October Events

October is the spookiest month, to misquote a famous author, and there’s a huge variety of seasonal events going on around Champaign-Urbana. Though we typically aim to provide you all with something to do each week, this month we’re going to share events that are date specific, as well as some that are happening throughout the month. If you like to be scared, we’ve got some haunted houses. If you like to have things a bit less blood-curdling, we’ve got corn mazes and other fall themed events. There’s a little something for everyone!

Photo taken from Curtis Orchard

Photo taken from Curtis Orchard

Curtis Orchards – All Month
Curtis Orchards is the perfect place to really get in the fall mood. Whether you have a hankering for some apples or pumpkins, want to play some mini-golf, or listen to some great roots music, Curtis Orchards is a local favorite for autumnal fun. There’s also the Country Store to satisfy your need for fudge, along with some award-winning apple cider. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.

Photo taken from the Art Theater Co-op

Photo taken from the Art Theater Co-op

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Art Theater Co-op- October 16-17
It’s astounding! If you’ve never seen the Rocky Horror Picture, it’s an absolute must for the month of October and for the rest of the year. If you’ve never been to a live-cast performance, then you are doubly responsible for going to see what all the fun is about. The stars and highlights of this film are too innumerable to list here, so make your way over to the Art for an experience you won’t soon forget.

Photo taken from Hardy's Reindeer Ranch

Photo taken from the Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch

Corn Maze at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul- All Month
Corn mazes are an essential autumn experience and a great way to spend a Saturday. This particular maze at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in nearby Rantoul is shaped like a giant eagle carrying an American flag. If that isn’t a recipe for an amazing day, we don’t know what is. For those of you with a taste for horror, there is also the option to do the maze at night with a flashlight. If those aren’t reason enough to go and do this, there’s a giant pumpkin cannon. Sold.

The National Circus and Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China at Krannert – October 21 at 7pm
Though it may not fall in with the whole theme of spookiness and fall fun we have going so far, this event is too awesome to pass up. As the event description says, these acrobats are “among the world’s most acclaimed athletes.” We don’t have much else to say because this seems so cool in and of itself, but if you need more convincing, just look them up on YouTube. It’s amazing.

Photo taken from Bone Saw Mill

Photo taken from the Bone Saw Mill

Haunted Houses at Bone Saw Mill- All Month
And you were here thinking we’d end this blog without mentioning a haunted house in the month of October. This one actually features two different haunts this year including “The Freak Show: Field of Fears” and “The Haunt at Bonesaw Mill”, so those of you seeking a scare are in for quite the treat.

Did we miss anything? Let us know on Facebook (Undergraduate Library @ UIUC) or Twitter (askundergrad)!

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UGL 101: The Unexpected Joys of the Undergraduate Library

Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Have you ever wanted to learn about all of the unique services the UGL has to offer in one video? Lucky for you, the UGL has created a new tour video! Group rooms, video production studio, loanable technology – we’ve got it all. Check it out below to learn more!

For more information on UGL services, check out some of the following links:

Reserve a Group Study Room

Office Hours

Video Studio Reservation

Audio Studio Reservation

Loanable Technology

Like the video? Let us know by tweeting at us (@askundergrad) or writing on our Facebook wall (Undergraduate Library @ UIUC).

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Reader’s Advisory: Book to Film

Well it appears that the summer is over and school is back to dominate your life. With school comes endless amounts of homework and social events that could really slow down your progress on that constantly growing “to-read” list. Unfortunately for you, your time to read these books before they are inevitably adapted into movies could be coming to an end. From Sci-Fi to young adult dystopians, no genre is safe from the entertainment machine that is the movie industry! You better put your reading hat on, you do not want the movie to ruin the book!

Here at the UGL, we understand your plight, so this week’s reader’s advisory is focusing on books that will be adapted into movies during the Fall semester.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

