Books That Will Almost Make You Want to Stop Watching TikTok…

As the year comes to a close and it somehow still feels like March, we thought you might need some books that fill you with joy and keep you entertained. It’s quite the understatement to say that 2020 has been a strange year, and we’ve probably all spent a record-breaking number of hours staring at screens for work, school, and entertainment. You know when you scroll through TikTok for 15 minutes but somehow two hours passed? Here are some books that will make you feel the same way!

Click on each book title for links to access through the University Library, or check out your local public library.

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

The Wang family is super wealthy. At least, they were. When they lose their fortune, the Wangs pack their few remaining possessions into an old car and drive from California to New York. Filled with humor, charm, and a healthy dose of awkward reality, this book will also fill the void of Schitt’s Creek being over.

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Hahn

Whether or not you’ve seen the Netflix film adaptation, this book is worth the read. Lara Jean Song has written a letter to every boy she’s ever loved, and they’re all tucked away in a secret box. Somehow, her letters get mailed and now she’s being confronted by all her past crushes that she may or may not really be over.

 

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
(not available through UIUC, link goes to Champaign Public Library)

While everyone in her small town is completely obsessed with prom, Liz Lighty just wants to escape to college. But winning prom queen comes with scholarship money, so even though she thinks she’s too poor, too Black, and too awkward for her classmates, Liz decides to do whatever it takes to win that prize. She doesn’t like the spotlight, but she does like spending time with the new girl who is also running for prom queen…

 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

If you love dramatic reality shows, this book has that same addictive, guilty-pleasure feeling. Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick, but he fails to mention that his family is outrageously wealthy and their home is more like a palace. Since Nick is one of the island’s most eligible bachelors, Rachel finds herself with a target on her back in this world of gloriously insane wealth. After you read the book, there’s also a film adaptation!

 

When We Were Vikings by Andrew MacDonald

Zelda is a 21-year-old Viking enthusiast born with fetal alcohol syndrome. She lives with her older brother, Gert, and traverses life’s difficulties by adhering to some simple rules and ideals. After finding out that Gert has some questionable methods of making money, Zelda embarks on a heartwarming quest and discovers what makes a hero.

 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

For a non-stop joyride, look no further than this novel about the son of America’s first female president. Alex Claremont-Diaz is charming and popular, in fact, he gets along with everyone – except for England’s Prince Henry. The two long-time nemeses make international news after causing a commotion at a royal wedding, and now they have to stage a fake friendship to do some damage control. The two have more in common than they realized, and their fake friendship evolves in a way that could have serious consequences for them and their nations.

 

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

This graphic novel is filled with fall vibes, friendship, and fun. Deja and Josiah have worked together every fall at the world’s best pumpkin patch, and this is their last shift together before they head to separate colleges. They decide to turn it into an epic night, eat all the best snacks, and finally talk to the girl Josiah has been mooning over for the past three years. Finding the girl isn’t as simple as they expect, but Deja and Josiah find lots of adventure along the way.

 

We hope you enjoy these books, let us know what you think!

 

Written and edited by: Nicole

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Dystopian Novels That Don’t Feel Like Fiction…

Escapism is great. Many of us have been watching a lot of Great British Baking Show and playing Animal Crossing through the pandemic. But sometimes, in the face of crises, it can feel satisfying to watch or read something that reflects what’s happening around us. Often, we are drawn to fiction that vocalizes something we have experienced but have never been able to fully understand or explain. Maybe that’s why these books feel so comforting and exciting right now. The following novels are all fictional, of course, but their apocalyptic and dystopian plots resonant a little bit more than usual. If you’re looking to pick up novels exploring what it’s like to live through pandemics, climate change, and political turmoil, check out some of these titles.

Click on each book title for links to access through the University Library, or check out your local public library.

Black Wave by Michelle Tea (2015)

This apocalypse novel takes place in California in 1999, but in a version of 1999 where the world is officially ending in a year because the environment is too messed up. Michelle, the main character, leaves the San Francisco Queer scene for L.A., trying to escape drug problems and failed relationships. But with only a year left, people begin dreaming collectively, and the lines of reality are increasingly blurred. Somehow, this book will quell your existential dread about climate change, at least temporarily.

