Poems for April!

April has indeed been cruel–

Nary a blossom, not a dang bloom.

We’ve ratcheted between spring and winter

Like a merry-go-round with a stutter.

But April is also national poetry month!

A time to remember language has worth;

It bears meaning and can strive for Truth

No matter what twitter tells you.

And though verse may seem too hard and tragic

Remember that the world does match it.

The key to meaning in both’s to see

There are plenty of people with the same feeling.

If finding them remains a pain in the neck

The UGL has always got your back.

Here’s just a few of our recent poetry titles! Click on the titles to find them in the Catalog!

Nancy Takacs’ The Worrier:

Erica Lewis’ Mary Wants to be a Superwoman

Kevin Coval’s A People’s History of Chicago (with a forward by Chance the Rapper):

Rita Mae Reese’s The Book of Hulga

And if you still just don’t know what the big deal is with poetry, here’s T.S. Eliot’s On Poetry and Poets to break it down

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

National Mental Health Awareness Week

Self-care is an important part of your mental health. For National Mental Health Awareness Week (April 23-27), we are highlighting resources and events around campus to help you #finishstrong and be healthy!

The Counseling Center

An oldie but a goodie, talking to someone when you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed is always a good option. McKinley Health Center has counselors who are here to help you! Schedule an appointment by phone at 217-333-3704 and check out more info on the counseling center website.

A gif of a yarn gnome sewing a yarn heart

There’s always someone who will listen

Take a Night Off

The Illini Union Rec Room has bowling, billiards, arcade games, and more! Take a night off from homework and stress to hang out with your friends and have fun!

A gif of a cat trying to bowl but knocking down the pins with its body

Strike!

Go for a Walk

Getting outside and walking can be an easy way for a mood boost. The arboretum has a trail that passes by the Japan House, a pond, and plenty of beautiful flowers.  If you need to study, you can bring a friend and some flashcards for an active study session!

Massage at the ARC

Did you know you can get a massage from a licensed massage therapist at the ARC? Rates and more information can be found here on their information page.

A gif of a cat massaging a cat that is relaxed

Licensed cat massage therapists not available

Krannert Art Museum

Krannert Art Museum, apart from having a beautiful collection, also throws fun events! You can grab some Cookies n’ Cold Brew on the 26th, or get zen with Yoga at the Museum on the 27th!

A gif of Spongebob enjoying cookies and milk

As delicious as it looks and sounds

Finally, there’s nothing like a good old fashioned movie night. The UGL has tons of classic or current movies and TV shows!

A gif reading "And now.... It's Show Time" over a background drive-in theatre screen.

Note: The UGL is not a drive-in theater

If you’re having a hard time, it’s ok to reach out for help

UIUC Crisis Line:   217-359-4141 (TTY: 217-352-4217)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or chat

Trevor Project Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

 

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Black Panther and black comic book characters in our collections

Since it’s Black History Month and Black Panther has just hit theaters we couldn’t resist a post featuring comics! If you’ve entered comics by way of the Marvel movies it’s possible you don’t know that there are multiple incarnations of the Black Panther over the decades. Every few years Marvel reboots their favorite heroes to give new artists and authors a chance, and there have been some awesome plots for the Black Panther. We’re going to highlight the differences between the Black Panthers we own and our favorite black characters in comics.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Cover for Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet

This is the comic incarnation that Marvel resurrected after they put the movie Black Panther into production, so it should closely match the movie. T’Challa, the current king of Wakanda and their Black Panther, finds his authority challenged by a superpowered terrorist cell.

Location in the catalog.

Black Panther: Who Is Black Panther? by Reginald Hudlin

This version of Black Panther focuses on the rise of this superhero and the country of Wakanda. This is also the Black Panther who marries Storm of X-Men fame to become superpower royalty and serious relationship goals.

 Location in the catalog.

Jungle Action ft. The Black Panther by Don McGregor

Cover for Jungle Action

Jungle Action

This is the first Black Panther-centric storyline and the character’s first starring role, though he cropped up in some Avengers issues before this one. It’s a 1974 classic in superhero canon, and can be requested from Oak Street if you want to see where the story started.

Location in the catalog.

