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Weekend Recs: Exploring the Chilling Tales of Edith Wharton

We’ve made it to Halloween weekend! For this week’s weekend recs we’re changing it up and bringing to you all things Edith Wharton. If you’re looking to add some spooky stories into your weekend, consider picking up one of Edith Wharton’s short story collections. Learn more about Wharton, her life, and written works below. 

Edith Wharton Biography 

Wharton was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. Wharton drew upon her insider’s knowledge of the upper-class New York “aristocracy” to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age. In 1921, she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, for her novel The Age of Innocence. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996. 

Horrified by ghost stories as a young girl, Wharton took that fear and channeled it into creating a series of chilling short stories filled with spirits beyond the grave and other supernatural phenomena.  As an adult, Wharton claimed she did not believe in ghosts, while somewhat paradoxically also confessing that she was afraid of them. Whether you believe in ghosts and the supernatural world or not, Wharton’s tales are enough to send a tingle running down your spine. 

Fun Fact: Edith Wharton was honored on a U.S. postage stamp issued on Sept. 5, 1980. 

Re-released Short Story Collection 

In total, Wharton has published upwards of 85 short stories that have been published in many different formats over the years. This October, her collection Ghosts will be revived by NYRB Classics, with the same preface with which it was initially published in 1937, shortly after Wharton’s death. Spanning the length of Wharton’s career—the earliest story, “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell,” is from 1902—the tales appear in their original, somewhat perplexing order. The collection contains 11 short stories in total. 

Kate Moss of The Guardian says of the collection, “A blend of Poe, Hawthorne and Henry James, [Wharton] has a lightness of touch that belies the often very grisly tale.” 

Read more about the collection in this New Yorker article. 

About the Edith Wharton Review 

If you want to learn more about Edith Wharton, consider viewing the Edith Wharton Review. The Edith Wharton Review is a peer-reviewed, MLA-indexed, scholarly journal publishing scholarship on Edith Wharton, Wharton in the context of other authors, and Wharton in relation to other writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The journal is published by the Pennsylvania State University and can be accessed through Falvey’s database. 

AVAILABLE AT FALVEY – Short Stories Collections by Edith Wharton: 


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


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Peek at the Week: October 25

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Word of the Week: berserk 

We’re back with more spooky vocabulary! Maybe you’ve heard this word before, but do you know its origin? When someone goes berserk, they become crazy, deranged, overtaken by a violent destructive frenzy. Think unhinged killers with chainsaws or blood-thirsty vampires that have lost all control.  

The term originates from Old Norse, a language that evolved from ancient Viking tongues, with bjorn meaning “bear” and serkr meaning “shirt” or “armor.” Imagine covering up your rational, human behavior with the wild actions of a bear… that’s going berserk.  


This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Oct. 25- Friday, Oct. 29

Distinctive Collections Halloween Selfie Station / Speakers’ Corner

Wednesday, Oct. 27 

Authoring an Open Access (OA) Interdisciplinary Textbook: Michael Pagano on Liquidity, Markets, & Trading in Action / 1:30-2:15 p.m. / Zoom / Register Here 

Friday, Oct. 29

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting / 2:30-4:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public 


This Week in History 

Oct. 27, 1904 – New York Subway Opens 117 Years Ago 

At 2:35 p.m. on the afternoon of October 27, 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway. London may have the oldest underground transportation system (opening in 1863) and Boston’s system was the first in the United States (opening in 1897), but the New York subway system is the largest, transporting 4.5 million passengers (about twice the population of New Mexico) daily. 


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


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Weekend Recs: NFL Football

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. 

With the Tennessee Titan’s defeat of the Buffalo Bills Monday night, a third of the NFL season has officially passed. And with that, there have been many exciting developments from a team ending their 20-game losing streak to the Eagles trading away a long-time player. Whether school has cut into your football watching time or you want to try to understand why people are fascinated by the sport, check out the recs below. 

If you have 3 minutes… read about how the Jacksonville Jaguars ended their 20-game losing streak while playing in London. 

If you have 17 minutes… watch former Philadelphia Eagle Tight End Zach Ertz’s emotional goodbye to Philly fans as he gets traded to the Arizona Cardinals. 

If you have 51 minutes… and play Fantasy Football (or want to learn more about it), listen to the NFL’s NFL Fantasy Podcast where they combine in-depth stats and film study to help you win your league. 