 

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (1993)

Written by science fiction icon Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower takes place in a dystopian version of California in the 2020s. The state is plagued by fires, water shortages, drugs, lack of jobs, and violence. Meanwhile, teenager Lauren Olamina struggles to survive and to protect the people she loves while living with hyperempathy, a condition causing her to feel the pain of others. Meanwhile, she develops a new religion she hopes can save humanity. Needless to say, there is a whole lot going on in this book, and its iconic for a reason.

 

The Last Man by Mary Shelley (1826)

Frankenstein author Mary Shelley’s dystopian apocalypse novel is set in the late 21st century after a plague has destroyed humanity. The plague first hits warmer regions of the world, sending refugees north to England. But eventually it spreads and kills almost everyone, along with other climate disasters like floods and extreme weather. Eventually, the narrator is the only human left on Earth, and the book is ultimately about isolation, something many of us have become more familiar with lately.

 

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (2018)

In this near-future dystopian novel, abortion and in-vitro fertilization have become illegal in the United States with the Personhood Amendment, which grants rights to fetuses. The book follows five women living through the consequences of this legislation. If you liked The Handmaids Tale, this one’s for you.

 

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (2015)

Another one about climate change. This sci-fi novel takes place on a planet with one supercontinent and a fifth season that hits every few centuries, bringing devastating climate change along with it. Other planetary woes include a complex and oppressive caste system and a collapsing empire. Meanwhile, a woman tries to rescue her daughter as the world falls apart around her.

 

Zone One by Colson Whitehead (2011)

Written by Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad, Zone One is another novel about a pandemic. In this one, the virus is finally receding, but the zombies it created are still roaming Manhattan. Civilians team up to try to rid the island of zombies and resettle the city.

 

Severance by Ling Ma (2018)

Candance Chen is a millennial and a first-generation American living in New York City during a pandemic of Shen Fever, a fungal infection originating in China. Her boring office job is replaced with a cross-country trek for survival. It’s a science fiction satire of capitalism, with some eerie similarities to the pandemic we are all living through.

 

A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker (2019)

In this science fiction novel, the government has made large public gatherings illegal due to virus outbreaks and terror attacks. Luce Cannon was a successful musician until concerts were banned, but she still plays illegally. Rosemary Laws, on the other hand is used to doing things virtually, until she goes out scouting musicians for her new job. This one isn’t exactly dystopian, but music lovers missing live shows will appreciate this story about sharing art and connecting in difficult times.

 

If you need a break from reality after reading these almost-real-life novels, check back next week for books that are easy to escape into!

 

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Nicole

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National Native American Heritage Month at the University of Illinois

I would like to note that I am writing this blog post from Urbana-Champaign, and I recognize and acknowledge that I am on the lands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. These lands were the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal; these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.

As a land-grant institution, the University of Illinois has a particular responsibility to acknowledge the peoples of these lands, as well as the histories of dispossession that have allowed for the growth of this institution for the past 150 years. We are also obligated to reflect on and actively address these histories and the role that this university has played in shaping them. This acknowledgement and the centering of Native peoples is a start as we move forward for the next 150 years.

November is National Native American Heritage Month!

This month began in 1990 after centuries of advocacy by Native communities across the United States. Traditionally, this would be a month highlighting the vibrancy and power of Native culture and history through public events, conferences, and celebrations. Of course, the words “public events” probably send a shiver down your spine this year, but that doesn’t mean people across the country aren’t getting creative to commemorate this month with joy and solemnity. To find out more about national events and celebrations, you can visit Native American Heritage Month’s website.

Here at the University of Illinois, we have an incredible wealth of resources concerning both the history of Native people in the United States and locally. I’ve included just a few below to get you started, and I invite you to explore not just this month, but over all your years here at Illinois. Without learning about the history and validating the experiences of Native communities (communities that have long been forcefully silenced and discriminated against), we cannot truly call ourselves celebrants of diversity.