If you’re interested in more black superheroes than just Black Panther, here’s some you can find in the UGL!

Storm in X-Men

Cover for X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

Before Halle Berry took on the role in the movies, Storm had a long history of protecting mutants and kicking ass. The Dark Phoenix arc is widely considered to be one of the greatest plotlines in the X-Men universe and Storm takes her powers to a whole new level to fight her friend-turned-foe.

Location in the catalog.

Alex Wilder in Runaways

Cover for Runaways

Runaways

This comic was picked up for a few seasons on Hulu, and they’ve stayed true to the diverse case of the books. What would you do if you discovered your parents were supervillains? After witnessing a dark ritual, these characters run away, band together, and forge deep friendships that are constantly tested as they’re forced to face off against their parents and decide where their loyalties lie.

Location in the catalog.

Luke Cage

 

Cover for Luke Cage

Luke Cage

The UGL has both the comic books and season one of the Netflix show! If you missed Luke Cage when it broke the internet in 2016 we highly recommend you check it out. The bulletproof superhero lives in Harlem, a highly charged allegory in our political climate.

The location of the comic in the catalog.

The location of the Netflix show in the catalog.

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

11 Movies to Make Your Valentine’s Day Bearable

February 14th has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people, but whether your feelings leave you woozy, head over heels, or down on your luck, we’ve got something in our media collection to celebrate the holiday along with all the types of love and appreciation we experience as humans. If you prefer a book, check out the display on the Upper Level of the UGL near the study rooms, where you can find love and friendship-themed titles in our collection. Without further ado—we don’t want to lead you on— this is what we recommend from the UGL Media collection.

Cover art for the film, Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day

Need something for everyone? This movie covers it: heartbreak, jealousy, romance, and first love. Known for starring Taylor Squared (Swift and Lautner), find it in our media collection.

My Bloody Valentine

Hearts aren’t just made for loving, they’re made for racing. If you’re looking for an excuse to “cuddle,” try scaring the wits out of them first. It doesn’t work, but you can try! At least the movie won’t disappoint if your moves don’t work—remember the rules of consent! You can find it in our media collection.

Cover art for the film, Her

Her

Her

Love your phone? Same. Also my computer, my tablet, my iPad, and coffeemaker. See what happens when a man falls in love with his favorite machine. Maybe your next romance will also be AI-inspired. At least they always answer your texts! Find it in our media collection.

Cover art for the film, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

If you’re running stag this Valentine’s Day, it’s probably best to watch this movie first before you go out on your date-making schemes—but odds are you’re a lot smarter than Mike and Dave. This movie is full of cheesy jokes and the rude humor everyone loves. (You know you do). Check it out in our media collection.

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Maybe you want to forget all about St. Vincent Valentine and learn about the holiday from a different historical perspective. Cue the gangsters, tommy boys, and the prohibition era, it’s time to learn about Al Capone and Bugs Moran in this historical re-enactment! You can find it in our media collection.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Everyone loves a classic. Everyone loves a classic more when zombies are added to it. This one is a little bit light-hearted, a lot of bit funny, and a bit weird. At least the zombies know how real love works in this love story; they’re going after brains, not hearts! Find it in our media collection or in the res hall library collections!

Box art for the Love Comes Softly collection

The Love Comes Softly collection

If you prefer a period piece on how romance worked in the untamed West and want to celebrate the idea of budding love and familial love, this 8-movie story collection originally produced by Hallmark (you know, the infamous card company that always woos you with the perfect line?) follows a family and its subsequent romances, trials, and tribulations through several generations. You can follow them by checking it out in our media collection.

So hunker down while you write out Valentine cards, eat the chocolate you bought for yourself (go you!), or with a group of friends. Let us know if you’ve seen any of these or have your own recommendations.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

January Reader’s Advisory

Ten Books to Get You “Out There” when You’re Snowed In

Come snow, come rain, come sleet, hail, and wind, the winter in Illinois can bring about the winter blues and leave you stuck inside. What better time than to cozy up with a good read that can transport you out of the four walls of your dorm or apartment? The UGL is here to help with some recommended reads that incite adventure, wanderlust, and your inner-travel bug. See the list below for several book and audio book options you can check out over winter break to “check in” to an amazing adventure. Click on the titles to be linked to the item in the University of Illinois Library catalog.

