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Dig Deeper: In Memoriam—Anne Rice

Picture of Anne Rice at home in Palm Springs. Photograph by Dan Tuffs for the Guardian.

Anne Rice at home in Palm Springs. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the Guardian.


Every writer knows fear and discouragement. Just write. The world is crying for new writing. It is crying for fresh and original voices and new characters and new stories. If you won’t write the classics of tomorrow, well, we will not have any.” —Anne Rice

Author of more than 30 novels, Anne Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien and raised in New Orleans. Changing her name to Anne in the first grade, Rice lived with her parents and three sisters in New Orleans until her mother passed away when she was 15. Her father remarried and moved the family to Richardson, Texas. She attended Texas Woman’s University for a time before marrying Stan Rice, whom she had met in high school. After their marriage in 1961, the couple moved to San Francisco, and attended San Francisco State University where Rice earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (and later a Master’s Degree in English and Creative Writing in 1972).

In 1966, the couple’s daughter Michele was born. After relocating to Berkeley, Calif., in 1969, Rice wrote the short story Interview With the Vampire. In 1970, Michele was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away in 1972. The following year, Rice worked to make Interview With the Vampire into a novel (published in 1976). Struggling with the loss of her daughter, “she conjured up the vampire Lestat [Interview‘s main character] out of her grief.”

Her son Christopher was born in 1978 and in 1980 she and her husband moved to San Francisco and returned to New Orleans in 1988. In 1994, the film adaptation of Interview With the Vampire was released. Directed by Neil Jordan, the movie starred Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst, Helen McCrory, Thandiwe Newton, and Christian Slater also starred. Interview With the Vampire was the first of 13 novels in The Vampire Chronicles series that became “one of the most popular and profitable vampire properties of all time; selling upwards of 80 million copies worldwide.”

Rice is the author of numerous standalone novels and books series including The Wolf Gift chronicles, The Mayfair Witches, The Sleeping Beauty series, among others. Her novel, Feast of All Saints became a Showtime mini series in 2001. Rice adored her fans, telling the ABC News program Day One in 1993, “When I go to my signings…Everybody else is dripping with velvet and lace, and bringing me dead roses wrapped in leather handcuffs, and I love it.” Her fans in New Orleans, part of the Vampire Lestat Fan Club, host numerous events including an annual Anne Rice Vampire Ball. A local celebrity in her hometown, Rice was know to show up to local book signings in a coffin. Rice passed away on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Rancho Mirage, Calif., from complications of a stroke.

Rice was hopeful her legacy would live on—”I want to be loved and never forgotten…I’m really greedy, you know? I want to be immortal.” Rice’s life and legacy remains though her family, her fans and her writing. Acquiring Rice’s major literary works in 2020, AMC Networks plans to adapt Interview With The Vampire in an upcoming TV series on AMC and AMC+ set to premiere in 2022.

Explore some of Rice’s work below:

Autobiography:

Standalone novels:

The Wolf Gift Chronicles:

The Vampire Chronicles:

New Tales of the Vampires:

The Mayfair Witches:

The Vampire Chronicles/The Mayfair Witches Crossover:

The Life of Christ:

Songs of the Seraphim:

Ramses the Damned:

Further reading:


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 

References:

Anne Rice Dies: “Interview With the Vampire” Author Was 80. https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2021/12/12/anne-rice-interview-with-a-vampire-author-dies-at-80/6484438001/. Accessed 15 Dec. 2021.

Genzlinger, Neil. “Anne Rice, Who Spun Gothic Tales of Vampires, Dies at 80.” The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/books/anne-rice-dead.html.

Welcome To Anne Rice.Com! http://annerice.com/Chamber-Biography.html. Accessed 15 Dec. 2021.

 


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Cat in the Stax: Winter Break Reading Follow-up

By Ethan Shea

"Woman reading on park bench in winter"

It feels like I spend more time talking about books I intend to read than I actually spend reading, but during winter break, I surprised myself by following through with most of my reading plans! In spite of the chaos of the holidays and a hectic travel schedule, it was a refreshing change of pace to briefly turn off the English student part of my brain and fall into a habit of reading solely because I feel like it. Rather than dwelling on every adjective and metaphor or digging into deeper meanings behind each text’s symbolism, I just kicked back and let the words flow through me.

As you can see in this blog from December, curated by Falvey’s very own Kallie Stahl, I set out to read a few specific books during break, so in this blog, I’m going to let you know what I think of the books I read and whether or not I recommend them.

"'The Picture of Dorian Gray' Book Cover"The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

I had high expectations for this book… and Oscar Wilde exceeded all of them. As Wilde’s only novel, A Picture of Dorian Gray has earned a mythical status as a nearly perfect novel, and now I understand why.

Poetry is Wilde’s usual form of choice, but he mastered the novel on his first attempt. I found that Wilde’s prose almost reads as poetry. His passages flow like melted gold, showing just how meticulous he is about choosing each and every word.

Dorian Gray may also be the most quotable book I’ve ever read. The character Lord Henry is always armed with a pithy retort or epigram that will make you re-evaluate your philosophy of life. My only warning is that in the wrong hands, this book could turn its reader to a narcissist, but Wilde might say that’s nothing to be weary of. I’m not sure if this novel has any morals or if its value is simply found in its beauty, like Dorian himself. I’ll leave that for you to decide.

So, would I recommend this book..? Yes!

"'One Day in December' Book Cover"One Day in December – Josie Silver

The spontaneous formation of a book club put together by my extended family led me to read One Day in December. It isn’t something I would usually gravitate toward, but nonetheless, I decided to listen to my aunt’s recommendation and give romance a chance.

I want to begin by saying I have nothing against the romance genre. Indulging in a melodramatic love story from time to time can be a lot of fun, but fun is not how I would describe my experience reading One Day in December.

Perhaps if this story were condensed a bit it would have been a quick and entertaining read, but One Day in December is nearly 500 pages long and takes place over the course of ten long years. Replace the content of the Lord of the Rings trilogy with a drawn-out plot from the most lifeless Hallmark movie you can imagine, and you’ll have an idea of what it was like reading this book. I wish I could tell you the experience was forgettable, but unfortunately, the particulars of the protagonists’ personal lives are tattooed to the backs of my eyelids. And yes, receiving these tattoos was as painful as you’d imagine.

In spite of this novel’s tedious narrative, both Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling have shown interest in adapting the text to the big screen. I’ll be sure to follow up with a film review when pigs fly.

So, would I recommend this book…? No, but I had a good time tearing it apart with my family.

"'The Song of Achilles' Book Cover"The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

I’ve heard endless buzz about The Song of Achilles for years now, and during winter break, I finally took the plunge. This story about a romantic relationship between two men of royal descent, Patroclus and Achilles, is written beautifully, and considering the liberties Miller takes in adapting the ancient story, she remains fairly true to the era.

Miller does not whitewash the harsh realities of the Greek Heroic Age and successfully creates several vivid characters with distinct personalities. The protagonists are forced to grapple with the power of Fate while planning their time left together.

So, would I recommend this book..? Yes, and I’ve already purchased Miller’s second book, Circe.

Although I claimed I would read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart over break in Kallie’s blog, I chose not to because I wanted to experience it for the first time in Professor Chiji Akoma’s class “Chinua Achebe and the African Novel,” which I am excited to be taking this semester!

Hopefully I keep this habit of personal reading throughout the semester, as it always seems to slip away when the coursework begins to pile up. At the very least, my family’s book club will hold me accountable for reading at least one book not related to my studies each month!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Falvey Library Staff Shares Reading Recommendations for Winter Break

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

Roberta Pierce, Access & Collections Coordinator:

Image of the book cover of "The Invited."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Darren Poley, Associate Director of Research Services:

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

Image courtesy of Amazon.

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

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Michael Foight, Director of  Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement:

Image of the book cover of "The Library."