Native American House

The Native American House at the University of Illinois

The Native American House (located at 1206 W Nevada St. in Urbana) is a wonderful community. Their mission is to “serve as a support and resource center for Native American students, including all students and the campus.” Throughout the year NAH will have events and programming dedicated to both Native students and any student looking to learn more about Native American history and life. Make sure to like their Facebook page or follow their Twitter for updates on the events they are holding for Native American Heritage Month!

American Indian Studies

American Indian Studies at Illinois

If you really enjoy these resources and really want to dive into learning about the Native American experience, consider adding an American Indian Studies minor to your resume! While there are several classes offered by the department, many different disciplines (film, anthropology, history, religion, and more!) offer courses that are crosslisted under AIS. During Native American Heritage Month, AIS is hosting several speakers, with talks ranging from different kinds of research on Indigenous culture to understanding the effect of COVID-19 on Native communities. You can find out more on their website.

Library resources

Book, Talking IndianBook, Tribal Television: Viewing Native People in SitComs

The UIUC library system has several different guides to help students looking to find resources on Native life and culture. The first one, linked here, is from SSHEL (Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library), and it provides a fantastic overview of where to find scholarly articles, books, periodicals, and other types of resources concerning Native Americans. If you’re looking for information related to the relationship between the national government and Native communities, our Government Information Services Library has its own guide dedicated to that topic. We also have books for a young adult or children’s audience; check out this list for inspiration and see what’s available here at our library!

And while you’re on the library website, check out books written by some our Native Faculty members. You can check out Jenny L. Davis’s 2018 book, Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance, from SSHEL, or read Dustin Tahmahkera’s book Tribal Television: Viewing Native People in Sitcoms, online through the library website. And that’s just two examples; there are many others! For more information on these or other library resources related to Native culture, contact our subject specialist Cindy Ingold (cingold@illinois.edu).

 

Written by: Aine
Posted by: Ryan

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Not-To-Miss Book-To-Screen

Welcome to Fall 2020! Chilly weather is setting in. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and you can’t go ANYWHERE because of the pandemic! But fear not, (or perhaps fear is what you’re after?) there are a bunch of new book to screen adaptations that can get you through the spooky nights. Read a book, watch a movie, and compare! Here’s a list of some fantastic stories that started as books that can soon grace your screen. 

 

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

A classic Agatha Christie whodunit set on a cruise ship on the Nile river. Inspector Poirot follows the clues to try to find a killer.

Book cover with palm branches and the title Death on the Nile    Movie poster with a river boat on the water and a dark red sunset, reads Death on the Nile   

The film version is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 18th, starring A-listers like Gal Godot, Annette Benning, Letitia Wright, and Russel Brand. 

You can request a copy of the book or audiobook through the UIUC Libraries or the Champaign Public Library (or, for remote students, your local public library). You can also purchase from your favorite bookseller.

 

Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier

A brooding thriller about a young woman who marries a rich widow and goes to his large manor as his new bride. But once there she can’t help but feel like his deceased wife hasn’t really left.

 Book cover of stairs, a stylized "R" and the title Rebecca    Film post of a man and woman, title Rebecca

The 1940 Alfred Hitchcock version is ICONIC, but Netflix is now streaming a new version starring Armie Hammer, Lily James, and Kristen Scott Thomas. 

A copy of the e-book is available through Hathi Trust via the UIUC Libraries or you can get a copy at the Champaign Public Library (or, for remote students, your local public library). You can also purchase from your favorite bookseller.

 

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Who says only kids can read a kid’s book? The Witches is a fabulously fun and sometimes freaky story about a boy and his grandmother staying in a hotel during a witch’s convention. And these witches HATE children. From the same mind that brought us James and the Giant Peach and Matilda.

Book cover with an illustration of a woman in a green dress standing arms outstretched over a small boy. Title The Witches.     Movie poster, image of a woman with her arms outstretched standing on a red carpet while others look over her shoulders. Title The Witches.