Cover art for the novel, Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Don Quixote – (fiction) This classic takes you with Don Quixote on his exploration of the Spanish countryside. Accompanied with his steadfast companion Sancho Panza, they attempt to find their inner chivalry and bravery after reading of the deeds of medieval knights. In this journey, Quixote becomes a knight, mistakes an inn for a castle, and falls for a “princess” he meets along the way. This classic ends on a cliffhanger, but is a classic for a reason: full of folly, quick wit, and dense characters, this one will not disappoint.

Call Number: PQ6329 .A2 1930

Cover art for the novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette (fiction) – If warm places aren’t your thing, you’ll love this story where penguins make an appearance. When Bee’s agoraphobic mom goes missing before the family is set to go to Antarctica, Bee’s dream vacation destination, Bee learns that the ship ride isn’t so great, but the people that you meet along the way are. This is a quick read told from Bee’s viewpoint and several of her diary entries that will have you laughing out loud and feeling her every emotion along the way—sans the cold!

Call Number: PS3619.E495 W54 2012

 

Cover art for the The Best American Travel Writing (2004)

The Best American Travel Writing

The Best American Travel Writing 2004 (fiction) – Perhaps you don’t want to leave the United States over winter break or you simply can’t and are looking for some local inspiration. This compendium contains 32 fictional short stories about characters who traveled across America. If you read this and still find that you’re a sucker for more short stories about travel, “The Best American _______ Writing” series is published each and every year in a variety of different genres!

Call Number: PS648.T73 B48 2004

 

Cover art for the novel, A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods (nonfiction) – Don’t you love the sound of winter? Everything is so quiet and peaceful–you can almost hear the snowflakes falling from the sky. This best-selling recount of one man’s travels through the Appalachian Trail will have you thinking about setting up hiking plans for Spring Break 2018. Bill Bryson recounts his journey on the Appalachian Trail starting in Georgia all the way through Maine. You’ll want to get back in touch with the winter silence in your nearest woods once you read his account of every rock, insect, bear (and human) he met along the way.

Call Number: F106.B92 1998

 

Cover art for the novel, The Island at the Center of the World

The Island at the Center of the World

The Island at the Center of the World (fiction audio book) – If nature isn’t for you and you’d rather be whisked away to an urban setting, this book is for you. This work examines the influences of the Dutch in establishing New York City as it is known today. Based on recent archival finds and research, the story follows several influential figures and their lives as they come to find themselves settling in America.

Call Number: CDISC F128.4 .S56 2004

 

Cover art for the novel, The Journeyer

The Journeyer

The Journeyer (fiction) – We all know his name from a famous game, but many of us don’t know his story. If you like reading about the fictional adventures of very real people—in this case, Marco Polo—this book is for you. After being falsely accused of murdering his lover’s husband, he is banished from Venice. This work of fiction then recounts his famed journey through the Orient and how Marco Polo defeated all the odds despite his “criminal” record to become one of the richest men in Italy.

Call Number: PS3560.E518 J6 1984

Cover art for the novel, The Great Railway Bazaar

The Great Railway Bazaar

The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train through Asia (nonfiction) – If you’re taking the Amtrak this winter, why not read the original travelogue inspired by train travel? In 1973 Paul Theroux traveled across Europe, the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia by train and back again. While it may not be the Amtrak, Theroux did take famed train lines like the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian Express on his trans-continental tour.

Book Call Number: DS10 .T43 1975

Audio Book Access available online through the U of I Catalog

 

Cover art for the novel, Istanbul: Memories and the City

Istanbul: Memories and the City

Istanbul: Memories and the City (nonfiction) – This translated work is a memoir that documents the political and cultural climate of Turkey in the early 2000s. As a perspective piece, we recommend it. Settle down with some tissues in addition to the hot cocoa though, as this story can get melancholy and serious.