If you 1 hour and 31 minutes… listen to the NFL’s (other) podcast Around the NFL where they recap the biggest games and defeats of Week 6. 

If you have about 8 hours… read NFL Football: A History of America’s New National Pastime by Richard C. Crepeau and available online in Falvey’s collection.

If you have all day Sunday… grab a seat on your couch, order wings and pizza, and watch a day of football. You can find the full Sunday schedule and where to stream the games here. 


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


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Peek at the Week: October 18

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Word of the Week: Thanatopsis 

Halloween is right around the corner, so for the next two weeks be ready to learn some spooky vocabulary. This week’s word, thanatopsis is derived from the Greek thánatos, meaning “death” and ópsis, “appearance, sight.” A thanatopsis is a written contemplation of death, often in the form of a poem. Poet William Cullen Bryant first popularized the style with a poem called “Thanatopsis.”


This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Oct. 18

Best Practices for Course Material Adoption Workshop / 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. / ZOOM / Register Here 

Mindfulness Mondays / 1 p.m.–1:30 p.m. / ZOOM / https://villanova.zoom.us/j/98337578849 

2021 Cultural Studies Food Matters Week: Down North Pizza / 4:30 p.m. / Rm 205 / Learn More Here 

Tuesday, Oct. 19

2021 Cultural Studies Food Matters Week: Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse / 4:30 p.m. / Rm 205 / Learn More Here 

Wednesday, Oct. 20

2021 Cultural Studies Food Matters Week: Dre’s Homemade Water Ice & Ice Cream / 4:30 p.m. / Rm 205 / Learn More Here 

Friday, Oct. 22

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting / 2:30–4:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public 


This Week in History 

Oct. 22, 1962 – JFK’s address on Cuban Missile Crisis shocks the nation 

What is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis actually began on Oct. 14, 1962—the day that U.S. intelligence personnel analyzing U-2 spy plane data discovered that the Soviets were building medium-range missile sites in Cuba. The next day, President Kennedy secretly convened an emergency meeting of his senior military, political, and diplomatic advisers, called the Executive Committee or ExComm, to discuss the ominous development. 

After rejecting a surgical air strike against the missile sites, ExComm decided on a naval quarantine and a demand that the bases be dismantled and missiles removed. On the night of Oct. 22, Kennedy went on national television to announce his decision. During the next six days, the crisis escalated to a breaking point as the world tottered on the brink of nuclear war between the two superpowers. 


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


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Weekend Recs: Social Media

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

If you’ve read anything in the news this week you probably noticed that Facebook has been under fire. Also, Facebook was down for about SIX HOURS on Monday, as well as Facebook’s other social holdings, Instagram and WhatsApp. What was that about? If you want to catch-up on everything going on in the Facebook and social media world, check out these recs. 

If you have 1 minute… follow Falvey Memorial Library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep up with all our updates! 

If you have 2 minutes… Read the first half of this article from The Skimm that gives the highlights on Facebook’s whistleblower and the leaked findings regarding Facebook, Instagram, and teens’ mental health.   

If you have 5 minutes… Read this article from NPR about the Facebook outage on Monday. Also, you can read Zuckerberg’s full statement here. 

If you 1 hour and 34 minutes… Watch the Social Dilemma on Netflix to learn about the potentially dangerous impact of social networking. 

If you have 2 hours… Watch The Social Network on Amazon Prime to learn about Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook. 

If you have at least 8 hours and 30 minutes… Read App Kid by Michael Sayman, the story of one of Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneurs–a second-generation Latino immigrant.   


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


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Hispanic Heritage Month Book List

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and serves as a way to intentionally celebrate the culture and contributions of Latinx and Hispanic communities worldwide. The observation began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded in 1988 to be a month long. 

Sept. 15 marks Independence Day for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days later that same week.

A perfect way to celebrate is by grabbing a book written by and about Hispanic and Latino American authors. Check out this year’s updated graphic to determine which book is perfect for you to read. 

Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria (2021)

Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. The mixed-media collection talks about the borders the authors have crossed, the struggles they overcame, and how they continue to navigate living as Mexican American. 