HBOMax released a film adaptation on October 22nd. Starring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, and directed by Robert Zemeckis. This book to film adaptation is another case where there’s a classic movie version (1990’s The Witches starring Angelica Houston) which is tough competition. The Witches (1990) is currently streaming on Netflix providing the possibility of a read-watch-watch and compare!

You can request a copy of the book through the UIUC Libraries or the Champaign Public Library (or, for remote students, your local public library). You can also purchase from your favorite bookseller.

 

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw is actually a novella, so it’s one of the shorter ones on the list. First published in 1898, the language is definitely that of its time. If you’re looking for shocking, graphic horror, this might feel underwhelming, but the brooding atmosphere is perfect for a spooky season read. It is written as a manuscript from a young woman who accepts a position as a governess in the English countryside for two young children. Isolated, she puts all her energy into protecting the children. But who is protecting her?

Book cover of a painting of two silhouettes in a boat in front of a large house. Title The Turn of the Screw.   

There have been many adaptations of The Turn of the Screw, including a film version from earlier this year called The Turning (2020). The newest is from the creators of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix (also a book to screen adaptation!) and it’s called The Haunting of Bly Manor. Like Hill House, this adaptation isn’t an exact replica of the book plot, but rather a base for the story. You’ll love seeing how the writers wove in details from the book!

Available online as audiobook through the UIUC libraries, or a book can be requested  through the Champaign Public Library (or, for remote students, your local public library). You can also purchase from your favorite bookseller.

 

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune is one of the most beloved science fiction novels of all time. A man, Paul Atreides, leads nomadic tribes in a battle to control the desert planet Arrakis. There’s political intrigue, a resource vital for interstellar travel, and giant worms. The book is lengthy, but you won’t regret delving into this universe.

Book cover with orange and yellow waves and figure of a man walking into the distance. Title Dune  Movie poster, multiple figures in front of a night sky, planets visible. Title Dune.

The movie adaptation starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya was slated for December 2020 but has been pushed back until December 2021. Though a bummer, it will give you time to get through this hefty book and also perhaps check out some of the sequels. There is also a classic movie version from 1984 directed by David Lynch that’s worth a watch and might just hold you over for the newest version.

Available as an e-book and audiobook through the UIUC libraries and through the Champaign Public Library (or, for remote students, your local public library). You can also purchase from your favorite bookseller.

You’d be surprised how many movies are adaptations of books. Reading a book and watching its movie counterpart is a great way to fill the long, chilly nights. Suggest a mini book-club to your friends, or bring your thoughts to our monthly Bring Your Own Book Club meetings! Though we can’t all pile onto a couch for a movie night, you can always have a great, socially-distant conversation about what you did or didn’t like about the books, the movies, the shows, all of it! Let us know in the comments if you’ve checked any of these out, or if there’s another upcoming adaptation that you’re excited for!

Written by Maurissa Myers O’Connor

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Get Out the Vote: UGL Edition!

Hi everyone! If you’ve been on the Internet anytime in the last week or so, you’ve probably been reminded that now is the time to register to vote. Election Day (which is really more like Election Week or even Election Month during these crazy COVID times) is on November 3rd–that’s, as of this writing, 40 days away. While that might feel like a long time, it will be here before you know it, and this year, your vote will matter more than ever.

 

Voting If You’re From Illinois

U no vote? Are u kitten me? (picture of kitten)

We’ve collected a few resources for those of you from Illinois (non-Illinoisans, look below!). First, this video from How to Vote in Every State gives a great overview of the process of registering to vote in Illinois, either in person or by mail. If you’re not sure if you’re registered, you can check here. If you’d like to sign up to vote by mail, this website from the State of Illinois can help you out. Finally, check out the Campus Voting Project to find out how you can register to vote from your student address!

 

Voting If You’re Not From Illinois

Get in loser we're going voting.

I have a confession to make, and it’s one of my deepest, most shameful secrets: I didn’t vote in the 2016 election. Not for any lofty ideological reasons, but because I was living away from home at the time and was just really confused by the process of long-distance voting. So if, like me, you are not from Illinois and are struggling to figure out how to vote in your home state, do I have some good news for you!

