Skip Navigation
Falvey Library
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

TBT: Dog Days of Summer

Image of 15 dogs gathered around a kitchen table.

Photo courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library.

We’re officially in the “dog days” of summer!

Spanning July 3 to Aug. 11, the “dog days” of summer are usually the hottest days of the year. According to Merriam-Webster, the term is in reference to a star, not our furry friends…“In the ancient Greek constellation system, this star (called Seirios in Greek) was considered the hound of the hunter Orion and was given the epithet Kyon, meaning ‘dog.’ The Greek writer Plutarch referred to the hot days of summer as hēmerai kynades (literally, ‘dog days’), and a Latin translation of this expression as dies caniculares is the source of our English phrase.”

Stay cool, ’Cats!

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. Her favorite “dog day” is Aug. 1 (her birthday). 


Falvey Library Staff Offer Summer 2023 Reading Recommendations

We’re happy to share reading recommendations by the staff at Falvey Library. Once you’ve explored the list below, check out some summer reads suggested by Falvey’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement. Villanova’s English Department faculty also shared summer reading recommendations on the department’s blog. You can see more recommendations in the display on Falvey’s first floor.

My summer reading rec is A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Anyone planning to spend time in the great outdoors of North America should consider reading this book before or during their nature vacation! Bryson’s book is a cautionary tale filled with humor, adventure, information, and human emotion. I’m still finishing it up, so the library copy is checked out. Try EZBorrow or ILL!  It was also made into a movie starring Robert Redford, which I haven’t seen. I’m a “book first” kind of person.

Christoforos Sassaris, Distinctive Collections Coordinator 

Sarah Wingo, Librarian for English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature

Babel: An Arcane History, by R.F. Kuang

This book begins with a trope readers know well-intelligent young people with special abilities go away to school to learn a kind of magic, and along the way they make friends and have adventures. But unlike the other books that follow this narrative this one asks the question that most aren’t even aware needs asking, which is “at what cost?.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book since I finished it early in 2023, it is a scathing condemnation of colonialism and also a loving exploration of the beauty and magic of language.

Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor

I discovered Nnedi Okorafor’s writing first through her novella trilogy Binti, and so when Noor came to my attention I knew I wanted to read it. Nnedi Okorafor who coined the term Africanfuturism in a 2019 blog post defined it as a sub-category of science fiction that is “directly rooted in African culture, history, mythology and point-of-view…and…does not privilege or center the West.” This is a short (214 page), fast paced book that immediately sets the reader on an adventure with OA, a young woman who has had major mechanical body augmentations to allow her to live and be mobile, in a society that does not look kindly on such augmentations.

The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O’Farrell

This book is on my to-read list for summer. I’ve been a big fan of Maggie O’Farrell’s writing ever since a grad school friend gifted me a copy of The Hand That First Held Mine over a decade ago. O’Farrell’s writing is intimate and often switches between multiple timelines exploring multiple generations within the same family.

Linda Hauck, Business Librarian 

Danielle Adamowitz, Metrics and Assessment Librarian 

Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager 

Laurie Ortiz Rivera, Social Sciences Librarian

Meg Schwoerer-Leister, Access and Collections Coordinator 

Roberta Pierce, Resource Management and Description Coordinator 

Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing

Darren Poley, Theology, Classics and Humanities Librarian

Jutta Seibert, Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement

  • In Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America (Oxford University Press, 2011) historian John McMillian explores the appeal of underground newspapers as instruments of political dissent at the example of a range of geographically diverse student newsletters such as the Berkeley BarbThe East Village Other, and The Rag (Austin). The author captures the idealism that fueled underground newsrooms and student protest movements throughout the decade. He makes it abundantly clear that women were relegated to the role of assistants and girlfriends and African Americans were simply not present despite the calls for political change. Segregation persisted even in the underground: women and African Americans spoke on their own behalf through their own publications. While these are not covered in Smoking Typewriters a wide range of underground newspapers can be found in the Independent Voices archive (JSTOR).
  • Unexpectedly, print culture also plays a key role in Nile Green’s How Asia Found Herself: A Story of Intercultural Understanding (Yale University Press, 2022) albeit in a different time and place. Green, an award-winning historian of “the multiple globalizations of Islam and Muslims,” takes on a whole continent in his latest monograph. The book is full of surprising bits and pieces that provoke a fundamental rethink of how Asia came to be. Given the sheer size of the continent it comes as no great surprise that “Asia” did not feature prominently, if at all, in the self-understanding of Asian peoples until fairly recently. Increasing awareness of other Asian cultures came with the imperialist expansion of Europe into Asia accompanied not just by trading posts but also by missionaries and printing presses. Asian participation in inter-Asian trade led to engagement with other Asian languages and religions often by way of books in European languages. The immense popularity of Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia Being the Life and Teaching of Gautama, Prince of India and Founder of Buddhism re-introduced Buddhism to India. Buddhism had basically disappeared from the Indian subcontinent centuries ago to the extent that Indian languages had no word for Buddhism other than idol worship. ‘Abd al-Khaliq, a contemporary Indian Muslim author called it the religion of Burma for lack of a better label. How Asia Found Herself is an utterly fascinating account of how Asia came to define itself as Asian. Reading it made me rethink much of what I know about Asia and reminded me of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha a book with a similar footprint to Arnold’s Light of Asia. It hence comes as no great surprise that Siddhartha has been translated into many Indian languages and while the first English translation by Hilda Rosner is still under copyright, the German original has recently moved into the public domain and the Internet Archive offers various English translations published in India as well as the German original. Happy reading!