First on the list is James Dashner’s The Scorch Trials. If you were a fan of the first book in the series, then you will be quite pleased to read The Scorch Trials. Centered on the Gladers after their adventures and hardships in the maze, the story sees the group from the first story face even more tragic situations and encounter new friends. From start to finish, this book is full of excitement and with the adaptation, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, coming out September 18th, you better get off your butt and do some reading.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Have you ever wondered if you would be able to survive in the wilderness with just your wit and your smarts? Well stop wondering, you would definitely not make it. But Andy Weir’s debut novel, The Martian, depicts someone who is attempting to survive on Mars with just those tools (and a couple degrees in botany and engineering). In Weir’s groundbreaking novel, astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars after a freak accident. Now, against all odds Mark must survive long enough for NASA to save him. Humorous, dark, and amazingly hopeful, Weir’s novel is the go-to read of the fall. With the adaptation coming out October 2nd, you have a couple weeks to read this page turner.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Next on your young adult list is the final chapter of the popular Hunger Games trilogy: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. After the last hunger games, which saw the launch of a revolution, Mockingjay sees Katniss’ story end with a violent revolution, secrets, and love. With the success of the previous films and pending release of Mockingjay Pt. 2 in theaters on November 20, you have some time to read this one, but why wait?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Let’s be completely honest, you probably skipped Frankenstein in your high school class. So what better time to read Mary Shelley’s magnum opus than now? Frankenstein tells the classic story of a doctor attempting to create life. Frankenstein has been spoofed and adapted into a number of different movies, novels, and plays, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from trying again. Harry Potter himself (Daniel Radcliffe) is starring in an adaptation that tells the story from Igor’s perspective titled Victor Frankenstein. With this coming out November 25th, you better start scheduling some “me time” with Mary Shelley.

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

Guys and gals, Moby Dick was real! In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex tells the real life story of man’s encounter with nature and giant whales. The novel, by Nathaniel Philbrick, tells the story of the survivors of the Essex, a whaleship that was attacked by a sperm whale in November 1820. Tragedy after tragedy befalls the survivors of the attack who were eventually saved in February of 1821. This is a must read for non-fiction aficionados and it is also a great way to mentally prepare to see Chris Hemsworth (yes, that is indeed Thor) on the big screen once again. In the Heart of Sea comes out December 11th which sounds like a thrilling way to kick start your Christmas vacation.

Which of these fine books are you most looking forward to read? Let us know by tweeting @AskUndergrad. All of these and more can be found at the Undergraduate Library or online using the library catalog.

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About That New Tree in the Courtyard…

Welcome back Club UGLers! As the semester wears on you may find yourself in the Undergraduate Library a little more than you expected. That could be a product of many of our fine services such as Loanable Technology, Course Reserves, or the fast and efficient printing. It could also be that you find our late night hours are convenient for that last minute paper or project. Nevertheless, you may come accustomed to your underground surroundings. For those of you veteran UGL goers, you may notice that sudden and drastic change in Courtyard foliage.

Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Unfortunately, the Undergraduate Library had to say goodbye to an old and trusted friend this summer. Treebeard, the mighty leader of the Ents, passed away in early June from a sudden and unforeseen tree disease. As many of you know, Treebeard was a naturally grown leader. From acorn to full grown tree, Treebeard lived a life that many have admired. From his shepherding of the forests of Middle Earth to his successful charge against Saruman’s fortress during the War for the Ring, Treebeard was a wise and powerful Ent.

We at the UGL did not want to upset you this early on into the semester. We know how attached you were to our own personal tree herder. But alas, we did not want to go the way of parents buying a new goldfish to replace their child’s old, dead one. While that may have worked for a fish when you were 7, it probably would not have worked with a tree – mostly due to the size, but also because of its place in your hearts.

Photo courtesy of Stanley Zimny via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Stanley Zimny via Flickr

Fortunately, Treebeard was a more resilient tree than most. As you may have already noticed, there is a new and admittedly smaller tree located in the courtyard. Like a proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, Treebeard returned as a beautiful, new type of tree. While Treebeard’s last form was that of a maple tree, Treebeard has been resurrected (with knowledge and wisdom intact) as an Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry. Like the seasons, Treebeard II will undergo changes throughout the year. In the spring Treebeard II will be congratulating the graduates with white flowers. During the summer months Treebeard II will be enjoying the break like the rest of us with purple, edible berries. Lastly, during the fall, Treebeard II will be saying goodbye to the summer and welcome a new school year with the beautiful red foliage that gives the type of tree its name.

Now some of you may be upset with the loss of shade that the original Treebeard gave to the courtyard, but rest assured that Treebeard II carries all the knowledge, comfort and potential for shade that the original Treebeard had. So as we welcome a new semester, and the sizable workload that comes with it, we also welcome Treebeard II: The Tree of Trees long may he reign!

Photo courtesy of Andrey Zharkikh via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Andrey Zharkikh via Flickr

If you have any further questions about Treebeard’s new form or anything else dealing with the Undergraduate Library please like us on Facebook (Undergraduate Library @ UIUC) or follow us on Twitter or Instagram (askundergrad).