Requesting an absentee ballot is actually really easy. If you visit this website, you can request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you– the whole process takes about two minutes.

That said, it’s still important to do a little bit of research to make sure you know what your state’s absentee voting policies and deadlines are, since there’s a surprising amount of variation between states. US News has compiled an awesome guide, so all you have to do is click on your state to view its information and make sure you get that ballot in on time!

 

You Have Power. Vote!

Young people don't matter? False. If all young people voted, they'd comprise 40% of voters.

We know that college is stressful (fun fact: we were once college students ourselves), and that it can be hard to set aside time to vote. That’s probably one of the reasons why voting turnout has been so low among adults ages 18-29 in recent years, but hopefully these resources can make voting quick and painless!

If you’re planning on voting in-person but get nervous at the polls, Ballotpedia can give you a preview of what your ballot will look like so you can plan ahead.

Your vote is important–if you are passionate about change, voting is one of the best ways to make your voice heard to some of the most powerful members of this country. We want you to find your issue, and work to make a difference in whatever way you can. Here on campus, check out College Democrats of Illinois, Illini Republicans, or UIUC Young Democratic Socialists. Across the country, there are countless organizations dedicated to getting out the importance of voting. Some of our favorites include Black Voters Matter, Voto Latino, Native Vote, APIA Vote, Queer the Vote, and My Faith Votes.

Get out and vote! We believe in you and your voice (and get a sticker)!

I Voted Stickers

Written By: Aine and Hannah
Posted By: Ryan

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Bring Your Own Book Club+

The Undergraduate and the Residence Halls Libraries are putting together a book club this semester!

Gif of Emperor Penguins marching

Work Before

Gif of a child in sunglasses dancing with text "Workin' from home"

Now…

With the inability to hang out in-person because of the current environment, we wanted to provide an opportunity for members of the University of Illinois to connect via books and other forms of media such as movies and video games. We hope to provide this program throughout the semester. There will be prizes for individuals who can attend (or participate by writing a blurb, if they cannot make the scheduled meeting).

You might be asking yourself, why a book club?  

Book clubs are great because they provide an opportunity for socialization! Additionally, a book club is a chance to explore and discover new things, particularly while we are limited in our ability to travel and socialize like usual. For instance, campus book clubs held this summer were a great way to get to meet new people over Zoom while everything was shut down. It was also a wonderful way to build reading lists as each attendee shared some great new recommendations. Additionally, these groups provided suggestions of shows and movies, like Great Teacher Onizuka 

Most importantly, reading books, watching television, or playing games is fun! And by extension, so are book clubs. Perhaps the strongest reason to join this book club is that you will meet fellow media and book enthusiasts who are as invested in learning about your likes as we are about you. Maybe we can bond over a show like Lovecraft Country? 

Our first meeting is Wednesday, September 23rd at 6 p.m. RSVP at this sign-up form.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Gif of Aladdin and Jasmine with text "A whole new world"

Written by: Simone

Edited by: Maurissa & Nicole

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UGL Fall Services

Welcome back students!  This Fall has brought many changes to student life, but the UGL is still here to help you be successful.  Libraries across campus have updated their services and facilities to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide resources to help on- and off-campus students access our collections and instructional services.  In this blog post, we’ll provide details on some of our physical building access updates, as well as ways to connect with us for students who will not be able to visit in person.

Most library services and resources will be offered primarily online.  Research help and many of our collections can be accessed through our website, for both on- and off-campus students (see below).  The Undergraduate Library will also be offering select in-person services on a limited basis in Fall 2020, including individual study space (starting September 14th), media production studios, and loanable technology access. All services are for single individuals; we will have no spaces in the building which can be accessed by groups.

Health and safety for students and staff are prioritized in the delivery of all of our services.  Please see the Library COVID-19 FAQ for information on mandated face coverings, space usage, social distancing, cleaning, and other requirements for access to any UGL spaces and services. 