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Meg Schwoerer-Leister, Access and Collections Coordinator:

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Deborah Bishov, Social Sciences & Instructional Design Librarian:

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

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Shawn Proctor, Communication & Marketing Program Manager:

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

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Ethan Shea, Communication & Marketing Graduate Assistant:

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

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication & Marketing:

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

Image courtesy of Amazon.


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



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Falvey Library Staff Offer 2021 Summer Reading Recommendations

Last week, we shared summer reading recommendations by the faculty of Villanova’s English Department.

This week, we’re happy to share reading recommendations by the staff at Falvey Memorial Library. Once you’ve explored the list below, check out some summer reads suggested by Falvey’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement. Hope you’re having a great summer, Wildcats—See you in August!

Shawn Proctor, Communication & Marketing Program Manager

  • One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu: A middle grade fantasy book dealing with an abusive parent and a child who could never live up to unrealistic expectations. Lush and beautiful prose. Poignant and timely story.
  • Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson: In this young adult novel, a ne’er-do-well woman reunites with her childhood friend and must watch over her two adopted children…who just so happen to burst into flames whenever they are upset.
  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden: A chilling and engaging middle grade novel in which a girl and her two friends must channel a ghost to survive a cursed night filled with evil scarecrows.

Linda Hauck, Business Librarian

Regina Duffy, Communication & Marketing Program Manager

  • I’ve been on a bit of a Stephen King kick lately. One of my brothers is a big King fan, so I go to him for recommendations. Currently, I am reading The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands. There are a lot of books in the series, so I had to brace myself before starting. It’s about a gunslinger on a quest for a mythical dark tower and his experiences on his long journey. The series combines elements of western, fantasy, science fiction, and horror. It’s been a fun way to escape the everyday and it’s going to be a long time before I run out of material.
  • View all books in The Dark Tower series here. Books can be requested through other libraries via EZ Borrow or ILLiad.

Darren Poley, Associate Director of Research Services

  • The Aeneid by Vergil. Translated by Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, PhD, Helen A. Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor in Classics and the Program in Gender Studies, University of Chicago.
  • Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages by Holly Ordway, PhD.
  • Person and Act and Related Essays by Karol Wojtyla. The English Critical Edition of the Works of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, volume 1.

Caroline Sipio, Access & Collections Coordinator 

Danielle Adamowitz, Resource Management & Description Coordinator

Mike Sgier, Service Desk Coordinator

Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication & Marketing

  • There is nothing like reading about the beach while you’re actually on the beach, so I’m not hesitant to admit that I’ll be loading my waterproof kindle with Elin Hilderbrand‘s (the queen of the smart beach read) latest: The Sixth Wedding: A 28 Summers Story. This is a one-sitting, 76 page sequel to 28 Summers, a romance inspired by the old Alan Alda movie “Same Time, Next Year”.
  • And, since that one shouldn’t take more than an afternoon to tackle, I’m also looking forward to exploring two upcoming design books which sound fantastic. The first, Black Designers in American Fashion, describes dressmaking as one of few professions available to Black women after emancipation, and discloses how fashion can uncover hidden histories of activism, especially among designers who went unrecognized due to race.
  • The second is Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers. Ellen Lupton, its author, has written dozens of seminal texts in the field; this latest one is being described as “part textbook and part comic book, zine, manifesto, survival guide, and self-help manual.” Both are must reads!

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. She plans to readThe Octopus Museum: Poems” by Brenda Shaughnessy.

 

 


 


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Celebrating Literary Friendships on Valentine’s Day

Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins. Photo credited to New Line Cinema/WingNut Films.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Wildcats! Instead of swooning over the classic literary romances, this blog celebrates the other relationship we rely on—friendship. Commemorating confidants, Falvey Memorial Library staff shared their favorite novel(s) that spotlight friendship. So, find a comfy spot, grab some coffee (and chocolate), and check out one (or a few) of the recommendations below!

David Burke, Metadata Librarian: “The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien celebrates the friendship between Sam and Frodo.”

Sarah Wingo, Liaison Librarian for English Lit, Theatre, & Romance Languages: “Sam’s friendship to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is for me one of the most beautiful friendships in literature. One of the only things I was annoyed with in the movies is Sam abandoning Frodo on the steps of Cirith Ungol, because Sam WOULD NEVER! They get separated in the books, but Sam does not leave Frodo.”