Call Number: DR723 .P36 2006

 

Cover art for the novel, Shantaram

Shantaram

Shantaram (fiction) – If you’re feeling like you want to break out of your dorm or house due to cabin fever, the journey of two criminals fleeing prison to Bombay may pique your interest. This story begins in Australia but ends in Bombay, India. In this fast-paced story, heartbreak, betrayal, mafia wars, and drug crimes are abundant, but Lin, the protagonist, simply wants to find a place where he can blend in, find love, and settle down.

Call Number: PR9619.4.R625 S53 2004

 

Cover art for the novel, The Alchemist

The Alchemist

The Alchemist (fiction) – Winter is the season for dreamers, wishers, and miracle makers. Undeniably the most famous fictional travel piece, The Alchemist follows Andalusian, a young Egyptian sheep herder, as he travels through Egypt in search of a place he was once called to in his dreams. He’s in search of treasure, hope, and ultimately himself. Sometimes the greatest adventure is the one of self-discovery.

Call Number: PQ9698.13.O3546 A4513 1993

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

De-Stress Fest 2017

Dogged by a high-stakes final exam?

Donut know what to do to prepare for an essay test?

Tasked with a term paper and still wondering: “Button what should I write?”

Mitigate your distress and de-stress at the UGL’s Destress Fest! This Thursday, December 14th from 12p.m. to 11p.m. the Undergraduate Library is providing resources to help you relax amidst the calamity of finals week.

Highlights

Therapy dogs are back! They don’t judge, guilt, or grade you–PLUS they have fur and love to be petted.

Library staff will be running campaigns for the fantasy role-playing game, Pathfinder. Stomp out some goblins, cast a few spells, maybe even take a stab at fighting the fearsome Gelatinous Cube.

Come use the UGL’s new button maker! Bring in a favorite photo, inspirational saying, or other (paper) totem of good luck and punch out something you can wear around as you study and destress.

Here is the full list of events

12 to 2p.m. and 6 to 8p.m. Paper Hats, and Origami workshop in the New Books area

12 to 2p.m. Consultants from the Writers Workshop will be at the front of the Upper Level to offer tips and tricks on those daunting final papers

1:45 to 3:45p.m. Therapy dogs will visit the Upper Level!

2 to 4p.m. Stress Management Peers will be at the Front Table to talk about dealing with finals pressure

3 to 5p.m. and 7 to 9p.m. Button making in the New Books Area of the Upper Level.

4 to 6p.m. Representatives from the counseling center’s Integrative Health and Wellness Team at the Front Table on the Upper Level

4 to 11p.m. Writers Workshop Midnight Madness drop-in hours

4 to 5p.m. Breathe, Relax, Focus at the Writers Workshop conference room

6 to 8p.m. Pathfinder Campaigns in dungeon-ized Group Room 11

At 8p.m. there is a a surprise that will make its way around the UGL!

9 to 11p.m. Research and Writing drop-in hours with librarians in the Consultation Corner (back of Upper Level, by the Writers Workshop)

We’ll see you there.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

From the Table to the Couch: Video Games to Play Over Thanksgiving Break

So you’re done eating pounds of turkey and wondering ‘well, what do I do now with all this time on my hands.’ The Undergrad’s got you covered with our extensive video game collection! Take some time to relax and play some games before coming back to studying. Here’s just some of the games that we have available right before the break.

Rock Out with Elite Beat Agents

Elite Beat Agents Cover Art

The Elite Beat Agents

System: DS/3DS

If you like the idea of being a secret agent and a rock star in one package, Elite Beat Agents is the game for you. In this music rhythm game, play through nineteen songs ranging from “Material Girl” by Madonna and “You’re the Inspiration” by Chicago. This is perfect for on the go play.

Prove yourself with Titanfall 2

Titanfall Cover Art

Titanfall

System: Xbox One

Take a friend or annoying sibling and remind them you’re still the best when it comes to FPS. Choose between playing in your Titan or playing as just a tech heavy human in the Game Critics Award multiplayer game of the year for 2016.

Stop Egg Thieves in the Angry Birds Trilogy

Angry Birds Trilogy Cover Art

Angry Birds Trilogy

System: Xbox 360

Play all three Angry Birds games in one with this console version of the addictive phone app. Show your friends you learned something about projectile physics all while taking on those nefarious pigs who are probably planning to steal your eggs.