All in person services require prior booking; there will be no same-day or walk-up services available.

Building Hours:

The UGL begin opening for services August 24th.  The library will be open Sunday thru Friday, and closed on Saturdays.  Building hours are:

  • Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm 
  • Friday 11am-5pm 
  • Saturday – Closed 
  • Sunday 3pm-9pm 

Building Guidelines:

  • No one will be admitted without face coverings which meet campus requirements.
  • An Approved status on the Safer Illinois App is required for building entry
  • There will be no same-day services offered.  All services must be booked in advance.  Entrance doors will be locked at all times, and there will be no access to the building without a prior appointment.
  • All appointments require adherence to campus health and safety protocols for face coverings and social distancing.  Please see the Library COVID-19 FAQ for information on requirements. 
  • Please contact us at undergrad@library.illinois.edu or call (217)333-3477 with any questions about access to UGL resources. 

Services available: 

Collections 

  • Books, Journals, and Media Items – The Library is pursuing a digital-first access strategy for most collections, particularly books and journal articles.  The Media collection of DVDs and Video Games can be requested through the library catalog. Students can start with the Easy Search tool on our homepage to identify materials which are in our collections., and then place a request to get a digital copy.   Please see the Library COVID-19 FAQ for more details on access to books and the media collection. 
  • Loanable Technology  This collection can be reserved online for pick-up in the lobby entrance of the UGL.  We have extended the loan time for all items to help patrons meet their media creation needs.  Details on what is available, and how to make a booking, are available on the Media Commons Website.

Audio and Video Studios 

  • The Media Commons is providing individuals with media creation studio access, with limited booking times available.  Details on what is available, and how to make a booking, are available on the Media Commons Website. 

Study Spaces 

  • The UGL will provide access to individual study spaces beginning September 14th.  Following campus health and safety guidelines, 36 study spaces are available. 
  • Study spaces must be booked online There is no walk-up access to study spaces; all study spaces must be booked at least one day in advance. 
  • There is no group study space available in any Library space, including the UGL. 

Research and Writing Consultations 

  • Ask-a-Librarian online chat is available online for most research questions. 
  • Beginning September 20th, Research and Writing consultations conducted with the Writers Workshop will be available for either chat or Zoom appointments.  See our Research and Writing Consultations page for more details and to sign up for a consultation. 

We wish you all the best with your semester, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to the UGL if you have questions about services this semester.  Email us at undergrad@library.illinois.edu

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Be Well: The Art of Self-Care

The student art gallery in the UGL is inaccessible to all of us for the time being. But we didn’t want to let that stop us from showcasing artwork by some of the talented students at our University. After a call for submissions this summer, we have selected a couple of pieces to exhibit here. Both works beautifully align with our theme Be Well: The Art of Self-Care. They go beyond the idea of self-care as something you can buy, like an expensive facial or a fancy candle. Don’t get me wrong, expensive facials and fancy candles are great. But truly caring for ourselves and our communities, especially during a pandemic, requires digging a little deeper into the meanings and possibilities of self-care. These artists show us that engaging in self-care can mean asking yourself difficult questions and responding with compassion and remembering that all our well-beings are interconnected.

Samuel Feathers

Red flower with branching vines on a speckled grey/black background. Paint drips down from vines, the flower, and the top of the painting.

“everything’s greener when you’re colorblind” Simulated watercolor. 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

“Done during the initial weeks of COVID-19 before I could go home. During that time, I was isolated alone on campus. I already was having respiratory issues from unrelated causes, so paranoia was starting to set in about getting infected, and it got me into a bad head space. For me, it’s super important to go out and make the best of a bad situation, but stopping to smell the roses in this case felt dangerous. As I got to a better place mentally, I started viewing the piece differently. Starting out, I could only really focus on the grime and imperfections, the flower and green vines were secondary. Now, the petals and gold of the flower are what I look to first. There’s pleasant and rough parts to it, but they are all mixed together. Like the quarantine, what you focus on determines how you interact with it. Do you make a choice to focus on the positives, or do the negatives grab your attention? Keeping that question in mind is how I make sure I’m taking care of myself.