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Champaign-Urbana September Events

Photo courtesy of Silvia Viñuales via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Silvia Viñuales via Flickr

August has ended and brought us September with its bright and breezy days, packed streets of campus, and a load of fun things going on around CU. Though it may be getting chillier and your workload may start piling up, remember it’s important to get out and experience something new in your community. September is a delightfully musical month with Ellanora Guitar Festival at Krannert and Pygmalion Festival taking over many sections of the city, but there are some other awesome things happening too. Consider this guide a good place to start for your next, or first, adventure in CU.


Photo courtesy of The Art Theater Co-op

Photo courtesy of The Art Theater Co-op

Road House at The Art Theater Co-op – September 3 at 10pm

For those of you new to the area, there are a number of places to see movies in CU, but the Art Theater Co-op is arguably the best. Whether you’re interested in the newest indie flick that everyone seems to be talking about or if you want to catch a late-night showing of some well-loved classic, this is where you do it. The first Thursday in September brings us a classic film with one of America’s classic hunks: Patrick Swayze. Head out to downtown Champaign for a fun end (or beginning) to your Thursday night and finally understand those jokes from Family Guy.



Photo courtesy of Ellnora

Photo courtesy of Ellnora

Ellanora Guitar Festival at Krannert Center – September 10-12

Ellanora is an annual festival celebrating the great guitar and the wide variety of people who play it. There are too many specific shows to mention, but you can probably find something specific you like in the extreme disparity of performers. Of particular note are performances from Drive By Truckers, the well-respected alt-country band, on September 11, Earth, the legendary Seattle drone/doom-metal band, on September 11 (which is free), and Jessica Lea Mayfield, whose minimalist rock jams are a treat, on September 12 (also free). Most events are either free or reasonably priced for students, and the higher priced events are only $10 for students.



Photo courtesy of Mike 'N Molly's

Photo courtesy of Mike ‘N Molly’s

Church Booty at Mike N Molly’s – September 11 at 9pm

Champaign-Urbana has a legendary and still-thriving music scene and Church Booty is just one of the amazing local bands that has been tearing it up around here and up in Chicago. This show will be their record release, so expect it to get wild. Whether you like funky music or not, Church Booty is the band to get you moving. Joining them are other well-respected and great acts Mutts, Archie Powell & The Exports, and Jeremy T McConnaha.



Photo courtesy of Buy Fresh Buy Local

Photo courtesy of Buy Fresh Buy Local

Local Flavors Lunch at Common Ground Food Co-op – September 17 at 11am

There are about a billion amazing restaurants in this area and though Common Ground isn’t a restaurant, it is an amazing place to go if you’re a foodie, an environmentalist, or if you want to find a great place to buy fresh, local foods. This event has been going on since the beginning of the summer and gives local eateries the chance to welcome in the community for a freshly prepared, seasonal meal made with local ingredients. Head over to Urbana and get some delicious grub instead of your usual and pick up some great groceries while you’re at it.



Photo courtesy of Pygmalion

Photo courtesy of Pygmalion

Pygmalion Festival – September 23-27

Pygmalion has been bringing artists of all types to CU for 11 years now, and this year is no different. We’ll focus on things that aren’t musicians in this post (though you shouldn’t miss Run the Jewels, Ride, Strand of Oaks, or tUnE-yArDs). U of I students are permitted for free to any of the Tech events scheduled, so you should head over to Krannert to catch Wolfram Research CEO Stephen Wolfram talk about technology at the very least. There’s also a unique gathering of artisans called The Made Fest, so check that out on Saturday and Sunday right next to the Highdive in downtown Champaign for some Christmas or personal shopping. There are a load of writers coming to the event and the Book Fair happens on Saturday at the Blind Pig in downtown Champaign, but we highly suggest catching Pitchfork senior editor Jessica Hopper’s talk on Saturday at Exile on Main Street (also in downtown Champaign) in anticipation of her upcoming book The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic.


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UGL 101: Welcome Back!

Welcome back to campus! Whether it’s your first time visiting the Undergraduate Library or you consider the UGL your second home, we’re glad to have you here. We know this is a busy time for students, so to help ease the stress of a new school year, we’re putting together some helpful UGL information to get you started on the right foot.