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. She recommends Our Andromeda by Brenda Shaughnessy. 

1 People Like This Post

Falvey Library: 2023 Summer Service Hours

Falvey Library: 2023 Summer Service Hours

Monday, May 15—Tuesday, May 30

  • Monday—Thursday: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. (book stacks close at 4:30 p.m.)
  • Friday—Sunday: Service desk and book stacks closed.
  • Memorial Day (Monday, May 29): Service desk and book stacks closed.

Wednesday, May 31—Monday, July 31

  • Monday—Thursday: 9 a.m.—7 p.m. (book stacks close at 6:30 p.m.)
  • Friday—Sunday: Service desk and book stacks closed.
  • Juneteenth (Monday, June 19): Service desk and book stacks closed.
  • Independence Day (Tuesday, July 4): Service desk and book stacks closed.

Tuesday, August 1—Friday, August 11

  • Monday—Thursday: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. (book stacks close at 4:30 p.m.)
  • Friday—Sunday: Service desk and book stacks closed.

Saturday, August 11—Friday, August 18

  • Monday—Friday: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. (book stacks close at 4:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday—Sunday: Service desk and book stacks closed.

Villanova students, faculty, and staff may enter the Library building 24/7 with a valid Wildcard. Library services are available to the University community during posted service hours. Electronic collections (articles, e-books, and more!) are accessible through the Library’s website 24/7. For a full listing of service hours, visit our website.

Have a relaxing and safe summer, Wildcats!

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





Weekend Recs: Summer Vacation

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, 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. 

Happy end of the semester, Wildcats! Summer break is finally here! For the last Weekend Recs of the semester, I decided to go with some summer-themed recs to help kick off summer vacation, whether you’re enjoying some R&R, traveling to exciting places, or continuing to work hard. Regardless of what your plans are for the next three months, I hope you’re able to enjoy the nice weather and some quality time with your friends and family.

If you have 3 minutes and 43 seconds…and need a song for a summer drive with the windows down, listen to “Jackie and Wilson” by Hozier. As a big Hozier fan, I’m definitely biased, but I think this song radiates good vibes and a little bit of nostalgia.

Bonus: for more summery vibes, check out Spotify’s collection of summer playlists to suit your taste. This 2000s playlist is my personal fave.

If you have 22 minutes…and love The Office, watch “Beach Games” from season 3, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection if you’re still on campus. While this Survivor-inspired episode is sometimes forgotten, it’s perfect for the summer.

If you have 1 hour and 48 minutes…and want to belt your heart out to Abba, watch Mamma Mia!, also available in Falvey’s DVD Collection for those on campus. What’s better than a movie that features ABBA hits, Meryl Streep, and a summer in Greece? Arguably, nothing.

If you have 1 hour and 55 minutes…and need some ’00s nostalgia, watch High School Musical 2, the ultimate summer break movie. I might be biased as a 2000s kid, but this is arguably the ultimate summer break movie.

If you have 2 hours and 30 minutes…and are a Marvel fan, watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in theaters. Even though this series closer is set to pack a punch (probably right to your heart, if you’re a fan), the Guardians movies are known for their well-incorporated humor and amazing soundtracks, which is certainly perfect for the summer.

If you have 7 hours…and are a fan of Grease, watch Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, the new prequel series. The series takes places 4 years before the events of the original and introduces a new set of Pink Ladies into Rydell High (with some fun familiar names and nods to the original).

Bonus: if you want to watch the original first, watch Grease, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 9 hours…and like the coming-of-age genre, read Hula. Set in Hawai’i, his 2023 recent release is a generational coming-of-age tale that centers Hawai’ian culture and family. It’s also a great way to celebrate National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.



Last Modified: May 12, 2023

Ask Us: Live Chat
Back to Top