Jeannine Ahern, Finance/Administration Specialist: “I really enjoyed Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.”

Roberta Pierce, Access & Collections Coordinator: “Firefly Lane—The Netflix adaption is really good.”

Regina Duffy, Communication and Marketing Program Manager: “Becoming by Michelle Obama. I thought it was a really compelling memoir. Michelle talks a lot about the importance of being able to lean on friends in tough times and making sure to keep space for them in her life, even when she thought she was too busy. Being that person of support for your friends is important as well.”

Luisa Cywinski, Director of Access Services: “I’d like to recommend The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The complicated friendship between exploited Black maids and a privileged White woman came across as honest and didn’t lead to a ‘happy ending,’ but instead highlighted the importance of talking about and exposing racism.”

Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager:Small Spaces by Katherine Arden is a middle grade horror story that brings together three children who are not friends when the story starts, but are bonded through their experiences of trying to survive a magical curse and animated scarecrows.”

Darren Poley, Associate Director of Research Services: “True Friendship: Where Virtue Become Happiness by John Cuddeback; Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship by Colin Duriez; Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh; The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos; The Song of Ronald by an unknown author, translated by Dorothy L. Sayers; The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle; The Adventures of Tintin by Georges Remi; Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen; and The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel by Robert Alter.”

Linda Hauck, Business Librarian: “The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.”

Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing: “Life is good!: Lessons in Joyful Living written by Trixie Koontz. Donna Chadderton sat in the desk next to mine for years when we both worked in Access Services. We talked about interlibrary loan and how much we hated troubleshooting the public computers. But most of all, we traded stories about our golden retrievers. At the time, our family had Duffy, and she and Ron, Professor Emeritus in Villanova’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, had Buddy. When Duffy passed away, she gave me a beautiful little gift book entitled Life is good!: Lessons in Joyful Living written by Trixie Koontz (a golden herself, owned by author Dean Koontz—who I suspect also may have had a hand in writing the book). The book was a treasured token of our friendship, and since Donna retired, I often think of her great dog training advice, her devotion to the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR), and the many, many conversations we had about our fluffy BFFs.”


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 


 


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Introducing Read with the (other) Jenna

What is “Read with the (other) Jenna”?

“Read with the (other) Jenna” is an opportunity for the Villanova community, as well as the larger community, to come and read together. It’s an opportunity to connect virtually, while also making time to get off of electronics and spend some time in books. We’ll be reading one memoir or classic novel per month during the Fall and Spring semesters. Then, throughout the month, I’ll be posting various content and food for thought for us to connect on. Finally, on the last Thursday of every month, I’ll jump on Facebook and Instagram Live so that we can have a discussion about the book.

Inspiration for Read with the (other) Jenna

I’ve always loved to read, but between grad school, being newly married, work and everything else in life, it can be hard to find the time to sit down with a good book. What better way to make sure you have time to read than making it part of your job? With the accountability of you all reading along with me, we can learn more about the literary world and the larger world through these books. 

For those of you who are book club enthusiasts, you may have picked up on the fact that our name is a spin-off of the TODAY book club, Read with Jenna. I may not be an author, news personality, and journalist, but I hope that you still choose to read along with me!

Introducing the FIRST book of the month: Angela’s Ashes

Angela’s Ashes was written by Frank McCourt and published in September 1996. This memoir is told from the perspective of Frank (or Frankie) as a child to a family that had recently moved from Ireland and then moving back to Limerick, Ireland at a young age. Falvey holds one copy of the book that can be found and checked out here

What’s coming up?

Find here a reading plan for Angela’s Ashes that will help you keep up and follow along! Each week, we will be posting on our social media check-ins and ways for you to engage with others as you read through the book.

Fall Books

October // Angela’s Ashes

November // The Other Wes Moore

 

 

 

 

 


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Hiding from the cold weather and reading Angela’s Ashes.


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Last Modified: October 5, 2020