Photo courtesy of UGL Flickr

Photo courtesy of UGL Flickr

The UGL will have some abbreviated hours during the first two weeks of school before returning to the normal hours. Here is a breakdown of the following two weeks:

Monday 8/23 through Thursday 8/27: 8:00am to 12:00am
Friday 8/28: 8:00am to 9:00pm
Saturday 8/29: 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 8/30: 10:00am to 12:00am
Monday 8/31 through Thursday 9/3: 8:00am to 12:00am
Friday 9/1: 10:00am to 9:00pm
Saturday 9/2: 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 9/3: 10:00am to 12:00am
Monday 9/4 (Labor Day): Closed

The library will open back up at 8:00am on Tuesday, September 5, and the UGL’s regular 24 hour (Monday through Friday) schedule will resume.

For more information on library hours, check out the library homepage: http://www.library.illinois.edu/

Upper Level of the UGL. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Upper Level of the UGL. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

The UGL has a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for a place to meet for a group project, need some help getting started with research, a space to play video games, or want to check out a GoPro to document your bike ride through campus, our Upper Level is the place to go. The Lower Level of the UGL is perfect for studying quietly, discovering a new graphic novel, or finding a video game or television series to check out.

Media Commons. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Media Commons. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

The Media Commons, located on the north and east side of the upper level of the Undergraduate Library, provides students with the opportunity to experiment with emerging technologies. The Media Commons offers students a chance to create and use digital media. With an audio booth, green screen room, editing software, and loanable technology at your fingertips, you’ll be able to create nearly anything.

Learn more about the Media Commons here: http://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/mc/index.html

What’s your favorite part of the UGL? Tweet at us at @askundergrad and let us know!

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New Science Fiction Books at the UGL

Are you a fan of space travel? Do you crave futuristic storylines? Are you interested in reading about science, technology, and parallel universes? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, you’re in luck. The UGL has recently added several new science fiction works to its collection. Whether you’re looking for a standalone cyberpunk novel, or a space opera series, the UGL has you covered.

Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun


Olukotun’s debut novel is equal parts action and history. Nigerians in Space, which is primarily set in Cape Town, combines African politics, culture, and thrilling adventure. This afrofuturist science fiction novel is a great choice for readers that want a little bit of everything.


The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle

The Atlantis Gene is the first novel in the Origin Mystery Trilogy. Riddle’s novel takes place at the start of the next human evolution. This novel takes both the past and future of humans into consideration with great detail. The Atlantis Gene is a great choice for anyone who is looking to be immersed in incredible detail and a fast-paced plot.


The Bohr Maker by Linda Nagata

Nagata’s Locus award winning novel blends cyberpunk and hard science fiction to tell a story about nanotechnology, privilege, and strong female characters. The Bohr Maker is the first book in the Nanotech Succession, a collection of standalone novels. Readers looking to think deeply about what it means to be human should consider checking this book out.


Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon

Trading in Danger is the first of five novels in the Vatta’s War space opera series. Kylara Vatta, the novel’s heroine, forgoes tradition and chooses to join the military rather than pursue a career in her family’s business. Things don’t quite go as planned and soon Ky’s easy journey as a ship captain turns into an adventure filled with interplanetary rebellion and exciting space battles. This book is great for readers that are looking to become immersed in an action-packed series about military strategy and brilliant characters.

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson

Tau Zero is a hard science fiction novel that fuses emotion with technology. Anderson’s novel follows the crew of a starship as they embark on a journey to reach a distant star system. With in-depth scientific explanations of how time, relativity, and the cosmos work, this novel is a great read for hardcore science enthusiasts.

What are your favorite science fiction novels? Let us know in the comments!

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August Events

Photo Courtesy of Liz West via Flickr Media Commons

Photo Courtesy of Liz West via Flickr Media Commons

The summer is coming to an end, but there are still plenty of fun events to ring out the end of the season. August is the month for the gormandizers, the film buffs, and the music connoisseurs as CU hosts a variety of festivals, screenings, and concerts. Dive into our list of some of these events and share any others we may have missed that you’re looking forward to.

Photo Courtesy of Mike N Molly's

Photo Courtesy of Mike N Molly’s

Grateful Dead Tribute at Mike N Molly’s – August 8 at 6
The Grateful Dead played their final shows together last month as part of their Fare Thee Well concert series, but Deadheads of CU can rejoice as Sunshine Daydream will be gracing the outdoor stage at the Mike N Molly’s beergarden in Downtown Champaign. Also joining the dead-wannabes are local acts Mike and Olivia, The Wetsons, and Brian Hilderbrand.

