her true role in the community, however, shines through in news articles published in the last couple of years concerning her work and contributions, including articles in:
Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods
Al Día News
Philly Voice
On the U.S. Embassies & Consulates in Mexico website.

For those of you interested in catching up on contemporary discourse in Latin American studies, the library maintains a number of resources that cover a wide array of Mexican and Latin American cultural movements. Look into the CIAO Database, which aggregates content regarding international affairs, or you can always search the PAIS, or Public Affairs International Service database, to find out contemporary geopolitical issues concerning Mexico and other Latin American nations. Some of this information may be particularly suited for discussing Ana’s work with the Mexican Consulate.

Hispanic Heritage 1

The Falvey Memorial Library also provides access to journals in the areas of Hispanic cultural studies and Hispanic research. These journals include The Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, The Hispanic Research Journal, and The Bulletin of Hispanic Studies.

Academic sources can sometimes prove challenging to read, especially if the source comes from outside of one’s area of study. For journalistic pieces on Mexico and Latin America, it is also worthwhile to use the ProQuest Newsstand.

Do not be put off by Hispanic/Mexican studies due to your own monolingualism; most of the sources here have articles in both English and Spanish. These resources were brought to my attention by resource librarians Sue Ottignon and Merrill Stein, and I would encourage anyone looking for more information to reach out to them for their expertise as well.

Flores’ visit to the library is part of Hispanic Heritage Month, an important part of your Villanova experience, brought to you by the Romance Languages Department and the Latin American Studies Program.

Ana Flores-Falvey 8.31.16


 

Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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Last Modified: September 8, 2016