It fits the theme not in a depiction of self-care, but as a question. How are you choosing to interact with the world right now? Are you choosing to focus on the bad? Or are you treating yourself with love and compassion and focusing on the good in the world, even though it is scary and confusing right now? It’s so easy to get down, so treat yourself with care and make a conscious effort to stay positive!”


Tiffany Teng

A person wearing blue with their head tilted back receives a massage from their mother, seated above them, wearing green and a cross necklace.

“Her Healing Hands” Watercolor. 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

“Remember the healing and provisions that your friends and family have restored you with throughout your years together, and use it to look after one another as sheltering in place threatens to wear us down.

I recently had a migraine due to various factors including a lack of self-care. So, I gave myself a day of rest but didn’t feel well until my mother responded to my discomfort with an incredible head massage. As independent and self-reliant as we may want to be, we’re relational beings. We can’t uphold our well-being on our own. Part of self-care is not only knowing our own limits but also knowing that our well-being is made up of relationships. The relationships we have with family and friends are the passages that bring us love and care from others to build up our health.

Part of being well is knowing how to practice self-care with others. This piece illustrates one of the moments I relaxed with my mom, just chatting and massaging one another. In those moments, I often feel comfortable and at peace.”


Thank you to the artists for sharing their work. If you’d like to keep viewing, making, and learning about art from a safe distance, check out these resources:

 

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Nicole

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Digital Book Display: Black Lives Matter

There are countless lists of books addressing issues of systemic racism, internal bias, police brutality, and the prison-industrial complex, but the books themselves might not be as easy to find. Many of these books are on backorder or have overwhelmingly long waitlists, as bookstores and libraries around the country are facing a demand larger than their supply. Having an abundance of people wanting to educate themselves is an excellent problem to have! Following is a list of books (in no particular order) that are available online for free, so you don’t have to wait to start exploring these important topics.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Written as a letter to his teenage son, Coates explores his own experiences confronting American history and ideals. Intensely personal, this book focuses on lived experience and finding one’s place in a world while carrying generations of pain. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password.

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe L. Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa

This collection is a feminist anthology on the intersectionality of gender, race, sexuality, immigration status, and other identities. A mix of personal essays, poetry, interviews, and stories, this book brings to focus the importance of a feminism that liberates all. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password. 

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

Looking at the history and evolution of our prison system, Davis breaks down complex issues in an easy-to-understand way. She examines the interactions of politics, economics, race, gender, and incarceration, and offers new ways to think about crime and punishment. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (audiobook)

This critique of the criminal justice system challenges the belief of a post-racial society. Well-researched and thoughtful, Alexander discusses many issues faced by Black Americans and examines the intention behind our systems. This audiobook is available in our catalog through RB Digital, requiring you to create an account.

Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America by George Yancy

After writing an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Dear White America,” Yancy faced backlash beyond his expectations. This book asks white Americans to face the ways they have benefited from racism, and it looks to understand why his article was met with so much controversy. This book is available in our catalog through ProQuest Ebook Central and can be read online, or downloaded using a third-party software.

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States Edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price

From specific stories to policies and research, this book looks at how the recent police killings of Black individuals fit into a larger context of policing. It has contributions from many writers and offers solutions to the institutional treatment of Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, mental illness, pregnancy, queerness, and more. This book is temporarily available for free through the publisher.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (audiobook)

Covering the long history of racist ideas in America, this book displays how racism was purposefully created for power and economic gain. Kendi offers an understanding of how we got here, and gives us tools for how we can move forward. This audiobook is temporarily available for free on Spotify. 

Let us know what you think!