Photo Courtesy of Virginia Theater

Photo Courtesy of Virginia Theater

Pens to Lens Student Screenwriting Competition at the Virginia Theatre – August 15 at 2 and 4
There’s a lot of talented people around our area, and some of them haven’t even left high school yet. Pens to Lens gives K-12 students from the East Central Illinois area the opportunity to write and submit original screenplays and see them made into short films by local artists. Maybe we’ll find the next Tarantino over at Urbana High! Tickets are only $8 and youth 18 and under are admitted free.

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Taste of CU – August 21 from 5-11 and August 22 from 11-11
Taste of CU is one of the best events in the area for its variety of activities. Whether you want to eat some of the most delicious food our area has to offer, hear some great music from local and national acts (Gin Blossoms is playing!), or if you just want to try and win a car, Taste of CU has everything you need. If the previous reasons weren’t enough to convince you, the proceeds to go to help local youth do a number of various activities, so you can feel good while you indulge and rock out. Did we mention Gin Blossoms is playing? They did that song “Hey Jealousy”! That song rules. Go to this.

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Public Library

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Public Library

In Concert at CPL: Emily Otnes– July 24 – August 1
The Champaign Public Library hosts monthly concerts and is bringing Tara Terra’s Emily Otnes to the stacks to play some of her own tunes. Otnes’ voice is sure to give you the feels and you can hear it on her band’s debut album “Daughter”, released in 2014. While you’re there, you may want to stop by the Friendshop Bookstore to pick up some inexpensive books to enjoy after the concert.

Photo Courtesy of The Art Theater

Photo Courtesy of The Art Theater

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure at the Art Theater – August 27 at 10
The Art Theater has amazing movies as part of their late-night series all the time, but you absolutely can’t miss Pee Wee Herman in his big screen debut. Tim Burton makes his directing debut with this zany film that’s truly an experience to behold; it’s been called his “strangest” film, which is a lot to say for the guy behind Ed Wood, Batman Returns, and Alice in Wonderland.

Photo Courtesy of Urbana Sweetcorn Festival

Photo Courtesy of Urbana Sweetcorn Festival

Urbana Sweetcorn Festival – August 28 from 5-11 and August 29 from 11-11
Everybody loves a good ear of corn, and the best way to bring in the new semester is by going to the Sweetcorn Festival and having some there! If you’re not a fan of corn, there’s always lots of other food and fun available at the festival, with local vendors selling various goods and plenty of activities for people of all ages. One of the main draws for the festival is the music, and this year’s lineup surely won’t disappoint with acts like The Psychadelic Furs, The Church, and Berlin (the band that did “Take My Breath Away” in Top Gun. That’s right. Top Gun.).

Did we miss any events that you’re excited about? Let us know in the comments!

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New Mystery Books at the UGL

From Miss Marple to Sherlock Holmes, many of the greatest mystery novels act as the playgrounds for brilliant and strong protagonists. This remains true for contemporary mystery books and series, as well. Their intense personalities and sharp intellects augment the intriguing worlds of crime they inhabit. Whether it is a psychological thriller or a classic detective novel, these characters pull you, the reader, into their psyches. This makes mystery novels great for addictive summer reading, akin to ghost stories around the campfire. Luckily, the UGL has a huge collection to choose from, depending on your taste!

Motive: Alex Delaware by Jonathon Kellerman


For a great psychological suspense series, you do not need to look further than Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware. With a degree in psychology, and numerous published works on psychology and psychopathology, Kellerman understands how to get into the minds of his hero and his villains. Alex Delaware is a forensic psychologist who assists the Los Angeles Police Department in solving crimes. This series is notable for the inclusion of a gay police officer who acts as Delaware’s sidekick. With twenty-eight additions, undertaking this series is a substantial yet fruitful endeavor.

Rizzoli and Isles: The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen


If you have ever flipped through the cable channels – or merely keep up with current television trends – you have probably heard of Rizzoli and Isles, the popular TNT drama about a police detective and a medical examiner who team up to solve crimes. But did you know that the television show is based on a book series by Tess Gerritsen? Gerritsen received a medical degree from Stanford University before starting her writing career. This gives her a unique advantage when tackling the medical side of her thrillers, including accurately portraying medical examiner, Maura Isles. This is a great series to read if you like medical thrillers and if you like books with female protagonists.