Undocumented by Dan-el Padilla Paralta (2015)  

Dan-el Padilla Paralta recounts his journey from an undocumented immigrant living in a New York City homeless shelter to being at the top of his Princeton class. Throughout his youth, Paralta navigated two worlds: the rough streets of East Harlem, where he lived with his brother and his mother, and the ultra-elite halls of a Manhattan private school, where he soon rose to the top of his class. Following high school, Paralta went to Princeton, where he thrived and made the decision to come out as an undocumented student in a Wall Street Journal profile. 

App Kid by Michael Sayman (2021)  

An inspiring and deeply personal coming-of-age memoir from one of Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneurs—a second-generation Latino immigrant who taught himself how to code as a thirteen-year-old and went on to claim his share of the American dream. 

Tentacle by Rita Indiana (2015)  

Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism, and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it’s a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela. 

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros (2003)  

Lala Reyes’ grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl-makers. The striped (caramelo) is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala’s possession. A multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love. 

If you still want more, check out the following fiction and non-fiction books as well: 

Want even MORE recommendations? Read Jenna’s Hispanic Heritage Month blog post from last year.


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


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Peek at the Week: October 4

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Word of the Week: Friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) 

The expression literally translates as “open-air living” and was popularized in the 1850s by the Norwegian playwright and poet, Henrik Ibsen, who used the term to describe the value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical well being. 

Today, the phrase is used more broadly by Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes to explain anything from lunchtime runs, to commuting by bike, to getting away for a weekend in the woods. 


This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Oct. 4

Mindfulness Mondays / 1– 1:30 p.m. / ZOOM / https://villanova.zoom.us/j/98337578849 

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Midterms Stress Buster Pop-Up / 12-2 p.m. / Old Falvey Patio

Wednesday, Oct. 6

Fall 2021 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Citation Management Using Zotero / 12:30-1:30 p.m. / ZOOM / Register Here 

Friday, Oct. 8

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting / 2:30-4:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public 


This Week in History 

Oct. 4, 1957 – Sputnik launched 

The Soviet Union inaugurates the “Space Age” with its launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for “satellite,” was launched at 10:29 p.m. Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic. 

The first U.S. satellite, Explorer, was launched on January 31, 1958. By then, the Soviets had already achieved another ideological victory when they launched a dog into orbit aboard Sputnik 2. The Soviet space program went on to achieve a series of other space firsts in the late 1950s and early 1960s: first man in space, first woman, first three men, first space walk, first spacecraft to impact the moon, first to orbit the moon, first to impact Venus, and first craft to soft-land on the moon. 


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


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Weekend Recs: All Things Fall

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. 

Fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite season, and I have a feeling that a good number of you would agree! Even though we’re a little over a week into the season, the weather has started to drop and I’m seeing more sweaters and flannels popping up around campus. In honor of the BEST season’s arrival – here’s a list of recs to get you in the fall spirit.  

If you have 7 minutes… read this article from PureWow about the best fall Starbucks drinks you can order, both hot and cold! 

If you have 45 minutes… watch an episode (or 10) of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. This feel-good show fits into the fall season perfectly and is a good way to relieve stress before, during, and after midterms. 

If you have 2 hours and 20 minutes… watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on HBO Max. Why does Harry Potter feel like a non-negotiable when fall rolls around? I’m not sure, but I’m not complaining! 

If you have a day… visit Linvilla Orchards! A quick 20-minute drive away from campus, Linvilla Orchards offers all of your classic fall activities from apple picking and a pumpkin patch to corn mazes and hayrides. 

If you have all weekend (or approximately 15 hours)… read The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. This murder/mystery novel sets the tone perfectly for fall and Halloween just around the corner. The book is available through Inter-Library Loan. 


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


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Villanova Theatre’s First Show of the Season: WHITE

“If it’s not entertaining, why the hell are we doing it? Make’m laugh. Make’m cry. Make’m call their senator. But by any means necessary. Make’m do something. Can’t change anybody’s mind if they’re asleep.” – James Ijames, Playwright and Director 

Opening weekend, I had the opportunity to attend Villanova Theatre’s first show of the season, WHITE, in the new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The center is an 85,000-square-foot space for performances, featuring three performance spaces. WHITE took place in the Court Theatre, an open format, 200-seat theater that features flexible seating, a balcony, and technologically advanced lighting and sound equipment.  

