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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