Mortal Causes: Inspector Rebus by Ian Rankin


If you enjoy rogue detectives in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, Ian Rankin’s work might work well for you. While studying for his PhD in Scottish literature, Rankin began writing a mystery series that would ultimately turn in the award winning, and very popular, Inspector Rebus series. It chronicles the cynical and deeply flawed Inspector John Rebus. Written in real time, Rebus ages along with the series, growing both in age and wisdom. This is, perhaps, what makes this series so rewarding to return to with each new addition. ITV did a television adaptation of the first thirteen novels in 2000.

The Scent of Death by Andrew Taylor


Interested in historical fiction? In his more recent works, Andrew Taylor expertly interweaves mystery with history. Set in 1778 New York, The Scent of Death chronicles Edward Savill’s adventures as a loyalist in Revolutionary America and the chain of murders that pull him into a dark, secret world that makes him, and the reader, question his preconceptions of loyalty. Taylor does an excellent job of mingling history with crime, emulating an American Gothic style, atmosphere, and plot that culminate in a shocking climax. A must read for anyone who enjoys a historical mystery!

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear


A historical crime novel? A psychological thriller? A mystery novel with a strong female protagonist? Jacqueline Winspear combines all three when writing her bestselling Maisie Dobbs series. Maisie Dobbs is an orphan who, through a benefactor, receives a degree in psychology before World War One breaks out. Years after the war, she sets up an independent shop as a Psychologist and Investigator. When an ordinary case turns into a multiple murder, Maisie realizes she needs to confront her own troubled past to solve it. This series owes much of its addictive nature to Maisie’s resilient characterization.

You can find these mystery novels and many more at the UGL. So stop in and get lost in a thrilling mystery!

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New Fantasy Books at the UGL

The fantasy genre has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years with the success of the Game of Thrones television show based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. There is an abundance of good fantasy literature, both old and new. This encompasses the familiar swords and sorcery setting, Lovecraftian weird fiction, fantasy horror, and other works that subvert genre expectations. The UGL recently added a number of fantasy works to its collection. Let’s take a brief look at some of the more notable additions.

Dreamsongs: Volumes I and II by George R.R. Martin


GRRM now looms large over the fantasy genre, accompanied by fellow master J.R.R. Tolkien. If you’ve been eagerly waiting for Martin to finish The Winds of Winter, his next release in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, you can bide your time by checking out this two-volume collection of some of his shorter work. These volumes include Hugo and Nebula award-winning short stories, as well as Martin’s novella “The Hedge Knight,” which acts as a prequel to A Song of Ice and Fire.

Image courtesy of Rmdolhen at Wikimedia Commons

The Works of Michael Moorcock


Although he’s not as well-known as Tolkien and GRRM, British author Michael Moorcock is one of the most critically acclaimed authors working in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Moorcock has been publishing since the 1960s, producing a body of work that can be daunting to the uninitiated. Thankfully, the AV Club has written a helpful primer to the works of Moorcock. The author is perhaps best known for his character Elric of Melnibone, an albino prince with a magical sword called Stormbringer. Elric’s adventures have been re-released in a multi-volume collection, which starts with Elric: The Stealer of Souls.

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton


The winner of the 2004 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, Tooth and Claw takes the familiar Victorian romance novel (think Anthony Trollope) and gives it a major twist. Rather than focusing on cultured, upper-class humans, Walton instead chooses to populate her plot with firebreathing dragons. The intricate plot of Victorian novels is left intact, making this a must read for fans of Dickensian literature who are craving something a little more fantastical or for people who loved Watership Down.

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer


Jeff Vandermeer, noted author of the New Weird genre and resident of Tallahassee, Florida, captures the Sunshine State’s dark side in this mysterious trilogy of novels. All published in 2014, these award-winning novels (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance) revolve around an abandoned ecological disaster zone called Area X which is controlled by a government agency called The Southern Reach. Highly recommended for fans of Weird Fiction, environmental literature, and thrilling mysteries.

Books of Blood by Clive Barker


If you prefer your fantasy with a heavy helping of horror, look no further than the collections of short stories in Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. Barker is perhaps most well-known in popular culture for writing the works that the Hellraiser and Candyman film series are based on. Barker’s work definitely leans heavily towards horror, but contains fantasy elements as well. Recommended for fans of horror film, Stephen King, and those who like to terrify themselves in short doses.


These are just some of the fantasy works the UGL has recently added to the collection. Take a look around our bookstacks on the lower level, particularly in the P shelves, for other fantastical literature.

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