I had the opportunity to explore the new space before and after the performance. In addition, everyone in attendance Friday night was invited to a reception following the show on the third-floor Belle Masque rooftop terrace. The rooftop terrace allowed guests to flow from outside to inside easily and take in what was a beautiful evening. 

The show itself was captivating and entertaining, while simultaneously challenging, as it forced the audience to re-evaluate their own implicit (or explicit) biases. The small cast kept the audience engaged throughout the 90 minutes, and the whole auditorium rose to their feet in applause following the final scene.  

Learn more about the show below.  

SYNOPSIS (Drawn from the Educational Guide below)

With a premise equal parts playful, prescient, and preposterous, art imitates life (or is it the other way around?) in James Ijames’ comedy WHITE. Gus is an artist. Vanessa is an actress. When a major museum seeks to showcase diverse voices in their next exhibition, Gus enlists Vanessa’s help to create an audacious new artistic persona to get him in the show. This contemporary Frankenstein story gleefully skewers the modern monstrosities of racism, misogyny, and cultural appropriation, all the while “subverting expectations, cracking wise, and opening eyes” (DC Metro). 

WHITE: BASED ON A TRUE STORY 

The plot of White is inspired by a true story that took place in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. In 2014, the museum invited three outside curators—Anthony Elms (Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia), Michelle Grabner (Artist and Professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago), and Stuart Comer (Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA)—to each curate one floor of the exhibition from their varied perspectives and methodologies.  

Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the Whitney, Donna De Salvo, touted the exhibition’s offerings as, “one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years.” However, of the 103 invited participants, just nine were black. Of those nine artists, one, Donelle Woolford, a 37-year-old woman from Conyers Georgia, was actually the fabrication of a white man, 52-year-old artist Joe Scanlan. This brought the total of black female artists in the biennial down to one. Read the full story in the education guide found here. 

MORE RESOURCES 

Trailer 

The show is put forth as a contemporary Frankenstein story. Borrow Frankenstein by Mary Shelley from Falvey’s collection. 

Get your tickets to WHITE today! The show will be playing through Oct. 3.  

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR 

James Ijames, MFA, is Associate Professor of Theatre and a playwright, director and educator. He has appeared regionally in productions at The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and People’s Light and Theatre.

James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre (NYC), Steppenwolf Theatre, Definition Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago IL) Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright’s Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theatre, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden.

James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and he has two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Superior Donuts and Angels in America and two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company and Gem of the Ocean with Arden Theatre. James is a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ….Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, a 2019 Kesselring Prize for Kill Move Paradise and a 2020 Steinberg Prize.


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


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Peek at the Week: September 27

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Word of the Week: Resplendent / adj. 

“Brightly colored in an impressive way” 

It’s officially fall! Although fall technically started on Sept. 22, the weather is starting to catch up with crisper mornings and bright fall foliage or – should I say – resplendent fall foliage. My favorite time of year is when we start to see the leaves change color and sweatshirts become a wardrobe staple!

Check out this fall foliage map to see when the leaves are predicted to be at their peak. 


This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Sept. 27

Mindfulness Mondays / 1–1:30 p.m. / ZOOM / https://villanova.zoom.us/j/98337578849 

Wednesday, Sept. 29

Fall 2021 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Storytelling with GIS / 12:30–1:30 p.m. / ZOOM / Register Here 

Friday, Oct. 1

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting / 2:30–4:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public 


This Week in History 

September 29, 1982 – Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills seven 

Flight attendant Paula Prince buys a bottle of cyanide-laced Tylenol. Prince was found dead on Oct. 1, becoming the final victim of a mysterious ailment in Chicago. Over the previous few days, six other people had died of unknown causes in northwest Chicago. After Prince’s death, Richard Keyworth, and Philip Cappitelli, firefighters in the Windy City, realized that all seven victims had ingested Extra-Strength Tylenol prior to becoming ill. Further investigation revealed that several bottles of the Tylenol capsules had been poisoned with cyanide. 

While bottles of Extra-Strength Tylenol were recalled nationwide, the only contaminated capsules were found in the Chicago area. The culprit was never caught, but the mass murder led to new tamper-proof medicine containers, as well as a string of copycat crimes. 

If you want to read more about how the crisis was handled from a public relations perspective, read this case study. 


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


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Last Modified: September 27, 2021