Explore the World in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild cover art

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

System: WiiU

One of the current nominees for game of the year, 2017 is available for the upcoming break! The weather is starting to be chilly, the leaves aren’t so colorful anymore, but the beautiful world of Breath of the Wild can be seen while you’re drinking hot coffee and snuggling with a blanket indoors.

All of these and more are available at the Undergraduate Library right now, downstairs in the media collection space. Happy gaming!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

From the TV to the Table: Table Top Games to Check Out Based on Your Favorite TV shows

Is your school work starting to weigh you down? Do you need something to do besides binge watch your favorite TV shows? Good News! The UGL has a collection of table top games that you can check out to help you destress. If you need help picking one, here are some recommendations based on some of your favorite TV shows!

Do you love Game of Thrones? Try playing Risk!

Risk board game

Risk

Are you missing Jon Snow, Daenerys, and all your favorite conquers from Westeros? While you wait for the final season, you can come check out Risk at the UGL Circulation Desk. The objective of this game is to conquer all the territory on the board’s map with your political savvy, attacking strategies, and defensive techniques. You can form alliances with your friends and come up with schemes to sabotage your enemies. In the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die. In the game of Risk, you either win, or you lose and don’t get stabbed in the stomach. Leave the swordplay to Arya—check out this game and enjoy all the power with none of the northern frostbite. Also, If you want to watch Game of Thrones, you can check seasons 1-6 out here at the UGL when you come pick up the game!

Jon Snow gif I'm Ready

If you liked The Handmaid’s Tale, give Scrabble a try.

The Handmaid's Tale A Hulu Original Cover

The Handmaid’s Tale

Looking for a way to relieve your stress and show off your wit? Do what Offred does, and play a game of Scrabble. This game is made up of 225 squares, and the objective is to accumulate the most points with your vocabulary (you can also reach for goals like longest word or most triple letter words). If you find yourself in need of some intellectually stimulating entertainment, come check this game out. You can also do one better than Offred, and play the game with someone who isn’t keeping you prisoner. Praise be! You can find Scrabble at the UGL Circulation Desk, and you can stream The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. In the mean time, read up and build that vocabulary!

Offred reading gif

Are you a Parks and Recreation fan? Honor Ben Wyatt and play Settlers of Catan.

The Settlers of Catan game board

Settlers of Catan

Have you ever wanted to play Ben Wyatt’s original table top game, The Cones of Dunshire? Well, it isn’t actually a real game yet (still hoping for the Kickstarter). Instead, you can play one of Ben’s personal favorites: Setters of Catan. The goal of this game is to create a civilization that surpasses all the other players’ settlements on the fictional island, Catan. If you do check this out, be sure to find a good group of friends (like Ben’s) to play with you. Also, if you want to enjoy some Parks and Recreation while you play, you can pick up seasons 1-7 in the UGL’s media collections here.

Ben Wyatt celebrating

If you’re missing Stranger Things, you might find solace in a Pathfinder session.

Stranger Things Season 1 cover image

Stranger Things

Do you find yourself in need of some adventuring? Do what Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will do: play a fantasy role-playing game. At the UGL, we have Pathfinder. You can check out the Core Rulebook or a Beginner’s Box to help you start designing an adventure for you and your friends. You can even stream Stranger Things on Netflix to help you get prepared. In addition to that, you can come to the UGL for short sessions run by our Graduate Assistants! Stay tuned and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to find out when these sessions will take place. Either way, come ready to fight dragons, goblins, and trolls—and if the lights start to flicker, you might want to grab a baseball bat and run.

The boys from stranger things slay the demogorgon

One last piece of good news: these games are just the beginning! Check out our full list of table top games at the UGL! Have an idea of something we should add?  Reach out to us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages, and give us your suggestions!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

September Events

September is in full swing, and with the beginning of the school year also comes the beginning of fall events! Check out our roundup of events happening on campus and around Champaign-Urbana this month.