 

Written and edited by Nicole

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Men’s Health Week: COVID-19 Edition

June is home to National Men’s Health Week. This was created to remind us that men’s health is extremely important. As former congressmanformer New Mexico governor, and co-sponsor of Men’s Health Week, Bill Richardson said, “Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” 1 This is even more pressing in these days of COVID-19. Men are more likely to die from COVID. The CDC recommends quitting smoking, getting 2 ½ hours of physical activity weekly, and minimizing stress and seeking help to maintain mental health as ways to stay healthy 

Here are some recommendations to have a healthy Men’s Health Week: 

1) For dads who are anglophones and fans of history, Absolute History and Timeline provides informative videos on English history, ranging from the Middle Ages to the 1950s. I recommend Tony Robinsons’ Worst Jobs in History. Tony tries jobs ranging from tanner to water barrel deliveryman. However, if that is not your cup of tea, there are videos on how and why individuals died early prior to this century like The Hidden Killers of a Tudor Home by Susannah Lipscomb.  

2) Cardio helps with minimizing stress. I recommend Les Mill’s Body Combat, but it requires a monthly subscription. For those who do not want to spend money, PopSugar on YouTube has some great boxing workouts

A man dances like nobody is watching.

I also recommend Undersun Fitness on YouTube for people who like to lift weights and get stronger muscles by working them to failure. This channel provides simple exercises with resistance bands, but these exercises can be done with no equipment, only bodyweight. This workout brings results (my thighs were sore for several days and I do squats regularly.).  

A man cooks the perfect steak.

3) As for food, because physical health is often derived by what we eat, my favorite food personality is Alton Brown. During the pandemic, he has been posting videos of simple, healthy snacks like Chocolate Date(fruit) Shake, which has protein and fiber and is lightly sweetened with the chocolate and the fruit. If you have Hulu, I also recommend his Good Eats Reloaded, where he updates older recipes to include healthier aspects like substituting flour for gluten free options, for instance. 

4) Additionally, I also want to take the opportunity to highlight that the UGL will be offering a book club starting in the fall. Like cardio, reading is a great stress reliever and book clubs are an opportunity to connect with others, which, as we have found out during the pandemic, is something that societally, we take for granted.2 Furthermore, many companies have instituted company-wide book clubs as this have been proven to strengthen team-member engagement and minimize burn-out on the job. The UGL book club will be available online as a blog with discussion posts, but will include monthly Zoom meetings. This is designed to make it easier for people to commit at a level that works for their schedule. We hope to have you join us in the fall.  

But most importantly, I hope wherever you are that you and yours have a safe and healthy Father’s Day in these trying and stressful times as we attempt to return to some type of normalcy. 

References 

Brown, A (2020, May 16). Pantry Raid: Date Shake Edition. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEE4oq_NAck 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019, June 10). National Men’s Health Week. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Features. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthymen/index.html 

Grage, J – Undersun Fitness (2019, August 26). Build a Big Chest Without the Gym. YouTube.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J1EN5oVIFQ 

Hulu (2016, September 14). Sexy, The Mindy Project GifGiphyhttps://media.giphy.com/media/l3vQWT60zQb2DDwnS/giphy.gif 

Jin, JM et al (2020, April 29). Gender Differences in Patients with COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality. Frontiers in Public Health, 8 (152). doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00152  

Lerner, M. (2020, May 26). Keep Turning the Pages with Your Book Club. The Hartford Extra Mile. https://extramile.thehartford.com/lifestyle/hobbies/book-club/ 

Public Health Maps (2020). Men’s Health Week 2020. PublicHealthMaps.org. https://publichealthmaps.org/calendar/2020/6/15/mens-health-week  

South Park (2016, August). Alton Brown Cooking GifGiphyhttps://media.giphy.com/media/3o6Ztdb3Pv8Dn3Paqk/giphy.gif 

Timeline-World History Documentaries (2018, April). Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgbEVDi8Zdc 

Timeline- World History Documentaries (2018, February 17). The Worst Jobs in History-Dark Ages. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jgu7EJ9A8A&list=PL72jhKwankOjHQKPOlD3VP-raNOPMmAbD&index=1 

Bio:

Simone is a returning graduate assistant for the Undergraduate library. She enjoys reading vociferously and getting dragged down the YouTube rabbit hole. 

Written by: Simone
Edited by: Ryan

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