Greatest Midwest Food Town Celebration

MidwestLiving Greatest Midwest Food Town Celebration Logo

Greatest Midwest Food Town Celebration

Where: Urbana’s Market at the Square, The Blind Pig Brewery, and Grange Grove

When: September 9th, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Celebrate Champaign-Urbana being named the best Midwest Food Town by MidwestLiving Magazine with food samples, games, giveaways and music. The day begins at Urbana’s Market at the Square, moving to Blind Pig at 12:45 pm and ending the day at Grange Grove at 4:00 pm. Free admission.

Krannert Center Opening Night Party

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Krannert Center Opening Night Party

Where: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

When: September 14th, 6:00 pm

The Krannert Center’s Opening Night Party this year is also celebrating ELLNORA Guitar Festival and the University of Illinois Sesquicentennial with blues and folk music, food, crafts, and a showcase of mini-performances. Try your hand at screen-printing and guitar pick jewelry-making, and marvel at the community guitar gallery hung throughout the Lobby along with food and music. Admission is $5.

CU Pride Fest 2017

CU Pride Rainbow Logo

CU Pridefest 2017

Where: Downtown Champaign

When: Events September 15-17

Sponsored by Uniting Pride, celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride with events September 15-17 in Downtown Champaign! Pride Fest kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday, September 15th with live music, drag shows, and comedy at 51 Main. Pride Fest continues on Saturday with the CU Pride Parade at 4 pm, and an afterparty at 51 Main. The weekend wraps up on Sunday at 11:00 am with a Drag Brunch at City View. Admission prices vary.

The Pygmalion Festival

Pygmalion Festival Logo

Pygmalion Festival Logo

Where: Downtown Champaign

When: September 20-24

The 13th year of the Pygmalion Festival brings food, drink, music, technology, and literature to an intimate event. Pygmalion highlights local bands, authors, restaurants and innovators, and focuses on creating a festival experience that is meaningful, impactful, and sustainable. Tickets are available as single day passes or full weekend passes.

Stargazing at Meadowbrook Park

MeadowBrook Park at Night

Stargazing at Meadowbrook Park

Where: Meadowbrook Park, 2808 S. Race Street

When: Thursday, September 21, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Celebrate the last days of summer with outdoor stargazing at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana. Join expert astronomers from the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society and William M. Staerkel Planetarium to learn about stargazing and observe through high powered professional telescopes. Bring a blanket and a telescope of your own if you have one! Free admission.

Urbana Food Truck Rally

Urbana Food Truck Rally Logo

Urbana Food Truck Rally

Where: Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Walter Street

When: Tuesday, September 26th, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Come one, come all to the lunchtime food truck rally series in Downtown Urbana! The last Tuesday of every month features a convergence of local food trucks in Downtown Urbana for a lunch time break. Food trucks for September include Dragon Fire Pizza, Chester’s BBQ, The Empanadas House, and more. Indulge your tastebuds for a lunch time treat. Free admission, cost for food.

Hopefully we’ve covered most of the major events happening around Champaign-Urbana for the month of September, but if we missed anything, reach out to us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages, and stay tuned for an events post every month!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Binge on This: Books That Inspired the Latest Shows

Summer is the perfect time to unwind and catch up on your reading and binge-watching. Many books are brought to life as films and television programs, so if you need suggestions on what to read next, check out these books which have spawned television shows just this year! (And don’t forget: the libraries at the University of Illinois often have items available in audiobook or e-book format!)

Read Before You Watch

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods on HBO

American Gods on HBO

For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place. On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday, a self-declared grifter, who offers Shadow a job. Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts. But he soon learns that his role in Wednesday’s schemes will be far more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Find the book on our shelves, and the show on Starz.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies on HBO

Big Little Lies on HBO

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yoga new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. Find the book on our shelves and the show on HBO.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray for the Commander to make her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules. Find the book on our shelves and the show on Hulu.

Coming Soon! Check out these books before their small-screen counterparts premiere later this year.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. Find the book on our shelves and the show, known as Strike, on HBO later this year.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Cover of Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother — her only family — is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she’ll ever have a normal life. Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world–including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong. Find the book on our shelves and the miniseries on Showtime.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Cover of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims — a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming. Find the book on our shelves and the show on HBO.

Whether you’re a binge reader or a binge watcher, we’ve got you covered. Let us know what your favorite show to binge watch is on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit